Shades of Grey
Part 18


He was breathing, but he couldn't seem to draw enough air to fill his starving lungs. There was shouting from all around. Gunfire. Behind him, glass shattered. With a startled cry, Josh dropped to the stairs, covering his head with his arms. Something clattered to the floor.

Pop. Hiss.

More shattering glass from somewhere else. More gunfire. Too close.

Josh curled himself into a tight ball. There was a horrible, acrid smell. His nose and lips tingled, then burned.

There was a crash, and the sound of splintering wood.

Josh heard a soft whimper, and then realized it had come from him.

Shouting. English? Muffled...

"Cover me!"

Gunfire.

Josh curled himself up tighter.

"Hold it!"

"Don't move!"

Hurried footsteps. Someone bumped into his legs. A hand touched his arm. "No!" Josh rolled onto his back, knocking the hand away as he tried to clamber backward up the stairs. Another hand caught his wrist.

"Whoa, whoa! Mr. Lyman?"

Josh couldn't see. His eyes burned and he was blinking uncontrollably.

"It's Harvard! I've got Harvard!"

What? Harvard? Secret Service. Secret Service!

"You're covered! Get him out of here!"

The agent grabbed him, hauled him off the stairs. Shielded by the agent's body, Josh was hustled out the front door.

"N-o, wai-!" Josh choked on the words, his throat on fire.

He was handed off to someone else and rushed across the street. He still couldn't see.

"Josh?"

Ron. Josh waved, still coughing.

"Harvard is clear. Take 'em down."

Josh stopped moving, and grabbed at Butterfield. "No!" he managed to rasp out. "S-am!"

"Sam's alive?"

Josh nodded. "Up-up-stair—"

"Hold on, hold on! Princeton is alive! Repeat: Princeton is alive. Second level. Priority one!"

 

Shades of Grey - 19

 

 

 

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