Unleashing a Monster
Author's Note: Not in any way tied to my other Knight Rider fics, this is just plot bunnies that happen while I'm on my way to different places and doing different things. Here's the first.
Vignette One: Begging
Michael was ready for a vacation. He needed one, in fact, and needed to really have a change of pace. He had been doing undercover work for far, far too long, and then there was the whole issue of Graiman dying and Karr being resurrected, and then the initiation of FLAG . . . he still wasn't sure about that last bit. It felt almost too much like he was being herded into his father's shadow, trying to fill the gap that the old man's shoes had once stepped into.
So that was why he and Kitt had decided to take a long ride.
Which landed them in Dallas.
"Michael, are you out of your mind?"
"Sarah, we needed to just get away, and I had no idea that you had another mission lined up for us. Please don't think that I did this just to spite you." He was watching the windshield, letting Kitt drive while he and Sarah had their argument. "I know that the last mission was important, and I had no idea that you had another ready for us. We'll be back in a day!"
"You know, you really are a douche."
"From what I can tell, it's inherited from my paternal side."
"When I find that man, remind me to hit him."
"Wouldn't you think that I'd get first dibs?"
"Why's that?" Mike asked, hearing Zoë and Billy trying to muffle their laughter in the background.
"Because I have to deal with his son on a daily basis."
"She does have a point, Michael." Kitt was enjoying listening to the bickering. It meant to him that everything was slowly returning to normal. "However, I am picking up a strange reading on the college campus that we are about to pass. My scanners have indicated that it's something almost like me."
"Something almost . . . Billy!" Sarah turned away from the screen, and Mike took the wheel.
"I'm looking. . . . Holy God, it's Karr."
Kitt took the initiative to get off of the highway, which caused Michael to take the wheel and drive, both of them on high alert and ignoring the chatter coming over their radio. This was almost too strange to be true, and if it was true, then what was going on?
Rifka had chosen the outfit carefully, knowing that it was going to be a very wonderfully warm and seventy-five degree January afternoon, even if it was only thirty degrees when she had walked out that morning. Dallas was strange like that. She had a brown-and-white plaid knee-length shirtdress on, feet in comfortable neo-Mary Janes in brown suede and edged in off-white. Her long, brown-black hair fell in a straight line down her back, her bangs pulled to one side and pinned up with decorative bronze bobby pins, makeup done tastefully in light golden bronze, making her green eyes appear to be even greener and bigger.
With a smile, Rifka walked from her dorm building to an institute building in order to answer a call to come to the placement office. She heard the engine of a very, very nice muscle car roll up behind her, then keep pace. Smiling, she looked down at the silent, driverless vehicle. "Not right now, Karr. I have to go see if I can get this job."
He didn't like her saying no, and his engine's snarl indicated as much.
"I can't just hop to your schedule, you know." Riff eyebrowed at him, smiling. "I had a life before you came along, and a car has to fit into my life, not the other way around."
Well, he didn't like that reply either, engine "snorting" in irritation, causing her to laugh and reaching out to pat his roof before walking into the building. Karr turned around and took a parking spot, determined to wait.
He felt Kitt somewhere north of his position, drawing closer at a reasonably high speed.
That could not be good.
Fortunately, Rifka came out of the building, carrying an envelope. Growling, he pulled out of the parking spot just as he saw Kitt round the corner and face them from the exit. Karr hesitated, but caught up to the woman as she crossed the massive parking lot that connected the women's dormitory and the institute building. He opened his door for her, the driver's side.
Rifka looked at it, then smiled and murmured, "I have to go and get to work, but afterwards we can go driving."
She looked ahead at the man who was walking closer to them, his gun drawn. Her eyes went straight to his car, then too hers. Smiling, she looked at his face. "Oh. Oh. It's you."
The man's voice was a cautious growl, not asking her who she thought he was. "Step away from the vehicle."
Rifka chuckled. "I can't do that right now. He's kinda the one following me, Mister Knight."
He frowned. "How do you know who I am?"
"Once you put the gun away and stop thinking that Karr's going to kill us all, I'll tell you."
Karr revved his engine when Michael took another step forward, darting a foot forward, which caused the chain reaction of Kitt starting to dart between Karr and Mike, and Rifka to pull the pencap off of the pen in her hand and tossing it with a good amount of force at the elder AI.
Karr stopped, Kitt stayed between Mike and the evil elder version of himself, and Rifka was storming around to Karr's grille, slapping one hand down upon the hood and leaning upon it. "I will not stand for that behavior. Knock it off."
His driver's side door clicked open again. That was only the second time in as long as she'd known him that Karr had offered her that seat. Twice in one day. She sighed, hanging her head before straightening. "What are you trying to tell me, Karr?"
"Can't he speak?" Mike asked, slowly walking around Kitt's prow.
She shook her head as Karr seemed to shift his attention to Mike, then back to herself. "When Karr rebuilt himself, much in the way that Kitt's nano-technology works, the one thing that couldn't be repaired was his ability to vocalize."
"How do you know about those things?"
She grinned and replied, "I worked with you, Traceur. You don't remember me. I helped Karr with his personality before something went wrong, and once more, I'm working with him in order to right that wrong."
Karr's windshield lit up with words. Mike read them out loud. "You rejected me, Michael, and chose to be one with Kitt instead of becoming one with me." Sighing, the man replied, "I can't remember anything, Karr. I don't know what happened, I don't understand why they chose me."
"I do," Rifka replied, grinning. "And I just got a job out in California from the placement office here. I just got my second PhD in psychology."
"Where did you get placed?" Mike asked, wondering about the location she had been placed at. He was shocked as she turned to slide up and sit on Kar's prow, looking for all the world like she owned him. It was surreal to see the docility displayed.
"Oh, just this little independent operation in South California to help their staff adjust to the strain of going from being government-owned to private organization." She leaned her elbows upon her knees, hair falling over her shoulders.
Kitt backed up and turned to face the woman. "We no longer have four employees, Michael. We now have five. The databanks have just been updated."
Karr slammed his door.
"No, sir, you throw another hissy fit and I'll ignore you again." Rifka glared over her shoulder at the interior of the vehicle.
Mike watched as the black vehicle simmered, then growled and snorted. "Wow."
"This is nothing. You should have seen the fits he threw back when I was getting the last kinks out of his transformation sequence." She slid down and patted his hood. "Thank you, Karr."
He opened his driver's side door again, and she sighed, looking heavenward. "Karr, I have to go pack for California!"
Karr's horn honked softly.
"No, Karr . . ."
The second time sounded like a plea.
Mike just stared in shock. "Are you guys getting all this?" he asked quietly, knowing that the earwig was able to pick his voice up easily.
"Yes, and he's going against all his self-programmed protocols by listening to her and actually trying to ask her to be his driver instead of demanding it," Sarah replied, her voice soft.
"Yeah, this is weird."
That was with she sighed and shook her head, her own voice a plea. "Karr, for the love of all that's holy, will you please stop begging me to shirk responsibility?"
Smugly, the vehicle replied, "No. Please get in?"
". . . and you said your speaker was broken, you lying son of a Vista."