[Junk XIII] Brillo's Debt (K 8-5)

edited January 2014 in Junkworld XIII

You set up a meeting with the Delvers to talk about Brillo's debt. Opal sent a note back through a runner to meet at Loots. Who do you bring with you?

They're here, all occupied at the booth in the back. Normally, that's a Libs' booth. Maybe Opal paid them for it?



Primgi the Whip Girl:


As you enter, Primgi is shotgunning a beercan while Krug laughs her head off. Tacoma is watching with a grin, and Opal is ignoring it. She stands when she sees you, and waves you over. She's not smiling, but she's never been the smiling type, has she.

Does Opal know what this meet is about?

Did you ever hook up with Primgi?

Does Krug know you think her nose is too big?

What do you do?


  • ... I don't think Krug's nose is too big — it's the perfect size for those enormous eyes of hers. Opal knows I'm looking to settle the debt over Brillo, and yeah Primgi and I frakked... Remember? I called Opal "teeny tits"? "Curse ye vile temptress with thine enormous boobies"? Meh... Whatever. I'm kinda lucky I inherited my physique from Dad's side of the family, if you consider it... Not that I've ever met any of his relatives or anything... Ma' wasn't exactly voluptuous before she started having kids — I've gotta say: if not for how sensitive they are, pregnancy boobs are awesome.

    I don't expect this to be a cheap meeting — but who knows, maybe it will be. I've got Brillo with me. Ma' and Svenja are still out ... I'm starting to wonder what the frak's up with them...

    I walk over to the table and nod in greeting. "Opal... How's it going?"
  • Opal moves past the others to meet you, shakes your hand, "Things are good, Kiddo. The Delvers are great, life is great." She looks down, "I see you're pregnant, that's great! I'm happy for you. Come, come, have a seat, let's talk shop."

    Primgi has just finished off her beer, and slams the can on the table. Some beer spills out, and Krug squeals with laughter while dodging the spray. Primgi says, "Frak, Kiddo! I think yet tits are as big as mine!" She stands up and steps in close enough for you to smell the beer on her breath, and smiles wide, "You look good. All glowy and drek." She turns to offer you her seat.

    Krug snickers and Tacoma watches, mostly Brillo. You know he's keen on learning and understanding before speaking.

    What do you do?
  • Well frak... Everything's just "great", isn't it? I smile and shake Opal's hand, then recoil a little at the smell of beer on Primgi's breath — good frakking gods, how did I drink that shit? I smile and nod, "thanks," then slowly make my way over to the vacant chair.

    Once I'm sitting, I lean back to get comfortable and look over to Opal and Tacoma — since they're the ones running this business. "Sorry to cut to the chase, but we're not in town very long... So Brillo's in the red with you folks over books or something? How much does he owe you?"
  • Tacoma answers, "Yes, Kiddo. Some one-of-a-kind books, only ones on planet."

    Opal chimes in, "We agreed to three barter originally, and Brillo has already worked one off. That leaves two, of course."

    Primgi is standing right behind you, Kiddo. Like leaning into you, her boobs are resting against the back of your head.

    Krug is playing with her own hair, but listening in close. Brillo is blinking rapidly and ducking his head, he's not proud of this.
  • Urgh... the last thing I wanna do is make out with a drunk chick right now — regardless of her amazing boobs. At best, this is a mild distraction. I look to Brillo, more than a little surprised. How many frakking books did he get for three frakking barter?

    I turn back to Opal and Tacoma, a little irked that Primgi's teasing me with her rack while I'm trying to work. "Three barter? Dear gods..." I don't have 2-barter to spare. I barely have one, considering Kitty's likely going to hit me up for extra later ... I wonder how she feels about real estate.

    "Unless you've got something you need done, I can't pay two upfront — but I can pay you in two installments, if you can wait a month for the second half..." I mean, Jingle's gunna come in from the rented loft at some point, right?
  • Opal narrows her eyes. She looks to Tacoma, who looks at her with an inscrutable look. Its like they're having some brak-frakker conversation or something. Primgi puts a hand on your shoulder. Well, more like the back of her hand, touching your hair. It isn't bad, sort of soft. She's probably not drunk... probably.

    "One now, one in a month?" Opal repeats. "Aren't you heading out of town?"
  • Damn it Primgi, I'm not interested! I can't bring myself to look at her... I don't want anything from her, but I don't wanna be rude either. I don't wanna sour the deal.

    "Yeah," I mutter, "Tech is renting out my old spot over the garage. My cut from the rent is enough to cover the other half. I guess if you really want, I can have him front you the other jingle right now — but you know Tech would feel better if he had the jingle on hand first."
  • "Renting that spot out?" Krug asks curiously.

    Tacoma nods, like he knew you'd say that. He looks to Opal, who says, "Give us the spot, Kiddo. Sign it over to the Delvers and Brillo is out of debt. I'll even let you pick out something from our recent haul. Got some nice tech, even medical stuff I was going to sell to Kim."
  • Well, I wouldn't say no to some nice tech... The place is worth well more than 2-barter, for sure, but I guess some high-tech gizmos could make us square. "Alright... Tech'll be disappointed, but Brillo's kind of a resource on his own, yeah?" Someone's gotta teach Leah how to read.

    I look to Tacoma, "why don't you show me what you've got, and we'll go let Tech know what's up with the loft?"
  • Brillo speaks up, "You are most kind, Kiddo. I swear that you will not live to regret this."

    Opal flicks a glance over to Krug, and she hops up from her seat. Primgi steps back to let you up, and the rest of the crew moves up out of the booth while Opal says, "Good. C'mon, Kiddo. We got our haul over at an old husk of a ship."

    Primgi says, "Yeah, Kids. I heard you and the fake Candies holed up there for a bit. Used to be the Doughnuts."

    They're heading out to where they'd parked a big truck with person-sized wheels.

    What do you do?
  • Urgh... I really don't wanna ride anywhere... I look to Brillo, "can you go find Ma' and Svenja? I could use some help lifting whatever we grab." Then I stand and follow Opal out, "mind if I pick up my Ma' and our other rider? We'll likely just ride north after that."
  • Opal shrugs. It's not like she was going to waylay you. That's not how she does things. "Sure, Kiddo. Just make sure Brillo stays in town until we're square."

    Tacoma interjects, "We will wait here for you, Kiddo. In the meantime, I'll head over to speak with Logitech about our deal. We can sign papers and make it all official and you'll both be free to go when you like. Fair?"

    Primgi and Krug are climbing up into the truck.
  • I nod, "Sure. Sounds fair."

    Man... I feel like I'm selling a piece of my childhood...

    ... Where the frak is Ma'?
  • After asking around, Braeburn tells you he saw your Ma over at Grand Seville's. A flirty Barinet, who isn't hurt that you haven't been back around, takes your up to the second floor. Inside a room, you find your Ma and Svenja with Mallowcup and another Candy, one who joined up after the diaspora. It's Gobstopper.

    Why do you hate Gobstopper when your Ma seems to like her so much?

    Oh, here she is:

    They've flipped the bed and Svenja is squatting over some hand-drawn map. It looks like the valley. Over a chair are some bright yellow plasticy-looking suits, must be the rad suits Mallow squealed about.

    Oh and by the way, the table on the far wall is loaded down with guns and explosives. Even a frakking bazooka.

    What do you do?
  • Why do I hate Gobstopper? Gee, I don't frakking know — maybe because Ma' always kept frakking comparing me to Gobstopper, every frakking day? "Gobstopper wouldn't have frakked up like that," or, "Gobstopper was already done her prospecting by your age," and who could forget, "we should have brought Gobstopper along... This was a bad idea."

    Seeing her here is like a flashback into my past... Ma's chilling with the Candies again, and I'm the daughter who never blooded in. You know what? I don't feel like dealing with this right now. I hired the frakking Candies to take care of this — let them frakking take care of it. I wanna get home to my family, and my work, and just frakking move on with my life.

    I jut my jaw and deflate in disappointment, and raise my hands in the air in defeat, "Sorry to bother you girls. I'm riding out to take care of something. I'll be back in a bit." Then shake my head, and turn tail.
  • Brillo's big eyes peer at you in confusion, but he trails behind you, not saying a word. You storm down the steps, well, "pregnant lady" storm, and make it to the street before you hear, "Hey! Wait up!"

    Svenja jogs to catch up with you. "Is this mommy-daughter baggage or is something else wrong?" She falls in, walking beside you wherever you're going.
  • edited January 2014
    "Mommy-daughter," I mumble curtly, heading straight for my bike, "it's just bullshit Svenja, you don't have to worry about it. I sold the loft to pay off Brillo's debts, and the Delvers offered me goods to cover the balance of the bill. I was going to see if you guys wanted to ride out after, but you're busy — so go ahead and plan, and do the Candy stuff I paid the Candies to do."

    It's probably pretty obvious I'm not fine — but I'm trying to make it sound like I am.

    A thought occurs to me though, and I turn to point at Brillo, "You wait at Loots though."
  • Svenja shrugs, "Nah, fuck them bitches. That new bitch is annoying as all hell. Because, I like looking at goods and shit. I'll come with, carry heavy stuff and shit."

    Brillo looks a bit surprised when you order him to stay. But he's mollified at having you pay this debt for him, so he just nods.
  • I sigh at Brillo's surprise, "It's nothing personal sweetie, you just can't leave town until we've settled up. I'm coming back, just chill... Get Caesar... Crack open a bottle of wine or something... Just not a two barter bottle of wine, yeah?" I pat him on the shoulder and I turn back to Svenja.

    Saying "no thanks" runs through my mind — but I dunno ... The hormonal pregnant chick in me is soothed by her calling Gobstopper a bitch. I nod, "Alright... Sure. What did Gob do to you?"
  • Brillo nods and heads off to get Caesar, mumbling, "Many thanks, Kiddo. I shall keep the vintage to something quite affordable."

    You walk with Svenja-Sky and she rolls her shoulders in a shrug, "I'm fine with the North Candies talkin shit, you know? And the older ones, I figure they earned it. But this bitch, she's like, our age, and she comes in all talking trash like she's some badass. Just... shit, Kiddo. I could fuck up her whole world." She's not saying it like she's angry, not really. Just, you know, cranky.

    You meet up with Logitech and the Delvers, and I assume sign some papers, right? Then hop into the truck, which is pretty well packed up, but there's gotta be some room in there, and drive off behind Opal's crew in their bigass truck with huge knobby tires towards the place where you and the North Candies slaughtered the Doughnuts.

    What's the conversation like on the way there, Kiddo?

    Oh and by the way, how are Brillo and Caesar going to travel up north?
  • Papers signed and truck loaded I follow Opal out to Upper's old place. The conversation is pretty chill – I asked her if she saw herself riding with the Candies forever, whether she digs the Ascendant, shit like that... Heck, I'd answer whatever questions she had. Anything to get my mind off Ma' working with that bitch Gob again.

    Getting Caesar and Brillo up to the Ascendant may be a bit of a chore... I think we'll have to swap out on the bikes for a bit. Maybe keep one in the truck... We can't really afford a ferryman...
  • edited January 2014
    Svenja's driving when she answers your question about the Candies, "I don't see myself riding with them forever, no. I like Star and Mamba a bunch, they're both competent and smart. Toot, for all her bullshit, is pretty funny, and she works harder than you'd know. Amazon and Mirage are pretty fucking capable, just, you know, too eager to prove themselves. Chunky, she's a fuck-up, but at least she tries. Spunk is, I dunno, in it for the friends and shit? Whopper is a fucking animal, and Zagnut is a perv. Haven't made my mind up about Payday and Goodbar yet. So, I don't see myself as a Candy for as long as your mom or anything, but it's better than going solo."

    There's a moment when you slow down, the truck ahead is working its way through a narrow pass, a possible ambush spot. While looking around, Svenja continues, "I really like living on the ship, Kiddo. If we can fix the fucking water, I could stay there. Lots of tech and some pretty cool shit, too. I guess you want to move out?"

    She looks up at the truck, "This Opal girl, she looks pretty badass. Is her team worth a shit? They seem pretty rough around the edges."
  • I listen along on her description of the northern Candies — it's pretty bang on. Frankly I don't see how anyone could be a Candy as long as my Ma' did it — or why you'd wanna go back after getting out... But then, I never wanted in to begin with. I nod when she asks if I wanna move out, "It's not that I don't like the opportunities there or anything — I just never saw myself in a place like that, y'know? I've always wanted some big shack somewhere just out of the way... Some place big enough to have my friends and family come crash from time to time... My Dad had a commune when I was growing up; and shy of the Valley falling to shit, those were some of the happiest days of my life, y'know?"

    I eye the coming pass a bit, suddenly regretting coming out here with the truck. If there's anyone nearby, we'd be a prime target. I guess it's a good thing I brought the boomstick along... I really hope we don't need it on the trip back. "Opal's pretty cool... She's not much without her man Tacoma in the way of smarts, and she probably wouldn't own half of what she did without Primgi and Krug around... But then, I wouldn't be where I am without you guys either." I shuffle my bag to make my boomstick available, just in case. I'm keeping an eye out for any trouble, if there is any...
  • Svenja listens. She's still watching the mesa, still antsy for trouble, "Hey, the rest of the shit Rinso and I scrounged off my old ship sold. Remmy and Wes gave me a few jingle for it. Half's for Rinso. You need it?"
  • Blood jingle... I shift uncomfortably, realizing that I've only got the one jingle in my pocket until I can get back to work again. "Hold onto it for now, I guess... I don't like taking people's jingle if it isn't mine. If worse comes to worst I can just sell whatever we get here."
  • Hey Kiddo, you notice some movement up on the right mesa, right above you. Happened after Opal's truck went past.

    What do you do?
  • I'm trying to get a good look at who's up there.

    OOC: Read a sitch. Roll+Sharp. +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 1, 1. Total: 5)
  • edited January 2014
    You look up just in time to see five thin and wiry savages leap from the right mesa down maybe twenty feet into the bed of the big truck. They've got hand weapons, maybe a gun or two. They look rangy and wild.

    Here's the big truck:

    Primgi is in the back with Krug. They see them coming, but its going to be tight quarters. Primgi's whip is probably useless, Krug looks like she might bail.

    What do you do?
  • Damn it... I haul out my gun, roll down the window, and fire off a few shots over the bandits' heads. "Back the frak off, or I'll make the next ones count!" I whisper to Svenja, "don't get close enough that they could jump... Just in case."
  • Sounds like you're Going Aggro, Kiddo. Let's see it!
  • OOC: Going Aggro on these assholes. Roll+Cool* (Ice cold). +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 6, 3. Total: 12)
  • OOC: That's advanced.
  • The savages freeze, looking back. They're young, you notice that right off. Teenagers, really. They look like Wendys, Kiddo. No paint, just Wendys in training.

    They see you, and they lose all stomach for the fight. Primgi and Krug yell at them while both trucks stop. It looks like they're going to run. And if they do, you know Opal, Primgi and Krug will gun them down.

    What do you do?
  • Damn it... They're just gunna shoot a couple of starving kids? This isn't right! "Hey!" I yell out through the passenger's window as we come to a stop, pulling out the boomstick, "Don't frakking move! Not an inch!"

    What the frak are a bunch of Wendys doing this far south? It doesn't make any sense.
  • They freeze, even the scrawny girl. They'd leaped off the truck when you yelled, and now they're... not cowering. But they stopped.

    Then Primgi, who'd moved to the edge of the truck bed, cracks her whip right across the shoulder of the dark-skinned boy, opening a line on his flesh. He jumps back, grabbing at the red wound, looking up at Primgi.

    Primgi brings her whip back, like she's going to strike again, but pauses when she sees you eyeing those kids down. Krug is behind her, her pistol out, wavering, but aiming towards the kids.

    This could easily blow right the hell up, Kiddo.
  • They understood me? Wow! That's better than I was hoping for! I keep my eyes and my gun on the kids, but I whisper to Svenja, "Keep the truck idling."

    Gods they're just kids! Half of 'em no older than Hump... "Primgi Stop! Everybody calms down, now! Let's just back up and breathe a second." I look to Primgi and Krug, "Go tell Opal what's up. I've got this."
  • edited January 2014
    Primgi heads over the the back window of the truck, but you spy Tacoma looking out of the front passenger seat, he saw this. Oh and by the way, he's got a frakking AK in there with him. Those kids might've put a hurt on Primgi or Krug, but he probably would have wiped them out easy.

    Here's the ones in the front.



    They're obviously unsure about what to do. They've stopped, they almost look like they expect to be shot and burned.

    What do you do?
  • I'm not shooting or burning anyone just yet — especially not kids! I shoot Tacoma a look telling him to cool his heels, then turn to the kids, the gun still trained on them, and hop out of the truck. "Who are you, and what the frak do you kids think you're doing?"
  • edited January 2014
    The little one, covered in mud like some camouflage, speaks up defiantly, "I'm Nugget! I'm hunting!"

    The girl with the bow pulls him back a bit, saying a bit more meekly, "I'm Gravy, this is N'Chips (the girl behind the rock), that's TruMoo and Barqs. We're... we're trying to raid you."

    "Big fail!" N'Chips calls from behind the rocks.
  • Hunting? Like hunting us? I look over to Nugget, my voice a little softer now, and ask, "Hunting what, exactly?" But that's when Gravy pulls him back and does the introductions. It seems like N'Chips has the right idea. I lower the boomstick from a firing position to a ready position, and calmly examine them all... They look so hungry...

    I look back to Gravy, and narrow my eyes coldly at her, "well you picked the wrong girl to raid, sweetie — you kids are with the Wendys, aren't you? Why are you this far down south?"
  • N'Chips yells out from the rocks, "Wipeout!"

    Gravy hisses for her to be quiet, then answers, "Army men tore up the north camps. We're moving..."

    Nugget screams, "We want to get the paint!" His hands are balled into fists, but it's impotent fury.

    Tacoma is not exactly aiming his gun at them, but you can feel him and Opal getting ready. Even kid Wendys are a threat.

    What do you do?
  • Army men? Northern camps? ... This doesn't sound good. I can feel Tacoma's impatience, and I relax my posture a bit. I feel bad kicking them out back to the Wendys — but then I had no idea Wendys recruited so young. It almost sounds like they're more than a gang... That's frakked up.

    I huff a nervous laugh when Nugget screams he wants to get "the paint" — which I assume is that frakking terrifying shit most Wendys wear. I shouldn't be sending them back there... These kids don't deserve to be messed up by whatever whacknuts are running the show back there. But where the frak do you bring a bunch of kids like that? I need to talk to Jack about this... He's the only guy I know who's lived through an encounter with the Wendys...

    Speaking of... Aqua said some of the Wendys knew him by name. Maybe that's an in? I look to Gravy and announce, "I'm gunna let you go — but I don't want to catch you raiding here again, you hear me? ... Do... Do you know a man named Jack?"
  • edited January 2014
    Gravy nods. "That's Apple's son! He's special! He made demon babies for Bluebury..."

    Nugger interrupts, "Then ran away with Parfait!"

    "Bounty!" N'Chips adds.

    Tacoma calls down, "If we're letting them go, Kiddo, we should get a move on. They might be scouts for something bigger. You know the Wendys aren't above it."

    Actually, do you know if they are? The Wendys don't hunt this way...
  • Demon babies for Bluebury Muffins? ... Parfait? "Wait," I start, but am interrupted by Tacoma calling down to us... Wendys don't send kids as scouts. They don't send scouts, period! Every Wendy attack I've ever survived was a full-on attack with plenty of warning. I look to Tacoma and wave them on. "I know where you guys are at. Head back and I'll meet you there, yeah?"

    I turn back to Gravy and take a step forward, "wait... Jack and Parfait are Wendys? I thought Jack got Parfait pregnant... What does N'Chips mean by bounty?"
  • Opal looks at you for a moment, like she's unsure about this. "If they're a threat, part of something coming this way, we need to know, Kiddo."

    Gravy nods, "He did. He frakked them both at once, big thing. The tribe needed babies, he did it. Then he ran off with..."

    "PARFAIT IS HAVING BABIES, TOO!!" Nugget says in shock.

    "Yeah, dumbhead. Bounty for them both." N'Chips says as if she knew all along.
  • Tribe? Bounty? My frakking head is spinning. Ok... So Jack is a Wendy? Or is this tribe something else? I shoot Opal an irritated look, "There are Wendy children less than an hour's drive from Boomtown — I'd say a big thing is already here sweetie."

    I take a deep breath and turn back to Gravy — again, "Ok... I have two questions for you, and then you can go: Do your people want to hurt Jack and Parfait? And where, roughly, is your tribe going?"
  • "No, they want them back." Gravy explains. "Jack makes special babies. Like him!"

    N'Chips answers the second one, "We're going south! Warmer, put you Flats people between us and the army men."
  • Out of the frying pan, into the fryer. Great. Even the frakking Candies couldn't spook the Wendys away — now all of a sudden someone's rolled in and spooked them from the place they've lived as far back as anyone can remember? ... It's gotta be the first men. They're moving again. I'm not sure there's any way we can stop them.

    I lower my weapon, and nod. "Ok..." I can't help but feel like I should do something for these kids — but I don't think there's anything to be done. "Are you kids hungry, or something? I dunno why you're raiding, but you all look famished." I reach into my bag and pull out some jerky I was saving for the road, offering it to them.

    Regardless of whether they take it, I give them a level look and sternly say, "no more raiding here! If you're gunna put us between you and these Army people, at least do us the courtesy of not robbing us."
  • They're hesitant until N'Chips runs up for the jerky. Gravy, Nugget, TruMoo and Barqs follow, but hang back, just to make sure this isn't a trick.

    Nugget nods, seriously, "No, we don't hurt ladies with babies."

    Gravy, "We won't rob you no more."
  • I slip the boomstick over my shoulder and nod, "Alright then, go on. Try to stay out of trouble, yeah?" I turn to Opal, and the rest of her crew, watching them to make sure they don't gun them down or something. "Let 'em go Opal! They won't cause you trouble."
  • Opal watches them go, and they scamper. These scrawny kids are fast. She doesn't fire, but you can tell she would have.

    Krug says as they're going, "Ten year from now, those kids might be hunting down your baby for a frakking snack, Kiddo."
  • Gods... This whole situation is frakked. They know Jack, and Parfait, and they wanna earn this "paint" shit. Frakking clowns... I've had nightmares about them for-frakking-ever, and when I spot some in the making, what do I do? Frakking mother them. I feel a hand slip onto my belly instinctively, and I sigh as I turn away from them... I dunno that I could offer them better than what they've got now — but I feel like I should y'know?

    ... What the frak is this baby doing to me?

    I look over to Krug, not feeling particularly up to discuss this right now, "when I want your advice on how to keep my daughter safe, I'll frakking ask for it. The way I see it, everyone walked away from this... I think we're all better off."
  • Krug shakes her head, but says no more. Primgi makes a Pfft noise, and moves back towards the front of the big truck. Opal slides back into the driver's seat and starts it up. They move on.

    Inside the truck as you continue on, Svenja says, "Funny how life changes a person. I remember watchin you waste that Black Mesa girl on the buggy. Now, you're goin all soft. Momma Kiddo." She says it with a grin, like she's okay with it.
  • Gods... That wasn't too long ago, either. What? Five months ago? Two seasons? Was I really that different? The bitch was threatening my family — I'd have put a bullet in any one of those kids if they were going to hurt Hump, or gods forbid Leah.

    I giggle a little at "momma Kiddo" and shake my head, "don't get too excited, Sweetie... That's just the good eats Vee keeps feeding me back home. When Leah finally shows up I'll lay the hurt on anyone who thinks they can touch her, or any of my friends and family for that matter." I sigh and get comfortable as we make our way down the road... This is all really messed up.

    I hope this haul is worth it.
  • You arrive at the massive ship carcass. Not much has changed from when you were here with the North Candies. You spot three eyes hovering near the entrance, though. The Delvers walk in all casual, Opal says something to the eyes and they turn to look at you and Svenja, then glow green for a moment.

    Primgi calls back, "C'mon in, grab a drink and look through our drek, yeah?"

    You head through the familiar corridors, pass by the spot where you aced Dunkins. You swear you can still see the blood spatter on the dark walls. Then you see Krug and Opal standing by five large hard plastic crates filled with tech, from gadgets to consoles to guns and viewscreens, tablets, everything you could strip off a crash.

    What catches your eye for trade, Kiddo? What does Svenja trade for that surprises you?
  • I'm not drinking anything... Well, maybe water or something, but not alcohol. I'm trying not to look at the spot I killed Dunkins, 'cause this whole frakking place is just one gigantic bad memory. Instead I head over to the crates and start digging.

    Svenja let loose one of the girliest screams I've ever frakking heard, out of anyone ever when she spotted a box of old datasticks labeled "Entertainment" — she dropped cred on it and a datapad so fast I thought it might have been another vibrator. She's listing off all these shows on the index, like a kid opening a gift at Reunion. It's kinda frakked and hilarious all at the same time.

    As for me? I see a bunch of stuff that'll be worth our time — a crate of meds, some ammo, some rare "GMO" seeds and stuff — enough to buy a house, for sure; and two things really catch my eye: the first is a beautiful violin in pristine condition — something Dad's been looking for forever — and the other is a camera. A simple digital camera that has a datastick slot... I so want these.
  • As you're settling up with your loot, Opal casually says, "Listen, Kiddo. A couple things. First, if you need work, let me know. I trust you from back in the day, so if you want to be a Delver, or just do contract work, I'll put you on my short list." Tacoma nearby. He nods his agreement. "Second. If you hear about a Skyfall up north and give us a lead on it, I'll kick you a Finder's Fee. I'll let you take some comm equipment if you and I agree to it." She won't push regardless of your answer.

    As you're leaving, Primgi gently takes you aside, whisper-asks, "Hey, Kiddo. You wanna head back to my room for a bit? I've been missing you, baby." She puts her hand on your back, softly this time, smiling, standing all close.

    What do you do?
  • I nod appreciatively to Opal's offer as I finish transferring the goods I got into a separate box. "Thanks Sweetie — if things dry up where I am, I'll be sure to keep that in mind. We hear tell of Skyfalls all the time. Beating the Raiders out there is a bit of a problem, but I'm sure you've got the firepower to hold it down if you can get there."

    I'm kind of surprised that I'm so ... surprised, for lack of a better word, by Primgi's offer. I'm really not in the mood for sex though, much less with Primgi. I shake my head, "no thanks Sweetie... I've got a good thing going back home I don't wanna mess up, and I'm not really feeling very sexy now anyway."
  • Primgi doesn't move away, but says with a little urgency, "I saw you took that violin. I've got a flute in my room that I'll give you... if you come and take it. Nobody has to know." You get the feeling she won't force you, but she's obviously "motivated".
  • Dad can't play a flute... He barely has the lung capacity to sing. Why the frak is she so motivated to sleep with me? I blink a few times, and lower my voice, "Prim... I'm with Vee and Rinso, and we're serious — Let alone that I look and feel like a frakking cow. Now, I'm flattered — really — but sex is... Complicated... There's gotta be someone else you can turn to that would make a better partner than me."
  • Primgi shrugs, backs off, "Alright, that's fine. I'll find someone else. You just look so frakking hot, Kiddo. I can deal with complicated sex... but hey, what was good then aint good now."
  • I blush a little when she calls me hot...

    ... Ok, I blush a lot — but it doesn't change anything. I smile bashfully, and give her a kiss on the cheek. "Thanks Prim. I've gotta go... I need to get back to my family."

    I linger just a moment longer, then turn to leave.
  • Primgi closes her eyes when you kiss her cheek, inhales your scent, and lets you go.

    Outside, Svenja is checking the datasticks with a reader and giggling to herself. She's nearly in tears, really, mumbling stuff like, "The fucking Treehouse of Terror seventy eight through ninety... oh shit, Saw Twelve... Star Trek reboot... Hogwarts the Series... oh my Lord. This... I may never get outta my fuckin bunk again." She looks up, smiling.

    I assume you're heading back to the truck. What do you do?
  • I smile back at her — she's like a dog with a frakking bone. "I wonder if there's a big screen somewhere you could show the girls those with." I'm making my way back to the truck. I don't like the idea of heading back to deal with frakking Gobstopper and them, but ... well ... We've gotta go. We might as well do this now.
  • The drive back is much livelier than before. Svenja is busy telling you about the Treehouse of Terror episodes on her datastick, which is a complex web of self-referential jokes and cultural stuff that makes absolutely no sense, but she reaches a point where she almost has to pull over, she's laughing so hard. No lie, right as you're passing under the shadow of the Junk Radio Tower, she giggle-snorts.

    She drives the truck through town to Grande Seville's taking you right up to where the other Candies are. She puts it in park, then turns to ask, "You want me to grab your Ma, you stay in the truck? It's no problem." She's trying to drop out of her jovial mood, collecting herself as she waits for your answer.
  • What the frak did I get myself into? I don't get any of those jokes... At the very least seeing Svenja laugh her ass off is entertaining. It's kinda infectious, actually. I'm full on belly laughing by the time we make it to the Junk Radio tower. I'm actually laughing so hard I have the hiccups. What the frak is that about? "I need to,*hic*" gods damn it, "I need to pee. *hic* Can you go get her while I hit the can?" I take a few deep breaths between giggles, and wait until I've got enough composure to go somewhere without looking like an idiot.
  • You head over to use the bathroom at Sprites, which ends up being rough because Butter Nut is cooking something that Leah cannot stand, and she makes herself known. Good news, your hiccups stop. Bad news, you feel a bit sick to your stomach.

    Heading back to the truck, you see Svenja walking back out, your Ma behind her. Your Ma has her arm around Gob, like they're besties. When they reach the truck, your Ma hugs Gob, gives her a kiss on the cheek, all warm and drek, then they see you coming up.

    What do you do?
  • edited January 2014
    Gods damn it Leah... That's Pad Thai! It's frakking delicious! Why would you not like that? ... I spend a few extra minutes in the bathroom splashing some water on my face — a luxury I won't have once I get back home — and trying to get this weird green color out of my skin. Eventually I give up and just head out for the truck... Then spot Ma' playing frakking besties with Gob.

    Oh she hugs and kisses Gob? I get "what took you so long?" and she gets a frakking hug and kiss? I hate this bitch, and this nausea is not frakking helping.

    Deep breath Kiddo. Deep. Breath.

    Whatever. I'm heading for the driver's seat of the truck. At least then I can focus my attention on something other than how much my mother loves some stupid Candy bitch with a dumb frakking name.
  • Svenja rode back to the old flat so she could hop onto the bike, leaving your Ma in the truck with you. Your Ma's still in a good mood as you all start driving north, towards Salt. For a while, she hums one of Dad's lively tunes, a dance song, made to get the room up and moving. She misses a few of the words, though. She may not even realize the song is about you, Hump, and well, and Simon.

    "What's wrong, Kiddo?" Your Ma asks the question like she just now realized your sour mood. It's been what, an hour?

    What do you do?
  • Most people don't know who Dad's songs are about, and he writes 'em that way on purpose. It was one of the things he used to tell me growing up, "Kiddo, y'see, the best songs're the ones that sound like they mean a buncha shit when you give 'em a quick listen — somethin' folks can latch onto real quick in a bar when they're drunk, yeah? But you spend a li'l bit of time really listenin' to 'em 'n you start wonderin' what the frak the writer meant."

    I mean, Dad writes a song about someone "crying a river" and "dancin' 'til sunrise" — do you really think it's about dancing at a party? I mean, it has the line "baby needs sleep" for frak's sake... He used to sing it to us when we woke him up hungry in the middle of the night, usually because he didn't have any food for us — either Ma' would be out riding, or it was early in Boomtown's formative days and we just didn't have anything — so he'd dance with us instead. It's all about the way he sang it: it's a song about finding richness in poverty. It doesn't matter so much what treasures you find — just that you find it.

    Dad is a very rich man.

    I jerk out of my focus on the road when Ma' asks me what's wrong. I wasn't expecting her to notice at all... The worst part is I can't even frakking lie, 'cause she'll see through it. I should've just rode on the bike. I glace over at Ma' and bite my lip, "nothing... Just... Frakking..." You were happier to see a bitch who left you abandoned up north for a frakking year — when the Candies knew full frakking well you were riding into the den of a brainfrakker, and couldn't be frakking arsed to come and check on her frakking family, to make sure shit was OK or anything — than you were to see me?

    I mean I know they're old friends she hasn't seen in a year, and I know Ma' loves Gobstopper, but why the frakking display? Why for the Candies? Why her and not me? I sigh... Sorry Leah... "hormones... I guess..."
  • Your Ma looks at you, you feel it. Whether you look at her or not, you feel those dark eyes of hers boring into you. She knows you're lying. at best, a half truth, because hey, hormones could be a contributor.

    Even with the noise of the truck, bouncing along, you can hear that intake of breath, the quiet announcement that she's about to speak. "Yeah. Hormones are a bitch." The tone is sympathetic, maybe even a kind of camaraderie. She is pregnant, too.

    But she lets it slide, Kiddo. She doesn't challenge you, or ask anything more. She turns to look back at the dusty road ahead.

    What do you do?
  • Great. Now she knows I'm lying — sort of... 'cause knowing me, I probably am being frakking hormonal — and she's taking the frakking high road, now of all frakking times. I feel like a bitch.


    I swallow hard, and focus back on the road for a while. You're right about one thing though — Ma' is pregnant, and I don't wanna push her any more than she wants to push me... After a while, with a hint of defeat in my voice, I break the silence. "So I sold the loft and made a bunch of jingle... I got Dad a fiddle."

    Break the ice...
  • "A fiddle? Well, damn, Kiddo, that is great," your Ma answers with genuine enthusiasm. "He will love it! Hey, you remember that time when he made one, out of some cigar box and some strings from an old guitar?" She smiles and snickers a bit at the memory.

    How did that homemade fiddle sound to you?
  • I giggle and cringe visibly when she mentions the cigar box violin. Have you ever swung a cat in a wide arc by its tail? Steel guitar strings are not violin strings, and a woman's hair is not a good substitute for horse-hair. The box itself didn't actually sound that bad... It was just the strings that sounded like a dying plaguedog. "He was so proud of that thing... Gods — like a dog with a bone." I still get headaches just thinking about it.

    Speaking of which... I spin around to check and make sure Junker's still tied down to the handle under the window. I don't want him bolting while we drive... So long as he's comfy I guess...

    I turn back to the road, and try to get comfy again. "Did you ever figure out where he buried that thing after Ruthie broke it?"
  • Zero laughs at that memory. She hated that fiddle, and told him often. She liked pretty much anything he did, but that fiddle. That was an exception.

    "I did. I dug up the yard until I did. Then Ruth and I doused it with grain alcohol and burned it to the Hells of the Dead Goddess." She laughs in memory. Then, she adds, "We finished off the bottle, and ended up getting frisky with the ashes. Which sounds weird now, but it was pretty frakking hot back then."

    Does your mom talk about sex with Ruth? Or is this a new thing? Ruth talked about sex with her, right?
  • I know things about my Ma' I wish I could forget thanks to Ruthie... Ma' talked about it with me a few times, but Ruthie likes to brag... She was into some freaky shit. I mean, Vee calling me Momma in the throws of passion is freaky too – maybe not "I frakked you with the ashes of a burnt violin marinated in the tears of my husband" freaky, but freaky none the less. It still isn't the worst thing Ruthie told me about their sex life... If I turned this into a competition of "freakiest frak", I'd lose.

    Ruthie would have rode north after Ma' and Dad in a heartbeat...

    Ma' on the other hand didn't really talk about her sex life – explicitly – with Ruthie or Dad. Sure, it gets mentioned from time to time, but that was a bit more open than Ma' usually is. I look over to her, my face painted with a mixture of surprise and curiosity, "That's... Pretty frakking weird. I'm not judging or nothing — I mean, Rinso and me have done some frakked up shit too," the wrapped hilt of his knife is ribbed, and I was having trouble napping on the road from Trench to Armour when we were guarding Kodak's caravan, "I'm just saying is all."

    See I can understand why Ma' hated the fiddle — but Dad wasn't a bad fiddle player — he just played a bad fiddle. "Why don't you give him the fiddle, Ma? It'd mean more coming from you."
  • When you call her sex story weird, your Ma shrugs, like, yeah, it's weird, but I value every moment Ruth and I had kind of thing. It doesn't offend her. She did call it weird first.

    On the offer of the fiddle, your Ma shakes her head no in a very certain fashion, "Nope, Kiddo. That's your gift, from daughter to father. I would have never thought of it looking at a pile of stuff. You give it to him."
  • Good. I didn't mean to offend her – just agree that it's a freaky thing to do. You don't really control your kinks, y'know? Gods know... The shit Vee and me have done...

    Anyway... I frown when she turns down the opportunity to give the Violin to Dad. I won't make her do it. I just thought it might be a good way to make him feel better about us leaving the day after he gets out of the infirmary. I nod sheepishly, and slip a strand of hair behind my ear.

    "So are you looking forward to seeing Simon again?"
  • "It's been too long," your mother answers reflexively. She stares at the dashboard for a bit.

    "Did your Dad ever tell you how he died?" your Ma asks in a suddenly quiet voice.
  • I offer a shaky nod, not really taking my eyes off the road, "he said there was an accident when you were pregnant with him, but before either of you knew. I just remember you coming to get me that night... I remember you guys being really quiet, and Dad being really huggy..."

    It was a long frakking time ago... After a second I ask, "what happened?"
  • edited January 2014
    She hesitates, something your Ma rarely does, and never when it's just words. "I'd missed my time a couple weeks earlier. It was my second kid, so I... I had a feeling. I didn't know , but well... I was stupid, let's say that. Hunk was pissed at Fox, asked me to fight her, offered me VP. I did. I lost. Simon died.... my fault." She keeps staring at the dashboard for a bit, then looks over at you.

    What do you do?
  • edited January 2014
    Hunk was a stupid frakking bitch if she wanted to put anyone in Fox's path... That woman was a frakking hurricane of hurt when she wanted to be, and I'm surprised Ma's even alive. I listen quietly, feeling more than a little guilty myself... I mean, I was shot at two times while I knew I was pregnant with Leah.


    I was almost blown up, for frak's sake. I did it 'cause Ma' and Dad were in danger — and maybe I didn't really know what was going on, or maybe I was just being stupid, but I wouldn't do that now... If I lost Leah now... Never be able to meet her, and hold her... I let a tear stroll down my cheek. Oh gods... I can't imagine that kind of pain... My hand wanders down to my belly instinctively, and my heart is pounding like jackhammer.

    Dad kept telling me it was nobody's fault, and I believed him for a long frakking time. If I lost Leah, maybe it wouldn't be anyone's fault — but even if I didn't blame myself, it would still just. frakking. hurt.

    I blink a few times and wipe the moisture from my cheek, clearing my throat. "Is that why Ruthie and Dad shadowed you when you were pregnant with Hump and Vicky?"
  • "Yeah." She replies quietly.
  • Ruthie once threatened to beat the ever-loving crap out of a man that eyed Ma' when she was pregnant with Vicky. It was a mad-dog, shit storm of a threat that came out of left field to me at the time. Even I knew he was just checking her out, but Ruthie almost bit his head off. I don't think I've ever seen a grown man cry that much... This kinda puts things into perspective...

    I take a deep breath, rolling my shoulders to get some tension out, and look over to her for a second to see how she's doing... "Well," I whisper back, a little sniffly, "we'll be there in less than a day if we make good time." I wipe my nose on my jacket sleeve, and add, "gods know I've frakked up these past couple of months Ma' — doing shit that might've got Leah and me both killed. I dunno what it is you went through... I can't imagine doing it — but if you need to talk about it, or whatever, y'know I'm here for you, right?"
  • She turns her head and looks at you for a bit, not answering. "That's alright, Kiddo. I'm all talked out about it. It's just an empty hole in my heart, is all. It's a rough world, sometimes drek comes back to bite you."

    With a somewhat tentative movement, she reaches over to touch your forearm. At first, like you might be hot to the touch or something. But then, she gently rubs it, offers you a bit of a sad smile.
  • I nod. I totally get why she wouldn't wanna talk about it... The risks you take in life, you try and tell yourself you can live with the fallout — but sometimes you can't. I would never forgive myself if something happened to Leah.


    I offer Ma' a weak smile back and turn my focus back to the road. "Ok," I finally whisper.
  • --END SCENE--
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