The craft hit the tarmac with a tooth rattling bump. It wasn’t one of the good Captain’s best efforts but then again, he wasn’t in one of his better moods. Capt. M, strode out the Nomade ahead of everyone else. They’d landed at the now disused airport that had once been as busy as L.A.X. It was now closed, except when the Nomade needed to land, for refuelling, or supplies.

A cab ride later, the bedraggled, motley group was in the heart of downtown L.A. Fresh coffee and bagels restored general good humour and Capt. M, who had little interest in anything else L.A. had to offer,  flagged down a cab and headed back to the craft, armed with 2 shots of double espresso and 5 pounds of coffee beans.

Julian and Perry headed for the nearest pharmacy to stock up on medical and dental supplies, their presence eliciting whispers and curious looks. “What the f*** was that all about man?”,  Perry asked as they left, lugging their parcels. Julian shrugged . “Maybe they think we’re twins.”

Ellie dragged an unwilling SusiD to the nearest D & G to stock up on baby-dolls.”But Ellie – you’ll just have to have them altered and you don’t sew, nobody on board does!! Why bother?” Ellie already  had her palms and nose pressed on the picture window of the boutique and was beginning to purr with lingerie-lust. “Oh Susi – just look at those tiny little lace cups.” *rrrrrrrrrr* Susi stared in horror as the back of Ellie’s jeans begin to quiver and the sturdy fabric started to slowly rip at the seams.

“Ellie!!” She shrieked as she nervously slid off Rider’s biker jacket and tied it around Ellie’s waist. “What Susii?!? It’s not like I’m asking you to pay for it! Besides, Julian never complains... ever” Susi pointed at Ellie’s back. “Snap out of it Ellie! Your back, your BACK!”  Ellie turned around quick as a whip and grinned sheepishly. “Oops! Sorry”

Susi flagged a taxi and bundled the sartorially aroused demon and her nascent extremity into the vehicle before it could grow out to its full and terrifying  glory. “CircleK airport- and step on it... please!”

She turned in her seat, breathing hard. “You better suck it up or in or whatever it is you -- ”, her voice dropped to a whisper as she looked at the driver’s reflection in the rear view mirror, “—demons do, before that rear whip of yours scares the living bejezus outta the cab driver.” Ellie sat perfectly still, on her pert rear, a look of intense concentration on her face.

Blessedly, they reached CircleK without incident and hurriedly crossed the tarmac. Another taxi drove up behind them. The door opened and John stepped out, carrying a short stack of books and a large bottle of water. He caught up with them in a few short strides. Susi eyed his load “What you got there John?” His lips remained almost a straight line as he answered. “Luca’s dinner... and holy water.” Susi looked quizzically at him, left eyebrow cocked. “Atmospheric changes.” He offered no more, typically the laconic exorcist.