Still reeling from the shock, I start the engine and pull the cab to the side of the road.
“And I was just starting to dry off.” I grumble as I climb out and start after the gorilla and his captive. I can see her hammering blows onto his billboard of a back and hear here screaming like a banshee as they disappear round a corner. I cover the distance in no time, not bad for an old timer but as I reach the corner, the slam of a car door abruptly cuts off her screams and the sound of squeeling tyres replaces it. I round the corner only to see tail lights disappear onto another street.
What the hell was I thinking? In a chase, you never get out of the car until you have no other option. If I had followed in the cab, I would still be on their tail now, instead of standing here dripping onto the street. Jeez, I’ve only been off the force for 2 years. Have I lost my touch already?
Soaked to my bones, I turn and slouch back to the cab. As I slump behind the wheel, all I can think is how much I need to buy a rain coat…
As I stand at the desk in the foyer of the police station, the sergeant glares at me with this ‘Why are you wasting my time with this crap’ look on his face.
“Ok Sir, I’ve got your descriptions of the girl and the…” He looks down at the crime sheet he has just written, “Guy the size of a god damn battleship. With no plates or description of the vehicle though, there’s not much we can do. If anything turns up we’ll let you know.”
“Right.” I mutter as I turn to leave. What is this city coming to? Maybe the loons who sent those letters to the newspapers weren’t so crazy after all. If the cops couldn’t give a shiny shit when a young woman gets nabbed in the middle of the day, what hope does Atlas city have? Not a hope in hell that’s what.
I decide to call it a day and head home to dry out. 20 minutes later I’m in my garage with all the cabs doors open and the vacuum in my hand. “A clean cab is a happy cab.” I chuckle as I lean in to tackle the rear foot well. As I look down, I see a piece of neatly folded paper amongst the grit. I pick it up and as I unfold it I get a whiff of that perfume again. She must have dropped this when she was dragged from the seat. One side is covered with some kind of code or formula and the other has a complicated circuit board drawing. The paper looks as though it has been cut from a larger piece as the diagram obviously continues off the page.
I stare at the paper, trying to make some kind of sense out of it, the vacuum sucking nothing but air. What the hell was that poor girl involved in?