It’d been our wedding anniversary and we’d been to dinner and a show in the city.
He’d drunk a little but thought we were alright to drive home. The car seemed to know though, and the long drive had been limited to 80 even though we rarely turn off the autopilot. I never learned to drive.
We weren’t too far out of town when Stan first heard the sound. He commented that the car needed maintenance, saying it could be the aircon or an engine fan. Usually our electric car is quiet but the sound continued to grow louder. A little later he said “I hope they’re not bikes.”
Then we could hear it was bikes. I suggested we make a report but Stan said it’s probably only drones and we’re too far from help anyway.
We knew the stories of bushrangers but they hadn’t been reported in our district before. We thought local farmers were too poor to be of interest to criminals.
Stan turned off the autopilot, trying to get our car to go faster. It was no good. The safety system would not allow us to speed up.
Their bikes were still getting louder but we weren’t too far from home now. We thought if we could get past the gate then they’d leave us alone.
Then we saw their lights behind us. There were nearly a dozen. Still the car wouldn’t change speed.
The bushrangers shot at our tyres and the car stopped. Stan tried to override the safety but the autopilot kept responding that maintenance was required. It shutdown.
They surrounded us. The lights on the motorbikes blinding us. I could see reflections off metal. They had weapons and armour. The smell of brewed fuel and dust came through our aircon.
After a little while they smashed the windscreen. I screamed.
Stan yelled that he’d give them whatever they wanted. They smashed his window and he fell forward.
I cried for help but still they revved their bikes. Stan wouldn’t move and I could see he was bleeding.
Then the back window was smashed and I heard them yell for my jewellery.
A hand came through Stan’s window and grabbed at my necklace. I threw out my bag and my earrings and brooch. They took Stan’s watch then rode away.
I bandaged Stan and called for help. It seemed to take over an hour for the medical drone to deliver supplies and the whole time I was afraid the bushrangers might return.