Darkness Reigns: 01.1 Disposable
I had a lot of options left for the night, it was only half an hour past midnight so all the bars and clubs would still be lively, the streets as well were no doubt filled with drunken revelry, especially in the Bass district where I’d bought an apartment recently, listed under a pseudonym I used when I didn’t want the military to know what I was up to. They frowned against us Specials owning property of our own, but I couldn’t stand living in the compound full time.
The road leading out of the desert was, not ironically, deserted. I let the car drive under guidance control while I started fiddling with the operations menu using a key I’d gotten from a tech friend of mine. It was an older car, so after only a few minutes I’d managed to hack into the driving controls and switch it from assisted autopilot to manual control; as soon as I did Jane the computer appeared on my dash looking very stern and transparent.
“Warning: You are attempting to override this vehicles safe mode. Use of manual control on public highways is unauthorized and poses a safety risk to-“
“Later CJ.” I said with a grin as I disabled her program. The console flickered red as it attempted to alert the authorities, but the key was already taking care of that problem as well.
The car began to slow since the AA was turned off. I took control of the wheel and pressed my foot to the gas, accelerating until the desert landscape was flying past me in a blur. Cars couldn’t faster than five miles above or below the listed speed limit for that road with safe mode on, with it turned off I was flying down the highway at a hundred and sixty easy, drifting the curves, and weaving between the lanes just for the hell of it. I rolled down the windows and let the night air blow around me, because you couldn’t really feel the speed until it was screaming in your ears and trying to rip the hair from your head.
A popular saying in the Bass district is “It’s all fun and games until the cops show up” but honestly, that's really where the fun begins for me. The key I used on the car must not have been as high tech as my friend had told me it was, something I would go and have a talk with him about, because I was suddenly seeing red and blue light flashing ahead of me getting very close, very fast. A new face flickered to life on my dash, tinted red which meant I was in trouble with the local authorities.
“Slow down your vehicle and pull over.” The head of the police sergeant said loudly, his voice booming from all of the speakers in the car. I sighed, pressing some buttons to see if I could turn him off, or at least put him on mute. When that didn’t work I decided a game of chicken was in order. He was still coming my way, getting closer every second. I pressed the accelerator until it was touching the floor and kept in a straight line on the wrong side of the road, aiming for him. “By the order of the Las Vegas police department; PULL OVER.”
“Yeah… I’m not feeling that.”
Closer, closer; I was seconds away from impact, the adrenaline was pumping through me and I licked my lips in anticipation. The dash board flickered with black and yellow stripes and a red warning band as the vehicle’s computer sensed that a crash was imminent. I began to count backwards in my head; five, four, three, two-
Red and blue lights flew past me. Through the rear view camera I saw him slow and drift into a U-turn, sending up a cloud of dust as he hit the gas. I laughed as I turned my attention back to the road, the merge onto the highway just up ahead. I flew up it, catching a bit of air with the sudden ascent, my tires squealing as I narrowly avoided hitting another car. Traffic here was sparse, though still present, and more than one horn was blared as I raced past. The lines on the road meant nothing to me as I weaved in and out of lanes and between other vehicles, the cop car not far behind and quickly gaining speed.
They were trying to remotely access the console; I could tell by the way the screen kept blacking out. Since I had already established that the key was no good it was only a matter of time before the L.V. authorities got in and ended my joy ride. That only left me with one option. I fished around in my pocket for my Spec. Ops license, accidentally taking a bit off the side of someone’s van while distracted and slid it into the card reader then removed the key, allowing the police to access the console. I watched as the screen blinked, then turned blue. The flashing lights behind me were suddenly turned off.
That problem was solved, but I knew I wasn’t out of the woods yet. Seconds later my ear started buzzing with an incoming call and I knew it was Michael. My transmitter was set to block everything else. With a smile and a sigh I pressed my finger to the subdermal implant behind my ear and was rewarded with his low, soothing voice speaking my name.
“Lace, Jollel would like to know why you were leading the local authorities on a high speed car chase.” Of course she would, Jollel went to great lengths to keep me under her thumb. I decided that I didn't want to give her, or Michael the answer to that question though, choosing instead to entertain myself a little at his expense.
“Have you ever considered going into the phone sex business Michael?”
“The subject at hand please Lace, who is Carlyle J Barker?”
“Really though, I'm thinking you'd make a lot of money. It's so low and masculine-”
“Mmmmm that's it.” I replied, making a point to purr the words as I spoke them. “Say my name name again, I think I'm starting to get off on it.”
“Carlyle Barker, where is he?” His voice had a slight edge to it. I was starting to get to him and it brought a slight smile to my face as I pictured the look that must have been on his.
“The man who's car you are driving.”
“What car?” It was becoming difficult to keep the laughter out of my voice. I heard him take a deep breath and let it back out slowly before he responded.
“Lace, where is- “
“Ohhh yeah, just like that Michael, only growl a little when you say it again.”
“- Mr. Baker.” He was refusing to play the game with me and there was a determination in his tone that let me know he wasn't going to stop until I gave him the answers he wanted. Such a killjoy.
“Oh look at the time, I'd love to stay and chat but...” I dragged out the last word, then double tapped my implant to end the call and slowed the car to a stop on the side of the road. It wouldn't be long before they sent someone out to fetch me and bring me back to the compound, but they would have a hard time finding me without the car broadcasting my location via GPS signal.
Within minutes of walking along the highway I was picked up by a young man who'd made it a point to decorate his body with as much ink and silver body jewelry as his skin would stand. I learned that his name was Tommy and that since he'd just broken up with his girlfriend he was expecting sex as payment for the ride, though when I gave him a less than amused look he quickly added that he was joking. I considered fucking him or killing him, but by the time we got to the Bass district I'd discovered that, despite his appearance, he was incredibly boring and not really worth the effort.