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IC The Future Ain't What It Used To Be

Starcrash

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It's mid-afternoon and dark already. The clouds are hanging low and heavy with light crackling fitfully within them, and the hum that isn't insects seems loud. People are going about their business with shoulders hunched and eyes downcast as if looking at the sky could provoke its wrath.

When a muddy-faced child bursts in to find you, Dr Z, and breathlessly exclaims that Grace has fallen down on the Steps* and she's going to die with that strange glee children have for the horrible, where are you? What do you do?

Calico, you're waiting for your water. You've been waiting all day. You're the bottom of the list, of course, but this is getting silly. You suspect your allocation may be on the punishment schedule, the last to come up. Your plants are getting thirsty. Do you want to go ahead and give them rainwater? You know you'll never get it out of the soil. What do you do?

Market day isn't for a while, but there's a trio of Fine young people, two boys and a girl dressed in uniform-looking boiler suits holding court in the smoke bar while their ATVs rest outside, chained together under a tarp. They're celebrating their latest finds: precious electronics, spools of copper wire. The longer they go on, the more the small audience is drawn to them. As they boast of their cunning and prowess, you can feel their eyes on you, Melody. But they haven't said anything to you, or about you. Nothing directly. Yet. What do you do?

Brace - what are you up to this fine afternoon? What have you been doing?

*The steps to the spring below the hold
OOC
 

Six_claws

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Calico

Days like this are almost enough to make Calico wish she was still stealing the water she needed. Honesty didn't always pay off, it seemed. She stood in the middle of the greenhouse, almost able to feel the thirst of her green children. Much longer and the complaints would be deafening.

She made up her mind. She'd have to break into her stockpile of purified water for her favourite babies. The old world crops, and her... special children. The rest would have to make do with the horrid sky-water if Uncle didn't come through by evening.

But this issue was becoming upsettingly regular. She would have to have some contingency in place for next time. She wouldn't have people lording it over there with their liquid goodness. She needed something for the next emergency.

OOC: Calico is starting her first project. A water purifier for the greenhouse.
 

Pandorym

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Doctor Magnus Zeingarde -- "Dr. Z" to the locals -- had been in the middle of a careful treatment for his nurse Pearl's anemia, a chillstab combined with oxygen and a shot of B-12, when the child chaotically entered his sanctum.

The courage she must have had to step foot inside his somewhat (very) creepy infirmary alone is enough to garner his attention, and he gathers his belongings with all due haste to save the imperiled young girl.

He cuts a strange and somewhat unsettling figure through town, clad as he is in a reinforced robe and a salvaged plague doctor mask with his Angel Kit set upon his back in a large rucksack, shotgun tied at his side. Tall and thin with skin too pale, inky hair and hands usually coated in blood or less savory fluids, he's usually approached only when necessary. This does not offend him though -- it's just the way it is. He is a kind soul, but very calm and collected, and slow to anger or paranoia.

But concern is now writ hidden on his face. He must hurry. Off to the Steps with no time to lose. A life is in danger.
 

Starcrash

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Grace is a slight young woman who grew withdrawn and insular after losing both her parents in quick succession a few weeks back. She's laying on the Steps, the crude woodwork around her soaked with a dark stain that is only mostly water. Scattered to the sides are two long poles each bearing panniers, one pair nearly full, the other empty, clearly tossed aside in haste.

A ginger-haired boy you know as Gray is crouched beside her, holding her hand. He looks at you with trepidation as you loom above him. Grace doesn't seem to register your presence. Her eyes are fixed on the ugly chunk of bone protruding from her lower leg.

OOC: It's a compound fracture that in this environment will get infected if not treated. You can patch her up for 1 supply, but if you do, what next? She doesn't have family or to the best of your knowledge any close friends to support her during her recovery, which will take some weeks. So what do you do?
 

Pandorym

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"It will be alright," he breathes out to the youngling from behind his mask, "the doctor is here."

A quick application of a narcostab renders Grace free of pain and barely conscious, allowing him to work without disturbance. First, set the bone. Next, apply antibiotics. Bind the wound with gauze smeared with a touch of jellyfish flower paste, then place a splint. He works methodically and precisely.

Once finished, he instructs Gray to fill the panniers and bring the water up, promising to take the youth's next turn in his stead for the service. Hefting up Grace, he resolves to take her to his infirmary and let her stay there until she recovers, setting Lapis as a minder when he cannot keep watch.
 

insomniac

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Melody

Melody is partaking in the smoke bar, and had been frittering away some of her hard-earned barter on working up a pretty good buzz when the Finers had shown up.

She doesn't need cables, and electronics are shiny junk to trade to idiots who like sparkly shit or smarter idiots obsessed with 'foretimes. So she had been trying to just mind her business and let the smokes do the business on her mind, but they keep on looking at her.

And yeah, getting looks isn't strange. She attracts attention, and she isn't shy about getting it. And sometimes it's just looks, and sometimes it's looks from pushy people, and sometimes it's because they're scared of her, and sometimes it's because she killed someone they know. And trying to work out what it is is starting to harsh the mellow she'd had going.

So the next time one of them looks her way, she'll speak up. "If you're waiting for a show, I don't give 'em free."

OOC: Gonna try to read the sitch I have on my hands.

Showing an 8; what should I be on the lookout for?
 

Starcrash

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When you speak up, you get the rest of everyone's attention and the background mood sours. As you focus on the Finers, everyone else focuses on you.

One of the youths has a shaven head, and the tip of a crowbar sticks out of his thigh pocket. From the shine it looks nearly new. The second boy has slicked his hair with some kind of grease, and has a stubby revolver in a shoulder holster. The girl has her hair pulled back in a simple ponytail, the end brushing the handle of a machete she wears in a sheath across her back.

But for all that, you know what violence they could offer isn't the real danger here. No, it's your rep at stake. Everyone is watching, and this is a small town. Deal with this like someone that thinks a blade on a chain with spikes attached is a good idea, and people are going to look at you differently down the road.

OOC: Take +1 forward to descalate the situation from violence.
 
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Pandorym

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With Grace set up and as comfortable as he can make her given the circumstances, the good doctor realizes he'll need a little more jingle if he wants to keep the young lady cozy while still supporting himself and his two nurses, on top of keeping his kit stocked. So off he goes to the busiest part of town to set up a temporary stall in order to draw in folks who could use treatment -- which are in no means in short supply, but a lack of barter and sheer grit tend to make most folk shy away from getting help. It's almost obnoxious.

Fortunately, people seem to come to their senses, and flock to the doctor in droves. He not only happens to make a little jingle, but the community is beginning to look past his strange exterior (which improves his rep and will get people to actually come visit him more often) and he manages to head off a nasty case of rockjoint disease before it starts to spread through the town.

It's a good day.

OOC: Making Some Jingle: 2d6+2 12. I'll take all 3 of the presented options, gaining 1-barter.
 
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Threlicus

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Brace

With a grimace, Brace heads out of the cramped dead-end cavern that serves the holding as a jail. The only person currently being held there was Frankie, who apparently had just gotten a little over-the-top in a drunken fight with her boyfriend last night, and just needed time to cool off, and a place to sleep that wasn't with him. It wasn't even something worth making adjustments over; Frankie was one of the folks who went out scavenging, and Uncle would be upset if she lost her edge over something as minor as a few extra bruises and a couple stitches that didn't even need Dr. Z to look at.

They climbed up the stair, unhappy. Shorty was on shift till after sundown, so they didn't even have that to look forward to... but then, passing by the smoke bar, they notice the ATVs parked. Visitors! From Finetown, probably, but at least they're not someone whose minds Brace sees every day... They push through the door to see what's going on, and whether these folks minds will give them any better insight into the Cloud-mind... maybe. Not many do, but better that than just sitting waiting for Shorty.
 

Starcrash

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Brace can feel the shift in the atmosphere as they step inside, but they know they're not to blame. The visitors are leaning against the bar, their eyes all fixed on Melody, leaving their half-smoked herbal cheroots to smoulder in tin trays. Some of the onlookers are shooting apprehensive glances at each other. There's a tension here. Someone's just said something or done something. The silent moment seems to stretch.
 
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