Mom’s arms were on the other side of the chair from where Rachel and I stood, but if she were hoping to get away, those ropes had to go next.
Glancing near the legs of her chair told me no more ropes lay on the far side.
I thought she might be waiting for a better chance, but then I realized that this was it. For the first time since I’d arrived, no one held a gun to her head.
Ray, his body tensed, still pointed his gun at Gunther, but somehow didn’t attack him. Gina stood next to him. One of the guys in powered armor (Don?) stood near the door that led deeper into the house, the door that wasn’t blocked by magic. The other armored guy (hadn’t Ray called him Stu?) pointed the arm with the paralysis gun under it at Mom, but his eyes were on Ray and Gunther instead.
In that moment, I knew that it wasn’t just Mom’s best chance, but if I wanted to do anything more than hope that Gunther would get us all out of it, it was also mine.
I’d even come up with the beginnings of a plan.
The whole point of this party was capturing me. If I weren’t here, Ray wouldn’t stop to kill Mom. He’d chase me.
And anyway, he’d assigned Mom’s death to Stu. So, if I could take out Stu, and Don, and then run out the door, I’d be outside.
And after that…
I had no idea what I’d do after that. Maybe Gunther would get us all out of it.
I could hope.
I’d made a frequency that worked well against electronics a preset, and so I could adjust the sonics with a couple taps to the inside of my gloves. Changing it from regular to narrowcast sound wasn’t much harder, but it felt like it took forever.
Each tap could be the moment Ray noticed my hands’ movement.
“Yeah, Chicago Hawk,” Gunther said. “That was one crazy guy, crazier than I’d expect anyone could be, and survive. Would you believe he’s still alive? He’s old now, but in okay shape. I drop by every once in a while.”
“No kidding,” Ray said. His voice came out flat. To me, he seemed seconds away from snapping.
“A lot of people said he was too hard on criminals, but I thought he was just about right.”
Ray’s upper lip curled. “Don’t push me. My buddy left me with some more words to use if you caused me problems while you were caught. You want to find out what they are?”
Ray delivered the last line at a volume barely short of a shout.
Gunther smiled a little. “Go ahead,” he said, catching my eye.
Did he guess what I was planning? It really could be a message to me–well, unless I was reading something into what he’d said.
But maybe, I told myself, I shouldn’t overanalyze this, and start moving. He’d told me that I spent too much time thinking more than once over the years.
Next to him, Haley bit her lip.
As I reminded myself that it really was my best chance whatever he’d meant, the ropes fell off Mom’s hands, landing on the wooden floor with muffled thump. In the silence that followed what Gunther said, it seemed louder than it actually had been.
“Hey, don’t move!” Stu raised his left arm, and wiggled the paralysis gun that hung under it in Mom’s direction.
I pointed both of my arms at him, firing off the sonics, and wishing I had my helmet on. It had crosshairs for each arm, and showed the shape how the sound would disperse across a distance.
I felt the buzz of the sonics next to my forearms, and heard a high pitched wail, but thankfully, a lot of “Electronic Nuke Mode’s” noise took place outside of most human’s hearing.
I hoped it wouldn’t hurt Haley much.
Meanwhile, smoke obscured Stu’s face, creating clouds within his helmet. He started coughing.
Near the door, Don managed to point his paralysis gun arm at me, but nothing happened. I’d put the anti-paralysis blocker into my pants’ pocket. It made an audible buzz, but I could still move.
I fired the sonics again, this time at Don, and ran for the door.
Don raised his right arm, moving it with a jerk toward me. It was the arm with the automatic rifle, but he didn’t fire. He tried to grab my arm, but either because of damage to his armor, or bad aim, he missed.
Ray shouted something as I ran through the doorway, and into the kitchen, past the bedrooms, finally coming to a door.
The wooden floor thumped beneath my feet, and I could hear more footsteps behind me.
I didn’t even try to open the door. Gathering speed with every step, I raised my arms up to protect my face, and ran through it.