If you want details on Cira's history as little 'miss Knight', this is the old KR fanfiction that basically inspired this forum. Well, it was one of the two things that inspired me to start it-White was the one that asked about starting an RP first back when we had the Zetaboards version of this site.
I finally decided I need to archive this url here so that way you all can read it at your leisurely pace. No, the quality of writing over all is not near as good as what I'm capable of now, and I never finished it. So I'm planning on wrapping up this story at my own pace now. I should be able to do so in just two chapters or so. It will end tying in the 08 series, acknowledging Mike Knights existence, as well as some other key things that are mentioned in KARR and KI3T's profiles. The final chapters will also note some big changes in Cira's personality, since the Transformers and KR version of Cira are substantially different in comparison to how she behaved when she was little.
The story covers little highlights of her life up to where she is 15 and able to drive KARR under special provisions.
Part 1-blind spotEdit
"Nana, how soon are we going to be home?" 8 year old Cira asked her aunt. Cira called her aunt Nana.
Nana had just gotten back from piano lessons.
"Half an hour, no more than that. The traffic's going smoothly."
Nana switched to the second lane on a four lane highway.
"Good, I hope it stays that way."
Cira sat up in the front with her aunt, and watched the traffic. She watched the rear view mirror.
"Hey Nana, look at that car behind us." Cira said.
It was jet black, the purest and shiniest black coat of paint that she'd ever seen on a car ever before, with a silver bottom. It had a yellow scanner on the nose, something she'd never seen before either. As they drove, it stayed two car distances behind her, on the blind side of where Nana was driving. Hence, she couldn't see it. The scanner made the car look somewhat…creepy, yet she thought it looked very pretty at the same time.
"What car, hon?"
"The black Pontiac TransAm with the silver bottom. It's so pretty."
"You sure know your cars." Nana laughed. "I still don't see it."
Cira had learned all this from her Dad, who loved cars, and knew all about the names, the years, and their characteristics. Cira learned about them at a surprisingly early age, especially since she was a girl.
However, her dad and mom weren't around any more. Her mom's sister had to take care of her. Since Cira was 5 she always called her aunt Nana.
Cira giggled. She was such a happy and beautiful little girl; Nana thought. She wondered how Cira did it. She was only 8, and was still innocent for the most part.
"Nana, it's behind you!"
Nana turned around and looked. She was very surprised, not having known it was in a position that was hard to see.
Cira hummed to the rock music that was playing on the radio.
"KITT, you're awful quiet." Michael said as they casually drove around the streets like best buds might go walking in a park on a quiet afternoon.
It took a few seconds before KITT replied.
"I've been thinking." KITT started, but then didn't continue.
"You're twin? KARR?"
Michael temporarily tapped his fingers on Kitt's pure black dashboard as KITT drove automatically.
"Yes, who else do you think?" KITT replied unenthusiastically.
Michael opted not to start any sort of argument.
"What about KARR?"
"I've just been remembering our encounters."
KITT was quiet again.
KITT could remember. And think, so Michael assumed. The car was almost human, yet not even close, Devon, Bonnie and Michael all knew that. It was something KITT found hard to compute, since the AI practically had a mind of its own. It was hard making an AI like KITT understand.
"What are you thinking about?" KITT asked suddenly.
Michael hadn't expected that.
"You at the moment."
KITT did not say anything. There was another long awkward silence between the two as KITT drove.
For the mean time, it was all just a bunch of small talk.
There was the metallic screech of something heavy bumping into the rear of Nana's car. The SUV lurched forward and almost hit the car in front of her as Nana struggled to regain control.
Cira looked back, feeling a bit nervous.
"It's the black car that I mentioned, Nana." Cira whimpered. She and Nana were starting to not like what was going on here at all.
"This is really making me mad." Nana muttered and, irritated with the driver, she switched lanes. "Now I probably have a nasty ding on the rear of this car."
Cira was looking for the car.
"It's like it almost disappeared again Nana," Cira complained. "Great, why is it doing this to us?"
"I don't know hon," Nana looked frustrated. "I wish I knew."
"I do too," Cira whimpered.
Hoping to drown out the worry, Cira turned up the volume a bit as they drove, hoping the car would go away.
Cira saw the black car lurch so suddenly as she watched it, she barely had time to scream out to her aunt: 'Nana watch out!' All Cira could say was: "Nana!" before the car bumped into the SUV forcefully from behind making a huge imprint of the cars streamlined nose in the rear. Now the gas valve that left all the gas was messed up.
Again the SUV nudged into the car in front which skidded away.
Cira started to cry.
Cira's aunt swore and then as she maintained calm control again the black car suddenly appeared on Cira's side of their silver SUV.
Nana moved out of the way, but the black car followed. It was on their side again and rammed the SUV. The crunching metal hurt her arm and Cira bumped her head on the right side of the dash board as the car moved close to the edge of the highway, rubbed against the railing and lurched forward from the speed it was at at the same time.
"Nana, push it away."
"It's hard hon, but the driver's persistent. Cira-get in the back of the car."
"But it's not as safe back there." Cira cried pleadingly at her aunt.
Their SUV was scraping up against the main division from the highway lanes that went the opposite direction. At the speed the car was going at, like 65 miles an hour, it really hurt the SUV.
"Perhaps you're right hon. This driver's really persistent." Nana groaned. "If any thing happens to us dear I'm really sorry."
"It's okay," Cira started to cry again and looked at the car pressing against the car.
The wall was coming to an end, Cira saw.
She started to cry louder, but tried to whip away her tears. Maybe they would have a chance of escaping, if her aunt could get away.
Cira's aunt sped up to 70 mph. As they pressed against the wall, Cira could feel it speed up. The black Pontiac moved back, but caught up and rammed against them, almost feeling like it shook the car off its wheels! They were being squished!
Nana tried to fight by pushing at the black car to the right as she turned the steering wheel to the right. But the car would not move, and their SUV was struggling.
"I'm afraid there's not much I can do." Nana said with a choked up voice.
She heard police sirens. At least someone was coming after them.
This was the one day in her life Cira wanted to hear the sound of the police coming after them…..
The SUV was free from the rail-line of the high way, affected by the outside influencing force from the black Pontiac, the SUV was shoved with great force into the rear half of a white pick up truck. The SUV rammed into and the nose cart wheeled away.
Cira watched the world spin as she and Nana screamed, having no clue what to do.
As the car spun counter-clock wise down the highway of an opposite flow of traffic that it and the Pontiac had been going at, the incoming cars had trouble stopping. It was like a chain link reaction; some amount of destruction followed each car that tried to slam on its brakes.
The car that was closest to their SUV rammed into Cira's side as they spun around. Cira cried out in pain and suddenly, before she could blink again, darkness consumed her, its sudden peace drowning out the chaos and stress…
Part 2- Daddy? Edit
"I'm on my way," KITT replied to Devon's message and sped onto the high way towards the accident.
Cira woke up again. The car was overturned. The white pick up they had crashed into was a mess. They were just barely lodged off the left side of the highway. She looked over and saw her aunt. She was ironically still. No, not ironically. Cira's heart leapt with pain, from the site of her aunt and from her own pain from the crash. Tears welled in her eyes as dizziness washed over her.
Another black car approached. It was different from the one that caused the crash, yet she was so disoriented and upset over her aunt's death that she could hardly distinguish the differences between the two automobiles. Cira cried loudly, but she knew no one would hear her. A police was walking around the site of the crash.
"It will be all right, someone's coming to get you," the police man said. All too suddenly it seemed he had appeared, yet Cira swore he had never been there before. Reaching through the crinkled door, the policeman tried to get her in a more comfortable position. "I'm going to get you out of here," he said. Cira looked up at him with big round, teary eyes. Her legs and right arm were a mess, and she had blood on her forehead, trickling down across the bridge of her nose. Her bangs from her long brown hair were sweaty. Honestly the policeman was amazed a little girl that young and delicate looking could have survived such a crash!
She hoped that black car was gone. She never wanted to see a black car like the one that caused this crash ever again. Cira whimpered and laid there, and darkness consumed her once again as she ignored the policeman, something ringing loudly in her ears.
Michael stepped out of KITT and walked up to the policeman casually.
"Is the crash site of Cira Landers and Stephanie Landers?" Michael asked.
"Yes, Stephanie Landers is that woman." The policeman said walking over to the left side of the red SUV. "She died, but the little girl survived." He explained. "All though she's knocked out now, she was awake a second ago when I tried to free the car door. Care to help me get her out?"
"I don't mind," he replied and with one hand each on the handle, and Michael's left foot resting against the SUV, they tried to pry the door open while opening it properly. The locking mechanism was stuck. The policeman decided to break the glass so he could reach the lock. Luckily he was able to. While fiddling around with the lock button and trying to unlock the door as Michael tried to open it himself, the door finally opened.
"All right, time to get this little girl out of this mess." The policeman said, picking her up.
"I've been assigned to hold responsibility of her," Michael said. He showed the policeman his ID. "This girl needs someone to take her to the hospital, and fast.
"Secondly, she has no family left." The officer pointed out.
"Nope, the police department will worry about the adoption problem later after she gets someone to help her out at the ER." The officer replied.
Just then, Devon drove up to the scene of the crash. He talked to the policeman a long time about adoption. Michael started to argue and Devon sent Michael off.
Frustrated, Michael leaned against the left window as KITT drove.
"What in the world does Devon think he's doing?" Michael asked.
"I'm fearing the worst." KITT replied honestly.
"So am I." Michael said, rubbing his forehead. "Adoption, that's the word that makes me question EVERYTHING he's saying to the officer."
"Unfortunately." KITT agreed.
((the next morning))
"She's awake now," the nurse said, and opened up the door for Michael to enter.
Devon ordered Michael to come and visit the little girl he had helped the policeman get out of the car yesterday evening. Michael was certain Devon planned on adopting her.
"Why have you come to see me, Daddy?" Cira asked.
Daddy? Michael stopped short in his steps from surprise as he approached the foot of Cira's bed. She looked so tired and weak, but he knew Cira was slowly regaining strength from all the healing she was doing.
Michael wasn't sure what to say, but he was uncertain of what to say while trying not sound too rude to the little girl.
"I'm sorry kid, I'm not your dad." Michael replied, walking up to the right side of Cira's bed.
"It's okay," she said, looking at him with a very tired face. "But you walk, talk and look like him."
Weird. There was a small silence. Michael had to say something to get the information to start flowing.
"How do you feel?"
"The nurse tried to give me a pain killer, but I didn't like it. I'm really dizzy. My leg is itchy too." She replied, pointing to the cast.
"The pain killer should kick in. It seems to be doing its job."
"Do you remember what the car looked like?" Michael asked.
"It was like yours...but I had trouble believing it might be the same make and model."
"You're wrong. There's a good chance it WAS." Michael replied, knowing she knew that he had showed up later after KARR had caused the accident. "Do you remember the details?" he asked, hoping for a better answer.
"It was black like your car but had a silver bottom. It had some yellow thing on the nose. I know I remember all that."
It was definitely KARR.
"Okay…" Michael said. "Thanks kid, that's I needed that confirmation."
"Maybe I was dreaming," Cira said.
"I'll be truthful to you kiddo, you weren't" Michael replied. "I'll let you sleep." Michael patted her on the head, stood up and started heading towards the door. Just as he walked out, he heard Cira say: "Bye daddy."
"Bye," Michael replied, and shut the door quietly behind him.
Chapter 3: Swinging Into ActionEdit
There was a jug of iced lemonade in the middle of the outdoor table by the pool side. April poured him a glass. "Thank you," he said, nodding at her politely, and accepted the cool glass.
"Michael, what did the little girl say when you talked to her?" Devon asked.
"I have it recorded." Michael explained, setting down a handheld tape recorder from his leather jacket. "I asked her what the car looked like-and she said it was black and looked a lot like KITT. I came much later, because KARR disappeared right after he rolled the SUV over. The girl was certain she remembered the details of that particular correctly." Michael said. "It was like she knew the car was a TransAm. She said she swore it was the exact same 'make and model'. Now what little 9 year old girl knows that term?"
"I told you that TransAm had a bad reputation." KITT butted in. April smiled.
"So you're certain KARR did this?" Devon asked.
"Yes," replied Michael confidently. He paused to take a drink of lemonade from the cool glass cup. It was wet from the vast amount of condensation that lingered on the glass due to the hot LA weather.
"We need to figure out what to with that car." Devon said.
"KARR is hard to stop." Michael reminded Devon, but he knew that as well as he and KITT did. Devon nodded in grave agreement.
Michael leaned forward a bit in his chair, his hands resting on the chair's arms.
"It would be a tedious and almost endless task to successfully fix KARR's program." April said.
"You mean rebuild." Michael pointed out.
"Completely." Devon quipped.
"Definitely," April agreed. "but you get the point." She added.
"Is it worth a try?" Michael asked somewhat hopefully.
"Perhaps." Devon replied, sounding a bit unsure. "It's something we'll need to think about."
Michael nodded, and started to fiddle with the dripping condensation on his glass.
"What are we going to do with KARR, if we repair it?" Michael asked.
"Simple." Devon said smiling. "We get a new driver. But we'll talk about that when the girl gets here safely; has rested up, and is more at home."
"Okay," Michael said. He rested his back against the chair once again, and ran a hand through his hair briefly.
"Tomorrow morning you're going back to the hospital to pick up the girl." Devon said.
"What? Repeat that?" Michael flew back forward in his seat, very surprised at what he was hearing coming from Devon.
"We're picking her up tomorrow morning." Devon said. He and April just KNEW they were going to get this sort of reaction from Michael!
"Why?" Michael's eyes were wide from the sudden surprise.
"She has no family now, Michael," April said. "Her Aunt was the last one able to take care of her."
"Oh, that's right..."
"So…we're taking up the responsibility in adopting the poor child." Devon said. "We have more than enough money on our hands; and thus can certainly help a girl like her out."
Michael swallowed a lump that was forming in his throat.
"That makes sense." He said.
"Since you are one of the few youngest members here of FLAG, I'm thinking it would be best if her new name was under yours." Devon said as they got up to go inside for the afternoon.
"So…I'm a uh…father?" Michael asked. Never did he ever think he'd hear that word in his lifetime…
"Yes. Step father to be exact, but a father nonetheless; and we'll make sure you're a good one." Devon answered.
Michael stared emptily at the middle of the small table in shock.
"Relax, it won't be so bad." April said.
"That's easy for you to say." Michael replied quickly.
"We're not expecting you to raise her all by yourself." She replied, giving him a smile and a twinkle in her eyes.
"You'd better believe it." Michael said; though hardly feeling any better. He chugged down the rest of his lemonade. "I'm going to go talk to KITT and take a breather." Michael said as he stood up slowly. "Thanks for the lemonade, April."
All that had hit him hard. Yet he had over-heard Devon talking to the policeman about adoption rights and going back to the LAPD for records and adoption papers! He had feared something was coming, and he was right, but had been a little too slow to accepting it. What had he done to deserve this?
Later that day, Michael went to go talk to KITT about what had happened earlier that afternoon with April and Devon about the little Girl.
"Hey KITT," Michael said.
"Yes Michael?" KITT replied, immediately 'coming to life'.
"What would you think if we were somehow able to re-program KARR's AI system and brain?"
For a long moment KITT thought as Michael kneeled down and rested his elbows on the nose of KITT. This was merely just like someone casually sitting down with their best friend and having a chat with them at the bar.
"I wouldn't mind," KITT said. "KARR would have no memory, unlike you who have bits and pieces of memory hidden in your mind. Once a program is erased completely, there is NOTHING left. KARR would no longer be the evil KARR we know, if what you're saying is possible." KITT explained. It all made sense.
"Right," Michael agreed.
KITT was silent for a few seconds.
"If we were to do this," the AI said. "Would we use KARR?"
"It's very possible," Michael said. "and we'd get a new driver."
"I would hope so, Michael." KITT replied.
"We have to go pick up little 'miss knight' tomorrow morning." Michael said suddenly.
"We're adopting her. She has no family left. They died when she was very young and her aunt died in the crash."
"I never thought I'd see you as a baby-sitter." KITT said.
"You mean step-father." Michael corrected.
"That makes it even more surprising." KITT replied.
Michael was not excited. Children were never on his mind, and that was the raw truth.
Part 4: Miss KnightEdit
Around 9:45 in the morning, Michael and Devon arrived at the hospital to pick up the little girl named Cira with the last name of Landers.
Michael quietly approached her room while Devon was signing papers such as adoption forms.
"Daddy, you came back." The little girl said, looking much more alive, and maybe happy to see him?
"Yes, child; I did. KITT, Devon, April and I are taking care of you from now on." Michael said at the emergency room door way.
Cira's new energy seemed to suddenly be radiating with happiness.
"I'm glad I have somewhere to go," she said.
"Excuse me," a nurse said politely from behind Michael and entered with a wheel chair with a set of cruches laid across the chair. She approached Cira. "How are you feeling today? Two nice men are going to take care of you and you won't have to be here for a long time."
Cira smiled. "I feel much better."
"Good. I'm glad to hear it," the nurse said, and helped Cira into the wheel chair.
"I hope you don't mind carrying those," the nurse said. "She can't take the wheel chair with her. Cruches will suffice. If she needs one because of her broken right arm due to putting too much weight on it from walking with the cruches, give the front desk a call and we can easily arrange a wheel chair for her."
Michael nodded. "I'll remember that."
Devon was at the front desk. He had just turned in all the papers.
"That was more paper work than I've ever completed in years." He shakes his head, somewhat amazed.
Michael walked side by side with the nurse who was pushing Cira, both approaching Devon.
She stopped a good yard away from Devon.
"She's free to go," the nurse said.
"All right then," Devon said. He knelt down and smiled kindly at Cira. "Good morning Cira, I'm Devon. How are you feeling?"
"Much better," she said.
"Glad to get out of that bed and the white room?" Michael asked.
She nodded confidently.
"That's good to hear." Devon replied and stood up.
They thanked the nurse, checked out, and headed towards the parking lot. Just outside Michael stopped to put up the wheel chair where a bunch of other extras were stored, and let Cira use her cruches. Luckily she managed with them, and she didn't complain too much about her arm hurting from using the cruches because apparently the bone had been broken at the elbow. It wasn't needed for Cira when she walked with the cruches. In a matter of seconds as they walked to KITT she adjusted to them quickly with out complaining or struggling.
Cira stopped the moment she saw KITT. It looked so much like the car that caused the crash she couldn't move, and she just stared at it. Not realizing she had stopped, Devon and Michael kept on walking another few paces before they realized she had stopped suddenly. They turned around.
"This car won't hurt you." Michael assured her in a calm voice.
"I don't want to go with you," Cira said.
"Why?" Michael asked, walking up to her slowly.
"Because now I know I was right. It looks almost like the other TransAm." She pointed at KITT. A tear fell on her face. That car had killed the very last person in her family. And now she was what was left. She hated that car.
KITT stayed silent.
Devon and Michael completely understood now why Cira was so afraid, whether or not she had known the differences between KITT and KARR so well.
"Cira, if the car and I were the ones that killed your aunt, we wouldn't be here. Remember that." Michael said.
Cira whimpered. She bit her lip and nodded. Michael felt a little better, more sure that she understood that was a reason to try and trust them a bit more.
"It's all right. I can assure you that we won' hurt you," KITT spoke.
Cira's eyes grew wide.
"Daddy…." She stood there, her gaze switching between Michael, Devon, and at KITT.
"It just spoke!" she laughed, but tears were present in her eyes. "The Trans-Am just SPOKE! Cars can't speak, can they?"
"They certainly can. You met your first." KITT said.
She stood there, the left corner of her mouth quivering from utter shock.
"How do you know your cars so well, Cira?" Devon asked, looking amazed that she knew what a Pontiac was.
"My Dad loved cars. I learned everything about them from him." Cira replied.
"Not really." Cira corrected. "But I know a lot of the many kinds, years, and types. I learned a lot of it before he and mommy died. I'd know even more now if he hadn't."
"I'm sure we can help you learn more." Michael said, smiling. He too, realized he was quite amazed at this little girl's almost un-naturally immense interest in cars.
"Well," Devon said. "We'd like to get you to your new home. We can stop by your house to get your things later. Are you ready?"
Cira's uncertain, debating gaze fell upon KITT again.
"It'll be all right," Michael assured her. "KITT won't hurt you as he said. Would you like to sit in the front seat with me?" he asked, wondering if that would make her feel better.
She looked hesitant at first, but then figured she might as well TRY to let go of her fears, since Cira naturally loved cars. She nodded vigorously, looking happy once again.
"Looks like you'll have to sit in the back," Michael said to Devon.
"That's fine," Devon said. "I'm glad it makes Cira feel better that she sits in the front."
Michael could tell despite her memories from the crash, she had an immense interest in KITT. He was sure any car expert/lover would surely dream of having a ride in the front passenger seat of a great car like KITT, let alone the back seat.
Cira was amazed with KITT. There were so many buttons! There was one button she was so curious about she had to ask.
"Daddy, what's that button do?" she pointed at it.
"That's the turbo boost. Whatever you do, resist all temptation from pushing it!"
Michael couldn't help but smile from amusement. This girls curiosity about how KITT worked almost made him laugh! He was glad she could maintain her self from trying to experimentally pushing a couple buttons with out permission. When he was better, he ought to take her out for a demo ride, to show her what KITT could do. But that would have to when she was a little older.
He leaned on the window to try and hide the smile as he rested his left elbow and rested his hand on his chin.
"Because it makes me move at astounding speeds." KITT replied.
"Woooow." Cira exclaimed. Her eyes twinkled with amazement. "How fast?"
"Above 200 on a straight path." KITT said.
"I don't know any car that can go that fast. Few sports cars go faster than between 120 to 200 tops." Cira replied.
"See, you're already learning more." Devon said.
Cira continued to look at the controls, and occasionally back outside, not worrying about so much now.
"One thing we can show you," KITT suddenly pointed out. "Is that I can drive for Michael. Show her, Michael."
KITT took over the moment his hands were off the steering wheel.
Cira was uneasy those first few minutes as KITT drove along the high way, successfully changing lanes free from Michael's commands completely. Having her aunt drive the car with both hands all the time, it was a very shocking fact alone to see a car drive itself for the very first time. Soon enough, Cira started to enjoy the ride and relaxed.
"We're almost there," KITT said as he chose an exit that would lead them to the outskirts of FLAG's property.
"Aww." Cira whined. "That was one of the best rides I've ever had in a long time."
"Don't worry, you live with us now, remember?" Michael said.
Cira nodded. She looked really happy.
Michael hoped things would stay happy for Cira, though one never could be certain. Cira had many MANY years ahead of her living with them.
KITT parked for them in his garage, and the three of them left.
"Bye KITT, I'll come back later." Michael said.
"Okay. Bye Cira." KITT replied.
"Bye KITT," Cira waved and hobbled along after Devon and Michael.
The place was huge! Cira felt so small! Cira's eyes wandered about the building's brick exterior, and wondered how many rooms it held with in it. She wondered why all the space was necessary but it was easily pushed out of the child's mind, for her attention was mostly focused on just the property's sheer size.
They led her to a spacious room, where she would stay from now on. Cira was amazed at all the rooms and work rooms alike that they had passed on all the levels of the building. It made her wonder just what this place really was. To a little girl like her, living in this place for the first time and standing before the site of it all was quite baffling to her imagination.
"Make yourself at home, Cira." Devon said. "Rest up a bit, and we'll show you around later."
"Okay," Cira replied, sitting on the edge of her bed.
Devon left the room, with Michael following.
"Michael?" Cira asked.
"Are you my new father?"
Michael nodded slowly.
"Yes," he said. "You're last name is now Knight."
"Night? Like the night sky?"
"It's spelled like the 'warrior knight'." Michael corrected.
"Oh." She paused a moment.
"Can you sit down with me for a bit?" she asked suddenly.
"Sure." Michael replied. Michael sat down next to her on the large bed.
"The other car was a Pontiac too. I remember." She told him, looking at the floor. "But I think it had a silver bottom. Your car is a lot different from it."
"That's good to hear. I remember you telling me that the first time." Michael said smiling. But at the same time, it wasn't good to hear. For some reason, Michael felt uneasy about the idea that the car looked like KITT but didn't at the same time.
"Well, we'll talk about it later. I don't want to ruin your fun, it being your first day here."
"It's okay. It was probably just another car like yours."
"Like KITT…" Michael thought.
There WAS KARR, but Michael didn't want to get Cira thinking about another car just like KITT right away.
"Is that it's name?"
Cira nodded, understanding.
"At least I know it wasn't' your car." Cira replied. "KITT's nice."
"I'm glad to hear it," Michael said smiling.
"Thank you for saving me and giving me a place to stay," Cira said, hugging Michael. He was surprised, but he'd probably have to get used to it, so in response he put his arms around her shoulders in his own embrace.
"You're very welcome, but it was Devon's idea of letting you stay with us." He admitted. "So you can thank him too."
"I will," she let go of him.
Michael patted her on the head and then stood up to leave.
"Well kid, I'll let you relax. I'll see you later." Michael said, and walked out the door.
Michael looked and acted so much like her dad! All of a sudden Cira wanted to cry.
"Okay daddy." Cira replied before he was gone.
Cira crawled more towards the middle of the bed and tried to fall asleep, and eventually, she fell asleep peacefully.
Part 5: Auto CruiseEdit
Cira was now 9, and a much happier child having adjusted to her new home.
"Michael," Devon said walking up to him back at the Foundation. "April and Ihave built a program specifically designed to completely erase KARR's computer intelligence system. However, there's one problem we were not able to fix."
"What would that be?" KITT asked.
"PROJECT RESTORATION could not be designed EXACTLY the way we wanted it to." April said. "There is a glitch we couldn't overcome and remove."
"Daddy, whats going on?" Cira asked, tugging on Michael's jacket.
"We found a way to rebuilt KARR."
"But…" Cira was still afraid of KARR.
"Don't worry Cira." Devon said, patting her on the head. "KARR will have a brand new system and he will be more like KITT than the old KARR once the system is installed."
She smiled. At least the child understood and accepted what they were doing! It made everyone feel better.
"So," Devon said, turning back to Michael. He glanced at Bonnie, who knew what was going on already, but Michael didn't, so he focused most of his attention on him. "Because of this disk, when you try to install it into KARR, it will freeze up and will leave about 10 percent of the memory left."
"That's not much though is it?" Michael asked.
"Technically no, but I don't think we want to when it comes to KARR." KITT said. "I don't think we want to risk having KARR remembering too much, and getting any rebellious ideas."
"Are you sure that might end up happening?" Michael asked, glancing at KITT.
"It's possible, but not likely." KITT replied honestly.
"Better safe than sorry," Devon quipped. "Therefore, once we tow KARR back, I suggest we run the program again to try and eliminate even more memory; particularly if the memory that KARR bears is dangerous."
"Right." Michael said.
"Now, go find KARR." Devon said, tossing him the CD that read "Project Restoration."
"Daddy, can I come with you?"
Michael glanced at April and Devon, for a moment looking unsure.
"I don't think it's safe for you to come along, Cira. KARR might get really defensive."
"Or is it offensive?" KITT piped in.
"Good point." Devon said.
"Frankly I think it's hard to say." Michael replied.
"You might be right about that Michael." KITT agreed. "It can be a very confusing concept."
"Supposedly it depends on how you look at it." April said smiling.
Michael walked over to KITT, and patted the Trans-Am; then opening the door.
"April said it right." Michael said. "It's all about perspective."
"That makes more sense." KITT replied, sounding amused, though the AI had no feelings.
"Good luck." Devon said. "We all know how hard KARR is to find."
"We sure do." Michael said, and pulled KITT out of the sleek black truck, once again on the road.
"Once we get out of the main frame of the city, start scanning for KARR." Michael told KITT, keeping the cruising on manual. He felt like doing the driving again.
It was a long drive, so Michael sat listening to rock music on the radio.
"A human heart goes out tonight
Yes a red hot love on a red stop light
I see a scene so cold it echoes in blue
Oh those twisting tongues they are after you
Wop bop a lu bop son you gotta move up
Of what a story dreams to buy
Dont need a knife to violate my life
Its all so insane
When the other man has none
You dont need a gun
Yes a russian roulette no fun
I dont need a gun
I just need someone
I dont need a gun
Blood red lights a domination street yeah
Just need your love and I feel that heat yeah
You can drive me through
That red stop light
With a whiplash smile…."
"Found anything yet KITT?" Michael asked.
"Wop bop a lu bop son you gotta move up
Flip flop fly
Lawdy miss clawdy…"
"Not yet." KITT said.
"KARR must have really gone far." Michael commented.
"I'm fearing that." KITT agreed.
"Of what a story dreams to buy
Don't need a knife to violate my life
Its all so insane.
When the other man has none
You dont need a gun
Yes a russian roulette no fun
I dont need a gun I just need someone
I wont need a gun oh yeah
You will always be crying yeah
Oh you will always be dying…"
Michael yawned. "KITT can you take over until you find KARR?"
"I'm just going to sit back and relax for a few minutes."
"Oh you will always be dying…"
"Anytime Michael." KITT replied.
"Elvis a fight the dying light
Johnny ray hes always crying
Gene vincent he cried who slapped john, john, john.
Yes and me, Im movin, movin, movin, movin on.
Yeah to be someone
I don't need a gun."
After listening to a few more songs on the radio and hearing two commercials, Michael got fed up and turned the music off. They were exploring the desert now, and KARR could pop up on KITT's scanner readings any minute.
"I finally picked up KARR's location. KARR is a few miles ahead down the road. May I assume auto control?" KITT asked.
"Yes you can." Michael said, letting go of the wheel.
With in less than a half a mile away KARR spoke to KITT.
"KITT, I'm warning you, don't come close, haven't you understood my warnings?"
"KARR, we're not a threat; don't you realize that?"
"You're bluffing. Simply bluffing." KARR said. "I can't trust you after what you Wilton Knight did to me."
"KARR, that's childish," KITT said as he approached KARR.
"Why would that be?" KARR's voice was negative and completely threatening. "Something tells me my reasons are good enough."
"The only reason why Wilton Knight had you shut down was because something was defective in your system. You weren't safe."
"And you are?" KARR accused.
"In a manner of speaking, yes." KITT said.
"I don't care what you're plans are with me." KARR sped up, and started purposefully releasing oil slick.
KITT skidded out of the way and moved to KARR's right side.
"You're more interested in self-preservation than the being concerned over the preservation of human existence!" Michael yelled.
"KITT-don't you dare let that human try to sabotage me!" KARR ordered, and jerked far to the left.
"Sorry KARR, it's not sabotaging. We're coming here to fix you up, not harm you." KITT said.
"Do you think you're so confident that an inferior model such as yourself would even stand a chance in getting a hold of me?"
"Yes." KITT said. "Because you're the one with a problem, not me."
Michael took over for a minute and sped to the left, almost ramming into KARR.
"What do you think you're trying to do to me, human?" KARR ordered.
"You'll just have to find out, won't you KARR? KITT, assume control again."
"Right away Michael." KITT said as he took over. KITT skidded to the back and then burst over to the left side of KARR; their sides only an inch and a half apart or so.
"I won't let you get that close." KARR said. "Give it up, KITT." KARR veered far to the right again, a good five yards away, off the road. KARR obviously wasn't concerned about that.
"Like I would? We'll show you who's inferior, won't we Michael?"
"Yes indeed buddy." Michael said grinning. "Let's keep after KARR."
They began to round a sharp left turn and KITT pressed towards KARR threateningly. As KITT did this Michael crawled to the passenger's seat.
KITT was able to predict what Michael was doing and opened up the sunroof for Michael.
The easiest way to get to KARR's control system was to jump onto it from KITT. It would take to long to climb from window to window, so Michael had to jump instead.
"What are you going to smash the windows with?" KITT asked.
"A knife. Not the windows, KITT." Michael said. "The tires. April and Devon designed a knife especially made for breaking into KARR. It's the only way I could possibly get in, since KARR won't AGREE NICELY for me."
"You're hopes are too high to think that could ever happen, human." KARR scoffed.
"That's what you think." KITT said. "Michael's scheme is very practical. Not hopeful. You'll see how easy and effective it really is in just a minute. That knife is no ordinary knife."
"Not if I can help it." KARR said quickly and moved far to the right once again.
"KITT," Michael said. "Do whatever it takes to keep up with KARR. Get me next to him again." Michael was now on the flat black hood of KITT. He clutched on to the mirror for balance due to the sharp wind from high speeds; since they were going about 100, but he didn't need much.
KITT used the turbo boost to speed up. KARR caught up, and then just as KITT's speed began to decrease slowly and the AI skidded to the right and almost rammed into KARR. At this same instant, with the custom made knife in his hand, Michael ordered himself to JUMP.
With a thud, he landed on KARR's hood. Knowing KARR was going to thrash about like a fish that had just been hooked, Michael's free hand immediately latched on for supporting his balance. It would be less easy for KARR to throw him off this way.
This was the easy part of it all. Michael only had to get to KARR's tires and then PROJECT RESTORATION would do the rest-literally; except he had to break the windows open with the knife that could penetrate the glass AND KARR's tires.
Michael moved around, and reached down for KARR's left-fore tire.
"Don't think it's going to be that easy." KARR said and leaned it's nose down.
"You can't possibly block off your whole tire. Sure it covers the top half, but its e ven harder to cover the bottom half." Michael sneered, and reached down farther-but all too suddenly, KARR threw the left side of the hood up, with a sudden launching force that Michael hadn't expected. Michael's head and upper body bounced sharply but had no other effect. He counteracted this force and plunged his arm back down towards KARR's tire. Once he heard the pop, Michael was satisfied, and shuffled over to the right tire with ease, blowing that one just as easily.
Almost acting enraged, although the AI had no feelings; KARR swerved about stubbornly realized that the left tire just went completely flat. Once three tires were gone, KARR was hardly able to move ANYWHERE.
Durring KARR's frantic swerving, Michael moved back over to the driver's window. He hurled his left arm towards the window to puncture it several times. Once this was accomplished, shards of glass went everywhere. Michael climbed on top of KARR, who tried to open the sun roof but the roof opened slowly and he had enough time to slide down KARR's backside.
He lay on his back at a very obscure angle, close enough to KARR's left rear tire. KARR kept on swerving, but the AI was slowing down tremendously now that the tires had been blown out.
"Let's face it KARR, you're going to have to give up for once." Michael stabbed that tire, and immediately he felt, and heard it begin to deflate.
"I wish we'd thought about this a long time ago when we first encountered KARR," KITT said. "KARR could already be fixed by now."
"Well, unfortunately we just didn't think of creating the right weapon for it at the time."
"But now I'm glad we have it, it certainly did better than that laser gun." KITT said.
"It sure is." Michael agreed. "KARR was hard to catch with the laser gun. This knife has no limits as to what it can help in doing."
Michael crawled over to the left side and blew out the left tire. KARR was only moving at about less than 10 miles per hour now.
"Give it up KARR, you're not going to be able to do anything now that you're tires are blown."
"Once you're re-programmed you won't have this problem again." KITT said.
"So just cooperate with us okay?" Michael added, rolling over to the right and blew out the final tire.
"Cooperating doesn't come easy." KARR replied.
"Well, it won't matter in this case." KITT said. "You're no longer CAPABLE of fighting back."
For some reason KARR must have been really angry at KITT for saying such things. The AI knew it had to give up, and was, if it had any amount of emotions, was furious and jealous of KITT all at the same time. Hence, it refused to speak another word. What would that do anyway?
"It's all downhill from here." Michael said, stabbing out the rest of the glass from the roof of KARR. Once all the glass was gone, Michael slid in. He searched for a place to slide in the disk. He almost grew frustrated with the task, but luckily he was successful.
"Shutting down AI control systems..."
It took no more than a little less than sixty seconds before it was complete.
"Shut down complete at 100 percent."
"Begining memory whipe out process...50 percent."
About fifty seconds later: "85 percent."
"Project restoration could not finish Memory Termination Process."
Halfway through the program as expected it froze and left twenty percent of the memory.
"I guess we can't do anything about that." Michael said. Sighing, Michael removed the disk and put it back in the case. "Well buddy, let's call Devon to tow KARR back to FLAG."
Part 6: ForgivenessEdit
Part 7: Hop InEdit
Three years later, Cira was sixteen and now able to drive. She was very happy the day she got her license. For the last year she'd been chatting with her friends over what kind of car she think about getting.
It had been a good month or two since she'd gotten her lisence. She'd chatted privately with KARR on and off since she'd first encountered KARR when she was thirteen and broken down. Surely by now KARR was complete. It would certainly be amazing to see how much like KARR really was compared to KITT, even more so to see the two interact! It amused Cira greatly just imagining that happen. However, it was something she'd have to get used to between her, Michael, KITT and KARR.
Cira sat in her room deep into a book when Michael knocked on her door.
"Yeah dad?" she asked, closing her book.
"Devon wants to talk to you about KARR. We…have a surprise for you hon."
"A surprise?" Cira closed her book shut and got to the door, following Michael. "Okay dad. I'm right behind ya." Michael patted Cira on the head.
Michael led her down to the workspace where KARR was.
"What's going on? Is KARR complete?"
"Hello Cira." KARR greeted.
"You two have talked before?" Devon, asked, sounding surprised. He was just as surprised as the looks April and Michael exchanged between them.
"Yes," KARR said. "Numerous times."
"Really? Well, that's a surprise as well." Devon said. Michael nodded.
"In fact, Cira forgave me for what happened due to the defectiveness in my previous system."
"She forgave you?" Michael asked.
"Yes I did." Cira said. "KARR asked for it."
"That's truly quite remarkable," Devon remarked. "I never thought you two would even consider forgiveness."
"It seemed right to ask." KARR said.
"Well, at least we know you're program has been fixed." April said.
"All that work you did on me, I'm truly amazed at your workmanship, April."
"Thanks KARR," April said. "But I only helped plan the program. I didn't make it, other programmers helped, but I DID fix you up and update a few things elsewhere. For example I upgraded your turbo boost and strengthened the bullet proof coating on your mainframe."
"Oh I see." KARR replied. "Either way, the work done on me is still appreciated."
April smiled and patted the top of KARR. "You're quite welcome."
"Anyways, back to why we brought Cira here." Devon said. "Cira, Michael and I won't be around long enough to keep looking for drivers. Hence we've decided you're a remarkably perfect candidate for driving KARR."
Cira's jaw dropped. "What? Are you serious?" she asked. She was sixteen, and already, KARR was HERS! It was too good to be true! In her eyes, now that KARR was no longer a threat and just as perfect as KITT; KARR was the best car any one could ask for.
"Yes, we're very serious." Michael said. "KARR is yours, for you are the 'next generation' of The Foundation. You and KARR are perfect for that."
Cira felt her cheeks becoming a little warm; for she had a feeling knowing what kind of hero's KITT and Michael were in California, it would be a very high role in life for her to inherit. It felt like it was a little too much for her to believe that it was even true. But the fact was, this was real; and she knew it.
"I…um…don't know what to say. Words feel useless." Cira said a bit sheepishly. "I'd never thought that that was why the three of you decided to salvage KARR. All these years I'd been growing up you'd been working on rebuilding KARR…." She shook her head. Devon, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. KARR and I won't let you guys down when we're needed."
Michael smiled, pleased that she was so happy about her path in life she had just chosen. At least she'd been able to CHOOSE. Michael hadn't. That was one difference he'd realized right away, but he was glad Cira hadn't bumped into the rush of that sort of pressure. He'd gotten used to it, and was more than happy to be KITT's driver as long as he was needed or opted to. He rested a hand on his 'daughter's' shoulder.
"Well, want to go for your first ride behind the wheel?"
"With a magnificent car like KARR and KITT?" Cira smiled confidently. "Of course!"
Michael glanced at Devon.
"Devon will be riding with you in the passenger's seat to show you how to work the controls." Michael told her.
KARR was a whole new vehicle getting used to, Cira knew that right from the start when she met KITT.
Having ridden with Michael in KITT so many times, Cira picked up a lot over the years just from watching and asking questions.
"I'm sure Cira already knows from watching you drive KITT and talking to KITT." Devon said to Michael.
"This is like a solo-run." Michael said. "This proves how much you've learned. Like an extra driver's test."
Devon nodded. "But lucky for you there's no additional license involved."
Cira was much more excited than she'd ever been when she took the wheel over any normal vehicle when she'd been working towards her license. It felt like she was learning how to fly a fighter jet; yet it wasn't near as complicated. However, the feeling was the same; feelings filled with excitement and strange apprehension. One thing was for sure, Cira definitely WASN'T nervous.
April took pictures of Cira in the driver's seat. For Cira, it was something she'd always remember and NEVER forget.
-THE NEXT MORNING AROUND 7:00 A.M.-
Cira yawned as she pulled KARR into her high school's parking lot. For the first time, she was the driver. She suddenly felt like she was seeing a new view of the world and was more on her own than ever. But maybe every new driver got that feeling when they started to drive themselves places on their own. Who knew.
Somehow since the previous day when she discovered KARR was officially hers, there had been a boost in her self confidence and high ego. Yes girls could have ego's, along with dignity of course, and Cira had both of these traits. She was prideful, self-sufficient and tough; and couldn't live these traits down. A lot of guys saw this in her, and it always gave them something to ponder over for practically however long they wished. Cira was puzzled by it but didn't care to do anything about it.
One way these traits were revealed was when she hung out with her JROTC buddies and wore her uniform. She was one of the few girls in the core that really took JROTC seriously like it was the real military. Even some guys had trouble with it, and those that new this usually noticed this in Cira, despite that she was a first year, and often, even though she didn't realize it herself, respected Cira for this trait.
She knew several of the JROTC cadets. The one male cadet she knew the most was named Alex Johnson. He was a very serious guy, but somehow he always seemed to be drawn to Cira since he first noticed her in JROTC and how seriously she took it. Cira never thought much about it though, because KARR, KITT, Bonnie, Devon and her dad were always on her mind.
"Well KARR, see you around three o'clock PM." Cira said before stepping out of the car.
"All right Cira. Have fun." KARR replied. It was odd how happy and redeemed Cira suddenly felt! Cira busily brushed off her BDU's that they were permitted to wear once a month and then shut KARR's door.
Cira had parked car not far away from the pole almost absent mindedly. She suddenly realized Johnson was commanding the take down of the flags.
"I'll try KARR, I really will." She patted the Pontiac. It's yellow scanner didn't stop moving until KARR wished to turn off his surveillance mode.
It was scorching hot out, and KARR did not like sticking around in the sun unless they were driving. His circuits would fry if he sat here until 3. He had to find shade and pick Cira up when the time was right. One problem was though KARR had no idea he'd probably get very strange looks from other driver's when he DID come pick up Cira.
As she walked over they just finished pulling down the state and American flag. Two cadets with the last name of Lee and Gates took hold of the state flag and in a crisp, military manner stepped aside to fold it. They were second year cadets. Johnson, on the other hand, was a third year cadet. Which meant he was two years older than she was, but that made no difference to Cira. It was only by two years.
She hadn't talked to Johnson much, but when she did Cira always felt like they were on good terms, but with a serious guy like Johnson, it was VERY hard to tell. You could see the seriousness and boldness in his eyes the way he talked, walked, and the way he looked at people. But once you got him comfortable, as Cira noticed from a far, he was a very friendly guy. However, the seriousness and pride was really hard to break. Perhaps he liked to test people with that side of himself. Cira wasn't sure, but it was a guess; and the only good one she had so far.
Alex had dark, and sharp energetic eyes. His hair was somewhat thin, about a little less than an inch at the top of his head, thinner down the sides and neck. It was obviously a military-like hair style. Alex's hair was dark brown, and in Cira's opinion she thought Alex looked very good with the cut.
Cira also knew he was very fit. For he liked to do pushups and excersize in JROTC never seemed to be a struggle for him no matter what the activities or intensity level of them.
Cira swore she was seeing things, but she thought she saw Alex cast a look towards her as she stepped away from KARR. Seeing another fellow cadet, out of the corner of their eyes during their folding of the American flag, Gates and Lee seemed have spotted Cira approaching the school too. Johnson and his other partner who'd Cira hardly ever seen before briskly, but surprisingly gracefully folded up the flag into its triangular fold perfectly. The cadet she did not recognize took possession over the flag.
Not wanting to interrupt, Cira automatically chose not to say hi; for she wasn't sure that any of the cadets would see or recognize her being there. But to her surprise, just as the cadets finished folding the flags, Alex was clearly looking at her when he suddenly said walking up to her:
"Hey Knight is that your car? It's...so sleek and original."
Cira glanced back at KARR, smiling.
"Why yes it is." Cira replied.
"I've never seen a Pontiac in such a beautiful condition before." He said, trying to give her a warm smile. She saw it take over the seriousness on her face and it almost made Cira's heart melt. He'd never smiled at her like that before-there was something so different about it. She tried to stop herself short from dreaming about it, but Cira didn't like the fact that she felt her face growing warm at the compliment…but then again, the compliment was about KARR alone, wasn't it? She couldn't be sure. Perhaps she just WISHED he was saying that about her.
"Thank you." Cira said.
"What are the yellow lights in between the nose for?" he asked.
"It's…" Cira tried to explain, but fumbled for words.
"What's in a beautiful condition?" Gates asked curiously.
"Knigh-I mean her Pontiac." He stammered. Seriousness was back on Alex's face, in hope for cover from his previous stumble. Did she just catch his cheeks temporarily flush or was she dreaming?
This was going to be an awfully strange day.
Lee whistled, but Gates was more interested the car.
"Dude, shut up." Gates snapped at Lee. "The black Pontiac? That's HER'S? No way."
Cira put her hands on her hips. "And what makes you say that Sergeant Gates?"
Gates was lost for words.
"I could show you my driver's license, the plate, and a picture in my pocket to prove it." Cira said sharply. "I don't think much more of proof is needed than that."
"Wow." Lee said, holding the state flag carefully.
"Guys," said the unknown cadet holding the American flag. "We should get to class. DOUBLE TIME."
"Right." Alex said. "Sorry, but we have to rush. Perhaps I'll catch you at lunch maybe?"
Cira was shocked. It was the first time a guy had ever asked her to even see her at lunch on their own free will. But this was supposed to be no big deal, right? Cira hoped to keep it that way for now. She hoped, she really did.
"Sure." She'd been planning on going to get Subway to eat instead of the cafeteria food. They had a good hour to leave the property, and she knew a subway, so she'd go to that. That is, if Alex wanted to come with her at all. He'd invited to meet up with her, so Cira was certain he wouldn't mind. But, they were on a rush so she'd have to ask him later when they met up again or she caught him in the hallways.
-approx. 3 hours later-
Which did happen. After 3rd period was over, Alex spotted her just as she'd swung her black book bag over her shoulder.
"Hey miss Knight!" Alex called from behind Cira. He was standing at the hallway locker entrance. She waved, and caught up to him as she weaved around the crowd of chatting high schoolers.
"Hi," she replied. "How's been the classes so far?"
"Comprehensive but boring as usual." He replied. "I'm still hoping you'll come and have lunch in the JROTC room with us today?"
"Sure. Actually I was planning on going to subway and getting something to eat there. I'm tired of cafeteria food." Cira said.
"Oh." Alex said. "Well so am I."
They were silent for a minute. Cira debated over whether she should let Alex have his first ride in an awesome car like KARR
"You're welcome to come with me if you wish." Cira offered. It was the best she could do, really. She seemed like she could trust Alex with KARR's 'secrets'. But Cira knew he'd be surprised with the interior. He'd be even more surprised if she let KARR speak up. She hated to admit it but Cira couldn't wait to see his face when KARR spoke!
"I'd be glad to." Alex replied. His stone cold expression was there but she could hear the emotion and honesty that rang clear in his voice. Cira wondered how Alex did it, but he just did.
Cira smiled. "All right then. I'll see you after third period by the flag pole."
Alex caught up to Cira just as she was about to open one of the schools wide doors in which was the same one she'd entered that morning.
"Hey." He greeted her. His army boots tapped against the tile as they walked, with hers doing the same. They were rather heavy, but all the cadets were used to it and Cira was among the many people in the core who didn't mind it at all.
"Hi," Cira replied. "Glad you could come."
"I am too." Alex replied, he glanced at her, but Cira was looking forward the whole time.
Once they reached a yard away from where KARR SHOULD be parked, Cira was shocked to discover KARR was gone.
"Hey…what in the world happened to you car?"
What in the world was going on? She had to contact KARR. Her radio, which looked like a watch, and was exactly like her dad's was in one of her large camo pockets.
"Stay here, I'm going to look up and down the parking lot a bit." Cira said.
She began to walk quickly. When her right wrist was at an obscure angle from Alex's view, Cira tried to contact KARR.
"KARR, where in God's name did you go? You were supposed to stay here. A friend and I are going to lunch."
KARR quickly replied: "Oh, sorry, but the heat was singing my circuits. I needed to find some shade."
Cira sighed as she walked farther one direction. She glanced back at Alex. Good, he wasn't following her, but he WAS watching her.
"Could you get back here please?" she asked.
"Of course Cira. Sorry about the surprise."
"It's okay." Cira said. "I'd rather you tell me next time. Just drive into the pick up lane. It doesn't matter if hell be surprised or not, but you gotta get over here. It'd be even weirder if I took the time to search for you."
"I'm on my way." KARR replied.
"Okay." Cira said.
What a relief…but now Alex would really be amazed with their ride. But she hoped that despite that she had an awesome car he'd still have more of an interest in her. She was concerned about that of course, but not so much it made her obviously nervous.
She walked back to Alex, trying her best to look puzzled and stressed. "I really don't know. God this is frustrating!"
"Do you think someone hi-jacked it?" Alex asked.
Cira tried not to laugh. "It sure looks like they did…"
It didn't take long before KARR wove its way through the parking lot on the outer edge. It then drove in a straight line through the parking lot and approached Cira and Alex. It's sleek black coat of paint glistened in the sun and its yellow scanner moved back and forth, and the motor hummed normally.
"What in the world…" Alex muttered.
It was hard to tell whether or not there was someone driving KARR, but as they got closer and KARR pulled off to an empty space in the drop off area Alex could clearly see there was no one driving it.
"Holy SHIT what the hell is that thing?"
Cira couldn't help but laugh.
"That, Lieutenant Johnson is my car."
"It just drove by itself."
"Yes, it is capable of driving for me…" Cira said, trying to find a way to explain KARR to him.
"Along with yourself, Cira, you've got to tell me about this car." Alex said sternly. She could tell he really meant those words, and that somewhat surprised her. Cira realized she felt a little shaky.
"I suppose I can." Cira replied as she walked around the front of KARR to the driver's seat. Before she sat down she patted the top of KARR. "Hop in."
Part 8: No ResponseEdit
That day after school, Cira darted down to the rear parking lot, getting there as fast as she could so she could be on time to fall in as first element leader for the first year unarmed drill team.
Often, she remembered that her step dad was in the military. Cira always liked hearing the story about how he met KITT and Devon Miles, how he had surgery and whatnot, had to get a new identity and car, etc. Why he actually was in the military and eventually was a cop of some sort, she hadn't ever bothered to ask him when she was little. Such things weren't on her curious mind at that age.
Why was Cira interested in JROTC in the first place? She joined, at first, because she was curious about it. She had no idea what it was. Michael hadn't asked her to join or anything. Was she interested in aviation? Since Cira was a girl, she'd have less of a chance of doing the things that the boys were interested, infantry, stuff dealing with weapons and jobs related to an involving ground combat. Cira had fun being different, doing tuff, motivating things. Simple things too. Keeping her uniform sharp every time for inspection for the first few minutes of class, through out the whole day itself was one thing. She considered drill simple. It was just like another form of walking, nothing to it really. Hell, it took less effort than skipping or jogging did, that was for sure.
So maybe that was it. She did have a slight interest in aviation, but Cira found herself having discovered no new passions for any subject yet. Honestly she didn't really care. Most importantly, JROTC helped time pass by a little quicker in school. Especially with having people like Alex to hang around.
She walked a little faster to the back parking lot, which by now was already emptying out.
"KARR, I'm out here early."
"I see that." KARR replied. As he did so Cira just spotted the TransAm to the left side of the lot, not directly in the middle where the drill team would be marching. His scanner wasn't on, so people wouldn't notice it when everyone was marching around.
"You picked a good spot. We move around a lot." Cira said.
Alex's last class of the day was JROTC. All the other kids on the drill team had their JROTC class either in this one, or the one before that. There were maybe only one or two that had JROTC earlier in the day, but their classes later in the day were close to the JROTC room. Cira unfortunately, was none of the above. Her class was well on the other side of the school, so she wouldn't be able to leave early or get there on time for the drill team to quickly meet before walking outside. The first year drill team commander gave her permission to just head directly outside everyday right after class was over so that way she would be ready. It gave her a few minutes since all they did at the brief meeting was attendance. Then everyone would leave. There was no point in Cira hurrying for that.
Sighing from the brisk walk, Cira opened KARRs door and tossed her backpack in the back, then got out. Sitting down for a few minutes to wait for the others to come out, Cira rested her back against KARR's left front tire, facing towards the door she had exited from. Two more cars left and then the parking lot was suddenly quiet.
"Looks like we have it all to ourselves today." Cira observed.
"Indeed." KARR agreed. "Everyone must be taking their time."
"Yeah, they're just taking attendance for each team. They'll be out here shortly." The first years will be practicing over here. "The color guard and Upper-class team will be practicing farther down the parking lot. It's a nice day, so we'll be out here for a good hour or so."
"Michael and Devon know you have this every day, right?"
Cira folded her arms and rested them across her stomach and against her thighs, for her knees were tucked up towards her chest. She wasn't sitting with her legs crossed.
A cool breeze flowed through the parking lot. Soon, Cira sensed movement towards the doors. Having been staring out into the parking lot, resting her head on her knees, a few cadets came out. These cadets were the commanders, as usual. The commander of the first year drill team was Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Alex Johnson. The Commander of the color guard team was Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Drake Lee, a close friend of Johnson's. Lee was carrying their country flag, while Drake another cadet who Cira didn't know was carrying the state flag. He was dark skinned, apparently of African descent, with the rank of Cadet Staff Sergeant. His name tag read Williams. Two cadets carrying rifles came up being them. One was a girl, a third year, with her permanent rank of cadet senior airman, carried a rifle. She had strawberry blonde hair, a slightly bigger, less fit body than Cira's. Her name read Kyles. The other rifle guard was a first year, like Cira, with the permanent rank of cadet Airman. She recognized him by his name tag, Jack Bailey. He was the joker type, but still could play serious when he wanted to. Cira did have him in her classes, though it wasn't ROTC. However, she still didn't find the time to talk to him or some of the other cadets much. Cadet Airman Jack Bailey was the left rifle guard.
Behind him was Cadet Tech Sergeant David Gates, another friend of Johnsons, who was in Cira's JROTC class. A trail of at least 20 cadets followed behind them, ready for practice. The cadet Commander, named cadet Captain Josh Black, who was a senior in high school, also decided to show up today.
As they walked over, still being several yards away, Adamson leaned over towards Johnson and pointed towards KARR with a surprised look on his face. Johnson nodded and smiled.
They all walked over to her. She almost forgot about it, but Cira suddenly hoped Alex wasn't the type to go telling everyone about KARR, that he talked and could drive by himself. She suddenly felt awkward as she heard them say "how did she get a sweet car like that?"
"Well, Cadet Knight beats us again." C/Capt. Black said.
Cira stretched her legs and arms before standing up. Once she stood up and when he stopped a yard or so before her, with Johnson and Adamason next to him, she saluted them. Being cadet officers (of temporary rank), Black and Johnson saluted back with equal respect. Cira did not drop her salute until they dropped theirs first.
"Yes sir," she said, standing up well before he and Johnson approached her and stopped a good yard or two away. "As always. It's because I don't have to hurry to the room for attendance. I just go straight out side. I'm too far across the other building to worry about rushing in for attendance. So I got permission by Cadet Sergeant Tucker to just take my time and get outside first. I would notify someone ahead of time if I couldn't make it on a certain day."
"Ah," Black answered with a nod. "I keep forgetting about that." he glanced at the front of KARR and was about to say something. She stopped him and asked. "Sir, I have a quick question before we all start." Adamson and Johnson were about to turn around to talk to the rifle guards to get them ready, but Cira said to him first: "Lieutenant Johnson, please don't leave yet. This deals with you."
He turned with a confused look on his face. "Sure, okay..."
"Sir," Cira said looking up at Black, who was at least a foot taller than her. He had sharp eyes and dirty blonde hair, not as finely cut as Johnson or Adamson's, but still finely groomed around the ears and the back of the neck. "I need to talk to Lieutenant Johnson personally about something before he starts."
"About what, it's not too serious, I hope?" he asked curiously.
"No no," she said, shaking her head. "Nothing too serious. I assure you of that."
"Okay." he answered with a shrug. "I'll get the upper class team as well as the armed team to start farther down the parking lot." he said this mostly to himself as he turned around.
"We'll take the area closer to the field, sir. The first years can have the middle near where Cira's car and that light post are." Johnson said as he pointed to the post some ten yards down the parking lot from KARR.
"Sounds good." Black replied.
With out question, Adamson turned to a third year female cadet and a second year cadet, who was male and had a lot of African blood in him. Cira wasn't familiar with their names and hadn't had any chances to talk to them yet.
"I did something wrong?" Alex asked her.
"Not really," Cira replied slowly. She glanced over Johnson's shoulders to make sure Adamson and the rest of the color guard team had their backs turned to them before he told the team to form up a few parking spots to the left of KARR, well away from the armed team and upper class team. "I just wanted to make sure you didn't go telling any one about KARR."
"Oh. Sorry I had you worried about that. It's common sense. With as something as special as you and KARR, I wouldn't do that to you two. I'm sure you don't want a lot of un-needed attention like that." he replied.
"Yes." Cira replied, smiling at having heard him call her and KARR special. She figured KARR knew it was best to stay quiet at this time with so many cadets around, which he did. KARR shut down his scanning mode to re-charge a bit while she was out practicing. Seeing her smile, Alex returned it willingly. "I don't want people constantly questioning KARR. He's had an...interesting reputation in the past, which I don't want to explain now. Sorry, I had to ask."
"No problem it's perfectly understandable. Do you two have time later today and maybe this weekend? I was hoping I could get the chance to talk to you later on..." Alex asked, keeping firm eye contact. He didn't look the least bit hesitant, and was 100 percent honest. Being able to keep a professional, but not distant air about him, Cira at first had trouble trying to find signs that he showed interest in her, but when she thought about it a few seconds later, Cira realized it could have very likely been all in his even, calm voice.
Cira smiled again, more brighter this time. "Sure. Want to see if we can do homework together? Or, maybe that's not a good idea." she carelessly waved a hand. I'll leave that up to you and Dad. I think dad and Devon will find you trust worthy enough that they'll let you hang around at least once. Hopefully more, perhaps. You never know."
"Yeah, you never know. I hope I can. We'll talk more after words?"
"Definitely." Cira nodded vigorously. "Meet me by KARR when you're done."
"Okay." Alex "You're first element leader, run over to everyone and tell them to get ready. I'm right behind you."
"Gotcha, sir." Cira replied with a nod as she ran over to the loosely assembled group of first years. They all stood around chatting casually. They were all wearing their uniform, and Cira still only managed to recognize a few of them that were in her class.
"Everyone, get ready to fall in off of ." she announced. they quickly stopped their talking and arranged themselves by who was in which element. They only had three small elements. Most of the people on their drill team populated the upper class and armed team.
Cira saw C/Captain Black dart over to the armed drill team, telling them because they had so many people in this parking lot, they should go practice out in the front parking lot for better space, since the rear parking lot was smaller than the front. Much of the space would be taken up by the color guard, first year and upper class team. Even then there was barely enough room. At least, with each time they all practiced, it would help them become more precise with their movements. That was the only plus.
She turned around to measure herself for the flight as he approached, making sure the spot she stood at would center the rest of the flight off of her.
Cira stood at attention and held out her left arm quickly only long enough until the cadet took his place next to her where he should be. Then, as called fall in, she snapped her arm back briskly. From there, everyone went on with their routines successfully. Black would observe each team one at a time, watching a full routine of each team, and give them advice when it was needed to fix a problem with alignment or timing. He particularly had to help out the first years and the armed drill team. Today in particular, the upper-class team seemed to know what they were doing. And the color guard team got more practice than anyone else because of having so many extra community service opportunities (mainly with posting the colors in public).
Practice went by fast, as usual. They practice their routines several times over. C/Captain Black helped them improve certain areas only twice, and had few comments. Cira was glad because the last time he was here, he had to help some people in the rear elements more than he had to today. Not once did he or Johnson say anything to her, which was good.
Once it was all over, everyone went back up stairs, Cira followed them all, talking to the first year cadets on her team. Some asked her if KARR was hers, and she'd happily say yes. Aside from that, they talked about random, more school and drill-oriented things.
Cira yawned. Everyone lingered around, getting their backpacks together, putting away rifles and such as they waited for C/Captain Black to tell them they were dismissed. He got permission from their Leadership Instructor, and suddenly burst into the very crowed room.
"Colonel Hunt says we're free to leave. Dismissed!" he said, waving a hand around in the air I a carefree manner.
"Bye, sir!" a few of the cadets said.
"Adios." he replied. As he said this, he immediately turned around and walked towards the nearest hallway, to wherever his car was parked in the front. Being next to the door for a few moments, Cira suddenly realized that he had no more than less than a foot of head room. She swore he was taller than Michael, and he was no where near his age.
"Ready to leave when you are, Cira." Alex said as he walked over to her with her backpack slung over her shoulder.
"On our way there, we'll have to stop somewhere to call dad. That way at least he won't be surprised when you show up next to me."
"Dang, you get to ride in Knights car? Lucky." Drake Lee said, walking up being Cira. "Can you give me a ride home in it?"
"Eh, I got to see it earlier at lunch."
"Did you now?" he nodded.
Cira sighed. She wouldn't mind, but she was torn for the fact that she wasn't sure she trusted everyone here about the secrets of KARR. 'Maybe I should just get everyone's ooh's and aah's over with now,' she thought, with a slight look of disgruntlement on her face.
Seeing that it took her more than a few moments to reply, Alex asked her:
"Cira, the question?"
"Hmm? Oh yeah, uh...I don't see why not. Let me use the bathroom first." Cira replied, keeping eye contact with Alex, since Drake was to her left. She only glanced at him once. She didn't care if she revealed too much uncertainty.
She didn't really need to go to the bathroom, well she did, and had to talk to KARR.
"Sweet! It's not every day you get to ride in a car that hot! Thanks Cira, you're awesome."
Cira shrugged. "No problem. Excuse me. You two can head out to the parking lot if you want." she said as she grabbed walked out side. She immediately headed towards the bathroom with out saying anything. She was certain Alex would keep his mouth shut, knowing she'd be mad if he started to tell Drake about KARR if he didn't get her permission (as much as he might want to, which he did).
Only several steps before she left the now quiet room, Drake whispered to Alex: "Sir, I think I might actually be jealous if you start going out with her!"
"HEY!" Alex exclaimed defiantly. Cira heard THAT. "That's far from my mind at the moment. I've hardly begun thinking about it."
"Oh?" Drake grinned, hoping he'd continue, but being a guy just like him, he didn't.
Cira didn't hear Alex's full response either. Oh well. Figuring it was nothing to worry about, she kept moving towards the bathroom. The school was quiet now, so she tried contacting KARR with the watch Michael gave her. "KARR? I'm taking Alex and another friend of his home. You okay with Alex AND another person?"
She waited. No answer.
Cira swung open the bathroom door and looked at her watch, frowning. "Huh." No answer. She tried again. "KARR? Wakey-wakey?"
"Still no answer?" she muttered to herself before choosing a stall. "Strange. I'm going to have to tell Michael."
Quickly, she finished up what anyone would need to do in a bathroom, then strode right out to the parking lot.
As expected, Alex and Drake were standing by KARR. His scanner was off. Maybe he was just re-charging, and he forgot to turn his power back on automatically. Instead, she'd probably have to do it this time with them there.
"What the hell is with the inside? It looks like something from Star Wars."
Cira snorted with distaste. "Hardly. Hey, I didn't design it. I didn't ASK for this car!"
"Really?" he asked her, tilting his head. "It's paint job is OUTSTANDING! But hey, what's that thing at the nose?" Drake added, pointing to it as she approached them. Alex leaned against KARR's right window, watching them.
"That's just part of the car, something they included for whatever reason. An extra reflector."
'Smooth, Cira.' Alex mused.
Cira reached for her cell phone and called Michael. Luckily she got cleared to have Alex over for dinner and a bit of homework, and to take Drake home.
"Hmm. It doesn't look half bad. Well I don't live far, I'll show you where I live step by step. Its hardly fifteen minutes away from here." Drake told her.
Suddenly, KARR's engine's revved up, and KARR activated the scanning mode immediately. Drake and Alex yelped. Alex stepped out of the way, but not knowing anything about KARR, he wouldn't in his life ever expect a KARR to fully start its engine on its own till now.
"OH MY GOD!"
Then they heard the engine accelerating.
"Woah!" Cira shouted. KARR suddenly shot forward in mid acceleration, and completely deserted them, skidding out of the parking lot. Cira swore she could smell the burned rubber mixing in with the gas fumes. KARR was already headed towards the frontal parking lot before she could do anything.
Cira whirled around just as she swung herself out of the way to avoid being struck head on by KARR.
"That...didn't just happen, did it?" Drake asked, staring after the car. "Your car...ditched us. Completely. Was I seeing things?" he took in a few deep breaths.
"No, I'm afraid you weren't." Cira said, exhaling sharply. "SHIT." she muttered, kicked at the ground with her heel. "Devon won't be happy at all."
"Devon?" Alex asked.
"My dad's boss." Cira explained. "He actually helped make that car. Drake, as you can see, that's no ordinary car."
"OBVIOUSLY! It fricken almost ran over you!" Drake exclaimed.
"Cira, aren't you the LEAST bit shaken?" Alex asked her, taking a different, calmer approach. He stepped forward a bit, a hand on her shoulder.
"Look, we can still get you a ride home, Drake, but it's going to be a good fifteen minutes or so. Do you two mind waiting here for a while?"
"I don't." Alex said. "I'm hanging out with you anyways."
"As long as no more cars try to run us over, sure, I'm fine with it."
"Well then, let me call dad." Cira replied.
Feeling shaky in the knees from KARR's unexpected, careless behavior, Cira quickly dialed in Michael's number.
"Hello Cira, what's going on?" Michael asked.
"Hi dad..." Cira replied, and immediately began to pace around the lot, drifting away from Drake and Alex, who trailed behind her a few yards away after a while. "You're not going to believe this, but here's how things happened: Apparently, KARR was recharging himself during the hour we were practicing, because we talked just before it started and everyone else got outside. I told Drake and Alex to meet me by KARR while I quickly go use the restroom. Drake doesn't know a thing about KARR, and Alex is the only one I've trusted to let him hear KARR talk and drive on his own around him. I radioed in KARR before going to the bathroom and I got no answer. That's how I assumed he was trying to reserve power for a bit while he could. Then, when I got outside and Drake started asking me about the scanner (I made up an answer), KARR suddenly revs up his engine and LITERALLY high tails out of the parking lot. He nearly ran me over because I was right in front of him, but I was quick enough to respond to the rev of the engine and move out of the way just in time." she didn't stop talking until she was completely finished with her explanation.
Michael was silent for a moment. "Oh boy. Devon won't be happy to hear this."
"That's what I said." Cira said with a sigh. "Apparently that program April tried to perfect still didn't completely erase his old else, huh?"
"I guess however and for whatever reason, it may be coming back like an infection. KITT would probably agree. I guess we may have found out about this when we did the inspection later on this weekend." Michael groaned. On the other end of the line, Michael was in his room, pacing back and forth.
"Yeah. Now Alex and Drake are stuck with out a ride. Drake could walk, and he may prefer to, but I'd rather not do that do him. I was really looking forward to riding in KARR."
"Don't show too many people what KARR is really like."
"Yeah, I know. Attracts too many attention. Alex is the only one that knows so far."
Drake seemed to think Cira was taking too long with the talk, but he didn't say anything, and followed alex, carrying his backpack with him just like like Alex did. Cira had however, left hers in KARR.
"And you know what else sucks? I left my back pack in KARR before drill practice started."
"Wow, that does. Don't worry, KITT and I will try to find him and bring him back to FLAG before he causes too much trouble." Michael replied. "I'll have Devon come out and get you three in his Mercedes."
"No problem, kiddo. I'll try to have him be there at your school at the front in less than half an hour. We'll talk about more of this when we get home, and don't worry, you're not in trouble. It a tough situation that you didn't cause." Michael assured her in that laid back tone he usually used around people he was close to. "Oh, and I look forward to meeting Alex."
"Okay. Alex and I will see you with in the next hour, hopefully."
"Sounds good, later."
"Bye." Cira replied, and hung up.
"Are you SURE you're okay?" Alex asked her. He and Drake moved to either side of Cira.
"I am kind of shaken." Cira admitted grimly as they walked.
"I don't think I've ever heard you talk so fast." he commented.
"Heh. I guess it happens to all of us."
"Seems that way," Alex said with a shrug.
"We need to head for the front. Devon is going to pick us up there." Cira told them.
"Okay. We're headed that way anyway."
There were so many questions Alex wanted to ask Cira about her and KARR, and more as to what might have caused this event, but couldn't because Drake was around, and he had no idea what KARR was really capable of. He, like all the other cadets, thought he was just another sports car.
After an awkward silence, they reached the front of the building and sat against the nearest wall that was some distance away from the flag pole. Cira sighed. "I'm kinda glad you guys were with me."
"I'm sorry this had to happen," Alex said.
"It's okay. It was the least expected. I thought they fixed the program, but apparently it wasn't fixed one hundred percent."
"No kidding." Alex scoffed, folding his arms as they sat down. Would have scared me to death if that were my car.
"You notice how it drove on its own?" Cira asked with a monotonous tone in her voice. As she said this she glanced over at him.
"Yeah, in it's simplest terms..." Cira replied.
"Damn, I had no idea cars had that." Drake replied.
"Well, planes have it, don't they?"
"True. But for it to do something that reckless on its own. Now that's creepy. So I take it it thinks?"
"In a manner of speaking, yes." Cira answered. She figured it wouldn't hurt to tell him more vague things like this. "By the way," she added, holding up an index finger: "I'd rather you not tell any one any of the details I've revealed about my car. I'd rather not have a lot of attention. I know it's looks are good, I just don't need random people constantly asking me things about my car or being interested in me at FIRST because of it." she gave him a warning look and spoke in a cold, serious tone as she said this.
"Okay, okay, it's kind of pointless causing any one person irritation like that." Drake said, briefly raising his hands up defensively.
"Good, and thanks. That way, once we get my car checked up on and fixed, I might let you ride in it more often."
"Thanks for the offer, but I think I've changed my mind."
"I don't blame you." Cira said with an accepting smile, remembering how she met KARR at the same time.
They rested their heads against the wall, kind of tired from school.
"You left your back pack in KARR, huh?" Alex asked, figuring it was okay to mention its name.
"Who?" Alex asked.
"The car's name is KARR. Kilo Alpha Romeo Romeo. Stands for Knight Automotive Roving Robot." Cira replied. "As said before, I trust you two to keep this information somewhat...classified. I haven't told anyone else."
"We're glad you chose us. I guess you know us the best, out of the rest of the guys."
"Yep. And yes, I did leave it in there."
"How far would KARR care to go? And what's wrong with his program?" Alex asked. She could tell he'd been itching to ask her this since the event happened.
"I have no idea. Technically, KARR is much more efficient is gas, and power is regulated differently than most normal sports cars. If he's reckless, well, he could go anywhere he pleases. He's got a data base in his system about numerous states and everything." Cira replied.
"Oh god. That sucks." Drake replied. Alex nodded gravely.
"Hopefully, KARR's new program will take over, he'll regain common sense and come back if he knows what's good for him. I hope he's already not causing problems. Originally, they shut this car down because it was so reckless and relied on its own preservation rather than making sure others were safe first. Since he some how got re-activated a long time ago, he's been a problem for the company my dad works for- well..ages now."
Drake and Alex listened intently, their eyes wide with interest.
"And your dad let you drive this car?" Alex glanced at her over his right shoulder, making eye contact. He was surprisingly close, but since there were only three cadets in uniform present, it didn't matter. And for some reason Cira didn't feel awkward. However, Drake sat a good 8 to 11 inches from her on her right side. Alex seemed to be less than 8, if not less than 6...
"He dubbed me the new driver. Figured it would be good." Cira explained.
"Ah." Alex replied with a nod. He moved his head back.
"Well, hopefully they'll find KARR." Drake said after a few seconds. He was gazing out at the quiet parking lot. "Other wise you might not be able to do your homework."
Cira chuckled. "What an excuse that would be."
"Your car drove away with your back pack and you couldn't get it back. Unless you explained EVERYTHING about your car, they'd probably think you're nuts." Alex said, nudging her with an elbow playfully.
She nudged him back and grinned. "Heh. I'd like to see Mrs. Ross's face. She takes things seriously, but wouldn't be able to believe that. I don't think any teach would."
"I know I'd want to say to the student: "what the hell? That's a new excuse"." Alex replied.
"They wouldn't know how it could be possible. And even if you tried to give them the details in private, they'd probably think you'd done drugs that morning." Drake added.
"Technology can surprise anyone." Cira said with a bemused look on her face. "It certainly does with me. Especially now that I've met KARR. I just hope he'll be okay in the end. I was really starting to like him, as intelligent as he is for a vehicle."
"Don't tell me he talks." Drake said.
"Oh, but he can..."
"You heard me."
"Now that's weird..."
"You wouldn't think so after driving with him for a good week or more. KARR is pretty sweet, and very smart. Practically acts human."
"And he has a slight Boston accent." Alex replied.
Drake was getting a kick out of this. "That's crazy! But classy. Trust me, as amazing as KARR is, I won't tell anyone unless you're okay with it. Over the past couple years I've really been trying to be a much more honest and reliable person."
"I've seen him change first hand." Alex assured her. "I've known him for a good couple of years. It was all because he started to like a certain girl in 8th grade. Don't worry, it wasn't you, cause we went to a different middle school."
"Hey!" Drake snarled, flashing a glare at Alex from across Cira.
Alex just grinned. "That's for what you said to me earlier."
"What'd he say? I heard you exclaim 'HEY'!' really loudly just seconds after I cleared the room." Cira asked.
"Oh, uh...I'll tell you later-
"Actually," Drake piped in again. "I told him that I'd be jealous of him if he went out with you since I was so interested in your car."
"Drake!" Alex snarled, back fisting him in the chest lightly. "That was shallow. Really shallow."
"Ow. That stung." he laughed, having fun with this. "He told me he wasn't ready to 'think about it'. Whatever that means!"
Alex reached over Cira again to hit him a second time, but he moved out of the way, and his arm hit Cira hard in the upper stomach. She exhaled sharply, relieving what pain the hit could have caused.
Cira laughed. "You said that, Alex? You'll have to tell me more later." she told him, clearing playing along.
"Nice going, Drake. I hope the first one hurt." he replied, his face warm. But, his skin was tan, so it was harder to see any redness on his cheeks, and he rarely blushed.
"Oh, it did." Drake grumbled, now sitting even farther away. Alex decided to let him go...for now.
They sat in silence for the remained of the 5 or 10 minutes it took for Devon to get to their school in the red Mercedes. He pulled up to the pick up/drop off zone. The window was rolled down.
"Cira!" Devon said with a wave.
"Hi Devon!" she answered. Getting up, she waved back.
"Nice car. It doesn't think and talk too, does it?" Drake asked hopefully.
"Nope. Just a typical, nice Mercedes." Cira replied. She of course, still preferred KARR.
"GOOD." Drake replied. "I feel better already.
As Cira took the lead, Drake followed her with Alex purposefully trailing behind her. Normally, Alex would have tried to walk closer to Cira, but he was currently displeased with Drake for telling Cira. He was going to tell her later anyway!
He walked just the right distance to be able to drive a somewhat gentle snap kick straight into his right thigh, and did so.
"OWW!" Drake yelped. "Gee, sorry I said anything."
"I hope you are." Alex said with a chuckle, feeling better.
Cira laughed, and Devon looked amused, seeing how it must have been something interesting that Drake said that must have caused Alex to kick him.
"Seriously. I am."
They stopped to the side of the Mercedes next to Cira, who was close to the passenger seat. Once they got into the car. The boys took the back seat, and Cira took the passenger's.
"Guys, meet Mr. Devon Miles. He's kind of like my dad's boss." Cira said, gesturing towards Devon. He turned in his seat to look back at them.
"Hello. I'm Alex Johnson, the one you probably heard about from her dad, and this is my friend, Drake Lee."
"Ah, pleasant to meet you both." Devon replied, extending out a hand, first to Alex, who shook it in return firmly, and then Drake as well. "Is it Drake I need to take home?"
"Yes. I'll show you the way."
"Good then, let's go."
With that, now that the doors were all secured, Devon turned the key and brought the Mercedes to life, and they drove off.
Part 9: DecelerateEdit
Faster...faster...faster! KARR had the need for speed, some burning desire to keep moving. He just wanted to MOVE. To eliminate all POTENTIAL dangers that could interfere with him. He wanted them to know he was out there. KARR was in a seemingly unstoppable, reckless move.
A two tone black TransAm could be seen speeding down the high ways just a few miles outside from Cira's school. One policeman watching from his own sports car in a half full parking lot of a local Target store could be seen in a cluster of cars parked about the center of the parking lot. The policeman just caught KARR zoom by right in front of him. He saw a couple cars and trucks skid to a stop in mid panic as the TransAm sped with out hesitation through a red right.
"Whoa!" the policeman reached for his keys to turn on the ignition. He was off duty for now, but then he realized, maybe he'd better still call in. He had a radio on, and apparently several moments later someone already got to him. So he relaxed, sat back, and continued to read.
KARR swerved into a different highway from a merging zone, and suddenly farther down the highway at the intersection before that, KARR heard sirens. Great. Maybe he shouldn't be doing this. KARR sped up and swerved around other vehicles, barely giving anyone time to act. One truck rolled over because KARR accidentally hit its left side and in turn, made the driver yank the wheel away harder than intended.
Cira, Alex and Drake sat quietly for a bit as Devon pulled out of the school parking lot.
"Are you three okay?" Devon asked, glancing at Cira.
"Yeah." Cira replied.
"Surprised, but, yeah." Alex added.
Drake just sat quietly, nodding, then gazed out the window. He started to direct Devon to his house.
"KARR drove off with Cira's backpack, you know." Alex said.
"Well, depending on when we get KARR back, that may be a funny excuse to use in school on Monday." Devon said.
"Yeah." Cira smirked. "Alex, Drake and I were talking about that earlier after car drove off."
"No teacher would believe it unless they saw it." Drake grinned.
"I can't believe it. KARR almost ran over Cira."
"He just sped out of the parking lot?"
"Yeah. That's what I told dad. He didn't respond to my calls or anything before I came to him. He was re-charging while we had been practicing, I guess." Cira replied.
"I thought for sure that would fix his old program. I guess it's coming back now."
"Like a cold." Drake growled. "That doesn't sound good."
"Not at all." Devon agreed. "When we get KARR back, and inspect his system, we'll try to figure out what caused it and if we can update Project Restoration."
Cira sighed. "I hope KARR doesn't turn into his old self again."
"Yeah. Somehow he must have been able to find a way to over-run the system April put in him." Devon said.
"Most likely. Hopefully he won't be too hard to tame again."
"KARR sounds very unpredictable. Are you sure he's safe?" Drake asked.
"We tried making him like KITT. But for some reason it never worked. KITT seems to be too original."
"KITT? Who's that? Is he like KARR?"
"Similar model, but with a system that's nothing like KARR." Cira said.
Drake got back on track and made sure between their small talk Devon knew where to turn. Soon enough they arrived at Drake's house. He was right, it didn't take all that long.
"Thanks for the ride, Devon." Drake said.
"No problem." Devon said with a smile. Drake grabbed his back pack, waved at the three of them, and walked up the few steps that led to his quiet house.
Devon drove off.
"So Alex, what grade are you in?" Devon asked.
"Ah. Two years older than Cira."
"Will I get to see KITT?" Alex asked.
"You're staying here for dinner and such, I don't see why not." Cira said, glancing at Devon in question.
"He's met the good and bad side of KARR, I presume, I think he'll like to see KITT." Devon replied. "Especially since you didn't expect him to see the problem-side of KARR, Cira. Are you sure you're okay?" Devon asked, not bringing up her past and Nana dying.
"Yes, I'm sure," Cira said, giving him an appreciative wink and smile, a wink that Alex didn't really catch from his seat.
"I look forward to meeting everyone." Alex said in a cheerful tone.
"Though keep in mind, I don't really have a mom...April is sort of like the mom I never had. I think you'll like her, and Michael."
"After meeting Devon, I'm sure I will." Alex said, sitting back in his seat.
Meanwhile, and some several seconds later, the policeman were still on KARR's tail. KARR suddenly noticed she left her backpack in the passenger seat. That triggered a memory of the time he asked for forgiveness when she was much younger. Probably during the first year she got adopted.
Did he want that to happen again, and be locked away? Because they thought he was a failure of some sort? KARR seemed smarter than that now. He was smart enough to realize maybe he should stop trying to be so reckless even though he craved the odd sense of adrenaline and entertainment he found in speeding and scaring other vehicles. Normal behaviors began to regain control over his system, as though trying to fight off a virus. KARR was insanely confused for who knew how long as he sped down the road joy riding with no one telling him to stop, fighting his temptations. He wasn't causing too much damage, so there was no police helicopter after him...yet. KARR didn't want that, though he could have taken out or avoided the chopper if he needed to.
Disregarding the police cars, which kept following him, KARR slowed down by a good five or ten miles an hour, and exited the highway. After an initial move off the highway, one police car was right behind him. The policeman was surprised to find no one driving the TransAm. But then he'd remembered the local police had said something about encountering this car in the past, and never being able to catch it. So with out hesitation, he kept speeding after it, not attempting to corner it or stop it, that would actually be a bad idea. This car was acting like it did have a driver, and if it was smart enough, it would keep acting on its own and it might very well be able to avoid him and the other cops on his own. The cop named Officer David Blackmon radioed in to the rest of his team behind him and told him what he was thinking. They listened and kept following him and the black sports car.
Now just a few minutes left from FLAG as they drove, a voice from Cira's watch suddenly spoke.
"Cira?" It was KARR!
Cira's heart leapt.
"KARR! Where the hell are you?"
"I don't know what came over me, Cira. Some...wild...instinct, as you humans call it. Or a desire. Tell April and Devon I'm...really sorry." Cira swore she heard sadness. Alex's eyes widened, surprised at the sound of KARR's voice and the way he spoke to Cira and Devon. "Something is wrong. I've scared several policeman. Something makes me just want to be...to be reckless. To cause a mess. It's ADDICTING, Cira. It keeps...coming back to me." KARR was silent for a moment.
"KARR?" Cira said as Devon pulled into the garage at FLAG's base. "It's okay. Michael and KITT will be on their way to get you."
Meanwhile, again, one of the other cops moved up beside Blackmon's vehicle. He radioed in Blackmon.
"Should we try shooting at the tires? My partner is with me."
Blackmon on the other hand, was alone.
"Sure. Get Lexus to shoot the rear left tire."
He saw the female cop out of the corner of his eye aim and shoot. This seemed to happen slower than normal for some reason. Blackmon swore he saw the bullet BOUNCE off the tire, instead of piercing it. He had time to think: no, it can't be possible!
But it was. The bullet ricocheted off the tire, and flew into the left corner of Blackmon's bumper, who was almost directly behind it.
"Sorry sir." Lexus said.
Blackmon exhaled sharply.
"No problem. Keep following this damn vehicle. I want to see if we can find out who made this thing and why its out and about." Blackmon replied.
As KARR sped along, KARR replied to Cira.
"No. I'm getting closer to flag as we speak. Cira, I'm sorry. Please don't have them lock me away."
"KARR, that's the last thing we want to do. We want to try and help you."
Cira sighed. She swore KARR was just like a child. She was relieved KARR didn't get into trouble.
"You didn't cause any deaths, did you KARR?"
"No...just some scares and skids. It got so addicting I wanted to...Cira, I wanted to. Why?"
How could KARR be questioning himself like this? Even Devon was surprised.
"I guess the program we tried to install in you didn't over-ride your old system completely. Because it kept freezing and couldn't operate to it's full capacity, I guess your old personality eventually took over." Cira said. "That's what we've all included, KARR. We'll see what we can do once Devon, Alex and I get to FLAG."
"FLAG?" Alex asked. "What's that?"
"Foundation for Law and Government. It helps solve tougher crimes, and sometimes take care of the criminals no one can touch. And FLAG also likes putting it's latest technological advancements to the test. KITT is the number one best car they've made so far."
"Ah, so it's sort of like a secret government, one that likes to keep a low profile, but is actually pretty big." Alex replied.
A handful of minutes later after exiting from a high way, Devon began to approach FLAG's main property. Alex's eyes went wide. "Wow, this place is huge."
"Yeah, I was just as amazed when I came here." Cira said.
"You haven't always been here?" Alex asked.
"I do. But not since I was born. I'll tell you more later."
"Okay." He'd been itching to talk to Cira about her and KARR almost all day it seemed. Even more so now with what happened to KARR.
Devon pulled into the spacious parking lot. After meeting April and Michael, and changing out of their uniforms into civilian clothes, Cira got another call in from KARR. Michael was glad to hear KARR at least had some sense still in him. It seemed the program managed to over-rule his childish behavior most of the time.
"Cira, I'm approaching FLAG now. But...two police cars are following me."
Cira sighed. "Very well. Alex and I are going to run out and meet you." She grabbed Alex's arm and smiled. "Let's go!"
Michael and April watched her leave. At least she wasn't afraid of KARR now. They had been afraid she would be after KARR suddenly starting to behave like he did.
When she knew Alex was following her with interest, Cira let go of his wrist in a matter of seconds as she darted back outside into the warm spring heat. The sun shone down on them, and Cira could see steam rise from the vast parking lot here and there. They ran into the middle of it, where they waited for KARR. However, KARR wasn't alone. Two police cars were following him.
Only just a minute or so later, KARR turned into the lot, his yellow scanner moving back and forth in that hypnotic manner that mystified Cira so much. She walked forward slowly to KARR's left as he moved slowly, barely going ten miles an hour as he approached them.
The policeman got out and revealed themselves. There were three of them. However, after they asked Cira to fetch Devon and Michael, they had a long talk with the two men. They explained why KARR was the way he was and that they were still trying to fix his program. They only gave the policeman the information that they really needed to hear. The rest they set aside, for it wasn't worth mentioning the important details about how KARR came about, and what it can do.
Because KARR caused a crash, but no one was injured, and because no one was actually driving KARR at the time, they gave FLAG a small fine. It annoyed Devon and Michael some, but they accepted it and moved on. That was that.
"Sorry for all the trouble. Do you all forgive me?"
There it was again.
"Yes KARR, I do." Cira said. "We did not expect it, as did you. Something's definitely wrong with your system, and it's not your fault. April is going to take a look at you momentarily. We all need to enjoy ourselves for a bit."
"Yes, we're a bit annoyed this is happening, but we were also prepared for the potential risk at the same time." Devon said.
"I trust you won't do that again to me?" Cira asked, briefly glancing down at KARR from the side.
"I won't." KARR knew from that point forward he would do as much as he could to keep himself from putting them in danger.
"April is waiting to see you, so she'll be out in a few moments. Go to the garage where KITT is resting and she'll get started in looking over your system." Devon said.
They walked with KARR until he parked himself in the garage where KITT was. Alex caught a glimpse of the second car, with its red scanner and sleek body, but more interested in Cira, kept following her into the back of the main building.
"Hey dad?" Cira asked Michael, who was following April towards the back door where they had entered.
"Can I show Alex around and go for a while?" she asked.
"Yes. Alex, treat her well." Michael said, giving him a teasing wink.
Alex grinned, catching the small hint. "I will."
"So, I want to hear more about you, if you don't mind."
"And I you," Cira said with a smile as they walked away once Michael closed the door.
They walked all over the main site of FLAG.
"So, who wants to start?"
"I don't really care?" Alex said with a shrug.
They walked on in a silence, unsure of how much they really wanted to start off with their explanations or not.
Cira sighed. "Rock paper scissors?"
Alex won with a rock, Cira with scissors.
"Damn." Cira said, snapping a finger briskly. "I'll keep it as to the point as possible. My dad that you met, really isn't my dad. I'm not related to Devon or April. They adopted me."
"I was a pretty lonesome child. My family wasn't the best, you see. My relatives either couldn't afford to take care of me or the ones that might have been willing were already deceased. My parents died in a plane accident. Neither of my parents are pilots though. It was one of my uncles who was flying the plane."
"Why did he crash, do you know?"
"It takes a more detailed explanation, I'll explain that in a bit if you like. I'm not quite done yet."
"That's kind of obvious." Alex said with a shrug.
"For several years one of my aunts took care of me. She was the one who could afford to support me through schooling and whatnot. She did the best she could. As much as I remember hating her death and fearing KARR while I was out in the hospital, those days seem like they were meant to happen." Cira said. "God must have known I would have someone that would take care of me, that he did not plan for me to die. The rollover was severe, and despite seat belts and airbags, the car was bent and smashed pretty darned well. It was all because others just could not stop in time, and in turn, they caused damage of their own. A chain reaction. So somehow I survived, and later Michael adopted me. Well, apparently he hadn't thought of it, but Devon sure did, because at the time they were tracking down KARR and attempting to capture him."
"Why was KARR out and about if he wasn't safe?" Alex asked.
"That's...a long story. One that Michael could tell you better than me. I'd rather save my breath and not have to explain all that. Some idiots, burglars, woke him up. And they tried to stop KARR, but he somehow got restored again. Later on, and eventually we got him back. But like I said, ask Michael about that, not me, if you really want to know however soon."
"Ah, it's fine. At least for now." Alex said with a small smile.
After that Alex briefly explained to her how her dad was in the military, he wanted to be a pilot, and that he didn't know where he planned to go for college yet after he finished with JROTC at her school.
"Dad wants me to join, but I'd rather stay here and learn to fly locally, to stay with all the friends I've made these past couple of years."
"I've never had to worry about that."
"Haven't you noticed I'm the quiet one?"
"Not...really." Alex said.
"Well, it's true."
"Not so much now it seems."
"Maybe." Cira said with a shrug.
"But hey, it doesn't matter. I've grown to like you." Alex replied with a smile.
"As I've grown to like you over these past couple of weeks. This has been an interesting year for me."
"I bet. And I hope April can fix KARR."
"For some reason, I doubt it. I'll just have to be careful with KARR and put a lot of trust in him...something I still have to get used to. Since my accident this is the first year I've been around him a lot. I've visited with KITT and taken rides in him, but KARR is different." Cira said. "I can't stop thinking about him either. Kind of like you."
That was something Alex didn't expect. He was quiet at first. He walked a bit closer to her, but did nothing else. "You know," he said in a calm voice. "It's been like that for me lately as well..."