[Ashen Snow] In the Wee Hours [Bo 7.2] [Ami 7.4]

edited January 2013 in In-Game

You're not sure when you fell asleep holding Jin, but some time has passed when you start awake. You're sitting up, Jin rolled off you at some point and he's lying on the ground, asleep in a fetal position. The air is humid in here, the morning is coming soon. You feel that sticky feeling of Harridan in your head again. Evidently he can come in when he wants once you've extended an invitation. But he isn't talking to you, at least. Just watching.

You hear people talking outside. You make out the gruff tones of Nuff, short, clipped answers. He's talking with someone else, the voice seems familiar, but it isn't one of the pack. Can't make out the words, but you think it might be Rothschild. He doesn't sound happy.

Do you listen in? Or try to remain ignorant?


  • [Bones][6pm]

    I don't know what exactly wakes me, but I start forward an' then wince. Everythin' hurts. Course you always feel like shit when you fall asleep sitting up, an' sittin' up against a hard wall on a hard floor at that. It's gettin' hot in here too. I feel sticky inside an' out. I try to ignore Harridan's presence an' glance down at myself. I've got dried blood all over my shirt an' shorts, streaks of it down my arms, most of it rubbed off my hands onto Jin's shirt when I held him. My knees and elbows have messily scabbed over. They're mostly just a kinda sore that's annoying. I'm gingerly examining my right elbow where it hurts the worst when I register that one of the voices outside doesn't belong. Rothschild? What the hell is he doin' up here?

    I stay still for a second, listening, an' tryin' to think without thinkin. Tryin' to decide what would be safest an' least suspicious. Finally I stand up slowly, tryin' not to wake Jin an' tryin' to stretch out my sore muscles. Then I make my way quietly toward the door, haltin' next to it, an' listenin' silently.
  • You sneak in and catch Rothschild talking mid-sentence. He's using his, 'let's talk this out' voice, "...she's ok, then let me chat with her. Norvy was worried."

    Nuff retorts, "Frag off, kid. Go stick your pecker in a tree or something. You know how Wolf feels about you."

    Rothschild snickers, still trying to play it nice and easy, "Hey old man, take it easy about my pecker. And Wolf ran off with this hold's Angel, that's not good business. I'm not asking for anything except to talk to her."

    You hear a click, metal click like a hammer on a pistol, then Nuff says low, "A minute ago, you just wanted to know if she's with the pack. Now, you just want to talk to her. Next, you'll just want to feel her up. No means no, kid. Frag. Off."

    Rothschild does a little bit of reasonable voice, but he's getting nearly as impatient as Nuff sounds, "Hey, old timer, you sure you want to do this? I am acting on the hardholder's wishes. You want to sow the fields with salt and be number one asshole around here?"

    Sounds like they're about to throw down. Chance are Nuff will cold cock Rothschild. Or, Jersey or Mac or Scar might be coming around to back him up, get the drop on Rothschild. Is he really this stubborn or does he have some kind of back-up plan?
  • I lean my forehead against the door an' sigh. Dammit. I don't know why Rothschild is bein' so stubborn. I guess maybe Norvell was really worried? I wonder how much he saw. Last I saw him, I was bein' pulled down the hall by my hair. Yeah, I guess that probably didn't look real good from his perspective. I briefly wonder how Wolf feels about Rothschild. From Nuff's tone, sounds like they're not best friends. I don't know Rothschild all that well, but I don't want him to get hurt by the pack cause of me. He's always treated me nice.

    Plus I can't have Rothschild bringin' me back to Evan where Amiette is. I can't hurt Jin again.

    So I step back an' wrench the door open, but I keep my distance, stayin' in the dim light of the inside of the church. "Dammit, Nuff, put your gun down." I meet Rothschild's gaze an' hope the shadows are hidin' the worst of how I look. I try to paste on a smile. "See? I'm fine. An' I want to be here. You can go tell Norvell to stop worryin' about me."
  • Nuff slides into a position where he can see Rothschild and you, but he does lower his pistol, sliding the hammer back in place, effectively reducing the threat level considerably.

    Rothschild narrows his eyes, looks you up and down, "Who gave you road rash, Bones?"
  • "I tripped." I lie stubbornly. I'm tryin' to keep any eye on both Nuff an' Rothschild an' at the same time keep a lookout for the rest of the pack. "An' I'm fine. Tell Norvell I'm fine."
  • Nuff remarks, "See? Now git, kid. Get on, the pack's comin back and Wolf is still pissed at you."

    Rothschild ignores him and he's looking at you real serious. You see actual concern in his eyes, "C'mon now, that's three or four falls. Where's your kit? Why haven't you treated them? What are you doing with a prick like Wolf anyway?"
  • red
    edited January 2013
    Well the concern in his eyes takes me aback. I wasn't expectin' Rothschild to care at all really. An' what happened between him an' Wolf? That I really wanna know.

    "I...maybe I tripped three or four times, alright?" But my tone's not as sharp as I meant it to be. I shift awkwardly in the doorway, back a little further into the shadows. "An' it's fine. I just...didn't have time to fix it up yet."

    I pause for a second, searchin' his face. I know I should go back inside, but I can't help it, I'm curious. "Wolf's my brother." I huff a breath. "But yeah, he's also a prick." I add darkly. "What's the deal with you two anyways?"
  • Read Rothschild
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+2 )
  • What does Rothschild intend to do?
  • edited January 2013
    Rothschild still isn't buying the tripping story, but before he pushes again, you're dropping the Wolf is my brother bomb and then you agree he's a prick and all of the sudden, he's off the hook and he chuckles lightly.

    Still keeping it light, he offers, "Tell ya what, Bones. I'll make you a deal. Norvy put up a little, let's call it a bounty, for your safe return. No, no, he didn't throw jingle at every swinging dick... pardon my french there. Just me." He smirks a bit at that, then "I'll split it with ya, and I'll tell ya about my deal with your brother if you'll walk down to the hold with me for a little bit."

    When Nuff starts to object, Rothschild throws up his hands, "Hey, old man. I'm asking her, not you. If the lady wants to stretch her legs at whatever-the-hell o'clock, she can do that, right? I mean, otherwise... she'd be kidnapped right now. Which, she isn't." And for the first time in the conversation, you hear an edge in Rothschild's voice, "She isn't, right?"
  • Rothschild intends to convince you to walk out of here with him. He thinks he can talk his way past the old man. If that doesn't work, he's got a Derringer hold-out pistol he'll use to cap Nuff, then take you back. He really thinks you're in danger right now.
  • red
    edited January 2013
    I know Rothschild's made up his mind about what's goin' on here...well...more like he can see what's goin' on here. He's not about to back down. An' Nuff doesn't seem the type to back down either. I gotta act quick or there's gonna be more blood spilled. So I cut in nervously before Nuff can say anythin.

    "Look, Rothschild, it's real nice of you to help out Norvell an' all, but I'm honestly fine. I left with my brother, an' I'm stayin' with him, ok? I'm real sorry to make you lose out on the bounty, but I'm not goin' back to the hold. I'm not. I don't want to. Alright? I'm not in danger. An' if you don't believe that, then stay up here an' see for yourself. You've got some medic trainin' right? I could...I could use some help cleanin' up this mess actually." I step forward a little, into the dim light, an' gesture at the road rash runnin' up my shins to my knees an' elbows. I glance back up at him, suddenly feelin' almost...shy? What the hell? I'm just tryin' to keep anybody from gettin' shot, right?
  • edited January 2013
    Let's see some dice. I think you're trying to Manipulate Rothschild to believe you here, and the temptation of some "medical treatment" is your leverage.
  • Manipulate Rothschild
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+3 )

    highlighted for 1xp
  • Rothschild nods, then looks to Nuff, "Ya mind?"

    Nuff scowls, then shrugs, "Then you go, kid. Then you go."

    So Rothschild looks at you, asks you to walk a bit, have a seat where he has some moonlight. He flicks on a small flashlight, holds it in his teeth and pulls out a small first aid pack from his khakis. As he starts gently cleaning your left knee with a cool wipe, he switches the flashlight to his off hand and asks quietly, "Norvy said you were planning on leaving?"</font?
  • I sit gingerly in the dirt. It's always hard to just let somebody else work on me like this, but if it keeps him an' Nuff from shootin' each other then I'll suck it up. I'm keepin' real close tabs on Harridan though, kinda treatin' him like Scourge. Gotta keep those walls up to keep him from spreadin.

    The wipe stings. But I'm almost more conscious of how close he is to me. I don't answer him for a second, watchin' him clean up my leg. "Yeah." I finally say quietly back. "I'm leavin' with Wolf." I'm about to ask him again what happened between the two of 'em, but he hits a deeper cut on my leg an' it burns. I have to grit my teeth hard for a second to keep from makin' any noise.
  • Nuff stalks about, not leaving you two alone, but Rothschild ignores him. He works quick and efficient to clean the area around the wounds on your knees, but then he slows down, becomes more careful once he gets to the open skin. "Shine this on your knee, ok? Its going to suck, but I need to clean the wound, which means I'm going to have to remove those little rock pieces, gravel and all that mess."

    He pulls out a Swiss Army knife and pulls out a set of tweezers and gets to work. It sucks having each pebble extracted, but you know there's no other way. He starts talking to you as he does so, trying to keep your mind off it, "That's a shame, Bones. That you're leaving. I'll uh, I mean, the hold will miss you for sure. You're a legend around here. I didn't see you as the nomadic soldier type? What are you two going to do?"
  • He makes a pretty good medic, calm, gentle but quick. I hold the flashlight for him, focusin' on breathin' slowly through my nose to keep my hand from shakin' too much. I tried to brush out most of it last night, but there's still a lot of gravel in my skin. It's such a stupid little thing, but it fuckin' hurts. I can't help but flinch a couple times. Though I do have to admit, I am grateful for his help. I've done this myself before an' it's not easy.

    I watch his face as he talks an' works on my knee. I don't miss how he almost said that he'll miss me. It kinda twinges a little in my chest. What does that mean? I mean, he'd always made a point to greet me whenever he saw me, even though he learned kinda fast that I wasn't one for small talk. I was straight up rude to him a couple times. I even cussed him out after he shot Domino cause I was so fed up with havin' her in my infirmary. But he still greeted me nicely the next time I saw him. Hell, he even apologized about the Domino thing. To me, not Domino.

    Will he really miss me? I wonder if he knows that Ambrose split. Maybe it's just cause I've been so lonely, but the thought of him missin' me is nice, in a kinda bittersweet way. Rothschild is pretty good lookin. If I didn't have fuckin' Harridan in my head an' Nuff wasn't prowlin' around like some jungle cat...

    No use wishin. It won't make any of this go away.

    "It's Emmy, actually." I say hoarsely. I swallow hard. "My name's Emmy. An' I'm not. The nomadic soldier type, I mean. I've done it before, traveled round with a gang. I swore I'd never do it again. But I made a promise to Wolf. My Pa's dyin..." I trail off. I don't know why I'm tellin' him all this.
  • At first, Rothschild reacts, like, "Emmy? That's a nice name." Then you mention about your Pa and he shakes his head, "Oh, that's a shame... Emmy. Well, I understand. If I could see my folks again, I would, too. Were you close?"

    Off in the distance, since you can hear things way far off in the dead of night, of course, you think you hear the pack's buggy.
  • "No." I answer shortly. Is that the sound of the buggy? A nervous pit settles in my stomach. I kinda shift away from Rothschild who hasn't even gotten to my left leg yet. "Um, well I can probably do the rest."

    I scramble to my feet, tryin' to peer out into the darkness for lights. "I, um..." I slowly realize that I'm bein' all skittish an' jumpy, an' I force myself to calm down an' look back at Rothschild. "Thanks for your help, but I...I'm gonna go back inside." I jab my thumb in the direction of the church, already turnin' to head in that direction. "Tell Norvell I'm fine, alright?"
  • Rothschild catches the skittishness. He plays it cool, though, "Sure, sure. It'll cost me some jingle though. Sure you don't want to split it? I could go three ways, old timer."

    Nuff growls, "Get lost, kid."

    Finally Rothschild says, "Well, it was worth a shot. I guess, then, this is goodbye. Gimmie a hug?" He steps into you, pulling you close. For a moment, its a genuine warm hug, feels quite nice. He's got lots of muscles, not an ounce of fat, probably some nice abs, too. Then he whispers into your hair quickly, "If you're in trouble, nod when I let go of you. I'll get you out of here right now, I swear." Then he does that, 'let's stop now' squeeze and steps back, watching you.

    The buggy, it slowed down for a minute there, but yeah, you catch the headlight flash across the grass nearby, not too far off now.
  • I stiffen when he hugs me. I want to relax into it. I want to stay like this for a while, but I have to keep myself distant. Walls up.

    Then he whispers into my hair and steps back and for a few poundin' heartbeats I just stand there starin' at him. Wouldn't it be nice if a simple nod could get me out of all this shit? Wouldn't it be nice to have somebody else take care of all my problems? An' then before I know it, my eyes are wellin' up. Fuck. I gotta move. NOW. I violently shake my head an' turn on my heel, fleein' back towards the safety of the church.
  • edited January 2013
    You can feel Rothschild's eyes on your back when you head back in, but he doesn't say anything else. You catch Nuff out of the corner of your eye, he's moving up to "escort" Rothschild out. The buggy is getting closer, you just barely beat it, swinging the door closed hard right as you hear it roar up and park.

    Jin is groaning a bit, the noise waking him. He starts trying to push himself up. The headlights are shining through sliver cracks in the church's door, the wall in front of you is lit, showing the cracks in the plaster, parts of the wall behind it.
  • I dart over to Jin, sitting down next to him, breathin' a little hard with adrenaline an' a whole mess of emotion. "It's ok. I don't think Wolf saw me outside. I won't tell him you were asleep." I whisper.

    I glance over at him an' then turn to face him. I don't know if he's Harridan or Jin right now. "How are you feelin?" I ask cautiously, examinin' him from where I sit. He lost a good deal of blood last night. I wish I had my kit.
  • Jin sits up, it's a struggle. He's sluggish. "Thanks, Emmy. I'm woozy, head's all fuzzy. Dustbunnies in my brain, but let me get up, I'll be ok." He leans to put a hand on the floor and pushes himself up, then stands, a little shaky. Then he looks down at you, "You alright? You look...sad."
  • I turn my face away. "Don't push yourself too hard. You lost a lot of blood." I say thickly around the lump in my throat.

    I spy his canteen on the floor next to me an' grab it. I open it an' take a drink, tryin' to compose myself, an' then I hand it up to him. "You need to drink a lot of water." I say, an' this time the lump is a little smaller, easier to talk around.
  • Jin takes the canteen and drinks up. While you're watching him and straining to hear outside, you feel someone in your head, Good morning, Emmy. What is going on out there?
  • Wolf's back. I say shortly. So I guess we'll be seeing you soon. I make it abundantly clear by my dark thoughts exactly how I feel about seein' him.
  • edited January 2013
    Some time passes. I imagine you'd expect Harridan to be impatiently waiting, asking questions, pestering the shit out of you. But no, he's quiet as a mouse, watching, you feel him on the edge of your vision. Jin rises and paces around, tries to look casual, but he's fidgeting.
  • I'm tryin' my best not to be nervous, not to be anxious, not to alert Harridan that somethin' is up. What the hell is takin' so long? What are they doin' out there? An' it's worse that Harridan is so silent. Jin's pacin' isn't helpin' either. I'm all on edge.

    He's tryin' to punish me by makin' me wait. I end up talkin' to Harridan out of desperation. I don't know what else to do. C'mon Wolf! He thinks he's on such a fuckin' high horse. I'm sure he wants me to apologize an' admit he's right an' just go along with his stupid fuckin' plan. Well I can wait all day long. He should've remembered that about me.
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