Gatchaman Does The West Edmonton Mall by Kimyou na Gaijin
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From: "Kimyou na Gaijin"

Yes, Julieann, I'm still blaming all this on you. :)

Standard disclaimer: Tatsunoko owns Gatchaman and any other associated names and whatnot. WEM owns itself. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Part 2: Joe

"We're going *where*?" I asked in disbelief.

"Canada," replied the ISO driver crisply, never taking his eyes off the road.

"That's what I thought you said," I muttered, leaning back against my seat and crossing my arms. "What city are we headed for, anyway?"

"Edmonton," was the answer.

"Where?" piped up Jinpei from the seat behind me. I had to agree.

"Seems to be fairly unnoticed for a major city, which is why it was chosen," said the driver -- Kozuke, that was his name. "Has a few things marketed as tourist attractions, and once in a blue moon an international sporting event is held there, but that's about it." He paused as he turned the corner into the airport parking lot. "Quiet enough that there won't be any trouble, but enough to do so you shouldn't be bored."

"I'll bet," I grunted. I was *not* looking forward to being away from a racetrack for any length of time, even if there was something else to do. Edmonton sounded insufferably dull; I would rather have my privates roasted on an open fire while being dipped naked in sheep turd than die of boredom in some wacko foreign city, and proceeded to say so.

"Oh, come on, Joe, maybe it won't be so bad," offered Jun beside me. "Who knows, we might actually have some fun there."

"In a city so peaceful people forget to mark it on the map?" I sneered. "Yeah, right." I heard Ryu's faint snore from somewhere behind me and couldn't help but agree with his involuntary assessment of the situation.

"Well, like it or not, we're stuck there for two weeks," came Ken's tired-sounding voice from the passenger seat next to Kozuke. "We'll just have to make the best of it somehow. Maybe we can ask for some help on finding places to go when we arrive at the airport there."

"You've got to be kidding," I said wryly, crossing my legs. "I'm willing to bet the airport sees more action than the rest of the city."

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jun shrug. "You never know, Joe. It might turn out well after all."

My sarcastic retort was forestalled by Kozuke's abrupt braking in front of the airport's 'outbound flights' door. Muttering beneath my breath -- but not within anyone's hearing -- about how I'd rather bone Katse than go to freaking Canada, I swung myself out the van's side door and plucked my suitcase from beneath my seat.

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