I slip inside the building, gun at the ready. Cypher's covering my back. Wraith disabled the security system and removed the guards. It's all just up to me, now.
I try to remind myself to breathe. Nova's around here somewhere. All I've got to do is pull the trigger, and get out. It's easy. Too easy.
I step lightly into the lounge. The back of a balding head pokes out above a leather chair. It's Nova.
Silently, I draw my gun up. It'll take less than a second to shoot, less than a minute to leave. We could be out of here in under five.
Then I hear the helicopter.
'Get out of there!' yells Wraith through the radio. Damn. My finger twitches. It wouldn't take long...
Then I see the blood. It took me a moment to notice it because the leather on the chair is dark and shiny. But it's definitely blood.
I keep my gun at the ready, edging round the chair to face my target.
He's been dead for a while. The blood at his slashed neck is beginning to congeal. His hand is cold. He's a mess.
'Shade!' Cypher this time. 'Don't make me come in after you!'
'Everything's wrong,' I reply, talking quickly. 'Someone got here before us. Nova's dead.'
'Whatever. We can think about this later. I'm not losing a team member because he's trying to be Einstein, Shade. Get out.'
I ignore her and start walking over to the sliding glass doors out into the garden. The two German shepherds are dead. Shot.
What about Mrs Nova? Is she still here? Did they kill her too?
I run out into the garden. There's a spot of blood on the patio. Damn.
I spin round to see a woman, elegantly dressed but with blood on her once-white blouse. She looks about fifty, but seems to be aging well.
She's also holding a gun to my head.
'You killed my husband. Now you're here to kill me too.'
Cypher shoots her in the back of the head.
'Don't ever make me do that again.