He could hear the runners on the street, following him. That was going to be a fucking problem when he came to the halfway point. He ran, but he didn’t rush. He had the key. He just had to survive.
She was waiting on the rooftop about the main drag. She had her helmet off. She looked almost bored. She looked like she should be smoking a cigarette. She smirked.
“It took you long enough,” she said.
“I’ve got the keys, I don’t need to rush.”
“You got two?”
She held out her hand. He shook her head.
“We have a fucking deal.”
“Yeah, we do, and I still need you.”
She swung at him. He stepped inside it and drove an elbow into her jaw. She spun, she staggered, but she didn’t go down. She grabbed her helmet and swung again. He ducked it and she nearly fell as the momentum carried her around.
She caught her balance and she turned to look at him.
“Do it again, and I will crack your skull open. You’ll distract the runners just fine if you’re dead.”
“Give me my fucking key.”
“At the end.”
She put her helmet on and didn’t say a word. Smith glanced over the edge of the building at the runners. Getting across the road and up the other building was going to be a problem. He could fight off a couple, but not seventeen. He bit his lip. He turned to her.
“You take that side of the building, go halfway down. Let the runners get close enough to taste you. I’ll head over to the other side and then draw their attention.”
“How can I trust you?”
He could feel the hate through the helmet. Hate was fine. Anger was fine. Just so long as it didn’t make her sloppy before she got the job done. She went over the side. No ledges here, so she went down to the window sill. The runners slobbered and moaned. Jumped at her, fingertips leaving bloody stains on the brick, their fingernails long gone.
Smith was down the other side of the building and halfway across the street before the runners came. Not all of them, not yet. He found a handhold, something that was probably used to hold up an awning, back before the virus. He hauled himself up and it snapped. He fell back down into the runners.