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Silver Dollar, Golden Flame

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Road tripping with the guys, J decided, was only fun when their car works.

They were driving along some random back road the GPS decided they absolutely HAD to take in order to get to the next gig when, out of nowhere, the engine started sputtering and coughing thick white smoke. Alarmed, Geoff had immediately pulled over, opened the hood, and declared he had no idea what he was doing. Layne sauntered over, ready to fix whatever was wrong with the engine and be declared hero of the hour, and started messing with the engine while Geoff looked on curiously. J desperately started trying to get some signal on his phone so they could call a tow truck if all went wrong, and for some reason Earl thought kicking the tires would fix the van. Nobody was really sure what Eli was doing, but he was doing...it. For sure.

Stripping his jacket off and rolling up his sleeves, Layne dove his hands into the depths of the engine, checking seals and valves, trying to see where the white smoke was coming from. After about ten minutes of swearing and some yelps of pain when he accidentally touched a hot component, he announced the diagnosis to the group.

“Ok guys I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that it’s a fairly fixable problem that we could most likely fix ourselves. The bad news is… well, we don’t have any of the tools or materials necessary to fix said problem.” Layne said apologetically, rubbing the back of his neck and wincing a little.

Earl ceased his kicking of the van. “What’s wrong with it? What do we need?” he said from behind gritted teeth.

“He does not look like he is having a good day.” J thought bemusedly. “Why is he so upset? It’s not affecting the rest of us this strongly.”

Layne began to explain. “Well for one thing the coolant hose completely came loose. It looks like the clamp wasn’t properly tightened in the first place and we were lucky it lasted as long as it did. We literally don’t have anything to cool the engine down with now however, because none of us have any water beyond a single bottle,” he said, picking up and waving said single water bottle around “and it would just come right back out the hose anyways.”

Geoff frowned. “And the white smoke?”

Layne perked up a little at that. “Oh that’s cause some coolant got into the combustion chamber! We really lucked out and it doesn’t seem to have damaged anything. If we’d kept going however, it could have cracked the engine block or something, which would have been like a thousand times worse than what we’re dealing with now.”

“Sooooo basically what you’re saying,” Eli slowly began, “Is that we’re basically screwed because we’re in the middle of nowhere, with no signal,” he looked at J to confirm, who simply nodded, “and no way to get help or let people know what’s happening to us.”
Earl sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, his anger apparently replaced with resignation and a little fear. “Yeah that about sums it up. What are our options?”

“Well, we could do one of two things.” Said J. “We could stay here and hope like hell someone will drive by on this fairly abandoned back road and help us.”

“Hell to the no.” Interjected Geoff. “I’m not sitting around hoping for a rescue, thanks.”

“Or,” continued J, nodding in Geoff’s direction, “we can go looking for help. There’s no guarantee we’re going to find anybody though, and we might just end up even worse than we are now. High risk High reward, you know?”

The group came together and debated it for a minute, but it was eventually decided that they should go look for help. So they locked up the car, grabbed their phones in case someone magically got reception, and headed out.

After about four and a half hours of walking, the miraculous happened. A cabin was spotted.