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  #151  
Unread 23rd of February, 2013, 02:39
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Tannis grabbed a large pair of metal clippers and a ratchet from Green supplies. "I've got these things, and my Deena will do the rest." He patted his multi-tool at his side. He also took bag from the shelves. "You need these, Green? I forgot to ask, considering they're yours and all."
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  #152  
Unread 24th of February, 2013, 00:55
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Burroughs stood anxiously waiting in safety. Zie didn't need to disturb Parson just now, especially as it seemed that he had enough knowledge of fears and dangers. Burroughs wasn't sure if the fear-god zie'd talked to was Slammer Keep, these raiders, or the witch or something else entirely. But the combined malevolence here was disturbing in general and Burroughs didn't think it was coincidental.
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  #153  
Unread 24th of February, 2013, 01:05
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At the keep, the seconds dwindled into a minute. Far in the distance, Parson could see the runners that had gone south, now taking the distant broken roads and flat areas of the desert, going north.

BeeBee growled, pulling back and putting her gun at ease.
"Nothing's happening."


Green nodded. "Mmm, sure. Go on, I'm going to spend some time thinking."

~~~

Tanner frowned. They were in the truck, Tannis riding shotgun.
Denny, thankfully, was in the bed, with the little window closed.

Tanner fidgeted, glancing at the kid occasionally.

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  #154  
Unread 24th of February, 2013, 03:00
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"Let them go," Parson said. "Sniper's still out there, and the last thing we need to give him is a clear shot at our guys while they're picking through the remains. Once the sun sets, then we'll go out and see what's left."
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  #155  
Unread 24th of February, 2013, 03:05
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BeeBee nodded. "Alright."

There was the shortest of pauses as Parson considered his next move, when he heard a sort of roar, muffled, coming from the market. Sounded like the ground being angry. Or cheering someone on, not like there was much of a difference.
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  #156  
Unread 24th of February, 2013, 03:07
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"Now what was that?" he asked. "Make sure Plover gets that shoulder looked at," he said. "I'll go see what's going on at the market. Tell Tank to come see me when he gets back."
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  #157  
Unread 24th of February, 2013, 14:48
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Parson headed into the market, Burroughs and Dizzy trailing. A crowd had formed, making... some sort of noise. Like cheering or roaring, grown into a circle.
Mr. Twitch was there, watching impassively from the outer edge of the circle, and nodded at Parson before focusing on the scene again.

Parson shoved through, breaking into the circle.
To the left, Killer-Man the merchant stood, baring his teeth, pistol raised. Killer was a traveling merchant, dealing in food. Big problem on the wastes was variety--eat the same thing day after day and, even if you can stand it, things start to go wrong with your body. Teeth, especially, which had a certain irony. Slammer Keep was better than some, in variety if not volume, but it was still important, and Killer was one of the better food merchants.
To left was some asshole. Skinny, baring his teeth and a knife. Sacker, one of the druggies. Skinny Sacker. Then, behind the asshole, hand on his shoulder, keeping him back... shit. Lamia. Lamia, well, he was this bleeding heart type, who basically tried to keep everyone in the Keep alive, at least in terms of starvation. Lamia was staring past Sacker, eye on Killer-Man, who was just glaring at the both of them.

Well great.
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  #158  
Unread 25th of February, 2013, 11:32
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"All right," Parson said. "Someone want to explain what's going on here? What, its not bad enough that we've got folk outside of the hold trying to kill all of us, but now you two have to start something up as well."
He shook his head, then narrowed in on Lamia. "Lamia, care to explain what's going on here?"
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  #159  
Unread 25th of February, 2013, 12:48
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Lamia looked at Parson, worried, but Killer-Man cut in, waving the pistol at Sacker.
"'e filched."
"No I didn't!"
"Filched. 'ad his hand on a lamb's leg. 'ad my back turned, saw 'im."
Lamia frowned, moving forward. "Sacker didn't take anything."
"Yeh, 'cuz I grabbed it back. Chased 'im down."

Smoked and cured lamb was one of the more expensive things he sold. Actual serious jingle, not like breadfruit or rat kebobs.
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  #160  
Unread 26th of February, 2013, 11:30
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"Nothing was taken?" Parson asked, eyeballing Killer-Man. "No? So no harm done, but Sacker crossed the line, right? Right, Sacker?" Parson turned to stare down Sacker, his eyes cold and his brow lowered.

"Fine, Sacker, you're banned from market for five days. You understand me? Anyone got a problem with that?" he barked, daring anyone to take issue.
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  #161  
Unread 26th of February, 2013, 11:54
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Sacker backed away, glancing between Parson and Killer-Man.

Killer-Man stepped forward, waving his gun around. "Five days? Parson, there ain't gonna be a market in five days, fuggin' molotovs goin' off and shots from some sniper! Firs' it ain't safe here, an' then you're tellin' me I should just take it from 'is filcher, no consequence? I know that one--"
He waved his gun at Lamia.
"'s gonna make sure 'e gets fed fine. You can' guarantee safety regardin' whoever these nutcases are, settin' fire to yer own fields, and now you can' guarantee safety from yer own people, huh? Why should I come back here, huh?"
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  #162  
Unread 26th of February, 2013, 12:53
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"I want you to think real hard here, Killer-Man. You know me, or you think you know me. You think I'm not going to be here in five days? You think you know better than me? What the fuck are you, some two bit pissant tinker who gets lucky now and again. Where are you going to go when we're still here? Huh? Who gives you a better market than this? Where are you going to get your happy weed? Huh?"

Parson stepped up and in front of Killer-Man, stepping inside the reach of his gun. "You put your gun away, or so help me I will take it from you. Do you understand me?"

Parson pointed a finger at Lamia. "Five days no market, means five days no market. I find out Sacker's getting hand outs from you or anyone else, or someone's acting as go-between I'll take it out of their hide."

He turned back to Killer-Man, his eyes boring into the other man's skull. "That good enough for you, merchant? Or are you going to flap your lips some more? 'Cause where I'm standing, it's said and it's done and there's still trade to be had today. And tomorrow. And next week. You get me?"
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  #163  
Unread 26th of February, 2013, 13:21
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Killer-Man narrowed his eyes.
"I am leaving. If you're still here when I come back, then fine, I will set up."
He pointed the gun at Sacker.
"But if I ever catch another filching, I will shoot them, friends or not."

Grumbling, he turned back to his wares, pulling them together to shove back in his truck.
The circle started to break up, Lamia and Sacker pulling away.
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  #164  
Unread 27th of February, 2013, 11:45
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"That doesn't mean you're off the hook, Sacker," Parson grumbled. "Five day ban is a five day ban, understand?"

"Now where'd Tank get off to?"
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  #165  
Unread 28th of February, 2013, 13:12
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The crowd continued to scatter, Lamia giving Parson a hard look and shepherding Sacker off.

BeeBee hustled into view, Tank at her side.
"Perimeter's clear. Seems like the assholes just ran. Starting to get the feeling that their trap was a dud."
She glanced off.
"I think the sniper must have left by now. Got some things to smooth over. Need anything?"

So what now?
Pasron, what were you planning to do these couple days before this happened, anyway?
Burroughs, seems like there's not much going on right now with Parson.
Tannis, are you fine with the continued awkward silence with this Tanner guy? If so, gonna cut ahead a bit. What are you doing in the seat, fidgeting, perfect stillness, working on a small project?
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  #166  
Unread 1st of March, 2013, 12:44
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Parson shook his head at BeeBee. "Might want to put a detail out to see what we can scavenge. Anybody out there that's alive, bring 'em in. I want to know what they know, understand?"

The past couple of days hadn't been going to plan, but that was usually the case here in Slammer's Keep. Other than the normal routine of settling disputes, making sure rations were distributed, and dealing with all sorts of crime Parson's major job was making sure that things ran as smooth as possible. Parson had dreams and hopes but they tended toward the more mundane. Make sure everyone's got enough to eat and drink. Make sure trade keeps happening. Little shit like that. He had been hoping to get a line on some more serious hardware to install on the perimeter of the hardhold, and now that seemed like even more of a priority than ever. There was also the case of the silent patrols, and that would have to be dealt with too.

First though, his stomach growled, reminding him that he was going to need grub before he did anything else.
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  #167  
Unread 1st of March, 2013, 12:53
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Burroughs followed after Parson. "Parson. Our ties here. Might be deadly? Danger coming. Worth fighting for? Fears amassing. An entity. Sort of. Odd. Emotions coming together. In one. Eat and think. Plan."
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  #168  
Unread 2nd of March, 2013, 04:54
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The truck ride was pretty quiet for the first little bit. Tannis broke it up. "So what's this scrap heap like? Get anything good last time you went?" He studied tanner who seemed a bit uncomfortable in the position of escort.
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  #169  
Unread 4th of March, 2013, 19:53
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Parson went into the market, pondering what Burroughs had just said, feeling hungry. Dozen things to do, but they'd all get done pretty shit if he didn't have some food first. Just a little something, didn't have to be that good.
He glanced up. Gristle was watching him. Smiling hopefully. Dog jerky sitting right there.
In less... utterly godawful terms, he could see that Coconut was way over that way, still set up, probably selling those sort of tasteless (a good thing) breadfruits. Otherwise... well, maybe he could see what Malach or Kentucky had going.

Tanner shrugged, staring ahead.
"It's got a lot of junk. Lots of old car parts, still strong when you scrape the rust off. Lots of things like fridges, washing machines, that sort of thing, although usually the copper's been taken already. Usually nothing that works, mostly just parts."
Silence for a few beats.
"It's haunted. We don't stay there at night. Even just sitting in your truck is better, long as you're clear of the yard. Turn off the engine and lights, dogs might just test the doors and the bears ignore ya, if you're lucky."
He glanced over. "Which is why I'm sayin', we absolutely cannot stay too long today. We gotta get back by nightfall. Hear me?"
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  #170  
Unread 5th of March, 2013, 21:30
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Yeah... Gristle might say it was dog jerky, but Parson wasn't that hungry or desperate. Not all of the merchants had left, and Parson thought he might as well take advantage of that while he could. He could always head back to Coconut if nobody else had anything on offer. Time to see what Kentucky was selling today.
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  #171  
Unread 6th of March, 2013, 15:49
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Chicken, of course. Extremely greasy chicken, lots of fat, a little burnt, still pretty good, usually.
Kentucky just nodded, handing Parson a bamboo spit with some strips and chunks on it, spaced out with a little onion. He glanced at the trailing Burroughs, momentarily confused, but a hand was on a kebob, ready to offer.
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  #172  
Unread 7th of March, 2013, 00:35
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Burroughs nodded and reached for the kebob. Zie turned, bowed hir head slightly, and lifted the mask just enough to snake the food up in the opening and took a bite. It was a fairly obvious attempt to hide hir face.
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  #173  
Unread 8th of March, 2013, 21:26
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Parson wolfed down his own greasy kebob and washed it down with some weak beer that Kentucky was also (in)famous for.

"So Burroughs," he said, wiping the back of his mouth with his hand. "If you wanted to flush out this witch, how do you think you'd go about doing it?"
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  #174  
Unread 9th of March, 2013, 08:59
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"Several effective methods. None ideal. One - countertrap. Set bait. Two - leave Slammer Keep. Let fall. Then reclaim. Three - kill all followers."
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  #175  
Unread 12th of March, 2013, 20:14
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Parson picked his teeth with the stick from the kebob. "I'm not sure that I like any of those, but the trap might work best. The only question then... what does the witch want that would work best as bait? Me?"
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