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[Part 3] 22:53:43 // 03-JUN-2042 - Continued

Fresh panic burst like a brass band in his head. 

It wasn’t supposed to work like this. The plan was to go in, fawn sufficiently, conduct a cursory interview while the collector did its work, then get the hell out and deliver the merchandise before anyone realized what had happened. They had not discussed a contingency in the event he ended up stranded in the dark a klick and a half off the ground. 

“Lights,” he croaked, barely able to muster enough breath to make a sound. 


He fought for a deep breath and yelled, “LIGHTS!” 

Still nothing.

Where was the emergency power?

“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit…” Dodge mumbled, his voice consumed by the ravenous darkness. Ten years of cognitive behavior therapy washed away in an instant, leaving nothing but the shreds of the anti-anxiety drug to keep him lucid. Fight or flight kicked in—run, his brain screamed. Sweat showered from his underarms, soaked his back.