“May Allah or whatever God you believe in direct you.” Sharm el Sketch said with much reverence seeing Martin and Hendrix to the door.
“Thanks, but I’m not sure I can live up to that, I’m just doing what feels right.”
“And that my friend is how you know it is the path of the divine.” They met eyes in a moment of perfect understanding.
Hendrix gave Sharm a jive handshake and a warm embrace before they left.
Back to the illuminated womb of the Street Phantom.
“So let’s do this, whats next?” Martin said configuring the Cheko 5.
“Just waiting on word from Pike he’s going to clear us a path, we have been sticky with drones since we left the building.”
“What the fuck? They will have tracked our every move!”
“Ayyy turn up the tranquilisimo Mon, relax, we got this. Once Pike says we are good to go they wont have shit on us.”
“Cheko, voice prompts.”
“Voice prompts enabled. Read the following text.” The Cheko 5 projected a screen from its stubby grey body.
“If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one.” Martin intoned, the hairs on his neck prickling as he read aloud.
“User 1 print locked. Thank you for becoming the proud owner of the Cheko model 5 and choosing the Cheko family to protect yours.”
Hendrix raised an eyebrow.
“Set smart targeting to non-lethal mode.”
“Hey are you sure you want to do that mon, Loyalty Teams do not mess around.”
“I don’t want to be using this, I’d rather leave it sitting on a shelf, they are just people doing their jobs.”
“Tcha where have I heard that one before. Wait. Shit, they are making a move.” Hendrix narrowed his eyes and hit the ignition, the Street Phantom’s electric drive train whirred into motion like a swarm of angry wasps.
“And so are we.” Lights appeared at the end of the alleyway blocking their progress forward. So Hendrix threw it into reverse and punched it.
The Street Phantom’s electric drive train could travel just as fast in reverse as it could going forward. Hendrix overlayed the rear view over his windscreen while Martin struggled for his seatbelt.
Threading the alleyway like a needle the Street Phantom shot into the main street through several of the unprepared Loyalty Team setting a blockade of immobilizers. They bounced and rolled over the car with cringe inducing thuds.
Their departure just missing the Heavy Roller APC’s plans on closing the box.
“FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKK.” Martin was holding onto his harness fighting the G-forces to connect the 5 points.
“It’s cool mon, those armadillos can’t compete!” Hendrix was in the zone, swerving through traffic while the Heavy Rollers smashed straight through.
“Connecting.” The cars sultry voice replied.
“Your car answers to Hey, Sexy?”
Martin and Hendrix both howled with laughter.
“Uhh whats so funny guys?” Pike’s voice broke in.
Between sobs “We are being chased by Loyalty Teams.” Glass shattered as tracers fizzed through the Phantom.
“Ahahaha and now they are shooting at us hahaha.” Martin giggled hysterically.
“How fucking high are you guys right now?”
“Sorry, nerves Mon, get our location, they are on us, how far away is the hole you can make in their drone cover.”
“Shit, 45 minutes tops before everything is set, they can’t trace your data but until I do my thing the drones stay up, How long can you keep driving?”
“Ah…” was all Hendrix managed before crushing forces slammed into them.
The driver’s side buckled in slow motion. The Heavy Roller ahead of the chase had been lying in wait for its prey. It’s timing perfect, guided by tracer fire. Viciously it sprung, T-boning the Street Phantom in a hard traffic tackle sending it tumbling side over side until it slid to a stop on its roof into a storefront.
When Martin opened his eyes, he was confused, billowy clouds were everywhere.
“Am I dead?”
Martin had been thrown into the back seat, cocooned by foam airbags.
“Not yet, get the fuck out of the car.” Pike’s voice boomed in the aftermath.
The Roller was backing up to clear the scene and the wrecked Phantom shifted and groaned.
“Hendrix?” Martin called.
“If he’s alive he can take care of himself, if he isn’t there’s nothing you can do. Don’t get caught, if you do, buy time. GO!
The crew of the Heavy Roller were unloading.
“20 centimeters above, left. 10, 5, beep”
Martin grabbed the grip as he could hear the gas crowbars ripping open the driver’s side.
“We have one, he’s out, no visual on the passenger. Clear that building.”
Martin wriggled out of the broken back window into the shop. The Phantoms back-end was half inside, back exit on the other side of the store.
“Hostile.” Martin whispered into the Cheko, its display changed to red.
Martin scuttled to the cover of the checkout counter just as Loyalty Squaddie’s arm chucked something into the room.
The room exploded in light and sparkling confetti like chaff.
Every bit of data in the area was fizzing. Martin couldn’t process what he was seeing. No amount of enhancement would help. “The Cheko.” Martin thought frantic, struggling for dear life to couple thought processes together. The smartgun was hardened against disruption it should still be active.
“bBblLl fFfiIiBblL.” Words struggling to form.
“Blbl FfilBr.” Still mushy.
“BLINDFIRE.” Martin screamed, triumphant.
The gyros in the Cheko spun up and guided his aim to any targets it sensed.
Martin felt the gyro muffled recoil kick up his arm as, the first Loyalty team members knees exploded.
“Smartgun detected, get a Skinner Bot in here.” The FlashScrambler also gave the Loyalty Team outside a remote view of everything in the room it had coated, including where Martin was hiding.
The crate sized Skinner Bot glided into the area, as a barrier for the Loyalty Team to retrieve their squadmate, it was armored, impervious to the Cheko’s efforts.
Martin sunk his head lower slowly shaking it. “Game over.” he whispered.
The Skinner Bot rounded the corner and hit Martin with its high-powered taser before clamping onto his head and dragging him from the building to the waiting Loyalty Team.
To be continued in chapter 7