Then there was a squeak from behind him, and the sound of a careful footstep on the stairs, and Hal, keeping low under the window, crawled to the darkened corner at the far end of the room, his weapon pointed at the top of the stairs. The dark shape of a head bobbed into view, eyes trained along the barrel of a gun that scanned left and right like a periscope on an emerging submarine. Then more of the body came into view: an absurdly tall, hunched-over figure with sticking-out ears and ridiculous fatigues—it was Johnson from Accounting.
“Die, pencil-pusher,” said Hal as he squeezed the trigger, firing a single round into Johnson’s midsection.
“Ow!” said Johnson. “I’m hit.”
The adrenaline rush was amazing! Oh, well. Nothing left to lose. Hal scurried to the window and started firing at anything and everything that moved. “Banzai! This one’s for Archie.” He caught someone hurrying across the street in front of him and quickly fired a couple of rounds in that direction. A woman’s voice called out, “I’m hit,” just as he caught sight of the tiny yellow orb coming at him, seemingly growing larger as it descended along its shallow arc, and exploding on contact with his visor. Shaking his head from the surprising force of the impact, he couldn’t quite shake off the darkness of the thick paint obscuring his view.
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