suppression was the kind you’d want to run from, particularly if you were trapped in an underground bunker, and hence you’d—
“ When it happens, ” Meyer had told her in her seemingly prescient dream, “ use the sprinklers and the extinguishers on the walls, but don ’ t touch the —”
Heather bolted to her feet, making her children's still-unmasked, prone bodies jump in surprise below her.
“ Piper, don ’ t activate the — ! ” Heather began.
But she was too late. The air filled with hissing halon gas. The crackling fire sounds in the generator room abated.
And then from above — from the door at the top of the stairs — something clanked as the secondary locks disengaged, leaving only the drilled-through primary locks between their bunker and the outside.
The sound of a door slamming open.
Rushing feet on metal stairs.
Heather gripped her gun, suddenly glad for its cold comfort.
Trevor glanced at the gas mask in his lap, completely ignoring it. He turned to Lila, who looked absolutely terrified. He felt it was his responsibility to worry about her (she was his sister, after all), but right now he needed to take action. He’d been useless and stir-crazy so far, but shit was hitting the fan. He finally had a chance to prove he was the man his father had been — and still was, somewhere.
Trevor stood and plucked the pistol from his mother’s shaking hands.
“I got it, Mom.”
Everything was happening too fast. His mother was in plain sight, an ideal target for the men whose boots were now tromping down the spiral staircase. Trevor blocked her body with his. She protested again, but he’d be damned if he’d lie down and cry. People were breaking into their home? He’d live or die on his feet.
Piper, disoriented, peeked out of the control room. She’d gone in to activate the fire extinguishers. Suddenly, the place was under siege, and Piper didn’t seem to be following whatever had happened. Her huge blue eyes were wide with shock. She was unarmed, as big a target as his mother.
“ Get back in there! ” Trevor shouted.
Piper retreated, thankfully obeying.
Maybe ten seconds had passed. Trevor had felt the world’s shortest burst of adrenaline. He still felt keyed up and ready to kick ass, but realized now just how far his heart had climbed into his throat. His breath was quick and too shallow; he felt as if the fire had done its job and robbed the room of air. He couldn’t focus. He could barely see Raj across the room, wearing that stupid fucking gas mask, holding a gun with the safety clearly still on.
“ Raj! ”
Feet rushed down the stairs. Trevor raised his weapon and, realizing the safety gaffe himself, flicked a small lever on the gun’s side. A red dot appeared beneath the lever, and Trevor remembered something his father had taught him: Red means dead .
He ducked, realizing too late that despite being low he was still entirely exposed to the boots now halfway down the staircase. His only chance was to get the first shot and take them by surprise. A bullet through the ankle of the lead man would do plenty. One would be hobbled, and the others would tumble down over him, making for a mix of target practice and Twister.
He raised the gun and sighted. Tried and failed to calm his breath. Blinked. And fired.
The bullet struck the concrete ceiling a full six feet from the staircase. Dust sifted down.
“ Gun! ” yelled one of the intruders.
“Vincent, get your ass down there!” another shouted.
Trevor swallowed, feeling his large, shocked eyes unable to close. He looked at the gun in his hands, confused by its betrayal. He didn’t have to cock it to fire again, did he? No, the slide ejected the empty and chambered a new round, cocking the pistol at the same time. His father had taught him that, too.
He raised the weapon again, but one of the men on the