The door locked from the inside. Thoughtful, that. He took off his helmet. He needed to wipe the brains and blood off, he couldn’t half see. He sat the helmet on the floor and pulled off one of Heller’s boots. The sock was soaked in blood. He frowned and pulled off the other boot. The sock was sweaty but clean enough. He wiped off the helmet and heard the stairway door bust open.
He put the helmet on and grabbed the ax. Waited by the door. No place to run to if they got through. He could hear them scratching and throwing themselves at the door, a pounding like an erratic heartbeat, but the door was holding.
He scanned the room. There was no obvious exit. No windows. He was going to need to make his own exit, but that wasn’t necessarily a problem. First things first.
Cutting the runner open with the ax was hard work. He needed to make sure that he didn’t splatter any of the thing’s fluids into any of his open wounds. He wasn’t sure he was already infected. He wouldn’t show symptoms for twenty four hours. He had antivirals in his kit, but that was only a ten percent cure. But the less the viral load, the better his chances.
He couldn’t use the knives the runner had for hands for the same reason; no handles and he was pretty sure the beyond razor sharp blades would slide right through his gloves. He needed to dig down to the thing’s stomach with the spike on the ax in slow and steady chops.
The key, at least, was in the runner’s stomach, where he thought it would be. He pulled out the key, covered in blood and bile and what he was pretty sure were parts of Hiller. He wiped it off with the sock and unzipped a pocket and stuck it in.
Now, he needed to get the fuck of here. The pounding on the door was steady. He knew the runners could smell the blood and gore in here, and they would stop until something else distracted them. Stahl was probably dead, Hiller was extremely dead, at least for another few hours, and the girl puncher was outside. No cavalry coming. The runners would keep slamming at the door until they’d smashed themselves to pulp or the door came down.
Smith looked at the door. The door was pretty much indestructible, from the looks of it, but it was stuck in walls that had gone twenty years of Pennsylvania winters without any tending to. The runners would be in, sooner rather than later. He needed to get out.
He pried the chain that was holding the runner back considered his options. He could chop his way into the rooms on either side of him, but he was pretty sure that the next room over was going to have another key runner in it. The other side was going to be open to the runners. One option left. Smith was going down.