Heroines of the Night
Tripping the Light Fantastic
by Bevie James
Episode Three - Un-Dynamic Duo
Alanna tried to avoid bickering with Dee as they walked across the parking lot to where their ‘special’ vehicles were kept. She kept reminding herself that Verena had assigned them the modified Tesla Roadster. It was a gorgeous thing, with all the features the best models had, plus a few added by Tomoyo’s Garage. Things such as an invisibility control, which wasn’t to be found on most models.
“Do you want me to drive?” Alanna asked, just to be polite. She regretted her manners immediately.
Dee snatched the keys from Alanna’s hand. “No. I want to drive.”
Alanna fought back the sigh which desperately wanted to escape. She should have just pulled rank and assumed the driver position. Now she would be regulated to monitoring dashboard controls instead of feeling the joy of driving this really hot car. Verena didn’t let this one out that often. And when she did, she usually drove.
Dee was already in the car and revving the engine by the time Alanna got in. She had to move Dee’s Staff of Renewal. That was a bother, but it was a necessary and useful tool. She also had to fidget until her wings were comfortable. Even modified fancy sports cars weren’t built to accommodate true fliers. Situated, she reported to Verena, who would keep a vigil in Communications until Mr. Manners had been captured.
“Lasered Lash reporting to Caped Blade.”
The reply came through the car’s surround sound speakers. “Caped Blade here. Go ahead Lasered Lash.”
“We are buckled in and ready to go. Activating area scan now.” Alanna waited a few seconds for the dashboard monitor to being displaying possible security concerns around the abandoned parking lot above. “Ground area is secure. Air space is clear.”
“Confirmed,” came the reply.
“We are ready to launch,” said Dee, releasing the clutch and slamming the accelerator to the floor.
The sound and smell of squealing tires filled the parking area. Alanna was thrown back into her seat. She felt like she had just been launched. This car had plenty of get up and go.
“Dee, you might want to slow down”, said Alanna. “I’m not sure the tunnel monitors can keep up with us. We might find ourselves driving into a wall.”
Dee’s eyes brightened behind her magenta mask. Her mouth was open in a perpetual laugh.
“Nah! We’ll be all right.”
Alanna tried to keep her nerves under control as the opening cleared just seconds before the Tesla arrived.
With a cry of exultation Dee drove the car around the non-secured parking area, spinning cookies and shouting for glee.
“This is great!” she cried.
“Yes, it is. But that’s not why we’re here, is it?” said Alanna. “Let’s get going.”
Dee’s smile faded. “You are a stick in the mud. Oh, very well. Pilot to navigator. Where do we go?”
Alanna bit her tongue and forced herself to ignore Dee’s irreverence. She punch in codes to the dashboard computer and scanned the city graphic which displayed.
“Benig Caron. Alias, Mr. Manners.”
“I know who he is, Alanna,” moaned Dee. “Just tell me where we’re going.”
Alanna took another breath, but this time it didn’t do any good.
“If you’re so smart then why don’t you know where we’re going?” she asked.
“Because you’re the navigator!”
“I’m also in charge of this mission.”
“Oh, ho, ho. So you’re going to pull rank on me?”
“If I have to.”
Dee paused. Apparently she had more to say, but was thinking better of it.
Alanna smiled. Difficult as she was, ultimately Dee accepted the chain of command.
“So where are we going?” Dee asked.
“Verena managed to attach a short range homing signal to his car. If we can get within a mile or two we should pick it up.”
Dee shook her head. “That’s just great. The city’s at least forty miles across in every direction.”
Alanna set her teeth against Dee’s negative attitude. “Historically, Mr. Manners likes to hide out near the river. It gives him an extra avenue of escape which leaves no trail. We’ll start there.”
“Wonderful,” said Dee, recapturing some of her enthusiasm. “Maybe we can test out the submarine feature this thing’s got.”
“This isn’t a game, Masked Wizard.”
“I know, Lasered Lash.”
They rode in silence for a few seconds. Alanna was content to let Dee have the final word if it meant they could ride together in peace. Only the Masked Wizard wasn’t finished.
“I’m surprised you let me drive at all,” she mumbled.
No last word this time, Dee.
“So am I. But don’t worry. I won’t make this mistake again.”