Thunder and lightning. The rain fell harder now. It washed the smoke from the air and brought a clean, metallic scent, but it made the two figures harder to see at a distance. The shorter of the two figures staggered under the weight of the crate they carried between them, but ducked its head and stumbled on. When they reached the trash bin, the taller one braced against the box to improve its grip. The heavy lid was already open, gleaming in the floodlight, and after some awkward jostling, the two heaved the crate over the side of the bin. The sound made when the crate hit bottom wasn’t audible over the ambient sound of the rain, but perhaps the contents of the bin had cushioned its fall, and it had made no sound at all. The sounds of footsteps—wet sandals against pavement—were drowned out by the rain.
The taller figure pulled itself up and over the side of the container, and disappeared inside. The shorter figure turned back toward the building and froze. The watcher, backlit against the doorway, shrank back, and so didn’t see the figure rap on the side of the bin or hear the words that passed between the two. The watcher, who knew the building well, fled down the maze of corridors and slipped inside a cabinet. But the building settled into silence.
In the morning, the only person found there was a single drowsy guard.
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