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[Ashen Snow] One Day Left [Bo 7.3]
The ten men is a loose term, he's talking about bikers and thugs he knows who owe him. He could get pretty close, maybe more if he could lure a few out of Harridan's legion.
Fries smiles and says,
"Hey, I remember you! That feeling, you fixed my leg when I was... wow, you were tiny! You, uh, wow, you grew up really good. I mean, you're damn sexy. Shit, I mean, you're pretty."
He glances over to Shakeybat who nods with a sly grin. Then Fries looks back at you, more confident with that confirmation.
I blink, shocked into silence, glancin' between the three of 'em.
Then Fries adds his bit an' I hold his gaze for a second, kinda numbly. So I guess he does remember me after all.
"You don't even know me."
I say in a low voice, glancin' to see where Manx is.
"Maybe I'm not the marryin' type. An' where are you gonna get ten men that fast? As you pointed out earlier, Harridan's forces are right behind you."
I'd be lyin' if I hadn't imagined gettin' married as a kid. I'd heard the stories of weddings from the pre-fall days. There was a time when I dreamed about fallin' in love an' havin' my own wedding. But that was before everythin. Before I decided that love was just a load of shit, a waste of time. Fries isn't so bad lookin. I mean, I don't know how
he is, if he's anythin' like his pop, he could be the type to knock you around when he gets mad. But if marryin' him could get us a biker gang back on our side...well...if love's out, then might as well get married to try an' save Element right?
I can't believe I'm actually even thinkin' about this. I mean, the thought of givin' myself in marriage to this guy in exchange for the loyalty of a biker gang makes me feel pretty empty to be honest, like that part of me that was still holdin' onto a little girl's daydreams just died. But there's no place for daydreams like that in this world, least not that I've found. Besides, I already basically had sex with Harridan. Compared to that, what's marryin' some guy? It's not like I'd have to stay with him if we survive. A small voice in my brain reminds me that I'm supposed to stop lyin', but I've already broken most of the pack's rules. Might as well keep going.
edited January 2013
Manx is up on Keeler's bike, hopping up and down to start it. Off in the distance, you see the dust rising up from the main column, slowly moving its way towards the hold. Wolf and the pack are mounted up, you see Jin scavenging ammo from the fallen gangers.
Erstwhile says plain,
"Tell you what. I'll leave Fries with you so's you two can get acquainted. Me an Shakey here'll turn tail and run back to Harry and the horde, tell em all a buncha made up shit about how badass all you Element fuckers are, drop Wolf's name a few times and see if I can peel off some of my good buddies in Notice's gang. Then when we make camp at the foot of the ridge tonight, we skip over and turn coat, you folks let us all in. Then if Fries and you get along, we get y'all married. Deal?"
Fries cuts in,
"Shit, Dad, I can say right now, we get along. I mean LOOK AT HER!"
He smiles at you again, its a really earnest smile.
Shakeybat punches him in the shot arm and Fries jerks back with a curse, rubbing it. Shakey says,
"Numb nuts, you got to spend yer whole life with the cooze... no offense, honey. You ought to have an entire fucken conversation with her before you go all lovin on her and shit. Pretty girls be crazy. I tole you that a hundred times, idiot."
Fries shrugs, as if to say, yeah, sure, we can talk. He looks at you,
"You wanna ride with me, Emmy?"
He pauses, cocks his head, then asks,
"Hey, back then they called you... Bones, right?"
Manx is coming up to you now.
What do you do?
I say plain back to Erstwhile. If I seem willing to go through with this, I've a feelin' we might get better results.
"Careful bout lyin' to Harridan though."
I tap the side of my head lightly to emphasize my point.
I try to smile back at Fries, but it's kinda strained. I'm not used to just acceptin' stuff like this. I usually go on the defensive an' shut guys like him down real fast. Shakeybat seems to have a little more sense than his brother, so I don't get too offended bout what he says, even if he does put it crudely.
I tell him dryly.
"Yeah, I was Bones then."
I answer Fries, turnin' back to him. I can feel Erstwhile is watchin, so I steel myself up an' manage a nicer smile.
"An' yeah, I'll ride with you, Fries."
I climb on his bike behind him, wavin' at Manx as she gets closer. I
she's gonna be confused. I don't exactly have a habit of gettin' chummy with strange men. I reluctantly wrap my arms around Fries' waist, but I lean forward to talk to him in a low voice before Manx gets up next to us.
"Fair warning, Wolf's my brother. An' he's probably gonna freak the fuck out about this, so maybe think twice before talkin' about the whole marriage thing for now, alright?
Fries nods to you as Manx rides up. Manx gives you an odd look, but after the words you've exchanged, she's going to try that trust thing other folks talk about and lets it ride. Speaking of riding, Fries and Manx ride towards Wolf and the pack while Shakeybat and Erstwhile ride towards Harridan.
Wolf and Mac have their buggy up and running and Wolf steps out and motions you over. Fries slows down and asks if that's your brother, but he rides forward anyway. Wolf gives you a questioning look, not even giving Fries a chance to explain himself.
What do you do?
I stay on the bike, but I sit up, puttin' my hands on my legs an' not around Fries.
"Wolf, this is Fries. Fries, Wolf."
I try my best to look casual. I'm such a shitty liar.
"Fries is gonna be on our side now. An' his Pa and brother are hopefully gonna bring us back a new biker gang. You might know him, Wolf. Erstwhile?"
I glance around at everybody, lookin' for injuries.
"Is anybody hurt? How's Jersey?"
Wolf narrows his eyes at Fries and Fries smiles and shrugs as if he completely agrees with you and there's nothing odd about that. Wolf says into the radio,
"Sabe, hold off on the two riders. Emmy says they're going to recruit for turncoats."
Then to you, Wolf says,
"Jersey is out of it, but alive, thanks to you. I mean, really, sis, thanks. He's a big asshole sometimes, but we both saw what he did."
He's all serious when he says that, it meant everything to him to know his friend would lay down his life for his sister.
Mac and Nuff start up the buggies and Wolf climbs in the passenger seat,
"We're gonna pull back and drop off what we scavenged, then sleep. Then we're up at three to head back down the mountain and kill as many of their watch as we can."
Wolf calls out from his seat,
"Jin! Get on back, that's enough!"
You glance across the field at Jin, he's got two armfuls of bullets and guns and a satchel of various crap he's looted. He looks up at Wolf, sees you, too, nods. Then he calls back,
and ambles over to the sidecar that you forced a lady to vacate. He looks down into the car, then sets down his load of guns to reach a hand into the sidecar for something. You get a sick, dizzying feeling of worry, then it happens.
The sidecar explodes, like one concussive force that throws Jin back almost ten feet, breaking every bone in his face and upper torso in one shattering wave. His body is ripped to shreds by the shrapnel and you know, even from fifty feet away, that he's been killed instantly.
Mac and Wolf are out of the buggy, running for the sidecar and Jin
From behind, Nuff yells,
"Second shot! Watch yer ass!"
Then Wolf catches up to Mac and tackles him to the ground before he gets any closer.
Mac tries to fight him, to get up and run to check on Jin and Wolf screams while holding him, the two are wrestling on the ground,
"He's dead, Mac! You know he's dead! We have to go! There could be a second bomb!"
Manx is shocked. Fries, he sees what's going on, then he revs up his motorbike and shoots forward, turning to go around the buggy. For a second, you can't tell what the hell he's doing, but he makes a beeline for Jin, racing right past Wolf with you on the back of his bike, basically countermanding Wolf's attempt to protect the rest of you from a second blast so you can get to Jin and help him, or at least retrieve the body. Then he pulls up right by Jin, who isn't moving at all. His face, it is a complete mess, he's a barely recognizable piece of meat, the kind of thing that will give you nightmares for weeks. There's no saving him. Jin is dead.
What do you do?
It happens so fast. I hear Scar scream. I hear Nuff's yell. I hear Wolf screamin' at Mac. But I am silent, frozen in horror. No. No no no no no no.
Fries takes off an' I have to grab him around the waist to keep from fallin' off the bike. I don't know what he's doin' at first, but then I realize he's takin' me to Jin. We pull up next to Jin an' I know. I know he's dead. I'm lookin' at his body, his face, torn an' bloody an' horrifyin. I've seen a lot of horrible things. Eventually you get kinda numb. But this, seein' Jin like this, it tears at me like I've never seen a man with his face blown off. This was
. He'd only been free for five days...we'd been through so much together....even though I'd been tryin' to avoid him, I felt kinda tied to him. Despite the horror of our experience, it'd kinda brought us together in a way. We'd held each other in one of our darkest moments, cried together. An' now he's dead.
"We have to bring him back. We have to bring him back with us. We have to take his body."
My voice is comin' out strange an' distant. I let go of Fries an' slide weakly off the bike to a crouch, reachin' out to touch Jin's shoulder gently. There's a whole lotta pain caught in my chest, but it's stuck there.
"We have to."
Fries hops off his bike and shrugs out of his leather jacket, then kneels down to cover Jin's head and torso with it as best as he can. Then, he gingerly lifts him and carries him back towards Wolf, not sure if he would offend anyone by draping him over his bike. Nuff drives up closer and they work together to place Jin in the buggy. Wolf lets Mac up and he runs over to help.
It is obvious Wolf is pissed that this dumbass Fries rode you right into a bomb situation, but he's also torn up that Jin is dead, so he saves it for later,
"Alright. Let's mount up and pull back to the mountain."
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