[Ashen Snow] All for a Bath? [All 7.0]

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  • Poor Easton... Winter's business side is something of a habit she's developed in the presence of professionals. If you sound like a whore, you get treated like one — but if you sound like a killer, people tend to take you more seriously. She can't lift the persona while she's with Wolf (at least not while she's talking business), but she files away a mental note to help put Easton at ease later.

    Wolf's reaction is actually more of a worry to her than Easton's though — what the fuck does it matter to him whether she tags along or not? Her eyes narrow, and she examines his words a little more closely. She lets him finish his suggestion about listening to the people of the hold, her face contorting in confusion at Wolf's mention of Bones as "Emmy" (she doesn't know who "Emmy" is), but she smiles when Wolf suggests goosing the hold for her services. "I'm not doing anything for free — that ship sailed along with Bones' payment — if there were an easy way out of this that didn't involve facing Harridan, I'd be long gone by now. What I want is freedom so that I can start up a new life."

    Something doesn't add up about Wolf, and Winter's on edge...
  • OOC: Reading Wolf (Roll+Sharp) +1 XP
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 )
  • I watch Grekkor leave with a familiar mix of puzzlement an' exasperation. Did anythin' I said get through to him? I guess if he's gonna thank Wolf, at least somethin' did, right? I catch sight of Amiette movin' towards Grekkor an' I turn away, headin' back to the pack.

    I notice immediately that Wolf is missin. I lengthen my strides till I'm back in front of 'em. "Where's Wolf?" I ask whoever acknowledges me first.
  • Winter,

    When you mention not facing Harridan, Wolf gives you a stern look like you'd shown weakness when he expected otherwise. He's got a thousand yard stare that reminds you of someone who used to scare you before, who was it? Why did they scare you?

    Oh, please answer this for Wolf.
    What are you really feeling?
    What do you intend to do?
  • Wolf's stare reminds her of a look Cherry used to give her whenever Winter would try and back out of a job, or one of their little "adventures". It's a combination of disbelief, and disappointed rage that shakes Winter down to her core... Cherry had a violent streak, and when Winter would deny her of something, it came out. She knows Wolf wouldn't attack her, but she can almost see Cherry out of the corner of her eye. She knew her wishes wouldn't count for anything now... Harridan would need to be dealt with as a matter of pride.

    Winter is petrified of being turned into Harridan's slave, but she's even more afraid of Cherry turning on her. Cherry knows how to make Winter hurt, and satiating her is one of the only reasons Winter enjoys her current, comfortable living situation.

    Winter intends to do precisely what she's paid to do, as she always has. Unfortunately, that could mean sleeping with Harridan at risk of her freedom.
  • Bones,

    Sable is chatting with Thatch right now, so she's occupied. Its funny, well, you are occupied with worry so you don't notice it on the surface, but Sable is twirling her fingers in her hair while talking to Thatch, you haven't seen Sable act this way before. But yeah, Wolf's your focus. Nuff gives you a 'chill out rookie' look with a shake of his head, then inclines his head towards the shadows of the bleachers. You see Easton and Winter talking to Wolf.

    Winter and Easton have their backs to you, so you see Wolf. He's facing them, and he is obviously in business mode, making direct eye contact, jaw clenched, a military stance. He isn't aggressive, but he's giving winter a look like he's not sure what to think about her.
  • Winter,

    Wolf remarks, "I'm sure killing Harridan would earn you a place here to settle. So let's make sure we drive a good bargain, but not push so hard we burn your bridge. Then you do what needs to be done and we make sure Harridan never touches anyone again. Fair?"
  • edited December 2012
    Winter smirks a bit when Wolf asks if the deal is fair, "you like that word, don't you?" She examines him a bit, and looks over to Easton, to see how he's taking this. Killing Harridan may be a non-negotiable term to her life with Easton — she hoped he would understand that... "Fine. I'm going to go mingle with the crowd for a bit — when are you heading back to Harridan?"
  • Winter,

    Wolf narrows his eyes at your comment about his adoration for the word fair. He answers your question about when they leave, "First light. Be ready to go at the gate right outside here." He glances up to Easton, then back to you, "Just you, right?"

    By the way, you notice that Bones is nearby, talking to one of Wolf's pack members. Oh yeah, Thatch is working her magic on the thin blonde one, too.

    And Fitteen is making her way through the crowd to you, but you think she'll hang back while you're talking to Wolf.
  • edited December 2012
    Wolf takes himself pretty seriously... People who repeatedly ask if a deal is "fair" often know it's not — they just want to make it clear that Winter accepts the terms. Often when Winter accepts a "fair" deal she's doing it to leave her target vulnerable, and thinking they have the upper hand — this time Winter is clearly at a disadvantage, and she's not happy about it. She looks up at Easton longingly, and finds it slightly ironic that if not for him she'd just as soon have left this place, and Harridan, to rot... "Yeah," she answers, saddened at the thought of leaving him at the risk of not returning, "just me. Easton will be my proxy for the payment until I get back, so make sure he receives it before I leave, or all bets are off. If the pay comes in, then you've just bought yourself a killer." She turns to leave, but remembers a business formality mid-stride and turns back to Wolf, "I don't care how you find funding for our job, but keep my name out of it — I don't advertise my services for a reason, and I need Harridan to believe he's getting what he wants for this to even remotely work."

    All that said, she's going to walk back into the crowd with Easton, walking past Fitteen. She feels nervous about the job ahead of her, but ritually pushes it to the back of her mind. It's just another kill, she tells herself, just another kill...
  • RusRus
    edited December 2012
  • I'm givin' Sable a look behind Thatch's back. Maybe she doesn't even notice, but it doesn't really matter. It's none of my business.

    I glance in the direction Nuff indicates an' see Wolf talkin' to Winter. I hesitate for a second, debatin' goin' over there, but a small part of me knows that Wolf still just thinks of me as his little sister. He didn't seem to really listen much when I tried to warn him about Winter earlier. It's really frustratin' actually. I think I can prove that I'm more than that. I just hope I get the chance.

    So I sigh an' turn away from the two of 'em, an' instead I glance at Sable an' Thatch again. Thatch makes me think of Vulture, unfortunately. I thought I caught a glimpse of him earlier, so I kinda scan the room for him. Strange to have Vulture, who kinda took it on himself to be like a big brother to me for some unknown reason, an' Wolf, my actual big brother, in the same room.
  • Bones,

    Thatch is doing that "touching the other person" flirting thing. I don't think you actually do that, do you? But surely you recognize it, right? Who have you seen that does that the best? Anyone ever point it out to you, or did you pick it up on your own? Sable saw Thatch with Vulture the other day, too, but Sable seems into her right now.

    Vulture is with Swoozie, they're chatting with Lala and a few of the merchants. Swoozie is looking pretty good for a girl who nearly ODed this morning, you did good work. She's swaying to the music that Rum and River are making, not exactly dancing or moving too much, but you know, swaying. Vulture is working some kind of angle with the merchants, you think, its his posture, he's in deal-mode.

    What do you do?
  • Winter,

    As you head away from Wolf, Easton leans down to speak in your ear, "What's going on, Winter? I thought you were with me, but you're running off to fuck this sicko and then try to kill him? C'mon, this is crazy, you don't need the jingle. Stay in ShantyTown, let's work together. You don't need to do this." You can tell form his tone of voice that he isn't pulling some power trip, he needs you here. He gave up on vengeance for G-String for the promise of you and you just told him you're going on what looks like to him to be a suicide mission.

    What do you do?
  • I see Grekkor and catch his eye. It is time. I nod and turn towards the stage.
    Hoze's hand is in mine as we walk toward the stage.

    Unless someone stops me I will make my way to the stage to deliver the message.
  • I stay where I am, kinda awkwardly on the outskirts of the pack, but not with the people of the hold either. I don't even know where I belong anymore really. Chibi's gonna do a great job as the new doctor. She's wearin' that badge proudly. I'm really glad I was able to save her life. Well, it's more like bein' really glad I was stupid an' drunk enough to think I could fight Boag.

    But anyways, Chibi's the doctor now. An' I'm with the pack I guess. I mean, sorta. I'm Wolf's little sister that they're lettin' tag along...or maybe they just see it as haulin' me back to see Pa an' then that'll be the end of it. I've pretty effectively cut off everybody I cared about from the hold, an' it's not like I've really made close friends with the pack. I'm in this weird place where I don't belong anywhere. And I lost Ambrose, the person I'd held onto like an anchor for so long. I'm not really Bones anymore, but I'm not totally Emmy either.

    It's pretty fuckin' lonely if I'm bein' honest.

    The crowd kinda shifts an' I look to see Alonzo headin' towards the stage, so I try to push back all my dark thoughts an' give him my attention.
  • Winter stops to give Easton her full attention — this is important, and he's absolutely right. "I'm absolutely with you," she says, leaning in close to him, "there's nothing I'd rather do that leave this place with you and never come back, but this place means something to you East — you're going to be big here, and I know it. Harridan knows where I am, wants to fuck me something fierce, and like I said earlier, he's a psychotic freak that is apparently hell bent on destroying this place over fuck knows what... If I stay here and do nothing, he'll come looking for me, or worse, he may come looking for you... I'd do anything for you East, and I think the only thing I can do now is use what I have to keep this guy from ruining you." She feels horrible about leaving Easton alone in his time of need — that bitch G-String may have hurt him, but seeing Easton worry about the risk Winter's about to take is fucking her up. She sighs, shrinking in Easton's shadow, "I'm going to do everything in my power to avoid fucking him — I guarantee you that — and this isn't about the jingle... It's about being free, and having the respect of the people here so that you and me can be whatever we want to be!"

    She takes his hand, raises it to her lips, and kisses it gently. "East, I'm nobodies but yours — and tonight we can disappear into that castle of yours, get lost together, and not come out until sunrise. I may have to go, but I can do this. I have to do this. I need you to believe this is for us..."
  • edited December 2012
  • I rise the the stage and give a signal to Spurlock. He and all the grays start beating a rhythm on whatever is nearby.

    Thumpa-thump. Thumpa-thump. Clap.
    Thumpa-thump. Thumpa-thump. Clap.
    Thumpa-thump. Thumpa-thump. Clap.


    I lead Hoze to a corner and motion for him to wait for me.

    Once the crowd quiets down I raise my hands and speak in a loud clear voice.


    Friends, Shantytowners, Evanites, hear me, I beg!

    Harridan.

    You have heard his name no doubt. And you know his demand: to use the baths for one day. Either we welcome him as a guest or as a conqueror. Those are the terms he offers. So why refuse? Why shouldn't we let him take a bath?


    I pause looking around.

    Because he doesn't want a bath.

    He wants to destroy Even Element and Shantytown and make us all his slaves.

    To some of you I am a stranger. Just a newcomer who came with the rain. To others I am a prodigal son of the Element, returned in a dear time, bringing the rain with me. I sojourned in the wilderness and been purified. I have seen the future and it is good. The day of feasting approcheth and the night of jubilee alongside it. I have beheld the clear waters of hope in a spring, just a stone's throw from this place. I have seen the power beneath our homes, the power that made grass, GRASS! to grow afresh! We are come to the threshold of hope. Let all the wrack and ruin of ages bygone, wash away in the clean waters of tomorrow.

    And now Harridan, some inhuman warped thing, some monstrous sorcerer with fell powers approaches to snatch it all away. The choice offered us is to either welcome destruction with open arms and pass way as the trees and grass under the snow, or stand and defend our home, our fount of blessings. You may think you can sit this battle out. You cannot. He is not coming to change the Holder. He is not coming to select a new head of security or new merchants for the market. He is coming to make corpses and slaves.

    I pause to let that sink in for a few beats


    There is real power here. I have seen it. Grekkor, the Warrior, has seen it. Bones, the Bondservant, has seen it. You have all felt it too! It is the power of healing and rejuvenation in our baths. It is real and it is worth protecting.

    Each of you that lives and breathes yearns for a better tomorrow. Husbands and wives, lovers and beloved, mothers and fathers, all want to offer up some hope, some future for someone else.

    And this marks as! This yearning for a better tomorrow for your child, for your beloved, for your friends, this makes us strong. And now Harridan rides to steal it all away.

    But we must stand together.
    Amiette and Alonzo!
    Grekkor and Jackabacka!
    Bones and Vulture!
    Shantytown and Evan Element!
    We must sweep away all our jealousies, all our bitterness and recrimination. We must set aside all differences and join as one people united for the Baths, united to stand against the interloper.

    Together we live. And thrive. And forge a future of hope. Who will stand with me? Who will answer the call to protect the baths and our very lives!
  • [Bones]

    I'm startled when Amiette touches me. I immediately stiffen, but then her voice is in my ear, and I'm tryin' to understand what she's tellin' me. She's not dead? She...oh...G-String? Wait, what? But I don't have time to process that really because then she kisses my cheek an' then starts to walk away.

    An' suddenly all I know is that I don't want her to walk away. I don't think I can take it. So I snag her arm an' pull her back next to me. An' then I don't really know what to do. What am I doing? So I kinda glance quick up at her face. Or I plan to just glance at her. When I meet her eyes, I end up holdin' her gaze instead. She looks just as miserable as I feel, but even more exhausted...an' maybe even hurt? An' I kinda give up.

    I slip my hand into hers and hold it firmly. I don't say anythin cause I'm not good with words. An' then Alonzo starts talkin' an' I turn to look at him, still holdin' tightly onto Amiette. But as I listen, I reach for Spector, tryin' to heal whatever is makin' her look so tired and worn.
  • Healing Touch on Amiette
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+3 )

    highlighted for 1xp
  • Bones and Amiette,

    I know you can't advance Healing Touch, but shit, you're completely healed, Amiette. I mean, 3 o'clock goes away quick anyways, but it's gone now.
  • edited December 2012
    Alonzo,

    The crowd was expecting dinner and a show and that speech certainly got it. Grekkor and the Pryers are on your side, of course. The Grays and the remnants of Crackle's Boys are with you, too. Corbett gives an uncharacteristically loud hoot of support and Norvell raises a hand in allegiance.

    Grekkor, how did you instruct the Pryers to react? Anything showy?

    Several of the ShantyTowners and gangers look to Jackabacka. Before he speaks, though, Roark and the guys at the still call out in support. This surprises Jackabacka but he hides it quick. Then finally he raises a fist in solidarity.

    Only Vulture and his small contingent remains silent, but they are overwhelmed by the voices crying out to save the Element from the cruel and vicious Harridan.
  • Winter leans into Easton, and listens to Alonzo's speech. There's a lot of emotion in the crowd, and Winter can't genuinely say she feels it — the eagerness to put your life between something you love and a seemingly unstoppable force is new to her, and there are gaps in Alonzo's train of thought that make Winter wonder just what it is Alonzo really wants to protect. She also doesn't buy into the whole "power" thing, but that doesn't mean she doesn't understand what's going on. He certainly is well spoken. Alonzo's motives notwithstanding, Harridan was bringing change — in the form of chaos, carnage, and domination perhaps — and change would come regardless of anyone's actions here today, tomorrow, or any other day between here and the next fall. Winter is the embodiment of change — through the death she brings, new things would rise in her wake. She looks up at Easton, uncertain of how he feels about all this now that Jack has reneged on his plans to sit this fight out — or was he lying here tonight to save face?

    Winter doesn't know if anyone was loyal to Harridan in the crowd, and wanting to keep up her image of being a piece of apolitical arm-candy doesn't raise her hand — in a different time, under different circumstances, she would have though... Based on what Alonzo did to G-String, she'd be surprised if Easton did either — but then with Jack offering his support, she suspected a lot of things would be changing around here.
  • I glance over at Vulture when Alonzo calls out his name. I watch him an' his group as they stay silent. What game is he playin' here? I wonder if i could talk to him, convince him to put whatever it is aside an' help us. I've got a couple things I could use as leverage. The fact that he strangely seems to almost care about me, an' the fact that I just saved Swoozie's life.

    I also look over at the pack. Is Wolf back from his secret meetin' with Winter? How are they respondin' to Alonzo's speech?

    Beside me Amiette raises her hand in support. Alonzo's words ring true. He does speak well. It gives me hope to hear so many people callin' out in agreement. I find myself standin' like the Pryers, still an' calm. My decision in my face an' my eyes. I will help defend Evan Element in any way I can.
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