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!
The powerful RV veers onto the road with the jeep a few car lengths behind, both vehicles kicking up dust in their wake. Lloyd gleefully pounds the bellowing horn, which scares a flock of crows into the air. After flicking a switch that he thinks is for cruise control, he hurries to place explosives around the RV. He makes sure to put extras near anything flammable, but stops turning his ride into a large bomb when he realizes that he is only moving because he is going down a hill. Ignoring the honking from Cassidy, Lloyd rushes to the wheel and easily regains control of the vehicle. There is a terrifyingly brief sensation that he is about to roll the RV when he comes to a long turn, but the driver’s side wheels softly touch the ground again with a faint screech. Reaching over to fiddle with a radio, he stops when he hears his partner cursing more than usual.
“I thought I put it in cruise control,” Lloyd says with a shrug. Waiting for a sign of recognition, he checks the mirror to find that she is giving him the middle finger. “Craig was really nice to give us this RV. All it cost us was that beer and a few bags of dog food that I’d been saving for emergencies. You think we can hang out with him a little longer when we come back through? We didn’t have any time to play with the dogs, which I think is something both of us could use right now.”
“Considering he’s probably not getting that moving fortress back, I think we should steer clear for a while,” Cassidy replies over the headset. She attempts to get alongside the RV, but a shriek from her earpiece causes her to pull back. “Looks like the radio doesn’t like me being so close. I can kind of hear you, but it’s like you’re underwater. We should really stick to using our own communication equipment, Lloyd. Somebody can listen in on our conversation using that old thing.”
“Who could possibly care about us being on a leisurely ride at top speed?” the serial killer asks while he tests how easily the door opens. Not liking how it sticks for a moment, he waits for a long stretch of straight road before hurrying to kick it off its hinges. “Do you see the submarine? I don’t know how much time we have and the terrain is rather level, so we won’t have too many shots at this. At least this baby has a souped up engine and I can get some help from what looks like a boost system. Probably should take that brick off the nitrous oxide tank just to be safe.”
A buzz comes over the radio an instant before a chuckling voice interjects, “Oh, please keep talking openly about your little plan. I would love to know what you landlubbers plan on doing to prevent my victory. That damned train is a threat to my territory and I have a missile made specially for that bridge. It will pulverize that abomination and send the whole thing crashing into the lake where it will be mine to pillage. How can you possibly stop me without a ship of your own?”
“Your voice has gotten very deep and evil, kid.”
“I’m not your friend.”
“Well, that’s not very nice considering all we’ve been through.”
“I barely know you.”
“But I’ve opened my heart so many times. Were you ignoring me?”
“This is Admiral Krutz of the Naval Anarchists!”
“Get off the phone, asshole, because my so-called friend and I need to discuss this unexpected emotional betrayal.”
The gang leader curses before slamming his radio down, the ensuing screech causing everyone listening to cover their ears. Lloyd delicately taps at the machine, which remains silent even when he fiddles with the dial. With a sigh, he slaps a handful of explosives to the underside of the device and flicks on the RV’s brightest lights. He looks around to get an idea of where he is and judge how much farther he has to go before reaching his destination. Taking a pair of binoculars off the dashboard, he scans the lake and is barely able to make out the submarine’s silhouette in the moonlight. Turning on his headset, he is about to ask Cassidy if she can figure out how fast their enemy is going when he hears music coming through. Lloyd clears his throat a few times in order to get her attention, his friend immediately scrambling to turn off the CD-player.
“No, I wasn’t listening to teeny bopper music,” she declares with a nervous laugh. The horn goes off from her putting her head against the steering wheel, the noise jolting her awake before she veers into the trees. “I’m feeling drained here. We didn’t get nearly enough sleep before this job. I’m also drenched and feel like I’m getting a cold. How long before you put this plan into action?”
“I’m hoping not too long, but I can’t figure out how fast he’s going,” Lloyd says while stretching to open the glove compartment. Finding an energy drink, he shrugs and chugs the chemical-tasting liquid for a burst of adrenaline. “That hit the spot, but I’m going to pay for it later. Think my squirrel wound is acting up too. Nothing more than an annoying itch, but this isn’t the time for it.”
“What squirrel wound?” Cassidy asks, her voice muffled by a mouthful of candy. She swallows the sugary snacks and washes them down with a soda that claims to have more caffeine than coffee. “Wow, I think I can see atoms after that drink. Seriously though, did you get bitten in Great Falls? Those were carrier beasts. Shouldn’t you be dead or at least on the verge of death?”
The serial killer speeds up when he realizes they are falling behind schedule before he answers, “Not sure what to tell you. I took off my shoe the next day and found tiny marks. Could have been that it wasn’t so much the squirrel, but the pressure of the bite. The shoe did have holes, so it may also be that it wasn’t enough contact to transfer the disease. I think we have more important things to worry about now. You know it’s bad when I don’t have a joke to follow that one up with.”
“Hand over that train and whore!” a female voice suddenly shouts over the headset.
“Was that Laurencia?” Cassidy asks as she pulls out her binoculars. Looking around, she does not see anything suspicious until a break in the trees reveals the tanks on the far side of the lake. “For fucks sake, have you pushy motherfuckers never heard of privacy? Get off our radios and do something else with your life. You’re not even on the-”
“You’re screwed now, skanky!” Lloyd yells, his voice drowning out Cassidy. He holds his hand out of the window to give his partner a thumbs up, which earns nothing more than a confused shrug. “We have a submarine protecting us this time. Tyler made a deal with the Naval Anarchists, who are a lot more organized and land-based than one would expect considering the name. We pay them for passage and they protect us as we go to the Bayview station. Let’s see how your armada does when attacked from the water. They’re already preparing to fire, bitch, so you better run.”
A long silence comes over the radio and is finally broken by the crime boss hissing, “You’re lying. There was never a station in Bayview. It was going to be in Clark Fork. Better luck next time.”
“Like Tyler and Katie would leave it in the same place after your last attack,” Cassidy says with a laugh. Pausing to think of what else to say, she grins when she thinks of a ridiculous lie that will make Lloyd proud. “Oh yeah, I guess you haven’t realized that they’re partners and she can make decisions. This is similar to how the Chicago station will be moved to LaSalle. The one out here was fairly small and easily transported to Bayview by the anarchists. All we had to do was give them a bunch of missiles for their submarines. Nice ones that can pulverize your tanks too. Almost like we expected you to show up and cause trouble here. What are you going to do now, bitch?”
Lloyd does his best not to laugh and ruin the hastily made lie, but he is forced to remove his headset at the sound of tank fire. Chuckling at the thought of Admiral Krutz getting scared out of his mind by the sudden attack, the serial killer casually takes the RV off road and head for the coast. The large vehicle bounces on the uneven ground and a sturdy battering ram on the front helps knocks trees out of the way. Lloyd does his best to avoid the obstacles, but the forest is thicker than he expected. He whispers a thank you to Craig for the extra armor, engine power, and a suspension that handles the punishment without complaint. Checking his sideview mirrors, he can barely see the jeep, which is having an easier time with the terrain. Even though it could easily catch up, the smaller vehicle stays behind in case something goes wrong.
Coming out of the trees, Lloyd heads for one of the few rises on the coast and pushes the gas pedal down to the floor. He hears the tanks firing and watches as plumes of water erupt from the poorly aimed shells. As he had hoped, the surprise barrage has driven the submarine closer to his side of the lake. The ship occasionally fires a small rocket at where the crew thinks Laurencia is attacking from, but they cannot tell if they have hit anything. Dots of red tell Lloyd where the tanks are stationed and he is relieved to see that they are in a terrible position to catch up to the train. With his enemies focused on each other and nothing else to worry about, the serial killer opens the satchel at his feet and dumps the remaining explosives onto the floor. They roll towards the back thanks to the incline that the RV is nearing the top of and gather against a dynamite-covered bed.
“Physics don’t stop me now! Seriously, I really need you to stay out of my business for this to work,” Lloyd whispers before hitting the nitro button. He leaps for the door, but is slammed against the closet by the sudden acceleration. “Fuck you, universe! I’m going to stab the hell out of you if I die here.”
Fighting against the pressure, Lloyd drags himself into the doorway at the same time the RV reaches the edge of the hill. He leaps out and tries to hit the ground, but he is unable to break all of his momentum. The serial killer rolls off the coast and plummets towards the water, which is lapping against the unnaturally concave side of the hill. Before he hits the lake, the RV lands on top of the submarine and the two vehicles explode into a massive fireball. The force is enough to send Lloyd flying and he nearly loses consciousness as he is skipped across the surface like an oddly shaped stone. He lands in the mud and skids on his face for a few feet, but still fights to get back on his feet before he is done moving. With a maniacal laugh, he watches the flaming submarine sink and dances in the flickering light until he feels a sharp pain in his side. Lloyd touches under his arm and holds up his blood-covered fingers a second before he collapses into the water.