Fancy Ladies Go Home


astrid_icon.gif buddy_icon.gif eugene_icon.gif jiba_icon.gif marlowe_icon.gif monica_icon.gif nicole_icon.gif rex_icon.gif

Scene Title Fancy Ladies Go Home
Synopsis Are you a bad enough dude to rescue John Logan?
Date April 7, 2018

Crisp night air leaves everyone’s breath visible in twisting clouds of silvery mist. Flashing red and yellow lights from an ambulance glitter across the panoramic wall of glass that leads up to the Yamagato Fellowship Center’s east wing emergency exit. Several cars parked out back reflect the red and white box of the ambulance in their pristine paint jobs, and a puddle of mirror thin water on the ground from the earlier evening’s rain shows the reflections of paramedics wheeling John Logan across the asphalt.

As a gurney wheel cuts the water the reflection is disturbed, furthermore when booted feet splash through one by one. From a distance, the red lights fit in with the urban backdrop. A high-society party where someone drank too much, said the wrong things, and maybe passed out. But the all-seeing eye of security cameras on the Fellowship Center’s property know that isn’t the case, their tiny lenses whirring and shuttering as they impassively watch the paramedics help Nicole into the back, and a man identified as Edwin closes the rear doors one by one, and then heads into the cab, suspiciously joined soon after by a dark-haired young man dressed for the gala.

As the ambulance pulls away, it leaves a low-lying gust of exhaust behind it. Red lights flashing warning, warning, warning; but most everyone behind the Fellowship Center’s glass walls fail to heed it.

A pair of tiny drones buzz out from the building, whirring into the air in pursuit of the ambulance.

Most everyone.

American Medical Response Ambulance

Yamagato Park

In the rear of the ambulance, John Logan lays on the gurney, sweat clinging to his brow and cheeks and eyes fluttering open almost as often as they’re staying closed. Sometimes his fingers curl, other times he’s worryingly still. The ambulance’s ride is smooth, the streets of Yamagato Park are newly paved and clear of debris. For now, it’s smooth sailing all the way to the international border checkpoint.

In the cab the driver, Edwin, looks back into the rear cab with furrowed brows, adjusting his navy blue ball cap and flashing a charmed smile at Nicole. “Ain’t you a picture of elegance,” he says without eyes really on the road. “That there’s a gorgeous outfit, ma’am. Poise an’ smolder like Audrey Hepburn had.”

He looks at the road, from time to time, but seems intent on both small-talk and looking back to the other paramedics.

Buddy Arrowood has curled down to sit gorilla-like on the bench at the gurney’s side, one hand gone to uncoil the stethoscope from around his collar. He’s looking hard across the gurney at Astrid while he pushes the tips into his ears, blue eyes chipped bright under the lights in back, brows screwed up in all the thinky thought they can muster.

“…You remember your name?” he remembers to ask, as he applies the diaphragm somewhere around Logan’s … heart. Probably right about there, that looks right. Doesn’t lift up his shirt or anything, just kind of plants it down against the lapel.

He looks at Nicole while he listens, intent as a dog taking a shit, with some of the same naked uncertainty.

His entire deal is a little rough for a medical professional up close, from the thinning prickle of hair on his head to the tattoos knuckling up dark under the latex of his glove. F, U, C and K are all blocked out there in order.

“Two-seventy over thirty-five,” he announces, after a beat. And added on in earnest for Nicole with a dustier trace of twang: “You really do look very nice.”

“Audrey Hepburn? Gosh, that’s very kind of you to say.” Nicole has her eyes cast down, heedless of the damp clinging to the hem of her dress, soaking in to her nylons. The cold doesn’t bother her. She’s seated and watching Logan intently, knowing she’s either a potential hostage in this situation or about to become a victim, and decides the best thing she can do is keep her head down and play dumb. Pretend to be an airhead too concerned about her date to see all the red flags like the flashing lights on the roof of the vehicle.

Nicole lifts her head and gives wide eyes to the paramedic with the stethoscope as though she doesn’t understand what he’s just said and is looking to him for confirmation that it’s not as bad as it sounds. Then, she’s back to watching Logan’s face. She doesn’t have to fake the concern.

“You’ve all been so nice. Thank you for helping him.” Her face scrunches up for a moment. She gives a glance to the rear-view mirror and the reflection there of the driver, then to the other paramedics in turn. She noted the addition to the crew in the passenger seat. “Goodness, where are my manners? I’m Nicole.”

The uniformed woman labelled Susan Suzanne is likewise staring hard across at Buddy, white around brown irises, and also likewise, seems less showered than an EMT ought to be, even at the end of her shift. Ponytail pinned tight and high against the back of her skull, it tumbles wild from there, and dark roots peak through the spotty yellow of home bleaching. From the roll of her sleeve, a messy looking tattoo peaks along the underside of her upper arm, hard to make out from where anyone is sitting.

More visible when she reaches, then, to start going through Logan's pockets, a little like a kid with a cookie jar who isn't sure she's allowed, and then quickly decides she is. The cellphone is extracted, pocketed. A set of keys jangled, set aside. She waits until Buddy is done doing medical things before she raccoons her hands inside his jacket. When she extracts the skinny wallet, she flips it open, head tipping curiously, and — like a true professional — doesn't check the loose money inside. Just the ID.

"Oh, we're just doing our jobs, Nickles." She smiles at her, all teeth. "But isn't it just so cute of you to come along."

Pivoting, she takes out a capped needle from one of the compartments set into the van beside her. Without much in the way of ceremony, she pushes Logan's head aside to slide the needle into place at his neck. That's probably standard procedure. She certainly seems confident it is.

“Thanks for the lift,” says the shotgun passenger, peering into the rearview mirror, before cocking a brow at the unexpected ride along. He glances at Edwin, unspoken query on his face. He snorts at the compliments tossed at Nicole, but doesn’t add any of his own, perhaps in an effort not to draw attention to himself — after all, gala guests don’t usually get picked up by paramedics like they’re moonlighting as Uber drivers.

To keep himself busy, he opens up the glove compartment to peer inside. “Ooh, there’s gum,” he says, reaching inside for a pack of Juicyfruit.

The ambulance jostles on a sharp right turn, picking up some speed as it briskly round a corner and moves onto a straightaway. “You know, them Yamagatos did so somethin’ real nice to the roads here. Not a pothole in sight,” the driver says with a laugh, slapping the steering wheel with one hand. Lights still flashing, the ambulance moves out onto the Belt Parkway onramp for the exit of Yamagato Park.

“Hol’ on, hol’ on, we’re missin’ something.” Reaching up to the ceiling, Edwin flicks a switch and the sirens begin blaring. “Woooo!” He wails along with the siren, drumming on the wheel again with a toothy smile flashed back to Nicole in the rearview mirror. “A’right, we are…” there’s a pause, and outside the small side windows the passengers sees the Yamagato checkpoint rolled past. “…back in the U. S. of A!”

Looking back over his shoulder, Edwin furrows his brows. “Ms. Hepburn, we gon’ have t’ask you t’hop on out naw.” A look is flashed to Buddy, “Go’n help her out.” Then he turns to put eyes back on the road.

Jaw rolled slow around his own Juicyfruit, Buddy watches Nicole like the x factor she is in this scenario — a cat squaring up against a gang of nasty old raccoons over the custody of her favorite dumpster. There’s a kind of magnetic, National Geographic draw to her standing there in her dress while Susan Suzanne gropes her little raccoon hands around in Logan’s pockets.

He glances back thataway in time to see her stab into Logan’s neck with a syringe.

“Ain’t you supposed to flick that or somethin’?” The whites of his eyes cut wide into a double take under the hood of his brow. What in the fuck —

The ambulance lurches off center it’s all he can do to hang on, stethoscope stripped out of its hang from one ear, temper tightened up into a knot at the back of his jaw. He slings the stethoscope backhanded into the front, rap off the windshield, and struggles to his feet, siren howling overhead.

He’s not a big fella, but he’s bigger than Nicole, and this is a small, small space. Small enough he has to hunch on his way into a sidestep and reach to drop open the latch at the back. It happens quick — one wrench of his wrist, and the siren wails that much louder through the open schwoomp of the bay doors.

Warm air is sucked out into the night quick as oxygen through a breached airlock, chased with a few bits of ambulance type shit that isn’t nailed down. A rogue epipen pinwheels away down the onramp, dashed lines flashing away too fast to track.

One hand closed around a rail at the door, Buddy watches them go half a beat, then looks to Nicole, still chewing his gum. Doing the math.

She’s over on Astrid’s side. He’ over here. That dress don’t look like it’s rated for road rash.

“…You gonna pull over?” his voice warbles thin over the siren’s wail.

Oh, fuck no. If Nicole is getting out, she’s not going alone. She holds up one hand, lightning snaps and crackles between her fingers. The light dances off of her face, accentuating the hollows of her cheeks and her too-bright eyes. “Pull this goddamn vehicle over or I will fry her fucking brains,” she warns. It’s a risk, but she lunges for Astrid with the intention of grabbing her by her bleached hair and dragging her away from Logan.

The doors sling open, and Astrid immediately shifts, a snakish curl to her spine as she rounds on Nicole at that sudden flash of electrical light, and with the instincts of someone who has for sure been tased before in her life, her hand comes down to grip Logan's wrist. Not that they wanna kill the warm body they've gone to all this trouble for, but fuck him and fuck this cunt too if it means Astrid getting electrocuted. Maybe it's enough to cause hesitation. Who knows, with these mutants, and what they'll do.

Nicole's claws land in blonde ponytail. The ambulance lurches, and in the time it takes for Nicole to keep her balance, Astrid veers back and slams her boot square into her torso with a feral cry. The breath in her lungs leaves her, and an arc of electricity leaves her skin, and the bucking floor of the ambulance is no longer beneath her feet as she goes flying backwards.

The bright interior of the ambulance goes dark, for a moment. When it comes back up, Nicole is no longer there.

And Astrid has sunk down onto her ass, clinging to the gurney, a groan roughed out of her lungs. She pulls herself back up, hair now loose from a snapped hair tie and frizzed with energy. Somewhere back there, tangled in Nicole's fingers, Barbie blonde extensions wrap like seaweed, and back here, Astrid bares her teeth as she feels around the missing tape tracks. "Nasty fuckin' bitch," she grumbles. "Rex helped me put those in, like, this morning."

In the front, Rex turns, folding his arms over the back of the seat so he can watch with bright eyes as Astrid grapples with Nicole, bleating out an ecstatic, “Girrrrrl! Holla!” when the interloper goes flying out the back of the ambulance.

“Oh, fuck, you’re a hot mess now, stargirl,” he says, stretching out the pack of Juicyfruit toward her so she can share in the bounty with Astrid. “Edwin, pick up the pace on this jalopy, will ya? Grease Lightning’s going to be calling in for reinforcements any second now.”

He turns back, hand going to the radio and turning it on, now that they don’t have to pretend to be paramedics anymore, settling on some Beyonce.

Minutes Ago

She didn't even have time to change.

Swift footfalls carry Monica Dawson across the parking lot, one foot splashing in a shallow puddle as the whirring rotors of AH and UN zip overhead at a faster clip, following the flashing red lights of the ambulance.

«Miss Dawson,» a familiar if tinny voice echoes inside of her head, «you appear to be exiting the gala on foot.»

Up ahead, one of the sleek gray electric cars parked at an angle comes to life with a whine of the engine and a flash of headlights.

«Might I recommend taking a company car?»

Jiba doesn't wait for a response, instead the AI engages the automatic driver system and pulls the car out from its parking space, then pops the driver’s side door open on a hydraulic hinge.

While she runs, Monica works her tie loose, yanks it off and shoves it into a pocket. Her vest comes next, unbuttoning and yanking it off for all the world like she might just toss it aside on her way. Jiba's voice stops her.

"That is accurate, Jiba," she says, out loud and with a chuckle. "Can you link up to AH and UN? I would consider it a huge favor." When the headlights flash on, Monica stops running ahead and darts away from the beams of light to keep to the dark before she realizes. Before Jiba explains.

Monica slides in, pulling the door closed behind her and tossing her accoutrements into the passenger seat. Hands on the wheel, foot on the accelerator, and she's off, chasing the lights as they move into the distance. "You know, Jiba, I think we're having a moment here and you can just call me Monica."

Unfolded, neither AH or UN are bigger than a dinner plate in circumference and about as flat, making the two drones zipping through the air look like lighted frisbees that Monica is eventually going to turn and catch. Only not. The two drones, being keyed to Monica’s arm, stay close enough within line of sight and hover to a stop when she does.

As soon as Monica’s inside the company car, the touchscreen on the center console blips a message of Bluetooth Connected. And it’s once she’s on her way zipping along that the screen pops up with an array of messages:

got u bb! 🚁🚁👁️🚗👋👋🏾
AH/UN ✈️👍🏾✨
ps rnt u 😄 i 🛠️ on these bbs b4 yamagala? 🙃

The tires peel across the asphalt as Monica rips up out of the Yamagato Fellowship lot, buzzing past still-arriving limousines. The flashing red lights of the ambulance up ahead make it possible for her to follow the fast-moving vehicle.

«Affirmative, Monica. I have changed your designation in my database.»

As AH and UN zip through the air, not restricted by traffic and road layout, their position is relayed into the GPS display in the center console of the car. Additionally, Jiba interfaces with that tracking system and adds a red blip for the ambulance’s estimated position.

«Unfortunately I cannot access the drones due to restrictions on my freedom of movement subprocesses. I am unable to offer assistance beyond this vehicle. Additionally, my camera access is limited to Yamagato Park. I have spotted the ambulance departing on Belt Parkway headed northwest toward the international checkpoint.»

Monica follows the GPS guidance, turning left onto the Belt Parkway onramp, spilling out onto a four lane highway that once would be clogged with traffic at this hour of night. With New York City’s automobile traffic so sparse, it is instead a gradually curving race track of a road that follows the coast. In the distance out Monica’s left window, patrol boats can be seen moving through the harbor, and beyond them the distant lights of the Liberty Island Detention Center and the remnants of the Statue of Liberty.

Hitting the freeway, Monica slams the pedal to the floor and the electric car’s engine makes a high-pitched whirring sound as the speedometer rapidly accelerates from 64 to 136 kph. The right-side driver arrangement is less familiar on American roads, but all Monica can focus on is the rapidly approaching flashing red lights of the ambulance as it blows through the checkpoint, followed by Monica directly behind them.

Out of Yamagato territory and in the Safe Zone, the ambulance swerves left and right for a moment, while AH and UN buzz alongside of it. The rear doors of the ambulance suddenly swing open, and in the dim interior lighting Monica can see a struggle happening, a spark of electricity ignites inside of the ambulance, followed by a bone jarring sight as Nicole Varlane is kicked out of the back of the ambulance.

She grabs, at the last minute, onto one of the swinging doors exterior handles and is swung along to the rear right side of the ambulance, legs kicking in the wind, dress fluttering, and one shoe flying off and smashing into the windshield of Monica’s car before it bounces off down the road.

When Jiba changes her designation, Monica can't help but smile, even as she focuses on those lights and her position on the road. Her hand lifts from the wheel, only long enough to tap the button on the console screen to enable speech-to-text. So she can reply to Marlowe.

You're the best, Q.
And I'm very glad. Now we put them through their paces.

And also to queue up a playlist she usually reserves for working out. aROCKalypse pulls up on the screen and Back in Black by AC/DC pumps out through the car speakers.

But her attention stays mostly on the road, hands on the wheel, gripping as she hurries to catch up. Jiba explains its limits and she gives a firm nod and a short, "Acknowledged." Short, because she's flying down the freeway, taking full advantage of the empty road. A glance is spared for what's left of Liberty, but as it is a reminder of how the traffic got so clear, she turns back to the open freeway in front of her.

She'll have to explain about the checkpoint later, probably.

When the doors swing open, Monica swerves to the side by instinct rather than thought, in case something comes flying out at her. She was not expecting that something to be Nicole Varlane's shoe. Or the woman to be all but falling out of the ambulance. But seeing as she's here…

"Jiba," she says as she pulls up to the back of the ambulance, "take the wheel."

It's a twist on an old classic.

«Autonomous controls engaged, Monica

"I'm going to grab someone. Then move to engage. Once she's on and I'm off, slow the car down, okay? And, uh, gently." As soon as Jiba takes control of the car, she lowers the driver's side window and starts to climb out onto the roof and then down to the hood. Of course, this plan hinges on Nicole Varlane, SESA liason to the President, being willing to go along with it.

"Let go," she calls out to the woman, her crouch low and her arms reaching for her, "I'll catch you."

Marlowe's reply to being called Q:


Back at Yamagato Fellowship Center, Marlowe has excused herself to a quieter, private area so she can focus on communications. She's alone in the room, but knowingly speaks to the air like she isn't. "Jiba, can you figure out where are they heading?" Her confused frown deepens as she pulls back on the GPS map on her bracer's projected screen that tracks her drone positions.

«I’m sorry Ms. Terrell, I don’t have access to GPS data outside of Yamagato Park.»

Meanwhile, AH and UN hang at a distance between Monica's car and the ambulance, avoiding potential collision and monitoring. The video recording stream continues, capturing the ambulance numbers and relevant registry info. When the ambulance's rear doors fly open, the drones lift up and away briefly to account for the sudden variable.

Marlowe stares at what she's seeing on her screen, her jaw drops in surprise.

Monica's touchscreen fires off:

☎️ 🚓 ???

But then there's a pause in the multitude of messages, and one of the two drones, designated AH, pulls up and forward towards the front of the careening ambulance. The drone then dips down a few feet in front of the vehicle, LEDs flickering and a bright light flashes once from beside AH's camera like it's capturing the faces of the driver and passenger inside the vehicle.

AH's LEDs flicker again in a pattern of lights:
..- / .-. / -. / - .-. --- ..- -... .-.. . / .- .-.. ... --- / ... -- .. .-.. .

Back at the open door of the ambulance, UN zips down to do a quick capture of the faces inside as well.

By now, Monica probably won't see the message from Marlowe in the car, but she texts is anyway:

📷 👍🏾 😜 got em~

The lights come back up. Buddy’s still chewing his gum, framed steady by the open bay doors, not a clue as to what just happened. Astrid’s still here on her ass. Pimp’s on his back.

Audrey Hepburn’s swinging off the door.

Buddy stands there for a moment, peering out at the lady climbing up onto a vehicle that’s eating up the distance behind them, wind spoiling at his collar, confused to his bones. Also there’s a drone. Maybe too late, he cuts another jut-jawed look aside after Astrid. You seein’ this shit?

Only one thing for it, and it’s to turn back in and haul Logan off his gurney by the scruff.

“I thought nobody cared about this cocksucker,” he bitches right up through the partition, spittle and beer stink, muscling Johnny boy over onto the bench like a big ol’ limp dick — stage 1 of a 2 part plan. “No offense.”

Stage 2 is to stomp the wheel release and kick-shove the bed rig right out the back at Monique’s pimped out ride, pillow and all. Stage 2B is to claw an M16 out from the cabinet it was concealed under, velcro ripped loose with a flounce.

For a moment, Nicole can’t decide if she trusts Monica to catch her. But that gurney is about to come right at her and that makes the decision of whether to let go or not pretty darn easy. Varlane shrieks as she free falls from the back of the ambulance, momentum carrying her to where Monica’s waiting to save her ass from becoming paste on the asphalt.

“Jesus shitting fuck!” she cries articulately once she’s sure she isn’t going to die. “I haven’t had this much fun since the war.” That might be sarcastic. It’s hard to say. She was with the Flashy Blow Stuff Up Brigade, and they did have a different definition of fun.

Astrid starts to reach for the gum being offered until the wind-hollowed sounds of yelling catch her ear, and she looks in time to see Nicole's skinny ass hanging off the door, and then— and then Astrid just watches literally everything that follows, disbelieving as she shares a look with Buddy. Her teeth are bared as a matter of reflex, and the vacuum of air funneled through open windows and out the back end of the ambulance turns loose locks of blonde into a seething maelstrom.

She backs up as Buddy does his thing, a hoarse laugh barked out as the gurney goes rattling out into the darkness, flipping end over end, and she moves with similar intent to procure a Remington 870 of unfancy black polymer, loaded and ready.

"What the— " Fuck, is what she says next, but it goes entirely lost to noise and action as Astrid swings her aim towards the drone playing peekaboo, and fires, the thunder of shotgun fire filling the ambulance as buckshot goes flying for where she last saw it. Peek that, bitch. There's time enough for living humans to react as she slides the pump, and takes aim towards the generalised chaos.

“Gurney bowling!” crows Rex, golf clapping rapidly like this is the best thing ever. “Offense not taken,” he chimes back to Buddy with a fond smile — the redneck can be taught. Slowly. Sometimes.

Rex turns to the glove compartment again to retrieve something actually useful, a small pistol before rolling down the window and leaning out of it.

The wind whips his Superman-esque wave of hair away from his forehead as he takes aim at the Monica, who’s riding the car like it’s a surfboard. His eyes narrow, and suddenly the good-natured grins and cherub-faced smiles are gone as he fires the weapon, twice in succession.

Back at the Yamagato Building, one of Marlowe’s screens turns to static as UN is struck by a nearly point-blank shotgun blast, blowing the drone to sparking pieces in the air. AH, still flying, buzzes around the back of the ambulance and takes another quick series of snap at the inside before buzzing straight up into the air.

The gurney comes careening out of the back of the ambulance, and in spite of there being no one inside the car, it jerks to the right to avoid the gurney, sending it crashing and shattering as it hits the asphalt. Wheels fly off the gurney, lengths of metal break apart whirl end-over-end in the air and rattle down on the asphalt below. The sudden jerk of the car sends Monica and Nicole skidding partly off of the hood, until Monica’s cybernetic arm can find purchase in the right quarter panel, fingers puncturing the metal and peeling it back as she holds herself with one arm and Nicole — once more swinging in the wind, with the other. Her other shoe comes off when her heel briefly makes contact with the street, stripping it off and sending it clattering down the road.

Rex’s gunfire goes wide, punching a bullet hole through the windshield and blowing off the right rear-view mirror and raining glass shards into Nicole’s hair.

«Monica, it may be advisable to fall back. We appear to be outgunned.» Jiba chirps in her head.

At that moment, the two speeding vehicles approach the looming shadow of the Verrazano-Narrows bridge, at least the broken half of it that extends out from what was once Brooklyn. As the vehicles zip below the jagged and broken span of the bridge the remnants of old and now abandoned shanty towns are visible as sheets of corrugated metal, tattered blue tarps, and empty steel drums.

Once she has an arm on Nicole, Monica turns to put herself between the SESA agent and the ambulance. And even though it's not the cybernetic one, the hold on her is strong. Enough to hurt, really. "Hang on, Ms. Varlane, this is— waugh!" The car jerks and sends Monica into a scramble to keep them from tumbling off onto the road at this speed.

Hopefully, Marlowe will come fix the body before anyone else has to know she put a giant hole in it. And accordianed it a bit. It'll be fine.

She grits her teeth and pulls herself back toward the hood, bringing Nicole along until she can find her own purchase on top of the car. "Considering I don't have a gun at all, I think you're right," Monica says, but not to Nicole, "Slow us down. Pull out of their line of sight. Open a line to the MPs." On her phone. Which she will get back to here in a moment. "Did you see them throw a gurney at me?" That's disbelief. "Put that one in my sizzle reel."

In the office where Marlowe's sitting and watching the chase in progress, her eyes flick to the static ridden screen where UN's feed goes dead. The colorful language that comes out of the woman falls out in three different types as she quickly switches resources to keeping AH up and out of the line of fire. Each tap of her fingers over the screen is an emphatic one, possibly accompanied with the wish to take apart a certain shotgun and shove it somewhere dark.

The remaining drone maneuvers up and over the ambulance, where Marlowe remotely controls AH to land onto the vehicle's roof behind the light bar. It's a little nerve-wracking that she loses visual for what activity is going on behind the ambulance, but the flat-bodied drone now monitors from sheltered safety, keeping tabs via its GPS signal, waiting now for where the group might wind up.

She fires off a new text, hopefully to be seen later when the pair of ladies hanging off the Yamagato car get into the seats.

UN 💀😭! AH in pos ⬆️🚑 GPS OK

The roll and shatter of the gurney is followed up with a hail of automatic gunfire plinky-tinking across steel and asphalt, shooting sparks and spitting up gravel. Buddy’s not really taking his best shot so much as he is making a broad, figure-eight-shaped statement of his intention to fuck their shit up.

When he drops the magazine out to slap in a fresh one, it’s to take more careful aim at the chase vehicle’s front end.

Careful as a man can be when he’s standing up in the back of an open ambulance bay next to a crazy woman with a shotgun while they careen down the highway at chase speed.

BBRAT-T-T-T-T. He shifts his stance, and fires again, scalding hot casings pelting over onto Logan’s dumb everything in time with every trigger draw. BBRA-T-T-T. They bounce on the floor and glitter hot out through the open bay doors. Fancy ladies go home.

“Motherf—” Nicole’s curse is aborted as she focuses on keeping her now-bare foot from hitting the pavement below, because that would be… Unpleasant, to say the least. She scrabbles for purchase on anything, but the surface of the car is smooth, and the Bionic Woman she is not.

This is about the time she realizes there is no one in the driver’s seat.

Because of course there isn’t.

What the fuck is tonight even?

The hail of bullets keeps her from thinking too hard about how the hell they haven’t crashed by now by giving good reason why they might instead be about to crash instead. If she doesn’t straight up lose her head first. With Monica holding on to her, Nicole doesn’t dare try to fire back with her ability.

Her instinct is to argue against falling back, but she’s been a huge failure in this endeavor so far. The only way it could get worse is if she winds up dead. At least she’s seen them. She can give a report. She can call for resources and… “Fuck this!” Nicole cries out, panic making her voice shrill. “Get us out of here!”

Ch-chik. BLAM. Ch-chik. BLAM.

The crazy woman with a shotgun is having a hard time aiming in spite of broad targets, with the nauseating weave of the ambulance underfoot and the evasive moves of the car outside. That, or she's more concerned with laying down some fuck off fire than she is trying to murder, because as they start to slow and pull back, she quits firing, lowering her gun to watch them go, her expression set into angles of fury and ferocity and something — just a glint — that implies she's having a fun evening.

"We gotta get the fuck out of this neighbourhood," Astrid says, all ugh and bared teeth, and she yells, "EUGENE," over her shoulder, in between the noisy patter of automatic gunfire coming out of Buddy next to her. "We shook 'em."

Logan is, well. Not completely comatose. A soft groan lifts out of his crumpled body, unmoving in near paralysis, probably wishing for death. Astrid kind of remembers him with a glance, an "oh shit", and a laugh.

“Fucking ambulance chasers,” Rex quips, smirking as he hears Nicole scream as his shots miss her.

He glances over at Eugene, dark eyes shining with adrenaline and, let’s face it, a bit of cocaine snorted in the bathroom at the gala. “Did you see that shit? That car was driving itself. We need to steal one of those in our next heist.”

As if this one has gone off without a hitch and they should start planning the next.

“Get the doors shut before you end up roadkill and on the menu for the next redneck bar-bee-cue,” Rex says over the back of his seat to Astrid, the last word is drawled out in a mockery of the Arrowood boys. He looks in his side mirror to make sure the ambulance chasers have, in fact, given up the game, watching as they become ever diminishing figures in the reflective surface.

“I don't cook people, Rex. That ain't sanitary.” While Eugene is driving he's fishing around between the seats, eventually coming up with a scoped .45 magnum. Snapping it open to check how many rounds are in it, he eyes Rex again. “Take the wheel, Jesus.” He drums the barrel on the wheel and starts to climb out the driver’s side window.

The ambulance starts to swerve to the right until Rex grasps the wheel and straightens back out when then emerge from the other side of the Narrows. “One’a them little helicopter drones is peepin’ our Toms,” Eugene helpfully explains as he grabs the side mirror for balance and sits in the window, aiming up at the sky with one eye closed and his tongue out.

Then, after a long moment he slowly opens his closed eye. “Where… Now where’n the fuck did that little toy go!?” Practically behind Eugene’s head, the drone remains tucked away behind the light rig.”

Aahhh!” Eugene splitters, “Fuck it.” He hauls himself back in through the window.

“Must be gone.”

Belt Parkway Offramp

Two Miles Behind

Smoke issues out from the demolished hood of the silver autonomous car. Nicole Varlane leans up against the side of the vehicle, adrenaline shaking through her hands, barefoot and with her dress torn and frayed.

«I still have the feed from one of the drones, but at the speed they're going they may reach the edge of signal range.» Jiba explains with an apologetic tone, his synthesized voice emanating from the car’s speakers. «I’ll continue to track interfacing with Miss Terrell’s handset.»

There's a pop and a hiss from the car, leaking coolant over a scalding hot engine. The ambulance is a good distance away now, no longer in visual range. They got away with one of their passengers, but at least the SESA representative to the President is

Monica leans against the car, too, one ankle crossed over the other while she casually taps out a text on her phone. Like it was her choice to be stopped here. She glances toward the car when Jiba pipes up, a smile coming to her face.

"One made it? Excellent." The apologetic tone has her tilting her head, though, "Jiba, you're an absolute treasure. Don't even worry about it. Whatever data we get, it's more than we had." The pop and hiss have her glancing toward the engine, her expression reading only one thing:

My bad.

There's a quick grin for Nicole before she actually sends her texts, fingers quick, but it takes more time than it could because she insists on real words and full sentences like some sort of dinosaur.

If there’s a kiss emoji, consider it given, Mar. You’re amazing. <3

Even her emoji is typed out the old fashioned way. Sad, really.

Can you compile your footage and data? We're gonna need it.

Her attention turns back to Nicole, then, and she straightens up to address her. “I’ll get us a ride back, Ms. Varlane. Do you need anything? We’d be happy to see you taken care of, or see you home, if you’d like.” Really, she’s quite casual about all this, which would probably make more sense if Nicole knew who she was, who she'd been. But as it stands, it may seem a bit strange. “We’ll do whatever we can to help your friend.” Maybe just her, but she considers herself a considerable amount of help.

The robot arm helps.

Her phone is brought up again, to send another text.

Yo, Eizen. Hit some car trouble on the way to deliver those flowers. Sending you my location, can you pick me up? Ms. Varlane is with me. Super appreciate it!

AH’s signal is soon to be, as Jiba notes, out of range for even the extended signal Marlowe’s programmed into the drone. “We’ll have to assume a number of possible routes they could have taken,” she tells Jiba thoughtfully as she watches the signal blip towards the edge of the digital map. “But like hell I’m not going to get my work back, maybe even find where they ditch the ambulance… and give UN a proper send off.” If she can find the parts scattered across the freeway.

“That’s a thing right? They do that in the movies and TV shows all the time.”

Marlowe pauses to read the text that Monica sends, a smile growing back on her features for it. For the cyborg-woman’s ancient-styled texts, she sends her reply:

💋💋 u got it

And with that sent off, Marlowe picks herself up from the desk she’s working at and moves off, intent to return to the fray of the gala but to mosey over to her work station back at the Yamagato building. “Jeebs, I’ll send the data capture over and we can try to run some facial recognition software with what we have. Maybe figure out what they wanted.” A somewhat excited increase of her heartbeat is telling that despite the crazy events, she’s enjoying this. There’s a glimmer to the woman’s eye that’s sparked from it all.

Challenge Accepted.

If she still had her shoes, Nicole would probably be kicking the hubcaps on the poor, already-abused car. Instead, she paces restlessly while Monica does her thing. She’s jittery, trembling, and fuming. But not at her savior, because that would be misguided and rude.

“Yes, uhm…” The SESA liaison takes a deep breath and slows to a stop, turning to face Monica. “Yes, I’d like a ride home.” She then pats down the pockets of her dress, giving a quiet gasp and sighing with relief when she fishes out her BlackBerry and the screen lights up. Thank God. The evening wasn’t a total bust. “I need to make a ca— No. I’ll just…” Dragging her fingers through her hair, Nicole rolls her eyes at her frayed nerves. “I just need to text someone.”

Ben, I need you to take Pippa for a couple days. I’ll explain later.

After a moment, Nicole sends a second line.

Love you. Thank you.

“Thanks for saving my ass.”

"It was my pleasure, Ms. Varlane," Monica reassures. There's enough of a spark in her eye to prove that she means it.

It would be a while before Yamagato Industries would be able to send anyone out to recover Monica and Nicole, but eventually a trio of black SUVs will arrive to pick up the liaison to the President and Yamagato’s operative. The Military Police will arrive later, after the action, after the chaos.

The next morning they'll find the ambulance, torched just outside of Jersey City. No sign of Logan, no sign of the perpetrators.

But the one thing they didn't get away with was anonymity.

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