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Something In Reserve
by Michael C. Keith

Avery Collins and his fellow climber Jason Mortimer had reached Camp 3 on Mt. Everest. It had been a particularly grueling ascent from the previous level, and it was clear that the two middle-age men were spent. After a prolonged silence, Collins turned to his cohort and spoke.

“Should we . . .?” he asked tentatively.

“I suppose . . . Yes, I think we should,” answered Mortimer.

A second later both men leapt from the ledge on which they’d been huddling. Not more than a few feet in the air, they spread their wings.

Back at Base Camp, Willis turned to Mortimer and mumbled unhappily, “I thought we were only going to do that as a last resort.”