Knight Rider and all associated characters (except mine) are owned by National Broadcasting Company and Universal Studios. All persons described herein are fictional and any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental. Copyright infringement is not intended.
by Sailor Chronos
Chapter 1: Attack
It was time. Time for revenge.
The father he'd hardly known had died a little over two years ago. The man had been unable to truly enjoy life after being released from a 30-year prison sentence for aiding and abetting escape, grand theft, conspiracy, and murder among other charges. Using his remaining time, he'd imparted his knowledge onto his son and bid him carry out his final plan.
Executing that plan had proven difficult because the intended target had literally disappeared off the face of the Earth. But circumstances had changed in his favour when various online sources reported tantalizing sightings of two black super-cars: first a Mustang, and more recently, a Camaro. His subsequent research revealed that neither driver was the same man that his father had described, but the cars had similar capabilities to those of a certain 1980s Trans-Am.
He had no doubt who they had to be working for. Striking them would be only the beginning.
Mikayla watched as the Rook's ramp lowered to reveal a sleek black Camaro 2SS driving behind the semi. It was always a relief to see KITT and his driver Peter Bishop return from a case without any visible damage. Being the team's support engineer it was her job to make sure that both the car and the artificial intelligence that inhabited it were in top condition at all times. She smiled as the car smoothly ascended the ramp and rolled to a stop in the bay in the trailer's rear half. More than likely the AI would spare no words in saying what had really happened on the case, as opposed to what would be put in the official report. Charles Davis, the gray-haired director of the Las Vegas branch of the Foundation for Law and Government, stepped forward to greet his field agent.
In the very next second, a brilliant flash lanced into her eyes and her chest compressed painfully as if she had been kicked by a horse. She was unconscious before her body violently impacted with the wall behind her.
A dispirited group gathered in a small waiting room at the Centennial Hills Hospital on the north side of Las Vegas. Peter and his teammates Brenda Walsh and Alex MacGillivray had just finished speaking to the lead doctor on the case of their injured colleagues.
Charles had fared the worst, having been almost directly underneath the explosion's origin. He'd suffered a collapsed lung in the blast wave, his left shoulder had shattered in the impact when he'd been thrown to the floor, and numerous pieces of shrapnel from the trailer's shredded roof had punctured his body. The same blast wave had launched Mikayla into the far wall, where she had sustained a severe concussion, possible neck injury, and bruised ribs. The Rook's driver was shaken up but unharmed, thanks to someone's foresight of having the cab coated in the same Molecular Bonded Shell that protected KITT.
"Who would have done such a thing?" asked Brenda. Her normally professional appearance had been abandoned; her dark brown curls were now unkempt and her clothes rumpled from the long hours of waiting. "I didn't think we had any enemies."
Alex's condition was little better, his pale skin reddened and blue eyes hooded from stress. "Back in the day the Foundation would've had plenty of them, considering how many people they put in jail. You've read the mission reports, right?"
Peter sighed and ran his fingers through his blond hair. "KITT might know. He's been there since the start."
"I don't envy you having to tell him Mikayla's condition," Alex said tiredly. "He's pretty close to her and might take it badly."
"He probably knows already," Peter guessed. "I wouldn't put it past him to hack into the hospital's computers." He suddenly yawned and shook himself.
Brenda yawned as well, and sent him an annoyed glare. "Stop that, it's contagious."
"Maybe we should all get some sleep," suggested Alex. "We can't do any more here, and it'll be easier to decide what to do next when we're rested."
"Fair enough." Peter unsuccessfully tried to suppress another yawn, and then turned to head outside. The hospital's parking lot was relatively empty this late at night, but sitting in one of the spots closest to the main door was the Camaro that housed his AI partner. The first thing he noticed as he approached the car was that the ruby scanner lights at the end of the hood were dark, which was unusual. "KITT, are you awake?"
"I am. How are they?" The voice was low and unsteady.
He opened the door and slid into the driver's seat, groaning in exhaustion. "I thought you'd have read the hospital's files by now."
"That doesn't mean I don't need to ask for your assessment."
Peter had to consider for a moment, as his brain didn't want to work any more. "They've both sustained major trauma, so the first twelve hours will be critical. Mikayla probably will be okay. Charles… they won't know until tomorrow whether he's responded well to the surgery. His shoulder needed to be reconstructed." He yawned mightily. "We'll be without them for at least a week, maybe longer."
"Which means we can't work on any potential cases," KITT said.
"Not necessarily," Peter said without thinking, and instantly regretted it when KITT abruptly started the car's engine and revved it, startling him.
The AI said flatly, "I won't work without Mikayla's care."
Peter refrained from mentioning that Brenda could likely do just as well. He knew better than to argue with KITT when he'd made up his mind, but this behaviour was unnerving. Obviously, he was taking this hard. "I understand," he said contritely. "I'm sorry I suggested it, I'm too tired to be tactful. Take us back to the mansion, please? I don't think I'm alert enough to be driving."
"A wise precaution, Peter." The Autopilot tab on the dashboard lit and the car began to reverse itself out of the spot.
Something else occurred to him. "Send a message to the recovery team asking them to get us the results from the analysis of the Rook as soon as possible, if they haven't already. We need to find out exactly what happened, and fast." Then he stretched and made himself comfortable in the seat. More than likely he would fall asleep on the way back.
"I've already done so. Get some rest."
"Thank you, KITT."
The Foundation's lackeys had cleaned up the 'accident' site extremely quickly, and news reports said little other than two people were taken to hospital and an investigation was underway. It wasn't surprising that they had the power to quash the details. But camera footage from one of his drones showed what he really wanted to know: the car and its driver were unharmed. How, he had no clue, although he suspected that the car was made of a material that was durable enough to withstand a lot of punishment. This made things much more difficult… but he did so enjoy a challenge.
An elaborate social media page took advantage of the fact that many people were gullible enough to post information and pictures of any black Mustangs or Camaros that appeared in the area. But the specific car he sought was the only one as far as he knew that bore a "KNIGHT" vanity plate. Once he had a confirmed sighting, it was a relatively simple matter to use a miniature drone to tag the car with a tiny tracking device that would release and self destruct after transmitting the car's location.
Once he knew where its base was, he'd have them all.
Everyone on the mansion's staff was in a somber mood the following morning. Even though it had only been a few months since this branch of the Foundation had been reinstated, the team was well liked.
The first thing that KITT had done after returning from the hospital was to submit a request for additional security along with very specific instructions. He was certain that Charles would've done the same. It felt uncomfortable to transform the idyllic estate into a fortress, but it was necessary to protect the people within. He had too many memories of the place having been attacked before.
Briefly he checked his internal camera to see his driver peacefully sleeping; this might be the longest period of rest the man would get for the next few days.
The side door to the garage opened, and for an instant happiness flared through KITT's circuits, which lessened when he saw that it was Alex entering and not Mikayla. When had he begun to anticipate her morning visits so much? "Good morning, Alex," he said politely as the interior lights automatically brightened.
"Good morning, KITT," was the reply in his broad Scottish accent. "Did you rest well?"
"All my systems are fully functional. Has there been any news from the hospital?"
"Not yet," the young man said as he walked around the car to look into the driver's side window at Peter. "Ms. Cunningham's going to be on the phone for a while to reassure the Board of Directors and the stockholders that we can handle things for now." He raised his arms above his head and stretched. "I was about to go for my morning jog, but it occurred to me that I ought to visit you first, since…" He stopped, unwilling to say anything further.
KITT understood. "Your consideration is appreciated," he said warmly. "I do welcome Mikayla's visits in the mornings when I'm here. Shall I wake Peter?"
"Nah, it's okay," said Alex. "He needs it more than the rest of us. But in case he does wake up, Mrs. Brill said breakfast in twenty minutes. She's making French toast." He walked back toward the door. "Whoever hired her for head cook was a genius; she's spoiling us all."
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as they say. Enjoy your jog."
"Thanks, KITT." He left, and the door closed behind him.
Peter's breathing pattern changed and his body shifted slightly; he was beginning to wake. KITT knew the signs after having watched Michael Knight sleep so often in the driver's seat of the Trans-Am. The thought of his first driver still saddened him. Where was he now? Was he even still alive? If he was, did he think at all about his former partner?
A fierce longing overtook him, spilling out of the hole that Mikayla's absence had created. Despite the team's bravado, they needed help, and the one person that he believed might be able to provide that help was unreachable. He knew. Over the past few months, whenever he had the opportunity, he'd tried using the vast resources now available to locate his friend, with no success. It hadn't surprised him since the man was, after all, an expert at hiding.
A quiet moan from within his cabin banished further thoughts of the issue. "Good morning, Peter."
His driver grunted and wiped one hand across his face. "Good morning. What's the time?" He stretched himself carefully.
"The time is six forty-two AM," he said. "Mrs. Brill will have breakfast ready in sixteen minutes. Do you like French toast?"
"Anything she makes is good enough for me," Peter said with a smile. "Sixteen minutes? That ought to be just enough time for me to shower." He sat up and stretched again before opening the car door. "Thanks for letting me sleep. Any news?"
"Alex came by and said no, but Ms. Cunningham might know more."
"Fair enough. I'll be back later." Hauling himself out of the car, he left the garage.
The first thing that she registered was the sound: a loud, high-pitched whine in her ears that was almost painful. Next came the awareness that her upper body felt like she was being crushed under a concrete slab. She tried to move, but nothing would respond.
"Can you hear me?" a voice asked, but it sounded like the speaker was far away.
She blinked open her eyes, to be met with a swirl of white and gray. Her breath caught in alarm, and she jerked involuntarily.
Warm and gentle hands caught hold of her arms. "You're safe, it's okay," the female voice murmured soothingly. "Can you tell me your name?"
Shaking now, she tried to form the sounds properly. "Mikayla… F…" Somehow, she had the presence of mind to stop herself. She'd legally changed her surname months ago. Licking her lips, she tried again. "Mikayla Knight."
"My name's Loretta," the woman said. "I'm a nurse, you're in hospital. Do you understand?"
"Yes." It was an immense effort simply to speak. "My ears…"
"If you hear a ringing or whining, that's tinnitus. It should subside gradually."
"I can't see." Temporary deafness was one thing, but being blind? How could she do her job properly? She began to panic. How would she take care of–? "KITT!" she cried out.
"Shh, shh…" Loretta shushed her. "Your friend with the black car is just fine. And your sight will return in time. Now, relax, Mikayla. You'll need more rest." With a final reassuring pat, Loretta left.
Lethargy began to creep over her senses, as if even the few moments of wakefulness had taxed her body's limits. KITT and Peter were all right. That was a huge relief. Charles…? Sleep claimed her.