Lab Rat part 38

Posted: February 22, 2011 in Fiction, Test Subject

The blood from my broken nose starts to sizzle. Some of it runs in my mouth, but it tastes normal to me. I start smelling acrid smoke. Something’s burning, but the alleyway is still dark. Whoever has me in the choke screams and lets go. I fall to the pavement on hands and knees. I breathe hard , and my vision returns. I spit. The fluid gleams reflected light in the dark, and I hear the sound of an egg frying. The guy behind me is screaming something about his arm. A foot catches me in the sternum and flattens me onto my back. I bite the side of my cheek hard enough to bleed, and suck the warm copper goo into my mouth.

“What the hell did you do to him, kid?” Keegan is leaning over me now. I grin. I hope he can see my bloody smile. Pushy pulls Keegan back and unwittingly saves his life. He levels his gun at me. I spit in his face. He wipes it away with his free hand. Then he starts screaming. The cooking egg sound is back, and even in the dark I can see white smoke roiling off of his face and hand. His gun goes off, but the shots are wide. I wipe my face clear with the palm of my hand, then grab the leg pinning me to the ground. “Hey, Asher!” Keegan is screaming. “Who’s your doctor, man? I think I feel a cold coming on!” The leg on my chest disappears and there’s more screaming. “Peter, shoot his ass!” I raspberry in the direction of the voice. A corrosive red mist fills the air. I scramble to my feet and run down the alley. Gunshots and screams echo behind me.

I clear the mouth of the alley, and break hard right. I spit on a wall as I run and listen to the crackling fade behind me. No time to examine my handiwork. Too bad. I’m sure Ally – Taryn – would want to know if it was just my blood that was corrosive, or if any of my fluids would do. She’d also want to know the speed of the burn, as well as what it would and wouldn’t burn through. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t want me to die though. I keep running.

There are headlights behind me. Did Keegan already call in backup? It’s unlikely to be the same four guys after me. I mean, near as I can guess, three of them are dealing with chemical burns right now. I start to go for my cell phone. I stop myself. My hands are covered in my blood, and my blood just burned a bunch of dudes. The last thing I need is to trash another phone. Damn. I don’t even know where I am. I keep running. Breathing is getting tough and my legs are getting heavy. I spit, and a huge black glob spatters the sidewalk and starts to sizzle.

The headlights behind me are getting brighter. I look over my shoulder. The headlight profile matches the typical police cruiser. I can’t decide if that’s good or bad. I’m a bloody mess and I could hurt someone if they so much as touch me for at least another minute, maybe more. On the other hand, Keegan said himself that he’d back down in the face of the police. For now. The car goes past me, but then pulls over right away. The passenger door swings open. I almost laugh. “Asher Brinks?” I don’t recognize the voice. It’s male, but not hostile. What is it with people in black cars wanting my company tonight? Next, a van is going to come around the corner and some guys in ski-masks are going to yank me in through the side door.

“Guess I don’t need a taxi now,” I wheeze.

“You are Brinks, right?”

“Yeah. Where are we headed?”

“An emergency room for starters.”

“You think we could skip that? I’m just dirty, not hurt.” I hope this guy buys it.

“You look hurt.” This clearly isn’t my night.

“I’ll just hoof it. I could use the exercise. Thanks, though” I move to go around the door. I hear a metallic scrape and a click. In the movies, that usually means someone is aiming a gun. I slump my shoulders and stop. “Seriously?”

“You need to come with me.” I suck on the inside of my cheek. Warm copper fills my mouth. I get the distinct feeling that tomorrow is going to suck, but I have to live that long. I put my hands up. “Get in the car,” the guy tells me. I step my left foot into the car. As I duck my head in, I turn toward the guy, and spit again. “Motherfu – !” His curse is cut short as the acid eats into him. He screams. I throw myself to the street as he starts shooting. Great. If I had managed to ditch Keegan’s goons, the barking of the gun and this guy’s screaming ought to get their attention. I crawl toward the back of the car to stay out of the line of fire, and circle around to the driver’s side.

I did some editing on the earliest parts of the story tonight. Most of it was cleaning up language and adding little details to keep the continuity straight. It didn’t seem like there was much to do in that regard. I know there will be multiple revisions like that, and it sucks that there isn’t an easy way to share the updated version. I suppose that in the event that this little project of mine sees print, that’ll give some incentive to check it out, even if you read the whole thing online.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Justin Ramser, Justin Ramser. Justin Ramser said: Lab Rat part 38: This dude is having a TERRIBLE night. […]

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