For Connecticut State Trooper Jeremy Wills, Thursday night had been the epitome of monotony. Rush hour had been uneventful, with only one fender-bender on the on-ramp to 91 North above Hartford. Otherwise there were no speeders or assholes -- which was good.
But made for an extraordinarily boring evening. After it got dark he had pulled over a couple of borderline speeders because he was bored, but gave them only a warning and sent them on their way. All in all, he began thinking about clocking out about two hours prematurely.
An easy night.
So easy in fact, that he wasn't even working radar when a shitty little Corolla blew his doors off like he was standing still. He glanced down at his speedometer, which told him he was doing seventy-five. This guy must have been doing twice that.
Wow, he thought as he gunned the engine and hit the blues, this one's a slam dunk handed to me on a silver platter. Thank you, God.
Despite the use lately of lighter sports cars for the highway patrolmen to drive, which excelled in acceleration, Wills still piloted one of the older Interceptors, a weighty Ford which may as well have been strapped to a jet engine. He pushed the gas pedal to the floor and felt the surge of power as the g force pushed the car back on its suspension and Wills' neck into his seat. The car accelerated into the night with its blues alight. The chase was on.
In spite of of the horses which thundered under his hood, the Interceptor topped out around 148 MPH, and it still took Wills almost fifteen minutes to catch the crappy little Toyota. There was little traffic, which was good, but the roads were never completely barren, no matter the time of night, so the Corolla and the Interceptor weaved through the occasional eastbound traffic together in a weird kind of unchoreographed harmony, until at last Wills closed to under a quarter-mile separation. He was nervous the Corolla driver was drunk or high, or inexperienced enough at high speeds to possibly cause an accident, so Wills was obviously trying to get that car off the road safely before anything unexpected happened.
He punched the Corolla's New York plates into the computer and found it was registered to a twenty-seven year-old woman named Robyn Cayles, from Brewster, NY. Her record was clean enough, but not spotless. A couple of arrests as a teen for underage drinking and recreational pot use with her friends, the usual kid crap, but there were also a number of instances where cops had been called to pull her off somebody else during some kind of public brawl.
Still keeping his eyes carefully on the road, Wills raised one eyebrow in surprise, "You're kind of a brawler, aren't you, Robyn Cayles?"
The Corolla kept hurdling down the highway, but Wills didn't know if she (if it was indeed Cayles driving) was ignoring him or if it was more likely that all of her attention was focused on the road ahead of her. He burped the siren a couple times to get her attention.
The Corolla shuddered a little, a sight Wills had seen a hundred times, where a car at high speeds first sees the cop car and they flinch on the steering wheel, as if the whole car says, "Oh shit." And then there was that instant of freefall for Wills, that moment in time which stretches out to minutes, hours even, although it is only a mere second or two, where the speeding lawbreaker has a choice to make: slow down and accept responsibility for one's actions? Or gun it and hope you can outrun the cops? And for a tense few moments Wills wondered if Miss Cayles was going to foolishly choose the latter, but then her brake lights came on and her crappy little rust bucket pulled over to the right-hand shoulder and eased to a stop.
Wills spoke into the loudspeaker and announced at a hundred decibels to the night sky, "DRIVER, KILL THE ENGINE AND PLEASE STICK BOTH HANDS OUT THE WINDOW. I WANT YOU TO DROP THE KEYS RIGHT ON THE PAVEMENT BESIDE YOUR DOOR."
He was unable to tell if the driver was Cayles, but was certainly a woman. He watched as the female driver repeatedly attacked her steering wheel, presumably out of frustration at getting pulled over. The hairs on Wills' neck stood at full attention as if charged by some electrical current and he thought, Uh-oh.
He stepped out of his Ford, which idled hungrily, as if still thrumming from the chase. He walked the twenty yards toward the back fender of the Toyota, but the driver opened her door and got out. It was Cayles, dead ringer for her ID photo.
Wills braced for action and instinctively put his right hand on the butt of his holstered sidearm, "Ma'am! Please stay inside your vehicle. I repeat, DO NOT leave your car!"
The woman was in tears. Not just crying, but a blubbering mess as she walked toward Wills, "My sister's in trouble, officer! We may already be too late!"