The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

NaNoWriMo: Adway

Posted by BigWords on November 2, 2009

20 Years Later…

Knox opened the gull-wing of his hov and slipped into the passenger seat, the sensors automatically adjusting to his preferred morning settings. The front windscreen glazed over, bringing his HUD into clear focus, with temperature, hydraulics, electronics and remaining fuel shown in silvery bars. The available streams scrolling across the media player interface shuddered briefly, and Knox paused.
“Status report.”
‘All functions within normal parameters’ appeared in the center of the window.
The glitch didn’t appear to be significant. Knox cursed the intrusion of another problem with the vehicle into his routine. Routine was important. There would be time enough to get the software seen to after his morning schedule, but the meetings prepared for the morning could not be missed.
“Log event.”
‘Event logged.’

Closing the door, Knox leaned over to the passenger-side foot well and placed his briefcase in the drawer compartment under the dash. The speakers squelched, then fell into a steady stream of white noise.
“Status report.”
‘All functions within normal parameters’ appeared for a moment before the HUD pixellated, fragments of words, images and numbers spread across the display. Blocks of color interrupted the view to the street beyond.
“What the-”

Knox felt himself lifting from his seat as the explosion from beneath the hov pushed upwards, flames and pressure acting on flesh and bone. The windscreen cracked with the heat, the chair beneath him igniting. Pushed forward again as the hov fell, the airbag caught Knox unawares, and the last thing he heard before his eardrums burst was the hydrogen fuel cell hissing. In an eyeblink he was consumed by flame, and any lingering thoughts are extinguished.

####

Detective Adway stepped through the police cordon, “Who’s the crispy critter?”
“The name’s Knox, one of the software big shots at Delos.”
“Any word on when the techs are gonna be here?”
“Save for the pick-up crew, everyone has been and gone already.”
“What am I, an afterthought?”
“The first officers on the scene thought it was a malfunction.”
Adway’s comm chirruped. Flipping open the case a new message was displayed in his in-box.
“I’ll be back in a minute.”
The stream from which the message originated was encrypted. Secret callers were so rare that the appearance of an unlisted message was all but unheard of.

Stand by the stream and watch what floats by.

Adway turned to the young officer standing guard over the scene. “What exactly did Knox do?”
“I think he was in charge of the app development division.”
“At Delos?”
“That’s what I was told.”

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