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The Rose Sisters' Show Band and Revue

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"Boots, black." The man with the glasses dropped her boots down in the small box. "Belt, black." Her belt followed quickly after. "One black suit jacket." Her jacket, now. "One black suit pants." No prize for guessing the latest item placed in the box. "One hat, black." The man held up her crushed, flattened hat and quickly punched it back into rough shape before dropping it on top of her other clothing. "One pair sunglasses." The man dropped her shades in with her other possessions, and then held up an envelope. "Twenty-three dollars and seven cents." He took one last glance at the list, then pulled the final item from the bag. "One pair bracelets, cheap gold." He pushed the box over to her and held out a large, beaten clipboard. "Sign here."

Yang rolled her eyes and wrote a simple "X" at the bottom of the form. She'd never wanted out of this damn place more than she did right now. At least her suit wasn't that much dirtier.


The gates of the prison slowly slid open; Yang, finally having traded her dusty old prison uniform for her older, marginally less dusty suit, stared out into the free world. She took one deep breath; even the air was cleaner out here. She stared out into the street, smiling to the shorter, reddish-haired girl in an identical two-piece suit. "Hey, sis. How's tricks?"

Ruby, naturally, threw herself at Yang like a particularly huggy cannonball.

One brief hug (and a brief brush with concrete) later, Ruby helped Yang up and led her over to a beaten, black sedan sitting by the side of the road. A single thick, white stripe ran down the middle, and the license plates simply read "CRSCNTR".

"So, this is new." Yang took a moment to look the car over, then simply shrugged and asked "Where's my bike?"

Her sister looked confused. "Your what?"

"My old bike!" Yang threw her hands up in the air. "The Bumblebee!"

"Oh." Ruby seemed to mull it over for a bit. "I traded it!" Ruby shrugged. "And besides, that sidecar was really cramped, and I don't know if they'll let you drive the day you-"

"All right, all right. What'd you get for it? Please tell me it was more than," Yang gestured to the sedan, "this."

"A microphone!" Ruby paused to sit down in the driver's seat. "And some cookies, but I needed to haggle."

"A microphone?" Yang raised an eyebrow as she climbed into the passenger's chair. "I can see it. So, why the junker?"

"This 'junker'" Ruby took a moment to make exaggerated finger-quotes, "is named Crescent Rose and she is beautiful and perfect. And cheap!" Ruby paused to stroke the steering wheel. "You deserved better than that police sale, didn't you?"

A few moments of cooing later, Yang cut in. "Look, I don't want to interrupt anything, but did you say police sale?" Ruby nodded quickly, then immediately went back to obsessing over the dashboard. "Ha. The day I get out of prison, and my own sister picks me up in a police car."

"You don't like her?" Ruby was giving her one of her pouts now; Yang was never sure if she as trying to look like a sad puppy or a lost kitten, but she landed squarely between the two without fail. Before Yang could open her mouth, though, Ruby had broken into a smile. "Buckle up and wait." As soon as Yang had climbed into the car and clipped her seatbelt on, Ruby started the car with a flourish and sped off down the road.

"Where're we going?"

"95th and South Chicago. Trust me, it'll be awesome!" Ruby flashed Yang a thumbs-up as she floored the gas.


It took about fifteen minutes for Yang to remember what, exactly, was at 95th and South Chicago that Ruby might have wanted to show her. She spent the rest of the trip wondering what was so important about the Calumet Fishery, other than the promise of smoked fish.

It took about fifteen seconds after Ruby pulled past the fishery for Yang to realise that it was extremely close to the 95th Street Bridge, and that Ruby had no intent on slowing down.

It took about fifteen milliseconds for Yang to remember that her sister was insane. Not that it was really her first concern, as the sedan tore across the raising drawbridge and flew into the air.

If you asked Yang, it took about fifteen years for the car to land safely (albeit with a bit of a bounce) on the other side of the drawbridge. She slowly turned to face Ruby, who was smiling broadly and proudly giving Yang a thumbs-up.

"How about now?" Ruby was absolutely beaming. "She's a 1974 Monaco, sis; hottest cop car of the seventies. She's got a 440 cubic inch Chrysler RB, the cop motor; bet she could push 150 on open road. And then there's the cop shocks, cop tires, cop upholstery; cop everything, except the actual cops." Ruby's smile grew even brighter. "Plus, you saw that, right? She even free-falls beautifully."

"Let's just say it... jumped up in my estimation." Yang flashed her sister a cocky grin, while Ruby suppressed a laugh. Yes, Yang thought, it was good to be out.