“Go!” shouted SMS. “Drive, drive!”
Pavelec slammed her car into gear and peeled out of the parking lot. Bullets smacked into the rear bumper as they sped down the aisle between the rows of parked cars. Pavelec barely touched the brakes as they swung out into traffic on View Street and barrelled off at top speed.
“They’re converging in the parking lot,” said Cyber, holding a stolen GPS unit that he was using to monitor their pursuers. “Looks like they’ve got three vehicles. They won’t be far behind.”
“Can we outrun them?” asked SMS.
“Maybe,” said Pavelec, “if we get some help.” Flicking a switch on the dashboard she activated the police lights hidden along the top of the windshield and blared her horn. The traffic parted to let them through.
“Huh,” said SMS. “I didn’t realize this was a ghost car.”
“Thought you could always spot them, didn’t you?” Pavelec glanced in the rearview mirror. “And speaking of spotting things…” Three big SUVs tore around the corner behind them, narrowly missing the cars that had started to pull back out onto the street after the ghost car had passed. “Those must be our friends.”
SMS’s heart pounded. “Can’t you turn the siren on, too?”
“And make us that much easier to follow?” said Pavelec. “It won’t do us any good if all they have to do is chase the sound.” She leaned hard on the horn and veered into the oncoming lane to get around some congested traffic that had no room to pull over to the side and let them by. The engine screamed as she shifted furiously, redlining the tachometer.
Suddenly a shower of bullets smacked into the rear windshield, and cracks bloomed all across it.
“We have a small problem,” said Cyber.
“A small one?” said SMS. “Bullets are big problems!”
“It’s bulletproof,” said Pavelec.
“Thank God this is a ghost car,” said SMS.
“Yeah, well keep your head down, anyways. It can only take so much. And hope they don’t hit the tires.”
“That’s not what I mean,” said Cyber. He threw down the communicator he had been using to listen in on their pursuers. “They’ve figured out we were on their frequency and gone to radio silence. I couldn’t really understand what they were saying, anyways, but they sounded really intense. Plus they’ve set their own GPSes to stop transmitting, so I can’t see where they are.”
“They’re right behind us,” said SMS.
Cyber glared. “Shut up and let me think! I think I can manually adjust the coordinates that the GPSes we’re carrying are transmitting so the others will see false positions.”
“Perfect,” said Pavelec. She grabbed the handset of a radio off the dashboard and thrust it into SMS’s hands. “Hold this for me,” she ordered.
SMS obediently held the radio up in front of Pavelec and depressed the switch on the side.
“Calling all patrols: this is Agent Mia Pavelec of the Specials Unit. I am engaged in a high-speed chase heading north on Highway 17. Three vehicles are involved. Establish a road block at the Quadra off-ramp. ETA six minutes.”
“We aren’t on Highway 17,” said SMS, looking back out the rear window to see that the SUVs were still in hot pursuit.
“But we’re about to be,” said Pavelec. “Or at least, we’re about to look like we are. Cyber, do your thing.”
“It won’t do any good yet,” said Cyber. “We need to open up a big enough gap that they lose sight of us and have to rely on their GPSes.”
“I’m on it,” said Pavelec. She made a sudden, sharp turn into an alleyway, shot through it, and swerved the wrong way into one-way traffic on the other side. She spotted a parking garage ahead and veered into it, steered recklessly through the narrow lanes, and emerged from the exit back into busy traffic. “That should buy us a few seconds while they follow,” she said.
SMS looked behind them. He couldn’t see the SUVs, but he was sure they wouldn’t be too far behind.
In the back seat, Cyber had the four GPS units spread out in his lap, a finger on the exposed USB port of each one. Cyber’s eyes were closed in concentration. “Here goes nothing,” he said. “Okay, take a left here, and then another left onto Douglas heading south. Shut the lights off, too. I’m making it look like we’ve turned up Blanshard and are following that to Highway 17. As long as they don’t get close enough for a visual and see that we aren’t actually in front of them, they should end up running right into the roadblock.”
“Good.” Pavelec followed his instructions, made the turns, and settled the car back into regular traffic.
For a couple of minutes they kept to the speed limit and watched in silence for any sign of their pursuers. SMS kept his fingers crossed and tried to calm his breathing as he watched Cyber’s face in the back seat. “What’s happening?” he said.
“I don’t know,” Cyber snapped. “Their GPSes aren’t transmitting anymore, remember? Let me concentrate.”
The radio crackled. “We have a visual on three SUVs,” said an official-sounding voice. “Are you in pursuit?”
Pavelec exhaled a sigh of relief. She grabbed the handset. “Negative,” she said. “I was unable to pursue. Be warned: the suspects are armed and dangerous.”
“Roger that,” said the cop on the other end.
“And we’re clear,” said Pavelec. “We’ll let Vic PD handle the rest. Trash the GPSes, Cyber.”
Cyber nodded and took a few seconds to scramble the programming of the GPS units. Then he tossed them out the window, along with the communicator they’d taken. A truck behind them crunched over the electronics.
“That’s that,” said Pavelec. “On we go to Esquimalt, then?”