Lab Rat part 68

Posted: April 5, 2011 in Fiction, Test Subject
Tags: ,

The sun pours heat onto the city. I can feel droplets of sweat creep down my back inside the bulletproof vest. I’m not taking it off. For one thing, it’s a safe way to carry the extra cartridges for my injector. For another, I’m wanted by the authorities for terrorism and by a criminal organization for sticking my nose in their business. That is a lot of people with guns who have it in for me. It’s nice to be wanted, I guess. My dad walks next to me with Jennifer on his arm. He’s got his sand colored fedora and aviators on, and a toothpick sticking out of the corner of his mouth. That spot was once reserved for a cigar, but he quit smoking when I was in high school. I think Mom was allergic.

“Okay, kid. We need a place to start looking.”

“Allie and I were headed to a storage unit. She didn’t have everything at the lab.” I look around. I feel like everyone is staring at me. I know they aren’t. I know it’s just in my head. Still, I can’t stop looking over my shoulder.

“Asher.” Dad and Jennifer have stopped walking. I stop too. “Relax.” I take a deep breath. “No one knows.”

“I’m new to this game,” I tell him. “I kind of jumped in without learning to swim.”

“Yeah, you did. It’ll be fine.” Jennifer smiles and puts a hand on my cheek.

“He’s so cute, Ken.” I sigh. I don’t want to be cute. I want to get Taryn back.

“He’s not cute, honey. He’s nervous.”

“Can we move this along?” I’m glad Dad and Jennifer are still in the honeymoon phase of their relationship, but it’s wearing on my nerves already. “Dad, where’d you park?”

“We’re not driving.”

“We have to get across town.”

“Listen. If Johnson is even halfway competent, they’ve already found my car. We can’t call your mother, and we can’t use a car that belongs to anyone you’ve ever met.” He and Jennifer are walking again. “The first thing you need to know to play this game is that the government operative already knows everything about you.” I catch up to the happy couple.

“So how can we win?”

“For starters, we know they’re looking for us. We know how they’ll try to spot us. We know not to use our phones, our cards, or anything else electronic that is linked to our identities.” I mull that over for a moment. He’s saying if I had cash, we wouldn’t have to walk. Keeping cash under my bed seems less crazy now. Too bad one of Parish’s guys couldn’t happen along in one of those nice sport utilities.

“Okay,” I say finally. “How about public transportation?”

“It’s risky. Buses have cameras and wifi.”

“Aren’t we running a risk with traffic cameras anyway?” Something else occurs to me. “And we’re spending a lot of time exposed on the street.” Dad smiles at me.

“That’s my boy. You’re starting to think. Finally.” He takes the toothpick out of his mouth and flicks it away. “The bus isn’t a bad idea, but you need a disguise first.” Damn you, Johnson. Somehow I will repay him for branding me a terrorist. I smirk. I’ll have my chance. I have to find him to spring Taryn anyway.

I spent some time with a friend of my Mom’s today. Thanks to Facebook, we’ve kind of kept in touch, and getting to talk to her really helped me out. The details are mine for right now.  I also got to catch up with the LOD; I haven’t gotten to hang out with those guys in freaking forever.  I was the only dude in the chat when they were recording the podcast today, so they talked to me a bit.  It was almost like old times for a second.  It was good.

One more thing: I’m glad you still read this.

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