Lab Rat part 81

Posted: April 27, 2011 in Fiction, Test Subject

“Here’s the map.” He hands me the phone. I set it on the dash. I roll my eyes. I was supposed to turn left at the last intersection, apparently. “Try not to kill us,” he tells me.

“Thanks for the vote of confidence.” Dad sighs.

“Look.” He’s quiet for the space of a breath. Police sirens and helicopter rotors keep it from being truly quiet. “You did a pretty good job getting the van.” I watch the mirror for a half second as he turns and heads for the back of the van. That’s about as close to a compliment as he’s ever come. It’s neither the time nor the place to press it though. I wouldn’t want him to strain himself. I glance down at the phone. My location and the ideal route aren’t exactly lined up. I check the mirrors. The two sedans and three patrol cars are on us. They’re keeping their distance for now though. Near as I can tell, that means one of two things. Either Jennifer’s guns are keeping them at bay, or they’re trying to herd me into a trap. Most likely, it’s both. No problem. I needed to turn anyway.

I downshift and brake as I approach the next intersection. The bursts of gunfire coming from the back are nearly deafening. I’m a little worried that we might be hitting innocent bystanders. I try to put it out of my mind. Jennifer is apparently a crack shot, anyway. The street signs give me more bad news. I’m about to hang a left down the wrong way on a one way street. I clench my jaw. I’m going to do it anyway. I risk a glance back. Dad’s loading a rifle, and Jennifer is lying prone and taking shots at the helicopter. Good. Better if they don’t see this right away. I crank the wheel. The van rocks, but I keep all the wheels on the ground this time. I’m immediately greeted by a wall of oncoming cars and trucks. I steer onto the center of the lane marker and straighten out.

I watch people in either lane swerve onto the sidewalk. I hold the wheel straight. There’s no way I’d be agile enough to swerve in and out of all the oncoming cars in this thing, even if I were a better driver. Fortunately, no one else wants to play this particular game of chicken with me. “Are we going the wrong way on a one way?” Dad yells.

“Of course not! That’d be crazy!” I yell back. I suck in a breath. I didn’t realize I wasn’t breathing. I can’t hear him grumbling, and it’s just as well. Down the street, I can see red and blue flickering. This is going to get ugly. I check my phone. It’s recalculating our route. I continue to bluff cars out of my way. Patrol cars are stopping in the next intersection. They’re staggered so that I can’t blow between them like the first pair. I missed my last turn, so I figure I’ll try to get back on the right track the old fashioned way. The one blessing is that the sudden roadblock has dissipated the oncoming traffic. I cut the wheel hard right, mounting the sidewalk and clipping a light pole. The high clearance of my vehicle decimates the awning of the building on the corner. The wide steel bumper decimates the rear quarter panel of the police car on my left. The steady sound of gunfire from the back leaves the cacophony surprisingly muted.

I downshift and hit the gas again. My phone finally loads a map. It doesn’t seem like too far on the tiny screen. We’d be there soon, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be fighting the whole way. I shift up again. Dad yells, “The chopper’s backed off, but keep an eye out!” I lean forward and look up. Nothing. I check my mirrors. The cruisers behind me are maneuvering to give chase. No problem. I quickly catch up with the traffic ahead of me. I swerve into the center lane and cut through it. Some poor soul decides she needs to turn left. I bounce her sports car out of the way like a tennis ball. The sparkling blue wreckage skates back into the through lanes. I glance over as we pass. The airbags are deployed.

Okay. I’m getting this train back on track. I drank too much this weekend, and spent a lot of time away from the keyboard. It’s possible that I needed it.

I know that I’ve been in need of a lot of help in the last couple of months. Now, I have friends that need help. Hopefully they’ll let me do for them what they’ve done for me.

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