Inspection

You check the torch, and you make the mistake of pointing it at your face as you turn it on. It’s brighter than the sun, and leaves you teary-eyed and blinking away the after-images. You won’t be making that mistake again. You pick up your keys, feeling their reassuring weight in your hand, and you head towards the lifts.

You remember that Metcalf told you that the lifts are turned off at night. You notice that the lights showing which floor the lift is on are dark, and when you punch the call buttons, nothing happens. But you see that the numbers run B G 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. At least you know how many floors you have to check. And the roof, of course. Yes. The roof.

The stairs have to be somewhere near, but you can’t see them straight away. Neither have you asked where they were, which you now regret. You walk to the left of the twin lifts, and around the corner.

To your right, there’s a door marked with the stylised figure of a man: the male toilets, then. There’s a set of double doors ahead of you, and a darkened space beyond. Peering through, you can see two lines of wheely chairs and some desks pushed together, presumably ready to move out of the building.

You try the doors, and they open easily. You turn on your torch, and shine it around the room. It would have once been a big, busy, open-plan office, but now it’s just a repository for furniture. There’s a couple more doors to your right: they look like walk in cupboards, and when you try them, they’re empty apart from shelves and few stray pieces of stationery no one’s bothered to move.

You walk further into the room, illuminating parts of it with the torch beam. There’s a cluster of half-height filing cabinets, and a rank of movable partitions: apart from that, it’s just the outside walls. But on turning, there’s another door you haven’t seen, and you notice there’s a light coming from underneath it. You try that door, and yes, it’s the stairwell. You go in, and pull the door shut behind you.

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