NIGHT HUNTERS (Story 11)
THE SHADOWS LENGTHENED with the approach of sunset, making the curvy streets of Sandy City more enigmatic and more dangerous with every passing minute. Night, the mother of fear and mystery, was coming upon me, Kate Spears grinned as the quote crossed her mind.
For Kate, the night was the best time to watch her city live its life, full of energy and hidden tension. Watch it and, sometimes, interfere.
She was on a high-speed freeway that cut the city in half, riding her Kamikaze Super X bike at 100 mph toward the downtown.
Thousands of cars around her formed parallel rows, while few moved in seemingly chaotic ways, separated by inches on each side. But Kate paid little attention and simply smiled at the flight-like feeling the high speed brought to her. Kate loved her motorcycle for making her feel alive. It embodied non-conformity and, somehow, reminded her of how special she was.
Tonight, Kate was hunting two dangerous troublemakers––strong, ruthless, mysterious, technologically advanced criminals that had terrorized the city for several weeks.
Their purpose was unclear. Sometimes, they robbed people. Sometimes, they killed but took nothing at all. Colonel Clarkson and the Hunters team were trying to pinpoint their location right now, and she was waiting for his command to join in on the hunt.
The melancholic tune of an old band called Pink Floyd sounded inside Kate’s head. Music from a time long gone streamed directly into her brain using an implant that let her interface with machines. The name of the song was “Wish You Were Here.”
Suddenly, the music stopped, and an alarm went off.
“Captain Spears,” Colonel’s low voice echoed in Kate’s head. “We think we found them and need you here. Please come as quickly as you can. I am transmitting our coordinates.”
“I’m on my way,” she replied, disconnected Kamikaze’s auto-pilot, and quickly turned toward the exit.
Kate was already off the freeway when the alarm sounded again.
“What is this?” She was surprised.
“A GPS signal disturbance,” reported her in-helmet AI coldly. “Suspecting an unlawful activity.”
Shit! Let’s check it but do it quickly, Kate decided and responded, “Show me the way!”
It took her a couple of minutes to find a parking spot for the bike. While walking away from it, Kate glanced at her reflection in the window of an empty car nearby. An attractive face with strong and regular features. Shoulder-length black hair. Yes, she looked pretty good.
She didn’t know this area well, but the navigator built directly into her neocortex kept guiding her forward. It showed a faint arrow that pointed in the direction of the signal disturbance. A minute later, Kate hid behind a large tree, observing a young couple that stood thirty feet away from her, holding on to each other.
In front of the couple, she saw two men. Kate couldn’t see their faces in the dark, but one of them was tall, muscular, and bulky, shaped like a bodybuilder, while the other one was much shorter and smaller in comparison. The short man was talking to the couple in a calm and quiet voice, seemingly enjoying himself. His artificial eyes were glowing in the dark like two burning cigarettes.
“Just give me your credit cards, IDs, and let us take your fingerprints and DNA samples. And the cell numbers to reach you on. Then, we’ll all go separate ways—nobody will get hurt. Got it?”
Kate could barely hear the young man’s faint voice. “We have nothing with us!”
“Nothing at all?” asked the short man, not sounding too surprised. But his eyes were burning even brighter now.
“Nothing—I’m sorry! P-Please don’t hurt us!”
“Don’t apologize. Tommy, check them out.”
The big guy had been waiting for this order. He moved swiftly and grabbed the man’s arm. His victim screamed arms flailing and punching, but it had no effect on Tommy, who barely moved in response. He was much stronger and heavier than his victim, and patted the guy down methodically, feeling his pockets—side and rear—while still holding him tight.
The woman, who seemed to be the braver of the two, tried to interfere, but Tommy slapped her across the face with his free hand. The woman fell to the ground with a cry. Tommy ignored her and continued his work.
The big guy clearly needs to be taught a lesson, Kate thought angrily, but thought back to the colonel—he would be mad if she was late.
Welcome to the Adventure!
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