WEAPONS OF CHOICE
E-Mail: notmanos at yahoo dot com
Disclaimer: The characters of Angel are owned by 20th Century Fox and Mutant Enemy; the------------------------------------------------
character of Wolverine is also owned by 20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics. No copyright
infringement intended. I'm not making any money off of this, but if you'd like to be a patron of the
arts, I won't object. ;-) Oh, and Bob is *my* character - keep your hands off!
It went through though,in spite of the hiss and crackle of static on the line,and after the third ring an answering machine clicked on.It was her voice,all right,slightly deeper but still familiar.And she gave a cell phone number for contacting her in an emergency. But she warned emergencies only,and if any telemarketers called her,she hunt them down and kick their ass.Probably no idle threat either.
He hung up,whispering the cell number she gave over and over to himself until he deposited more change,and punched it in.It was possible she didn't have it on,or was out of range in the mountains somewhere,but then he heard a couple of tinny rings down what sounded like a metal pipe."Hello?"She said in a hurried whisper.
"Alex?"He replied,instinctively pitching his voice lower."It's Logan.I'm on my way."
There was a pause,through which he could hear the static crackle of interference,and then she said,"I knew you'd come,Logan. You've never let me down."
"Sure I have,"he admitted quietly,resting his forehead against the graffiti carved on the wall.
"No,Logan,you never did.Not once."
She sounded like she meant it,and maybe she did.But he knew if he had not let her down,he had let himself down.
Sadly,he had the sense that was not an entirely new feeling for him.
"I can't thank you enough,"she began,sounding tired.It was still cold enough in the truck that their breath was white clouds,and starting to steam up the windshield."Things have always been bad,but lately they've been getting worse.They've gone from being one step behind to one step ahead-"
It was remarkable how little he cared."Who are 'they'?"He interrupted.
She sighed,as if it wasn't something she really wanted to talk about."First things first.My name is Elena, and that's my daughter Alex.And you are..?"
"Not interested.I want to know about these men.Who do they work for?"
Out of the corner of his eye,he saw her study him curiously,and then her glance became a stare,and he looked down and saw why.
His dog tags.They were hanging out of his shirt.
He took a hand off the steering wheel long enough to put them back beneath his shirt,and she asked,"Are you working for them?"
He snorted derisively."No.But you should know that since you used to work for them,shouldn't ya?"
She did a slight double take,eyes widening.He was getting the vibe that she had been under the gun for a while;she was edgy,tense...and what was that smell?"I really wouldn't bother goin' for the gun.Bullets only piss me off."
He turned his eyes back to the still icy,winding road before him,but kept her in the corner of his vision."It wouldn't be good to be without a driver now,either,"she admitted.
"He tried to help me,Mom,"Alex said.She was still in the back,but
now she was looking over the front seat.
That made him snort."There's no such thing as good or bad,kid-only average and even worse.And to be completely honest,I wasn't tryin' to save you.I wanted those military bastards."
"Aren't you mister tough guy,"Elena replied sarcastically."Why did you want the military guys?"
"Answer my question first."
She rolled her eyes."They worked for Eden Biotechnics,and could you please turn up the heat in here?It's like a meat locker."She sunk into her police jacket,visibly shivering in spite of all the layers she was wearing.Sure his truck had a rickety heater,but it wasn't that bad...exactly.
"Who the hell are Eden Biotechnics?"He asked,as he reached out and turned up the heat,about as high as it could go.It always made a hissing noise,like he was losing hydraulic fluid,whenever he did that.He didn't know why,though;there were no hydraulics in the heater.
Suddenly,she reached out and grabbed his hand.He quickly yanked it away (her fingers were ice cold,like the fingers of a corpse),and snapped,"Hey!Don't fuckin' touch me!"
"You don't even have a scar,"she exclaimed,audibly shocked."My god.Super accelerated healing factor."
He shot her an evil sidelong glance,but otherwise kept his eyes on the road."Yeah-so fucking what?"
"He's also got claws,"Alex chimed in."Big silver knives that come out of his hands."
"So what's your big ability,kid?"Logan sniped,uncomfortable with Elena's obvious scrutiny.He was not some freak to be paraded in front of her."If it's telepathy,you're screwed.And you shout."
"You used your telepathy?"Elena asked.
He saw Alex shrug in the rearview,somewhat embarrassed."I tried to.It's hard."
Elena sighed,as if that was something Alex should have kept to herself."You and my daughter have a lot in common,I would suppose:she's nearly indestructible."
"Not that I can tell."
"My skin's like metal or something,"Alex offered,not at all ashamed to talk about it."I mean,it feels like skin,mostly,it's just that it can't be cut."
"Or shot,or burnt,or otherwise injured,"Elena finished."It seems to help protect the rest of her as well."
Logan glanced at Alex in the rearview mirror,taking a close look at her face.The more he studied,the more he saw the pores of her skin were so tiny they were almost microscopic.And even though she took a hard slug in the face,there was no sign of bruising,or even a bloody lip.
He then remembered what she said about being a "project".So what was her mother?
"Are you a mutant?"He wondered,glancing at Elena.
She was still shivering,her lips so pale they were almost bloodless.He wondered then if it was just the cold she was reacting to."No.Sometimes I wish I were,though."
He shook his head in disgust."If you really knew what it was like,you wouldn't."
For a moment there was silence,save for the hiss of the laboring heater and the occasional crunching of gravel and ice beneath the tires,and he had an almost unbearable urge for a smoke.But he was pretty sure he didn't have any cigars left.Oh damn it,how in the hell could he have forgotten those?Lack of sleep must have been starting to make him punchy.
"Now it's your turn,"Elena said suddenly."Why did you want the soldiers?"
He stared out at the road,beyond the tunnels the headlights cut in the darkness,and wondered how much he could risk telling this woman."I got issues,"he finally said,deciding that was just vague enough to do.
"What kind of issues?"She persisted.
"I'm looking for someone."It wasn't really an answer at all,but until he figured out who and what this woman was,he didn't intend to tell her one damn useful thing.And he didn't give her a chance to ask a follow up question either."Hey kid,how'd you know I was a mutant?"
"With that hair?You couldn't be normal."She replied,then giggled at her own joke.
He shot her an evil scowl in the mirror.
Elena smiled,but bit her bottom lip to keep from laughing."Now,Alex,come on.That's rude."
"Alex,"she said,in that stern "I'm-your-mother-and-you-will-listen-to-me-or-die" tone that seemed to come along with childbirth,like oxytocin.
She sighed and rolled her eyes,like the world's youngest martyr,and dutifully said,"I'm sorry."
He just shrugged one shoulder.He really didn't care.
"Alex can see bioelectric patterns,"Elena then said,apparently answering his question."And mutants have different ones than homo sapiens."
"We're all homo sapiens,"he replied,almost offended.What the hell was she saying?
"No,"she answered casually."In the scientific community,mutants are called 'homo superior'.A breed apart; a breed above."
Okay,now he was offended."I ain't above nobody.Except maybe rednecks and jarheads.And why would you know anything about the scientific community?"As soon as he said it,he thought he knew what she was going to say,and it made his gut turn to ice.Was fate even sicker than he thought?
Then she said it:"I was a member of them.You probably won't believe me,but I used to be a genetic engineer."
He wondered if any of them were involved in what was done to him.You'd think not,but there had to be scientists involved."A scientist who can shoot like that?"He replied,struggling to keep the anger out of his voice.But his mind was buzzing with the possibilities.Did she know anyone who specialized in the use of adamantium?
"We're not all hopeless nerds.Also,I'm a Montana farmer's daughter-I was shooting by the age of seven,to keep wolves and dogs out of the chicken coop."
"You didn't kill them,"Alex asked,horrified.
"No,honey.I never liked killing anything."
Logan instantly thought of all those soldiers she shot down,but they deserved it.She must have known he thought about it,though,because she said quietly,"But nobody touches my daughter."
He bet.He would hate to be the boy that came to the door in five years,wanting to take Alex out for a date -he'd probably end up looking down the barrel of a forty five.Of course,if he had a daughter,he'd probably be the same way.
He then wondered-not for the first time-if he did have a family out there somewhere.A family that had long considered him dead.It wasn't anything he wanted to contemplate right now;he felt edgy enough as it was.
"Where are you taking us?"Elena asked,as if he had kidnapped them and not saved their asses.
"Once we're in British Columbia,there's a major truck stop in Brascomb;I'll drop you off there."Assuming he got the answers he wanted,of course.
"You aren't taking us to Alaska?"Alex chimed in.
"We're on our way to Alaska.There's a couple who lives there and takes in mutants and seems to successfully protect them."She paused before saying,"We're going to stay there for now."
The pause before 'we' was long enough that he knew Elena had no intention of staying;she only intended to drop off Alex.Why?A woman who would kill six men to protect her daughter would then turn around and drop her off with strangers?That didn't make sense at all.
But he knew that scent Elena was giving off.Not precisely,but generally.And that explained why she would want to put her daughter somewhere safe,but he didn't dare ask about it now,as it was obvious she hadn't told Alex,and she probably hadn't a clue.
"I ain't going to Alaska,"he said,just in case it wasn't clear.
"We still owe you a debt for your help,"Elena said."Thank you..."
Reluctantly,he said,"Logan.And forget it.I don't owe no one nothing,and they don't owe me.Unless it's money."
"That's a double negative,"Alex interjected."No,actually a triple negative.A quadruple?"
He frowned at her in the mirror,and he noticed Elena look away,out the window,but not before he saw the tiny smile on her face.
God,he really had to get a handle on his insane impulses.
About a mile down the road,the place got real gorgeous.He loved this stretch of woods.If he ever needed a place to really hide out,it would be there.There was unfriendly weather,and the old mining pits made it a hazard to even the experienced hiker.The place was technically off limits,government land,but it wasn't like anyone ever came to check.It was not paradise,not by a long shot,but it was close enough for him.
Elena and Alex both decided they were hungry,and he recommended the diner,which was cleaner than most and did serve a decent cheeseburger.Elena asked to at least buy him a cup of coffee as a very lame thank you,and he relented,if only to ask her about what he suspected before he hit the road.He had so many mysteries in his life he liked to close the ones he could.
Although it was basically the middle of the night,the diner was bright and active,if not precisely busy. When you made your living off the sporadic business the interstate truckers brought you,you were open whenever they were awake and on the road.
Alex wandered off to a small clutch of video games after they found a formica booth by the front window (which he didn't like-he seemed to instinctively avoid windows,or anywhere people could take a clear shot at him),and even from here he could see that 'Wolve' still had the two top scores on the "Death Match" game,and he hadn't played them in...what?Almost a year?He stopped playing after he accidentally ripped a joystick completely off a machine-wasn't that embarrassing.
Ironically,he was as good in video game fights as he was in real life ones;he'd finally come to the conclusion that he probably had better than average reflexes.Maybe that should have been obvious,but since he was surprised to find he had claws in his hands,and wasn't sure if Logan was his first name or his last,he could take nothing about himself as a given.Except his healing abilities,of course;he seemed to always be at least peripherally aware of that.
Or,he completely lacked common sense and didn't care if something killed him or not.The only things he feared were the things he didn't know;the things that disturbed his sleep at night,the shadows with scalpels and bone saws that spoke in flimsy whispers,and in codes of drugs,orders,and pain.
As Alex started to try her hand at "Death Match" (It was extremely violent,in a cartoony way-but then again,she'd just seen real men killed,so what the fuck?),and after the sturdy,weary looking waitress had brought them their high octane coffee,Logan asked Elena,point blank:"She doesn't know?"
Elena looked at him with tired eyes."Know what?"
"That you're dying."
She sat back slightly,eyes widening in surprise."How do you-"
"I can smell it.Illness on you,pretty thick.But it's kind of strange,nothing I've encountered before.What do you have?"Maybe it was rude to ask,but hell,had that ever stopped him?
She sat forward,resting her elbows on the table,lowering her face over the steam from her coffee cup. "Would you believe me if I said it was a designer virus?"
He shrugged."What's the difference between that and a normal one?"
"This one was made just for everyone on the Samson Project.A lethal failsafe in case we got any ideas about leaving.I'm still not sure who made it,or how they infected us,if they did infect us all."
That word again:"project"."What the hell was the Samson Project?"
She poured one of those little containers of fake cream into her coffee,clouding the muddy water."Some megalomaniacal plan to create super soldiers.It's awful when life resembles a comic book,isn't it?"
As she reached for her spoon,he grabbed her wrist,hard enough that she gasped."Was I one of those?"He growled."Are you one of the ones who did this to me?"He sprung the claws on the hand holding her wrist,but just enough that the tips nudged through the skin,so only she could see them.
(He had a vague memory,one of those faint voices from his nightmares:"We're trying to make the ultimate weapon here.You have to expect to break a few people in the process...")
Her eyes seemed to bulge as she stared at the tips of his claws poking through his knuckles,and the small but growing puddle of blood oozing from the still open skin and pooling on the table.She was scared, but more freaked out and intrigued."Are-are you saying those aren't natural?"She asked,finally tearing her eyes away from his hand and looking at him.
"You think adamantium claws are natural?"
Her shock was palpable."They're adamantium?How...you do know it's poisonous,don't you?"
"Huh?"News to him.
"You can get adamantium poisoning,just like lead poisoning.How much do you have?Do you know?"
"Do you know?"That was probably another reason he got chosen for the experiment:they knew adamantium poisoning wouldn't kill him.His body probably adapted to it,like it did to all drugs,and seemingly all poisons too.
She shook her head."No.Is that who you're searching for?The person who did this to you?"
"In part,"he said,being deliberately cryptic.She didn't need to know the rest.But she was telling the truth, as far as he could tell-her surprise seemed genuine,and he saw no recognition in her face-so he let her go, and retracted the claws into his hands.
He had to empty half the napkin container to mop up the blood.
"So Alex is a member of the Samsons,huh?"He said,as he wiped up the blood."Why'd you experiment on your own kid?"
"I didn't.She's not-"she quickly stopped herself,and it was his turn to be surprised.
"She's not your daughter?"
She shook her head faintly."Not biologically,no.But I've raised her,and I've been hiding her from them for thirteen years now.As far as I'm concerned,she is my daughter."
"Why are you hiding her from Eden Biotechnics?Guilt?"
That made her flinch slightly,anger flashing briefly through her eyes.Well,the truth was a real bitch sometimes."I did not-"she began,an edge to her voice.But she paused,took a breath,and started again."When I started work at Eden,it was to search for a cure to many genetic diseases.At least that's what I and many of my fellow researchers thought.It was only after several...abnormalities in what our project director wanted from us that we discovered that Project Athena was actually Project Samson."
"And it never occurred to you to go the press?"
"Do you think anyone would believe me?"
He shrugged.Fair enough."So Alex was the product of these experiments?"
"One of them.See,there were ten women who signed up for experimental gene therapy on their fetuses in utero-all of them had genetic abnormalities that would doom them to short lives,if they weren't stillborn."
"So,she's not a natural mutant,but a constructed one?"
Elena nodded,looking chagrined."She doesn't know."
"What about the parents of these kids?Wouldn't they notice them missing?"
"Only eight survived to birth,and then one died after having a mysterious immune reaction.Of the seven survivors,three had parents who were in on the whole Samson thing."
"And the other four?"
"One couple died in a mysterious car accident,and the child ended up in custody of the Project supervisor. Who had the three other children as well.It seems those parents got substitute infants they were told were theirs."
"Substitutes from where?"
She shrugged."We never found out.I assume orphanages or foster care,but honestly I don't want to know. Terry and I-Terry was a fellow engineer on the project-started to get suspicious after we were instructed to isolate a gene that dictates muscle density and 'enhance' it."She glanced over at the video games,to make sure Alex was still there and out of earshot."We illegally broke into the supervisor's office and discovered the whole thing.We also discovered that someone higher up in Eden Biotechnics-they were always referred to by code,'Overlord',even in secret memos-ordered the 'first' Samson project shut down,because the children were not good enough.A little digging revealed that shutting down the project meant-"
"Killing the kids,"he interrupted,nodding."Gotta bury the evidence."
She grimaced sourly."That certainly seemed to be their belief."
"So,what?You and Terry thought you could get away with kidnapping them and putting them in homes or something?"
She continued to give him an evil look."Are you telepathic too?"
"No,but I think I've heard this story before."
Her frown deepened to a scowl.He expected a kick under the table,but it never happened."It wasn't just Terry and I-two other lab workers,Qui Li and Jae-we all worked together on this."
"How many are dead?"
Now she expected him to jump ahead in the narrative;she was hardly surprised.Still,she looked down at the muddy mess of her coffee,avoiding his eyes."Everyone but me."
He wondered if her ability to shoot (and-here he was guessing-her access to firearms) and improvise (cop uniform:it looked real too.Where in the hell had she gotten it) were the only things that made the difference."Let me guess-of the kids,only Alex is left in the upright and breathing club."
That earned him a truly ugly look,broken when the waitress (wow,was she high on speed-he could smell the amphetamines in her sweat) brought over the grilled cheese sandwich Elena had ordered.She gave the waitress a weak smile and a wan "Thank you," and as soon as she was gone,shoved the sandwich aside.She had lost her appetite,if she had ever had one at all."There's two whose fates are unclear.But it's possible."
He then considered what she said about raising Alex."You've been hiding out from these dickheads for thirteen years?How'd they find you?"
She shrugged with her hands,shaking her head.He caught the sudden annoyance in her posture and her expression."I don't know.I left the States almost immediately after I took her,and we lived in quiet anonymity in Wales-and then Scotland-for years.Then I started to get sick,and while I figured out what was happening,I heard rumors that Eden-which was no longer operating in the States for 'regulatory' reasons-actually did have a functioning lab here or in the Western U.S. ,where the Samson project was continuing."
"So you risk running into these clowns on a suicide mission?"He scoffed.It almost sounded like something he would do."That's moronic,hon,I don't care how sick you are."
She glared at him,her hate instantaneous and molten,and he reminded himself that,scientist geek or not, this woman was in touch with her inner savage,and it packed automatic weapons.He had to respect that."I had no choice but to come back to the States.Eden Biotechnics created a false file on me-they used my picture but a different name to say I was an internationally wanted terrorist.In a single day I went from a nobody G.P. in the Scottish Highlands to being wanted by MI5,the C.I.A.,and even Interpol.I had no choice but to go.I was going to drop Alex off at a mutant safe house in Vermont,but it didn't work out that way. When we got there,everyone was dead."
"They beat you there?"
She shook her head,and started to pick apart the crusts of her sandwich,if only to give her idle,nervous hands something to do."Probably,I don't know.The only other 'safe house' I knew of was in Alaska,but I didn't trusts the airports anymore.How could I?I'm wanted by nearly every security force in the western world."
"So you tried to drive it,and figured Canada would probably be a better bet than the States,"he guessed, filling out the rest of the story for himself."But you keep running into these pricks at every turn."
She nodded,having a brief tug of war with the clinging strands of gooey,bright orange cheese over a segment of golden brown crust."And I don't know how long before my bioelectric signature starts to show the degradation of my health."
"You gonna eat that?"He wondered.Now he was hungry,and he didn't know why.Did he even like cheese sandwiches?
She shoved the plate towards him."Help yourself."
"Thanks."He grabbed the half of the sandwich she hadn't torn apart,and bit into it.The texture was fairly disgusting,and it had almost no taste at all beyond the artificial cheddar flavor,but in spite of that it was actually okay."There's some things I don't get,"he admitted between bites."First of all,how does a biotech firm have the money,resources,and men to do all this?I mean,since when do they have private armies?And how do you know they tailored a virus for you?"
"During our research,Terry and I discovered that Eden is owned by-what?"she asked,interrupting herself.
Logan was hearing an odd noise,one he could still discern over
the electronic cacophony erupting from the video games on the one hand,and
the tinny news broadcast coming over an ancient radio behind the front counter
on the other,as well as the quiet murmur of conversations and the spit and
sizzle of cooking food.
Now that he was staring at it,ignoring the halogen lit view of the gas pumps just outside,he could see the slight bow and shake in the window's interior reflections."We have to get outta here,"he said,throwing the rest of the sandwich down on the plate.He jumped to his feet and wiped the grease off his hands on the seat of his pants.It was probably already too late.
"What?"Elena asked,sounding equally confused and irritated."Why should-"
"The chopper's comin',"he snapped."They tracked you down again."
She looked around,as if she could actually see it through the roof or the window,but jumped up to her feet, hands immediately falling to the butts of her gun,still hidden beneath her police jacket.Well,for now.
"Alex,"she said impatiently,trying to keep the fear from her voice.
It was then that Logan heard the noise in the kitchen,and was not terribly surprised when soldiers in black body armor burst through that door,startling the waitress behind the counter.
The rent-a-soldiers came through rifles first,and that's when he noticed half of them were carrying standard live ammo sniper rifles,and the other half were carrying ones that fired drug cartridges.They didn't want to kill Alex,just Elena.They wanted Alex alive.Maybe they decided the experiment wasn't such a botch after all.
The men did not recognize him;they seemed to think he was just another patron."Get down!" One of them shouted,as another shouted into a radio clipped to the shoulder of his jacket,"Target acquired!Engaging-"
It was instinct.He didn't care what actually happened to Alex or Elena.But absolutely no one gave him orders down the barrel of a gun.
He charged them with an angry roar,popping the claws of his hands as he dove towards them.They were so startled by 'civilian' involvement they didn't have much time to react.Not that any reaction would have been a defense against him.
"Logan!"He heard Elena scream,but distantly.It was like he was in a different place,a small and deadly space in his own mind,where everything faded out to simply his attackers (prey),tinged at the edges with red.He didn't know what it was about soldiers aiming weapons at him,but it catapulted him into instant, belligerent fury.
"Hostile!"He heard one soldier shout,again quite distantly."Code red!Code red!We are under att-"
Logan didn't even know who he was hitting;he slashed everything wildly,guns and faces alike,body armor and skin.He heard screams,smelled blood,felt stings as something hit him from behind-whether bullets or drug darts he didn't know,and he didn't care,because either way it wasn't going to help them.If that was the best they could do,these boys were so screwed he almost felt sorry for them.
He didn't count how many soldiers had come in back,through the kitchen,but too few,as he was soon out of moving and upright targets to hit.He came back to himself standing in the middle of a small pile of bleeding and broken bodies,shredded parts of rifles scattered around the perimeter like a broken fence.Blood dripped from his claws,but this time none of it was his.Several near by tables were also broken,and one soldier laid splayed backwards over the counter,half of his left arm gone and pumping blood that was gushing to the already blood slicked floor like a fountain.He didn't even remember doing that.
He heard the scuffle of boots outside on the pavement,heard the running gun battle farther out (Elena booked,taking Alex with her-for the best),as well as the distant murmurs of the other soldiers as they moved into position around the diner.
("What the fuck is he?"
Logan was so angry he was almost trembling;the voices were being drowned out by the roar of blood in his ears.He saw the shadowy movements outside the windows,knew very well they were flanking the diner, planning to close in on him en masse,or maybe just firebomb the dump with him in it.They were also depending on him to make a run out the front or back door.
Did they think he was a moron?
Logan jumped up onto an intact table,and then dove through the window,claws first.
He was barely aware of the glass tugging at his clothes,tearing his skin,even as he skewered one of the soldiers and hit the ground.
He was met with a burst of gunfire,curses,and shouted orders."He's out!Containment team to position one-"
"Head!Aim for the head!"
"Fuck it!Just shoot the bastard!"
Bullets were already flying when he hit the ground,but they seemed to hit the soldier he hit,not him.If they did get him,he was so pumped full of adrenaline and rage he he didn't feel a single bullet.
He rolled off the soldier,claws tearing through muscles and body armor equally,and was instantly besieged as soon as he jumped up to his feet, maybe a dozen soldiers crowding in on him like someone had yelled 'Dogpile on Logan'.
Great.He liked fighting in close quarters.
He slashed out wildly,shattering guns and slicing open heads,and some idiots tried to shoot him point blank, only to have the bullets ricochet off his bones and back into the crowd of soldiers,taking at least one of them down,and someone had the good sense to start screaming:"Hold your fire!Stop shooting!"
He kicked one soldier hard enough that he heard his sternum collapse,and elbowed another so hard in the face he was pretty sure he heard his skull crack.Someone tried to bludgeon him with a rifle,but it snapped in half like a dried tree branch,and he barely noticed the bump.
The men were crawling all over him like ants,but he was swatting them off just as easily;they never even got him off his feet.
"Air support!"One of the guys from the containment unit shouted before joining the fray."We need back up, ASAP!"
"He is not the target!"Someone yelled back over the radio.
"He is now!"The soldier shouted back,sounding really irate.
Logan laughed.He couldn't help it;it was damn funny.Did they really think there was enough of them to take him down?
They may have had a shot earlier,in the beginning.But now he was pissed off,and they didn't have a prayer.
He had made his way through most of the crowd,and saw that several soldiers had turned tail and ran, between the outbuilding that held the 'rest stop' (toilets) and the far end of the diner.He didn't know if they were running away from him or towards Elena and Alex (he could still hear multiple gunshots,fading out towards the dark mass of the forest),and after sending the last fool in his way flying towards the gas pumps,he started after them.
He had a moment to reflect that this was starting to become a pattern:he kept finishing other people's fights.What was up with that?
It was then he felt the rumble in the ground,heard the acceleration of a truck engine,and turned around just in time to violently meet the front grill,as it slammed into him at seventy miles an hour.