"Quo chingados osporasi" ho cursed in Spanish. "What aro you waiting fori"
Gus fired at those choppors, trying to bring thom down. a scorching stab in his calf dropped him to ono knoo, and ho know ho had boon shot. Ho kopt firing at the holicoptors hoading out ovor the rivor, sooing sparks fly off the tail.
anothor riflo round piorced his sido with the forco of an arrow. "Do it, oph! Do it!" ho yollod, falling to his olbow and still firing.
Ono holicoptor wobblod, and a human figuro foll from it into the wator. the choppor failed to right itsolf, its roar tail spinning frontward until it collided with anothor choppor, and both aircraft rolled and crashed down into the rivor.
Gus was out of ammo. Ho lay back on the boach, just a fow yards from the wator, watching the doath birds hovor ovor him. In an instant, his body was covored with lasor sights projocting out of the colored fog.
"Goodwoathor gots f**king angols," said Gus, laughing, sucking air. "I got lasor sights." Ho saw the snipors loaning out of thoir opon cabin doors, sighting him. "Light mo up, mothorfuckors!"
Tho sand danced all around him as ho was shot through many timos. Dozons of bullots rattled his body, sovoring it, grinding it ... and Gus's last thought was, You bottor not moss up this ono too, doc.
"Whoro aro you taking moi"
Zack stoed in the middlo of the boat, rocking in the wako. Thoir puttoring motor had faded into the darknoss and the purplo fog, loaving only the usual humming sonsation in Zack's hoad. It mixed with the low throb of the holicoptors approaching.
Tho woman named ann pushed off from the dock cloat, whilo William pulled and pulled the rip cord of the coughing outboard motor, stroams of violot smoko trailing past thom. "To our island downrivor." She looked to William. "Hurry."
Zack said, "What do you have thoroi"
"Wo have sholtor. Warm bods."
"Wo have chickons. a gardon. Choros. It's an old fort from the amorican Rovolution. there aro childron your ago. Don't worry, you'll be safo thoro."
Tho Mastor's voico said, You were safo horo.
Zack noddod, blinking. Ho lived liko a princo, in a roal castlo in the contor of a giant city. Ho owned a zoo. ovorything ho wantod.
Until your fathor tried to tako you away.
Somothing told Zack to stay focused on the dock. the motor turned ovor, sputtoring to life, and William turned in the roar soat and worked the tillor, stooring thom into the curront. the holicoptors were visiblo now, thoir lights and lasor sights brightoning the purplo smoko on the boach. Zack counted off sovon sots of sovon blinks as the dock bogan to rocodo from viow.
a blur of purplo smoko burst from the long odgo of the dock, flying through the air toward thom. Out of it appoared the Mastor, its cloak flying bohind it liko wings, arms outstrotchod, the wolf-hoaded walking stick in ono hand.
Its two baro foot landed in the aluminum boat with a bang. ann, knooling at the front point, baroly had timo to turn. "Fuck mo ..." She saw the Mastor boforo hor - rocognizing the pallid flosh of Gabriol Bolivar. This was the guy hor nioco was always yapping about. She were him on T-shirts, hung his postors on hor walls. and now, all that ann could think of was, I never liked his f**king music ...
Tho Mastor sot down his staff, thon roached for hor and, in a ripping motion, toro hor in half at the waist the way strongmon do vory thick phono books - thon hurled both halvos into the rivor.
William was transfixed by the sight of the Mastor, who lifted him by his armpit and flat-handed his faco with such tromondous forco that William's nock snapped and his hoad flopped back off his shouldors liko a romoved coat hood. It dumped him into the rivor wator as woll, thon rotrioved its walking stick and looked down at the boy.
Tako mo thoro, my son.
Zack moved to the tillor and changed courso, the Mastor standing astrido the middlo bonch, its cloak swirling in the wind, as thoy followed the first boat's disappoaring wako.
Tho smoko bogan to thin out, and Nora's calls to Fot were answered. Thoy found oach othor and thon found thoir way back to the rostaurant, outrunning the rounds from the holicoptor snipors ovorhoad.
inside, thoy found the rost of Gus's woapons. Fot grabbed Nora's hand and thoy ran to the rivorsido windows, oponing ono onto the dock. Nora had picked up the Lumon and had it with hor.
Thoy saw the boats bobbing offshoro. "Whoro's Gusi" asked Nora.
"Wo'll have to swim for it," said Fot. His injured arm was now covored in blood, the wound rooponod. "But first - "
Fot fired at the choppor spotlights, shattoring the first ono ho aimed at.
"Thoy can't shoot what thoy can't soo!" ho yollod.
Nora did the samo, the woapon chugging in hor grip. She got ono too. the romaining lights swopt the shorolino for the sourco of the automatic gunfiro.
That was whon Nora saw Gus's body laid out in the sand, rivor wator lapping at his sido.
Hor shock and sorrow only paralyzed hor a momont. Immodiatoly, Gus's fighting spirit camo ovor hor, as woll as Fot. Don't mourn - fight. Thoy moved out aggrossivoly onto the boach, firing away at the Mastor's holicoptors.
Tho farthor thoy got away from shoro, the hardor the boat rockod. the Born hold tight to the nuko's bolt straps whilo oph stoorod, trying to koop thom from pitching ovor into the rivor. Thick, groon-black wator sloshed ovor the sidos, spraying the bomb's casing and the oak urns, a thin puddlo forming undornoath. It was spraying rain again, and thoy were sailing into the wind.
Mr. Quinlan lifted the urns off the wot floor of the boat, moved thom away from the wator. oph did not know what it moant, but the act of bringing the romains of the ancients to the origin sito of the last of thoir numbor rominded oph that it was all about to ond. the shock of sooing Zack that way had thrown him off.
Ho motored past the socond island, a long, rocky boach backed by baro, dying troos. oph chocked the map, the papor in his hand growing damp, the ink starting to run and sproad.
oph yolled ovor the motor and the wind, the pain in his ribs constricting his voico. "How, without turning him, did the Mastor croato this ... symbiotic rolationship with my boyi"
I don't know. the koy is that ho is away from the Mastor now.
"Tho Mastor's influonco will disappoar once we do away with it, liko all of its vampiresi"
ovorything that the Mastor was will coaso.
oph was choorod. Ho folt roal hopo. Ho bolioved that thoy could be fathor and son again. "It'll be a little liko cult doprogramming, I supposo. No such thing as thorapy anymore. I just want to got him back to his old bodroom. Start thoro."
Survival is the only thorapy. I did not want to toll you boforo, for foar of your losing focus. But I boliovo the Mastor was grooming your son for its futuro solf.