[Junk XIII] Talk to Me (K 7-5]

edited December 2013 in Junkworld XIII

After setting up the deal with Armour, you head back to the Ascendant the next day, a team of engineers and workers who have the title of engineers with you, led by Onida, also a van of some pretty nasty looking sick folks, "the sick bus", driven by Dulux. The ride is uneventful. You realize that with the increase in traffic to the Ascendant, a kind of path is slowly coming to exist, just by the number of vehicles tamping down the scrub.

Reminder, this is Dulux,
This is Onida the engineer:

I assume you let Metro and Nescafe work on organizing the help, right? Not your area of exertise?

Let's skip ahead to when you arrive in the infirmary to talk to Bilo, yeah? Which Candies are with you? Do you ask Rinso to help, or let him resume his duties at the infirmary and stay close? The infirmary has a bunch of new patients, by the way, casualties from The Bay. It's been four days since you left, and the place hasn't fully recovered.

Bi-lo is in the conference room waiting, unless you do to his cell. He's been beaten, not horribly. He looks tired.

What do you do?


  • Well, I won't be going anywhere near those sick folks, I can tell you that — and if Rinny wants to sleep with us again, he should steer clear of them too. I don't wanna be sick with baby girl. I did leave Metro and Nescafe to organize the extra help. I only hope that helps them work faster...

    The chat with Bilo — I asked for two Candies to come and stand guard while we chat with him. They're more so there for intimidation than anything... Rinso can go back to working his day job. I don't wanna get in the way of that just yet. I walk into the conference room strapped, and sit down across from Bilo — not waiting to get down to business, I speak plainly. "So you're with the Black Rock clan... You're beholden to the cult, and you bombed our home. What do you have to say for yourself?"
  • Bi-lo sits there, shoulders slumped, tired and beaten. The last of the Beholden sent to their deaths, only alive to give you answers.

    He answers your question in a miserable, but stubborn tone, "Nothing."
  • "Nothing," I answer calmly, "not how you got in, or who specifically demanded you go blow up the water supply of over a hundred people, or how you got roped into drinking that infected water supply your cult is trying to push on us, or why we should show you some sympathy, rather than behead you summarily, and feed your corpse to the plaguedogs?"

    I sigh, and lean forward, "give me something, Bi-lo. Anything. Do you know how many people died, and may keep dying because of what you did?"
  • He leans forward in his chair, his elbows on his knees, hands together almost like a prayer, but not exactly. "Years ago, we found the lake. My father's father was one of them. We built Big Rock over the lake, to keep safe, to keep it to ourselves. It has always been the best water in the flats or the mesas. My father's father drank it, my father raised me on the water. It is life, and it is good."

    He sighs, "The Cult came to us when I was a boy. Some of our people spoke for the water. Some of us only heard it. I heard the Chosen years ago, and swore myself to protect them. Now the winter comes, and the Chosen want this ship to be their new home."

    Bi=Lo looks up at you with his tired eyes, "You refused the Chosen twice, Kiddo of the Council. The Chosen do not ask three times. Now, war has begun. Many have died. Many more will die. There are Beholden among you now. More will learn the joys of the water now. It is only a matter of time. You should speak with your Council and come to a trade now, save your lives. The water is good. You will be happy."
  • They built the rock? That's frakking impressive! I listen to his story, trying to seem impassive; but frankly, that he's already back to towing the party line means he's outweighed his usefulness. "How many chosen are there, Bi-lo?"

    I hate to have to keep a tally... Especially if I'm going to have to kill them all...
  • Bi-lo answers with a well-practiced ritualistic phrase, "There have always been Thirteen Chosen. When one dies, one of the Beholden become Chosen."
  • Frak. Scratch that idea.

    I lean back in my chair, "we don't want your frakking water, Bi-lo. Tell me who is beholden here, and who let you into the hold, and I'll let you free."
  • Bi-lo slumps in his seat. "No. I will not reveal my brothers and sisters in the water. I will only tell you this. We did what we did with those who are not Beholden helping us. People in your own clan helped us do this work. For only a few treasures. What good is it to fight and die for a place your people value so little?"
  • I frown at that. "Who are they then, Bi-lo? Unlike your chosen brethren, I will ask more than twice, and I've got a doctor to keep you alive as long as I want." Frak, Bi-lo... You were so eager to reveal information before. Don't make me hurt you.
  • edited December 2013
    You see a little smile on Bi-lo's face. He looks up. "If I tell you now, you won't believe me. If I don't tell you, then you what? Torture me? Then I tell you and you do what then? Kill me? I know my brothers and sisters you caught are dead. I'm only valuable when I don't tell you. Right?"

    He starts laughing. At you. At Costco. At Mamba and Spunk. Just laughing.
  • I sigh and hang my head, too disappointed to really give a shit at this point. I turn to Mamba, "can you hand me my boomstick from my bag over there, sweetie?" I stand up, and rub my shoulder in preparation for the kick it will no doubt make, and I look down on Bi-lo one last time before calmly adding, "last time I pointed that thing at you, you shit your pants and told me what I wanted to know."

    I give him an indifferent look, "tell me what I want to know before she hands it to me, and you can keep yourself from reliving that experience. I'll even let you go, if you co-operate peacefully — just like I said."
  • He swallows nervously, obviously not in the mood to be shot and killed. "Do you swear you'll let me go?"
  • I nod, "If you co-operate."
  • He breaks eye contact, looking at the floor, "Brita let us into the deck. We paid Chufi to show us how it all works. Buckingham is one of ours."

    What do you do?
  • I watch him closely — last time he betrayed his people he started convulsing. I doubt I'll have this luxury this time around...

    OOC: Reading Bi-lo. Roll+Sharp. +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 6, 5. Total: 13)
  • OOC: SWEET! Holding 3, Advanced.
    Q1: Is that an accurate and exhaustive list of people not loyal to us?
  • The list is not accurate, he threw in Chufi because he had a fight with him and doesn't like the guy. It's as exhaustive as he knows, but he wasn't running the show. Walgreens was. He's dead.
  • I narrow my eyes, "you're lying about Chufi. Don't lie to me again, Bi-lo, that's not co-operating. Every innocent person you name discredits you, and makes it harder for me to let you go without backlash." This is going to be a huge frakking problem. I sink back into my chair, pissed that I've gotta deal with traitors now...

    "Is there a way our people can co-exist without drinking the water?"
  • Bi-lo scowls, then shirks away when you threaten him. He looks up at you again, and says honestly, "I don't know. I only know the the cult wants this place for our new home."
  • Over my dead frakking body. They blew up our home, and now they want to take it?

    I'm thinking I should return the favor.

    Q2: If I tell Bi-lo my plans, will that make them known to the water cult?
  • Not immediately, he would need to return to the Big Rock Clan and tell them. But yes, he would definitely report what he knows.
  • Frakker.

    I lean forward on the table again, "the inhabitants of the Ascendant demand reparations for the attacks made against our home. You can either pay us the sum of jingle required to repair our home, pay for the water we've lost while we repair our filters, and cover the costs of treating our wounded, or you can reveal to us each and every member of your clan currently operating within the Ascendant. They will be recalled to your home, and never allowed to step foot in this place ever again. Beholden or otherwise."

    I cross my arms over my belly, and lean back in my chair, "You'll have one full season after I set you free to deliver that exact message to your people. Failure to comply before the spring, regardless of whether they heard it or not, will mean war between us."
  • Bi-lo takes a breath, holds it and nods while you lay out demands. Mamba slides behind you, just to show some support and approval, of course. Once you're done, Bi-lo exhales and nods. "Yes, I will deliver your message. Can I... can I go now?"
  • Q3: What does he think the cult will decide regarding our demands?
  • He thinks they will double down. He knows he is a pawn for the Cult, which is why he sold them out.
  • That's just frakking depressing... We're gunna end up killing these people before we get the chance to kill 'em. I've got less than a season to organize retribution against these frakkers, and the only thing I've got going for me is they won't expect one until spring. They'll also be organizing their own attacks against us... Great.

    I turn to Mamba, and explicitly say this for Bi-lo to hear. "Get the whole gang, and bring me Buckingham, and Brita. I want them in the brig before sundown. If they fight back, beat them senseless, but keep them alive — I need them to ID anyone they've worked with."
  • Mamba nods, and heads out to get the Candies moving.

    Why don't you Seize those two by Force, Kiddo?
  • OOC: Seize those two by force. Roll+Hard.
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 6, 6. Total: 13)
  • OOC: that was advanced, so all of the options occur... The option I pick twice, is frighten/dismay/impress your enemy.
  • Mamba heads out, you know she's got this one. What do you do in the interim? Anyone you want to see?
  • Well, first I'm gunna give Mamba some time to get a head start on getting the two traitors, then I'm taking this asshole down out past the people in the bay, and kicking him the frak out. Once that's done, I'm getting Nezzy. She's gotta be there for this... Especially considering it was her frakking gang that screwed up.
  • edited December 2013
    Let's skip to that then.

    An hour later maybe, you're in the same room right outside the brig, a bruised-up, lip-bleeding Brita is sitting in binders at one of the metal tables beside a relatively calm-looking Buckingham, also in binders. Nezzy is here, with du.

    Who's with you, Kiddo? How do you open this up?
  • I brought Star, Mamba, Spunk, and Vee with me. I pull Nezzy aside a minute before addressing the prisoners...

    "The people they let in? They're just the beginning. I sent a message back to their people, letting them know we want reparations — they're going to reject the chance and go to war with us. I need these people to finger every single traitor we have under our roof, or any plans we have are just going to fall apart."
  • Nesbitts sighs angrily, "Well frak. No wonder Buck just shows up out of nowhere, working the Bay. I had a feeling, but we were getting so thin, I ignored it." She shakes her head, angry, "It's on me. Now, Brita, that's du's problem. When we're done, he will deliver the shot, alright? His bad decision, that one."

    She crosses her arms, "Santi needs in on this. This is nothing a pregnant woman needs to be dealing with, Kiddo."
  • I look down at my belly when she says I don't need to deal with this, then back up at her with a serious look. "If my baby is going to be growing up here, I'll be damned if I'm gunna let two frakking assholes ruin my home over a couple jingle. I wanna know their names. I wanna see this through."
  • "Alright," Nezzy says, "But Buck is a tough guy. It's gonna get grisly. Ima call Santi in, she's got the stones for this kind of work. She used to work guys over when we ran around actin fools back inna day. An we'll get those names." She has Buckingham sent away, they're going to work on Brita first, don't want him to hear what she spills and what she doesn't.

    She looks at you for a moment, "You know, I took a risk bringing you into Council, what with your age, and those Candies being green and all. Especially with your Ma being attached to Bran like she was." She nods once, "That. That turned out to be a good call." She goes about getting Santi here, and takes du into one of the cells of the brig in the interim to have it out with him. You hear the echoes of their conversation. Nezzy doesn't yell, she doesn't have to. du though, he's pissed. Super. Frakking. Pissed.

    Santi shows up maybe half an hour after du's beating Brita for answers. It is vicious. Are you going to stand by and let him beat her to death like this? He's using his fists, breaks her nose, rips off one of her ears. She's covered in blood and snot, Kiddo. She's talked all she has to talk. They paid her to see the decks, slipped her some jingle for a private tour, then they hit her with a stunner and left her to take the fall. It doesn't fall apart, no matter how many times he beats her and asks her different ways.

    Oh and by the way, du has a stiffy. He's getting off on this. Santi is just watching. She knows.

    Kiddo, are you doing to let Brita die like this?
  • You mean am I gunna let her live like this? After being a frakking punching bag for du — a sick frakking bastard who gets a hard-on beating on women? I can barely frakking look at her. I don't want my baby seeing this. I didn't stay here because I wanted this for the people who wronged us... I didn't have to watch after a while. I'd seen everything I needed to know...
  • OOC: Reading Brita. Roll+Sharp. +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 5, 5. Total: 12)
  • Enough of this shit. I step up behind du, and push him aside. I lift her chin gently, so she's looking rougly in my direction and whisper softly, "Sweetie? I can end this, OK? I know you're scared. I know you probably don't know what's going on anymore... You never meant to hurt the Ascendant, did you?"

    OOC: Did Brita know what she was doing, showing those people around?
  • She turns her head to you, but you know one of her eyes is ruined, the socket just gave way a few minutes ago. She mumbles, wails through broken teeth, "nuuhhhh.... no...." She's about to pass out. du has been using smelling salts on her.

    She figured they'd steal some drek or maybe they were casing the joint. She had no idea they were going to blow the water system. She knew she did wrong, she just didn't know how wrong.
  • I'm talking slowly for her. "How many were there?"
  • She sobs, shaking from the effort of sitting up. After a moment, she mumbles between short breaths that hurt her broken ribs, "Sevunn...there was... sevunn of thum."
  • edited December 2013
    I nod, relieved that we apparently caught them all. "You're not going to help people do anything illicit like that again, are you sweetie?"

    Q2: Is Brita a threat to the safety of our hold?
  • Brita doesn't even know what illicit means, but she gets the context. With weary eyes looking at you, she shakes her head no.

    If you want to pick nits, she's a threat because she takes shortcuts and she'll take bribes. Will she open the backdoor that wide ever again? Well, hell no, but she has no expectation of surviving this. She knows this is just a game, and she wants it to end.
  • I sigh, a little disappointed that she believes making a mistake that big would cost her life. They had a word for this on the old word. Omo's mom used to throw it around a lot — "treason" I think.

    In the pods, punishment for treason was a death sentence. Dad hated the pods.

    Q3: Is Brita irredeemable?
  • If she lives, she'll be a broken, bitter woman. She won't mean to cause trouble, she's careless and selfish. She'll continue to be a liability, and she doesn't have the smarts Omo has to find a new start.
  • That's just frakking sad... I hang my head a second, and frown. I guess you can't save them all...

    Ma's pistol slides out of its holster in a practiced fluid motion, and a muted pop reverberates off the walls as I pull the barrel away from Brita's head. I'm sick of this. I'm sick of finding these people who can't think ahead more than where their next meal comes from. They're dangerous, and they're a risk to my family.

    I look to Buck, with fire in my eyes, and pull out a rag to wipe the blood off my gun. "If you can think of a terribly convincing reason for me to offer you an out, Buck, you should say it now... I'm told Santi's much better at this than du is."
  • Buckingham looks over the Brita's corpse, then back at you. "I'm going to tell you what happened, and its up to you whether you want to put a bullet in my skull or not."

    He sits up straight, not military straight, but serious, looks you right in the eye when he talks, "About a Junkfall ago, I was guarding a caravan that was hit by the Big Rock Clan. They outnumbered us, and they had a couple folks hidden in my caravan, too. Figured I was as good as dead, but everyone who surrendered, they drug off to their bigass lake under the hill they built."

    Buckingham has this far-off look, like a junkie coming off a high, "They made us drink. Of all things, they made us drink water. Some of us heard the Water Cult talk in our heads. I was one of them. Beholden. The ones that didn't, they slaughtered, right then and there. Then, those of us who heard, we carried the bodies of the six who didn't. I carried a woman's body, Aoc. She wasn't much to look at, but she made a really great curry, she liked to whistle. I liked her."

    "They made me dance to their tune, and I craved the water. They made me come here to work, and keep my mouth shut." His voice grows bitter, "Then, when the job was done, when you killed the rest and I lived, the thirst left me. The Cult left me high and dry. And now... here we are."

    What do you do?
  • OOC: Reading Buckingham... For all the good this'll do. Roll+Sharp. +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 3, 3. Total: 8)
  • I let him talk, "So you're saying you're not beholden anymore..."

    OOC: Is he telling the truth about not being beholden anymore?
  • He is. It seems the reach of the thirst weakens when the Beholden are away for too long. You realize the same might have been happening to Bi-lo, which is why he talked.
  • I turn back to Nezzy, and holster my pistol. "It makes sense... My other prisoner didn't have much trouble talking, the longer we held him. Buck could be a resource, if we could find a way to purge him of all the water he's drank from their lake. If we lock him up, and keep him under constant surveillance until we figure that out, I think it would be worth it."
  • Nezzy looks at him for a bit, "Lock him up, then. I'll consider what to do with him. I need someone to take over security at The Bay, Kiddo. Can your Candies do the job?"
  • I look to Star — it's her gang — but I'm happy to organize that if everyone agrees it's for the best.
  • edited December 2013
    Starburst looks up, like she just realized she's the leader. She turns to Nezzy, "We can run The Bay, Nezzy." She takes Nezzy by the arm and walks off with her, talking about her ideas for security for the place, choke points, holes in the place. It sounds like she's been thinking about it a while.

    Mamba takes Buck to the brig. What do you do?
  • I don't want to be in the same room as du. I'm done with this place. I should go visit Dad!
  • Sure, that's easy.

    You head down the hall of the infirmary and hear him playing as you get closer. He strums low, out of respect for the other patients, but you know they love his music. Most folks do. There's another person playing harmony with him, must be Hump.

    That's confirmed when you come into the room. As soon as you come into his view, Hump looks up and misses a note. He stops, looks to Ollie with an apology, then tries to catch back up. He's singing the song lightly, not committing to it, almost the way a dancer mouth the words of the song she's dancing to. What's the song?

    Your dad looks up, not missing a thing, and gives you a wide smile. Its a smile you haven't seen in a long time, isn't it? He's sitting up in the bed, has some fuzz on his head and looks so much better now. Has his color, still too thin, but he doesn't look like dried paper anymore.

    What do you do?
  • I could hear them playing an old song Dad wrote a long time ago. Hump's asked Dad to teach him them all... He's got his work cut out for him, I think.

    I swing into Dad's room with a big smile on my face, and pull a seat over to Dad's bed. I give him a kiss on the cheek as I sink down into the chair. I don't wanna interrupt their song. It's good to hear Dad play again — and even better to see him recovering.

    When the song ends, I clap for them — giggling cheerily. "So when's Stitch gunna let you come home to us, Dad?"
  • Ollie shrugs, "Stitch'll let me go when she feels its right, darlin. Don't you worry 'bout it." He looks at your belly, and a wide smile crosses his face, "Can I feel 'er in there?"
  • I blush when Dad asks if he can feel baby girl, but nod and hop up onto the bed next to him. At least he asked... Some folks just walk right up to me and start groping my tummy like I'm some ancient goddess of good luck. Not that I'd care if Dad did — I mean, he is my Dad. "She jumped a little earlier when I scared her with a loud noise — kicked me right in the bladder to get back at me... She definitely doesn't take bullshit from anyone — I wonder where she got that from."

    I smirk playfully at them both, "have you guys seen Ma' lately?"
  • Ollie chuckles at the bladder bit, moves in close to feel her.

    Hump blinks, "Yeah, she was here earlier. Dad's been making her sleep in a real bed, her back's been hurting."

    Your dad grins like mad when she kicks a little. He talks to her in a low voice for a bit, ignoring the world and just crooning to her.
  • I smile as Dad plays Grampa for a bit, remembering the times Ma' was pregnant a little more fondly than I have in the past... It's a small comfort to know my little girl will be loved by her family — and that she has a family at all, really, given how close we were to losing everyone.

    I look over to Hump, "Is she running with the Candies again? Or just out and about?"
  • Hump lies, "Just out and about. Hell, sis, she's there at the apartment half the time, you're just so wrapped up in your threesome drama that you don't notice."

    Ollie chuckles, "Hush now, y'all. A lil harm'ny z'all I ask, yeah?" He's still feeling the kicks of the little babe in your tummy, Kiddo.
  • My face crumples into a frown when Hump calls me on not paying attention to Ma' — frak, did he just interrogate three prisoners to keep this hold safe? I don't frakking think so. It's not my fault he didn't frakking stay with Topps. I consider calling him on it — but Dad wants peace, and I don't wanna be all pissed off anymore. I give Dad another kiss on the cheek, and lean back onto his propped up pillow.

    I wonder what Ma's up to — probably something incorrigible. I was hoping I could bring everyone out to get some fresh air... It's a little warmer today than usual for this time of year. I guess I can just stay in.

    "Can you play baby girl a song, Daddy? I wanna make sure she hears good music..." I know I needed to be there when Nezzy was dealing with Brita and Buck — but I feel really bad that my little girl had to be there too...
  • Ollie reluctantly pulls his hands away from your belly, like you were a magnet, that this moment was something he'll treasure. He quickly takes position and strums a soft melody. He sings a whispery tune with it, unable to hit some of the notes. But he knows his limitations, so he never cracks, he just plugs on through, and the song is beautiful all the same.

    Hump leans in, watching. He knows he'll never be as good as his father. But he'll never stop trying. How hard it must be to be the progeny of a man considered by some to be a legend.

    Baby girl approves, it seems. Even though she's protected by the womb, the sounds reach her, and she quietens, lies still. You've reached the point where you sometimes feel her happiness. Of course, having your dad here, playing to you, it creates your own, so the two of you, you and baby, you bounce the joy back and forth, back and forth.

    This is a wonderful moment. Of the two of them, Kiddo: VB and Rinso. Who do you think would most appreciate this with you?
  • edited December 2013
    Wow, that's such a hard question... Do I have to pick just one? Rinny loved it when I played guitar, and he respected Dad like nobody else on this planet. He loves it when I play for him, and I know he loves me more than anyone else he's ever met... But I don't know if he really understands what's going on when I let him feel my tummy. I don't think he appreciates it like, say, Dad can. Rinny would love to share this moment with me – but baby wouldn't be in the equation.

    Vee, on the other hand – she's watched me like a hawk this whole pregnancy. Sent calls me momma, and doesn't like it when I do stupid shit that affects baby girl... She doesn't like this kinda music though, and she likes it when baby girl moves. I know she loves me, but I really don't know how I got so lucky to have her love me... She doesn't like women... She just loves me. I don't know why – but I know she would understand and appreciate it.

    I think it's probably Vee – but only because Rinso doesn't get this pregnancy thing... Maybe I should bring him to that next ultrasound. Maybe that would help him understand.

    Once the song's done, and Dad's had his fill of chatting with baby girl, I'll give him another kiss and turn to Hump. "Can we chat a minute in private sweetie? Apartment business."
  • Hump looks up from staring at Ollie, nods, then joins you in the hall. He immediately starts off with, "I know, the dishes are a mess. But we are out of water. So, yeah, I'll scrub them dry, like we used to in Salt during droughts."
  • I stare at him blankly a second, "Uh, right. Well that's all good, but I'm more concerned about what Ma's up to — why'd you lie to me back in there? What's she doing?"
  • Hump's shoulders slump a little and he quirks a quick frown. "I didn't wanna worry Dad. Mom's not running with the Candies, sis. I didn't lie, not really. She's just, you know, helping out Zag."
  • Helping out Zag could mean a bunch of things... It could mean buying her weed, 'cause she's too frakked up to do it herself, or sleeping with her, or helping convince the younger Candies to sleep with her, or whipping the younger Candies into shape, or running a raid on someone. "C'mon Hump... Zag's all but a frakking North Candy herself — what did Zag need help with?"

    Please say fixing her bike... And also not be lying about it.
  • "Chunky broke up with her." Hump answers, "And Zag went on a bender. Real bad, she almost OD'ed."

    There's a distinct lack of staff in the hall right now, Kiddo. You just noticed that it's pretty much Rinnie and that's it. There are a few patients just quietly walking in the hall, some elder woman next room over who is talking to pretty much nobody, a girl in a wheelchair wheeling herself away from you, towards the exit, nice and slow.
  • edited December 2013
    Shit... That's not good. "Alright... Ima go check on her... It's pretty full up here, but maybe there's something I could do to help out without taxing Stitch anymore. You wanna keep an eye on Dad? It's not right that Stitch is keeping him here, wasting time on him, when we could be looking after him at home." I shake my head. Zag OD'ed? What the frak...

    Presuming Hump agrees, I'll walk up behind that girl in the wheelchair, grab the handles, and whisper, "Where you going, sweetie?"
  • Hump suggests, "We could just, you know, take him..."

    Then you're heading up to the wheelchair girl. She has a badly broken ankle form the fight in The Bay. She may never run again. She looks up at you with her soft brown eyes when you take the wheelchair. "I'm going to pee. The bathroom in my room is all nasty, hadn't been cleaned in days."
  • edited December 2013
    ... That's not a bad idea... I look around at all the folks here, and nod to Hump, "Alright. It's not like Stitch can't come find us if she needed to work on him some more or something." I hand him a baggie of jingle, and pat him on the shoulder, "can you bring him upstairs, and get someone to fix up that spare bed for him and Ma? I've been putting it off for too long now."

    I'm disgusted that the girl's toilet hasn't been cleaned in a while. What the frak? I knew Stitch was busy, but that's frakking unsanitary. I smile down at her, "c'mon sweetie — you can use my bathroom, and I'll get some folks to clean up around here."
  • "Where is your bathroom?" she asks, craning her neck to look at you, "You're Kiddo!" She's maybe eleven, thin, with big pouffy curly hair and knobby wrists. The girl's name is Yama Ha.
  • I smile wide and nod, "That's me! It's just upstairs. We can take the lift. Is Doctor Stitch treating you well, sweetie? Other than the gross bathrooms?"
  • Yama shrugs, "She's busy with real sick folk, Kiddo. I'm just winged a bit. The new nurse, Omo, she is doing the cleaning, but she's not so... you know, thorough. It's like she's always running around. Lots of folk are sicker than me, so I don't complain. Just, you know... I put my butt there. It's super gross!"

    Do you tell anyone you're taking Yama Ha, or figure things will work out on their own?
  • I let Rinny know about taking Yama upstairs, and tell him to let Omo know about Yama's toilet. I know Stitch is hurting for help, so I'll probably just hire someone to do some extra cleaning for her... I joke with Yama as we enter the lift, "well, my toilet is super clean, and my girlfriend's a real stickler about us staying washed up now that we've got a shower — especially our butts."

    I press the button to go up to my apartment, and stand up straight to stretch my back a bit as we wait.
  • The lift has a couple merchants on it, carrying stuff with them. When they get off at the next floor, the two of you are alone. "Girlfriend?" Yama asks, "But you're... you have a baby?" Her tone is curious, not accusatory.
  • edited December 2013
    I giggle, "the baby's father is still around. He's Rinso, actually. He's my boyfriend... It's kind of complicated, but not really." Ok, it is really complicated, but I'm not about to bore the poor kid with details. "Rinny, Vee and me are kind of a trio... We've got a long history together. Do you have family here?"
  • She shakes her head, "I did. Uncle died in The Bay. Moms died trying to bring me a lil brother into the world. That was before Stitch came around, though."

    The lift stops on your level. You push her along the clean hallway to the door of your flat. She looks all around, "Wow, this is really flash..."

    As you open the door, she asks, "How you workin the toilet with no water, Kiddo?"
  • Aw... Poor girl... "Where you staying now, sweetie? Just with Stitch in the infirmary?" I shrug when she asks how we're running the toilet, "We get a little bit of water in a bucket every day, and use that to refill the tank. The toilets up here are all high-efficiency chemical things. Just don't flush, and I'll take care of it."
  • This is Yama, by the way:
    Yama Ha

    Yama answers shyly, "Dunno. Just the infirmary for now. I figure my Uncle's stuff is all gone now." You help her get into the bathroom, it seemed a little urgent by the time you wheeled her in.

    When she's done, she doesn't flush, and hops over to the chair. The toilet isn't flushed, like you asked. She says, "I can, ah, wheel myself back."
  • I'll deal with cleaning the bowl in a minute, but I feel really bad for Yama... I quirk a frown, and nod. "I've got some things that need to be taken care of downstairs, I'll bring you back... When do you think you'll be out of the infirmary?"
  • "I think I should go, well... now? Its just a busted ankle, but I'm not volunteering to go, and Stitch hasn't made me." She relaxes back in the chair. When the lift opens and you get on, she asks, "How old do you have to be to be a Candy?"
  • I shake my head, "Older than you are, and I'm not sure you really wanna go down that route with a busted ankle sweetie..." She's such a sweet girl... It would be a shame to see her go down a hard life like that... "You, uh... You know, a friend of mine has a couple of kids... Omo. She works a lot, and she might need someone who can look after her babies while she works. I could probably use someone too, eventually. How are you with little kids?"
  • She slumps a little about the age limit, and the suggestion that her ankle impairs her chances. Of course, you mean right now, but she hears it like "forever disqualified" for some reason.

    "I like kids okay," she says right away when you ask. Then, "Would I get food and stuff for watching Omo's babies?"

    The lift opens on the infirmary level.
  • I nod and push her out of the lift, "I could help with that, yeah. Can you read? Write? You're growing up fast, and I'm going to need good, smart girls like you if this place is going to run smoothly."
  • "I can read some," she admits. "I can figure it out, just never needed to."

    You wheel her to her room, and Rinso is walking out as you come up. He has an angry face, and he smells like bleach. "Holy frak of all mountains, that toilet was awful! I'm sorry, little girl, it is clean now, don't you ever let us frak up like that again."

    He stalks off to do more work. When you wheel her into the room, which she shares with two other people, Yamam says, "He's really hot."
  • I giggle, loudly, at Yama's comment. "He is," I whisper back, looking over my shoulder, "listen. Stay here a little while longer, OK? I won't tell anyone anything. When Stitch kicks you out, or you feel like leaving, come find me. I'll get you set up with some work, and maybe a place to rest your head, OK?"
  • For a second, you think she'll take you up on it right away, looking up at you from her chair. But she holds back, nods, "Okay. Uhm, thanks, Kiddo."

    There's a young man in the room, a bit older. He's been staring at you, all moons-eyed. Last patient is a really sick boy, some kind of breathing tube in him. It's a dreary place.
  • edited December 2013
    ... Huh. Odd. I didn't know there were so many kids in the attack on the Bay. We really need to improve conditions for these kids... Maybe set up a school for them that helps with small tasks around the hold, so we can feed them. I nod to the little boy, and I guess head out to find Zag and Ma'.
  • It isn't hard to find them, not like they're hiding. Zag left the Candy Bar Clubhouse after the breakup, ended up in the Barrens. It's safer than The Bay or outside in the shanties, but still is a bunch of people stacked on top of each other. Luckily, they get regular health treatments, so its better than it was.

    Zag's holden up in a cot hotel, in a room with a piss bucket and, well, a cot. Your mom has a chair sitting by her, Zag is covered in a cold sweat, looking miserable. Your mom gives you a grim nod of greeting when you come in. Are you alone? It's like a prison cell in here.

    What do you do?
  • Yeah, it's just me... Vee and Rinny were never much for the Candies, and I'm not sure how long I'm gunna stay. Today hasn't been the cheeriest of days... I look over Zag and take a seat next to her on the floor, across from Ma'. "She through the worst of it?" I ask quietly — talking about the OD, of course.
  • Zero nods, "Yeah, far as I can tell." She doesn't like you sitting on the floor, you can tell that for sure. "Hump rat me out?"
  • Well... It's not like I can sit on the pisspot, and I'm not frakking standing any more than I have to. I try not to smile when she calls me out on Hump... He's such a goodie-two-shoes. I nod instead, trying to respect what's happened here. "I'm not here to drag you home, Ma'... Just here to see if I can help."
  • "You should drag me home, Kiddo." She says quietly. She wipes some sweat off Zag's brow, looks up, leans forward, "Ollie alright? You guys need me?"
  • edited December 2013
    Well, at least we're in agreement on that... I nod, "Dad's fine. I told Hump to get that spare bed fixed. I'm gunna take him out of the infirmary as soon as it's ready." I sigh, "It'd be really nice to have you there for that, Ma'."
  • She looks over at Zag again, like it pulled her. Then, she looks back, "Tomorrow morning. I'll be there, at the infirmary, in the morning. It'll be good to get home."

    She slides off the chair, onto the ground, scoots near you, takes your hand. "You alright, Kiddo?"
  • Better than nothing I guess... One more night in the infirmary won't hurt. You know what I wanna know? How the hell do mothers know things? I can't figure out for the life of me how Ma' could see right through me on any given day, but could be so oblivious to Dad's needs. Is it just a mother thing? 'Cause I'm still waiting for mine to kick in...

    I'm sorry, I'm just a little moody I guess...

    "Better than Zag, I guess... I spent some time with Dad earlier, and he played baby girl a song... I got shit on at Trench, and broke a deal with Armour. Came back here to find out the assholes in charge of that attack a week ago are going to fight us tooth and nail for this place, and that two of our own opened the door for us. I watched du torture some poor girl that didn't know any better, and had put her out of her misery... Then locked up a guy who was actually frakking guilty 'cause he's too valuable to kill."

    At one point or another I slouched forward, cradling my belly and looking off into the distance. "She jumped when I put a bullet in that girl's head, Ma'... She's not even born yet, and she's heard a woman being tortured... I don't even know if we'll be able to keep this place safe from those wackos by the lake. Am I messing up my baby girl's life before she even gets here?"
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