Friday, January 28, 2011

Puncher - 13

Smith chopped down through the floor. He looked down through the hole. The room below him was empty. He dropped down through, trying to be quiet. The room was lit, and there were camera. All part of the plan. He wondered what other escape routes production had considered.

He stepped into the hallway and he heard them coming. He crossed the hall and closed the door behind him. He wedged a half rotted chair under the doorknob. It wouldn’t take the runners long to find him. They would smell the blood. He kicked out the plywood over the window and stepped out onto the ledge. He was only story off the ground. No problem.

He saw her waiting on the roof of the building across the street. He didn’t see any runners. The moaning and the blood meant that they were probably all in the building. That wouldn’t last. It was a straight run to the gate, but there was no way that he was going to be able to outpace that many runners.

He slid away from the window and signaled to her. A runner can snarling out of the window that he had just busted his way through. It grabbed at him, but it tumbled off of the ledge. He got lucky; it landed on its head. Well, that was one.

“Need some help?” she said.

He looked at the runners in the window, who ripping into each other trying to get to him. He slid further away from them. He thought about grabbing one and pulling it out the window, but he figured that he would end up going down with it.

“Couldn’t hurt.”

She was fast, he’d give her that. Seeing her scuttle down the building was even more impressive seeing it from over here. She was on the ground in seconds. She sprinted across the road and into the building.

She came holding what looked like a leg, or least the foot and calf. Probably Stahl.

“Hey! Hey assholes! Dinner is here.”

The runners in the window forgot about Smith and dived out the window. They hit the ground hard. That was good. She backed away, still spraying blood. Around. None of the runners that had taken a dive could still running, but that didn’t stop them from moving towards them.

They flooded out the front door, tearing at each other as they tried to get out to her. They slipped and staggered on the bodies of the runners from the second floor. She hurled the leg into the face of one of the runners and turned and ran. The runners followed.

He didn’t have long. He dropped the ax to the ground, where it landed in the back of a runner that had broken both legs jumping down. It didn’t seem to notice but Smith figured it would look good on camera.

She got about three blocks away before she climbed up what used to be a street light. She jumped from there to a second story window, catching the edge with her fingers. He thought for a moment she was going to lose it, but she pulled herself inside the building and disappeared.

One of the runners turned and sniffed the air, and then looked right at Smith. It ran.

He dropped the ax midway up the house. He tried to use it to help him climb, but it wasn’t happening and he didn’t have the time. It dropped to the ground but it didn’t hit any of the runners. Smith didn’t have time to be disappointed.

He was bleeding, and that was a problem. It meant that unless he went in the buildings again, the runners were going to follow him, and that might not be enough. Runners couldn’t think and they couldn’t really climb, but they could smell blood a long dawn way off.

He looked down at the runners. There were seventeen of them that were still mobile. He didn’t give a shit about the dumb ones that had broken their various appendages and heads going out the window. Those seventeen were the problem.

If the tanker was still alive, then there were the three of them definitely alive. He knew one of the punchers he didn’t know, Thomas, Tomlin, something, was dead on the street. Hiller and Stahl were runner chow. There were two possible other punchers left. Probably dead in the buildings, but maybe not. He had no idea if any of the other keys were running around. Too many unknowns to worry about. Fuck it.

Smith ran.

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