A few tense seconds passed. Twitch gritted his teeth and punched the ground. "Goddamnit!"
The homeless man walked over to Amber. He took a knee beside her torso, reached down, and flicked her knee with his middle finger. "Can you feel that?" He asked.
"No." Amber winced, but couldn't feel him touch her. "That's not good, is it?"
He put his finger to his lip. "No, it's not. Probably spinal."
"Shut up." Twitch growled at him. The boy turned his head to look into Amber's eyes. "You'll be fine. I'll..." His eyes lit up, "I'll carry you! We can run straight back to the Newark bridge, and we'll be fine."
Amber sighed. "No, Twitch."
Sirens grew closer.
"They'll see us. You wouldn't run fast enough to get away. You're the only one who has a chance."
Amber reached out and pulled his face close to hers. "Get out of here and get to Page. Take care of her, Twitch. She..." Despite herself, she began to choke up. "...she's the only good thing left about this world. Keep her safe. And I believe in you Twitch."
Amber looked up. The homeless man was standing over her, gazing into her face with large, sad eyes. "Give me a bag."
For a moment, Twitch and Amber didn't know what to think. Then Twitch sighed, and handed him Chad's duffel bag.
The man slung it over his shoulder, picked up Amber's mask, and started to walk back towards the end of the alleyway - where the police cars were coming.
"What are you doing?" Twitch stood up, facing him.
He pulled the mask on, turned around and looked directly at Amber. Then he smiled. "Giving someone a chance I never got." He ran out into the street.
Immediately, chaos erupted outside the alleyway. Engines revved up, sirens got closer, and several voices began to shout things like: "There he is!" or "They're armed, open fire!" As the man sprinted down a different alleyway out of view.
Gunshots rang out.
"Holy fuck." Amber whispered.
Twitch picked up both of the other bags and reached a hand out to his friend. "C'mon, Amber. I know you can do it."