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The Rather Useful Nature of Jet Star's Patented Speed Friendship Strategy™️

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---skskksskkks---eath Defying broadcasting to Zone 6, Killjoys. Got a package needs retrieving, and it's got a lotta history, so if our erstwhile little bookworm could nip down to my current corner of Zone 4 - I know getting here's no cakewalk, but there's food in it for you if you do - and collect their very, very late birthday present today, that'd be shiny. Here's an oldie but a goodie to get you in the mood for a get down the Getaway Mile, kid. All the way from before the bombs fell, "Collar Full," by Panic! at the Disco...


Void Flare doesn't head beyond Zone 6 very often.

For one, it's a long way to any of the nearest 'joy-friendly settlements, and they didn't exactly have a Vend-a-Hack handy to easily get more batteries without paying top carbons. Those things were few and far between, and guarded jealously by those who'd managed to get their hands on one before all the best hackers had died out. They'd figure out how to make their own soon enough, though, once they had enough parts.

Dust kicks up behind them as the electric-blue battery bike whizzes down Route Guano (or, as they tended to not-so-affectionately call it, "Shit Creek".) Perhaps not the safest way to Zone 4, but certainly the fastest. They'd only passed a routine patrol so far - two men, both an easy stealth stun even from the bike. They could have gone around, Void supposed, but they were always twitchy about being spotted on retrieval runs. The cargo they were fetching was far too precious.

The half-submerged metal body of Destroya looms far on the horizon, and Void gives a solemn nod in its direction before passing the border into Zone 4. 'One day I'll visit properly again,' they mumble from beneath the bandanna keeping out the dust, turning back to view the road. 'Promise.' Especially with their dreams becoming more vivid. Something was up. Something big, Zone-changing.

And they suspected that whatever it was had something to do with the morning's radio call from Dr. Death-Defying.

Normally, when he wanted to exchange goods or when there were extra tunes to put in storage, he'd either send Cherri Cola or simply keep them in a box until the next time Void called in and let him know they'd be down Route Guano sometime in the next few days. Not today. Today, he had called them, which meant either something good... or something very, very bad.

Pulling down their bandanna and huffing a strand of teal-dyed hair out of their face, they slow the bike as the Diner comes into sight, frowning at the extra vehicle parked on the far side of the building beside the Doc's rusty old van. A Trans-Am, by what they could see of it, covered in dust and graffiti. Not many of those in the Zones, but they had no idea of who would have one at the present time. Maybe Cherri had found it on one of his scavenging runs, gearhead that he was. They'd ask later.

Setting the bike by the ancient gas pumps outside, they pull the small box off the back, hanging the luggage straps over the seat for later. It rattles as they readjust their grip, and their mouth tips up faintly on one side as they take a peek to check for damage. Cherri and Show Pony were going to love what they'd found, and there were a few new tapes for Dr. D, too.

This wasn't the first time Void had been past the Diner, but they'd never had a reason to stop there before. Apparently the old DJ had moved in, after narrowly avoiding a raid on his last station, a tiny building that used to be a donut stand on the edges of Zones 2 and 3. All things considered, the Diner was definitely an upgrade.

Well, at least from the outside. Who knows what the inside looked like. Stepping through the door, they set the box on the nearby table and look around for signs of life. 'Doc?'

There is a moment of clattering from a room on the other side, before five faces peek out from behind the doorframe. Void doesn't recognise any of them, and instantly feels their throat instinctively constrict (brain screaming the questions that they can't get out) just as the stranger at the front - sharp features and a shock of red hair - cocks an eyebrow and drawls out the dreaded question. 'Who are you, then?'

Well.

That's a bit of a long story for a first meeting. Also, the blonde guy on the right has a casual hand on his gun and looks to be about five seconds from drawing it if they don't answer.

shit.

... am i in the wrong diner?