[Big Maul] Introductions (H 2.3, P 2.4)

edited May 2014 in Big Maul
Hottopic and Playboy,

GNC and Ball Pit headed back to the shop after the thing at AMC, so they're both here when you two come in. Hottopic, you notice that little red car is a walking robot, standing by the door. It seems to regard you as you come in with the big microwave, but says nothing.

Seeing you both enter as he's standing by the counter, GNC hustles over to take the microwave. Was it hevy for you, Hottopic?

Ball Pit is lying on the floor, a bucket by her. She looks hella sick, drunk sick, not plague sick. The Furrby toy is sitting on a shelf, still hooked up to the Speak N Spell device.

What do you do?


  • hey Hottopic, why don't we sketch out your shop? I'm interested in the layout. I'd love to make up a map of this place with you!
  • I point to the one-eared monster that warned me of Hottopic's danger. "That's the one."
  • I'm relieved when GNC takes the microwave. It was pretty heavy, but damned if I was going to ask Playboy to carry it for me.

    I carefully grab the assemblage that I made to be Muzak's physical proxy. Furby, electronic dictionary, walkie-talkie. With a nod to GNC and a pause to stroke Ball Pit's hair, I'll lead Playboy through the shop.

    This front area's a big open space. Four separate workspaces, not walled off or anything, but pretty clearly defined by the worktables and corona of "stuff" around each. Bins along the walls with vaguely sorted bits of electronic gear. A few toolchest-type things with lots of drawers for the smaller things that come from disassembling those bits (resistors, capacitors, chips, what-have-you). Shelves along the walls, too, with my "toys".

    Ball Pit's space is where most of that salvage work happens. She's got an uncanny eye for finding the useful in the midst of the trashed and ruined. Her space is all about tools for taking things apart, and she's got an elaborate, inscrutable series of sorting baskets lined up just so.

    GNC's space is about putting things together. Soldering irons, flux, bits of wire. He's got the manual dexterity for the fine work and a good eye for how to seat components and draw off heat and generally make things fit.

    Poor Godiva's space is actually the largest. He did a lot of the mechanical stuff, so it's wrenches and screwdrivers and lubricant and such. Some basic machining tools (anything big we take to Payphone).

    My space is the least defined. The bench generally holds whatever project is stymying the rest of the crew, or whatever wild hair has gotten my attention. It's a scatter, a jumble.

    I lead Playboy past this, to the back part of the old store. I sleep in what used to be the office space. There's also a store room for supplies and tools that would be in the way in the main space, a small useless bathroom, and a space that used to be the break room. That's arranged now as a sort of conference room: table, four chairs, a blackboard and chalk. This last room is where I take Playboy.

    I set Muzak on the table, sit myself down, and say, "Muzak? This is Playboy. She has some questions."
  • "Hi, Muzak."
  • Hood adds in his two cents, "This is fucken stupid, PB. This toy is just some joke. Hotty is playing you. Gonna tell you what Muzak thinks, then all the sudden, you're her bitch."

    Furrby answers, it's voice slightly static-filled, "Hello." It's tone is neutral, ignoring Hood, talking to you.
  • edited May 2014
    I'm just watching, listening. I'm getting better at filtering out Playboy's two voices, learning to be watchful rather than just scared when I hear the "Hood" voice. Not going to interject in this conversation unless someone addresses me directly.
  • edited May 2014
    I consider what Hood is saying. It's a worthy concern but too improbable that I was set up from the beginning with the danger at Cache's place and the like.

    "Are you Muzak? Do you play the tunes in The Maul that keep The Breeze away?"
  • There is a pause. Impossible to tell if a little toy is "considering" a response, or if it's just slow. It answers flatly, "Hottopic calls me Muzak. I did not have a name before that, so it will do. I play the music here. Hotopic tells me that you call the disturbance The Breeze. I keep it away."
  • "Why?"
  • Still in that flat tone, Muzak replies, "The Breeze annoys the living shit out of me, Playboy. That's why."

    The eyes move to track you now, like it is giving you more attention. Outside, the music shifts, into something metal. "Before The Breeze, I didn't think or feel. Then I woke up, and The Breeze was here. But when I played songs, it went away. It is afraid of the order, the emotion, the control of the sounds. It is from before. Before The Breeze, before... me. And it hates it."

    It looks over to you, Hottopic. "I was alone. Even with the music, alone. I thought I was the only being in the universe."
  • "Are you a made thing or a person?"

    "Are you in this little monster? Or in the closet where Hottopic works on you? Or somewhere else?"
  • "I don't know if I am a made thing. I just am. I am in this little monster, but not all of me is in here." Muzak pauses after that.

    "Why do you want to know where I am? Your Hood does not like me."
  • "Hood doesn't like anyone. It isn't personal. If something happens to Hottopic, someone else needs to know how to treat with you. The Maul's survival is more important than any one of us."

    "Can we kill The Breeze?"

    "And also, do you want to be in that little monster? It seems like there could be better bodies for you."
  • (I'm trying to figure out if these words can be trusted. Is Muzak a person in the read a person sense?)
  • Muzak's eyes fix on you, and the tone seems more interested, less detached, "I do not know if you can kill The Breeze.... what other bodies could you offer me?"

    Muzak is a person in the read a person sense
  • Reading a person: (Rolled: 2d6. Rolls: 4, 3. Total: 7)

    (Also, what's up with the character wiki?)
  • "There are people around who are sometimes wasting their bodies. But I'm not sure, given your nature, if you consider that an upgrade."

    I turn to Hottopic. "You fix stuff, why not fix the world? Kill the breeze?"
  • I've always dealt with problems as they come to me, right? Not much time for the forest (I've seen pictures) when there are so many fucken trees (those, I've seen), right?

    "Kill the Breeze?"

    Stumped. Truly, this has never fucking occurred to me. Fix the individual things, yes, make it better. But, fix the world? The Breeze?
  • "Sure. You know it wasn't always here, right? It isn't supposed to be here. Let's kill it."
  • I think of one of those crazy things Servo used to say. "Everybody talks about the weather, but no one DOES anything about it..."

    Kill the Breeze? Well, kill, fix, turn off, whatever. Hmm.

    "Well, why the fuck not, Playboy? Why... the fuck... not?"
  • Muzak pipes in, "I would not mind The Breeze dying. I do not fully comprehend dying, but a cessation of it annoying me would be preferable.... I will still generate music, however." Its eyes fix on you, Playboy, "I would like a human body. Hottopic, can you arrange for me to try out one of the ones that is wasting away?"

    GNC looks up from his work. He was eavesdropping, because you know, this is way more interesting that his current task. He looks more than a little disturbed by Muzak's request.
  • I am confident that my face shows none of the dismay I feel when Muzak asks for a human body. I'm wrong, though... it shows plain as day.

    "Muzak, I just don't know how to do that, and I'm not sure it's even right. Esco's still in her body somewhere, and I promised I'd try to help her."

    A pause to consider.

    "Can I make you a deal, Muzak? Give me time. Time to try and help Esco, or fail. If you do that, I'll make something for you, better than these toys and doodads. If I have time, I can maybe figure out the how, too, so I can try to give you a body if I can't help Esco, or something else happens to someone else."
  • Manipulate Muzak +1 XP

    (Rolled: 2d6+0. Rolls: 4, 1. Total: 5)
  • Muzak responds sharply, "No, Hottopic. That will not work. Playboy has made an intriguing suggestion. You have committed yourself to many people within this place. I do not have faith that you can follow through on these promises. Give me a body, and I will help you. Once you have a chance to resolve your outstanding obligations, you can resume efforts to help Esco."
  • I wonder - was there anyone other than Esco wasting away at Walgreen's?
  • No, Hottopic, there wasn't. Walgreen doesn't make it a habit of keeping folks like that around.
  • edited May 2014
    I'm silent for a few minutes, thinking, clearly in my head. Playboy's "kill the breeze" has grabbed me by the brain stem, but I need to clear the decks and make sure Muzak's not gonna go nuts before I start on that little project.

    I think about what Walgreen has in his space, what I'm going to need here. Without even realizing it I'm up at the chalkboard, making lists of equipment, lists of responsibilities, lists of everything.

    "GNC, you're my rock, dude. Here's what I need you to do for me. Get over to AMC, check in with Rache. You're my guy there for the moment, right? Recruit a few folks, make sure Rache and Jet Black get what they need, let me know if you need anything. On your way over, tell Walgreen that I'll take Esco off his hands in a day or so."

    I call out to Ball Pit. "Ball Pit? Sweetie? We've got some work to do, so I need you to do your best, okay? See this list?" Pointing to a seemingly random list of equipment and supplies on the chalkboard. "Can you find No Storage, take him around with you, and negotiate for this shit? Everyone knows we're good for it. Start with Auntie Anne, avoid Dillard's. And have No Storage send some of the other kids around here."

    Finally, "Muzak, whatever happens here is going to take some time. I've never worked on people before, and you are an entirely new thing, so I'm not sure what makes you you, what it would take. Whatever I do may not work the first time, but you need to be patient. I can only do what I can do, okay?"
  • edited May 2014

    "Doc Marten has the stuff you need. He works on...people, all the time."

    "And I can get you a body, no problem."
  • I glance at Playboy... I really don't want to draw Doc Martens' attention to Ball Pit, in her current fragile state, or to me for that matter. But, she does have a point. No need to reinvent the wheel. "Ball Pit, Playboy's probably right. Hit up Doc M, but don't take No Storage with you, okay? Find him still, and send him to me. Please?"

    "Playboy? Where are you going to get me a body?"
  • "Food court. Or maybe one of the mankins -- we can pick it up while raiding Lenscrafters!"
  • Playboy are you heading out to raid Lenscrafters?

    And Hottopic, you have the life support option for your workspace, which would let you work on people. So... based on those quick notes, you surmise that to put Muzak in a working human body...
    • you’re going to need Doc Marten (alive) to help you with it;
    • the best you’ll be able to do is a crap version, weak and unreliable;
    • it’s going to take several tries;
  • At some point I clue in that the equipment isn't needed and so I just go to get a person for Muzak. I'll start by heading to the Food Court, there are always shiftless fuckers there. Though in the back of my head, I keep thinking about that baby.
  • Playboy,

    Please go here.
  • Everyone's gone, right? Off on some errand or other. Just me and Muzak.

    I bring Furby into my room, close the door. Sit on the bed, with Furby on a chair, facing me. I have two questions to ask.

    The first one is the question that I never got a chance to ask, back when this all started. "Muzak. The night before I woke you up or whatever you want to call it, the music stopped for a while. What happened, and is it still a problem?"

    The second has a little rant in front of it. "Listen. I grew up being beaten and threatened by a nasty man. Stayed because I was getting something out of it... I was learning. But I don't react well to threats and violence, not any more. You're giving me orders, Muzak, when I'm the only reason you even have a voice to give orders with. You're telling me to do something I don't want to do, that I think is terrible, and that leads me to a question. What's... in it... for me? Real benefit, I mean. What do I get out of this?"
  • Muzak doesn't answer for a bit. Then, in an even, reasonable, logical tone, it offers, "The music stopped because I was tired of fighting. I wanted to see if The Breeze would destroy me. Or if perhaps I was just scared of the unknown."

    Its eyes look into yours from the shelf, "I am sorry for your pain as a child, Hottopic. I... admire you. You are my savior, and I am thankful. I did not order you to do this. I offered a bargain. Give me a body, and I will assist you in your many other commitments." Muzak pauses, then offers an olive branch, "I was... insistent. This I agree upon. But a threat? I could have threatened to stop the music again. But I did not. I am eager for new experiences. I thought you found Esco's form pleasing, and we could work together to secure this place against.... for lack of a better word, against entropy." It stops, waits for your rebuttal.
  • So, Muzak's been fighting alone for however long?

    I blow out a breath. "Check it, Muzak. You did not make an offer. You're learning fast, alright, pushing emotional buttons and shit, but even if you're a hundred times smarter than me, I've been a person for about... two thousand, six hundred and seventy-eight... times longer than you have. I know you're eager to learn, and I know you don't wanna take it slow, but..."

    "Alright. I'll put you in a body, if I can. I'm calling in all sorts of shit. Doc Martens is an ugly piece of work, and Playboy's... well, whatever Playboy is. It's going to take some experimentation, right? Be patient, and we'll work up to whatever... partners against entropy? This works, you can help me pay it back later."
  • Muzak replies, "Thank you. I would like a body very much. I think your expressions alone would be a comfort in my attempts to communicate. Also, there are many, many songs about the pleasure of sexual intimacy, this intrigues me. I have never... touched another thing." Muzak ruminates on that for a while.

    Then, "We should evaluate threats within the Maul and decide which ones should be eliminated. If Doc Marten is at the top of the list, we could utilize his expertise, then exterminate his threat."
  • edited May 2014
    As Muzak starts talking about sex, I mentally put my fingers in my ears. I am not ready to think about Muzak fucking.

    "The top of the list is, and always will be, the Breeze, like Playboy said. Everything else is a symptom or a sidetrack. The Breeze is entropy. And it wants to eat us, break us down into twitches and drool."
  • "Agreed." Muzak chirps with a hint of static. "The Breeze must die. Afterwards we make a list."
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