Kile and Kasey

Kile and Kasey Pilot

Disclaimer: I do not own Knight Rider. I am just borrowing the characters and taking them out for a spin.
I promise to return them without any scratches, although with the MBS and nanoskin, I doubt any
scratches would happen at all.

Author’s Note: I do however own Kile and Kasey. I just wanted to see what an AI would be like if I created
him and his driver. I am not that great of a writer but I just wanted to get my thoughts and create a
new AI. I have no idea if this is going to be a series type of story or a one-shot deal. Oh, and don’t be
surprised if I don’t update right away. With school and a ton of homework, it’s hard to write. So please be
patient. I will read all reviews and please tell me if my writing sucks and if it needs to be improved.
Thanks.

Chapter 1

Kasey Tanner sat at her desk dreading the night of homework that was coming up. She was pretty intelligent for her age, 17, but not all that beautiful. She was 5’10” with a nice figure. She had red hair that seemed to glow in the sun with brown eyes to match. Kasey wasn’t exactly into boys right now. She concentrated on her work and enjoyed getting straight A’s. But right now, that was changing. Her chemistry class was becoming difficult and she was not interested in the subject in the slightest bit. But she had to take the class to graduate from high school.

6th period finally let out and she was only too happy to make the long walk to her temporary home. She never knew her real mother and father because she was an orphan for as long as she knew. She always thought them to be passed away. She thought she had a few memories of them, just her looking up at a fatherly figure and smiling. The same memory with her mother. But she could never really tell if they were real memories or if they were just something she made up.

Kasey started walking and listening to her iPod with her favorite song playing, “Hicktown” by Jason Aldean. She looked up to see a black 2009 Dodge Challenger in her path. It was quite a beautiful car. It had matt black on the hood where the stripes were. On the grill of the car were two red lights going back and forth. Around the edges of the rims was a red line. And along the main curve of the side was a very faint hint of red. It would have been very beautiful at night with the stars shinning off of the paint job.

She just started walking around when she heard a voice say, “Please get in the car. You’re in danger and I need to get you to safety.”

Kasey just kept on walking as if she never heard the voice. Then she noticed the car following her and she started to pick up her pace. When the car kept up, she started to run. The voice then called out, “Please, I do not wish to scare you or cause you any harm.”

Kasey kept running faster until she came face to face with another car, a black 2008 Ford Mustang with a yellow light going back and forth on the hood. She heard a deep, angry voice yell at her, “Kasey Tanner, get into the car immediately!” She stopped and started to back track when the Mustang suddenly plunged forward, causing her to fall back onto the hood of the Challenger.

A nice soothing voice from the Challenger said, “Kasey, please hold on, I will get you out of danger!”

Kasey held on for dear life, she trusted the soothing voice coming from the Challenger so much more than the voice from the Mustang. The Challenger backed up quickly enough to escape, but not so quickly that it would cause Kasey to slip. The voice from the Challenger said in more of an angry tone, “You will not take her!” Then to Kasey he calmly said, “Just a few more minutes, we’ll get far enough away so you can get in the car.” With that said, Kasey gripped the hood tighter, praying that the voice was right.

The Challenger sped ahead and gained enough ground for them to stop and let Kasey inside. Once the car stopped, she quickly got off the hood and ran to the passenger door, which willingly opened for her. She fell in and the door closed automatically behind her. She looked over her shoulder through the back window and saw the Mustang rapidly approaching them. The Challenger took off and Kasey was thrown back against the seat as the car lurched forward. She looked at the driver’s seat to see her rescuer only to find that no one was there. Her eyes grew very wide and she looked at the steering wheel that was moving. She started to panic and then she heard the calming voice again. Only this time it was coming from a red globe on the dash with a black spot looking towards her.

He said, “Please don’t be afraid Miss Tanner. I am the voice of the Knight Industries Living Entity. K.I.L.E. You may call me Kile. I was sent here by the Knight family to rescue you. I know your mother and father. They created me to protect you from any dangers. I am truly sorry if I scared you in any way.”

Kasey just stared at the dash in disbelief. ‘A talking car!?!? No Way! What did he say about my mother and father? He knows them?’ she thought to herself. “Wait, my mother and father are alive? I thought they were gone.”

“No, I assure you that they are not gone. I will explain later though. Right now I would like you to sit back and try to hold on. I am currently trying to elude our tail and this may end up being a bumpy ride.”

Kile put up the Passive Laser Restraint systems and Kasey asked, “Who is in the car following us? And what does he want with me?”

Kile tired to simply explain, “Miss Tanner, the car behind us is another car like me, an advanced artificial intelligence that went rogue over 25 years ago. His name is K.A.R.R. Knight Automated Roving Robot. My guess is that he is currently trying to obtain you so that he can use you as leverage for obtaining my previous models and myself.”

Kasey stared at the globe for a second, “How many of you are there?”

“Four right now. The Knight Industries Two Thousand, the Knight Industries Three Thousand, Karr, and myself.”

“Wow.”

Kasey kept looking over her shoulder trying to watch the Mustang as it crept up on them. All of a sudden the Challenger turned off onto a road that wasn’t so full of traffic. The Mustang came up behind and started to bump against the Challenger.

Karr kept trying to push Kile off the road and into the trees. Kile started to push back. He felt the metal against metal and cringed. He didn’t particularly like this feeling. He calculated a way to stop this and let them have a good lead. The only problem is that he would regret doing it later.

Kile slowly said, “Miss Tanner, I would like you to get in the back seat and lie down covering your head. I am going to do something and this the only way you will not be harmed.”

Kasey nodded and climbed into the back seat. She did exactly as he told her and she felt herself being restrained to the seat. She said, “Okay, I am ready. Do your stuff.”

Kile waited until Karr was about ten feet behind him and slammed on the brakes. Karr rammed into his bumper and was temporarily disoriented. Kile winced at his rear end crumpling but he was soon able to take off, leaving Karr quite literally in the dust. Karr cursed and yelled at Kile until he was out of scanner range. The damage was not too severe but his engine couldn’t take anymore of this chase.

Kasey looked out the back window and saw the smoking form of Karr. She then looked back at the globe and asked, “Are you okay?”

“Yes, I will be fine. His engine has stalled and he will not be following us for some time,” he answered.

“How were you able to sustain that much damage? I mean, normally, I would probably be on your dash right now.”

“I have a Molecular Bonded Shell, MBS, covered with a nanoskin that repairs what has been damaged. Hitting a normal car, I would be fine. But Karr has the same MBS and it has done some major damage to my bumper. As soon as we are out of harm’s way, I will find a way to repair it.”

“Maybe I can help a bit. I took auto-shop in my freshman and sophomore year. I know a little about working on a car. I know a friend with a garage. If we can, we can head over there and fix what’s wrong.”

“That would help very much, thank you.” He really wanted to get Kasey out of town but he wasn’t going to last much longer himself in this condition. Kasey told him where her friend was and he drove there.

/~/

Karr slowly drove to a repair shop and called his boss. Robert Harvey was a car collector who owned many limited edition cars. He found Karr one day and heard that he wanted his revenge on the three other AIs. Robert convinced Karr that he would get his revenge if he could posses the three other cars. They struck a deal and started to locate them. They found that Knight Research at the SSC and the Foundation for Law and Government had closed down. He found out about Kasey and decided that he could use her to get to her family. He sent Karr off to get her.

Karr called up his ‘boss’ and told him he needed a little help. He was angry with himself for not seeing that the monstrosity had beaten him and taken off.

Robert wasn’t too happy when he found out that Karr had been injured and that he let Kile get away with Kasey. He sent out his technician, Phillip, to get Karr and repair him. Karr hated Phillip. Phillip always teased him to an extreme. So just as Phillip got out of the truck, Karr growled angrily.

“I thought you would be happy to see me, Karr. After all, I wouldn’t want to see Robert now that he knows you let Kile escape.”

Karr growled again as Phillip opened the hood to fix the damage. “I did NOT let him get away. I will find him and I will personally terminate his existence. Consider this a temporary setback.”

“Okay, I think you should know that you better bring Kasey to Robert before you return or you may never get the chance to terminate Kile.” Phillip teased.

“Shut up you. I’ll get him. You watch. He can’t be on guard all day and night. Plus, he has a good amount of damage to his back end. He will regret what he did to me.” Phillip worked on the engine for another hour in silence. After he was done, Karr closed his hood swiftly and peeled off. He was going to find Kile. He would make him pay for leaving him stalled on a dirt path. He found him at a garage on his scanner and headed towards it at full speed.

/~/

Kile parked out front while Kasey walked up to the door. “Hey, Greg! Can I use your garage for a few minutes? My friend has a few dents in his bumper and I would like to get them out.”

“Sure, let me open the gates for you.” Greg walked out the front door and saw the new Challenger. “Wow, where on Earth did you get that car? She sure is a beauty.”

“HE is my friend, Kile’s, car. He picked me up from school today.” She was a little angry at the fact he called Kile a girl. But it wasn’t his fault really, he didn’t know.

“Oh, yeah, I saw you jump on the hood. Why didn’t you just get in like normal?”

“Kinda in a hurry at the time.” She really didn’t want to explain Kile and Karr to him. “Let me drive him up the lift.” She climbed in the car and started towards the back yard. She drove into the garage and up to the lift.

“Thanks for defending me like that. I don’t like being called a girl.” Kile whispered to her.

“Oh, no problem. I understand how you feel. I get called a guy by the way I act all the time. It really gets annoying.” She got out and met Greg at the door. She looked around to find a rubber hammer and she finally found one hanging up.

Greg looked at the bumper and stared at it. “How in the world did this happen? Did someone smash into you?”

Kasey laughed at the comment Greg made. “Kind of. He wasn’t paying attention at all.” She started to pound out a few of the dents. Once she got them all out, the car shifted as if in relaxation and relief. She watch afterwards at how the nanoskin cleared up all of the scratches.

“Wh…Wh…What was that?” Greg stuttered as he saw the scratches disappear.

“I don’t know. Pretty cool though, huh?”

“Uh yeah. I’ll be right back. I have to get something.” Greg quickly walked out of the garage and into the house.

“Thank you Kasey, you have no idea how much better that feels. Can I ask you to do something for me, please?” Kile wanted to be able to talk to her somehow and he had an idea of how to do it.

“Sure, what’s up?”

Kile opened the door and opened the glove box. A slide tray came out with a bunch of equipment on it. “I would like to be able to talk to you when you are with someone. But of course I really can’t. There is an ear-wig there. Please take it so I can communicate with you when you are around others.”

“Cool.” She reached in and grabbed the ear-wig.” Is there anything else I can do? Any other problems I can fix?”

“No, there aren’t any. Thanks again for fixing those. I couldn’t fix them because the actual MBS was dented.”

“No problem. I was glad to help. I will be right back. I need to go talk to Greg.” With that she left the garage and into Greg’s house. She found him in the kitchen making lemonade. “Hey, thanks for letting me steal your garage for a few. Kile was starting to get anxious with those dents in his bumper.”

Greg looked at her and asked, “By the way, where is this Kile? I didn’t see him get out of the car. I wanted to meet the man who has such a fine automobile.”

“Oh, uh, he’s at my house. He called me when you left the garage. He wanted to know what was happening.” She lied a little. He would think that she was crazy for telling him that Kile was the car.

“Too bad. You are the lucky one who gets to drive it around. Why did he let you fix his car when he could have had a professional do it? No offense.”

“None taken. He doesn’t trust those repair shops. Plus, he is a very close friend of mine.”

Kile listened in at that moment. He wondered if what she said was true or not. He scanned the area again to be safe when he realized that Karr was coming towards them at a rapid speed. ‘Dang, he repaired faster than I thought.’ “Kasey, we need to leave now. Karr is approaching at a rapid speed and in order to keep Greg and everyone else safe, we need to go.”

Kasey heard Kile speak into her ear. “Greg, I am sorry to work and go, but I have to leave now. Hopefully, we’ll see each other soon.” She ran out the back door. Kile was driving off the ramp and opened his driver’s door as soon as Kasey reached it. Greg stood dumbfounded as he watch the car roll down the lift and open the door. Kasey saw his reaction. “I will explain later. Bye.” They took off.

Chapter 2

“Where about is Karr?” Kasey had panic in her voice.

“He is 4.8 miles behind us. If we can get to the freeway, we have a straight shot to the SSC.” Kile turned onto another road and sped towards the freeway.

“What is the SSC?”

“It is a safe place underground where your brother used to work with my brother. But they shut Knight Research down. Your brother still lives and works there with his team and my brother.”

“Oh, okay. Um, does Karr know about this place?”

“I do not believe so. If we can get far enough ahead so that he cannot pick us up, we can disappear from his radar by going underground. You will be safe there. The only problem is that we may not make it for a while.”

“Why is that may I ask?”

“We may not be able to outrun Karr long enough. And plus it is a long ways away. The building is east of Sacramento close to the Nevada border. We are here in LA. We have over four hours of travel time.”

“I thought it took more like eight hours from Sacramento to LA.”

“It does, for a normal car.” Kasey grinned at the thought. They raced down the highway with Karr five miles or so behind them. “I have an idea. I don’t like it but it seems that it is our only choice. I will shut down for twenty minutes while Karr passes us, you driving the car at a normal speed. He can’t track me with me offline, he won’t recognize you.”

“Is that the only way?”

“I can’t seem to think of any others that will keep Karr occupied long enough for us to get away. It will give you enough time to get onto another highway.” Kile had worry in his voice. He truly didn’t like the idea of leaving Kasey alone. What if Karr still recognized them? Would he be able to come back online in time to save Kasey?

“Alright, let’s do it. Can you give me a map of the area so I know where I am going?” A piece of paper printed on top of the glove box. “Thanks.”

“I am sorry there is no other way. If anything happens, anything, press the button above my voice modulator. I will set that to return me online immediately. Just whatever you do, please don’t get out of the car. The MBS will hold no matter what. In twenty minutes time, I will come back online. Are you ready?”

“Yes.”

“See you soon.” Kile transformed into a normal silver 2009 Challenger. “’Shutting down systems.’” Kile went offline and Kasey took control of the car. She slowed down to traffic speed and got on the highway Kile told her to get on. She watched as Karr raced down the highway they were on completely ignoring them. She sighed in relief.

About five minutes later, she saw Karr race behind on the new highway that they had gotten onto. Kasey gunned the engine and took off. She was so confused on how he had found them. Karr started to bump into the Challenger once he got close. She had a hard time controlling the car because of the high speeds. Karr made Kasey take a hard turn onto a dirt path. Now she was lost. She pressed the button above Kile’s voice modulator.

“’Systems Online.’ Kasey, are you okay? What’s going on?” Kile asked with panic in his voice.

“I am fine, physically at least. Karr found us somehow once we got onto the other highway. He keeps bumping into us and I am not sure I can keep the car on the road.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll drive.” She let go of the wheel as soon as he took over. “Hold on. There is a bridge up ahead. One car can make it across with turbo boost. Once we land and get off the wood, the bridge will collapse and Karr won’t be able to make it across. We should be in the clear for a while.”

“Wait, what’s turbo boost?”

“You will soon find out. Hold on!” Kile soared over the gap in the bridge and Kasey screamed. He made it across and the rest of the wood gave way as it collapsed. Karr skidded to a halt just in time. Kile slowed to a stop.

Kasey got out. She went to the ledge and looked across the river. “Whoa, that was…different.” Just then a yellow beam shot across from the river from Karr’s scanner. It hit a tree behind Kasey and the tree went up in flames.

“KASEY!” Kile turned around towards the bridge. The tree was about to fall and if he didn’t get to her in time…he did not want to even think about it. He lurched forward and made it through just as the tree fell to the ground, blocking their path. “Kasey, get in quickly!” She made a dash for his opened driver’s door and jumped in. Another laser beam shot and hit the ground as she jumped. Kile closed his door and started towards the fallen tree.

“What do we do now?” Kasey was shaking badly.

“You just sit there and calm down and relax. I am going to push the tree out of the way enough to get through. I have called the fire department and they will be out here soon to stop the fire from spreading.” Kile put his front bumper to the tree and pushed as hard as he could. Karr kept firing beams at Kile. They hit him and he cringed with every blow, but he was determined to keep Kasey safe.

“What about the fire? Won’t that hurt you?”

“No, it won’t hurt me. I am fire resistant. You will be safe in the cabin of the car.” He backed up and gunned the engine to get momentum for pushing the tree. He would have jumped over it but there wasn’t enough room to turbo, just push. Within a few minutes they were on the other side. They sped down the road and out of reach of Karr’s lasers.

Ten minutes later and miles away from Karr, Kile broke the silence. “Kasey, are you alright? You seem awfully quiet.” Kile was concerned for his new friend.

“Yeah, I guess I am fine. That was probably one of my first near-death experiences though. I am just shaken up.” Kasey was actually growing tired. She had been up all day and it was getting pretty late in the night.

“Maybe you should get some rest. Karr won’t get to us. We will make it back to the SSC before morning. I will keep you safe; you don’t have to worry about that.” Kile was trying to convince her to sleep. She had had a tiring day and needed rest.

“Alright. Thanks for saving me back there. I don’t know what I would have done without you.” She crawled into the back seat and used her jacket from her backpack as a pillow. She was asleep in no time.

Kile whispered softly. “I will keep you safe. I promise.” He knew with a doubt that he would keep that promise as long as he lived.

/~/

Kasey was having a nightmare. She kept seeing over and over again how Kile was on fire and she could nothing but sit there. Karr was blocking her so that she couldn’t help him. Karr had set him alight somehow and Kile was dying. She started to cry in her dream and in the conscious world. All of a sudden, she saw and explosion and a blinding white light and she screamed his name, “KILE!”

Kasey woke with a jolt and she shot straight up. She looked around frantically and remembered where she was. She sighed with relief when she saw the cabin of the Challenger.

“Kasey, are you alright? Your heart is racing and you are shivering. You started to cry and screamed my name. Did you have a nightmare?” Kile was worried about her.

“Yeah. Just a nightmare.” She didn’t sound too convinced but after a while calmed down.

“Want to tell me what it was? I hear that I am a good listener.” Kile slightly urged her to open up to him.

“Oh, somehow Karr had set you on fire and it was starting to melt you. Karr kept blocking me and I couldn’t do anything to help you. Then all of a sudden, you exploded and that’s when I woke up. I am glad though it was just a dream.”

Kile was actually touched. She was worried about him; he had never had someone he just met do that before. “So am I. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving you alone with Karr.”

Kasey laid back down and looked out the sunroof. She saw how beautiful the stars were shining, especially with no lights. She lived in the city so she never really saw the stars. “Kile, is it safe to pull over for a while? I would like to stretch my legs and go for a small walk.”

“Of course.” Kasey felt him decelerate and finally come to a stop. She got out and stretched and began to walk along the road. Kile followed behind her with his fog lights on so she could see.

“Don’t you think the night is so beautiful? I haven’t seen stars this bright ever.” She stared up at the sky.

“Yes, it is beautiful. I really have never looked. I have been underground most of my life in a lab.”

“What are they like? My family that is.” She said after a few minutes of silence.

“They are really nice. Michael Knight is your father. He cares about everyone. He is stubborn and sometimes selfish. But when push comes to shove, he is always there for you. Bonnie is your mother. She is the heart of the family. She built Ki2t and me. She is always gentle and loving. Mike Traceur/Knight is your brother. He is just like his father. Always playing around and cracking jokes. He doesn’t share the same mother as you, though. His mother was killed last year when he met Ki3t and found out about his father. But he still got through it. Sarah, Mike’s girlfriend, is just like Bonnie; only she knows when to throw a punch. Billy is a complete… how do you say it… ‘nerd’? But he knows what he is doing when it comes to computers. Zoe is always ragging on Billy. She acts all bossy but deep down, I think she like him. Ki2t is the mature one of everyone. He was Michael’s partner. You can’t separate those two. He is a 2011 Trans Am Firebird. Ki3t is Mike’s partner. He is like me, still learning. He is much better at things than I am but that’s because he has been online for a year longer than me. He is a 2008 Ford Mustang, like Karr, but a red scanner instead of yellow. Once you meet everyone, you will find them all quite fascinating.”

“So who is at the SSC right now?”

“Mike, Ki3t, Sarah, Billy, and Zoe. Michael, Bonnie, and Ki2t are at the old FLAG mansion, but they should soon be at the SSC. It is much safer there. And once there, you will have your own bed, probably much better than my back seat.”

“Actually, I like your back seat. It’s just large enough, and I have someone to stay with…Please don’t take that in the wrong meaning.”

“I won’t. I like your company too. I spent many a night alone in the garage or in the lab by myself.”

Kasey stopped and stared off into the night. Kile stopped right behind her, his prow against her back legs. She started to get onto his hood. “Do you mind?”

“Of course not, hop on.” Kile smiled to himself. She was so careful around him, afraid she would hurt him like any other human being. He liked the way she was cautious.

She climbed the rest of the way on and laid back against the windshield. She liked the way he felt under her skin. He was warm, not just from the engine, but from being a life form. The car felt so alive.

Kile gently drove along the road, careful not to hit any bumps. The road was empty so no one would look at a driverless car driving with someone on the hood. She fell asleep again on his hood. He didn’t want to wake her but it was getting cold out. “Kasey?” He felt her shift lightly. “Kasey? Please, it’s getting cold. I don’t want you to catch a cold out here. Please get inside.” Kile stopped the car and she slowly slid off and walked over to the opened door. She got in and curled up in the passenger seat. She was out before he had time to turn up his heater and drive away.

/~/

Kasey remained asleep for the rest of the drive to the SSC. Kile had contacted Sarah and told her that they would be coming in soon. He told her what had happened with Karr and how he was still out there looking for them. Kile didn’t know Karr’s reasons as of yet, but he would find out. Kile drove through the open hangar doors and started his descent down into the SSC.

They had changed everything around since Knight Research had shut down. Since there were three AIs, they had made two more gimbals for Ki2t and Kile. They still had the large screen in front with work benches in front of it. There were pod rooms surrounding the main room where the cars parked, or the Knight Cave as they like to call it. It used to be called the Kitt Cave, but when there happened to be another Kitt and they created Kile, they went ahead and changed it to its new name.

Kile pulled up into his spot next to Ki2t when Sarah came out. Mike, Billy, and Zoe were still asleep. Sarah whispered, “How is she?”

“A little shaken up because all she has known has taken a detour, but I think she will be alright. Are Michael, Bonnie, and Ki3t coming in soon? I would think Kasey would be excited on meeting her parents.”

“They will be here in a couple of days. In the mean time, you sound tired as well. You should also rest.” Kile hadn’t really been able to recharge for a couple of days now. He could stay alert for a week at a time, but he was new at this and was still getting the hang of things.

“You know I can’t be tired. Computers don’t get tired. But I will do as you suggested and go into recharge.”

“You three AIs are all the same. ‘I am just a computer. I don’t have emotions.’ But you guys are forgetting one very important thing: you are sentient beings!” She stopped when she realized that she shouldn’t be arguing right now. “Sorry, we’ll talk more later. Just get some rest. We all had a late night last night and I think we are all going to be sleeping in.” She walked back towards her room. As she did, she patted Kile’s hood then Ki2t’s hood. “Good night, you two.”

“Good night, Sarah.” Both cars replied in unison and then went into recharge.

Chapter 3

Kasey woke later to find herself in the Challenger in a dark room. She looked around and saw a 2008 Mustang right next to them. She started to panic some when Kile came online. “Kasey, don’t be afraid. We are at the SSC.” Kasey calmed down as she listened to his soft voice. “The Mustang next to me is Ki3t. He is my brother.”

She heard a voice coming from the other car, “Nice to meet you, Kasey. I know I look like Karr, but I am far from like him. I am sorry if I scared you.”

“No, it’s okay. I am fine now that that issue is cleared up. Where is everyone else?”

“Everyone was up late last night trying to track Karr. They weren’t able to find him though. Once we got a message from Kile that said that you both were alright and were not being followed, everyone went to bed. I stayed up to make sure you guys made it back safely.” Ki3t answered.

“Thanks.” Kasey smiled toward the Mustang. She got out the passenger side and leaned against the car.

“Don’t mention it. Did Kile behave well on the trip?” Ki3t asked with a smile in his voice.

If Kile could have blushed, he would be redder than an apple. “Yes, he was nice to me. He saved my life twice in one day. I think I was the one misbehaving.” All three chuckled at her response.

Sarah walked in when she heard the three talking. “Hello there, you must be Kasey. I am Sarah.” She walked over to Kasey and shook her hand.

Kasey took it and said, “Hi.”

Just then Mike strolled around the corner in his sweat pants and a tee shirt. “Oh, sorry. I didn’t realize we had company.” He started to walk away to get changed.

“Who was that?” Kasey stared towards the hallway where she saw him disappear.

“That was Mike, your half brother and unfortunately, my boyfriend.” Sarah answered.

“Oh, no wonder he seems a little familiar.”

“Are you hungry? I make good pancakes.” Sarah asked as she turned to type something on her computer.

“Actually, I am.”

“Okay, I will get some extra clothes for you as well. You wore those yesterday and you would probably like a new set, right?”

“Sure. Is there someplace I could take a shower as well?”

“Of course, follow me.” Sarah led Kasey to an extra pod room and showed her the bathroom. “I will be right back with some clothes. When you are done, come back down to the cave and I will have breakfast ready.”

“Thanks.” Kasey called after as Sarah left the room.

Kasey came down about twenty minutes later and met up with Sarah. She ate a good size breakfast and talked to her. They became good friends in about an hour. Mike strolled in and saw the four all chatting about something or other. “Hey, Mike, come over here and meet Kasey.” He walked over and shook hands with her.

“Hello, I am Michael Knight.” He sat down and started to gobble up some pancakes.

“Hey! Save some for Billy and Zoe! They are going to be down in a while too.” Sarah scolded him. She walked away to clean up the mess from making the pancakes.

“I have to go do some running later and I am going to take Ki3t. Want to come? Maybe we could catch up on a few things.” Mike said through a mouthful.

“Sure. That would be great.”

“Yeah, you go with him. You would get bored down here anyways. I have some work to do anyways.” Sarah finished and walked towards the computers again.

“Cool, just give me a half hour to get some stuff together and we will be off.” Mike finished his breakfast and walked towards his pod room. Kasey walked back to Kile and sat on the ground next to his open passenger door.

“What are you going to be doing today?” She looked through the open door at his voice modulator.

“Not much. I am just going to run some self diagnostics and help Sarah with some research that she has to do.”

“Sounds boring.”

“It can be. After seeing these last few days, it is.”

“Well, here comes Mike. I guess I will see ya later.” Kasey sat up and walked over to Ki3t’s gimbal as it turned to look out towards the exit. His doors opened as Mike and Kasey both climbed in. They took off out of the tunnel and out of the hangar.

/~/

Kasey looked out of the window at the passing desert scenery. She was the first to break the silence. “So, have you ever met my…your…our parents?” She looked over at Mike questioningly.

“Your mother I have yet to meet. I have been told though that she is quite beautiful and from the pictures I have seen, you look just like her. I have met our father once. I met him at my mother’s funeral. I haven’t seen him since though. I have been really busy with cases and all. But if I am not mistaken, Bonnie and Michael should be arriving within the next few days along with Ki2t.”

“Wow, I can’t wait to meet them.” Kasey was getting excited at the thought of meeting her parents. “Wait, what happened to your mother? She passed?”

“Yes, she did. About a year ago, before the SSC started, Ki3t, here, was sent to find Sarah and me after Charles’s house had been broken into. Charles was Sarah’s father and Ki3t’s creator. He ran to my mother’s house and hid out there. Sarah, Ki3t, and I went to rescue them and she had been shot in the mix of everything.”

“I am sorry to hear about that. What happened to Charles?”

“He was killed in a plane crash about 6 months ago. He and the pilot were trying to land a plane with no landing gear and the fuel tank ruptured. The SSC closed down after that.” Mike fell silent for a few minutes as he remembered telling Sarah that her father had died. He and Ki3t tried hard to help sooth her but nothing helped. He remembered that after a few weeks, the SSC was shut down and Ki3t was taken to be placed into KARR. It didn’t work and Mike rescued Ki3t and together they defeated KARR.

“Oh. Ki3t, have you met Ki2t at all?” Kasey wanted to know as much as she could about her parents and Ki2t.

“No, we haven’t met. But we have talked some. We are excited to meet each other finally. I guess you could say he is my ‘father’.”

They all sat in silence for a while. “Where are we going?” Kasey looked out the window at the still passing desert.

“Ki3t and I have some reports to drop off and then we could go shopping. The fridge is empty back at the SSC. I am surprised Sarah managed to get enough together to make pancakes.”

“If you don’t mind me asking, how long have you and Sarah been together? From what you have told me, it’s been at least a year.”

“Sarah and I have known each other since we were kids. We dated for a while and then I went off to Iraq while she went to college. I proposed to her but I didn’t know it for a long time; I lost my memory for a while. Well, after Iraq, I went to Las Vegas and three years later, Sarah shows up at a casino asking for my help. It was funny the first time I met Ki3t. We ran out to the underground garage because some men were chasing us. She ran to the driver’s door and I ran to the passenger door. We got in and I finally realized that there was no one driving.”

“You could say he was quite confused. I maneuvered through the garage and made a sharp turn. He jokingly threatened me and I retorted back. Sarah broke up the fight after. I thought it was funny.” Ki3t had a small laugh in his voice.

“Hey, no one asked your opinion, smart-alek. Anyways, after that we went to rescue Charles and my mom. On the way to her funeral, Charles asked me to be Ki3t’s driver. At first I said no but Sarah convinced me to. Charles and the FBI started Knight Research and built the SSC and for a good six months, that was our home. Charles died, so did everything else. I guess we just stayed with each other throughout the whole thing. And here we are today.”

“Do you and Ki3t get along very well?”

“I think we do. He has saved my rear end many times and visa-versa. He’s a good partner and a great friend. I hope he feels somewhat the same about me.” Mike looked at the voice modulator with a smirk.

“Of course I do Michael. I don’t think I could put up with someone who doesn’t abuse me regularly.” Mike and Kasey both laughed.

They pulled into a parking lot with a building in the middle. Mike started to get out and leaned back in before closing the door. “Stay with Ki3t here for a few minutes. And Ki3t, don’t you dare say anything bad about me.”

“Well, there is nothing good to tell, so what can I say?” Ki3t commented.

“Very funny. Be back in a few.” With that Mike closed the door and walked inside.

“Do you guys always banter like this?” Kasey spoke up after she watched Mike walk in.

“Always. It helps lighten the mood. Mike has been through so much these last months and it seems to be the only way to keep his spirits up.”

“If you don’t mind me asking, what else has he been through?”

“Well, you know that he lost his mother. Then he joined the SSC as my driver and one of the first missions that we were on, he was forced to change his identity. His real name is Michael Traceur. He chose Michael Knight after his father. During the same mission, he found out that he had proposed to Sarah and also found out that he lost a good amount of his memory. On our next mission, a friend had betrayed him and his friend had died because of it. Then a few weeks later, he was poisoned and almost killed. I was almost killed as well during Halloween. He tried hard to help me but in the end couldn’t. My self-destruct was set off and when it got down to the last few seconds, it was turned off. Then he had to deal with Charles being killed. I was taken and put into KARR. Not the one you know, a different one. He saved me and I am forever grateful for that. And now we have to deal with Karr.”

Kasey took all of this in and had a new found respect for Mike. She would have given up if her mother had died. “Wow, I didn’t know.”

“Don’t worry about it. I think he has taken a liking to you.” Just then Mike came back out and got in.

“So, what evil plans have you been making behind my back?” He grinned at Kasey then at the voice modulator.

“Us? Making evil plans? Really, Michael, you should know better than that. If we wanted you gone, you wouldn’t be here right now.” Ki3t stated as Mike drove out of the parking lot and onto the highway.

“Huh, I sometimes wonder.” Kasey started to laugh again as the bantering continued on.

/~/

Karr was approaching fast. He was looking everywhere for Kile but could not find him. He almost gave up searching that particular area when a different blip came on his radar. It was Ki3t. ‘Well, one is better than none.’ He headed straight towards the shopping center that Ki3t was at.

/~/

Mike and Kasey walked into the store to get some groceries. Ki3t sat in the parking lot scanning every few minutes. Even though there seemed to be no threats, he always did it, just to be on the safe side. About twenty minutes passed and he spotted something on his radar that shouldn’t be there. Karr was rapidly drawing closer.

“Mike, we have a situation. Karr has spotted me on his radar and is coming here as we speak.” Ki3t said into Mike’s ear-wig.

Mike stared down at something only he could see as he listened to Ki3t. He stopped and started talking to Kasey. “Great, we have a problem. Karr is coming. He spotted Ki3t.”

Kasey was shocked at the news. “Wh…What do we do?”

“Ki3t, contact Kile and have him come here right away. He can pick up Kasey while we distract Karr long enough for them to get back to the SSC. Then we will make our escape. Kasey, you are going to stay here. Did Kile give you an ear-wig?”

“Yes, he did. Will you guys be okay?”

“Yeah, we will. Go up to the registers and wait there until Kile comes.” They dropped their groceries and headed towards the front of the store.

/~/

“Kile, come to the coordinates I am sending you. Karr is coming and we need you to pick up Kasey while we distract him.” Ki3t sent to Kile.

“On my way.” Kile started his engine and moved the gimbal. “Sarah, Karr is heading towards Kasey, Mike, and Ki3t. I am going to pick up Kasey while Mike and Ki3t distract Karr.” With that, Kile raced out of the cave and out the hangar.

Kile zoomed passed all the slower cars and sped towards the shopping center. He found Ki3t and Karr on his radar. All of a sudden, Karr’s signal changed course and started to come after him. “Ki3t, you take Kasey and get out of here. Karr is coming towards me, not you anymore. I will distract him.”

“Okay, be careful. We will get Kasey to safety and return to help you.” Ki3t told Mike the news and both he and Kasey ran out of the store towards Ki3t.

Kile sped towards Karr’s position. They would meet in less than five minutes in a heavy populated area. He could not allow that so he turned onto a deserted road. Karr made his change to follow. They sped towards each other at a rapid speed.

“Kile, give Kasey to me and I will not harm any of you.” Karr’s voice growled as they neared each other.

“I cannot allow that. I would rather be deactivated than to see her in your care.”

“That can be arranged. Good bye, Kile.” They were less than one hundred yards from each other. Karr was going to ram Kile head on. Kile though had a different plan. When they were close enough, Kile swung his back end 180 degrees and basically made a hammer out of the car. Karr swerved to the side and hit the trees on the side of the road. The Mustang stalled once again and Karr cursed at Kile.

Kile started to leave when he heard Karr’s engine growl to life once more. ‘Ugh, this car never dies!’

Mike and Ki3t started to take Kasey back to the SSC. “Where are we going? Shouldn’t we help Kile?” She stared at Mike in disbelief.

“We are taking you to safety. Then we will help him.” Ki3t spoke before Mike could say anything.

“Forget my safety for a minute! Kile is out there and he needs help! Let’s go help him before he gets himself killed!” Kasey was starting to get angry. She wanted to help Kile and she knew that Karr would not be gentle on him, even though she only knew Karr for a few short days.

“Mike, maybe we should. She could stay with you inside. Karr won’t be able to defeat two of us.”

“Alright, let’s go.” Ki3t pulled a 180 and hurried in Kile’s and Karr’s direction.

Kile and Karr were face to face with about 300 yards of distance between each them. The accelerated at the same time and sped towards each other. Kile put all he could into protecting his grill and engine. They both hit and both of their front ends crumpled.

Ki3t swung around the corner just in time to see the cars hit each other. Kile was all but immobile. He was thrashed. Karr was just as bad. Ki3t pulled up behind the scene. Karr backed slowly up and started towards Ki3t.

Kasey got out and started running towards Kile. “KILE!” She was worried if he was okay.

“Kasey, get back in here!” Both Mike and Ki3t shouted. She ignored them just as she ignored Karr. Her mind was on Kile.

Kile saw Kasey get out and run to him. Karr was getting closer to her and he knew he had to do something. He tried with all his might to start the Challenger and when he did, he put it into reverse and backed up between Karr and Kasey.

Kasey stopped when she heard Kile’s engine and saw him move between her and Karr. Ki3t had also pulled up next to Kile and stood his ground. “You will have to get through us in order to get Kasey. You might be able to defeat one AI, but not two. It would be suicide.” Kile had anger in his voice. He knew that Ki3t and Mike would back him up.

“For once, you are right. But when we meet again, I will destroy both of you. Good bye for now.” Karr turned and ‘limped’ away in the opposite direction.

Kasey released a breath she didn’t realize she was holding. She ran over to Kile and looked him over. The front half of the Challenger was unrecognizable. The hood was bent and all of the lights were broken. You could still see a red light where the scanner was, but it only flashed once in a while. The windshield was cracked in different places. Mike had gotten out of Ki3t and walked over as well. “Kile, are you alright?”

“I will be, but I don’t think I could make it back to the SSC.” There was definite pain in Kile’s voice.

Kasey looked over at Mike. “How will we get him back? A tow truck would take too long.”

“I can fix that problem.” Ki3t said as he changed into an F-350 truck with a tow hitch on the back.

Kasey stared at Ki3t as he transformed. “Kile, can you do that?”

“Yeah, I can. But I wouldn’t dare to right now. The only difference between us is that I would be a Dodge truck.”

Kasey smiled. She liked Ford but she loved Dodge even more. She watched as Ki3t backed up to Kile. She helped Mike hook Kile up so that they could tow him. As Mike was getting the last chain hooked up, Kasey walked over to Ki3t’s window and asked him a question. “Hey, Ki3t? Would it be safe to ride with Kile while you are towing him? I don’t think he should be alone.”

“I think that would be alright. I would recommend buckling up though. See if Kile could activate his seat belts. If not, then I think I could detach mine so you could hook them up to him.”

“Thanks.” Kasey walked over to Kile’s window. “Kile, do you think you could activate your seat belts?”

“I think I can, but why? It would be a much nicer ride with Mike and Ki3t.”

“Because I want to ride with you.” She opened the driver’s door and climbed in. Mike started to protest when Ki3t spoke up and told him it was alright. Kile’s seat belts came out of the side of the cabin. They were only there so that if someone else who didn’t know Kile’s capabilities had to be in the cabin, they could be safe without worry. “Thanks, Kile.” She buckled up and gave a thumbs up out the window signaling Mike and Ki3t that she and Kile were ready.

“Why did you want to ride with me, Kasey?” Kile broke the silence a few minutes after they had started to move.

“Well, because I don’t think you should be alone right now. You sound like you are in pain and the only way to keep someone from thinking about their wounds is to talk to them. Plus, you risked your life to keep Karr away from me. I think the least I could do is keep you company.”

Kile was stunned at her answer. ‘She cares for me that much?’ “Thank you.”

“No problem. I am just glad that you are okay. I know everyone else is my family but you are the only one I completely trust right now. I mean you have saved my life numerous times already. The least I could give is my trust.” She smiled and leaned back against the seat and looked out the window. “Is there anything I can do for you?”

“No, not really. I have plenty of power left to stay online until we get back to the SSC. Once there, Sarah and the others can repair my Nanoskin Repair program and I can do the rest.”

“Okay.” Kasey rubbed the dash in reassurance. She didn’t know why she did it, but she felt she had to. Kile felt her touch and reveled in it. It was something to concentrate on other than the pain from the crash. Kasey kept stroking the dash and wheel until they had reached the SSC.

The tunnel wasn’t large enough though to fit the truck. So Mike and Kasey unhooked Kile from Ki3t and Ki3t transformed back into the Mustang. He drove around behind Kile and pushed on his bumper. Mike was on the passenger side pushing and Kasey was on the driver’s side pushing. Kile was still able to steer and so they maneuvered through the tunnel until they got to the cave. They pushed Kile into his gimbal and Ki3t drove into his.

Sarah and Zoe immediately got to work and fixing Kile’s repair program. Kasey was standing next to Kile the entire time, trying to distract him from the pain. About an hour later, Sarah and Zoe emerged from underneath the Challenger. “Okay, Kile. See if you can get it to work now.” Kile initiated the program and within a few seconds, the nanoskin repaired the car. He looked good as new.

“Thank you. That feels much better.” Kile was relieved to find the pain gone.

It was getting late in the afternoon. Mike and Ki3t had gone back out to go and get the groceries. Kasey wanted to stay with Kile. She knew he was okay but she still wanted to stay and keep him company. Around 7:00 p.m. the two had returned without any problems and Sarah and Mike made pasta for dinner. It was good. Afterwards, Kasey went to get a shower and changed and headed back down to the cave.

Sarah walked up behind her. “Hey, I have a pod room ready for you. You can stay there if you would like.”

“Actually, can I stay with Kile tonight? I don’t know why but I want to keep him company.”

“Of course. I think he’ll like that.” Sarah walked off to her own pod room. “If you need anything, don’t hesitate to wake anyone up.” Then she disappeared.

Kasey walked down to the cave and over to Kile. “I thought you would be staying in the pod room tonight.”

“Can I stay with you tonight?” Kasey wanted to make sure it was okay. If he needed his privacy, she would let him have it.

“Sure.” Kasey climbed onto the hood and laid against the windshield. “If you are worried about me, you don’t have to. I am completely fine.”

“I know. But it is just for my own sanity if you don’t mind.” His hood was comfortable and warm. She just laid there and soon after fell asleep.

Ki3t spoke up very quietly so as not to disturb her. “She likes you I hope you know. She hasn’t left your side all day, except for when she has had to. She cares for you.”

“I know. I care for her as well. I am just wondering what will happen once it is safe for her to go back to school. I want to protect her, but I also have a responsibility like yours and Ki2t’s, to protect others. I don’t know what will happen.” Kile also spoke quietly.

“I think you will stay with her. She needs someone to protect her and you already do.”

Mike was in the hallway and heard the AIs talking. He found a blanket and entered the cave. “I will talk to everyone and see if you can stay with her. Sound good?” Mike covered Kasey with the blanket and looked at Kile.

“Thank you, Michael.” Kile said as Mike left the room and Ki3t went into recharge. Kile stayed up for a while longer and watched Kasey sleep on his hood. He really did like her and he would do anything to protect her. After a while he too went into recharge.

Chapter 5

Kasey was still getting up way too early. Instead of lying in bed, she decided to walk down to the cave. Maybe she could fall back asleep again with Kile. She got up, got dressed, and headed out the door. She stopped at the railing overlooking the cave floor. She leaned on the rail and gazed over the three beautiful cars. She wondered if her life would ever be normal after this. ‘No. How can I think that? I have the best friends a person could ask for. One who would give his life for me. I don’t want to have a normal life now.’ She just looked over at the cars for a while longer.

After about ten minutes, Kasey started down the stairs toward Kile. She passed Ki3t and Ki2t and looked towards them. She thought how neat it was that Ki2t matched Michael and Ki3t matched Mike. She wondered that maybe Bonnie had programmed Kile to somewhat match Kasey from Bonnie knew of her. After looking at the Mustang and the Trans Am, she wandered over to Kile’s driver door.

Kile came out of recharge once he felt Kasey’s had on the door handle. He let her in and she sat down on the seat. “Good morning, Kasey. Did you sleep well?”

“Not as good as I did in here. I was hoping to fall back asleep and wake up when everyone else does. I am still not used to waking up later than 5:00 a.m.” Kasey leaned back against the seat and closed her eyes.

“Well, go on ahead and go to sleep.” He laid the seat back and she went with it.

“Thanks. I hope you don’t think I am just staying with you because I can sleep better. I truly do like being with you. I feel much safer.”

“I never once thought that. But thank you for reassuring me.” Kile went silent once he realized Kasey was out. He too went back to recharge.

About two hours later Kasey awoke again and realized that it was unusually dark in the cabin. She looked around and noticed that Kile had black out the windows. ‘He probably wanted to give me privacy. That’s sweet.’ She sat up and got out.

Kile was already out of recharge when Kasey woke up. Bonnie was up and walking around the cave, looking at everything there was to see, which wasn’t much. She looked up as she heard Kasey get out of Kile. “Oh, sorry. I didn’t know you were there.” Bonnie glanced over at her.

“That’s okay. Lately, sleeping with Kile seems to be better than sleeping in a real bed.”

“Don’t worry, I understand. There have been many times when I have woken up to find Michael missing. I always find him later with Ki2t. He feels better with him because he knows Ki2t will protect him from anything. It also helps Ki2t too, knowing that Michael is with him where he is safe. I also stay with Ki2t if something isn’t right. It’s a comfort thing. You’ll get used to it.”

“I thought I was just going crazy. So, do you like it here? I know I do.”

“It’s okay. Just a little more cramped than at the Knight Estate. Plus there is really no fresh air. But I guess right now its safer underground.”

“What is the Knight Estate like?”

“One word; huge. It used to be Wilton’s home before he died. Then afterwards, FLAG took over and that became our home. There are gardens around the actual building and a nice fountain. The insides have Devon’s tastes. Devon was our boss and our ‘father’ as we liked to call him. He was always professional. Everything was elegant in the house. There are the R&D facilities and the test track where Ki2t gets to stretch his wheels. Then there is Ki2t’s garage. It is about twice as big as this place. I bet he feels a little cramped here, but I think he will get used to it. Maybe once all this stuff with Karr is over, we can stay at the Estate for a while.”

“I would love to.” Kasey was looking forward to seeing this magnificent place. “By the way, what are we going to do about Karr? We can’t just hide down here for forever.”

“We’ll come up with something, don’t worry. Although it may take all of us to defeat him or to get him to stop chasing us. I will be back in a few.” Bonnie walked off leaving Kasey with the three cars.

“Well, what do I do now? I really wonder what’s going to happen when I have to go back to school. I won’t be able to explain all of this.” She said as she walked back over to Kile.

“I don’t know either. I just know that no matter what happens, I am going with you. I would feel much better knowing you are safe.” Kile admitted shyly.

“Thanks. I would gladly love for you to come with me where ever I happen to go. I too would feel better. If you don’t mind, I am going to go get my shower. See ya in a few.” She trotted up the stairs toward her pod room.

/~/

Everyone stood in front of the cars as Kile and Kasey told their story about Karr a few days ago. Then Mike and Ki3t joined in and told some more of when they were there. Ki2t and Michael listened intently trying to get as much information as possible. They had to defeat Karr this time around, no matter what.

Kasey broke the silence of the thinking AIs and humans “So, what’s the plan?”

“I have an idea.” Ki2t started. “Kasey and Kile will drive out of the hangar and start to go somewhere. Then shortly after, Ki3t and I will follow. Karr is more likely to tack Kile because of his ‘incident’ a few days ago. We will block our transmission and once Karr is for sure following Kile and Kasey, we speed up. Kile will lead him somewhere where we could block him and get some answers out of him. He will definitely put up a fight, but three AIs will beat one.”

“What about afterwards though? We can’t exactly deactivate him because that would be murder. And we can’t exactly set him on the loose again.” Sarah spoke up.

“What if we convince him to let us change his program, maybe he could join us and help innocent people.” Kile wondered.

“I seriously doubt that. It is our only shot though. He won’t trust us at all though. We are the ones who have deactivated him three times now. He would believe that this would be a trap.” Ki2t knew his brother. He had killed him twice now and he really didn’t want to make it three.

“What about a driver for him afterwards? I don’t think that he would just take anyone.” Ki3t said.

“That will have to wait until later. For now we either have to defeat him or get him on our side. Maybe we can find out who has kept him alive for all this time.” Michael stated. “But I don’t exactly like sending Kasey out as bait. I think she should stay here.”

“No, I am not staying here! I am going with Kile. Karr would know something is up if Kile leaves without a driver.” Kasey exclaimed.

“Kasey, I don’t want you to get hurt. Will you please stay?” Kile begged her. He would feel better knowing that she was safe underground.

“No! What if you guys need me? I can help. I am going.”

“She is right. Karr would be suspicious if Kasey isn’t with Kile. She would be safe with him as long as she stayed with him.” Zoe finally spoke up.

“Okay, now that that is settled, when are we leaving? I would like to get this done and over with as soon as possible.” Kasey said as she leaned against Kile.

“Well, let’s perfect the plan before we do anything. There can be no mistakes what so ever. Give us about an hour and we should be good.” Ki2t stated.

/~/

True to their word, an hour later the three AIs were finished perfecting the plan. Kasey would leave with Kile and they would go somewhere out of the way. Karr would follow them for sure. Michael with Ki2t and Mike with Ki3t would drive out as soon as Karr trailed Kile. Kile would lead Karr to a car dump where there would only be two ways out, one blocked by Kile and the other blocked by both Ki2t and Ki3t. He would be surrounded and forced to at least answer some questions. If he decided to join them, they would travel to the Knight Estate and stay there. There was no more room at the SSC and plus, they didn’t want Karr knowing exactly what was down there until they trusted him more. If Karr agreed to have his self-preservation program changed to the preservation of human life, he could be let off the grounds and allowed a driver if they could find one.

Everyone got into their designated cars and were ready to leave. Kasey was nervous about seeing Karr again. She did want to go in case she was needed, but mainly to help Kile if he needed it. She was more afraid of what the older AI would do to him. “Are you okay? Earlier you couldn’t wait to go and now your vitals say that you are nervous.”

“Yes, I am nervous. I do want to go. Mainly so that if something happens to you, I can be there. But I am terrified of what could go wrong and of seeing Karr again.”

“Please, do not be afraid. I will protect you with my life. I will not let anything happen to you. I am sure Ki2t, Michael, Ki3t, and Mike feel the same way.”

“I know. But I will still be a little scared no matter what. You ready?”

“Yes. Let’s go.” Kile turned his gimbal and drove through the tunnel.

/~/

Karr spotted Kile on his scanner and grinned at the thought. He saw that Kasey was with him. ‘They let their guard down. You fools. I will get you this time.’ Karr started his engine and began to follow Kile.

/~/

Karr was about a mile away from Kile and gaining ground. “Okay, he is following us. Ki2t and Ki3t should be on their way now.” Kile told Kasey.

Indeed, Ki2t and Ki3t were on their way. They had left the hangar and were following Karr and gaining ground as well. Kile was leading them to the car dump. They were trying to make it look like they had seen nothing at all. But when Karr had caught up to them and started to bump them, Kile kicked it into another gear. Kile slammed back into Karr and almost forced him off the road again, but Karr recovered and pushed back. They were rapidly approaching the gates to the dump. Kile sped forward and was the first one through. Karr followed pushing Kile’s bumper. Ki2t and Ki3t were within a few miles of the dump; they followed shortly afterward. Kile still went on until he was sure Ki2t and Ki3t were blocking the road. Karr didn’t have any recollection of them. Kile pulled a 180 and came face to face with Karr, pushing on Karr’s front bumper to slow him down.

During all of this, Kasey held on for dear life. She trusted that Kile would keep her safe, but she couldn’t help but feel somewhat afraid. She saw at the other end of the road that Ki2t and Ki3t were coming. Kile had finally gotten Karr to stop and Ki2t and Ki3t skidded to a halt mere inches from Karr’s bumper.

“What do you want Karr?” Ki2t said with anger.

“Oh, nothing, just my revenge for the past 25 years.” Karr hastily replied.

“Who kept you alive all of these years? I don’t think you are here just to get your revenge. You would be foolish to go up against three AIs.” Ki2t kept going.

“Why would I tell you? Once you are done with me, you will just deactivate me. Why should I tell you anything?”

“What if I told you that we came out here to bargain with you?”

“Like I would believe that. I know what you are here for.”

“Karr, I am sorry that you had to suffer through what you did. I truly am. One time I was shut down for a time being. I had to in order to save Michael. It was horrible being stuck inside my CPU, not being able to hear, see, feel, or move. Just being aware. I can’t help but think that you went through with that so many times. I wouldn’t try to deactivate you. We are here to bargain with you. We can go back to the Knight Estate and Bonnie can change the self-preservation program, so that you cannot kill. If you agree, you can be given a new driver and you can be like us and help others. But no matter what, I will refuse to have you shut down. I can’t see doing that to you again. You can help us afterwards to get them man who forced you to come after us. Please, Karr. If you don’t trust anyone else, trust your brother.” Ki2t finished with almost a pleading tone.

Karr seemed to think this through for a long while. The other AIs and humans sat silent during the wait. “Alright. I will come with you on the one condition that no matter what, you will not deactivate me. You can change my programming so that I do not kill anymore. But if I see anything different, I am gone.”

“You have my word.” The three humans and the three AIs sighed with relief. Karr would finally be on their side. “Follow us to the Estate. It will be a long drive, but we can make it before afternoon.” Ki3t backed up and Ki2t turned around. He made the trip along side of Karr. Kile was to be in front and Ki3t would be in back. The three humans just sat back and enjoyed the trip.

/~/

Ki3t made a call to Sarah’s cell phone. “Sarah, Bonnie, we are heading back to the Estate. Karr is with us. He has agreed to let you change his programming on the one condition that no matter what, we won’t deactivate him.”

“Thank goodness. Is everyone else alright?” Bonnie let out a breath.

“Yes, everyone one is safe and sound. We are about five hours from the Estate. We will see you soon.” Ki3t cut the transmission. “Hopefully Karr will stay on our side. The more, the merrier.” He said to Mike.

“Yeah, even though this is the first time I have met him, I still won’t trust him completely.”

“Well, if Ki2t trusts him after this, so will I. After all, he is my ‘uncle.’”

“Cute.”

Kile was having the same conversation with Kasey. “Karr could take my place in the field while I protect you and gain some experience. Then, if you decide to join FLAG, there would be more of us. Hopefully, this will all turn out well.”

“You can say that again. But until he proves to me that I can go near him again, I am staying with you or Ki2t or Ki3t when he’s around. After these last couple of days, he’s going to have a hard time gaining my trust.”

“I understand.”

Ki2t was talking to Michael about Karr as well. “Maybe he will decide to stay with us. I know we were just doing our job back then, but I didn’t like having to kill my brother twice. It was horrible having to destroy another like me.”

“I can’t say that I understand completely how you felt, but in a way I do. It is practically the Foundation’s fault that he went crazy. It is sad what we had to do, but maybe we can move on from this and he can trust us some more. How do Ki3t and Kile feel about him?”

“They both have said that if I trust Karr, so will they.” He paused as another thought came though. “I understand now what pride really feels like when it comes to children. I have a different protectiveness with them than with anyone else. Do you feel this way with Mike and Kasey?”

“Oh, yeah, believe me. This last thing I wanted was for Mike to be joined with Ki3t at first. I was afraid that he would suffer though what I did in the early years. But after I saw what could happen to him without the protection of Ki3t, I was even more afraid. I am glad those two are together. And I am glad Bonnie designed Kile for Kasey. Now she has someone to look after her as well.”

“I hope I can be a good fatherly figure. I really don’t want to disappoint them.”

“You and me both, pal. You and me both.”

Chapter 6

Robert Harvey was pacing his office and was too agitated to stop moving. ‘Where the heck is Karr with that girl? He should have at least called in by now. Ugh, that damned car!’ He waited another hour and decided that he should call him to get an update.

/~/

Ki2t, Ki3t, Kile, and Karr sat in the garage at the Knight Estate. Everyone else was inside settling down for dinner. Karr was in semi-recharge, waking up every so often to check things out, while the others were in complete recharge. He hoped that they would keep their promise and not deactivate him. But being here was so much better than being under Harvey’s control. He hated that man with a purple passion. Robert always made him do his bidding and he was started to get real tired of it. Maybe he could finally find a home here. His only problem would be getting the humans to trust him; Kile and Ki3t did because Ki2t trusted him.

Karr was startled out his thoughts by a call from Robert. “What the heck are you doing? You are supposed to be getting those cars and that girl! Why are you in recharge?” The voice blew his speakers and the other three AIs woke instantly.

“I am tailing them as we speak. They are underground and I am waiting for them to come out.” Karr paused. He wanted to see what the others thought he should do but didn’t want Robert to know where he truly was. “I will call you in less than thirty minutes. Something is happening.” With that he cut the line.

“Who was that?” Ki2t asked curiously.

“Robert Harvey. The man who wanted you three and the one I worked for to get my revenge on you. He is a car collector and he knew about you three from my ramblings. He made a deal that if I helped him get you, I could get my revenge. What should I say to him when I call him back?”

“Well, let’s talk to the others.” Ki2t beeped his comlink.

“Yeah, Ki2t?”

“Michael, is everyone there with you?”

“Yes, we are.” He heard everyone say.

“Will everyone please come down to the garage? We have a situation that needs resolved.”

“Be right down.” Within five minutes everyone was down in the garage. “Okay, what is this problem?” Michael started.

“I have just received a call from Robert Harvey, the man who sent me to get Kasey and to take out all other Knight Industry cars. I led him to believe that all of you are back at the SSC and I am still waiting for you to leave the hangar. After that, I don’t know what to tell him. We have twenty-four minutes and seventeen seconds before I have to call back.” Karr explained to the humans.

“Well, do you know where his base is?” Mike asked.

“Yes. It is near San Francisco, about half an hour out from the city. He is a car collector and he wanted all KI vehicles.”

“And you worked for him, knowing he could turn on you as well?”

“Yes. He rebuilt me and from my ramblings, found out about Ki2t. He then researched and found out about Kile and Ki3t. I agreed to help him get them if I could get my revenge. I do see that now that was a mistake. I am sorry for coming after you and hurting you like I did. I didn’t think there was any better life than the one I was leading.” Karr finished. He was sorry because he didn’t know what the others were like. Just that he had been deactivated and those working for KI were the ones to do it. Now he hated those feelings of hatred he had towards them. After he had said this though, he hated himself for being so open and reciting his feelings to the others.

“That’s okay. You are with us now. What should we do about Harvey?” Bonnie looked to the others.

“Well, he thinks that we are at the SSC and Karr is waiting for us. We could get to Frisco by afternoon tomorrow and when night comes, we could ambush his place and find some real answers.” Michael pitched in.

“Yeah, but what could we put him behind bars for? Sending a talking car to get Kasey and destroying another car?” Sarah said.

They all sat in silence for a while and pondered this new problem. Kasey broke the silence, “I have an idea. What if we were to give him exactly what he wants? Then we have him on kidnapping and stolen property. When you guys come to get Kile and me, he will most likely try to kill you. Then we have him on attempted murder as well.”

“That’s a good idea, but I don’t like sending you in there by yourself. He could kill you in an instant rather than keep you.” Michael voiced his opinion about his daughter.

“Yeah, but you are forgetting one thing; he needs me as bait for you guys. He wants the cars and him knowing that you are my father and would probably do anything for my protection, would trade, if you get my drift.”

“That’s true, but I still don’t like you alone.”

“Kile will be with me. And once he has us, Kile will send Ki2t and Ki3t a message telling you guys to come get us out of there. With four AIs, the guy doesn’t stand a chance. You can have the police come in after you and they can arrest him. We all go home happy! Well, except for Harvey. He would be going to an unhappy home.” She giggled.

“What would I do here?” Karr wondered.

“You would be ‘forcing’ Kile and I into whatever place he has in store for us. Just in case anything happens before the other two get in there, you will be the main element of surprise and help us out.”

“Sounds good to me.” Karr replied. The other three cars said the same. Now it was just a matter of convincing her parents to let her do this.

“Alright. This is probably the only way to get him for good. Ki2t, Ki3t, Mike, and I will be just around the corner waiting. If anything happens, we’ll be there.” Michael finally gave in.

“What should I tell Harvey?” Karr asked.

“Tell him you are still sitting there waiting. In the morning, make another call to him telling him that you have Kile and Kasey and that you will be in by the afternoon. I think that should be good.” Mike said.

“Should we wait until morning or leave now?” Sarah asked.

“Better be the morning. All of us are beat and Ki2t, Ki3t, Kile, and Karr could use a full night of recharge. We can still make it by night fall tomorrow.” Bonnie commented. Sarah, Bonnie, Michael, and Mike started to walk back out to the mansion, but stopped when they realized that Kasey wasn’t following. “What’s wrong?”

Kasey walked around to Kile’s driver door and it opened up for her once he realized what she was doing. “I think I am going to stay here for the night if you don’t mind. I probably won’t sleep well so I might as well be comfortable.” She fell into Kile’s seat and closed the door.

Bonnie suppressed a laugh but failed. She looked at Michael, “Like father, like daughter.” They continued to walk outside into the night towards the mansion, all of them were giggling.

“I hope you don’t mind me staying with you tonight. I am too nervous to sleep.”

“I don’t mind at all, because frankly, so am I. You could at least try to rest some.” Kile darkened his windows to leave her some privacy. He also laid the seat back some to convince her.

“I know, I know. I will try. I am glad though that Karr is on our side. We wouldn’t have gotten this far without him. Plus, we would still be underground in the cramped SSC. I like that place, but man, I need air!”

“I know what you mean, besides the air part. But it is nice to get out and stretch my wheels. I think it would be nice to stay here and use this place as headquarters. I mean, it’s beautiful and the ocean is not that far away. And the track is huge! I would never tire of running it.”

“Yeah, this place is beautiful. I wonder what the sunrise will look like. I bet it is gorgeous.” Kasey yawned and snuggled into the seat. “Good night, Kile. See ya in the morning.” She fell asleep in no time.

Kile realized that the others were still up. Karr had to make his call, but he didn’t know why Ki2t and Ki3t were up. He did ask Ki2t a question though, “I have a question for you. Since you know this place the best, where is the best spot to watch a sunrise?” He asked quietly.

Ki2t heard him and stopped from the research he was doing. “On the east lawn by the fence. It overlooks the valley and you can see the mountains. That is one of Michael’s and my favorite spot on the Estate. I think you will like it.”

“Thank you.” Kile activated the garage door and opened it and rolled out of the garage in silent mode. Ki2t watched as they left and recognized what Kile was doing. Kile drove slowly so as not to stir Kasey, which he didn’t. He found the place where Ki2t had suggested and parked there. ‘He was right. This place would be stunning in the morning.’ He took one last look at Kasey and went into recharge for the night.

/~/

Michael couldn’t sleep. He was too worried about what the next day would bring. He made his way through the mansion and saw Mike walking from his room. “What are you doing up this early?”

“I could ask the same about you. I couldn’t sleep. I am heading to the only place I can when I am nervous.” Mike responded.

“Let me guess, the garage?”

“How did you know?”

“Been there, done that. I always go to Ki2t when I need my mind cleared. I see Ki3t does the same for you. That’s one thing I love about having Ki2t as a partner, I always feel safe with him.”

“I know what you mean. Want to go together?”

“Sure.” They snuck quietly out of the mansion. Mike had brought a flashlight but realized he didn’t need one with Michael. Michael knew this place like that back of his hand and had traveled this road way too many times to count. They arrived at the garage and Michael entered his key code for them both. They entered and saw that Kile was gone. “Whoa, wait a second. Where are Kile and Kasey?”

“Don’t worry, Michael. Kile took her to our spot on my recommendation. They are fine.” Ki2t spoke when he heard Michael. He knew that he would be down to the garage. He always did come when something was bothering him, and this was one of those things.

“Okay. Just making sure.” He made his way over to Ki2t while Mike did the same with Ki3t. Both cars willingly opened their doors for them and both drivers fell into the custom seats. The doors then again closed behind them and their windows blacked out. Michael chuckled when he saw Ki3t do everything Ki2t did. “Like father, like son, huh?”

“In more ways than one, Michael. Mike apparently feels the same as you when nervous.”

“Yeah, I am glad, though, that we have the best partners anyone could ask for to calm those nerves.” Michael reclined the seat.

“Thank you, Michael.” Ki2t watched as Mike fell asleep and as Ki3t went into recharge. He was wondering why at first Ki3t didn’t go into recharge right away. Now he understood. Michael fell asleep and Ki2t also did soon after.

/~/

Around 6:00 a.m. Kasey started to wake up. Kile came online as well. “Morning, Kile. Sleep well?”

“I did. Did you?”

“Like a log. I didn’t know how tired I was last night.” She looked around at the still darkened windows. “Someone around in the garage?”

“No. I have a surprise for you. Close your eyes.”

Kasey eyed the dash before doing as requested. Kile lifted the tint off the windows. “Okay, now open them.”

Kasey again did as told and what she saw was beyond anything she had seen before. She gasped when she saw the sun just peeking up from behind the mountains and sending rays of light over the trees. The valley was yellow-color as the sun rose. “Wow, Kile. This is amazing! I don’t think I have seen anything so beautiful before!”

“I thought you might like it. Ki2t suggested it to me since it is one of his and Michael’s favorite spots on the Estate.”

“Thank you, this is completely stunning.” She laid back against the seat and they both sat in silence and watch the sun rise into the sky.

About a half hour later, they headed back to the garage. They rolled in to find Mike and Michael with their partners. Kasey laughed a bit. ‘I thought I was the only crazy one, wanting to spend most of my time with my car.’ “I’ll be right back. I am going to see if anyone else is up and find the kitchen. I’m starving.” She walked up the drive into the mansion.

/~/

An hour later, everyone was down in the garage, going over the plan one more time before hitting the road. Karr had made his second call to Harvey. Once finished, Michael and Bonnie got into Ki2t, Mike and Sarah got into Ki3t, and Kasey got into Kile. All four cars headed out the drive with Ki2t in the lead for the time being. Kile followed him, then Karr, and finally Ki3t. They hit the open highway and the cars pushed their speed up into the hundreds. Ki2t and Kile were side by side. Behind them were Ki3t and Karr, making a black square of blur. “Okay, now the boring part: the long drive…” Kasey stated.

“I have an idea. Let’s all have some fun.” Kile gunned the engine for a minute and slowed back down to the same speed again. Ki2t saw him but didn’t understand at first. Then Kile repeated and Ki2t did it back. Ki3t and Karr sat for a second wondering what the heck was going on.

“Can I drive, Michael?”

“Sure, buddy.” Michael relinquished command over to Ki2t. Ki2t and Kile took off suddenly, racing forward with great speed. Michael, Bonnie, and Kasey held on for dear life as the cars reached up into the 200s.

Mike saw what the others did and knew that Ki3t would probably want to go as well. “Go on. Take control.” Mike and Sarah also held on as Ki3t and Karr raced after the other two.

“Whoa! This is fun!” Kasey screamed and put her hands on the wheel. She wasn’t driving, but she felt that she could still feel the Challenger’s power by holding on to it.

“I told you. Now, for some more.” Kile surged forward, leaving all of the other cars in the dust. He scanned far ahead to make sure that there would be no obstructions. The others did the same. In the lead, way ahead, was Kile. Ki2t followed, then Ki3t, and finally Karr.

Karr didn’t want to intrude much. He knew the others had had a stressful time already and this was a way to let it go, even for a while. He still somewhat raced, just to keep up, but staying last, leaving the other three to play.

Ki2t caught up to Kile but was soon left behind again as Kile went even faster. They were all reaching the 300s. ‘How in the world is that boy so fast?’ Then it dawned on him, Kile is the newest of them all. He has the better engine and the better software. Even though Ki3t was just a year behind, Kile still had better technology.

They raced on like that for some time, Kile always in the lead. Ki2t and Ki3t kept battling for second place. All of them were getting looks from the other drivers as they passed. Many people who thought they could race as well finally backed down after realizing that the four black cars were too much of a match.

They all pulled into Sacramento at about noon. The cars needed refueling and the five needed something to eat. They pulled up side by side by side by side at a red light. Kasey rolled down her window and yelled to the other two, “How about Applebee’s? It’s right across from the gas station?”

“Sure.” Came the unison reply from the other four. The light turned green and they pulled into the gas station. Kasey didn’t have much money so Michael paid for her tank and his. Mike paid for Karr’s and his own. Once filled up, they drove across the street and parked in the four opened parking spaces out front. A couple of people stared out the window at the beautiful cars.

“Okay, back in a few.” Kasey said and got out. The others followed her in.

“How many?” A waitress asked.

“Five. Can we get a table near the front window please?” Kasey asked. She knew she and the others wanted to keep an eye on the cars outside.

“Of course. Follow me.” She led them to a table that was right in front of the four black cars. “Enjoy.” She left as the five sat down.

Kasey sat facing the window, for some reason not wanting to take her eyes off the cars. Every so often she would glance up to make sure that they were there still. Kile apparently saw her and whispered into her ear-wig, “We are alright. You don’t have to keep an eye on us. Enjoy your lunch.”

The others were chatting so they didn’t hear Kasey respond, “I know. I am just anxious.” They ordered and during the wait, Michael and Bonnie rehashed some old cases that were quite hilarious.

“About three years after we had joined the Foundation, there was one case where we had to have Michael go undercover. He was fired from FLAG and the guy we were after picked him up for a job like we suspected.” Bonnie started telling the story.

“Yeah, he told me I had to steal Ki2t. It made me feel horrible, lying to his back about that case. I had to even shoot Devon to make it look real.”

“We tried to make it look like Michael was really gone and so we started looking for replacement drivers. One, named Charles, or Chuck, really wanted the job. He basically said that he already got it and ‘Dev’ as he called him should stop shopping around. Ki2t got a little ticked off. Chuck wondered what the ‘EJECT LEFT’ button was for.” She paused. Michael started to giggle and everyone else leaned in closer to listen.

Michael finished for her, “Long story short, Ki2t encouraged him to press it. The idiot did and flew out the T-Top landing in a pile of garbage! Ki2t took off and left him there! I met the guy after the case and boy, I understand why Ki2t did that. The man was a few bricks short of a full load.” Everyone laughed at that one.

Lunch had finally come and they ate it up. At about 1:45, they had paid the bill. Mike paid for him and Sarah, Michael paid for him, Bonnie, and Kasey, seeing as Kasey didn’t have any money.

Outside the restaurant, a couple of racers that had been on the highway when the four cars had passed them were waiting to get inside. During their wait, they had walked around the cars looking them over inch by inch. “Dang, these are some nice cars. I like that Challenger there. I could really do some damage with it.” One said.

Another replied, “Heck, the Mustang rules. There are two of them here and I bet they win every time.”

The third stared at the Firebird, “I have no idea what you fools are talking about, but this Trans Am here tops them all. These ain’t even out yet! I wonder how the dude who has this got the money to pay for it!” The four AIs sat snickering to each other. If only they knew.

The Knight family strolled out and walked over to the three racers staring at their cars. “There a problem here?” Mike stated.

“No, no problem. Just checking these rides out. We saw ya on the highway and you zipped right passed us. How fast can these things go?” The first racer questioned.

Kasey piped in, “Fast enough where you won’t be able to tell there was even something there.” She smiled and walked over to the Challenger’s driver door.

“Maybe we can meet each other on the race track someday. I hope to see you then.” The second who liked the Mustangs commented.

“I highly doubt that. Our cars don’t like to race against other cars not in their class.” Michael said with pride. Everyone got in their respectable cars. All four cars started their engines at the same time and made them roar. The three racers and a couple of others watched as they backed out. When they saw that no one was in Karr and the other drivers didn’t even have their hands on the steering wheels, their jaws hit the ground. All four AIs gunned their engines as they left the parking lot, leaving black marks as the only remembrance that they were there.

“Good show, Kile. You sure showed them what a real car is like.” Kasey mentioned once everyone was back on the highway and racing again.

“Thank you. It was a pleasure.” Kile said with a smirk in his voice. They all drove on to San Francisco. 

Chapter 7

The four Knight Industries AIs made their way to San Francisco by 6 p.m. They had made it to the city limits by 4 p.m., but traffic was killer. Kasey was fidgeting in her seat as Kile tried to find the fastest way through traffic. The other three cars did the same. “Ugh! This is a nightmare! I never knew Frisco could be this bad.” She sat back in the seat and sighed.

“We will get there. I thought you were nervous?” Kile replied to her.

“I am, but I just want to get this over with. I hate waiting.”

Ki2t pulled up next to Kile and Kasey could hear Michael practically curse, “This is murder! Now I know why I never came here!”

Kasey chuckled, “I now know where I lost the gene of patience.”

Karr took the lead once the traffic cleared. He led them to a warehouse just south of the city. “Okay, this is the place. You two wait here. I will take Kile and Kasey inside. Don’t worry, I will make sure they stay safe.” Karr reassured Michael and Ki2t. Ki2t and Ki3t fell behind and waited about two miles away from the warehouse. “Kile, drive slowly in front of me, make it look like you are hesitant.” Kile did as told as soon as they got closer. Karr kept nudging his bumper to Kile’s to make it look like he was forcing him inside. Kasey sat in Kile’s cabin and acted terrified, though it didn’t take much acting on her part.

Robert Harvey looked over to the garage doors as they lifted and in came two cars. He stared curiously at the black Challenger and its passenger. “Well, Karr, I am impressed. I didn’t think you could pull it off.”

“It was hard to get, but they are nothing but inferior production line models. I am the prototype. They cannot beat a prototype.” Karr tried to sound like his old self.

“Let’s see, Kasey Knight I presume?” Harvey walked to the driver’s window and stared at Kasey though it. “You are going to help me get your family and their cars. In return, I will let you free. Get out of the car.” Kasey shook her head no and didn’t get out. “Now!”

“Do as he says, don’t worry, I have my laser on him. If he so much as touches you wrong, he’s going down.” Kile reassured her, anger present in his voice. She nodded and reluctantly got out.

“Why do you need me to get to my family and what do you want with the KI cars?” She gave him an angry look. “Plus, I don’t even know any of my family. I didn’t realize I had one.”

“The reason I want your family is because your daddy put a good friend of mine in jail. I am going to take out him and your brother so that they can’t do that to someone else. I want the cars because I am a car collector and I want the four most amazing automobiles in the world. I will get rid of the artificial intelligence inside each one and keep the bodies. It’s a pity that you never knew you had a family, and I guess you never will know them.”

“So you would kill eight lives for a little revenge? You’re nuts! Especially since people have tried to kill them before and have failed miserably.”

“I thought you knew nothing about your family?”

“Kile, Karr, and I had a very long drive today. I didn’t appreciate being ripped out of school by a talking car forcing me somewhere I have never been to.”

“Well, life’s not fair. Tuff luck.” Harvey pulled her over to a chair and tied her up.

Kasey looked over at Kile with a face that asked what should she do? “Don’t worry. I am right here. I won’t leave you.” Kile whispered into her ear. She relaxed a bit at the sound of his calming voice.

Harvey left for a while and headed to what Kasey presumed was his office. She tried to untie the ropes but it was useless. Harvey had come back with some technicians and they all gathered around Kile. Harvey spoke directly to him, “Open your hood.”

Kile replied firmly, “No.”

Harvey took the pistol out of his waist belt and pointed it straight at Kasey. “Open up.”

Kasey shouted at Kile, “No, don’t do it!” Karr watched the whole thing and decided that it was time to call in the cavalry.

Harvey looked from Kile to Kasey and fired a round nearly missing Kasey’s shoulder. “Open up or the next one is for real.”

“No, Kile! Don’t you dare!”

“I have to Kasey.” He said out loud, and then to Kasey’s ear-wig, “Karr has called Ki2t and Ki3t. They are on their way. This is the only way to stall them for as long as we can.” Kile opened his hood up and the technicians started to get cables to connect to Kile’s CPU.

Kasey couldn’t help it any longer and felt a tear run down her cheek. She knew help was on the way but couldn’t think of what would happen if they didn’t get here on time. It surprised her how much she cared for Kile in such a short of time. The technicians had the cables hooked up to his CPU and were at the computers on the nearby workbenches. They typed on the keyboards and started to run their program.

Karr sent a message to Ki2t, “Where are you? They have Kasey tied up and are running some sort of program on Kile right now! Please hurry!”

“We are just around the corner.” Ki2t replied.

All of a sudden a cry could be heard from the Challenger in the middle of the warehouse. “Stop! You’re hurting him!” Kasey screamed at Harvey.

“You think I don’t know that? I told you I want to get rid of the artificial intelligence inside.” Harvey beamed an evil grin.

The next few minutes passed faster than lightning. There were the roars of engines as two black cars slammed through the wall, disintegrating it in seconds. They came to a halt and aimed their lasers at Harvey’s head. Mike and Michael stepped out and walked over to him. “Release them now.” Michael hissed through clenched teeth.

“No. Karr, get rid of these jokers for me.” Harvey said, never taking his eyes of off Michael’s with an evil smile.

“No. Get them yourself. These guys have showed me what family is really like. You were just using me until you were done with me. Don’t think I didn’t know that.” Karr said and aimed his laser at Harvey as well. Harvey’s smile faded to a face of shock. Another wail could be heard from the Challenger and Kasey flinched.

“See? Now who’s the joker? Now stop whatever program you are running on Kile and move away.” Harvey stared at Michael then shakily moved to the workbench and told the technician to stop the program. He did and the cries went to a whimpering noise.

“Mike! Untie me!” Kasey yelled and Mike ran over to untie her. Once free, she ran to Kile’s door and opened it up. She quickly got inside and tried her best to sooth the AI. “There, there. Calm down. The program is stopped and we are safe.” She brushed her hands over the dash and steering wheel.

The whimpers stopped and Kile did as best as he could to lean into her touch, not thinking about the agonizing code that was just run through him to erase his very being. “Thank you, Kasey. Please, don’t stop.” Was all he managed to say with a weak voice.

Bonnie and Sarah stepped out of Ki2t and Ki3t and went over to undo the cables from Kile. They did it slowly as Kasey continued to comfort Kile. They got all of that done and finally closed his hood and walked over to Mike and Michael who had confiscated the pistol and had it aimed at Harvey. “The police are on their way. What was the program that you ran through Kile?” Bonnie said angrily.

“Why do you want to know?” Harvey sneered.

“So that we know how to soothe him from the pain that you have caused him! It may not have been for a very long time, but there was still too much done.” She took a step closer and he cowered in fear.

“It was just a code to wipe his memory clean, one memory at a time.” He finally squeaked out.

Bonnie was angry and Michael thought she was going to hit the man. The police arrived at that time and Michael sighed. ‘Good timing. Bonnie would have killed him otherwise for hurting one of her babies.’ He thought.

“Get him out of here!” Bonnie yelled. The police read him his rights and took him away as everyone walked over to Kile. “Is he okay?” Bonnie asked anxiously.

“I think so. What exactly did he do to him?” Kasey looked up to Bonnie, still caressing the dash and wheel.

“He inserted a code that would slowly wipe Kile of his memory. He would probably reprogram him with something horrible in mind or just leave it blank. Once we get back we can see what had been erased. Since he still knows you, Harvey probably started from the beginning of his memory; therefore I have some backups at the lab for them. He’ll be okay.”

Kasey sighed and leaned back against the seat. “So, when do we go home? I mean, would it be okay if I drove Kile back or would he have to stay here for a while?”

“I personally think it would be okay for you to drive him back, but that really depends on Kile. He may be hurting too much to start the long trek home. Or he could be just fine. Ask him in a few when he has recovered some more.” Bonnie walked away to talk to Michael and the police.

Kasey closed the door to give Kile and her some privacy. “Are you alright? Do you want to stay for a while or would it be okay to go home?”

Kile’s voice was stronger when he answered. “I think I am alright. I don’t see any files that were deleted from my memory banks so that is a good sign. I really would like not to stay here any longer than we have to though.”

“I am just worried that driving home would hurt you even more. If you aren’t ready, we’ll just leave this warehouse and stay here in Frisco for a while.”

“No, driving won’t damage me at all. Let’s go home.” He paused and then continued on, “I am glad you weren’t wounded and that Ki2t, Ki3t, and Karr were there for backup in case something went wrong. Robert Harvey will be locked away for quite a long time for what he has done.”

“You can say that again.”

Mike walked over to the window and knocked on the glass. “Are we leaving or staying? The rest of us are ready if we’re going.”

“We’ll be right behind you.” Mike walked away to get into Ki3t. Everyone else got into their cars and left the warehouse. Kasey started the engine and followed them out. She was too giddy to just sit still so she drove. Plus, she didn’t want to put too much stress on the hurt AI right now. The four cars started out onto the highway back to the Knight Mansion. 

Chapter 8

It was getting real late in the night, probably around 1:00 a.m. Kasey hadn’t looked at the clock because she was too busy trying to stay awake and drive. Kile and she followed the others back to the mansion. They didn’t race like they had before and took it slowly. All of them were glad that Harvey was behind bars and facing time for kidnapping and theft. Kile spoke softly so as not to startle Kasey, “Why don’t you let me drive the rest of the way back? You are tired and it would be much safer. All of the others are asleep so it doesn’t make sense for you to stay awake.”

“You sure? I could stay up for a while longer.”

“Your body says otherwise. Yes, I’m sure. Lay back and go to sleep before I put you to sleep myself.” Kile joked.

“Okay. But if you need me at all, don’t be afraid to wake me.” She laid the seat back and went with it. “Good night, Kile.” She closed her eyes and fell asleep.

“Good night, Kasey.” Kile drove on with the others for the rest of the night. They were going about 100 mph and would be back probably by 4 a.m. When they pulled up to the grounds, Ki2t signaled the guard to let them all in. The gates opened and they drove to the mansion’s drive. Mike, Sarah, Michael, and Bonnie all said good night and headed up the stairs. “Kasey?” Kile tried to wake her.

Kasey stirred but didn’t wake. So he decided that he would follow the other cars and drive down to the garage; she would probably want to stay with him tonight anyways. He backed in next to Ki2t and shut the engine down. All four of the AIs went into recharge for the rest of the night.

/~/

Bonnie and Sarah walked into the garage the next afternoon around 12:00. Everyone had woken late that day because of the late night. The four AIs came online and said good morning. Kasey was still sleeping inside Kile’s cabin. Sarah walked over to Kile and spoke to his scanner. “Are you doing okay?”

“I am fine. Thank you for your concern.” He replied.

“Do you mind if we run diagnostics just to be on the safe side?”

“No, I don’t mind. I searched through my memory banks and I didn’t seem to find any files missing, but I guess a double check wouldn’t hurt.” He lifted his hood to allow access to his CPU.

“Thank you. We’ll make this quick.” Bonnie said over her shoulder. Both women started hooking cables up to Kile’s CPU and worked on the computers. They kept their word and were finished in less than half an hour.

Kasey began to wake up when she felt the movement of the car when the hood was shut. “Ugh, what time is it?” She said tiredly.

“12:34 p.m. I told you that your body wouldn’t agree with the late night.” Kile replied with a smirk.

She bolted right up when she heard the time. ‘I slept that long! I have never done that before in my life!’

Kile saw her reaction. “Kasey, are you alright?”

“Yeah, I have just never slept that late before. Let’s hope I don’t do that again.” She paused and looked around outside. “Well, I am going to go get changed. See ya in a few.” She stepped out of the car to find Bonnie and Sarah working on something with the computers. She walked by them and out to the mansion.

“Well, you are right. Nothing was taken from your memory banks. That’s good; any longer with that code and you would have lost some of your memory. Thank goodness.” Bonnie told Kile.

“Thank you for making sure.”

Bonnie and Sarah made their way over to Karr. “Would it be okay if we changed your programming now? Or do you wish to left alone for a while?” Bonnie asked.

“Let’s get this over with now so I don’t have to be cooped up here for very long.” He drove over near the workbench and opened his hood for the women to do their work. They took most of the afternoon to change Karr’s programming. He was just kidding when he said he didn’t want to be cooped up for much longer. He was really starting to like it here and he was starting to trust his new found friends.

/~/

Kasey had gotten a shower, changed, and got something in her stomach for lunch. She sat out on the patio reading one of her novels that English was making her read. This was the first time in a while that she even thought about school or what would happen to her future. She let it go for now and continued to dig into her reading.

She didn’t even look up when she heard the dark rumble of a Challenger’s engine come close to her by the patio. “Hi, Kile. What’s up?”

“Nothing much. Just seeing what you are up to. What are you reading?”

“A book for school. It’s called ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s quite boring compared to what I like, but I have to read it.”

“I have heard of that book. The writing is great, but the story itself is, as you say, boring, if I may say so myself.”

“It’s all about lyin’, dyin’, cheatin’, and cryin’. A married man sleeps with another married woman. Another man comes in and flirts with the married man’s wife. The wife kills her husband’s mistress on accident. The mistress’s husband goes after and kill’s the man who was flirting around. And two other liars get caught up in the mix. Not very fun.”

They sat in silence for a few minutes, both overlooking the grounds. Oak trees spread across the grounds and the fountain nearby was covered in their shade. Kile broke the silence, “Well, it seems that you are not enjoying the book. So why don’t you and I take a drive?”

Kasey stared at Kile’s scanner as the two bars went side to side. “To where though?” She got up and wandered to the edge of the patio.

“I don’t know, anywhere. I think you need some time away. There is the beach, the mountains, the lake, or just the road. You pick.”

She thought it over for a second, “How far away is the beach?”

“A 21 minute drive. Is that where you want to go?”

“Give me five minutes to change into my bathing suit so I don’t ruin my favorite jeans?”

“I’ll be waiting.” Kasey ran off in the direction of her room. She quickly changed into a red bathing suit and put on a pair of old raggy jeans and a tank top. She grabbed a towel, some sunscreen, and her sunglasses and raced out of her room. She ran into Bonnie as she turned the corner.

“Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t see you there.” Kasey stopped to help Bonnie with the papers she was carrying.

“That’s okay. Where you going?”

“The beach. Kile is going to take me…Is that okay?” She didn’t want to just take off to go nowhere with an expensive piece of machinery.

“Of course. Just be careful. See you for dinner later.” Bonnie picked up the last of her papers and continued on. Kasey walked out onto the patio again and found Kile sitting patiently for her. She ran to his opening driver’s door and jumped in.

“All set. Let’s go!” Kile backed up after the door was closed and headed for the main gate. They sped out onto the highway headed for a deserted beach. He turned on the country station and Kasey sang out of tune during the ride.

Kile pulled into a parking lot and parked right in front of the sand and killed the engine. “I think I am going to go for a swim. I haven’t swum in the ocean in a long time.” Kasey got out and ran to the water. Kile smiled internally as he watched her jump into the water. He could get used to watching over her like this.

Kasey swam out into the waves and let the tide bring her slowly back in. Once back on the beach, she walked back up to the Challenger. “Have fun?” Kile asked her when she opened the door to get the towel and dry off.

“You bet! Thanks for bringing me out here.”

“No problem. You looked like you needed to get away.”

“Want to take a stroll with me down the beach?” She asked and gestured towards the sand.

“Of course.” He ignited the engine and followed right beside her. After a while of walking, a question popped into Kile’s mind, “Kasey, are you going to go back to your old life and leave the Foundation?”

Kasey thought about the innocent question that Kile asked. Would she be able to leave everything behind for a new life? Would she leave everything new just to return to her meager life before? “I…I don’t know, Kile. I don’t think I could just leave the Foundation and my new family. But I had a good life before that I liked. Plus, I am not old enough to be an operative and I don’t have nearly any of the training…No matter what, though, I don’t think I could leave you.” She looked toward her right through the window at Kile’s voice modulator.

This seemed to settle the AI some, “I would prefer it if you didn’t. Even though it has only been a little over a week that I have known you, I have grown accustomed to having you as my driver. Whatever you choose, I want to go with you.”

“Thanks. Plus, I am going to need someone to save my back if I get into trouble. No one else seems to care besides you.” She smiled evilly. “We’ll talk it over with Michael and Bonnie, since Bonnie is the one who created you. Maybe you can stay with me until I get old enough to become an operative, then we can become partners.”

“I would like that.” They continued down the shore for quite some time. The tide was coming in and if they didn’t get off the sand soon, they would be stuck. Kile noticed this and told Kasey, “We have to get off the sand. The water is getting to a point to where we could get stuck and not be able to get out.”

“Alright. Is there a ramp somewhere nearby?” Kasey asked as she got into the cabin.

“The only one I see is the one we came on. If we hurry, we can make it back.” Kile turned around and drove down the beach in a rush. They made it back and drove into the parking lot to watch the world pass. It was getting late in the afternoon and the others would probably start to worry about them.

“Why don’t we head back? Dinner will be ready soon and maybe we can ask Bonnie about us during that time. How does that sound?” Kasey asked looking at the red globe on the dash.

“That sounds great to me.” Kile fired his engine and drove back to the Estate. “Would you like to be dropped off up front?”

“Sure. That way I can get changed quickly for dinner. Talk to you in a few.” Kasey exited and ran up the stairs to her room. She took a quick rinse to get the salt water off of her and got ready for dinner. She walked to the dining area just as everyone sat down at the table. Michael sat with Bonnie and Mike sat with Sarah. “Hello.” Kasey said as she took her seat on the end.

“Hello. Enjoy your trip to the beach?” Bonnie asked.

“Yes. Yes I did.”

“We have a question for you, Kasey.” Bonnie started. Kasey eyed her with curiosity and Bonnie continued, “We would like to know if Kile could stay with you if and when you go back to school? In this family, we have many enemies, as you can see. We would like someone there to be able to protect you from harm’s way should any come.”

Kasey gaped at her in shock, “Of course! I was going to ask if Kile could stay with me when I do return. He has grown to be a good friend.”

Michael relaxed with relief. He knew that she and Kile were good friends so far, but he didn’t know if Kasey would accept a talking car as protection. Kasey continued, “And when I get old enough, you guys could give me some training and I could be an operative as well. I would like to help out any way I can.”

“Well, right now you should consider being a real teenager instead of a teenager with a family like this. We would like to you have somewhat of a normal life.” Michael stated.

“Yeah, a talking car as a best friend and a family that also has three other talking cars and more enemies than an entire country isn’t exactly what I would call normal.” Kasey smiled across the table at her father.

Everyone laughed. Dinner was served and the topic was dropped for now as others presented themselves. Towards the end though, Bonnie brought it up again, “So, I will have Kile’s registration transferred to your name so that he will be completely yours. Only you will have command over him. His dominate program is to protect his driver, you, over anything or anyone else. I have one more question before we all retire for the night. Would you like to remain Kasey Tanner or would you like to become a Knight?”

Kasey was again in shock at the question, “I would be honored to become a Knight. I would really like that very much.”

“That’s settled then. Before you go back to school, we’ll get your name changed and Kile will be officially yours.” Bonnie and the others stood up and said their good nights.

Kasey stayed back still in disbelief at what had just changed in her life. After a few minutes, she too got up to leave.

/~/

Kasey found herself wandering the grounds, thinking about how beautiful the place was. Kile noticed her alone and decided to talk to her and see how their conversation went. He left the garage and headed to the south part of the Estate. Kasey sat down on the wall and let her legs dangle over it. Kile pulled up right behind her, his prow touching her back. Kasey leaned back and looked up to the sky. “I have some good news for you.” She said.

“You do?”

“Yep. First, I am going back to school. My name is going to be changed to Kasey Knight instead of Tanner.” She was happy about that but not as happy as the second piece of news she had.

“That’s great. I am glad you took that name. Do I hear a second in there?”

“Yes. Second, you are going to be coming with me. Bonnie is going to change your registration to be in my name.”

Kile could have driven around the world a million times in ten seconds if he could have. Instead, he settled with an excited voice, “Really? That is even better news!”

“Let me tell you something though. I DO NOT own you. You own yourself. The car is just in my name for legal purposes. Okay?” She said with a sturdy voice.

“Alright. But no matter what, I am still yours. I would never leave for anyone else.”

Kasey smiled in response. “I know. And I would never leave you either. You are officially mine, I am officially yours.”

Both continued to stay there for a while late into the night. They sat in a joyful silence. Neither wanted to ruin the great moment of the news that was brought forth. Kasey would go back to school and Kile would be with her. He was hers and she was his. That is the way it was supposed to be.