Intense white light, followed by a gigantic clap of thunder, jerked him awake. The whole sky to the right was lit up by forked lightning. It faded, everything except the cars’ headlights turned black before second, third and fourth streaks of lightning cut across the sky. The thunder was now a constant rumble with the noise and light becoming instantaneous.
Mac growled and the baby cried. Lisa tried to pacify the little fellow while Nick patted the dog. Everyone looked scared.
“It’s close,” Jacey gasped as she changed gear and the back wheels spun. The car lurched, hit hard surface and almost collided with the inside cliff as Jacey fought the steering.
“It’s aimed at us,” Lisa screamed. ” I knew it!”
Travis turned. “Knew what, Lisa?”
“It’s alive and is helping the androids.”
Another flash of lightning lit up everything and two cracks of sound interrupted their conversation. An earthquake shook the road, the cliff behind them erupted in an explosion of cascading rocks and the thunder boomed.
“Travis!” Jacey screamed as she braked too hard and the back wheels skidded. She managed to stop the movement, just as a second streak of lightning hit the ground where the car just been.
The front car had also gone into a skid but Kevin managed to correct and disappeared around the next bend. Jacey changed down and actually accelerated a little, the back wheels spun out but she knew what she was doing. The car was now into the corner, the red taillights ahead showed the way ahead and she was safely around.
Lightning flashed from around the bend behind them and the thunder took slightly longer to reach his ears.
“How’s everyone?” Jacey screamed.
“Fine!” Travis yelled. “You concentrate on your driving.”
The front car went around another sharp left bend and they followed. Ahead and lit up in the headlight beams was a long curved section with the next bend out of sight; that was before the next flash of lightning lit up the area to show a right turn ahead and what looked like a headland further on.
“The lightning’s looking for us,” Lisa cried out. “It needs to line up before a bolt is sent out!”
“Signal Kevin to brake!” Ned said in a loud but amazingly calm voice.
Jacey never hesitated. She flicked the lights three times in the prearranged signal. The black Jaguar’s brake lights went on while Jacey also braked and brought the car to a halt in an abrupt but well controlled movement. Lightning stuck the cliff mere metres ahead. Travis felt his whole body shake and a chill went up his back. If they had not braked!
“Thanks Lisa,” he cried. “You are right!”
He swung around and reached out to squeeze her hand. It was clammy and trembled in his but he eyes were determined.
Meanwhile, Jacey drove forward. They reached the bend, almost bounced around and, a few moments later they reached the headland where there was an almost complete three hundred and sixty degree turn and a dip down the far side. They had reached the top!
“Look behind!” Lisa shouted.
Travis did. The whole sky was lit with yet another streak of lightning. This one was, however, different. It seemed to flash across the sky rather than towards land. Above it, all was white. A fog had gathered and before his eyes, dropped like a curtain onto the lightning, which flickered and buckled before moving around in a spiral. He had never seen lightning act like this before. The fog also behaved strangely. It stopped, retreated like a giant wave after it had broken and seemed to gather density before it plunged back into the spiral of lightning. There was a sort of hissing scream rather than thunder and the lightning shattered into a million sparks that dropped over the valley below.
The sky turned a foggy grey.