Imperfect – Scene 06 – Get Away Car
Get Away Car
Rosie, Cat and I were holed up in the George & Dragon about twenty miles outside Cambridge. We’d arrived there on foot after dark, coming in by the back door at three in the morning after the cleaning staff had long gone.
We’d done our anti-surveillance drills as a team through Cambridge until we got to a lock-up garage in a quiet suburban street. It was one of a row of six in a housing development that looked at least one hundred years old. Some of the houses certainly looked more than a bit shabby. When Rosie opened the garage it contained a car with a dust sheet over it.
“Here are our wheels!” she said, pulling the dust sheet off with a bit of a flourish. Underneath was a silver coloured car, of a type I didn’t recognise at all. Interestingly the number plate on it was one of the old fashioned type, just static numbers and letters.
“Isn’t that a bit old?” I asked, with a puzzled look on my face.
“That’s the whole point, it’s so old that it is exempt from the vehicle safety regulations.” Replied Rosie
“No transponder or drive computer” chipped in Cat “so we can’t be traced using it” she continued.
“Or stopped automatically.” Rosie added. She gathered up the dust sheet that she had pulled off the ancient car and took it round the back to the boot and stowed it. There was nothing else in the garage, so when we left there ought not to be any traces that we’d been here.
“Anyway, get in, we’ve got some driving to do” Rosie went to her left and got in behind the driving wheel, I got in beside her and Cat in the rear. As I strapped myself in I asked Rosie “do you know how to drive this?”
“Yeah, I’ve done loads of simulators to practice.” Rosie looked around at the controls and familiarised herself with where they all were.
“I thought there was an advanced licence for classic cars?”
“There is, but it’s all done in simulators these days, and I got one of those just to be on the safe side. Didn’t want to crash and kill myself when making my silent getaway!” she laughed as the windscreen wipers came on, then a moment later the lights.
“I thought you said you could drive?” Cat asked from the back seat.
“No-one likes a back seat driver you know” Rosie retorted as she started the engine.
“Right, let’s get out of the garage and then close it up.” Rosie drove the car out and then stopped it just outside the garage. I jumped out and pulled the garage door down to close it, locked it and then got back in the car.
We drove off sedately, keeping to the speed limit and ensuring that we obeyed all the traffic regulations. All the while Cat kept a lookout to our rear, and I kept a good eye to the front. We needed to know that we weren’t being followed. Gradually we made our way out of town towards the East coast. Only when we were out of sight, and confident that no-one was following us, did we start to head towards our real destination. We came off the main A road onto a series of country lanes. Without a driving computer these were pretty hazardous and tortuously slow, we could only manage about 15 to 20 mile per hour on them.
After about an hour of driving in circles, to make sure that we weren’t being followed, we stopped in a lay-by. Rosie switched off the car and asked me to open the glove box. Inside it were a paper map and a small torch. When I turned on the torch the light glowed dimly red. The map wasn’t a printout of directions as I had expected, but rather a general area map. However, where we were now was marked on it, as was a route from here.
Rosie told us that she had done the drive to this point before. The next bit she’d tried once on a push-bike in daylight. So she wanted me to navigate the old fashioned way to ensure that we didn’t get lost in the dark. It was vital that we stayed off the grid for the next few days.
Once I’d familiarised myself with the route Rosie re-started the car, but without the lights on. I wasn’t comfortable with this, driving on these roads was dangerous enough, but doing so at night without lights was suicidal! Rosie and Cat had tried to persuade me that turning the lights off was safer, because we’d be able to see anyone that was coming by their headlights, but I wasn’t convinced. However my choice was stay in the car with them, or get out.
The next couple of hours were hair-raising. Rosie drove along a series of twisty, winding, country roads in the dark and without lights. I was mightily relieved when we finally arrived at a National Trust car park in a wooded area. We got out and Rosie opened the boot. Inside there were two rucksacks and some boots as well as two waterproof jackets, all in dull colours.
Rosie turned to me and said, “Sorry Pandora, this has been prepared for a while, and you are too new an addition to have been included in the prep.”
“I think Pandora will be fine Rosie, she’s got some pretty sturdy-looking shoes on, and a decent waterproof. It isn’t like we’re going far.” Said Cat.
The other two got their boots and coats on and stuck the rucksacks on their backs before locking the car.
“Is is safe to leave it here?” I asked.
“Oh yes, this is pretty secluded and the National Trust rely on the transponders to tell them when people have parked cars here”. Cat replied.
“What about the police?” I asked.
“Very unlikely. I picked this place because it has the lowest recorded crime in the county. I doubt a police officer has been here in years.” Cat informed me.
“Fair enough. Where do we go next?”
“This bit is easy, we’re following a marked trail from here for about five miles.” said Rosie, who was sitting in the boot of the car and pulling on her boots.
“Five miles! I don’t think I’ve ever walked that far.”
“You’ll be fine, we’re not in a rush.” Rosie replied, by this stage she was tying the laces of her boots.
“It’s just after midnight now, but we don’t want to get to our destination before 0230 because we want to get in without being seen.” Cat chipped in.
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