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  #126  
Unread 12th of February, 2013, 01:46
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The smile BeeBee gave Parson was... unusually bright.
"Thanks boss. Sorry I got a little snippy."
She winked, and hurried off.


~~


The night was calm, quiet. Cold, too, like usual, but in a good way.
Burroughs' sleep was nightmare-free, and the lack of pressure from the storm could be felt over the hold--they'd been having echoes of those nightmares too, and now there was nothing but quiet, and the thin glow of the night.

Parson woke to a lack of reports. The work on the fields was going well, a good number of merchants had stayed, others were coming in, and for the most part the actions of yesterday were being thought of as done by that fucking weirdo, the shooting of Culler simply ignored.

And then, maybe a bit before noon, as things were starting to creep back into that nap-time heat, he heard a shot, just one, off in the distance.

Five minutes later, a messenger ran in, breathless. Warsteoff.
"Boss, Parson, uh... Nipper's been shot, out in the rubbles. She's dead."
Fuck. "The rubbles" was a spot, outside to the northeast, where some ruins had been torn down a bit, and served as a big potato patch (plus a few other plants). There were these big mean iron spikes they'd driven into the ground to keep out burrowing things, and the patch itself was also host to a big pack of tamed dogs, that had been trained not to root or tear up the plants. Overall, it was a big source of basic food, nice and dense and rich.
Nipper was one of the farmers. She was good with the dogs, they liked each other. She spent a lot of time out there, keeping them happy and tame, making sure none got out or that nothing broke.
There were other farmers, yeah.


Burroughs heard the shot. Maybe. Not sure what zie was doing.
One thing's for sure, zie hadn't felt anything weird at all. No premonitions, no nothing.


Tannis didn't hear anything, considering he was far off and also in a cave.
He was getting sort of bored, Green had stopped explaining things and there wasn't much to explain anyway. Just a lot of double-checking and excessive care.
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  #127  
Unread 14th of February, 2013, 00:46
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As the day turned to night and the night grew later, Tannis eventually fell asleep on his cot. When he woke, he looked around not seeing much to do, he waited for his next task.
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  #128  
Unread 14th of February, 2013, 11:23
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"Shit."

Parson stood up, pushed past Warsteoff. "Where's BeeBee?" he asked. "I want a posse put together. Five men. I'm going out."
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  #129  
Unread 14th of February, 2013, 11:47
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"Recoil's looking for her. Liverbitch saw it, sent me straight here."
Warsetoff hurried along, next to Parson.
"We're gearing up for that, there should be a group forming at the gate."

Indeed there was, a handful of the gang converging at the main gate. BeeBee showed up, talking to Recoil, when she spotted Parson.
"Boss, you heard? I was going to go out, track down the fucker. He can't have gone far."


Tannis got up, looking around the cave. Green was still working on the pump, examining a... bearing ring, apparently, frowning. He was in the same position as last night, and there was a cot folded up, off to the side.
"Ah, boy. How did you sleep?"

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  #130  
Unread 15th of February, 2013, 03:31
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Burroughs reached out to the Maelstrom. Zie knew it was probably the wrong thing to do, but zie did it anyway. "Was that you?"

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  #131  
Unread 15th of February, 2013, 05:15
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"Not bad, I guess. It's nice and cool down here." Tannis came closer to green. "What's up with the ring? Have you been working on that part all night?"
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  #132  
Unread 15th of February, 2013, 09:43
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Burroughs reached out, feeling for the witch. Nothing, it was like she'd never even been there, only the barest echoes of her corruption still cloying like garlic. Gone, gone, but then who had taken that sh--




Green smiled a little.
"Heh, no. I dozed for a while."
He pointed at the ring. "One of the bearings is cracked, like I thought, but... I can't find the replacement bearings. I thought I had a few, but they're a different type."
He spun it, back and forth, and it made a sort of unhappy rustling noise.
"It has to be right down to a hundredth of a millimeter, the speeds it runs at, otherwise it'll just break again. Really, we'll need a new ring. Once we get one, great, means I'll be able to take this one apart and get a good handful of fresh bearings, but... this isn't an easy part to get. I certainly don't have one on hand, and I'm not even sure where to start."

He frowned, leaning forward.
"I don't even understand how this happened. The whole point about being so precise with these things is so that they don't wear or stress and then break, and I set this up one only three years ago. If I was willing to put up with that, I could be a lot more loose."
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  #133  
Unread 17th of February, 2013, 14:34
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Tannis took a closer look at the bearing, and noticed the crack. "Maybe we could repair it or even make a new one." Tannis reached out a hand to touch around the crack, steadying his find and focusing on the bearing.


Last edited by Rezenic; 17th of February, 2013 at 14:38.
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  #134  
Unread 17th of February, 2013, 14:39
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"Boy, you don't really make new bearings like this, it's pre-war sort of stuff."
The crack was hairline, pretty thin. The ring bearing would work fine, shit you could just take the cracked one out and have them roll around and it would work, but it would wear out after a bit.




Just as Parson was about to respond to BeeBee (?), a call came down from the gate.
"Gang approaching! Looks like bikes, north from Burnt Water!"
A pause.
"It's not the Pistoleros! Coming fast, they''ll be here in a few minutes!"


Burroughs took a (metaphorical) breath. This thing was terrifying, a sensation Burroughs didn't have much experience with. It was almost like... other feelings, other sensations, bleeding in. The image was breaking up, leaving only the sharp ringing of pines, the cool electric scent of the moon. The feel of a wolf's howl biting down on bone.
It was silent, still, but like a predator, sizing up prey.

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  #135  
Unread 18th of February, 2013, 03:43
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Parson had been about to tell BeeBee that he'd take the posse out and she'd be staying behind to watch things, when the call came down.

"Fuck," he breathed, before sprinting toward the gate. "Get the gang together," he yelled over his shoulder. "Expect the worst."

He got up to the gate and climbed up onto the scaffolding to get a better look. He knew it was a risk, what with the sniper out there, but he had to see what was coming.


Last edited by Darius; 18th of February, 2013 at 03:46.
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  #136  
Unread 18th of February, 2013, 09:53
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He peered at the convoy. Leading it was... a guy with red hair that Parson didn't really recognize off hand. He was pretty recognizable, though, the sort of person you'd remember, which probably meant the gang was from a long way off.
They didn't seem immediately aggressive, although the man was grinning. Which was usually a bad sign.

He looked closer. Something about this guy said "bad news," but Parson wasn't sure what. Definitely some kind of hotshot.

Also there were a couple of trucks. With armor. Well fuck.

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  #137  
Unread 18th of February, 2013, 22:59
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"Get your gun, BeeBee. We start getting any sort of heat from this, I want you to place a bullet between the eyes of the red head? You got me?"

Parson looked around at his defenses, and wondered just what these folks were going to want. With any luck, it was just a matter of wanting to trade as they kept on their way. If not... well, it wouldn't be the first time he'd commanded a defense of Slammer Keep.
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  #138  
Unread 18th of February, 2013, 23:08
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Parson watched them roll in. Couple of trucks, motorcycles, lots of guns, real bristly. Maybe twenty men all told. Red was leading the pack, still grinning, and stopped, good fifty feet away.



He stepped off the bike, walked towards the keep a bit, hands empty and clear.
"Oi! Parson King of Slammer Keep!"
He nodded back.
"Me 'n my men would like a bit of rest, an' some food and drink, if you'd have us. Yea?"


Last edited by zachol; 18th of February, 2013 at 23:11.
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  #139  
Unread 19th of February, 2013, 02:35
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Tannis thought for a second looking at the bearing. "Guzzler always spoke about some big junkyard around here. Anyway, we could go scrounging around for something like this? I know it could be a long shot, but maybe we could find another? It doesn't feel like any tampering or anything, not that that was of any question, I suppose."

Tannis looked around the pump room really, for the first time taking everything in. The place was really something. he wondered if he'd be able to make something like it, though he thought the garage might be a better fit for him. Either way, he saw Green's work, and understood the man's worry with regards to the bearing.

"What can we do? I'll help how I can if you have any ideas."
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  #140  
Unread 19th of February, 2013, 04:32
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Parson lifted up the big bullhorn one of the men had up by the gate.

"Funny you know my name, but I don't know yours. As it is, we're full up, though you can camp there, and send some in for trade. No more than five at a time though. Hope that's not a problem for you."
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  #141  
Unread 19th of February, 2013, 10:45
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Green hmm'd, then shook his head.
"Maybe. I'd prefer trying to trade for it. Like I said, holds usually have caches of parts, and this sort of ring... someone might have one. Five or six of our washings, fair trade for one of these rings. For now..."
He stared at Tannis.
"Why don't you take a few guards and have a look at that Junkyard? They've got a truck here."


The man grinned.
"Ah, forgive me, Parson King! The name's Lucky, and you..."
He pointed his finger, hand like a gun, closed an eye like a wink.
"Ain't!"

Several things happened.
Lucky Red leaped away, just as a handful of bullets bit into the ground where he'd been standing. BeeBee let out a curse, adjusting, trying to track him.
Parson ducked, as did pretty much everyone else.
And the whole of Lucky's gang fired on Slammer Keep, bullets hailing against its steel armor and accomplishing absolutely nothing.


Last edited by zachol; 19th of February, 2013 at 14:06.
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  #142  
Unread 19th of February, 2013, 14:13
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Tannis's expression went from being focused to excitement. "Really? That would be awesome." He studied the bearing a bit more until he was sure that he had a firm image of it and its complexities. "So where's the truck?"
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  #143  
Unread 20th of February, 2013, 04:34
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Burroughs couldn't help it: zie poked at the mass of fear. It was like the toothache that a tongue played over, like the maroon tears running down the neck of a chicken that continued to run. If it wasn't the witch, it was something else. Then Burroughs heard more gunfire. Zie couldn't maintain the connection, and bolted upright, pulled hir boots on, and grabbed hir gear before rushing outside. Zie knew there wasn't much zie could do against bullets directly, but if Parson managed to survive and take a prisoner or something, Burroughs knew zie'd be called to task. Better to be proactive.
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  #144  
Unread 20th of February, 2013, 11:42
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Parson quickly took stock of the situation. Well, first he marveled at the stupidity of "Red" and then he took stock of the situation. Enzo was closest to the big goddamn bell. "Ring it, Enzo!" Parson called out. "Sound 'to arms!' Got it?" Somehow his sleeve pistol had gotten into his hand, but he didn't remember drawing it.

"Tank, get a couple of guys and check the perimeter. Keep your head down! I want to know if we're getting flanked here."

He wasn't feeling in a forgiving mood, but maybe a prisoner could be taken out of this. He couldn't help but feel like he was being toyed with, a sensation he wasn't much keen on.

"BeeBee, you see that fucker with the red hair, I want him drilled, you understand? And don't miss next time."

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  #145  
Unread 20th of February, 2013, 16:46
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Green smiled.
"Another cave, sort of a garage. Tanner!"
Green waited a moment. "Anyway, Tanner can take ya."
He frowned, then glanced away.
"Kid, uh... not to be rude, but I really doubt you'll be able to find the right part. Somewhere out there, there's a guy with a dozen of these things, I'm sure of it, and I just need to remember who it is and set up a trade. That's really the easiest solution. But, maybe you'll find something interesting, even if it isn't this. Keep your eyes open, alright? Would be a shame if you passed over something just because it wasn't exactly what you wanted right now."


Burroughs reached out, touching... fur. Thick, powerful muscles hiding just below, rippling a little at hir touch. Soft, but with the promise of strength and power. Soft like kevlar.
Horns were rushing at hir when zie woke up.


Enzo rang the bell, nice and loud, and combined with the obvious gunfire got the militia running all proper. Tank ran off, grabbing Stubby and Recoil, and probably some others later on.
BeeBee growled at Parson. "I'm trying. Bastard's real slippery." Another round of bullets confirmed this. Asshole was jumping around like a clown or something. Laughing, probably, not that you could hear anything at this distance over the gunfire.

Burroughs heard the bell as zie was running to the gate, and got there with a group of others.

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  #146  
Unread 20th of February, 2013, 21:18
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Parson sighed, nodded, caught sight of Burroughs and gave a little wave.

"Well its not like we don't have plenty of bullets," Parson shouted back at BeeBee. "See if you can't hit their transport. Make the bastards walk once they figure we're too tough of a nut to crack. If nothing else, Green and his crew can probably use the parts."

Right about then Parson wished he hadn't hung up his old guns, traded them in for the pea shooter he had now. It wasn't the first time he had made such a wish either, but there it was.

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  #147  
Unread 21st of February, 2013, 01:05
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Tannis saw the older man as he came into the room where he and Green were. "So let's get to this Junkyard," Tannis said. "How far away is it, and do we need to prep anything? Also, is the truck in good enough shape to get there?" Tannis didn't give the man a chance to talk between his questions.
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  #148  
Unread 21st of February, 2013, 13:11
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"Yes sir."
BeeBee growled under her breath, narrowing her eyes.

Across the road, Lucky's gang peters out, stopping their assault. After a moment, the vehicles started to scatter. A pair of bikes and several bodies seemed like they were going to be left behind. Some of the runners were going north, some southwest, and some others seemed like they were heading for the cover of the riverbed. Like, just panicked scattering.
BeeBee growled, and a third bike just stopped, falling over.
She glanced over at Parson. "The fuck is this, anyway?"

"Ha, assholes are running!"
Loco and Rubbers ran down, winding up a few other jerks (Boiler, Halfsies, Suburb) to apparently go out there. Which would involve opening the gate.


Tanner frowned. "The Junkyard? Now why would..."
He trailed off, looking at Green.
"Eh, sure. Maybe an hour or so's drive northwest. We don't want to be there after dark, but we still got all day."
He turned to go off. "You wanna scavenge anything, best get some cutters or the like, but there's nothin' in particular what's needed. I'll load up some food and water, tell Denny to get his lazy ass up case we need another gun."

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  #149  
Unread 22nd of February, 2013, 12:51
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"Don't even think about opening that fucking gate!" Parson yelled, leveling his pistol at Loco. "First asshole who takes another step in that direction is getting another nostril,you here me?"

He turned to BeeBee. "Wait, see how this plays out. It doesn't smell right. Probably a trap."

He shrugs. "If not, let them run. Won't hurt us to wait a bit, check on our guys first to make sure everyone is ok."

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  #150  
Unread 22nd of February, 2013, 13:50
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"Shit, okay Parson."

Everyone stays were they are, BeeBee occasionally taking shots at the runners.
Parson glances around... nobody shot? Ah, Plover took a shoulder shot.

After about maybe a minute, BeeBee glances over.
"I'd say the 'trap' was distracting us from that sniper, but that really doesn't make much sense. Real pricy 'trap' if so."
Off in the distance, Parson could see the runners that had gone southwest were regrouping. North ones were out of sight.

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