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think of it, he'd never known anyone who lived in a building with a garbage chute. It had never occurred to him it might not be functional. On Mars, you didn't build something unless you were going to use it, and if you decided you weren't going to use it you took it out, to free the space for something else.

Of course, on Mars you weren't dealing with three-hundred-year-old buildings that had been tinkered with incrementally over the years.

"Nice insight, Garibaldi," he muttered to himself. "Now how are you going to get out of here?"

A couple of minutes of frantic wiggling proved to him he wouldn't be able to reverse the process that had brought him down. He couldn't get any leverage with his arms up over his head, and his elbows didn't have room to flex out.

He felt panic rising and batted it down. He didn't like tight places. He hated not being able to move his arms and legs, scratch his nose.

"Hey! Get something you can use to pull me out of here," Garibaldi called up. "Hey! Somebody!"

No answer. And he was hit by the sudden, terrible image of Bester, standing among the corpses of Thompson, Girard, and whoever else had remained in the apartment. Bester, grinning as he heard Garibaldi's voice, trying to decide whether to toy with him or cut right to the chase.

He looked up, but all he could see was the smallest sliver of light. Enough of a window for someone to pump a few bullets or PPG blasts down?


The light flickered as a shadow crossed it.

"Did you call, Garibaldi?" It was Thompson.

"Yeah. Get me the hell out of here. This doesn't go anywhere."

"That means-"

"Yep. It means he's still up there, somewhere."

"Oh, shit. I-" Then Thompson made an odd noise.

"What was that, Thompson?"

Silence. Then a sort of muted chuckle.
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