Ill wind: Gathering of the Tribes, pt. 6

14238083_10208488352500761_1411174757190643199_n“How bad is it?”

“Just worn out,” Ivy said.  She didn’t get up from her position on the ground half under the 300D. “Steering arm is coming loose, and the rear axle had a torn boot.”

There was a smile in Holly’s voice.  “I don’t know what that means.”

“Right now, nothing.”  She pulled herself out and accepted a hand up.  “The steering will be fine, just wobbly.  If the boot tears and that axle locks up, we’ll be stranded.  If I knew where there was a pack of Benzers it could be fine, I think they’d help us, but they roam too much.  These rigs have special parts.  I don’t know how easy it will be to tweak it.”

Ivy looked around, and Holly said, “The market.  Shiloh and Diesel-Heart both.”

“Together?”

She tilted her hand back and forth.  “I don’t think either of them is interested.”

“It can be hard to tell with her.”

“Oh, hush, be nice.  It’s easy.  Shiloh does not hide her tells, unlike some people I know.”

“Is this about Dilly again?”

Holly favored her with an enigmatic smile.  “Almost certainly not.”

“Good.  I have this rig to think about, not moony mariners following us around.”

“Following you around,” her sister teased.  Ivy pointedly didn’t respond. “It was lucky getting it. We need it, right?”

Ivy shrugged.  “Won’t carry everyone after we pick up Swan and Kroni…the others.  Doesn’t carry all that much to start, especially with all the tents and pillows, not compared to my old…well, anyway, it’s good.”

“You can’t tell me you don’t like having a comfortable place to sleep.”

“I do.  I just don’t know if it’s worth the trouble of carrying it around.”

“It is, because it keeps your spoiled, soft sister happy.”

Ivy’s response was a genuinely cheerful half-smile.  The expression faded to a neutral look as she saw Shiloh and Lord Diesel-Heart over Holly’s shoulder. They were clearly returning from the market.  “What’s all this? Shiloh, did you buy more blankets?”

“This quilt is lovely, isn’t it?  And it’s the same green as the car.  The seller was willing to trade for rems, so I got rid of a lot of them.”

She sighed.  “Well, I suppose that’s something.”