Glass clattered as Bobby dragged the butt of his rifle over the window's frame. He leaned out and inspected the fire escape. “Yeah, this'll do,” he said, climbing through the opening.
“Here,” Michael said, grunting as he and John passed Andrea across as carefully as they could.
Michael hurried through and took charge of her immediately upon reaching the other side.
Bobby continued up the stairs as they creaked and shook. He only had to travel up one flight to reach the roof of the building.
When Michael sat on the ledge of the rooftop's crowning to shimmy over, he saw Bobby already trying to raise the base on his radio.
At first, a hazy static belched from the speaker, but Bobby dialed in on an intermittent tone in just a few seconds. He held the radio up high and waited for the tone to come, then he squeezed the transmission key for a time, releasing it only to squeeze again for a shorter duration. He did this four or five times as they waited.
Eventually, in the direction of a glistening lake at the center of the city, the clapping of helicopter rotors faintly carried across the rooftops.
The three smiled. Michael thought Andrea would smile too if she were conscious.
After five long minutes, the chopper became visible in the distance. It felt like an eternity for it to finally make its way to their position, and when it did, the logistical nightmare of loading on to it from the rooftop of a building donned on them; too late.
It was a miracle the pilot had skill enough to put the skids down on the rocks between an old air conditioning unit and the lip of the building's rooftop. This left them with very little room to load Andrea, but with some ingenuity, they were able to curl her over the steel AC unit and twist her into the side door of the Huey. Once the other three loaded up, the rotors spooled up and the skids lost contact with the rocky hotel rooftop.
The flight back was serene. Andrea was once again resting against Michael as he looked out onto the water of the lake; the rotor wash blasting away all sounds and most thoughts; the vibration massaging his bruised body.
It was a shock to him when he felt the squeeze on his hand. He looked down to see her eyes looking up at him.
She mustered a thin smile that Michael eagerly returned.