"Everyone please clear the skyway and proceed to the parking garage." The police officer with the bullhorn spoke with firmly but calmly, a calm belied by his flak jacket. Hundreds of people made their way hurriedly from the convention center to the parking deck via the skyway. None were running, but most were moving quickly. Some paused to look down at the west support column closest to the building. Holding the broken column of the skyway was the man of the hour, the Hourman.
Rex Tyler focused his mind on the lift. His arms began shaking a little from the strain. "Hourman" the patrolman on the ground called to him. "Are you okay?"
"For now," Rex grunted.
A very corpulent couple stepped onto his end of the skyway and Rex felt his arms give a little. He counterbalanced and they continued on. "How are you holding up?" the ground officer asked.
The digital alarm on his wrist went off. "In about two minutes, I won't even be able to hold up my end of the conversation. You need to clear the last of them, stat."
Rex saw the back of the heavy couple and what appeared to be the the last of the crowd, as several of the officers on the skyway went with them. "Skyway, this is Ground. Are we clear?" the officer barked into his two way radio. Rex exhaled and was about to ease the broken column to the ground when he heard the whine of a motor. "Negative," the radio blurted. "We have an woman in a motorized wheelchair, trying to cross."
Rex's patrolman threw up a hand. "Skyway, what's her ETA for the garage?"
"At her present speed, approximately three minutes."
"That's one minute too long, Skyway. Can you assist?"
"Negative. It would take us at least that long to carry her, given her, ah, dimensions."
The one minute alarm sounded when Rex was first able to see her. "Officer, you're going to have to rebuild this thing anyway, right?"
"That is correct, Hourman."
"Okay," Rex grunted. "Clearing the bridge." Rex groaned loudly and pushed the column steadily higher and higher, changing the pitch of the skyway. The electric scooter accelerated toward the mouth of the parking garage. The woman seemed frightened but her rate of speed had increased significantly.
Rex felt a wobbling in his arms, a familiar one. "Secure her," Rex grunted. "Skyway, is she secure?"
"Roger that" the radio blared back as she steamrolled into the garage.
"Then get out of the mouth of the garage. Now!"
Rex heaved the column up with as much force as he could muster (which wasn't much at this point) and bolted from underneath the skyway. His alarm sounded times up as the skyway came crashing down the ground below.
Rex collapsed in the grass as the crashing blew debris and dust everywhere. Donna Kneale ran over to him from her car and helped him to his feet.
"I'm all right," he croaked.
"And I'm a supermodel." Unadorned by make up and carrying quite a bit more than the few pounds required by that profession, it was clear she was not. As they approached the car, the elderly Dr. Bailey got out and helped get Rex into it. "Well done, Rex. Well done."
Donna frowned at him. "Don't encourage him, Dr. Bailey."
"I'm not, Dr. Kneale. I'm thanking him."
Donna started the car and drove off. "Rex, we have to talk."
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