I turned my head side on to see Carter doing the same thing. 'Holy fuuuuuuuu-', she said, and then we were both pinned to the chassis by the movement.
All at once, Jayci shifted weight off the pedal and locked her legs around the tiller bar, swinging it rapidly to and fro, causing the drag that would slow us down. The wheels were throwing up enough sand that you could have seen us coming half a country away.
Two hundred yards of heat and flying sand to the compound, and we'd slowed just enough that Carter and I could stand upright. There was no respite in the approach. Di Vio's men opened up with everything they had, and the chassis around us rattled with blind-fired automatic rifle rounds.
'Down!' Jayci slid across the surface and hit the hatch she'd emerged from earlier feet first, popping it open. With the truck now lurching across the sand with no-one at the helm, we took cover inside the small space. The truck rocked from several blasts as Di Vio's army targeted it with missiles and then finally stopped with a massive thump as it careered into the gate at the edge of the complex.
Jayci slipped on and laced up a pair of boots that were nearly the same size as her. Outside, the furious onslaught continued, with multiple bursts of light tearing up the invisible horizon.
'Looks like they've got a nest above the entranceway,' Carter said, kneeling by the hatch and squinting through the gap. 'Pass me my bag.'
I did as she asked, and she pulled out a long tubular device with a twin stock and sights. A few seconds passed while she methodically moved through the controls, ending by screwing a bulb-shaped round into the end.
'Lend me a shoulder,' she said, and I did so. We waited a few seconds longer for a brief lull in the assault, and when one came, Jayci rolled clear. Carter kicked the hatch door open and fired into the hellstorm below. A huge flare went off in the distance, accompanied by screams. Before the first rocket had even landed, Carter had calmly reloaded, and then she fired again, reloaded and fired again. By the time of the third impact, the nest was silent and the approach was clear.
The fighting was already well underway by the time I got down there. Di Vio's men had been busy, barricading internal walls with whatever they could find. They might have proved useful in the face of a casual skirmish, but Hole Town was good and angry, and no metal sheet will stand up long against a laser.
We had a moment of mutual respect there in the corridor, two soldiers of fortune set to play two different roles in the final battle to come.
'You want me to come down there with you?' she said.
I shook my head. 'Find Mama Smokes. Some of her people are still missing. Jensen's men must have brought them here and stashed them somewhere. Other than that, the Hole Town army could use another leader, I'm sure. Ain't no-one better than you when it comes to crowd control.'
She nodded and her lips softened, though not quite as far as to smile. 'And you're sure you'll be okay down there?'