A blast of cool air buffeted his head as he passed through the turnstile. He looked up, perturbed, and noticed the port. It was an off-white vent, yellowed with age and bearded with a thick black fur he took to be dust.
He wondered how many times he’d passed through this gate before realizing he was being bathed in dirty air. He’d been coming through this exit of the transport station for almost ten years and never once had this disturbed him.
Continuing through and stepping to one side, so as not to inconvenience any of the other early-morning commuters, he took a moment to study the port. It was not the only hole in the ceiling above the multitude of turnstiles: there was one for each gate, totalling twenty on this side of the station. He watched as the people walked under them, oblivious to the mild rustling the cold air caused, the minor damage to the careful hairstyles of the throngs of office workers on their myriad ways to their morning employments.
He’d be late if he waited any longer. A sudden fear seized him, causing a cold sweat to pop up on his shaven lip and under his chin. He couldn’t be late, not this morning. There was important work to do. He put the vent out of his mind and continued to his office.
Everything continued to go according to plan.