Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 10 - "Reflection"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

hitching a ride

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Sci-fi - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2009-10-29 - Updated: 2009-10-29 - 873 words - Complete

“Dammit!” Justin sat back down. “It’s no good!” Having snapped off a few shots at the Triad’s tires, all he was hitting were road signs and other cars. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he kept expecting TSA guards to start shooting at them or something. He demanded of the driver, “Can’t you keep it steady?”

“Justin,” Max pleaded, “please don—”

“I think we’re almost to our stop,” Shades told them. Already he could see the town of Centralict giving way to docks and piers. He was beginning to suspect that the Triad’s escape route was neither as random nor aimless as it first appeared.

Sure enough, the Triad’s car stopped at a pier. The driver didn’t even wait for Shades’ cue to stop, just drove up as close as he dared and no closer. While the other two got out on Justin’s side, Shades dug in his pocket for enough cash to pay the driver, plus a wad of hazard pay, telling him: “Just tell ’em you were held at gunpoint or somethin’.” Cursing Kato for taking the Card, thankful he had gradually withdrawn a considerable amount of cash; he just hadn’t expected to need to rely on it so soon.

Meanwhile, Kato and George got out of the car and ran for the docks, and Chase hid behind the commandeered vehicle to lay down a hard-and-fast cover fire. Shades quickly joined Max and Justin in hiding behind the taxi while the driver ducked below the steering wheel. While Chase covered them, his companions made their way to a large cabin cruiser marked Triad III.

Not until the others were finished unmooring their ship did Chase lob out another smoke grenade and join their flight. The Triad III’s engines already roaring to life as Max and his companions staggered past the smokescreen. By the time Justin could see enough to aim, Chase was already onboard, the ship well underway. Though Justin still fired several useless rounds at it anyway.

“Dammit! We lost ’em!” Justin snarled, at last putting away his guns.

“Not yet!” Shades ventured. “Perhaps we can get a ship—”

“Did you say you need a ship?” a strange voice asked them.

They turned to the source of the voice to find an old man standing on the deck of another ship. Hair scraggly, mostly white, with a beard reaching almost to the belt of his grey robe, his eyes sparkled, as if laughing at a joke no one else got. In spite of all the shooting, he sounded as casual as if he were offering a ride in the rain.

In that short time they took his vessel in. About forty or fifty feet long with a wooden hull, the cabin looking like a cylinder laid on its side. A short mast stuck out behind the cabin. The name on the hull read: Reflection.

“Yeah!” Max called back, “Would you?”

Shades heard sirens somewhere in the distance, and noted that the cabby peeled out without so much as a backwards glance. Unlike Max or Justin, Shades— though having never heard that particular tone before— still recognized police sirens when he heard them.

“Den come!” the old man called out in his strange, unplaceable accent as they made their way over. As Max and Justin helped him unmoor, he asked them, “So, why are you after dem?”

“They stole something from us,” Shades answered simply, wishing he knew what to do.

The old man simply nodded, then went to start the engine. Once they were clear, the Reflection set out under the power of the small single engine, slowly picking up speed in the direction of the vanishing Triad III.

“What the hell! Can’t we go any faster?” Justin demanded, watching the Triad slowly pull out ahead. He couldn’t believe any seaworthy vessel would have such a small engine, and he wondered if they hadn’t just hitched a poor fishing boat. “Maybe we should’ve hijacked one…”

“Justin!” Shades hissed.

“Dis is fast as she goes!” the old man called back in a jaunty tone.

Shades listened to the man, trying to place his accent. A first, it sounded almost East African, then Middle Eastern… but never exactly sounding like any one of them. Never falling into anything he could place. The more he listened, the less it sounded like anything he had heard before, much like those rare occasions when Max spoke in his own hidden tongue.

An accent that didn’t go anywhere on Shades’ mental map; he also supposed this fellow came from a place he had never heard of, as well.

“Thank you for helping us,” Max told the old man.

“Is it just me…” Justin asked, in a restrained voice that sounded far too reasonable for him under the circumstances, looking at his companions with a mixture of confusion and frustration, then busted out with, “or am I the only one who notices that they’re fuckin’ getting away!?”

“Yeah, we see it,” Shades sighed, not liking his attitude at all. “But until we’re in a position to do something, what do you want?”

If we ever do…” Justin muttered.
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