Author : Bryan Pastor

“Absolutely ridiculous. The music of this era su….”

“Hold that thought, what’s the make and model of the car we’re looking for?”

“Blue Nissan…”

“Like that one?”

“Crap! Quick turn around.”

“Where?” Anderton pointed at the bridge that suddenly materialized beneath the wheels of the car. He gunned the ancient Cadillac. The engine gladly complied, but the worn shocks only caused the car to bounce like a sad child on a broken trampoline.

A half-dozen minutes passed before they could retrace their steps. The exit took them down a long twisting road with hundreds of private drives that slipped off toward secluded bungalows.

“That one.” Felix pointed toward the next driveway. They had been searching almost an hour for the car. Anderton was busy scanning his side of the road, so he missed the turn. As he angled into an eight-point turn, Felix growled.

“Ditch it, we’re done here.”

“You sure?”

“Hundred-twenty percent.”

The driveway was a long straight quarter-mile shot to a shack that sat on top of a hill. The Nissan sat at that top of the hill near the house.

Anderton drew his sidearm and darted into the woods for cover. Felix took the more direct approach, marching right down the road.

“Don’t you think he saw us?” Anderton asked, as a tried to dodge trees and shrubs.

“I am sure he did.”

“This could be an ambush.”

“I’m sure it ain’t.”

The Nissan was still in drive; the driver’s side door and trunk were both ajar. Someone had left in a hurry. Anderton checked the house. The door was locked, but not hard to force open. The cottage hadn’t seen a visitor in some time. A pile of delivery flyers and old catalogs kept the door from opening easily.

“Now what?” Anderton asked, holstering his gun.

“I’m pretty sure I know when he went.”

“Okay, when?” Anderton asked.

“Don’t you ever read the brief?” Felix scrunched his nose. He turned his attention back to the device he had been playing with.

“Can you give us an extra ten? I want to smoke a cigarette.”

“Sure.” Felix grinned. A blue light surrounded them pulsing in incrementally shorter bursts until it was a solid blinding wall. Then they were gone.

Anderton hated the minute after transit. The light, no matter tight he squeezed his eyes, always blinded him. When he finally could see, he found Felix struggling with a gorilla. No, it wasn’t a gorilla; it was their bounty.

Annoyed at not having a chance to smoke, Anderton set his stunner to extra-crispy. The bounty slumped unconscious after a few jolts.

Felix cussed. “You couldn’t give me a heads up?”

“No.” Anderton replied, lighting a smoke. “If I gave you a warning I would have given him one too.”

Anderton gave the bounty a soft toe to the mid-section.

“He’s a big one. Gave you some trouble?”

“I was handling it.” Felix replied as a pulled the man’s arms behind his back to slap a pair of shackles on him.

“Please… Give me five minutes to see her.” The bounty begged, trying to pull himself up.

“No.” Anderton replied, crushing his cigarette butt beneath the tread of his boots.

Inside the house, a young girl was awoken by a sudden flash of light. She bounced from her bed, looking excitedly for a thunderstorm, but there was nothing there.