Bull Mayday is perched on a window ledge on the thirteenth floor of an apartment building, ready to scale the line he just shot across to a nearby airship. But was he really ready? To dangle so precariously, to steal the loot, to get back? Will he make it to the end of the line, or is it be the end of high times for Bull Mayday?
I know there must have been noise in the streets below, but I couldn't hear anything. Just the white-noise echo around the walls of my razor-keen mind. I could only see the rope in front of me, only so far as where it was lodged into the airship.
I started out. Long as I live I'll never do something like that again, tell you what. But that's what first times are for, right? I didn't know what I was doing at all. At all. I tried standing up, walking on it like a trapeze artist, but I couldn't bring myself to get the second foot off the ledge. There was no net, and I have a terrible sense of balance. And a fear of heights, too. I have no idea why I decided to go through with this.
Anyhow, I did, and so I can't do it high-wire style, so I decide I'll have to hang off it. I figured the crawl-hang was the best option, where you use all four limbs. No idea what it's really called. I kneel down on the window ledge. By the way, the old lady and her granddaughter are knocking on the bathroom door, one wondering if I'm okay and the other what I'm up to. I tell them I'm fine, that I'm just having a rough time with the toilet. I've got them at the door, the blimp out the window, and about ten minutes left now. Okay, I thought. It's time to go.
I hold onto the wire with both hands, as tight, as white-knuckle-tight as possible, and begin to lean forward. My comb falls out of my coat and I watch it tumble and then vanish down in the distance below. I must have sworn, because the old lady reprimanded me for it. I pushed out further with my locked hands and then gravity started to pull me out the window. I shot my leg out awkwardly and caught the rope under my knee. I was locked on tight now, but the rope swayed violently from my clumsiness. Nearly bucked me right off. But I held tight. And then I started to shimmy. Like an upside-down caterpillar. Right over the cars, over the people. I wonder if any of them saw me. Or, if they did and didn't realize it because, who expects to see that on a busy street in the middle of a workweek?
I only realized that I had reached the airship when I knocked my head against it. I had just been moving as well and as fast as I could, trying to drown out my senses so as to drown out my fear. But then, thunk! All my fear rushed back. I nearly slipped off the rope, but I caught myself on the ledge of one of the windows that ran around the gondola of the airship. I willed my weak muscles to pull me up to where I was nearly sitting on the wide ledge of the window. I didn't bother to look inside to see what was waiting for me, I just led with my elbow through the glass.
I tumbled onto the floor and then sprang up. I wasn't cut or hurt, that I could see anyways, and there wasn't anyone immediately near. Just stacks and stacks of printed goldquartz. Like you see in informationals. Absurd amounts. I saw yellow, I swear it.
But then around the corner comes the inevitable: a guard. But it was no ordinary guard. It was the prettiest gal I'd ever seen!
"Hello!" I said. Something in me just automatically tried to come onto this dame, despite the fact that I was crashing her party, that she was going to bust me. Bull Mayday sure had a lot more fun that Daat Praen ever did, that's for sure.
"What's going on here?" the gal demanded.
"Myers?" I asked, reading her name off her tag.
"Yeah, so who are you?" she asked, getting annoyed. She put one hand on the quickshot round her waist.
"I'm nobody in particular," I said. "I just gotta be quick about this, see?" I had my quickshot, but no way was I gonna use it on a mug like hers.
"What is this, a hold-up?!" she asked. She was almost delighted.
"You'd better take it easy," I said.
"Alright!" Myers said, barely able to contain herself. "Finally some excitement around here."
"You gonna report me?" I asked, and I started to move towards one of the stacks of money.
"Should I?" she asked. "What's best for you?"
"Now that's customer service," I joked. "Why do you care what I think?"
"Listen, some of us go to work everyday and just dream of having the guts to kick the system in the teeth like you are," Myers said. "Just because I'm a guard doesn't mean I care about what I'm guarding. It's just a job. Fact of life."
I mean, wow, right? All my dreams answered! Here's this gal, this beautiful gal, comes around the corner and tells me I'm swell, stands there with hope in her brown eyes... I couldn't resist the opportunity. "So why don't you come with me, then?" I asked. "Let's take this loot and get outta here!"
Myers' eyes went wide and her jaw dropped. "Are you being serious?" she asked.
"Sure am," I answered. "But we've gotta get outta here , and quick!"
"That's right, the airship will be departing soon. Real soon!" Myers said.
"Follow me, it's just...," I started, but then I got to the window and looked out. There, across the divide, were the old lady and her granddaughter shaking their fists at me. They had cut the wire. Myers and I were up a blimp without a ladder.
NEXT TIME: WHO'S WHO and WHAT'S WHAT?