[Junk XIII] False Labor (K 9-3)

edited February 2014 in Junkworld XIII

Over ten weeks have passed since you returned to the Ascendant. Life has settled into a pattern for you and your family. Topps left for Salt with Cheetos six weeks ago, broke Hump's heart. Even telling him that you're coming back to live in Salt wasn't quite enough.

Rinso is still working at the infirmary, he's needed there. Stitch personally asked him to stay, at least until you all leave for Salt. Instead of letting it wear on him, Rinso's been trying to learn enough to be able to set up a clinic in Salt. He knows he's no doctor, but as he sees it, some first aid and care is better than nothing. He jokes that being around you and Zero, he just need to know how to remove bullets. Of course, he doesn't laugh at the joke after he makes it. Because it's more true than not.

But you've been good lately, right? Running gigs more carefully, keeping yourself safe at home while making deals. Why don't you roll that Moonlighting for me?

VB has been working odd hours at Chefs, learning all the cooking tips and tricks she can from Barilla. She hasn't told her boss that she's going to be leaving very soon. She is worried that Barilla will expect competition, which Vee thinks is stupid since Salt is hundreds of klicks away.

Ollie has started playing for jingle again, working for Proper's shows and also playing for tips at Chefs sometimes. Your Ma has been antsy, training the North Candies and spending time with them in the clubhouse. Gob stuck around, while the rest of the OG Candies went south. Zagnut left with them.

Right now, you're being wheeled out of Stitch's infirmary. It's early, early morning. You were just discharged after a day of tests after some false labor. Who's pushing your chair, Kiddo?

Stitch is very worried about the pregnancy. She hasn't said so, other than to increase the frequency of your appointments, but you know her.

When was the last time you checked on the Big Rock refugees?

What do you do?


  • OOC: Moonlighting. No Obligation gigs, working everything else.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 4, 1. Total: 8)
  • OOC: And by "everything else" I mean the 2-juggling I apparently have... "Brokering Deals" and "Companionship" — let's say Brokering deals worked (for 1-barter) and Enforcement blew up (Overthrown).

    So Star and me kinda had a bit of a fight a few days ago — it wasn't a "fight", like we screamed and yelled at each other, so much that she insisted I stop pushing myself so hard, and that I should be focusing on Leah. I kinda knew she was right, and Stitch is the one who told me to start taking it easy, but I've been going stir-crazy up in my apartment... I wanted to do something for a change, and it kinda blew up in my face. Star told me I could start working again when I didn't look like a gods damned wrecking ball. Ma' brought me back up to the room, trying to calm me down, but ... well ... stress apparently brings on false labor.


    I had more wires, scans, blood-samples, and IV's hooked up to me than a normal person should in a day. Stitch was very hands off with the pregnancy until now — but Leah being hooked up to a heart monitor kinda let me know what's up. I'm spooked — like, really spooked. That Cherry hasn't shown her face yet just spooks me even more. Stitch keeps telling me not to worry, but how can I not frakking worry? This is my baby! She wants to know every single thing that Leah does from the occasional stretch down to every beat of her heart. Ma' never had this...

    Speaking of Ma — she's the one pushing my chair right now... Vee's working, and I made Rinso promise he'd get some shut eye before his shift. She just sent Hump to fetch Dad from work to watch me. I'm down to checking on the Big Rock clan once a week, but today was the day I was supposed to check in on them... I doubt Ma's going to let me do that.
  • "Well, Kiddo, think Leah will nap now?" you Ma takes you right to the edge of the infirmary, walks around to help you out of the wheelchair. You head to the lift. She looks tired, probably cranky, but she's managing a smile out of this.

    You think maybe she likes seeing you go through this.
  • I could probably use a nap myself, honestly — I had a really hard time sleeping last night with all the beeping from that frakking machine I was hooked up to. Fortunately for her, I'm not in the mood to go challenging anyone. If Leah's going to give me contractions when I get stressed out, then I don't wanna fight with anyone...

    The question is, what the frak do I do now? I've already organized the apartment 20 times over, cleaned it from top to bottom, locked up all the guns, washed all the linens, and fixed all the broken baby stuff... I nap more hours in the day than I'm awake, I eat more food than Rinnie and Vee combined, and move slower than molasses in the dead of Winter...

    "Yeah," I nod back, "thanks for being here Ma'." I wobbily take her hand and push myself out of the chair. "You heading back to the room too?"
  • "Yeah. Junior's being a real asshole today." She says as the lift arrives. Doors open and she walks in, hitting the button for deck eleven.

    "Kiddo," you Ma asks, not looking at you. "You ready to leave this place? Being on Council has gotten you lots of perks. Almost like life on the Pods. You still want Salt?"
  • Even I'll admit that I don't really wanna leave the Ascendant right now... Given that I just spent a night in the hospital nervous as all frak about Leah, I'd say I wanna be as close to a good doctor until I'm sure everything's going to be alright. But do I want to live in the Ascendant forever? No. I was serious about wanting a big place to myself. Somewhere out of the way where Rinnie and Vee and me can raise Leah, and whoever else might come along, with family and friends... Salt is growing. I could help it grow.

    "Yeah, I do," I turn to her, my voice quiet, "this place has been good to me, and all that, but I didn't learn how to be this way 'cause I grew up in the Pods... Look at how much Omo struggles with her girls. Look at what she's had to do to keep them fed... I learned how to live out there in places like Salt. I want that for Leah." I look down to her belly and brush some dirt off her shirt, "and if any little brother of mine is giving my Ma' shit, then he's gunna have to answer to his big sister."
  • Zero chuckles. "Frak, Kiddo, you're such a softie. He'd piss on you and you'd just laugh it off." The lift opens and she starts walking towards the flat, waiting for you to join her. "Are you sure you don't want the Candies to take Cherry out? We can raise that little girl just fine. You know that bitch is just biding her time."
  • I seem to recall a time when I tickled Hump so much he pissed himself — but Ma's right... I probably would just laugh it off. I'm a little slow to get moving when the lift doors open, but I do join her. "She probably expects us to try... I wish I knew what she was up to. If she's just sitting there waiting for the perfect opportunity to frak with our lives, then I'd send that bitch a frakking lesson — but her kid's not frakking dumb. Knowing Cherry, she's probably telling that little girl lies right now about us."
  • Your Ma gives a curt nod, then starts to punch in the codes to the door keypad, "Which is why we should take her out now, before she poisons that little kid against us even worse."

    The door slides open and you hear sad guitar music strums. Acoustic. Mournful and lonely. It's Hump.

    Your Ma frowns, then shakes her head and rolls her eyes. She waits for you to walk in ahead of her.
  • Before she opens the door I ask, "can we at least find out where she is? We're on our turf now, right? Maybe force her hand to come and talk to Rinso?"

    The door slides open and I'm kinda surprised to hear the guitar sounding so sad — but I spot Hump, and I purse my lips into a concerned frown. It ended between Hump and Topps so quickly — it just didn't make sense... I guess teenage shit doesn't normally make sense like that. I can kinda attest to that.

    I waddle my way over to Hump and brush some hair behind his ear in a "motherly" kinda way. "Hey Hump," I whisper as I make my way over to the chair next to him, "still heartbroken I see?"
  • Your Ma answers about Cherry, "The bitch wormed her way into the Ascendant a couple days ago, even though I had Candies keeping her ass outside. Not sure who she blew to get in."

    Inside, you catch your brother, who is lazily sitting and playing his tune. He stops when you ask if he's heartbroken. "Yeah." And that's it, the whole answer. He starts strumming again.
  • I make a sympathetic pouty face for Hump's broken heart, and rub his bicep. Then I look over to Ma', "maybe if she picked a fight with a Candy... Like, full on instigated something, it'd make things easier. I wish we could find a way to get under her skin without hurting Rinna... Can some of the girls take Rinso down to meet her? Rinso won't cave to her demands, but I think he's our only chip in this pot."

    I watch Hump play his song... For better or worse, I've been the closest thing to a Mom he's had since Ma' and Dad got stuck up here. I know this is all B.S. teenage shit to Ma', but I don't like seeing Hump this way.
  • Your Ma answers, sort of over Hump's playing like it's in the way, "Gob's down for it. Itching for some way to help out." She looks at you, "You okay with that?"
  • edited February 2014
    My eyes narrow at the mention of her name, but the usual vitriolic thoughts are muted slightly by the way she had my back in Oliver's... I click my jaw once in contemplation, then nod. "Fine. I don't get that chick, but whatever... If it helps her feel useful." She'd better not frak up... The mere thought of the consequences Cherry would bring down on us for frakking this up don't make the potential for a rewarding "I told you so" worth it. "So long as she can keep Rinso safe."

    I wanna be there for that... I wanna be there for him. A crack shows in my armor. "Could you bring him up here first? I just wanna talk to him first... Remind him we're here for him."

    ... And that I love him.
  • Your Ma nods, "Yeah, I'll grab him. Just... get some sleep, yeah?" She heads back out.

    Hump keeps playing, a mournful ballad for his lost love. His first love, his Topps.

    Anything you do while waiting?
  • Yeah, like I can sleep when I'm bloated like a whale with my heart up in my throat. I nod anyway... I guess I can try. Frankly I just want Leah out of me at this point.

    Once she's gone, I reach over and gently stroke Hump's arm, "sweetie... How are you gunna cope when we move down to Salt?"
  • Hump looks up at you, stops playing. "I don't know i I wanna go. I'd hafta see her every day, Kiddo. It's bad enough, thinkin. But seein her, watch her go on about her day. Without me... I dunno, maybe I'll stay here. Or somethin." He doesn't want to stay here, he's just sad. You know that.
  • OOC: Reading Hump. Roll+Sharp. +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 6, 5. Total: 14)
  • I sigh and look him square in the eyes, "Hump... We both know you don't wanna stay here. Family is important to both of us, and when there's no family here, you're gunna be miserable." I shift slightly to keep my leg from falling asleep... It won't work. "Hell, I was miserable just spending a few weeks without Vee and Rinnie down south... What's really the problem here? Why did you guys break it off?"

    OOC: Holding 3, Spending 1: Why did this relationship really end?
  • Humphrey looks at you, sort of turns to push a knee up on his chair to support the guitar and squares up. "Her dad died cause she came up here. She can't get over it, Kiddo. She just wants to forget me. She feels guilty for wanting to see me, and I... I don't know how the frak to fix that!"
  • My jaw drops in disbelief, and I stop stroking his arm momentarily — but I squeeze his bicep, and tell him to inch closer. Well, I liked Topps... That's a real bitch thing to do though — blame someone for the death of their parents 'cause you wanted to see them? That's not fair to anybody.

    "I'm so sorry, sweetie," I whisper, "that's really not fair. I don't know how to fix that either... It's clearly not your fault though. You know that, right? Nobody could help KellyTires getting sick... It's a risk you take travelling out there on the road. Hell, anyone could get sick at any minute." I lean over to try and kiss his temple, "do you want to fix that?"
  • Hump shrugs, helplessly. "Yeah? She's the only girl for me, Kiddo. She's my everything. I'm just torn up and worn through like an old jeans pocket on my own."
  • Why do I get the impression he's going to put that in the song? It makes me smirk... Dad used to bounce lyrics off folks like that too. "Awe, sweetie..." I can't help but think about Kodak, and how he was still hung up over me when I visited down in Boomtown... We all make mistakes when it comes to other people's hearts, but there's no reason you should stay stuck on someone forever.

    I could go chat with Topps, but I'm not sure it would do much good right now... I think she's looking for excuses to get away from my brother. 'Course it won't frakking matter when we move down there, but they're both gunna have to grow up at some point — and if that means co-existing without co-habitation, then that's what they're gunna have to do. "C'mere," I whisper, holding my hands out asking for help getting up, "help me up. Tell your big sis what you need."

    OOC: Hold 2: What does Hump need to hear to move forward — one way or the other.
  • Hump lays his guitar down with quick, sure hands and hops up to help you stand. He's strong for such a skinny guy. Not Rinso strong, but still, not a slouch.

    He looks down at you when you stand and shakes his head, "Oh, I dunno, Kiddo. Just let me work through. Dad's already told me to just play, ya know? Been writin a song... it's better'n the last one."

    What was his last song and why did it suck so bad?

    Hump needs to know his pathos can be fueled into something, like your Dad does. If he can make a song that means something to him and others, he'd feel less useless and lost.
  • Oh gods... We don't talk about "Good times" anymore. You know when you go digging through old music, and there's that period of time from the old world where all music used the same chord progression? And they all used the same beat, and borrowed the same lyrics, and some even stole blatantly from each other? Well, Hump wrote something like that. It's catchy as all frak, and more vapid than an early Beatles song. It's not even good catchy — just a bad song that gets stuck in your ear forever.

    I pull him into a hug, probably an uncomfortable one given that Leah's in the way, and kiss his cheek, "it is better than the last one!" I whisper back, "You're so in tune with folks, Hump... You feel things so intensely. If you just write what you're feeling, I know you'll make something awesome from it. You just gotta make it sound how you feel, then say what you need to say." I smile, "that'll mean something to a lot of folks."
  • Hump looks at you, all hopeful for a flicker. What you said, it means something to him.

    The door chimes and opens. Rinso comes in, wearing scrubs. "Hey Kiddo," He comes forward, concerned eyes, but tired. He was about to go back to work, looks like.
  • I smile over at Rinso and raise a finger to hold him a second before looking back to Hump. "Just remember sweetie — what you had with Topps? That meant something. It'll always mean something, even if it hurts now. Don't forget it, or you won't learn from it." I give him another peck on the cheek, then waddle my way over to Rinso.

    "I'm sorry baby, you look so tired..." I give him a hug and a kiss, then pull him over to the bed. "I promised Ma' I'd take a nap, so I won't keep you — but I just wanted to let you know that Gobstopper is going to take you down to see Cherry today. Apparently she snuck her way into the Ascendant a while back, and she's been biding her time... I want this bullshit over with, OK? I want you to stay safe, and remember that your family loves you no matter what. Just ... don't let Cherry get the better of you, OK? I wish more than anything I could be down there with you."
  • Rinso follows you over to the bed, but he doesn't join you. He smiles when you make like you're coming onto him, and says, "First of all, Kiddo, get some sleep. If your Ma walks in on us after last night, I'll help her kick my ass." He chuckles.

    He kisses you softly, like you're a wonderfully fragile doll. His doll. "I will go see Cherry with your frakkin escort. Although, if it's Gob, then it's Zero's, isn't it?" He laughs, not worried. "I got this. I made my one frak-up, babe."
  • Nothing about the way I move right now screams "sexy" ... At least not to me ... I waddle like a penguin, take up more room than a walrus, and can't be arsed to do much with myself in the way of makeup these days... Vee's been good to me though, so I guess I might look good, sometimes, with a bit of luck. It's sweet that he thought I was coming on to him though...

    I purse my lips when he calls Gob Ma's escort, and laughs off Cherry... "She's dangerous, Rinnie... You're sure you're good? I can get Vee, or maybe one of Star's girls to go with you if you want..."
  • Rinso raises a single eye brow, in his patented are you seriously asking me that? was and pats your belly lightly. "I got this, babe. Cherry showed me lots of things. But I've picked up a few tricks of my own. And she's the worst liar I know. I'll be back soon, okay?" He leans down and gives you a sweet kiss, then pulls a blanket up over you, rucking you in, not unlike how your Dad used to do it.

    "I love you, Kiddo." Rinso says before he goes.
  • ... Damn it Rinso, you had better come back to me... I roll over onto my side, and try to get comfortable with the extra pillows Vee got me. Sleeping is such a frakking chore. I purr when he kisses me, and answer, "I love you too, baby," as he heads out the door.

    I don't know how well I'll sleep, though... That bitch had better not lay a finger on my man.
  • You are exhausted enough to not so much sleep as pass out.

    Not sure how much time passes, but you're woken when someone slips in behind you, thin fingers and a trim body smelling of food (that makes you a little hungry, in fact). "Hey Momma," VB murmurs into your neck as she snuggles up.

    "Came by on lunch. Wanted to check on my sweetness."
  • I'm so tired I didn't even hear her come in... I groggily open my eyes, and smirk a lazy smile as she nuzzles my neck, "Mmm... Hey Hon." I've given up on rolling over once I'm laying down... I'm just too comfortable, and moving is a frakking chore; but if she had some of whatever she was cooking, well, that would be a different story! "Doc Stitch said I need to sleep more," I mumble, "she said I need to relax."

    Fat chance of that happening.
  • VB gently massages your neck, little circles of delight. "I shouldn't have woken you up, Momma," she whispers into the back of your ear. "Why don't you relax? I'll just help you do that." Then she's working at your back, finding little spots of tension, working out the kinks.
  • I can't focus when she rubs me like that, so it takes me way too long to ask, "did Rinso come back yet? Gob was going to bring him to see Cherry's little girl."
  • The massages stop. "What?!? No, I haven't seen Rinnie today." There's a tinge of worry in her voice. "I'll go check the infirmary, then work my way down. I think I know where Cherry was staying." She totally knows.

    She rises from the bed, "I'll go find him, Momma. You just get some rest." She's trying to sound casual, failing. She's worried, like you.
  • I grab her arm as she rises from the bed, "Wait, you know where Cherry is staying? Vee, please... I don't trust her. I need to know Rinso's OK. Please tell me where she is."
  • VB exhales once through her nose, like she doesn't want to tell you, because then you're going to come with her, and she's already hating herself for being so transparent. "She hooked up with Santi's crew, she's staying down there on her level."

    Then, in some hope of distracting you, she leans down to plan a nice wet kiss on your lips, and well, tongue probing in your mouth, hand in your hair kind of thing. She draws back, "Don't come with me, ok?"
  • This woman is trying to distract me — and if not for the fact that I'm too anxious to be turned on right now, it would be working. I take a deep breath, and plead with her. "Vee... I can't just sit here and let the two people I love walk into the hands of the second most dangerous woman who left the Valley! Please... I just need to make sure you two are OK."
  • Let's see you Manipulate her so you can tag along.
  • OOC: Manipulating Vee. Roll+Cool* (Easy to Trust). +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 5, 1. Total: 9)
  • VB sighs, defeated. "I can't say no to that pretty face... dammit."

    She starts helping you up, "Only if we stop by and pick up Venger. She should be at the Clubhouse, and we might need backup."
  • edited February 2014
    I can accept those terms — Svenja knows what's up. I nod and wiggle myself over to the edge of the bed, so she can better help me up. "Thanks Hon," I huff as I rise. Then I give her a hug before grabbing my pack, and the boomstick.
  • VB makes a "hmmm" noise during the hug. I assume you're worried enough to skip a shower, and VB seems not to mind and be in a bit of a hurry.

    Let's skip ahead to the Candy Bar Clubhouse.

    The pair of you come out of the lift and head over to the section of the deck where the Candies reside. You find Chunky and Payday sitting on the couch in the front lounge, with Goodbar sitting at the table munching on some cereal. Chunky is sitting on Payday's lap and the two of them canoodling. Goodbar sees you enter before they do, and she pointedly rolls her eyes before asking, "Yo, bitches! What's up?"
  • Yeah skipping a shower is kind of required here, especially since they've been gone for so long. I bite my lip when I spot Goodbar's eyes roll, but I try and keep it composed... I've got to stay focused. Rinso is the priority here. "Hey Goodbar, is uh..." Oh frak... What do they call Svenja here? "Skybar? Svenja? Is she here?"
  • Goodbar nods, like that's her whole answer, but Chunky pecks Payday on the cheek (who is not wearing the scarf, by the by), and hops up, "Hey, you two. Sky's prolly cleaning her guns back here. C'mon, I'll show ya."

    She prances ahead of you, practically skipping into the main sleeping area, where a few Candies are passed out in cots. Then, she heads into a storage room where, sure enough, you see Svenja sitting at a work table. She's cleaning what looks like all the guns.

    Svenja looks up, "Yo, Kiddo. Hey, VeeBee."

    VB says with a grin, "Hey, Venger. We need an escort, should be easy peasey. I'll cook you a week's worth of meals if it is. If it gets violent, well, what's the going rate?"

    Svenja looks to VB, then to you, "One time deal, a barter. What's the deal, Kiddo? Is this about Cherry and her kid?"
  • Frakking everybody knows about this! Whatever. I nod, "yeah. Rinso's down there with her and Gobstopper... Ma' insisted she'd get the job done, but it's been a while and he's not back yet." I bounce my pack to show I've got jingle on me — which makes for a rather uncomfortable feeling, given my current size — and point back to the door, "I really can't get caught out here, or Stitch is going to have my ass... Can we make this quick?"
  • Svenja nods, putting her tools away, "Yeah, Gob mentioned it when she headed out with your Ma." Svenja puts a magnum in a holster and pulls up a rifle and slings it over her shoulder, then heads out with you, saying along the way, "Don't you worry about Stitch. I'll put her in her place, if we need to. But we should hustle anyways."

    Anything to do before you meet up with where VB thinks Cherry is?
  • I nod in agreement when Svenja when she tells us to Hustle. I'm not much in the way of hustling right now, but I'll go as fast as my swollen legs will carry me. I'm good to go straight there.
  • Cool, we skip ahead some more, then.

    You come out of the lift at The Bay, which is busy, even in the chilly afternoon. There's some snow on the ramp down to the refugees' dwellings, must be bitter cold out there. A combination of Candies and a mix of Nezzy's other forces keep vigil on the market.

    Of course, some people see you and wave. You're the heroine of The Bay, you saved people's lives during the massacre. A mother points you out to her two kids. A merchant comes up to hand you a sweet-stick, insisting you take it.

    What do you do about all this?
  • Yeah... I'm not really used to being touted like a frakking heroine. I mean, I'm more than happy to say hi to folks, and stuff, but I'm not really into the whole "look at Kiddo" and "take a freebie" thing... I mean, Dad always said "never turn down a token of appreciation, Kiddo," so I don't turn down the sweet-stick, and I wave back to the people who waved at me.

    I don't wanna draw attention to myself though... Especially considering I don't wanna be down here any longer than I have to. Rinso is the priority.
  • You make your way through The Bay without any trouble. Just a few fans. Svenja has a wry smile on her face, she thinks it's crazy. VB looks all proud to be on your arm. Her eyes shine when she looks up at you.

    The three of you work your way into the guard quarters. Lots of these guys know Svenja, many of them recognize you, and of course they know VB. A few catcalls, some jokes and the like from men and women in their quarters killing time, working on stuff, working out, whatever.

    Then, you reach the door where Svenja says, "Cherry's been shacked up in here. With Santi. Not romantic or anything. But they're old friends or some shit. S'what I heard."

    What do you do?
  • I'm already a little flush from all the attention just getting here, but Vee looking up at me like I'm some kind of idol or something... I dunno... I could use some of that snow to stop blushing, I guess. I ignore the cat-calls and jokes from the peanut gallery as we approach Santi's door.

    Cherry and Santi are friends. Fantastic. All I needed was the bitch in charge of security, with a she-boner for the skeeziest frakker in the entire hold, to be friends with someone I may need to put a shotgun shell into. I nod to Svenja, and knock at the door.
  • edited February 2014
    "It's open!" Santiba yells. Sure enough, the door is unlocked.

    Inside is, of course, Santiba. She's sitting on a push leather couch, smoking from a hooka, relaxed as all hell. Cherry is on the other side of the couch, elbows on knees, watching what's going on in front of her on the floor.

    Rinna and Rinso are both on their bellies, playing with some small plastic toys. The girl's eyes are bright with wonder, and Rinso is laughing quietly while he makes some weird buzzing noise, pushing around a train of plastic blocks. He's so engrossed he hasn't noticed you're here.

    Gobstopper is hanging back, leaning against a wall, one foot planted on the wall. She catches your eye, gives you a nod of greeting.

    Cherry looks up, and you caught a look of joy in her eyes before she sees it's you. Then, it evaporates, and she sits back, probably reaching for a gun in the couch cushions.

    What do you do?
  • edited February 2014
    This room, and the frakking smell of that hookah evoke a strong sense of desperation in me. It reminds me of that first meeting I had with Nezzy almost six months ago, where I was all but begging to see my parents. This time, I've come here begging for Rinso — and yet again, I find myself at a disadvantage.

    I quickly run my eyes around the room, taking in every corner... Santi and Cherry on the couch, Gob in the corner... Rinnie and Rinsa on the floor. My eyes linger there a second too long. Gods... I can't help but smile at the sight of that. I knew he would see himself in her. There's no denying that Rinnie is that girl's father — and he is an amazing Dad. The thought is bittersweet, though: I spot Cherry slipping her hand back into the couch, no doubt to find the gun she's hidden there as a contingency plan.

    She really thinks I'd come down here, and kill her in front of her frakking child. She is frakking insane.

    I swallow hard, and hold up the sugar stick I got on the walk over here — a gesture of peace. "I come bearing gifts," I say softly, doing my best not to seem confrontational. Clutch your frakking gun like a safety blanket, bitch — but if you draw it, I swear to frak I will end you first.
  • Alright, Kiddo. I'd like to see you Manipulate your way into this peacefully. Your leverage is the gift, the tone, and the fact you've been real straight up with Cherry. To a logical person, you're making a real effort here, there's no denying it.

    Let's see if the dice agree with you.
  • OOC: Manipulating Cherry. Roll+Cool* (Easy to Trust). +1XP, advanced.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 4, 6. Total: 13)
  • edited February 2014
    OOC: That was certainly unexpected... Let's go with:
    • ally: guardian (impulse: to intercept danger)
  • Cherry looks at you for a moment, then pulls her hand back to her lap and sits back. "Go ahead, Rinsa. Take the gift from..." She swallows, looks at you for a moment, back to her daughter, "Auntie Kiddo."

    Rinsa looks up with those dark eyes, wide with excitement at, well, let's be honest, at the sweet-stick. It's a spiral of confection on a stick, every kid's dream. Rinso rolls over, his smile worn into his face like his muscles might hurt from holding it as long as he has. He looks up at you, then back at her, his own daughter. He's in pure heaven, and you know you're part of his heaven, Kiddo.
  • Auntie Kiddo? ... Forgive me if I'm not entirely convinced she's being honest. At least she's not pulling a gun on me though.

    I smile down at Rinsa and waddle my way over to her, slowly squatting down to her level, and holding the sugar stick out for her to take. "Here you go sweetie," I whisper calmly, my eyes only occasionally flickering over to Cherry in disbelief. I'm trying to focus on Rinsa though... She's the only reason I even let this happen.

    I look over to Rinso, a nervous smile lifting the corner of my mouth, and I brush his hand, "hey you."
  • "Fank you." Rinsa answers in this tiny, incredibly unrehearsed voice. She proceeds to take the sweet-stick and amble over to her mom and lick it, standing in front of her. After a moment, she offers it to her mom for a lick. Cherry declines.

    Rinso sits up on his knees, watches his daughter for a bit, like his eyes are drawn to her. When you say hey, he looks over at you. He swallows, like it's hard for him to talk. His voice breaks a tiny bit when he responds, "Hey baby. She's..." he looks back over at Rinsa, doesn't finish the thought. He doesn't have to, right?

    Cherry musses Rinsa's hair as she eats the stick, then looks to you, "Hey. Were you afraid I'd steal him away or something?"
  • "You're welcome," I answer cheerily, with a lump in my throat, as she ambles over to Cherry. My eyes follow her over before I look back to Rinso. She's... Mine? Beautiful? Sweet? I don't get a chance to finish listing the things I'm sure Rinsa is to him before Cherry interrupts.

    Was I afraid she'd steal him? No. I was afraid she'd shoot him — but this? This is more what I expected. "No... I know Rinnie. I knew the minute he saw her he'd be completely lost in his own little world with her — and that I'd have to come down here to remind him he's gotta get back to work eventually." It's sweet to see this side of him — kind of a relief, honestly — but now we're back to exactly what I was afraid of: Rinnie's got his daughter — sure I'm a part of "that heaven", I'm apparently "Auntie Kiddo" — but "Auntie Kiddo" is about to be a Mommy too. How does this all fit together?

    Does it even fit together?
  • "Kiddo, can we chat, just me and you?" Cherry asks suddenly, her hand still laced in her daughter's hair. She flicks glances at everyone crowded in here, like she'd like to take a walk.
  • Walking is kind of a chore — I'm already regretting squatting down here, to be honest — and I can think of two people off the top of my head who might object to me saying this... "Sure." I look to Vee for help getting up.
  • VB makes a displeased noise in the base of her throat, but she won't make you look bad by saying no. Her eyes beg you to stay safe. She pulls you up and runs fingers along your forearm, to your elbow. Then she impulsively kisses your cheek.

    Rinso rolls like he's going to get up, but Cherry says, "I give my word I won't touch a hair on Kiddo's head. Rinso, I swear it on Ace's grave." Rinso swallows, like that's something serious and nods. He hops up to walk over to his daughter.

    Cherry heads to the door, waits for you. You two walk slowly back through the halls, Cherry beside you. "We need to work this out, Kiddo. I'm not leaving the Ascendant as long as Rinso's here. I like it here, actually. It reminds me of the Pods."
  • I don't blame her... If not for the audience here, I would give Vee so much more than a peck on the cheek. I stand up straight and follow Cherry out of the room. She swears she won't touch me... Great. It's a good thing Cherry's never lied to Rinso or anything. Now if she throws down, and I manage to walk away, he'll blame me. I guess I might as well see what this is all about.

    I hate walking. My back, ankles, and feet are all sore — and in some parts, swollen — and I'm really not supposed to be on my feet. Maybe that's why I'm so eager to just get this done. "Well," I answer quietly, "the way I see it, that's either a problem, or a solution. It's a problem, because I was hoping to move down south to Salt with my family after my baby girl is born — but it could be a solution, because Rinsa gets to see her Daddy if you're willing to move around... I've already told Rinso that I'm not going to force him to chose between his daughters — but I really can't live here long term. Too much tragedy has happened here."
  • Cherry doesn't quite get the "too much tragedy" bit, you can see the disbelief on her face. "Best doctor on the planet, power, water, food. Technology, security, even rumors of a school. Frak tragedy, this would be good for your baby, Kiddo. Rinsa, too." She stops when you reach The Bay, "Tragedy isn't a place, it's a state of mind. If it bothers you, it will always bother you."
  • My face is stern, but not confrontational, "my father was kept here, barely surviving lung cancer, in solitary confinement, for a full year by that asshole Branigans — who all the while had brainfrakked my Ma' into believing that Branigans was my dad, and my Dad was Branigans. I lost my Gramma here, and got shot twice trying to save my family. I blew up a frakking nuke to keep this place safe. I have sacrificed more for the Ascendant than some people who lived here under Branigans — and calling that loss a state of mind belittles what I've been through." I take a deep breath, and stop to hold on to the wall. Frak walking.

    I soften my expression, "The rumors of the school are because Vee and me have been lobbying hard with Nezzy against the council for a stronger community. I brought the doctor here, and the security, and the men who fixed the water after a cult blew it up." I pause, "The Ascendant was an opportunity that was being squandered before I showed up — but everything is an opportunity, and there'll be opportunities like it elsewhere, and I want my little girl to know how to find them, and make use of them. That won't happen in here, where life is comfortable — it's going to happen out there." I gesture vaguely in the direction of the outer hull, which really could be considered anywhere from here, "I'm going to do my damnedest to make sure my little girl gets everything she needs to thrive — schooling, a good doctor, a family that loves her — but I don't need to be here to give her that. Don't you want that for Rinsa too?"
  • When you berate Cherry's poor choice of words, her mouth twists up, but she doesn't defend herself. Seems like she meant her little promise, maybe?

    When you switch up on her, start talking about what you want for your little girl, and out of nowhere, you see this crack, a fissure in her normal sour disposition. She swallows, and like someone flipped a switch, her eyes mist up. She nods, taking a deep breath to calm herself.

    Cherry puts her right hand on her forehead, like she's suddenly rubbing it for some reason, but you realize she's trying to draw focus away from her sudden and definite emotional response. She doesn't speak for a bit. Then, when the silence grows too long, she answers, "Kiddo..." Her voice breaks a little, she sniffs, looks at, of all things, your belly, not your face. "I haven't done anything like you, Kiddo. All I've done is destroy and take lives for jingle."

    She finally meets your eyes for a wavering moment, "I don't want anything for me, alright? It's... it's all for her. Whatever it takes. I want it all for her. I thought I could give it to her by myself. But I. I can't. I just want her to be happy. To grow up." A few tears spill out of her eyes. "If she didn't hate her momma, that'd be a bonus."
  • I... I don't know what to say. I'm at a real loss for words here.

    OOC: Reading Cherry, Roll+Sharp. +1XP.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 1, 4. Total: 8)
  • OOC: What does Cherry wish I'd do?
  • She'll collect herself quick. Right now, letting her be vulnerable after holding this in for far too long, that's what she needs.

    She wishes you'd hug her, hold her close like Ace did when she was little. But she'd never let you. Not here, in front of anyone. She's twisted up that she's showing this to someone who's probably an enemy.

    She wishes you'd agree to let Rinso be part of her daughter's life, draw up some rules for how you can co-exist as two families. Here, and in Salt, too.
  • Well, hugging is out of the question — especially considering just 10 minutes ago I was piss-scared she was going to shoot me and Rinso — but letting Rinso be a part of Rinsa's life... Well... That I can do. I'll keep an eye out for anyone who may think listening in to this conversation is a good idea. Then once she's a little more composed, I relax my posture and soften my tone of voice — even I'm kinda surprised how motherly my voice has gotten recently, actually.

    "Look," I whisper, "Rinsa deserves to know her Dad, and I think you can see as plainly as I do that he wants to be a part of her life. If you wanna try and make a go of life here, I can find you work — honest work that makes use of your talents without making you kill folks. Rinso can watch over Rinsa while you do, and I won't tell him when he can and can't see your daughter — but I expect some quid-pro-quo, yeah?"

    I raise an eyebrow and try to catch her gaze, "I want Rinso to be a part of my daughter's life too — so we let him decide how much he wants to be involved in both of our children's lives, and to what extent in our own. Then when we move south to Salt, we can figure out something that'll make sharing him a little easier... If things are going well, then we can talk about how best to make sure Rinsa gets the most out of her daddy, without making him to be in two separate places at once."

    I look to the room where Rinso is probably playing patty-cake with Rinsa, or something cute like that, then turn back to Cherry and whisper, "fair?"
  • Cherry nods, "Fair." She offers a hand, to shake on it.

    After a few moments of watching Rinso as well, "I'm not out to frak Rinso. I mean, it's not like a I could steal him away. The boy loves you. A lot. Just, in case it's a concern for you, don't let it be." She meets your eyes, "I'll take the work. I could bust heads for Santi, but it'd be nice to try something... different."
  • I take my hand off the wall to shake hers, then return it to the wall for support. I guess I didn't really believe Cherry was trying to frak Rinso — take him away, maybe, but not steal him in that sense of the word... I'm a frakking blimp though, so I don't imagine his eye hasn't been wandering a little bit. I'd be surprised if it didn't. Other than to Vee, of course... Obviously he's been looking at Vee. It's weird to hear Cherry so convinced that Rinso loves me. I dunno what the frak he said to her, and I feel weird asking, but part of me kind of wants to know...

    I meet her gaze when she accepts the work and nod, "I've done my fair share of head busting — and I'm getting really tired of it. From one mother to another, I think you'll find the job I've got in mind for you comes quite naturally..." I look over to Rinso and smirk, "I've gotta get back up to the room... Please don't let him skip out on work for too long? They're really short-staffed at the infirmary, and Rinnie's doing really good work there..."
  • Cherry gives a give nod, "Sure. I kicked his ass around for a year and a half, I know how to make him do what needs to be done..." She starts to head back in, then stops, looks at you, all serious. "Thank you, Kiddo."
  • I nod humbly — I mean, she's acting way more civil than I ever expected her to — and get closer to the door so I can see if Vee wants to stay or go. I don't mind if she wants to stay here a while, but I'm already feeling tired just from walking down here... I should probably get back to bed.
  • edited February 2014
    VB wants to go. Gob sticks around, like she's proud to do this duty, even if it may not be needed. Still, better safe than sorry. Rinso rises up to kiss and hug you, tell you he loves you, thank you for everything, setting this up, all that you've done. Even Rinsa comes up and almost hugs you, but chickens out. You can see how it makes Cherry nervous, but she doesn't do anything.

    Then you head on, with VB, back up the lift, back to bed, back to sleep.
  • If Gob wants to stay around, that's her funeral... I don't think Cherry's going to try anything though. Call it maternal instinct. I give Rinso a hug and a kiss, nothing showy in front of Rinsa or Cherry out of respect, and whisper some sweet nothings in his ear. I smile down to Rinsa, and wave goodbye to her when she decides not to hug me. I don't mind if she's nervous... I get the impression we'll be seeing more of each other, and that doesn't bother me so much.

    So I guess I grab Vee, and let Svenja get back to whatever she was doing... Then it's back to bed-rest, as ordered by our world-class doctor.
  • --END SCENE--
Sign In or Register to comment.