“They always run!  Why?” Yelled the uniformed, young woman.  The car she was riding in had flipped up on its side.  This forced her to grip the roof handle and brace her body against the seat.

Straining against the G-force, the uniformed driver grunted out, “Nature. Nurture,” as their vehicle hurtled forward sideways.

“Nature.  Nurture?” she gasped looking sideways from her perch at the Officer driving the phony police car in which she rode.

Grimacing with his effort to level out the car, he uttered, “Yeah.  Born that way.  Or, learned it.”

“Oh.” The woman squeaked, as the car abruptly leveled out and continued its forward momentum.  She felt jostled by the car’s dance in the air and helpless from watching the color-changing car elude them.  Initially successful at outrunning them, the thief had initiated the car’s automated color change function to avoid identification in the streaming river of airborne cars.  Still, the car accelerated every direction possible to swerve through small breaks in the fast-moving traffic.  Due to his clumsy sideswiping of several vehicles, the stolen car left a debris trail easy to trace.

“The retrieval command isn’t working to drag the car to us.  He must’ve disabled the self-drive before he ran over the owner,” the Officer stated.  Engaging the counterfeit patrol car’s chase function, he hoped to remotely control nearby traffic for safe passage along their wild pursuit.  The carjacker had gained a significant lead when commuters outside the range of the remote signal ignored the sirens and flashing lights to keep moving.

“Look!  He landed.” She pointed at the vehicle that had suddenly stopped mid-air and dropped to crash onto the floor of the freeway.  A desperate looking man jumped out of the car.  He sprinted towards the median barrier-net that completely separated the two directions of traffic flowing through the deep, freeway corridor.  He could climb through the net to reach an emergency exit.

Accelerating the phony patrol car, the Officer hoped to block the suspect from reaching the bottom of the barrier-net.  But, the man jumped on top of the concrete median and ducked through the net space.  As he held onto the net, he grinned at the Officer before turning to jump to the ground.  Instead of disappearing from sight, the officers saw his stunned face, as his body was tossed up about fifteen feet in the air behind the vehicle that had just hit him.  His body descended down to slam onto the hood of the now-stopped vehicle.  His pursuers noticed the woman driver’s head snap around from nagging her kids who continued to fight in the back seat.  Perplexed, she stared at the bloodied man lodged on the front of her vehicle.

Pressing his ear’s communication implant, the Officer spoke to a co-worker in another part of the city, “Hello, Chuck.  You locked in on my location?  Yeah.  We may have a live one, though not for long.  Just wanted to give you a head start.  See ya soon.”  He slowed the patrol car to a safe speed, then hovered at a safe elevation adjacent to the median strip.

“Do they all die, too?” said the Officer’s still tense female passenger.

Page one excerpt from Road Noise Short Stories To Thrill and Chill  2016 © Belinda A. Allen

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