I swung my head to either side, stretching my arms slightly. The metal cuffs around my wrist banged against my skin.
I wondered what Callum was doing. Was he still looking—
I took in a sharp breath. The cuffs. They’d moved around on my wrist.
I glanced across the room to where Officer Mayer and Suzanna were still deep in conversation. I barely moved one arm.
Someone had forgotten to tighten the cuffs.
I began squirming against the cuff farthest away from them. My hand slipped out in seconds.
I swallowed down a wave of excitement. I slowly twisted my other wrist around, the one in their line of sight. Officer Mayer glanced at me and I stopped, blinking blankly at him. He turned back to Suzanna.
My skin burned as I yanked my hand harder against the cuff. Suzanna’s eyes widened.
“Get her! She’s—”
My hand popped free and I shot up to a sitting position, yanking the needle from my arm. The world tilted violently and my attempts to hop off the table resulted in me facedown on the floor.
A hand grabbed my foot and I kicked, gasping as I desperately clawed at the floor. The world tilted and shook and for a moment I thought it was just the drugs making me dizzy, but Suzanna’s face twisted in confusion. Another loud boom sounded from somewhere below me.
Officer Mayer grabbed me by the shoulders, hauling me into a sitting position. “I told you we should kill her,” he panted.
Yells came from outside. I turned toward the door, hope racing through my body.
“Go,” Suzanna said, blowing a curly strand of hair from her eyes. Officer Mayer raced out, and she settled her gaze on me as she pointed a gun to my forehead. “I got this.”
My eyes locked on hers. She didn’t have the best grip on the gun, and I didn’t know why she’d just told Officer Mayer to go. She obviously didn’t use a weapon often.
She hesitated, and I forced my vision to focus as I stared at her. She wasn’t wavering because she was conflicted about whether it was right to kill me, that was for sure. I knew it was because she was weighing her investment, her loss if she wasn’t able to research me further and put me back in the field. Her disappointment in me was just as obvious as Officer Mayer’s.
A smile started to form on my face, and Suzanna gave me a confused look. I was proud that I disappointed them. I wasn’t emotionless or hardened or the perfect monster they thought I was. I was trained.
I lunged forward so suddenly Suzanna gasped, almost dropping the gun in an attempt to fire it. I snatched it out of her hand and slammed my palm into her chest. Her back hit the ground.
She dove for the gun in my hand again, growling as her fingernails dug into my arm. I fired one shot into her head.
I let out a sigh of relief as my legs gave out and I hit the ground. I didn’t usually look at humans after I killed them, but I stared at her blank eyes. I’d killed her in self-defense, and I couldn’t say I minded that she was dead, but I wished I hadn’t had to do it at all. Maybe that was what Callum meant when he tried to explain the difference between me and Micah. I’d never killed someone if I didn’t have to.
I turned away from Suzanna, a strange mix of relief and sadness mingling in my chest as I crawled for the door.
THE NEW DALLAS HARC FACILITY LOOKED VERY MUCH LIKE ROSA from the roof. It was empty, but the door was propped open, just as Tony had said. The small ground team had already jumped off the other shuttle, and smoke lapped up the side of the building from their bombs.
The shuttle took off as the last Reboot stepped onto the roof, headed for the front entrance to pick up Reboots as they escaped.
“We’re in the basement.” I put a hand to my ear as Isaac spoke through my com. “She’s not down here. Guard is saying they took her upstairs.”
“Which floor?” I asked, running for the stairwell as I pulled my gun from my pocket.
“Hold on.” There was a brief silence before he spoke again. “He’s saying two or three. Not sure. Medical floors somewhere.”
“Okay.” I threw open the stairwell door and rushed down the steps, sixty Reboots flying after me.
“All Reboots to your rooms immediately.” The voice on the intercom was loud and firm.
I cursed and ran faster, rounding the tenth-floor landing. We’d hoped to get to the Reboots having dinner in the cafeteria before HARC ordered them to their rooms and locked the doors, but given that announcement, it didn’t look good. Hopefully Addie would be able to get to the control room and unlock the doors again, like she did in Austin. I twisted around to see her and Gabe and a few other Reboots opening the door to the eighth floor, where the control room was.
I passed the sixth floor, where the Reboot rooms were located in this facility, and the rest of the Reboots split off. Only Riley and Beth stayed with me.
I flew onto the third floor and ran down the hall, Riley and Beth close behind me. Everything was locked up tight, the white walls blank. I turned around and sprinted back to the stairs, rounding them down to the second floor. I glanced behind me as I threw the door open wide enough for Riley and Beth to get through.
I ran smack into something, and I blinked as I wrapped my fingers tighter around my gun.
Officer Mayer. His eyes widened in recognition and he took several quick steps backward, stumbling slightly. I raised my gun as I strode after him, locking my gaze on his as I aimed the barrel at his head.
He reached for the weapon on his belt and I lunged forward, twisting his hand and extracting the gun as he yelled.
He wrenched away and whirled around like he meant to run, but I kicked the back of his knees, hard, and he hit the ground with a crunch. Around me, the building shook, the echo of gunfire sounding through the hallway.
I grabbed his shirt and yanked him around to face me. Leaning down closer, I pressed the gun to his forehead.
“Wren,” I said.
He was breathing heavily, wheezing as fear started to spread across his face. He shook his head. “I don’t know.”
“Then we should eliminate you,” I said slowly. “There’s no room here for a human who doesn’t perform well.”
His mouth opened and closed, panic in his eyes at his own words being thrown back at him. “I . . . I can . . .”
“So you don’t think I should eliminate you, then.” My grip on his collar was so tight he couldn’t breathe anymore, and he clawed desperately at my fingers.
I looked up at the sound of Riley’s voice to see a blond head crawling out of a room a few doors down.