“Will you help me get these people out of the city?” asked Cadoboras.
“There must be about 80 people here.”
“There’s more hiding in the underground carpark.”
“There’s no way I can get that many out of the city without being noticed. I mean a few at a time; maybe, but…”
Brad trailed off, burying his face in his hands.
“We won’t have the time to do things that way,” said Cadoboras. “I wouldn’t ask if there was any other way. I have to get them all out in one hit.”
“Yeah, I know,” Brad said into his hands.
“Will you help us? ”
He took his hands away. “I have to. I can’t just let people die; can I? There’s a problem though; I don’t know where the pack is.”
“I’ve been told ‘they’re a few streets south of us.’ ”
“That’s bad. They’re between us and where we have to go. Can you rally everyone to gather in the foyer in five minutes?”
“Yes,” Cadorboras said simply, before directing people to help him.
Brad left him and ran down the corridor for the foyer. The sky had broken, releasing rain like a fallen sheet into the street. His vision either way through the beaded windows yielded no sign of manogs, let alone anything else.
Cadoboras loped into the foyer, halting beside him.
“It’s raining,” said Brad. “That’s good; it’ll cover my scent.”
“I remember,” said Cadoboras. “There’s many a time you eluded us in the rain.”
The first of the church began to come through the corridor as Cadoboras grabbed the back of Brad’s head. They touched foreheads as Cadoboras prayed both for Brad’s success and his safety. When they said “amen” together, he pulled away and did a last minute check on his weaponry.
“When I leave; you follow 20 minutes after,” he said. “Head south along the highway until you find a turnoff that says “Haven.” Tell them “I sent you” and they’ll take you in.”
Brad ran a few steps out into the rain. It soaked him through within seconds as he stood on the entrance steps.
“Cadoboras; there’s a woman there called Moriah! Tell her I’m sorry, but I might be a bit late for my party!”
Without waiting for the manog’s reaction, he ran down the southern end of the road and leapt, latching onto the side of a tall building. He fluidly gained the roof and bounded onto its corner, peering down streets in four directions with the use of his telescopic lenses. A fire burned in the middle of the street to his right. In its glow he saw a manog sentry.
Without a watch, he didn’t know how much time he had already expended. Every second he delayed, made it more likely that Cadoboras’ church would run into the pack. He ran across the roof and leapt over the edge, and prayed just prior to catching hold of the electrical cables stretched between the two buildings. Shimmying across, he gained the other side and negotiated the rooftops as rapidly as possible until he looked down on the slumbering pack around the fire.