"You have a choice before you," the old man tells the bear. "You may get down from here in one of two ways. You can turn around with me and take the elevator down to street level where you can continue to explore your destiny from the safety of the street, or you may leap from the edge of the building. If you are lucky you will sprout wings somewhere in your descent and you will be able to survey the landscape below with greater understanding of your direction. If your wings do not appear, you will plunge to the street below where you will most likely survive, but you shall be broken and battered, perhaps unable to continue your quest. But be aware that even Icarus had wings."
The bear breathes heavily as he gazes out at the incredible scene. He knows the safe path, but he has walked the streets for many years. He looks up at the old man.
A mouse clicks.
The bear lunges forward toward the edge of the building. His paws seem to be moving in slow motion. His momentum is great as he launches himself over the edge. There is a moment of terror as there is nothing but air under his paws. The world around him becomes calm and still. There is nothing but the wind in his ears. His heart is pumping madly as gravity begins to pull him downward. He stretches out and begins his freefall. It is an exhilarating experience. He has a comic vision of himself waving a cowboy hat while riding atop a hydrogen bomb while a soft drink ad plays in the background. "Yeah, it's kinda like that."
(to be continued)