[Ashen Snow] One Day Left [W 7.4]

edited January 2013 in In-Game

You and Easton have started organizing ShantyTown for the coming fight. Five days, you've been told five days was all you'd have. This is day five. The elderly and young are gone now, only hard core and stupid (or both) are left in ShantyTown. Vulture's bar is doing hella good business.

Roll Juggling Cool. On a 7-9, choose 2 to be true. On a 10+, choose one. Miss and they're all true, sucker.
* Vulture has threatened to tell Grekkor and Alonzo Jackabacka's big secret if he doesn't get some serious jingle
* Cherry dropped off a name and a price (four jingle or safe passage out of the area for you and one more) for Norvell's head, accident or not, your choice
* Jackabacka asked Winter this morning if she would assassinate Vulture; if she needed to do "whatever it takes", he'd cover for her (Thatch will do it if Winter refuses, he said)

Hugs and Kisses,
Your MC


  • The past five days have been a challenge for Winter — she's not used to being so "hands on" when it comes to ordering people around. Normally it's a lot of subterfuge and back-room deals; but now it's a lot of resource allocation, and round-tables. Normally she relies on people finding her easy to trust, but this week's been nothing but demonstration after demonstration — her promises scrutinized, and results expected immediately. It doesn't help that there hasn't been much time to relax with Easton... Their relationship has been stressed a little recently, as they push each other to do their best. Not that they aren't getting along, but they haven't had time for much of a honeymoon...

    #DiceRoller( 2d6+3 )
  • edited January 2013
    ... because Vulture has threatened to tell Grekkor and Alonzo Jackabacka's big secret if he doesn't get some serious jingle.

    Winter is silently furious with him, and it's starting to show in her dealings with him and she's not really had the time to sit down and chat with Jack and Easton about solving the issue herself — the ticking clock has been no end of stress.

    OOC: ETA: That roll gave me +1XP
  • edited January 2013
    You and Easton are currently sitting side-by-side in one of the shanties at the edge of town. Easton is wiring a homemade bomb really carefully and it's just you two. you thought maybe he meant for a quickie when he asked you to come help him set up something, right?

    So he's got the thing set and he's wiring it when he says, "Winter, we got to do something about Vulture. Swoozie would play ball with us, wouldn't she? But Vulture's pushing us, he's going to ask for jingle from Norvell if we don't pay up and we won't pay up, you know that. So.... do you ace him or do we roll over to Norvell first?" He's sweating with the work, if he flinches too bad, it blows up in his face.
  • The irony surrounding the false (or perhaps misinterpreted) pretenses Winter may or may not have had regarding the assistance Easton requested in the shanty is not lost on her — most would call a week without sex pretty standard fare; but for Winter, this is a dry spell to end all dry spells. Circumstance had not been kind to the young couple, but they didn't have much time to think about it — the preparations made sure of it.

    Winter gives Easton his space as he sets up the IED. Normally she'd be comforting him by rubbing his back, muttering confidence building whispers in his ear, what have you — but Easton needs to focus now, and her touch was designed to be a distraction. She produces her silk handkerchief and kisses it, "Here sweetie," she answers, handing it to him, "I've got dirt on Vulture, but the real brains behind that operation is Swoozie. She approached me to help her take over Vulture's gang before that incident where she OD'ed — I haven't had the chance to follow up on that, but her plan was to drug him and rough him up if he ever crossed a line she thought merited immediate action. We need Vulture's gang if we're going to hold this place, and if we kill him that'll never happen... Or at least it'll take too long for the dust to settle if we want them to fight against Harridan."

    She flicks a bit of hair over her shoulder, and brushes it behind her ear. She knows that Vulture and Swoozie want to take over Shanty Town and the Element — which is a conflict of interest — but there won't be much of anything to conquer if Harridan wipes the place out, and they won't have much of a bargaining position if they rat out Jack to Norvell. "If we can convince Swoozie that Vulture's overstepping his bounds, we could rush the job... Otherwise she's probably going to bide her time before taking over."
  • Easton listens close while working carefully, pauses to wipe his brow when you're done. He looks over at you, says, "Babe, I need you to handle Swoozie. Do what you can to rush it, make this happen in the next hour or so. I've got four more of this to do and dad overheard that Wolf's pack hit them this morning. We don't have time to pussyfoot. You got this?"
  • It was reassuring to hear Easton rely on her explicitly, and she brushes her knees off as she stands up to leave. "Of course, Sweetie," she answers as she kisses the top of his head, "be careful." With that, she jogs off to find Swoozie — presuming she's at the bar, dealing with the in-flux of customers they've had recently...
  • Yes, she's at the bar, not serving, just making sure the jingle flows. Men are spending it like there's no tomorrow, it is getting a little raucous. Vulture is not there, but most of his gang is.

    Swoozie sees you, motions you over to a table and grabs a nice bottle from behind the bar, ours you both a stiff drink, "Sup, Winnie?"
  • edited January 2013
    Winter walks up to Swoozie with purpose, and follows her guidance over to the table near the bar. She toasts Swoozie silently when she's handed her drink. "Thanks," she says, with a look of exhausiton, "looks like it's been non stop here too — good to see you've got the place running smoothly." She takes a sip of the drink, savoring the taste of it. You never know when it could be your last drink in a while... Once Swoozie settles down beside her, she gets down to business. "Remember that chat we had about your boyfriend, and being a leader? I was wondering if you'd be interested in expediting the process..." she leans in closer to Swoozie, and lowers her voice while trying to look natural for Vulture's men. "Vulture's a good guy and all, but it looks like he doesn't have the patience needed to play with the big-kids — now I'm not saying we kill him, but things would be a hell of a lot easier if he could be made to back down... Jack, East and I are all in agreement that you'd be much better suited to the job anyway."

    She leans back in her chair, taking another sip of her drink. "It'd be nice to have another lady with some more speaking power at the table."
  • Swoozie downs her shot, then pours both of you another. "Business is great, only rub's keepin sober enough to shoot the right way."

    She doesn't answer you right away, letting it hang out there for a bit, making idle chatter. But then she comes back to it, "Vulture's not playing ball anymore, I lost my edge. Thatch is his little bitch now, I'm just for show. I had to start workin on some of his boys to make sure they would listen." she downs her second shot, then doesn't pour a third.

    Swoozie gives you a level look, "I know you work quick, right? He's in Waterberth fucking Thatch in all holes, right fucking now. Everyone knows I'm here, so if he gets dead, then they'll look for someone to blame. I'll step up and lead the charge, but I won't come after anyone important, just some dumb bitch I can pin it on who got jealous. Vulture's a slut, you know. You whack him, I take over and we work together, get this place in order."

    She leans across the table and whispers in your ear, "I'll sweeten the pot. You swear you'll do the job before Harridan comes over the mountain, I'll give you the backdoor right now." Then she reaches over and kisses you. You know, for cover. She slides back with a sly smile and waits for your answer.
  • OOC: Swoozie's offering the backdoor key if Winter goes and takes care of Vulture right now? Not like, her backdoor, or something...

    Winter leans back and finishes her drink, listening closely to Swoozie's offer — she even returns her kiss. You know, to help keep the image up. Time is of the essence here, and normally she'd have taken the job and run with it... If not for the promise she made to Easton she'd change, that is. "I guess even Easton suggested we consider that as a possibility," she mumbles to herself, trying to justify taking the job.
  • OOC: Roll+Sharp, Reading Swoozie.
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 )
  • OOC: +1XP for rolling highlighted.

    Winter looks her in the eye, and plainly asks, "In spite of my carelessness earlier, you know I've got your back right? We can be big together."
    Spend 1-hold: is Swoozie telling the truth?
  • "Water under the bridge, we're cool," she waves her hand dismissively. Then, "How can we be big when you've got Mr. Big? Just... do the job for me. Look around, you know I've got the jingle for it."

    She's telling the truth. She knows about the secret backdoor, she is pretty certain she can take over this gang if Vulture is killed and she's obviously not the killer. She plans on pinning it on Chin.
  • OOC: Who she was planning to pin it on was actually my next question, so I'll spend a hold to know that as well...

    Winter smiles and leans in, brushing a little bit of dirt off Swoozie's cheek. "Sweetie, I make people big. When all is said and done, you come see me. For now — consider the job done. Now what's this about a back door? And who are you planning to pin this on?" She listens closely to Swoozie describe the secret entrance into Vulture's little love nest, and takes a mental note of Chin being the intended scapegoat. Then, with a sense of purpose and urgency, she gets up from the table and casually walks out into the streets of Shanty Town, heading straight for Waterberth — preparing her needles as she walks...

    She can't help but wonder what the hell Thatch was doing with Vulture... It had been a while since they'd chatted; and last they'd spoke, she was busy hitting on some of Wolf's pack. Here's hoping she hasn't grown too attached to the poor bastard...
  • It turns out, the secret tunnels to Waterberth are part of the backdoor. There is an entire underground beneath Evan Element. This bunker leads straight to the main artery.

    So you head along the directions she gave and you can sneak your way right to Waterberth. And you do, right? So now you're peeking up through a drain and you hear the telltale sounds of Thatch in the throes of pleasure and what is probably Vulture rutting away.

    What do you do?
  • Winter can only really hear Thatch and Vulture, and information isn't very forthcoming from her current vantage — so she slips up out of the drain, and tries her best to sneak up on Thatch and Vulture as they fuck away up there.
  • OOC: Roll+Cool, Act Under Fire to sneak up on the couple fucking their brains out. +1XP for rolling highlighted.
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+3 )
  • You slide the grate off and step through quietly into the small space. This is how Thatch entered Waterberth when you arrived... what was it a couple weeks ago now?

    Thatch is thoroughly enjoying herself right now. She's always been loud, but you know when it is for show and when it's for real. She's really digging this roll in the hay. Vulture is grunting and rutting, the whole affair is wild and passionate and probably making you maybe a tiny bit jealous? But you have a job to do, right? You step into the room, like a cat and stalk towards Thatch's big round bed. He's in the perfect position to miss you, flat on his back while Thatch is sitting up, displaying her assets and moaning while they reach a peak together.

    And you're there, about to make the decision on how to end him when Thatch opens her eyes and looks into the dark in your direction. No, right at you. And in that heartbeat, you lock eyes. And she knows why you're there, Winter. She reads you like a book and with her eyes half-lidded she shakes her head no. Her eyes open up wider, but she hasn't given you away and she even mouths the word 'No, please.'

    You are close enough to move to strike. But you get the feeling that Thatch might try to protect him. Vulture, this cocky, low-life thug. She just might try to stop you from performing your trade for his sake.

    And what the fuck? Is Cherry standing in the shadows on the other side of the bed, watching all of this, just eyeing you and waiting, arms crossed, waiting for you to do the job? You swore to Swoozie, didn't you? Gave your word, the job is as good as done.

    What do you do?
  • Part of her can't believe she managed to open that old thing so quietly. She slips up through the grate, and slinks around in the darkness looking for the best spot to jump Vulture... She checks the room for any unsuspecting guards, and is legitimately surprised to see Cherry standing over them — watching. It unsettles her a bit, and she has to steel her nerves before proceeding. She can feel Cherry's eyes judging her from the corner of the room, with a sick smile on her face — almost as if to say, look at these toys I've given you. Unfortunately, that moment is long enough for Thatch to spot her, and the look in Thatch's eyes — almost begging Winter to stand down — that's hard to ignore.

    Winter's in business mode right now, and the numbness on her face is very telling — she's not the least bit surprised Thatch could read her intentions. She stops a few paces away from the bed, still in the dark, giving Thatch enough space to know Winter's not going to act until she settles up with her. That Thatch was quiet about it tells Winter she's willing to bargain though... Killing Thatch would be an unnecessary complication, even if Cherry would want her to. It was bad enough that Winter suspected Thatch and Vulture were happy together — it made her wish she could be with Easton, and not have to romp around in the sewers killing these low-life thugs because they can't keep their mouths shut. ... But they can't keep their mouths shut...

    The jingle Winter had earned when she came to the Element up was quickly diminishing ... Ik's payment, then Swoozie's medical bill, now this? There won't be much of a nest-egg left, but Vulture needs to die. She reaches into her pocket and produces a fine silver necklace with a ruby heart pendant — it was given to her by a client she'd fucked when they first got to the Element. Thatch set up the gig, and Winter knew she was ogling the pay. There was a matching set of earrings too; but if the necklace wasn't enough, Thatch wasn't worth it. She eyes the necklace a moment as it dangles from her hand, suggesting it already belongs to Thatch if she lets Winter do her job... Then there's a look on Winter's face that Thatch has never seen before... She eyes Vulture, exasperated at the thought of wasting her talents on this guy — but she won't fall into the trap of turning into Cherry. She won't patronize Thatch into believing she can do better, or that Vulture isn't worth her time...

    As best as she can, she wills her intent to Thatch. Let me do this thing I need to do, and I'll respect your wishes afterwards.

    OOC: Spending 1-barter to Manipulate Thatch into letting Winter kill Vulture.
  • Thatch closes her eyes and keeps moving on top of Vulture. He reaches up a hand to gently caress her and she wills herself to enjoy the last moments of his life.

    You realize she's giving this to you, but she's also letting you kill your friendship with her. Your job, your word is greater than her pleasure. She also had a chance to gain some power here, with Vulture eating out of her delicate hand. Now, you'll head back to Easton and she's left with an empty bed. All for a nice necklace, right?

    Take +1 Forward from Thatch's distraction. Sounds like you're going to Seize his Life by Force.
  • The next few minutes were kind of a blur to Winter... She remembers seeing Thatch desperately clinging to Vulture's sweaty body, and Cherry's grin lighting up in the dark corners of the room. She remembers him rushing to climax, the feel of the cold steel spike in her hands, and Cherry's encouraging glare. She remembers the sight of her hands — a sickening grey-green — silently reaching for Vulture's head. She remembers the look on her Mother's face...
  • OOC: Roll+Hard, Seize Vulture's Life by Force. +1forward from Thatch.
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+3 )
  • • you take definite hold of it
    • you suffer little harm
    • you inflict terrible harm
  • So how did you kill him?
  • edited January 2013
    ... The bitch never saw it coming.

    The room goes quiet as Vulture reaches climax — his face, shivers, and cries a twisted mixture of pleasure and agony. Cherry's smile broadens as Winter's spike finds its way through the base of Vulture's skull and deep into the center of his head. Blood runs down the side of the spike, her fingers, her hand, her arm, and drips down onto the floor with a periodic tapping that echoes throughout the room. She didn't care about Vulture, but making sure his death was the quick and painless was the only thing she could think of to make it easier on Thatch... Vulture struggles a moment, his frantic grabbing back over his head a futile effort. Before long, he's a motionless heap on the floor — the blood pouring down his neck and pooling all around him — and Winter is an empty husk, staring over the mess, numb to the world. If Vulture managed to get her, she didn't feel it — not yet anyway.

    Winter doesn't look at Thatch. Instead she pulls the messy spike from Vulture's head, and cleans it off before returning it to its hiding place on her garter. This kill felt different from the rest — this one had purpose, and while the dissonance of hurting Thatch made her feel sick to her stomach, she knew what she'd done was the right thing... Thatch'd been betting on the wrong horse, sadly. Winter reaches into her pocket and produces the necklace again. It was a pretty little thing, shimmering in the dim light of the room, but it was by no means worth losing someone you love. In a way, she felt guilty — tempting Thatch with such a paltry prize — but that Thatch was so easily persuaded by it made the image much more poignant. It was a cautionary tale, really... The pursuit of jingle would eventually stack you up against a horrible choice: the people you love, or the people who pay. Winter didn't want to have to make that choice.

    She lays the necklace gently down on the bed, watching it tumble from her hand. She could feel the sadness emanating from Thatch's shivering body, uncertain of her intentions at this point, but she knew it was over between them... It was for the better — though for whom was negotiable. Still, she can't help but offer her one last gift for her loyalty... "I've made sure you won't take the blame," she calls over her shoulder as she turns to leave, her voice a hoarse whisper, "I'm sorry..."

    If Thatch has nothing else to say, Winter will return to the bar to report the job is done.
  • Thatch has no words for you. She slumps down for a moment, broken a little. but then her hand reaches for the necklace, fingers it lightly.

    You head back into the grate and start down the corridor. After a few feet, you swear you hear Thatch say, "Well. C'mon and help us move him before he shits the bed."
  • After a quick walk, you're back in the bar. Was Vulture's bar, more or less. so now, it's Swoozie's? It's been half an hour tops.

    Swoozie sees you, smiles and gestures for you to walk with her down to the locker, that place where you did some H with her the other day. The place is still busy, no empty tables.

    Do you follow?
  • Without a doubt — Winter doesn't look her best right now, being a little sleep deprived and having just killed a man, but making sure Swoozie acts fast ensures that the ball keeps moving down-field. She cuts through the crowd, following Swoozie down to the locker, and cleaning up the dirt and ash that stuck to her from the tunnels. Winter's still got her game face on when they get into some privacy; but her heartbeat is slowly climbing back to normal, and her color (or lack thereof) is basically back to normal.

    She leans against a wall, still a little numb from the experience. "So how does it feel?" she asks with a weak smile.
  • Swoozie looks at you for a long moment, Winter. She's trying to figure you out, you think. How much does this affect you, how do you value life, that kind of thing. She heads over to a dresser and starts pulling out clothes, digging through them like she's looking for something.

    "It's good, I feel good, Winter," Swoozie says in a voice that you can tell she wants to sound more calculating and powerful than it really is right now. She turns around with something white and lacey in a zippered plastic bag, brings it over to you. "Here. It's, ah... it's a veil. Pre-fall wedding shit, stupid idea of revealing yourself to a guy when you marry them, like they haven't been bangin you an whatever else on the side, but alla sudden NOW, you're a new gal. Or some shit like that. Just... whatever, it looks nice and you can. You can have it. I mean, I still owe ya for the four large an I'll pay in bullets, booze, favors or trade, just take a look at my stuff. Just, you know, take the veil. From me to you."
  • edited January 2013
    It's all about appearances... Winter wondered what Swoozie was really feeling, and wishes she wouldn't put on a show like that. Swoozie was a made woman, so to speak, and in the coming days she'd inherit a gang of violent bastards that would require her to put the front up all the time — but right now, Winter's offering sanctuary. Understanding. They're both moving up the ladder here in Shanty Town, and having somebody she can trust that understands the pressures and needs of leading people — well, that's important. She's seen too many big men in the nine cities crack because they couldn't be themselves. Winter was their only release — and and expensive one at that. If they survived this, having someone to confide in would be important.

    Winter knows what the veil is the minute she sees it. When she was a little girl, she'd found a wedding dress in her Mother's stuff. It was a beautiful, lavish thing: long and flowing silk with frills and a corset, though a bit musty from the years of storage. It was her grandmother's from before the fall, completely untouched by the ashes. She was ecstatic when her father explained the concept of a wedding to her, still too young to understand that those were the day behind them. She named a suitor, and dreamed up extravagant situations under which she'd be spoiled rotten and eat cake all day long. As she matured, she came to understand that such elegance was far more fleeting in the world, and she gradually abandoned the hope of ever wearing the dress... But she kept the garter.

    It was obvious why Swoozie had the veil, and equally obvious why she was giving it to Winter. She takes it from Swoozie, with a sympathetic smile, and silently examines it with a distant twinkle in her eye. Her expression softens, a flood of memories from her childhood overtaking her, and she whispers, "Thank you." She gently runs her fingers along the lace — it's a bit worn, but it's still quite beautiful.

    OOC: Read incoming.
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