welcome back, mr. doe
From the novel Monopole [formerly Theodorus in Excelsis]
The elevator door slides closed. Teddy looks down to admire his new tuxedo as the elevator begins its ascent. He turns to look out its enormous floor-to-ceiling window. He watches the dark, crowded city disappear beneath him and the cityscape horizon emerge, its tall buildings, endless roadways, and circulatory system of M Trans rails illuminated beneath the night sky. The city’s foggy haze dims the lights in the distance as the elevator skyrockets upward. Teddy puts a hand on the giant window to keep his legs steady beneath him. The elevator soon reaches the Penthouse Suite on the two hundred and twenty-second floor. It arrives suddenly and with a pleasant tone. “Welcome back, Mr. Doe,” the elevator says as its door glides open. Teddy enters the suite and begins searching for a telephone. He scours every surface, most of which levitate, but he still finds nothing even remotely resembling a phone or a communication device of any kind. Teddy eventually figures to ask the room. “Hello?” he asks aloud. “Hello, Mr. Doe,” the room replies.