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he was pressing his luck, that sooner or later he might run into one of those gangs himself.


He recognized the voice instantly and looked up toward its origin. Zack and several security men were passing by on an upper catwalk. From the looks of them, they'd all been deeply involved in a very violent struggle ... involved in several of them, in fact. Their uniforms were disheveled or torn, their hair in disarray, and an assortment of cuts and bruises decorated their faces.

Upon seeing Franklin laboring below him, Zack turned to the rest of the squadron and said, "Go on, I'll catch up!"

They paused for only a moment, as if reluctant to let Zack head off on his own, but then they acceded to his order and continued on. Zack, for his part, backpedaled and headed over to, and down, the stairs. He hurried to Franklin's side, but if Franklin thought he was about to get a big heaping helping of empathy, he was to be sorely disillusioned.

"I thought I told everybody to stay inside!" Zack spouted in anger and frustration.

"You did," Franklin said, trying to sound reasonable. "But we've got injured people out here, I can't just leave them..."

Zack started to chew out Franklin for putting himself needlessly at risk, then stopped. Bottom line, he knew that to Franklin this wasn't a "needless" risk at all. Franklin was where he felt he needed to be, and Zack could either argue about it with him, or try to take it in stride and deal with it. "I know, I know," sighed Zack. "Here, let me give you a hand."

Combining their strength, the two of them managed to lift the kiosk clear within seconds, freeing the trapped woman. Franklin knelt over her, not even sure where to start. From the tenderness in her chest, he suspected she had broken a couple of ribs. There
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