Logs:The Great Christmas Tree Heist
The Great Christmas Tree Heist
|Characters:||Johnny, Axle, Stevie and Seraphine as ST|
|Summary:||Johnny, Axle and Stevie risk life and limb to heist a tree off Magazine Street|
It's Christmas! The holiday season is in the air. People are bundled up against the cold, singing carols and carrying packages home -- you know, all that tired crap. But there is one little MO-tel room that is currently devoid of holiday revelry. A certain Johnny and Axel's (and Becky's) motel room... No Christmas tree! No trimmings! So Seraphine has asked (pretty please!) if Johnny and Becky would get a tree for them to celebrate around. And of course, rules are rules. No buying shit. Everything must be obtained by illegal and nefarious means. So a christmas tree thieving is called for. But where will they get said tree? Jack one off a local tree lot? Go out into nature and steal one off some private property? OR find some rich assholes house and steal the tree there? There must be a hundred other ideas... It's up to Johnny and Axle now. How will they get a tree?
"I saw a sweet tree the other day," Axle declares, puffing on the cigar she holds; Johnny wanted to make a smoker out of her, she just seems to prefer cigars. She's already getting pretty good at smoke rings, too. It's only 45 degrees, but that's 13 degrees warmer than it is in Chicago right now, and warm enough to get by in a hoodie and jeans. And thrift store sneakers, which are what Axle has taken to wearing ever since she decided she was going to 'tribute' her motorcycle boots to the totem once they get ready to form the pack. They rest beside the motel room door, waiting to be sacrificed in all their delicious, leathery glory.
"It was in the window of this little cafe over on Magazine street. The bitch behind the counter looked at me like I was a bug, so I didn't even bother to order. But the tree was... mwah! Magnifique." She kisses two fingertips and gestures dramatically before the final word.
Johnny is a real man, and real men smoke... cigarettes. Not cigars. Big, burly, thick cigars. He doesn't seem to stick to a brand, either, some unknown cancer stick resting between his lips as he stands outside in the cold with Axle. He's not dressed up too warm either; just his jacket and jeans, and a long-sleeve shirt underneath it. And a pair of decent looking motorcycle boots on his feet. Boots that he scrounged up somewhere and won't be sacrificing to Stray Dog. "So what are you thinking? Smash and grab? The old Golden Assault Surprise?" Johnny asks, referring to the tried and true tactic of standing on the counter and pissing as a distraction while accomplices steal things.
Axle demonstrates her growing proficiency at smoke rings, enjoying her nice fat, phallic seegar... Letting a big nugget of ash drop off the tip of it onto the sidewalk, she starts to walk from the outside of the motel room door, waiting to see if Johnny follows. "Smash and grab might work. I think the place closes early. It's called... Uh.... Lay Bologna Shack... Or something like that."
La Boulangerie, actually: open from 6AM to 6PM on Wednesdays through Saturdays. So, indeed, closed at the moment. "Axe and snatch?" Axle jokes as she continues walking. At least they can case the joint tonight.
Johnny flicks his cigarette away and into the sidewalk before he moves to catch up with Axle, giving her a little punch on the arm. "Forget casing. We're grabbing it now." He pulls out a cellphone and a wallet. "Found these laying around. Guy who lost it won't be missing them yet. Even looks a little like me. We'll stop by and rent a truck, then do the old... snatcheroo." Johnny explains.
Fortunately for Johnny and Axle, there is a car rental place down the street from the motel. They have everything from Mustangs (hahahahaha) to luxury cars, to pick up trucks capable of holding... most sized trees. The nice man at the counter just needs a few things in order to make this transaction happen. A valid driver's license, a major credit card and a deposit of $500 (if not made on the card). He smiles thinly and waits impatiently for you all to figure out how you'll meet those requirements. It's almost closing time and there is one more truck left for rent.
Once outside the rental place, Axle stubbed out the partially spent cigar and tucked it into an empty Altoids tin for later. Tin pocketed, she held the door for Johnny and then followed him inside, putting on her prettiest smile for the dude behind the counter -- but letting Johnny do most of the talking.
Johnny slides open his wallet and pulls out a credit card for a 'Keith Kevinson', sliding it over to the man behind the counter. The driver's license as well, though there's a faint smudge on the face. Just faint. It could be Johnny if you squint. There's a hundred dollars subtly tucked under the license as well, invisible to the security cameras. "One commercial class truckmobile, good sir!" He says with an rather posh accent.
"Oh no sir. You needn't make the deposit in cash if you'll be putting it on the card." The man offers helpfully, cluelessly slipping the c-note back Johnny's way. "Will your wife also be driving the truck? I'll need ID from her as well please." The man starts to TAP TAP TAP at the keyboard, entering the license number and credit card. Amazingly enough the card seems to go through. Looks like Johnny gets to keep his hundred bucks. He's still waiting on Axle's ID though. "If she isn't to drive, it's not necessary. I will need to ask if you'd like to insure the truck and let you know about the refueling policies. I'll need to make sure you return it with a full tank, unless you'd like us to fill it up for you at an additional charge of $158.93. Per gallon." He mentions helpfully.
"Oh, we're not married... Yet. I don't have a driver's license... Chad," Axle helpfully provides, leaning a bit to look at the guy's name embroidered on his uniform polo. "We're moving a few things into our new apartment. A table, a couple of chairs. The crib!" she burbles. The wolf-blood smoothes her hands down over her belly, which is pretty damn flat for someone mentioning cribs.
"Enough of the chitchat, Laurine." Johnny says rather dramatically, signing the paperwork indicating that yes, he would like insurance." The paperwork is slide back over to the total Chad working the counter, his arm draping around Axle's back as he pulls her to his side. "Disregard the little lady, good sir. She's just a talker. Talk talk talk."
"Oh, well then, congratulations on your baby-on-the-way." Chad chatters on. The card and smudged license are returned, but not before a copy is made of the license. A set of keys and a small folder with the paperwork are handed back to Keith. "Good luck with your moving, Mr. and Mrs. Kevinson. We'll see you back here tomorrow at 10am to return the truck. Be safe out there." And providing the pair can figure out how to start a truck, they're on their way to Magazine street!
Magazine Street is a major thoroughfare in NO that follows the curving course of the Mississippi River. The street took its name from an ammunition magazine located in this vicinity during the 18th-century colonial period. (thank you wikipedia!)
Most of the street is a mix of residential and commercial buildings, generally older houses from the later nineteenth century and similarly aged commercial stretches consisting of antique shops, clothing boutiques, restaurants, and bars. Magazine Street shopping offers a unique selection of products many of which are handcrafted and one of a kind pieces. (thank you again wikipedia!)
La Boulangerie is indeed closed it would seem. But in the picture window stands an enormous, 10ft. Christmas tree trimmed in silvers and golds; tinsels and icicles drip luxuriously from every branch, but it also houses more traditional ornaments, giving it a well balanced, all around, beautiful tree vibe. There are of course all sorts of tourists walking up and down the street. But, there are so many decorations on Magazine that they don't seem especially interested in La Boulangerie's tree. It might, however, be difficult to pull off a grab and dash without a whole lot of people filming it and posting to YouTube. And in fact, there is a couple at the cafe next door, dining out on one of the little outdoor tables next to La boulangerie's, both working away at their phones... doesn't anyone just eat anymore?
Axle closes her yap once it has been suggested she do so, but she continues to smile and stroke those creepy fingers along her flat stomach. One hopes that her future child won't be cursed by monkey fingers, too. Once outside in the parking lot, she asks of 'Keith', "Do you want to drive?" flashing a wolfish grin in his direction.
Johnny gives Axle a slap on the ass once they're out of sight of Chad and away from the security cameras. "Fuck no." He tosses Axle the keys and slides into the passenger seat. When the pair arrive at cafe Johnny seems to have formulated a plan. Of sorts. "Park around back. I'll go in the front." He has his jacket off, laying it carefully in the seat next to him. "When you hear the commotion you come in and help me grab the tree." With that Johnny begins fishing around in the pockets of his now-removed jacket. Fishing for something. Something... important. Once it's secretly collected he hops out of the truck and heads to the front of the place, to scope it out before he enters.
There isn't much parking along the street available, but the cafe has some reserved parking in the back. There is a door to La Boulangerie's in the back as well, and of course the glass store front in front, and a door that's been locked up for the night. The couple eating at the cafe next door smile at Johnny when he comes around front, if that is indeed what he decides to do. But they soon go back to focusing on their phones and food. And like all true Millennials, they have carefully photographed their food and instagrammed it to everybody.
Axle drives like a champ; all the laws followed, speed limits obeyed, pedestrians given the right of way. In the process, base is touched with Stevie and she swings around to pick them up in the rental truck; it'll be a tight fit in the front seat with the three of them.
On the way to Magazine Street, she doesn't even let her usual road rage get the better of her when someone cuts her off. They drive past 'Lay Bologna Shack' -- ooh and a place called Jezebel's! -- at the regular speed limit, so they can all give the place a quick look-see, before she goes around the block to follow the instructions and park around back in a tiny area of concrete that would only hold about three or four vehicles -- just off 'Cadiz Street'. Vehicle put in park, she lets it idle for now.
"What's that you've got, Jay Jay?" she asks Johnny.
Everyone's here now. The master plan can go into motion. Johnny pulls out his secret weapon. The weapon that will get the group towards their goal; Johnny's hands are full of ketchup packets. Just oodles of them. "Axle, wait back here. Stevie will bash the door open for you. I'm going in the front." Johnny hefts a brick that was laying on the ground near the truck, holding it awkwardly as he begins to fill his mouth with ketchup. The packets are all tossed back into the truck to be disposed of later. For now Johnny is doing Real Men's Work(tm), his cheeks puffing out a bit from the volume of ketchup. He gives the others a thumbs up and moves around the building stealthily.
"What are we doing? Where are we going? What's going to happen?" Stevie is, to be fair, a little lost. To be fiar, Stevie also seems a little buzzed, though it's hard to tell if it's drugs or alcohol. She listenns for a moment, bouncing along with every bump in the road. And then Johnny explains what her part in the crime is, and she slams her fist into her open-palm of her other hand. Soon, in the safety of the truck. She's changing. Flesh melding into flesh, bones rearranging, stretching. Muscles upon muscles. Soon more Muscle Model then anything from before, she stretches out in her Dalu form, everything bigger and an aura of dangerous power waiting to be unleashed just beneath the skin, facial features angular and fingernails seeming to somehow gleam dangerously sharp. She's able to pass for human, but barely, a freak of nature more Amazonian body-builder than ordinary woman - very faint but noticable thickening of body-hair included. But no time to wax that fuzzy stache! "It's clobberin' time." Trademark owned by Disney.
The Trio have pulled in back of a cafe called La Boulangerie on Magazine street. It has a normal storefront with a huge 10 ft Christmas tree that Axle has had her eye on. They've managed to rent a Chevy Silverado crew cab truck with 4wd and a short bed that extends about 6ft (you do the math!). The cafe is all locked up for the night and no one seems to be inside (though all the lights are on in front). There is what looks to be a second story to the building. In front a steady stream of tourists walk by but don't pay much mind to the closed cafe or tree. A couple is dining outside (ok a little cold but there is a heater) and they're working on their phones currently.
If they thought it was cramped in the cab before Stevie upsized... The motor of the Silverado remains idling as Axle opens the driver's door and slides out, rubbing her face for a moment as Johnny starts to inhale about a cup full of ketchup. A literal face-palm. "So. It's a basic axe and snatch. We're here for the tree," she quietly tells Stevie. "And a cake if there's any in the display case," she spontaneously decides -- because who doesn't like cake? Course she never told Johnny just how big the frigging tree is. The motel room ceiling isn't even that tall, is it?
Whether they're ready or not, Johnny's plan is put into action. The brick is clutched to his stomach as he dash-staggers over to the young couple enjoying themselves and playing on their phones and. "GABARGLE!" Johnny groans out, unloading his mouthful of ketchup on one half of the couple, vomiting it up with a look of terror in his eyes. "Help me! It's contagious!" He coughs weakly in their direction. That should be enough to get them to run away. Separately, if they're like most people. Nobody wants to be contaminated. Whether they leave or not though he launches himself at the front window with the brick, trying to smash it open before he hits it.
Stevie nods her head, letting Axle call the shots, or at least explain the plan, before starting to move around to edge around the side of the building while Johnny is causing a commotion and drawing all the attention upfront. "See, the thing about kicking in doors, is people always kick in the middle of the door." She flexes a little bit, wandering around the corner and then glancing the back door over for a moment, "When really, the only part you need to break, is this tiny little part near the knob where the latch goes in." And, matching action to words, Stevie rears back and tries to put her size 13 combat boots through the area just to the right of the door knob!
"Oh my god Emily, call 911! This guy has ebola! Jesus Christ!" The man starts to back away quickly, leaving his girl to dial the emergency number while he, yes, starts to roll video on the man dying of ebola. But he's backing away fast and only gets a few moments of video. Emily dials 911 but she's already running down the street. "There is a man throwing up blood!" She says but doesn't look back. They might hear the crash but they really don't care at this point.
Johnny's brick goes easily through the plate glass window, which comes down in sheets of razor-sharp glass. And that's when he hears the low, menacing growl. Growls that is. He doesn't see anything yet, but he can hear them....
For someone who has 'common sense'... Axle barrels right ahead into the back of the cafe once she's heard Johnny careening through the front window. She's got no time to be hearing growling noises, what with the commotion Johnny has made. (Plus the blood has started to pound inside her head from the mixture of exhilaration and sheer terror at committing a Bee and Eee. "Ebola?" she mutters under her breath as she skirts the bakery slash kitchen portion of the cafe, headed toward the front. She remembers the layout from when 'The Grinch' treated her poorly when all she wanted was a sweet treat. So what if she was wearing her 'Toxic Bukkake' shirt at the time? She's so set on the tree, she doesn't see "The Lads", either...
From Johnny's side, there is a lot of glass and ketchup on the ground, the huge glass window is gone and there is a tree right there for the taking. From the back of the cafe the door has been busted open into the kitchen, where there are several cakes boxed up and ready for orders to be picked up tomorrow morning.
Just inside from there, two dobermans are starting to run back and forth. Between the glass breaking in front and the commotion in back, they aren't sure what the hell to do or which way to go. But Apollo sees Axle jet thru to the tree and starts viciously barking at her. She's all teeth and snarl at this point but hasn't lunged at her yet.
Stevie busts through the door right after Axle, and glances around for a moment. What's that snarling and barking? She pauses for a moment, focusing in on the doberman pincer dogs. She purses her full lips into a tight line. Uh oh! You know, the funny thing is, she'd rather not hurt normal animals if she doesn't have to. People, she'll hurt any time, but poor doggie woggies? She considers the situation for a moment, and then decides to.... throw back her head, open up her throat, and scream back at them death-metal style, can she intimidate the dogs maybe??
Johnny crashes through the glass in the front of the building noisily, his shirt covered in ketchup, his brick still clutched in his hand. That brick is launched in the direction of the dogs as Johnny cries out. "BLOOD AND THUNDER!" It bounces off the wall near one of the dogs and Johnny turns, preparing to run like the wind.
Ebola? This continues to roll around inside Axle's head as she clomps past the cakes in her new thrift store sneakers -- shoes she's not as used to as her precious motorcycle boots. So when she barrels toward the tree in the midst of the chaos of ketchup and canines, she skids a bit on some broken glass, but thrusts her arms into the mass of tree branches and ornaments and tinsel -- and ends up with a face full of all of it, too. She and the tree both go over in a tumble and crash of broken ornaments and other debris, but she never stops moving, rolling in the mess to clamber back up and start dragging the god damned tree back the way she came -- and over the dobies if she has to!
Apollo might be distracted by the brick, but Zeus it going in for the kill on Axle. He lunges at her, and chomps directly down on her thigh as she struggles with the tree and won't let go.
"Go on, get! Get out of here! You stupid fuckin'..." Stevie yells in shooing type 'go get him boy' manner at Apollo, but then sees Axle get a big chomp taken out of her thigh. He rears back and moves forward. This time he's holding back a bit, he doesn't want to kill the dog after all, he just wants to make it think long and hard about it's choices and whether or not to run!
Meanwhile, Axle has got the tree down and is dragging it back into the back area of the cafe, through the kitchen and out the door back door. Stevie manages to help her and soon enough Johnny has reunited with them to load their 10 foot stolen tree-loot into the back of the rental truck. They pile into the truck as quickly as they came, disappearing into the night.
Apollo releases Axle’s leg when Stevie punts the dog in the ribs. He skitters off whimpering and follows Johnny out with Zeus. Fortunately for Johnny both dogs lose track of him. So much for tracking dogs, but in their defense they really were bred for their tenacity at protecting.