|Scene Title||Road Trip: Getting Underway|
|Synopsis||The D-List sets out on a road trip from New Atlantis to Birmingham, AL to investigate rumors of Hogzilla. The group is sidetracked, waylaid, and generally thrown off course.|
In Hopper's 'borrowed' van, on the road, and in the woods. Generally, all over the palce.
It's the weekend, and it's summer. So one can tell their parents any thing really. Hopper has explained to his parents that he is going to a week long concert out in the woods with his friends. Bonaroo or TransformUS or something of that nature. They of course believe him. So, he borrows his parents van and fills it with a cooler and a great deal of junk food and soda as well as trick it out with a series of videogame consoles, stereo and movie options. He of course is driving. But there are a set of back seats, bus style with cooshie blue bench seats. He has everyone meet him at his place with their stuff, ready to go.
Dion hasn't even bothered explaining himself to his grandparents. They'll never understand, anyway. He just goes out, and says he'll be home… eventually. He turned eighteen, and made clear he couldn't be the young man they wanted him to be. He's only too eager to get out of the city for a while. He is so, so tired of New Atlantis. A change of scenery is needed. He's, of course, brought a few things to make the van just a little more homey. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Aillen arrived at Hoppers place with a duffle bag over his shoulder, and a pair of sunglasses over his eyes. If we was supposed to be pretending he was on a vacation, he may as well look the part. It was simple greens and khaki's for Aillen, between the colors and the bag, he could almost have been military except for his hair had grown out long enough to be fairly wild. His excuse was just a simple one saying vacation with school friends. It was always easier being epically charismatic. "Ready for the road trip? Pig hunting USA?"
Amazingly, Jocelyn's mom was actually not out of the country on a business trip, and she was absolutely /thrilled/ at the fact that Jo was going out with friends - well, she's more thrilled that Jo actually had friends who were willing to be seen with her, in public no less. Unfortunately for poor Jocelyn, her mom being home means she's been 'dressed up' - and she arrives at Hopper's looking absolutely none too thrilled about this fact - a dark denim knee length pencil skirt, and a black tank top, and, -gasp- halfway cute shoes. She looks /miserable/ at this, but happy to see her friends. She's dragging a small rolling suitcase - the sort you see business travelers using - and has her normal messenger bag bulging with stuff.
Jo offers a glare to Aillen, daring him to comment on the outfit, "Hallo all. Can I please change before we get underway?" she holds up a small bag of her normal clothing, "I am not spending gods know how long in the van like this."
Hopper is dressed in his typically strange western-meets-punk-meets-Victorian wear. He leans against the van, goggles over his eyes as he stares up at the rain, looking at it curiously for a few moments before looking back to Jocelyn and then smirking a bit and saying nothing he shrugs a bit, indicating the van. "Knock yourself out….I'm gonna make sure the engine is all good, and as soon as Dion and you are ready to go, we are good to go…It's 15 hours, but I think I can cut that time in half." he offers with a mad grin on his face. His stuff is already in the car.
Dion has a smart little luggage set holding far more than anyone should need for a one-week trip. He seems to expect no trouble at all bringing it all along. He does smile at Jo's change from her usual clothes. "I think it's darling, but I don't expect you to stay like that, no. And I hope no one minds that I brought a few things just to brighten up the van a little. You know, little splashes of color and the like. I've also brought some healthy snacks, in anticipation of the huge amount of junk the rest of you selected."
Aillen shook his head at her glare. "So I'm the one getting yelled at about your clothing now. I get to take the blame for everything apparently." He shook his head. "Fine go change, enjoy comfy clothing." He looked to Dion at the healthy snacks option. "I don't know. Mom had a bunch of bags of granola stuff and jerky. Seems healthy enough to me." He looked to Hopper. "So we're talking eight hours in the van if you can push it that fast. And then police convincing along the way I assume. Guess it will be mostly sleeping then, unless we want to do battle planning."
Jocelyn nods and casts a look at Dion and Aillen, grumbling quietly as she ducks into the van, emerging moments later in her more normal, comfortable attire - a moderately wrinkled pair of green cargo shorts and a very wrinkled faded black t-shirt, the other outfit balled up into a plastic bag, looking considerably more comfortable.
She glances up at the rain, shaking her head, "8 hours… from here to Birmingham? Does that take into account the time we're going to have to spend being stopped by every patrol between here and there?" she raises her eyebrows and chuckles, "I'm good to go. Got enough snacks to survive, and enough books to keep me amused," she shrugs slightly.
Hopper closes the hood and wipes his hands on his pants before taking out the keys. "Well, I got me a plan for that…check this out…" He offers reaching to pick up the strange glass bottle strapped to the leather buckle on his thigh. He dumps the black goop all over him and in a moment later it changes form and he stands there looking like a 40 year old beefy cop straight from the 70's…. with a traditional cop uniform and sunglasses covering his eyes. Big bristly mustache. "You kids go ahead and get in the car please…."
There's a smirk from Dion. "I think I can handle any police." Ah, Charmer… "So why not make good time? Apart from the time having to actually stop… like… Jo… said." The pauses are as he just stares at Hopper. "That is so wrong." He looks at the clothes Jocelyn changes into, and notes with a wrinkle of his nose "I packed an iron and a small portable board. I'd be happy to show you how they work?
"Alright, lets get going before we have a cat fight between these two girls." Aillen ducked into the van. He figured he would pay for that later, but there was a number of things he would have to pay for one of these days. "I should take one of the benches myself to give you two plenty of time to work through your issues." He gave a grin at that as he laid out on the back most of the benches, knowing he was going to suffer and suffer hard. It was hilarious.
Jocelyn grumbles and glares at Dion, "Bite. me." An actual English insult from her. Wow. "I've had to hide my prefered clothes from my mom, they get wrinkled when they're balled up in a bag. Not my…" and then she catches sight of Cop-Hopper, and her voice kind of trails off, "Oh my gods… that is wrong on so many levels, but… are you going to look like that the whole trip, 'cause that's a bit creepy." She climbs into the back of the van, grumbling and dropping her considerably heavy messenger bag onto Aillen's stomach, accidentally, of course. "Oh, sorry, didn't see you there." She doesn't sound too convincing in that apology.
Copper shakes his head and as he does so, the goo flies off in little chunks, shrinking him back to his typical form. "But it will come in handy should the shit go down." He says as he climbs in and turns the keys…to which the van starts up with an almost ethereal sort of hum…. less like a mechanical engine starting up and more like a electrical generator starting up. Hopper just grins and waits for everyone to get in, pulling his seat belt on. "Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times, and please fasten your seat belts. In case of a water landing, I hope you know how to swim."
Dion looks terribly pleased with Jo's reply, and grins at her. "Thanks, but I have people for that." He winks at Aillen, obviously making an effort to poke at Jo just a little. Meanwhile, he makes himself comfortable in the van and starts finding a place for all his things. He smirks at Hopper then, and says "Let's try to avoid a water landing? If I get my hair dryer and products wet, there'll be hell."
Aillen let out grunt as the bag landed on his stomach. "Thanks for not dropping it much lower. Though I don't know why you're carrying this many bricks with you." He grumbled as he sat up and pushed her bag under the seat. "So we have any stops planned on the way? Giant balls or yarn or anything?" He rummaged through his own duffle bag for a moment before he pulled out a game boy, nothing new or fancy, a few generations behind. "Or shall we just amuse ourselves?"
Jocelyn raises an eyebrow at Dion's response and shakes her head, taking the seat beside Aillen, glancing over at him and snorting, "That would be a useless waste of space and effort. Not bricks," she reaches back under the seat and into her bag after Aillen puts it under there, pulling out her leather bound notebook and a textbook, "Books." She grins, buckling herself in, folding her legs under her, and opening the textbook. "I wouldn't mind a bit of sight seeing, provided dropping out of warp won't be too dangerous?" That joking question is aimed at Hopper with a smirk, "I mean, I assume it's not raining all the way to Birmingham? Seeing some sunlight would be nice…"
Hopper pushes a button and the screens and entertainment system pops down from the ceiling. He's been busy making this the "Fun"-V and not the hum-drum-V. There is a ps3 and a library of games. As well as movies. Once everyone is in, he takes off like a bat out of hell. The car hardly makes any noise. He cracks open a fresh bottle of mountain dew and a bag of cool ranch doritos before playing around the with well tuned speaker system that starts playing Katzenjammer's Demon Kitty Rag. He bounces slightly in his seat, scatting out of tune with the music as he drives like a crazy person, weaving in and out of traffic like he was born on the stock car race tracks. "We can stop anywhere you want…there is a Weird world map somewhere in the glove compartment…but I think we might get internet access on the ps3, check and see if google map has anything worth noting."
"Books?" Dion replies. "You know, there's such a thing these days as a 'Kindle'. Much lighter than books. Works more or less the same way." The thought of just playing videogames causes him to make a face. "Yeah… no. We'll need to stop sometimes. I can't just sit for hours and hours doing nothing. I'll feel like I'm atrophying. I'll have to come up with some imaginative ways to exercise in here…" Be afraid.
Aillen raised a brow as the van turned into a gaming center. "You certainly know how to keep your guests entertained my friend." He grinned as he picked up one of the ps3 controller. "What games you got on here?" He wasn't quite sure how the web interface worked on the thing so he prodded it along a few times to get through the menus. "Ah I think I got it. So just look for tourist traps." He looked over it and shook his head not finding anything interesting.
Aillen kept himself occupied playing through the fighting games, acting rather much like a little kid. He was pretty good at it though he mumbled how unrealistic things were. It was probably boring or annoying to the other members of the van, though it at least kept him occupied.
Jo sticks her tongue out at Dion, "Kindles are great, but expensive. Library books are free," she shrugs and settles in to read for a while, occasionally staring out the window at the rain, even though it was little more than a blur outside the speeding van. If asked, she offers a few comments on what places to stop at, although, well, they're likely museums and stuff. Eventually she gets bored with this and challenges Aillen to a few rounds in one of the fighting games, for the sake of un-cramping herself from her hunched over reading position. After a bit of gaming, she goes back to her reading.
Dion does finally find something he can do to keep himself busy while cooped up in the van. After checking to make sure that there wasn't anything he desperately needed to stop and see in their immediate future, he pulls out some embroidery. He has no objection to someone putting in a movie, though it's really only background noise for him.
Hopper mostly sleeps on the drive…. oh wait no. He's driving. So he drives, making the pull offs as few as possible, even going so far as to make the group wait until everyone has to pee before stopping to a bathroom break. He bounces along to his weird music, ingests more junk food than any farmer could bear watching a goat eat. He does however break on the way down at "House on the Rock" for the group to have a peek at strange land.
-— Several Hours Later -—
However, some 6 or 7 hours into the trip, just past the Mason-Dixon line the storm intensifies and the van speeds along through the rain…attracting the attention of a white and brown car with flashing blue lights that after seeing a van going 120 miles an hour, would very much like them to pull over. Hopper looks in his rearview mirror and offers. "Shit."
Dion has managed to pretty much ignore obnoxious videogame noises. His stitching is, of course, full of OCD goodness and he occasionally pauses to watch whatever movie was picked. Of course, Hopper cursing causes him to look up from watching and his sewing. "What? You're surprised? I'm surprised it took us this long…"
"Guess we shoulda invested in some cloaking technology along with that warp drive huh?" Aillen sighed as he set his stuff down. "Who wants to talk to him this time? I'm good at getting out of trouble with just a slap on the wrist. Or do you guys just want to Jedi him and make him forget he even pulled us over? Cause that’s sorta outside the range of my skill sets. " He did a quick glance over of the car to make sure that nothing was terribly illegal in plain sight.
Jocelyn is /not/ used to getting in any sort of trouble with authority. As such, the young woman goes pale, glancing out the window at the approaching cop, her voice sounding generally concerned, "Oh, oh dear. I'll, just, ah, let you guys deal with this… I'm pretty sure I'd just get us in more trouble." She glances about at her friends and just decides to clam up and look studious. She can do studious. Jo sits properly in her seat, seatbelt securely secured, legs folded under her, textbook open on her lap. Perfectly innocent little student, nothing interesting or anything, "I'll, just, ah, stay quiet over here."
It's dark and rainy, one can hardly see the cop car but for the flashing lights. The moment the van pulls over the cop car is right behind them, and the next time the lightning flashes, there is a staunch looking woman with big hips, a horse nose and a frown on her face dressed as a police officer. Officer Juno to be more specific. She is dressed for the rain, but seems pissed she is standing out in it. "There a problem officer?" Asks Hopper, rolling down his window and laying down the Jedi-juju.
Officer Juno has apparently seen it all. "Knock it off," she informs Hopper instantly. "You kids are a long way from New Atlantis." She offers suddenly bringing up a flashlight and looking the group offer one at a time, pausing on Jocelyn and Dion in turn, narrowing her eyes a little in contempt at the pair before shining the light back in Hopper's eye. "You kids want a night in jail?" She asks. "Your parents gonna drive 7 hours to come and bail your little behinds out of the slammer?"
Dion looks over to see who it is that's pulled them over. Look of contempt or no, he smiles at her and offers a wave. "Good evening, officer. I'm so sorry we pulled you out into the rain like this. May I offer you some cocoa?" As he reaches for his goblet, it becomes a mug of steaming, chocolately goodness. Mmmm… Charmer. Why not use it, when he has it?
Aillen watched Hopper do his thing, then his jaw dropped slightly when she kept up the track. Normal people woulda been gone already. As she kept her attention on the others, he put his hand to his chest, pressing his triskelion there as he closed his eyes a moment, reopening them. If she was capable of resisting Hopper after all, she might be more than human, and if that was the case, a titan spawn was no one he wanted trying to pretend to arrest them.
Jocelyn is trying her best to look innocent and inconspicuous sitting there. When the light falls on her she winces slightly against the sudden bright light, blinking at the woman in confusion. She'd never actually seen someone manage to resist Hopper's convincing, and she's quite confused. Her hand moves to the caduceus dangling at her throat, carrying out the action almost without thought, blinking a few times at the woman at the window. For once, she manages -not- to say anything in Greek when she touches the necklace, keeping her lips pressed together and chewing on the lower lip slightly in confusion.
«You see a sort of glowing beautiful figure underneath a swirling vortex of peacock colored magic that is keeping threads of fate at bay, though they are -trying- their damndest to attach themselves, and the legend under the peacock vortex is so bright it almost is painful to look at. You have epic intelligence… you are looking at a god in human clothes.»
Hopper looks damned-out-right crestfallen that he can't charm this lady. He smiles brightly and looks over his shoulder into the back making an 'OMFG-What now?' face before smiling brightly and turning back to the woman. "Oh, no ma'am, er…Officer. There's no reason for any of that. We were just on our way to Birmingham, for a summer vacation, get to see some of the south, that kinna thing."
The woman frowns, eyes flashing at the mention of Birmingham. "I don't care where you -were- going. I only care where you -are- going. Which is home." she pats the van and points the direction you came. "Leave now, and I wont take your smart-ass in for the explosives, the gun, the spear, the sword, or the alchoholic beverages…" She glares at the owner of each in turn, leaving her eyes on Dion before suddenly a red sports car comes flying out of the night and skids to a stop.
An egg comes shooting across the air, strikes the woman in the back of the head and hesitates only for a moment. She turns to look at the shell of the egg and you can literally imagine the flames erupting out of her skull as she runs back to her car yelling. "GO HOME!" to the group before she takes off after the egg-throwing sports-car driving assailant.
It is a puzzlement, that the woman isn't just being charmed. That's so wrong. Dion looks a little crestfallen, really, right up until she says way too much about them that no random cop should know. Then he does somewhere between a frown and a pout. "Well… that's not right at all." he says under his breath. He's about to say more when she's egged and therefore successfully distracted. Kind of. He watches her run off, then looks to the others. "That… wasn't very subtle. Who do you think that really was?" He can't imagine that even just another Scion would be able to pick out so many details.
"A goddess of some sort. Peacocks or whatever." Aillen gave a shrug. "So who's up for pissing off an easily pissed off and distracted goddess who can tell where Gae Bolga is without being here." He tilted his head up and inhaled deeply. "And now I've got her scent. Doesn't smell bad really. Shame she's so angry, I've never met a goddess outside the family before, and most of em weren't that bad, outside of the Morrigan mind you."
Jocelyn's eyes go wide for a moment as she looks at the woman, and she mouths wordlessly for a moment averting her eyes and bows her head slightly, biting back a whimper and trying desperately not to crawl under the bench. She is actually shaking slightly, and focusing very intently on a spot in the upholstery on the floor of the van.
When the officer runs for her car, Jo whimpers audibly, "Th….th…. peacocks…that wa… was… Hera. Queen of the Olympian gods. My notably angry, bitter, vindictive, pissy, and grumpy Step-grandmother. On my father's side," she looks at Dion and grins nervously, "She. hates. us. By proxy. A lot." She watches out the window at the egg-throwing, frowning, her vision still modified by the spell she'd used.
Hopper looks completely relieved and sits there for a few moments, hands on the wheel, watching the lights fade into the distance. "Uhm…. Ok…." He offers simply, having no clue what else to say to it. He starts the car up again and nervously starts the car forward, on down the road in the direction the group decided to go, even though the Cop-Goddess told him to turn around. He drives, taking a chug from his mountain dew bottle and casting a nervous glance in the rear view mirror.
He does the speed limit and minds his p's and Q's and almost swerves off the road and into a ditch the moment Jo's cell rings with a Text message from an unknown number. "Take SR-865, she is still following on I-40. Be warned. She made a call."
The peacock comment causes Dion to look nervous. Very nervous. "That's…" He looks towards where the police car likely went. "Um. Is she going to do something awful to us when we get there, or was that just a warning about something that's already there?" Not that he seems to be advocating not going.
Aillen sighed and shook his head. "Well good to know your family is logical." He looked through the window himself a few times, rolling down the window just enough to let scent get through. "I'd like a bit of warning if she showed up again none the less. " He stowed everything away that wasn't essential and kept on the alert. "First time I've had an angry goddess on my trail for something I didn't do."
Jocelyn checks her phone, frowning, and relaying the instructions to Hopper. Her hands are still shaking as she does so, her voice cracking slightly. She's otherwise silent. Apparently being confronted by one of her deities who happens to be her bitter step relative is enough to shake Jo up. "Whoever was in that car was a god too. Not sure who, couldn't get a look. They bought us time though."
Hopper grunts a little and suddenly turns sharply as the old country State Road appears almost out of nowhere, and Hopper takes it with a squeel of tires and a sliding of the back end.
"Well, then the question comes….Why does Hera give a shit if we are down here? And why does whoever the other god was give a shit that Hera doesn't want us around? Think one of them is responsible for Hogzilla? Oh… Is the Hog sacred to anyone?" He asks, looking over his shoulder at the group of you as the road takes you up a hill, high enough to see the interstate and the cop car having pulled over the sports car and what look to be a cop and a man in regular clothes yelling at each other.
In the distance…
There's a faint smirk towards Aillen. "The Greek gods? Only one or two have every been called logical. Hopefully they won't press the matter too much, though. I don't feel like being hated for no reason. A damned nuisance, that is." He frowns again then, when Jo relays her text. "Any one else feel like we're in the middle of something way over our heads?" He doesn't look like the hog is sacred to him. "I don't suppose there's any chance she's just trying to protect us…"
"Well to be fair, I'd like to know who sent that text and whether or not we can trust it. Seems pretty damn convenient if you ask me. Think it might be an ambush?" Aillen paranoid? Naaaah couldn't be. He shifted forward in his seat, looking out the window down the hill abit more. "Thats bound to be a pretty amusing yelling match down there. Wonder who tossed the egg?"
Jocelyn takes a deep breath and closes her eyes for a moment, collecting herself and seemingly going through a catalog in her head, her comments coming out in a fast, long breath, the words blurring together, "Sows, boars, and swine in general are sacred to Isis of the Pesdejet, Demeter of the Dodekatheon, and Artemis used a boar to get revenge once, and then Dagda in the Tuatha. I'm sure there's more, but, ah, that's all I can think of at the moment," she glances sideways at Dion, "Ah, pretty sure Hera's not gonna try to protect us… I think we've got more of a chance that the one hurling the eggs," she nods at the overpass, "Is the one protecting us." She sighs.
Hopper grumbles to himself as he reaches for a new soda and shakes his head. "Why would someone rescue us just to ambush us… Uhm…" The car starts to slow as he heads down the hill and to what looks like a roadblock, made up completely of a group of motorcyclist…. and people who are part motorcycle. One of the larger men, wearing what looks like bio-organic armor made from motorcycles, attached and part of his body. He brings a phone up to his ears and grins sadistically, nodding a confirmation. "Ambush?" asks Hopper.
Dion watches the others, apparently understanding very little about what's going on and who's on their side. "I don't think we were rescued, really. All she wanted us to do is turn around. So… I'm not sure the egg throwers were really trying to help us." Then there's people and things ahead of them, and he sighs. "Lovely. If I get grease in my hair, I'm going to be very cross."
Aillen shook his head. "I hate being right. Thankfully I am talented at destruction." He shook his head as he brought his hand to his side, the legendary spear appearing in the area beside the seats in his hand. "So… Ideas? Does the back of this van open up fairly rapidly? Cause being inside this thing is gonna be a deathtrap rather than any protection. Out the back seems the best idea to me. Then me and Jo can keep them off of you two. Hopper can use that ridiculous hand canon of his, leaning against the car ought to provide you the stability you need to not get kicked over. Dion? Don't get hit, please. Work for everyone?"
Jocelyn frowns, and shakes her head, "The text message isn't from the phone they're using…" she pauses, glancing at the arguing cop and driver. She unbuckles her seat belt as the van slows down, nodding to Aillen, "I'll cover you." She reaches her left hand out beside the seat, muttering rather forcibly in Greek, her sword appearing in her hand with a flutter of wings. Turning slightly, Jo watches for Aillen's lead.
Hopper narrows his eyes a little and nods. The van comes to a stop and he reaches into his bag for his hand cannon, leaving the rest of the bag in the car. "Twitch, stay put…" He offers before nervously starting to open the door. And the moment he does, all hell breaks loose.
… To Be Continued.
This is the first log in the Road Trip Series. Preceeded by: Road Trip: A Slight Detour