[NU] A day's trade [Ro1.2, Th1.1]

edited June 2014 in nupocalypse
Thirds, you coasted into Monroe on fumes. Matilda was cursing and swearing at the truck, teasing the throttle to keep it from overheating the last couple of hours. You're surprised it made it in at all, but it seems like Matilda can keep it running for quite some time in its current state. She offered you a half barter for your services, exactly what she offered Robinson and Rue, and dropped you off at Robinson's workshop to settle up on that hot water heater.

What did you take from her collection as payment?

Robinson, you're up and about doing various repairs and the like. Did you grind through the work on Corbett's glove, or are you dropping it from time to time to work on whatever odd jobs come through the door? Thirds walks in the door some time in the afternoon. One of the regulars, a guy named Roark, is here — what did he come in asking for?


  • edited June 2014
    Thirds is here. Good.

    "You made it," Robinson says, hunched over an outboard motor as Thirds comes in.

    Roark has an aluminum boat he keeps tied up on the Hudson and the motor needs work now and then. It's a solid way to get around, and critical where most of the bridges have since collapsed. Sailing or paddling or rowing are, of course, more sustainable but there's something to be said for having the option of putting some power down. This motor just needed a little head work. Nothing Robinson can't fix. He's just doing a valve adjustment to finish up while Roark relaxes on an old couch pushed into the corner.

    No sense rushing the glove. He woke up a little late and worked on it through the morning, but the work for Roark wasn't going to take long so Robinson elected to do it while he waited.

    Thirds is welcome to hang around. Usually he and Robinson trade notes after traveling- the comments will go up on the maps and charts that Robinson has scattered all over the garage's office wall.
  • [Thirds]

    Not bad. Rolled in pretty nice. Faster than shank's mare. Still a good chunk of daylight, too. They can always find another truck with that haul. Maybe Rue could find out where they picked it up from. I didn't do too good. Next time just ask straight up.

    Mattills be stingy and not always straight. She didn't lie, lotsa picks. Maybe they knocked over one of those camping stores. I took a whole pack of good thick socks, a mostly full box of camping matches, and made the rest up with MREs. Maybe I grabbed an extra MRE.

    I saunter in. "Hiya, Robbie. Ever doubt it?"
  • edited June 2014
    "Not really," Robinson says, and returns to his work on the outboard. "I'm going to need a small, compact power source. Same kind I used in the last few detectors. You know the type. I was going to ask the client to look, but I thought I'd put you on the scent too."

    Part of the afternoon plan, after finishing this job for Roark: find Rue and ask her if she knew a "Jones" or has memories of a glove like the one currently on his other desk, then find Corbett and ask him to look for the power source too. If Thirds finds it first, Corbett pays him. If they're both in the ruins, incommunicado, and both find the power source Robinson needs, no big; it's good to have extra.
  • edited June 2014

    I scratch my stubble. Really looking forward to that water heater. "Um. How soon?" I, like, JUST got back and haven't even taken a shit yet. Or a shower. "Where's the water heater stashed?"

    [OOC: Jeff, my playbook says "obtaining a particular and hard-to-find object" is a 1-barter service.]
  • "Your heater's in bay two," in the far part of the garage, where the garage door opens obliquely to the rest of the workspace. "As for the power source, find it as soon as you want to get paid. I'm putting the client on it, too. You can sit it out if you're feeling like a vacation, but he's paying if you find it first."

    The valves are at the right tolerances. In no special hurry, Robinson withdraws the feeler gauge and gently puts it down on the table. He slides the valve cover into position and secures it in place seated on its gasket. Calm, measured movements practiced hundreds of times. Or not: movements as if he's done thousands of these motors in other lives, as if each component tells him what to do as he picks it up, step by step, continuously and smoothly until the task is done.

    "It's good, Roark," Robinson announces.
  • Roark gets up from eyeing a magazine he picked up when you call his name. It was a woodworking magazine with lots of pictures. He's not much for the trade, but he definitely appreciates good work. "Thanks Robinson," he says low, "quality work. How much do I owe you?"
  • [Thirds]

    Might get real lucky if that's all he needs. Found those last ones localish. Sure worth looking before trying the Ruins proper. Robbie's talking to Roark, so I look at the walls. Need to mention about Sun's traps. And leave them here. I got 'em in a big tarp bag. They clunk heavy and metal when I set 'em down.

    I check out the water heater, too. Water and power, all it needs.

    I'm thinking about crackin' one of them MREs. Prolly gonna wait for Roark to leave. Look all round the shop. At the stuff that's not shit. Try to see what Robbie sees. Helps me when spotting on walkabout.
  • edited June 2014
    "Routine stuff," Robinson says to Roark with a shrug.

    Robinson sees him out politely. Robinson is never servile, or obsequious, or even particularly friendly but Roark is a good reliable client and he doesn't bother Robinson, just lets him do his thing and appreciates good work, and that matters.

    When he's gone Robinson steps back inside to find Thirds wandering the workshop. His trained eye, sensitive to changes in the workshop, picks out a tarpaulin sack. Hope there's not skulls in there. It's been a while since that happened, but you never know. "You hungry? Got eggs. Some greens. I'll whip something up. Tell me about the trip," he says, and without much further ado he leads the way into the kitchen. "What's in the bag?"


    "1-barter is a month's employment as technician on call" - is Roark a powerful guy, as once implied in Rue's post? Maybe he keeps Robinson on hand. Maybe they trade some kind of services in-kind.
  • edited June 2014

    Never turn down a free meal. "Hells yes, I'll take eggs and greens." Robbie's a good hand in the kitchen. He can probably hear my stomach go.

    "Skulls, of course." Grinning. That only happened a few times. Grim work, though. "Just joshing. Couple bear traps. Could be useful." Either as-is or some crazy Robbie thing.

    "Spot of interest... here." I point at the spot. Don't quite touch it. "Ambushed by an archer. Probably Sun. Scared 'er off. She might be runnin' with that scav group." I produce the two arrows. "They look pretty decent craft to me." Far cry from chipped stone.

    Wow, he really gets me talking.
  • edited June 2014

    Robinson looks on while stoking the fire, greasing the pan. There's no such thing as a free lunch, but information is good trade. It's useful to know where traps are, where bandits are operating, and Thirds is good at providing updates.

    He takes an arrow while the eggs are frying, looks at it in that intense way of his. Even ordinary objects are interesting to him, and subject to his scrutiny. He turns it over, examines the craftsmanship.

    Things Speak.
  • Things Speak. (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 6, 2. Total: 10)
  • - Who made this?
    - What strong emotions have been most recently nearby this?
    - What has been done most recently with this, or to this?
  • A small girl named Sun made this. She spent her entire life living with her mother out in the ruins, learning how to hunt and scavenge with the best of them. You feel a great loneliness emanating off of this arrow. The amount of effort that went into making it flawless, the number of times there were corrections made because it didn't come up to snuff when tested, the sheer design of it... It just feels like a tribute to someone lost.

    What was done most recently with this arrow is relatively obvious... It was plucked decisively from a quiver, and deliberately fired to miss the man emerging from the stairwell. A warning shot to ward off none other than Thirds.
  • edited January 2015
    "Definitely Sun," Robinson says. He doesn't know if she's running with the scavengers Thirds suggested. Her loneliness might suggest otherwise but Robinson knows firsthand that lonely isn't the same as being alone. "Funny thing. I don't think she meant to hit you."

    Anyone who knows Robinson long enough understands that he doesn't explain how he knows these things, though often enough he's right. He focuses his attention back on the stove, flips the eggs, sears the other side and serves them up on some leafy greens, passes a plate to Thirds without a word.

    These things, Sun's loneliness, the arrow as tribute, they move him. In contrast to his own work: puttering around the workshop, staving off boredom, projects started just because, answering questions nobody asked. He thinks of the film collection he shares with Clarity, and how film works in tension, moving from reel to reel, How every moment present on screen is, in motion, movement from future to past. He stares into his plate, his appetite eluding him for a minute or two.

    Thirds is welcome to hang around after lunch; Robinson plans on heading into Monroe proper.
  • Robinson, what's the plan with going out to Monroe? Heading out to find Rue?
  • The plan is to find Corbett, tell him about the piece Robinson will need for the glove; find Rue, ask her about Jones.
  • [Thirds]

    Huh. "Really?" I take the arrows back, think on it. She meant to miss me? "Maybe I better give 'em back." I'll wrap the heads back in the scrap. Stash 'em careful.

    I tear into the eggs and greens. Robbie does a good egg. Salt and pepper both. Still hot from the stove. Hot food's always special. "You heard anything about that scav group?"

    I'm thinkin' on this power source. Also need to find digs for the water heater. Maybe by the airplane? No water nearby. One of the lakes, then. Rig up a pump and a filter.
  • "Which one?" Robinson asks, blinking. Had they talked about a specific group?
  • [Thirds]

    I swallow my mouthful of eggs. My nose twitches with black pepper. "Hugo's boys? Sun? Over by Clifton?" I point it out on the map again.
  • edited June 2014
    Robinson shrugs.

    He hasn't seen Hugo in years. Heard of him, yes, but last time he saw the guy's face they were just kids in Bastion, over on the wrong side of the Hudson where the remains of the George Washington Bridge crumble in view of the immense, ancient apartment blocks clinging to the hillside. Bastion used to be one of the remaining refuges on Manhattan, hence the name- but then it used to be Hudson Heights, Frankfurt-on-the-Hudson, Fort Tryon, any number of names but these things change. Bastion changed. Robinson survived. So did Hugo, he supposes. Hugo can't have been more than seven or eight at the time it happened, but nobody who survived the horrors of Bastion's final days could fairly be called a kid anymore.

    "Haven't heard anything new except from you, just now."

    Robinson finishes the food on his plate, sets it aside, and proceeds to mark up his map according to Thirds' news.

    That map was hand-drawn by Robinson on a huge sheet of bond paper, and successive iterations and markups have been laid on top of it in overlapping layers of tracing paper and transparencies. The whole mess is posted against the wall. Smaller detailed area maps and diagrams are scattered throughout that corner of the workspace, organized according to some system only Robinson seems to understand.

    This work done, Robinson retrieves his army coat from the back of his work chair, pulls it on and heads down the road to Monroe.
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