A Hero Named Lightman (One Not-Heroic, Non-Man’s Story) – post #16

chapter 16…

Eli fumed, and quickly turned the ignition on the police cruiser.  Exhaust spewed from the car’s tailpipe as anger did the same from the car’s driver.

“I knew it, dammit.  Friggin’ military doing this kind of shit.  Pisses me off.  As soon as I saw that Major, I knew that he was no good.  Stinking liar.  They all are, can’t trust any of ’em.”

Katie strapped herself into the backseat and glanced into the rear view mirror to catch the driver’s eyes.  He noticed her fatigues and mixed expression.

“Sorry ma’am.  I didn’t mean you.”

Walt shifted his weight and looked back at her.

“Young lady, he knows that not all of you folks are untrustworthy.  He just has his reasons for not being too fond of the military.  And, without getting into the details, I can assure you, there is a valid justification for his contempt.”

Katie shifted her eyes from Walt back to Eli, whose angry stare foretold something upsetting in his past.  She gave him a half smile.

“S’okay, I didn’t take it personally.  It’s fine.”

The driver nodded and forced a grin in response.  His attention returned to the vehicle, which now accelerated quickly onto the empty street.  Katie stared out the side window, reliving the path that lead her to this moment.  Her own history had plenty of strife, which gave her sufficient reason to feel a similar distrust towards anyone in a uniform.  Herself included.

“Joe, is there anything else you can tell us about this?  Is there something about the alien or the Major that you’re forgetting?”

Joe answered the back of Walt’s head.

“No, I don’t think so.  I mean, I only spent a few moments with each.  So, I can’t recall much beyond what I already told you.”

“Sure, sure.  Well, we’re about ten minutes from the airport.  Hopefully we can get there before them.”

The police car barreled down the cold, barren street.  Nobody else was out on the road despite the light still being prevalent.  It ticked just past three-thirty in the morning.

Quiet anxiousness filled the vehicle, until the Star Wars cantina song digitally blasted from the back seat.  Katie jumped, while Joe frantically sent his right hand to grab his phone.  He glanced at the screen and hit the answer button.

“Abby!  Thank you for calling!  Yeah…yes.  You saw it!  Great.  No, it is completely real.  I know!  Ok, so, what can you do?”

The car continued its bumpy path, as all four people inside listened intently to what only one of them could really hear.

“That all sounds great.  She…we think they’re taking him to the airport, to make it all go away.  I know.  We’re trying to get there first in hopes of stopping that from happening.  I don’t know if it will work, but it’s all we can do.  If he disappears, I don’t know what good all this will do.  Yeah, television would help, but this is Barrow.  I mean, we have a station, but…”

Katie’s eyes went wide.

“I know!  I know!  Eli, go to the office park on the right before you get to the big economy lot.  Just up there!  Channel eight!  I work there part-time.  I know people!  I can help with that!”

“Ok, will do.”

Katie rifled through her purse and pulled out a laminated badge.

“Abby, we might be able to…oh, you heard.  That was Katie.  No…shut up.  She is not.”

Joe looked at his back seat neighbor, who grinned at the way he squirmed.

“Just…listen.  Put the video out there like you said.  Get folks to find it, and contact who you can.  And cross your fingers.”

The car bounded over a speed bump and into a nearly empty parking lot.  A giant, blue neon number eight stuck out just above a dimly lit lobby.

“Gotta go Abby.  Ok.  We’ll be careful.  Love you too.”

Joe hung up and looked to his right.  Nothing was there, except for the swaying of a firmly pushed open passenger door.  Katie had already bolted out of sight.

The ambulance sat alone on the far edge of a runway.  A plane, marked United States Air Force, placed the first of its three wheels firmly down on the other end.

Erke heard the rumble of the aircraft come slowly closer.

“Men, prepare to open the back door.”

The major looked at the alien and saw what appeared to be anxiety on his face.

“Don’t panic, I’m sure they will give you all the light you need.”

Erke ignored the comment, instead focusing on the upcoming moment, and what very well could be his last chance.

“Use the access road Eli.  It’s around to the side of the terminal.”

“Roger, hang on.”

The car raced past the concourse and hung a sharp right, screeching its tires loudly across the ground.

“Easy pal, don’t go wrapping us around a lamppost or something.”

The driver kept punishing the accelerator.

“We’re stopping these suckers.  I’m tired of this secretive crap.”

A cyclone gate sat about thirty yards ahead of the quick-charging cruiser.  Into view came a white sign that read Security Entrance: Hours 6:00AM to Midnight. No guards, or anyone else, were there.

“Hang on guys.”

Walt looked at his partner, but couldn’t get out a word of protest in time.

The car slammed though the metal fencing, sending a chunk of it, along with the driver-side mirror and search light, bouncing violently to the left.  Eli spun the wheel to the right and gunned the motor, pushing the trio quickly ahead.

“Jesus H Christ Eli, have you lost it?  We don’t have clearance to drive through a locked gate.”

The driver sped along the desolate tarmac, and could only mumble a detached agreement back while continuing to stare ahead.

“I know, Walt, I know.”

He pushed them though two rows of parked prop planes, and the vehicle emerged onto an open expanse of concrete.  Up ahead about three hundred yards, a large blue and white plane had just pushed its passenger door open.  Eli bit his bottom lip, and flipped the switch to turn on the flashing red and blue roof lights.

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