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David Taylor, 30 Jun '14

Sirens blared. Cars whipped by as blurs. Out here on the causeway, civilians were all too eager to make way for the police. Aiden ignored them all, the knuckles of his fists bulging and white.

Suddenly, the radio crackled into life. “This is Unit Four-One-Nine, we have spotted the vans. I count three. I say again, there are three targets ahead.”

“Roger that, Four-One-Nine. We’re right behind and confirm. All three vans ahead.”

Aiden fumbled to pull the radio from the dashboard. “This is Prohibition Agent Aiden Wallace—you are ordered to engage the targets. Run them off the road and make the arrests. Be advised to use extreme caution. Assume all targets to be armed and extremely dangerous. Lethal force is authorised.”

Another voice came through the radio in a burst of static. “Confirm again, sir, have you authorised the use of lethal force?”

“I have. Lethal force is authorised for all units. All units are to assist in the arrests.”

“Acknowledged, Agent. This is Four-One-Nine, we are moving to engage.”

Aiden leant forward in his seat. Ahead on the causeway, he could see the bright, white flashes of gunfire. “Four-One-Nine, have you engaged?”

A sudden series of explosions lit the tunnel ahead, its low grumbling rocking Aiden’s car.

“God damn it,” the officer beside him snarled, fighting to keep control of the vehicle.

“Keep us steady, Officer,” Aiden said. “And can’t we go any faster?”

“We can certainly try, sir. We have to stop those explosions though—the tunnel opens out into space up ahead. I know they say pyroplex is as strong as steel, but it still looks like glass to me . . .”

Aiden frowned, but he would not risk losing Tant because of smashed pyroplex. Calgany had safety protocols in place for such contingencies and he knew that shutters would descend over any broken panes in seconds. He raised the radio to his mouth as a new burst of speed pushed him back into his seat. “Four-One-Nine, I repeat, have you engaged?”

“This is Six-Five-Two. That car’s gone, sir—so have a few others. The bastards had an RPG in there and managed to get a few shots off.”

“It’s status?”

“We managed to terminate the shooter. We’re going to need a Body Recovery Unit up here ASAP. They’ll have a job finding it though—he fell right out of the van.”

“Acknowledged, Officer. Our pursuit is top priority.” Aiden lowered the radio. “Shit.” He punched the dashboard as more gunfire lit the tunnel ahead. “God damn it, Tant.”

The enclosed, concrete tunnel sudden opened out around them and they were surrounded by space. The lighting dimmed and stars gleamed spectacularly through wide windows that lined the walls and left the roof open. Calgany Space Station sprawled around the tunnel in all of its glory. Huge compartments that looked like colossal, rounded skyscrapers hung suspended from nothing, joined together by spider webs of tunnels, bridges and cylinders. Light shone everywhere, bright white from strands of pyroplex and steel; from the windows of countless rooms.

“This is Six-Five-Two, the vans have split up. Two are continuing north, one is now heading north-west. I repeat, the vans have separated.”

Aiden ground his teeth and punched the dashboard again. Ahead, the gunfire was growing closer.

“Do we turn up here, sir?”

“What?” Aiden said, squinting at the tunnel that branched from the causeway ahead. He had completely forgotten the young officer was driving the car. “No, keep on the lead two.” He prayed Tant was in one of those.

“This is One-One-Eight, the lead two cars have also split. Be advised—one target is continuing north, while the other is heading north-east. Officers acknowledge.”

Aiden cursed, but managed to restrain himself from hitting the dashboard again. The space around them closed as suddenly as it had appeared. They were back inside one of Calgany’s core components. An opening appeared in the concrete on the left, surrounded by brightly glowing lights that were supposed to help guide traffic. Yet a ruined police car blocked the exit, causing a bottleneck that chocked commuters. Pursing the first van to diverge was now next to impossible.

“Which way, sir?”

“East,” Aiden said, hoping again that he was right. “My gut says we should head east.”

“Yes, sir,” the driver said, ignoring civilian cars as he drifted into the outer lane.

Moments later, they turned off the main causeway. The tunnel thinned significantly and the flaming wreckage of a police car chocked one lane. Thick plumes of smoke rolled from beneath its bonnet, a black pall that screened the road ahead.

The smoke billowed through the car’s vents as they passed through it, making Aiden’s eyes sting. Yet he could still see clearly enough. Tant’s van was ahead of them. Two police cars were trailing closely behind it, exchanging gunfire with the man hanging out of its passenger window. As Aiden watched, a policewoman popped out of the sunroof of one of the cars. The woman took aim with a long rifle.

She fired.

A small ball of electricity crackled off the van as the projectile hit it—landing just above the front wheel—and the woman ducked back into the vehicle. Aiden punched the dashboard in jubilation. They had them. They had the van.

He was proved correct a moment later. The driver of the van suddenly lost control of the vehicle. It spun around until it was almost driving sideways, before tipping into a barrel roll. Aiden watched in morbid fascination as the vehicle tumbled across the causeway. Glass sprayed from its windows. Its roof and sides buckled. Then, all at once, the vehicle was still. It had come to a halt on its side, skidding the last few metres in a shower of sparks.

Comments · 3

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  • David Taylor said...

    Hi everyone,

    I've not written on here in a long time (sadly) and just wanted to get something up again! Technically speaking, this post isn't flash fiction since it's an excerpt from my new book - a science fiction/crime space opera about a second Prohibition that happens when a lord bans alcohol in the star systems he controls.

    This is my first book and I'm a complete unknown, so hopefully @Anthony Blackshaw won't mind me being a bit cheeky by putting this up (I'll happily remove this post if this isn't the case)! The book: He Who Fights and Runs Away (Broken Dark Season One, Episode One) is available on Amazon and Smashwords now. I'm running a promotion on Smashwords at the moment and Episode One can be downloaded for free using the coupon code: WB86S (available until 06/07/14).

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Anthony Blackshaw said...

    Hi @David Taylor - no problem with the excerpt and congratulations on finishing your book!

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • David Taylor said...

    • Posted 5 years ago