Insert Chassis Albuquerque: Chapter 9 - The Short Skirt: "On The Road"

Chapter 9 - The Short Skirt: "On The Road"

A woman wandered over. 
Short, cropped, blond hair.
Beautiful body, what I could see of it.
She was maybe 25.
She looked at the tangerine I was eating.
Then at the scuffle with Ronald Ford and Tiburg’s people.
Tiburg was conscious and making threats to sue, if not Ronald Ford then the owners of GARBAGE. Tiburg’s people were taking photographs with their phones and trying to get witness statements from everyone but no one knew anything. No one cared for Tiburg and the delicate symbiosis that existed between him and the future of the counterculture movement.
“You Ofberg…?” the woman asked surreptitiously, gesturing at the tangerine.
She made sure to keep her question and movements covert, so as not to draw any attention.
“Sure am,” I said, taking another bite of the tangerine.
“Get your guy and let’s get going,” she said.
What…?” but she’d already turned to leave.
I waved Ronald Ford over.
“Something’s up,” I said, gesturing at the woman as she was leaving GARBAGE.
We followed her outside into the parking lot. She climbed into a big, black BMW on the passenger side. When we got to the car, the driver’s side window rolled down. I looked inside: There was another woman on the backseat already, smaller than the woman sitting in the front passenger-seat.
“You drive,” she said and kicked open the driver’s door.
As soon as Ronald snuggled his large frame in next to the woman on the backseat, a guy as big and as hefty as Ford appeared and clambered in after them. He nodded at me but didn’t say anything.
“Let’s go,” the woman said, pulling a gun out of the glove compartment. She pulled the slide back, looked inside and then released - it hit home soundly with a loud, metallic CLICK!
Ronald Ford said: “Uh…”
“What you waiting for…? Oberlander says you just the men for the job - I trust that you are,” she said and handed the gun to the guy in the back seat.
Ronald Ford said to the woman next to him: “Uh…”
I said: “Oberlander! Oberlander would say that, wouldn’t he? Goddamn Oberlander!”
I started the car.
At least, I tried to, but it didn’t have a key any place that I could see; not in the usual place, anyhow.
“You got the key?” I asked.
The woman leaned over and pressed a button on the console near the steering wheel and the big car started up.
“You not familiar with this ignition system?” she asked.
This…? I practically invented the technology - I was just unaware the Germans had released it already,” I said.
“The Germans? What have they to do with anything?” the woman said, perplexed.
“The Germans? Those bastards have everything to do with anything,” I said, aware my rambling was probably suspicious.
Oberlander’s German…!” the woman said.
“No-no, you got that wrong. Oberlander’s Irish - you didn’t know that about our Herr Oberlander, did you? And given that the nature of this information is very confidential, I’d appreciated it if you kept that to yourself.” She started to say something, but I waved at her and said: “Shhh…” and revved the engine like a maniac for a few minutes, feeling the raw power the car exuded. Everything throbbed. People out and about outside were looking at us in the car, parked in the parking lot.
“What are you doing? Drive…!” the woman instructed.
“Where we heading…?” the big guy in the back said.
“That’s strictly on a need-to-know basis. Not even Oberlander knows,” I said, pulling out of the parking lot, kicking the big car up a gear and speeding off.
The woman next to me kept her eyes on the road, deep in thought.
The woman in the back said little.
I watched the big guy in the rear-view mirror. He was looking between his legs at the gun familiarly, but disinterestedly.
Ronald Ford said: “Uh…” nervously.
Except for the gun, everyone seemed cool.

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