Reluctantly crouched at the starting line, engines pumping and thumping in time

The Lady Jesus people only had one vehicle and even by apocalypse standards it was a poorly made one.  Shoddy I’ll label it.  The shape was all wrong, it was like an eight person hot tub on wheels with a nose cone or something strapped to it more than a car or a truck or whatever.

I read for the part of “rape victim #2” in a movie about Kelly Petillo (never ended up getting made) and out of curiosity I did some reading about the early days of racecar car racing.  Something I hadn’t thought about before that was that the sport of car racing was establishing prior to the existence of car manufacturing being a thing.  In the 20s and 30s professional race car drivers were going to salvage yards to look for old fighter plane engines to strap to a bunch of curtain rods with wheels to make their racecars for racecar car racing. 

Three or four people died in every race and that was just what happened.  Billy Gabeebow took first, Gandy Mchandleshen took second, and four people died, would be the report in the paper.  And the people reading would just nod as they ate their toast because that’s was just how it was.  The cars they built looked crazy, broke down all the time, and killed people, because car parts weren’t a thing.  That’s basically the situation that people are in now, only it’s worse because at least those racecar drivers in the early days had the advantage of industry and commerce existing in the world.  The builders of this day have no such luxuries.   

All this to say that we knew right away that the vehicle approaching us wasn’t the Lady Jesusmobile we had been traveling with because that vehicle is very distinctive, even at a distance, and this wasn’t it.  The stated plan was to split up so Paul and could try and flank them and have the best chance two people with knives can have against a fast attack vehicle but the real plan was for me to slip away quietly while Paul engaged them alone.  Buying me precious seconds to get away with his very lifeblood.  He true hero that Paul.

The good news is before I got too far away I noticed that the approaching killmobile was flying Martialla’s ratty Acme athleticwear (code for training bra for adult women) like a flag.  It wasn’t in the best shape before Martialla was stuck with the same set of clothing for months, at this point it’s more like the ribbon of a rhythmic gymnast than an article of clothing.   

Now, could it have been “them” flying Martialla’s bra as a triumphant display of having killed, eaten, and raped her in no particular order?  Sure, but since people of this time don’t even know what underwear is I was willing to take that risk.  I revealed myself and the killbuggy approached slowly, revealing Martialla hanging off the back and a couple of the Lady Jesuses. 

I brandished my knife at them “Good thing you identified yourself, I was just about to spring into action with my anti-tank weapon.” 

Martialla looked around “Where’s Paul?” 

“Hello Ela, I’m so glad I found you, I was so worried about you.   Good to see you Martialla, I am also glad that you found me, thanks for looking.  Paul’s slithering about somewhere.”  I jumped onto the side of the buggy and called out “Hey Paul, you can come out now, it’s your woman.”  I looked over at Martialla and noticed that her face looked like a squashed prune “Jesus, what happened to you?” 

She continued scanning the area “You remember that scene in Robocop where the melty guy gets hammered by the car?” 

“No.” 

“Well I took a little tumble during the fight and got run over, luckily my face took the brunt of the damage and as you so often point out I was hideously ugly to begin with so no big loss there right?  The nanos are doing their work, otherwise I’d be in the process of dying right now.  What with all the bones in my face being shattered and all.” 

I winced “Ow.  Where’s everyone else?” 

“The water people continued on their way to the water, they weren’t too concerned with your fate.  Lucien is looking for you off to the south, we have a rendezvous set up.  Lucien got clipped pretty bad in the fighting too.  His blood is blue too turns out, fun fact.  I think whatever chemicals they pumped into him must slow down blood flow or cause faster coagulation because he should have bled to death.  He still might.  It’s a slow leak like a part balloon”  She frowned “Are you sure Paul is around here?” 

“Yes, I literally saw him two seconds ago, I . . . oh shit!” 

That’s when Martialla suddenly had her rifle to her shoulder and fired off a shot right by my fricken’ ear!