|dan (67) myron (1) rich (61) shiloh (4) :: Contact|
Thu, 31 May 2007
Alan had to admit that, one on one, Carla appeared charming and innocent. She had a warm smile and a cozy demeanor that disarmed him. Intellectually, he knew her seemingly personable appearance disguised a soul that was icy cold, self serving, and unbounded by moral constrains. Yet as he danced with her in his arms, it was easy to be swept away by the glow of her. She wasn't exactly pretty or glamorous in the common senses, but with her suit coat off and her silk blouse the only thing separating the pointy tips of her small breasts from him, Alan found himself attracted and aroused despite his wariness. Her aura of power was exciting.
Maybe it was the rum. They had eaten an unremarkable dinner in the dining are that was separated from the disco by a row of fake palm trees. After their coffee, Carla insisted that they move to the bar for a night cap. She hadn't yet told Alan anything, and now she promised that she soon would.
Over two of the fluorescent blue rum drinks what did they add to make them glow so impossibly bright in the dim lighting Carla danced around one question, while hammering directly at another.
"Did you see what happened to Paul Wolfowitz?" she asked. "World Bank, Hah! This is a nasty business we are in well, that I'm in. You still need to decide. And what about Doug Jackson at e-gold? Just babes in the woods. You'd think grown men like them would understand how things work."
"What are you talking about," said Alan.
"I'm talking about the extinction of cash. I'm talking about exercising power in the world financial community. And I'm talking about being able to fuck whoever I want."
"Carla, I think we should leave now," said Alan.
"Excellent idea," slurred Carla, her tongue partially numbed by the rum. "Alan, you're a piece of work. You pretend to be the straight laced stick in the mud, but that envelope of fake cash showed what a charade that is. In any case, it's an excellent idea to leave. Let's go out to the car. I want to see if old Benjamin can get your stick to rise from the mud again."
It was 2 AM. The low throb from the engine of Carla's vette, and the clicking of her turn signal were the only sounds. The radio was off and the windows were rolled down as as they waited to make a left at a red light on the loop road around BWI. A left turn at this intersection, a sharp hairpin left actually, and they would be heading toward the hotel district on the service road.
"I hate computers, Alan, didya' know that?" said Carla. The booze was really getting to her now. "I hate the damn things and this car is chock full of them. Traction Control computer who needs it?" Carla clicked off the console switch.
"Carla, you could just drive straight to your place."
"Whoo, hoo, hoo! Steady big boy, I hardly know you," she said, making a clumsy attempt at a flirtatious gaze.
"You have the wrong idea. I just don't think you should bother driving me to my hotel. I can get home from here. The hotel shuttles stop all along this road. You should go straight home and go to bed."
"Without you, honey?" Carla pouted.
"Yes, without me."
"How sad. What good is it being able to fuck whoever you want when you can't fuck whoever you want?" Carla reached over and put her hand on top of Alan's.
"Not that I don't find you attractive, Carla. You are definitely an exciting woman. I just don't think we should get involved if we are going to be partners." Alan lifted Carla's hand and put it back on her lap.
"Exciting, eh?" she said, frowning. "I suppose that's a compliment. As for partners, it wasn't business partners I had first in mind," said Carla, moving her hand back to Alan, this time on his upper thigh.
"Stop," said Alan, firmly pushing her hand away again. "the light's green."
Carla glared at Alan coldly, clearly not happy her advance was rejected. "I'm confused. You say the light's green, but you say stop?"
"The traffic light is green. Just take me back to my Hotel. Go."
"That's better, Alan, go it shall be."
Carla floored the gas pedal. The 7 liter aluminum block V8 in the C6 delivers a SAE-certified 470 lb-ft of torque that could have accelerated them to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds had the steering wheel been aimed straight ahead. With the wheel turned hard left, as it was, the acceleration was somewhat diminished. By the time the car had completed the first 90 degrees of the sweeping hairpin left onto the hotel service road, it was only going about 50 mph.
Vettes normally achieve high lateral G road handling by means of a sophisticated traction control system implemented by microcomputers, accelerometers and stability sensors. Had this system been turned on, the active handling algorithm would have compared driver steering input with actual vehicle response and discovered a growing discrepancy. It would have used individual wheel brake application, engine power modulation, and available magnetic selective ride control to stay on track.
With traction control disabled, the track discrepancy grew into an uncontrollable skid. The vette hit the guard rail on the service road at about 70 mph, not 500 feet from the traffic light. The impact was not head on, but at an oblique angle, limiting the deceleration within the range where The dual stage front and side air bags could prevent serious injury to either passenger.
The car lost some speed in this impact, bounced off the rail, shot diagonally across the road, and hit the other guard rail, this time more squarely. It came finally to rest another hundred feet further down the road.
After a few minutes, Carla and Alan wormed their way out of the wreckage. Alan had a sharp pain in his side, probably broken ribs. Carla couldn't lift her right arm. The two were otherwise intact. The shock had sobered Carla considerably.
"We have to get out of here, Alan," she said urgently. "Fleeing the scene, if they can even prove it, is a lesser offense than DWI. We need to get back to your hotel without being spotted. The cops will be here any minute."
"What are you saying?" he replied. "You're hurt. We need to get an ambulance."
"Don't be an idiot. Listen to me. We need to get moving. It looks like there's a bike path or something over there by the trees. Follow me."
With that, Carla staggered to her feet and started with an erratic loping gait toward the trail. Alan hesitated at first, but what could he do. He wasn't going to stand here and deal with the cops all by himself, especially now that he had a record. She was right. They had to flee.
Within minutes of reaching the trail, they could see flashing lights back toward the wreck. The first cop car had arrived. When they found the vehicle empty, they would start searching the area. The trail was obviously one of the places they would look. The foliage next to the trail was thick, but when they crossed over what appeared to be a drainage gully, there seemed to be an opening.
"Carla," Alan whispered, "go right. We have to get off this trail."
"Good idea, at last you're thinking. Maybe you do have what it takes to survive in international finance."
They climbed down into the ditch and started moving perpendicular to the trail. The going was rough in what now appeared to be a narrow creek bed. There was a trickle of water in it just enough to make the rocks slippery and the soil mucky. One time the foliage closed over top of them and they had to crawl. Because of her bad arm, Carla had a rough time of it. There was no moon but headlights from the nearby Baltimore Washington parkway filtered through the weeds and lit their way. In the flickery strands of light, Alan could see that Carla's blouse was torn exposing part of a muddy breast. Carla caught his glance.
"I'm not in the mood any more, Alan," she said.
Blushing, Alan looked away. "I'm sorry, he said, "I have some extra clothes back at the hotel. When we get there I can go in first and get it for you.
"When I called you a stick in the mud, it was figuative," she jibed, truly unconcerned about her exposure, "but if you can get a rise in this muck, you have a kinky side that I had no idea existed. Despite the loss of a fine automobile and what seems to be a broken collarbone, this evening hasn't been a total loss."
Suddenly they were at an impasse. The creek entered a small drainpipe, too small to crawl through. The pipe protruded through a concrete swail wall. Above the wall, and extending to the left and right as far as they could make out was a chain link fence topped with barbed wire.
On the fence was a sign. It read:
US Government Property
National Security Agency
Airport Square Technology Park
Friendship Annex / FANX
"Damn," said Alan, "now what do we do?"