[DVFP] Bad News Travels Fast (C 1.2, T 1.2, N 1.3)

edited November 2013 in In-Game
The van is beat up as all hell on the outside, but when you get in, it's got two rows of seats and isn't in bad shape. The thing is electric, too, so it's quiet, and pretty speedy.

You head on for about half an hour. Does anyone chat with Fence or DAP? Or with each other?

Chalk, the place they're pulling up to now, what's this place? It's kind of a standard meeting place for the Ravens and outsiders, isn't it? Where would folks feel safe meeting these crazed assholes?

Navarre, who did you end up sitting by? What has you most worried about this meetup?

Triss, you're up from with Fence, right? Who do you expect to see with Grim?

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  • edited November 2013
    I sit next to Chalk, across from the Ravens.

    Rifles are no good in a van. I have my pistol under my armpit and a knife in my boot.

    I'm worried that I shot the wrong person which will force me to shoot lots of other people.
  • I sit up front, backpack on my lap. My leg is jiggling a million miles an hour. It's a nervous habit. Whenever I'm not sure what I'm walking into, the leg starts going in a spate of nervous energy. Always been like that.

    Grim.

    I lean back against the seat, the padding threadbare and springs poking into my back, but I don't care. It's been ages since I saw the man. We might have gone our separate ways, but part of me still loves him. I close my eyes, picturing his face, and suddenly another face swims into view.

    Mercury. I'd almost forgotten Grim's best friend. They had always been inseparable, where one was the other was too. It had irked me many a time, thinking I'd be getting Grim to myself, only to have Mercury there, hanging in the background. After a while I almost didn't notice him. But he was always there, watching. Observing everything and everyone. I wonder if they're still hanging together. Then I find myself wondering just who the mother of Grim's child was. It wasn't a fun path to travel, so I open my eyes and sit forward again, the leg jiggling away.

    "How much longer?" I ask, scanning the road in front of us.
  • They call it the Home Place, whether that's a bad joke or a stupid joke or not a joke at all but what someone seriously fucking lived out here, I don't know. It's an alkali flat, parched, shimmery into the distance. Tires have carved curves in the crusty stuff and now when the wind kicks up it's like industrial abrasive, except industrial abrasive probably doesn't taste this sour-chemical and shitty. Alone in this bone-beige hell is seriously, like, a little homestead or something - there's a rounded, sleek travel trailer, the wind and dust has polished it and kind of eaten through its metal. There's a swingset, one broken and one grimy pink plastic seat still creaking on its chains. A shredded tarp flaps in the wind. About a quarter mile away there's a burned-out truck, a black pimple on the searing landscape. It's homey enough to fool stupid people, but I bet they park snipers in that burned up truck when there's bad shit going down.
  • Fence looks over at you, Triss, then back at the road. He's doing seventy, trying to get this done before the heat rises, "Not long, doc. Not long."

    You reach Home Place a few minutes later, coming over a rocky hill and driving down towards the little trailer. It's already eighty degrees Farenheight outside, today is going to be a scorcher. Parked in front of it is a hearse. Yeah, an honest to God hearse, with metal plating bolted on, like the guy in it is in the pope-mobile-of-death or something.

    Standing outside the hearse is Grimwall the Fierce, leader of the Ravens. He's changed over the last year after taking over the gang. His body shows signs of long-term radiation exposure, no hair, sunken eyes, waxy complexion. But he still looks alert, still more than capable. He's got three lieutenants with him, including seven half foot tall mountain of a man Canton. The big black lug wears fake dreads and sunglasses to hide his mutations, and the guy carries a stopsign club with a chunk of concrete still stuck to the end.

    Grim walks forward to meet you, his cronies hang back. Fence stops the van maybe ten feet away from him and DAP opens the sliding door.

    What do you do?
  • I'm totally the first one out - well, second one, you know what I mean. Weasel-quick, I vault from the van. There's a laugh as big as the electric blue sky above building in me, but I hold it in - I hold it in. I ground the axe into the gritty dust at my feet, swivel my head back and forth, scanning like one of those robot cameras, and end up looking at Grim last of all. I give him this little nod, like 'Sup.
  • I hang back by the van like a shy kid at a school dance, AK in hand.
  • Grimwall calls out, "Triss, are you alright?" His voice is strong, his eyes sharp. He wears a wide-brimmed hat to cover his bald head, wears a flak jacket and has a rifle slung scorr his back, barrel aimed down. His men give him wide berth and he seems in a rush, impatient, maybe a little eager to see you.

    Triss, when he comes up to you, spreading his arms wide and smiling with yellowed teeth, what do you do?
  • "Grim," I say, unable to keep the smile off my face. I rush into his arms and hug him for all I'm worth. He still feels strong to my touch, but as I pull back I eye him critically. "Babe, you've looked better." I was never one to mince words, especially when it came to medically related problems. He was still Grim, but I could tell his time out here was taking a toll. Before too long, he'd succumb to the radiation. My eyes began to well up, and I furiously brushed away the tears before they could fall down my cheeks. What a sissy I was. Normally I didn't bat an eye at this type of shit.
  • Navarre,

    Fence comes over to you, DAP hanging back like a wing-man. He stares at you hard for a moment, then says low, "Listen, Bunkie's guys are doing their own thing, right? But I ran with them for a while. I gotta know. Any of them still alive?"

    Triss.

    Grim pulls back from the hug, but keeps an arm on your shoulder, "I know, Triss. I know. Price of the game." He squeezes your shoulder a little, and forces a lighter tone, "Buck up, Triss. It'll be okay, now that you're here. C'mon, Deuce is in the hearse. Help me make sure he isn't there for long, yeah?" He leads you over towards the hearse.

    Inside the open back door, you feel the cool air conditioning pouring out, and under a blanket with cold sweats is a handsome young boy, bald as a baby, thin, reddened nose with caked blood around the edge. He has his father's eyes. He tries to smile, his teeth look pink from the bleeding gums.

    It's bad, Triss. You can see it, and so can he. What do you do?

    Chalk,

    Grim and Triss seem buddy-buddy, how does that sit with you? How do the Ravens know you? I mean, the infirmary wasn't too pleasant, is there beef between you and them? Or is this just a regular hate on for stupid folks who bother your people?

    Oh and by the way, a couple of the Ravens by the hearse move up, looks like they're going to intercept you. One has a shotty in his hand, aimed at the ground. The other has some wildass lightning gu with a big battery backpack, looks like it'd be wicked painful.

    What do you do?
  • The mask is like a wall between me and the past. I remember, vaguely, some awful stuff about the Ravens - I mean, I've been out here and seen their underground thing and whatever - but it's like remembering something someone else told me. Like learning a lesson from a story of bad shit going down. Me, the mask and me, we just didn't like the way they came dick-swinging in there like they owned the place. If I hadn't been there would they have just knocked Triss down? She didn't say no, but what if she had? Whatever the case, she's here on her own - I may not agree partic'larly but what the fuck ever, I'll stand by her until I'm a bullet-riddled corpse. And I will take all these assholes with me if I have to.

    They're going to intercept me? Oh no no. No, no no. "Y'ALL MUTHAFUKKAS KNOW BETTA THAN T'COME BETWEEN A BODYGUARD AN' THEIR LADY, RIIIIIIIGHT?" The mask's voice is full of sharp-edged rocks and dangerous humor, I let it talk some more. "NOW FUCK OFF AFORE I SHOVE THAT THING UP YOUR ASS AN' SHOCK YER COCK OFF." DAP's machete is thrust through my belt - I pick the axe up, so lightly, and hold it at waist level. No more threatening than a shotgun pointed at the ground.
  • I sigh, reaching out to hold the little boy's hand. He wasn't going to get a chance to grow up and break someone's heart. Or fall in love, or have kids of his own. And all because Grim choose to be here, with the Ravens. A choice that he shouldn't have made. A choice that took him away from me. It still stung, and being here brought some of those hard feelings back. I look at Grim, hardening my face and myself so I can tell him what needs to be done. "Your boy is in bad shape," I tell him, reaching out to clasp his hand. "He needs to recuperate somewhere safe. Without any radiation. Or he'll die."

    Truth is my currency, and if I start sugar coating it, people won't trust me anymore. It's always been who I am. Will always be what I have to do. This little boy - even a month or two in a cushy spa and some chelation treatments wasn't going to cure him. It was a long shot at best. His best bet was on the other side of the fence, where society existed. Not in this lawless land. But might as well ask for a miracle to happen. It was far more likely than the powers that be letting someone from here out there.

    "Wish I had some better news, Grim." I gaze into his eyes, waiting to see how he's going to react.
  • edited November 2013
    Chalk,

    Grim's men let you in. They're watching you warily, though. Very careful. You see the boy, he looks so weak, he's dying. What does the mask think of weak little children?

    Triss,

    Grim doesn't flinch, his eyes don't well up with tears, he doesn't deny your prognosis. He nods once, "If he recuperate somewhere away from our territory, could you save him? Or is he too far gone?" Then before you can answer, he says, "Triss... what I'm asking is, what would it take for you to take him back with you and heal him?" He glances back at his men, to make this conversation is private. Of course, Chalk, you're totally close enough to hear this.
  • I ignore the stares and concentrate on the conversation at hand. "Yeah, a few attacked me and a buddy a few hours ago. We didn't get all of them. At least a one rabbitted."
  • You would think I hated the sniveling weakness of little children, but if I did I'd be crazy. I wasn't so different, once, and but for the grace of my face there go I. Maybe if Triss saves him he'll find a face, an impenetrable shell that'll let his soft insides toughen up to the point they can look out at the world without being parched, shocked, blinded.

    "Take him back," I say softly, leaning down so my face's immobile lips, pursed in a frozen plastic pout, are at her ear. "I'll help however you want. Just tell me how."
  • My head is already swimming with possibilities. How might I save this boy? I've pulled people out of some bad situations: times when they should have died, I pulled them back from the brink of death. It was why they called me an Angel, sometimes. The clinic would be ok for a while, but if we really wanted to give this boy a chance, then there were other avenues I could try. I'd have to cash in a lot of favors. It wasn't going to be cheap.

    I fixate on Grim's eyes, and I see the love there that he has for this boy. I know then that I'd move heaven and earth to help this kid, even though he's not mine. But then, that's what I do. It's what I've always done, and Grim knows that. It's why he brought me out here.

    "I'll do it," I tell him. "I'll do everything I can, but it's not going to be cheap. And there's no guarantee I can save him." I look down at Deuce, brushing my hand across his forehead. "No promises," I say quietly. "Just everything I've got. For a chance." For a moment, my sappy heart goes to a place it shouldn't. But I can't afford that kind of thinking. It's almost killed me in the past. I wall away that weakness and straighten my shoulders. I look back at Grim. "You could benefit from a few months away too, you know."
  • Triss,

    Grim nods, "I'll foot whatever bill, just send a runner my way under a white flag and write me a note in your hand, so I know it's genuine, and whatever it cost you, I'll send along in barter or jingle." He drops his voice a little, "And if I could go with you... I would never be here now.

    As for healing Deuce...
    Since you've got an infirmary, your cursory observation of Deuce is that it's going to take weeks of work to heal him. First, you'll need some Prussian blue dye to help him excrete the radiation to his internal organs, and he appears to have some bone marrow damage, so he'll need a transfuson of healthy red blood cells and platelets.

    Also, it's going to mean exposing yourself and your colleagues to possible radiation from the kid himself for the first week or so.

    Navarre,

    Fence looks to and fro, not looking like he's "really talking with you", and says, "Well, if you run into the ones who attacked you, they're no friends of ours. Feel free to take whatever vengeance you seem fit, man."

    DAP adds, "I'm just glaaad Clicks will make it. That would have been ugly."

    What do yo do?
  • Grim's words melt something in my heart, and in a moment of weakness, I reach up and cup his face in my hands. My eyes go all liquid and smolder, and I hate myself for it. I don't want to be this weak willed woman, so willing to throw everything away for a shot at love. It was never me. But when I was with him, I was different. I meet his eyes for longer than I should - for longer than is proper. Then my hands drop. "I'll let you know."

    Already I'm thinking through isolation methods and what it's going to take to score the items I need to heal this kid. Because no matter how I feel about his father, I will do my very best to save him, regardless of the consequences.
  • "I really am sorry about Clicks. Don't like dropping people who don't deserve it. You guys might want to rebrand yerselves or get your name off any idiots who might drag it through blood you don't want to be exposed to."
  • DAP chuckles, "Shit, Navarre. You want us to go to war over who gets to keep the Ravens name? That's some bad blood there, yeah?"

    Fence shakes his head, "Who'd believe us anyways? It's why its better if we stay in our territory. I told Grim this was a bad idea. But well... it's his kid, you know? Just keep an eye out for Clicks. And Deucey, too."

    --------------------------------------

    Let's skip ahead a bit. I assume you carry the frail Deuce to the van, yeah? He weighs as much as a handful of blankets with sticks inside. Kid's majorly weak.

    You all pack up for the ride back, I take it? It's quiet. Deuce coughs a couple times, a raspy tickle.

    Once you get back to Triss's place, what do you do?
  • I carry Deuce into the clinic, finding a bed in the back where he can rest relatively undisturbed. Plus, it's isolated from the rest of the clinic by a few walls. Should help keep the radiation hazard down. I stroke his forehead as I set up an IV. The kid is in bad shape. He's going to need a few transfusions and that dye, and god knows what else to help him heal. I pull up a chair and sit next to him, too tired and emotionally drained to do much else. Rane pokes his head in, gives me updates on the other patients. Glances at the boy and back to me.

    "You ok, boss?" he says with an uncharacteristic gentleness.

    I rub my face. "Yeah. I'll be fine. Just... give me a while to sit here, ok?"

    Rane nods and ducks back out, letting the curtain fall over the opening to the small isolation room. I know I shouldn't sit here, because I'm soaking in rads from the kid. But I don't have the energy to do much else. The wastes just suck it out of you sometimes, and you have to stop and sit down for a bit. Only sometimes, you don't get moving again. Sometimes, the cold desolation calls to you, and you hear the siren song of sleep and death, and it sounds like a lullaby. That's when this shit hole is most dangerous: when it doesn't seem like such a bad idea to give up fighting. Today isn't that day for me, but I do just want to take a breather for a few hours. Watch this kid I've promised to do my best to save.

    Maybe... maybe if I save him, something might change in my life. Something good might come my way. I deserve it, right?
  • --END SCENE--
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