Chapter 19

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“Three for the sky pod is twenty-five fifty.  The tickets can be used toward the price of your meal.”

Cameron gave her the money in exchange for three passes.  The woman went back to her book and gave no further acknowledgement when he wished her a good day.  Cameron rolled his eyes and turned back to Marie and Nicole.  He extended his arm down the velvet-roped path toward the elevators.  “Right this way,” said Cameron.

They entered a glass-fronted atrium housing six elevator bays.  One set of elevator doors was already opened.  A squat older man sat near the door on a short-pillowed stool.  He took the passes Cameron handed him, scanned them with an optical reader, and then handed them back.  “Step to the back please,” said the man.  The three did as the older man requested and stepped to the back wall of the elevator.  Next to the man was a metal panel with a key in the lock.  The man placed his fingers on the key and gave his hand a quick turn, opened the panel, and then flipped a switch that caused the elevator doors to shut behind them.  “Hold on,” said the man and then he turned a knob above the door switch.  A light in the panel flashed green and the floor rose below them, pushing at their feet with a soft sudden thrust.  The horizon filled the glass wall and below them two large glass panels in the floor of the elevator looked down on the shaft that, at the speed they were lifting, fell away beneath them.

“Whoa,” said Nicole.

“This is the fastest elevator in North America,” said the squat man.  “You’ll never ride anything like it.”

“I should say not,” said Marie.

The glass carriage brought a literal levity to their day.  Over the next minute the horizon dropped below them and the buildings of the Toronto skyline, the parts they could see, shrunk to miniatures.

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