Thursday, May 26, 2016

Drive To Live

The road spilled out before me. The interstate grid system made sure you were never out of options when it came to at least four lanes of smooth, black trail. There was a time when no roads went coast to coast. They'd actually talked about using rails and steam trains to carry everything from cattle to vegetables. Can you imagine not being able to change lanes or suddenly decide you needed to go south? I can't. But then I make my living by being fast and flexible.

I don't haul freight, but what I do carry is just as important to the people who hire me. US Parallel 35 carried me through New Mexico and the juice from the grid beneath the roads kept my Daimler-Tesla power plant humming. Everything was going the way it should, when the early warning system told me someone was coming up on my rear.

It wasn't against the law, not exactly, but everyone was supposed to maintain at least a fifty meters of space between their fellow motorists on the interstate system. It was more courtesy than anything else. I signaled to switch lanes and in the process, pulled the switch to bring the big turbine engine online. It wasn't needed on the main roads, but it would let me go a bit faster than my D-T alone.

My angled rear view told me this individual meant business. The slick black sedan was built more like a tank than my low slung coupe. Chrome pipes jutted up and back over the rear wheels and were already spitting smoke. They were running on petrol, not electricity. That would take away my advantage. Six wheels, mostly covered by fairings, gripped the road. When side panels dropped away and cylindrical guns slid out, I remembered where I'd seen it before, or at least its predecessor. It belonged to the Black Baron.

I dropped into the highest gear I had and dumped all of the turbine power into the drive train. While my engine screamed and the body lowered, I took a split second to pulled down an extra set of restraints and clip them into place. The fifty meters I'd put between myself and the Baron in the intervening half second might save my life. More important, it might save President Wallace. If I didn't get the contents of the box to Parkland Memorial in Dallas, then he wouldn't live to see a third term.

Art Source: RM 309 #3 by 600v on DeviantArt
Story and Characters (c)/by Scott Roche

#action, #RetroFuturism, #ScottRoche, #AltHistory, #Cars, #AltHistory, #1950s,


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