The Neon swerved wildly as Dustin struggled for control. Tracy held her arm, clenching her eyes shut to endure the sharp pain. Dustin learned quickly that steering from the passenger seat while your hands were cuffed was incredibly difficult, especially if you were running from the cops without your headlights on.
The tires screeched, the smell of burning rubber filled the air, as Dustin panicked to keep the car under control.
He was whipped back into his seat as the car ran over something at speed.
He quickly braced himself for impact, praying Tracy would take her foot off the gas.
The thousand-kilo car landed a mere moment later, causing Dustin to be slammed against the seat. He felt as though he was hit with a battering ram.
Dirt pelted the windshield as the vehicle carved through the ground, no doubt leaving a track at least three centimeters thick of dug-up sod.
The engine slowly died as the Neon skid to a halt. Dustin fumbled over to tend to Tracy even as the smell of an overheated engine filled the interior.
She shook herself out of shock, still holding her arm. "-I'm fine!!! I'm fine! 'You ok?"
Dustin grabbed her shoulder. "Forget about me, you took a fuckin' bullet to the arm!!!"
Tracy lifted her hand from the injury. "... It's mearly a flesh wound!" She smiled.
Dustin smirked back. "They only clipped ya?" He let out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding.
"Yeah, hurts like hell... I can still bite people, though!"
Dustin relaxed himself and chuckled, still barely finding his breath. "... Can't keep Johnny down, I guess!"
Tracy pushed herself up, favoring her left arm. "-Yeah, if only my name were Johnny. 'Can't keep Tracy down' wouldn't make a good chorus, would it?"
Dustin grabbed his bag. "... No, it wouldn't..." Dustin started to smell leaking gasoline.
Tracy bolted up as best she could, and forced the door open. Dustin slammed his door open and rolled out.
He stumbled up in the blackness of outside, franticly searching to get as far away from the car as he could. He saw the silhouette of Tracy running behind him, grabbing her injured limb.
Dustin slid behind a bush, about fifteen meters away from the Neon, as adrenaline pumped through him again.
Tracy followed, a few steps behind.
Dustin watched, waiting for the immenent danger.
He stared at the silhouette of the car, sweat streaming down his face as the gasoline was sure to set fire.
He heard a bang, and Dustin jumped. Steam billowed out of the front end, as the radiator finally burst.
He let out a breath once more.
Tracy bit her lip, "My car!..." She whispered to Dustin.
"... It's totaled. Nothing we can do."
"-What? How are we supposed to solve the murders if we can't get around?!"
Dustin stared back at the car for a moment, then looked back at Tracy.
"We need a base of operations."
"-No 'ay, no how!" A blonde teenage boy, slightly younger than Dustin, whispered to them as they stood on his back porch a few hours later.
"-It's fuckin' four 'n da mornin'! I- We- 'ave school tomorrow! And 'ou've gone and done... This?! I remember what 'ou did t' me two weeks ago! Fuckin' embarressing, that is!"
"-Jake, calm down." Dustin said, trying to gesture with his arms unsuccessfully. "-We just need a place for tonight..."
Jake pointed disgustedly at Dustin's wrists. "-'ou've- 'ou've got Fuckin' 'Andcuffs on! I- I- I can't let 'ou guys stay 'ere..." Jake turned away.
"-No -No -No -No!" Dustin grabbed his shoulder. "We're innocent! We're trying to prove what the real killer was in a series of murders!"
Jake stopped, and looked at Dustin. "... Bloody mad, I tell 'ou. That's what 'ou guys are, bloody mad... To think I used t' play AD&D with 'ou..."
Dustin was about to reply, What do you mean, 'used to'? , but Tracy stepped out from behind him. "- But Jake, we don't know anyone else from around here! We had to walk an hour and a half to get here!"
Jake looked at her, as if he hadn't known she was there. "... Uh, well... Um, an 'our and a half, 'ou were sayin'?" He took a step back. "... Long time, eh...? Are 'ou bleedin'?!"
Tracy looked at her slightly limp arm. "... Yeah, I guess so, it hurts to move it-"
"-'ere, come on. Let's get inside... " Jake turned and started walking to the back door.
Tracy looked at Dustin, confused, and Dustin returned the look.
"... My parents are in de upstairs bed'oom, stay quiet and head to the basement. I'm the 'nly one who heads down there 'nyway." Jake whispered, creeping up to the back door.
Tracy asked, "Why the sudden change of heart?"
Jake glanced at her, and looked away quickly. "... D- Don't need that 'ound g- gettin' infected..."
He opened the door extremely carefully, and they creept through the house as silently as they could.
Jake led them to the basement, and silently bid them farewell as he closed the door behind them. Dustin and Tracy tried navigating the stairs in complete blackness, and eventually made it to the bottom.
Dustin slowly searched through his bag, and pulled out his laptop. As he powered it on, both he and Tracy squinted as the sudden bright light hurt their eyes.
"... Alright... We still have a murder to solve..." Dustin whispered, barely audible, even to his own ears.
"... So you plan on hacking down here?" Tracy whispered likewise.
"... For now. I have a plan... But we need to learn a bit more about our foe before we move on..."