View Full Version : Car Chase (because everybody loves them)

April 17th, 2012, 10:23 PM
The Car Chase scene from Catch23. Lemme know whatchya think!


Jeff loved cars. He absolutely loved them. He had a particular thing for exotics. He knew everything about the Lamborghini, from the Formula 1-style pushrod suspension to the single-clutch sequential automatic gearbox. And most importantly, the strangely-placed start button in the middle of the center console.

A million doubts screamed at him as he ducked into the driver’s seat and pulled the scissor-wing door shut. He pushed them aside; Natalie was more important. His odds of getting to her before the terrorists could were now significantly higher.

The police surrounded the car, the rich man screaming and hollering and begging them not to hurt it. Jeff looked up into the mirror, glaring right into the eyes of one particularly nervous and young-looking cop. With a sneer he stabbed a finger into the start button.

The engine spun and exploded to life with a catlike roar. If pure adrenaline had a sound, that would be it. Chills raced up his spine. Frantically he wrestled with the paddle shifters, trying to figure out how to put the gearbox in reverse. If there was a more embarrassing way to be apprehended than not knowing how to drive...

There. Labeled with an “R” on the center console. He sank his thumb into the button and tapped the gas. Cops dove out of the way of the Lamborghini as it flung itself out into the middle of the garage. Jeff fought with the wheel. He hadn’t expected so much power. Heaven help anyone who tried to keep him from saving his friend now.

The low and angular Lamborghini cut right under the swing arm gate and dove into the traffic. Surprised drivers honked and slammed on their brakes. Jeff steered with one hand and tried to enter the address into the nav system with the other. Several times he almost sideswiped or rear-ended another car. At long last he managed to program the route, and with his jaw clenched, he grasped the wheel with both hands and sent the vehicle into a haphazard right turn.

Instantly he saw why those roads were empty. The police had parked their cars in road block formations. He hastily flipped a u-turn, but the other way out was blocked as well.

“Stop the vehicle! Step out with your hands in the air!” The voice over the loudspeaker was almost inaudible over his racing heart. They had him completely surrounded. He could almost feel the laser-guided sights on his forehead, dancing amid the sweat. It had been nearly two minutes since Natalie had called. The nav showed a travel time of fifteen minutes. If one was to abide by the speed limit. It would be up to her to stall the terrorists as long as possible.

“Shut down your engine! I repeat, shut down your engine!”

When I’m dead. He stomped the gas and the car exploded like a bullet toward the space between the police SUV and the side of the building. Whether or not it was wide enough, he had no idea. He’d find out in three, two, one...

The curb rattled him violently. Sparks flew from the undercarriage, and the Lamborghini cleared the gap with no room to spare. The right side mirror was torn free by the bricks. A brief glance over his shoulder showed the dumbfounded police scrambling for their vehicles.

He swerved through another intersection, marveling at the light response of the Italian supercar. It seemed as though mere thought would send it in whichever direction he wished. Which, in this case, was around the white cable van and right into Central Park. He ignored the peeved nav computer and set a course for the heart of the park. If he could outrun the police here, he might have a chance.

The traffic around him might as well have been stationary. The engine and brakes sent the vehicle sprinting forward or slowing violently with just a flex of his toe. Open stretches passed beneath the tires in fractions of a second. Stone walls rose on either side; the engine’s roar leapt at him from all around. The experience was almost surreal. He couldn’t help but let out a whoop. A Lamborghini. He was actually driving a Lamborghini!

A spike strip suddenly appeared in the road before him. Adrenaline twisted his hands and the Lamborghini went flying over the grass. The rear clipped the police car hiding behind a tree, and he spun out of control. The car’s computer desperately hunted for gears and fought for traction. Jeff released the throttle and waited until the Lamborghini regained its footing. Countless police vehicles emerged from hiding around him. Grass flew from under the Lamborghini’s wheels, almost desperate to keep it from reaching the road. Jeff roared with rage. Only a few more feet...

The tires bit eagerly into the pavement and the acceleration slammed him into the seat. He sailed out into a southbound road, and the computer finally decided that he was going the right direction. The city stretched endlessly before him, the cops flooded the street behind. He switched the transmission to manual and set the driving mode from Street to Track. The chase was on. Time to see what Italy’s finest could do.

Another storm took the island of Manhattan by surprise. Dark grey clouds stretched their fingers over the sunset and rain gradually soaked the streets.

With the police close behind, the Lamborghini cut and weaved through the traffic, throwing contrails of mist like the stealth fighter jet it so closely resembled. Jeff ground his teeth in anger. Nobody would get out of his way, and he was losing his lead. He glanced nervously at the clock, again and again. “Get out of my way!”

He laid on the horn until at long last a gap opened up. With a cautious foot on the gas pedal he took off again, honking near intersections, shooting through with several glancing blows. Halfway there. The police had become lost in the thick of it and were no longer visible. Just a few more minutes...

Harsh clanking made him duck. Shrapnel zinged his forehead. He corrected his sudden swerve, peeking over the wheel, out the windows. Behind him, a black Mercedes C-Class. He recognized the vehicle as the one that Mack Rullo had stolen. A thickly-bearded man held a handgun out the passenger’s window. Really? The terrorists too?

The Lamborghini plowed through the front of a pickup truck. Debris flew, both vehicles skidded down a ramp into a construction zone. Jeff shook the impact from his head and aimed back toward the pavement. The engine screamed; gravel flew from under the car. Hopefully the steering still worked, that was a hard hit...

The Mercedes came barrelling down the ramp, crashing through the “road closed” sign. Jeff pushed the pickup out of the way with a snarl and went for the torn-up highway, but the Mercedes pulled in front of him. He ducked, and another bullet went into his headrest.

He tried to maneuver around, but the terrorists blocked his path effortlessly. The split second before he rammed them a police car careened into the side of the Mercedes, taken completely by surprise. Good enough. Jeff upshifted for better traction on the mud and floored it.

The cops had caught up again. Two huge Durangos closed in on the supercar. Mud was the Lamborghini’s undoing. Jeff steered recklessly through the cones and dormant equipment, fishtailing around almost every turn. More bullets rained from the overpass above.

Rain fell even thicker than before. The construction zone seemed to stretch on forever. He would gain the lead on straights, but any turn of the wheel slowed him down again. The SUVs finally caught up after one sharp curve, and one managed to nudge the Lamborghini’s rear with its grille guard. Jeff spun the wheel frantically but the Lamborghini slid sideways while the Durango pushed it along.

Wrestling with the wheel and paddle shifters he finally pulled free, now facing the way he had come. The other SUV hurdled straight toward him. Unable to stop on the mud, it missed the Lamborghini by inches and smashed into the other cop car. Both vehicles crumpled against a concrete barrier.

More red and blue lights could be seen in the rain, approaching fast. He plowed through a pile of cones and went for the half-finished parking lot in the distance. What little traction the wet asphalt could offer would be his only hope.

The way was suddenly blocked by another black and armored Toyota Land Cruiser. Jeff fought the instinct to hit the brakes, instead downshifting, punching the gas, steering hard right. The tail of the supercar flung itself around. Mud splattered the SUV.

The terrorists took their shots. Sparks leapt from the Lamborghini’s chassis. One bullet shattered the passenger window. He grimaced at the cold; the break in his concentration almost sent him into a debris pile.

With a jolt he made it back onto a half-finished section of road. The Land Cruiser raced along in the mud next to him. Buildings were closing in fast on either side. Jeff tried to outrun the Toyota but maneuvering around the machinery kept his foot on the brake pedal.

Suddenly the Land Cruiser swerved right toward him. The SUV came flying onto the pavement and the armored bumper punched into the driver’s door. The Lamborghini spun and crashed into a steamroller. Shards of metal danced across the ground.

Dazed, he urged the car back into motion, but he didn’t get far. Terrorists spilled out of the Toyota and leveled assault rifles. A black Lexus slid to a halt and unloaded her armed crew as well. The gunmen formed a semicircle around the Lamborghini. Jeff revved the engine threateningly, yet still they closed in. His foot itched to crush the accelerator but he knew he would be gunned down in an instant. The mud pooling under the tires would deny them grip long enough for the terrorists to put several bullets into his skull.

And suddenly the police were involved as well. Sedans, trucks and SUVs came to a screeching halt all around. The barrage of flashing lights stung Jeff’s eyes. Doors flew open, handguns were drawn. He watched with bated breath, nobody sure who to point their weapon at. The scene hung frozen. Even the rain had paused to see what happened next.

Who fired the first shot, nobody knew. Gunfire exploded all around. Cops and terrorists alike died in their attempt to get back inside their vehicles. Bullets ricocheted off the Lamborghini’s hood. With clenched teeth Jeff hammered the gas pedal. Tires squealed. The supercar flew straight through the middle of the lethal storm, between two cop cars, straight toward his only means of escape: The row of doors covered in tar paper.

Impact. Shattered glass flowed over the angular supercar like a liquid wave. Scaffolding towers disintegrated and collapsed. The Lamborghini careened off a tiny staircase and swerved wildly into the plaza of a crowded mall.

Jeff barely got the vehicle under control in time to spare the lives of a terrified mother and her two boys. The civilians scrambled for cover with children and belongings under their arms. Mall security appeared on the scene and instantly joined the pandemonium, screaming into their radios.
Jeff set the traction control to maximum, but still the tires could not find grip on the marble. Seven-hundred horsepower was just too much. The horrid screeching grated on his ears.

Headlights flickered in the rearview mirror. Another Mercedes, a black SLS AMG, exploded through the construction and came flying over the stairs, skidding, slamming in the back of the Lamborghini.

The impact propelled him into motion. Pain shot up his spine. He kept one hand on the horn while the two cars raced down the plaza. Dodging one obstacle sent him sliding toward the next. Several kiosks were destroyed in his wake; a smartphone somehow landed in the passenger seat. It was gruelling work. But Jeff was beginning to get a feel for the way the Lamborghini drove. More and more he was successful at predicting how the machine would behave under his command.

Gunshots echoed through the mall. Holes appeared in the leather dashboard. Time to put the machine to the test. He tapped the pedals and spun the wheel, drifting perfectly around the fountain in the intersection between hallways. The Mercedes tried to follow but crashed through a pretzel stand and into a footwear outlet.

He lost control 270 degrees through the circle, spinning out and toppling a mannequin onto a picnic table. A sandwich splattered across the windshield. He switched on the wipers and delicately touched the throttle, analyzing a wall-sized map of the mall in the seconds before the Mercedes burst from under a pile of slippers.

The thundering engines filled the mall with their skin-chilling roar. Weaving trails of black rubber followed the vehicles everywhere. Jeff blasted straight through a corner ice cream store, sending chairs and tables flying in all directions. Bottles from a vending machine shattered on the floor, showering the Lamborghini in soda and strawberry milk. The terrorists swerved around the store and fired several more shots. He pulled a sliding turn into a massive clothing department, heading for the exit that lay at the other end. The AMG barrelled through the racks that toppled in his wake. Civilians hiding throughout the store jumped and ran like frightened rabbits. Over the noise he heard a terrible scream and knew that one of them had been killed.

There. The double doors. With the carpet shredding beneath the car, he drove headlong through the clothes racks, destroying shelves and display stands. He braced for impact and hoped for the best; the front end had already been dented badly by his entrance. Come on, carbon fiber!

Sparks erupted from the left headlight, taken out by the metal divider. The doors tore from their hinges and spiraled away across the cement. He was in another parking garage. Judging by the markings, that end of the mall was one floor below street level.

The Mercedes clipped the frame on the way through and skidded into a minivan. Alarms filled the garage with even more noise.

Jeff switched back to Corsa mode, thrilled by the snappier throttle and steering. He raced through the garage and around the turns at almost forty miles an hour. The terrorists quickly fell behind.

He glanced at the computer as he raced back out into the dusk-lit streets. Miraculously he was still going south. Only a minor route correction was needed. He would need all the saving grace he could get; the mall escapade had taken too much time.

Blinding light erupted from above. He winced and swerved, but the helicopter’s spotlight tracked his every move. He frantically corrected, only to realize that the streets were empty. The police had cleared traffic away from the scene. Whatever was coming would be drastic.

A row of police vehicles blocked the road ahead. The Mercedes was approaching fast from behind. There were no turn-offs. Jeff was pinned by the rolling block. He glanced back, rolled down his window, merged right and slammed on the brakes.

The Mercedes was suddenly right beside him. He sideswiped the AMG and tore the handgun from the surprised terrorist’s grasp. The man tried to hold on but Jeff stuck his face with his elbow. He recoiled into the vehicle, and Jeff couldn’t help but chuckle. It was the RPE mechanic. I’ve nailed that guy in the face three times now.

The Lamborghini pulled away. Jeff took careful aim and fired at the police cars. The first shot sparked off a bumper, the second hit the road. The third blew a tire. Beautiful. The sedan stumbled into another vehicle and immediately fell behind.

Jeff punched it. The police realized what was happening and tried to close the gap, but the Lamborghini smashed through. More cracks snuck across the windshield.

The rolling block disintegrated, and the Mercedes slipped through the pandemonium. This time the mechanic had a shotgun. An explosion. Pellets riddled the back of the supercar. Jeff kept his head down. Another blast, and his window disintegrated. Stinging pain erupted in his shoulder.

Furious, he braked and swerved again, but the Mercedes driver anticipated the move. The Lamborghini sideswiped empty space. A third shot took out the ornate rear window.

The car shuddered. The terrorists were trying to spin him out! Not again. He steered hard, downshifting, tires and metal screeching and grinding. Abruptly control leapt back into his hands, but then the terrorists slammed hard into his right side. The Lamborghini wrestled furiously with the Mercedes as the two cars inched closer to the edge of the road. Streetlamps flew by precariously close. One took off the remaining mirror. Jeff flinched.

He braked hard and the Mercedes slid in front of him. The driver corrected just in time to avoid a wreck. Jeff was suddenly hit from behind and rear-ended the AMG. The police had caught up.

The Lamborghini was locked in a sandwich. A second police vehicle boxed him in. Jeff felt the flutterings of panic. He raised the handgun and fired repeatedly at the vehicle to his right. The trick had worked the last time he tried it...

Fluid spurted from under the police car and instantly burst into flame. He shielded his eyes from the heat wave, blindly flooring the gas. The police retreated and the Mercedes spun sideways as he flew past.

He rounded a turn and was met with an endless stretch of empty road. His hands and feet worked simultaneously, instinctively, dropping gears, opening the throttle as far as it would go. The engine howled to the highest reaches of the sky, and Jeff felt a yell of pure exhilaration crushed from inside his chest by the force of the acceleration. He and the vehicle were one; he could feel each individual piston stroke like his own heartbeat. The screaming thunder of the engine was his voice, rocketing him to 150, 185, over 200 miles an hour.

The police helicopter was thrown by his sudden burst of speed. The spotlight swept across the roads, searching frantically. The supercar’s lights had all been damaged, and black on black was almost impossible to spot in the late dusk...

The light found its target right as another vehicle flew in from the right and T-boned the Lamborghini. The impact knocked Jeff out for several seconds. Both vehicles pinwheeled across the wet pavement. It was all he could do just to hold the brakes until the spinning stopped.

The other vehicle, a green minivan, was totalled, the occupants dead.

The Mercedes AMG swerved around the wreckage and barreled toward him. He shifted into reverse and instantly he could tell the vehicle was reaching its end. The engine was stumbling, the steering pulling hard to the right. The mechanic raised the shotgun again. Jeff spun the wheel hard and shifted into first gear; the supercar swung around in a perfect J-turn.

It was no trouble for the Mercedes to keep pace now. Neck-and-neck the vehicles raced down the road, dodging the traffic, followed by a panicked flood of honking and screaming. The terrorists took shot after shot. Smoke trailed from under the Lamborghini. The dashboard was in fits and throwing warnings all over. Jeff took aim with his gun, the hammer clicked but nothing happened. Empty.

The terrorists gave up shooting at the low-profile tires and Jeff’s constant swerving. Metal met concrete and the AMG again forced the Lamborghini into the shoulder against the barriers. He struggled in vain to break free. The weakened engine just couldn’t do it.

The shotgun was leveled in his direction. In a last-ditch effort he threw the worthless handgun with all his strength. The weapon struck the driver in the temple.

The Mercedes veered away, forcing a black Cadillac into the shoulder. Jeff held his foot to the floor and retaliated viciously. The mechanic engaged the cruise control and struggled to steer in place of the unconscious driver. Jeff crunched the AMG into the opposite barrier. Sparks flew in their wake.

The Lamborghini’s engine surged and coughed. Gauges crept into the red. Even the mechanic, from the passenger’s seat, was able to push the Italian car back into the center of the road.

Ahead, flag men fled their posts at either end of a narrow one-lane channel flanked by cones and more cement barriers. Jeff blinked sweat from his eyes, struggling for control. Only one of them was going through that gap.

A semi-truck couldn’t get out of the way, and Jeff broadsided the cab. The impact cost him the edge. The mechanic gave one final shove and conquered the center lane. Cones bounced from the Lamborghini’s hood. Jeff sucked in a deep breath and prepared for impact, when suddenly his ruined passenger-side door fell off and tumbled underneath the AMG.

Rubber and smoke burst from behind the German car. Jeff threw the wheel one last time and punched the Mercedes away. He cleared the barriers with inches to spare.

The collision made his ears ring. Metal and glass and fluids spun in a shimmering vortex and the Mercedes cartwheeled in the air above him. Her doors flopped open like the wings of a dying bird. Sparks erupted from the point of contact and the car burst into a fireball that tumbled down the embankment.

The destination was only a quarter mile ahead. The chase had slowed to less than 100 miles-per-hour, and the police were on him again. This time they were prepared to use lethal force. Two sedans closed in quickly with machine guns at the ready.

Ten seconds up, the street curved again. The destination was right on the apex. A vacant restaurant. His mind was racing just as fast as the car. There would be no stopping or he would be killed. The sloped curb and massive front window sparked one final idea.

Bullets riddled the supercar yet again. One of the tires finally gave out. He fought to keep his course straight, his speed high enough to clear the brick windowsill. Five seconds. He cinched up his seat belt and held his breath as he rocketed into the curve. The police retreated.

But at the last second he saw the black Hyundai Equus pulling away. His enraged howl rose above the engine and he knew he was too late.

The wheels struck the curb and catapulted the Lamborghini into the air...

April 17th, 2012, 10:46 PM
That's some fancy driving. Exciting ride. Well done, but I've lost my toupee somewhere back there.

April 18th, 2012, 02:09 AM
Plenty of action for sure. I found your referrence to 'the Lamborgini' a bit repetitive though. Good flow otherwise. Needs some editing. I was wondering if it's necessary to refer the chasers as 'terrorist' so early in the story. Maybe let the reader's mind should question who these people are. It might create more intrigue, or does he already know who they are from previous encounters with them? I wasn't clear on that. Your flow of the action, I like. I'm a bit of a car nut myself. Keep going with this, I'd like to know why he is in deep pooh with both the cops and the other guys... the terrorists.

April 18th, 2012, 03:23 AM
Naturally I forgot set-up and background information. Happens every time. This is chapter 19 of the book. Jeff is a trained Special Ops agent. The police are after him 'cause he's a fugitive from the law. The terrorists are after him because he's about to figure out they're deadly plot to destroy the city. And he's trying to save Natalie because she has the information concerning said plot, a key to his amnesty, and furthermore he's in love with her. Classic thriller material :D

May 9th, 2012, 05:10 AM
A lot of action but it is a bit over the top. To extravagant.