the smuggler’s bible

Amsterdam

Amsterdam listens for the ground crew’s signal buzzer, then backs up a couple steps for a running start and hammers down a flying heel drop onto the winch’s release lever.

He leans against the cupola railing and lights a cigarette, smoking slowly while loops of cable uncoil and zip hissing across the rollers. As friction heats the metal, it begins to glow deep orange.

Amsterdam keys the radio. “Last call,” he says. “Impact in four-ish minutes. Braking effectiveness south of point naught naught one percent.” He takes another drag. “If you left your drill, well, best to forget her, brother.”