1:45 PM Nekomi Prefecture Standard Time|
Sunday, May 1, 2411
142 Sakura Avenue
Geoff Depew was polishing his new car's fender when the Chief walked in and regarded the car.
"Geoff," Gryphon said, "I know I don't pay you enough to buy something like that, even something like tenth-hand." He gestured at the sleek car.
"It's not an original," Geoff protested mildly. "They sell them as kits now."
Gryphon walked around it, a look of admiration on his face. It was a low-slung car, mostly black with silver fenders, what looked like an air intake in the front, and a massive (for the size) fusion turbine visible through the rear window.
"A kit car version of a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport? I'm surprised. I'd figure it would be too easy to screw up."
At that, Geoff opened the hood and removed a book, which he tossed to Gryphon. "You have to sign that before they'll deliver it to you." The book - well, tome, really, Gryphon thought - was made of disclaimers, waivers and renouncements of rights to sue if you ended up injured, maimed, heavily borged, or dead as the result of screwing up anything with the kit. He laughed, tossing it back, and Geoff replaced it in the cargo bin (which, Gryphon noted, held an emergency kit for the car, an IPO emergency kit, a three-pack of Gatorade boxes and a box of chewy granola bars).
As Gryphon admired it, he suddenly paused. Geoff raised an eyebrow, then opened the driver's door and started to get in.
"Geoff!" Gryphon said, "Bank robbery over at the Ultrabank branch on Third and Fukunaga! They have hostages."
"Get in, I'll drive!" Even as he said this he was getting into the driver's seat, hitting the button to latch the autoharness.
Gryphon slid into the passenger seat, the door closing as the car left the garage with a tremendous roar.
"Just for amusement's sake, other than you got there first and it's your car, why shouldn't I drive?" The Chief asked as the car rounded a corner, deploying emergency-services lights and siren at 80 MPH.
"You're not on the security system's approved list, and I feel that it's bad form to call Luornu and tell her you won't be back until after dinner due to the stunner effect."
Gryphon nodded, sagely. "Good answer." Then he said, smiling a bit, "I could break the security system pretty easily. I've been around the block a few times."
Geoff nodded back, concentrating on the road. "Time we don't really have."
Gryphon chuckled, then frowned. "Dammit! They got away, and they have a hostage. They're on the Tomodachi Freeway now, heading east."/* Blood Red Shoes
"It's Getting Boring By The Sea"
Blood Red Shoes (2008)*/
Geoff power-slid around, leaving a cloud of smoke, making it onto the eastbound lane (which they were about to pass when he did that) with mere centimeters to spare, and put the hammer down. The getaway car was two klicks ahead and just as much of a supercharged roadster as the kit Veyron. As they got closer, it was actually a blocky minivan, engine screaming and windows black as sin.
"The car's got EMP shielding and polarized windows," Gryphon reported from his Lens. "Too dangerous for a sniper to take them out since we can't see into it. Any ideas?"
"Yes. You're going to use your superhuman perceptions and your sword to cut the roof off."
Gryphon laughed out loud. "That's crazy! Brilliant! Can you drive it?"
Geoff gave a big grin. "Top honors in getaway driving classes!" And with that, he put his left foot on the brake, leaving the right on the gas, and reached down to press his thumb against a scanner on the right side of his seat. The console beeped, then tweedled, and the car seemed to lower just a little. On the digital display that usually showed the satnav, the radio information, and other secondary information, instead four words appeared:Top Speed Mode Engaged.
Gryphon drew his katana, closed his eyes, and focused himself with a pair of deep breaths. The window rolled down.
Geoff's hands tightened on the wheel, and then suddenly he brought the Veyron up close to one side of the tricked-out van. Gryphon used his skills (and the strength of his body and mind) to carve just under the top roof of the van, a horrific screech of forged metal on modern plastics and alloys, the modern losing the match.
Then came the hard part, as Geoff slid the car sideways in front of the van, keeping it going just fast enough to slide around and leaving enough room for Gryphon to reach and cut across the front windscreen, severing the A-pillars in the process. Once that was done, the other side was easy enough, and pure aerodynamics alone took the roof clean off. Geoff spun the car again to bring it going eastbound, and then took after it as Gryphon pulled himself back into the car while disengaging Top Speed Mode.
"PA mike on the right side of the glovebox," the former assassin said cheerfully, bringing the car up next to the decapitated van. It was slowing down, the rear window gone with the roof, and there was an small struggle going on. In fact, it was resolved as one of the bank robbers went flying backwards and out of the van. Geoff deftly avoided running him over, and as they caught up, Gryphon chuckled.
"Oh wow," the First Lensman said, shaking his head. "If I'd only known."
The van slowed to a stop, and the two thieves scrambled out to lie on the ground. Geoff pulled up, drawing one of his pistols, and got a look from the Chief.
"Force of habit," he said, shrugging.
"Well, you won't need it. I think they're intimidated enough."
The two men - come to think of it, the third lying unconscious and probably badly injured a half-mile back - were dressed in black jumpsuits emblazoned on the back with some kind of bug symbol. As Geoff and Gryphon approached, the auburn-haired young woman the men in black had kidnapped stepped out of what remained of the van, removing the oversized goggles she had over her eyes. Emblazoned across the front of her black t-shirt was the stylized white icon of a spider.
"I had it under control, Chief," she cheerfully groused.
"Yeah, but I didn't know that until AFTER cutting the roof off. You might've let me know... "
"I didn't know you were on Tomodachi until then. Geez." She shook her head then looked at Geoff. "Nice driving. Anya Corazon, and you are?"
"Oh, cool. Nice to meet you. Anyway, these Wasp jackasses thought they'd get me in the bank, make it look like something simple. Hate these guys." She sighed. "Bunch'a posers."
"Okay then," Geoff said, as members of the police arrived. "If you'll excuse me, I think I need to go take my car for repairs." He sighed dramatically. "To paraphase a great man, my tires are slicks now."
"Ah," Gryphon said, "we'll ship it to HQ, get the SA1 treatment put on it. And replace the tires."
"That's good," Geoff said, then chuckled. "It is a very nice car, isn't it?"
Anya burst suddenly into a fit of giggles, leaning against the ruined van to hold herself up. As the two men watched, she recovered her composure long enough to squeak out,
"Drove circles around this thing!"
Geoff facepalmed, Gryphon shook his head, and the three of them headed off for a late lunch.
"Getaway Cutaway," a Future Imperfect mini-story by Geoff Depew
special to the Eyrie Productions Discussion Forum
© 2011 Eyrie Productions, Unlimited
"So anyway," Gryphon said to Anya as he dredged a mozzarella stick through some marinara, "what's got you on Tomodachi?"
Anya finished chowing down on some garlic bread and took a drink. "OK, funny story. I got an email two days ago telling me that I won a contest with a shopping spree here on Tomodachi. Didn't cover food, I was hungry, went to the nearest bank branch, ATM inside, bam the Wasps hit me under cover of robbery. Figured I'd see where we were going before calling for help."
Geoff's eyes briefly bugged out as he munched on some calimari. "Dat's-a spicy!" he said, then took a drink himself. "Sorry we interrupted you."
"Eh, no big deal," she said with a dismissive handwave, "it happens. Besides, this way lunch is on the company."
Gryphon rolled his eyes and released a put-upon sign as the pasta was delivered. "A person would think I didn't pay my agents the way you people are always angling for free food."
Geoff Depew - Darth Mephron
Haberdasher to Androids, Dark Lord of Sith Tech Support.
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