Mad Crab Mojave: Chapter 26

In which Jones begins to grasp the political situation

In the distance, Jones saw something blocking the road. It was a makeshift checkpoint. Two oil drums sat in with a gate between them. An old railroad tie wrapped in stripes of reflexive silver material served as a barrier. Light bounced into Jones’ eyes as they rolled to a stop, making him wince. He lifted his hand to shield his face.

Fred saw the involuntary gesture and patted his knee. “It’s routine,” he said. “Nothing worry about.”

“We don’t have checkpoints in in Monterrey,” said Jones, trying to cover up his dismay. 

“Not yet,” said Tasty.

Fred pulled up in front of the gate. Two cyborgs emerged from under a nearby cabana. One of them held a rifle. Tasty opened the side door and hopped out. Leaning through the window, he nodded at Fred, not even glancing at Jones.

“Thanks for the ride. I’ll see you around.” 

Fred nodded with his whole chin and leaned across Jones to extend his hand. “Great seeing you, Tasty. Don’t be a stranger.”

Tasty didn’t respond. Leaving Fred’s hand outstretched, he broke into an augmented run and loped across the road. In moments, his huge strides launched him into the desert. In a few seconds, he was almost out of sight.

Seeing Tasty, the approaching cyborgs immediately halted their advance and opened the gate. Fred drove through.

“Great guy,” said Fred. “Really inspiring.” The truck rumbled on down the road.