Things were not going according to plan. Both of the people in Aaron's sights dropped, but the dangerous one did so of his own accord, creating a bit of impromptu cover to keep himself safer. Whether or not the table would stop a bullet was inconsequential; it broke Aaron's line of sight to his target, meaning any shots fired would be counting on luck to inflict any real damage. That was bad. That the girl was probably dying was totally superfluous information. She wasn't dangerous, unless she tried something. Aaron relegated her to extremely tertiary priority.
Then, Raidon was breaking cover. Time to end this, remove one of the major remaining threats. Aaron spun, saw the object flying, and was about to dive for cover when it went off. Luckily, he had shielded his eyes somewhat on reflex; his vision was blurred, his eyes shedding tears, but he could still get impressions and shapes.
He was just a second too late to finish things the right way. Raidon got in close, knocked the gun flying. It was at this point that the fact that Raidon was holding what was probably a pistol of his own registered. Aaron lunged, sending Raidon into a wall. There was a flash of motion, then the sound of a gunshot.
Aaron froze for a second, sure he'd been shot, sure he'd have to fight through the pain to finish this. No pain. Just silence. Everything hung for a moment. As Aaron's vision cleared, he saw what had happened. He saw Raidon, the pistol, Charlie. He saw that he'd made the right choice, having allies along. He saw that she'd just saved his life, at the probable cost of her own.
He saw an opportunity.
Raidon was distracted. Why was beyond Aaron's capacity to imagine or care about at this moment. He scrambled for the pistol on the ground. Near the door. Good.
"Aileen," he called. "Come on." Raidon had a pistol. He'd fired a single shot, proving both his accuracy and his willingness to kill. Aaron didn't care whether he stood a chance in this fight, whether he could help Charlie by staying, whether the other girl, the bloody one in the corner, was dead, whether anyone else was listening or approaching. His goal was to come out of this game on top. That meant losing battles in the name of the war. It meant staying uninjured. His arm was aching, his eyes stinging, his chest sore. Things were bad enough already.
So he ran, ducking around the corner, keeping low and under what cover he could find, getting the door fram between himself and Raidon. He hoped Aileen was following him. Everything else was unimportant. He'd regroup, reassess, but he had to survive to do so.
No shots followed him out of the infirmary. Somehow, that was the scary part.
((Aaron Hughes continued in Loyalty Rewarded