When a young car thief Elaine Varley is forced off the road by an inconvenient incident with a stolen sedan, she unknowingly becomes the poster girl for a revolution, starting with an unusual task: stealing a relic from the most powerful organisation in the country.
A vehicle is funny thing in retrospect. It gets a man or a woman from A to B faster than they can ever hope to run; it can become a shelter and a bed for weary travellers, especially children on the way back from the amusement park, for example; it can be a trophy, a polished and waxed metallic beauty. In fact, a vehicle, by and large, is like a big, four wheeled dog, then sometimes a house and at others a masterpiece. Yet, a vehicle, especially a car, is fragile. A single rock slung from a high place cracks the glass like a hammer meeting a well-boiled egg (the ones with the chicks inside substitute the effect on people); the engine can blow out and bubble up, the exhaust can come loose in the middle of the rush hour on black Friday and a single well-placed nail in the backstreet slums can pierce any or all your precious Michelin tires. Alternative, if your luck is on the bad side of a ladder, the car could stall out and refuse to become unstuck in the middle of the orange desert, miles away from nowhere.
“Car, you’re a piece of shit!” shouted the unluckiest woman this side of Ashford. She was rather oblivious to the masterpiece idea, braying on the hood and digging in her heel as she kicked the bumper, her messy, sweat-fed hair swaying with each of her redundant clubs. If not for the tinkle of her necklaces lashing one another, the only sound would’ve been an Alban’s scorn and the hollow, ringing sound of fists pounding smooth (well, now vaguely dinted) steel. But, she was going to stay there until she broke the car. Broke it more for its own good. Her life mission for that moment was that, and she was content knowing she'd succeed. Or, should that not work, leave it to burn in the desert...
Naturally, after a time the woman left the vehicle alone, locked and useless back a few hundred meters as she strode angrily towards the nearest town, a fresh cigarette jutting from her lips like a woodpecker child from its internal roost. With each drag, her irritated, heavy breathing pushed the smoke farther from her lungs than usual. At least she wasn’t choking on the backdraft like usual. For a non-smoker, Elaine sure as hell had the worst way to relieve stress. She didn’t care; it was the car’s fault. Someone (namely its rightful owner) didn’t take care of it properly. And now, in a half stagger not unlike the one from the previous weekend, she was slowly making her way to a small, familiar road stop. North Grimsby, or, as many preferred, ‘Grim Oop North’. A dive with a decent enough garage and a half-stocked pub blessed and cursed with an owner as old as the hills themselves. Being an (unfortunate) patron of the place, Elaine supposed she’d have luck there. After all, her chuck taylor boots were making her feet ache and sooner or later the sun’d force her to peel off her hoody. At least in that pub she could wear it indoors to deter the drunken men and warm up her body as the crisp taste of icy cider hit her throat.
“Still, fuck the car…” Elaine muttered, a few feet from this precious road temple. She did have that terrible feeling that the car stopped for a reason, but with a well-rehearsed shrug, decided to drown her sorrows and think about it later. After all, all she was doing was waiting for her mechanic. What could possibly happen in two hours?