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Fuzz: Trivial Pursuit
Most days Metrocity looked like a hundred square miles of stained concrete and smeared glass. On those rare occasions the sun beat its way down through the smog layer... it looked a whole lot worse.
With an ear-piercing shriek a metallic-grey Hastur GSX Cruiser took the junction of Ernest and Herbert Gardens at one-ten. It wallowed around the corner, straightened, lept once again to the chase. As the sounds of tortured tires faded, it became possible to hear the sleek machine's two-tone siren dopplering into the distance. Metro CID on the move.
Driving, Detective Sergeant Alexander "Axel" Ellis maintained his white-knuckle grip on the steering wheel. And cursed. Even doing nearly one-thirtyK (in a built-up area), he wasn't gaining appreciably on the vehicle in front; a Porsche Classic, in electric blue and real leather upholstery. Beside him Detective Constable Oswald "Ozzy" Richter, humming "Night on a Bare Mountain", reloaded his ten millimetre ELF automatic pistol with a magazine of fifteen rounds of hollow-point, frangible (non-lead based) ammunition. He swayed back-and-forth, side-to-side, as the unmarked police car negotiated the meandering city streets. Ellis stared ahead, cursing volubly.
Richter returned the ELF to its holster under his left arm; unclipped the Borchardt Saracen from its holster under his right. He was ready.
Ellis was still cursing, mostly raining imprecations upon Weasel Williams for tipping them off to Chunky's organ-legging business. Selling spare body parts wasn't intrinsically illegal, except in cases where the donors weren't actually dead before removal. He was also cursing over parting with a twenty for the information. If he'd kept his wallet shut him and Richter would still be ensconced in their nook in the "Four Feathers", knocking back a litre and arguing ownership of the Salt and Vinegar crisps. He stamped viciously on the clutch and ground down through the gearbox as the two vehicles negotiated yet another corner.
At the wheel of the Porsche, fighting hard to improve his slim lead over Ellis, and voluntary control over various sphincter muscles, Vincent "Chunky" Robinson bemoaned the recent change in his fortunes, one moment musing on how to spend three million in used Sterling, the next dodging the way-out-of-proportion firepower of two of the Metro's finest.
"Kackin' fuzz!" A curse mumbled under wheezy breath, but to Robinson it appeared his pursuers must have heard, for just at that moment Richter found it convenient to unleash another barrage of ersatz hot lead.
Both cars had, by now, sideslipped out onto the Western Highway, an awesome monument to civil engineering which, among its myriad potholes, did actually feature several metres of nearly intact road.
Recovering after the turn at Milnthorpe Road, Richter gave vent to an ear-splitting war-whoop and thrust himself half-out of the open passenger window (Ellis was heard to mention something vague about seat-belts). Ignoring such refinements as the laser-sight and extendable shoulder-stock, he semi-sighted on the Porsche and squeezed-off a sustained burst from the Saracen. The Borchardt gave a murmured burp and spewed a brilliant flame. It should be noted (just for the sake of an accurate record), that as the gun ejected to the right, the spent cartridges rained upon the roof of the Cruiser before scattering across the worn tarmac; thereby adding infinitesimally to the city’s already insurmountable litter problem.
The early hour and exponentially escalating cost of petroleum-derived fuel conspired to keep the roads all but empty. Which was fortunate really. From his vantage point, staring fixedly at the rear bumper on the car ahead, Ellis had a perfect view of Richter's abilities with the Borchardt; spray-and-pray. Of the twenty or so rounds fired, only two actually impacted on the Porsche. One struck the rear windscreen and left it a mess of fine lines; the other removed half the spoiler situated just beneath. The rest of the slugs dug yet more holes in the road, and a lucky ricochet took out the last remaining stanchion light in a five kilometre stretch. Richter let go a second volley; the remains of the spoiler were blasted loose, making a faint crump as the GSX passed over them.
Chunky Robinson was having great difficulty breathing. He wasn't a violent man; he wasn't even a particularly brave man. Hatchet Jackson and Fast Eddie collected the body parts and he collected the cash. But Chunky was a cautious man. When the midnight knock sounded upon his door, he was on his toes and away; almost! In rapid succession his prospects had deteriorated from rosy to the far side of fatal. In his mind’s eye a two-by-one metre plot beckoned. Never an aggressive type, Chunky's nerve failed him.
Ellis locked the anti-lock brakes as the Porsche wobbled into the nearside safety barrier, shedding sparks and flakes of paint that glittered in the police vehicle’s headlights. The Hastur swerved violently but Ellis held it to the standstill. The criss-crossing trails of smoking rubber made an interestingly abstract pattern on the tarmac.
Richter, who'd nearly fallen out during the skid, was first to recover and reach the stalled, slightly rumpled Classic. And was disgusted to find Vincent Robinson (a.k.a. "Chunky") with tears in his pale green eyes, his hands empty and raised above his balding pate.
While Ellis read Robinson his Rights and applied the handcuffs, Richter relieved his intense frustrations by emptying both the ELF and the Saracen into the Porsche (the stress therapist had repeatedly told him to "externalise and enact his negative feelings"). The car obligingly expired in a bright fireball, which smelt of petrol, burnt rubber and three million in used notes.
Chunky Robinson successfully sued Metro PD for loss of earnings. He is currently the richest inmate in Pentonville.
Chief Inspector Pembroke wasn't best pleased; though, truth to tell, he seldom was. Ellis put in for a faster car. Richter requisitioned for more ammunition.
Yeah, I get that's it has excellent descriptions and I'm pleased that Doppler is now a verb - but how is this story sci-fi or fantasy? It's a car chase with somebody who is selling body parts, right? Michele Dutcher
r.tornello - Cute, a car chase shootem up screen play. I wonder if the author ever attempted to out run the cops or some monster who wanted to beat him to a pulp for going out with his girl friend? You have to be real good and know the roads. Oh yeah, luck comes into play too. Trust me on both accounts even though it was a very long time ago. The story brought back memories of motorcycle days.
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