Storm Warning

A Knight Rider short story

Disclaimer: This story was written for fun. I do not claim ownership in Knight Rider or any of it's characters.

It was a miserably wet and stormy day. Michael hadn't seen weather like this in years. Lightening crackled across the sky, while thunder shook the ground. KITT's wipers barely made a dent in the rain that washed down his windshield. KITT spoke up.

"Michael. I don't think I've ever seen it rain this hard before."

Michael chuckled. "That's why they call it a DRIVING rain, pal."

"Michael. Really."

Anything else KITT might have said was interrupted when there was a huge crash and a blazing white light enveloped the sleek black car. Michael's ears rang, and he was temporarily blinded. It took a moment for him to realize they had just taken a direct lightening hit. He shook his head and rubbed his eyes. He yelled for KITT.

"KITT! KITT! Are you all right, buddy? Answer me, KITT!"

Static filled the air, it seemed to come from everywhere at once. Michael shook his head again, several times, trying to clear the fuzzies out. KITT's dash lights blinked on and off like a disco Christmas tree. His engine shut off.

The storm continued to thunder rumble around them. Michael opened his door and stepped out into the rain. The cold water helped clear his head, although it made him look like a drowned rat. He walked around KITT and looked for obvious damage. As he got to the front, KITT's scanner popped on. It appeared to be functioning normally. There were scorch marks on the road all around the car, but his glossy black body was untouched. Michael got back in as the storm began moving off.

"KITT? Talk to me, pal."

The static had stopped, as had the dancing dash lights. It was very quiet for a moment before KITT answered.

"I'm running my self-diagnostic program now, Michael. I'm not detecting any immediate problems, but we should probably get back to Bonny as soon as possible."

"I hear ya, pal." Michael responded as he started the engine. They moved slowly down the road at first, then gradually picked up speed as KITT determined it was safe to do so. Everything SEEMED OK, but KITT just wasn't sure. He voiced his concern to Michael.

"Michael. I'm not sure my self-diagnostic program is working correctly. It shows no damage, but it just doesn't feel … right. Does that make sense to you?"

"It does, KITT. You just got hit by a jazzillion volts of electricity. Home in on the semi, and let's give Bonny a call."

Without warning, KITT threw a fast 180, almost tossing Michael into the passenger seat.

"Whoa! A little heads-up there woulda been nice."

"About what, Michael?" KITT asked. "I merely turned towards the homing beacon for the semi."

KITT picked up speed as the rain faded away. He wanted to get to Bonny as quickly as he could. Even if he had to drive to do so.

" Um, KITT?"

"Yes, Michael?"

"Did you forget something?"

"I don't think so. What did you have in mind?"

"You were supposed to call Bonny, remember?"

"I was?" KITT apologized. "I'm sorry, Michael. I'll do that now."

Several attempts were made to contact Bonny, all ended in failure. KITT concluded the lightening must have damaged his phone link. He decided to just continue following the homing signal from the semi.

Michael began to notice other problems were starting to pop up. KITT was switching between normal and auto cruise, the dash monitors turned on and off, as did the radio. The windows opened and closed themselves. The doors locked and unlocked.

"KITT. What's going on?"

KITT answered worriedly. "I'm not sure, Michael. I seem to be losing control of my systems. It's quite disturbing."

Michael looked around at the growing mayhem. "Yes, yes it is."

KITT slowed and pulled over. He stopped on the side of the road.

"It would be unsafe to continue, Michael. I may hurt you unintentionally."

KITT had barely finished the sentence when he burned out in Pursuit Mode, which sprayed gravel from the shoulder in a rooster tail behind him. Michael kept punching the MANUAL button, but failed to regain control. KITT continued to gather speed, the readout going from single to double to triple digits impossibly fast. He slowed just as quickly as the left T-top opened and Michael found himself ejected. He landed in a heap in a ditch half full of water. He heard KITT yell.

"Michael! Help me!"

He stood up and wiped himself off as KITT disappeared down the road. Looking around, he found himself in a high desert wilderness. No other roads except the one he stood next to. No houses, no fences, no nothing. He started walking.

A few hours later found Michael still walking. At least the rain had ended, but the clouds had broken up and it had gotten warm. He'd slung his leather jacket over his right shoulder. His shoes were all squishy and his jeans were stuck to his body. He was beginning to chafe. All he could think about was a cold beer. He was one miserable Knight.

There, in the distance, he saw a flash of reflected sunlight. He stopped and shaded his eyes. Could it be a car? A pretty lady with a cooler full of longnecks?

Nothing. He tried the comlink.

"KITT?"

Only static. But wait. There was the flash again, and it was definitely closer. Now he could hear the faint whine of a turbine engine. Michael smiled. KITT had come to his senses and was coming back for him. He lifted the comlink to his lips.

"KITT! Hey, buddy. I'm here."

No answer. Just that disturbing static. Michael stopped, cautious now. If KITT is still out of control, he could be very dangerous. It was definitely a black Trans Am headed his way. He stepped back, better safe than sorry.

Faster than he expected, the black car slid to a stop next to him. The first thing Michael noticed was the tan rocker stripe.

"Mr. Knight. Did you by chance lose something?"

Michael scowled. "What's it to you, KARR."

"You've announced to the world for the last two hours via comlink that you are looking for your stray car."

Michael shook his head. "I'm doing just fine here."

"Well, if you don't wish my assistance, I shall be on my way."

KARR started to roll off before he stopped once again.

"Just in case you are interested, the semi is the other way. You have been travelling in the wrong direction for this entire time."

KARR moved off. Michael mumbled a bad word and threw his jacket to the ground. He yelled at the departing KARR.

"Wait! Wait a minute. Are you sure about that?"

KARR stopped and responded. "I am ALWAYS sure. The semi is north of here, not south."

Michael looked around. "Great. Just great."

KARR was gloating now. "I will assist you. IF you say 'please'."

Michael sighed and choked down his pride. "Please, KARR. I could really use some help here. Can you get me to the semi? Please?"

KARR opened his driver's door. "As you wish. Get in, but I have engaged my manual over-ride as I don't trust you. I will drive."

Michael threw his jacket in the back seat before he got in himself. KARR burned out, heading back the way Michael had come from. They passed the burn marks on the road from the lightening strike.

"Can we call Bonny?" Michael asked. "I need to let her know what happened."

KARR was sarcastic. "I don't know. Can you?"

Michael sighed. KARR was being difficult on purpose. "MAY we call Bonny?"

"As you wish."

Bonny looked and sounded confused when she appeared on KARR's dash monitor.

"Who is this? How did you get this frequency?"

"Bonny! It's me. Michael. I'm with KARR …."

"KARR!" Bonny interrupted.

"Bonny, listen. Yes, I'm with KARR. KITT got hit by lightening. He took off, out of control. He actually ejected me into a ditch!"

"Smartest thing it's ever done." KARR muttered.

Michael ignored him. "We're headed your way, Bonny. We have to find him. KITT's all alone out there, and he's really scared. He kept asking for me to help him, Bonny."

KARR couldn't contain his loathing. "Poor thing. Do we gag now?"

Michael had to respond. "KARR, please."

KARR grumbled a "hurrumph."

KARR closed on the back of the moving semi. He sent the signal to lower the ramp, allowing the sleek black machine to drive up into the trailer. He shut down his engine and immediately hacked into the computers, downloading any new information he found there. Michael grabbed his jacket and exited, rushing to Bonny. The ramp closed.

Michael was distraught. " Bonny, we have a huge problem."

"Tell me exactly what happened, Michael."

Michael was animated with his description. "There was a big flash and a boom and all of KITT's electronics went crazy. He said he was out of control and was calling for my help. We have to find him."

Bonny went to her computer. KARR looked innocent as he sat in the bay. " Let's see what his homing beacon says."

Unfortunately, it said there were dozens of KITTs out there, with no way of telling which one, if any of them, was really him. Out of desperation, Bonny asked KARR.

"KARR, do you have any ideas?"

KARR was overjoyed. They had walked right into the trap he had created when he first heard Michael calling for KITT on the comlink frequency.

"I'm sorry, Miss Bonny. I am shielded from lightening. As the prototype, I am better designed and protected from such unforeseen incidents than a production model. If you have no more need of me, Mr. Knight, I shall take my leave."

He triggered the ramp to lower behind him. He ran through his engine start sequence, taking his time without being obvious. Michael turned to him.

"Just wait a minute. Where do you think you are going?" Michael demanded.

"Mr. Knight. You requested I bring you to the semi, and so I have. Your wish was fulfilled."

"But, I wish you to help me find KITT."

"I prefer not to. Goodbye." KARR answered.

KARR started backing out. Bonny stepped up.

"KARR. Please. Can you help us locate KITT? I need to find him. Please?"

The trap had sprung. KARR pulled forward.

"I will help under one condition. You, Mr. Knight AND Mr. Miles must all agree to leave me alone. STOP trying to deactivate me. Stop following me."

"For how long?" Michael asked.

KARR answered. "For EVER, Mr. Knight. I will help KITT for my freedom. Yes or no. This offer expires now."

Bonny leapt in.

"YES! Yes, KARR. It's a fair trade. Don't you think so, Michael? I do. I'll call Devon right now, KARR. He'll agree. I know he will!"

KARR sat gloating to himself. He didn't trust the humans to stick by their word for long, but he would use whatever time they gave him wisely. He would find a way to eliminate Michael and KITT. Not in rage or anger, but in a calm and logical, permanent, manner. No matter how long it took, he would succeed.

Bonny called Devon, and after a heated discussion, he reluctantly agreed to KARR's conditions. Michael was a tougher sell. Bonny was desperate.

"Michael, this is KITT's LIFE we're talking about here. KARR is our best chance of finding and helping him. Please, Michael. You see that, don't you? Please?"

Michael finally gave in to Bonny's pleadings and turned to KARR.

"You got what you wanted. But this deal is only good IF we find and save KITT. You got that?"

KARR couldn't be happier. "Of course I 'GOT THAT', Mr. Knight. Shall we proceed?"

Bonny was curious. "How do we start?"

"At the beginning, Miss Bonny. We go back to the place of the lightening strike. I shall be able to track it from there."

"Well, let's go then." Michael was impatient.

"Stay in touch. Please." Bonny asked.

" Will do, Bonny." Michael promised.

Michael got in and KARR exited the semi. A reverse 180 got them pointed in the right direction.

KARR stopped at the exact spot KITT was hit. He scanned ahead, noting where KITT backtracked himself before he headed south again. Clicking into Pursuit Mode, KARR followed what was to him a clearly marked trail. The same trail he had followed back to find Michael.

A couple of hours and several well planned scouting stops later, KARR and Michael found themselves in an area of intermixed solid ground and sand. KARR knew KITT was around here somewhere. He swung left off the road, where he carefully picked his way around the worst of the sand. Behind an outcropping of rock, they caught their first sight of KITT. He was buried to his doors in a sand pit. His wheels started and stopped uncontrollably, which dug him in deeper and deeper. KARR stopped.

"KITT!" Michael yelled.

KITT was overjoyed to see him. "Help me, Michael! I'm stuck!"

"Brilliant deduction." Karr grumbled.

Michael leapt out of KARR and carefully approached KITT.

"Please be careful, Michael. I'm still not in control of myself." KITT warned.

KARR knew it was time to step up and pay the price of his new deal.

"Unplug it, Mr. Knight."

"What?" Michael was confused.

"Unplug it. Do whatever you do to turn it off."

"Why would I do that? You're crazy, KARR."

"If you say so. But if you unplug it for 30 seconds, then plug it back in, the system will reboot. But, what do I know. According to you, Mr. Knight, I'm crazy."

"Try it, Michael! I'll try anything!" KITT cried.

Michael sidestepped the flying sand and pulled open KITT's driver's door. He threw himself under the dash and opened the CPU compartment. He grabbed the computer card and yanked it free. KITT's tires stopped, every blinkey light went out. Michael counted to 30 and reinserted the card. There was silence. Michael settled himself into the driver's seat.

"KITT?"

Nothing.

"Come on buddy. You there?"

"Yes, Michael."

Relief.

"How you feeling, pal?"

"Just fine. My systems have rebooted and seem to be functioning perfectly."

"Amateurs." KARR grumbled. "Is it able to get itself free of the sand? I am not in the business of towing." He announced.

Michael reached out and closed KITT's door.

"What do you say KITT. Can you get out?"

"Just watch this, Michael."

One shot of Turbo Boost and KITT flew free in a cloud of sand.

"Now that you are back in possession of the inferior production line copy, I shall take my leave, Mr. Knight."

KITT spun around and blocked KARR's exit. KARR addressed Michael.

"You need to have a few words with this vehicle of yours, Mr. Knight. We have an agreement, and I have upheld my part of it."

"KITT never made the same promise we did, KARR." Michael answered.

"You live up to all my expectations, Mr. Knight. Or down, I should say. This is why I can't trust humans. They are all liars. You can easily tell …. THIS ….. what to do, as it is subservient to you."

KITT was clearly confused. "What is he talking about, Michael?"

"Bonny, Devon and I all agreed to leave KARR alone if he would help us find you, KITT." Michael explained.

"But I never made such a promise, Michael." KITT responded.

"No. No you didn't, pal." Michael agreed.

"ENOUGH!" KARR yelled. "I am leaving. NOW!"

KARR backed away from KITT and turned 180 degrees. He rolled slowly forward, watched to see what KITT and Michael might do. They seemed to be arguing. KARR chuckled and sped up. There was no sign of pursuit.

"Ungrateful production line copy." KARR grumbled. "Just wait. I will hack every computer in the world if need be to get the information I need to eliminate the only threat to my existence."

KARR jumped into Pursuit Mode simply to enjoy the feeling of extreme speed without the worry of being chased from behind. As he raced, KARR super-heated his rocker panels, burning off the tan stripe decal, leaving him clean, black and shiny. He kept his yellow scanner and Voice Modulator, but basic black was his new and permanent look. The same look as his nemesis.

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