Progression #123

Chapter Sixteen – “Departure” — Part Thirty-Four of Forty-One

progression number one hundred twenty three To be continued…

Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer

© 2013 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

*

[For my subscribers who do not read English]

“So who are we at war with, exactly?” Jack said.

“That is the million dollar question, baby.” Charlotte said.   

She slowed the car down as they passed by a police cruiser parked on the side of the road. The window tint was so dark that it was impossible to see if an officer was inside of the vehicle or not.

“You mean nobody knows?”

Charlotte shook her head. She turned right at the next corner and returned to the regular speed.    

“Not really, no. They will show a few random clips on the television and say that rebel factions have popped up in this country or that country and that we have to get involved. The whole routine has unfolded in so many different areas that I cannot even keep track of it all.”

Suddenly, without warning, all of the lights on the dashboard started flashing.

“Jack?”

“What does that mean?”

“Jack, I can’t turn the wheel!”

The lights continued to flash as the car slowed down and drifted toward the shoulder of the road.

There was a slight crackle as the stereo speakers within the car popped on.

“YOUR LICENSE TO OPERATE THIS VEHICLE HAS BEEN REVOKED.” An inhuman, computerized voice said through the speakers. “AN OFFICER HAS BEEN ALERTED TO THE SITUATION AND IS ON THE WAY. ANY ATTEMPT TO FLEE OR RESIST ARREST WILL BE MET WITH VIOLENCE.”

“They have found us!”

Jack reached down to unfasten his seatbelt and discovered that it was locked in place. 

Advertisements

Progression #122

Chapter Sixteen – “Departure” — Part Thirty-Three of Forty-One

progression number one hundred twenty two To be continued…

Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer

© 2013 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

*

[For my subscribers who do not read English]

“That would explain how they have gotten away with so much, I guess.” Jack said.

“Plus the fact that nearly everyone is a dependent of the state by this point. Ever since the war started things have just continued to slide- Even my job…” She paused in mid-sentence.

“What about your job?”

“Oh, nothing. I was just realizing that I don’t have one anymore. Not after helping you destroy three Sentries and then fleeing the scene.”

“What were you doing?”

Charlotte sighed. “Let me take a drag off of that.” She reached over and snatched the cigarette from his fingers as the light turned green. She accelerated through the intersection as her lungs filled with smoke.

Mmm! That actually tastes really sweet!” The smoke exited from her mouth as she spoke and it lingered momentarily over the dash.

Jack laughed. “That tobacco is not of this world, my dear.”

“Anyway, it’s not important. It was just a factory where I stood on an assembly line and inspected circuit boards. We were told that they were used for something in the war, but none of us ever knew if that was true.”

“Sounds like fun!”

“Oh, yeah. You bet.” She stole another puff and then handed the cigarette back to him.

“Why did you ever apply for something like that?” Jack said.

Charlotte shook her head. “I didn’t. After the last economic collapse those of us lucky enough to have work were assigned our jobs and forced to work them.”

Progression #121

Chapter Sixteen – “Departure” — Part Thirty-Two of Forty-One

progression number one hundred twenty-one To be continued…

Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer

© 2013 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

*

[For my subscribers who do not read English]

Jack Altomare quietly smoked another cigarette while sitting in the passenger seat of the car. He calmly watched the city as it passed by on the other side of the window.

Charlotte expertly navigated through the network of intersections and overpasses. Neither of them had spoken a word for many minutes- Even Hermes, the cat, remained silent inside of the cat carrier on the backseat.

“It is all going to hell in a hand basket, isn’t it?” He said.

Charlotte nodded and then slammed on the brakes to avoid a car merging into their lane without warning.

“Idiot!” She yelled.

“Garbage and litter everywhere, potholes big enough to swallow a compact car! Surveillance cameras on every corner… I remember daydreaming as a child about what the future would be like! Ha! And this is what we get…”

“No, the future you imagined has become a reality. They have toys and gadgets beyond your wildest dreams and outrageous life extension technology.” Charlotte said. “But it is all kept away from the general public, reserved only for the privileged few who control this game from behind the curtains.”

“Good God, look at that guy! He looks like a zombie in a horror movie!” Jack said. They were stopped and waiting for a light to change. A man in a tattered pair of coveralls was standing near the corner.

“He’s drooling, and his eyes-”

“Probably brain damaged. They want us just barely smart enough to work and pay our taxes.”

Progression #116

Chapter Sixteen – “Departure” — Part Twenty-Seven of Forty-One

progression number one hundred sixteen To be continued…

Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer

© 2013 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

*

[For my subscribers who do not read English]

“Well, I did not mean to bring all of that up again.” Jack said.

“It’s okay. Oh, and since you mentioned sunglasses- Your old pair is still in the glove box.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“I nearly took them out a few times, but always ended up putting them back in there. Guess I just wanted to leave a little trace of you in the car.”

Jack found the sunglasses and put them on. He pulled a cigarette out of his pack and quietly placed a flame to it.

So far, so good. He thought.

Progression #115

Chapter Sixteen – “Departure” — Part Twenty-Six of Forty-One

progression number one hundredfifteen To be continued…

Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer

© 2013 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

*

[For my subscribers who do not read English]

Charlotte drove the car out of the parking lot and onto the street without incident. Jack was next to her in the front passenger seat checking the mirrors and looking in all directions while holding the knife.

“You can probably put that thing away now.” Charlotte said.

“Of course, sorry.” Jack folded the blade into the handle. “I was so sure that more of those things were going to be waiting for us by the car. I was all geared up for another battle… But nothing happened.”

“They are screwing with our minds, now. Watching us, listening, trying to figure out where we’re going.” Charlotte said. “They will throw something else at us soon enough. Impossible to predict what it will be, but it is likely to be far more devastating than three Sentries.” She pulled the car up to a stop sign and waited for a white van to pass by before turning left.

“Where are we going?” Jack said.

Charlotte hesitated, unsure of whether or not she should say anything inside of the car- Then she reminded herself that all of their movements were tracked regardless. 

“I am going to attempt to get us out of the city. We are going to try to lose them on the network of dirt and gravel roads in the country. Doubt it will work, but how does one run when everything is being monitored?”

Jack shrugged. “I like your sunglasses.” He said.

“I would hope so- You gave them to me about a month before you died.”