Damien thought could just see Franco. He had the aim.
And he thought he fired.
But he didn't feel his finger pull the trigger. Instead, the loud bang came from a piece of the slaughterhouse ceiling that had crashed a few meters from where he was hiding.
Which would have explained why his revolver seemed to sound like an erratically-firing shotgun.
What!? This place can't be collapsing now!
Unfortunately, it was, and Damien was not about to figure out if Franco (and/or Nicole) had deliberately rigged the place to do so.
And as paranoid and mentally-collapsed as Damien had become, he still was not stupid/suicidal enough to go up against a kid with a grenade launcher with just a super-loud revolver in a collapsed warehouse. That would be like taking a knife to a gunfight, and the irony that he also had a combat knife in his pocket was not
lost on him. The door to the slaughterhouse entryway was a short distance from him, and he made for it like Indiana Jones. Whether Franco could have fired his grenade launcher while he was exposed and vaporized him instantly was far from the top of Franco's mind.
He could hear loud crashing from behind him as he tore into open daylight, and a quick double-take revealed not just a collapsing factory but what seemed like a charging train of smoke coming right at him...and that caused him to run even faster. There was a building up ahead at the junction of the T-intersection with an open door...and his only hope to get to safety before the smoke cloud suffocated him painfully or worse - ruined his outfit. The ammo boxes in his cargo jean boxes thumped against his legs apart from keeping him from reaching full speed (not counting his little black bag fluttering in the air behind him) and his bleeding back...but Damien wasn't concentrating on that either.
He tore through the doorway and slammed the door shut. Everything went dark as the raging smoke blanketed the building, and Damien dropped his weapons and collapsed to the ground as if the smoke had gone right through the door. He didn't keep his eyes closed for long.
Light began to weave and sieve into the building as the smoke cover cleared. The sun was still fairly high, and the sheets of light pouring into the building like a localized aurora borealis
reminded him vaguely of when he met Kristey and Peter in the pagoda nigh a week ago. He tried to let the thought of Kristey's death ease his mind...but that was almost compromised as he wondered whatever the hell happened to Peter. He wondered if Peter had found the person he was looking for.
Then all was quiet. Damien quivered as he crawled toward the doorway, putting his shield to one side so he could pull his women's jacket up to his face to shield his nose from whatever dust was floating around.
It wasn't over. Franco had probably slipped out of the back of the factory when the first boards had started to fall. The fish had slipped out of the net, but it would not escape the pen. A quick check showed his revolver was still fully loaded, and his shield was a bit scratched but not too badly dented since the fight with Kristey.
The nearby garden looked like a place for him to reorganize...tranquil, sweet, colorful.
It was sooooo him.
The back door of the warehouse he had taken shelter in was open.
((Continued in Land of Make Believe))