(2018-11-28) It's Dangerous to Drive at Night
Xavier is heading back to Calaveras and has some very unwelcome company

It's a cold, clear night in Calaveras. Although there were flurries of snow earlier, the sky has shed its clouds, and this far out from the city, the stars cluster overhead in an endless, twinkling cascade. It's the kind of night that should have a lonely wolf howling from a ridge somewhere, or cowboys in heavy furs, swapping stories of lost love around the fire. Instead, Xavier is in his rented luxury sedan, driving back from a property visit out near the mountains. The radio is on as he guides the sleek, black car along the curves of the winding road. He has a CD in the radio, playing something from the 40s, and he's watching the roads carefully; the temperature has dropped, and snow that melted under the bright light of the sun might have turned to patches of ice. This is a long way out from Calaveras, and even a good distance from the much smaller Cooperstown.

Misfit had been waiting and watching and waiting some more. It still wasn't time, but she was getting bored and a bored assassin was never a good thing. Still, a little reminder of the fraility of life to her dear Mr. Westin didn't sound like a half bad idea. She hadn't know exactly where he was going, but enough poking and prodding around town and following her instincts had led her to the proximity of where he would be. She lay in wait for the precise moment, in a truck that looked beat up at first glance - just one of many in Calaveras and surrounding areas. It was a little gas station, one of the last between here and Calaveras - once he had passed by it, she moved to follow him and had been at a safe and casual distance for about the last half hour.

She accelerated ever so slightly on the gas, starting to creep up a little closer to the land developer. 'Hungry Like The Wolf' was playing on her own radio, cranked up a little louder than it needed to be. Eyes alight with excitement because the chase was on and the wolf was out to play. Even if the prey might not have caught on just yet.

Xavier and Misfit are alone on the road - this stretch doesn't see a lot of traffic even in good weather, and smart people are already home. It's even odds if Xavier knows that, though; he hasn't shown any wariness of the sedately following truck. After all, there are probably five hundred trucks that look almost like that one. He /does/ notice, however, when it starts creeping up on his rear bumper. He checks his speed, rolls his eyes at the impatient farmer behind him. It's a two-lane double line, here, so he speeds up a little, to prevent tailgating. There probably aren't any speed traps out here, anyway.

A manic little giggle escaped her as Xavier started to speed up. She stayed back for a few minutes. Enough time for him to likely think that the driver of the truck maybe just had a lead foot. Then she slowly accelerated again, getting closer this time, nearly right on his bumper. The windows of the truck were heavily tinted , difficult to even see the driver. However, the music gets turned up louder and the window rolled down about half way. Even with all the windows up, Xavier might be able to make out the beat of the song playing. Her fingers twitched , right hand reaching over to grab the pistol that was laying in the passenger seat.

"The hell?" Xavier mutters as the truck looms in his rear view mirror. He flashes his hazards, once, to tell the idiot behind him to pass, already, if he's that impatient, and then deliberately moves to slow down. He does give warning about this, tapping the brakes lightly a couple of times, then harder. He peers into the mirror, frowning as the tinting and the night obscure the driver. The music comes through as a faint reverb through the windows as he notices the driver's side window rolled down. In the freezing cold. It's weird enough that alarm bells have begun to ring, and Xavier abruptly swerves into the empty, oncoming lane. If it's just a drunk rube, they'll probably blast on past, right?

Missy was not a professional driver by any means. More reckless than anything. Xavier's brake checking did nothing to really slow her down. He braked, she braked but then immediately was on him again. She started singing when he swerved into the next lane. Off key and at the top of her lungs as she rolled up level with Xavier. "…and I'm Hungry LIKE THE WOOOOLLLFFFF!!!" The pistol was already hanging out the window, BANG! BANG! Two solid shots at the pretty little rentals frame. A toothy grin as she leaned out the window. "Nice night, ain't it Westin?!" She called over before dropping back into the cab. She braked the car so she could fall back and then whip in behind him, attempting to nudge the car just a bit.

"Fuck!" It's not like Misfit can HEAR the curse - but it's probably one of the /easiest/ pieces of speech to lip read, especially when being shouted at the top of his lungs by a man who is being shot at. Bullets sink deep into the car's frame, and Xavier swerves, his shoulders hunching and head coming down, trying to make himself a smaller target. Her shout has him snarling, but she's dropped behind him before he can react, and then the truck taps the bumper of the car. It fishtails a bit, hitting a small patch of ice at just the wrong time. Xavier grabs at the wheel, swerving back into the other lane. He looks around at the empty night, and realizes that there's pretty much no one out here to save him. So instead of trying to outrun her, he goes on the attack, hitting his breaks and then trying to swerve into her.

Her eyes light up, though he can't see it. She LOVES that he is fighting back. They hardly ever fight back. His break and swerve manages to nudge her but not enough to do anything too damaging. She thinks quickly, running through all the scenarios in her head. She dropped back a little further and pulled to the left to swing wide and then cut to the right hard, slamming into the back of the sedan to try and send it spinning. Not over the edge mind you, just on the road since - lucky for Xavier at the moment- they were on one of the few straight stretches of road. Hungry like the Wolf had faded out and Girls Just Want to Have Fun faded in. Cyndi Lauper's one of a kind voice singing loud and proud over the speakers along with Missy's offkey voice. She wasn't scared one lick of all this and it was very evident.

When Misfit cuts to the left, Xavier tries to exploit what he sees as a mistake - he slams his foot onto the gas, and that's where the money spent on the luxury rental comes in good stead. Even with bullet holes in the side and having taken a couple of bumps, the car accelerates with a jump. And if she actually HAD lost control, it might have been enough to give him some distance. Instead, she turns with a hard right, and catches the back end of the vehicle - not QUITE the sweet spot for turning him into the rider of a two ton pinwheel, but there's an unholy screech from tires as the back end is suddenly catching up to the front, and not in a good way. His face is white behind the windshield, and so are his knuckles, clenched tight around the steering wheel. He's got some defensive driver training, it's clear - he doesn't panic, but leans into the spin just a little, to try and turn it into a sickeningly fast U-turn and shoot past her from the other direction.

That was adorable. Misfit yanked the truck around, almost going up on two wheels herself. The other window rolled down and a few more shots fired out of it as Xavier rushed past in his U-Turn. She was hot on his wheels, the truck slamming back down on it's side and she lead-footed the gas. "C'mon Westin! You were doing so good!" She shouted out the window even though she knows he can't hear her.Especially with the music playing. She slams into the bumper again, obviously trying to nudge him closer to the edge of the road as they start approaching an area that doesn't have any railing.

Pop! Pop! Hiss! Oh, that's not good. Misfit's second shot hits the engine block of Xavier's sedan, and a teakettle hiss starts up that has him cursing in a long, steady stream under his breath. He slams the gas pedal to the floor, but the acceleration is sluggish. He can't make out the words over the roaring in his ears, but when she shouts out the window, he CAN see it well enough to figure out the gist. He's a Detroit boy, and the odds are stacked against him, but he continues to fight for control over the vehicle. It isn't enough - couldn't possibly be enough, and when she slams him in the rear, the car swerves to the very edge of the road. His teeth are gritted as he yanks it back the other way, trying one last desperate swipe even as he loses control. The railing ceases, and pristine white snow, dotted with black trees and rocks, lie to either side of the narrow road. It's a loooong way down.

Bingo. That was a good shot if she did say so herself! She decides to play with him just a little bit longer. The reason is two fold. The first is that it's just fun to terrorize him. The second is that she needs to make sure that she pushes him over at the right spot. Because he can't die yet, this was just a fun little warning. She pushes at him once, speeds up to get him a second time. Pushing him along easily. Swerving him this way and that. They were nearing her desired destination to push him off at and she revved the engine up one more time to prepare for it.

Maybe, in Xavier's heart of hearts, he hoped that with one good swipe back he'd…somehow convince the professional assassin to give up and go home? Yeah, that doesn't happen, but Xavier is accustomed to disappointment. It doesn't stop him from giving out a short, sharp woop! of desperate triumph as he knocks into her car. But then she pushes back, and he's back to fighting for his life, just to keep his wheels on the asphalt. It's a battle he's losing - the curve is ahead, the long slope downward at an angle that shouldn't kill him. Probably. Although Xavier has no idea about that, and the tires roar briefly as he hits the rumble strip, then goes past it. One wheel is on the shoulder, the narrow narrow shoulder, and the long drop approaches. Despite his efforts, physics is the ruler of us all: it should only take one good hit in the right place to send him flying.

He hits her and she cheers for him! As she's slamming into him again. Here it comes, the spot! She swings the truck around, squeaking up to Xavier's side in order to slam into him once more. This time, hard enough to send the sedan careening over the edge of the cliff. In fact, she does it in such a way that - if he doesn't panic - he'd be able to ride the cliff down some until it got too steep and he might roll a time or two, but Misfit had inspected the area thoroughly from where she could and was certain he wouldn't walk away with anything more than maybe a broken bone or two. Though he definitely wouldn't have that rental anymore. The truck did a swift U-Turn ALMOST going over herself in her crazy driving, but she didn't . Instead, she brought the truck to a screeching halt, peering over the edge to try and watch the sedan's descent as she lit up a cigarette.

Xavier doesn't panic. He probably doesn't want to check his pants anytime soon, but he doesn't /panic/ as the front wheels of the sedan lose contact with…everything…and for a moment he can see out over the night-black landscape with its brilliant diamond skies above. It's only a moment, before the nose of the car goes down, and there's no hope to stop the fall. He's still trying to steer as the sedan lands with a bone-rattling thump and a cloud of snow, and begins to almost /surf/ the slope down, skidding on packed snow and ice underneath and bouncing off the rocks he isn't able to avoid. Unfortunately, the snow obscures obstacles he can't see, and he hits a low rock in just the wrong place. The car turns, inertia keeps going, and it's rolling side over side until it slides to a halt at the bottom of the slope. Steam drifts up from the exposed undercarriage of the car, and the snow around it deforms to cradle the car. For a moment, the silence is broken only by the hiss of the cooling, leaking engine.

Inside, hanging upside down, Xavier feels like he just got an express ride in an washing machine, blood dripping from his face, one shoulder on fire where it slammed into the door on the way down. But pain, perversely, is good - it means he's alive to /feel/ pain. He fumbles for the belt, and lets himself fall into the roof of the car with a groan. He lays there, dazed, but the hand and arm that can be seen from up above are moving. He's not /dead/.

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