Lab Rat part 78

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Fiction, Test Subject

The driver tracks my movements with his eyes. The pupils are dilated though. The crack must have been his head; looks like he’s got a concussion. I fish around in his pants pockets with one hand and pull out a set of keys. I keep searching him. With my luck, the guy has two sets and I just found his house keys. After rifling through what feels like a hundred pockets, I don’t turn up any other keys. I’m reminded of a night about a week ago in an alley. Some dude basically did to me what I’m doing to this guy. I laugh inside my mask and the lenses fog. Good thing I’m not trying to steal his watch. If I knew anything about the rest of his equipment, I’d try to signal for medical attention. As it is, his buddies will find him soon enough. Right now, I need to attend to my own friends.

I crawl in through the open back of the van. It’s got benches and straps lining the walls. Some of those straps still hold equipment. I’m sure some of it will be useful later, but I’ll let Dad and Jennifer decide on that. My boots ring against the diamond patterned metal as I scramble toward the driver’s seat. The smoke has filled the van, but I don’t expect it’ll be too much of a problem. Every door is open. I pull myself into the driver’s seat. My handgun digs into my lower back, but I ignore it. I flip through keys until I find one with teeth on both sides, and try it in the ignition. It turns and the engine roars to life. My last car wouldn’t roar if you lit it on fire. I jam the brake and clutch pedals to the floor. I release the parking brake lever, and slam the shift knob into first. I hit the gas and let up on the clutch. It’s been a long time since I drove a manual shift. If we’re not counting the cruiser I stole last week, it’s been a long time since I drove anything. Tires chirp and the van lurches forward. My head slams into the headrest, and I have to push against the steering wheel to avoid being bounced out of the seat.

As I emerge from the cloud, I see Dad and Jennifer still crouched behind Johnson’s cruiser. Both are popping up to fire upon the cars and planters dotting the parking lot. Johnson and his SWAT team are pinned down and using the stuff for cover. The insurance claims on those cars are going to be fun to read. As I creep forward, I watch Jennifer dump an empty clip. Almost simultaneously, Dad yanks a fresh clip off of his prisoner and slides it to Jennifer. She slaps it into place so fast that it may has well have jumped straight from the street to the gun. She fires a few bursts off while Dad reloads his huge pistol. Which hospital did Jennifer do her internship at that she can shoot like that? Man, if I hadn’t gotten the van, I’d be feeling pretty impotent right now. I slow to a stop by Dad and slide my mask up. It stinks in here, but I don’t burst into fits of coughing. “Hey little girl, you want some candy?” The look he gives me is one that used to freeze my blood in my veins. He climbs up into the passenger seat and heads toward the back.


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