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Rev

 

In Rev's mind, there was no question. This had to be something. OK, so it wasn't exactly an armoured truck...but tinted windows? the timing?

 

"Got a suspicious car, tinted windows, stopped bang on the X" she explained to SFX on the phone, then stuffing the phone back in her pocket. 

 

She sauntered up to the car, whistling a tuneless song, trying to be cool. Well, she had been in more tense situations, but this was exciting. She felt the sweat. Maybe it improved the makeshift disguise! Gotta think positive!

 

She tapped on the tinted window, driver side. 

 

"Hey, open up! Gotta move you along! Grade 3 construction works going on here!" she said, full of bluff....

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Zhu thanked her lucky stars that the car had indeed approached from Rev's side.  Her friend had such an easy going demeanor, she was sure that if anyone could pull off this stunt, it was her.  She placed her sign to stop and tried to pay attention to both Rev and the now approaching train.  She looked at it and wondered what exactly was going on.  She didn't know a whole lot about trains, but everything that she did know was that there should be a lot of lights and gates and bells going off.  At least in the distance.  What she didn't know is if the voice was worried about the sedan, or if the voice was worried about the train.

 

She pulled a little of the pavement out of place to make a holder for her stop sign, and quickly stuck it in the ground so that it hopefully would stop any of the southbound vehicles from crossing.  Then, not wanting to be caught on the opposite side of the tracks she tried her best to saunter over across the street from Rev.  She was pretty certain that she looked terrible in terms of any real saunter, but it would have to do.  Especially because she was trying her best to hack the train signals and see why they were not triggering.

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As her mind slid into the railway controller it felt like jumping into a freezing pool on a hot summer day, something you thought you wanted to do, but in the end it was just uncomfortable.  It didn't take her long to realize that someone had already tampered with the relatively simple device, which spelled trouble.  It explained why the signals weren't ringing and the engineer might not even know anything was wrong.  She started to check how it had been tampered with, but realized that likely didn't matter.  Instead, she needed to find out who was in the armored car.

 

"Rev!  The train is coming and the signals are out and I'm not yet sure why!" she said, breathless, into her phone link making no pretense to alter her voice.  All the while she was looking at the license plate of the car and trying to search the police databases to find out who it was registered too.  They needed information and they needed it quick!

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Rev

 

The call came in the middle of her attempt to interrupt the sedan with the mighty spear of bluff and horse manure. 

 

"Yes, what is it?" she answered, snapping uncharacteristically. "I'm like, way into the middle of something!" she hissed and whispered. 

 

Her tone changed as she processed excactly what SFX was saying. "What? The train is coming?" she blurted. "Oh gosh darn it!" she swore. 

 

It was one of her resolutions not to swear. She had been trying really hard and had got her swearing very under control. What she hadn't mastered was the completely incongruous manner in which she swore. It was her look and swagger and accent that indicated profanities should fall from her lips like a beautiful waterfall. Instead, some jarring antiquities stumbled out in a most ungainly manner. 

 

"Can you stop it? I'm kinda busy..."

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"Stop a train?" she replied redundantly.  "I... maybe?  Probably not without wrecking it.  I'm going to try to trigger the gates at least.  It should help you keep the car there."

 

With a growing sense of unease she found herself scratching her backside and shuddered hoping that this illusion's mannerisms weren't contagious.  Not that there was anything wrong with people who worked in construction, but it just didn't seem like something that her mother would ever approve of.  Although, in retrospect, almost nothing she had done tonight was remotely what her mother would have approved of.   

 

Focus!  She needed to focus!

 

Putting her mind to it, she finished the code for the license check and then put her mind to wresting control of the signal from whatever had taken it over.  She didn't need to know who yet, that could come later.  It was more important to get the gate down and get it down now!

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GM

 

The armored vehicle came to a stop and the driver rolled their window down.  The driver looked at Rev with confusion.  He was a burly Caucasian man, with a scar on his left cheek.  His amber eyes and red hair made a strikingly noticeable appearance.  The form-fitting suit did nothing to hide the man's musculature, the driver clearly worked out.  The diverter concealed the passenger in the rear seat's identity.  "I didn't hear about any construction going on today?  And aren't you a little young for this?"

 

Though he asked for answers, the driver stayed perfectly still.  His posture relaxed as he waited for the disguised high schooler's answers.  Meanwhile, SFX attempt at entering the system to drop the gates was fraught with difficulty.  Whoever had been tampering with the train made sure to also fry and isolate many a system.  Remote access to the gates was for all intents and purposes completely cut off.  

 

This was a thorough job.  One that had taken a great deal of time and planning to accomplish.

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Rev

 

"Sure, sure, I agree..." nodded Rev, not knowing what the hell she was talking about, but figuring that nodding your head and agreeing was a good plot whatever the pickle they had landed themselves into. 

 

"Never too young to start an honest living! That's what I say. School sucks, anyhow. Drop out, tune up, full speed ahead, that kind of thing" she said, rambling slightly. She thought it sounded cool. And that was the main thing. 

 

"If you just wait there a minute, I'll see if I can get you through" she added, giving them a smile and a wink. 

 

She turned and walked a little away, out of earshot. 

 

"Clocks ticking, pal!" she hissed down the phone to SFX. "Got an car here full of goons and stuff, managed to stall them for a few seconds, but whatever you are doing, you better do it fast!"

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SFX looked down the tracks forlornly.  Someone had gone to a lot of trouble to make sure that the train signals had gone out.  However, she still was no closer to determining if the bad people were on the train, or were they in the car.  It seemed really unlikely anyone could know the precise time that a car would be crossing the tracks.  Yet, there was proof that someone had set up for that specific scenario.

 

"I don't know!" she whispered urgently back into the phone.  "The signals have been disabled and I can't get the operational in time..."

 

She looked around trying to come up with some idea short of derailing a train moving at high speed.  Then she hit on an idea that might buy them some time.

 

"I got it!  I think I can make the car stop for long enough to have the train go by.  Be ready to stall them, or even help them... they're about to have car trouble."

 

Looking back a the car, she smiled as she issued series of commands to the botnet.  Unseen, a sharp column rose out of the ground underneath the car and attempted to puncture one of the rear tires.  As soon as it got far enough to puncture the tire, she issued the next command to disassemble it and leave a nail in it's place.  Or at least something that was very close looking to a nail.

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GM

 

From inside the vehicle the passenger's phone began to ring.  "What, five minutes?  No wait.  I'll be right th-"  Suddenly, the man in the back threw the phone against the diverter in clear annoyance.  The call having not gone the way he wanted.   "You know what, we're paying the fine."  He called from behind.  The phrase seemingly enough of a cue for the driver to begin driving past.

 

There was no question that SFX had successfully punctured the tire.  But, it wasn't enough to stop this armored vehicle's tires from moving.  Something that became all too clear as the car moved forward past Rev.  Intent on speeding past the train tracks.  However, the vehicle came to a sudden and immediate stop just before reaching the tracks.  It wasn't clear if the nanobots had proven especially effective at stopping the vehicle at the last second.  Or if something else drew their attention.  

 

But, even from the other side of the tinted windows, Rev could tell one thing was sure.  In the reflection of the driver's side mirror, he had begun staring back at her from the moment the train began to pass.

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Rev

 

The glare did not look good at all. Rev felt all at sea. Who knew what the hell was happening here?

 

Well, it wasn't her. 

 

She called up Zhu. "Whats the score, brains? I got an angry care here with an angry puncture and they are looking at me like they want to tear my head off. Just to be clear, I can detach my arms and legs. My head coming off has an unfortunate side effect called death" she whispered, getting a bit franctic with nerves.

 

She wasn't a spy. 

 

Yet. 

 

"Any word from our mysterious voice? Damn it, it feels like Mission Impossible..."

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"Nothing!" Zhu whispered back.  "I haven't heard anything and we prevented the accident.  So we did it.  But someone messed up the signals and wanted to cause an accident.  I think let's mark the vehicle and leave the area.  We can keep an eye on them especially if they have to fix their car."

 

She started to walk back towards her friend, praying that the men in the car would leave them be.  She had already memorized the plates and tried to see if there was anything special about this train or this junction that they had missed.  There was something that they had missed, but she wasn't seeing what it was, or why it mattered that this particular car had to be stopped.

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