“Anything?” Katie asked as she frantically rifled through the office on the ground floor.
“No, this isn’t my thing. I was never good with computers.” Randy said.
The two stood in the office surrounded by pulled down books and papers spread over every flat surface. They were looking for an address of the clinic the doctor worked at. Both had thought it would just be a matter of finding the location on some stationary or other paperwork, but so far they had found nothing.
“He’ll send someone for us. How far do you think it is from here?” Randy asked.
“Now how in the hell would I know that?”
“I dunno, how do you know you are looking for him in the first place? How’d you know this was his house?”
Katie slumped into an overstuffed chair, looking defeated in the near darkness. “Fuck if I know, I just do.” She stared up at the portrait hanging behind the desk where Randy was sitting. “Who do you think that is?”
“His father? The founder of modern medicine? His former lover?”
“Thanks, for that last image. I bet he lives about half an hour from where he works. We’ve spent ten minutes at this, so we should have another ten, then we gotta get out of here.”
“Well, I can’t get into his computer.” Randy was staring at the log in screen in front of him. He was able to type in passwords, but noted, with some amusement, the keys didn’t depress when he hit them. So far he had tried a variety of combinations with no luck. The two of them had kept the lights off in the house and the generator was still running in the garage, providing them with power if they needed it. From the bottom desk drawer they had found a notebook scribbled full of numbers and letters and Randy had tried every combination off of the pad as well.
“You know what we haven’t found?”
“What?” asked Randy.
“A safe. Move, would you?” Katie stood and walked over behind the desk to the painting. The wall behind the desk was lined with built-in bookshelves. The painting was hanging on a section of wall built out from the shelves. Katie grabbed the bottom corner of the picture and tried to lift it off the wall. It didn’t want to move.
“Bingo! There is something here.” Katie tugged on the edges of the painting, until the left side pulled free from the wall. The picture acted as a door with a heavy duty magnet keeping it from swinging open. Behind it was a wall safe with two dials. “Gimme the sheet with the numbers.” Katie said.
Randy reached for the pad of paper on the desk, but was unable to move it. “Sorry, that seems to be beyond my ability.”
Katie whirled and picked up the paper, but paused to lay one hand on Randy’s face. He felt solid to her touch. They stared at each other for a moment before Katie turned back to the wall with the pad. She went right to the bottom, skipping the crossed off numbers.
“Fucking idiot. If this works, I mean.” Katie said, “See how the numbers are split here, like these four are in a group and then there is a bit of a space to the next group? I bet this is the combo for the two dials.”
Katie dialed the numbers on the safe and in a few seconds she heard a click. She pulled the door open and let out a low whistle, “Well, what do you think? Was the guy up to no good or what?” The safe was full cash. Neat stacks of hundred dollar bills wedged tightly into place, to one side of this stack was a manila folder slid in upright. Katie ignored the cash and pulled out the folder.
“Gold! Randy! Check it out! I bet he works here.” Katie held up a couple of checks, embossed with a fancy logo and the address of some sort of medical clinic on the front. Katie took out the first check and was moving to put it into the pocket of her shirt when Randy stopped her.
“Hold up. We don’t want him to know we know where he is.”
Looking around at the mess on the floor Katie turned back to Randy, “I think he might have a clue.”
“No, not for sure. He’ll know we go in here, but we don’t have to be obvious that we got into the safe. Take the last check. Put everything back the way you found it and then stash the note book back in the drawer. Toss it, but make it look like you overlooked it. Then he won’t know for sure we found the safe or where the clinic is.”
“Good. That’s good. I suppose that is why you are the observer and I am the shooter.” Katie said referring to their team roles.
“No, you’re the shooter ‘cause I fucked up on the range and you shot better than me.”
“I am a better shot than you.”
“I’m not bad.”
“But not the best. Admit it. I’ll give you that you were the best observer; you always fed me the data I needed to get the shot.”
“If it shuts you up, you were the better shooter. But no one can observe like me.”
“Standing or lying around was always a strong point for you.” Katie teased as they exited the room.”
“Earning your pay for one trigger pull seemed to suit you too.”
As the two made their way to the back door, headlights flashed onto the front of the house from the street, it looked like more than one vehicle.
Randy looked at Katie, “Go. I’ll try to distract them.”
Stepping onto the back porch Katie eyed the grill and the propane tanks. “Yeah, you do that partner; catch up with me at the jeep. Be careful.”
“I’m dead, I doubt they will even see me.”
Katie paused by the grill, it was a luxury model with an electric battery start and came right on when she tapped the button. Hoisting one of the heavy propane tanks onto the burning grill she turned it sideways and brought the grill cover down on top of it. The cover couldn’t close all the way with the tank in the way and Katie pulled the whole thing sideways until the half open lid was facing the back fence.
She turned and ran towards the fence, carrying her two guns with her as she went. She had just cleared the fence when she heard the angry shouts behind her. Stopping in the woods she braced herself against a tree and watched as several fast moving figures fanned out in the back yard. Gunfire erupted from inside the house and the figures outside crouched down, making smaller targets in the overgrown grass.
Katie smiled smugly, she could have killed any of them from this range, it wasn’t even a hard shot despite the dim light of the moon. She settled the crosshairs on the shadowy head of the figure closest to the back patio. No more gunfire came from within and the zombie she was aiming at pointed at the grill, which was giving off a little flickering light from the open lid. Katie could tell it was a male, and he moved as if he had some sort of training, either police or military, he shied away from the windows of the house, but, of course he wasn’t being watched from inside the house.
‘That’s it, move just a little closer. Stand up a little more, perfect!’ Katie slowly squeezed the trigger and the man’s head burst apart, the bullet lined up perfectly with the propane tank sitting on the hot flames of the grill and the pressurized tank blew open when the bullet struck it. The resulting explosion sent a fireball screaming into the sky and blew down part of the kitchen wall and shattered all of the windows in the house. Katie felt the massive heat wave from the blast from where she was, a good hundred yards away.
The house caught fire and the pile of propane tanks had been scattered all over the patio, with some blown into the kitchen itself. Katie risked waiting a few seconds for the kitchen to really go up, and then took aim at another of the propane tanks. This explosion didn’t seem as fierce to Katie as the first, but its effects were far more devastating; it lifted part of the house up off of its foundation, when it crashed back down fully half the house collapsed.
Katie looked for the figures in the grass, they all still seemed to be there, stunned by the force of the explosions. Most of them were still moving, rolling to their stomachs to crawl away from the fire. ‘Easy pickings.’ She thought, it was tempting to pick a few of them off as they lay in the yard, but she fell back into her role and decided fading away would be a better idea than getting into a firefight.
Moving at a trot she followed her path back to her duffel back, which she picked up and tossed into the jeep. Starting the vehicle she backed onto the beach, which was much smaller now that the tide had come in.
“You happy?” Randy asked.
“It was a great idea.”
“I’m not saying it wasn’t. But now it just makes you a larger threat. You can’t kick the anthill without repercussions.”
“Oh, I think there would have been repercussions anyway.”
“Well, maybe you would have been a lower level threat. Now you’ve done pissed him off. I mean you break into his house, kill his woman, ambush his men; twice, and steal his stuff. Then to top it all off you burn the place down.”
“Hey!” protested Katie, “He doesn’t know I stole his stuff now! I was just covering our tracks.”
“Let’s find another place to hole up and work on finding him in the morning. I could use some Randy time.” Katie said.
Smiling at her allusion to what that meant when they were alive, Randy replied, “I’m all yours sweet heart.”