The Christine Plague

Part II

There was a tapping at the window. Fay's bedroom was on the second floor, at the back of the house, away from the front door for a reason, but that never made any difference. Her friends always tried the window first. No-one ever tried banging at the door (sound insulated) or ringing the doorbell (rings only in the living room). They all had to climb or fly up to the window and rap on it.

Fay crawled out of bed, crawled over to the window, opened it, and crawled back to the vicinity of the bed. Rebecca popped in the window, and said brightly, "Fay, wake up, Bonecrusher wants to talk to you about killer cars, and your phone is broken."

"Grumble, just because some people sleep all day is no reason to get other people up before the sun. What did you say about killer cars?"

"Bonecrusher said to tell you that driverless cars were trying to run down pedestrians all over the city."

"Oh. My car!" Fay runs to the window, but sure enough, her car is gone. "Damn."

"Look, Bonecrusher just wanted me to wake you up and get your attention. He'll be here in about 15 minutes... I have to be going, but I could put coffee on if you're still half awake."

"Don't bother, I won't go back to sleep... my car is missing. I have to find my car..."

A few minutes later, after Rebecca had left, Bonecrusher pulled up in his van. "Fay, cars are going wild all over the city. They're apparently infecting each other, and there aren't enough SAT officers to cover the city. They're worried about the infection spreading, and we need to cut off the roads, and try to do something about the problem before rush hour sets in. Some other weird things are happening also, phones are blowing up at the 11th ring, and light bulbs were floating around the hospital. Fay, are you awake?"

"Here I thought I was sleepwalking when my phone blew up. I should sleep sounder. So what you are trying to tell me is that SAT wants us to blow cars up? They wouldn't believe me when Godzilla was trying to eat my Mac, and they wouldn't believe me about the flame vampire blowing up my office, but they want us to blow up cars now?"

"Yes. I'm going to go hold the bridge. You call everyone and get them awake."

Fay walked across the street to her neighbors house. He was semiconscious, so lent her the use of his phone, his car, his coffee machine, anything to get some sleep. Fay phoned SAT, because she wouldn't put it past her friends to pull some type of elaborate joke.

"Hi, this is Fay, you want me to blow up cars?"

"No! We currently have a plague of driverless, animated cars trying to run down pedestrians, and we're trying to confine and control it. And we need more assistance."

"You mean you want me to blow up cars attacking people."

"We want assistance trying to control the cars."

"You mean you want me to blow up cars attacking people or trying to escape."

"Sigh. Only as a last resort."

"That's all I wanted. Bye!"

Fay started using her neighbors phone... she called Hairtrigger, who picked up the phone nearly before it started to ring, she called Mistress Napalm ("You mean we get to blow up cars!"), martial artists Mei-Ling and her boyfriend Tim, and called her were-tiger advisee. She told them all that killer cars were roaming the streets, and that they had orders from SAT to blow up any car acting in a threatening manner. She tried calling Flinger, but she wouldn't answer her phone and so she drove over. She roused Flinger, and told her the same story. Leaving, her neighbors car tried to run her down, and she was forced to shoot it.

Flinger, being ecologically conscious, knew that all cars posed a threat, and began blowing them up going down the block. Just for practice on the mobile ones, she was trying to learn how best to teleport a ball bearing into the car for maximum stopping power. That was her excuse, anyway.

Meanwhile, Bonecrusher was trying to hold the Golden Gate bridge. After the first few cars came by and he pushed them over the edge after crippling them, he stopped a couple of semis, and had them park across the bridge as a barrier. He pushed the engines over, just to take no chances. After that he didn't have problems with the cars, but the motorcycles kept trying to skid under the trailers. A bash with his oak club stopped them nicely, though.

The martial artists felt a little outclassed by the cars (how do you martial throw a car?) but they started hunting the packs of motorcycles roaming the city. Mistress Napalm teamed up with Flinger and started making a barricade on one of the main highways.

Sparks the reporter robot was out in the streets jogging, acting as a lure for animated cars. She started seeing other odd things happening... light bulbs floating around like fireflies, freeing other light bulbs and drifting around in flocks, and clocks oozing down the streets attacking people, as if Salvador Dali had been the director for The Blob. Being an inanimate object herself, she became a little worried, but it seemed objects only infected like objects, and since she was one of a kind, it didn't seem a pressing danger.

And no-one had any answers for why, or how to stop it. What SAT realized, even if no-one of the paranormals having fun playing in traffic did, was that they needed an occult expert in the worst sort of way.

("Isn't it great, we're all treating symptoms instead of causes...")

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Last modified: September 26, 1996

The Other Gretchen <gretchen@remarque.berkeley.edu>