Nearby, he saw a street cafe flanked by an open crater in the road, surrounded with safety barriers. Zooming in on his telescopic lenses, he detected the top curve of a huge concrete pipe. It would be a simple enough matter to drop down in stages to the footpath, then run down the pipe. He’d only have to drop a grenade to cover his escape.
I might make it to my party after all. Damn it!
He hated birthday parties.
Dropping down the side of the building’s face he gained the footpath. Snatching up the harness from the fallen manog, he sprinted for the excavated area. Fifty more metres and he’d make it to safety. Stampeding feet scuffed across the road’s surface after him as he closed the gap, about to vault over the edge. A thin red beam angled toward him from the ground, causing him to roll aside as a shot clacked a notch in the tar.
In all this time, he’d forgotten about him.
“You killed my son!” shouted a huge male.
It cannoned into him from out of his peripheral vision. Brad’s slammed heavily onto his back, just short of the kerb. Fighting for consciousness, he extracted a dagger. He knew it would be of little effect against the manog, but he at least hoped to stab it once before he died. In unison with the red laser dot, he raised his hand. Another shot rang out as the manog lurched forward and dropped on top of him.
He tried to squirm unsuccessfully from under the beast, but found it too heavy. More manogs ran from the end of the street, converging with others from the side lanes. Not wanting such a grisly death, Brad reached for an explosive grenade; he had none. It had to have fallen when the manog knocked him onto his back. Several metres to his right, beyond his reach, a black capped grenade laid in the gutter.
The red dot returned, and rested on his forehead. Brad waited for the killer shot. It didn’t come. He zoomed in on his telescopic lenses, following the red beam all the way up the street to the crest of the hill. From this distance, Brad couldn’t recognise distinct features on the manog, but he could recognise the grey suit. Cadoboras stood over the unconscious Hunter of the pack. He suddenly swung the firearm aside firing twice. The two manogs in the lead, tumbled lifelessly onto the road as their comrades stampeded over their corpses.
Again the red dot returned, this time falling on Brad’s chest. He waved both hands at Cadoboras and pointed at the gutter. Cadoboras lowered the weapon, frowning.
“Shoot the grenade!” Brad shouted.
The dot danced over the canister then returned to Brad, going up and down to signify assent. Cadoboras took aim and fired, blanking out the holographic projection.
Lisa stared in shocked silence.
“That can’t be it.”
Professor Hunter clutched her hand.
“I’m sorry, Lisa.”
She looked at the goggles’ memory bar. Minutes remained.