the smuggler’s bible

White Ratchet

White Ratchet makes a sally to stall for time while a crew jury rigs parts for the busted crawler. He leads a short wedge of open-top 4×4s out of the ravine at dawn.

“Head right at them,” he says to the driver, then starts shooting over the stubby windscreen, grinning as the rifle thumps against his shoulder.

The first line of tribesmen scatters as the formation starts a slow turn. White Ratchet cheers with the others over the growling hum of the engines. There isn’t a cloud in the sky, and he can see mountains shining white on the horizon.