Disclaimer: No, just no.
Riding on a motorcycle for over an hour really hurts your ass. I'm speaking from experience here. A conveniently timed rumble from my stomach made it that much more tempting for me to stop for a little while and eat. By now I was almost to the Russian border and figuring out a way to slip past with a bunch of weapons alone is going to take at least a few minutes. I suppose I could use that time to grab some warm food to block out the winter's cold that's trying to nip at every bit of exposed skin I have.
All right, it's settled, next diner I pass will be the one I'm eating at. Now that I think about it, I need to make a call anyways. A quick call and lunch it is.
The next diner I passed was after another five kilometers of trees and bushes and more trees. Stupid greenery. Sure if you live in a city most of the time the change of pace is great. But I don't, so fuck that with a double edged knife. In all truth, the next planned destination besides the diner and border point is in a decently sized city, thank God for that. Novosibirsk to be exact, or Omsk if need be.
The diner was a quaint little thing on the side of the road, nestled in the trees so you almost don't know it's there. Beside it was a small petrol station for travelers. Maybe it sells burn phones, I'll have to check after I raid the snack aisle.
After I dismounted my motorcycle and parked it so it was hiding just a few feet into the trees, I approached the diner. A bell alerted my presence to the mostly empty eatery. Besides me there was a server, a couple sitting in a booth off to the side, and an old man sitting at the counter, there was most likely a cook in the back.
The server greeted me with a warm smile that was obviously practiced in a mirror. She told me in Russian to take whatever seat I wanted. I was silently glad that it was close enough to the border for there to be Russian speakers here, not to mention Kazakhstan is a previous U.S.S.R. country. That comes in handy.
I took a seat at the counter as far as I could to the right, seeing that the other patrons seemed to favor the left side. With a sleek movement I pulled off my gloves, mostly to keep people from seeing the knife inserts in the knuckles, and shoved them in a pocket inside my jacket. I also made sure my jacket was zipped up so these lovely people wouldn't notice all my sharp toys hidden inside. My duffel was positioned at my feet since I didn't dare leave it with the motorcycle.
The old man shot me a disapproving look. He must think I ran away or was pregnant or both. Technically, I did run away from home but it's not like I'm just some average teenager. For one I actually knew where I was going and that I have a place to stay. Not to mention that anyone who tries to mess with me will end up with at least a mildly fatal wound.
Flipping him off crossed my mind. But I doubt he's current enough to even know what it means. So I opted for giving him the glare that makes most people shit their pants in fear. It's happened a few times so I can say that literally happens. Crock calls it my "Bat-Glare". Something to do with an American comic and him being a complete dork.
Almost needless to say the geezer quickly turned away. The server decided to come give me a menu at that moment. She seemed to note the flustered dinosaur before coming over to me. I swear I saw a smile ghost across her features before she got to me. The old man must be particularly unpleasant then. It took a teenager to put him in his place, wow. These people could learn something from standing up for themselves. Although I'm not sticking around long enough for lessons.
"Добро пожаловать, я могу вам что-нибудь выпить?" (Welcome, can I get you something to drink?) The waitress asked with an annoying bit of perk in her voice.
"кофе,"(Coffee,) I answered back, still pouring over the menu. Caffeine buzz, great for a thinking process. At least one that's relatively shorter.
The waitress departed and quickly reappeared with a white cup on a saucer and a pot of coffee. She poured it and directed me to the bowl of cream containers and packets of sugar off to the side of the counter. I gave her my order, waffles with fried eggs, and got to work setting up my coffee. One thing of cream and two sugars.
I slowly sipped the still bitter drink and let the warmth sink in. There are a few ways to cross a border with cautious content. One, bribe the checker. Two, call in a favor to get though. Three, sneak through. Four, ram through. Three and four won't be on my side today because if a single thing goes through with that then a trail will be on me within the hour. Bribing doesn't always work because some people still actually have morals, that population is decreasing though. Favor it is. That's two calls I'll have to make when I'm done eating. Well, maybe one if I can play my cards right. Although the payback for the favor could be pretty bad. I'll have to see.
My thoughts must've slipped me up enough because the next thing I knew a plate of food was being slid in front of me. The waffles gave me enough time to recall the number from my mind and the eggs let me figure out what to say. Now who am I going to call you may be asking? The idiot known as the Mad Hatter. He is an emergencies only contact and I'm really beginning to regret not going with the mystery group. Then I wouldn't have to call Hatter at the very least.
In a robotic state I paid for my meal and exited the diner with my duffel in hand. I grabbed my motorcycle from the greenery and set it next to one of the gas pumps so I could fill it up in a second.
With another pestering bell ring, I entered into the small convenience store. The heavy set man nodded in recognition from behind the counter. My feet took me through the small aisles, looking at the assorted goods as I went.
By the time I finished my stroll I had picked up four bags of chips and three bottles of water. Mine as well travel light. When I dumped all the stuff at the front counter the cashier gave me an odd look.
I shrugged it off and put down 4,000 tenge on pump two. If the math in my head is correct than that's about thirty American dollars, give or take. As far as I could see, this place didn't sell burn phones. Well that bombs. Guess I'll have to use the landline, bit more risky than a mobile. It's still better than nothing.
With a quick direction he told me where the pay phone was and left me to my merry business. Are mysterious travelers a normality around here? For some reason the words "axe murder" popped into my head at that point. Stupid Crock for always making me watch cheesy horror movies with him.
The idea of turning myself in at this point is starting to sound better and better, I thought as I pressed the numbered buttons.
One ring, two rings, three rings, I slowly counted off in my head. When the toll hit five rings, and I was about to hang up the phone, a cheery voice resounded from the other end.
"Sal's butcher shop, we slice and dice with a set price," The deep tone said with fake cheer.
"Really Sal? That's your newest slogan? What happened to 'slice with a smile'?" I couldn't help but ask. Every time I call this place it has a new dumb catch phrase.
The connection seemed lost for a second until I heard the slight choking breath. I was about to yell at him when he answered back, "Petunia, that you?"
Whatever possessed Hatter for my nickname to be Petunia over the phone lines needs to be killed, no torched slowly. With forced words, I responded, "Yeah, it's Petunia. Is Mr. Teapot there?" I used my nickname for Hatter just as a little insurance for Sal to realize it's me. Although he doesn't like tea much, Hatter chose the name Mad Hatter and I went with it the old school Wonderland way.
"You just caught him actually. He's heading out to Long Island in five minutes. Just give me a sec to get him," The sound of the headset hitting the back counter was registered in my mind. Less than a minute later, the sound of it being picked up was tossed to my ears.
"Well well, what does the fabulous Ms. Cat want this time? A date perhaps, finally?" Hatter had his charm meter kicked up to eleven. Fucking bastard.
"Shut your flirt hole, Hatter. I need your help. Meet me in Petropavi by tomorrow at six in the evening. You know the park we went to a year ago, right?"
"Let me get this right," He started off with a little less charm, "You want me to travel across the world for who knows what. And you choose Petropavi for our meeting place. Sure know how to impress a guy, Clo."
"I'm not trying to impress anyone at this point. But if you want me to test out my knife skills the next time I see you on your most precious appen-"
Hatter cut me off before I could continue. "Alright! No need to hurt the merchandise. Can you at least tell me why I have to cancel at least my week's plans for this?"
"Not on an open line," I responded briskly.
"It's a date, isn't it?" The smirk in his voice was painfully obvious.
"Hatter! Shut the ever loving fuck up!" I had to keep my voice down to not alert the man behind the counter that I've now come to refer to as Axey.
"Fine, touchy much. I'll be there, but you still owe me a date."
"Fuck you," I monotoned into the receiver.
"Well, it's normally protocol to save that for after dinner, but if you insist…" He trailed off.
"Do I need to repeat the previous knife threat? Because by now I would hope you would know my threats are never empty."
"I'll just go ahead and find a flight out to Kazakhstan. It's the only way I'll get to keep the kiwis, and I'm going to need those for after that date."
"You'd be better off just shutting up. I'm going to hang up now. See you tomorrow," I didn't give him a chance to reply and hung up the call.
~Newest Generation~Newest Generation~Newest Generation~
I sat on a bench in a familiar Petropovi park that I knew only by location. The cold was getting to me and I was about ready to leave. The strong possibility that Hatter stood me up was still lingering at the forefront of my mind.
With a final sigh I slung my duffel over my shoulder and started walking back towards where I parked my bike. The bastard did stand me up, I thought as I glanced at the clock in the middle of the park. It read six thirty-two. My thoughts wandered to multiple obscenities that would make a nun blush as I slowly trudged down the gravel path to my motorcycle with my head down.
In later speculation, if I had been walking with my head up, I might've noticed the guy leaning on it quicker.
But sure enough, there was a guy leaning against my motorcycle. White-blonde hair peeking out from underneath a black fedora, blue eyes, Caucasian, somewhere around 6' 1", around seventeen years of age. The Mad Hatter. Or Brick now that he was in civilian attire. Not sure what he uses as his last name as of this moment.
"Way to keep a guy waiting," He remarked with a smile.
"Technically you kept me waiting. I said to meet at the park, not at the parking spaces on the street."
"You just have to be right, don't you?"
"I thought you knew the answer to that already," I teased with a smirk.
With a roll of his eyes he walked closer to me, "So what next?"
"Now we go border hopping," I announced with as much confidence as I could muster.
A/N: You like-y? I have excuses, multiple excuses for this taking so long. One, my other stories needed to be updated way more than this. Two, school started. Three, I got caught up in birthday celebrations.
You're still going to chase me with pitchforks aren't you? Damn.
Well expect a lot more characters to be introduced soon. Hatter is only the first of many.
Tenge is the currency of Kazakhstan. Petropavi is a city on the border of Kazakhstan and Russia. I know my facts people.
Read, review, the usual.