A theft at a self-driving competition in Southern California forces bootstrapping innovator Rebecca West to become a DIY detective. The culprit is likely among the attendees at the event. Is it another competitor? The suspicious group of foreign students? One suspect she can rule out is the jackass celebrity driver in the next pit, Sam Chavez. He’s made perfectly clear what he wants from Rebecca, and it’s not her prototype.
The Deuce was on her side, both wheels spinning in opposite directions. Rebecca hit the kill switch on her phone and the wheels stopped spinning, and then spun together at once. The Deuce stood up, straight, as if she was pulled on strings from above like a puppet. The crowd let out another gasp.
“That was not part of the program!” said Donnie.
“Yes, thank you. I’m aware of that,” said Rebecca, freaking out as she clicked ‘follow’ again and the Deuce leaned her way, dramatically, rolled forward a foot, stopped, rolled back two feet, stopped, then came up in a wheelie, and went all the way, completely flipping heel over head, and then came to a full stop and thumped down on her side again, dead. Rebecca didn’t have time to feel panic, she didn’t have time to feel sorrow or worry about damage, because her heart was climbing out of her chest and flying up her throat as the Deuce once again rose to standing, like a punching doll that wouldn’t fall over, no matter how many times it got knocked down. A few in the crowd of watchers applauded. Most had already backed away a few steps.
“You got a real live filly there!” Sam Chavez shouted from near the TV crew, then waved his arms like he was lassoing a bull. “Or is it the other kind of deuce?” He made a flushing motion and held his nose. The cameras caught it all.