Code Three

Rick Raphael
Code Three, by Rick Raphael

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Title: Code Three
Author: Rick Raphael
Illustrator: Schoenherr
Release Date: August 24, 2006 [EBook #19111]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by Greg Weeks, Sankar Viswanathan, and the Online Distributed Proofreading
Team at

Transcriber's Note:
This etext was produced from Analog Science Fact--Science Fiction, February 1963.
Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this
publication was renewed.

Code Three

The cars on high-speed highways must follow each other like sheep. And they need
shepherds. The highway police cruiser of tomorrow however must be massively
different-- as different as the highways themselves!

by Rick Raphael
Illustrated by Schoenherr
* * * * *

The late afternoon sun hid behind gray banks of snow clouds and a cold wind whipped
loose leaves across the drill field in front of the Philadelphia Barracks of the North
American Continental Thruway Patrol. There was the feel of snow in the air but the
thermometer hovered just at the freezing mark and the clouds could turn either into icy
rain or snow.
Patrol Sergeant Ben Martin stepped out of the door of the barracks and shivered as a blast
of wind hit him. He pulled up the zipper on his loose blue uniform coveralls and paused
to gauge the storm clouds building up to the west.
The broad planes of his sunburned face turned into the driving cold wind for a moment
and then he looked back down at the weather report secured to the top of a stack of
papers on his clipboard.
Behind him, the door of the barracks was shouldered open by his junior partner, Patrol
Trooper Clay Ferguson. The young, tall Canadian officer's arms were loaded with paper
sacks and his patrol work helmet dangled by its strap from the crook of his arm.
Clay turned and moved from the doorway into the wind. A sudden gust swept around the
corner of the building and a small sack perched atop one of the larger bags in his arms
blew to the ground and began tumbling towards the drill field.
"Ben," he yelled, "grab the bag."
The sergeant lunged as the sack bounced by and made the retrieve. He walked back to
Ferguson and eyed the load of bags in the blond-haired officer's arms.
"Just what is all this?" he inquired.
"Groceries," the youngster grinned. "Or to be more exact, little gourmet items for our
moments of gracious living."
Ferguson turned into the walk leading to the motor pool and Martin swung into step
beside him. "Want me to carry some of that junk?"
"Junk," Clay cried indignantly. "You keep your grimy paws off these delicacies, peasant.

You'll get yours in due time and perhaps it will help Kelly and me to make a more
polished product of you instead of the clodlike cop you are today."
Martin chuckled. This patrol would mark the start of the second year that he, Clay
Ferguson and Medical-Surgical Officer Kelly Lightfoot had been teamed together. After
twenty-two patrols, cooped up in a semiarmored vehicle with a man for ten days at a time,
you got to know him pretty well. And you either liked him or you hated his guts.
As senior officer, Martin had the right to reject or keep his partner after their first
eleven-month duty tour. Martin had elected to retain the lanky Canadian. As soon as they
had pulled into New York Barracks at the end of their last patrol, he had made his
decisions. After eleven months and twenty-two patrols on the Continental Thruways,
each team had a thirty-day furlough coming.
Martin and Ferguson had headed for the city the minute they put their signatures on the
last of the stack of reports needed at the end of a tour. Then, for five days and nights, they
tied one on. MSO Kelly Lightfoot had made a beeline for a Columbia Medical School
seminar on tissue regeneration. On the sixth day, Clay staggered out of bed, swigged
down a handful of antireaction pills, showered, shaved and dressed and then waved
good-by. Twenty minutes later he was aboard a jet, heading for his parents' home in
Edmonton, Alberta. Martin soloed around the city for another week, then rented a car and
raced up to his sister's home in Burlington, Vermont, to play Uncle Bountiful to Carol's
three kids and to lap
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