CTRL ALT REPEAT

49 8 14

Ten minutes later Ace plopped Hank on the ground of their abandoned barn hideout. Hank hit the ground hard and shook off the sports coat as best he could. Between the drop and Ace squeezing the shit out of him while they ran, Hank was a little out of it.

April dropped her armload of clothes on the dusty ground, bent over, and gulped for breath. "Holy shit! I haven't run that much since high school! I fucking hate running!"

"So," Ivan said still in the driver's seat of the Cadillac. "Things went well, I trust?"

"Yeah. We had a little bit of trouble," Ace said pointing at Hank.

"That. Fucking. Cat. Had. It. Coming," Hank said between big sloppy gasps.

"Whatever, man," Ace said. "We got some clothes, but I'm pretty sure we're wanted by the police now. So, we gotta do this fast."

"Well, take a look in the glovebox," Ivan said. "There's something in there that might help."

Inside the glovebox was a pair of official-looking badges in leather wallets. Three letters were laid out over a jagged lightning bolt running through a spiral galaxy.

"That can't be a coincidence," Ace said after reading the letters.

"I'm starting to think that none of this is," Ivan said.

"What's it say?" April asked.

"TCB," Ace said.

"Whoa," April said coming in for a look. "That's kinda like Elvis's classic TCB logo, but, upgraded. Wow. Look how it sparkles! It's kind of like the galaxy is moving on the badge. Like a super badass hologram on a credit card. Cool!"

"Well. These look pretty official," Ace said. "So let's change into these suits, go to Graceland, and flash these badges. We have to convince Elvis to fake his death. And from the story he told us, two official-looking agents are the ones to do it by showing him a vision of the future war with Andromeda. Now we can use the mindtap we got from Ivan's pal to do just that."

"Is it weird that what you just said is far from the most batshit crazy thing any of us has said in the past 24 hours?" April said.

"Yeah," Ace said. "I know. Come on. Let's go."

Ace and April walked a few miles from the barn hideout then snuck around back of the Graceland mansion. Elvis was exiting the building April identified as the racquetball court. He wore a white t-shirt and athletic shorts. In his hand was a small racket.

In the far distance, they heard sirens ring out then stop.

Most likely the police arriving at the thrift store, Ace thought.

"Hey!" Elvis said, waving his small racket with menace. "Y'all can't be here! Get lost before I call the cops!"

"Follow my lead," April whispered to Ace.

"OK," Ace whispered back.

April flashed one of the badges Ace found in the glove box of the Cadillac. Ace mimicked her before dropping his own badge in the side pocket of his stolen black sports coat.

"Sorry to bother you, sir," April said with an authoritative tone. "I'm Agent Scully. This is Agent Mulder. We're from the government and need you to come with us please, sir."

The plan was to get Elvis to watch the vignette on the mindtap and get him to reveal the location of the original Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz. But Elvis had other plans.

Elvis dropped his racket. He reached behind his back and pulled a handgun from his waistband.

"I ain't going nowhere with you!" Elvis said. His voice quivered, and his hands shook. "I've already talked to the FBI! They told me some impostors would be coming by and try to tell me all kinds of crazy stuff about space aliens and the future and such. I ain't gonna have any of it.

Ace Tucker Space TruckerWhere stories live. Discover now