05/01/2005 - Andrew pulled the car doorhandle, but it wouldn't budge. No! You can't be locked! he said to himself. He pounded on the window of the little maroon Stratus with his fist. "Jonathan! Are you in there? Open up! Let's go!" he sighed in frustration. A glance over his shoulder showed him that the men in black were no longer pursuing him – for the time being anyway, but the police were still coming. Andrew's brown eyes darted nervously up and down the street. He knew it was too late to hide and he was just trying to come up with another option, but none came. The police pulled up across the street, so in a last attempt at escaping their attention he leaned against the car in a very casual way and began to bite his fingernails.
The sheriff approached and shone a flashlight in Andrew's face. Andrew tried very hard to look innocent and surprised.
"Who are you?" the sheriff asked in a serious, but not overpowering or demanding tone.
"My name is Andrew Brown," Andrew said.
"Do you know anything about a break-in just down the street?"
"Funny, you fit the description to a tee. Is this your car?"
"Who's is it?"
"A friend's. We were going to meet here, I'm not sure where he went, but I know this is his car, so I'm waiting for him."
"I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to take you down to the station for further questioning," the officer said, pulling out a pair of handcuffs.
Andrew was wondering if things could possibly get any worse. Of course he tried to make a break for it, but to no avail. The officer caught him around the neck, pressed him up against the car and put him in an armlock. That's when Andrew noticed something strange. Jonathan's keys were dangling out of the ignition. Jonathan is way too smart for that. Somehting must have happened. Then he thought, One of these doors must be unlocked. He squeezed his eyes shut trying to decide what to do. When he opened them the first thing he noticed was the flashing red and blue lights on the police car across the street. He looked up and down the road, but all he could see were the streetlamps . . . and they gave him an idea.
Jonathan tried very hard to appear unconcerned as the men in black entered the room. He recognized both. One was still holding the strange black box with the keyboard. The other had the gun. Jonathan didn't see the third man, the one with the red hair.
"You are Jonathan Moore, are you not?" the one with the black box asked.
Jonathan wasn't sure if he should say "yes" or "no", so he held his tongue.
"I can tell he's going to be a difficult one." The man looked over his shoulder at the other. Then his face brightened. "Can I box him?"
The other sighed in frustrated surrender. "You and your toys! Yes, box the guy."
"I just love Dr. Maximus' inventions!" He turned to Jonathan. "Would you like to know what this will do?" He was strapping the metal square to Jonathan's arm. Jonathan remained straight-faced and firm. "Guess not! Well, you'll find out soon enough, like it or lump it." The man typed a few keys, detatched the chain and left the room. Jonathan stared at the little metal square. He tried to pull it off, but it wouldn't come. There were no visible forces holding it there, but it was as firmly set as the linoleum floor. Jonathan waited with bated breath, just waiting for it to explode or something, but nothing happened.
Andrew knew that he could not allow the sheriff to finish cuffing him, but he was having a crisis of conscience. He had a plan, but just wasn't sure if he should carry it out. He was a "good guy". Running from the police was not his style. It felt wrong somehow. I shouldn't feel guilty. I've done nothing wrong, he told himself, but he knew it wasn't true. He had made the biggest mistake he could think of by exercising power that should never have been his. He had accidentally killed Lily – manslaughter. He had broken into a house and attempted a kidnapping. He had lied to a policeman, and now . . . he wished he could just turn himself in.
No, he told himself, I have to do what's right. The problem was, at the moment he really wasn't sure what was right. He knew he could not just stand by and let the world – himself included – live on, completely oblivious to the fact that the life they were living wasn't really real. But, if to do that he had to kidnap, lie, harm or kill . . . it all seemed like "the end justifies the means" to him. Oh, what a mess I've made, he thought, and it seemed like the biggest understatement of the world to him.
He knew he had to do something quickly, so he decided to move forward with the plan as much as he hated to. He wrestled the policeman away, going easy on him. Then he practically leapt over the hood of the car and opened the drivers' side door, which turned out to be not only unlocked, but open. Slamming the door, he locked it and turned the keys in the ignition. I sure hope this works, he thought as he flipped the headlights on. Just as he had suspected, it brought a myriad of new things to his sight. He could see reflectors on cars, bikes, and even trees by the road – and someone's running shoes. He knew his vision was not truly sufficient to drive even now, but it was his only choice, so he began to pull slowly down the street. Over his shoulder he could see the sheriff get up and run to his car. Andrew would be pursued. He had the utmost respect for law enforcement officers and was still wrestling with his conscience about what he'd done when someone grabbed him by the neck from the backseat.
"Jonathan, if that's you quit it and get up here. I can't see half the road.
The stranglehold squeezed tighter and a man's voice said, "Hello Andrew, or should I say Elijah! I'm sure you won't remember me, but I have a proposition for you."
The sirens began to wail and the police car picked up pursuit.
"Look, Whoever-You-Are, if you want me to be alive to accept your proposition you'd better get up here and drive, or at least srop strangling me."
Silence, and the strangle just came tighter. Andrew bit thearm, which got rid of it for a moment and started a brawl. Andrew was unable to see the road at all anymore and the stranger wasn't even trying. "If we get in a wreck you're just as likely to die as I am!" Andrew shouted, but the man was not deterred.
The only people who saw the dropoff were the policemen, who watched in horror as they watched the car go over. "Think there's any way he survived that?" one said.
""No, but radio for help anyway. I'm going to see." he climbed out of the car and approached the overpass. At the bottom he could see that the little car had burst into flames. The officer shook his head and sadly walked back to the car. As he opened the door there was a loud explosion and he had to dive into a fetal position as pieces of debris flew all the way up to the spot where he had been standing. "Tell them not to come after all," he said when it was safe to get back in to car. "No one could have survived that."
. . . continued next month