The Quintessential Pickup

“You sure you’re up to this?” James asked. “I can take the wheel if you want.”

“Not yet,” Sera growled. “Got something else for you to do.” A section of the cab roof slid back, and the seat back slid slightly forward to allow a gun rack to raise and latch into place over the rear windshield—but in place of the expected pump-action shotguns and hunting rifles, this one held distinctly higher-tech equipment.

“Gosh, Sera, you were right,” James said. “This automech really does have everything. All you’re missing are little smiley-face covers for your driving lamps, and maybe a window decal of Calvin peeing on a Marauder logo. Well, I suppose there’s always EBay for those…”

Sera snorted. “Latch that plasma rifle into the servo-mount on the roof, will you?” she said. “I’ll try to hold steady for you. Shoot for the tires, it’s the least-armored part.”

James nodded, unlatching the seatbelt and pulling himself up on the seat. “Got it.” Then he grabbed for the frame as the sedan began spraying an oil slick…

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