Steve shovels the last bit of pie into his mouth. He throws his cutlery to the plate rudely.
A young man sits on a chair nearby.
“You a trucker?”
The young man looks up.
“No”, he says. Almost a whisper.
“What ya doin’ ‘ere then?”
He wipes his dirty fingers on his yellow hi-vis jacket.
“I need a lift to Newcastle.”
“Ha, a hitchhiker? Can’t get a train?”
“Ah. You don’t have anyone who can help you out?”
“What are you going to Newcastle for?”
He wipes his mouth on the back of his hand. Wipes that off on the jacket again.
“Well, I’m headed that way.”
The young man looks up in hope.
“Alright.” He stands. “I’m leaving now though.”
They leave the building, walking right by the shower stall that Steve’s real body is lying crumpled and dead in.
The Hitchhiker pulls himself up into Steve’s cab. He slams the door.
“Careful with that.”
They sit in silence. Steve pulls onto the M1.
“So you’re a student?” He asks. “What are you studying?”
The Hitchhiker doesn’t respond. He looks out of the window nervously.
It’s now 2am. The motorway is dead. Steve looks out ahead at the empty road.
“No one about.”
As he says that, two vans pull up either side of the lorry.
Two SWAT vans.
The vans pull ahead of them. Then two more appear. Steve looks in his mirrors. There are two more behind them.
Six SWAT vehicles encircle the lorry. They move closer.
“What’s going on?” Steve asks pointlessly.
The Hitchhiker barely bats an eyelid.
Three police cars appear in the right hand lane. A megaphone protrudes from a window.
“Attention! To the driver of the HGV in the middle lane – please stop the vehicle. We have you surrounded.”
Steve squeaks pathetically in fear. He hits the brake.
The Hitchhiker grabs him by the throat.
“Keep driving if you want to live.”
“You know it would not be possible to kill me, brother”, Steve replies. But not in Steve’s voice. The voice is harmonised, feminine.
The Hitchhiker thrusts Steve’s body against the wall of the cab. He holds him there and closes his eyes.
The lorry begins to float. Just lightly, three or four feet from the ground.
The SWAT vans are prepared. Men and women poke up from the midst of the vehicles with harpoon-like weapons. They shoot cables into the HGV’s cab.
The Hitchhiker screeches in frustration. He blows open the top of the cab with his mind.
A helicopter comes towards them. It opens fire, shooting at The Hitchhiker and ‘Steve’.
Hitchhiker’s eyes turn red. In front of him, from nowhere, a ball of red light appears. It grows. It becomes a giant ball of flame, forever floating a few feet from his face.
He shoots it forward.
It flies toward the helicopter but misses, landing on the other side of the motorway on top of a civilian car. The vehicle explodes.
Ten flaming tendrils like red and orange ropes escape from Hitchhiker’s sleeves. They whip around the cab like knives. They cut the ropes shot from the harpoons and drop the cab onto the road.
It continues to drive.
The SWAT vans and police cars slowly pull away.
Hitchhiker smiles. Until he spots the roadblock several hundred yards ahead. His smile fades.
A tank is heading towards them, now.
He pulls ‘Steve’ over his head and out of the cab onto the road as the vehicle grinds to a halt.
‘Steve’ screams out in pain as he lands.
“I may not be able to kill you, but I can hurt this body you inhabit”, he screams to ‘Steve’.
Hitchhiker opens the ruined cab door and steps outside. The tank trundles slowly towards them. He faces it. He walks forward, toward it.
He flies back into the cab with great force, crippling the rest of the metal frame.
“We got him”, says a voice from a SWAT van.
After a moment of silence, the cab starts to groan.
Hitchhiker pulls himself out of the wreckage. Unscathed. He stands in front of the vehicle again. Holding the unexploded shell. He throws it back toward the tank.
It enters the barrel it was fired from. The tank explodes.
He walks over to ‘Steve’ lying crippled on the ground.
“I’m assuming you followed me here to stop me. Give up. Go home. It’s not going to work. I’ll get what I want and I’ll see you back at home.”
He picks up the broken body and throws him one last time into the cab of the HGV. He turns and walks away from the wreck, up the motorway.
He approaches the roadblock. Flicking his hand, it explodes. The police and SWAT vehicles go with it.
The road is lonely once again but for the burning heaps.
Hitchhiker looks ahead to a sign:
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE: 215 MILES.
He walks up the motorway alone.