Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Lights, Vehicle, Action, Part 2"

The police chopper overhead has onboard news cameras. They share fuel and maintenance expenses and the footage from the cameras goes out with a 3 second delay to anyone who subscribes to The Chase Channel at home, online, or via mobile. The broadcasts are monitored by two police tech teams ready to cut the feeds at any moment in case something questionable starts to go down. The regular battery is draining as it assists the engine with the small caps kicking in at computer derived optimum timing. At this rate, I'll be buggered in minutes.

The turbos spool up to a demonic whine for that beautiful unleashing of horsepower and torque. Electric assist has me up to 120 and 140 and climbing, but I'm forced to slow down as I almost clip a minivan that hadn't received its GTFO alert. Fantastic, I'm even outrunning the freeway police notification system.

A distant speck in the rearview feed slowly grows into a sleek black Camaro, a Pursuit Special. It's firing off its negative strobes as it catches up behind me. I squeeze my eyes shut and make a blind stab to opaque the rear plasti-glass and disable the cameras before I puke or become completely disoriented and crash.

Now I can't see any of what they're doing. Pucking Ferpect-o.

I juke right, because now that the traffic's been cleared by the freeway monitors, I have some room to play.


I hear a sickening crunch from the rear of the car. Shit! I've been 'pooned! Ever see the old trashy car movie 2Fast2Furious? Yeah, the harpoon lets police transmit a burst of electricity to fry a vehicle's electrical system. Looks like I'm at the end of my run.



The dash displays flickering psychedelic colors at me, the interior LEDs all sizzle and fry. But somehow I'm still running! Maybe they somehow hit the charging line, or the solar clear coat channeled the charge to the system! I'm still running, and-- the capacitors are showing some charge now, like they had an hours' snack time on my mega-high-voltage home charging system.

Brilliant! Plus I know those high-speed pursuit specials can only pack ONE charge; I did an article on them.

I need an idea of what's going on, so I stab the clear button, but the back window only clears enough for me to make out vague shapes behind me as I'm thrown forward hard into my harness. My tires screech and I start swerving back and forth, fighting for control! The prick still has me hooked, and he is panic braking behind me trying to slow me down or wreck me! I thumb the pad again and pray the transfer works. I slow down a lot as the engine takes all the strain of trying to keep me moving forward. I keep moving but the straps are cutting into me each time that prick stands on the stop pedal. Large Caps are ready for one more go, and I have one last idea.

Surging from his panic stops, once, and then twice, and-- NOW! Large Caps cut in right on cue with what seems like all the torque in the world, just after his last panic stop attempt broke his traction. My tires bite as resistors modulate the immense voltage being dumped to the faithful motors. I swerve right and left, and left and right and whip him into a wide arc behind me, and...

He catches the water barrels broadside at the Los Angeles Street Exit, exploding them spectacularly and surely caving in the entire passenger side of his million-dollar plus high-speed pursuit vehicle.

Oh, I'm going to catch a hell of a beating for that.

The harpoon unit pulled out of its mounting and is skipping down the lanes behind me, throwing sparks. I can see it in the side-view dumb mirror, thankful for the design redundancy this time.

The party ends shortly. I can see the blockade just around the bend, and a half-dozen more Interceptor units have joined the chase behind me. Time for one final, tasteless "fuck you."

I cue up Bad Religion and put it on repeat.

Slamming on the brakes and tapping the auto down button for the windows, I skid to a halt sideways in front of the row of police cars and commandeered heavy equipment blocking the freeway. The Interceptors screech to a halt behind me, blocking off the way I'd come.

I double tap for "Max Volume."

I reach down and turn the car off slowly, removing the keys, and very carefully hold them up in a non-threatening manner. I drop the keys past my legs onto the floor. Then I place my wrists on the wheel, palms on the dash and close my eyes.

"Los Angeles is Burning" plays at full volume until I'm yanked from the car and a pissed off officer puts three bullets into the entertainment stack.

I'm sure they've cut the news feed by now, I thought, as the first blows began to land.


"The Senator will see you now." she said as she pertly swiveled around, accentuating the turn with a swish of her hips, and led me into the man's office.

"There's no need to waste those hips on me, sugar." I whispered as I walked past her, further into the room and she followed to stand by his desk in case he needed anything.

"SENATOR!" I bellowed, "How's your favorite Son-In-Law?.... I'm great! Thanks for asking!" I said jovially as his scowl deepened.

"You may go, Vanessa. We will not be require refreshments, and please be certain to interrupt us with anything that comes up, no matter how trivial it might seem."

She strutted all the way back though the door giving her rear an extra waggle before closing the door behind her.

"New secretary," he stated.

"You say that like she's a new car you just can't wait to show off," I said.

"Well, brunettes are in this season, you know," he quipped nonchalantly. "Enough small talk,"

He tried to stare me down, but this was old-hat. I rolled my eyes.

"Fine. I want you to make me a Convict."

He raised his eyebrow at me, and I continued.

"You have the connections and the clout to make this happen. To get me placed in a Conscript unit."


"Because we can't afford yet another war. North Korea, China, The Russian Civil War, AND the War for Public Opinion? No one disputes the L.A. attack started this chain of events, but I'm as much a student of history as you are. The longer a conflict continues, the more organized and supported the opposition to it grows."

"Why not just enlist?" he said gruffly. "Or approach one of the Branches to become an embedded reporter?"

"I've never much liked the taste of bullshit, Sir," I said sarcastically, "Embedding is a joke, has been since the first Gulf Conflict. If I wanted to report merely the stories I was told to the way I was ordered, I would be working for FAIR News. I want the truth, the real story of the war, and the mechos are that story. Ones that haven't been pre-screened or notified of my press affiliation. Some of the mechos may be coming back alive, and they deserve a chance at real reintegration, that is, if the Government holds up their end of the bargain."

"And you want to be the one to tell their stories, eh?"

"You thought it was presumptuous of me to ask for your daughter's hand at the time as well. No, I don't want simple stories, I want to make a difference, to do something that matters."

"You still have fire, boy. I'll do it, and with no conditions."

"What? No catches even?"

"Only the one catch, boy, and that's Catch-22. You came to me without my daughter accompanying you. Which means she doesn't know squat about this cockamamie plan of yours, nor would she approve. You set this in motion, without asking your wife's permission, and THAT damned-fool decision may cost you your marriage, even if you don't manage to come back dead."


"I believe the words you are looking for are 'Oh,' and 'Shit.'"


"Honey, you feel the same way I do about the Conscription Act! Why would you object to my doing something that has a chance of changing it!?"

She looked me in the eyes, then looked away. I could barely make out what she said next.

"You can't ask me to give you up. I won't even be able to reach you." She raised her voice, "I won't know if you're dead or alive."

"Hon', I'll have a cell phone with spare power cells to last six months. It's data only, with a voice to text program. It won't accept texts, but I will be able to email! I will be in contact, but there's no way of knowing how often.

She crossed her arms, clearly not accepting any of my proffered arguments.

"Think of all the innocent people who may have been sent over to fight against their will. How hard must that be on their families? Hell, you could almost argue that Judges are giving more severe sentences just to provide the Army more conscripted soldiers! Our courts weren't quite a shining beacon of integrity and justice before the Act."

"If you go," she said, arms dropping to her sides, "how soon will it be?" she whispered.

"I don't know," I said, taking a step forward, and another, wrapping her in my arms, "but I can promise you this: I will hold you in my arms this tightly every night before I go, and every night I can after I come home." [END]


© 2010 Nicholas Cincinat (@SexCPotatoes)

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