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   Phoebe was a little hungry; not an uncommon thing to suffer from, and she planned on sating it soon. She was at a gas station; not too far from New York, but not too close either. A little exhausted, as she had gotten up early that day due to some loud noise, and she decided not to stick around; her own safety was quite important. She was able to locate a gas station; naturally, a retail store in poor condition was right nearby. She entered, seeing that the door had been torn from its hinges, and what appeared to be claw marks were all at the outside; she could only wonder what had happened here. Focus, focus! She had to shake it off, and she went over, seeing considerable damage but otherwise it appeared that there were some non-perishables left behind, and she ate a few as she prepared to leave and look elsewhere, with no plans of being idle

 

   Yet she heard something closing in; it was an engine of some land vehicle. Phoebe couldn't quite decipher what kind by sound alone, so she undid her rifle from its strap on her shoulder, and lowered herself to one knee, peeking out from the area behind the destroyed window, seeking some vision on the owner of the vehicle, and other information which could help her deduce a better approach; violence probably wouldn't be necessary, but some people insisted these days, and she wasn't going to just lay down and die. Yet maybe she was overreacting and this was another common scavenger like her.

 

Either way, she wasn't really in a dying mood today... 

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Neck stretched, then arms up and outward as his back crackled.  Bikes were great, until it friggin’ was a million degrees outside and SUNNY for almost the entire week he was out on this snatch and grab…  ughhhh.  Boiled ginger for lunch Batman.  Fingers brushed the small flakes of peeling skin from his nose, reaching around for the canteen.  Water.  Whisky was not a good idea on a scorch run like this.  He needed it right about now.  Tonight, or tomorrow if he decided to crash he’d be back in New York.

 

Then, party time.  Well… party time after he took care of business.  This had to be a clean run.  He didn’t give two shits about being demoted again, but he had to keep income flowing for his other fun activities.

 

Canteen secured again, he kicked the beat-up yet reliable Triumph to a start and let it coast down the hill, hand on his thigh.  Gas.  Gas would probably be a good idea too.  He’d stopped at this place before.  Old truck stop just out of the Hudson Highlands, nestled in an old crossroads, exactly one of those most would have avoided before the end of the world.  Now?  It was one where most wouldn’t even remember was there.  It always had gas, and was relatively quiet except for the occasional signs of Weres… but what place didn’t outside of a large city anymore?

 

Turned off before he rolled in, leg slid over and he walked it around back to the large rusted tank covered haphazardly in old canvas tarps.  Part his doing, part not.  Rustling around in his side bag, he pulled his trusty clear tubing and fiddled with his tank… a bit longer than necessary.

 

Oh joy.

 

He was being watched.

 

Not a cog, tele, or magus by any means, he’d been out in the wilds long enough to know what that felt and sounded like.  Well then, gas and back to New York tonight it was then, unless he got shot first. He hated getting shot.  Cripes, for what he could do he got shot WAYYY too much dammit.  Did he talk first?  Or just get gas.  Meh.  Gas.

 

He stepped up on a small scaffold and flipped back the water heavy tarp, unscrewing the cap to the tank and threading his tubing in.  Hopping down, he siphoned, spitting out whatever had touched his tongue and stuck the tube into the Triumph's tank.

 

Whistling was quiet as he leaned on the tank, snatching his last stick of gum from his back pocket.  Can’t have bad breath… especially if he was going to get shot.  Chewing several times, the thought process was real on his face… aw fuck it.

 

“Just here for gas.  Please don’t shoot me in the face, that would piss me off.”

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Phoebe watched him like a hawk; yet her hostility seemed a bit unfounded, as the story made sense; a lone wanderer getting his daily dose of gasoline for his vehicle.  The broken glass under her shoes cracked audibly as she rose to her feet, and she just now realized how close her hands were to being cut; too close, for that matter. She shook off the distraction and lowered her rifle, but maintained her grip on it. Just in case, of course.

 

"Where are you from? New York? What group?" Phoebe asked, her unblinking eyes staring forward, waiting for the man to draw a weapon. She was always against being the first to fire.

 

Call her too cautious, but she'd been shot and stabbed at enough times to lose most of her trust in strangers. Not that she was familiar with anyone or anything about New York itself, she was just capable of making assumptions, and given their location, it was a plausible guess. Even if she was getting right to the point and probably seemed more than a little crazy with her demands to know where this person was from. Yet this information was for her own safety, she told herself. Not that she was good at being self-reassuring. Or talking to strangers, now that she thought of it.

 

She decided after such deliberation that she'd instead holster her gun on her shoulder. She'd decided that yes, the risk of being shot in return was marginally better than looking like a scruffy bandit out for blood. 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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Oh great, they were in the building. Crunching glass gave it away…  which meant, kaboom if they really wanted to.  Contrary to every Hollywood movie ever, gas tanks didn’t explode when shot.  Now filling up a gas tank and have a shot fired and missed to hit the metal stairs next to him…  fucked.  Totally.  He didn’t feel like getting fucked today… wait…  err.. nm

 

Every few chews on his gum he whistled a bit to himself, fingers tapping on the large rusted tank he was leaning on.

 

"Where are you from? New York? What group?"

 

Jaw slowed slightly and then stopped moving.

 

“The group that doesn’t like getting shot…?”

 

Both hands came up next to his face to show there was nothing in them.  He nodded toward his shotgun leaning on the tank steps. 

 

“Not loaded.”

 

LIE

 

It was so fucking loaded.  So was the Sig on his ankle.

 

“Just makes me look badass to hot chicks.”

 

Jaw moved on the gum… uck flavor was gone already.  Fucking Fruit Stripe gum.  Greatest thing in the world for the first couple moments then it was like chewing a balloon.  He hocked it off to the ground on the right.

 

“Is it…  is it working??”

 

Brows came down, the sound of his tank becoming full.

 

“I’m gonna reach over and stop this crazy train before it floods, don’t shoot me please?”

 

He didn’t wait, pulling the hose and putting his thumb on it, holding it up and taking his thumb off.  The rest drained back into the big tank.  He rinsed the hose in a nearby spigot, nothing ever got the smell of gas off it completely but it was enough to put back into the bag and back into the sidebag. Tank cap screwed back on, he lifted the shotgun and slung it back crossway over his shoulder.  One leg over the bike, he sat on it and crossed his arms.

 

“New York.  Heading back in that direction from an errand.  You lost?  Waiting for a boyfriend…  cute boyfriend?  Somebody else?”

 

The grin was Cheshire Cat, really…  really hoping he wouldn’t get shot again.

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   Phoebe narrowed her eyes; a little overwhelmed by how casually he reacted to having a gun leveled at his head. She wondered if she just didn't look threatening enough. Maybe a skull mask? Ooh, a bloodstained gun seems like it might do the trick. As she thought about it, she lowered her left hand to rest on the bottom of the shattered window. Ow. Shattered window, broken glass... right. She recoiled her hand upwards, realizing that this was definitely not helping her look intimidating. Her eyes showed minimal evidence of her carelessness as she looked him curiously in an attempt to draw attention off of her hand which she kept out of view behind her back.

 

"You carry unloaded guns on long-distance errands?"

 

Phoebe shook her head, a little doubtful. There was no way you could get away with an unloaded gun. Or were the bandit folk that were usually around really dying off?

 

"Doesn't seem too 'badass 'to me."

 

She smirked as she spoke then, loosening her grip on her rifle and letting it hang on its strap. Clearly, with an unloaded gun and some humor, this person couldn't possibly harbor any hostile intentions. Just a passerby looking for some free fuel. As he reached to complete the fill-up, her hands remained in close proximity to her weapons, but still not quite on them. She may be trying to look tough, but she wasn't just going to start shooting like a complete psychopath....

 

"What? Waiting for a Boyfri-"

 

She stopped herself, exhaling as a sign of acknowledging his humor, but the information was a little more important to her. than some teasing.

 

"I'm all alone out here. Looking to head to New York, actually. On foot.

 

 

  

 

 

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"You carry unloaded guns on long-distance errands?  Doesn't seem too 'badass 'to me."

 

He laughed out loud.  Oh she was a sweetheart… or he was just a complete ass, the point of no return- all Christine Daae’ or some shit.  Or, completely able to seem innocent enough which meant he was probably fucked… lost his touch maybe?  Cripes, why in the hell did he remember songs from a Broadway show to boot?  He really was losing his edge.  Or tired.  Drink, he needed a damn drink.  HE WAS SOBER... that was the damn problem.

 

No… nah… sorry, just fuckin’ with ya.  It’s totally loaded.  So is the Sig on my ankle.”

 

Face was full of smartassery, but attention was keenly on the rifle that had relaxed slightly over her shoulder.  This crap is how he got shot.  Did he want to get shot, because this was how he always ended up getting shot.  He realllllly did not want to get shot today.  So he blabbed.  He knew he was somewhat charming, or at least capable of completely diverting attention from the fact that he was ready at any second to defend himself, and he had another loaded gun at the back of his waistband.

   

"What? Waiting for a Boyfri-"

 

Smirk flicked upward as she caught his humor.  People either liked it… or they didn’t.

 

"I'm all alone out here. Looking to head to New York, actually. On foot." 

 

“No.  No no no no,” he started, finishing up with the bike.  “See you never say that to people.  Either you’re lying and you’re going to do something crazy like make my head explode and wear my skin like a puppet OR people will take advantage of you.”

 

He rifled around in his bag and pulled out his canteen.

 

“Are you lying?”

 

He craned his neck slightly to look past her.  He was pretty sure she was alone, which meant she was telling the truth.  How the fuck was she still alive?  Head exploding. Dammit.  She was a head exploder or some magus shit.

 

“This place does have some good water,”  wary eyes flicked to her.  Both hands went up again, the canteen clearly in his right hand.  “I’m gonna go over there and fill this up, just in case you were thinking of shooting.  Just water.”

 

Footsteps took him to the back of the building, still within sight distance.  The spigot from the building squeaked on and he let it run for a few moments.

 

“I planned on crashing here tonight and riding in tomorrow… ‘cause I’m sunburnt to hell and have no ginger super powers to stop that.  But, if you’re hanging here… I can definitely move along.  After, water…”

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Facial expressions normally came quite easy to Phoebe, but she was a little lost for how to react. Something about the good-nature of this stranger was a little...  off to her. Was it the lying about his guns being unloaded? Was it the nonchalant attitude he had when kindly asking her not to open fire? She walked forward to watch him out of the corner of her eye, seeing him go behind the back, allegedly for water, but she doubted it.

 

"Hard for people to take advantage of folks who are armed... but maybe I do indulge in a little head-exploding and skin-wearing in my spare time. You never know."

 

She paused.

 

"I'm not lying about going to the city, if that means anything."

 

Phoebe then glanced at the unoccupied bike, before turning back to keep her eyes on the man while he went around; but her wandering eyes swiftly drifted back to the motorcycle. She eyed it a long while; surely there was no way he'd leave the keys with it? She calmly walked up to it, looking it over, setting both her palms on the handlebars. It would be really dirty if she were to just take off... but walking all the way was going to really wear her out. 

 

"Nice bike."

 

While no expert on vehicles by any means, she knew that you sit on these and they moved places. That's about it, really. So she took that step; daring to lower one leg on the other side and attempt to sit in his very prized motorcycle, looking at him for her next inquiry, her backpack, weapons, and recently scavenged resources strapped to her back as she gave him a cheeky grin. Her pale, seemingly sun-immune face looked at him.

 

"How fast will it take me to New York?"

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"Hard for people to take advantage of folks who are armed... but maybe I do indulge in a little head-exploding and skin-wearing in my spare time. You never know."

 

He smirked, patting through his pockets to check everything and make sure he didn’t need to do anything else while he was stopped.  Cocked, locked and ready to rock… or something.  Eyes watched her from the corner of his vision.  Face eater.  She had to be a face eater.  She was too nice, too quiet, too easy to put the rifle away…

 

"I'm not lying about going to the city, if that means anything."

 

Don’t sit on the bike.

 

"Nice bike."

 

Don’t sit on the bike.

 

"How fast will it take me to New York?"

 

SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHIT snacks!  She sat on the bike.

 

MOTHER.  TRUCKER.  She was a flippin’ scammer?  Face eater.  Both????  Brow quirked as he rinsed the canteen and poured it out, then watched the spigot as it filled.  He had to stay calm. Most people he would have shot in the face by now.  Sit on his bike…. the thought made his neck bristle.  That bike and him had been through everything!  Thick and thin.  Skin of their teeth.  Well…  most of the time it just fucking broke down on him and burned his ankle…  it was held together with bubble gum, toothpicks and duct tape... metaphorically... BUT STILL!

 

“Why’d you have to go and do a dumb thing like that for,” he muttered particularly to himself.  "I was just starting to like you 'cause you didn't point a gun at me... for that long, or shoot it."

 

He filled a second one without a word, then shut the spigot off rather roughly.

 

“I would have taken you there if you’d a asked nicely..... or at least shared my candy bar before I left.  Ima gonna need a Snickers I think.”

 

Canteens  were slung over his shoulder and his hands moved to his hips.

 

“Seems we got ourselves a stand-off here…”

 

She’d never get it started.  Kill switch pattern.  He wasn’t an idiot.  Well, he was until some face eater out west tried to steal his bike.  Almost got his ass smushed by trolls in Ohio before he was able to find it again.  That was, unpleasant.  Learn Boone…  learn from your mistakes!

 

“Might wanna get off before my fingers go and find themselves a nice HAPPY trigger that would persuade you to reconsider your desired mode of transportation.”

 

Face was stern for a moment, then crumbled a complete shitstorm of smartassery.  He composed himself after a final snicker.

 

“Happy trigger…” the naughty joke bubbled up another chuckle..  “Even I shouldn’t have said that.  Aw fuck, just get off my bike so I can go take a piss without worrying you’ll cut my fuel lines.  I got some food I can leave with you if ya’ll need it.  You know what... just stay there and don't touch anything, my teeth are floating.  Lady present, I'll do my thing elsewhere.  Be right back... maybe.  Depends... sometimes it takes a moment... aw hell, just don't touch.”

 

He stepped around the corner and out of sight.

 

"Don't touch.  I mean it!"

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She yawned and reclined in the seat after a quick stretch, taking a little too much pleasure in her daring and fairly suicidal move. Not that she was too terrified of dying.  Just a little scared, at this point. She didn't even bother to look at him as he talked from her close position, instead poking around and looking for a method of starting the vehicle; but, as she quickly realized, this was a doomed effort.  The guy was quite a bit smarter than he looked, not that that meant much.  Underestimating people? That's new...

 

"I've got a little bit of  candy myself... and feet too. But  thanks for the offer."

 

Deciding that starting a standoff with this stranger over a vehicle that she was unable to use was a little impractical, she stood and raised herself up; but not completely, as she instead sat with both her legs crossed on one side.  

 

"And hey, if you do try to shoot me, you might hurt the bike. Especially with all the gas...

 

A fairly obvious statement, but hey, she liked hearing herself talk. Especially as he disappeared from her sight. Phoebe was a little conflicted; she doubted the guy had it in him to gun her down. But she'd been wrong before. Looking over her rifle, she shrugged, realizing that she shouldn't be spending her time taunting people.

 

"Your stuff is safe with me.. Got all I need in my bag."

 

Another unhelpful statement. She should really consider saving her breath. Her hand stung; she looked it over and realized that what she assumed was a minor cut was a bit deeper than she'd imagined. She whimpered a little;  nothing could get her used to the site of injury, especially when she was the recipient.  She looked to and fro before considering a full skedaddle right there. He'd catch up to her though;  their destination seemed to be the same, and she still new so little about him or his whereabouts; what was his name, anyways?

 

"I ought to mosey along. I don't want to scare you any more with my witch-like charms, that's all..."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Her being on his bike was making him twitch…  not just because it was his, normally he really didn’t give a shit.  It got bumped, scraped, had gone down and slid across busted pavement. Hell, stepped on by a Were… fuck, he’d even had sex ON the bike before… whoops, invading memories.  The twitching stemmed from her taking the liberty to fuck with it AFTER he'd made some pretty powerful modifications not long ago, and to top it off people that took liberties were hiding things, overconfident, and he almost always ended up shooting them in the head.

 

He really didn't want to shoot anyone in the head.  Not today anyway... over this.

 

“And hey, if you do try to shoot me, you might hurt the bike. Especially with all the gas..." 

 

“I don't miss... and gas tanks don’t really don't blow up from bullets.”

 

Voice floated absently from around the corner.

 

“You watch too many shitty movies…”

 

"Your stuff is safe with me.. Got all I need in my bag."

 

No it wasn't.... It wasn't his stuff he was worried about, it was the damage his stuff could do- namely the kaboom his bike could make.  He had to make a call, lip was chewed as he finished up.

 

Shame.

 

"I ought to mosey along. I don't want to scare you any more with my witch-like charms, that's all..."

 

“Stop fucking with my bike.”

 

He’d rounded the corner calmly, like a wolf peering around a tree, Sig in hand but at his side pointing to the ground.  He wasn’t a moron, especially when he was outside of the safety of the city.  Being out in the “wild” was no joke, and he gave people the benefit of the doubt with a gentle ease of smartassery.  She didn’t take the hint, now more force was required.  The fact that if she kept poking around she was going to blow her ass up, right next to the external reservoir gas tank and he would be collateral damage, WAS A BIG REASON to step up the impact of his request.  His bike had a kill switch code for a reason.  It was his ride, but it was also a weapon.  It was dangerous as hell out here, and everything had to be a weapon…  See…. he wasn’t all that bad of an asshole.  He was helping people not die...

 

“You need to get off and back away from it because I don’t know what the fuck you’ve hit… “

 

He hoped that would be enough of an explanation.

 

“If that goes, that external tank next to it will go too.  Bullets don't blow up tanks, but fire does.  I really don’t want to get my ass, or yours blown up today.”

 

His voice was as serious as it got.

 

“I figure with as long as it took me to take a piss, if you’ve armed it we have about thirty seconds.  Don’t take too long to make a decision.”

 

Cuz...  that would really suck.

 

"Then we can have lunch and learn lessons about how everyone that does business out here in fucksville has all their equipment armed.... k?"

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Phoebe didn't know what to think. He seemed incredibly possessive of his bike, but otherwise a little aloof.  Well, there wasn't any sense in agitating him any further, she was a little worried and it seemed that he wasn't lying. Or he was just really good at bluffing. 

 

"Do I look like someone that knows how gasoline, let alone motorized vehicles, function or in what circumstances they explode?"

A factual statement said in earnest. Phoebe couldn't say for certain if she was just modest or really trying to get the point across.

 

"I don't think I've accidentally  hit, armed, or triggered anything, and if I have, I'm not aware of it."

 

It was an honest truth; something that she was used to giving to others, but she remained a little perplexed.  She stepped off and gained some distance between her and the vehicle. With her rifle in hand, she eyed  him warily as she stepped back, increasing her distance. There didn't seem to be much reason with sticking around; she might have escalated things far beyond what she'd initially desired due to her rash decision making. 

 

"I"ll just.... go?" 

 

No, she wasn't normally a person who would mess with a passerby and disappear, but she was on a bit of a deadline, wanting to get into the city and all...  and being threatened, or yelled at, or accused of potentially detonating a motorcycle was generally a red flag to begin with, right?  Phoebe was as indecisive as ever. With her hands tightening around her gun, she audibly hissed as her little injury from before again stung. She shook the hand nonchalantly as she could, realizing that she wasn't in a real fighting position. Hopefully the guy didn't take her little escapade to personally and try to do something while her back is turned. With a nervous exhale, she made her first steps in the opposite direction. No use in inflaming an already tense situation, right?

 

She turned back. 


"I'm Phoebe, by the way. Phoebe Sheridan."

 

Not without an exchange of names, of course...

 

 

 

 

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"Do I look like someone that knows how gasoline, let alone motorized vehicles, function or in what circumstances they explode?"

The laugh was genuine…. oh lawdy they were both gonna die.

 

“We need to remedy that”

 

"I don't think I've accidentally  hit, armed, or triggered anything, and if I have, I'm not aware of it."

 

“Let’s find out, shall we?”  Sig’s safety clicked on and it went back into the waistband on his spine.  He was already moving.  No boom booms today plzzzz… proximity moved incredibly close as she backed away and he leaned underneath and ran his hand along the tank.  Nope… all good.

 

“All good…” he echoed from his thoughts.  “I was really just worried you were trying to snarf my snacks too… people always stealing my shit out here...”

 

He dug around in one of his bike’s side bags and tossed her a Snickers as she seemed unsure what to do.

 

“Dun worry, I washed my hands,” he had, it was only proper.  Back of the place had an old slop sink.  He had all sorts of little goodies hidden around this joint.  It was a favorite crash stop before the last leg to New York.

 

"I"ll just.... go?" 

 

Wrapper crinkling, he took a bite and sat on a small grassy berm next to his bike, unslinging his shot gun and leaning it against the tank.

 

“Nah, pop a squat and eat the Snickers… you’re not you when you’re hungry. Snickers satisfies.”

 

He was calm now. All was right with the world.  Snickers. No boom booms. Some company, something he really missed when he was out in the middle of nowhere getting shit for people that would rather demote him than have a beer with him. Pharos stuffy butt bosses… eyes squinted off toward the distance.

 

“Got some stuff inside for your hand.  Keep a stash of first aid crap at all my stops just in case I get shot while walking the Earth like Kang in Kung Fu… maybe his name was Caine… I don’t remember.  I get shot a lot.”

 

"I'm Phoebe, by the way. Phoebe Sheridan."

 

“Boone Fitzpatrick, some people call me Paddy, but Boone is fine. Drop my name and it’ll get you a beer in any bar in New York.”

 

He chewed a moment, looking after her.

 

“You gonna go before I teach you how to blow up a gas tank? Always a good skill out in the middle of nowhere.  Hand might need stitches too?”

 

He could smell it, blood against the rifle in her hand, something probably to do with his weird with his meta weirdness.  Iron.  He could smell it. 

 

“Mighty nice rifle you got there too Pheobe….”

 

He finished his candy bar and stashed the wrapper, leaning his forearms on his knees.

 

“Aw c’mon, don’t skitter off.  I don’t bite, just not a fan of getting blown up,need to take care of that hand... other crap out here can smell it that ain't harmless like me.”

Edited by Boone (Paddy) Fitzpatrick
Sentence clarification, doesn't affect the action.

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She breathed a sigh of relief, laughing, not only at the fact that she'd unintentionally had a close-call with death, but that, in retrospect, she probably would have made it out alive, even if she had died. How glad she was that this encounter had not resulted in an explosion. She'd never really felt a blast herself; something to put on the bucket list. Oh wait...

 

"Sure thing, Paddy. I'll just sit here and we'll talk about how to steal stuff and detonate gas tanks. The usual, right?"

 

Phoebe smirked and opted to sit with her legs crossed, catching the thrown candy just barely and undoing the wrapper of one of the bar and taking a bite. Nothing quite beat some good chocolate, that was for sure. She extended her injured hand somewhat; she was far from an expert on how to deal with injuries; something to leave to the professionals, she had decided; and it still stung a little. The small tings irritated her more than the big ones at times. Maybe he knew a solution. Despite this, her other hand remained on her rifle, although not in a position to fire. Some trust had been achieved, which is always a good sign. After swallowing, she continued.

 

"Well, thanks. I've had this rifle as long as I know. Its pretty good at making things on the opposite end stop moving."

 

Eh, a bit of an exaggeration, she'd never really found the need to take another person's life, but its basically the truth.

 

"Anything you can do for the hand?"

 

It had just been poked a bit by some glass, so she didn't assume it was anything severe. Just a little painful scratch she'd need to get taken care of before she began the last of her trek. to the big city. 

 

"I just want to get there before night, that's all."

 

She hated night travel, and reasoned that camping by the edge of a fairly populated area would be far from ideal for her... and hey, she might have someone to make the trip with after all.

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"Sure thing, Paddy. I'll just sit here and we'll talk about how to steal stuff and detonate gas tanks. The usual, right?"

 

“You mean people don’t talk about that?” brow cocked, “How the hell you out here and don’t know how to blow shit up?”

 

Chewing slowed, taking another bite as she sat down.  He patted over his pockets.  Some lessons needed learnin’ after he fixed her hand.  Where was that damn tube?  Argggg… always needed  stuff when he couldn’t find it and when he didn’t he was always dropping the damn thing.  Crap, did he drop it?

 

"Well, thanks. I've had this rifle as long as I know. Its pretty good at making things on the opposite end stop moving."

 

“Those make great tinker toys,” he said, popping the last of the sugar into his mouth to chew it on the side like a chipmunk.  Where the hell was that tube??  He policed his wrapper into his side bag, then dug his hand around it for a moment.  “Love those, all sorts of mods you can do to make things stop moving, that’s the fun part. Myself?  I like boomsticks.  They’re a bit on the loud side but nothing sexier than the rack of a shotgun.”

 

Fingers snatched something from his side bag, the little green tube with the orange cap something of great value apparently judging from the Cheshire Cat grin…  could have been the talk of guns, or still pondering explosions. 

 

"Anything you can do for the hand?"

 

He held up the prized tube between his thumb and forefinger.

 

“It’s crass, but it’s better than any stitches out here and keep a slice from flopping around open like a Pez dispenser.”

 

Superglue.

 

“Choice of champions for professional asskickers.”

 

He handed it to her.  Suuuuuuper glueeeeee.

 

“It’ll sting, but it works.”

 

"I just want to get there before night, that's all."

 

“Well, we could do two things.  I was planning to hunker down here tonight.  Top floor is actually quite cozy and beastie proofed as best it can.  Make some food, get a good night's sleep.  Or, we could make the last leg to New York by the skin of our teeth by dark.  Not gonna leave you to walk.  Walking sucks especially if you have a ride prospect.  I’ll leave it up to you….I’m not a crazy serial killer.”

 

Lie.  Sort of.  He killed bad people.  Plain and simple.

 

“I’m an accountant… and I own a bar, this is just one of my thrill seeking treasure hunting missions.  Because… accounting is boring.”

 

He got up and brushed himself off.

 

“But first, while you finish your Snicker’s break. How to blow things up.”

 

The meta cleared his throat.

 

“Observe, gas tank.  Reservoir, anything gas related,” he gestured to his bike and the large rusted reservoir tank next to them.  “Gas, is not flammable. The vapor is.”  He knocked on his bike tank.  “Full.”  Then the reservoir.  “Empty.  Shoot a full tank, you spill fuel, nice for slowing things down but no fireworks.  Shoot an empty tank, or aim high, you release vapor, you fire again to nick it… boom.”

 

He slung his shotgun back over his shoulder.

 

“Nick it. Make it spark. Will save your life someday, or amuse you.  Maybe both.  And now you know, and knowing rocks like G.I. Joe."

 

Hands fell on his hips a moment and he squinted at the sky.

 

“What’s the verdict boss?  Do we stay or do we go?”

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