Hey, Happy Tuesday!
It’s Groundhog Day! Where is Phil?
I think I’m going to have to watch that today. It’s been a while; I wonder if it holds up as well as I think it does?
Anyways, that’s not why you’re here, is it? No. You’re here for another chapter in The Cassidy Chronicles – Volume One!
You know, this is really a great trip to the past for me. While the complete Volume One may have come out last May, the original book – titled Run Like Hell – was started in 2012. The feeling I wanted to get across in this chapter is the confusion, the fact that both Kendra and Derek trusted Cass completely, and that Kendra had experience and knowledge far beyond what an actress might have been expected to have.
Chapter 3: Take the Money and Run
‘What the hell is going on?’ panted Derek.
Aiyana was still dragging them away, pumps long since ditched. The replica Cadillac convertible that was their intended ride after the wedding was forgotten. Forgotten, too, was the pandemonium they had created sprinting down the aisle and out of the hall. She remembered, though, the whine of the flechettes above her head, the staccato ’thip’ as they buried themselves into the ceiling and walls, the screams of terror torn from the throats of her family, friends, co-workers. She didn’t have a destination in mind, but her feet seemed to know where they wanted to go. She was willing to go with that for now.
‘I don’t know!’ she snapped. ‘You saw the gun!’
‘What gun?’ said Kendra.
That stopped her. They were about three blocks from the hall, headed into the center of town. She pulled them between two buildings.
‘Farrell. He had a flechette gun. You saw it! I heard it!’
‘I didn’t see a gun,’ said Kendra, confused. ‘I was looking at you. Your eyes got real wide, then you grasped my hand and ran! I just followed you!’
‘What’s this about a gun?’ asked Derek.
‘Neither of you saw it?’ asked Cass. They shook their heads, almost in unison.
She couldn’t believe it. She knew she saw a gun where there shouldn’t be one, she knew that! And she was sure that Farrell used it, though none too well! So why were the other two being so oblivious?
‘Cass, I believe you. First, we’ve got to get out of here, get somewhere safe!’
‘Back to the ranch?’ said Cass.
Operating on automatic, Kendra shook her head. ‘No. That’s the first place they’ll look.’
‘The studio?’ suggested Derek.
Another shake. ‘Not there, either.’ She was flagging down a taxi as she spoke.
‘Let’s get there first,’ Kendra said, cryptically.
An older Shigumi sedan saw them and began slowing.
‘No,’ announced Derek.
‘Yes!’ insisted Kendra. ‘We have to get away -’
The cab was stopped by them. The door raised slowly, an unspoken invitation to enter.
‘The gun – didn’t you hear the yelling?’ asked Cass.
He dismissed it with a wave. ‘And we didn’t cause a scene by running away?’ He grinned lopsidedly. ‘If you wanted to elope, why couldn’t you pick a less dramatic gesture?’ The joke fell flat.
‘Oh, for Zeus’ sake!’ exclaimed Kendra. ‘Just get in the cab!’ The robot was waiting patiently by the curb, door still open. ‘We can discuss this on the way!’
‘On the way where? This is something I need to know,’ complained Derek. But he bent and entered the vehicle, followed by Kendra and finally Cass.
‘Tube station,’ said Kendra. ‘Quick!’ she said as the cab started to move. ‘We only have a few minutes. How much cash do you have?’
‘I left my bag at the wedding,’ sniffed Cass, giving in to the shock of the past few minutes.
‘Cash? I never carry cash,’ said Derek. It was true. Here, in the twenty-second century, most transactions were done electronically, with DNA ‘thumbprinting’ and a retinal scan. You slid a finger into a sensor receptacle, where a minute sample of your DNA was extracted and verified, while the same was done with the retinal image. If both matched, your transaction was processed. If not, your finger was captured in the receptacle’s pressor beam and you awaited the arrival of authorities to straighten it out. Or you left the finger behind. Your choice.
The practical upshot was, for all intents and purposes, cash was extinct. Oh, vendors and merchants still accepted it – the Currency Laws of 2086 expressly required them to do so – but only oddballs, criminals, and black marketeers carried much cash on a regular basis.
‘Shit!’ cursed Kendra. She thought for a moment, then said, ‘Change destination.’
‘New destination?’ inquired the cab.
‘Nearest bank.’ The cab, connected at all times to the planetary network, instantly recalculated the route and smoothly changed direction.
‘Bank?’ said Derek.
‘We need cash, and you have the most,’ apologized Kendra.
‘Oh, thank you very much!’
Cass sat back, watching her oldest friend take charge of the situation. It felt odd, given that she’d been the one to react first, but also somehow right. Kendra would make it work.
And now for a special bonus – the audio version of that same chapter! Enjoy!