He’d come expecting to climb the mountain the old-fashioned way, he’d bought the gear, he’d looked at the survey maps. On arrival, loaded down, the old guides had laughed at him and pointed up.
Someone had long since carved steps into the rock itself, and they stretched up the mountain and out of sight. He rented a locker for his extraneous possessions and began the climb.
They’re up there, at the top, in the thin air. They know I’m coming, and what questions I’ll ask, and the answers to those questions. All I have to do is reach them alive.