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Bourbon on the Rocks

By maddersahatter

Action / Scifi

Prologue

Bourbon on the Rocks

Adrenalin still pumping from his near death experience at the end of the last dramatic leap, Sam assumed a new identity hyped up and ready for anything. Nevertheless, he hoped he would be able to relax and take stock of the situation before being tested again, either physically or mentally.

First glance suggested his wish might for once be granted. He was on a shallow concrete stair, on a winding staircase hemmed in by rough stone walls, seemingly alone. Looking up, it seemed to go on for ever, though the curvature meant that in fact he couldn't really see very far at all. The same went for looking down.

Sam was struck with a sudden attack of vertigo and, compounded by the unsteadiness he always felt at the start of a leap, he felt himself swaying and in danger of plummeting downward. He made a wild panicked grab at the rough metal railing that twisted up both the inner and outer curve of the narrow stairway. Another surge of adrenalin rushed instinctively from his primitive inner brain and his pulse raced wildly.

"Get a grip." Sam admonished himself, doing just that with his left hand as he took a deep calming breath, trying to restore control to his higher, more rational brain functions. At this point he consciously registered that his right hand was occupied with carrying an oil lamp, by which light he had been examining his surroundings. It was partly the eerie shadows cast by said lamp that had set his vertigo in motion.

"Get that blasted signal going, boy!" a sudden harsh but distant voice came up from below, startling Sam yet again and preventing his heart from resuming a more sedate rhythm.

"Oh, boy!" he gasped, closing his eyes in the hope that the stairwell would cease its wild momentum once he reopened them.

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