It was the only choice I could make—I backed Datsun‘s play. He said my water truck would stay mine if I’d let him use it, he’d even chip in to help get it finished. It’d be for the common good, yeah? I can’t quite figure his angle, but what he laid out sounded like a step up from the Bambino. Sure enough, a dead Bambino, a little jingle, a few extra hands and a week’s worth of work later, I got the truck up and running (and hooooo boy, that thing ran nice!).
Ran. That’s right, RAN. Past tense.
I ship out with the first run, just to make sure my water-baby works all right. On the way back, full tank and all, up rolls a gang of fucking Marauders. Enough to outnumber our little contingent. There’s a vicious scrap, more than a few folks dusted. They drive off the Free Slave Army guards, and who decides she’s going to take my truck (that she’s been “guarding” this whole run) out from fucking under me but the self-styled head of the Mudpuppies herself. “You weren’t supposed to be here”, she says. (Missed that memo, ha.) “I didn’t want anything bad to happen to you,” she says. Bit late for that, puppy. Her top man flips on her and lights her ass up, and his boys tan my hide before they haul off with my goddamn truck.
So here we are, middle of the dustdamned desert, looking like we’re about to be buzzard food. I’ve been out cold and have just come to, when up comes a man in a raggedyass cloak (the fuck? who wears cloaks these days?) looking like Death On a Horse. Turns out that in all that mess might have been a shred of luck. They’re a traveling freak show, en route to Tulsa. Raggedy Man turns out to be a troubadour, calls himself Palimpsest. Their sawbones (and her imaginary friend) patched us up well enough, I don’t feel like I’m about to shuffle off any more. Apparently I have a concussion (fuck), and have to stay awake a couple of days. I might end up raving without sleep, but at least I might get back to town in one piece.
I don’t know what I’m going to do when we get back. We’re still short water and we’re going to be shorter. Maybe that compacter I sent off to the water road will have made a dent (ha), but it won’t be enough. What the fuck happens now? I’ll find out when we reach Tulsa, I guess.
In the meantime, I’m going to very seriously consider selling the Incredible One-Armed Gun Bunny to the fucking circus.