I was out of breath by the time I reached the end of the corridor. As I ran its length I saw no one. I was alone.
As with every door I had encountered in the white room, the door at the end of the corridor blended seamlessly into the wall. It took several seconds of running my hands over the smooth surface to locate a crease and sunken latch. Slowly opening the door - not knowing what was on the other side - the sun bore into my eyes. I stepped through the door and onto a rooftop. Heat from the tarred roof rose up and danced in distorted waves. Dazed, I suddenly understood that I was looking directly at the Las Vegas skyline. Struggling with the light, I walked to the edge of the roof. I was three stories from the ground, but the roof continued one floor beneath. Suddenly, there was a voice. "Mr. Porcello, please come back inside." I turned to see a man in a dark suit walking toward me with his hands behind his back. "Mr. Porcello, please. I am here to help you." I began to take a step forward, then turned and jumped to the roof below.
I hit the roof hard and awkwardly rolled before gaining my feet and running to the edge. Gathering myself to jump to yet another roof one floor below, I hear the sharp sound of gunfire and the tar next to my feet explodes. "Mr. Porcello, stop! Let me help you!" I have no interest in being assisted by a man who just shot at me. I jump to the roof of the first floor, bounce up and sprint to the edge, where without thought or hesitation I make my final leap onto the pavement below. When I hit the ground, my head glanced against the side of the building and everything went dark for a moment. Then I began to run. Two shots kicked up the gravel as I zigzagged away from the building. Faintly the words "Mr. Porcello, we want to help you!", reached out to me before turning a corner and sliding up against a wall. I was free.
When I woke up, the man in the dark suit was sitting across from my bed. The man from the rooftop. "How are we feeling this evening, Mr. Porcello?" "I remember the white room." "I was sent to retrieve you from the people who were holding you. I was sent to bring you in. But you ran." "You shot at me." "I was trying to make you stop. My job was to bring you in." "Why?" "Try to remember what happened after you ran, Mr. Porcello. We need to know what happened after you left the white room." "You found me in a casino and brought me here." "That's correct. But something happened in between. What happened after you ran? Who did you meet?" He reached out and handed me a photograph of four men. "Do you recognize any of these men?" I did, but after a few moments I responded, "no." My memory was kicking into high gear.