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  #1  
Unread 12th of October, 2012, 11:59
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Session 1: Welcome to Muddy River

Morning broke hard on the hardhold of Muddy River. The sun blazed down on the bare concrete barriers and barbed wire that were all that stood between the hardhold’s residents and marauding raiders, slavers, and cannibals. The hardhold was a collection of shacks and shelters with a few more permanent structures all based around a five story tall apartment building that functions as the home and center of power of Barbecue: the hardholder in charge.
Muddy River was situated not on the river itself, but about three miles to the west of it. There were a few survivors that made lives outside of the hardhold, but they still paid tribute to the hardhold itself. Barbecue made sure that his gang of thugs and enforcers got a piece of anything that the scavengers and settlers were able to scrounge together. Of much more interest to Barbecue and other interested parties is the large scrapyard ten miles to the north of the hardhold. It’s a hard five miles though, across the burning flats and the scrapyard is home to a known group of raiders, the Motorheads.

A wind was coming off the river toward the hardhold as the sun came up, bringing with it the smell of raw sewage, a not uncommon occurrence. Mar caught a whiff of it as he came up on the gatehouse to enter Muddy River.
The hardhold seemed unusually busy for so early in the morning, and he could hear shouted conversations, just none of the details. There are two guards at the gatehouse, but both look knew. It’s hard to tell with the goggles and the scarves though. Their guns are up and out though, and they yell, “Hold it stranger! Hands where we can see them and off the weapons!”
Doc had already been up for half an hour, elbows deep in Tricks, one of Barbecue’s gang who often went on recon. Something had sliced him up bad, and all that had been keeping his insides from being outside were his jacket and a prodigious amount of tape. He had fallen unconscious as soon as reaching the gate, but Barbecue was insistent that he be brought around as quickly as possible. No one hurt his guys, and whoever did this was going to get stomped on but hard.

Nils woke up to banging on his garage door. Whoever it was sounded pretty insistent, and possibly angry. Nils tried to remember through his fog of having just woken up who he might be expecting today.

Fetish was woken up with a hand on her shoulder. It was Barbecue, his face looking even more haggard than ever. “Tricks just got in from the river. He was hurt bad, sliced up. Doc’s patching him up now. I want you there when he wakes up, find out what happened. Understand?”

Rhyme had a pretty late night last night, having had a rather vigorous engagement with one of the locals. As he heads back to his apartment in the hardhold he sees a bunch of activity over at Doc’s and there looked like there’s someone over at Nils’ garage. He also heard shouting over by the gatehouse.

__________________
Ewan: Tell me, when you drove up, did you see a sign outside that said "dead ninja storage?"
Kat: No, I didn't...
Ewan: Do you wanna know why I don't have a sign like that? Because storing dead ninjas, isn't my business!
  #2  
Unread 12th of October, 2012, 12:16
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Fetish nodded quietly and stood up. Despite her reputation (which she actively cultivated), Fetish usually slept in at least some clothes, and that was true of this morning as well. Still, if trouble was here in Muddy River, she was going to go out prepared. Her katana in its place in her belt, Fetish walked out of her room and down to Doc's, taking note of the yelling by the gatehouse and the banging on Nils' door. But Barbecue hadn't said anything about that, and so she ignored the noise and continued into the medic's office. She stood silent, out of the way, but with an intense focused gaze at Tricks and Doc's hands as she patched up the ganger.
  #3  
Unread 12th of October, 2012, 14:33
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Nils sat up from the workbench she'd fallen asleep on at some point last night and groggily rubbed the sleep from her eyes. She heard the pounding at her garage door again and swore under her breath. "Dammit, must've forgotten to turn off that damn open sign."

She was so proud of that open sign, real scrounged neon she gathered herself, powered by a car battery she had lying around. She stood for a moment, basking silently in the glory of that little achievement, then reached into one of her pockets to grab a little pocketwatch and check the time. Sadly, the hands weren't moving. Well, fuck. "Just a sec!" she called to whoever was pounding at her door, "I gotta find a replacement watch battery!"

She started looking around through the shit accumulated on one of her desks. No, wait, this is the squishy desk. Bed, that's what it's called. The shit accumulated on her bed, but before she could locate a suitable battery she found an old rifle barrel that needed a bit of spot welding to patch up a little rupture. Well, no time like the present, she mused.

A few minutes later she was at her work bench, wrapping copper wire around an iron ring. Electromagnets are awesome, whatever this thing winds up in is going to be so cool.

Last edited by Daedalus; 12th of October, 2012 at 14:44.
  #4  
Unread 12th of October, 2012, 15:32
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Doc was seething inside. Where had those two idiots gone? Fucking around again, stirring up trouble, it was going to come back to her one of these days, never actually there when she needed them. And so stupid! Well, Kriss at least. Oh, I'm sorry, Stitches. You want to talk about stitches, talk about the ridiculous meandering uneven nonsense she'd been--
*knock knock*
Oh would that be them? Oh, no, it's Fetish. Hm.
"Hey honey, I'm a little busy. I think I've got him close to stable. Yeah, you can wait."
Sure, fine. Just stand there and stare. Yeah, like that. Great.
Doc turned to focus on Tricks again. Fuck's sake Barbeque wanted this guy up and lucid? It was going to take some real work to even keep him alive. She scanned the clinic. Was she going to have to start using her reserves? She really didn't want to. Not for something this... boring.

Well, what Barbeque wants, Barbeque gets.

  #5  
Unread 12th of October, 2012, 16:34
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Mar growled at the sight of men pointing guns at him. He'd already been up for a few hours to get to the hardhold this early, since you didn't really want to be out in the open during the daylight hours if you had other options. Which meant he'd been traveling in the dark and had tripped over what felt like every forsaken rock and piece of debris that wouldn't skewer him on his way here.

So he was a bit more irritable than normal as he raised his hands up. Which, to be fair, wasn't saying much. "I'm no fucking stranger you blind cocksucker, it's me, Mar! I'm here to see if y'all got a job again or not."
  #6  
Unread 13th of October, 2012, 23:50
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Last night was a good night, one of very few lately. Rhyme was exhausted, but in a fairly good mood.

The commotion all about promised to spoil that mood, though. It looked like the most noise was coming from over at Doc's place, but Rhyme could only be in the way over there. Instead, Rhyme decided to take a walk over to the gate. He checked to make sure his blade was free in the sheath, then dropped the last of breakfast into his inner pocket; Bonzai would appreciate the treat.

Rhyme walked over to the gate at a steady pace ...
  #7  
Unread 14th of October, 2012, 11:17
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Doc managed to get Tricks patched up even without the help of her two assistants, though it took some doing and he wasn't going to be going anywhere for a while. Doc also knew that infection was not only possibly but more like probable and he'd need to be monitored for a while. Still, he was conscious now, but barely, but Doc couldn't guarantee how long he'd be awake or how lucid he'd be. He was bandaged up, and she had a drip trying to put fluids back into him, but he had lost a lot of blood in the process.

As Doc was washing her hands, Trigger came into the shop, his eyes bloodshot and bleary. "What the hell happened, Doc?" he asked.





As Rhyme approached the gate, he recognized Dingo and Joker, two newer members of Barbecue's little group of enforcers. Neither was what you would call a big thinker, but they were more than willing to cause a bit of mayhem and neither was a stranger to violence which were traits that Barbecue was more than happy to encourage.

"Do you know a Mar, Dingo?" asked Joker, his hand on a rifle that had been patched up time and again.

"I certainly do not, Joker," Dingo replied. "What's your business in Muddy River, stranger?"

Neither of them were paying much attention to Rhyme who most assuredly recognized the individual waiting with little patience outside the barricades.

The banging grew louder on Nils' garage door. "Open up the fucking door you bitch!" a voice shouted. "I got something you need to see, you hear? Hurry up!"
  #8  
Unread 14th of October, 2012, 11:24
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Fetish calmly waited until Doc was finished patching up Tricks. No sense in rushing her. Fetish knew her best chance of finding out what the hell had happened was to let Doc alone until she was good and ready to let her patients do anything else.

Once Doc decided Tricks was stable enough for questioning, Fetish moved forward quietly. She looked over the bandages and then directly into Tricks' eyes.

"What the fuck happened to you?"


Last edited by Mercutio; 15th of October, 2012 at 02:37.
  #9  
Unread 14th of October, 2012, 11:40
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Doc let Fetish handle Tricks, walking over to Trigger.
"Tricks was out scouting, something messed him up. I had to do a rush patch, Barbeque wanted to know what happened."
She glanced back at the pair of Tricks and Fetish.
"I get the feeling the next day's going to be a little interesting, so I want you and Kr... Stitches to actually hang around for now. Once she gets here."
She smiled. "Even if not, that guy's going to need watching, and I don't want to be the only one here. Right?"
  #10  
Unread 14th of October, 2012, 16:24
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"Hm? What? Oh, you're still here!" Nils put down her welding tools and swiftly walked over to her garage door, then slid open the eyeslit. "I've got questionably important shit to be doing and my shop ain't open," she said to the jackass on the other side of the door, "So you'd best have something damn important to show me. Now what've you got?"
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Unread 15th of October, 2012, 23:38
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"Fuck!"

It was too early for this shit.

Rhyme moves himself into view of Joker and Dingo. " 'ey, cocksuckers! I vouch for 'im. With all the fuckin' noise this morning, I got a feelin' we gonna need 'im."
  #12  
Unread 18th of October, 2012, 10:51
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"I got jumped," Tricks said, his voice barely above a whisper and dried blood still on his lips. "Fuckers came out of no where, sliced me up but good. There were three or four of them, all with big fucking blades. Bigger than that pigsticker Rhyme carries even." Tricks voice is harsh and raw and Fetish can see the terror that is bubbling up to the surface.

Trigger nodded at Doc. "Sure thing Doc, only thing is I don't know where Stitchy is. I mean we fell asleep after we... err... we fell asleep together but she wasn't there when I woke up. She was saying something about a job right when we were falling asleep but she didn't tell me what it was."

"Open the door and I'll show you," the voice said. When Nils did (she had remembered to lock the door even if she didn't remember to turn off the sign) she saw a youngish woman standing there, hands buried deep in a butcher's apron. If Nils thought about it, she remembered that the woman's name was Stitch and she helped out the Doc at the infirmary. Stitch pushed passed Nils and went straight to her work bench. When she stopped she pulled her hands out of her pocket and placed a small dirty white boxy object out of her pocket. It was about the size of a palm and had places where Nils knew plugs could be inserted.

Dingo, to his credit kept his eyes and weapon trained on Mar while Joker spun his head around toward Rhyme. "What's it to you skinner? Fine, you want to vouch for him, he can come in. But if he turns out to be some mutant psycho fucker, I'll be sure to tell Barbecue who's word was given, understood? Dingo, let the fucker in."
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Unread 18th of October, 2012, 11:05
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"Relax. Doc did good work, but you need to stay calm and cool until you feel a little better. I've only got another couple of questions. Anyone you recognized at all, maybe saw around before? And where exactly were you when this all went down?" Fetish tried her hardest to be reassuring, mimicking the way she had seen others attempt to be supportive.


Last edited by Mercutio; 18th of October, 2012 at 11:14.
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Unread 18th of October, 2012, 12:17
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Now what the hell is that thing? Her curiosity piqued, Nils walked briskly over and picked up the box, examining it carefully from every angle. Without taking her eyes off the device, she said, "I need everything you know about it, Stitch. Where you found it, who you took it from, what you know it does, start talking."

As Stitch spoke, Nils began looking around her workshop for the tools and materials she would need to find out what this thing was, and how to bring it to life, making a mental note of what was needed to solve this new little mystery.

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Unread 18th of October, 2012, 13:41
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Doc smiled at Trigger. "A job that you're not in on? Sounds like trouble."
She shrugged. "I'm sure she'll turn up. It's better for you to stay here. Would be real bad if Tricks died. Real bad. Yeah?"
She smiled again, then started double-checking her pockets, looking around the clinic. She stopped, waiting for Trick's answers to Fetish's questions, then turned back to Trigger.
"Gonna take a little break, see what's going on. Keep an eye on Tricks. If Stitch comes back, try to get her to stay, or at least tell you what she's up to."

She walked outside, stopping, listening for anything... unusual.
If nothing presented itself, she was planning on tagging along after Fetish. Always good to stay in the loop.
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Unread 18th of October, 2012, 20:31
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Mar had been grinding his teeth, debating on how mad Barbecue would be if Mar just shot these two idiots, when Rhyme showed up. Grateful to finally be allowed access, if still in an irritable mood, he adjusted the belts of ammo slung over his body and trudged up to the entrance. Stopping by the guy who had kept his gun pointed at him, Mar spat out his cigarette at his feet. "Have a fantastic mornin' fucker," he quipped before stepping through the entrance and into Muddy River proper.

Not five steps in he looked over at Rhyme and gave him a light smack upside the back of his head. "The hell did you do that for? Think I'd forgotten how to get inside a hardhold?"
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Unread 18th of October, 2012, 23:58
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Rhyme grimaced and glared at Mar. " 'ey! You kill those fuckers and the big man'll 'aveta put someone else on guard duty, and 'e might just 'ask' me. I ain't gonna stand there all fuckin' day, a'right? I got better things to do!"

Rhyme turned and began to walk away. "If somethin' 'appens, I'll be at 'ome. I need some rest an' grub."
  #18  
Unread 19th of October, 2012, 12:50
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Tricks tried to shake his head but thought better of it, it was just too uncomfortable. "Nah, never saw these fuckers before in my life. They were all wearing masks though, weird rubbery things. And yeah, it happened down by the old supermarket, down by the river."

Fetish knew exactly what Tricks was referring to. It was a relic of the golden age, an old squat concrete building. A lot of gangs tried to take it, even some hardholders contested it, but it always proved more trouble than it was worth. No one could hold it long enough to actually make it defensible. Still, it was a good policy to make sure none of the squatters stayed long enough to really dig in. It wasn't much information, but it was enough to go back to Barbecue with, maybe see what he wanted to do with it.

If Fetish had any other questions, they were going to have to wait. Tricks sank down on the cot in Doc's infirmary and closed his eyes. His breathing was shallow and ragged and it sounded like something was rattling around in his throat. Trigger went to work, double checking the IV, making sure that the bandages hadn't seeped through. It was basic mechanic work, but it would keep Tricks from dying. Probably.

Doc headed out of the shop. The market was just opening up. It looked like there had been some commotion over by the gatehouse (she saw Mar and Rhyme talking to each other, but they were too far away for her to make out the words). It was probably those yahoos Dingo and Joker, again. Doc's stomach grumbled and she realized that she hadn't eaten yet. What was she going to do for food?

"Huh?" Stitch said. "I just found it outside the hardhold, ok? I don't know what it does, but I thought you might be interested in trading for it. I can always take it to the market if you aren't interested."

Just from glancing at it, Nils figured it was going to take a couple of days or so to juryrig something to make it work, whatever it actually was. Plus, she was going to have to add some serious electronics to her workspace, and she was either going to have to wander out into the scrapyards to find what she needed or else send someone in her stead. Going herself would be better though, otherwise she might not be sure what she was going to end up with.

Rhyme headed towards food, but the mention of it made Mar realize that he hadn't had a hot meal in quite some time.



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Unread 19th of October, 2012, 14:30
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Nils glared at Stitch for a moment. Now what the fuck was Doc's bitch doing walking around outside for? As much as she wanted to figure out this device, she was almost as worried about where this device came from.

"You were smart to bring this to me. I'm pretty sure this here's an old weapon. You know what a landmine is? It's like a grenade, 'cept it just sits in the ground and waits for some dumbass to come walking over it, and then bam, cuts you off at the legs, just like that. Since you picked it up out of the dust, it's probably live, could blow at any second. 'less of course you didn't actually just spot it lying around."

Nils put the box gingerly down on her workbench, then turned back to Stitch. "So, before we mess around with some conversation about price, how about we have a little conversation about how your morning went before you woke me up."


Last edited by Daedalus; 19th of October, 2012 at 14:34.
  #20  
Unread 19th of October, 2012, 15:10
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Doc was grumbly. Great, like usual, soon as she wasn't focused on fixing someone, hungry again. Worst part.
Oh, there was Mar. Interesting. Barbeque would want to talk to him. Was Fetish going to report back right away? Hmm... Mar was probably hungry. Neat.

She walked forward, smiling. "Hey Mar. Heard anything new?"
  #21  
Unread 19th of October, 2012, 21:30
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Fetish stared blankly at Tricks as he drifted out. Rubber-masked gangers down by the market. Bad shit. Probably needed to meet the pointy end of a stick sooner rather than later. She shook her head and walked briskly out to find Barbecue. After that, maybe she'd grab something to eat.
  #22  
Unread 20th of October, 2012, 19:42
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Mar turned as a new voice called his name, seeing Doc approach him in that leather coat she was always wearing. There were some fresh blood marks on her but in Doc's case it likely wasn't her own, though it did tend to give her this kind of creepy air.

"Hey Doc. Yeah I heard some news a couple of weeks back. Apparently Jury's shop got burned down with him in it so I don't think I'll be able to pick up any more of those needles you like." Mar shifted the strap holding Clyde onto his back and looked around, his face not showing any real care over the information. "Where can I get some good food here now anyways? Gridder still cooking here?"

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Unread 21st of October, 2012, 05:16
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"What, really?"
Doc's smile faltered a little. "Well shoot."
She shrugged. "One thing after another, I guess."

She glanced back, towards the market.
"Yeah, Gridder's still around. Wanna grab something?"
  #24  
Unread 22nd of October, 2012, 12:34
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"Hell yes," Mar answered as he started walking towards the market with something that may have been interpreted as anticipation. Glancing at Doc as he walked he adjusted Clyde again. "So what's the news here? Why all the ruckus?"
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Unread 22nd of October, 2012, 13:45
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"One of our guys, Tricks, was scouting by the old supermarket. Some people with weird masks jumped him, slashed him up."
She waved at her coat. "I was patching him up this morning. He wasn't in a good state to explain what had happened until a bit ago, so everyone's been on edge. Well, still are, until Barbeque starts getting things settled and moving."
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