When Laurie woke up she found that Derek was having trouble driving in a straight line.
She looked around, “We’re in a… Gremlin?” she asked, before more pressing matters came to mind, “You better let me drive” she said.
Derek looked at her, “You haven’t had much sleep” he said.
“You haven’t had any, by the looks of it” Laurie replied, “Let me drive”
Derek conceded the point and pulled over. Laurie took the driver’s seat and drove off.
“Where did you get this car?” she asked, she was still wondering if there hadn’t been any better cars in a fifty kilometre radius.
“It belonged to Sammy the Rev’s mother” said Derek, “It was the only car I could get at short enough notice”
Laurie took a moment to feel how heavy her eyelids were. “What was the rush?” she asked, “Couldn’t we have stayed for another few hours?”
Derek shook his head, and turned around to look out of the back window. “I didn’t feel safe there” he said, “I think whoever owned that cube might be coming back for it”
“What makes you think that?” she asked
“I saw three helicopters”
“What do you mean…and? I saw three helicopters, isn’t that enough way out here?”
“Enough to worry you yes, but you’re dancing around like someone hyped you on amphetamines. So what else is it?”
Derek tried to push himself back into the seat as though he was burrowing into it “I don’t know” he said, “There was just something back there that didn’t seem right; I just didn’t like it”
Laurie thought about this; they did say that paranoia came for all old agents eventually. But this was a strange case and paranoia might be a survival trait here.
“Get some rest” she said, “I’m here now; you’re safe”
“Safe?” Derek started laughing; but then he stopped and looked at her, “Right” he said, “Safe”. He scrunched himself into the corner of the car. Eventually he seemed to relax; and then started snoring softly.
Laurie didn’t sleep. According to the clock on the dashboard she had only managed to get about two hours sleep, and even through her glasses the road looked streaky in the rising sun; but still she didn’t sleep.
Laurie kept her eyes on the road and kept driving. Maybe paranoia was contagious, she thought; the more she drove the more she wanted to put as much distance between herself and Symphony as she could.
She started checking the rear view mirror far more than was really necessary; and even started turning around completely in her seat every few minutes.
She stopped for gas after a few hours; and while the car was filling up she took a picture of the cube on her cell phone; which she sent to the office. The whole time she was out in the open she kept her eyes on the horizon; she didn’t know what she was expecting to see, but she was glad when she started driving again.
Laurie started keeping more weight on the gas pedal. She was now spending more time watching the rear view mirror than she was spending watching the road. Every time she turned back after swivelling to look behind her she had a feeling in the back of her neck; like something evil was watching her.
After several hours of doing this Laurie finally saw something.
At first it was just a black dot hovering over Mt Symphony, but it still held her gaze so strongly that she almost crashed into a truck while watching it.
She swerved back into her own lane, and the movement woke Derek up. “What is it? What’s wrong?” he asked
Laurie indicated behind the car; and together they watched as the dot became a helicopter, and slowly got larger.