[DVFP] Digging Into Anger (G 3.1, J 3.1)


Last night Rothschild laid in your arms again, still happy that you'd returned from your trip outside safe and sound. She didn't say that, but that's the sense you got, you're learning her tells. During the night, your mind slipped into hers. You saw a memory, a moment before her arrest, prosecution, and sentencing to DVFP. Rothschild was Claire Rothschild, only child of single mother Patrice. You see the two of them living in a tiny government housing unit, her mother slowly dying of a wasting disease that a House doctor could easily cure. Instead, Patrice was left to suffer through the aches and pains on minimally acceptable efficacy generic pain relief pills with no hope of release.

Claire was left on her own to take care of her mother, with no employment or way out, and fell into depression. Seeking some way, any way out, she started stealing her mother's pain pills. One a day, then more. In the end, before they came for her, she'd replaced all her mother's pills with Tic Tacs and they found her strung out on the kitchen floor, a kitchen timer chiming without end.

The Process hid the memory from her conscious mind, but the guilt of what she'd done, the pain her mother suffered, eats away at Rothschild. Slowly. Bit by bit. And she doesn't even know why, who this woman is in her dreams, why she hates little white candies so much.


Last has told the other five Zons what you did to Lala, Gigg. Krin especially is not a fan of you, she called Lala "Little Sister", and only her dedication to Last keeps her from cutting your throat in your sleep. Last has given you a token to wear, something that makes it obvious you're attached to the Zons. What is it?

You've come to Depot looking for information on Saint Anger. He hasn't come this far east, but there are always infochants and secret traders in Shady Shops. They will have information on him.


You enter Tum Tum's shop at nearly the same time. Last and Gigg walk in right after June and Rothschild. Tum Tum's shop is a jet black tent that sits in the shadows of The Fat Man's Warehouse. Tum Tum has no guards and exists with the knowledge that being this close to The Fat Man keeps him safe. The tent has a ratty couch with most of its springs, and a pair of folding chairs.He sits in a comfy chair with a handheld electronic device in his hand. It beeps and boops and it appears to be some kind of puzzle he's playing with.

This is Tum Tum.
Tum Tum
He looks up when Rothschild clears her throat. "Good morning, June Weaver, Last of the Amazons, Rothschild the scav, and Gigg, the man with no face. What brings you four to my little shop?" He smiles a Cheshire grin that says "I know things".

June, why don't you normally like to work with Tum Tum?

Gigg, what happened to the last person who tried to harm Tum Tum?

What do you do?


  • After we spit and clasp hands affirming our mutual but tenuous alliance, Last took an old can of red spray paint, and marked the mish-mash of small desert animal pelts and discarded riot gear sewn together with bailing wire that I wear on my chest.

    Tum Tum does know things. Lots of things. And he doesn't keep what he knows stored away in notebooks, files, ledgers, journals or sticky-pads. As far as anyone knows, he doesn't even keep what he knows stored away in some hidden encrypted digital drive. What Tum Tum knows is inside Tum Tum's head, and if Tum Tum dies, so does everything he knows. Rumor has it, he possesses a photographic memory. Others say he's enhanced somehow, or has some weird supernatural gifts, or has been touched by the divine. Either way, no one's ever found any written or recorded backup of his extensive "goods" he has on practically everybody of significance in the DVFP.

    So, there's an unspoken, unwritten code - Don't nobody fug with Tum-Tum. If you do, you answer to any number of people or organizations that have a vested interest in the persistence of Tum Tum, and what's locked away in his head. Generally, idiots who try to fug with Tum Tum -- you just don't ever see them again. It's tightrope game of chicken that Tum Tum plays, but so far he's pulled it off.

    I'm looking at Last rather quizzically as to why she's brought me to Tum Tum. I normally get information by bringing down my heavy steel wrench onto someone's knuckles, but that kind of tactic won't work with Tum Tum, so I'm wondering how I'm going to help her here.

    I know Roth... done some rhymin and stealin with her and Chaz from time to time. She's good. Quick and intuitive, and a good sense of how to stay alive. But the one she's with... the one with the crutch... Roth must be pulling some con. Otherwise, don't make no sense, but then I'm reminded of this big red A on my chest which don't make no sense either. Still, I'm surprised to even see Roth, since I thought she bolted into the wasteland. At least that's what Chaz told me. Something's brought her back, I guess.

    "Hey, Roth. Where ya been? Long time, no see. What's new?"
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    I don't enjoy dealin' with Tum Tum because I always end up with the feelin' someone else is lookin' over my shoulder after I leave. Someday he's gonna make a deal with someone who has no sophistication and they'll just kill him - I don't want to be in the way when it happens. Plus, few people have bought in less to my defensive theatrics in this entire place than Tum Tum.

    I have to be my whole self around him.

    This great big fella..this is Gigg, no guessin' needed. I've heard of him around and about, but never met. Bandages, that Amazon mark, looks like he's up to a little more than his usual lately.

    "After you, Last." I wave lazily between her and Tum Tum. It'll be interesting to hear what she's after, and even if the Amazons are done..I don't want to hold her up.

    While I'm waiting for my turn, I rub the back of Rothschild's neck gently.
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    Rothschild looks to answer you, Gigg, but her eyes droop for a moment as June reaches up to rub her neck. She practically purrs, "Hey big guy, you're looking... clean. No offense. I'm working for Miss June here, in Depot. I work in requisitions. How's the junkyard? Still got those outboard motors?"

    Last takes your gesture and doesn't squander it. "Tum Tum, I'm going to kill Foster, but I'm sure you could guess that. I need to know if there's anything I can use to lure her away from Saint Anger, to get her alone." She crosses her arms and waits for an answer.

    Tum Tum purses his lips in thought, then asks, "What if you attack Foster... and she kicks your ass? She's no slouch in a fight. I'd give even odds between you, if I were a betting man. Which, of course, I am. The house always wins."
    While Last stews on that, Tum Tum looks to you, June, "I see you picked up another stray, June Weaver. Is she the reason you're here? I know you don't like me, so this must be importante."
  • Ah, so Roth is still rhymin and stealin, but working for this June now. Sounds like a new operation that's started up... I nod at Roth and cast a look at June, looking her up and down trying to figure out where the jingle is in all of that. Flying under the radar, no doubt. Roth is smart, I've always given her that. Gotta be more than meets the eye. "Cool. Glad to see you still rhymin'. Speaking of which... did you hear that Chaz passed on to final shade? Shot by a sniper while he and I were scavenging. Planted him myself in the junkyard. Anyway... " I make a quick glance at June and back to Roth, "...if you find you ever need an extra hand, you know where to find me. It'd be good to work with you again sometimes." I hear myself making this awkward small talk about future engagements as if I expect things to go on like regular after I kill the Fat Man. Clearly, I'm no good at thinking up things to say...

    About that time, I overhear Tum Tum completely discount Last's chances with Foster knowing that I'm standing next to her, avoiding her question altogether, which gives me a chance to ditch this awkwardness with Roth and June. "Even odds?" I growl at Tum Tum. "She's asked you a fugging question, Tum. I suggest you get on with answerin' instead of worrying about startin' some book on her action. Besides, you got other customers waiting."
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    I smile slightly when Rothschild mentions requisitions, glance into the glass-capped sockets of Gigg's mask. A junkyard. We might need to make a visit there for parts, so it's good that Roth is friendly with its keeper. I tip my hat at the man..lord, he's even taller than me. "Pleased to meet you, Gigg. I might have somethin' on the line soon."

    Last's request is..intriguing to me. So is Tum Tum's analysis. I tap a knuckle against my chin, thinking idly, half an eye on Last.

    I'm interrupted by Tum Tum challenging me directly, so I turn to him. Beckett wouldn't like to hear that he called her a stray, and well.. between the two of us, I'm her stray. As I open my mouth to prod at Tum Tum, Gigg lays into him. A perfect opportunity to avoid giving away anything.

    "Oh, I have all day. Don't mind me. But Last, I might have a proposition for you, depending on what you want from your vendetta."
  • edited December 2016

    Rothschild hadn't heard about Chaz's passing and gives a genuine frown of dismay, but then you're moving on to chide Tum Tum.
    The infochant is taken aback by that strongly worded rebuke followed by your casual deflection, June. He turns to answer Last, "It's a fuggin' doozy. Cost you a barter, and a favor to be named later. Trust me, it's a discount, I just happen to hate Foster."
    Why have you heard Tum Tum hates Foster, June?

    Gigg, Last glances over at you, seeing if you'll cover the jingle. She'll handle the favor.
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    Foster killed a friend of his, is what I've heard. Dragged her behind a motorcycle till the deed was done.

    Chaz I knew a little about..busy fellow, but he didn't operate in any of my circles. But clearly he and Roth traveled together. I rest a hand on her shoulder.

    None of this stops my interest from sharpening when Tum Tum lays out the weight of this deal. It means Foster's important to Saint Anger.
  • I reach into my momma's purse, a floral clutch with a crossbody shoulder strap, dirtied and worn by years of use and exposure to the sun and sand, and I pull out a barter and toss it to Tum Tum the way a coach throws a ball at you hoping you aren't paying attention.
    "That's all I got." I look over at Last and give a nod back to Roth and June, "You want us to step out so its just between you Tum and the fencepost?"
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    Last looks at you, Gigg, then over to you, June, then Rothschild. Her sttely eyes turn back on Tum Tum and she answers solidly, "Speak your truth, Tum Tum. Anything that hurts Foster needs ears."

    Tum Tum shakes his head slightly as if to say he very much disagrees, but instead he shifts to telling his little bit of story. "First things first. Ziggy is Foster's mama. So Motley's not getting any kisses from Foster at the next holiday party."
    Last scoffs like that's not new information, but Rothschild's certainly surprised. Roth pulls a "oh shite" look.
    "Now for the grande finale, which is a one-two punch. Foster isn't the end of the line, kiddies. She has a daughter of her own. Little Li. She's about eight now. And she's healthy and living the high life." He pauses for effect. "The fat life, if you get me. See, Saint Anger doesn't know... but I know. Little Li is being raised in The Fat Man's palace, and anything he wants Foster to do... she will do." He grins his Cheshire Cat grin, crosses his arms and leans back in his chair.
  • I turn to look at Last after hearing Tum drop the mic. "Sounds about right. This is what he does. What he's been doin' with me and countless others I'm guessin'. I've done you wrong, Foster's done you wrong, but don't mean anybody did it of their own free will, see now?" I move close in on Last, with my back to Tum, June, and Roth, and l lift my mask off my head, holding it in my hand, and whisper, "That's why I have to plant him."

    Putting my mask back on, I continue loud enough for everyone to hear, "I'll back you however you want to play this, Last. We can still take Foster down and settle your score, and we'll be square, but we gotta get Little Li outta there. Without a momma for him to hold her over, only God knows what he'd do that little girl. She'd no longer be the worth the salt in his piss to him. Of course, knowing Momma's Little Secret might mean there's a chance for a spit-shake for another ally. Your call.... and... or... " Turning and looking at June, "June here said they might have something in mind..."
  • edited December 2016

    Hm. Ugh, I need to sit down to think about this. I settle onto the couch what feels like an inch at a time. From a very nasty yet practical standpoint, I prefer TFM to Saint Anger and I'm glad the Man has a lever on the man. I'm not sure how useful Foster would be to me as a 'triple agent'. This makes a mess of things.

    Gigg, though, has a firm perspective. A child is at stake. "Well, not to be too cheerful or anythin', but children have inherent value and girl children a specific kind. The Palace is safe and cool and there's food and luxury..and silence." I don't look anyone in the eye, fannin' myself with my hat. "And the truth of a deal like that is the terms don't ever run out, not really." I look at Last..mommas don't give up on their livin' babies. Not unless they're dyin' weak themselves. But what I'm really sayin' is Li is equally lost to Foster whether or not Foster is alive.

    "I..want to get my hooks into someone close to Saint Anger. It's risky, but I want to know his operation better. If I get an hour or so alone with her while she's restrained, I can make it benefit the both of us. Or you get her, I get someone who works right under her."
  • edited December 2016
    Looking at June, "Yeah, the Palace is all that... until he bores with you and turns you over to his cowboys, and then they string you out on dope and make you do jobs down at the junkyard...." I trail off for a moment battling the silence, not wanting to say the next thing. "You know I can get Little Li out. Even if we take out Foster, she'd be better off with Esco than him." I hear myself saying this, knowing full well I can probably only get Li out or kill The Fat Man, but not both. Not without a whole lotta help.
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    First off, Rothschild totally snuck a peek at you, Gigg, when you removed the mask. Her mouth drops open at the reveal and she ends up plopping onto the couch beside you, June, and staring into the folds of the tent. Tum Tum openly stares at your face in profile, Gigg, his eyes studying the unknown with a peculiar fascination.
    Last watches the tennis match between the two of you, then holds up a hand, "I appreciate your thoughts, June." She looks to Tum Tum, "Got to make some plans. But I need to think on it. Appreciate the bomb drop, Tum Tum. Worth the price and then some." She turns to head out, "June, when you're done, come find me at The Pit, alright?"
    Last leaves. Gigg, you know the rest of the Zons are at The Pit drinking and waiting.

    What do you do?
  • edited December 2016
    I nod as Last leaves the tent. Hard news and she's in another pickle. I'll give her a little time, plus I got some other quick business to attend to...

    I look at June and Roth. I've seen that ashen look that's on Roth's face now many times before. She don't know what to say, wishing she didn't look. Pretending she didn't but nobody got that good a poker face. I've learned to not push it, and just pretend it didn't happen, too. To June, I nod, "Didn't mean to be sideways with ya. Little Li's story ain't much different than momma's, and I know how that story goes. Anyways, I'll be along to the Pit a little bit later too, I suppose." Awkwardly, I turn and say over my shoulder, "Nice seein' ya, Roth. Maybe buy you a drink at the Pit? We can toast one to ole' Chaz, huh?"

    I wait for June to say bye before leaving the tent, but I'm intending to pay a visit to that Shady Shop that Tesla was telling me about. The one that could fix my .50-cal no questions and no snitching. I just gave up my last barter for Last, so I'm hoping I can barter services with the smith.
  • edited December 2016

    Reflexively, I put an arm around Roth. Sometimes it surprises me how easy this is. The look on her face concerns me, but she's plainly tryin' to keep it quiet.

    I quiet my face about givin' Li to Esco. Gigg had better have just meant it as an example.

    "Mm, I'll find you at The Pit, Last." I nod to her as she goes, then look up to Gigg.

    "No apologies needed. I think you and I agree with each other more than you think. What my meanin' is, is that what we do to Foster alone has limited potential to change what happens to Li, which is all at the convenience of one man. We'll see what turns up over drinks, though, I'll be there." I'm not going to lay my feelin's all out in front of Tum Tum.

    Sheetfire, I need to get a line out to Missed.

    I wave my good-byes to Gigg and then lean back, waitin' for Tum to get his thoughts in order and needle me about all this.
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    Rothschild relaxes in your embrace, and doesn't look up when Gigg mentions getting together. Instead, she gives a half wave like "yeah, sure".
    Once Last and Gigg are gone, Tum Tum looks over at you, June, that self-satisfied smirk writ large on his face, "June. June. June. Why are you wasting your time selling flowers and pickle juice and shite when you could be pulling down some serious jingle prying secrets from noggins'? I would be happy to back you on a venture like that. What you can do is worth a lot... to the right people."

    Gigg, please go here.
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    "Tum Tum, it feels like I've been asleep for a year, but even in my sleep I know more about my own value than you do." Hmm, I prefer to be the one with the big grin, and right now my face holds only a sort of practiced, familiar boredom.

    "I've got plans and they don't involve bein' some investor's back-pocket Brainer, nor warlordin', nor anythin' but bein' myself. If you want to try and sell me on bein' a convenience to powerful people, rest assured I have an excess of imagination for that."

    Naw, fuggit. I give Rothschild a couple of warnin' touches that I'd like to get up off the couch and stand myself up, haulin' on my arms. Just like I told Beckett, you have to be willing to walk away from a deal you don't like. "Unless you have somethin' interestin' or specific to say, Tum Tum, I think I'm ready to excuse myself from this little court here."
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    Rothschild rises with you, handing crutches, her head in the game again with something to do.
    Seeing you about to leave, Tum Tum sits up, changing his tune, "Hey now, June, don't go away mad. Hell, I was paying you a compliment!" He stands, tilting his head to look at you. After a moment, he drops into his "tempting voice", "You know... I could get that body of yours fixed."
    Rothschild looks surprised, but also wary.
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    Like a velvet glove cast in iron, my dry and patient voice hangs in the air. "Tum Tum I have known a lifelong satisfaction with the size of my breasts and otherwise I have no idea what you're talking about."

    I stare down my nose at him, still like a statue, waiting for him to be a fool again.

    Back in the family parlor, my mother is carefully finishing up my hair, pinning curls into place. She mutters, "Your hair is as unruly as your writin', girl.."

    With my green eyes looking back at me in the mirror, I sigh. My face is smooth except for a crinkled brow as I confess. "I don't want to do this." I'm in a seafoam-colored dress, with just a stole covering my shoulders.

    "I'm sorry that neither your father's sponsor nor mine would take you on. At least not without cutting us off. We're not ready to retire yet, so this is what there is left. All you have to do is control your mouth and dazzle them with your brilliance, and one of them will see what you're worth." Mother rests a tablet on the vanity in front of us both and activates the screen. The light of the screen fills with the clean, soft faces of the wealthy men who might put me through University.

    "Mr. Moser is a fan of that theory where we're all living in a computer simulation, statistics ad absurdum. Mr. Haskowen dropped out of a genetic computation program to run his family's business. Mr. Lilley is one hundred percent military, but try talking communications security with him.."

    She takes a moment to clasp my hands. "Be pleasant with them, June. Let them lead the conversation, be..available..if.."

    "At least I won't have to worry about any of these gentlemen failin' to use a rubber with me." I deadpan to her.

    "Cripes Almighty, June.."

    We've gone over this, rehearsed, but of course once I'm in the shark tank that is this party, it's all the same dull conversation.

    "Miss Weaver, a pleasure to see you. How is your health?"

    "Bless your heart for asking, Mr. Moser. Treatment has stabilized my condition and I'm well. It's as though nothing is wrong with me at all."
  • edited December 2016
    Tum Tum looks puzzled at your crack while Rothschild snickers. The joke helps her return to her previous relaxed state.
    "No, June, I don't care about the amount of fat cells you carry on your chest." Tum Tum clarifies. "I meant your legs, the crutch, the whole ambulatory sha-bang," he rolls his hand in a circle. "I know a guy. Oh, nevermind. Was there anything you needed?"
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    I thought I was going to be angry, but what a relief. Tum Tum thinks I'm an idiot, and after all this balancin' it looks like he's just bankin' hard on some memory enhancements and knowin' people.

    I pull a cigarette out of my jacket's inner pocket and point it forward where he can reach. "A light? What's your guy's name, in case I want to drop yours with him?"

    I'm smilin' wide.
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    He heads over to his chair, reaching into a side pocket to pull out a Zippo. He flicks it open with practiced ease, moves open and lights it, then tilts it so you can light up. "Parcher. He's got some serious hardware. You could wave those crutches bydie bye."
    Rothschild tenses, but she says nothing, trusting that you're playing an angle. She knows that smile.
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    I lean towards the zippo, pull in air through the cig while the end is in the flame and bring the cherry to life. Thought I'd hear that name.

    "I see. Does he operate here in Depot?" Fix me. Parcher would royally cook me up. But if he travels to work..
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    Tum Tum snorts, "Here? Hell no. Too close to TFM for a guy with such talent. He's west. Seems like maybe you're interested? If you're looking to swap, I can give you deets on his location. It moves, so anybody other than me give that up, they're probably behind. I just need a little favor. I'm doing most of the work. Wanna trade?"
  • edited December 2016

    I play coy and make Tum Tum wait for as long as conversationally possible, breathing in and out slowly, making a cloud of troubled-looking smoke. With this information I could find Parcher myself, and if Tum is offering just a location and not a handshake, he can get fugged.

    "No, thank you. Thirty years over in a day? It's too soon. When I feel like runnin' a marathon in the cookin' desert, though, I'll call you up."
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    Tum Tum sighs through his nose. "Am I to take it that you came here, to me, let me ask you to work for me, then denied it. Let me offer you a trade for something you need to think about, and you're going? Either this is the biggest prick tease of the month for me... or you wanted info on Saint Anger and Last handed it to you, free of charge." He narrows his eyes and looks at you, then Rothschild, looking at you like a Rubik's Cube.

    "Can I shoot him, boss?" Rothschild says, reaching behind her back for the nothing you know is there, a playful bluff. She sells it well enough, Tum Tum flinches a little.
    What do you do?
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    "Put that thing away, you know I don't like violence." I tease at Rothschild.

    "Tum Tum, the ant eats and the grasshopper starves. The listener learns and the speaker gets confused. The tortoise outraces the hare." I tap on my cane in time with some words from that last sentence, for emphasis.

    "If I need your work, rest assured I'll call on you, but I've grown pretty set in my pickle-juice ways." Briefly, I tip my hat to him and then, without further ado, step out.
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    Tum Tum doesn't say anything more. You head out into the heat with Rothschild.
    "June," she says once you're out of earshot, "When you are being uppity, it is. Extremely sexy." She pretends to pull a gun from the back of her pants and points two fingers at you, thumb up like a hammer. She mimics firing and the thumb-hammer comes down. "Shot you dead, girl." She grins and blows on the barrel of her finger-gun.
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    I clasp a hand over my heart and double over theatrically. "Rothschild..avenge me!"

    I 'recover' and chuckle, "Well, if you think it's extremely sexy when I'm uppity, then I admire your restraint because I'm more or less dedicated to bein' uppity all the time."

    Leanin' in, I lower my voice to speak privately. "You alright with this? I'm gonna have to find Missed and warn her. But we learned a lot today."
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    Your declaration of being uppity all the time gets a playful purr from Rothschild. But that dies on the vine when you bring it back to Missed and the plan around Saint Anger.
    "June," she says in the same low tone, "we don't need to go messing with Saint Anger. Lots of other scams and trouble to get into. He's... he's bad news." There's more to her words, which you know.
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    "Messin' with him is..not quite on my agenda. But, Roth, he's not goin' away just because we ignore him. Gnarly told me he's found water. I want levers to pull. Just in case." I pull one of her hands up to my face, kiss it. "Now, Parcher..he's a UF sawbones. Him I'm gonna ruin, I think."

    "Trust me. I know what it is to survive in a place like this. I been rhymin' and schemin' a long time. You and me, we're each our own kind of thief."
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    Her eyes flutter closed when you kiss her hand, she relishes the attention. Closes the small distance between you, looking up into your eyes. "I know... I know you know how to survive. I wouldn't be here if I didn't. Parcher? Sure, we can take him down, yeah. I hate the UF. But Anger. He's... he's real bad news, ok?" She swallows, doesn't look away, "Let's just. Stay sharp."
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    "I'm a scalpel," I say with confidence, holding her gaze. "Claire."

    Quietly, gently, I get us back to walking. I can't just roll back into conversation after that. Feels like what we've said needs space. I'm leadin' us to Missed's post, though at this time of day maybe she's still in her room at the Fall On.

    Who knows, maybe this lead with Last won't pan out. But still..somethin' about Tum's performance in there has me wonderin' how cozy he is with Saint Anger. I have to scratch him off my 'useful' list. I was gonna drop the water news on him to see how it played but..no.

    Wonder what poor sucker he was gonna try and hand off to my tender ministrations, and for whom?
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    The look on her face when you call her Claire, June. Complete and utter surprise. The look she wears like a mask most of the time, eyeing the world like it's a puzzle to unlock, it's gone. She follows you, catches up and walks beside you, but she's too stunned to ask for more. Not yet. Not in public, because like you, she realizes this conversation isn't best to have in front of curious ears and eyes.

    You get to The Pit to find Last. Please go here.
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