"Let's hope we get into good enough shape to deal with Inferno, before we're face-to-face, dealing with him."
Then everyone caught up to them. They paused at the elevators, the urge to hurry at war with politely letting the guy in the wheel chair go first.
Ernie backed up. "Go on. Get. I'll only slow you down."
Harkness pointed at Mike. "Stay with him."
The rest piled into the elevator.
Mike scowled. "I should never have taken that assignment."
Scotch raised his brows.
Ernie snickered. "Orderly at that retirement slash nursing home."
Scotch grinned. "Don't worry, it's going to get a lot more exciting."
The elevator dinged, and they piled in. Down in the parking garage, Ernie got shotgun in the white van. Mike took the wheel and headed north.
Ernie closed his eyes and pointed . . . "East northeast. Heading south."
Mike threw a startled glance at him.
Scotch chuckled. "There's a reason he's called the Seeker. Take the next major street to the right, let's see if we can find him."
"Us?" Kelly squeaked. "What about the other agents? Why don't we call them?"
Ernie snorted. "Because I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time."
Mike turned right. "Do you think he's on I15? That's three blocks ahead."
"Hmm, could be . . ." Ernie could hear computer keys clicking behind him.
"How about Paradise Road?" Kelly Whatsit's hesitant voice. "It goes straight to the airport."
"Yeah!" Scotch laughed. "Hit it, Mike. Let's beat him there!"
The boy tried, but speed wasn't really possible on the streets. The favored mode of transport on these ground level streets was electric cars with a top speed of not much.
Thank God they're outlawed on the highways.
They made it under the I 15 .
Ernire relaxed for a minute, rubbing his aching head. Two more frustrating blocks, turn a turn onto Paradise.
Ernie closed his eyes and pointed . . . sort of wavering east and south.
"That's not good." Scotch leaned over the front seat. "Take the loop around."
Ernie relaxed and thought about Will.
Where are you? Nothing but a vague feel eastward.
Mike turned eastward again, crept down the road, pulling out and around the slow cars. Got the finger from an old black lady in pink. Driving a tiny pink box of a car.
Ernie shook his head. "There's nothing ahead. Maybe there never was."
Old black lady . . .
Ernie squirmed around to look back. The pink car was turning off into a neighborhood. "Turn around. We just passed him."
By the time they got turned around the pink car was well out of sight. The street it had turned onto crossed an area of large lots and big expensive houses. At least half had fences in front and gated driveways.
Ernie rubbed his throbbing temples.
Scotch sighed. "Stop trying. Rest. We'll cruise the neighborhood and see if we can spot that pink car parked anywhere."
Will lay stretched out on his back, the heat of the roof feeling great against his back. He was on the back slope of the house, where the house roof overhung the garage.
He shaded his tablet and frowned. "Taking them long enough. I hope I didn't lose them . . . ah, there they are. Creeping along looking. Hmm, I figured Ernie'd be able to home in on me by now."
Glenda sniffed on his earbug. "From what I could see, it looked like your enemies got a much lower dose than that nasty young woman gave you."
Will grinned. I'm feeling good enough to appreciate a nasty young woman . . .
"Good. They've spotted the car in the garage."
Is it too obvious? The gate open, the garage door open?
He watched as they drove past. The next house didn't have a front fence, and his wrought iron fence had a gap where an old oak tree straddled the property line. Not a big enough gap for a man, but the graceful spreading branches were a definite--and useful--hole in his security.
The van passed by, paused to study the tree, then turned and parked in front of the neighboring house.
Oh, Scotch. You're kind of old to be climbing trees . . . But he snickered as Mike-the-orderly boosted the old man into the tree and then scrambled hastily up help the geezer down on the far side.
Then they slid along the wall of the house, peeking in, then keeping low under the windows.
Oh, like that doesn't look suspicious? I wonder how many neighbors are calling the police?
They tried the front door, then kept going. Into the garage, and trying the door to the house. Which was unlocked. They drew their pistols and slid quietly in.
Excellent. Now there's just the matter of the other two. C'mon Ernie, you can't possibly have enough common sense to sit this one out!
He grinned as the front passenger door of the van opened. Ernie hanging on to the door, but on his feet. Hmm, improved, but not a whole lot. I'm almost to the point that I can't pass for an old lady anymore.
And now a cute young thing leaping out to argue instead of help. That was the techie girl, from the lab raid. Heh. Ernie found it an hour before the regulars. Ah, she's throwing her hands up and going around to get his wheelchair. Good.
Will checked the location of Scotch and Mike. Gawping at the pink bedroom. Perfect! He pocketed his tablet, rolled, grabbed the edge of the house roof and landed quietly on the garage roof. Slipped down to the low side and dropped to stay out of sight.
Pulled out the tablet. Scotch and Mike leaving the master suite and looking up the stairs . . . dodging back then coming right back as Will rolled into sight.
Damn. Did he do something sensible like post the girl to be the sentry?
Doesn't matter . . . I can handle a girl, especially since I'm not about to get physical.
He dropped to the ground and rushed around the corner. First, close the door so Glenda can lock it. Then . . .
The girl spotted him. Screamed. Dodged. Stuck out a foot . . .