[AW] Where Gritch Goes to Navarre

edited October 2010 in In-Game
Let's go ahead and get this rolling. I think we can make the scene fit in.

Gritch, you're standing in Barker's little room, in front of his desk. He's got his boots propped up on this old, heavy desk and his forearms resting on his boulder of a belly. They're propping up his hands so he can read, well... examine, this tattered, ripped up magazine with nude ladies all over it. He doesn't notice you at first.
«1

Comments

  • I dig into my pocket for another cigarette, light it. Exhale the smoke.

    "Y'know, if you're lookin' for real live pussy, Mimi would probably be more than happy to fix you up. Might not look as pretty, but I bet it's better for fuckin' than any of that paper shit." I'm not jokin', and I'm not insulting Barker. I'm just tryin' to start a conversation, and I honestly think the boy probably could do better than an old nudie mag from Before. Gotta make decent pay, bein' a Rough Rider lieutenant an' shit. "Personal experience, I'd recommend Fauna, but Kettle's a good stand-in, you don't mind the noise."

    Drop the cigarette, crush it beneath my boot.

    "I'm hopin' you can help me find Navarre. Where's he assigned fer the day?"
  • Barker folds up the magazine and tucks it into an inside pocket of his coat. He's taken his boots off the desk and he's leaning forward on his elbows, planted on the desk, now.

    Barker doesn't look pleased by your tone. But, he suddenly grins, like the punch line from some joke just hit him.

    "Well, well, well... I see Navarre's little butt buddy just arrived. Ha. Sure, I can tell you where he's at. O'course, you know there's gonna be a toll on this highly classified information. Whatcha got for me, Gritch?"
  • I arch an eyebrow at the motherfucker. Barker's always been a bit of a prick, but normally he leaves me well the fuck alone. Somethin' musta set him off somehow today.

    "Uncle know you're askin' for tolls on the whereabouts o' his men? Hell, Barker, how do y'know that Uncle didn' ask me to find Naverre. Tell you what, though. You tell me where Navarre is, and I'll tell that spooky that's been stickin' to your ass like a shit stain to leave you the fuck alone."

    My eyes, cold dead eyes which've served me well, are locked on his. I'm not much of a liar, really, an' I gotta rely on people not wantin' to look at me to go undetected. Although, t'be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a spooky sucklin' on Barker. Guys like Barker tend to accumulate spookies like flies to a corpse.
  • You making a move here?
  • I dunno, am I? I guess it's kind of manipulate, but that doesn't seem necessarily true unless the threat of a spooky really has much hold over Barker, because otherwise I'm not exerting any leverage over him. The only other thing I can think of would be to open my brain to the Maelstrom and see if there really is something, or maybe try to call something to him, but I hadn't been planning on doing that quite yet.
  • edited October 2010
    I thought you might be using direct-brain whisper projection based on your description in order to make him think the spook was there. Right now. If not, let's just go with the conversation. Up to you.
  • Nah, not for the moment. I read direct-brain whisper projection as being more violent, because it's in lieu of going aggro. So I figured I'd have to make a threat or something, and it would be a case where "the spooky will hurt you, or you'll tell me what I want to know." Didn't want to go quite that far yet. Maybe in a moment, though.
  • Sure thing. Just clarifying.

    Barker sits up and you see him shiver a little bit. Spiders must be crawling up his spine.

    "I know Uncle didn't send you to find me, cause Uncle ain't sent no one to do nothing yet. Yah hear?"

    He stands up and tries to convert his belly into a puffed out chest. He's still standing behind his desk, but you can see him thumbing his military pistol belt with one hand and massaging his jaw with the other.

    "For all I know, you're the one bringing the spooks around, Gritch. Maybe I should just cut you up into little pieces and feed you to Nessy? How 'bout that? Now. You want the information, you pay the fuck up. Otherwise, quit wasting my precious time with my girls."

    Barker's eye-brow furrows. He means business.
  • (Okay, I'm there.)

    Oh, this won' do. No, this won' do at all.

    My eyes lock onto Barker's, and I feel the cold start trickling into my fingers.

    "You ever felt what it's like when a spooky's around, Barker?" The pressure starts building in my forehead... "It's different every time. Cold, maybe, or hot as rage. Depends on the spooky." Spreading to my temples. "But there's always this underlying feelin', can't get rid of it. It's like an itch in your brain, an' it grows stronger an' stronger, til you can't think of anythin' anymore." Ears feel like there's a drum pounding in there. "It's a wrongness, an' you can't put your finger on it, can't see it, can't hear it, but it's there, gnawing away at you, piece by piece." My tongue is dry in my mouth, and my vision begins to cloud at the edges.

    "You ever feel that, Barker?"

    On the last syllable, I let it all go.

    I never really know what happens next. How it feels to them. I don't even know if maybe I'm doing more than I think, if I really am callin' up some spookies o' my own, to do as I tell 'em, just for these few seconds. I don' know if my brain just got used to the spookies, so now it can do as they do. I just don' know.

    Don' really care, either. It works. That's all that matters.

    "And yeah, Barker. Maybe I am the one bringin' the spookies around. But then, doesn't that mean I'm the one person you'd rather not piss off?"

    I let the words float, and I wait for him to start screamin'.

    (Yeah, so direct-brain whisper projection. I'm doin' it. And it's Weird, so experience again.)

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )
  • I'm assuming you carry most of your gear on you, yeah? I'm thinking specifically this antique handgun. Where you keep it?
  • Yeah, I probably keep my gear on me most times. I've got a belt I figure I wear on the outside of the hazmat suit, with pouches full of odds and ends, cigarettes, and so on. My pain wave projector hooks onto the belt on a carabiner, and I keep my violation glove in another pouch. The antique pistol I keep in holster made out of salvaged duct tape on my right hip.
  • Great.

    Barker's coming over the top of his desk, shit getting knocked everywhere, before you have a chance to finish the words 'piss off' and he's on you before you can react. The wind is almost knocked out of you as he slams you up against the stone wall. His vice-like grip is pushing up against your throat and his face is fucking red with fury. There's this vein kind of bulging from his neck. His breath is rank, and he's spitting in your face as he talks.

    "You...! You take your fucking ghosts and leave me the fuck alone, you fucking creep!"

    Barker starts feeling across your belt, to your duct-tape holster. You feel him yank the antique handgun out and he holds it up in front of your face.

    "This should do, Gritch. He's in the fucking troughs. See how easy that was? Now, fuck off."

    Barker releases his grasp on you and tucks the pistol into the front of his belt. He stands there, fuming, and waits for you to leave.
  • I cough for a couple seconds, and then I lift my eyes back up to him. I wasn't expecting quite that violent an outburst, although I guess maybe I should've. Now, though, I'm pissed. I don't want to fight him here, not where he's got the upper hand. But I won't forget.

    "I'll be back for that gun. Sooner or later. And in the meantime, enjoy the spookies, Barker. I know they'll enjoy you." And I'm out the door before he says another word. Fucker.

    Maybe I can talk to Mimi. Get him a girl, get him sedated, and then have at his brain. Like an open fuckin' book. Somethin' to keep in mind.

    Or maybe I can just ask Navarre to kill the fucker.

    My feet take me one step at a time towards the troughs.
  • Navarre is shoveling shit cheerfully, like shoveling shit is the best thing that anyone could possibly think of doing on a foggy, chilly day. He's doing well more than his fair share of the work, but there's enough let to do that Pete will be feeling it in his back tomorrow and Rothschild will feel like he's put in a good day's work.

    "Looks like we'll be out of here a little after lunch, guys, if we can keep this rate up."

    He hears Gritch approach, pauses for a second, leans on his shovel, and grins. He's still spattered with Bowdy's blood, and now shit, and in spots the blood is smeared where he wiped his sweat.

    "Hey, Gritch! What's up? You here to pick up a shovel, maybe clean some spookies out of the sewer?"
  • "Navarre, I think even the spookies got a good mind to stay out of a place smells as rank as that." The stench is thick and cloying, but I wipe it from my mind. I've smelled worse in my time. Navarre, though, looks like he don' even notice. Hell, he looks happier than a man who's got the whole harem to hisself. Boy always manages to look happy when I see him. Even when he's concerned, or worried, it's there, an undercurrent. Might be enough to convince me he was a jus' plain nice guy, if I hadn't seen him do some killin' once or twice.

    "Navarre, you got a minute? We need to talk, kid."
  • "Sure thing, Gritch. Let's, um, head outside, where you won't have to put up with the smell. Pete, Rothschild, keep on working, I'll be back in a few."
  • I make sure we're well outta earshot of anybody before we start talkin' next to a few trees growin' on the grounds, and near to a few walls of corrugated metal from failed shacks. No one around, far as I can see. Good a time as any. Plus, Navarre doesn't seem to have any of his guns on him. Probably a good thing.

    For my part, the empty holster where my gun should be aches like a freaking vacuum. I'd never draw on Navarre for a couple o' reasons. But still, y'know? Nice to have the safety blanket.

    "Navarre. I'm goin' cut to the chase here, because you're a man as deserves to know. Yer girl, Ruby. She's been pullin' some stints at Mimi's lately. I ain't seen her there, an' I ain't been with her, o'course, but I heard about it. Y'need to think about this careful like, before you take any action. An' there's no way in hell you should be thinkin' about hurtin' anyone, kid. Just t'be clear."

    I let the words spill out quick, so they'll get into him all at once. Maybe it'll make it better. I dunno.

    After I finish speakin', I watch him, an' I wait.
  • edited October 2010
    The cheerfulness drains out of Navarre like someone letting the air out of an inflatable mattress. When he speaks, it's low and quiet.

    "How do you know? Who told you?"

    Navarre's thinking about the last few nights, how many times he's woken up and Ruby's been gone, how she always had a reason. He's thinking about this morning, how other times when he's said, "I'm not going to be able to get back to sleep," she took it as an invitation even when it wasn't meant that way, how she's been sleeping in a lot more than she used to.

    He doesn't really wait for an answer, and says, "You know, I thought someday we would have kids together." He's not really talking to Gritch, but he doesn't seem to care that Gritch hears.

    He reaches around, behind his back, and pulls out his handgun. It's not a violent gesture, it's not a threatening one, it's just that he seems to need something to do with his hands.
  • Fuck. I don' like this. This is worse than yellin' an' shootin' an' hollerin'. I don't do good with sad or melancholy. Don't like it much. Normally I'd walk away, but...well, fuck, I don't want to do that to Navarre. Not to mention, I did this to the man, and for what?

    Well, for White. So maybe it was worth it. But still.

    "You still can, kid," I say. "She's just fuckin' guys for money. It's one o' the more honest forms o' work a girl can get around her, partic'lar with Mimi runnin' the show. Plus, if you're the one she spends her nights with, well, that's gotta mean somethin', right?" I fish out a cigarette from a pouch and light up, hopin' it'll help calm us both down a bit.

    "Maybe you should just talk to her? Figure out why she did it in the firs' place? See if you can fix it? And if not, well, come on, man. The Chateau's got plenty o' girls."
  • "But she's not spending her nights with me. She's there when I fall asleep and when I wake up. In between, she's off... whoring."

    Navarre starts to pace.

    "You know for a fact it's true she's doing this? Stake your life on it true? Fuck, I don't know what to do. I thought I could trust her."
  • "Kid, don't say 'whorin' like it's a bad word. It's not. There's much worse, like I said. It's just fuckin', come down to it, 'specially if her heart's not in it. An' I don' know that I'd stake my life on it. I ain't seen the girl, certainly ain't been with her, like I said. But I heard about it from someone I trust, an' it's at least worth talkin' to her about."

    Another long drag. Fuck.

    "Look, kid, I don't know what you want to do about this. But maybe..." Fuck. "Maybe I could talk to her for you." Fuck.

    Fuck, I didn't want to get this involved. Fuck.
  • Navarre sighs. "You know, before all the shit happened and the world went to hell, people thought love was pretty fucking important. They spent months, years, trying to make sure their kids were in happy relationships. They had grandchildren. It's not --" and he thinks, choosing his words carefully, "it's not that whoring is wrong or evil, it's just that it could be better. I mean, what did I do wrong? I made sure she had a safe place to sleep, nobody dared to fuck with her. She had enough food to eat, a little bit of jingle when I could spare it, sometimes even when I couldn't. And she's sneaking around on me because that's not enough, somehow."

    He stops pacing, looks over Gritch, thinking something over, turning the gun over in his hands.

    "You don't have to talk to her. But if you see her, tell her that, well, tell her that she better move her stuff out of my room, because if I see her, well, I don't know if I'll be able to stop myself from doing something I really don't want to do."

    He suddenly realizes that he's holding the gun, and he tucks it away again.

    "That all, Gritch? I still got some shit to shovel." A pause. "And, maybe, I could come see you tonight, not sure I want to go home to a cold bed until I have to."
  • "Yeah. I'll be at my place." I turn, and leave.

    Kid's tough in all the right places, and soft in all the wrong places.

    Maybe that's why I kinda like 'im.

    Regardless...well, Mimi asked me t'make sure that Naverre didn't cause shit. I don't think he's gonna head up to Mimi's and start up a shoot out or nothin', but what he said about Ruby herself didn' sound good. I made a promise t'make certain Naverre didn't hurt no one o' Mimi's, and I guess Ruby counts as that now. Better go find the girl, an' tell her to skedaddle out o' Naverre's place, afore he decides to tell her at the end of a gun.

    Besides, I ain't got nothin' better to do for the moment. No one's had a spooky problem for a few weeks now. Might be gettin' nice an' quiet around here in that regard, at least. Sad, cuz it'll put me outta work, but still, kinda nice.
  • (Just realized, I didn't say. I guess I'd head out to find Ruby now.)
  • Navarre goes back to the undercroft, and back to work, only now his heart's not in it and his mind's elsewhere. Rothschild is safe, but Pete sure as hell better not start anything.
  • (And it's right about that time when Pete decides to start bragging about his latest sexual conquest...)
  • You don't get that far Navarre, as you guys are talking, you notice this strange sort of flash in the sky. A tiny little glowing thing shooting straight up and burning bright for a bit, then sort of slowly starting to dwindle. It's the flare for when something bad has happened. Looks like it's coming down from the docks.

    Gritch is gone and you're heading back down to the troughs, but this loud rumbling kind of rolls past you. It's this cool motherfucker Tum Tum. You ain't talked to him much, but you've seen his ass in battle before and you know he ain't a bitch. He's also one of the few of Uncle's men who calls you by Navarre. As he rolls by, he kind of shouts out to you in a gruff, but calm voice.

    "Finish that shit up, Navarre. I might be needing you here soon. We're taking a body to the morgue. Meet me there."
  • (This is assuming that Tum Tum is higher in the pecking order than Barker is, and that the shovelers have done a reasonable amount of mucking out. If either's not the case, I'll rewrite.)

    "Yes, sir!"

    I head back to the undercroft. "Rothschild, Pete, I've got something else to take care of, Tum Tum just told me. We're looking good here, finish up anything you need to finish up, get the tools put away." More quietly, to Rothschild: "You done a good day's work here, old man, more than anyone should have asked. You need any help or a favor, you just come find me, I'll take care of it, no questions asked."

    Then I take my shovel, any spare shovels, and Rothschild's (if he's done with it) to put away. Then to report to Barker. In his office --

    "Got the undercroft mucked out, Barker. Pete and Rothschild are finishing up. Tum Tum wants me at the morgue."
  • edited October 2010
    Oh yeah. Tum Tum is definitely higher on the totem pole than Barker, who actually kind of works under Rice, the quartermaster. Tum Tum's more about security than making sure shit is shoveled or whatever.

    Barker's fondling this antique-looking handgun. It's kind of shiny and immaculate in a way that most other guns are just pieces of metal and plastic. This thing is like a work of art. And, you've seen it before. Gritch typically carries it about, tucked into his little duct-tape holster. Barker's office is a mess, like there was recently a scuffle.

    He's entranced by the gun. He growls at you.

    "Yeah, whatever."
  • Ooh, let's back up a second. Navarre's in a mood. Might be time for another scuffle.

    "Hey, Barker, isn't that Gritch's gun? How'd you get your hands on it?"
Sign In or Register to comment.