When we last left off, Lesley and Bart were ducked
down after hearing gunshots. A few minutes
of bickering later, George and Scott walk to
their trucks, arms full of weapons and ammo. “They
even got the mortar launcher,” Bart laments.
Lesley gives him a look. “Stu’s idea,” he
lies. Lesley nods like, “Yeah, right,” but says nothing.
Suddenly C.C. walks into the clearing,
clears her throat and cocks the hammers of the two
nickel-plated Smith & Wesson .45s
she has pointed at our heroes. “Oh shit,” Bart
says. “I know that sound. Be cool, Lesley.” They turn
and see C.C. – four masculine eyebrows raise.
“Holy—“ Bart begins, but she cuts him off by
firing a bullet between his left foot
and Lesley’s right. “Shut up,” she says, coldly, from
behind her pitch-black aviators. “Why are
you here? This facility is off limits
to civilians.” “Listen, bitch-” Bart manages
to get out before C.C. shoots him in the
right foot. It barely nicks the side, but the big
man howls in pain and falls to the ground like he’s
dying. “The next one goes in your temple,” she
says with a smirk. C.C. sees Lesley’s sword. “Nice
weapon,” she says. “Thanks,” he replies. “Who are you
supposed to be, Joan of Arc or something?” “Why
does everyone keep asking me that?” he says.
“You shot me!” Bart yelps in pain. C.C. rolls her
eyes as her two brothers approach. Scott points at
Lesley and says, “Take a look at this fuckin’
guy. He thinks he’s The Highlander.” “Nice sword, douche,”
George mocks. “Why do you have that anyway? Are
you actively looking for The Kurgan or
waiting for him to find you?” Lesley chuckles.
“What’s that bird on the hilt supposed to be?” Scott
asks. C.C. frowns and shoots him a look. “Don’t you
ever read?” she asks with a sigh. That ‘bird’ is
a Phoenix.” “It’s a Cardinal?” Scott wonders. “No,
Scott. A Phoenix,” C.C. corrects. “It’s a damned
fire bird.” “That ain’t no Pontiac, C.C.,”
George states. She closes her eyes and grits her teeth.
“Yes, George, thank you for pointing out that sword
is not a car made in Detroit. The Phoenix
is an old legend that goes way back to … um …
I don’t know how long, but a long time.” “Oh yeah,”
Lesley says, “Ray Bradbury wrote about it.
Oh man … what did he say?” Lesley closes his
eyes and concentrates. His world warps. He hears a
WHOOSH and like that, he’s fireside with Granger
and Montag. Bart, C.C. and the two giants
hear Lesley recite Granger’s words in their world.
“There was a silly damned bird called a phoenix
back before Christ. Every few hundred years
he built a pyre and burned himself up, but
every time he burnt himself up he sprang
out of the ashes, he got himself born all
over again.” There’s a WHOOSH and Lesley’s back
to reality. “At least I think that’s it.”
Bart struggles to his feet, glares at Lesley and
says, “What the shit are you babbling about?”
“Fahrenheit 451,” Lesley replies.
“Remember that book we had to read in Miss
Russell’s English class?” “Pfft,” Bart answers. “No, dork.
I don’t remember some book I read in school.”
C.C. shoots Bart in the same spot on his left
foot. He falls like a sack of potatoes. His
shrieks of agony echo off the trees. “Oh
stop whimpering, you big fairy,” C.C. scoffs.
“You shot me!” Bart screams. “Twice!” “I barely grazed you,”
she says, cooly. “Now get up, take Maximus’ arm
and get the hell out of here.” Lesley puts his
hand out. Bart slaps it away and tries to stand.
Lesley helps him up, awkwardly. Bart grits his
teeth and shouts, “Get your goddamned hands off of me!”
Lesley steps back and lets Bart gain his bearings.
They start to walk away. “Leave the sword,” George says.
They increase their pace. “Get ‘em!” Scott hollers. The
two giants run to their trucks while C.C. sighs
and says, “I’m surrounded by idiots.” The
sound of revving engines makes her look up. She
sees the two trucks gaining on Lesley and Bart,
but they make it to the river just in time.
George and Scott get out and hurl bottles and cans
at them until they get to the other side.
“If you ever come back, we’ll kill you!” Scott shouts.
“Yeah!” George adds. “Do you hear that? We’ll kill you both!”