Charlie looked down over the terrain as the hopper rattled across the farmland, passing a few meters over the tops of a half dozen oak groves. Mr. Belloquet kept the path roughly in line with the main road leading into the interior of the farm, pulling away as the road branched out to the north and south. The wind whipping through the missing rear window brought Charlie back to the sensations of his earlier fall, and he fought back a sense of impending peril, counting backward from one hundred then starting over when he reached zero. His AGENT could help subdue the stresses of vertigo and panic responses from the fall, but it couldn’t edit out basic human fears. When Endicott had thrown him, Charlie had known the Rescue Shells would come to his aid. Here it was just the hopper, the trees, and the speed. He swayed slightly in his seat as Mr. Belloquet turned the hopper further out from the main ground road, the motion and momentum bringing him back to the realization that if not for that sudden, lucky gust of wind, he could have easily been impaled on the weather vanes or any of the thousands of antennae peppering the side of the tower. He’d been lucky, and he knew it. The chronometer at the top of his vision told him it had been forty minutes and change since Valo had caught him - long enough for adrenaline and shock and whatever sedatives the medic had given him to start wearing off. Long enough for the impact of it all to settle in. He’d been thrown out an airlock. Someone had tried to kill him. He’d been in danger before, many times. Physical violence was always a possibility in his line of work. But that was rare; most people knew better than to rough up someone with a direct line to the cops. Endicott, or rather his controller, Owabi, hadn’t cared. The threat of the police meant nothing. If not for Melody, Charley would be dead, and Endicott’s body would likely be just so much wreckage after a convenient crash. Charlie felt the blood drain from his face, a surge of nausea rising up from his gut.