Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Even over the engine’s whine, I heard the Baron's guns chatter at me.

Even over the engine’s whine, I heard the Baron's guns chatter at me. Thankfully, he wasn't the only one with armor.

The frame around me shuddered as rounds pinged off of the steel keeping death at bay. I took evasive action. The high caliber rounds would eventually go from making dents to making holes if I let them. Keeping one hand on the wheel, I slapped a round button on the dashboard. The thunk of something releasing under me let me know the caltrops were deployed. Now a river of metal spike filled the asphalt, waiting to chew on the Baron's tires.

The rearview showed me they had the desired effect. The other driver slowed and took his own pains to avoid the hazard.

I poured on the speed, knowing they wouldn't stop him. Any driver worth their salt would have heavy duty tires. That trick was more for stopping any neophytes to the road and the death it held. When I checked again I had doubled my lead. The breathing room gave me time to think. If he wanted me dead, he'd have pulled out the big guns, or in this case rockets. No, those shots were meant to stop me, not kill me.

The medicine I carried was intended for the president. If they stopped me or even slowed me down, he would die. There had to be more. If they managed to make me pull over or run me off the road, they would be able to steal it. There was a market for what I carried, even it if was only to blackmail the most powerful man in the country.

I had weapons, to be sure, but there was nothing on board big enough to get through the thick hull behind me. No, there was only one way. I just had to outrun him until he ran out of gas. A tank like that would drink fuel like a crazy. I grabbed the microphone on my dash and rolled over to the frequency used for duels like this. "So, Baron, it's a game of catch me if you can."

Static hissed from the speakers on either side of me. "Well, Tristan, don't you worry your little noggin about that. I don't have to catch you. I just have to keep you running."

I slapped my steering wheel and kept up the weaving. He wasn't shooting at me any more. No need to waste the ammunition. If I dropped back he'd start up again. If what he'd just hinted at was true, there were forces up ahead waiting to do me in. He warned me because he wanted me to sweat. "Maybe we can work something out?"

A low chuckle cut through the his. "Sure. You give up what you're carrying. Pull over to the side of the road, and we'll just trade the posies I have for you for that box you have for the president." The Baron did enjoy his game of cat and mouse, but he was every bit as subtle as the things he drove.

"Afraid I can't do that. I'm a man of my word." Sweat trickled down my face from my hairline. Fingerlings of moisture ran down to the small of my back. I had to come up with a plan and soon. I didn't need my Auto-Map to tell me I was maybe four kilometers from the next on ramp. That would be where the other gunsels would wait. That only gave me a minute to come up with a plan.

Art Source: Bombshell Betty on The Awesomer
Story and Characters (c)/by Scott Roche

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


Post a Comment