[Ashen Snow] Get the Story Straight [Wi 7.5]

edited January 2013 in In-Game

You and Easton had some alone time, it wasn't a slow, gentle lovemaking as much as a quickie to take the edge off, right? What did you tell Easton afterwards when you were both getting dressed and about to head back that you might regret now?

Easton rides you back to the shack where the gang keeps their bikes and both of you went by the yurt, but ended up seeing Jackabacka and Swoozie chatting with each other just outside the "casino", which is a joke name for the shack where the Humbles run some cards and dice games of chance for barter. They're both surrounded by a couple guys, Zip Zip and J-Bay are there for Jack and East, Tangerine and Draino for Swoozie. They step inside to wait for you.

Once you come in, Swoozie says in her bravado voice, "Alright, so we're gonna push for some barter from those fucks in the Element since we got em by the short hairs. But if they say no again, then what?"

Jackabacka answers quick, in front of Easton, "Then we give the info to them anyway, wish em well and stand back, let them fall or not. Whoever is left after Harridan will see us strong. We won't be able to help any of them during the siege that comes or we're in it with them and these tin walls won't stand up to gunfire."

What do you do?


  • The sex was brief, and Winter didn't get as much out of it as she normally would. When all was said and done she couldn't help but mention to Easton that she wished Jack could have waited until all the preparations were done before running off to the whores so they could have done that right. The thought of wasting 2 hours driving back and forth and fighting with Big Daddy was an unwelcome annoyance with Harridan's men over the ridge. It was only when she had some time to think on the bike that it even occurred to her she could have used those 2 hours to really enjoy herself, rather than chase after Jack. She felt bad, dragging Jack away from what made him happy, and she hoped Easton payed no mind to her frustrated ramblings.

    Before they slip into the casino, Winter takes a moment to adjust her appearance so she looks a little less disheveled. She wanted to send the right message to everyone, and looking like a just-fucked trophy wife wouldn't do it. Then they enter the shack and explain pleasantries before Swoozie gets down to business. When Jack answers Swoozie's question, she's glad she went to get him — She had never actually heard Jack's contingency plan before, but she's glad he's taking the high ground with the Element. She'd kind of assumed he would withhold the information from them, and not fight. This was a different beast. "What we need is for them to believe their choices are responsible for our actions, not our greed. If we can't convince them that investing in Shanty Town is good for everybody, then I agree — we don't need them, and we definitely don't need this conflict over a bath-house."

    She pauses a moment, considering what would be required of them if Norvell kicks them out without a deal — it may actually require helping Harridan to make sure they were trampled from the momentum of the battle... That could be bad. "But say Norvell's having a bad day, and decides to take on the thousand odd bought-out bastards over the hill with his 50 odd men. It's possible Harridan comes in here and tries to assimilate anyone holding a gun, and unless the Element decimates them, we won't stand much of a chance either. If I'm sitting out of this conflict, I don't want to fight for Harridan either. Are we going to bargain with Harridan for our lives?"
  • edited January 2013
    The discussion of Harridan brings silence as an immediate response.

    Swoozie says, "Fuck Harridan in the ear. He killed Domino. I'm not going to throw my gang away fighting him, but fuck me if he wants a handjob or whatever. I'll just fucking bolt. Maybe we should all just head to Mattingus or Mesovin. Just go."

    Jackabacka looks at the ceiling. Easton says, "This is going to be our home, Swoozie." He looks to you, Winter.
  • Winter thinks on the matter for a moment, but running doesn't seem like that great an answer either... "Mattingus and Mesovin have been whispering his name for a while now... A lot of my more, uh ... well-off clients are scared shitless of him. It'd be delaying the inevitable if we ran somewhere bigger, and I'm not rolling over and hiding in a dumpster somewhere while Harridan tramples towns." She returns Easton's look, sympathetic to his plight, but aware of the risk they're taking. "It is our home, East," she says in a low, calming voice, "and I'm not interested in handing it over to some asshole just because he's got jingle and a name. Hell for all we know, maybe he's not even interested in Shanty Town... If it comes to it, I think we should offer sanctuary to anyone who wants out of the fight. We might not be able to do much, but it may give us some leverage with both sides if we take the high ground."
  • Jackabacka stands, "Then we're agreed. We meet with Norvell, give him the info, see what he offers for it. If he agrees to a partnership, then we help out how we can. If he gives us the finger, we are neutral, but he can send us his non-combatants."

    Swoozie is fine with that, so you head to meet with Norvell.
  • The lot of you walk past the broken flagpole and the broken asphalt to the front door of the hold, now a study barred gate. Mice and Ik are there. Ik lets you through with a grin, "Hey Winnie, you need some back-up?"

    The rest are filtering by, just leaving you with Ik for a second. Mice is checking weapons, making sure they know things are tense. He's being pretty up front, but respectful.

    What do you do?
  • Winter smiles as she approaches the front door. It had been a rough morning, but at least she'd get to see Ik before the battle. "Actually, we just might; but I doubt Norvell would give you up." She had been so engulfed in her resolve this morning that she hadn't had time to process exactly what this fight was going to mean... The tension in the air falls on her as she sees Mice checking his weapons. It hadn't occurred to her that Norvell would need Ik, and that he'd be in this fight no matter what... The thought that Ik might get consumed for something as stupid as a bath, or whatever it is Harridan lusts for down there... Well, it gets to her. She frowns at the thought of never seeing Ik again, trying to stay strong; but she can feel tears building up. She tries to fake a smile for his sake, but seeing him standing there, square in the middle of the destructive force that is Harridan is too much for her. She's sure Ik sees it in her — she wants to hug him, but she doesn't want to say "goodbye" for fear of jinxing it.

    "Don't you dare let that bastard get you, Ik," she says, fighting back the tears. She wishes so much she could take him out of harm's way, but she's not even sure where that would be. She tries to change the subject in an effort to seem strong, "You promised me service, and I damn well expect to collect on that!"

    Winter is visibly shaken, but she's looking to the door — to Easton as he enters the hold, knowing her place — then back at Ik expectantly... taking him in as he is for just a moment...
  • Ik's demeanor is resigned, but he sees the pain in you and it touches him a bit, like it was a surprise. Then his concern for you leaks through and he just grabs your shoulder na dpulls you into a hug, doesn't give a shit who's watching. It's a big brother hug, not sexual at all. He squeezes once, then puts a hand on your shoulder and pushes you back, "I'm not gonna welsh on our agreement, Winnie. The pay's too good." He huffs a single chuckle, then squeezes your shoulder and pushes you along to your group.

    When you look at Easton, he has this interested look, like he just saw something he didn't expect between you and Ik. He doesn't look in the least bit jealous. He puts a protective arm around you when you come near, like he could shield you from the pain of finding out Ik died.

    So we jump over to the conference room Norvell likes to use, walls all fake wood, big conference table with a few mismatched legs, chairs that are piecemeal, too. Norvell and Corbett are here, and its Swoozie, you, Jackabacka and Easton. You exchange some pleasantries, but you notice other than spring water, Norvell doesn't offer you food. After everyone has a sip, Corbett opens with, "We appreciate your visit in these dark times. I hope that now some time has passed, that we can discuss how we can work together against the coming threat of Harridan." Norvell sits back, watching all of you.

    Jackabacka looks over to you, Winter, basically giving you the first response.

    What do you do?
  • The hug was somewhat of a catalyst for Winter... It made the looming threat feel so much more real to her, and that the losses of this fight would not be measured in ground lost, but people lost. She sniffles as he holds her, and wipes her eyes as he squeezes her shoulder. She smiles as he makes light of the situation, and nods back to him as she walks back up to the group. She stays close to Easton when he puts his arm around her — the comfort she feels when he takes her, tries to shield her from loss — it's exactly what she needed right then. In spite of what may happen to them, she's happy to have had the chance to experience it at all.

    Corbett is right down to business — the cold, political nature of his words grip Winter's attention, and she regains her composure pretty quickly. When Jack looks over to her, she takes a deep breath and sits up straight. "Well, frankly we're here wondering just what we are to the Element. You're talking about working together like we stand apart — as if Shanty Town is more a neighbor, or friend, than a member of your family. In times of need, friends usually offer what they're able... We're able to offer you some insight into your perimeter security, and a place removed from the conflict that you can send your non-combatants. As friends, you get that free of charge."

    She leans forward onto the table, and crosses her hands, "but I'm guessing you're hoping for more than that... And frankly, we're not able to give away the little security we can offer to our own people for friends. Shanty Town has twice as many people as the Element, and they get treated as second class citizens. Neighbors. Outsiders, to a certain extent. We want you to prove you don't see us that way. Not necessarily as equals, but that you see us more like family — that Shanty Town is as much a part of your home as this beautiful place. Make a gesture that shows you see Shanty Town as a real part of the Element, rather than a neighboring town — that we'll rebuild whatever's left after Harridan together — then we can talk about what we're willing to sacrifice for our family."
  • OOC: Since it's likely to come down to a manipulate roll here anyway... Winter's got a history with Madame, and her tone is meant to be non-confrontational, so the hope is that trusting her to hold up Shanty Town's end of the bargain should be reasonably Easy...
    Roll+Cool* (Easy to trust), +1XP for rolling highlighted.
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+3 )
  • edited January 2013
    Corbett says smoothly, "We had a murder this morning over what little food we have left. The Market has been closed, again, since no one wants to shop for fear of Harridan's imminent arrival. Norvell has already drawn up plans to build up new permanent structures and we've committed to helping build them, assuming enough of us survive this..."

    Norvell stands up, "Corby, that's enough! They all know times are hard. Fuck man, I don't want no more fightin with y'all." Corbett looks taken aback, sits back in his executive chair and says no more. Norvell looks at you, Winter, then Jack, then Easton and Swoozie. He says, without a drip of irony, "Thank ya. I mean it. Takin these kids an old folks and them that can't fight off our hands, maybe givin them a chance to make it through this... it means alot. We aint got much food left, Shazza's pulled out all of it. All I want is enough for the next week fer who stays ta fight, an I'll send all of the rest with our, ah, non-combatants. Please treat 'em well. I know things aint been right between us. An I spent all my time patching rooves an seeing it an never sayin nothin. An then alla sudden I'm here runnin things an I still aint made it right. I'm sorry. If y'all want to find a way ta be family, then let's do that. An if any o y'all wanna fight with us, we'll take ya. I 'll have space inna walls, with folks goin out."

    Jackabacka and Easton nod along, wanting to believe this. Swoozie says, "Bout fucken time..."

    Then Corbett concludes with, "Well, that was, ahem, unexpected. Can we know your big secret now?"
  • That went about as well as could be expected under the circumstances — she wasn't expecting the food now but she sure won't turn it down. She smiles as Norvell extends the proverbial olive branch, and relaxes into her chair. She hoped that the silence these past few days was just a result of circumstance, and that Jack and East probably pressed a little too hard on a sensitive spot. Norvell seemed like the reasonable man she'd been hoping he would be, so she reemphasizes her enthusiasm for the peaceful outcome with reassurance, "Thank you, Norvell. We'll talk to the people, and see if we can get some volunteers for you."

    She looks over to the Shanty Town crew, checking to make sure they're as pleased with the outcome as she is — and she's happy to find out they are. She grabs Easton's hand, and squeezes it tightly in support. This would be the foot in the door they were looking for if there ever was one... Now to make sure Harridan didn't tear the house down.

    Then of course Corbett wants his chunk of meat. "There's a way into Waterberth from some underground drainage tunnels — I can tell you where it is if you don't know, but it'd be easier if we just showed you... Is there anything else you need from us Norvell? We don't want to keep you busy while you prepare..."
  • Norvell sighs, brings his hands up to rub his forehead and says, "Well fuck me runnin. I'd asked Roark to take care o that months ago an he tole me he did. But he was strung then. An I never went back ta check, so much goin on." He laughs, mostly at himself, then looks up to all of the ShantyTowners, "Thank ya. I think I'll keep tha passage guarded, not destroy it. Fer now. Might be good. I'll need volunteers to help move the food an I need ta get that organized. Gimmie a couple hours, then we'll start movin folks."

    Corbett stands, preparing to leave, "Any volunteers to fight can report to me. I'll get them weapons and food, a place to sleep."

    Feels like everyone has work to do, so the meeting breaks up. What do you do?
  • edited January 2013
    Winter's going to go off and prepare Shanty Town for the influx of people, scout a place to put the food that's safe (Swoozie's comes to mind). Maybe some more private time in with Easton once that settles down...
  • Winter, please go here.
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