I don’t think I’ve ever had a month like this.
It was as if my life was ripped from a TV newscast
So much happened, and today, the final day of the month
Sam Fishburne said, “we’re going to go talk to the FBI.”
And a memory in the back of my head is trying to get my attention.
Fishburne implies I’m going to be arrested.
It’s like a bad dream.
A bad dream where Sam Fishburne, FBI Special Agent Wannabe
Is right there, next to me, in a cab of all places
And, there is this voice, this memory, murmuring
And Fishburne has a gun
And he has what looks like a badge
And he said we were heading to talk to the FBI
But, we’re in a cab.
Dreams are crazy. But this wasn’t a dream.
And this memory kept nagging me, it said, “Toyota Avalon…”,
And I’m like, “just… shut up!”
And the memory knocked persistently (hollow knocking) on my consciousness.
I looked down at my hands.
They were zip-tied together.
It’s all so unprofessional
Zip-ties and taxi cabs, really?
And, I’m thinking, “You’re a hacker, thirty seconds with a shoelace, you can saw through these zip-ties, and you’re a free man.”
And my dream is knocking, whispering, “Toyota Avalon!”
Why does my memory want me to know that?
The memory is yelling, “This is a 2013 Toyota Avalon!”
Then I get it, I noticed that the taxi cab I’m in is a 2013 Toyota Avalon
And, I’m thinking, “Why does that matter??”
Then, I remembered: I read in some recall memo that the rear doors have a locking mechanism flaw
With it, I could defeat the child safety locks preventing me from opening the door
But, what was the flaw?
Then Fishburne interrupted, and said, “check out your hacker friends now.” (act it mockingly)
He said it normally, but that guy is so aggravating, you know? The way he talks. Argh.
I look where he’s looking
We just pulled up in front of my apartment building (street sounds of a city)
When I left this morning, Exclusivor, Stoney and Lita were in my apartment
Exclusivor was in my bed
I haven’t seen them since
But there is Stoney, being led away in handcuffs
Fishburne is smirking
I think about how great it would feel to punch him
(It would feel fantastic)
His hair is slicked back and he’s wearing a cologne that triggers a memory
I look past Fishburne, through the window, as our cab comes to a stop across the street
Lita is looking on, watching this go down
She’s also in handcuffs, and she’s crying
Stoney is calling back to her, saying something
Stoney rarely speaks, but he’s shouting something now
I said, “What’s going on?”
Fishburne said, “Public service. Putting dangerous people in safe places.”
I said, “What’d they do to you?”
Fishburne looked over at me, and said, “Their friend Sean didn’t tell me what I need to know.”
Fishburne was talking about me. Online, I go by Distinctive.
But my mom named me Sean
This is what I feared most
Getting my friends tangled up in this
But, I didn’t want to be tangled up in it, either.
I asked, “what does this have to do with me?”
Fishburne said, “I need to find Exclusivor.”
I said, “Well, go get her. She’s in there, too.”
Fishburne sat up quickly. He said, “What?”
I said, “When I left this morning, she was there, too, with Stoney and Lita.
You couldn’t miss her, she can barely move.
She has a broken back.”
Fishburne flipped open an ageless cell phone and hit three buttons (sfx)
He said, “get me a perimeter!”
The person on the other end said something, and Fishburne said, “Come on, man. Okay, then can you put Jackson on??”
After a moment, Fishburne said, “Agent Jackson, it’s Sam Fishburne, I have intel that Zoe Gates is in that building.
Can you order a perimeter, sir?”
Then he said, “Sam Fishburne.”
Then he said, “Argh, you’re not 1811 either? Who is?”
Then he said, “Fine!”
He slapped his phone closed (sfx), swore, looked at me and said, “You’re coming with me.”
I didn’t move.
Fishburne jumped out of the cab (door opens), stalked around to my side (shoes on concrete), yanked open the door (sfx) and growled, “You’re with me.”
My blood pressure spiked
And then I remembered, and it felt like meditation
The cab was a 2013 Toyota Avalon, which delivered with a malfunctioning rear door-lock actuator motor
There was a recall for it in 2015 but with only 40% response
I like to keep up with all the recall stuff
When I got in the cab, and the doors locked, I heard the buzzing from the lock motor,
which means it’s going to fail soon
You can advance the failure by holding the lock trigger button and pushing on the door
And, even if the child safety locks are on, the door still opens
It cost some seven year old kid his life
Suddenly, I slid to the left side, held down the lock trigger and pushed
The door opened.
I jumped out his door and crossed the street to where Lita stood
She noticed me and said, “Distinctive, do something – they’re arresting us!”
I just said, “I know. I’ll figure it out. I’ll get you out of it.”
Then her cop started pushing her away, toward a squad car.
She said, “We were doing this to help you!”
I said, “I know, I got you. It’ll be okay”
But she noticed my hands were zip-tied and her face hardened
She looked so mad
And, honestly, I wasn’t sure it would be okay.
I felt pretty screwed.
As I watched the cop duck her into the car, Fishburne tackled me
My hands were still zip-tied, so I couldn’t break my fall
I hit my head really hard
And the last thing I remember until I woke up, was Fishburne just wailing on me.