Alex Gross sat back in the driver’s seat. Her 18-wheeler drove westbound on I-20, almost a hundred miles from OSAP headquarters. She bounced in her seat and slapped the steering wheel to the rhythm of the music on her favorite R&B satellite station. Her head swayed back and forth to the beat as the rig drove itself.
A loud screech erupted from the radio, followed by static. She frowned. Digital radio wasn’t supposed to have static.
She saw a commotion ahead and sat straight up. Cars were driving to the side of the road, crossing the medium and into the grass. Some had crashed into each other in both east and westbound lanes. She took control of the driving and slowed her rig. Those behind her swerved and blasted their horns as they sped past her, upset about her slowing down below the speed limit.
Cars vanished. Others in the regular lanes veered off the road to avoid the area where the cars and trucks were disappearing. The cars in the HV lanes continued their way in each direction. They were traveling too fast for the drivers to disengage computer control to stop. One by one they disappeared in the same stretch of road.
She slammed her brakes. Her momentum carried her toward the area. She jackknifed her rig, stopping around fifty feet from where the cars were disappearing. Her rig blocked cars behind her, their drivers shaking their fists and shouting at her for blocking the road.
She got out of her cab, looking toward the area. The other side was slightly distorted, reminding her of when she drove across Death Valley. The distant landscape distorted by waves of heat from the ground. But it wasn’t hot here. What tha…? Something didn’t look right in the opposite lanes, past the area where the cars disappeared. She grabbed her binoculars she kept for sightseeing from her cab. She climbed the back of the trailer to get on top. She focused her binoculars on the hazy scene.
Among the crashed vehicles outside the area, she saw no one. No people. Just empty cars.