Ted puffed as he pushed and steered the DeSoto the two of them had purchased from the used car dealer a hundred miles back in Los Diablos. The transmission had blown about 10 miles back, leaking fluid and parts along the macadam surface. Lorenzo was in the rear pushing easily, the heat of the Tejan desert not affecting him as much.
"Hey, look a junkyard!" he called out from the back of the car. "Maybe they have a 2006 DeSoto tranny."
Ted looked up the road and saw the ratty fence lined with hubcaps surrounding a large area. Piles of cars poked up like rusted high rises. Ted hoped that they had enough Tejan pesos to pay for a new transmission. "I hope they have a shop we can borrow to put it in."
The road turned to a smoother asphalt surface and a sign in Spanish welcomed them to the state of Arizona. The new surface made the going easier and they soon reached the junkyard. There was no sign, but there was a small terracotta bell by the gate. Ted rang it and the two of them waited for a moment.
Eventually they heard the gate unlatched and roll aside by an older man, skin like leather, skin darken by the sun. "Good day señors, how may I help you?" he asked.
Ted smiled and said "Good day to you señor! We lost the transmission on our car ten miles down the road and we need to replace it. Do you have a transmission for a 2006 DeSoto Clairmont?"
Lorenzo found the soda machine and bought a bottle of Moxie. He used the built-in bottle opener to pop the cap. He then took a deep drink.
"Hmm, a 2006 DeSoto Clairmont?" said the old man. "I don't have one, but the chassis and engine is the same as their D'Avian model. They didn't change it much from the 2004 model. Ever since they bought out Cadillac they've been recycling chassis and motor trains. Follow me."
Cars of American, Tejan, Cuban makes dotted the stacks, as well as motor bikes from around the world.
Ted stopped and stared at the biplane sitting in the corner of the yard. He swore that it had a jet intake and not a propeller in the nose.
"Here you go señor," said the old man pointing to a pile of transmissions, "A 2005 DeSoto transmission. She's a good one, pulled it out a wrecked car and just needs a little tender loving care."
Ted looked at it and nodded in agreement. "She'll do until we get to Alamogordo. What do you want for it?"
The old man thought for a moment, and said, "Ten thousand pesos and I'll throw in the use of my garage. That will take a while to get into your car, so why not have dinner with my and my wife tonight?"
Ted held out his hand and said, "Sounds like a deal señor!"
They shook on it and then Ted peeled off ten bills from his money belt and gave them to the old man.
While they were loading up the transmission on a cart, the old man asked him, "So why are you going to Alamogordo? You going to see them launch the Moon rocket?"
Ted remembered how he felt when man first stepped on Prime's Moon when he was child and nodded. "Si, it will be something to see, a great day for all Tejacanos!"
Activity set in the Tritac 'verse.
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