A cold finger of fear snaked down his throat, found the bilious seed and coaxed it to a blossom. Danny sputtered and stumbled, moving into the lee of a nearby construction walkway covered by a tattered blue tarpaulin. Overhead,
the plywood over the windows ran slick with rain and runoff, leaving a rust-colored trail. To one side, a darkness yawned, beckoning: Granville station.
Coming to a stop, Danny expelled the contents of his stomach, most of it a thin and yellow bile. The man--one of the stricken--had told him to run, but Danny was at the end of his rope. He'd run from St Paul's hospital, avoiding stricken and hunters alike only to lose the pills.
He took a moment, drawing labored breath into his lungs. He was cold, his energy spent. Now, with the remembered taste of a strangers' blood on his lips, He thought of Carolyn--their last kiss had tasted like peaches.
A shuffle and splash separated itself from the monotony beyond. Danny lifted his head, dully.
"Over here!" Someone shouted, just the other side of the tarpaulin. "Got heat-sign. Three of 'em!"
Danny gasped as a figure stepped to the tarpaulin and placed hands straight across the plastic, like they were trying to push through a membrane. He heard the low groan of exhaustion and felt the cold finger of fear goad him into one more sprint even as a sharp crack of thunder washed the outside of the tarp in purple gore.
There were Stricken in the rain. But perhaps not down below. Not in the subway system.
Danny descended the wide, cracked stairwell into the subway system. The turnstiles protested, but let him in. The air was stale and dank, touched with oil and decay. Danny moved down the unmoving escalator, and onto the platform for the Expo line. Furtive shadows skittered in the darkness.
"Remaining calm is essential to remaining safe." a warm baritone advised cheerfully, far too close. Danny spasmed and jumped back, eyes wild. The public address system crackled back to life with further encouragement, "Clean hands mean you can st--BZZZT--a clean life!"
His own breath sounded far too loud in the silence that followed.
The only option was to keep moving.