[Ashen Snow] New Girl in Town [W 6.1]

edited November 2012 in In-Game
You arrived at Evan Element hold earlier this morning, just you and Thatch. She drove like a woman possessed to get here, you're still not entirely sure why. She said the warlord Domino paid her a queen's sum in jingle to deliver some paints and ochres to some prettyboy named Ambrose. But that wasn't the whole story. It rarely is with Thatch. She's one hell of a driver, works a circuit through the Nine Cities, sells some smack on the side, lots of parties, lots of favors. I'm sure you two travel in some of the same circles. But I'm curious, how did the two of you hook up?

While Thatch went on and on about seeing her old flat that she called Waterberth and sleeping in the best bed in the Nine Cities, she kept coming back to Ambrose, talking about his honeyed words, his impressive form, his dances. What was it that you said to Thatch to convince her to go for and sleep with Ambrose?

Enough about Thatch, right? She snuck off to Waterbeth, you went to ShantyTown. Luckily ShantyTown has kept up their tin roofs that connect all the little shacks and hovels so you can travel without being exposed to the Ashen Snow, the motes and ash spewed from the nearby volcanoes that burn and always find their way onto an exposed piece of skin. Of course, the ash causes the air to be thick with smoke and no tin roof protects you from that, so ShantyTown is a hazy mess. But where there's misery, sometimes there's opportunity, right?

You'd heard that Domino and her horde fell into in-fighting and split into a bunch of smaller gangs that are fighting things out around here. That's got to have lots of little murders that need doing, right? It's all about finding the right paying customer now.

As for that opportunity, let's see how you fared when you first got here.

Let's see your Juggling roll to know how this first afternoon went.

Right now, you're sitting in an underground bunker that is decked out pretty well. The guy who runs the place is an old fussypants named Tryst. But the cock of the walk is a gang leader named Vulture. Vulture is barely your age, has a hawk nose and a spider tattoo on his face. He smokes like a freight train and he's got a frizzy-haired floozy with him named Swoozie who acts the part of arm candy, but you see her killer's eyes. You know them, but you keeps yours hidden better.

So you're sitting on a bunch of pillows in the main room, which is maybe twenty by twenty. Earthen walls, tile floor. Probably hell when it rains if they don't seal it above. Somebody is playing some music on a radio real low (Jimmy Hendrix stuff). This place is pretty chill right now, the gang is filtering in and out, most of them have bandages or open wounds, lots of alcohol flowing, they look a little beaten down. Vulture has put away his cigs for the hookah Swoozie brought out just now. He's dancing around his words, he wants you to do something for him, but he hasn't come out and just said it, you're not sure why.

What do you do?
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  • First and foremost, let's do that juggling roll:
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )

    Jobs worked: 2 (Fucking & Pursuing luxury)
  • edited November 2012
    Winter and Thatch have been pretty close ever since Friggah, the hardholder of Nokes, hired her to take out some "up-and-coming" ganger named Dillinger that had been causing him some grief — Winter hired Thatch to take her out to where Dillinger's gang had been hanging out at the time. On the way out, Thatch admitted that she knew him from way back, didn't much care for the guy, and offered to help make the introduction. What started out as a simple hit turned into a paying job fucking the poor bastard, and she walked out of that job twice as rich as was going in. Turns out having someone to make that first connection, someone seemingly removed from the whole job, makes for an easier time selling services. Winter's whole operation now relies pretty heavily on members of her crew making introductions, having people vouch for her. Word of mouth is key.

    As for Ambrose: Winter's a "professional fucker" (as the few people who know both her jobs have taken to calling her), and knowing what people want is key to success in this industry. You don't go on and on about the various redeeming qualities of someone, all the while salivating for more, without setting of a few alarms in Winter's head. Thatch is a hard-working woman, but she's been pretty – uh... let's say neglected – as of late, and it's starting to show in her demeanor. "There are some people I've had," Winter suggested, "that even I do pro bono. Everybody needs that once in a while — it becomes precious to them." Her words were practiced, but they were sincere, "No sense in letting that go, right?"

    Money hasn't been an overly big issue as of late — there's been a pretty steady flow of customers as of late. So she's lounging about in the bunker, enjoying herself with a well deserved cocktail, a French Connection to be specific — not her favorite, but still better than anything else currently being served in this hole in the ground. She catches a glimpse of the frizzled piece of "eye candy" currently glued to Vulture's arm, poorly hiding her intentions. She looks like shit, she thinks to herself — but then she spots Vulture shooting her looks out of the corner of his eye. Hmm, that's interesting. She was going to grab a hookah for herself, but her inner entrepreneur speaks up, and she instead walks up to the bar. It's been a while since she's made an introduction herself — this should be interesting!

    She does so casually, with a practiced sway in her walk (hinting that she's slightly tipsy) and carefully placing Vulture in her path. She bumps into him on the way, and lightly grabs him to balance herself. The grip is firm and precise — exactly the opposite what you would expect of a drunken woman her size. "Oh, excuse me," she says as she steadies herself, and she giggles innocently as she brushes her silky smooth hands against his forearm. She doesn't look at him directly, she definitely doesn't look at his floozy either – that would send the wrong message. Instead she exhales, as if to sober herself, and walks up to the bar. She sits at a stool near the corner of the bar, and lets the party go on behind her. If he wants to talk, he can order a drink at the bar, and Winter will be there waiting for him.

    She's hoping her reputation will speak for her...
  • Reputation roll:
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )
  • ... Winter has a reputation with a lot of gangs: she inspires jealousy among the ranks, and to lesser leaders she's something of a kiss of death. Those who survive claim it's an experience worth the risk.
  • Tryst is behind the bar. He's in his fifties probably, chubby, a couple fingers missing, but he dresses well, keeps himself clean. He knows better than talk directly to you. So he's behind the bar, which is a single piece of metal, like a chopped down truck body, pale blue. Even has a Ford emblem on it.

    Vulture's beside you in a moment, he leans over to tell Tryst, "Another Connection. Whiskey for me." He sits down in the chair beside you, "Winter... not sure if you've heard, but there's a lot of opportunity around here. Gaps in power, old scores to be settled. I've got a job that needs doing, I hear you can take care of things without open warfare. That's what I need. That, and one thing more."

    He pulls out a small black book, a small journal, "I've got a list here. Each name is worth 10% of this bunker to me. Every time you neutralize one of them, the place becomes more yours."
  • Winter doesn't look at the book — that'd be bad form. She doesn't acknowledge him at first – while he's ordering drinks, and talking about opportunity – but when he finally brings up payment, she glances over to him out of the corner of her eye. She thinks for a moment about what he's offering — a chance at running a part of this bunker — and lets him finish. Really, it doesn't matter if there are ten people on that list — there may in fact be eleven or twelve, knowing how bad people are at math these days — as soon as Winter starts killing the people on it there won't be enough jingle in the world to let Vulture part with anything shy of total control over this place, it's just the way these ganger types operate; fortunately, Winter isn't the kind of woman that wants power — the only thing power gets you is bitterness. Jingle, on the other hand...

    She lets out a low sigh, and flicks her hair over her shoulder. "I don't work in IOU's," she says as she turns, bearing her ocean-blue eyes down on him. She takes another sip of her drink, "and I don't want to be responsible for this hole in the ground — it's bad for my skin." She taps her finger down on the cover of the book Vulture produced, and looks down at it expectantly. "Offer me something I want, and I'll make sure everyone on that list gets a happy ending*."

    *OOC: This is a vague contract term Winter invented to mean "go away" — it helps her get out of unnecessary murders if at all possible.
  • Vulture scowls for a moment, then finishes his drink. He glares at Tryst for a second, then snaps his fingers to get his attention, then points behind the bar, "Get me the green bag." While Tryst rummages around, evidently there's a bunch of crap back there, Vulture picks the book back up and slides it into his jacket pocket.

    Its obvious he's buying some time when he says, "You don't look like you need to worry about your skin, Winter. Not at all." Then Tryst stands and puts an olive drab military bag on the bar. Vulture smiles and slides it around to open the flap so you can see inside. The thing is the size of a large purse, fastened securely with some black metal snaps. He pops them and inside is a plastic bag liner and a shiny new gas mask.

    "This is pre-fall, Winter. A real treasure. My gang and I, we came upon a few of these a while back. They work perfectly in the worst Snow, damn good for working when nobody wants to go out, right? It isn't jewelry, but its good for trade if you'd rather. All for name number one. We got a deal now?</font?"
  • Winter eyes the gas mask, and raises an eyebrow — it's interesting, but it's not anything she'd really want for herself. It's worth a day or two's pampering back at Honeydew's at best — Winter usually charged more. She turns her head down to the list, and skims them. If Vulture was lucky, maybe the bastard owes Winter money.

    Who's at the top of the list?
  • Vulture seems to notice your hesitation and says, "Tryst, gimmie the Patron." Tryst looks offended, but Vulture snaps his fingers again and says, "Give me the damn bottle." Tryst looks at you, like he's sizing you up, then sighs and hands him the bottle.

    It looks like this:
    image

    He turns, offering it to you, " Let's up the ante, Winter. I throw in this and one more like it with the mask, and you kill Crackle."
  • Winter sees the Patron and a smile briefly cracks her lips — just long enough for Vulture to see before she purses her lips and leans back, sliding her finger off the notebook and back to her drink, all the while inhaling through her nose. "Well," she finally says, releasing the breath, "don't you just know the way to a woman's heart?" She's being sarcastic, but you'd never guess it. She thinks on it for a moment — eyeing Vulture pensively, as if she's trying to figure him out.

    Read a person
    #DiceRoller( 2d6 )
  • edited November 2012
    Finally, Winter breaks the silence — "What are you going to do with this place when I finish your shopping list?" She's being careful to talk like she's taken the job without actually agreeing to it yet. "Why do you want this place so bad if you were willing to just give a bunch of it to me?"

    Spending my hold: What are Vulture's intentions?
  • Vulture leans in closer and says low, "This place, its just a means to an end, Winter. You see, working through this list will make things just unstable enough for me and a few of my friends to get a say so in things. Once that happens, owning a bar isn't as interesting as just having it as a place I can go."

    Vulture intends to prioritize his list for you and work you through it one by one. You do Crackle, then he takes over there. He really wants inside the hold.
  • Winter can't help but chuckle at the simplicity of it all — kill some dead woman's slave, become prominent voice in the community. "There must be an easier way to get a stake in the hold, Vulture..." She shakes her head, and gives it one last thought. You know... This place isn't so bad, once you get used to the lighting; maybe with a bit of work it could be worth Winter's time. At the very least, she could sell her share and add it to her savings. She takes another sip of her drink, and it warms her a bit — it's not cold in here, what with the volcanic ash being spewed into the air, but a proper cocktail makes Winter a little giddy. She licks her lips as she pours the last of her drink down her throat, savoring the moment, and lets out an almost primal hum of delight.

    She looks over to Vulture, and smiles. The truth is, she doesn't care if Vulture and his friends get a say-so in things or not — heck, there's no guarantee she'd take Vulture's next job. Killing people is a dirty business, and if you spend too long in the same hole, people start to wise up. It may be the French Connection talking, but she's been putting off going back to Honeydew's for far too long, and you just can't do that without a copious amount of jingle. "Nothing personal Crackle," she whispers as she passes her glass back to Tryst, "I'll get back to you when the job's done — I expect full payment on confirmation ... What can you tell me about Crackle these days? Anything that can help me speed up the job?"
  • The gang leader smiles wide and nods a couple times, savoring the agreement between you. He looks at you like someone might look at a stack of money and says, "He's holed up in the hold, never travels alone if he can help it. He's got a flat near the Garden as far as I can tell. He's wormed his way into Norvell and Corbett's graces and he's looking to expand his gang, so there are a few applicants greedy to get a solid roof over their head. That's about all I know. He's kept us at arm's reach."

    Swoozie comes up behind him as he finishes, slides her arms around his waist and shoots you a hateful, possessive look, then slides up to nuzzle into Vulture's neck.

    What do you do?
  • edited November 2012
    The bitch clearly doesn't know who she's dealing with; but ignorance is bliss in some cases, and Winter loves playing into that — she smiles back at Vulture and winks seductively. "Thanks for the tip." She gets up and soberly starts walking over over towards the door; but she stops mid-way and turns back to face Vulture, as if she just remembered something, "Oh yeah! Don't wander too far, OK? I wouldn't want to have to hunt you down if Crackle's men put out a manhunt when they find out what happened." She blows him a kiss, and slowly slips out the door — time to get down to business.
  • Where do you go? Head to the hold now? Find Thatch?
  • Finding Thatch sounds like a good idea. Madame kicked her out of Evan's, didn't she? She can't hold much love for her old slave if that's true... Hopefully she's got that bang out of her system. Winter needs her at the top of her game.
  • Sounds good.

    You head into Evan Element. It's dark, so there are guards at the gates. A guy named Ik recognizes you and lets you through. How does he know you? Does he know you lines of work?

    You see Thatch almost as soon as you enter the hold, she's in The Garden, this wide open area in the middle of the hold where a woman named Shazza continuously grows and cultivates a few trees, fruits and vegetables. The place is humid, steam from The Baths are vented here to provide water for the growing things here. Everything is green, but most of it is painted. A guy on a small cart named Rum is playing his didgeridoo as a rhythym and a young teen named River is playing a fife. Thatch is dancing in her gauzy silk dress that is nearly sheen. Did you pick that one out for her? She's the highlight of the place, but there are a number of folks standing around. Thatch sees you and gives you a wave. Her dance is something both of you saw at a Nokes place called Efforts, a simple bouncy act that is part innocent and part coy. She pulls a young boy who was hiding behind a column up to her and makes him dance. He looks completely frightened, just stands there for a few moments. But Thatch dances around him, laughing, snickering. Its obvious she's completely wasted.

    A few gangers are here, the place is light by fireflies in jars, which is a nice soft light.

    What do you do?
  • edited November 2012
    Ik and Winter have known each other since she started touring the cities — Madame hired her on for a week of her services during a big summit between the hard-holders of the day, and Ik was tasked with "making sure her needs are met while the men talk." At first she didn't think much of him — just another strong, silent type — but in reality he's a nice enough guy. These were the early days – before Winter had really picked up a strict set of rules for her fucking – and one of the hard-holders, a big motherfucker, mid-way through that week thought he could get away with beating on her. She only barely made it out of that room conscious — not once did she truly have the upper hand; but when Ik saw her, was he ever furious. Winter's seen more than her fair share of men plead for their lives, but none to come around so quickly as when Ik is in the room. He didn't have to stop it — heck, it probably would have been easier on him if he hadn't — but he came in anyway, and Winter's held a soft spot for him since then. Ik doesn't know she's an assassin, but he definitely knows she can be dangerous when she wants to be. Secretly, she wishes she could have a man like Ik around on her crew — her image lets her slip around unnoticed, but it doesn't let her deliver threats. She'd have to see what he's up to now that Madame was dead...

    Winter steels herself at the sound of the didgeridoo. She doesn't have a problem with local musicians (after all, music is art, and art is beauty); but the didgeridoo always got under her skin — it's just so primitive. The sight of Thatch dancing around puts a smile on her face though — she is indeed wearing the dress Winter picked out for her, and she looks amazing in it. Winter smiles and gives a dainty wave back when Thatch notices her. When Winter sees that Thatch is wasted, her stomach sinks a bit — nothing serious, just a bit of annoyance that she'd be off her game until she sobered up. She is enjoying herself though, and where there is the hope of sex, there is opportunity — Winter's going to make an impression on a few of the gangers. She walks up to Thatch, drops her coat in the middle of the room (where she can see it), and joins Thatch in her dance — she gets up close, and winks at the young man (hinting he can take a hike). She cranks up the dial on the sexuality, and leans in close to Thatch, whispering, "We've got a job, help me attract the attention of those gangers over there."
  • The kid, the one who was "dancing" with Thatch, his name is Ghost. When you intercede on his behalf, he does a quick nod of his head like he got it, then he ducks out, practically runs away. So you dance up and join Thatch, she throws up her arms in exultation and laughs at the vine-covered ceiling. She has that blissed-up lopsided permagrin going and when you whisper in her ear about the gangers, she laughs and whispers back, "We would love it, Winnie." She continues dancing, but her eyes fix yours. The grin slides and she gets a little more focused. Her bouncing drops into more of a hip sway dance, more alluring, she meets your setting on the dial, so to speak.

    I am curious, do you two mix business and pleasure? Is she a partner in more ways than one?

    Those two gangers, both strapping young guys wearing leathers and some fur trim, they're named Suitcase and Blacktop. Neither of them have guns, one has a meat cleaver that's seen some use but its clean for now, the other has heavy piece of pipe and a carving knife. As for your distraction, man, they're really into this. I mean, they were already keyed up watching Thatch, but now, hell, they're transfixed.

    But the two of you, both so pretty and now looking like you're about to put on a show, some others are coming around. You catch Mice, one of Crackle's Boys, runs security, he's wearing a bunch of piecemeal armor and has a sweet shotgun. And another guy named Luis comes up near him, asks a couple questions. Some of the merchants are here, too: Bendrix, Hugo, Barker, that old couple Mimi and Monk, too. You've got a small crowd.

    And its not like this is a song, that girl, River and rum, they're just jamming. This could go on as long as you like.

    What do you do?
  • Thatch is fun — when Winter's got a buzz going, and is feeling particularly good about life, she can't help but give in. Winter loves sex as much as the next girl; but fucking for the sake of jingle, and fucking because you want to fuck are two completely separate entities. Winter's has two rules about sex with the crew: the first is that she needs to know she'll never regret doing it, and the second is she'll never let them pay for it — which means they only do it when Winter wants to. Thatch had her moment very shortly after their first job together — Winter had just fucked Dillinger so many times he couldn't lift his arms to stop her from stabbing him, and cleared so much jingle she wouldn't have to take a job for a long time. They got hammered that night, danced until the early hours, and fucked well into dawn — Thatch is Winter's go to for a good time.

    So needless to say there's a little bit of energy between them here — Winter's doing her best to put on a show, and suggestively eyeing some of the gangers. She brushes against Thatch's leg, and giggles coyly. It goes on for a little while before she turns back to the gangers and directly beckons them — her tits squeezed suggestively, bottom lip bit, and hair falling carelessly over half her face — all as if to say, come buy me.
  • Roll+Hot to Seduce: +1 XP
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 )
  • Suitcase, he's the stocky one. He shows you a bottle of expensive whiskey and licks his lips, then beckons you to break from your circle and follow him and his buddy to somewhere else.
  • Winter's a little buzzed right now, but following two gangers to an undisclosed location is probably a bad idea — but this is what she wanted. She fires a wink back to Thatch and puts on her game face. She struts over to them, and follows them out the room.
  • edited November 2012
    These guys, they just won the lottery, right? At least that's how they're acting. Blacktop leads the way to a storage closet, busted door, old mop sink, rusty metal shelves, empty hooks on the wall for brooms and shit, a couple ancient jugs of cleaning solution. Along the way, Suitcase is giving you the whiskey, hoping you're too drunk to cause trouble.

    As soon as you enter the room, they're on you, pawing you, groping, no tenderness, just base urge and raw need. They're unfastening your clothes and theirs, panting with the excitement, hell they're practically drooling on you.

    Unless you say otherwise, they're fucking without paying.
  • edited November 2012
    At first Winter doesn't clue in, and she's preparing herself to put on a big show, then they crack open the whiskey — she normally doesn't drink her payment on the job, and she realizes they don't intend on paying. Winter's a big drinker, but that doesn't really come into play when you're having whiskey poured down your throat. Luckily for Winter this isn't the first time this has happened — she's a classy lady, and she tries to keep her clients that way, but sometimes they just get the best of you. She takes in enough whiskey to satisfy them she's drunk, but also enough that she can numb herself to what's going down, and do her job. The most important thing she's learned over the years is that if idiots like this think they can get away with it; well, that opens doors for payback later. Winter puts on a nice little show for them — like they're the best fuck she's had in weeks.

    When they finally finish, she lets them leave ahead of her, thinking they're kings — but she stays in that little broom closet for a while, pissed at herself for not recognizing them earlier, and letting them get the better of her — they're Domino's old men (at least they were when Domino was alive); a lot of good that'll do her in getting closer to Crackle. She stews for a while, thinking about how to get back at those assholes before leaving the closet and return to Thatch.
  • When you open the door, you see across the hall, leaning against a shattered concrete column, is Ik. He's trying to play it cool, smoking a cig, looking up and down the hall. But once you come out, he saunters over, offers you a cig from his pack, "Hey Winnie. Been a while. You alright?"
  • The man can read minds, I tell you. Winter cocks her head and offers a warm smile with grateful eyes. It's always a relief to see Ik — though it's particularly welcome after a job that's gone bad — and it seems like whenever she's in town, he's never too far away. She takes the cigarette, and asks for a light. "Thanks sweetie — nothing I haven't handled before." She leans against the wall and takes a big drag of the cig — she doesn't normally smoke, but ... well, she's gotta calm these shakes somehow. "How've you been Ik? I haven't really seen you since ... well, since before Madame got hit. People treating you good here?"
  • Ik towers over you, right? I mean, you're short, but he's a big mofo, taller than Lala and while he's no bodybuilder like Easton, he's farm-boy thick. So you come up to his chest probably. He looks down at you and when you ask how folks are treating him, he shrugs, "It's been interestin. Hold's been in lockdown till yesterday, we had a plague run through here till the Angel took care of it. Joe's Girl bit it a few weeks back. Crack's adding in new blood to the team, so I've got a tag-along. I ditched him, though. I'm on break or summit." He pauses, then adds, "You look nice. New boots?"

    Past you, from down the hall towards The Garden, you hear that music still going, some people are talking and walking this way. How would they read your body language with Ik right now? How would he read it? He's pretty casual right now, maybe a little worried since he just saw a couple punkass gangers leave the room and you stayed in there. He might have been coming in there a second ago.
  • Winter bashfully drops her head and smiles — her arms are crossed, and she looks at her feet as she gently kicks the wall, getting the dirt off her boots. "Thanks — yeah, I picked them up a few days ago. The old ones were starting to look a little blah, you know?" Right now, Winter looks at ease. She probably looks like her big brother just picked her up after a scuffle with the neighborhood bully; but as for what Ik's thinking, who knows? Anyone in the room, Ik included, knows she's relieved. "Sorry about Joe's girl... She was always nice enough to me." She pauses a moment, to let the sympathy sound sincere, before adding, "You're with Crackle now, huh? Shame... Jingle's been really good lately, and I could really use a man like you in my operation. Good people are hard to come by these days, you know?" She says it kind of matter-of-factly to get a gauge of Ik's response; but secretly, that's a sincere offer.
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