It’s a short walk to his apartment—a dingy little efficiency on the fourth floor of a fire trap that the city never condemned because it assumed it already had—and Jack’s tense the entire way. When he made his arrangement with Celona he didn’t exactly try to hide his identity. He wasn’t in the business any more, he didn’t want to be disturbed, and Mr. Celona saw to it that as far as anyone was concerned he was otherwise occupied and no longer on the market. But Pasquale Celona has been dead for three years, and Jack has no interest in entering into any kind of arrangement with his son.
Jack hoists the crate off the truck and carries it into the back of the warehouse. The other guys are straining to carry theirs, but it’s nothing to him. The only real inconvenience is that it’s awkward—the crate blocks his view of the ground right in front of his feet—and he has to try to at least pretend it’s heavy. That’s the tricky part: until he sees other people trying to lift something, he has no way of knowing exactly how heavy it is for the average tough guy... to him, it’s not much different than raising his arms. His trick is to make a show of not showing it.
David Bernard hoists his duffel bag over his shoulder as he stands in front of the main entrance and tries to work up the courage to go inside. He takes a moment to look at the letters stenciled into the glass: SKY COMMANDO UNIT on the top, AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY underneath. He remembers when this door was just an ugly metal slab with no markings at all. When the entire program was secret, and no one was allowed to talk about what they were doing in the condemned firehouse the locals were expecting to collapse in on itself any day.