Buying Time


barbara_icon.gif heller_icon.gif lynette2_icon.gif rue_icon.gif walter_icon.gif

Scene Title Buying Time
Synopsis Three Ferrymen encounter a military checkpoint on a supply run to the Garden.
Date January 5, 2011

Staten Island

Snow and ice make Staten Island roads treacherous. What would be a twenty-five minute trip to the Garden to drop off supplies is drawn out to an hour long crawl through stormy weather, and although the sun has not yet set, the occupants of the pickup truck winding its way through the trees along the edge of the Greenbelt might as well be driving in the dead of night; flurries of snow and misting fog wafting out from the forest reduce their visibility to almost zero, drawing their attention not to the road in front of them but the glare of the truck's headlights painting the frosted windshield in washed out shades of blue-silver.

The radio doesn't work, and even if it did there isn't likely to be reception with the weather as disagreeable as it is, but the truck's old cassette player does, filling the cab with scratchy sound of harmonica music and Bob Dylan's trademark smoky voice singing something about wintertime in New York town and the wind blowin' snow around.

While Barbara Zimmerman isn't particularly quiet or reserved, she is far from known as the type of person who might, when upset, curse up a storm. But the fog and deterorating weather have her doing just that. Eyes narrowed as she tries to see through the windshield, it takes all of her willpower not to slem a fist down on teh wheel. "This is some shit!" she exclaims for probably the third time, eyes kept dead ahead. She's dressed for warmth, and even in the car she has the hood of her sweatshirt pulled up over her head - the heater is off, and even if ti was on, she highly doubts it would be reliable.

"No one happens to have a flamethrower I could hold out the window?" she asks dryly, pursing her lips as she watches ahead. She's expecting something to pop out in their way at any moment, and she wants to be ready to either hit the brakes and avoid it, or brace herself if she's unable to.

"I suddenly hate this song," Lynette mentions as she sits sort of huddled into her jacket. And under it, layers. And gloves. And a scarf. It's cold, but for a woman who's spent most of her life in the warm non-weather of Southern California, it is freezing. One gloved hand grips the 'oh shit' handle just above the window, but otherwise, she manages an outward calm.

"Sorry, Barb. I left the flamethrower in my other dress," she quips to the woman behind the wheel, her free hand reaching over to squeeze Barbara's shoulder. "Just think of it as a rollercoaster, then it's only mildly terrifying."

"Nope," Rue Lancaster contests, huddled in the back of the truck, and craning her head to peer out the back window, for all the good it does her. "Still a bit scary. But it's just like back home in Chicago, though." Her lips turn downward to a frown. Figures she would make her first Ferry foray in the middle of the fuckin' snowpocalypse.

"If you wanna switch, I don't mind driving," the skinny (natural) redhead offers. At least she'd feel more in control of the situation.

Up ahead, an old stone bridge that crosses a rocky creek, frozen over, is a landmark that at least two of the three women in the truck will recognize. From here, the side road leading up to the Garden is only a mile away, and this would be cause for celebration if there wasn't another vehicle blocking their way.

Rue might not recognize the importance of the bridge, but even someone as inexperienced in Ferry matters as the willowy model-turned-resistance fighter will realize that this means trouble, and while there might not be guns and ammunitions in the back of the truck — only boxes of non-perishable food items and fuel for the safehouse's generators — the soldiers flagging them down as they approach are likely to have questions about who they are, where they're going and why.

"I never thought I'd hate snow," the dyed redhead muses, Barbara squinting as she looks ahead. And to show her agreement with Lynette, she reaches over and flicks off the radio, leaving the cabin in silence. Sure, that's rather disconcerting in it's own right, but it's better than what had previously filled the cab. Letting her eyes flick over to Rue for a moment, Barbara smiles "I've got it, for now. Thanks, I might get you to-"

And then she stops talking, the vehicle slowing down dramatically as the blockade begins to pirce through the fog and soldiers start fo flag them down. "Fuck," the Canadian Ferryman hisses out, looking between the other two. "This close… this is bad." She takes a deep breath as she continues her approach, bringing the vehicle to a crawl - but not quite stopping, just in case.

The sight of soldiers is hardly a comfort these days, if it ever was for the truck full of resistance fighters, and the fact that they're flagging them down has Lynette's fight or flight instincts flaring up. Barbara's hissed curse sums up the moment pretty well, and Lyn's only addition is a muttered, "I could use a cigarette."

She looks over at Barbara, a frown on her face, "Let's just hope they haven't strayed any closer. We've got to let Sable know." Her tone comes out more… exasperated than frightened, but it is rather forced. But then, calm is important at the moment, for a variety of reasons.

"Are we in trouble?" Rue asks nervously, her eyes wide as she leans forward in her seat, reaching out with either hand to grab the back of Lynette and Barbara's seat cushions. "What do we do? What do we say?" She ducks her head down quickly not to try and hide her presence, but just to hide her expression, knowing that a terrified look isn't going to do them any favours.

Through the snow and ice caked to the truck's windshield, the women can make out the dark shapes of soldiers milling around the military vehicle blocking the bridge. Including the man in uniform gesturing for Barbara to bring the truck to a stop, there are at least six of them, and the headlights illuminate the metal of their rifles, some at the ready, others slung over shoulders and across backs. In the gloom, the red-orange point of a burning cigarette tip is barely visible, pinched between a pair of fingers clad in leather gloves belonging to what looks like the individual in charge: a tall, lean man with thinning brown hair, a full mouth and eyes a few shades lighter than the sky churning above their heads.

At this distance, it's impossible for either Rue or Lynette to determine his rank, but he's the only one of the men without a rifle; instead, a pistol shines silver in the holster at his hip, and as he pulls from the cigarette and Barbara slows the truck, he turns his head to lazily regard the trio through the windshield with all the attentiveness of a well-fed lion lounging in the shade.

This probably isn't the first stop they've made today. It may, however, be their last.

The soldier closest to the truck rests a hand on his rifle and makes a motion with his other that invites Barbara to roll down the window.

"Hopefully not," Barbara is quick to say, flashing a look over to Rue. "If we're lucky, they're just soldiers, and they won't ask too many questions. Try and act natural." She brings the rolling vehicle to a stop, exhaling sharply. "If we have to make a break, it's going to be tricky. We probably can't outrun them in this." A look over to Lynette, and her eyes narrow. "Any thoughts on what say?" Not that Barbara doesn't have any, but a quick poll might be better, her voice low as she starts to very slowly lower the window.

"Well, if we end up having to run, I'll try to help us stay in the lead." Lynette just may be what is considered 'the muscle' of this particular group. And that's… totally encouraging.

"Easy. We were trying to bring food to a church for the communities or homeless or something and got lost in this fucking weather." Pause. "But without the cursing. It makes it seem less altruistic, I think. You think?" Lynette may be a little nervous.

Rue nods her head emphatically after schooling her features into something more neutral. "Yeah! There's totally tons of displaced people on Staten. We're just looking for a church to donate all these goods!" She presses the lower half of her face into the seat ahead of her as she mutters, "Gonna suck if we have to actually turn all this stuff over to an actual charity, though." Once the window cracks and rolls down, she falls silent, trying her best to look more cold than scared.

"Identification, please," says the soldier once Barbara has cracked the window, breaking the glass barrier that would otherwise muffle the sound of his voice and render it almost inaudible. The roar of the wind is bad enough. It tangles his stringy blond hair, a few inches too long, and leaves flakes of snow glittering on his scalp and the olive tones of his uniform. He's young, in his early twenties, probably about Rue's age, and he looks like he'd rather be almost anywhere else.

Identification were words Barbara should ahve expected, but were desperately hoping not to hear. She grimaces, and begins fishing around for the best she has on her - a forged Canadian ID, identifying her as Barbara Simms. Oops. A frutive look is given over to Lynette - she ahs no idea if the woman has appropriate registration, fake or not, and a hand offered between her and Rue, ready to accept her identification as well. "M' sorry I don't ahve better," she remarks idley, attempting to play up the Canadian side of ehr accent. "Still in transition."

Lynette has only one set of identification that would do her any good at this moment, and she didn't bring it along because she vowed to keep her clean identity far far away from her Ferry shenanigans. So what she has is a driver's license from California and no registration. And that's probably worse than Barbara's. So instead of handing anything over, she starts going through a long… long… long ritual of systematically going through every nook and cranny of her bag, pulling out keys and make up and loose change and hair ties and a notebook and pens and sunglasses, the case for the sunglasses, a little bag of M'n'Ms she has in there, some loose receipts and on and on as she searches for a wallet. Which totally isn't there because it's in a jacket pocket. But they don't need to know that.

She really is trying to be cooperative, officer. Promise. It isn't a stall tactic to see if you'll just wave them through. At all. No sir.

Steeling herself and taking a deep breath, Rue unzips her long coat and reaches into her jeans to tug out a wallet with ID. If her shirt happens to get tugged down a bit in the process of leaning over the front seats and offering her registration card to the military man, then so be it. "Miserable weather, isn't it?" She asks with a bright smile. "I feel sorry for you poor guys!" She doesn't dare dart her blue eyes toward Lynette, or she might pull a face. And it would probably be a shocked one. That would be bad.

The soldier takes Barbara's card first, squinting at it, and then turns it over between his fingers as though the back might yield more information. It doesn't, of course, and he gives the other women in the car a perplexed look before twisting another over his shoulder at the other soldiers huddled around the military truck. "I'm going to have to ask you to step out of the vehicle, ma'am," he tells her, taking a step back from the window. A pause, then. "Ma'ams."

As if on cue, two more of the men in green begin making their way toward the truck, one steering left and the other right, one to coax Rue out and the other Lynette. "You've got some boxes in the back there," the young blond soldier observes, as if remarking on the weather and not what is a life-or-death situation for the women being told to step out onto the pavement. "Mind if I ask what's in 'em?"

At the bridge, the man with the thinning hair and cigarette lifts his chin and drops it to the road. His boot makes short work of the butt, grinding it under the toe until the embers go black.

Inwardly, Barbara is screaming cruses. Outwardly, she's trying her best to look like nothing's wrong. Really, just looks insanely nervous, but who wouldn't be after getting stopped by soldiers in times like these? They don't even need a reason to shoot you, right? ANyone would be nervous!

But really, Barbara isn't exactly carrying a gun (and she's a terrible shot anyway), she doesn't have an ability that works to their advantage, and she's fairly sure trying to gun it would just get them run off teh road and shot. So with a bit of a sigh, she unlatches the door and starts to step out, bundling herself up warm. "You're welcome to look," she remarks, giving a shiver and a nervous shrug. "Food and supplies. We were out here to help people, and… the storm ended up worse than we thought." She wants to look over to Lynette and give a "did I get it right?" look, but she manages to resist the urge.

Lynette also tries to look less like she's afraid they're about to shoot them all and more like someone being called to the principal's office for unknown reasons. It could be good, it's most likely bad, but it could be good.

It's a delicate balance.

So when she steps out of the truck, there's a little smile for the soldier before she turns to help Rue out while Barbara does the talking. "When we stopped being able to see the road three feet in front of us… I'm pretty sure that's when we got lost. Feels like we've been on the road forever."

Rue doesn't climb over the seat at all in a ladylike fashion, which is okay because she's in skinny jeans. She accepts Lynette's assistance out of the truck if only because she's tall enough that climbing out of the cab is awkward. When she lands on the pavement she reaches for her zipper again to tug her coat closed, but only halfway, pulling a pair of Isotoners out of her pockets to put on her slender hands. "We've got supplies for the homeless. The holidays were really tough, so we're hoping to help out!" she chimes cheerfully. That's not even entirely a lie!

A glance at the bed of the truck doesn't confirm Barbara's assertion, but the soldier is less interested in the contents of the boxes than he is Barbara's ID. It's when the handcuffs come out, carried by one of his brethren who puts a hand on Lynette's shoulder and pushes her gently against the side of the vehicle, that the trio arrives at the point of no return. "We're gonna have to run this," he says, making an attempt to sound apologetic and falling flat. "It's nothing personal," probably isn't very reassuring, "but as long as you ain't partisans," and he cracks a thin smile, "you don't got any worries."

There are only seconds in which to act.

Those words hit Lynette and a shiver runs through her, as if she just noticed the cold out. That isn't the case of course, but as she's guided to the side of the vehicle the soldier can see the moment when calm cooperation flips into panic. It's just the space of a shaky breath before there's a crackle of electricity. She doesn't even reach out to grab one of them or anything, the bright white bolt just leaps from gloved fingers, leaving burn holes behind it as it streaks for the officer nearest to them.

She seems to be assuming the other two will run… or get back in the truck or something along those lines, because she's not shouting out any orders. In fact, she looks pretty much scared to death at the moment. But she's also putting herself between Rue and the men with the big guns.

Well, even if there were just civilians out ot help, Barbara's racing mind comes full stop at the crackling sound of electricity she knows has to have come from Lynette, and unfortuantely, that doesn't leave them with many options. Risk jailtime and or just being shot on sight for having an unregistered evolved among them who just shocked and likely injured or possibly killed onr of the accompanying soliders, or try their best to get the fuck out of there, regardless of teh weather or the vehicle the military men possess.

Really, it's not that hard a choice.

The Flight instinct wins out, but not before Barbara lunges for the registration cards. She doesn't ahve any idea if she managed to snatched them, it's a quick and hurried motion and she too busy hustlig back into the car to pay attention. She doesn't yell instruction either. Helps it look like they're jsut scared civilians rather than wanted terrorists. Or she'd like to think.

Rue has never, ever been in any situation like this before ever. She isn't a terrorist. She's a part-time model (and part-time slacker). When lightning starts flying from one of the councilwoman's hands, the ginger shrieks at the top of her lungs and just drops to the ground with her hands over her head in a crouched ball. And rather than run for the truck, or away from the soldiers, she just scrambles away from Lynette, her eyes wide and frightened. This is not at all a turn of events that she expected.

Accompanying two members of the council on a supply run was just supposed to be an excuse to get off the island for a while and give back to the organisation that harboured her through the riots and beyond. Rue is learning quickly why so many people are hiding on Pollepel in the first place.

The bolt of electricity arcs through the air and slams into the offending officer's chest, hurling him back and to the pavement. The snow softens his fall, but this doesn't mean much; either dead or unconscious before he hits the ground, gravity takes him the rest of the way into the ditch at the side of the road. It's the man with the sidearm that fires first, pistol popped from its holster and into the hand that had been holding the cigarette with almost supernatural speed, but the distance between the supply truck and the bridge is wide enough that the first two shots he pops off at Lynette miss and ding harmlessly against the side of the vehicle.

The third, his aim adjusted, stands a better chance of catching the blonde in the chest or the head, but before he can pull the trigger there comes a loud thump from the top of the truck's cabin, and the vehicle rocks violently under the sudden weight that's dropped down onto it from above as Barbara is shouldering her way back inside it. Lynette and Rue have a better view than she does, and will — like the man with the sidearm — see the figure in black crouched on top of the cab, leather coat fluttering in the wind and gloved fingers curled around the handle of a long, slender sword that flashes silver under the low beams of the military truck's headlights when they flicker on a moment later.

"Colonel!" one of the soldiers shouts at the man with the sidearm. "Orders!"

There's a moment where the Colonel, a man named Leon Heller, doesn't know whether or not to tell his men to open fire, but the figure on top of the truck's cabin makes that decision for him when he surges forward, skidding down the windshield, and takes a flying leap at a soldier grabbing a fistful of Rue's hair. His blade cuts cleanly through the other man's hand at the wrist, and by the time it smacks wet against the pavement beside Rue's head, the sound of gunfire is popping in the air. It comes from the soldiers closest to the bridge, and the young blond man who had taken Barbara's card from her, but in the scuffle the the bullets punch through the supply truck's front tire rather than the council member's lower abdomen, which is where he'd been aiming.

At first, Lynette looks at her hands like she didn't mean for that to happen and it's honestly hard to tell if it's an act or not. But when bullets start flying, she ducks down, but that electricity is still crackling, which is perhaps why she doesn't jump in the truck, too. Or maybe she wants to make sure Rue will get in, which means Lyn should probably stay out.

"Fuck, fuck, fuck," is a bit of a mantra for her at this point, and she runs a bit, just to keep herself a moving target as she sends another bolt out toward the next closest guy. Because this is the type of thing you can't start without being willing to finish. Plus, lightning bolts are a pretty decent distraction.

Chaos is unfolding all around Barbara. Rue screaming, bullets being popped off, electricity flowing from Lynette - in the past few seconds these were all things she had come to expect would happen, along with thousands of more horrible things that had been pushed back in her mind as she scrambles towards the car. But then there's someone on it, and Barbara comes to a skidding halt - spinning back around jsut in time to yelp as the tire gets shot out, as opposed to her stomach. This has gone terribly, terribly wrong, and she has no idea how to fix it, or what to do about the man murder then men who were about to likely murder them.

Hair is tugged and Rue goes falling backward, leaving drag marks on the snowy pavement until there's an abrupt end to it. Blood in the snow and in her hair more orange than that dark liquid. Breath is drawn in ragged gasps and wide blue eyes fix on the figure of her saviour.

"Reynard?!" The young woman gapes incredulously at the sword-wielding man and then goes scrambling toward the truck. "Reynard!! Come on, we have to go!" But when the tire gets shot out as Rue's scrambling back to her feet, she changes courses of action and dives under the truck to avoid gunfire instead.

Time slows down. There's no other way to describe it.

Snowflakes that had been whorling around them, kicked up from the road, the threadbare trees and floating down from charcoal clouds become stagnant motes of white light suspended in the air, moving at a drift. The soldiers, still in motion, move like bees caught in their own honey, and in the time in takes Lynette's second bolt to down the soldier about to swing his rifle up at Barbara's head, the next volley of bullets is streaking through the air in front of them at a speed they can track with their eyes.

Walter flicks the blood from his sword, spraying droplets of scarlet across the milky pale of Rue's cheek, spins it once around in his hand and flashes a grin at the young woman, all in normal time, and Rue's companions will find that they too are free of the limitations the temporal manipulator's ability imposes on their enemies. "You won't get far with that tire," he says, already turning, readying himself to engage the soldiers still on their feet, spilling past the military truck blocking the bridge, past Heller, past the body in the ditch, "but maybe far enough. I'll buy you some time."

It's when a snowflake stops right in front of her that Lynette cuts off her own power usage and stumbles back a few steps, you know, into the truck behind her. The woman takes a moment to glance around at this slowed down tableau in front of her and her hands come up to her face to cover a somewhat horrified expression. She's a little slow to process the fact that they're getting rescued just now, but when Walter's words break through the sheer panic, she turns to look in his direction.

"Rue, come on! we've got to get out of here," she says, her tone not striking it's usual calm, wryness. But she's not getting in that truck until the younger woman does.

"Jesus fucking Christ, what are you doing here?" Barbara's stumbled back against the vehicle, eyes wide with surprise now that she's gotten a good look at their protector - Rue's shout is just icing on a metaphorical cake. It takes her until after that to register how things have slowed down or otherwise stopped - she's seen Reynard snap from one spot to another in an instant before, but at the moment she's just confused, brain far too busy to connect the two events into anything more meaningful.

Her hand is searching frantically for the door hand, Barbara spinning around and looking through the windows and towards Lynette and Rue. "Hurry!" she borderland commands as she throws the door open, hesitating only long enough to look back at Reynard. "Thank you," she offers with as much of a smile as she can. "Don't get yourself killed."

When she realises time has slowed down, Rue peeks out from under the truck. Then, she crawls out and peers around in a mixture of awe and horror. "What the fuck." One finger points out almost accusingly at Walter. "I owe you a beer if we make it out of this alive, buddy."

Then her chest heaves and her shoulders slump in sick realisation. "By the Flying fucking Spaghetti Monster, you cut off a guy's hand!" Two fingers come up. "Two beers, then!" A stern expression. "Don't get yourself killed," is overlapped neatly in time with Barbara, with one addition, "or I'll drink them both, Reynard!" Gathering her will to move again, Rue scrambles into the truck and hops over the front seat and into the back with some tangle of limbs, but it's a quick enough process.

"No promises there, sweetheart," Walter grits out at Barbara around his grin, which twists into a more focused expression, his brows knit, and for a moment there's something very Teodoro Laudani about the way he steels his jaw, sucks in his next breath and plunges back into the fray, all long limbs and rollicking stride. His handle on his ability allows him to close the distance that matters, swerving around a spray of bullets with the agility of a large jungle cat on the run, but stamina is not his strong point; time resumes its normal course as his sword cleaves into the soldier closest to the supply truck, producing a sound like someone twisting the leg off a chicken carcass. There's another spatter of blood, and not all of it necessarily belongs to his victim.

He can only dodge so much fire.

Lynette's version of the other women's well wishes is a quick salute thrown his way before she jumps into the front seat and slams the door behind her. She only notices her shaking hands after a moment, and shifts to sit on them as if they were cold. Which they might be, since her gloves are a little… worse for wear just now.

The sole blonde leans her head against the window, not really looking at anything in particular, but it's the closest thing to privacy you can get in a truck cab.

Barbara's shaking too, but either there's so much of it she's too focused to show it, or she is just that full of bravado. Either way she's pulling herself into the cab of the car and turning the key so hard that once the car turns over and starts again, it actually snaps in the ignition. She'll have a fun ol' time picking that out with a paper clip later, but for now it's fortunate that it waited until it was in to break

It doesn't keep her from cursing aloud as she slams a foot down on the gas, though. She doesn't want to leave Reynard, but it's clear that saying isn't going to keep any of them alive.

This is about the time a good Christian girl would say a Hail Mary. Rue just hunkers down in the back seat, wanting to peer up and over it and through the back window to see what's going on, but knowing she needs to keep her head down to avoid getting shot. When she reaches up to wipe at the warmer damp at her face and comes away with bright red against her gloves, she starts to cry.

The young girl knows it isn't her blood, but the shock of actually looking at it hits Rue like a punch to the gut and elicits the involuntary reaction. She crouches on the floor between the back seats and the front, bracing her arms against both and tries to keep the sounds of her breakdown to a minimum.

The truck's tires struggle to find traction, spinning uselessly under the vehicle, though they kick up plenty of snow and gravel in the attempt. Barbara has to push the pedal all the way to the floor to swing it around, flashes of the firefight they left behind in the rear and side view mirrors, and in this weather there's no chance of pursuit; the blizzard swallows them up before the military truck's engine can roar to life and take chase.

Cursing, crying and staring blankly. What a group they are. But Lynette picks up a handkerchief from among her stuff floating around the cab, unfolds it and passes it back toward Rue. For herself, she has to settle for a stick of gum. Which is sort of like settling for a bedazzled choker when you wanted a diamond ring, but you do what you can.

For Barbara, this isn't quite breakdown worthy - this isn't Thompson after all - but it is still enough to shake her as she stares ahead silently. Hands tighten on the wheel as she stares ahead, silently yelling at herself for how horribly she handled that situation. And the Garden… "I don't think we can go to the Garden. Not now." Which is obvious. "I think we should have them leave. Their too close." Business, afterall, helps her take her mind off of the shit that just went down.

Rue takes the handkerchief and wipes blood, tears, and snow from her face. "…Does this mean I'm going on a federal watch list?" she whimpers quietly from her place on the floor of the truck. "This is fucked up." She wants to go home. But she isn't quite sure if home is at Siann Hall, or on Pollepel Island anymore. "Are the people at the Garden gonna be okay? How are we going to tell them?"

Lynette takes a moment to rub her face, as business is about the last thing she wants to deal with just now, but she sits up and turns toward the others. "I don't know, Rue," she says, her head shaking, "Hopefully not." As for the rest, she looks between them for a moment. "We'll have to get to them as soon as we can. The soldiers might not have found then yet, but if they're straying that close…" But her gaze slips over to Rue again at that last question, "Don't worry. We've got people who could dance a jig in neon yellow right through those soldiers and still get past them."

"I'm sure they're fine now, but after this…" Barbara grits her teeth together and shakes her head. "We need to talk to someone ASAP. Does anyone even have service here? I know Sable has a phone on her…" She wrinkles her nose, unable to take her eyes off the road ahead - and she's still flooring it. She hasn't exited flight mode yet. "We won't know for a bit, Rue. I'm sure we can find out soon. With any luck, Reynard got your registration cards. And anyone who saw your face… well." That much goes unsaid.

Reassuring as both council members are being, Rue just can't hold up under the onslaught of adrenaline and emotion. She simply crumples in on herself and sobs into her knees. Some freedom fighter she's shaping up to be.

There's a moment after the crying starts where Lynette looks over at Barbara, as if the other woman might be able to instruct her on how to handle this situation, but she looks back at Rue again, and reaches a hand to rest on her back. She doesn't really do… comfort very well, so opts not to say anything at all, because it's so very likely to be something that makes everything worse.

Unfortunately, there's not much Barbara can offer at the moment. As much as she would like to, Rue's sobs sound far more distant than they really are. The sound of the barely functioning tire registers much more audibly as she watches ahead, finally beginning to sloe the vehicle. "We'll figure it out," is the best she can give, offered somewhat absentmindedly. "I'm sure it'll be all fine. We'll know when we see Reynard again." Which Barbara has no clue of knowing when that'll be.

For now, all she can do is offer half lies as comfort as she watches an icy road with nothing but worry plastered across her face.

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