Van Mystiq

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040 - The 401

Though he had been driving since well before dawn, John was chipper at the wheel.  Amongst his friends John's ability to drive long distances was legendary.

Despite Canada's reputation for being a cleaner and friendlier version of the USA, the highways were another matter.

'Interstates' were called '400 Highways' up there and they were severely overloaded.  The traffic felt like LA but without the eight lane width.

John had read somewhere that the truck traffic alone had exceeded the highways design limit for cars.  Like most places, none of the politicians had the intestinal fortitude to build the much needed expansions that would be required to bring relief to the pressures of modern traffic.

John, who'd driven the autobahn was still quite surprised by the local proclivity for driving well above the speed limit. At one hundred and forty clicks, bad things could happen but driving the speed limit was simply untenable as the normally polite Canadians changed character completely once in the drivers seat.

David used to call steering wheels 'asshole conversion modules' citing a theory that they generated a magic field turning even the kindest, most polite of individuals into rageaholics.

The evidence was hard to deny.

The border crossing had been entirely uneventful.  Though they prepped thoroughly to face any contingency, their paperwork solid.  The bridge past Port Huron MI was as busy a choke point as they had ever seen.

The only question was about the dog but after John pointed out the clean bill of health, they were waved through.

The driving was intense and the landscape was flat.  After about an hour John exited onto a empty rural road that disappeared over the horizon.

"I always thoght Canada was just a bigger version of Colorado." Dana opined.

"Oh it has that.  It's just really, really far away."

"Where's all the igloos and snow?"

"Knock it off, you know they hate that.  Don't even start with the 'eh?' thing either.

"How do you know so much about them?"

"I did a stint with JSOC a few years back."

"There are Canadians in JSOC?"

"Yeah!" John looked at her with incredulity, "I studied up on them 'cuz I knew I'd be in close quarters with a unit deployed deep in-country."


"Maybe but can't confirm, copy?"

She nodded.  "I thought we protected them."

"Hell no.  Maybe at the NORAD level but not sure if you know this; the last war we fought with Canada?  We lost."


"Yep, 1812. They burnt the White House which is why we had to paint it white."


"You have to understand there is deep layer of warrior culture up here both from the First Nations people as well as the rest.  Its suppressed to be sure and way fewer in number sure but ever hear of the 'Vandoos'?  They were probably the most feared unit in world war one.  Their soldires are mostly well educated and very, very dedicated.  They're resourceful too.  They do more with less than any other soldiers I've worked with."

"Cool, and here I thought they are were a bunch of pussies."

John laughed, "I'd work on that perception.  At the highest end of percentile they are some tough Motherfuckers. Had my life saved by a few and returned the favor."

"They also have the distinction of speaking the most 'accentless' version of the Queen's mother tongue."  chimed in Jax.

"What good is that?" Twitch asked.

"It means that their diction is the most clear and easily understood of all English speakin' countries.  That's why you Yanks like them so much on TV.  Name a show, there is likely a Canugian on it. Especially news casters."

"Canoo-gee-yan..." John was chuckling at the silly term.

"Hey you're a Yank!" Dana frowned back at Jaqueline.

"Only on paper, luv." She smiled back.

After another hour John reached a junction that led into an area contrasted by new cookie cutter homes mixed in with dilapidated structures.  After a few miles, they saw what looked like a military ghost town.

"Look, 1812?"  Dana was commenting on the graffiti scrawled on one of the long garrison buildings.

"Welcome to the former Canadian Forces Base, CFB Ipperwash."

The enire group was fixated  further down the road however, where a giant, modified, Canadian flag flew proudly .  The traditional Maple Leaf replaced by a stylized Cannabis frond.

"Ahh, Mecca." John smiled.

"Wow" the rest said as one.

The small building sporting almost hidden from the highway was lit with small neon signs and placards advertising edibles, extracts and wide variety of bud.

"We have ten minutes." he said.  They moved with alacrity.



Edited: 08.08.2019

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