Hack the Future part 18 ( Steven Schaufler & J Dark )

It was still pitch dark, when he awoke. Stumbling blindly to the window and cursing under his breath as he stubbed his toe against his desk, he noted that the faint indigo hue of false dawn was creeping up from the east. He checked his watch and sighed. It was just a little after 04:00. Can’t be helped; he thought, and quietly headed to the shower. Blade was still asleep, and on the couch of all places. He idly wondered if she’d fallen asleep waiting for him. At any other time he might’ve done the gentlemanly thing and draped a blanket over her but, they had an early -and likely long- day ahead of them, so he just smiled and shook his head as he closed the bathroom door behind him.

His morning showers always started hot and ended cold, so roughly fifteen minutes later found him standing infront of the couch -and its sleeping occupant- fresh and invigorated, if shivering, despite the large towel draped around his waist. He nudged Blade’s side with his foot and grinned as he cried out „Rise and shine!“ His grin only widening as her response was to merely groan and turn around. Of course, he only saw that as an invitation, and followed up by nudging her again, only this time there was a little more power behind it, and the target wasn’t her side but her tush. „C’mon, Blade, get up! If you really need more beauty sleep, you can sleep in the car.“ With that he turned and headed towards his room to get dressed. Behind him, he heard Blade mutter something into the pillow that, given her extensive repertoire of expletives, he was glad he missed.

Another fifteen minutes later saw him dressed and all but ready, and from the random thumps and thuds coming from the other room, Blade was getting ready as well. He was surprised to see two rather large slices of salami pizza sitting on the counter and, given the coffee pot was full and the divine liquid within lukewarm, he realised Blade really had fallen asleep waiting for him. Well, he’d make it up to her after this job was done. There might be enough money left over after bills and debt to take her to one of those fancy ‘Fusion’ restaurants. But fancy was not for today. He poured himself some coffee and rummaged around one of the cabinets for a can of tuna, dumping its contents on the pizza and adding a few bits of canned pineaple before nuking his savoury breakfast for a minute.

By the time Blade came out of her room, he was all but finished eating. With his mouth full, he wasn’t going to say anything so he just waved the hand holding the nearly devoured treat in her direction in a combination of good morning and thank you. She just glared, then rolled her sleepy eyes at him; slinging her dufflebag over her shoulder before heading down to the car. Shrugging, he finished his breakfast and, when Blade didn’t return, grabbed his own bag and left the apartment, locking the door behind him.

When he got to the car, Blade had already made her nest, as it were. Tilting the passenger seat all the way back and using her bag as a pillow, she was stretched out comfortably and, judging by the lack of reaction as he got in and started the engine, already fast asleep again. He sighed softly. It would be a long drive, and brainstorming with his partner would’ve helped the prepare more for the job, and also help pass the time but, oh well. He discarded the first tape he’d thought of playing and instead opted for one of his classical mix tapes. At least ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ wouldn’t have Blade jolt wide awake as the ‘Ride of Valkyries’ would have.

There was no need to get pulled over, and so despite all but having the streets to himself this early in the morning, he didn’t exceed the speed limit by too much. I took about forty minutes to get onto the A9. Behind them, the first golden rays of sunlight crept over the horizon, and he grinned as he gazed into his rearview. He knew he couldn’t win but, as he pushed down on the gas pedal and turned up the volume on his anachronistic Alpine stereo system, he sure as hell tried to outrace the sun as he sped southward at roughly 250 km/h.

It was fun while it lasted. Once they reached Bayreuth, semis had started becoming more frequent, and forced him to slow down considerably and, while he was still able to make good time, once they pulled on to the A73, it was over. The last 20 to 30 kilometers towards Nürnberg were more of a slow crawl, and ultimately complete gridlock, before they reached their destination. By the time he pulled up infront of the old sandstone building their rented apartment was in, it was exactly 10:00. Nearly six hours of driving, in what could’ve been done in under five.

Blade had slept the entire time, or at least remained quiet if she did stir awake at some point

Now that they’d arrived however, she fluttered her eyes open as he shut off the engine, and asked sleepily „Are we there yet?“ He nodded in response. „Yeah, we’re here. Still got another hour before we meet the landlord.“ With that said, he reclined his seat slightly and opened the window, then lit up a smoke and puffed the smoke out into the street before looking at his partner. He’d had several hours to think about everything once again. From the what they were about to do, to how he’d deliberately goaded the elf the night before, and the revelation that his partner was a half-breed. He trusted her. He knew she’d always have his back, and with all of the secrets he had, he didn’t begrudge her any of her own. But it was a big elephant in the room -or the car, as it were- and they needed to clear the air if this job was to succeed. He gazed up at the sunroof and asked almost nonchalantly „So, wanna talk about it?“, giving her the option to decide which it she wanted to address first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *