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Right now, a family of three is running across the courtyard to the door of the West Tower. I see it's Craig Richardson, his wife and daughter from 55D. Richardson has a rifle; he cocks it. A Reclamation, something ungodly fast and once human, races after them. Richardson turns and fires, sending a bullet through the creature's head. It drops and its velocity causes it to slide headfirst into the fountain, a mixture of blood and brain spitting up the base. It continues to twitch.
I squeeze my fists tight and say a prayer for them; I like the Richardsons, I know them well. They hit the door and key in their passcode, but it doesn't open. They start pounding on it, waving frantically at the omniEye set in the wall next to it. Still nothing happens. Mandy, the daughter, my son's former girlfriend--a sweet girl blossoming into an incredibly beautiful woman--is crying hysterically. She is covered in blood and I realize that the fourth member of their family, her baby brother David, is not with them. Faintly, I can hear Danielle, Richardson's wife, screaming about a key. But there is no backup key for the West Tower door. There are no backup keys for any of the doors. Everyone signed that away when they accepted living here. No methods for the homeless, penniless dregs to get in. Our Manhattan Castle--safe, secure, walled off from the rest of the city.
Danielle kicks the door; Mandy cries hysterically as she looks over her shoulder toward the fountain; Richardson aims his rifle at the door but doesn't pull the trigger. He knows it will be a waste of ammo; all the doors are blast proof. Can I maneuver my way through the corridors and get down there to let them in before--
No.Four Reclamations explode out from nearby windows, two stories up, shards of glass firing out everywhere. The creatures land hard and are instantly running full speed, their milk-white eyes focused with the rage of Lyssa. They are hunters, their muscles newly repaired and improved, their insides taut and youthful despite their outward decay. I have yet to see anyone outrun them. I know what is coming, but still I watch and hope a miracle will happen.