The vehicle doors slammed, and the flare of reverse lights signaled that the vehicle - a black truck of some kind - was backing up to get clearance from the vehicle parallel parked directly in front of it. As the truck turned, the swordsman dashed out into position about 25 yards behind them, took aim, and fired directly into the driver’s side car door. Cait gasped. There was a metallic thunk and a yelled curse as the truck peeled out into the street.
The swordsman seemed to glow. Cait’s first loopy thought was that he was charging another shot, and then he realized that the illumination was coming from the approaching headlights behind them both. Iris to the rescue in a 1994 teal Celica that she used to ferry people on errands in exchange for the very low rent payments she contributed to the household. She pulled up next to the swordsman.
He fumbled with the lock a bit before realizing Iris had to reach over and open it manually. Then he had to somehow get himself and the wide crossbow into the driver’s seat. This took enough time that Cait was able to catch up and bang on the rear passenger window. Iris and the swordsman turned to regard him with faint surprise, but Iris obligingly reached back and unlocked that door as well.
He flung himself into the rear seat, exclaiming, “They’re in a black Toyota truck! They took a right at the end of the block, they’re probably heading for the freeway entrance! Let’s go, let’s go!” The swordsman grunted in assent, and the adventuring party roared off after the Takusu.
California freeways were a river of light, five lanes of chrome, steel and halogen creatures trading places with each other at speeds ranging from 70 to 90 miles per hour. They were able to follow the Takusu at a distance. Iris automatically reached out to turn the music up, while the swordsman was reaching out to turn it down, and their hands met. The swordsman smiled, and the healer flushed, and in the end they left it alone.
Tears stang Cait’s eyes again. Love blooms on the battlefield, he thought to himself. It was too perfect. It took a moment for him to register that, in one of those odd fluctuations of traffic, the headlights and taillights around them had nearly evaporated. Except for one tantalizingly close, finally isolated black 4-Runner.