[NU] Monroe [Ru 1.1, Ro 1.1]

edited June 2014 in nupocalypse
Both, the day's drive back to Monroe was relatively uneventful. H sat silently in the car, only speaking when spoken to, and he unloaded Matilda's goods with relative speed. The crates Matilda offered you were filled with various things: survival clothing, canned food, butane, batteries, random electronica, etc... dNone of it was in pristine condition, but some of it is probably salvageable. Is there anything in particular that stood out to either of you? Or was that largely a bust in terms of payment?

Rue, In any case, you pulled into Monroe just as the sun was setting, and you find a couple of regulars have set up a campfire outside the church. They've roasted a boar, and are starting to get a little drunk. The door to the church is open with the lights flicker occasionally from the generator chugging along, but things seem in order. There's two people here you've never met before, one of them is a pretty-boy — at least as pretty as you can get in this day and age. He's got the serious demeanour of someone who's lived through their share of hardships. The woman with him though, looks like his younger sister. Same blonde hair, same blue eyes, but she's got more meat on her bones... She looks well taken care of. She's loudly chatting with the boys at the fire about how they recently scared off some raiders for a place called "The Pough". She's got one of those over-confident intonations that usually accompanies beginner's luck. She's so loud you can hear her from in the church.

One of the guys who bunks in your church, Prim, he raises a glass to you when you approach, "Hey Rue! Come have a drink with us!"

Robinson, you find your workshop precisely how you left it, but word of your return has started to spread. A blonde-haired man, young and dirty from days of travel, is walking up the trail to your workshop as you unlock the door. "You Robinson?" He calls out as he gets within earshot.


  • edited June 2014

    I made sounds like I wasn't happy with the trade, but that was just so's Tilda don't try to short me next time. I took me an armfulla of cans, some peaches an canned chicken. That's some hella good shit. I like to throw that chicken onna skillet with some hot sauce I took outta Gemma's shack long time back. Cook it up o'er a fire an that's the good stuff.

    Hell far, that boar smells good. My mouth's waterin as I walk up. Course, I aint smilin like no fool, cuz then they might think they can get one o'er on me, so I keep my face plain. To show I'm peaceful, I pull the clip outta Shelly. Makes me realize I oughta strip her down an clean her tonight before sleepin. She's a tricky lil girl, needs her special time so she'll purr when I need 'er.

    I give Prim a nod, cause he's a neighbor who don't snore, an sometimes he cooks boar. Damn, that boar an I need a hot date right about now. I don't know bout you, but ridin in Robbie's truck fer a whole day on edge cause o' Anoms aint good on a person's nerves. I hate me some Anoms.

    "Lemme put up Shelly an' I'll be back," I say as I hitch up the satchel I got them cans in. I saunter over to Prim, fishin out one o' the cans o' peaches. Didn't last long, but boar an' some likker trumps peaches to-night. I put the can on the lil wooden box Prim's got turned up onna end like a lil table, right by his ole tongs an that flipper thingie Princey made fer him. Stupid tinker. Whatever.

    I give pretty boy a nod, same to loudmouth. I wonder if brother took care o' sister so she'd get all fat like that. They'd both be better off if they kept each other fed, or saved it. But it aint on me.

    Head on in to check on my shit. I lookit the piece o' tape in fronta my door, make sure nobody been in without my knowin. Unlock the door with the key round my neck, an head in. I pull the string on the light bulb overhead, check alla round, get to work.

    No time fer dilly dallyin, so I put Shelly onna table I got, an then I sit down on my lil bed. Aint more'n a mattress with aims o bein comfy, but it'll do. I unlace my big ole black boots that I call my shit-kickers. Slip em off, then pull my socks, too. Aint never fun gettin them boots off inna hurry, an I'm a girl who plans ahead.

    I pour some water I keep in my jug into a plastic tub I got out o' that big truck that crashed off the highway last month. I drop my socks inna water, let 'em soak a bit. With a groan o' pleasure, I slip outta my vest an put it up on its hook, givin it a look over to make sure it's still in good shape. Nothin too thorough, but if ya don't check yer gear, it'll fail on ya. Missed tole me once that vest weighs as much as me, an he aint wrong about that. He's wrong bout a buncha other shit, but that one he got right. Damn thing chaffes my shoulders somethin fierce, an I ran outta that salve a few weeks ago. Got me some angry red marks from wearin it all day. Price o work, but still, aint fun.

    I slip outta my lil undershirt, an put it in the water, too. Feels good to have the night air on my skin. I oughta wash down, but I aint done gettin dirty, so I'll wait. Then comes the least fun part. I reach back pull the duct tape offa my back, the three strips that hold my back-up knives in a halfass holster. Saw it inna movie once, really saved that boy's ass. Figger it'll save me some day, too. They're little ones, weighted fer throwin, if I need it. Never kilt nobody with a thrown dagger before. It'd be pretty badass, I gotta admit. That tape sticks, an it hurts pullin off. Got me bout half a roll left o' the silvery stuff. Worst part o' gettin ready is that.

    I shuck down my pants real quick, an fold em up o'er the table aside o Shelly. Pull out alla goodies, from ammo to knives an odds an ends, put them all in their place onna table, too. Strip outta my underwear, which aint flatterin, but better'n ridin cammo, if ya get my meanin. Toss em in the tub, too.

    Then, naked as a jaybird, I pour a pinch of soapy flakes outta the jar of stuff I keep on a shelf and scrub my clothes, then hang 'em on my line to dry out. Sounds like I'm takin my time, but I aint. I got a routine down, an alla this takes me bout five minutes or so.

    I open up my wardrobe, prolly the nicest thing I got that don't kill folks, an pull out my longshirt. It's a big ole, thin brown shirt that swallows me up, comes down to my knees, just about. I like it alot, even though it prolly makes me look like some skinny lil boy.

    I pull back on my gunbelt, cause I aint stupid. Got my mag in there, an some clips, plus a knife I can use fer eatin. Aint no way I'm leavin my room without somethin, I don't care what anybody says.

    Turn offa light, close an lock my door, put the key back round my neck, then I'm strollin back across the wood floor o' the church to the outside. Grab me a drink o whate'er Prim offers, cut off some meat with my knife and stick it on the end. Then, I sit down onna ground up against a log that some fool drug up here a while back. O' course I gotta sit just right so my mag don't catch under my leg. An I'm sittin there, legs out, my shirt rumpled o'er them. I take a bite of the meat, wash it down an say to the newcomers, "I'm Rue. Who're y'all, and where's the Pough?"

    Figger I'll let her natter on, an get a looksee at who they are. I'm checkin on Prim, see how he acts t'wards them, too.
  • edited June 2014
    An uneventful drive is a good one. Robinson considered pressing H for information, maybe finding out what Stopsign's deal was, but once he got a rhythm going it was easier to stick to a good pace and cover the distance.

    Outside of the real urban snarls, where the ruins of buildings and streets collapsed on subterranean infrastructure made a frightening maze of what was once a city, where anomalies were new and unpredictable and terrifying- like the one they just missed today- outside of that, he kind of liked the sprawl. The miles upon miles of broken asphalt and hollowed-out prefab buildings; the roadside diners stripped bare of food where he nevertheless stopped to eat his travel rations; the great bridges sagging or collapsed and the empty promises of their ramps and immense abutments; bedroom communities slowly being reclaimed by nature as vast suburbs of cheaply-built wood-framed houses were slowly reduced to rubble piles.

    He liked visiting the old anomalies, the ones he knew, the broken pockets of spacetime he had come to master. The heat seething out of the ground in Tater Bros, the disturbance he called "Moses" splitting Cooper Pond, the nonlinearities in Radburn where Robinson could amuse himself passing through the predictable spacetime loops until he got nauseous.

    Though he hadn't counted on taking any of the spoils, there was a can of peaches that looked awfully good to Robinson. Rue took it, though, and Robinson wasn't about to make an issue of it so he said nothing and took the tank of butane instead.

    Robinson hears boots on the road before the traveler calls out, looks over his shoulder and studies the blonde-haired man as he approaches in the growing dusk. He hasn't even really unpacked the Range Rover- Thirds' water heater is still secured on the roof rack, and he's got his key in one hand and his travel kit in the other.

    "Am I Robinson," he mutters the question back to himself. He turns the key, pushes the workshop door open and tosses his bag inside. "Yes. Help me get that thing down from on top of my truck."
  • Rue, there's some hog waiting for you when you finally get back to the fire. I noticed you locked up your room — is theft around here a big problem? Or is it mostly just kids being kids/the occasional passer-through getting a little too drunk and running off with something that catches his eye?

    Prim hands you a can of beer that's slightly too warm, and slightly too flat. Loudmouth is still talking as you sit down, but she eventually stops telling the story of how she convinced a guy to shack up with her brother instead of her. Surprisingly, most of the crowd is smitten with her, and there's uproarious laughter as she announces, "so the next day, he walks out like he was riding a horse all day long!" After she's done laughing, someone else picks up with another story, but she and her brother turn to you when you ask what's up.

    "Hey Rue," she says with a big grin, "I'm Harrow, 'n that's Foster. Say hello, Foster!" She smacks him on the arm playfully, and Foster nods courteously to you. Harrow continues, "Pough's this village outside a ruin called "Poughkeepsie" onna other side of the river, up North a ways. Had a big ol' bridge back before a 'nomaly blew it down... Least that's what the folks up that way said. Wasn't much good for anything other than a few good meals and a fuck... That and some old place filled with books and shit. You from around here?"

    Robinson, Seems kind of brave to go mucking about near anomalies... What's the one closest to you? How did you discover it?

    The kid stares blankly at you a second when you tell him to help get the tank off your truck; but he does, and without complaining either. It takes you a few minutes, and a lot of grunting to get the thing inside once you're done. As you cross the threshold into the garage proper, he announces, "heard rumors on the way here you're a fixer. What kinda stuff you fix mostly? D'you take on odd jobs?"
  • [Rue]

    Aint so bad normally. The thievin, I mean. But I got folks who want what I got, an I aint gonna make it easy on 'em. Plus, there's the whole "raider history" thing. I'm purty sure some of 'em know what I done, an I'll remove any chance o' their reprisals. Stitch in time an all.

    I take Prim's beer, drink on it, no complaints. I'll take warm beer an warm roasted pig any day. Sawed me offa nice slab o' that pig, an I'm chewin on it through Harrow's stories. Hell, even I laugh at the horse rider story. Shame that, Foster bein into fellas. 'Course, maybe he's just "open minded". I'll figger it out. Or maybe I won't.

    Some old place with books n shit? Well, now I know how to get to Clare. I file that away fer later. I got no use fer books. Not like the Raiders had use fer 'em an all. Aint had the time to pick em up myself. Well, I had me a floppy book with pictures an shit. I "read" the hell outta that book. Up until Holder spilled his frakkin drink on it. Ruined it. That shit really got to me. Cried like a frakkin baby over that stupid-ass thing.

    Like I said, got no use fer books.

    Anyhow, so Harrow's askin me if I'm from round here. I wash down the fourth bite o heaven an swallow the warm beer. "More or less. You lookin fer a place to sleep, or movin through?" There. I been cordial. She aint half bad lookin, no wonder alla them's eatin it up. Guess I can sit here an lookit the two purty folks till I get full an a buzz on. Aint so bad.
  • edited July 2014

    Anomalies are not all huge, obvious demonstrations of inexplicable force- not any more than suggesting "rain" signifies a hurricane. Some anomalies are as simple as a misdirected sound, like at one overgrown golf course just south of Monroe where Robinson noticed that the sound of Adele's voice reliably did not carry as it might be expected to. Or Radburn, his perennial favorite, where you can start walking up the stairs in #34 and find yourself on the second floor of #36 without any sense that something untoward has happened. Small kinks in space, or in your perception of it.

    Robinson shrugs at his visitor. He's not about to explain what he does to this guy. Instead he gives a diffident wave of the arm at the miscellanea inside his garage: the discarded Range Rover parts, the recording devices, the computers, the potted plants, the half-assembled diesel engine, the hand-drawn maps, the collection of pressed butterflies and moths, the fibreglass boat hull, the stack of old CRT monitors.

    "Why don't you just tell me what you need," Robinson says, leading him through the garage to his kitchen at the back.

    Anomaly comments struck through until we have something everyone's comfortable with.
  • Rue, Harrow shakes her head, "a bit of both, actually. We're looking for food and stuff in exchange for odd jobs. Moving on when the well dries up... A few travelers going through the Pough said scavs made a decent living down here... We figured we'd try our luck." Foster's watching you closely, quietly sipping at his beer and eating a small chunk of food. You get the impression he may have heard of you... Is there anyone you've crossed up north that might want your head?

    Prim nudges you and adds, "hell, I don't know nothin' about odd jobs, but scaving in the ruins sure's done me well enough — and if she's half as good at dealin' with raiders as she says she is, she might just do alright! Ain't that right, Rue?"

    Robinson, the boy follows you into your kitchen and takes up a place out of your way while he talks. "My brother and sister and me do a lot of ... Uh, I guess you'd call it "persuasion" work. She's got all this weird shit she's scavenged over the years that help her do her job right. Even she can't make heads or tails of it..." He pauses a moment, and starts rifling through his pack, "word has it you're the best at fixing shit. We had a run-in with some pissed off raiders a few weeks back up in the Pough. They fucked up a toy of hers she needs fixed pronto." He pulls out a glove with a slew of messy wires hanging from it, and puts it on the counter. "We can pay, of course... If the price is decent. Otherwise, I guess we'll need some time to sure up some jingle."

    He slides the glove over to you if you want to examine it.
  • edited June 2014

    Well, I aint been to Pough. But since he mighta come through Newbird or Newburg or whatever. I only heard it a coupla times an didn't care much about it. Kilt me four fellers there. One by the name o' Jasper. He called me Scout. My ole gang nickname. Hell, it was my name fer longer than I've had this one.

    I wasn't a month outta the gang, an he up and calls me Scout. So I shot him dead, in his own store. He sold pawned off goods. I guess he seen me round when the gang traded off shit they took. Then two fellers come runnin up, see me with Shelly. One went fer his gun, so I kilt them both.

    Onna way out, I kilt a lady over her motorbike. There was about ten fellers comin after me, an running wasn't gonna cut it. So yeah, four. An I aint never going back to Newbird or Newburg or whatever.

    Maybe Foster heard o' that?

    I lookit Harrow an Foster. "Well, I got room in my bunk fer y'all." I give em a smirk, specially Foster. "As fer scavvin, I can hook ya up with Thirds onna morrow. Thirds an I juss came back from a trip, got some good shit. Y'all want some chicken breakfast, I got ya covered."
  • edited June 2014

    The kitchen's in a cozy wooden extension at the back of the workshop. There's a daybed along one wall, under a clouded window and a crowded bookshelf, and this is where the boy sits if he's trying to stay out of the way.

    Opposite the daybed is an old-fashioned cast-iron stove. While his visitor is talking, Robinson builds a fire in it. He keeps it burning low when he's around, but as he was away for a few days it needs to be started up again. There's a pile of kindling in the back porch. He makes a few short trips, building a foundation in the stove's belly before resting a couple of small logs on top. He lights a fire, sits on a nearby stool to tend it as needed.

    His visitor is in from The Pough, ancient Poughkeepsie, properly known as U-puku-ipi-sing. Robinson wishes he'd stop calling things "shit." Robinson lives his life surrounded by things, and they all have names- some more descriptive than others- enough that calling it all "shit" indiscriminately would get old fast.

    "a.)," Robinson starts, "I don't fix 'shit' - none of that out there, in my workshop, is 'shit' and I can promise you that of the hundreds and thousands of words available to describe any of your tools, 'shit' is maybe the least helpful, so- I realize we're not in a golden age of education, here, but at least try."

    Fire's looking like it'll take. Robinson shuts the furnace door, puts some water on the stove, doles some coffee out into a filter, contemplates his visitor a moment and adds some grounds for him, too. He looks gravely at the glove on the countertop next to the daybed. The word "persuasion" rings ominously in his mind as he waits for a boil.

    "b.) I don't believe you told me your name."
  • edited June 2014
    Rue, Foster smirks when you offer up a place to stay. Even if that is what he heard, it's not exactly like you're hard to look at or anything... Understatement of the year, perhaps. Harrow answers for him though, "hell yeah! Sounds sweet!" She spots Foster looking at you, and smacks him on the shoulder. "She probably means another bunk, dumbass."

    Foster looks up at her surprised, but takes it in stride and shrugs it off. "Shame," he says, looking at you out of his peripheral, "someone's missin' out... We owe you anything for the space?"

    Robinson, the boy's eyebrows raise when you go on the defensive about your stuff. You're one of the only people he's met that has an eye for fixing things, and even if he isn't too smart, he pieces together what you mean. He nods, "sure... Well, I'm Corbett. I came from up north with my brother Foster, and my sister Harrow. The, uh... Stuff she gets is mostly stuff we don't really know what it is... She just kinda runs into it, you know? We've never seen anything like it. No names on it, or markers like the electronics you usually scav out in the ruins. She calls it her persuader, onna count of her using it can make people do things they don't wanna do... It don't even always look like it hurts."

    He smiles, but it almost feels like genuine smiles don't come naturally to him. This one is as practiced as they come. "See? I can be friendly."
  • [Rue]

    I don't like how she hits her brother. I don't feel sorry for 'im, though. He oughta stand up for hisself. But that don't make it right that she hits 'im. "I said I got a bunk to share with y'all. And yeah, y'all will owe me fer it." I offer up another smirk, "But I reckon we can sort that out later on." I take another bite o' pig an wash it down. An I still got eyes fer Foster. A glance or two fer Harrow, too. I'm open minded.
  • Rue, you can see wheels turning in Foster's head. He smirks back at you, and nods in agreement. "I reckon we will..." Harrow just smirks and shakes her head, then goes back to telling stories about her travels.

    Who left for bed first, Rue? You, or Foster?
  • edited June 2014

    Well, me. Since he don't know where I'm stayin. I finished my pig an hung around fer another story. Harrow's a talker. I get bored after a bit. Well, more like antsy, ya know? I know I can have somethin' an I want it.

    So I plant my hands onna ground an push myself up. I walk sorta t'wards 'em both, then on past. I give Prim a nod o' g'night, glance o'er the rest of 'em. I head on t'wards my room. I figger he's smart enough to get the hint, so I head straight on to unlock my door, go in, turn onna light, an wait fer him onna bed.
  • edited June 2014

    Evidently Foster's gotta get permission or somethin'. 'cause I end up sittin there fer a few ticks. I figger all three o' us can sleep here. It's a big ole bed, even though I call it my cot. I slept on it a coupla times when I first got it. It's soft, real soft. I got Robbie to truck this mattress from a whole 'nother town just so's I could sleep onna big bed. I still 'member the first night. All alone onna big bed. Never slept so good. Amazin.

    There was a break-in, few months ago. Three big fellers came in, caught me with my pants down, robbed me. I had to hunt 'em all down to get Shelly an the rest o' my shit back. That was the end o' that. Now I sleep up inna rafters.

    Got me a lil nervous energy, just sittin here waitin. So I hop up an head o'er to my table. Like I done it a hunnert times, I start pickin' up my shit, put Shelly away in my wardrobe, along with my 'nades, my Mag, my clips an most o' my knives. I lock 'em all up with the key I keep onna top, then I hide my key inna lil hole in the table I made. It's a good hidin' spot. I bored it out with an ole k-bar over a coupla days.

    Now all my tools are outta the way, I consider headin out to pull 'im in here. Course, I don't wanna seem desperate. I'm just a lil drunk, is all. They did wanna place to sleep, they'll come. Foster, an then Harrow. I think it'll be fun to get my hunk of flesh outta both of 'em. Foster's easy onna eyes, an I like men. Harrow, I juss wanna see if she's half as good as she thinks, at anythin'.
  • edited June 2014
    Rue, The night presses on, and eventually you hear Harrow announce, "looks like we should pack it in.. I'll see you boys later!"

    It takes them a little while to get up to your room. Foster comes in first with Harrow gently pushing him in from behind. Foster's got a raw look on his face, almost like a primal smile when he walks in the door... A man out to satisfy his needs. Harrow's got a more zen look on her face. She watches as he enters the room, then asks, "you two want some privacy?"
  • edited June 2014

    Those a-holes took long enough. Ize about to lock my door, frig myself, an climb up to pass out inna rafters. I aint pissed, but was fixin' to let the buzz put me to sleep.

    They smell like they drunk Prim dry. Good on them, he's always stingy with his shit. When they come in, I'm just sittin there onna end o' the bed in my long-shirt. I give 'em both a smile, an crook my finger at Foster, grabbin him by the belt, and working at it to get it offa him. I'm looking up at Foster, right in his purty eyes, but I answer Harrow, "Hell naw, girl. I aint shy. I offered y'all a bunk an I meant it."

    I pause a sec to pull off my shirt, provin my point by gettin naked as a jaybird, "It's a big bed, sis. If you wanna share, then grab a pilla. You're next anyhow."

    Then I'm pulling at Foster's clothes, yankin his pants over his ass, an pushin his shirt up so's I can kiss his flat lil tummy. This is gonna be fun. I'm half curious what Harrow's gonna be doin. But right now, I wanna get a rubber on this boy an then rock 'is world.
  • Rue, Harrow smirks and follows Foster into the room. She shuts the door behind her, and perches near the table off to the side. As tempting an offer as it sounds to join in, you get the impression she's above sleeping with her brother. She'd sleep with you after the fact, no doubt, but her brother is just out of the question. Instead, she watches silently from the corner of the room, waiting her turn and preparing herself. Something about her strikes you as odd... Maybe it's just the way the light falls on her, but she just doesn't feel right to you.

    Foster, on the other hand is a perfect example of an eager and willing participant. He sheds his clothes and joins you on the bed with a ravenous look in his eyes. He may get a little physical as you go... Do you draw any lines?
  • [Rue]

    I didn't want her sleepin with her brother anyhow. That's gross! "Harrow, I wasn't tellin ya to frak Foster. Juss me." I'm noticin I aint gotta work on Foster to get 'im ready, so I pull up the condom wrapper, rip the edge with my teeth, pull it out and slowly start rollin it on 'im. I'm careful with this. Don't wanna rip it, er get the tip off an hurt nobody. This is fun an games. As I got him in my hands, I look up at him, a lil smile on my face still. An I look over at Harrow a bit, too. But Foster's my boy right now. He gets the most looks.

    To 'em both, I say all matter o' factly, "It's my room, an it's my rules. Ya'll want a place onna bed, then ya gotta make me happy." I lookit Harrow when I add, "An if it aint yer thang, then take some floor. Still better'n outside."

    Foster's rascal's all wrapped, so I scoot back onna bed, right up to my pillas. I figger he's followin' me, an that's fine and dandy. If he aint, then I crook my finger again an beckon 'im. My legs are spread juss a little. I aint no lady, and we aint here to play coy.

    As fer a bit o' rough stuff, like e'erthin' else, I give as good as I get. If he wants to get a lil physical, that's fine. I'll bite 'im a bit, nothin' to leave marks. If he's into chokin an shit, I'll tell 'im no. Real hard. An, if he throws a punch, then I'll grab the dagger I got hid near my bed an put out his damn eye. I don't wanna clean more blood offa my sheets. But I don't let nobody control me no more. N'er again.

    An all this thinkin' got me a lil twitchy about Harrow there. Somethin' aint right. Ima watch her a bit as Foster gets up here an gets to work. I wonder if I can Read her?
  • Rue, Foster is following your lead, and he's not being violent or anything — just a little rough. You know how it is. Typical young guy, thinking he's the top dog. That look in his eyes though, it almost feels like he doesn't really believe it. That this is just something he's doing. Does he enjoy himself? Hell yes, but does he enjoy this? Who knows.

    Harrow closes the distance between the table and the bed once things get moving, and she slides up next to you, letting her hands wander. Her touch is warm, but it still manages to send shivers up your spine. Her presence is almost oppressively disarming. You can feel her eyes watching you as Foster starts acting on his passions. If you let her, she'll join in the fun.
  • edited June 2014

    I don't mind it a lil rough. When he mounts me, his hands are on my hips, squeezin, and damn, it feels good. Foster is puttin on a show? Fer me, or fer her, I wonder? Hell, it don't matter, 'cause this is good stuff. I'm gruntin along as he pushes himself in me. I blow cool air on 'is chest, tell 'im to keep goin. It's good.

    Then Harrow's onna bed, and that's nice. She's purtier than me, I like lookin at 'er. An her hands are touchin' the right spots. This aint her first rodeo with another girl, I bet. The way she makes me feel's all wrong, though. But I sure as shit aint gonna back down.

    That odd feelin from her, the bile in my throat? I bite it back, an reach o'er fer her, pull her in fer a kiss. I want her in on this fun. I want 'em both. I wanna a sore jaw. I wanna walk funny tomarro!

    An it's good stuff, the two o' them. Still, I'm thinkin about lil Harrow here, an how she treats Foster. An how the light hits her, how she makes my skin crawl. Somethin aint right. An it aint like I can chat her up, what with alla us goin at it like a buncha crazed animals. There's a moment when I'm flat on my back, an I'm lookin up into Harrow's eyes. An at the ceilin behind her. An I'm juss feelin. That's when I open my brain.

    "What's that like?", I bet yer thinkin.

    I kilt the gang, but they aint never left me. When I let myself drift off like this, they come back. They start talkin' at me, tellin' me truths. Like right now, Harrow looks a lil like Chant. See, Chant was the closest to a ma I had. O' course, she taught me 'bout frakkin, traded me off fer shit when she was low, or when she wanted to get her drink on. But she always had food fer me. Old bitch.

    An even though I know it aint Chant, Chant'll start talkin, tellin me what's what 'bout Harrow. Or juss, weird shit sometimes. Aint like a radio in Robbie's truck, can't count on it fer nothin some days.

    Sucks a bit. Cause I kilt Chant a while back. An that hole I put in 'er temple is still bleedin.
  • [Rue]

    Opening Brain:
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 3, 2. Total: 7)

    (+1 XP)
  • edited June 2014
    Rue, It isn't long before the smell of freshly burnt gunpowder, and peaty scotch fill the room. Letting the maelstrom in, as you do, you can feel that something is off; and sure enough, Chant's voice whispers little nothings in your ear. She's just out of your peripheral vision. You can't make it all out over the grunting, and the distraction of Foster taking you home, but you can clearly hear Chant say, "she's gunna get her hooks in you, fuckin' you like that... That girl's innit fer the money."

    Tell me, Rue: who's the last person you showed mercy to? Real, honest mercy. Also, what plucked that merciful string in you?
  • edited June 2014

    Why you gotta ask me that? Right here, when I'm all aflutter, bout to pop my cork, if ya know what I mean. Damn it all, it was a few months ago, when Ize "between work". Ize outta food, an holed up west o' here in some village called Goshen.

    I'd broken into an ole store an found some food hid under a coupla shelves. Turns out, some lady'd found the place before me, an she heard me usin my k-bar onna can. She come runnin' in, thinkin she'd use a bat to beat me down.

    Wasn't much of a fight. I put 'er on 'er ass right quick. Was about to drive my knife home, an then her lil daughter came runnin in the room, cryin an shit. Had to be bout nine. Lil hellcat even jumped on my back, clawin an all.

    I threw her lil ass down, kicked her ma, then her too, fer good measure. They lay there, side by side, cryin and breathin hard. Ize about to finish 'em off with my Mag, an they weren't lookin at me no more. Juss each other.

    I took my can, juss the one. An walked the hell outta there.
  • Rue, that's a sad story... Hope it didn't kill the mood though. The haze of the maelstrom leaves the room, and you're back in the moment. Harrow is right into this, and Foster's coming close to sealing the deal himself.

    Should we fade to black? Or has this little revelation killed the mood?
  • edited June 2014

    Chant aint told me nothin' I didn't figger out myself. Hell, who aint in it fer the jingle? I sure am. I let Foster finish 'is bidness, an I see if I can join 'im in his big O. Then I'm pushin him offa me, "Take a rest, big boy," I tell 'im, pattin him on 'is hip.

    Then I'm pushin' Harrow on 'er back, an I aim to see how good she is. "Harrow, you half as good as yer brother? 'Cause ya look like a girl who likes a challenge, yeah?" I'm kissin her, an then we're touchin'.

    We can fade to black if ya want, sure.
  • Rue, Harrow smiles wildly when you turn your attention to her. "Oh, I think you're gunna like what I have to offer, Rue..." But then you're kissing her, and then you're touching...

    I hope it was fun. When do you usually wake up in the morning, Rue? Regardless of when that is, you wake up to an empty bed. Harrow's loud voice is nowhere to be heard, and evidence of the encounter is hard to find. Somehow, an image of her in the throws of passion is burned into your mind... It's distracting. There's a little bit of leftover pig hanging outside the church. Prim is cutting himself a slab. From the looks of it, it'll last another couple of days, presuming people stick to their fair share. Then it'll be back to rations unless someone comes up with another trophy.

    What does a normal day in Monroe look like to you, Rue?

    OOC: Custom move time!

    When you have sex with Harrow, she holds 1. She can spend that hold to have you act under fire to act against her, regardless of whether she's present or not.
  • edited June 2014

    Hell yeah, it was fun! That girl's got a talented mouth on 'er, fer more'n talkin'. Who knew? She taught me a new lil trick, matter o' fact. Aint gonna forget that anytime soon. 'Specially gonna remember that look on 'er face when I finally got 'er to pop. Prolly shouldn't feel so damn proud o' myself fer that. They were there fer my happy times, not the other way round.

    Most days, I'm up with the sun. This mornin I slept in an extra hour. Dunno, maybe two. Once I'm up an outside, I cut myself a small bit o' pig, nothin' much. Make some bullshit small talk or whate'er with Prim. Not that I care, but it's what these people do. Get some water fer drinkin out the well. An a bit extra, fer later.

    Head on back to my room, pull out my key, unlock the wardrobe, an get to cleanin Shelly. Then Mag. An then I pull out my stone, sharpen all my knives. Takes 'bout an hour.

    After that's all done, I head out to my lil plot. Aint nothin much. Not yet. But I got me a patch o' dirt. It's out a ways, where nobody knows. I been workin on it. Clearing out the rocks an shit. Built me a lil fence, to keep the varmints out. Aint planted nothin yet. Got some frakkin herbs, is all. Won't trade fer shit, been lookin fer somethin better. Flowers, maybe. Folks like flowers.

    I spend an hour or two at my plot, then head on back an shower. We got rain barrels set up, and a frakkin lever and pulley system or somesuch. Does the trick. Well, it gets ya wet. I clean off, dress in my gear, an head out to do checkups round Monroe. If Robbie's up to drivin, then I ride. That happens almost never, so I mostly walkabout. Sometimes folk gimmie work fer hire, like Thirdie did yesterday. If there aint nothin, then I head on back.

    I hunt sometimes. My guns mostly shred small game, though. Aint worth the trouble. So I guess I'm a bit o' a leech on these folks. All I can do is kill. These folks don't need much o' that most o' the time.

    Juss spendin time.
  • Rue, let's split you off into your own thread, here.
  • edited June 2014
    You misunderstand. Robinson isn't defensive about his stuff or even his work. It's the weak vocabulary he finds objectionable. Shit this, shit that, this thing's fucked up, etc. Robinson navigates the local vernacular ably enough, but the lack of precision kind of grates on him, and if people come into his workshop he's at least going to encourage them to use nouns and verbs.

    Coffee's not ready yet. Sigh.

    Robinson reaches for the glove, turns it over gingerly in his hands as Corbett describes what it does. A persuader, they call it. How nice. He wonders how it got broken. He imagines. It isn't pretty. He listens, but he also looks at the glove, at what's radiating from it, the suggestion of where it's been, what it's heard, what it has wrought.

    Things Speak

  • Things Speak (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 1, 1. Total: 4)
  • edited June 2014
    Robinson, fair enough. Corbett, as you can imagine, isn't the brightest crayon in the box, but he's eager to get this deal done. He even seems to respect your professionalism and intelligence, even if he can't match it.

    Out of curiosity, what's the psychic maelstrom like to you? How do you usually learn things from it?

    You reach over to the glove and start examining it. At first, it seems innocuous enough, just a glove with a bunch of electronica, no doubt designed for some clandestine purpose — but eventually you start seeing the writing on the wall, and it's becoming pretty clear this glove has seen its fair share of bloodshed... In fact, if anything, it's crying out for its original owner. You can hear the name ringing in your ears long before you find it scrawled under the tag inside...


    When you lay eyes on that fancily scrawled name, you feel a torrent of thoughts pour into your head. Memories of places far away. People you've never met... Then, without warning, Rue. A singular thought enters your mind, and it consumes your attention: Monroe. It feels both familiar and foreign at the same time. If not for Corbett reaching over and grabbing your shoulder — grounding you, if you will — you're not sure what would have happened next.

    But now you're standing there in your workshop, the glove laying harmlessly on the kitchen counter again. Like nothing ever happened.

    "Everything ok there, Robinson?" Corbett asks with a cautious look on his face.
  • edited June 2014
    There's no big show to Robinson's maelstrom. I described it earlier, briefly, as a half-remembered dream and I think that may be the most accurate. Details coming to you during your morning shower. Deeper truths, stuff you know instinctively, stuff repressed or buried in your id, floating up to your rational mind so you can examine them, turn them over, go, is this real? Is this me? Did I dream it or did it happen?

    This glove, though. Robinson doesn't like this glove. He knows what it does, near enough to know that there is a trail of blood and badness where this thing has been.

    It don't even always look like it hurts, Robinson thinks.

    Is everything ok?

    "Coffee's ready," he says, turning back to the stove, pours a cup of the black stuff for himself and for Corbett. Slow sip. "This is pretty sophisticated. I can fix it, or close enough, but it'll take a few days."
  • Corbett watches you dubiously as you pour him a cup of coffee, but he accepts it and follows your lead. "Sis said most of the parts are standard fare electronics — at least the parts that don't work no more. If there's somethin' specific you need that you ain't got, we'd be willin' to go out lookin' for it — or at least offer to help, you know? You wanna settle up once it's fixed? Or you got a price in mind now?"

    OOC: If you want to use your workshop on it before setting a price, I'm cool with that.
  • "Standard rate," Robinson says, 1-barter for this kind of work. "Extra if I need something specific, but I'll let you know."

    He takes the glove and goes out into the workshop, killing the light in the kitchen. There's a work table in the garage, surrounded by other tables, projects, mystery devices and motor vehicle parts, where he pulls up a tall swivel chair and leans over the workspace, switching on an overhead lamp and setting his coffee off to the side. Robinson uses the power sparingly. Everyone does, I suppose, but Robinson has a lot of uses for electricity and so he is very conscious of his consumption of it.

    "Where are you staying?" he asks as he begins to disassemble the glove.

  • Corbett glances over your shoulder as you get to work at your bench, but he doesn't linger. "I'd expect my sister's workin' that out now... If we can't find a place of our own, we'll pitch camp under that old bridge by the lake. I'll let you know if where we end up." Then he points to the door and adds, "I guess I'll just show myself out..."

    As you work on the glove, it becomes clear that fixing it will take you a few hours of work, and you'll either have to tear apart an anomaly detector, or go out and find a power-source compatible with a device such as this — small, and highly specialized. A comment just for you: It's obvious to you that whoever made this glove kluged it together by sheer luck... If there were instructions to build a thing like this, they'd read like old Ikea instructions.

    How long do you work before calling it quits? What do you do when you finally wrap up?
  • edited June 2014
    Good, he's gone.

    When Corbett fades into the night Robinson really gets to work. He's sketching on his notepad, trying new layouts, mockups, so on. Oh, he'll fix the glove, alright. He'll fix it so Corbett's sister will think twice about mindfucking people.

    Robinson has no moral qualms about gunsmithing. A gun, you can look down its barrel and know what's waiting in there for you, a cold certainty but a certainty nonetheless, and there's comfort in that; you can look past it at the face of the person holding it and meet their eyes. You have a gun of your own, fancy your chances, maybe you'll survive if you're quick. God made men; Colt made men equal.

    This glove is a coercive tool too, but perverse, a device for violation, for invading what should not be invaded. What defense is there against it?

    Robinson's going to fix it so that the glove's pathways work both ways- the user wants to mindfuck someone, the recipient gets equal access to the user's mind. He'll make the changes subtle, not visibly evident; if challenged he'll just call it a feature of the glove that had been absent due to the inadequate power source.

    He works until the coffee buzz wears off, switches off the overhead lamp and in the darkness hangs his army coat from the back of his workshop chair. He fishes into one of its generous hip pockets to retrieve the pistol that was once his signature, a vintage .380 Pocket Hammerless. He carries this through the kitchen to his own bedroom and sets it on his nightstand. The bedroom is the only room in his lair that is free of clutter.

    He takes off his shirt and undershirt, hangs them both in the small closet, sits on the bed and steps out of his boots and peels off his socks and remains sitting on the edge of the bed, motionless, for long enough that an observer might begin to suspect that's how he sleeps, sitting upright, staring into space. At last he moves again, goes barefoot into his backyard from the back door in his kitchen, walks across his property to the swift stream that runs aside the road. There he cups the cold water in his hands, splashes it on his face, rakes it through his hair and beard. Dripping he returns to the annex, scrubs himself with a towel hanging in the kitchen, kicks off his pants as he enters his bedroom and sprawls on the bed. He doesn't sleep until it's almost light out.
  • All in all, that's probably the same amount of work. Still a few hours, but definitely not a few days — and all the parts necessary to do that would be off the shelf. Concealing it will take a bit of sewing — so if for some odd reason you're not comfortable with a needle and thread, you'll need someone to do it for you... I'll admit, that would surprise me though. It's not like you can run out and buy a pair of socks whenever you get a hole in them or something...

    The night is relatively quiet, excepting a little bit of excitement down by the fire by the church. It dies down before midnight, and there's nothing but crickets until false dawn.
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