[NU] Fits like a glove [Ru 2.3, Ro 2.2]

edited July 2014 in nupocalypse
Robinson, It's been a little while since the outing to the mall out in the ruins, and you've had some time to tinker with Harrow's glove. You think you've managed to get it working again, though as the old adage goes: it doesn't work until you've tested it. Rue's here. You know she doesn't like that glove as it is... She thinks it's dangerous. You've gone ahead and "fixed" it anyway — though your definition of the word is probably a little different from Corbett's.

Where in your workshop does Rue find you?

Rue, Did Robinson call you up here, or did you come here hoping to get something fixed?


  • [Robinson]

    When the glove is actuated, a multitude of little pins poke out of the palm of the glove and dig into the flesh of the recipient. They don't puncture the skin, but it can certainly startle. The mechanism works- Robinson just used it on himself, though obviously he couldn't get any sense of the device's function any more than he can be said to have read his own mind- and his flesh is still a little red where it bit in.

    Robinson spent some time comparing the glove's pathways to his own system, a big mixing console-looking device at the back of his workshop next to a few comfortable seats, which he has used on limited occasions to delve into the subconscious and the psychic, to record and to review and to exchange the kind of stuff we usually lose to the dream ether. He hasn't made much of a big deal of it, though he remains privately enthusiastic for its potential.

    He's killing time now. The Creator, if He exists, has an inordinate fondness for beetles, said J.B.S. Haldane. Robinson's thinking of that as he sits in his workshop, contemplating seven pressed, labeled and neatly framed scarabs. Someone found a collection of them and turned them in to Clarity for his collection, and Robinson took them from Clarity's stock of nonessential curios in exchange for services rendered.
  • [Rue]

    Robbie'd prolly call me up in 'is good ole time, but I aint gonna let 'im get workin' on nuthin' else an ferget, ya know? So's I been checkin' back time ta time. Like today.

    I walk on it, see them beetles, and walk o'er ta check 'em out. The glove's done been 'round, so I don't bother with it. I lean o'er the table, seein' Robbie seein' 'em. "Purty bugs, Robbie. Some kinda art project?" I'm in a decent nuff mood today.
  • edited July 2014

    "Someone else's, maybe, at one time." A shrug: he looks up at Rue, leaning over the table. "I just like to look at them. Have some butterflies and moths too."

    On his work table, a few meters distant, the glove rests next to a cup of coffee gone cold and his neatly arranged tools. She has been visiting with regularity to see how it's coming along. Today is the day.

    "It's ready for testing," Robinson says, looking not at Rue but at the glove over there.
  • [Rue]

    "I like butterflies." I tell 'im. I 'specially like 'em, more'n these bugs.

    Robbie tells me the glove's ready. I give 'im a nod. "Well... so am I." I gently lay Shelly down onna side table, an pull off my gun-belt, find some place ta be comfy. There a seat? I'll have a seat.

    "Am I wearin' it? Er you?" I ask like I'm good with either way.
  • edited July 2014

    There's a seat. There's lots of seats, scattered throughout the workshop- bar stools or swivel chairs at several work stations, a wide low couch and some dusty teak-framed reclining chairs from the sixties arrayed around the coffee table at the far right from the garage entrance, near the kitchen door and Robinson's personal annex beyond.

    "Makes no difference," Robinson says when Rue asks who should wear the glove.

    He thinks about that for a beat, considers Rue might feel more in-control if she gets to wear the glove. Robinson, well, he's played around with this stuff enough to know that the illusion of control will offer him no comfort, but it might give Rue some.

    "You put it on," he says.

    Wool overshirt off, hung on the back of a work chair. Sleeves rolled up.

    He sits down across from Rue, pulls his seat a little closer, changes his mind and gets up. The kitchen. In his pantry, a stout bottle of bourbon that he gets from a trader when she passes once or twice a year. Two clean teacups. He returns, sets them down gently in the middle of the coffee table.

    "Could use a drink. Before or after," like he's asking, but he's thinking "probably both."
  • [Rue]

    I guess Robbie saw me make a lil face when 'e said it don't matter. 'e tells me I oughta wear it, an that sounds fine ta me. 'e fidgets 'round a lil bit, an I let 'im. Hafta say that the thought o' wearin' that damn glove's got me feelin' antsy, too.

    A coupla cups put down onna table, and they're so tiny. I pour us both a drink o' Bourbon, offer 'im a toast, holdin' up my lil cup, "Ta health." I say. It's the only toast I e'er heard, an it sounds 'bout right fer now.

    When 'e's ready ta drink, I take my cup down likea shot. An unless 'e stops me, I'll put that frakkin' thing on.
  • [Robinson]

    He toasts, silently, drinks it in one go but lets the bourbon linger.

    "I can't say what to expect from this. You've been on the receiving end, I know, but this glove is a direct connection and neither of us, I think, has any idea how to- well, fuck knows. I have a similar device over there in the corner, but it's passive- you can't use it to dig deeper, not deliberately anyway, and you definitely can't use it to make people do things. Not that I've tried."

    Is Robinson more talkative when he's nervous? It he just trying to delay the test?

    He holds out his hand, palm up. "It should be as simple as making contact. Do it."
  • [Rue]

    The pins er whatnot inna glove sure don't feel great, but I don't say nothin' 'bout it. 'e goes onna bit, braggin' 'bout 'is other shit. I lissen, 'cause I'm polite like that. Plus, ya never know when it might come in handy.

    Robbie mans up, darin' me ta touch 'im with the glove. I nod, suddenly alla air in the room feels sucked out, an things slow down. I feel a lil flush in my face, thinkin' o' Jones. Thinkin' of the things he done ta me with this here glove. An I feel the rush o' it. I won't lie, my nips harden up. Just the feelin' o' bein the one in charge like this... it's a helluva thing.

    I reach forward with the glove, think 'bout touchin' Robbie's hand er somesuch. But then I just up an decide ta touch 'is cheek. It's a gentle touch, not a grab, but it feels more intimate er somethin'. If we're gonna trust each other with this damned glove, then it oughta count fer somethin'.

    "Here goes nothin', Robbie."
    When you use a piece of brainer tech you have no idea how to use, the MC will pick a move from the Brainer sheet which is appropriate for the item. It fires immediately. On a miss though, you deal 1-harm AP to the subject on top of the fallout of your brainer move. Don't play with fire, kids.

    When you use Harrow's glove to execute a brainer move, the move (and all subsequent fallout) works both ways. Every time.

    So Rue, Harrow's glove is a Violation Glove — used to remove the "time and physical intimacy" requirement from brainer moves. Are you sure you want to do this? Brainer roulette can be a dangerous game... Watch out for that backlash if you blow the move.

    If so, feel free to roll today's brainer special: Deep brain scan
  • [Rue]

    Hell yeah, let's do this! I aint scared o' Robbie, an if I hurt 'im, e'll fergive me.

    Here goes nothin':
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 4, 2. Total: 8)
  • [Rue]

    I feel 'is mind. It's heady, no wonder Jones loved doin' it ta me. It's got a kinda taste, Robbie's mind. All orderly an' sharp. I reach for it, wigglin' my fingers inna glove and graspin' soft.

    • In what ways is your mind and soul vulnerable?
  • Robinson, answer truthfully, and hold 1 under the same circumstances.
  • [Robinson]

    Robinson's mind and soul are tough on the surface, unyielding. They are underlaid, however, with a deep malaise, a seething need to be useful and a profound lack of direction. A restless, dangerous, secret boredom.

    He's vulnerable in two ways. Were he convinced he was unneeded, left to his own curiosities and countless side projects frittering away the hours, he'd surely go mad. Were he given a vision or a project of overwhelming, absolute importance he would pursue it with a enthusiasm so singleminded, so powerful, he could destroy himself and everyone around him.

    - what are your secret pains?
  • [Rue]

    Fer all my talk o' Jones an hatin' 'im, an how Ize 'is dog, there's a big part o' me that liked knowin' I gotta place inna world. Ize needed. I 'ad a job er whate'er, a thing I did better'n anybody else. Just hearin' 'is voice in the damn glove, hearin' 'im tell me heze comin' fer me, part o' me was excited.

    I hate it, bein weak ta 'im. I just wanna place ta belong, an I figger Monroe just needs a gun. They'd take anybody else o'er me. specially folks like Doghead.

    I know Harrow'd use me, but then I'd know what ta do.
  • Both, I hate to say it, but two inexperienced people using Brainer Tech isn't exactly what you would call easy on the mind... Within seconds of this connection, after the exchange is done, you're both overcome with a wave of intense nausea. It'll pass shortly, but until then, consider yourselves both having suffered S-harm.
  • [Rue]

    I yank offa glove and lay it back down onna desk er whate'er, then stumble away to clear my head. I open the door an let the air in fer a second, just breathin. An then I double o'er an puke just outside 'is door.
  • edited July 2014

    Robinson lets out his breath. Rue stumbles off but he remains in his chair, sinks back into it and closes his eyes against the spinning room and the lingering traces of Rue's subconscious, like cigar smoke hanging in the air of his mind.

    As the nausea clears he twists slightly to look at Rue's outline in the doorway, standing over a puddle of puke just off the doorstep, and all he can think of is how important it is that he gets to Jones before Jones gets to her.

    He pours another cup of bourbon, sips it, feels a little better but declines to stand up.
  • [Rue]

    Takes me a bit ta get my feet unner me again. I'm holdin' onta the doorframe like it's an anchor fer a spell. Damn, I taste it in my mouth. I spit a few times, but I need ta wash it out.

    I'm all bleary-eyed when I turn 'round an walk o'er ta Robbie again. Take a seat, wait fer 'im ta gimmie some more o' that bourbon.

    I don't say nothin' till I get a belt o' bourbon in me. Then, after a bit when I feel more like Rue, I say quiet, not lookin' at 'im, "Yer a good man, Robinson."
  • edited July 2014

    A good man. A tiny anger fizzes up inside Robinson as his first reaction is that Rue is being sarcastic. He suppresses it when he looks at her, though. That isn't sarcasm. He doesn't know what that is.

    He gets a terrible urge to ask Rue what she saw. It passes, though.

    "Satisfied?" he asks instead, picking the glove up and folding it in his hand.
  • [Rue]

    I reach o'er an put a hand o'er 'is fer a moment. Catch 'is eye. "The glove works. Mazin' job ya did, Robbie." An then I'm back in my old self, no more lookin' at 'im all serious. "Wanna kill that bottle? Or ya got work ta do?"
  • edited July 2014

    Rue sets her hand down on Robinson's. He looks down at the offending extremity, dubious, until she removes it. Weird.

    Work to do? "Nah," Robinson says, there's the box truck- waiting on parts- and the crop- watching it grow- and a number of other non-urgent things but he feels like having used the glove warrants some kind of break, acting like people do for a little while. "Not that much. Let's drink."

    He fills his cup again, carries it with him as he gets up and circles around the sofa and goes to the shelf where he keeps his media collection, much of which he trades back and forth with Clarity on occasion. The vinyl- he fingers through it until he finds Safe as Milk and puts it on, delicately lowering the stylus into the groove. The sound of experimental psychedelic blues rock.

    "They started recording music digitally- on computers, like- d'you think that does us any good now?" Robinson shrugs, shakes his head. "Funny how time works. 'Progress' y'know. The people in the golden age always figured on a bigger, better future. More complicated, more expensive, more and more susceptible to one fuck-up bringing the whole thing to a halt. See how how that turned out."

    He sits again, looks at the ceiling, up through the skylights of the garage.
  • [Rue]

    Well, if Robbie's gonna drink, then I'm good ta go. I'll kick off my boots, since I'm stayin' awhile. I aint lookin' fer a quick drink an pass out er nothin', so now that the gloves good an done, I'll start sippin'. This aint half bad fer sippin', an it's good ta 'ave comp'ny.

    I lissen ta the song 'e's playin'. Aint never heard nothin' like it. I heard records afore, don't get me wrong. But this sound? It's all jangly an rough, like theyze makin' it up as theyze goin'. But the words, they got heart.

    My head starts a bobbin' along afore they hit the second verse. An then 'e's talkin' bout the electric bulb that's been out fer years an I laugh. Robbie's tellin' me this is old tech, an gabbin' 'bout digital stuff. "I may be hungry but I sure ain't weird!" I say as the song stumbles an fumbles ta the end, like a drunk man headin' home.

    I take 'nother sip, lookit Robbie. "I bet ya'd fix up a 'puter real nice, Robbie. Yer a real magic man, the shit ya can do. It's a wonder. How ya can build an fix shit. A place like Monroe, it'd never do without ya."
  • edited July 2014

    Robinson makes a noncommittal noise, a verbal shrug. A flashback: Robinson, standing with a heavily-armed gang; a river, rushing into a quickly-flooding train tunnel; a small and despondent crowd, wounded among them. The cost of progress, someone says, and laughs.

    "Places like Monroe do just fine without me," Robinson says. He takes off his glasses and pinches the bridge of his nose, rubbing the vision away. "I mean, I appreciate the compliment, but things would be better if we were all just farmers."

    Short pause. "I don't know if I actually believe that."
  • [Rue]

    I snort at that. "Shit. I aint never gonna be much o' a farmer, Robbie." I think o' my lil plot, how long I been tryin' ta raise mint an herbs. Hell, if Ize tryin' ta raise food fer eatin', we'd all die.

    I know how folks like ta talk 'bout themselves, plus truth be told, I wanna know, so's I ask Robbie, "How'd ya ever figger alla this stuff out? Yer daddy teach ya er somethin'?"

    Gettin' comfy now, so I pull my feet up onna stool, heels ta my butt, knees out like wings. I'm sorta movin' ta the music still, got a goofy lil grin on my face.

    I wonder if Robbie can dance?
  • [Robinson]

    "I was always good at this. A few people helped me along the way."

    So long as we're on the topic of figuring stuff out: "Let me show you how I figured out the glove. Like I said. I've worked on this kind of stuff before."

    Drain the last of the bourbon from the cup, set it on the table. Pleasantly dizzy as he gets up again. The record's been playing on and they're well into the LP now. He takes some cables running from the turntable and connects them to the console. Wires leading from the console connect to another device, which he switches on and it comes to life with a quiet hum. This connects to what looks like a headset, but with little metallic lobes instead of headphones.

    "This takes the audio signal and converts it to..."

    To what? He rests a lobe against his temple. It takes a moment, then pow, like LSD on contact, ribbons of light leaking from the corners of the room and the furniture, all the machine parts and tools and maps aglow, all the things more insistent in their being, and behind Robinson's eyelids, his memory, long-forgotten voices and a face he once saw and there she is again, again, again, again, again, recursing and freckles melting into stars and-

    "Here, you try," Robinson says calmly, taking the headset and handing it over. "It's useless, I think, but kind of interesting."


    Does this fit the bill of weird-ass electronica? I don't know the point of the device. Maybe a move goes along with it. I think of a very mild, directionless "open your brain."
  • edited July 2014
    OOC: That fits weird-ass electronica perfectly! I think people deserve a +1forward when opening their brain using that stuff — but it's like a drug. It actively interferes with your next open brain attempt without it... So you suffer -1forward on your next open brain if you don't use it.
  • OOC. I don't know that it has to work that way. It's really just channeling audio signal (and, possibly, other media as well) through the maelstrom. This is the same device he mentioned earlier - my final July 21 post - that allows people to connect using it or record one's own psychic vibes or whatever and replay them.

    What about...

    When you use Robinson's dream machine to connect directly to someone, the MC may ask both parties a question. Both players answer truthfully.

    When you open your brain using Robinson's dream machine and have quiet time to contemplate the maelstrom, take +1 forward when acting on the experience.

    When you use Robinson's dream machine to listen to music or watch a movie, groovy, but it isn't revealing anything to you.
  • OOC: Let's go with the second one then. I think it's more thematic to the mind-expanding discussions we've had in the past, and having Open Brain as a part of the move gives me access to the questions from the former suggestion. So:

    when you open your brain using Robinson's dream machine, and have quiet time to contemplate the maelstrom, take +1forward when acting on your experiences.

    Feel like going on a trip, Rue?
  • edited July 2014

    I take the headset, put the lobes on. I'm watchin' Robbie the whole time, like I trust 'im, an also so's he knows I aint chicken.

    I lissen ta the music an think o' Monroe. How can I fit in 'ere? What's my place?
  • [Rue]

    Opening Brain:
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 1, 5. Total: 8)
  • edited August 2014
    Rue, First and foremost, the experience is surprisingly different from what you're used to. Normally, you find yourself opening your brain and welcoming ghosts of a past life into your personal space. This time it's different. You feel like you're watching yourself from a distance, and Monroe, and is resonating off the music and electricity coursing through your head.

    Believe it or not, Rue, you've got as much of a place here as most people... The church, the people you help. The services you provide. They're very necessary. Someone has to stand up for Monroe when Monroe can't stand for itself. You're that someone — but I think you knew that. What makes you fit in here, though, is a different story. You've got some baggage, Rue. Those ghosts come here to Monroe, and they wreak havoc. You can all but see Chant obsessing over your gear. Making sure you're strapped and loaded. Cursing about Hugo, and his boys. You watch her circle your vacant body, smiling wickedly, blood seeping from her still bleeding bullet hole — the one you put there — and her dirty footprints trailing behind her. "End that fucker," she whispers, though you can't hear her, "end him, and be done with this bullshit. He's gunna walk all over you! He's gunna roll in here, and buddy up with your little fuck-buddy, and they're gunna play you like a fuckin' fiddle. Wise up already!"

    An interesting thought occurs to you... Monroe isn't like Chant. If you want to fit in here, you need to get rid of her.

    So Rue, what do you cherish most about Monroe, and your life here?
  • [Rue]

    Damn ya Chant. I know she's bad. Mebbe I'm s'posed ta be bad, too, ya know? I aint nothin' but a bull inna china shop 'round 'ere. Monroe folk don't know killin' like I do. Don't know why they e'en let the wolf inna henhouse. Theyze stupid fer trustin' me. You an I both know what that'll get ya.

    I just wanna get my hooks in 'er, like she done me. An then we'll see what's what.

    Hell, I cherish lotsa things 'bout Monroe. My lil plot. Swimmin' in the lake. The Flyin' Bago. I guess, if ya putta gun ta my head, I'd say ole Roark. 'e's like a pappa, in 'is own way. Don't know if I'd e'er came 'ere if it weren't fer him.
  • Let's end scene here.
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