The Truck Job


ace_icon.gif chess2_icon.gif eve_icon.gif luther3_icon.gif jetta_icon.gif miles_icon.gif

Scene Title The Truck Job
Synopsis Two teams working for different interests have the same bright idea.
Date December 14, 2013

Somewhere in West Virginia

A mile or so north, the unhappy team of Eve, Miles, and Luther wait for Chess to radio when it’s go time. She’d explained the plan. They had argued. Nevertheless, she persisted, and the determination of an angry newly-turned-20-year-old is one of the inexorable forces in the world.

That, and their side could really use the supplies.

”Look, I got this. Miles needs to save his power for getting the supplies out,” she had explained. “So when I say go, Luther’s going to cause an explosion up ahead — close enough to rock the boat a bit and be seen, and loud enough to cover me when I make a hole in the truck to get in. Then, Miles will bring all of you in with me, and we’ll grab the supplies and get the fuck out. Any questions?”

There had been a lot of questions, but Chess managed to assuage most of their worries. Chess headed back to where the US government supply truck had been spotted, bided her time until she could use the cover of darkness and the complacency of the guards to sneak underneath and wait for movement.

It’s a cold night. It hasn’t snowed recently, so the snow along the side of I-79 is hard-packed and sparse, dark patches of earth peering through the white. It’s below zero and clear, and the plumes of their breath can be seen against the dark night sky above them. The moon’s nothing but a silver so the stars seem all the brighter; here in West Virginia, even in wartime, there’s something to be said for its beauty. The cloudy trail of the Milky Way would be breathtaking if they weren’t worried that this mission might take their breaths away in a more literal sense. But none of them are here for their safety — not in the short term, anyway.

The truck, if it comes, will come from the south, up a slight incline before it descends again, and Luther, Eve and Miles wait just a little on the downward slope, out of sight.

Wartime makes for strange alliances. By now, Luther has seen a fair number of those. But he also knows strong alliances are crucial, so keeping those he knows alive is one of the keys to that game. It was one he'd lost, terribly, in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest when General Moritz ordered the nuke strikes and destroyed the nation's western seaboard. Which is why he argued stubbornly, insistently, for Chess to not go it alone, even with the insurance of a teleporter on their side. Which is why he eventually lost the argument to the more cunning battle plan, for the same reasons. They have a teleporter. Theoretically, the supplies convoy does not, and that's why they've got trucks.

Luther hunches in cover in the meantime, sparing a moment to look up at the beautifully clear night and searching for and finding the knife-moon carving its spot through the stars. When a memory strays and threatens to overtake him, the man jerks his gaze downward and shakes his head, willing focus to the present. He looks to those around him, finding his concentration again. Shoulders roll back underneath a heavy black coat, his main protection. "Better not be late," mutters Luther, concealing worry about Chess and the others with a brusque tone and staring up the road in impatient waiting.

"Oh breathe Hot Hands, that's our girl. That's our Boomer." Eve's rasp whispers to her large friend as she grins up at him with an extra wide grin. Eve, was always. All over the place. If anything the war had expanded that notion even more with the seer turning up in the most unlikely of places. Today she's with her "main boos" although they were missing one or two.

Everyone had their part to play and Eve was here to play hers, dark eyes close and she frowns as she tilts her head. "Echoes, echoes. Whispers of the many, whispers of the night. They call Luth," Pressing her pale hand against his arm and squeezing, not that that did much to hurt the man but still.

"Mmmm," Two abrupt sniffsniff sounds emit from the raven haired wild woman, "It's time," Said in a singsong voice, fingers twitching at her side while the other hand slides up to Luther's cheek and she pats it. "Do remember to duck,"

Is that a pun?

Or a warning from his pale psychic friend?

Miles, for all his confidence in Chess, is pacing a bit, hands tucked in pockets to ward off the chill of the winter night. “She’s insane, but the plan’s a good one. So long as it’s not a trap,” he says, a little more rational than both of the women in their team. He gives a contrite shrug to Luther for probably introducing a new worry to the man’s burdens.

Luckily Luther doesn’t have long to worry, for the squawk of the radio interrupts any quality worrying time. Chess’ voice comes through, enveloped in static. “«It’s on the move. Countdown to Luther’s Southern Lights in ten… nine… eight…»”

As she counts, she charges the trash can lid she’s brought with her, preparing it to cut through the trailer’s floor. It could go wrong — she may have oversold the others on her confidence in the plan. But she saw the inside of the trailer, and if her judgment is right, the part of the floor should be free of the heavy crates and totes they plan to make off with.

So she hopes.

“Three… two… one! GO!”

She’s banking on the explosion to be big enough and powerful enough that the blast to the bottom of the trailer doesn’t draw too much attention — just the shocks of the large truck absorbing the explosion in the distance.

That’s the plan.

The trash lid does the job, slicing up and into the trailer before clattering to the floor and leaving a hole just wide enough for the slim-shouldered woman to pull herself up into the treasure trove of supplies.

Luther breathes. It just happens to come out as a rolling grumble in the exhale, churning from the inner stormclouds of anticipation. That, and he's spent much of the daytime hours prepping for this raid with the equivalent of a sunbathing meditation to absorb the natural and seemingly endless source of energy. Eve's hand that finds his scruffed, bearded cheek finds it warmer, almost feverish. The man flexes his fingers into a fist.

Angled brows lift at the teleporter's musing, but there's little else to say on the matter, because the radio crackles with their young kinetic manipulator's signal.


The man lumbers closer to the roadside edge, still keeping under cover as the supply truck approaches. Luther waits. Once the beams of the headlights are spreading their approaching luminescence over their chosen section of road… Now!

A vocalized roar is lost to the bigger sound of a CRACK-fwBOOM! of light, fire, and bolts of electricity superheating into the air in front of the truck. The concussive soundwave rattles, and the light from his attack burst flares into the eyes of the driver and passengers staring out in the night.

It might have been a bit bombastic. Luther doesn't do things by halves. Popping out from under his cover, he rushes forth after their vehicular quarry, conventional rifle bobbing in his hands.

Chess isn't even fully to her feet when she hears the click of a gunhammer.

"Don't," a voice beside her materializes, calm and velvet, "Move."

The man beside her might not be dressed in fatigues or armor, but he carries himself with a military bearing. After his gun-arm and torso come in to being, the rest of his body isn't long after. His feet land with a click of soles on the deck of the truck, and with a half-smile, he pushes his hair back from his face with his free hand. "Jetta, darling," he says into the air, eyes never straying from Chess's figure. "I thought you said we were the only ones who knew about this low-hanging fruit."

A second question, one directed more toward the bombastic ninja that's snuck aboard, is cut off when the truck abruptly slams on its brakes. By some miracle the gun doesn't fire as the man goes tumbling back, revealing a Kevlar-vested torso snugly pinning a tie and vest to his person. Booted feet scuffle as he regains his footing, eyes shining in the minimal lighting inside the cargo hold. "What in the…" he murmurs, then languidly whips his gun arm back in Chess's direction. Or at least, the direction she was in.

"Oh goodie! Bingoooo!" As Luther unleashes his ability after Chess', the seer whoops into the air and charges forward but out to the side. Rummaging around in her bag of tricks she pulls out, well. A pair of yellow rubber duckies. A flick of a lighter for the fuses and the wild woman cackles with obvious glee on her face.

"Bombs awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!"

The two rubber ducks go flying, in the direction of the front of the truck.

"Sharpshoot Hot Hands!!" Indicating the already lit, airborn homemade little bombs.

Eve snickers to herself and continues moving forward but in a circle trying to angle herself at the back of the truck before moving in.

"Ace, darling. Shut yer damn gob," complains the stack of crates piled closest to where Chess had oh-so-surreptitiously blasted her way into the dark, packed setting. It sounds thoroughly, lazily grumpy, even in the wake of the mysterious explosion up ahead that had rocked the whole truck, causing a number of the topmost crates to wobble and topple and then go smashing downwards.

Wait. The crates had complained?

That can’t be right. Because it isn't.

Is it?

Following the slamming of the truck’s brakes, there is a fleeting, ripple-like effect across the face of the still-upright crates as though an imprint jarred awry by an optical illusion: a distortion in the entirely empty outline of a woman. As though this were the literal spirit of those crates, now badly embodied. It? She? Whatever it is, the crate-motif moves with the malice-laden swiftness of a snake that had been lying in wait, indolent right until this moment. Not two seconds later, the muzzle of a double-barreled shotgun is pointed half-an-inch from Chess's eyeballs.

Twin, round black abysses. Only crates beyond. Suspicion easily vibrant enough to be felt, rather than seen in the empty air that settles.


"….What in the hell is all of this, babe? Who are you?

The truck, after that initial swerve, keeps moving, but suddenly veers to the right, taking an exit rather than keep-on-trucking to the spot Luther’s bombastic diversion had taken place. Those who know the area know that road will rejoin the highway later, if he keeps going north. It’s a slower route, normally, but in these days, there’s no commuter traffic to slow it down.

“Wai-” starts Chess — to the comms, and to the person pointing a gun at her.

Miles does not wait.

At the same time the truck veers to the right, Miles grabs the two explosive personalities he’s been left with and the air shimmers there —

— and in the back of the truck. Somehow the three bodies manage not to land on top of anyone, though it is suddenly a lot more crowded in there.

“-t.” Chess finishes, her eyes darting from Ace to Jetta, or what seems to be Jetta, a disembodied voice toting a shotgun.


“Everyone stay calm and don’t shoot,” she manages. “Seriously, don’t shoot or shit is going to explode in here, yeah?” It’s a likely bet. There’s weapons, there’s ammo, there’s a lot of fucking metal for ricochets to go awry. Plus her ability.

Not to mention Luther.

“You with the resistance?” Presumably one arm of the federal armed forces isn’t robbing from another. Chess, all 20 years of age, from the looks of it, glances from one barrel to the other. “We are, too. We can work together. We can’t make it out of here with all of this, anyway. Plenty to share.”

Miles is reaching for Chess, clearly intent on just getting the fuck out.

Luther has one ear attuned to his partners-in-rebellion so he does fully expect a thrown explosive or two. But while he doesn't take aim to waste bullets on the plastic waterfowl that's already set to pop, he also doesn't fire yet into moving truck cab. It's too high a risk to send the munitions supplied vehicle crashing. Not with Chess in it.

But while he had been ready to channel efforts into heightening the explosive qualities of Eve's grenade-substitutes, he backs down once he sees the truck divert north. "Fucking h—," he swears when it doesn't stop. Miles touches his coat.


Teleporting is always a little disconcerting, a little disorienting. Luther sucks in a breath and his teeth clench in a silent snarl at the faces - familiar and not - suddenly in line of sight. Having appeared in close quarters and seeing firearms brandished in Chess' direction, his immediate reflex is to reply in kind, rifle raised and pointed at As-Long-As-I-Got-My-Suit-and-Tie Ace. Presumably, Eve's got the other stranger lady in her sights soon enough, and Miles can Abort Mission quicker than a trigger finger.

"Who the fuck…" Luther growls deep, tone petering off as Chess turns to bargain.

The moment it takes for Ace to shake his disorientation with the shift of the truck is the moment they're suddenly not alone in greater numbers than they were even before. His lip curls back as he's drawn on by Luther, gaze slowly drawing from Chess to him. His gun remains pointed in her direction for only a moment longer before his arm slacks. "You heard her," he suggests mildly to the other man, fully aware of the irony. "Don't shoot."

His movements are slow as his gun arm comes back to his side. Wouldn't want to give Luther a case of an anxious trigger finger. He half-scoffs, half-laughs at the question of them being resistance. "Definitely not," he shares immediately. For all his derision, though, he holds no malice. "But we're not administration either."

Ace's gaze flits to Jetta, waiting to see if she listens to the little rebel and lowers her weapon or not. His brow pops in a dare for her to misbehave. It's only her and them she would blow up if her shot went awry, after all.

But then he keeps turning, sees Miles, sees Eve. At her, he makes a gesture of blanching in greater surprise than he feels. "Well, well," Ace remarks with appreciation. He's heard of the Murderimp, but never expected to cross paths with her.

War was full of all kinds of pleasant surprises.

"Listen up poopooheads!"

Eve says as soon as she pops into the back of the truck with Luther and Miles, she doesn't shoot though her Desert Eagle is in her hand. "Ah… security." A roll of her eyes but then she catches how Ace looks at her and she pats and smooths the back of her hair. Maybe he wanted an autograph, Eve thinks about the marker stashed in her bra. "Well darlings, if we can't shoot," Shoving her gun in her holster at her hip. "You know what that means…" A dangerous glint can be seen in those eyes of hers and Eve's mouth drops open into a deranged grin.

The Murderimp, known for her wild antics, her "unique" ways of killing her enemies. She's all this and much more.


There is no food to throw but there is an Eve throwing herself forward to try to tackle Ace.

The question of who the fuck isn't so readily answerable. There is, however, a suspiciously raspberry-like "phhhhhbhhbthh" from whatever mystery anomaly is holding the long dark snout of the shotgun up to Chess's eyeballs.

Which— then proceeds to disappear completely, as though sucked via black hole back into the Box Dimension.

"Fucking hell," the voice continues to grouse in the dip of stillness following the truck's recovery from its latest swerve, braced by a prickle of tired tension as though Ace waggling his eyebrow can be felt in the atmosphere around them like an inevitable weather phenomenon as opposed to needing to be seen.

Apparently that tiredness is deceptive, or at least it isn’t a hindrance. There in that redoubt of heaped crates and deep shadows, a leaner, much more furtive shadow whiffs past underfoot: and suddenly a bodiless leg intercepts Eve’s path at waist height in the zenith of her running tackle at Ace, like the materialization of a spontaneous roadblock. Surprise!!

Despite all that, the next prompting from Jetta sounds as thoroughly bored as though this conversation hadn't just experienced the interruption of a Murderimp trying to hurtle on through the truck right past them— and god knows how many more trying to get in .

"Christ on a bike, plenty to share my ass. How many of you goody rebel chuckleheads are there supposed to be?"

So much for negotiations. Chess’ eyes widen when Eve tackles Ace. She holds her hand up to stave Miles’ rescue efforts, and instead nods to one of the crates.

One with military-grade automatic rifles.

Miles can read that message loud and clear. Get the guns first. He sighs, resigned, and it doesn’t take much movement at all for him to put his hand on the crate, the air shimmering as he fades from view. Suddenly there’s a little more breathing room in the back of the truck, and still plenty of guns and other supplies to squabble over.

“More,” is Chess’ flat answer. “And Luther here isn’t very forgiving. If we can’t get our share, he’s likely to blow this whole fucking shipment with all of us in it just to spite you and me. You really don’t want to see him mad.” When the truck hits a bump, she wavers where she stands, then rests one hand on top of one of the crates to catch her balance.

She tips her head to the front of the truck, eyes on that gun — if she can see the gun, she knows where Jetta is, after all. “We’ve got people up ahead in case things go wrong. Expecting us. And you don’t want them mad at you either, yeah?”

Okay, don't shoot, they said. Luther relaxes by degrees as Ace's body language the way a feral cat eyeing any potential threat might. The scruffy whiskers on the man's face twitch a touch at the info that the new variables are neither resistance nor administration. Maybe that makes them worse, in Luther's book. Because they're opportunists? He's judging still, rifle raised, when Eve makes her lunge for Ace and calls out a food fight. He sighs faintly through the nose, seemingly ready for exactly that. Here we go.

But, when she is subsequently tripped by disembodied leg, he boggles in that direction with storm grey eyes seeking. "Show y'rself, Lampy," he demands and swings his rifle that way, although his finger stays hovering. Temptation wars with patience. And then Chess' claim that he'd blow up the shipment elicits a smirk. She's not wrong…

"We're wasting time," Luther says afterward, the half smile falling away. "Should I stop the truck?" It is but one power-sucking pull away. But so far, the vehicle is spared and permitted to keep driving. For how long, is a question unanswered.

Ace's enchantment with Eve's presence is short-lived. First she swears at them. Then she tries to tackle him. His eyes give away the abrupt shift to murderous intent before the rest of his expression has time to catch up, the barrel of his gun twitching up in the direction of Eve's ribcage as she comes flying at him, intending on catching her sailing being with the business end of his gun.

Thankfully, Jetta's well-timed kick saves them from having to find out what would have happened next. Eve's outstretched hands meant to throttle and grab look as though they should connect with being despite the intervention, but they catch nothing but air.

"Don't test me, Imp," Ace advises with murderous coolness. It's a cool rattled when Miles disappears with an entire crate of high-priority target. His eyelids flicker in a bid to keep his eyes from rolling back into his head, the palm of his free hand flattening in a self-gesture for calm. It's a battle won only temporarily, done with a flourish of a smile.

"On the contrary," he says back to Chess's attempt to bargain. "If you'd like to meet with your friends down the road after all, I suggest you all swing quickly back around to your there's enough for everyone mentality. They don't know we're here to begin with." His grin widens a touch farther. "It's the administration they'll hate more, which is fine by me."

It's to Eve that Ace shoots his next dare of a glance. Your move.

"Owwie," Eve says as she's tripped and pops back up with her hair looking an extreme mess. "How crude, honestly Boomer did you invite them? Hot Hands! What about the-"

There's that mad look in her eyes and she grins even wider at the two potential foes not really. "Don't test- you?" A pale hand claps to her lips as to muffle her extreme cackle. "Why such the long face? Are you afraid of your future, mmm?" As Eve says this her eyes fade to a milk white as she tilts her head staring through Ace. "Mmmmm. Mmmmmm. Oh wow." Just as soon as it begins, it ends and her eyes fade back to their usual hue though the level of mischief radiating from her stare has got to have gone up to twenty.

"They can live!" As if that was up for much debate at all but the seer looks Ace up and down very slowly as she walks not back to her friends but the way out. "You should really, really beware of the poppies dearie. Tsktsk. Mm?" A wink and another muffled shriek and she's throwing up the peace sign.

"See you outside!"

And she dives out.


"What did you call me?" demands the young woman with the completely clean-shaven head suddenly standing some distance away from Chess, as though somebody had just (rather badly) edited her into the scene. It's a lazy demand, one made without real underlying aggression despite the length of the shotgun she is still toting, and the figure of the slender woman now attached to it with 100% visibility.

It's more an oral manifestation of an eyeroll. Jetta really isn't ~~getting paid~~ paying herself enough for this shit.

Like her apparent partner, Ace, the female mercenary doesn't seem particularly vexed by Chess's not-so-veiled threat. She just rolls one bare, heavily tattooed shoulder, the glimpses of skin obvious past the straps of her tank top despite the bomber jacket she's very loosely wearing above it all.

"If your friend blew us up and murdered us all, 'least I might finally get some peace and quiet for once in my life." How nice that might be, actually.

Chess winces when Eve dives out the hole in the truck, but given they don’t feel any bumps of tires going over the woman, she assumes she’ll be all right. “Jesus,” she breathes out, shaking her head slightly.

The question from Luther draws a single finger raised — she’s thinking — and Ace’s chatter makes her roll her eyes. When Jetta speaks of needing peace and quiet, she huffs a small laugh. “With this guy, I can imagine,” she replies, her words punctuated by a wry smirk of commiseration.

No offense, Ace.

“Fine, back to sharesies. Or you could join up with us, do some fucking good for a bit. We could use people with your talents. But those are your choices. Fifty-fifty split of what’s in here, join up with us, or we’ll just leave and blow up the truck and everything around it,” she says, glancing at Luther to see if he agrees with this. She knows what option he probably would choose.

"Ducky w—" And, she's gone. "Fuck," Luther huffs and finally lowers his rifle to a less threatening angle. Once the rest of the woman attached to said leg appears, he tips up an angled brow when Jetta hasn't gotten the film reference. Briefly, the man puzzledly stares at her as if trying to guess her age. It's quickly dismissed as focus returns to the negotiations and possible recruitment.

Luther steps over to Chess' side, gaze narrowing in thought at her offering. "More like 70-30," he rumbles thickly in protest of the given split, cutting a look to the strange pair. Ace's note about the administration hasn't slipped through unnoted, and neither has Jetta's laissez faire outlook of fate. "Look. This ain't a time for haggling. Let's all get this shit where we want it to go first, which isn't Mitchell's hands from what I'm hearing, pie-slicing after. Deal?"

Mad, murderous, erratic Eve goes sailing out the back of the truck and all Ace can do is blanch in her direction, taken entirely off-guard. As far as power moves go, she'd picked… an interesting one. Slowly he turns back to Chess and Luther both, too perplexed by whatever just happened to keep up the sharpness in his argument with the same energy he had before. "Fine," he answers to one of those offers about the split, (probably Chess',) and then he stows away his gun entirely.

"We'll discuss details once we're off-road. My obligation to my current engagement comes before any I may make with you and yours." For as dismissive as he sounds, he looks perfectly serious about the matter. With a glance to the front of the truck and a tip of his head that direction, he asks, "Is your teleporter coming back to help finish this or should I take care of the driver?"

"Sorry, babe. 'Doing some fucking good' sounds to me like the exact opposite of getting some peace and quiet, hmm? For now, I agree in just getting this hunk of shit off the road. Then we'll talk." That's from Jetta, who is already apparently fading out of existence again as these words leave her mouth.

The last thing that remains evident is her thin but long smirk, Cheshire-cat like in the air, before that too dissolves away into the glaze of camouflage that has already absorbed the rest of her into it. Her last syllables float from the nothingness of musty air. "Sit tight. Ace, be a dear. Cover me."

Because judging by the uncertain oscillations traveling away from them towards the front of the truck, as though the only thing moving in the scenery is the shadow of a shadow, Jetta intends on taking care of the driver herself.

The question about the teleporter is answered as Chess draws her walkie talkie up to her mouth. “Come in, Miles.” When his scratchy response sounds, she adds, “Come on back for another trip. Come in, Mad-Eye. You alive?”

There’s a cackle from the woman that serves as an affirmative.

Chess glances up and over at Luther questioningly, regarding the question about the driver. Their plan was to rob the driver blind without them knowing, but the plan assumed a bit of a refractory time, to let the teleporter rest. With the company they’ve managed to run into, that’s not likely to happen.

“Shit. What’s she doing?” she says, squinting to try to follow the path Jetta takes forward. “Please don’t crash us?” seems like a reasonable request after she’s kindly offered to split the loot.

Toward the back of the truck, the air shimmers to herald the arrival of Miles. “What happened to Moody?” He rests his hand on another crate.

"She better damn well be alive. Didn't come all this way to toss herself out of a moving van and get ran over," Luther grumbles to his companions as he slings his rifle back behind him, eyes Ace over. He shakes his head of the lingering discontent and moves to put hands on a crate of his own, but doesn't quite shift it yet. "Don't worry about Lampy," he adds to Chess as he tries to track Jetta's movement and loses it. "More importantly is, we gotta be ready to move once we get this stuff off the truck. Once they know which route it's gone missing, Mitchell's boys're sure to come hunting."

That means more trouble than they wanted or needed, certainly.

"Well, let's be quick about it, then." Ace says to Luther, only glancing sidelong at Jetta as she retreats. Cover her, she says. The picture of a team player that he is, he instead makes the most of his newly-freed hands to slide a crate closer to himself. "Honk twice when you get control, and we'll adjust pace accordingly back here," he calls ahead to Jetta. "We'll settle up and then be off with our steal." Their very, very brazen steal.

Testing the weight of the crate, it's heavy, but he hoists it up nonetheless. Ace looks over to Luther and Miles both with a tight nod. "Friends," he greets them both, sidling closer. Shall we?

Not having eyes in the back of her head, Jetta can't see Ace enacting his highly questionable vision of being a 'team player.' She can manufacture a guess though, from that lack of footsteps following behind her and just from months of knowing the bastard. After flipping her fellow mercenary a solid mental bird behind her back, she returns her focus straight ahead of her. Her invisible gaze is cold and dry.

There was a task to get done, here.

Luckily, like a good professional, Jetta had performed her research beforehand. As an extension to a converted army vehicle, the partition separating the anterior from what is now being used as cargo space is only a comparatively makeshift thing. A dull, slow screeching of heavy metal sliding against vinyl signifies Jetta summarily moving away a portion of this obstacle— forming just enough room for a human or two to advance through comfortably.

But, the driver waiting on the other side perceives nobody that comes barreling through the newly created gap.

From the other side, there is nothing. Only immediate stillness.

“I can blow the truck when we’re done, or…” Chess’ voice is quiet, her watchful eyes splitting time between Ace and the partition, “you guys can take it to carry your loot, if that’ll soothe your employers’ egos any.” Her team has a vehicle, and there there’s also Miles. “You might get bombed by the resistance, but it’s good for hauling shit.” Not everyone has a teleporter, after all.

She gives Miles another nod, squeezing his arm before pulling free of his grasp so he can disappear with another of the crates. She and/or Luther might need to hide a while to let the man rest. Of course, this is information she’s not about to share with their newfound ‘friends.’ At least the crates will be stowed away safely — somewhere.

Miles gives her a look but the air shimmers as he winks back out of existence.

At the front of the truck, the driver turns at the sound of the partition opening, frowning with some confusion. He doesn’t reach for a gun or radio, but simply leans back an arm to try to pull the heavy metal thing back into place — assuming that it’s somehow drifted open on its own, maybe due to all the swerving and uneven pavement. This side road isn’t as well kept as the highway. At least the rough ride helps to mask the voices in the back.

Tucking himself amongst the crates he has thusly claimed, Luther casts his gaze around their corner to watch the invisible merc's work. He readies like a hunting cat waiting for the right moment, although for lack of a tail to twitch he curls and uncurls a gloved fist. "Why do I get the feelin' this isn't the last we'll be seein' of you?" It's a pertinent question aimed at Ace, although it feels inclusive (if a bit dad-jokey) of Jetta and her ability.

As for the slight issue about the truck being both boon and possible bane, Luther snorts in hinted amusement. But reassuringly he adds, nodding with Chess' suggestion, "It's a good truck. Provided we don't crash and burn in the next five, ten minutes." They don't know, exactly, how the driver's going to be taken care of after all.

Maybe Eve leaping out of the cargo hold was something of an indicative prophecy.

Ace looks back over at Luther with an arched eyebrow. "Your friend's offer, perhaps?" he supposes in a vague sense, setting the crate down on the other side of the truck. That one's his, not theirs. "Otherwise, we'll almost certainly see each other in hell, failing that."

When he rises again, the dim light strikes him not-quite-right, giving him a flat appearance. No shadows go streaking down his form as he waits, braced in his own way, for the potential chaos that might come in taking the truck for themselves.

He'd not wish Jetta luck for a number of reasons, primarily amongst them the sound it would make, but he waits tensely to see just how this next plays out.


This time around, it's the truck driver who experiences the sudden manifestation of a shotgun barrel pressed into the top of his skull from one side. "Eaaaaasy does it," coos Jetta's voice as soon as this happens. There is nobody in the driver's rear view mirror, and if he turns quickly to look, nobody else in the cramped shadows of the compartment aside from that very conspicuously leveled shotgun — and of course Jetta's breath, hot and impatient against the nape of his neck. "From this point you'll be drivin' exactly where I tell you to, unless you want your brains splattered all over your wheel."

That would be a pity. Or something like that.

“So optimistic,” Chess says with a grin for Luther.

That he gives them up to ten minutes to not crash and burn is altogether sanguine for him, really.

She tips her head to watch and listen from where she stands, tucking herself out of sight in a spot she can peer through the crack in the partition. LIfting her brow when she hears Jetta’s directions to the man, Chess leans to murmur for the camouflaged woman to hear.

Her words come in a low murmur that she hopes will blend with the hum of motor and road noise for the driver, but if not, he’ll know Jetta has backup. “Tell him to pull over, and we’ll offload our half. Make him go another mile or two, and kick him out, and the truck’s yours.”

Her dark gaze alights on Ace. “Sound fair?”

The driver squints in the rearview mirror, looking around for the source of the voice. “Fuck this. Yeah, fine. I told them I needed fucking backup. But noooo, we’re short handed,” he grumbles. “I can’t fight off invisible fucking thieves with shotguns, man.”

"I'm the epitome of faith and trust," Luther deadpans, his hand reaching to grip one of the securing straps on the crates for balance. As soon as the vehicle comes to a stop, that's his hint to go. The man does show some degree of trust in the newfound honor amongst thieves, enough so that he's got his rifle slung behind him as he picks his way through their half of the take. "Grabbin' these for Ducky," he declares of a crate of grenades fit for their seer friend, adding that to a couple boxes of other munitions. He grabs what he thinks is fair. It's not as much as it could have been with the whole truck, and Chess' plan strikes him as charitable to all parties (maybe not to the truck driver), but he doesn't argue for more than what they'll get to carry.

"If you're lookin' for a place to be, though," adds Luther once he's shuffled some things over and turned back to Ace and Jetta, "Camp's safe enough." His words aren't exactly an invitation by tone, but he lets the opening stand for now.

It's with a disgruntled, put-upon sigh that Ace looks back to Chess. "Fair," he echoes back, at once a scoff upon the very idea of it but also agreement with her. It's without much change his opinion that he watches Luther begin to sort out his share, neither hindering nor helping him.

The offer to join them at their camp elicits a surprised bark of laughter. "No." Ace chuckles, corner of his mouth drawing back in amusement. "I don't think our paths will converge again quite that soon. Enjoy the quaint outdoors enough for the both of us, though. I'm sure it won't be too hard to find you again when the time is right."

He looks back toward the cockpit of the truck, eyes settling on his chameleoned partner. He had business to settle before he could strike out on any additional adventure, after all.

It isn't often that Jetta expresses agreement with Ace, and she isn't physically in a spot to agree with him, but in this case she would agree 100%.

Fuck that offer. They’d go their own way.

Not all the offerings made are met with such contempt, though. Though Jetta doesn't bother with the courtesy of giving actual confirmation, visual or otherwise, she tucks Chess's words away without further argument. "Fantastic," the would-be hijacker's voice chirps cheerfully from the driver's other side, faux-invisibility erasing the glint deadening her eyes as her grip tightens idly around her shotgun, hand over hand. "Just go on and pull over once you cross the next bridge coming up. Nice and easy does it. There's a fuckin' good man."

Let's get this over with.

Chess’ brow lifts again as Luther all but lays out the welcome mat and extra-fluffy his-and-her guest towels for their negotiating partners, but she doesn’t protest. Allies are always needed, especially those with clever abilities like Jetta’s.

“So confident,” she adds wryly to Ace’s assumption he’ll be able to find their camp if he wants to. While ironic, it’s not quite an insult — there’s something about the smirk that says she approves of his brazenness.

The driver does as asked, gaze darting around from the shotgun to the back of the truck and then back to the road. Despite the cool interior of the truck, sweat beads on his forehead and his upper lip. Eventually he pulls over where Jetta directs him too. Chess moves to the back doors to open them, then hops down.

As Luther offloads the crates he’s chosen, she pulls from her courier bag a can of spray paint. After shaking it a few seconds, she takes a moment to tag the back of the truck and each of its sides. Each looks like a random gang tag, nothing organized or symbolic.

“This way we’ll know not to blow you up if we see you again,” Chess says, shoving the paint back in the courier bag as she peers up at Ace. “We’d appreciate the favor in return. Enjoy the truck.”

She slams the doors shut and pounds on it and hits the truck twice to let them know they’re out of the way.

Upfront, the driver pulls forward again, glancing at Luther and Chess in the rearview mirrors before he glances back to where he knows Jetta is hidden. “So. Y’all got room in your organization for a turncoat?” Apparently he likes his odds better with Jetta and Ace than the US government.

The guy's not as dumb as he looks.

NPC Jetta portrayed by Yi-Min

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