Lab Rat part 84

Posted: May 2, 2011 in Fiction, Test Subject

“I am never riding with you again.” Dad’s right next to me. “Even if we all survived and you and your girlfriend -.”

“She’s not my girlfriend.”

“Whatever. Even if there was some magic way to live happily ever after, I will never set foot in a car with you again.”

“Hey Dad.”


“Know what I care about more than you riding in a car with me?”


“Finding out where that damn helicopter went.” I take another left a little too fast. Dad is hanging on to the ceiling, and I lean hard into the turn. The engine roars again as I mash the gas pedal down.

“You’re full of shit, you know.”

“We got blindsided by a car already. And I got ambushed by choppers last week. I want to live in a world where that doesn’t happen again.” Another left. The gps says I’m back on track. I lean forward and peer skyward. I can’t hear anything but the sirens and the whistle and growl of the diesel.

“I mean about the girl.” He spits out a toothpick. “No paycheck is worth what you dragged me into.”

“Look. Sorry. I’ll just drop you off at the next corner. You can tell them I mind controlled you.”

“Like they’d believe that.”

“Oh, I think Johnson would.” I check the mirror. We’re gathering a tail of patrol cars again. Only a matter of time before I find another roadblock. In the mirror, I watch as some of the cars block off the last intersection we passed. I’m not sure of the value of that, but I guess I have done a fair bit of back-tracking. I look forward again. Oh. There’s the helicopter. It’s a menacing black egg hovering in the intersection. I’m suddenly feeling pretty vulnerable. It’s ridiculous. I mean, last time the only thing between me and all those bullets was Taryn. That gives me an idea. “Hey Dad, I need you to drive for a second.”

“What do you have in mind?”

“I’m gonna find something to throw in the rotors.”

“You know we have guns, now.” Oh. Right.

“Okay, then I’ll keep the wheel and you and Jennifer shoot down the bird.” The mechanism doesn’t matter, so long as we don’t get shot with a rocket. I tried that once. If I can would like to pass on a second performance. Dad moves to the back for a second and then comes back to the front with a rifle. He grins at me and winks. “You sure do bitch a lot for a guy who’s having fun.”

“I’m a realist. And, yeah I’m having fun.” He rolls down the window. The thundering of the rotors creeps into the repetitive song of the police sirens. “Trust me, kid. You’ll never make it at a desk job after you’ve had a couple of days like this.” He angles the gun out the window and leans out. I wish for earplugs. Dad starts firing short bursts at the chopper. It suddenly occurs to me that it hadn’t shot yet. Johnson wanted me alive. I might be valuable enough to make a helicopter expendable for him, but I don’t think the chopper pilot will feel the same way. I sigh silently.

Julian’s starting to walk. It’s funny because he can’t look up while he’s standing. He falls on his butt every time.


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