|Top Secret Goverment Spider Breeding Facility|
|Participants||Maxim, Rosalie, Sumit, Tiffany|
|Summary|| Celebrating a job well done with everyone's new favorite thing: Driving!
CO --> NY
"I am glad to be away from that place," Maxim observes as he guides the SUV through the mountains, headed east. It's afternoon, so presumably they've been driving for a few hours yet, but they've yet to completely exit out onto the high great plains of Colorado's eastern half. It means the scenery hasn't yet transitioned to 'Oh look, another cow'. Now that they're no longer convoying a delicate piece of machinery, he pilots the vehicle with a bit more finesse and confidence, slipping in and out of traffic at a precise eight miles over the speed limit -- just enough that it's barely worth stopping them, should a state patrol vehicle be in the market to hand out a ticket.
"Too fucking right," Sumit agrees from the shotgun seat, "was worried for a moment they might not let us. That'd've been two fights in the same day I'd've been entirely unprepared for. Must be losing my edge." Exactly how he thinks he might have prepared to take on the whole of teh secret base he doesn't say though, just broods quietly for a few moments before saying. "Still wish I knew just waht it was we got ourselves involved with. I dislike being in the dark when surprises like Revelation come calling."
"I did not realize this job was so dangerous. My Lexie has worked for X-Factor for months now. I thought it was ---" Maxim stops for a moment, frowning at the road ahead of him. "I did not realize it was like this." From the way he says that, the topic of work might be coming up between him and his girlfriend when he gets home. "We were not adequately prepared for the level of danger, I think. To be mutant alone is not enough; this work requires training. Preparation. Practice."
"Depends on the job," Sumit replies casually, checking the wing mirror, and surroundsing in case of trouble, as he's been doing every few minutes or so. "I've done a fail bail bounties and some of them have been rough, some are just moving boxes. Depends what's going. Not had that lot pitch up before mind, but then nor have I ever done a shadey government job either."
Maxim grunts in agreement, checking his mirrors and glancing over his shoulders as he changes lanes to steer around a semi hauling slowly along in the right hand lane. "This was first time for me, too. I have more experience with other side."
"Well okay," Sumit replies, in a tone that suggests he's going to say something that doesn't entirely match up with what he said before. "I have done shady government jobs before, but not this government, and not on ths continent. Still never had that lot show though." He eyes the van for a few moments as they pull past it, then gazes ahead again. "I'll be happier once we're back to the endless expanse of flat though, I'm not expecting trouble now we're cargo free, but I'm not about to start relaxing until I can see for at least five miles in every direction."
"I am looking forward to being home," Maxim slips back into the right hand lane, leaving the left for passing vehicles WHICH IS WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO AMERICAN DRIVERS ahem. He taps his fingers on the wheel, idly, "I like scenery more here, but da, it is good to have a clear view. I do not expect trouble. They did not seem to want to hurt us directly, I think. Except for asshole with lightning. I am glad I broke his arm."
"They didn't come in all guns blazing," Sumit agrees with a firm nod, "if they had we'd've been proper fucked. They wanted it, not us, and thankfully were prepared to try and talk us into letting them just take it." It could have been a lot worse, and his expression gives hint to the fact that he's been brooding on that a bit. "I wonder though," he starts, asking a question he'll likely never know the answer to, "would they have told us what it was?"
"Revelation? Nyet. I do not think so. Not unless we joined their madness." Maxim seems quite sure of that, at least from the tone in his voice. "Why tell foot soldiers what they do not need to know? Bosses keep their people ignorant. It is how they control."
"Fucking hate being in the dark like that," Sumit grumbles, "leads to shit going wrong, and unexpected events." Pulling open the glovebox he rumages through the bags of mint imperials and boiled sweets until he finds something he wants and grabs it. "You want anything?" he asks, before it's time to check the scenery again. "Let me know if you get tired of driving by the way, I'm happy to take over for a bit, get as many miles under our belts as we can. Hell, with seven of us we could drive through teh night, take it in turns to sleep."
"I am good for a while," Maxim demurs. "In city, I drive twelve hour shifts for car company. This is easier. No traffic, most of the time. But I think stopping will be good, once we have put some distance behind us. Also, I am told I must have -- what is it called, 'midwest diner food'? It is fried. This much I know."
"They seem quite lax with what they lable as food over here," Sumit replies as he closes the glove compartment. "One thing I've missed these last few days? My kitchen, proper meals. Sad I know, but there it is." Leaning back into his chair he adds, "and fish, proper fresh fish, I miss that too. None of the processed rubbish they fried up in that service stop onthe way here." He pulls a face, then reaches to roll down the window a little so he can light up a smoke, "what I wouldn't give for a long range teleport right now."
"To bring you fish?" Maxim quirks an eyebrow upwards, "I used to know teleporter in Russia. She was very valuable to organization, but she could only carry so much. This boy that Revelation had, that moved Rosalie and Tiffany out of car so easily? That is new to me. He touch them, poof, gone." He shakes his head. "That power is difficult to fight."
"To take me back to New York," Sumit replies with a wide grin, "but I'd take fish as a second best option. Would need a kitchen mind, or at the very least some lemon, a roll of tinfoil, and a fire. If it wasn't so cold outside I'd suggest perhaps camping tonight, but I want to get back without having to have anything amputated for frostbite."
"Psh, it is not that cold," says the Russian in a very Russian manner. Maxim grins cheekily, "Now, when you throw hot coffee in air and it freezes before hitting the ground? /That/ is cold. This is balmy spring day." It probably isn't even /that/ cold, really. Around freezing, maybe a bit warmer, though snap winter storms do hit the Colorado area this time of year.
Sumit just eyes Maxim for a moment as he works hard to surpress the urge to shudder. "No, this is cold," he replies, lighting his smoke and taking a drag before exhaling out of the window, "any time you can't fry an egg on the bonnet of your car is cold."
"I think we must agree that this idea of yours reflects subjective perception of cold only, my friend," Maxim says genially. And rolls down his window. "Ahh, fresh air."
"Or we could just agree that I'm right and you're wrong," Sumit retorts, although the big grin he flashes at Maxim will hopefully convey the fact that that's not a serious suggestion. "You want one?" he asks, moving his smoke in from it's station by the window for a moment, "sorry, should have asked."
"I am trying to quit," Maxim shakes his head. "I was shot around Christmas. I am much better, but it was difficult for my lungs. Ahh, but I miss it. Some times..." He is quiet a moment. "There are many changes in my life these days. Some days, I want cigarette and quiet. Just to have moment to breathe, yes?"
"I'm lucky," Sumit notes before taking a drag, "my lungs are pretty robust." Again he exhails out of the window, then stubs the smoke out on the side of the car before rolling the wondow back up and saving the rest for another time. "Look on that Revelation woman's face for priceless though, the knock out gas spitter, she hadn't a fucking clue what to do when I failed to obligingly keel over."
Tiffany hasn't been asleep. Rather, she's been keeping to herself. For some time, she's been staring out the window and intermittently writing in her notebook. "Can I -- grab one?" She asks, throwing in a pregnant pause to gulp and readjust to speaking, again. "If you don't mind."
Maxim chuckles in a low voice, "I think I saw this, yes, before I went blind. It was good show." He glances over and sidles the SUV around another slow-ass semi, smooth as butter on bread.
Sumit turns his head to look back towards the others, identifies Tiffany as the source of the question then asks, "standard, or whacky? I'd recommend the standard for now mind, given were not out of trouble yet." He offers back his half smoked one but uses his other hand to reach for the packet incase she'd prefer a fresh one. "What was with that whole blindness thing anyway?" he asks, "one of them fucking your shit up?"
"Dad said no getting /high/ until we're back," Tiffany smirks. The word 'high' is said in ultra-high pitch. Easy enough to please, Tiffany accepts the half-smoked cigarette before leaning back in her seat. Beggars can't be choosers. She rolls down her window a crack as she takes a drag. "Danke schoen," she purrs to Sumit.
"I hope so. I would hate to have brain tumor. My hair looks very good right now and shaved head, this is not good look for me," Maxim observes mildly.
Jeremy's hair also looks awesome right now, particularly at this moment when he's tucked up against the backseat window, trying to be curled into a ball with his hand skewed up through the tangled fall across his head, snuggling his own coat like it's a pillow. He makes a kind of whiny noise as he wakes, as though he's not opened his eyes yet and he's already regretting it. (This is almost always what Jeremy waking up is like.)
"Dad?" Sumit asks of Tiffany, shooting Jeremy a look to see if this is some new nickname for him or something. "It's not terrible advice, but I might partake once we're back on teh flat, depends how things go." Turning back so he's looking ahead again he flicks his eyes to the mirrors, then shakes his head at Maxim. "I dunno mate, the shaved head gangster look is in at the moment, if you don't mind the cold, and scars attract the ladies."
Rosalie is quiet. That's pretty normal. Quiet and unobtrusive, like a little mouse. A little mouse that can start blizzards. She has been trying to ignore the fact she is currently shoved in a metal box on wheels with too many people, and appears to be currently absorbed in a crossword puzzle, reading glasses perched on her nose (she took her Eyes out. Too tempting to cheat.) She coughs.
"I have lady. I think if I get another one, she will electrocute me." Maxim glances at the signs by the side of the highway and asks, "Does anyone want break?" The sign is for a diner, one of those highway staples with pies in a rotating case and breakfast platters the size of Buicks served all day. "They have pie."
Jeremy cracks an eye, bestirring from the depths like unto a particularly slouchy and miserable kraken, to go, "Did somebody say pie?"
"That's true," Tiffany agrees with the Sumit's skinhead advice sagely, rolling her eyes at the cough from further in the SUV, "So hot." Her tone doesn't suggest that she is even the least bit attracted to the idea. When Jeremy speaks, Tiffany jumps a little bit in surprise.
Sumit would, in all honesty, rather keep driving, but not really enough to argue against it. "I'm fine," he says simply, "but whatever." His eyes flick back again as he hear's Jeremy's voice, and he smiles briefly, "good of you to join us boss. All smooth so far."
"Da. There is diner. Also, it is good to stretch every three hours to avoid deep vein thrombosis." Maxim's English is so weird. Half the time he leaves out words and the other times he's busting out words like 'thrombosis'. "Also, it would help to see if we are being followed."
"We've driven most of the way across the country," notes Rosalie from the depths of her very exciting crossword puzzle. "Maybe we should stop somewhere more..." She considers her words. "Interesting than another diner. They're all pretty much alike after the first ten." "I agree with her," Tiffany taps her cigarette ash out of her window, pulling up her knees to hold her notebook closer. With her free hand, she continues to verse she'd been writing. "Diners are starting to depress me."
"Yeah but you can at least trust diners to be fairly reliable in what they offer. There are few things more terrifying than small town rural American Chinese food." Jeremy pitches himself upright, straining against his seatbelt as he works his shoulders and tries (unsuccessfully) to smooth his hair into some semblance of order.
"He's right about checking for a tail," Sumit remarks with a tilt of his head towards Maxim, "I haven't spotted one, but you never know." Letting the rest of the car debate over exactly where to spot he does another quick round of mirror checking before turning back to Jeremy once more, "have you ever been to China itself?" he asks, "that's not a great place either." Or he might be biased. "Besides, dinners might be reliable, but they're reliably bad, somewhere else has the capacity to surprise us."
"If you want to go somewhere else, find somewhere else to go. I steer car, I do not choose entertainment." Maxim suggests. "Also, I do not have Eyes, so, I cannot search for more entertaining destination."
Rosalie begins to tuck her crossword puzzle away. "This is a highway in the middle of nowhere," she says. "Aren't there really large versions of random objects around somewhere? Or quirky roadside museums?"
Missing Maxim's point entirely, Tiffany sighs, "I know what you mean. My Eyes are so outdated it's like I don't even have them." Because who actually doesn't have them?! "Surprises depress me." She keeps her place in her journal with an elbow, motioning with her free hand as she presumably scrolls through tourist information. ... "I want to see a giant spider. Can any of you animate objects?"
"I have," Jeremy says, but he doesn't proceed to venture forth in a travelogue. He blocks his mouth with his fist as he yawns. "Diners are not all bad. Those are fighting words, buddy. My family honor is at stake here. Well, sort of." He rubs at his eyes and sighs. "What a bunch of whiners. Somebody Eyes us another place to go if you're gonna hate on perfectly good cream pie."
"A giant spider?" Sumit asks, then almost instantly regrets it as now he's probably about to find out. "No, I can't animate objects." Other than that the two woment get a faint shrug before he sets to with interrogating his eyes for more information. "Maybe I'm just picky," he notes as he looks, "but I prefer my food to have had a recognisable origin, been near a vegetable or two, and not just dep fried." Then, spotting something potentially promising he asks, "there's a steak hour next left, how does that sound?"
"I like pie," Maxim grumbles quietly.
Rosalie exchanges her glasses for Eyes, and eyes Tiffany. "I can't animate things," she replies, "but if you poke me hard enough, maybe I can blow it around."
Tiffany winks at Rosalie, chirping out a two-tone laugh of surprise, "Haha!"
"Expensive," Jeremy says. He slouches back into the corner of the seat, closes his eyes again, and flings his arm across his face.
"You're the driver," Sumit notes to Maxim, "so it's your choice, but personally, if we're going to stop, lets make it somewhere that isn't some scummy diner? I'm sure the steak place has pies as well." Subtle, not quite like a brick, but he's warming up to it.
Maxim chuffs softly, "It is fine, I will manage. To the steakhouse!" He flips the blinker and follows instructions to the location, amiable-like now that he's been reassured of the presence of pie.
Rosalie turns the faintest pink, and gives Tiffany a small smile. "Are there giant spiders at the steak house?" she wonders.
At the mention of the price hike, Tiffany glances over to Jeremy with a glint of concern in her eye. She finds a distraction from her internal fretting in Rosalie. Unable to help it, a contained smile creeps up over her mouth in response, "I don't know. Is there a top secret government facility near by?"
"You never know. They get everywhere, apparently." Jeremy snorts a little from beneath the shielding barrier of his arm. "Spiders. Spooks. -- I'm not paying for steak, kids. You all go in if you want, I'll find a Subway or something."
"Top secret government giant spider breeding facility," suggests Rosalie. She glances to Tiffany again. "What do you feel like?" she asks, as it seems the SUVload might fly in different directions as it is.
Tiffany shifts her eyes. She tucks some of her hair behind her ear. The action is done casually, but is rooted in nervousness. "Me?" Tiffany asks nonchalantly, "I was just being difficult, I'm not really hungry." Even though she just moved her hair, she adjusts it some more by combing her fingers through it starting at the crown of her head.
"My ex-wife is kind of a spider," Jeremy volunteers, tipping his head against the door. "I mean, we didn't participate in any breeding program other than our own."
"Oh," says Rosalie to Tiffany, gaze following the movement of her hair for a moment before looking away. She seems about to say something else, before Jeremy's comment startles her into a brief, startled laugh. "But not a _giant_ spider," she says. "At least I hope."
Tiffany widens her eyes, looking out the window instead of looking at anyone in the car as she flicks her cigarette away and rolls the window back up, "Like a centaur but a spider?!"
"Five foot six?" Jeremy says. He laughs. "Pretty big for a spider. Mostly human, though. Not a centaur! Just sort of a spider."
"Are you calling her a spider because she's your ex?" wonders ROsalie. "Or was she spider like?" Jeremy's ex: a nice safe subject for the moment.
"Oh, she was like, skinny and super tall," Tiffany turns back with her upper lip raised in discuss. "...Do we hate her?" She asks Jeremy in a hushed tone. Unintentionally, her eyes slip to ehem... someone else who might be in the SUV... and back to him.
"No, no, I mean like, she has hooks on her fingers and toes that she can use to climb walls, and she has fangs and generates venom with her mouth," Jeremy says, propping his elbow against the window and his knuckles against his temple, "not like, ha ha, she's a spider like she's evil and blood-sucking." His smile crooks a little sidelong as his eyebrows drop, glance lifting toward Tiffany. "Do we? Maybe for awhile we did. We're okay now. Not worth hating. She's my kid's mom, so."
"I think I might almost prefer being a weather witch who can't control herself," says Rosalie, just a little wryly, at the thought of spitting venom. "Well. I guess it's...good...you're okay with her," she adds, awkward.
Tiffany stares at Jeremy for a moment, unsure of whether or not he's still using this as an analogy for his ex's personality or not. When he says he's made his peace with her, it elicits a frown and the slumping of Tiffany's shoulders. "Ugh, you're so healthy." She turns back to her notebook, flipping the page loudly.
"I know, it's really gross," Jeremy says with humor fighting the note of apology in his voice. "It's because I'm old."
"Would you rather he didn't?" wonders Rosalie. "Do you prefer fights and shoutings and plots?" She considers for a moment, brow slightly furrowed. "And blizzards and thunderstorms?" "I love thunderstorms," Tiffany turns, looking over at Rosalie with a sultry expression, "But no." She peeks over her shoulder towards Jeremy, "It's good. And stop always talking about how old you are. You're not even that old. What are you? Like 50?" Her smile suddenly grows more mischievous, insinuating that she's probably just fucking with him.
Jeremy laughs. "I'm forty one," he says, grin wide and swift. "But imagine what that is in dog years." He scruffs a hand through his hair and then lets it drop to his lap.
"287," Maxim offers from the front. He's driving. He's only sort of listening. "I have ex-girlfriend who is cow. Very nice girl."
Rosalie pinkens noticeably, and swiftly looks to Jeremy as Tiffany does. "Are you sure?" she wonders, clearing her throat. "Did you drop a few birthdays here and there and hoped no one would notice? How long have you been forty one?"
Laughing as well, Tiffany chews on the back of her pen, "I think I could turn my ex into any animal, it would be like a sssllugg." She over-pronounces the word slug, "Then, I'd salt his ass." Tiff pauses, "Which I would never do to a normal slug, by the way." She's not a monster!
"Poor slug," Jeremy says, laying a hand over his heart in appalled sympathy. "I'm relieved." Biting a little at the inside of his cheek, he gives Rosalie the cock of his eyebrow, and says, "The usual amount of time. Since, you know, March."
"I'm just checking," Rosalie assures Jeremy. She's still a little pink. "Was he _that_ bad?" she wonders of Tiffany. And, then, to Maxim, "A _cow_?" She's full of questions tonight.
"What is that? Pisces?" Tiffany flicks Rosalie a soft look that borders on a quick, sad frown. The answer is: Yes. She looks back out the window, tussling her hair.
"Da, cow. Big brown eyes. Little horns. In Moscow, it was not so much a problem. She danced at club," Maxim answers easily enough. "Ludmila. She moved to Vladivostok to take care of mother, I think."
"Yeah, I'm a fish," Jeremy confirms, blocking another yawn with his fist.
Rosalie darts a quick sympathetic smile at Tiffany, and then considers the back of Maxim's head. "Cows," she murmurs. "Spiders, fish, slugs...I can barely keep up."
"Wait, but there really is a giant spider statue on the way," Tiffany frowns, suddenly reminded of how this all started. Her large eyes dart to everyone in the SUV, "It's like, a car or something, too."
"A car that is also a spider statue?" Jeremy looks baffled.
"Oh!" says Rosalie. "I saw that, too. It's a car that's been made part of a spider sculpture. They...gave it legs."
"Yeah, it's disgusting. I want to drive it home," Tiffany licks the tip of her pen before scribbling out a good portion of whatever she just wrote, "Terrorize the countryside.""I'm not sure it drives." Rosalie is a bit practical minded, it seems.