Deleted Scene

Jennifer & Billy in a Tank

Author's Note: A silly little scene from the discarded ending. Jennifer, carrying a bullet wound from an earlier ill-conceived sortie against US Alliance, tries to escape from Washington with Billy NRA in a stolen tank. Around them, the corporates are engaging in a violent civil war.

Billy crunched the gears and the tank shuddered. “Both at once,” Jennifer said. Her strength was fading. “Both pedals at once.”

“This isn’t as easy as you said!” The tank began to roll forward, and he clutched at the right tread column. “Shit!”

“More gas.” The tank roared in response, and then they were bouncing along the road. “Here comes the corner. Ready?”

“Who’s turning? You or me?”

“You are,” she said. “Billy! You!”

He choked the right tread, and the tank began to swing around. They had a narrow slit to see through: the side of a building looked very close.

“Oh, shit,” he said. “Are we going to—”

Something—maybe the gun barrel—hit the side of the building. The tank shook but kept moving; they heard pieces of rubble bouncing off its skin.

“Yahh,” Billy said.

“Floor it. It’s a straight.”

“I don’t believe I’m doing this.” He opened up the throttle; shakily, the tank increased speed. “I don’t believe it!”

“Argh,” she said. “Tanks ahead. Two, coming in from the left. Don’t hit them.”

Their radio squawked, “Armored Unit 571, this is 301. How’s Delaware Avenue? You clear it?”

“Answer that.”

“I’ve got my hands full here!”

“Just do it,” she said.

He took a hand off the column to grab the radio. “Uh, heya 301. Nah, Delaware’s all fucked up. Steer clear, man.”

“Roger that,” the radio said. Then, “Who is that?”

Jennifer said, “Don’t—”

“This is Billy NRA. Who are you?”

“For fuck’s sake,” she said.

“What?” he hissed. “You wanted me to talk to these guys.”

“Not—” she started, then looked out the viewslit. “Turn!