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Old 08-17-2010, 04:59 PM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Canada
Default Re: Highway Cowboys - CW fan fic in progress

Excerpt 5a
Highwaymen come in all shapes and sizes. Cars, trucks, buses and semi-trucks are common choices. But the cheapest and easiest mob to assemble is a mounted pack of motorcycles.
The Rampagers were a typical squad of wild, careless speed freaks. The leader boasted a gang size of twenty bikes, but drifting membership and fatalities put the number closer to eight. On this night a pack of five had assembled. Most slung rifles on their shoulders, and only two bikes were mounted with light machine guns.
A single motorcycle was no match for a prepared driver in a prepared car. But cycles preferred a dirty fight lopsided to their advantage.

Therefore it was no surprise to Sassy when a felled tree blocked the road around the next corner. Driving experience coupled with the early warning of five blips on the radar didn't leave her totally unprepared. Tires squealed like stuck pigs as she pumped the brakes, leaving streaks of burnt rubber.
Adrenaline fueled eyes noticed a crouched form on the left side of the road, and she desperately angled for the shape. Luck was with her for the tree had been knocked over and dragged from the opposite side, so she didn't have a root structure to contend with. Sassy saw the prone man scramble out of the way as her speeding car closed.
The ambusher fled to a nearby motorbike, which left an unguarded narrow passage to the thin upper trunk. Switching feet she jammed the accelerator, simultaneously clicking her left trigger twice. In response a pair of metallic plates clunked from behind her vehicle.
Nervously biting his nails and looking all around, Pierre yelped at the noise. "Are we hit?"
"No. Those were our mines." Fully focused on driving she didn't bother elaborating further.
The broad midsection of the tree made a formidable obstacle for anyone in the center of the road. Unfortunately for the gang, the effectiveness of their barricade didn't expand across the entire highway width. Sassy played upon his weakness by aiming straight for the thin upper half, hoping to ram straight through it.
Dropping mines was a simple precaution against any bold pursuers trying to follow her. Unlike some drivers, she didn't care about glory or victory, she just cared about getting herself and the passenger to their destination in one piece.
Regretting the earlier reflex to slam the brakes, Sassy urged the car to regain speed. Thick steel bars patterned the front of the taxi, providing some protection against collisions. Gritting her teeth she hoped it was enough to cleanly shatter the tree.
"Wait! Wait, you're not going to hi-" escaped Pierre's quavering mouth as the taxi smashed into the tree. There was a tremendous cracking noise that only split wood can create. Angry sparks burst from both headlights as the hood was compacted from the force. Sassy cried out as the front left tire impaled on a branch and violently deflated. Flashing lights and a buzzing alarm sounded in the cab, the on-board computer trying to alert her to the severe damage.
Her arms nearly buckled from the effort of straightening the vehicle, but eventually the car forced itself clear of the tree. Dark highway lay ahead, but Sassy was more focused on the ruckus behind her escape.
Motorcycle engines buzzed to life from both sides of the road, but apparently the gang had been caught off guard by her plan nearly as much as Pierre was. Leading by a solid four seconds gave her ample time to skid and spray a slick line of oil.
"Get on the turret!" she hollered, yanking a lever to reveal a targeting computer to the stuttering Pierre. Noise echoed from the roof of her vehicle as a drooping turret snapped to life. The swivelling weapon encased a high rate of fire Vulcan machine gun.
Now that the initial surprise had worn off, Sassy began to feel confident in her ability to fend off the five attackers. Her vehicle was configured purely for avoiding pursuit. To that end the back was covered in various tubes, ramps, and grills to discharge a variety of nastiness. In addition to the turret the taxi boasted a minelayer, smokescreen, oil jet, and spikedropper.
Her confidence continued to rise as an explosion cracked through the night. One of the mines had done it's job, and already the motorcycle gang was down a member. There was a lull in the panicked atmosphere as she sped away from the lights, hoping to escape in the shock of the mine. "Okay, I know we didn't go over this back in South Fork, but I need you to focus and get on that turret!"
"I...I don't know how to..."
"Look, just move this joystick to aim at any lights you see behind us. Hold the trigger for half a second to shoot, alright?" Pierre's sweating face was momentarily illuminated in the glow of the targeting console, and the fear there made Sassy consider putting the turret on automatic fire. In a snap she decided against the plan, knowing that even an inept human was better than an inept computer at hitting tiny targets in the dark. Calming her voice and speaking in a slower tone, as if to a child, she continued, "Pierre, I need you to focus, and I need you to try. You'll do okay, and we'll do okay. Now let's give it a shot." Wearing his best determined look, the passenger gripped the joystick and peered at the screen.

Ku-Sang noticed the lead bike brake a moment before it skidded to the road. "Oil," he shouted into the mic as his own tires were covered in the slick trap. Having chased a mark once or twice in the past gave Ku-Sang the knowledge that the best approach to oil was to power straight through.
As leader of the Rampagers he could call off the assault. The initial mine explosion had almost made him quit, but he knew the taxi must be carrying something valuable to be so well armed.
And so he ordered the gang onwards. Only three bikes remained after the crash at the oil. Ku-Sang knew the odds weren't in his favor, especially since the driver had cleared the barricade.
His own ride mounted one of the machine guns. Lan-Hu, to his right, luckily carried the other. Completing the spearhead formation to his left was the newest member, a rifle armed woman named Ji-Wan. She wavered slightly through the oil but eventually held true.
"Lan and Ji hold formation. I'll draw the dropped attacks, and harass from a distance. You two get beside the target and open fire." Two confirmations to his order crackled over the mic, and the gang sped onwards.
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