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Supercape

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GM

 

The truck, as it happened, was apparently transporting skis, snowmobiles, and snowboards. Northern Light Sports was the name of the company, and it had a delivery to Moscow. 

 

At least, that was what the driver said (and to back him up, what was said on the side of the Lorry. 

 

He pulled up only a few yards past Replica and Synapse, and got out. Dressed warmly, he was a Sami, middle aged, with a great big smile and a great big beard. 

 

"<What happened? Are you ok? Lost?>" he asked, concerned. This wasn't the climate to get lost in, or break down in, and Sari Ylonen (for that was his name) wasn't going to leave two women to freeze to death. 

 

"<I'm Sari. Who are you?>"

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Synapse

 

Synapse was pleased that the first vehicle that came across them had been willing to stop.  As the door opened and the driver began asking his questions, the Englishwoman moved over into view, making her best impression of being cold (which was not too hard, as even with the excellent survival gear, she could still feel the cold of the night).

 

<"Yes, we where with a ski group and got separated from the back on the other side of the mountain.  We could see the highway down here so ditched our gear and made our way down here.">  She replied in the same language Sari had spoken.

<"I am Dee, could you give us a lift to the nearest town?">

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GM

 

Sari was a kindly soul, and was more than happy to help. "<Of course...of course>" he replied. "<But..haha...the nearest town is an hours drive away!>" he said, friendly. 

 

<"Hop in, hop in, both of you>" he said, pointing at the truck. It was a medium sized truck, and three passengers would be slightly cramped, but certainly manageable. 

 

Sami climbed into the truck himself. Some classical music was playing on the radio station. Grieg, as it happened. It went well with the northern lights. 

 

He poured out some hot coffee from his thermos and offered both Synapse and Cubismo some.

 

"<Im on my way to Raja-Jooseppi>" he explained. "<Its the northernmost border checkpoint to Russia, icy and cold!...not the most friendly of places but it works well enough. The nearest town is a bit of a detour, but I can make it...>"

Edited by Supercape

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Replica looked Sari over. He seemed to be a normal man and given his decision to stop for them he was obviously a generous one. Until further evidence showed otherwise Replica was willing to trust him, especially since the probability of him also being controlled by the Sleeper seemed highly unlikely by her calculations.

 

As Sari drove them to this nearby border town Replica thought of all the possible ways they could bypass the Finnish-Russian border. Doing so without detection was absolutely necessary in  Replica's mind. Not only because trying to sincerely explain their plight to the Russians would almost certainly get them imprisoned and questioned but also because the Sleeper would just as certainly find out about their survival as well, putting North and the crew in danger. 

 

Replica had a couple ideas but knew that expressing them to Synapse while Sari was nearby was inadvisable. Once they made it to the town they could figure out what they could do next. 

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Synapse

 

<"Thank you Sari.">  Dee replied as she took some of the offered coffee.  <"Well, a few hours drive sure beats a day or mores walk.">  She said with a small smile as they started off again and she looked out the windshield at the dark road ahead of them.

 

As they went Dee listened to Sari describe his destination as she tried to recall what she knew about this portion of the border between Finland and Russian.  Getting across was going to pose a number of challenges, getting across without raising any questions or the like only increased the difficulty.  But the Englishwoman had a few ideas on ways she might be able to cover their entry, at least for the short term.

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GM

 

The nearest village was a slow but not unpleasant drives away. There was music, conversation, and whilst it was night and the snow was all around, the truck and Sari handled the weather fine. There was almost no traffic at all, and one could almost get hypnotised by the journey. 

 

But hypnotised they were not, for the Sleeper - probably - had not taken over Sari. After an hour or so, they reached a small village. No more than a few houses, insulated against the cold, but they did at least have a small winter sports - themed hotel, and there was food and water. 

 

"<I'm headed towards the border. About half an hour from here, I think>" he explained. He gave a friendly, almost knowing smile. "<And....about three or four hours by foot. If...you are heading to Moscow. Although I don't know why you would want to go there. Finland is much more friendly!>" he laughed. 

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"<I'm sure it is, Sari,>" Replica agreed warmly. "<But we have other plans I'm afraid. Thank you for helping us get this far, though."> Replica made her way of Sari's truck.

 

While he didn't come out and outright say it, it was obvious to Replica that Sari was offering to take the pair of them cross the border. It was a kind offer but the android knew she had to refuse it. There was just no way they'd be able to avoid being questioned by the Russian border officers, who were paranoid even at the best of times and were certainly even worse when a mad Soviet could be around manipulating their ranks.

 

Once Sari and his truck her gone from sight Replica finally felt like it was time to reveal her plans on how'd they make to the other side of the border without detection. "Sari said the border is only a few hours away," she started. "I believe that one of our best courses of action here would be to use stealth to make it past the border to ensure that the Sleeper will not know of our survival. This strategy comes with several dangerous variables, of course, such as patrols and border camera, but if we use our abilities I believe we can make it through without anyone knowing we were even here."

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Synapse

 

Once they had started toward the nearest town, Dee had taken the opportunity to take a nap to recover from exerting her telekinesis in staging the crash site.  Once they reached town and exited the vehicle, she thanked Suri and made her way off with Replica.  The Englishwoman listened to Replica's thoughts on the best strategy of getting across the border but shook her head.  "He said it was four or five hours walk."  She corrected.  "That is a long trek in the snow, particularly in the cold at night.  By the time we reach the boarder, it will be daylight, which would make crossing more difficult, even if it might be a more remote area."

 

"In any event, there is still the problem that we would still be at least a thousand miles from Moscow once we get across the border.  So we would need to get somewhere to find transportation, and two young women stumbling into some village from the wilderness is bound to attract attention."

 

"While it might be more complicate, I believe finding a transport that is going across the boarder would work best.  It gets us to the boarder the quickest and could help us continue on toward Moscow, at least till we get to St. Petersberg, the closest major city where we could catch a train.  As for getting across the boarder, I think I can handle things so that it will not be a problem."

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GM

 

This was a barren part of the world, but even in this remote border town, their were vehicles. Cars, trucks, even snowmobiles, and all equipped for the climate. Of course, they belonged to people. 

 

There was a garage, which was at this time empty. A couple of these vehicles were being repaired, a couple more awaiting pickup. And one sorry car looked like it was a total write off. 

 

It was dark and would remain so for some more hours at this time of year - the winters grew fairly long. And the drive to the border would probably only take an hour, even being careful. Still, if Replica and Synapse wanted to avoid daylight, the clock was ticking...

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Replica saw the rows upon rows of vehicles in the nearby garage and couldn't help but wonder if the human concept of luck was in fact and whether her's and Synpase's was finally starting to turn after their plane crash.  

 

She spotted a few on the front garage lot and scanned them for whether they could serve as their mode of transport across the border. Some of the vehicles were being still repaired by Replica's assessment but a few were fully ready for use.

 

The hard part though would be getting away with procuring one of them so they could cross the border. Replica could sneak in the lot and easily disable whatever security system or lock was protecting those cars but knew that a more subtle way was available.

 

"Synapse do believe that you can use your powers to persuade those on the lot to provide us one of those cars? If not, I can steal for us though I do worry about the possibility of detection."

 

 

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Synapse

 

Synapse gave a small grin as Replica talked about stealing a car.  "Oh, I certainly know how to hotwire a car.  But stealing one is a pretty bad idea.  The last thing we want is any bulletin out on the car when we go try to cross the boarder."

 

"No, I believe I can likely convince someone to give us a car."  The Englishwoman looked about the part of town they were in.  "Now it is just a matter of finding one we want and then finding the owner."

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GM

 

'Twas not a difficult task. There was a variety of vehicles and all were worthy of snow and icy roads. Perhaps the best was a 4x4 with snow wheels, a newish license plate, and an unassuming incognito appearnce. 

 

And, more importantly, a middle aged woman dressed in several layers of arctic clothing had just parked it. She looked like a typical scandinavian appearance and demenour. Blond hair, blue eyes, tall and ruddy, with a calm kindly face that was disposed against rash or violent emotion. 

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With their plan set Replica once again assessed the vehicles in the lot and spied a new arrival that was perfect for their needs. Snow wheels and unassuming was exactly the kind of vehicle they'd need for their way to Moscow and the Sleeper. "I believe that I may have just found exactly what were quickly for," she told Synpase. 

 

The android walked up to the kindly-looking Finnish woman and introduced her and Synpase. "<Hello there.>" Replica still wasn't exactly a social butterfly when it came to the complicated nature of human interaction, but nevertheless believed that procuring the 4x4 wouldn't be to much of a hassle, especially with Synpase being there as well. "<My friend and I  would like to purchase or rent the vehicle you have there.>"

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GM

 

The Finnish woman turned around, rather surprised, but not startled or scared. Crime was practically unheard of in this remote part of the world, and she was a robust woman. "<Goodness, whatever for?>" she replied. 

 

"<Have you broken down somewhere?>" she asked, concerned but trying to be helpful. "<I'm not sure I can just hand over my car, but I would be happy to help...maybe I could drop you off somewhere? A garage? There is a car rental place twenty miles south of here. Maybe they could drop one off to you?>" she suggested. 

 

A valid suggestion under normal circumstance, but one that would surely require identification and registration. 

 

That said, the woman did look genuinely concerned and keen to help. 

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