High Octane

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Chapter 7a- The job

“Alright, just so everyone’s clear with the plan. Krypto’s already out in the Dead Zone waitin’ for us. He has the satellite on standby to shoot down the convoy. After that, we hit the truck fast and hard. Easy in, easy out. As for the route out of the city, we can take the 2nd side highway- which’ll take us most of the way to the border.“, Voodoo began to clearly explain- with a convoy of vehicles behind him and a group of rearing racers before him.

“Nat and I will take the TC swat van. We’ll draw fire away from Wraith and Ace, who’ll be on the bikes. Your job is to keep the pressure on the truck whilst Krypto disables its systems. All understood?“.

“What we doing about the killer drones on the border of the city?“, Hugo questioned.

“Krypto’s already gone and dealt with them. We won’t be able to communicate with him until we’re in the dead zone. Once we’re near the border, just follow Nat and I. We’ll have to thunder through the main checkpoint, but we’ll signal Krypto to help us out when we arrive. Now, let’s move!“, Voodoo commanded. Almost immediately, Nat and he bolted for the swat van; a van armoured to the wire with heavy bulletproof plating and glass.

“Nat, take the gunner’s position!“, Voodoo called out as Nat scrambled towards the vehicle. With a brisk climb, she took her place behind the 50-calibre machine gun- with fully loaded box magazines, poised to kill. You do NOT wanna be on the receiving end of one of those. Damn thing chews through metal like crepe paper. Nat put on a blacked-out helmet with a purple visor. Mr Voodoo switched on the ignition. The truck rumbled to life; a true mechanical beast, like a raging elephant rearing to let loose.

Ace and Wraith took their seats upon their bikes. Ace had a Suzuki Hayabusa, 2069 edition. Blacked-out, with a red marking for the word ‘Hayabusa’. The bike roared to life, dual exhausts pumping out fumes of high-octane fuel. Pulling down his visor, Ace followed the armoured truck. He was soon joined by Wraith- sat atop a 2070 Kawasaki Ronin- clad in armoured attire, much like Ace. Following on the elephant of a truck before them like prowling hawks, the two felt prepared. Ready. Confident.

Soon enough, the escort was blazing down the highway at full speed- keeping a tight formation. The swat truck soon drew the attention of police- given the giant gun, fully loaded- on the back. Voodoo radioed the bikers behind him.

“Take out the drivers, Ace! Wraith, you take the lead, we’ll assist Ace with the cops.“, Voodoo ordered. Without a word, Wraith blazed forwards in a burst of fuel and speed, cutting in front of the truck. Ace drew an SMG from a side holster and opened fire on the police vehicles. He took out one driver. The car swerved off. In a flash, it exploded. Ace shot out the tyres of the next. The car came to a halt with a screech and glowing sparks. The truck opened fire on the third- hitting the engine. The fuel ignited as the car went up in flames. Wraith stayed focused on the highway before her- leaning on the gas tank of the bike. With the wind screaming above, Wraith kept the throttle down hard- blazing forwards at insane speeds. The truck remained close behind- engine rumbling loudly behind Wraith.

“We got a chopper comin’ in!“, Ace called out over the radio. Bullets pinged on the road beside Ace with sparks of hot lead. The Hayabusa swerved side to side- machine gun bullets whizzing past. Nat opened up on the chopper. With a few powerful shots, the chopper went down in a blaze of flames, smoke, and sparks. Metal crunched as the hull rolled across the highway- propeller still spinning, cutting into the concrete like carving knives. The team drew closer to the border.

“Alright, we’re leavin’ the highway now! Wraith, Ace, stick behind us! And hit the nitrous!“, Voodoo commanded as he unscrewed a valve attached to a canister of nitrous oxide. Flicking a switch, the substance flooded the engine, jolting the truck forward into a new screaming speed. Voodoo kept his foot down. Ace and Wraith did the same- flicking a switch on their dashboards. With exhausts spouting luminous flames, the two kicked it up a gear- following on behind the speeding truck. Engines blazing like the internal furnace of the sun, the team were soon swerving down back streets and alleys- before they came to the final stretch.

“NOW, KRYPTO!“, Mr Voodoo yelled down the comms- signalling Krypto to take down the barriers. As the team screamed towards the border- armed battalions of policemen firing at the truck pelting towards them from behind sturdy barriers. The bullets pinged off the windscreen of the armoured truck- as Mr Voodoo kept his foot down to the wire. Hitting the nitrous again, the truck jolted forwards to overdrive. The barriers remained up.

“KRYPTO, WE NEED THE BARRIERS DOWN NOW!“, Voodoo yelled again.

“Workin’ on it! And... done!“, Krypto responded- his voice accompanied by a symphony of background static. The barriers began to lower as the team barrelled towards the border. Bullets pinging. Engines letting off a war cry of cracks, grumbles, and screams. As the truck blazed through the barriers- like a mighty, brutish warrior- soldiers dove from their deceased barriers- trying to save their own skin. In a blurred flash, the truck and bikes darted past.

“Launch the drones!“, a heavily armoured commander ordered. A soldier began pressing a button frantically on a screen. A message flashed on it, reading “FUCK UR DR0NES”. Krypto had worked his technological magic as promised. And added in his own stinging flavour of insults.

“Alright, drones are disabled! Keep headin’ West. I’ll let you know when to stop and wait for the convoy!“, Krypto called out as the team were now enveloped into the Dead Zone. Now, the Dead Zone is where tech goes to die. Almost nothin’ works out there regarding comms. Unless you know how to work around it like Krypto. Damn kid knows how to work around anythin’.

The team were soon enveloped by an endless, dusty, gritty desert- accompanied by a boiling, searing sun, like the eye of God. They had slowed their speed to save fuel and nitrous- but were rumbling at a fast pace down the crusty desert highway. Krypto’s transmissions became clearer.

“Alright, set up an ambush where you’re at.“, Krypto ordered. The truck and bikes came to a grinding halt on the road, parking themselves on the sides. “And keep your engines hot, chooms! ’Bout to get real loud and crazy, in roughly... 10 minutes! Anyone got any good stories?“, Krypto mused.

“Quick question, how can you actually see us?“, Natasha asked over the comms as she was checking the machine gun.

“Oh, I’m about three miles away! I set up a surveillance drone on the way here, so I got a front row seat to the action!“, Krypto responded. Three miles away, he was sat atop a rocky dune in a camping chair- with a fresh vial of ice-cold Juice in the cupholder. He had his phone in a wrist-mounted holder- which projected a live feed from the surveillance drone to the comfort of his chair. Next to him- stood shakily on a tripod- was a big red button. I know, cliché as fuck, but at the press of the button, Brutus would fire the satellite, sending the convoy to oblivion.

“There any point in tryna set up road spikes?“, Ace asked.

“Nah, the tyres on the trucks are puncture-proof. They’d roll over the spikes without a hitch!“, Krypto responded. The team sat in anxious anticipation. Mr Voodoo played a beat by tapping his hands on the steering wheel out of boredom. Nat had cracked open a can of Orange Soda- and was practically sunbathing on the roof of the truck. Ace and Wraith sat talking through raised visors- engines on and rumbling.

“How you feelin’?“, Ace asked.

“Good so far! It’s pretty damn hot out here, but I’m sure I won’t melt into a puddle of molten steel! But, I’m good. Feelin’ fired up and ready!“, Wraith responded enthusiastically. No nerves. No anxious fits. Nothing, like a true seasoned Ghosty Boys racer.

“Y’know I can hear you two love birds, right? Save the sweet talk for later!“, Krypto responded- leading Ace to curse under his breath at the kid. Whenever you’re working with Krypto, assume he can always hear you. And see you. And smell you, somehow.

“Eyes up, sleepyheads, convoy’s comin’ up!“, Krypto warned. Sure enough, five armoured cars were on the weary, sun-baked horizon- like little black dots of doom. “Time to blow shit up!“.

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