djinn wars 03 - fallen

djinn wars 03 - fallen by Christine Pope

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Authors: Christine Pope
reassured me at all was that the Los Alamos people were too respectful of good wheels to have done anything terrible to it. Most likely they’d turned it over to someone else in the community for their private use.
    I turned toward Jace and Dani and Evony and Ethan, all of whom waited a few feet away, watching me expectantly. “Let’s go.”
    None of them protested…not that I’d expected them to. I got in the driver’s seat, Jace beside me, and Evony and Dani and Ethan climbed into the rear. The controls were laid out a little differently than in the Cherokee I was used to, but not so much that I thought I’d have any trouble piloting the unfamiliar vehicle.
    We all buckled ourselves in, and I raised a hand toward the assembled group as we pulled away. That was more bravado than anything else; I was scared shitless. Scared that we’d be caught. Scared that I might actually have to use the Beretta 9mm strapped to my hip. And, most of all, scared that I wouldn’t be able to track down Miles Odekirk and would end up driving around in circles before returning to the waiting group of djinn and Chosen with my tail between my legs.
    Jace shifted in his seat so he was more or less facing me. “You have a plan?”
    I knew that he spoke aloud so Dani and Evony and Ethan wouldn’t feel left out. “Sort of. While it’s possible that Odekirk’s lab is in one of these outbuildings, I think it makes more sense that he’d be somewhere toward the center of the facility. Every other place we met up was near there, not out here in the middle of nowhere. Say what you want about the guy, but he was efficient. He didn’t seem like the type to be driving half a mile just to go from one lab to another.”
    “That does make sense,” Dani agreed. He was sitting on the edge of his seat, apparently ignoring the safety belt. Even though we were now back in the zone of influence of Miles’s devices, Dani didn’t seem particularly affected. I remembered then how he’d volunteered to be one of Lindsay’s “guinea pigs” during her tests with our own stolen box. It seemed plausible enough to me that he’d built up his own tolerance, even if it wasn’t quite as strong as Jace’s. “Which building do you think he’ll most likely be in?”
    I bit my lip. Definitely not the warehouse where Jace and Natila had been waterboarded, and where Natila had met her death. Neither did I think it was the building where the two djinn had been held captive for a brief period. No, my gut was telling me that Miles Odekirk had set up his private lab in the same place where we’d first met, where he’d drilled me about my presence in Los Alamos, attempting to discover whether I’d had an ulterior motive. Of course I did, although he hadn’t found that out for several more weeks. Still, I thought that, busy as he was, he wouldn’t have wanted to waste any more time on me than was strictly necessary, and so he’d interrogated me in the same building as the one where he did all his work.
    All right, maybe that was stretching things a bit. But I didn’t have any real leads to go on, and, more importantly, I did remember where that building was located, since I’d driven there myself, albeit accompanied by one of Captain Margolis’ goons. It seemed the best place to start, and, if we were lucky, anyone hanging around the labs would think, in the moonlit darkness, that the yellow SUV going by was just the Hummer.
    Well, unless we were spotted by the people driving the actual Hummer.
    Coming in from this angle felt strange. I certainly couldn’t claim to know the lab campus all that well, but I did recall how the building where Miles Odekirk had first interrogated me was built in the shape of an “X,” and was four stories high. There couldn’t be that many structures here with that exact same height and layout, could there?
    The answer turned out to be “no.” We followed the service road, and after about a half-mile of twists and turns, I

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