Who: Everyone What: Finding refuge where they can Where: The Palace, 455 Madison Avenue at E 51st Street When: Early morning, Friday
Only yesterday morning the Palace had been one of New York's most luxurious hotels. Now it looked like a military checkpoint. The sun had yet to rise, but flood lights were pointed at all side of the building, chasing any lingering shadows away with their unending glare. Many of the guests had left in the ensuing panic that followed the late night news reports. Bart Bass was letting anyone who wanted to leave do so; who was being allowed in was a vastly different matter.
In place of the wealthy tourists and expensively clad businesspeople of yesterday, hired guards now stood in the courtyard wearing black body armor. They were turning people away easily enough, a few curt words were generally sufficient and a brusque gesture in the direction of the subway. But it was clear from their unfazed expressions and spotless uniforms that no one in the present crowd had actually experienced the horrors that the news programs were reporting. Cell phones were down, traffic had stalled, and disturbing reports kept echoing from passing car radios. But they had a job to do, and they were going to do it. Nobody would get in the hotel that wasn't already there with a handful of notable exception. Namely, the boss's son and a few of his friends.