[NU] Pet Projects [Ro2.1]

edited July 2014 in nupocalypse
Robinson, let's talk about what you've been up to these last couple of weeks. The ruckus caused by the confrontation with Hugo and his people has been relatively quiet. People are staying close to home, rather than risking stirring up the pot. I know you have a few projects on the go right now... I know you're working on a growing op, Harrow's glove, and occasionally keeping an eye on whatever mechanical things happen to fall in your lap from Monroe (should you choose to accept them).

Roll+Sharp for me. On a 10+, choose 3 things to be true. On a 7-9, choose 2.
• A scavenger rode into town today with all the gear you need to run your growing op.
• You've done some required maintenance to the electrical grid.
• You've finished the bulk of the work on Harrow's glove, and all you need to do is plug in the power supply.
• You've finished some priority odd-jobs that came through your door for the town.
On a miss, the MC will choose two for you. Sometimes you choose what you work on, and sometimes it chooses you.


  • Sharp (Rolled: 2d6. Rolls: 5, 3. Total: 8)
  • edited July 2014
    This is what has kept Robinson busy for the intervening weeks:

    a.) Monroe's power comes from a small Archimedes screw driving a generator upstream. The device is perfect in its setting- low head, debris-resistant. Though there is limited demand for electricity, most people having forgotten modern convenience, there is still a need to look after the transmission on a semi-regular basis. Robinson does the rounds himself, walking the length of the network. It's time-consuming, but renders considerable value in terms of goodwill from the town.

    b.) Robinson had put word out, and in time a scavenger came into town with the required materials for brewing- airlock, boiling pot, malting drum and kiln, six-gallon glass carboy for fermenting, boiling bucket, hydrometer, sufficient seed for a field of barley and some hops. Brilliant! Robinson was willing to reward him handsomely for this.

    He didn't make very much progress on Harrow's glove, lacking the power supply that would let him examine how exactly it operates when powered up; he also had to turn away a few odd jobs, which suited him fine: he's not a handyman for hire. He's a fucking wizard, man.


    I believe 1-barter is in order for the brewing materials?
  • I can understand how a wizard wouldn't want to be troubled with menial work. Of course your food stash is starting to get a little low, but such is the price for the potential to brew quality beverages, and keeping the town powered! You're coming back from your rounds on the electrical grid when you spot Matilda and her crew pulling in near the lake on Millpond parkway. Mimi is doing inventory on their find, and sure enough he's got that equipment you asked for.

    Let's pick up with you doing the actual exchange. Do you head over there and tell them to drop off the goods at your garage, double back to the garage and grab your truck first?

    OOC: 1-barter is indeed the price, but I've got some questions I'd like to sort out, so let's play out the scene.
  • edited July 2014

    Food stash getting low? That's the price of keeping the town powered? Maybe he'd better remind Monroe who is keeping the lights on so they will remember to be generous when it comes to keeping him supplied with produce.

    But yeah, Robinson gestures up the road in the direction of the workshop. Why would they go through all the trouble of unloading the goods here just for Robinson to make an extra trip up the hill to unload them again at his place?
  • I'm sure someone who's sucking down juice like a toddler in the summer heat would be willing to fork over some produce — you'll have to take it up with them though. After a few minutes, Matilda's truck comes rumbling up the road to the workshop, and Matilda and Mimi hop out of the cab. Mimi gets to work opening the truck, and unloading it with H. Matilda comes out to greet you.

    "G'day Robinson — where you want the stuff?"
  • edited July 2014

    "Just put it down here," Robinson says, at the garage entry.

    He'll set up an area himself, in the back of the workshop, clear of the repair bays and the workbenches and the corner where he has his combination of consumer entertainment devices and subconscious-psychic-maelstrom-surfing electronica set up with some old comfy chairs. A little brewing corner, close to the garage's back door. Cordon it off.

    The malting process might work best out back. Robinson figures on building a shed of some kind, maybe next to Whitmont's chicken coop, an enclosure with timber and plexi or tarps or polyethylene sheeting. And then, of course, storage: up on the roof, maybe. That's a lot of lumber. It looks like an expedition to the suburbs (with a wood-ax) is in order.

    The crops, of course, will go outside. Hops like to climb; an armature on the outer wall of the workshop will do. More timber, then. There's a generous enough field behind the workshop for the barley; Roark is keen enough on the endeavor that he might agree to oversee it, while Nils has been involved from the start and can look to the maintenance.

    Robinson gestures Matilda's crew into the workshop. A number of tradeworthy items have been arranged on the coffee table in the small lounge near the doorway into Robinson's kitchen.

    "Payment, as we agreed."
  • Matilda motions for the boys to offload everything where you showed her, and after a few minutes of heavy lifting, they've dumped the material off. Their truck, as you might have guessed, looks like shit. Even with the repairs Thirds managed, you can tell it's only got a few trips out before those makeshift repairs will fail — this is a fact Matilda and her boys are likely oblivious to. They supply the town with a large amount of goods — Monroe will take a hit if they have some down-time trying to fix or replace their truck.

    They all file in and pour over the goods you've laid out for payment, checking them for their various functions. H is laid back and quiet as always. Mimi is louder, and vocalizes every question that runs across his mind — questions he'll usually answer himself as he explores them. "Finger trouble" as old tech-support would call it. Once they've got their share of payment, Matilda adds, "pleasure as always, Robinson. You need anything else? We're heading north to deliver some more goods to the folks in Wash... We can keep an eye out there."
  • edited July 2014

    "Nothing for me," Robinson says, subtly eyeing the truck in his yard.

    That truck is on its last legs. Years of neglect and hard use have done it in, and it needs considerable work. Currently Matilda's crew represents a disproportionate amount of Monroe's supply of scavenge. Food is produced locally enough, sure- but tools? Building supplies? Medicine?

    "Listen to me," Robinson says. Same flat voice as ever, lazily but firmly insistent. "That truck is done for. You did some serious damage to it last month and you've been treating it like shit, as far as I can tell, for years. You need to replace that truck or- at best- have it partially rebuilt."
  • Matilda looks over at her truck, then back to you, "not many trucks that size that still work out there in the world... I know Hugo down south has one or two, but he don't exactly share, you know? Most of the rest are rusted to the ground. H is the guy who fixes our truck — if you're sayin' he isn't doin' his job, which wouldn't shock me, then you know I'd pay good money for you to join up with us... I know you like your privacy, but you'd get first dibs on whatever we find."

    She looks really hopeful you'll say yes, even though she expects you to turn her down... She adds, "not a whole lot of jingle in the till right now to fix a truck, shy of what you just gave me — and that's for supplies for our next outing."
  • edited July 2014

    "A truck that size, a half-ton, a quarter-ton, a donkey," Robinson says with a half-shake of the head, a shrug. "Not a time to be choosy. If you can't afford to fix it, you can't afford to rely on it. If you keep relying on that thing, you're going to be stranded. Soon."

    Robinson's leaning in the garage doorway, his army coat pushed back and his hands resting in his pockets. He hears Matilda's offer, gives it due consideration. But: to join up? Matilda has nothing to offer him that he can't already pay for, and Thirds is better at tracking down the rarities that more frequently trouble Robinson.

    He could probably afford to buy them out, have them at his disposal, get first choice on their spoils and a cut of the profit, too. But then, Robinson doesn't like to manage people, he certainly doesn't like to manage fools, and he has a strong inkling that Matilda's crew includes a number of fools. A faint memory floats to the surface: the conversation in their truck, moments before they met with Robinson's party on that city street. Some of Trip's last words: we're fucked now. And Matilda, back to him: Stopsign's a fucking dead man.

    "What went down with Stopsign?"

    He's changing the topic, with no explanation, but Robinson does that sometimes.

    Struck-out text to be moved down later.
  • edited July 2014
    Matilda's face crumples in disappointment, and she crosses her arms defensively at your jab at being stranded. Sure, it's true — but she doesn't like being reminded of her shortcomings. "I'm sure Big Ed will love his new job as cart puller. Thanks for the tip, Robinson..." She turns to leave.
  • edited July 2014

    Matilda doesn't like bad news. Well, who doesn't. Robinson doesn't like seeing Monroe's supply chain pushed to the brink by a gaggle of mouthbreathers. Well-intentioned mouthbreathing allies, perhaps, but mouthbreathers nonetheless, and Matilda's defensive attitude isn't endearing her to Robinson at all.

    "Spare me the sarcasm. Sarcasm isn't productive. This is my counter-offer: I buy your truck. You, and yours-" and his eyes dart to the assembled gang beyond Matilda, "-will answer to me from now on. I get first cut at your haul, and I get a cut of the profit. You get a working truck."

    Let's cut the question about Stopsign, and paste it at the end of whatever comes out of this little exchange.
  • She stops, and turns around... It's not exactly the offer she was hoping for, but the prospect of staying in business, and having you with a vested interest in her success is pretty close to par. She bites her lip, and considers it a moment before adding, "We got a little inventory on top of the truck... You wanna buy that too? Mimi and the boys are the muscle, and they don't really get a say in what our dealings are unless I ask 'em... So where do you see me in this mix?"
  • edited July 2014

    "Middle management," Robinson says.

    He's not interested in the inventory, and he tells her as much. It's not the inventory that's at risk, it's the truck and the continued operation of her crew. In buying it he hopes he can keep them accountable, secure Monroe's supply.

    Robinson's offering the equivalent of two-barter for the truck. If that will be all, Robinson's done with this exchange; he'll head down the hill and find Nils and Roark.

    Zooming out a little here.
  • OOC: Fine by me.

    Matilda is more than happy to accept the 2-barter for the truck, and sets off to tell the crew what's going down. She mentioned, before you left, that she'd keep the truck parked outside the Garage from now on, if you wanted to poke around in it. They've got to go sort out new living arrangements though, since they basically lived out of it before.

    You head into town to find Nils and Roark, and wind up finding them out by Roark's place, where he's smoking up and listening to an old Willie Nelson recording on an old vinyl 76. Nils is cooking up some bacon and eggs he scored from Bish's farm, when Roark notices you're coming. "Afternoon, Robinson! C'mon have a seat. What can I do for ya?"
  • edited July 2014

    Warm midday sun. Robinson leaves the coat at the workshop, hangs it by the back door, wanders on down to Roark's place in his rolled-up sleeves. Matilda's truck- his truck- is on his mind. Bad compression. An engine rebuild is likely in store.

    Down the hill, past Clarity's library and the side lot with the shade trees where people sometimes gather. Then the main drag and beyond it the big parking lot on the back of the properties along the north side of the street, a place Robinson usually tries to avoid. Bad vibes, old ones that hit him like a migraine if he gets too close but sometimes he gets in a mood and goes there and stands in the middle of the now-abandoned lot, soaks in the collective suffering and doesn't talk for hours after.

    But the main drag. He turns, stalks down what used to be Monroe's main drag, a street running perpendicular to the pond's shore. Some of the buildings, sturdy concrete or brick commercial types with big windows streetside and their walls shored up, still see use but the street is mostly overgrown. There's a little market, just a few stalls every few days for local growers and the occasional scavenger. A cooking fire here and an open-air encampment, some tables and chairs pulled into the street, people with their feet up and a jug of something. Waiting for someone or just killing time.

    Monroe's population is pretty dispersed, given that the majority of people in Monroe live of the land- whether farming it or hunting and gathering on it- and it makes sense to have a place on the edge. Roark's got a place next to the old rail right-of-way that splits Monroe's main drag from the Smith Clove to the east. The rails have long since been torn up, even as early as during the Golden Age, by Robinson's reckoning, as if people decided they didn't need trains anymore. Now the right-of-way hosts a decent patch of hemp, some garden vegetables, and there's Roark and Nils sitting outside Roark's place on lawnchairs.

    "Brewing equipment came in today. We should get started on that field of barley." Robinson sits, speaks aside to Nils with a frisson of excitement: "Beer time, kid."

    Nils isn't really a kid, not anymore. He's older than Robinson was when Nils was born. Robinson didn't raise him, just visited him a few times out west during the intervening years. Turned out alright.
  • OOC: Nice job with the walk-through!

    Nils nods a few times, his eyes a little glazed over from the weed, but there's a genuine excitement in there somewhere. "Cool. We were just about to eat... You got any gardening tools?"

    Roark chimes in quickly with, "I'd be happy to lend a hand for some of the good stuff when it's done... I got plenty of tools too, if they need borrowin'."

    Nils pokes at his sizzling bacon a few more times before letting it cook a little longer. He looks up at you, and calmly asks, "You eat yet?"

    What's your relationship with Nils like? It sounds like you mostly made brief appearances in his life. Seeing as he was raised out west, I suppose he moved here for a reason. Was that at your request? Or did he just end up here on his own?
  • edited July 2014

    "No," Robinson says, he hasn't eaten. Never one to turn down any bacon anyway.

    Robinson's relationship with Nils. Phew. Good one. Robinson never had much of a father. His mother didn't last long, either. Here and there. Finally ran with a pack of street kids. Might as well have been raised by wolves, or hyenas maybe. Big man Millions saw something in Robinson, made something of him, but Millions was a real grotesque, an antichrist figure in the truest sense. So, what do parents do? Robinson understands countless things, and there are countless more that he doesn't understand, he just knows, but parenting isn't one of them.

    The awkward shoulder pat. The concern, too little and too rarely. The talks with the mothers: "you should come around more." Nothing for me to do here, Robinson would say. "Sorry" wasn't in his vocabulary. Still isn't, really.

    He came around to trying. They didn't go hungry. Robinson made things happen for them. Clean water. Food and supplies during bad seasons, when he could make the trip. When there was something to do, Robinson did it. Is this the man who took all the food, Nils? Yes. And he hit your mom? Yeah, and he hit me too. Where did he hit you? Here. Here? Gesturing with a ball-peen hammer, peering over then-new glasses, quiet menace. A man, pleading. And little Nils, reluctantly: yes.

    That's what he was to Nils, probably still is to the other two, probably. Show up, fix what needs fixing, break what needs to be broken. Some distant, benevolent, fleeting force.

    As Nils grew older Robinson found it easier to engage with him. Nils helped him brew a batch of bioethanol last time he was out west. Robinson saw potential in him, said in his noncommittal way that Nils would be welcome if he wanted to collaborate on things. In time Nils did migrate toward the coast and here they are, cooking bacon.
  • OOC: Zooming out a little bit. Let me know if you want more/less detail.

    Nils takes the cooked bacon and eggs off the fire. "Smells delicious," Roark remarks, sniffing the air — and it does. Nils grabs one of a few wooden plank Roark uses as plates, and hands you some food. Then he gives some to Roark, and takes some for himself. He offers up a few insights on what kind of fertilizers affect the taste of the plants you're intending to grow, and how he's worried that the low snowfall that winter would probably cut into the precipitation this year.

    Eventually he stands up, and says, "I'll go grab my tools, and the seeds. You planning on growing the crops up on your hill? It'll be a pain to lug water up there if we hit a drought."
  • edited July 2014

    Less detail, if you please. Neither of us, I'm sure, care much about the specifics of agriculture. Also, I'm going to zoom out a whole lot here.

    "Won't need to irrigate," Robinson says, barring a disaster. Six-row barley is pretty water-efficient.

    He and Nils head back up to the workshop. Roark eventually joins them. Turning the soil for a small plot of barley will take a good portion of the day. In time Robinson leaves Nils and Roark to it and builds a raised bed for the hops against the back wall of the workshop. The lattice can come later when the plants are starting to grow. Really the crop will be a waiting game for the first bit, and he's got partners equally as qualified to do that. Building the brewery inside the workshop will be more skill-intensive, but they have until harvest time, and Robinson can put it together in his spare time.

    Robinson moves Matilda's truck into the workshop, disconnects everything and summons Big Ed to help him pull out the motor with the use of the engine hoist in the garage. This will take some time. In the meanwhile, they have some work to do, and as a responsible business owner Robinson has to ensure those needs are met. Robinson clears the back seat from his Range Rover, gives Matilda the keys.

    "You can use it while I'm rebuilding the truck," Robinson says. He adds, in his typical matter-of-fact manner: "Use it carefully."

    Wonder if Thirds might benefit from having this crew at his disposal. Robinson resolves to mention it next time he sees the guy.
  • Nils is eager and able when it comes to working in the field. He has a sort of knack when it comes to growing things, and even Roark seems to rely on him for his crops now... It'll take months for your first harvest, and without pesticides you may not get the greatest yield — but you'll get something, and Nils will be around to do the job. Building the brewery is more your skillset, and if you put your nose to the grindstone, it shouldn't take you more than a few hours.

    As for the truck, It'll take you more than a little time to fully repair — days, really, even with the help of Big Ed to do some heavy lifting. He's not exactly "savvy" either, if we're being honest. Not that you need any help to figure that out, but this truck is so horrible that the best even you can come up with is going to be crap and unreliable unless you can find a few "decent" trucks to tear apart and replace the bulk of the engine with. They exist though, and there are people who can tell you where to find them. Cinch would probably know them.

    Matilda looks over the Range Rover when you offer her the keys... It's in way better shape than her truck, obviously, so she's happy about that. "Careful. Got it." She pockets the keys, and opens the trunk to start loading things in. "With that, we should probably set out first thing tomorrow — we'll need to make more trips, on the count of the size being smaller... Shouldn't be more than a couple days. That OK with you?"
  • edited July 2014

    "I'll be fine without it for a few days," Robinson says of the Range Rover, eyeing it. He'll spend the intervening time putting together the brewery and putting out word that he's on the lookout for a source of truck parts.

    I'm good to end scene. I suppose 2.0 happens not long after this.
  • == END SCENE ==
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