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It turns out I have a good sense for time, because we make it in nearly exactly an hour. We stop at a gas station, since the bikes are running low again. I hook up the pump and lean up against the pillar. I look over at Tim, and I start to wonder how it feels to have tentacles. Has to be a weird feeling. It’s hard to tell really if they’re slimy or not. It’s kinda hard to get a good look at them. The more you stare, the hazier they get.
These thoughts are interrupted by a clanking noise. The noise repeats and grows closer. I put my hand on my gun, just in case. From around the corner, steps a woman covered in all manner of junky looking scrap metal. Almost none of it is painted, and if it is it’s different colors.
“I don’t believe those bikes are yours. Aren’t you a little old for a joy ride?” She brushes off something on her wrist that looks like it shoots. She’s at least making it look like it does.
“Look, lady, we don’t want any trouble. We’re actually here to see the sheriff. Now, I don’t know who you are, but…” I pull the gun from the back of my pants and click off the safety. “You ain’t the only one with a gun.”
“Oh, wow, is that a threat?” She edges closer towards me. “I don’t need guns to kick your ass.”
“I’m not gonna fight you, and you’re gonna walk away.” I would really rather not fight the psychopath wearing scrap metal right now.
“Why don’t you explain where you got these bikes?” She leans up against a pillar about ten feet from me.
“Why don’t you explain your outfit?” I’m not about to go divulging my problems to some psychopath with a toolshed. Is this what Hammerston has turned into? Crazies wandering the streets?
“Well, you’re clearly not from too close to town, so I’ll forgive your ignorance. I’m The Harvester. I fight crime on the streets. Crimes like the ones you’re committing.” She points to the bikes.
“Look here, I committed those ‘crimes’ to rescue an innocent man from torture? You quit playing dressup, and just go home.” I replace the gas nozzle and the cap, and ready the bike to leave again.
Tin Lady steps in front of the bike and levels her arm gun at me. I quickly have my gun pointed right back at her. We lock eyes and neither of us move.
“Jeez! Settle down! Quit trying to kill eachother! We’re both the good guys.” Dale runs over to us. Maybe he’ll have better luck getting this crazy to leave.
“You’re the good guys?” She laughs, “Alright, you can stay with me, and bright and early in the morning we’ll go over to the sheriff and explain what good guys you are.” She doesn’t lower her arm.
“I’m the person they rescued.” Tim steps out from where he was hiding, his tentacles waved behind him. “People were experimenting on me…” He gestured to some large wounds near to where his tentacles came from his back. “If it weren’t for them, I’d still be there.”
“Well…” The woman lowers her arm, and I slowly lower my own gun. “Are you alright? Do you need a doctor?”
“The last thing I want is another doctor. That’s what got me into this mess.” Tim shudders. Whatever they did to him really messed him up. “We just need a place to stay.”
“My guest room is all yours. You’re gonna give back the bikes though.” She points to the two stolen bikes, and sets off walking. She looks back to us, “You coming?”
We all exchange a look, and elect to go with her. Dale and I half walk our bikes behind her, and Tim trails behind. I don’t imagine she lives too far off, since she walked here with all that metal.
We follow her down the street a stretch, and she takes us around a corner. There she opens the back of a trailer. Inside is a sturdy metal frame with various bars and straps coming off of it. She slowly unhooks all of the metal and straps it onto the corresponding spots of the mannequin. So I guess she might live a ways away.
Once she took the armor off, she was just some twenty something girl. Granted, she has more than enough muscle to carry all that metal.
“Well, load the bikes on.” She says, making way.
I look over to Dale, and he is already loading his bike. I sigh and load mine on behind his. After the bikes are all strapped in, we all pile into her pickup.
It’s actually only a short drive until we stop in front of a big metal shed. She hops out of her truck and motions for us to follow her. We wait for her to wheel off her armor, and then wheel our stolen dirt bikes into her shed.
I look around the shed, and can’t help but gaze in awe. There’s a couple of tables with designs random armor parts on them. There’s shelves of every power tool I’ve ever seen, and then some.
Once she’d wheeled in her armor, she motioned us out. “Alright. I am still gonna make you explain yourselves to the sheriff in the morning, but for now you have a room. Follow me.”
She leads us out of the shed, and locks it up behind us. She then took us into a decent looking house. Inside is a little messy, but no worse than my first place when I lived on my own. She takes us down a hall, and into a bedroom.
“Alright, there’s a bed, and a couple of cots. Spare sheets are in the closet. Don’t try to pull anything. I’m a light sleeper. My name’s Casey, by the way.” She walked out of the room, and shut the door behind her.
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