2020-06-08: A Bump in the Road



Summary: James makes his way back from the North, a new mission on his mind.

Date: June 8, 2020.

Log Title A Bump in the Road

Rating: R

Middle-of-nowhere New Hampshire

A repurposed hummer drives slowly down a lonely, decrepit road; the two Hunters in the front seats on yet another boring sortie to scout another boring area. Their mission: track down a few of the still-missing mutants that managed to escape a camp. The driver, Robert, keeps his eyes on the road and his mind on his internal mutant radar. His passenger, Chris, sleeps soundly—a favorite pastime. Searching for a ‘blip’ Robert seems to feel is somewhere nearby, the vehicle does another lap; large off-road tires kicking up dirt and broken road.

And it’s during one of these circles that the ‘blip’ on Robert’s mutant-powered radar makes himself known. Sitting calmly on the side of the road, a large 7’ hyena turns his head just enough to watch the Humvee come up the street. Standing slowly, he waits for the Hunter-mobile to stop, his gaze on the driver.

Inside, Robert’s eyes widen a little. Reaching over, he gives Chris a shake, “Wake up. Company.” Chris looks up and does a double take at the beast, “Whoh. He’s big.” Robert laughs, “And usually irritated.” Pulling up next to the hyena, Robert smiles as he rolls down the window, “What are you doing out here? Another shit scouting detail?” Chris says nothing, a big grin forming on his face. He hasn’t had the pleasure, so keeps his eyes on the big guy wearing a fellow hunter outfit.

James grunts a greeting at Robert, looking over Chris for a moment as his nose, and the senses attached to them, flare a little. He lifts his sunglasses and addresses the familiar face, “Pittsburg, New Hampshire. Nothing worth while.” He follows Chris gaze back to the source, then over to Robert, “You going back?”

Chris whistles, “That’s a ways up.” He grins, and grins, and grins. Being human looking, he still gets off on the physical mutations. Robert, however, already knows the man, so only nods, “Yeah. Day or three…but we are. Scanning for escapees Welcome to tag along. At least until we get tired of each other.” He nods to the rear seats, “Hop in.”

James grunts again and opens the rear door to slide in. Pulling off his rucksack and rarely used rifle, he sets them on the floor of the vehicle and stretches out. Immediately, the hyena sets to staring out the window.

Robert pulls out as soon as the hyena is settled, immediately setting his mutant powers to work as he scans for escapees, his eyes on the road. Chris however, has to fulfill his need to poke things. “If you need anything…just ask. Newspaper, peanut butter…I can roll down the window. Dogs like that, right?” Robert sighs and makes a displeasured sound, “He’s not a dog.” Chris grins nonetheless.

James turns his head towards Chris as he arches an eye ridge, “Window?”
Nothing more.

Chris laughs, “Yeah, you know. Stick your head out and stuff. Great fun I bet. I won’t tell.” Robert looks over, “Will you shut up? I’m trying to find mutants.”

“No idea what you’re talking about,” James says as he moves from his reclined position, “Why don’t you show me.” He sits forward, his head between the two Hunters. His voice becomes unmistakable hostile as his eyes settle on Chris, “Now.”
He reaches towards the center console and presses the window control for the front passenger’s side.

Robert chimes in, “He’s just being an asshole, James. He’s new, let it go.” Chris however, has lost some of that machismo military nerve. And with Tooth’s teeth so very close feels a little more compelled to comply, “Umm…yeah…sure.” He leans his head out the window, “See?”

James frowns, commanding, “You’rer not far enough out. More.” His big black eyes focused intently on the smaller Hunter. A pause, then a gruffer, “Do it. Now.” He begins to lean closer, as if to help if need be.

Robert looks over at Chris, “Don’t look at me for help. You’re the one that got yourself into this. Better do as he says.” Chris, looking a little more unsure about this as the seconds click by decides he’d better, and leans even more into the openness, “Sheesh. You’re in a bad mood. Is this good?”

James smiles, “Perfect.” He reaches down to Chris’ belt and hooks a claw around it. Quickly pulling up, he gives the prone body a push, aiming to shove the Hunter out of the vehicle; his other hand reaching for the steering wheel to give it a hard right.

Chris yells out as he falls forward, catching the side, but dislodged by the swerve. Robert yells out, “Holy Jesus!” as the rear of the car lurches as it strikes something human shaped. The remaining Hunter slams on the brakes, “Oh man, oh man oh man….why did you do that?!” Robert, visible shaken, check his side mirrors, “He might just be wounded. I’ll go check.”

James shakes his head, “I will.” He opens the door, walks the 50 feet to the body and shouts, “Play Dead!” Giving Chris a kick, the hyena smiles, "Good boy. Stay." Retaking a seat up front he points, “Drive. Lots of ground to cover. No time to waste.”

Robert puts the old military vehicle back into gear and starts down the road again, he eyes unwilling to check the rear view until he’s sure Chris is out of sight, “Yeah, buddy…lots of ground. Gotta keep moving, right?” After the display, he’s not going to risk anything but driving.

James doesn’t reply, his eyes outside the vehicle, his mind just as far away and on a single word: Volk. Meanwhile, the name of the ex-passenger has already been forgotten. Just another victim in a war seemingly without boundaries.

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