The quiver is almost empty. You count five arrows. You’d better be careful with them.
Walter is already by your side.
“You ready, champ?”
You sling the quiver over your shoulder.
“Yeah, let’s go.”
Walter nods and signals to his men to head for the door. You look to see who they are. James, Travis, Megan, Pierce, and Dylan. You feel more at ease knowing that there are six other people — seven, including yourself — going out into street-level.
“You have your emergency kit?” Pierce asks.
You shake your head no.
“Okay, well, try not to get hurt today. I think Dylan might have an extra.”
Dylan winks at you. She looks about 40, but is surprisingly agile and her voice is youthful.
“I have a couple of extras, so don’t worry,” she says to you and Pierce.
You and the group walk down the stairs of the apartment building. All of the windows have been boarded up. You can see faint rays poking through the mismatched wooden boards. You see the security team on the first floor.
“Everything’s quiet here, Walt,” one of them says.
Walter nods at him.
“Alright, you know the drill,” Walter says to you and the group. “Single file, and don’t fucking talk.”
“Hey,” Walter says to you. “I need you in the middle. You okay with that?”
“Yeah, no problem,” you say.
“Remember,” Walter says to everyone, “don’t fucking make loud noises.”
You take a deep breath and watch Travis run outside, into the bright and humid air. He takes shelter next to a bus. He motions to the group. All clear. The group quickly follows his order. It’s your turn. You peek outside and run to the bus. Travis looks around the corner of the bus. Foliage, he signals. He takes deep breath and runs.
It feels like an eternity. Walter grabs your shoulder. Your turn. Travis waves to the group. Come quick. You run towards the tree. The bow snags on branch and rustles the brush nearby. Bird fly out and scare you. You can feel the adrenaline pumping in your veins. You make it to the tree and collapse. Be more careful, James signals to you. One wrong move and we can all die. You apologize. James places his hand on your back. It’s okay. You and the group are now 1.5 blocks away from the apartment. Walter signals to Travis. We have to head south, he signals. You calculate that it is almost 50 blocks to the Lower East Side.
All of a sudden, you hear gunshots ringing out from the west. The birds, Walter signals. Someone saw the birds. You curse yourself. How could you have been so careless?
You hear someone shout in the distance. A figure emerges from the brush, near the corner of 48th and Park Avenue. The figure seems to be looking up at the sky. Walter taps your shoulder. What do you want to do? he signals. Shoot or wait?
What do you say?