As usual, here is your warning that this story has cursing, sex (not graphic), innuendo, and violence. It’s my Rated-R action adventure called Derailing Bedlam. This is the fourth outing (third official) for Cassidy and Lloyd, so feel free to click on one of the two covers to see how it started. Each one is 99 cents!
“So glad that Cola gave us this list of supplies,” Cassidy says as they drive away from the Minot station. Following the signs for the North Dakota trading field, the mercenary takes her time since she doubts the train will leave without them. “Would have preferred to walk, but some of the machinery is too heavy to carry. My baby needed some exercise anyway. So . . . Do you think we could make it look like an accident?”
“For the last time, we’re not going to kill her,” Lloyd replies with a mouthful of breath mints. Nearly choking on one, he quickly opens the window to spit all of them out in rapid succession. “Our best bet is that Luca pisses Katie off and gets a bullet to the third eye. We can’t do anything else. Let’s try to be optimistic too. With Luca here, we get to leave the train without worrying about returning to a mess. Yeah, that’s a good way to look at it. I certainly haven’t changed my tune because I’ve been promised a claymore if I don’t complain. All I want is to slice someone’s head off with that kind of sword and see what happens. Probably should wear some rubber underwear in case I’m right. With all that lightning bouncing around, a guy’s gotta protect the jewels.”
Stopping for a group of bicyclists to cross the street, Cassidy checks herself in the mirror and scowls at the bags under her eyes. “This might be tolerable for you, but I have to stay next to that woman. She snores and bangs on the walls if she thinks I’m up to anything gay. Those are her words. I couldn’t even enjoy that sparring match with her because she got tense whenever my hands touched anything other than her arms. The whole thing fell apart when Luca punched me in the tit and freaked out like she caught cancer. I swear, there is something incredibly wrong with her when it comes to me.”
“At this point, I’m tempted to tell you two to fuck and get it over with,” the serial killer teases as they speed down the road. He gets his hands up in time to cushion himself from the sudden stop at a red light. “Real mature, kid. All I’m saying is that there are two possibilities here. One is that she truly is a raging homophobe who can’t keep her mouth shut. The other is that she’s attracted to you and it’s left her confused. It could be that she never realized she had such tendencies or your presence forces her to face a truth she’s been fighting for years. Not everyone handles personal revelations as smoothly as you. Besides, you have that whole female catnip thing going for you. Why wouldn’t it work on Luca?”
“Because I’m not trying to seduce her.”
“So, you get all that attention on purpose?”
“Wow, I just thought these women came to you like moths to a flame.”
“Very tempted to crack joke about one of many things wrong with that sentence.”
“Give in to the pun side, kid!”
“I refuse to succumb to your influence, old man!”
The pair break out into laughter, which forces them to pull over and park the jeep until they calm down. It takes a few minutes for them to relax and they are about to continue heading for the trading field when gunfire breaks out in the distance. Sticking her head out the window, Cassidy tries to figure out where the sound came from, but all she can see are the locals running for their homes. They catch the faint sounds of roaring engines passing by on one of the other streets before Lloyd points at a pot-covered dune buggy blowing through an intersection. An explosion sends a fireball high into the air and they can barely make out a dark green bench sailing over some of the distant houses. Recognizing it from the train station, Cassidy guns the engine and makes a screeching U-turn to head back to their friends.
With no other vehicles on the road, they make it back within a few minutes and are immediately fired at by the attackers. The men and women are dressed in ridiculous outfits that remind the partners of an old dystopian movie series. Their odd clothes match the trash heap-like vehicles, which are not normally seen outside of Nebraska. Skidding the jeep into the parking lot behind an abandoned supermarket, Cassidy waits to see if they are followed before grabbing her pistols and getting out. She is almost on the ground when Lloyd lunges to catch her by the jacket collar and yanks her back inside. Bullets hit the interior of the door before she can close it with her foot.
“Those fucking assholes!” Cassidy shouts while driving backwards. She slams into the two gunmen and keeps going until she sees their bodies a few feet in front of the jeep. “I can’t believe what we’re looking at. This makes no goddamn sense. What the fuck is a Nebraskan gang doing in North Dakota?”
“I’d say we ask one of them, but you roadkilled them,” Lloyd replies as they slowly go around the building. Stopping within view of the train, the serial killer checks the mirrors to make sure they are alone and slips outside. “They’ve taken over the station and are keeping the police back with precision fire. Sure are a lot of bodies there and most of them look like they’re the cops. All of their vehicles have been turned into an ugly looking wall. Crap, they’re starting to board. We need to get through that barricade.”
“Hand me the binoculars,” the mercenary asks once her friend gets back inside. She looks at the front of the train where Cola is leaning out of the window and waving at the gang. “That sugar slurping little slut is opening the doors for them. He’s one of those assholes! This list must not be important then. Cola only wanted to get us out of the way. I should be flattered about that fact, but I’m just really pissed off. We need to catch one of these fuckers alive and get some answers.”
“Again, you mulched the easiest targets,” the serial killer points out as he watches her crawl into the back of the jeep. He sighs and grabs his paintball gun when she returns with the Tommy Gun. “Because putting holes in people will get them to talk. We still need to bust through that barrier, so there’s no point in getting out of the car. Make a decision, kid, because most of our targets are already on the train.”
Cassidy stays low as she sprints for the far side of the station where there is a narrow gap between a hideous, mop-like car and the fence. “We have another problem. Cola is involved in whatever is going on, which means Tyler is going to lose his conductor. I don’t know if anyone else on the train can take the position, which means this could be the end. All I can think of is that we not kill Cola unless we have no choice. Then again, there could be somebody in town who we can hire. So, we have to prevent the train from leaving the station. Let’s try and sneak onboard instead of fighting out here.”
The pair are shot at by Cola as soon as they come around the car, his bullets bouncing off the ground. A well-aimed paintball filled with bleach hits the conductor in the face and he swiftly retreats. Another man appears and tries to close the window, but is hit in the mouth by a projectile that makes him vomit. He is about to turn back inside when somebody grabs his legs and flips him through the opening. The gang member lands with a sickening thud and the upper half of his unconscious body dangles between the platform and the train. Seconds later, the Holly Sage Express starts to move forward even though the doors are wide open and some of the invaders are still trying to board.
Seeing that her enemies are focused on escaping, Cassidy runs along the platform and fires at everyone she passes. The dinging of bullets hitting the makeshift armor of the Nebraskans warn those further away that they are under attack. Diving behind a support pillar, the mercenary avoids the sloppy spray of gunfire that changes angle as the train advances. Unable to look around the corner without risking her life, she tries to use the security mirrors and polished railings to get a general idea of where her targets are. Blindly shooting with the Tommy Gun, Cassidy manages to hit two of the larger gang members, but the rest escape onto the departing train. She is about to make a run for the caboose when more enemies come out of the buildings and hurry to reclaim their vehicles. Bullets bounce around the mercenary as she rolls off the platform and clings to the edge, her new gun held tightly between her legs. The only thing she can do is watch the Holly Sage Express disappear into the distance and listen to the whooping gang drive away. Feeling defeated and angry, Cassidy crawls back up and is about to fire wildly into the air when she spots Lloyd sitting on a bench.
“It’s amazing what people throw out these days,” the serial killer states as he reveals the heavily pierced man who was tossed from the train. Seeing that his prisoner is still unconscious, Lloyd delivers a solid nipple twist to wake him up. “Answer all of my questions and you’ll be free. Where is the train going? Who took over the train? Whose side is Cola on? Does my friend’s shirt match her socks? What else don’t we know about what’s going on with the train? Where are your other friends going? Chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry?”
“I will never talk!” the man declares before Lloyd shoots him in the mouth with an ipecac paintball. He pukes into a trash can and is abruptly lifted into the air, his body held over the garbage. “Oh god, the smell is horrible. Please move me away! I have a sensitive nose and stomach. How can I answer your questions if I’m too busy throwing up? There’s rotten fruit and used diapers in here!”
“We’re getting far too good at interrogating,” Cassidy whispers as she grabs the man by the belt. With Lloyd holding the prisoner’s legs, she hoists him out of the garbage and carries him to the edge of the platform. “Now, you’re going to answer honestly. If you sound like you’re lying then we’re going to toss you onto the third rail. That should kill you, but I’ll shoot you in the face if it fails.”
The gang member gulps down another urge to vomit before he explains, “The gangs of Nebraska united to build a track up to Minot. Cola was our inside man since he knows how to drive the train and is rather unassuming. He’s going to bring it to Nebraska where we can turn it into our own moving fortress. That way we can challenge the locals and not have to depend on attacking people who are wandering through the territories. Representatives from each gang are involved to make sure everything is shared. Those who got on have probably executed everyone who could drive the train to make sure nobody dares to kill Cola. Anyone who is not part of the boarding party went to refuel before heading south to chase the train. We have a unified force waiting on the other side of the border, so it’s a pincer maneuver. What else did you ask? Uh, white socks can go with anything in my opinion. Let’s see . . . can’t go wrong with chocolate, but I do like strawberry.”
“Oh! Sorry, but the correct answer for that last one was rainbow sherbet,” Lloyd announces with a mad cackle. He kicks the man off the platform and watches him land on the third rail, his body shuddering as he is electrocuted. “You know, it’s kind of funny. All those years I was in New York City, I never killed a person this way. It had to take the nation collapsing and the rail system being rebuilt for me to get to this cliché. So, what are we going to do? Should we just follow the train?”
“Even if we catch up, we’d have no way to get on with the jeep and Cola has made himself irreplaceable,” Cassidy says before turning away from the foul-smelling body. Scratching her head, she spots a sign for the North Dakota trading field. “Let’s see if there’s anyone at the bazaar who can help. You never know what you’ll find there, which includes people. Wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an old conductor or engineer hanging around a place like this. That way we can get back on the train, shoot Cola in the face, and not lose much time.”
A gunshot rings out and the bullet hits the pavement between the pair, who stop and put up their hands. Local police and people in military gear swarm out of the streets to surround the station. Guns of every size and type are aimed that the outsiders, who let their own weapons drop to the ground. A towering man with a riot shield and rocket launcher eventually steps out of the crowd, his face covered by the tinted visor of his helmet. Stopping within reach of Cassidy and Lloyd, he clears his throat and coughs to get the others to be quiet.
“Is that your jeep?” the officer asks, pointing his weapon at the vehicle. The instant the pair nod, he whistles to get two of his subordinates to come forward with handcuffs. “By the orders of Judge Lady Bishop, you are under arrest for parking in a loading zone. I’m sure you saw the yellow lines on the ground, so you have no excuse. There is also the problem of littering since you did not put your weapons in the garbage can. Finally, we have you on camera doing an illegal U-turn and speeding. Please come with us or we will be forced to execute you immediately.”
“Nothing in there about murder?” Lloyd asks as he is restrained.
“Shut the fuck up, Lloyd,” Cassidy hisses through clenched teeth.
“And now cursing in a child-friendly zone,” the officer loudly declares.
“Son of a bitch . . . Fuck . . . Yeah, I know. Eh, I’m already in trouble. Asshole!”