Exonumia, Part I


dave_icon.gif kyla_icon.gif

Scene Title Exonumia, Part I
Synopsis David Cardinal and Kyla Renautas continue their journey…
Date June 7, 2018

"Go! Go! Go!"

Tires dig deep ruts into a gravel road, kicking up rocks behind the dropped tailgate of a rusted out old pickup truck. Gunfire erupts from the dense treeline, bullets punching through bark, ferns, and spanish moss. Some strike the side of the truck, joining other bullet holes as it peels out from in front of a slanted old wooden shack with peeling paint. Hunched down in the back of the pickup truck, David Cardinal raises a handgun and fires blindly into the treeline, clutching a larg emetal gas can in his other hand.

Behind the wheel, Kyla Renautas looks in the rear view, spotting a half dozen men in camouflage with assault rifles convering on the truck. The rear window is blown out, and David ducks away from the gunfire, shooting back at the emerging militia. The gas can is thrown with four others, and eventually the truck winds too deep into the swampy forest for the militiamen to be able to trail them with gunfire.

"Holy shit, holy shit!" David shouts, turning into the now blown out back window of the truck, drumming his free hand on the back of the seat. He's laughing, smiling, and Kyla is joining him in the reverie as the wind blowing through the cab toussles her snow white hair.

Talahasee, Florida

June 7th, 2018

6:18 pm

Five hours later, outside of an abandoned Super 8 motel, the bullet-riddled white truck is parked off of the road behind the partly burned out building. Sliding out from under the truck, David has grease stains halfway up his arms and stinks of gas. "Hand me that soup can?" David motions to an empty can of Campbell's soup sitting on the cracked asphalt, and Kyla leans down to pick it up and offer it to him. David withdraws a pair of tin snips from one of the pockets on his cargo pants, them shimmies back under the truck.

"Explain the soup can." Kyla requests, crouching beside where David's legs stick out from under the body of the truck. She looks up and down the length of the vehicle, as if somehow that might be able to help her infer the can's purpose. It doesn't.

There's an audible click of the tin snips. "Ok, get down here," David counters, and he waits until Kayle leans her head down and checks under the truck, then crawls onto her back and shimmies up beside him, shoulder-to-shoulder. "Ok, so I cut the can lengthwise," David shows, unrolling the aluminum of the can like a scroll. "Now here," he taps the exhaust manifold with the handle of the tin snips. "You can see where the exhaust's all rusted, big hole right there?"

Kyla looks at David first, then follows his motion to the hole in the exhaust directly below the truck's cab. "Is that why… it smells so bad when we drive?" She asks, looking back to him with an uncertainty in her eyes. David gives her a thumbs up, then reaches up and starts to wrap the can around the gap. "It's a patch!" She exclaims, though as he's holding it with his hand she hasn't yet pieced together how it's going to stay there yet.

Fishing in his pockets, David produces a pair of aluminum rings with a twisting gauge on them. One by one he unscrews them until they're like an un-clasped bracelet, them slips them around the can, and screws them tighter and tighter until they clamp the can in place. "Now, this obviously won't pass a state inspection." He flashes her a smile and laughs, "But I don't think we've gotta worry about that." Pointing up inside the body of the truck, he traces a much thinner line with two fingers to where an abundance of duct tape looks like a bandage. "I patched the fuel line too, we blew through half a tank of gas driving out here."

"How did you… learn all of this?" Kayle asks as she notices David shimmying out from under the truck, and goes to do the same, mindful not to whack her head as she's sitting up. David laughs to himself, scrubbing a hand at the back of his neck where a black fingersmudge is left.

Pushing himself to his knees and then standing, David shrugs. "My dad was a mechanic, taught me everything I knew. I always wanted to pass all that on to a kid if I ever had one…" He trails off there, absent-mindedly tucking the tin snips back into the pocket they came from. Kyla offers a puzzled look up to David, then climbs to her feet herself.

"But, you do." Her dark brows furrow in consternation at that point. David offers her a look, then breathes in deeply and shakes his head in the negative. For a moment, it looks like that's all he has to say on the subject, but then as he starts making his way toward the open door of an intact motel room, he gives a jerk of his head for Kyla to follow.

She takes a moment to consider the options, looking at the truck and the bulet holes peppering its side, before turning toward the motel. "Richard isn't my son," David opines to Kyla. "I don't care what the DNA tests say, Michelle wasn't pregnant. It's something else, some kind of bullshit." But it doesn't seem as though Kyla appreciates that answer, hustling to catch up so she can walk side-by-side with David.

"Family's what you make of it," is something a little wiser than David expected Kyla to say. It gives him pause, directs his pale-eyed stare to meet hers. Sighing, David shakes his head and leads her into the motel room. Here, duffel bags full of ammunition are piled up atop an old, ratty motel bed. Grenades sit out on the nightstand, and two rifles with hunting scopes are resting against the wall by the door.

"Well, I didn't raise him. I spent practically his entire life in a fucking cell." David is quick to remind Kyla of that, and she looks away and wraps her arms around herself, lingering in the doorway between the motel room and the parking lot. "Look, this…" David turns, looking back at Kyla. "I appreciate this. You, them, helping me. But I just want to find out what happened to Michelle. I want answers, I don't want to try and play step-dad to an adult man who never even knew me."

Kyla shakes her head, raking a slender hand through her pale hair. As she steps into the room, she briefly surveys all of the munitions they stole from the Florida Republic Militia, and then looks back to David. "We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. Every resource we have, he built. I know it's complicated, but a version of your son built everything we have left, and a version of your son tore all of that down and reduced it to ashes."

David cracks a smile, picking up a live grenade. "I suppose Cardinals don't do anything in half-measure. Do we?" He sets the grenade back down, looking over at Kyla as she meanders closer. "He's smart," David concedes, "he's got a head to figure out all of this bullshit, and maybe at the end of the day we want the same thing. But really, what's it matter in the end?"

"It matters because he's all you have left," Kyla opines, thoughtfully. "You're chasing your wife's ghost. Even if you get the answers you're looking for, they're not going to bring her back. Your son," Kyla tilts her head to the side, "is your only living connection to her."

"He's Ed fucking Ray's son now," David spits back in retort. "Raytech. Fuck me, what a goddamn joke. If Ed wasn't in a grave I'd fucking… I'd…" Hands clenched into fists, David shakes his head and looks over to Kyla. "He is dead, right?"

Both of Kyla's brows rise, unsure of how to answer that question. "He was in the Ark when it exploded," she explains, "so… yes. Edward Ray is very dead." That answer elicits a snorted laugh from David and a spiteful mutter of something that sounds like good.

"We still have a long way to go. " Kyla deftly changes the subject, to which David responds by zipping up the bags of ammunition. "What's our next stop?" She presses the issue, walking up to the bedside. David briefly looks up at her, but just goes back to packing ammunition and guns. "Where are we going to stay tomorrow? If we're headed west we're moving out of the worst of the— "

"We aren't going anywhere," David reveals. "Look, I apreciate you sticking with me all this way, or keeping tabs on me, whatever it is you're doing. But I'm not dragging you into a fucking bloodbath with a lunatic recluse. I heard back in Valdosta that it's safe in Pensacola. I'm dropping you off there. I'll come back for you when I'm done."

"No, you aren't going alone." Kyla says with a furrow of her brows and a sudden materla sternness to her voice. David starts to talk back to her, but then notices the sudden change in her demeanor. "This is a mutual arrangement, Mr. Cardinal. I expect you to uphold your end of the bargain, in exchange for the information you want. But in no way am I leaving you unsupervised with this assignment."

David's eyes narrow, and he sets down the stolen guns he was packing. "You must be Erica Kravid," he says at Kyla, through her, to the person on the other end of the conversation.

"You are correct," Kyla conveys for Erica. "It isn't that I don't trust you, David, but I'm someone who likes to be hands-on when it comes to important projects. We both want information from a mutual source. The stipulation is that we do it together. Understood?"

David's lips twitch into a frown, but it's brief. "Loud and clear, ma'am." It's spoken in the familial Cardinal tone of go fuck yourself. But Erica either doesn't catch the tone or doesn't care.

"Don't try to sideline my operative again, Mr. Cardinal." Kyla conveys for Erica, and then visibly changes her demeanor and posture to a more willowy and relaxed grace. David raises his brows and shakes his head, seeing that display, and goes back to packing the guns.

"I guess you're not going to Pensacola, so I won't leave room for a swimsuit." David cracks a smile at his own joke, though bitterly so. Kyla merely looks down at the floor, then steps out of the motel room to leave David alone with his thoughts.

Sunstone Manor

Somewhere in California

kravid_icon.gif kyle_icon.gif pete_icon.gif

"Thank you, Kyle." Erica Kravid is quick to bring a hand up to the shoulder of Kyle Renautas as she lets go of his hand. The tall and thin young man offers her a nod in return, then looks across the dusty office to the other figure in the room, feet kicked up atop the hardwood desk, scattering papers on the floor while he smokes a cigar.

"Could you give Mr. Varlane and I a moment?" Erica asks with a plesant enough smile. Kyle briefly looks to Pete, then nods and walks out of the office, drawing the heavy oak doors shut behind himself as he exits. Erica's expression drains of plesant demeanor the moment Kyle is out of the room, and she makes her way over to Pete's desk.

"This is the one thing that hasn't blown up in our faces, Pete." There's no amusement or light in Erica's tone either. Pete takes a puff on his cigar, then swings his legs over his desk to clap his heels on the floor. He looks at Erica for a long while, recalling the last spat they had in this office and how poorly it ended for Erica. He snubs out his cigar, then rises to stand.

"Erica," Pete walks around the desk. "I think you and I both knew this day was going to come, one way or the other. This," he motions around the office, "was only going to hold for so long. But we're almost out of the woods. We've had some setbacks, Wolfhound's become…" Pete frowns, momentarily staring with vacant anger at the wall. "They've become a larger problem." When he looks back to Erica, the anger has subsided.

"But I've got a plan for them. So," Pete reaches inside of his jacket and pulls out a handkerchief, dabbing sweat away from his brow. "Why don't you call Kyle back in? Because you have another call to make." Erica's eyes narrow at that suggestion, and Pete slowly forms a Grinch's smile. Erica already knows where he's going with that, one the shit-eating grin starts to spread on his red face. But once the threat is vocalized, her blood pressure begins to rise.

"You get to explain to the Director what our status is."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License