Sea of emptiness

With a sigh and a silent prayer, you head off in the direction of Anderson Hall hoping that the villain has not gotten too far ahead of you.
Your feet pound the concrete floors as you pass one, two, three dark, empty rooms on the lowest level of the hall. Each room looks rejected — one used to be a Brown Bag Study center but is now locked.
As you approach the second bank of stairs you hear loud footsteps on the stairs above. You run to the bottom of the staircase looking up into the Escher-like concrete labyrinth that are the stairwells in Anderson Hall.
You glimpse a flash of black through the space between the basement and the stairs to the first floor. “Hey!” you yell. The footsteps stop for a second, then start again louder and faster than before.
You race up to the second floor heading to the third. “Great,” you think, “this is a dead end, and there is nowhere else to go. I can catch this thief and still make the last half of my test.”
Your heart is pounding in your ears as you round the last flight of stairs. Ahead is the landing, and no one is in sight. You mount your last step and thrust yourself onto the concrete landing with vigor, expecting to fend off an immediate attack from a hidden culprit.
But you find yourself alone on the landing. You look out of the third-story window at the sidewalk heading to the Washington Avenue Bridge. You see a shadowy figure emerge from the first floor doors. You press your head against the cold pane of glass and cry out in frustration. You’ve missed your test and you’re about to miss your plane. It’s the end of the line for you.