The back door lay on the ground, ripped off its hinges.
That was how that chromed mook got in.
"The cars were a decoy," said Mouse, coming up next to me. "Sneaky bastards."
"I'll talk to Tinker after all this," I said. "For now, let's finish loading up and get to the airport."
"Check," Mouse said, turned, and walked off.
I turned to follow and found Donovan standing in front of me. She'd cleaned up and was wearing a change of clothes I'd found in one of the upstairs bedrooms. Her right arm hung in a sling.
"Danny?" I said.
"In the car," she said. "Cleaned up. Sleeping."
I nodded. "You?"
"Don't know," she said and looked at me. "Pretty standard for you all, right?"
I shook my head. "Not this," I said.
Donovan frowned, looked back in the direction of the living room, then at me. "There was another one," she said. "A woman. Came into the saferoom. Almost yanked off the door to get in. She went for Danny. I tried to stop her."
"The shotgun," I said. "Four shots."
She nodded. "Didn't even faze her. Then..." She stopped a moment, gripped her right wrist, and gave a small wince. "She had blades that came out of her fingers. Knives, really. She stabbed me in the shoulder. I dropped the shotgun. She was going to stab me again when..." Donovan's eyes went distant. "Danny grabbed her hand," she said, then looked directly into my eyes. "And he twisted it off. Then he started to hit her. Hit her hard. Over and over and over. Punched holes in her. And I heard screams. Hers and Danny's." Donovan's voice tightened and went up in pitch. "And blood. So much blood--"
She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and let out a long, shuddering exhale.
Then she opened her eyes.
"The body's still in the room," she said.
And she turned and walked away toward the garage.
* * *
Mouse, Jake, and I stood by the Shelby and the Range Rover as Donovan and Danny walked toward the civilian aerodyne--like a sleek city bus-- parked on the tarmac.
It was nearing sunset and a cool wind had come up from the east, bringing the smell of wild grass.
I was watching Danny.
A little boy.
A little boy with the power to bring down a skyscraper.
I started to feel sad for him.
Danny was about to step into the aerodyne's main cabin when he stopped, and turned toward me.
In his face, I saw a little boy trying very hard to stay a little boy.
Danny held my gaze, then gave me a small smile and a wave.
I waved back and silently wished them luck.
Then Danny went inside the cabin and the doors shut behind him.
"You okay?" said Mouse.
I let out a very long breath. "Yeah," I said with a nod. I inclined my head at the aerodyne. "Hoping they'll be."
"Won't be easy," said Jake. "But I'm sure they'll manage."
"Yeah," I said after a moment. "I think so, too."
Then I felt a hand slip into mine.
He squeezed my hand and our eyes met and he gave me a long look.
Then he let go and walked toward his Range Rover.
Mouse and I got into the Shelby and drove off the tarmac, Jake following right behind.
I turned onto the main road and, in silence, Mouse and I headed west toward the red-orange glow of a slowly setting sun.
Back to Bay City.
NEXT TIME: "Mean Streets"
NEXT TIME: "Mean Streets"