Friday, October 10, 2008

Dark Dreams (part 1)

Friday, December 5, 2008
Seattle, WA

Rain continues to fall, as it has been doing all week. In downtown Seattle, Christmas decorations line the streets with an occasional token decoration for other religions. Lights everywhere, trees everywhere. It is hard to tell the difference between street lights and Christmas decorations during the day, but at night, in the rain, and from behind the visor of a motorcycle helmet, it is nearly impossible.

Jason waits patiently at a stoplight atop his black Kawasaki Ninja 650. He is wearing full protection gear, from his black helmet to his black boots, including his black waterproof synthetic jacket and pants. Jason turns his head to the left and watches a couple walk arm-in-arm under an umbrella, leaving Pacific Place. He wishes he could trade places with the man under the umbrella. Jason notices the cross light turn yellow and he reverts his attention back to the road. Two and a half blocks later, Jason turns left into an underground parking lot entrance. He punches #5325 on the keypad and the gate slowly rises.

The parking lot, usually full during the day, is nearly empty on a Friday night. Jason slowly winds his way down two levels to the bottom floor of the parking garage, where a black Ford Explorer and two men await. He backs the motorcycle into the driver's side parking space and he turns to the SUV. Jason cannot see well through his rain-covered visor and the tinted windows of the SUV, so he flips up his visor. Still no movement from the SUV. He wonders what sort of game his contact is playing. This isn't the first time Kevin and Jason have worked together, and he saw Kevin's large frame in the driver's seat when he rode in. Jason wonders if Kevin has fallen asleep, so he leans towards the vehicle and knocks on the window with the hard plastic on the back of his black armored gloves. Still nothing.

Jason does not like to play games. With the motor still running and the bike in neutral, Jason sets the kickstand and hops off the bike. He walks around the front of his bike towards the SUV when he notices through the front windshield that Kevin's torso is now slumped over the steering wheel. Jason stops in his tracks--not because of Kevin's slumped body, but the movement he sees in the backseat. He bolts for his bike and a second later the driver's side SUV back door swings open.

Jason straddles his Ninja, rocks forward off the kickstand while flicking the bike into first gear with his left foot and guns it. Once he is twenty feet away, he swings his head around to try and catch a glimpse of the other man. Fortunately for Jason, he turns just in time to see the other man wind up and throw a shiny object directly at him. He ducks and the object makes a metallic "klink" off the back of Jason's helmet. He does not look back a second time.

Halfway up the parking garage, he hears the Ford Explorer's motor start. Jason races his way to the top of the parking garage and hopes the garage door will open for his motorcycle. He can hear the screeching tires of the SUV a level below, and the garage door is not opening. Jason idles back and forth at the sensor, but the garage door is not lifting. Time is running out.

Jason spots the emergency exit door to his right. He spins his head around and can see the lights of the SUV rounding the turn to the top floor of the parking garage. Jason lines his bike up with the emergency exit door and guns it. He opens the throttle and pops a small wheelie, just enough for the front tire to line up with the push-bar on the emergency exit door. He slams into the door and it bursts open. Jason's front tire crashes to the ground and he sets both feet on the sidewalk to steady the bike. And then a crash.

The SUV smashes into the wall at the emergency exit. All Jason can see is the front grill of the Explorer through the open doorway. He flips down his visor and quickly makes his way to the I-5 express lanes heading north.



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