Decompression

Summary:
August 6 2014: Jericho accompanies Partisan to look up some old friends. And have dinner.

Chain Cutters Union

A repurposed K-Mart distribution center outside city limits.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[* None]


It takes a little while for her to find her pace again, not even the Partisan is invulnerable of course. It's easy though to lose yourself in your work, and whilst the CCU is between ops training is almost as good right? So dressed in full battle rattle, with her pack loaded down with water jugs and a full sized PKM cradled in her arms she runs. The treadmill she's using is, well not happy about it either. The thing tops out at thirty, and it's not even happy with that much less for how long she's kept this up for. Grunting as she bows her head, panting against her gasmask as she races onward, ignoring the barn heaters she's set in front of the machine as best as she can.

It's not as if this sort've thing is unknown for the Partisan of course, but it's not exactly like she tends to let people watch her train. Training with people, usually means she's working with their personal fitness level. All the little tips and tricks she does to keep herself fit, and exactly what her daily work out looks like? Well Jericho might be the only man alive who can put the four hundred lb rack of weights beside the weight bench and the tread mill together without asking. Not that a simulated two hour run with 130lbs of shit, at thirty miles an hour, in hundred fifteen degree heat should be that stunning even if he's never seen it himself. She's got music on the overhead, blaring some sort've hip hop as she goes.

The other items of note, would be the cars of course. She has a little parking lot inside with a mixture of late model BMWs, a few mid eighties Camaros, and a newer car or two parked over there. They are cars purchased and modified to be as absolutely invisible in plain sight as possible, not hotrods really. Which makes the jet black X5, and that jet black wide body Dodge Challenger so stand out. They're clean, they're new. The X5 looks quite stock, but the Dodge? Well that shaker hood isn't standard, nor is that little ducktail spoiler, the wide body fenders, the gold BBS rims or the blacked out trim work upfront. Still, are new vehicles showing up in that inside parking lot that unusual? Nope.

*

Jericho has had an… odd few days. But no one's shot at him. And he has some new reading, so there's that. It's been long enough that his burns have healed up, the scarring is essentially gone and he's feeling fairly relaxed. Also, he figured Parti might get back to her grind at some point. By the sounds of the rattling and running, he was right.

The door opens, then shuts behind him as he moves into the rather cavernous interior of the facility.

"Hey Parti!" He calls out. He brought some snacks along with a crate of electronics. Time to do a few upgrades here. "Back at it hrm? How'd your 'vacation' go?"

*

Partisan lifts up a gloved hand for that universal "one minute" gesture before getting back to it and… well her watch does indeed go off shortly thereafter and off she climbs. Huffing into her mask for a moment, before pressing her hands to her hips.

"Hey, Jerry. Yeah, pretty good. The BMW, is for you. I was gonna do a big hokey thing with a bow, and then decided that was fucking stupid. Keys and shit are on the driver's seat, lemmie get a shower super quick and we'll go get some lunch or something alright? I'd just go now but, I'm all sweaty and mean."

*

"You're always mean." Jericho says with a teasing grin. "But sure. And… that's for me? I… wow. I know you said you were gonna get me a car but… thank you." He seems really, really shocked by that. Parti's a good friend, and he knows her fairly well but she still does surprise him.

Setting his crate of electronics down, Jericho goes and examines the car while Parti showers. He adjusts the seats, the mirrors, grins at the FLIR and 360 degree cameras. Wow. This thing is tricked out. He's back inside, leaning against a table grinning by the time she's done.

*

Partisan isn't too long in coming thankfully, tying her hair back in a ponytail as she exits the showers with a huff. Jeans, skate shoes, and a shirt with an AK safety switch emblazoned across it. Sort've a militant skate punk look today.

"Yeah well, I got the money and you don't. I saw that silly econobox, and well that shit isn't gonna work. You deserve a little luxury somewhere in your life, something that'll start every time and won't have a fit when we get those nasty snow storms."

Shrugging some as she nudges a wheel with her shoe. "I left it mostly stock. Only thing I did was put a few layers of kevlar around the engine and in the doors. Won't stop a rifle but it'll stop a pistol round, glass is stock though. I didn't wanna go hot rodding what is yours, man's gotta have some things which are his alone right?" Smiling. "Also, I mounted the license plates with quick disconnects. Cuz' yaknow, your you right? So, feel like grabbing a bite to eat?"

*

Jericho chuckles. He does indeed have some… unique needs. And it'll be nice to have a ride that fits more than one person that isn't temporary. That Harley of his is well loved and well used, but not so good for hauling people around. Hasn't been an issue until recently but hey, good to have options.

"Yeah, food sounds good." Jeri chuckles at the get up. Ah. That looks like Parti. One day she's gonna develop this sense of fashion and come out in like, business casual or evening wear just to make his head explode.

"What'cha feelin' like?" He asks as they stroll toward the car.

*

Partisan circles around to the passenger side with a -streeetch-. "Eh, I know a Chinese place in town. It's cheap, they feed the shit out've you and it's pretty good. I need the carbs anyway, need to put weight back on anyway. I lost like twenty pounds after getting shot to hell, and I've been eating like a horse."

Slumping into the passenger seat and leaning back, mentally making note to avoid being a back seat driver."I wanna take a look at the gunshop in town anyway. I only glanced through the other day, but they have a bunch of trade ins for cheap. Never have enough guns, cars or other assorted loud dangerous toys right?"

*

"You sure you're not a guy?" Jeri grins as he starts the car up. Nice, smooth. Parti-Girl has good tastes. "Well, okay, Chinese it is. What's the address? Or the name. Either will do." Jeri brings up his navigational aid on his HUD. Otherwise known as Google maps.

"So how are you feeling?" Getting shot to hell can't be a pleasant experience no matter how much one is able to recover. Hell, getting half burned to death wasn't pleasant for Jeri.

*

"Been one, few times." Is Parti's immediate response. "I've spent my entire life hanging out with the boys, shit I'm more comfortable around men than I am women half the time. Get all territorial and shit." Offering over the place's address, which yes she has memorized of course.

"I feel slow and weak, my fitness level is not where it really needs to be as far as I'm concerned. The endurance is always there, but the power and the agility takes actual effort to build up and maintain. Feel like I'm starting from scratch again."

"Gotta rebuilt the muscle tissue and memory?" That makes sense, he supposes. No particular reason her body would regenerate in the exact same state. Rolling out of the compound, Jeri takes a left and eases onto the sparse traffic of a road that eventually connects to a main road.

"Territorial around women? Really?" It's odd, actually, considering how he's only ever seen her around other women. May, Nancy, Illyana, Pepper. Territorial he gets in general, but he hadn't noticed it himself.

*

Partisan nods. "Well it's all about rank structure, you're either family or your pack or you're competition. Pepper gets sort of a pass, but the rest? Naw I get all extra fighty, and I know I really shouldn't. It's why I have to be so careful with Sara alot've the time, she's a powerful bitch and so am I. So instinct says, I need to kick the shit out of her to show her who's head bitch in charge." Grinning sidelong after Jerry. "See you already know who's head bitch in charge, so I don't have the urge to beat you stupid."

*

That makes Jericho laugh. "Also I don't feel the need to compete with you. I can wrack up a body count if I really want to but for sheer tactical prowess? I think you've got me beat. It's a good thing I can do other things, eh? Might not have found me so useful."

Another turn and Jeri grins widely. "Man, can you pick'em Parti. This is the nicest thing I've driven in a long, long time."

*

Partisan shrugs "You've got a good heart and a good soul, I'd like you plenty if you were a Librarian Jerry. I'm not quite as judgmental as I tend to come off." Leaning back some with a soft smile. "I'm very glad you like it, I wasn't really sure what to get you. I almost bought you a Corvette, but I figured you'd appreciate the ability to take a nap in the back seat if necessary."

*

"It seems like the kind of thing that might come up." Jericho grins. His tone softens a bit. "Thank you Parti. Between you and the other two… well, It's nice to have friends again."

Parti's assertion that she'd like him if he were a bookworm gets an almost thoughtful look. Mostly, he's trying to figure out what she'd do in a library. "So what do you like, Parti? Other than this. You mentioned art museums, I know…"

The restaurant is close now.

*

Partisan turns to look outside the window passively. "Art museums, history museums just make me feel ancient. Honest to god airplanes, like my big Antonov. Muscle cars, food from back home, Rap apparently and I have fallen in love. Long board skateboards, Men in uniform. I'm really, not a complicated sort of person Jerry. I've never had much time to get complicated."

Finally offering a glance back towards Jeri. "We aren't friends, we're family. We've bled together, we're on another level now. I don't fight for causes I can't identify with ideologically, I wouldn't fight Hydra if I hadn't met you. I mean sure now I know about Nancy, but I'd have just floated aimlessly."

*

Jericho turns into the parking lot. This place looks like… well any other Chinese place. But if Parti says it's good, he's willing to bet it'll be a while before they come out again. The car goes into park and Jeri unbuckles his seatbelt. "Wolf Family, hrm? You know that Nan calls you Mama Wolf and me Brother Wolf right?" And it feels about right. Wolves take care of one another on a level not often observed in the animal kingdom. Oh it's out there, but in few places so stark as with them.

*

Partisan huffs, shifting in her seat to perform a quick chamber check before holstering back up and slipping out've the BMW. "Wolf Pack, but that's a little different. A pack is a survival unit, a Family is a emotional unit."

She steps up to the door and tugs it open, before sliding inside. It's, cheap as hell in here and utterly like every other Chinese place ever but…well ok she has a super powered nose. She's never been wrong about food ever either, right? "You want anything in particular, Jerry?"

Turning to offer a smile and wait is that Cantonese no it's got to be Korean to the older woman behind the counter. The woman, immediately brightens up and waves pleasantly to the pair.

*

"Seems she knows you. I'm pretty partial to egg fu young and pan fried noodles." Jericho notes. "But I trust your nose. Whatever you say is good here. It all smells pretty damn good, I'll say that."

Jericho stretches, nodding in agreement with Part. "Yeah, it is, which is why we're the wolf family to her. Comparison's almost flattering to me. Between the two of us we're probably the fiercest people she knows. But that's neither here nor there. What'd you do with yourself on your downtime?"

*

Partisan shrugs, taking a seat "I knew her great aunt, but well I'm not telling her that."

Turning to shout the order over quite casually, the woman just waves and ducks into the back. "Nothing special. Bought a car, worked on my Antonov, spent too much time on wikipedia, worked on said car and listened to an audiobook. Went to check on a few guys I used to know, make sure they're ok and their kids are sorted out. They didn't recognize me of course, but thats the way I wanted it really. Finally found a guy I'd known in nam, thought he'd gotten killed in 61'. Turns out he'd survived, moved stateside. Runs a gunshop, the one in town incidentally."aaaand thats why she wants to go.

"He was one of the best soldiers I ever had under my command, very smart."

*

"High praise from you. Will he be open when we're done here?" Jericho's already moving toward a booth. Hot green tea and rice, thank you and we'll wait to see what Parti orders. Shadows creep a bit not far from Jeri but K'nert knows better than to cause trouble near Partisan.

"So, what's good here? And what's on your mind?" Not a 'brief me on what I need to know' but just 'what are you thinking?'

*

"Well the orange chicken here, is really pretty spectacular. It's actually American food of course, but I've never had orange chicken anywhere half as good as this place is. That and their sweet and sour soup, I could eat here every day for just one of those things. As for what’s up, well I dunno."

Shrugging casually, Part does seem genuinely relaxed at least. "I'm sort of thinking about buying a bunch of old guns because I can, and because I like old guns for obvious reasons. I'm sort've debating inwardly if I want to let this guy know who I am, because I suspect he'd be ok with it all actually. I told him some things, and claimed I was the grand kid of a dude he and I both knew well and he seemed very happy to stay open. Seemed thrilled he could give a buddy's kid a deal, he's that sort of guy yaknow?"

Reaching up to gently rub at her ear. "Also been thinking about starting another business, and for the record my business stuff is above board and legal. I don't play shell games, that shit's for amatuers."

*

"Heh, well and it gives you something to do. Mind if I go with you to that gun store? Sounds like a nice place to browse if nothing else. Unless he's only expecting one customer."

Jericho orders the orange chicken, the sweet and sour soup, some pan fried noodles and whatever else Parti would like to have. Now that his burns have healed and he's no longer in a lot of pain he seems much, much better. At ease, as much as Parti's ever seen him, though… perhaps not as much as he's ever been. Some habits die hard. It's probable he'll be dealing with this kind of thing years after this is all over.

*

Partisan waves a hand dismissively "Thats fine Jerry, I'm not going to invite you over and then tell you to wait in the car. You’re my friend, not my pet dog." Accepting a coke with a wave of thanks, before lighting up a smoke. Nobody, at all seems to mind and they are the only patrons. "Well revenue streams are good. I was born poor, I'm sure as hell not going to die poor. Having money isn't luxury, it's options. I can buy you that car, because I'm rich. I can decide to buy another plane tomorrow, because I'm rich. I could retire now, and be content financially because I'm rich. Having options, means I don't get stressed. Which is why you're going to be my partner in this business venture."

*

That makes Jeri's brows raise. "Partner mmm?" First he's hearing of it but then Parti usually has pretty good ideas. Well actually he's never thought she had a bad one now that he thinks of it, even if he would occasionally use a different approach. "Gotcha. Well, I'm listening. What's this venture of yours? And how can I help?"

*

Partisan smirks "It's nothing like, amazing or anything. I'm buying a guy out, it's a ham radio store. Catalog and internet sales, I looked over the books yesterday. Doesn't make a whole lot, but he always turns a profit. Established customer base, some solid contracts with commercial clients for parts and service. I'm actually going to leave the employees alone for now, as they're long timers who know what they're doing and we can run it totally hands off."

*

Jericho nods. Raidio parts are something he's quite familiar with. "Gotcha. Sounds interesting. Be happy to go over whatever you need with that with you. For now though…" The food arrives. "You can tell me about if you'd like. Or just chat. Other than that one night at your house, I can't remember the last time we did."

*

Partisan smirks "You don't want to hear silly old country stories, or silly war stories about places they don't have maps for anymore. I'll shoot you the place's website, browse around. I think they'd double their profits at least if they had a better ordering system, them ordering from suppliers that is. They tend to be out of stock frequently." Pausing to dig in with relish, and fuck yes the girl knows her food. "I was originally just gonna strip them for their stock, but this seems a wiser course of action."

*

Jericho seems to approve. And he's something of a chow hound, though he doesn't often have a chance to indulge it. Which is just as well. Keeps him fit. "I'll see what we can do about streamlining and improving it. Folks do amazing things with drop shipping and offsite inventory systems these days." It's been really handy sometimes since it lets someone like him acquire parts from vendors who would otherwise balk with no one the wiser.

"Well if not war stories, what would you like to talk about?"

*

Partisan chuckles "Quite the interrogator tonight, I'm a soldier and this isn't a date. Really Jerry, we can just shoot the shit here. What would -you- like to talk about, do you want to hear my silly war stories?" Pausing there if only to chow and, well she just burned how many calories and she's tryna bulk up here so her appetite should be exactly zero surprise.

*

Jeri winks. "I've been getting in a lot of practice. I dunno. I'm happy just eating but honestly how often are we not being shot at or prepping for a mission or trying to beat a clock on something." Technically, Jeri still is, but he's letting that go at least for tonight. Just… don't think about it tonight. Maybe later go home. Garden, plant a tree, read a book.

After he looks at a lot of guns. So many guns.

*

Partisan raises a brow "So, the fuck is tearing you up Jerry? The scientists, this Hydra bullshit still, something with Nancy you think I'm going to freak out about? Get that shit off your chest, I can hear your heart beat from where I'm sitting you'll remember. Part of the reason why I seem to always have a clue, really."

*

Jericho smiles. "No, I'm okay. I had my PTSD episode and I'm alright. About as relaxed as I've been in a while. I just haven't done interrogations like that since Afghanistan and some of my blacker black ops. It took me back to another place. I always tend to get wound up when that happens." A bit of treatment Jeri could probably use but nothing would do any good while he's still hunted. Sort of like trying to bandage a cut while it's happening.

"Am I that off kilter right now?"

*

"You've been that off kilter for some time, Jerry. I told you, that was caustic work and I told you I'd attend to it. It isn't that you're weak, it's that you pile so much shit on top of yourself at the same time that it becomes overwhelming. Then you get all, like artificially chipper and ditzy because you're trying very hard to make a very not alright situation look alright. Like I dunno if you're convinced that your helping the people around you with that, or that by going through the motions that'll make it real or what."

There she goes, nobody who knows part has ever accused her of being a liar. Think about it, nobody has. "It's fine and normal to feel, like there isn't a word for the emotion it brings up. It's like a wave of this uncalm, like panic and despair and rage all mixed into one incoherent mess you have no idea how to even work through. That's normal, it's an emotional reaction evolved to make you slow down and stop what you’re doing because you've reached your limit. Keep it up, and you'll suffer a nervous breakdown. The first step, is realizing this is a warning light and it's not bad to feel this way. I get it too, everyone who does this shit this hard for very long gets it. The old term for it, which still fits best. Is combat fatigue."

*

Jericho sighs a little and eats another bite. So very good. "I'm not sure I honestly know what normal feels like anymore. Been a while."

The hacker's tone is conversational. And he's very interested in the food. "Over a year, though I think I've mentioned that to you before."

*

Partisan nods sagely "And I've mentioned that this would happen to you before as well, did I not Jerry? You have a compulsion to take on more causes than is healthy, and if you keep this going you will end up in an asylum. I can't help you, this isn't about me helping or not helping you. This is about you helping you, because if you're a fucking mess then you sure as hell can't help anyone else."

*

Jericho shrugs again. "You're right." He shovels another bite of food into his mouth. "And this helps to be honest. Just… heck Partisan you're probably about my best friend." Kind of odd, actually how his three closest friends seem to all fall into slightly different categories. "Being normal is… awkward. Seems so foreign to me. But it's definitely nice."

*

Partisan smirks "Normal, is what everyone calls everyone else. Nobody in the history of the world, has ever thought themselves normal. Do you need me to help you with this, I mean really. If you can't get it started, I can help but i can't finish it. I'm your friend, your -my- best friend I've had in a hundred years. I'm just not a therapist."

*

Right now Jeri just wants dinner and a nice trip to a gun shop. Speaking of, the food is going away at a surprising rate. "Sometimes friends are therapists. In a way."

*

Partisan smirks "how many therapists take their patients to gunshops after discussing mental instability as a result of too much violence?" She pitches a few bills down on the table, no way there’s sixty dollars’ worth of food they just put away but she knows the woman's great aunt or something right? Anyway part gets to her shoes and grins. "C'mon, let’s go buy some guns and maybe tell an old soldier a secret."

*

"This I gotta see." It's back to the X5, which makes Jeri grin again. He pauses to get directions from Parti and starts driving. Turns out the place isn't that far. This time Jeri's a bit quieter though as the neighborhood changes and they approach the shop he whistles low. "Mmmmm. Interesting place your friend has Parti. So is this one of your old SF buddies?"

*

Partisan nods, leading on quietly. "He was a frogman, back before they turned into media whore seals. One of the best soldiers I ever fought with." Inside it's clean and squared away, racks of old rifles, glass cases of old pistols. Behind the back counter, lies an enormous American flag and a glass case full o…oh fuck. That’s a medal of honor. The old man, has an eyepatch and his face is old scars and a boonie hat. His arms are covered in ancient illegible ink, but he holds himself up tall and straight. "Hello, John."

The old man narrows his gaze just a little "I am Mister Harrow, Miss. You're Chief Monroe's little one are you?"

"No, not quite. Do you remember who you got that ink with?" As she lifts that right forearm up, displaying all that red and black ink running up from her wrist.

"It's been a long time John, they told me you jumped on a grenade. Nobody ever thought to tell me you'd actually survived it, you stupid fucker." The old man just, stands for a moment. Gaze softening as those shoulders begin to slouch.

*

Jericho slips in quietly, doing that 'part of the background' thing. He leans back against the wall and folds his arms, watching. It is not every day you get to see two old soldiers reconnect. He's seen it once in his life and it was in a very dark place in a part of the planet he can't officially admit he's ever been to. This? Parti thought he'd died. He thought she'd long since been in the dirt. Hell he thought she was a he. This? This is going to be something else.

*

"You fucking…"Is all he can get out. His gaze immediately softening, before lifting a hand to wipe a tear from his eye. Reaching out to rest a hand on the counter to stabilize himself, and for a moment it's just quiet. "You're prettier now that you're not a fucking gook you crazy bitch."

Yeah well, he can call her whatever he wants it seems. She steps up to offer a hand, before the two step into sort've a lingering hug. "I got the letter you wrote my mother, but I wasn't out of the hospital until seventy four. I tried to get word to you, but those fucking spook bastards acted like I was a liar."

"Yeah, I figured you would. I checked in on Chuck, found him living in queens. That dumb bastard got fat as hell, he told me you were still alive and I came to say hello as soon as I could. The uh…" Part pauses, thumbing over towards Jericho. "…jackass there is working with me now. A SOAR can you believe it, Jerry Introduce yourself to Staff Sergeant John Taylor. Don't be a stranger."

*

Jericho steps up and offers out his hand with a smile. "Jericho Trent, but as you heard, she just calls me Jerry. Always happy to meet one of her friends." He very carefully avoids mention of the word 'Partisan' because, hell, he's got no idea how this man knew her. "And as she says, I'm working with her these days. Nice place you have, by the way."

*

"Jerry, I see." It would seem Mr.Taylor has a grip like a vice, but old frogs don't get soft easy. "You stupid bitch, I knew you were alive. That wolf skull shit, saw it on the Television during that mess in Colombia. I figured you'd been down in that fucking mess, and knew the jungle hadn't gotten you."

"They tried pretty hard, almost did. Spooks played some games, tried to skull fuck me royal. Doing my own thing now."Part just smiles.

"So the news was right, I thought it looked like your work. Saw that nonsense you put on the internet, You're not as fucking wordy as you used to be."

Though he's grinning too now, waving after Jericho. "Friends or not, no fucking discounts but feel free to look around."

*

Jericho chuckles and steps back, letting Parti browse. He's… familiar with her penchant for old guns. He may have a look around himself. He's not likely to get anything, but in a place like this one never knows. He is glad now though that he didn't relax too much and wear short sleeves. He wouldn’t have like to explain his odd 'tattoos.'

*

The pair chat amicably for a little while, and then once phone numbers are exchanged and Part hands him a fresh wolf's skull patch there’s some money changing hands and eventually things seem wrapping up. She tosses Jerry an M1 Garand as she heads his way, a pair of pistol boxes under arm.

"From John, according to him you're a fucking commie rat bastard if you don't own a Garand so how could I refuse you getting a free Garand?" Shrugging as she heads for the door. "Not like a Canadian designed the stupid thing, but hey I'm Bulgarian what do I know right? C'mon, let’s go home."

*

Jericho laughs and tosses John a salute as they leave. "Hard to argue with .30-06 for some applications. Plus it's fun to shoot. He took that well? Well… as well as could be expected." There's a part of him that wonders, one day when he's old - if he makes it that long - if Partisan will look in on him.

*

Partisan nods as they walk. "Well I mean we killed vampires and strange North Vietnamese folk magic witches and shit, He knew what I was. As for handling it well, shit I was more worried about me. I thought that stupid fucker was dead, diving on a mother fucking grenade and surviving." Sighing softly. "He's got some grand kids in college now, married had a kid. He got it right."

*

"Glad to hear it. A lot of stories from that era don't end well." Of course coming home from war is hard in any time, Jericho knows, but Vietnam? There were so many things people just didn't know or thought they knew and had wrong. So many of those soldiers got such a raw deal.

"Kind of gives a couple of old soldiers hope, hrm?" Okay, Jeri isn't by any stretch of the imagination 'old' especially by Partisan's standards, but he can probably be forgiven feeling like one. At thirty one, he's now spent close to a third of his life in combat operations or running from Hydra. Old soldiers indeed.

*

Partisan shrugs, slumping into the BMW. "Well he met his wife in the VA they had him at, they discharged him in like 71 and he was in the hospital until 74. He's the sort've guy who likes pissing people off anyway, if he'd been born in your generation you'd probably have called him a troll. Old bastard thrives on people not loving him, so it all worked out for him really." Glancing back towards the shop.

"I wonder what would have happened if I'd just, quit and moved to the US after 'Nam. That feels like it was my last, good war."

*

"Part of me wishes you had, just to have been spared all the crap you went through." 'Nam was… pretty ugly. And for Parti, doubly so. "But… then I suppose we might not have met. And that'd be a shame at least on my end." The car starts again and Jericho eases it onto the street. It smells - rather deliciously - of boxed Chinese food. "Where to?"

*

Partisan waves a hand "Home James, if you please?" Shrugging some as she sets the boxes in her lap. "Nam was a fine war, it wasn't any uglier than any other. We were meaner to the Germans than we were to the Vietnamese, it's all the media. Sure guys went off the deep end, these things happen in war. If it wasn't for the political bullshit, we could have won it. Vietnam was lost by politicians, not the boys who fought out there. Christ, you're gonna make me miss the jungle at this rate."

*

"I could drive you down to Gotham." Jeri grins over at Part. "I was a little distracted by some of the toys in there. What'd you end up getting?" Traffic is getting sparse toward this time of day, and it's not long before they're out of anything remotely resembling the city again and getting close to being the only car on this part of the road.

*

"A Walther P5 compact, and a Sig P232. I always wanted a P5, came out in 77 but they were always rare and never exported to South America. The 232 came out the same time really, and I dunno I just like both've them and I didn't want to leave without buying anything. I already have a few 232s, but I dunno." Musing quietly as the BMW goes.

"Fuck Gotham, fuck that shit raw. Last thing I wanna fucking deal with is a fucking batman. You believe that shit?"

*

"I've been a few times. The Batman worries me a lot less than just the general propensity for the bad people to operate more boldly. Makes crowded place really nerve wracking," Parti's companion shares as he turns onto the side road that leads back to the CCU operations center.

"But I was kidding. The place reminds me of a Jungle, but more Upton Sinclair and less Rudyard Kipling."

*

Partisan shrugs her shoulders "They do that, because the town sheriff banned guns."oh boy here we go. "Nobody can defend themselves, so of course they just do absolutely whatever the -fuck- they want. Fucking asshole, I'd snap his ass if the opportunity presented itself."

*

"There's like eight of them now," Jericho sighs. "Or there was supposed to be. I heard they were thinking of replacing the police commissioner with a board. I'm not sure if it ever went through. It's never been important enough for me to follow up on."

*

Partisan ughs "Might as well be fucking Detroit at that point, seriously. fuck that guy, who the hell does he think he is flipping out over me killing fucking coke runners? This was forever ago now though, with madness like that you can't reason. He's fighting out of emotion, not logic. The minute you let it get personal, you lose."

*

The car makes the gate and Jericho punches the key code in to open it. "Plenty of good reasons to keep away. He's one of them sure. I ran into others a while back who objected to me carrying." Which is their right. It won't stop him, naturally, but hey, he gets the objection on an intellectual level. Doesn't mean he agrees but he's mostly prepared to be philosophical about that kind of thing.


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