Molly continued to stare at him with an unfathomable expression. She looked disheveled, but not much worse for the wear. Actually, Clint thought she looked absolutely stunning, like something solid in a world of mirages. He didn’t much worry about the way her face continued to contort. He had been overcome with a certain sense of accomplishment, and as he lay on the floor, his body a collection of pulsing wounds, he thought that he had done a good job after all.
Then she began to speak: “You—You stupid, stupid, stupid man!”
Her eyes were full of water. He could not understand what she meant by the words.
“What happened to you?” she asked accusingly. “Look at you. You need a doctor.”
“You’re a doctor.”
“Don’t be smart with me!” she barked. Then she began to weep. She buried her face in her hands.
Clint stared incomprehendingly at her. Groaning, he moved toward her, half dragging himself across the floor.
“Don’t move!” she said hysterically. He didn’t listen to her, but drew close, wrapping his good arm around her. She leaned her head against his chest.
“I’m bloody,” he said.
“I…I know.” She was regaining control of herself and scrubbing away tears furiously. “I’m sorry.”
“You’ve been through a lot.”
The edge returned to her voice. “Not about that. I’m sorry that you had to come.”
“I wanted to come. I had to come.”
She pulled away, not angrily, but to display her independence. She was a short woman, and a little chubby, but she could exude the command of an Amazonian when she wanted to. “I sense a whisper of your thoughts in my head now. You kept trying to get ahold of me, didn’t you? You reestablished the connection.”
Clint let himself slide to his back. “Who knows? It’s your tech, not mine.”
“I can’t deal with this Molly. First you yell at me, then you thank me. I’ll be unconscious for a moment. Wake me up when you start making sense.”
“You’re the one who let yourself almost get killed—twice. I don’t want you dying unless it’s under my orders.”
Clint laughed weakly. That was the Molly he knew. She didn’t mean a word of it and he didn’t believe a word of it and it worked because they both knew the other didn’t take it seriously.
“They’re going to find us any moment,” Clint said. In his mind, he willed himself to sit, but his body didn’t obey.
“No they won’t.”
“Fine. I love wishful thinking. While we’re at it, let’s wish for a stake dinner and some Vicodin.”
“I heard you shouting the code I left you. They won’t find us.”
“It didn’t do anything.”
“It shut off your transponder. They won’t find us.”
“Come here, Molly. I want to plant a giant, bloody kiss on that cheek of yours.”
In direct contradiction, Molly stood, walked away from him, and peered out into the hallway. “What a mess, Clint. How many were there?”
“I can see that. We need to get those wounds tended before you pass out. My short little legs aren’t going to drag you anywhere.” She knelt down near him. “Can you get up?” She held out her hand.
“If I have to.” He took it. Gritting his teeth, he struggled into a sitting position. Then, with more help than he wanted to admit, he stood. Molly supported him, his limp arm hanging over her shoulder. “I’m not faking you know. Wanted to have your arm around me.”
“I might be.”
They entered the hallway unsteadily. Looking back at the destruction he had caused, Clint caught sight of something discarded along the wall. “Over there,” he said. “Let’s use that.”
Molly set the Segway upright and tested it. It seemed functional. Helping Clint lower himself to a seat on the platform, Molly pulled the Segway behind her, towing Clint along.
“Where we are going?”
“Doctor Heinlen’s lab.”
“Oh.” A moment later. “Molly?”
“How’d Doctor Destructo manage to get past the main defenses?”
“Some sort of EMP ray. Knocked out everything for a few minutes. Like those shock guns he used on you once, remember?”
“Yeah, I remember. You weren’t paying attention the first time I almost died apparently.”
“I could hear what was going on. I couldn’t see it.”
“Are we there yet?”
“Shut up, Clint.”
Molly stopped. “Look, I know you’re dying and you’ve had a hard day, but mine hasn’t exactly been cake, either, so no more useless question, deal?”
“It wasn’t a useless question.”
“Okay, fine. What did you want to ask.”
“Do you suppose that EMP ray’s still around?”
“Maybe. Why?” She sounded suspicious.
“I’d like to use it again. I mean, while we’re here, we might as well take out Doctor Destructo. Maybe we can take out the Yang Brothers, too. What do you think?”
Molly began pulling him along again. “I think you’ve lost a lot of blood.”
“So you think it’s a wonderful idea. I knew you would.” He was starting to feel light-headed. “Molly?”
She refused to answer.
“You were totally worth saving. I’d do it all again. Three times even. But there I draw the line. Three’s the limit.”
“You’d do it a fourth time.”
“True. You’ve caught me. I’m madly, madly in love with you. Madly. Insanely. So on and so on. Ad naseum. Are we there yet? I’m feeling really out of it…. Molly?”
“You better catch me.”
He passed out.