[Junk XIII] Building a Convoy (J 9-3)

edited February 2014 in Junkworld XIII

It's been a couple crazy months since Nugget was born, hasn't it?

Parfait was bed-ridden for the first week, but you had help from Charmin and Ro. Toot headed back soon after, needing to get back with the Candies after a long absence. Turns out Ro's great with babies, who would've guessed? He taught you a couple things about swaddling and gave a couple tips on not being peed on, both invaluable things.

Nehi put you back to work as her trade liaison as soon as Parfait was healthy. She set you up with some actual housing in return for your services.

Speaking of those services, let's see how things have fared for you. Why don't you roll+ Sharp for me?

On a hit, choose options. 7-9, one is true. 10+ all are true:
* the negotiations with the river tribe for Stayman went well, they liked you and gave you a gift worth 1 barter, you detail
* you've cleaned the area around Oasis from all Wendy control, the roads are safe to Bubble City now, your choice if that is known to be your doing or not
* Faille is nearly healed up, she's anxious to get moving again with your crew

Regardless, I know you've been itching to get a caravan going. Parfait wants to get on the road, too. She's loved Oasis, but you both are most at home on the road. Ro has declared himself part of your tribe now, he wants to go when you go.

We pick up on a bright and sunny morning. Your son is with you, cooing and laughing his young baby laugh. You're headed to see Faille this morning. Parfait gave you something to give to her. What is it?


  • OOC: Let's open session first. Roll+Sharp.
    (Rolled: 2d6. Rolls: 6, 2. Total: 8)
  • Did you know it is possible to sleep standing up? I was not aware of this — but apparently it is! Nugget woke late last night, hungry and anxious to play, so I decided to pace the floor of our new shack with him. Parfait found me at dawn, looking out the window with our son in hand, dead asleep.

    Nugget was, apparently, highly amused.

    In any case, I feel surprisingly rested compared to the last couple of months. The negotiations with the river tribe for Stayman went decently, I think, and we've gradually been working at the Wendy presence ... For the most part.

    The real good news is that Faille is finally showing signs of real improvement, and I believe she's almost ready to get back on the road with us. We're anxious to get moving with her again. Parfait even gave me a piece she's been working on for Faille for quite some time now, a beautiful pearl pendant, set in silver wire, and hanging from an impeccably crafted chain. Considering Parfait did the whole thing by hand, I am beyond impressed. She has continued to amaze me these past few months, as a wife, a mother, and an artisan.

    I look down to nugget, who I'm holding against my chest, and whisper in his ear, "I'm hoping we'll be able to bring aunt Faille home with us today, my son... She is like us, you know! But she is not practiced in the ways of our gift, so you must go easy on her." I smirk to myself, and kiss his temple as we approach the door to the doctor's shack. "I won't have you crying like you did with uncle Ro when he came home from a particularly bad losing streak at Stakes' casino should it turn out Faille is in a sour mood."

    I reach for the door's handle, and enter the shack, looking around for Faille.
  • You enter the small one-room shack to find Faille, sitting on the bed, fully dressed. She looks up from the book she was reading to pass the time and smiles brightly, "Oh, thank the gods! Come here, little one! Jack, you bring him to me, of course." She stands carefully and walks to you.

    You notice she's wearing a beige tank top that reveals her tattoos, and of course, the huge scar in her chest, still an unsightly pink gash that has a layer of skin over it, but still seems like it could open up. Now that things are warming up, she's wearing a pair of soft cotton shorts, no shoes. Her journal sits on the small table by her bed, closed, the chacoal pen beside it. A bag sits on the floor by the table, all her worldly goods, including the gifts the clinic staff have given her for her scribblings.
  • edited February 2014
    I smile at Faille – a significantly more tired version of my former expression, but none the less sincere – and slowly close the distance between us to hand little nugget to her, paying special care to mind his soft spot. "Of course dear. Parfait sends her love – along with a small trinket she's been working on." I pull the necklace from my pocket, and hand it to her.

    After she has a moment to react, I follow up with, "how are you feeling today, my dear?"
  • "Better." Failla answers as she holds out her hand to take the necklace. Then, she sees it, and gawks, "wow." She holds it up in the dim morning light filtering in between the slats of the shack.

    "She is so good at this!" Faille says with a catch in her voice. Then she's putting it on, and the pearl pendant hangs down right in front of the mark the Wendy gave her, nearly taking her life. "I don't know why you're so good to me."

    She takes Nugget in her arms, hugging him tight. You see them lock eyes when she pulls him back. There's something going on there, between them. A connection, like and yet unlike your own with him. "Your son is so amazing, Jack."
  • I cannot help but smile as I watch Faille embrace Nugget... It brings me some solace knowing she finds some degree of comfort with him. I'll admit, there is something peculiar about him — even I've noticed it — he has an aura about him that puts you at ease in spite of the world around him... He is amazing.

    I look up at Faille when she addresses me, "please Faille — Parfait has told me how you kept each other company while she was waiting for me to return from various work outside Oasis, and during her time in recovery here. You've more than earned our friendship... And our son has taken quite the shining to you." I look around the clinic for the doctor, then add, "has there been any further discussion about when you can leave? I'm looking to purchase a vehicle before the end of the season... I'd like to get back on the road again."
  • edited February 2014
    "I am ready to leave now." Faille says with some hope in her voice. "I just need a place to, uhm, to go. I've got nothing except what's in that bag. If you need help on the road... I want to go with you." She swallows once when she looks over at you with those eyes of hers.
  • I single-take, shocked that she thinks I would simply abandon her here. "I wouldn't have it any other way, my dear, and I'm certain Parfait and our son will appreciate your company as well." I reach down and grab her bag, "should we tell the good doctor the news, then?"
  • Faille nods vigorously, "Yes!" She hands Nugget back to you gently, and gets her bag and journal, then reaches between the bed and table for her walking stick.

    The three of you head up the short road to the clinic and head inside. As usual, the place is busy. Ivory is directing traffic, and believe it or not, the very beautiful Melody is taking in patients. There's a heavyset, dark-skinned man named Shreddies. He smiles when you come in with Faille. He knows you, of course, you're a "frequent customer", as he calls it.

    "Is the little bird flying out of the nest now?" he asks in that deep voice of his.

    Faille nods, suddenly a little shy, or nervous.

    "Can you look after her, Jack?" he asks you, narrowing his eyes, just to make sure.
  • I take Nugget back into my arms, and help her out of the door up to the clinic. Seeing Melody and Shreddies is no surprise. I nod to Shreddies in greeting when we approach. I observe Faille a moment, watching her as she tenses up in front of this man... I wonder why that is. I look up to the man, and nod when he addresses me.

    "We will of course do our absolute best. Faille is all but blood in our eyes... We'd like to obtain Melody's blessing, and settle up before heading out." I can't help but have a listen to the whispers, to see what is on Shreddie's mind.
  • OOC: Reading Shreddies. Roll+Weird*. +1XP
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 6, 1. Total: 10)
  • OOC: 1/3, what is Shreddies feeling right now?
  • Shreddies agrees, "Sure, sure. Best of luck to you, Faille."

    Shreddies is glad she's well enough to leave, sad to see her go. He enjoyed her spirit, her insight and well, she's easy on the eyes, too. That never hurts.

    Melody gives her blessing, stating that Faille's paid up from the work she did selling her art. Not that Melody admits it out loud, but you can tell she bought a few herself.

    Then, unless you have more to say or do, the three of you... or two and a half at least, head out. "Jack... what is it that I should be doing for work? I mean, with you?" Faille asks it with an air of hope that she can fill a role, but has no idea what it would be.
  • I suppose It's a good thing Shreddies is bound to the clinic then. It makes our departure easier. I thank Melody for her extensive assistance throughout our long stay, and wish her luck in the future with the clinic. Then head out with Faille to bring her things back to our shack.

    I hadn't honestly considered what Faille would do once I'd trained her... I bite my lip and consider the prospect. "You could," I answer plainly, "if that's what you'd like. Your skills as an artist clearly paid your bills here, but if you're interested in helping me, then who knows what we might accomplish together?" I smile and gently put my arm around her shoulder.

    I know I often speak too much, but I take the opportunity to give Faille a hint of exposition regarding my plans... "Faille, I've spent a great deal of time out here in the Flats, but my heart clamors to see the rest of the world... I wonder what is out there, and how I may best serve it. I come from a place that is entirely foreign to the ways of the people here, and living in the shadows of these people has left me without a real home. It has left many people without a home. This convoy I'm assembling is a chance to give people like Ro, and Parfait, and even yourself a shot at belonging. We will find our own purpose, and build on it!"

    I'm truly excited about this. The open road calls me.
  • Faille drinks it in. As she's told you, she loves to hear you expound. Less for the information, more for the intonation, as she put it. It sounded less offensive from her lips.

    You're heading through Market now as you talk. People who know you through Nehi wave pleasantly. A few hawkers try to stop you to sell wares, so your conversation is paused. Did you pick anything up?

    Once you're on the other side of the Market, Faille's brows knit, and she looks at you for a moment before asking, "A caravan travels between known places, on roads used by many people. How are we making a new home... there?"
  • I smile wide, and rub Nugget's back as we walk through the market, listening to Faille's question. I grab a baked pastry from Pillsbury for Parfait — a flaky, buttery thing filled with minced lamb. It should still be warm by the time we get home. I also got one for myself, and Faille — presuming she wanted one. Nugget will simply have to accept his mother's milk — not that I would imagine he will complain.

    Once we're walking again, I shake my head, "a merchant's caravan, yes. What I have in mind is less limited — imagine something like Tradertown, where instead of a single, monstrous machine that houses a black market, and overzealous merchants, you find people who have visited countless cities, and accumulated an endless amount of culture. They trade that culture freely, along with whatever services they can, to spread awareness of the world around us. A convoy with proper protection."

    I look off onto the horizon, feeling restless, "over the years of my travel, I've found that home is merely a place where you can be with the people you love. A safe place. With someone like Tootsie Roll, and the proper vehicles, there's no reason we can't make our home the open road."
  • Oh yes, Faille wanted one. She drools over it for a block before she finally munches down, commenting that a nurse brought her one for a scribbling, which made her feel bad since the nurse's man was cheating on her, and the scribbling said so.

    You describe the idea for this caravan to Faille and she slowly chews each bite, letting it linger in her mouth for maximum enjoyment. At the end, she swallows, "A bit like Proper's thing, except without the..." she looks at Nugget, "thing they do there."

    She walks alongside you for a moment, thinking, "Parfait makes jewelry. I sell my pictures. Uhm... Ro... gambles their money away? Well, it isn't a proper carnival, but it could maybe do on the fringe. Better than going solo." She gives you a solid look, "I'm in."

    You see your abode ahead, and notice that for the last block, Faille has been leaning on her stick, and moving a bit slower, her left hand softly over her scar. She notices you looking and says, "Sorry, longest I've walked in... well, since. I'll be alright. Just need to sit down soon."

    Ro's outside, putting clothes on the line. It's been a week since Toot was around. She should be back before long, which is what Ro has mentioned maybe twenty times now.

    What have you seen between Ro and Faille? Which one seems to, well you're the Brainer, which one seems to fancy the other?
  • I immediately slow down when I spot Faille struggling to keep up... Perhaps I should have taken it easier on her today, given that it is her first day out... Perhaps taken a brief stop in the Market to sit down and let her rest. In any case, we're almost there — so she'll be able to sit in just a few moments.

    I suppose you might consider the convoy to be something like Proper's show — with the exception being that we would be travelling for the purpose of travelling, rather than simply maintaining business. I smile back at her, glad that she's willing to join us — even if she doesn't understand Ro's value beyond his luck. "Excellent! And we'll take it a bit slower next time... I hadn't expected to walk you quite this far today, but Ro swears the sofa is the most comfortable thing in our entire shack — and you're welcome to it."

    Speaking of Ro — I am fairly certain that Faille has been "fancying" Ro for quite some time now. The gift is something of a double edged sword, in that when you start empathizing with people, you can sometimes mistake people's emotions for your own... Infatuation is so powerful that once it seeps its roots into your brain, it doesn't particularly matter if it was developed legitimately or not. I would imagine Ro's infatuation for Toot, coupled with his excellent storytelling ability, were a great comfort to Faille during the past few months. I can certainly understand it, at least.
  • Faille offers a small smile, "Yes, a sofa sounds great." She bucks up, and you move a bit slower, but reach home.

    Parfait greets you at the door, smiling, putting out her arms to hug Faille. Faille thanks her profusely for the gift and they both look at the pendant, and talk about how nice it looks. You're able to head inside.

    Tell me a bit about this shack you're in now. How big is it? Where is it within Oasis? What's your favorite thing about it?
  • edited February 2014
    The shack is rather simple... Nehi took the liberty of "updating" it to "meet the sensibilities of civilized society" — I was thankful of course. The lady does have a most exquisite, and expensive taste; but if I'm being completely honest, it feels entirely foreign to have so many static possessions... A sofa is not something a traveler usually has the luxury of owning.

    In any case, the shack itself is laid out in two separate levels: the ground floor is a lounge area with a wood-stove, the aforementioned sofa, a rocking chair, and a hammock Ro set up for himself. The upstairs is slightly cramped, but we've set up a small desk under the skylight where Parfait can work on her jewelry, and a double mattress on an old box-spring for Parfait, Nugget and I. All in all, a beautiful little arrangement a few minutes walk from the lake proper. Private — like all properties in Oasis.
    I let the ladies catch up, handing Parfait her food with a complimentary kiss, and bring Nugget inside to assist his development of object permanence... What was it Nehi called it? Peekaboo? After all, we've only just gotten home, and I'd asked Ro to join me in negotiating for that RV later.
  • The rest of the morning passes quietly. Peek-a-Boo with Nugget is as fun for you as it is for him. Faille sits heavily and talks with Parfait. Parfait happily listens to her talking while munching on the delicious pastry.

    Ro arrives a few hours later, and you notice Faille sits up a bit straighter, greeting him with a little smile, "Hi Ro! I'm free!"

    To that, Ro chuckles, "That's a shame." He walks near Faille, then past her to get some fruit from a bowl, turning to add, "Now you can escape when I regale you with my stories."

    Faille looks down, like she realized maybe she was looking at Ro too long, and says, "Well, I can't really run or anything. I'm sure you could catch me."

    Ro misses that bit, or the parts you catch. He looks at you as he opens up a banana-like fruit. "We gonna buy ourselves a vehicle today, Jack?"
  • I shake my head at the exchange... That was almost painful to listen to, considering my son would likely pick up on Faille's meaning better than Ro just did. I chuckle to myself, and hand Nugget over to his mother for a feeding before turning to Ro and nodding, "have you tracked one down for me? I'd hate to go to Trader Town and spend twice the cost..."
  • "As luck would have it," Ro uses one of his favorite phrases. "I got a line on one. Needs some work, but that means it's cheap. It's by the north gate, some merchant is retiring. Wants to raise kids and all that rot. How you want to play it?" He asks like this is a game. Because, to Ro, most things are.
  • edited February 2014
    My eyebrows raise in sudden interest, "really? A merchant? Who is it?" I've come to know a couple of them at this point... "Some work may push our plans back a short while as we work to figure this out, but that works well for me... I happen to know a decent mechanic who owes me a favor, too." I sincerely hope my advice was well received, or I may find myself chased away... It's been some time. I wonder if she and Kiddo are still up at the Ascendant. I should ask Topps... She would likely know.

    I walk over to our icebox and take some water from a bottle crafted by one of the merchants here. He filters and bottles it himself. I offer everyone a glass, then answer Ro, "I won't lie to him, but I'd need to see the size of it before I could pass judgement on it. I would like an RV as large as they come — so let's play that up. Convince me, in front of him... Or her... That his RV is the correct size. Unless the thing is a monstrous affair, I'll presume there's something bigger, and he can side with you... Make him feel like you're both on the offensive when in fact he's alone on the defensive."
  • Ro grins, he likes it when you embroil him in schemes. He takes a glass from you, and then, Faille does, too. Parfait is busy with Nugget, playing some guessing game with him.

    "I like this plan." Ro says. "The merchant's name is Pixajoy. He's from the Valley. I knew him when I was little. He was a ganger, but gave it up."
  • I nod along. "Excellent. Pixajoy, you say? That sounds fine. When should we head out to meet him?"
  • "Whenever you're ready, bossman." Ro says as he takes a long pull from his glass.

    Parfait calls you over for a moment, "Jack, Nugget is scratching his face when he sleeps. We need mittens, or something to bind his hands. And I need to file his nails, but they're so tiny, it takes a while. He hates it." She looks up at you, suddenly serious, dropping her voice, "Do you see him in your dreams, Jack? Like he's another person, not a piece of your own dream?"
  • Excellent, I pat him on the shoulder and grab my jacket. Then when Parfait calls me over, I look to Ro and answer, "just a moment, Ro. I'll be ready in a moment."

    Hmm... This is not good. Children are not a very lucrative market out here in the salt flats — but I'm sure someone in the market could either make us some, or might have some on hand. The bit about Nugget being in her dreams though catches me by surprise... My mother was not aware that I was in her dreams until I was able to tell her bits of her dreams in my waking state. Parfait is a sharp woman. I nod, "Yes, I have... It is not something he's able to control, sadly. You'll find your dreams are likely guided by his curiosities — in a way, see it as an opportunity to share your resting hours with our son!"

    But then it occurs to me she wouldn't be asking if it didn't bother her for some reason, "why do you ask? Are the dreams... Troubling?"
  • Parfait shakes her head, "No, Jack. He is wordless, but he speaks to me. He is so... earnest. Yes, that is the word. He is wonderful. I am thankful for him. He... he doesn't visit yours?"
  • I bob my head from side to side, biting my upper lip when she asks if he visits mine. "He does — but it is very rare. I am more aware of when people are traipsing around in my mind, and that makes the process harder for people with the gift." I smile, "I gather the boy is infatuated with his mother..."
  • Parfait smiles bashfuly. "I'm not sure why, when his father is such a wonder." She reaches a hand to put it on your arm, then leans over to kiss you softly.
  • I blush and slick back a strand of hair behind my ear... It's getting rather long, I should probably get it cut. I slip my hand to her shoulder, and return the kiss quickly. "I don't take it personally — he clearly has good taste, and we communicate just fine during our walks. Do you need anything else while we're out? I'll admit I'm going to miss this place when we finally get underway..."
  • Parfait makes a soft sound of pleasure when you kiss her. "I will miss this place, too. But my home is with you and Nugget. Good luck with the merchant."

    Faille waves you goodbye as well, a linger look for Ro as he goes. Then you're heading out. Anything to discuss with Ro on the way or do we skip ahead?
  • I wave back to Faille as we go and follow Ro out the door. The conversation we had wasn't particularly monumental — just shooting the shit, as they say. We can skip ahead.
  • As Ro described, Pixajoy is at the North Gate. His RV, well it is big enough to have a name plate. A "Win ago"

    Pixajoy is in his fifties, probably. USed to be muscular, now his skin sags and he's got scars that show that moving around too much is probably painful. He's sitting outside a concrete hut smoking from a hookah when you two come up. He nods to Ro, then to you.

    Ro gestures to the RV, "See, Jack? This thing is a palace! A bit of gentle use, but places for each of us to sleep and eat, it can tow other vehicles, the thing's been fortified, even has a diesel hybrid engine, too!" He runs ahead to point at the top, "Annnnd, turret! Who doesn't love turrets?!?"
  • This isn't an RV — this is a tank! My jaw drops at the size of it, and I can't help but wonder what in the name of all that is sacred would possess a person to turn their home into a travelling war machine. I force myself to blink a few times and take a deep breath before answering, "well, it certainly is large... I don't know that it's necessarily a good place to raise a family, though. You said there were some necessary repairs... What were they?"
  • Pixajoy starts running down the list of repairs he's already done, and the "few" that are left. "Other than your standard maintenance and new tires, she can run now. The fixes are for the plumbing and air conditioning. Those are just nice-to-haves, you know? Kept meaning to get around to those, but hell, you can shit outdoors and roll down the window, you know?" He's crossed his arms, looking at you from under his bandanna.
  • Forgive me, but old habits die hard...

    OOC: Reading Pixajoy. Roll+Weird*.
    (Rolled: 2d6+3. Rolls: 6, 1. Total: 10)
  • I raise my eyebrow at the admission it's ready to run, "Is that so? I'm rather impressed if that's the case... Do you mind if I have a look around the interior? Perhaps take it for a spin?"

    OOC: Holding 3.
    Q1: Is Pixajoy telling the truth about those repairs?
  • Pixajoy shrugs, "Sure. We can start 'er up, if ya want." He pulls some keys out of his jeans pocket, jingles them for you to see.

    He's hoping you don't know too much about RVs. The thing will run, but the engine needs an overhaul, like yesterday. That is worth half as much as the RV, really.
  • I turn the engine over a couple of times, and pay close attention to the motor as we move — trying to get a good feel for the state of it, and how it performs. After a few moments of driving, I park it again, and turn it off. Then I turn back to Pixajoy and frown, "The engine sounds like it could use a serious overhaul... I'm not sure I'd want to pay full price for something I'd have to dump half the cost of the vehicle into repairing in a week..." I bite my lip, "would you be willing to drop the price to assist with those repairs?"
  • Pixajoy's eyes narrow, and he frowns a moment, "An overhaul? Drek, brother." He makes a face like he just ate something nasty, then looks to the sky, sighs.

    "I'll cut thirty percent off the top. If you go with a Tradertown mechanic, then you're good to go, brother. I got a cousin who can set you up with their guild."

    Ro seems interested, but he doesn't say it out loud. He likes Tradertown. They love his good luck.
  • I shake my head, "we both know thirty percent won't cover the cost of overhauling the engine, and I already know a good mechanic — If you'll cover the cost of the replacement, I'll pay here and now."

    Q2: How can I get Pixajoy to absorb the full costs of the repair?
  • "I'm trying to retire, Jack. Not give my drek away." He reaches a hand to scratch the back of his neck, "Are you short of the full cost now? I could front you for the repairs, then take a slice off the top of your action until you get me back plus interest. That's fair, yeah?" He looks uncomfortable at this.

    Walk away. Actually walk away. He'll come back to you.
  • I shake my head, "If this will cost me two months living expenses to fix, then no — I cannot afford to pay you now. And so I suppose I'll have to try my luck elsewhere." I turn to Ro, and motion for him to come with me. Then, just loud enough for Pixajoy to hear, "so you were saying Kiddo's mother built an entire truck to carry that bomb they blew up in the north? Do you suppose she might be able to build us a truck of some description?"
  • Ro blinks, like he's not sure what's up for a minute. But he follows.

    "Hell yeah, man. And the best part is, we can watch her work. The apple didn't fall far from that tree, no sir." Ro falls in step with you.

    Pixajoy lets you go, but when you look back, he looks pissed.

    Where to now?
  • I'm in no rush. I suspect my time would be better spent packing up and waiting for Pixajoy than setting up another job... Even if it takes a few days.
  • --END SCENE--
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