Chapter 5: Been Caught Stealing

I've been caught stealing; once when I was five.

I enjoy stealing. It's just as simple as that.
Well, it's just a simple fact.
When I want something,
I don't want to pay for it.
I walk right through the door.


Spike was introduced quickly to the rest of crew. The kid who introduced him to the world of business to business finance was named Caleb. They were joined by two other partners, Morris and Ravi. Ravi, a pale looking-waif girl, didn't speak much, and Morris said even less. This was fine by Spike since Caleb did enough talking for the lot of them.

"Ok, man, I'm about to take you the promised land. The Shangri-fucking-la of our trade," he smiled and then pointed the group to an impound yard. "It's like a damn buffet."

Spike shrugged. "Seems kinda...obvious, doesn't it?"

"What the fuck do you think this is man, the movies? I don't care if it's fucking obvious. We're here to steal parts, not to entertain ourselves."

"The only reason I do anything is to entertain myself," Spike sighed, but it seemed as if Ravi was the only one to hear him. She gave a brief, piercing look before she and the rest of her partners went to work.

Breaking into an impound lot was still amazingly easy. A few fleece blankets easily thwarted the barbed wire they had snaking around the perimeter of the fence like ivy. The fabric didn't completely dull the pain of the metal hooks but it was enough to make it bearable. Spike knew because he tested it out himself. One hand on the blanket, one hand off, just to make sure it was working. It was.

"Dude, you're bleeding all over the place," Caleb pointed out to him. They were perched on the poorly crafted roof of the structure, precariously hovering over the much longer ceiling spikes. If one of them rested their butts about a fourth of an inch lower then they had them, they would have been quite literally ripped a new one.

"Am I?" Spike asked, absently wiping his hand on his pants. "I hadn't noticed."

Caleb shook his head. "You are a nutter. Well let's get this shiznit on the road," he whispered and proceeded to cut a small hole in the ceiling. This alerted the attention of the dogs, which were easily silenced by Caleb dropping a boot on their heads from 15 feet in the air.

Spike winced as the dogs whimpered and then dropped like a ton of bricks. "I can see this is a very high tech operation," he said wryly.

"Dude, you do watch too many movies," Caleb huffed as he very ungracefully thudded to Earth. The other two followed.

Spike managed to swing his long body down through the hole in one fluid motion, which earned him dubious looks from his new team. "I guess you've done this before," Caleb whispered.

"Not exactly this. But I guess things similar to this." He noticed Ravi roll her eyes and then they were off to work.

The proprietor of the lot was apparently quite reliably drunk out of his skull by 3:30 AM every evening. They could have had a small circus in there and it wouldn't have moved him from his comforting whiskey haze. Spike had to marvel at exactly how much of society really does operate on trust. Any idiots could do what they were doing; it was just only a few idiots lacked the moral scruples to try.

Spike, though he always considered himself a man with strong values in his own right, did not really object. He lived in an environment where your own partners wouldn't think twice about stealing the shirt off your back, so he never put much value on material things. It was the rest of the world that was hung up on that stuff, and he figured they served as a gentle reminder that you shouldn't get attached.

"Now, the trick is to open up the cover without cutting the wire," Caleb was trying to instruct Spike as they gutted their first victim, but he wasn't listening.

"What the hell is this monstrosity?"

Spike shifted his attention over to Ravi, who appeared to have found something of interest. He ambled over to her lazily, and then almost fell over in shock. "No shit," he mused.

"What is it?" Ravi asked. "It doesn't look physically capable of flying."

"That is a Red Tail. I've only known one person who ever flew one of these bad boys, and it looks like this might be hers."

"Is it worth anything?"

Spike walked around and looked for the ticket. He found it pasted to the hull and whistled. "The dumb shrew parked in a tow zone."

"So did everyone here."

"But I think she's the only one with the stones to park in the Martian Trade Diplomat's parking space. The fine is worth more than her life," he shook his head. "Serves her right. It's not really worth much of anything but you never know when rare parts will come in handy, right?"

Ravi nodded in agreement, obviously back to not speaking. The young girl popped open the hood, perused the area a bit, and then pried some parts out as easily as shucking mussels from the shell. She shrugged, and the group seemed to be on their way.

They had just made their way on the other side of the fence when another group of thieves confronted them, presumably of the ship part variety.

"What the hell are you doing here?" one of them spat at Caleb.


"Well, mind your own fucking business. This is our place."

"Since when?"

"Since now."

Spike didn't catch a bit of that conversation. He was distracted by two raccoons having sex. It was interesting. He had never seen raccoon sex before. The one didn't really seem to be enjoying it. He couldn't tell with the other one.

"Hey, you deaf or somethin'?"

Spike turned around. "Who me?"

"Yeah, you," one of the other gang members said as he flicked out a switchblade.

Spike had obviously missed something. "I'm sorry. What were we talking about?"

Morris shook his head in disgust. "Pussy," he mumbled at Spike. It was the first word he ever heard him speak.

"We were talking about kicking your ass."

"Oh. Now?"

The other guy sneered as Spike's own team groaned. "Yeah, now, pretty boy."

"Ok. Then we better get to it then," Spike shrugged, then switched his own blade out of his sleeve while simultaneously bringing his other foot around to connect with the nearest thug's head. He immediately swung around to plunge his knife into the ring leaders thigh. Another gang member took this opportunity to kick Spike in the gut. Spike crumpled under the pain, but then brought his elbow up into the kid's face. Spike took a moment to rub his elbow, since he had caught it on a few of that kid's gold teeth. That really smarted. It was only a moment though, because the remaining two members where upon him. A cloud of gravel dust kicked up that made the resulting tangle of limbs and profanity look like something straight out of a cartoon. When the dust settled, the other two gang members were dispatched. Not that Spike didn't take a few, cause he did. But he seemed relatively unfazed.

"Friends of yours?" he asked. "Where did you learn to do that, man?" Caleb asked, wild eyed.

Spike shrugged. "Bruce Lee movies."

Caleb nodded. "Wicked."

The motley crew turned to go home, booty still in tact. As he passed Morris, he could have sworn another errant "Pussy" passed his lips, but he didn't care much either way. And as for Ravi, she didn't stop glaring at him for the entire trip home.



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