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The Getaway Boss
They Wanted a Driver, and They Got the Boss...
Get the damn name right son, it’s Guy Straker. S-T-R-A-K-E-R.
Thank you. Mind getting me a light Judy while I talk with the man? Left the cigar box in the kitchen.
Perfect. Love you Sweetheart.
So, you want to know about Boss? Sorry to hear the poor bastard took one in the spleen. Thank God for Eric at least, help get ‘em on his feet again. Must be the first time anyone got one over on Boss, but knowing him, sucker was dead before any of ‘em knew it. Never ever bet against a man like him, or the man himself.
As for my connection, I had hired Boss for a quick run to the Haven Storage District. Just an in-and-out thing; supplies, metals, a case or two of that good Dom Pérignon ‘53. Even in synth form, my wife and I can’t get enough of it. Still got a bottle if you want a taste, but I digress.
I was getting the Monterey rigged with my guys Reg Ellis and Paul Mantez when Boss arrived. You got the three of us and Dart, all in blue jeans, leather jacks, harness boots, the whole nine. And here comes this 25-something gray kid, hung like a horse from Hell, riding in on his orange dune buggy. Cat’s shirtless, rocking beige shorts, brown Birks, and black gloves with the tips cut off. Looked like a goddamn hippie. But he did have those killer Ray-Bans of his, so that counts for something.
Anyway, he slides the Manx Meyer to a grinding halt, right by where Dart was waiting for him. Dart flinched, and as a little joke, Boss threw his gal into park and revved her up, growling alongside that red-hot V8 he stuffed in her. Just a little teasing thing, he wasn’t gonna run over him, but Dart…well he was always a bit of an ass.
“Guy, you hired a fucking feral,” he barked my way.
Wrong choice of words.
Now what Boss did next was why I dig him so much. He grabs Dart by his shirt one-handed. He’s got a hand on the wheel and the hand on him. We can hear him punch the clutch, kick the gear shift, and drop the hammer. From there, he takes Dart for a ride, holding him outside of the Manx, never letting off the gas, and just whips him around like a doll. When he’s had his fun, kid slams on the brakes, and drops Raggedy Andy on the ground.
Now I’ve got Reg and Mantez dying of laughter and I’m about on the edge of myself. I mean shit like that knocks me out all the time. It’s just a grownup roughhousing sorta thing, no harm meant. At least when we do it.
Last words Boss had for Dart the whole job were these:
“It’d be a shame if you were under my wheels next time.”
Little prophetic, ain’t it?
Anyway, he punches the Manx and brings her over to me.
“Newcomer,” he asked.
“Not green Son, just a little hotheaded” was all I had to say.
He got it.
He asks me where he can store his Manx and I show him to my garage. When he comes out, he surprises me with a pair of jeans and a black tank top on him. Turns out he had been training all day and had wrapped up a class.
Now that checked out for me. I first met him at one of his classes, and the force and discipline that kid had in one fist was more than the body of any man I’ve worked with in the business. Martial artists are a helluva breed man, what can ya say?
So he comes out looking a touch more civilized, and slides right behind the wheel of the Monterey. I sit passenger side to chat.
“What year’s she,” he asks.
“Make and model?”
“How fast can she go?”
“110 on the dial, but if you mind your Ps & Qs and push her the right way, she’ll clock 200 easy.”
“What’s my cut?”
“Even split. 20% all around. If you think of anything you need, we’ll add it to the grocery list. If you don’t have any use for any of the take, I’ll guarantee you a good gas stockpile for your street machine.”
He nodded; cat was all in.
“Mind if I take her for a spin around your pad?”
“Go for it Son,” I says.
And when I say he lays her out flat, I damn well mean it. The whole gang were just in awe as they watched him working her to the block and back. Shifting in seconds, vice grip on the wheel. I tell ya, riding shotgun with him was a trip. Smooth as the glass on the windows he was, but he rode her rough and ragged in those few seconds. When he brought her back to the starting line, first words out of the kid’s mouth were “she’s got the spirit. That’s good.”
He’s got an energy to him man. He can feel out other guys’ energies and his rides’ energies, just like that. He must’ve found the automotive G-spot or something, I dunno! She’s never run for me like that since, and I’ve tuned the old girl to hell and back over the years trying to see if I could tap that vein.
Anywho, Dart, Reg, and Mantez loaded into the back, tools all set in the trunk. I ran through the operation from top to bottom, all four guys now at my complete beck-and-call. At the end, I got four nods.
It was showtime.
Before I gave the operation the go-ahead, I noticed a little something on Boss’ right wrist. An etched silver band with two tiger heads touching one another. Thus, his code for the gig was born.
“Go get ‘em Tiger.”
He got ‘em all right. The four of us were locked into the backs of our seats by the sheer momentum of the Monterey. I could tell Dart wasn’t particularly enthused, but Reg and Mantez got a kick out of it. Paul’s always been a good sport, even could handle when I get rough behind the wheel with her.
But yeah, my white-hot car and our white-hot driver, a match made in Hell. Never would’ve guessed the Wasteland was still there, the damn thing turned into a blur as we bolted for Haven. Lesser men would’ve sent us flying off the Ivory Coast at that speed, but Boss rocked and rolled her like a pro. I saw that kid smile when he got her drifting real good, and that…that’s the fun stuff about gigs man. You get a real electric thrill outta them if you play it right.
So cut to a couple of a hours later, sun’s going down, and there we are, sneaking through one of the holes in the wall.
Big enough to fit the car? You bet son, A.C.E.S. ain’t what she used to be, she wasn’t even back then. When I was a kid growing up in the 4th District, you could see to the barrier from the apartment complex and it was rock solid. Still looked like chain link, sure, but anyone who tried to get in or out without authorization and
Fried to a crisp.
So yeah, he threw the throttle to the ground and just…went. My baby slid right in and we made our way to our choice warehouse for the evening in the Storage District. That sweet blue moonlight just bathed her as we booked it, and in no time, he pulled her into the spot across the street. I give him the lowdown:
“Stick with her and give me a ring if you got any fuzz on deck?”
Boss gives me a soft nod, and now it’s time to do the real work.
I had the guys follow me in and let Reg do the safe-cracking on the door. Dude’s scrambler fried that sucker in two seconds flat. Biggest mistake they made with that city; you automate everything, electrify it to the max, and you can just as easily undo it. Snap of a finger, just like that.
So Reg works his magic and we’re in. Place is pitch black so out come the flashlights. Dart goes off to look over the metals, Reg sticks with me to go hunting for the supplies, and Mantez goes on the hunt for that wine. Boss did mention he was looking for something…a blade or something like it. Maybe it was a samurai thing for him, didn’t have a clue then to be honest.
Anyway…what do you mean “what do I mean by ‘supplies?’”
For Christ’s sake, you’re living in the goddamn desert man, you need shit to keep your house together, your ride on top of her game. Not just the basic bitch medical supplies. I’m talking tools, weapons, MREs, y’know, stuff to keep you ALIVE. I used to run this shit out to Godred and his crew all the time before they wiped Marshall’s land off the face of the Earth. The Storage District is basically one giant treasure chest of survival stuff that they held down like Fort Knox. They just got progressively worse at doing it.
Or maybe they got better and me and my boys are just that good. Couldn’t tell ya.
Point is, we went all around, flashlights in hand, checking for the goods. The haul was going to be scant, but it was going to be worth it. Once we settled on what crates were coming with us, I radioed Boss.
“Headcat to Tiger, come in.”
“Reading you loud and clear.”
“Swing her over to the door and pop the trunk. We’re bringing stuff out.”
“Yessir…see if you can make it a record time, Headcat. I’ve got some lights in the distance. Don’t seem interested, so let’s make sure they stay that way.”
“Good eye. Over and out.”
That was the cue to get the hell out. We grabbed what we could. It was just a self-sufficiency run, so I wasn’t worried about grabbing guns.
Ammo: yes. Hell yes. Like Holy Mary mercy me, “get it while you still can” bad.
Guns: no need. I’ll show you my cabinet later, I’m a one-man standing army man, yessiree Bob. Last thing I need is another one. Besides, Judy’d kill me with it if I brought the damn thing home anyhow.
So, we had about two crates of everything. Smeltable metal (trust me, not all of it is), a potpourri of ammo, a good rash of MREs, a couple of tool kits, and yes, that Dom Pérignon.
Why’d it be in the warehouse?
Easy. The foreman keeps it stashed in a corner away from everything else. I just helped myself to his private stock, that’s all. Man of good taste too, I often wonder if I’ll ever meet him to say so.
Now, we would’ve had an easy time getting out if it wasn’t for Dart and that damned trigger finger of his. Something spooked him fierce, and he drew and popped a round off. Radioed in and asked what was wrong. Here’s his response, and I quote:
“A damn rat jumped on me.”
And here’s what I heard over the radio from Boss a mere second after:
“We got those lights in-bound.”
I didn’t even have time to chew him out, that’s how bad he blew it.
So, we are winging these crates into the car, probably pulled out each and every one of our backs doing it, and the four of us pile in at Mach 10. When I tell you Boss drops the hammer, Lord do I mean it. That Monterey flew out of there like a heat-seeking missile, her target the barrier. And then the goddamn fuzz shows up.
Those hovering tin soldiers come a-whizzing by and…
Means nothing to Boss. That man was in the zone at the wheel. He just dug his claws in and held her down, and she screamed for him with the force of a full-voice banshee. Again: match made in Hell my man.
We have hovercraft at our back and hovercraft out ahead of us. He doesn’t say anything, he doesn’t warn us, he just shifts up, pins ‘er down, and blows right through them and then the fence. My gal’s, what, a couple centuries old, and she just nukes these sardine cans like she’s made of tungsten.
What he did say next scared the shit out of us at first.
“We’re running through the Marshalls.”
Dude’s going to slam-a-jam my damn car through the Settlements, clocking 150 on cliff-face turns that’d make your stomach do summersaults.
This, naturally, made Dart shit himself.
“Are you fucking crazy,” he starts screaming, “This motherfucker is gonna kill us. Not while I’m—”
Before he can even whip out his pistol, Boss brake checks the Monterey, slams Dart’s head on the gear shift, and throws the so-lovingly sedated gentleman into the back seat by slamming on the gas and letting momentum do the rest.
I mean…it shut him up. Can’t argue with the results.
The Monterey goes bounding through the Marshall Settlements. Boss takes us down a trail, top speed of 205 I figure, and starts whizzing around the ruins. The police at the top of the crater start firing on us, but are missing us by leagues, fathoms, miles! Crack shots A.C.E.S’s men are. In no time at all, we were rolling up another narrow road and my baby swings herself back into the home stretch.
It was a couple of hours before we reached my pad, and we unloaded the stuff. We had just finished when Dart finally came out of his slumber, and he came out swinging. I had Reg and Boss go out and check on him, and the moment Dart saw Boss’ face, he just flew off the handle and right into the sky. I’m talking wailing away at Boss like he had just killed his wife, kids, and car all in one go. Boss weaves around the blows like the pro he is, but he gets one hit socked square in his face.
Even in that sweet blue moonlight, I could see a drop of blood on Boss’ nose. Died the fur about his mouth a dark red. With a fury and a passion I haven’t seen since, he swung back and felled Dart in one blow. Dart comes up and gets kicked square in the chest, dropped like a sack of potatoes. Boss gets in his composed stance; legs wide, feet planted firmly, arms and fists readied.
Dart comes up for one last go at him, this time with a gun in hand. And…and I kid you not…he just slaps it out of his hand. The sound it made when the pads of his hand hit the cool steel of that gun are like…etched into my mind. Even better, Boss grabs Dart’s hand, flips him over, and snaps his arm in the process.
All with one hand.
Like the kid just whipped him around like a pair of nunchuks.
He picked up the gun and handed it to me, leaving Dart writhing on the ground. The only stuff he wanted from the haul was some of the metal, a couple of the MREs, and some of the gas I had promised him as a consolation prize. I gave it to him, and I’ll never forget what he said to me. It was the last thing he said that night when I gave him the metal:
“Thank you, Mr. Straker. This shall be my blade.”
It was this long piece of steel, untouched, unprocessed. That young man made himself a sword that very night, I guarantee you.
But that’s about all I got on Boss. Again, when you go see him, tell him Mr. Straker says “hi.” Pair of us ain’t getting any younger!
Now, how about that Champagne?
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