[AW] Fleece's Place

edited November 2010 in In-Game
Navarre, you're fucked up.

Tum Tum tried getting you to go to the surgeon, talk you out of going to find her, but you weren't having it. You wanted to talk to Ruby. Set things straight I guess. It didn't take long to find out where she was. But, your stomach turned when you finally heard the words from someone's lips.

"Yeah, I think she's over at Fleece's place."

Yet, here you are. Fleece has cordoned himself off in a section of the East Wing. Seems like lately, he and his crew have been isolating themselves from the rest of the Rough Riders. Here you are, at the tall, iron-bound, oak double doors leading into his crew's section of the mansion. There's a big fucking skull, painted in what looks like dried mud and blood, covering the width of the doors. You can hear voices coming from inside moving closer to you and before you have a chance to do anything, one of the doors opens.

Three people come out, it's Lala, Putrid and Rufe. What are they doing here? They're in Tum Tum's squad. They walk past you, knowingly avoiding bumping into you, but still eyeballing the fuck out of your wounds, the blood drenched clothing.

Another burly figure is standing at the door after they leave. You know him as Threader. He's got this jean jacket on, studded on the shoulders with tiny metal spikes, and this crude looking cudgel hanging from his belt. His face is consumed by this thick, matted beard. He smells like he hasn't taken a dip in fucking weeks.

What do you do?
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  • Oh, it's not so much setting things straight. He hasn't admitted it to himself, but if Ruby apologized, Navarre wouldn't be able to say no to her. And, well, if she apologized, he'd probably take on Fleece over her, even in his current condition. No, it's about that damned doll. See, Navarre's been under Crutch's care before, and Navarre's not the best patient, so he figures that if he does surrender to the surgeon, he's going to be totally blissed out for a week, and then wake up, groggy and puking. Thing is, that doll is dangerous, and while Ruby gets to make her own decisions, Navarre feels enough of a responsibility to her that she should know about this.

    (And of course the irony here is that Gritch has the doll. But Navarre doesn't know that, and he jumped to a conclusion.)

    Weaponry: I figure that when we separated, I offered the use of my 9mm and my magnum to Tum Tum; I trust him to get them back to me. If he wants to hand them back to me right there, well, I've got pockets. I haven't gone back to my place since the shootout, so I've still got an assault rifle slung over my shoulder, but I'm carrying it like luggage, with no apparent intent to use it.

    So I'm visibly armed, covered in blood (mostly my own), and still leaking from a few bullet holes. I'm a little bit wobbly on my feet (at 10:00 but stable). I walk up to Threader.

    "Hey, Threader. I hear Ruby's moved in here. You think I can talk to her for a few minutes?"
  • Yeah. I'm imagining that Tum Tum went off to secure his crew, Lala, Tao, etc... and make sure they are ready for any missions Uncle might send them on (despite them being on watch throughout the night - Tum Tum's tough like that). So, when he parted ways with you, I'm thinking he gave you back any weapons you loaned him.

    Threader looks at you suspiciously. You don't think you've ever seen this guy smile. He's broad-chested and one of the stoutest motherfuckers in the Chateau.

    "She's here. And, no, you can't talk to her. Not for a few minutes, not for a few seconds. Beat it."

    He steps out toward you, closing the door behind him. He's creating a human shield between you and the door. He crosses his pipe-like forearms over each other and stares down at you from his towering height.
  • I smile sweetly at him. "Look, Threader, I'm having a really bad day. I've already killed three men, and I haven't even had lunch yet. All I want to do is talk to Ruby. All you have to do is go in there and tell her. Either that, or I go away, have a sandwich, and come back really pissed off. Clear?"

    (I'm pretty sure this is going aggro.: #DiceRoller( 2d6+3 ))
  • Threader's arrogance visibly dissipates. He drops his arms to his side, thumbing his cudgel. He stares at you, clearly weighing your threat. Then, he says something.

    "Come on in. Fleece ain't gonna be pleased though."

    He turns and opens the door, entering and expecting you to follow behind him.

    The chamber beyond is in disrepair, crumbling in some places. It's a larger room, with vaulted ceilings and high walls that have alcoves where some priceless statuettes probably stood. Now, it looks like it's been turned into some sort of command center. There are sandbags built up into short walls facing the door. A few men, Rough Riders, sit in positions behind the sandbagged wall. They're passing a flask around to each other and yapping about the great time they had at Mimi's place the night before. They don't pay any particular attention to you.

    There's a tent set up in the center of this chamber. There are a couple people inside the tent, standing over a foldout table. Looks like there are maps strung out across the table. This is fucking weird. You've never been in here before, but it's not what you expected.

    Threader puts his hand out.

    "Wait here."

    You wanna do anything before he heads off to do what he's heading off to do?
  • Not really. I wait patiently, and unobtrusively as I can. I try not to bleed on the floor.

    I mean, I figure I have two objectives here. One is to warn Ruby about the doll. The other is to not keel over unconscious. If Ruby's not in the room, I'm putting as much effort as I have to into the second objective.

    I'd be crazy to not mention this to Uncle, of course, in case he doesn't know about Fleece's war room, but that will happen later. Possibly after a course of narcostabs.
  • edited November 2010
    Threader comes back, Ruby in tow. She has a scowl on her face and you can tell she ain't excited to see you. Threader stands back near the sandbags, clearly keeping his eyes on you, as Ruby walks over to you.

    Ruby's talking in a low, unpleasant voice. She keeps looking over her shoulder, like she's watching out for something.

    "What the fuck are you doing here?"

    Ruby's bundled up in this green, stained blanket.
  • I was rehearsing all the things I was going to say to her in my head. Ruby, I don't want to accuse you of anything, but you know that little doll that used to sit on the shelf over my bed?

    And then she walks in, and they all go out of my head, and I feel lightheaded, and I'm not sure if it's the blood loss or if it's Ruby.

    "I... you left... you took... I mean... aw, fuck."

    I take a deep breath.

    "You took your stuff out of my room, and there was this doll, a weird little thing made of wax and hair, and it's a dangerous thing to do with ghosts and shit, and I didn't see it on the shelf over the bed where it usually is, and I wanted to make sure you didn't take it by accident because it could fuck you up, and, I mean, I don't want that to happen to you, even if... well..."
  • edited November 2010
    Ruby's demeanor goes from unpleasant to ... I don't know ... defeated? You see her head drops, hangs lifelessly, and you sense tears welling up inside of her.

    "You came here for your fucking doll? That ugly piece of crap?"

    Tears start to flow. You can see a handful hit the stone floor, mixing in with the dust to create a constellation of muddy tear prints. She wipes her face and turns to start to walk away. She's done with this conversation it seems.

    What do you do?
  • edited November 2010
    "No, Ruby, I came here because it's fucking dangerous and I didn't want you hurt."

    And suddenly, I'm shouting. "Goddamnit, look at me. I damn near had to wrestle fucking Tum Tum so he wouldn't drag me off to Crutch, so I could come here and warn you. You know the nightmares I have, the two or three weeks I lost after Dog Head decided to kick me out? That fucking doll has something to do with them, and I don't want that to happen to you. Even now."

    I just can't stay mad at her, though. I've done what I came here to do. "It's not about getting the damn thing back. It's probably better off lost, anyway. Just, I had to come warn you."

    And all the fight's out of me now. "I wish it hadn't ended like this."
  • (If there were Navarre-to-English subtitles under that, they'd probably say something like "I'm really worried about you, and I still care about you, but I'm focusing on relatively trivial concrete matters because I can't handle the thought of us breaking up right now.")
  • Ruby turns back to you.

    "Then maybe you should go find your friend, Gritch. He's the one who probably took it after he kicked me out for you."

    Everyone in the place comes to an uneasy attention when you start shouting and Threader is already moving in on you. The rest of the guys are staying back, but you see guns and machetes and baseball bats once lying around now in the hands and at the ready.

    "Alright, buddy. Time for you to go!"

    Threader starts to put his hands on you, but then he's interrupted.

    "Threader! Fleece wants to see Fido."

    It's Gettys, one of Fleece's best men. Some say they're blood kin. Threader looks confused and a bit embarrassed. He doesn't grab you. Instead, he looks at you and speaks in a calm voice.

    "Let's go."

    Ruby's out of the place now. You see her disappear down a corridor blocked off by this huge, red hanging flag.
  • All the fight's out of me. I did everything I needed to do, and suddenly I'm feeling even more lightheaded, aware of all the blood I've lost and all the adrenaline that's not surging through me anymore. I'm thinking that two weeks of heavy sedation under Crutch's tender mercies sounds pretty damn good.

    "Okay," I say to Threader, meekly. "Lead on."
  • Threader leads you past the tent, down the far corridor opposite the one Ruby went down, and into this room filled with men.

    Fleece is there. Behind a desk, a massive, heavy looking metal desk. His bald, cleanly shaven head is glistening from the nearby light from some oil lanterns. Fleece is a dark-skinned man. When he stands as you enter, you note his thin frame. But, it's deceptive. He's quite the scrapper. He's wearing this old bomber jacket with several patches across it, accented by this white - well, more beige - scarf tucked into the front of the jacket where the zipper ends and up around his neck. The jacket fits him like it was made for him. There's a knife wound in the jacket, like maybe Fleece or the former owner was once stabbed with a thick blade there. Fleece picks up a hat (it looks like a Russian fur ear cap) as he stands and pulls it onto his bald head. The hat, unlike the jacket, doesn't seem to fit him too well.

    Fleece is flanked by Gettys now. You feel Threader's presence behind you. Well, you smell him behind you is what I mean. Two other cats you've never had the pleasure to meet are here also. One of 'em has a piece of rebar resting on his shoulder and the other has this golf club, a thick wooden driver, he's casually swinging in front of him.

    "Ah!"

    Fleece seems excited to see you. You get the feeling he feels like he's got one-up on you, being as Ruby's here and all.

    "Fido! Uncle's lapdog. How nice of you to join us! Please, have a seat."

    There's a chair in front of Fleece's desk. It's a rocking chair, missing several slats out of the back. You feel Threader's grip now on your shoulder, beckoning you to sit.
  • edited November 2010
    I sit. I have no real interest in picking a fight; all I want right now is to go see Crutch to die. Or get better: right now, the difference seems mostly academic.

    But I forget I have an assault rifle slung over my shoulder, and when it bumps against the chair I casually unsling it and set it on the floor next to the chair.
  • Fleece walks over to a barred window, no glass. He's looking out there, into the fog. Fleece talks fast. And, he has a sing-song cadence to his voice.

    "You look like you just got fucked up. That the result of all that gunfire I just heard?"
  • "Yes, sir. Someone had a problem with Uncle, managed to get two fuckers into his cabin while he was sleeping. Two more showed up in a balloon. We came out of it better than they did, though, and Uncle has one of them still alive for questioning."
  • Fleece is shaking his head.

    "Mmm. Mm. M. See, Fido?"

    Fleece is chuckling to himself, nearly under his breath.

    "That's the problem with Uncle. Shit like that happenin' right under his own nose. He's gettin' old, that one. Too fucking old."

    Fleece walks back over toward you.

    "This one he's got still alive... You get a look at the man?"

    Fleece has positioned himself behind you now.
  • "Not really, sir, I was pretty badly fucked up in the firefight, and I only came to in his cabin after it was over. And the one that was alive wasn't a man - Uncle told Princy to get her locked up, just as I was coming to."

    (Clarification: I screwed up, I thought Violetta was dead, but I reread the thread to make sure, and I was wrong. So Navarre thinks he's telling the truth. He may have caught a glimpse of Seville, but he didn't hear any orders relating to him, and so he jumped to conclusions.)
  • Fleece puts both his hands on your shoulders. He leans in close from behind. You can smell his breath. It smells like curried lamb.

    "A girl?"

    Fleece is massaging your shoulders now.

    "A girl got in on Uncle?"

    He seems genuinely surprised.

    "That old fucker always did have a soft spot for the ladies. I guess it turned back on him."

    Fleece lets go. He's walking back around to his desk now. He sits with a plop down into his swivel chair and leans forward.

    "Times are changing around here, Fido. I got a proposition for you. Although, it might involve you getting up off of Uncle's lap and becoming your own man finally. You interested in hearing more? Or, are you too closely leashed to the wrinkly fuck?"
  • I look him in the eye.

    "It's probably not a good idea to tell me anything right now. I mean, I'm a terrible liar under the best circumstances, and after I'm done here I'm supposed to be heading over to Crutch's. Odds are good I'm going to be pretty heavily sedated soon, and you probably don't want me mumbling the wrong thing at the wrong time.

    "Also, I know I have a rep as the guy who turned traitor on Dog Head -- but I didn't turn on him until he turned on me first. Until Uncle does something to fuck me over, I'm not doing a damn thing to fuck him over."

    I keep eye contact. I'm expecting a golf club to the back of the head, or something, but at least I'll have died honestly.
  • Fleece doesn't seem perturbed by your response. He was probably expecting it.

    "See. That's why I like you Fido. Loyalty. Question is... is Uncle the extent of your loyalties? Yeah. Maybe. But, poor little Ruby came crawling to me this morning, says you kicked her out. After what she'd been doing for you up at Mimi's? Damn. That's cold."

    Fleece leans back and you feel Threader's hand on your shoulder again. Fleece continues.

    "You don't care for her no more, Fido? How would you feel if something terrible happened to poor Ruby?"
  • "What she was doing for me?" I'm baffled. "She was working at Mimi's, I found that out, but she wasn't doing it for me."

    (And inside, I'm thinking, oh please, not now, I don't want to have to kill anyone else today.)
  • Fleece laughs a little laugh.

    "Goddamn boy. You don't know your ass from your elbow. Ruby was working on saving up so you and her could take the boat on upstream to that little hideaway paradise they talk about. Utopia or some shit?"

    Fleece gets serious.

    "Fuck that. My utopia is where some old, broke down cocksucker isn't running things like shit ain't over. Fido, you don't know the shit going down outside these walls. You think that missing patrol got 'lost' or somethin'? Fuck naw. Uncle's time is over. Now, you gotta decide, you gonna go down with him - for him? Or, are you gonna find your way along with your women in tow?"
  • I steel myself. "I'm pretty sure I've already lost my woman, Fleece. And I already told you, I'm not going to fuck Uncle over unless he fucks me over first."

    Yeah, that first part is a lie. I'm hoping he doesn't realize it.
  • Fleece frowns.

    "Well, that's too bad, Fido. Could have used a strong motherfucker like you. Go see the doc, Fido."

    Threader's grip gets tighter on your shoulder and Fleece nods to the two other guys in the room.

    "Let him go."

    They all kind of look at each other, clearly stunned. Fleece doesn't hesitate to respond to their hesitation.

    "You fucking heard me! Get him the fuck out of here!"

    Threader motions for you to get moving.
  • Now I'm confused. But I pick up my assault rifle, nod to Fleece, nod to Threader, and walk out, heading for Crutch's place, hoping like hell that Fleece believed me when I said I had already lost Ruby.

    Because if he didn't believe me, he knows that he's got some major power over me. Enough power to make me betray Uncle? Fuck, I hope I don't have to find out.
  • Crutch's place looks pretty much the same as it did this morning. The doors are still open, and you think you hear some sobbing coming from down in the bunker.

    Approaching the stairs that lead down, you see Crutch standing over the body of some fat fuck laid out on his metallic operating table. The fat guy is clearly dead, a gunshot wound in his neck. Crutch doesn't notice you at first, but he's got some tools laid out like he might be about to perform some kind of surgery.

    Further into the bunker, you see a man strung up to an IV lying on a cot. Must be the guy Spector toted in.

    What do you do?
  • I knock on the door. "Hey, Crutch?"

    When he acknowledges me, I head down the stairs.

    "I got kinda shot this morning, in that little shootout with the balloon. I had something I had to take care of, so I probably fucked everything up, but if you could take a look at me I'd appreciate it, and I bet Uncle would too."
  • Crutch looks up at you. You startled him a bit. But, he acknowledges you and motions you down.

    "I figured some of you would be coming by. Sit down, lemme have a look."

    He takes a look at your wounds. He's shaking his head, like 'No.'

    "This is pretty bad. But, you're not dead. I don't know if I have much that can help you. I mean, I'm running low on supplies and Uncle hasn't really given me anything to work with... I'll see what I can do yeah."

    He pushes you back onto a cot. He draws a syringe out of his apron pocket.

    "Lie back now, buddy. You're gonna feel a prick, but then the pain's gonna go away."

    You let him stab you with that needle?
  • He's the doctor, right? I'm hardly the type to question legitimate authority. And I really was expecting to be sedated for a while.
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