I didn’t know what I was expecting to find after the Drunk ran off to distract those Crawley guys; was kind of expecting to find a dead body to be honest. Though I sure wasn’t expecting that dead body to be a Crawley goon and I sure as hell wasn’t expecting her to come back around with a bus to pick us all up.

It was a real piece of crap that bus, looked like a dried up turd on a bad stretch of road and smelled twice as bad. Though, it was nice to have something solid to sleep inside for once. Would’ve been nicer if that Crawley asshole we had to drive us around would’ve shut his damn mouth without us having to gag him first. I would’ve hurt him something fierce to make sure he didn’t wriggle loose in the middle of the night, but the Doc reminded me that none of us knew how to drive the damn thing. Don’t rightly know what the big deal was, it couldn’t be that hard to drive a bus.

I woke up the next day just as the sun crawled through the spots on the windows that weren’t caked black with soot and oil. The Nerd and Billy were busy arguing over which way we should head off to find Rachel. Our chauffeur had himself a little accident in the middle of the night and the Drunk and the Doc were too busy reading something on the inside of their eyelids to be involved in the argument. The smell of shit was about to give me a conniption, so I pulled out my piece and pointed it right at the Crawley.

“Would you kindly start up this bus and drive us somewhere?” I asked the poor bastard.

“W-w-where?” the guy said. He was clearly trying hard to pretend his pants were still clean.

“Where we heading, gents?” I asked.

“North” said Billy.

“West” said the Nerd.

“You heard them,” I said to the Crawley, “to the Northwest.”

I didn’t really care where we were actually heading, so long as it somewhere that wasn’t here. There was some more arguing, but with the greasy squeal of the engine, I could at least focus on something else for the time being. As we roared down the road, we could see that the war wasn’t letting up anytime soon, at least if the number of people heading straight out of the city was any real indication. After a good half hour or so of driving, a bunch of Crawley runners zoomed past us like a starving dog smelling a nice bloody hunk of meat. The Nerd wanted us to follow them in case they’d managed to get a better lead on where Rachel was than ours. I told him that the only thing we’re going to find hound-dogging Crawley goons was a fight. Of course, being the sole voice of reason in this particular situation served me just as well at it had all the other times. This is to say, we were butt-to-butt with Crawley thugs before we knew it.

Things moved far quicker than I could’ve expected and sure enough, there we were the five of us, plus one Crawley Chauffer hostage hiding out in the bushes surrounding a clearing. There were at least twelve guys there just standing around their bus and trucks and patting themselves on the back for catching one girl. It would’ve been funny if that girl weren’t holding the one thing that we needed to get to keep our legs from being smashed by some merchant with delusions of being the Godfather. With the way my luck was going, I just wanted to take my chances and go in guns-a-blazing before I was trampled by a runaway moose or reindeer. That’s when the Drunk pushed her luck again.

Before I could trip over a twig or bash myself in the face with a rock, the Drunk took off like lightning coated with Vaseline and jumped on what I can only assume was Rachel’s horse. The Crawleys just stood for a second like someone just knocked their ice cream cones out of their hands. One of the uglier-looking ones was the first to sound the battle-cry, though it really came off more like a battle-whine. These guys, like most of Crawley’s guys, were dumber than a sack of hammers and while two of them chased after the horse on foot, the rest kind of ran in circles and fell over themselves. Billy and the Nerd rushed the bus in the confusion. I decided that I might as well kick the dog while it was down and took a potshot at the crowd. Think I winged a guy in the arm, but there was just so much screaming anyway that it didn’t really matter.

For the first time in this whole damn mess, it looked like our luck was finally going someplace besides the shithouse. Billy and the Nerd managed to get Rachel out of the bus in one piece and the Drunk managed to find that damn iPad everyone seemed willing to give their left nut up over. The Nerd booted it up to make sure it was still good enough to copy the info for Martinez and that’s when we saw it.

A big white box popped up on the screen saying something about how the information was copied successfully. We all looked at each other and knew that things were about to go really, really badly.