The stairway was dark, full of its own tales best left forgotten. The watched movement was lost down there; a haven, if it was an appropriate label, for ones who didn't wish to be found. Karas wondered if life could be better if he didn't have his own story to rival the passage ahead, if he didn't have to pause in the rain thinking about ways of life he knew he would never experience, just live them. He saw himself on holoposters in his mind all of a sudden, in exec-fashion suits, and three-hour hair surgery that looked impromptu. Distanced from street level in the way he saw only his clients could be, desperately uncomfortable not having realized any number of zeroes trailing behind a first digit couldn't claw their way out of personal insecurity for them.
He shivered at the image, and then realized it was the rain more than his mind. The cooling tower steam had begun to condense in the lower levels again. He needed to descend into the station, continue the story he despised, or he'd