In Service to the Empire

You’re standing on top of the Empire State Building, far above the level allowed to tourists.

Beneath you is an array of antennae, inaccessible overlooks that hang outside of offices no one knows about, and the balcony on which masses of tourists converge to take endless photographs. Beneath that, there is the cascade of windows that spans the entirety of Midtown and beyond.

Up at this level, however, the air is more rarefied. It’s the middle of the night, and below you the antennae hum in constant service while even further down the coin-operated viewfinders hang their heads in dormancy, dreading the onslaught of another day. Far above you the spire stabs at sky, stretching from an already vicious height even further into an impossible sky. Tiny particles carried aloft by the jet stream stab your skin.

You watch as the airship floats noiselessly toward the tip of the spire. Fans surge as it maneuvers into a docked position, and your mind cycles through the iterations that the next assignment will entail.

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