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Friday, 13 March 2009

The Rising - Chapter 110: Emergency Lane

I turned round in my seat and looked out of the back window. The helicopter didn’t look like it was heading towards us, but the shock came when I saw a body fall from the main cabin. It fell towards the ground but stopped before it hit the grassy field next to the road. I knew who it was, the only person it could be.

Stein. He knows I’m here.

Not wanting to stick around and wait for him to find us, I hit the accelerator and swerved over to the emergency lane. I knew my actions would alert him to our presence but I saw no other option.

Get the hell out of here.

I saw a flash of white in the rear view mirror, followed by another, and another. A second later, more vehicles were following me down the emergency lane. I drove as fast as I could, knowing that some of the commuters behind me would get caught in the hail of bullets raining down from the helicopter.

I was certain that Captain Stein had escaped from the clutches of The Brotherhood. Were they taking him to be killed? Whatever their reason for transporting him in the gunship, they were surely regretting it now. He was free, and the more they tried to neutralise him, the more attention they were drawing to themselves and the fact that there was a vampire flying around a freeway intersection filled with normal people who had no concept of what was going on around them.

The windscreen wipers were going as fast as they could but it was still difficult to see through the torrent of rain ahead at eighty miles an hour. I took a deep intake of breath as a car in front of me pulled out into the emergency lane. I jammed on the horn and narrowly avoided smashing into the back of it as it pulled back into its place in the traffic jam.

One look in the rear view mirror told me that Stein was getting closer. The gunship was larger and flashes of gunfire were still falling down towards the road. I heard a screech and looked again. The car that was following me skidded and flipped over onto its roof, smashing into several cars in the process. I was certain I could see bullet holes in its bodywork.

What the hell’s going on?’ asked a voice from the back seat.

Dave!’ I exclaimed, ‘Are you okay?’

I think so,’ he said and surveyed his surroundings, ‘Where am I? Why are we going so fast?’

We’ve got a vampire on our tail. The Brotherhood are trying to kill it, and probably us as well. Can’t explain any more right now.’

There was a loud thump from the back of the car. Dave looked out of the back windscreen. ‘Holy shit! I guess this is the vampire.’

Almost crashing into another car, I turned round. Captain Stein was lying along the back of our car. He looked frantic. I heard a voice echo deep within my mind.

Ryder. I’m going to kill you.

Pieces of the road ahead flew into the air and landed on the bonnet. The gunship was directly above us and they were taking pot shots at the vampire that was clinging on. I knew I had to get Dave away from this situation. He would be the one that Stein attacked first and I couldn’t let that happen.

Dave, climb over here and take the wheel!’ I shouted.

He squeezed his ample frame between the seats into the passenger side. I hit the horn again to stop another car pulling out in front of us then turned to Dave.

Take the wheel,’ I said, and let go of the steering wheel when he gripped it with both hands.

Where are you going?’ he asked.

I checked that I still had the silver-plated dagger tucked in my belt. ‘To get that bug off our car,’ I said and jumped out of the driver’s door.

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