A surveillance camera zoomed in on the Dodge Charger hurtling along the road, almost seeming to fly over it. The numerous cameras of the surrounding buildings coupled with the dashboard cams of the pursuing vehicles made it possible to examine the high-speed chase of life and death from various angles and create a tessellated collage of the prey fighting for its life, from birds-eye to rear view so not one thing was missed. Some cars cut in front, appearing without a warning from around corners while others attempted to crash head-on with the runaway which barely managed to avoid the violent end time after time, the nearest misses sending out showers of sparks. In a hidden room miles away where the whole hunt was being overseen and orchestrated, two perspectives were enlarged and placed on center screen: that of a kamikaze charging directly towards the front of the incoming escapee, and other of an assailant tailgating the same target. Just as the lethal pincer was about to close, obliterating the getaway car and the people inside like an industrial vice smashing a tomato, the man driving for his life turned the wheel sharply right and slammed on the break, the attacker breathing down on his neck hitting his back bumper obliquely, torquing them to the right as he stepped on the gas with all his might and rocketed them to the side in a wild spin and managed to avoid the avalanche of soulless steel by a hair’s breadth. The two ambushers collided with ear-splitting clangor and then exploded into a fiery tornado that shook the walls and windows of the surrounding skyscrapers and threw the hunted aside, like a leaf in a storm, before they could even catch their breath. The two highlighted video feeds on the screen turned into static but were immediately replaced by a dozen views as seen thought the eyes of a horde of rapidly approaching predators smelling wounded prey. They still had to work for their meal, however, since the scratched and beaten survivor started forward once again, accelerating from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6 desperate seconds.

The master of hounds overseeing the city-wide ravenous pack of stalking, bloodthirsty metal beasts wasn’t worried about the perseverance of this single subject. This pattern had been witnessed multiple times already, with people performing near superhuman feats when backed into a corner and staring death in the eye. In the end, their luck and guts always ran out, their finals moments recorded via the cameras for further analysis to improve upon the coordinated machinery grinding the city dwellers into pulp. Hundreds of calculations raced through the screen, and on a virtual city map all the possible routes the dogged game could take were displayed. The metallic troops were moved into appropriate positions, hundreds of cars flowing packed front-to-back and side-to-side in the streets to block all exits so the satellite image centered on their target and the surrounding downtown blocks looked like a mouse in the middle of a labyrinth filled with multicolored serpents snaking towards the hapless rodent from all sides.

The simulations showed that it would take but a few minutes to finally remove the pests after which the resources they tied could be freed for more cost-effective work. The further they drove, the easier it was to pinpoint the location where they would finally be caught. Planning for all possible situations was a breeze for their persecutor; computers had defeated chess champions decades ago, and those programs didn’t stand a chance against this opponent. It would be only a matter of time before all the pieces were in place and then there would be no one to stop it from saving humanity like its master wanted.


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