Lab Rat part 75

Posted: April 16, 2011 in Fiction, Test Subject
Tags: ,

We zip along backwards at incredible speed. Good thing I don’t need to read road signs. We’re moving so fast I can’t even see the damn things. I move up and check out Johnson. He’s got the remains of a black eye from what I can see. Probably two. I know it’s not nice to enjoy other people’s pain, but I’m not a big fan of this guy. He was going to shoot me, and he did shoot that EMT. Shooting me wouldn’t have gotten him any closer to Taryn anyway. Unless he planned to shoot me in the leg or something. That fucker. I’m mad at him all over again. I shake my head. He’s not really here. Well, sort of, but he’s busy checking the strip mall for me. Suddenly I wish I had thought to set up a diversion to keep them busier. The car whips backward into a parking garage. I look around. I spot blue signs with a big white “H” on them. We’re at the hospital downtown. Damn it.

I let go of the sedan and the world shimmers. I’m crouched next to the car again. The shimmering intensifies, and I have to bite my tongue to keep myself grounded. “You back yet?” I almost jump out of my skin. I spin, and Dad is kneeling on the back of a guy in full tactical gear with a huge revolver held to his head. At the other end of the car, Jennifer is crouched low and holding some kind of assault rifle. I’m betting it used to belong to Dad’s captive.

“I’m back, but Johnson didn’t come here from a government facility. I have to read it again.” I want to whisper, but the roar of the chopper circling forces me to speak up. The edges of my dad’s face flicker and blur. I wipe my face and my hand comes away wet with blood. Taryn and I need to talk about these damned mind powers.

“Where did he come from?”

“The hospital downtown.”

“You ever pay attention to the world around you, Ash?”

“Sometimes.” Not really. I’m usually busy with my own problems, like most people I know. My world got a lot bigger in the last week though.

“Sometimes. So, no.” Dad spits his toothpick into the street and checks over the trunk of the car. “I can explain it on the way, but that hospital has more going on than you think. Are the keys in the car?” I put my hand on the door again. Dad disappears from view. I watch Johnson get out of the car and pocket his keys. I pull my hand free, and Dad pops back into the world.

“He’s got them in his pocket.” Dad shakes his head. “Can you hotwire it?”

“This isn’t the movies, kid. We need special equipment for that unless you’ve got something in that bracelet of yours that will override the key-chip reader.” I’m not too familiar with car security, and I don’t think I have any powers like that right now.

“So we find a car with keys then.” I poke my head up. The SWAT team has fanned out across the storefronts, covering all the entrances. I’d have to guess that they have another team covering the rear exits of the stores. I’d also have to guess that the retail drones in those places are freaking out right about now. The only cars I see are the two sedans, a handful in the parking lot, and the SWAT van. “Hey Dad, would that van still be running?” I can’t hear it over the sound of the helicopter.

“Probably. The driver’s still in it.”

I’ve got this feeling of non-specific dread. I feel like something worse is going to happen to me, and I’m worried that I can’t take it. I’m braced for the worst. I’ve done my best to get ready for the thousand nightmares my brain can concoct. There’s nothing to do but wait for the storm. I hate this feeling.

Now for good news. Writing is coming easier again. Maybe it’s because I’m playing D&D again. I’m spending more time imagining a world I feel like I have the power to change. Or not. Hell, I don’t know.


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