[Junk XIII] Dry Spell (K 7-2, S 7-2)

edited December 2013 in Junkworld XIII
Nezzy has called an emergency session of the council. People are worried, some completely on edge. Nescafe doesn't show up, he's busy working. He sent word through Kiddo that the water treatment facility needs to be rebuilt. It will take months.


Metro wants to meet with you just before you go into the Council meeting. It will make you late, but it seems urgent.

What do you do?


  • I go meet with Metro. If I can find someone else who's going to the meeting, I'll send a message that I'll be late.

    "Hey. What's up?" I ask Metro when I see him. I know he wouldn't pull me away from the council meeting without reason.
  • Stitch,

    Metro was, of course, hiding out in the room. He doesn't want to be around Council, he likes to lay low. Has he ever looked this worried? Or is it stressed? He's pacing, "Stitch, Nescafe and his engineers are costing everyone time and resources. I've seen what he's set up on the fabrication machines and his specs are off. He's going to take two, maybe three tries to get it right. It's not his fault, this is out of his expertise. And, he's not that intelligent, just crafty." He closes his eyes for a second, then looks at you, "Working by myself, I could fix the water treatment facility in three weeks. If I ran Nescafe's team, we could do it in two."
  • Of course he could. If it were a thing he could do in the night, avoiding everyone, he'd do it, but of course they'll be working on it around the clock. I nod at him. "I just don't know how to sell that to the council. I don't want you involved with them." I rub my face. So damn tired.

    "I will try. It's just... sometimes they don't find the most efficient way to do things."
  • edited December 2013

    Metro nods, "I know. But I am very worried about the sustainability of the entire ship if the water isn't back online soon." He sighs, an act he's picked up from you to show frustration. "I know I don't need to spit out probable outcomes of a few hundred people living without a major water supply. I know you know the risks. I'm worried, Stitch. I cannot, through inaction, allow these people to come to harm. I will go in to work on the water treatment facility. I'm going in a few minutes. I don't know how it will work out, or when I can come back. I... I love you."
  • I put a hand on his cheek when he sighs. Fuck those stupid laws.

    "Can you wait, just a bit? Maybe I can suggest you help during the meeting. I..." I swallow. This is rough. This is the bit I haven't wanted to admit to myself. It was one thing when we were in Boomtown or Salt- where we could keep away from everyone. Here... it's just not possible. "I don't want them to take you away from me."

    If I had anything left in me, I might have cried, but I'm just out. "I love you."
  • Stitch,

    He moves in to kiss you, a sweet kiss, one that speaks of his love, and how much he'll miss you. He pulls back a few inches, just enough to look into your eyes. "Or... order me to stay here. I can do it, for a half hour." He swallows once, looking deep into your eyes.

    So much trust. He handed you the reins. Can you do it, Stitch? Like you did to Svenja?
  • My face crumples. I don't want to force him. How on earth did I get here? The things I've done... The tears start properly. I bury my face in his shirt, holding him tight. My thoughts swirl inside my head- ink in water. I know I should do it. I know I shouldn't. I want to help the people who live on this ship, but more than anything right now- I want to just run away with him. Somewhere empty, that we could make ours. It's selfish, of course. He's needed here. I am, too.

    "I... order you to stay here." I stutter between sobs. I can't even look at him.
  • Stitch,

    You don't see his expression, since you aren't looking. But you can't avoid his response, which is a quiet, measured, "Affirmative." No malice, no sound of hurt in his voice. And, you note, it isn't some robotic monotone. It sounds like your Metro.

    I'm guessing you want to get this council meeting happening, right?
  • I wall off those feelings. Stuff them away. I swallow that lump in my throat and turn away from him. I've got that meeting. I wipe my face, not that it'll do much good.
  • Kiddo and Stitch,

    The meeting is tense. Nezzy calls it to order, letting everyone know that Stitch sent a note she'll be a little late, and that Nescafe won't make it. She explains to the Council, "Alright, we're still gathering details on what happened. Here's what my guys have so far. About two hours ago, three bombs went off in the Water and Air Filtration Center. The bomb was set off by a small group of folks who were not residents of the Ascendant. Kiddo," she says as she looks to you, "Do you have any more details you can add?"
  • I nod, "the group of folks were from a small tribe called the Big Rock Clan. They were the same folks who stole some of Beneful's tools, and the Candies caught. They live near an underground lake, and folks who drink the water from that lake tend to get all... Well... Frakked up. Some of them become "Chosen" and basically just live to make other folks drink the water — they don't act like normal folks. They're crazy. Other folks act like those guys last night, who go and do whatever the chosen say, and are more or less themselves the rest of the time..."

    I pause, "a few, like Costco, and this other guy I met — Bega — they don't seem affected. But the number of folks who are affected is just too frakking creepy... Drinking that water is not an option — and I told 'em that. They've tried visiting a few times, to convince folks to drink the water, but I've kicked 'em out. Apparently they're dead set on us drinking that water..."
  • Barilla asks, "What if we boil it? Any water boiled is good to drink?"
  • I sigh and shrug, "they suggested that... Something tells me it wouldn't help. I asked Stitch to study a sample, but she's been backlogged with work... If I'd known this was going to happen, I'd have pushed her to finish it sooner."
  • edited December 2013
    Beneful says, "My rain barrels won't last the week. And that's IF we ration. I'll lose half the garden to all those thirsty mongrels down there..."

    Bacardi says, all cool as a snake, "You know, we have an opportunity here. We've been slowly losing the battle of keeping this place working. More and more folks outside, refugees, thieves, low-lifes. Not to mention some of the squatters who do next to nothing but stay here." He looks to each of you.


    You come in as Bacaardi is in the middle of an address to the council. This is where he's at:

    "What if we only give the water to the folks we want to stay? Offer a ferry service or somesuch to get the riff-raff out of the Ascendant, ship them to Trench or Armour, drop them off. Then when things are back up and running, we stop opening the bay to outsiders."

    Hublot jumps up, "That is giving half of them a death sentence!"
  • Hublot's conclusion is way off the mark, but it's still more right than Bacardi's... I shake my head, "we can't do that Bacardi... You can't know who'll be most useful when the next emergency comes along. Give me some time... We've got systems here folks could use — the garden, the infirmary, hell even Nescafe's boys — I'll ride out first thing in the morning, and round up some of the major players in the area. We host them here, and work out a deal that makes everyone happy."
  • "If you start sending folk you don't care for away-" I say, looking straight at Bacardi. "I'm gone. I understand that we can't help everyone, but you, you don't get to choose who lives and who dies." My tone hard, my eyes full of anger. It's a half-threat. They'd have Janco. Or Spree. There'll always be someone who can try and figure out what the equipment in the infirmary does. But I won't be a part of Bacardi's plan. I'd rather go back to Kim's clinic.

    "I think I can help with the water situation." I join in. "How long will it take Nescafe to fix the systems? A month? More? I've got a friend who can cut it down to two or three weeks." I don't want to say his name. As if that'll help. He's gonna be down there in a bit, working on the filtration anyway. I'd thought about keeping quiet- he'd just start working and maybe Nescafe would listen. I can't take that chance, though.
  • Stitch, your rebuke of Bacardi cuts, but Hublot is on your side, big time. Nezzy even nods a little, like she wasn't on board with the idea.

    Barilla says, "Who's your friend, and what will it cost us?" Bacardi nods, the others are also curious who the mystery friend might be.
  • "He's the guy who built the radio towers. He's fixed up a bunch of systems around here, actually- the intercom that stopped the bloodbath in the bay. He's just shy." I smile, a little. "Won't cost you anything- maybe jingle for parts and such. He lives to fix stuff up. He's just... shy. Doesn't like being around people."

    It won't be enough. They'll grill me about him. They'll scrutinize him and his work. Once he finishes, they'll put him on some other job. Then another. I clench my jaw and swallow.
  • "Why hasn't Bacardi recruited him?" Beneful asks, "Just because he's shy? Are you saying he's fixing stuff that Nescafe is taking credit for?"

    Nezzy stands up, "That's enough.... Listen, Stitch, you've done a lot of good here. I trust you. If this friend can work with Nescafe to shorten the time, then I think its worth it, especially for some jingle and parts. Let's put it to a vote."
  • I don't know if Nescafe is taking credit for things Metro's fixed, but it wouldn't surprise me. I silently thank the gods for Nezzy- if there's any chance of this going right, it's because of her. I nod at her, it's obvious I'm glad she's moving this to a vote so quickly.
  • Stitch, I want to see if you have Manipulated this Council into taking your word for your friend. If you get a 10+, they won't demand his name.

    Kiddo, feel free to try and help out here.
  • OOC: Manipulate the Council. Roll+hot.
    (Rolled: 2d6. Rolls: 1, 6. Total: 7)
  • The Council goes round and round before the vote. In the end, you have to at least give them a name, since the friend will be working with Nescafe and his crew, "everyone will know anyway".

    Metro is now a known entity in the Ascendant. Part of the Junk Radio crew, a masterful engineer, terribly secretive, and your friend, Stitch. Your friend who is trapped in your room. But that was his choice, right?

    Kiddo, do you have any matters you want to bring up with the Council?
  • Nothing that can't wait until the next meeting. I'll just cast my vote and get back to bed, so I can prep to leave tomorrow.
  • Alright, let's end the scene in the conference room. Stitch, I'd like to see how things go when you go see Metro

    Kiddo, let's skip to the next day. Who's part of your crew going to make deals for water?

    Can you roll your Moonlighting and let's see how that pans out?
  • I wanted to bring Omo along, so she can draw up contracts, but I'd imagine she's going to be pretty busy with the attack last night, so It'll just be Vee and me... Maybe Rinso if he feels like running security for me.

    I'll work Brokering Deals (1-barter / shut out) and Pursuing luxury (beauty in your life / you wind up in a bad spot)
  • OOC: Moonlighting. Roll+Cool. +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 3, 1. Total: 7)
  • OOC: I'll take the catastrophe on Brokering Deals.
  • Kiddo,

    Oh, that feels like a new scene to me. Please go here.
  • I know everyone will know who I'm talking about. I'm surprised they didn't guess it before I said his name. "Metro." I say, defeated.

    As soon as the meeting is over, I rush back to my room. I can't decide if I'm hoping he's there, or dreading. I should go to the infirmary, but I'd like to sleep for a week.
  • Stitch,

    Metro is there, waiting. He offers you a smile, and moves to pull you into a hug. Amelia is working on a small puzzle on his tablet, something he wrote for her a couple nights ago when she showed some skill with the device. "How did it go?"
  • I hug him back weakly. "Ok." I reply. They're going to take advantage of him. Hell- it's his damn purpose. "You can start whenever. I'm not sure how Nescafe is going to feel, but the council voted to let you fix the filtration system. They didn't really have a choice- even two weeks without water is devastating." I tell him. Just normal conversation. Not like I forced him to stay here at all.

    I should figure out what the hell's going on with that water from the cult. I put a hand on Amelia's shoulder and smile at her before I go to the infirmary.
  • Stitch,

    Metro doesn't let you escape him right away, holding you close as you explain what happened. He pulls you into a kiss, a long one, it may be a while before he gets another, you know. When he pulls back, he says, "I will work it out with Nescafe. Thank you for your help, Stitch." He says goodbye to Amelia, who isn't cold, just still not sure what to make of him. Then he's gone.

    The infirmary is quiet, like everyone heaved a sigh of relief after the events of a few hours ago. With Rinso heading out with Kiddo, Weetabix's death, that leaves Omo and Janco. Omo is here, in the waiting room with one of the Candies, a woman named Spunk, who is feeding Abba right now... or is it Zabba? They aren't identical twins, but they look an awful lot alike, with their dark curls. Oh yes, its Zabba, she's the one with blue eyes.

    Omo says quietly, "Hey boss. I just checked on everyone. They're ok. Janco left a, uh, a little while ago. For-for breakfast, I think."
  • "Thank you. I'm going to be in the lab, but come and get me if you need help, ok?" I want Omo to be able to spend time with her babies. They are very cute.

    It's good I've walked to the infirmary a million times- my feet know the steps. It's not even like I have too many thoughts swirling around in my head. I'm just dead tired. What time is it? When was the last time I slept? I should probably just go back to my room and sleep, but there's work to be done.

    A thought niggles at my brain. I could use one of the drugs I've got. Just this once. It's not even like there's coffee to be had. Just a small bit of stimulant, that'd help me get the work done. I almost consider it, but then I'd have to walk over to the pharmacy and I am just too tired. I sit down in front of the microscope and go to examine the water sample next to the sample of Costco's blood.
  • OOC: Act under fire to not fall asleep. Roll+sharp (good in the clinch).
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 4, 1. Total: 8)
  • edited December 2013

    You sit in the lab for a few hours researching. You're nearly at it when there's a knock at the door.

    More like banging at the door.

    "Doc! Doctor Stitch!" Omo calls. You've zoned into the miniature universe of your scope and lost the outside world. She needs you to go over the daily meds, you realize.

    You're so close to getting your mind around this, Stitch. One more hour of focused work, you'll have this thing pegged. You went down a rabbit hole or two, but now, you're on the right track. But there was no time for notes. The patients can wait, nobody will die out there. Janco should be taking care of this, but is she back yet?

    What do you do?
  • Why the fuck didn't I write anything down?!? Dammit.

    "Where's Janco?" I ask, not taking my eyes off my work. "Can you try and find her? I'm nearly done, and if I stop I'll have to start over." I mean to say it in a kinder tone than it comes out as.
  • Stitch,

    Omo nods, "Sure, boss." She doesn't really react to the tone, it doesn't bother her, her being an ex-Candy and all. "Thing is... I'm the only one here. I mean, on staff. You know?"

    She thinks for a second, "I'll send Spunk after her, ok? Just doesn't feel right leaving sick people all alone. I got this, get back to your thing, doc."
  • I sigh. "Thank you, Omo. I'll be out as soon as I can." I say.

    A small part of my brain tells me I should go out there. It's not right to leave Omo in charge of all those patients. I'm just so damn close. If I have to start over again that's hours longer I'll be in here, taking more time away from patients.

    I shake my head a bit to get those thoughts out and get back to work.
  • Omo closes the door, and you return to your work.

    Finally, you're not sure how much longer, but finally, you produce some results. The water contains micro-organisms, that "colony" you saw in your vision. The microbes, they can communicate to each other in close proximity, or through their hosts.

    They are not affected by heat, so boiling water will not affect them. They are susceptible to extreme cold. Freeze the water, they die. With winter season coming on, this could be why they're becoming very aggressive.

    Of course, with your healing touch, you can destroy them as well.

    The blood gives one last clue. You can develop an inoculation, but it's going to cost you a fuckton of jingle to gather the supplies from other holds. You have enough for ten folks here, once you develop the serum. That should take a few days.
  • I write all my notes down, rub my tired eyes and go out to see how the patients are doing.
  • It's late afternoon and you're about to fall out when Janco shows up. She hasn't changed since last night, she looks a bit, well, lost.
  • "Hey." I say by way of greeting, then when I get a good look at her, it's gentler. "Hey, you ok?" I put a hand on her shoulder.
  • "No, not really." Janco says curtly. "I'll do rounds." She heads to your office to get her white coat and get to work.
  • I want to stop her, to do what I can to help- but what am I going to do? Weetabix is still dead. There's nothing I can do about that.

    I catch up to her. "I'm sorry. It doesn't help at all, I know, but I'm still sorry." I tell her. I want to look into her eyes, hold her hand, try to connect with her- even a little. It comes out weak.
  • Janco pauses, she's not going to shove you away or anything. She glances up at you, "Thanks, Stitch. We lose people, it happens. The price of living." She slips the white coat off the hanger and slides it on, her face falling into her more professional demeanor, "Sorry I was away for so long. We're short again, and I've got to train up Omo. Won't happen again." She grabs the tablet with patient notes and heads on for rounds.

    What do you do?
  • "It's ok. I'd rather have you blow off steam than work until you fall over... like I do." I smile. "I can split rounds with you, I'm done in the lab for a while." I tell her.

    I go to check on Ollie first.
  • It's been a couple months since the surgery, and while Ollie doesn't have the breath to sing anymore, he's been practicing lately on his strumming. When you come in, he's playing a tune you taught him. He has a great ear, so he asked you to sing a bit of it, then he fell in. What's the song?

    He looks up when you come in to check on him. He could probably check out soon, right? Why haven't you send him on his way yet?

    "Hey there, Doc. S'pose, you need some samples o' me?" Ollie says, which is his way of asking if he needs to pee or give blood. Hump's sleeping on the extra bed in here.

    Oh and by the way, you're infirmary has eight new patients from The Bay. Omo tried to check them in, but Janco's having to fix things up. It's going to be a long day.

    What do you do?
  • It was The Mariner's Revenge.

    Ollie could go home soon- but to what home? I was just about to discharge him when the explosions happened. The safest place for him is the infirmary, so I made up something about wanting to check his electrolytes out.

    "No, not this time." I tell him. "How are you feeling?" I ask him.
  • "Bored, darlin," Ollie responds in that raspy tone of his. "Got th' shakes from nic fits, some o' th' time, oth'rwise, nothin' but nothin' goin' on."

    He sits up a bit straighter, as if it would put him on eye level with you. It almost works, "What 'bout you, darlin'? You look stretch'd thin an' wore out. C'mon an' sit wif ole Ollie. Tell me yer tales." He pats the bed near him, gives you a tiny grin.
  • "Yes, sorry. I know you're sick of laying in that bed- it won't be much longer." I assure him.

    I'd like nothing better than to sit down. "I'm sorry, I can't. We got 8 new people from the bay." I sigh.
  • "Darlin, I need some TLC, kay?" Ollie rasps, not letting you go without a fight, "Gimmie five minutes o' yer day, 'spose that nothin' in the sum o' things. But a world o' time fer me." He pats the bed again, even bats his eyelashes prettily, and grins wider.
  • "How can I say no to such a charmer?" I say, sitting down. "Where's everybody else? Zero?" I ask
  • "Zee an Hump're gettin some rest," Ollie explains, "Kiddo's head'n on to get stuff fer th' hold, Vee an' Rinnie's watch'n after her. I don't norm'ly mind it, but I think we'd both like a story. You tell'n, an me listen'n."

    "What's yer trouble, darl'n?"
  • I know I probably shouldn't tell him everything. And I don't mean to, but once I start- from all the way back, a hundred years ago- I can't stop. It all comes out. I tell him about my past, about the Wendys, about how I'm happy to have the infirmary, but sometimes I feel like a prisoner here. The only thing I don't tell him is Metro's secret- that's not mine to tell.
  • When you tell Ollie a personal story, choose one:
    * Heal one segment
    * Take +1 Forward

    Oliver listens close, he's an active listener, lots of "uh huhs", "oohs" and "ahs". He asks questions, too, gently interrupting for clarification, never drawing the attention to anything he has done or seen, just queries so he understands your meaning.

    Once you're finished, you feel better, markedly better. He pats your hand, thanks you for the story, and urges you, "Now, darl'n, you oughta come back evr'y once in a while, an keep me fresh on yer life. I bet, even wif both my lungs, I couldn' 'ave kept up wi' ya."

    He urges you onto to your rounds, and as you're leaving, his son Hump is making his way down the hall to see him. The eight new patients are ahead of you. All of them are injuries from the fight in The Bay. What's the patient you're most worried about when you check Janco's charts?
  • OOC: Take +1 forward.

    I smile and nod at him- I'm still tired, but the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.

    The patient I'm most worried about is a boy- he was trampled and I'm afraid his spine was affected because he's reporting diminished feeling in his legs.
  • You're checking on Dijon, the little boy, and yeah, he's had some major spinal trauma. The kid is unable to walk, he was carried here by Parl Drive, a guy who works for Chufi part time.

    You can try to heal him with stock if you like, or save the stock, and give him some therapy that won't use up resources, but he won't be able to walk again.

    What do you do?
  • I'm going to try to heal him with stock. What's the point in all this equipment and drugs if I can't help a kid walk again?

    OOC: Heal roll incoming.
  • OOC: Heal Dijon. Roll+stock spent (2- marked off)
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 4, 3. Total: 9)
  • OOC: Janco helps. Roll+hx.
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 2, 1. Total: 4)
  • You're able to hep save Dijon, but the surgery is draining on him.

    • he’ll be in and out of consciousness for 24 hours.
    • he’ll be bedridden, out of action, for at least a week.

    Other than that, as long as he can be kept here for that week or so, you and Janco save his legs!

    As tired as you are, you still realize Janco was not pulling her weight. You know she is still grieving, and even though she's refusing to take a break, she needs it, more than you. If you let her keep going, she's going to make a mistake sometime soon.
  • As we're scrubbing up after the surgery, I corner Janco in the washroom.

    "Hey. You need sleep." I tell her. "You need it even more than me, and that's saying something."

    OOC: Read Janco incoming.
  • OOC: Read Janco. Roll+sharp.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 3, 2. Total: 8)
  • OOC: What is Janco really feeling?
  • Janco's heartbroken right now. Weetabix came with her from Trench, helped her set up the clinic, kept her motivated and was her best friend for years. Now, she's dead. She died so Janco could keep working on some asshole who didn't even deserve it. Now here she is, in the infirmary she gave up to a better surgeon, with no social life, no friends, no lovers, nothing to show for her life.

    That's what she's really feeling. Guilty, lonely, despondent.
  • I can sympathize, a little. I've never really had friends- though I have more now. When I woke up on this rock I was totally alone- all I had was Cee.

    "Why'd you leave Trench?" I ask, softly. I'd known she was from there, but had never thought to ask.
  • Janco holds a breath, like she doesn't want to be rude, but she really doesn't want to have a long conversation, either. Politeness and the professional relationship wins out, "I grew up in Trench. Maybe ten years ago, I lucked into a job working in the clinic. I interned with Lever. I was maybe fifth in line to take over the clinic, and the woman who was Lever's choice, we didn't see eye to eye. When I heard about the Ascendant, Lever said I should give it a shot."
  • "You could try to go back, if you wanted." I tell her, my voice quiet. Gentle. "Lever is still looking for someone to run the clinic- or he was a couple months ago... Or... I could go, if you didn't want me here anymore."

    This whole planet isn't really mine, much less this infirmary. Most of the time Janco works with me, makes me feel like I'm not stepping on her toes. I want to repay that, if I can.
  • "No," Janco answers with sudden urgency. "No, idiot. I stepped aside because you were the best. the best I've ever seen. With or without your hoodoo magic drek." She waggles her fingers like some wizard. It seems to break her out of her haze, at least. She huffs a sigh through her nostrils, "If I let you go away, then I'm calling myself a bad judge of character. And doctors. So, no, hell no."

    She looks away, the fire drained again. "But, I might need some time. I'm... I'm sorry, Stitch. It isn't fair. You're swamped. No. I can. I can stay. Or we can work something out." She needs the time, but she'd stick around, for your sake.

    What do you do?
  • "No, you need the time, so you'll have it. You managed fine without me all that time- the infirmary won't burn to the ground if you're away for a while." I say.

    I'm selfishly hoping it won't be a long while, but I certainly can't begrudge her the time. This woman is the reason I'm walking again.
  • edited December 2013
    "I won't go far, Stitch. I just..." she trails off. "I'll check in. And I'll come back soon. Just a few days, I think." Janco pats your arm. She walks back to the office, removes the white coat, and you see her shrink a bit, into the person who arrived. Her armor gone, she gives you a pained smile and leaves the infirmary.

    With Janco gone, Metro working, who will keep you from falling apart, Stitch?
  • --END SCENE--
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