Strike day. The last day in any town is a bunch of hard work and a real pain in the ass. Just like it takes a full day to get the carnival set up, it takes a full day to tear it all down and pack it up. The lucky ones get to go to town and load up on supplies for the road. It's an honor that rotates among the troupe, a chance to escape the hard physical labor for a few hours and get one last bit of town fun in, though just how fun it is depends largely on the town.
Truth or Consequences is one of the better ones.
The group is spread out in the town store, collecting items from lists both general and personal. It's a good sized store with a bit of everything. Locals give confused and uncertain looks at the carnies as well as a wide berth.
Baldr is in his Logan visage, and he's stocking up on parts and items that the wear and tear of every day use has seen the end of. A few tools, some nuts and bolts, nails and boards, some more chalk for his slate. The usual for the head Roustie's town haul. He's in jeans, dingy shirt, dingier flannel, and battered boots. Lars is in charge back in camp in his absence.
Dash is one of the lucky ones sent to town, and accordingly has a shopping list from Olivia and Sachin. He's picking among the threads, yarns, and fabrics, mindful of her strict requirements on cost. He also has an eye out for any interesting cooking spices, if they're available at a reasonable price, but that's not been successful. So much for affordable cumin or coriander.
I guess this makes Cedric one of the lucky ones then! He, with several others, are on shopping duty to prepare for the next leg of their circuit. He's not dressed up all fancy the way he might be on performance nights, a regular collared shirt with his sleeves rolled up, black trousers, a waistcoat, that sort of deal. He doesn't stand out that much from the crowd... despite the company that he may be keeping. In fact, he's quite glad for this moment out in town, being so used to living in the big city, himself, before joining up with the Carnival. Looking at this shopping list, he's near Dash at the fabrics section for now. The Burlesque tent performers sure do a number on their costumes.
Itchy is in such a good mood that frankly, it's suspicious. Maybe it's because he got the honor of going into town on strike day. He's picking bolts out of a bin and actually humming to himself.
Holden is with Baldr, using his roustie twin face. As per custom, he assists with tear down so roustie face it is. He brought Nils with him to do some picking up for the Children but it's Logan that Holden stays with. He's matching his brother in clothes but they are a lot cleaner. Someone is washing his clothes now.
Logan sticks close to his brother, helping him navigate the store. They can't communicate until Nils comes back, but they know each other well enough that communication isn't always needed. He adds a few pairs of workgloves to the pile, for some of the Rousties whose are threadbare.
Dash picks through the yarns, finds a nice, dusky violet color. Yeah, Olivia will want that, and it's on sale, so he adds it to his basket. He cuts a look at Itchy. "Rosencrantz, you're in way too good a mood for getting picked to go to town." He suspects he knows the reason. Is it wise to tease Itchy about it front of a bunch of townies? Well, maybe not, so he'll have to tread lightly.
Itchy's consulting his list. He shoots a glare at Dash. "Who asked you, Hogarth? I didn't see no sign saying Opinion of Hogarth Required." That's more like it!
Truth or Consequences is a far more festive town than say Nowhere, Colorado. So there's many fabulous fabrics to be found and while Cedric really has no care for such frivolousness, he knows his job and that of the performers he works for well enough, so he has a decent eye for what is stylish and eye-catching. He's mostly minding his own business as he rummages, though his dark eyes do flicker in Dash's direction, hearing his words to Itchy. The bit of ribbing doesn't seem to be bothering the townie's overly much yet, but he's also not here to supervise everyone!
"She's the best, brother. I didn't think anyone could love me like that. She's my friend, partner, protector, nurturer. It's practically foreign to me." Holden chatters on as Nils returns. "Sir, I found the black licorice. Lucky, huh? And some of that cloth Stitch wanted. What on earth is he working on?" Holden just thanks him and smiles.
Logan snorts softly and signs to Nils to translate for him to his brother. And you're ok with the whole people eating thing? Really? He still can't quite get past that, even though it's not so strange a thing after years with the carnival. I see she's keeping you cleaner at least. As if he's one to talk. He looks like PigPen from the comic strip that won't exist for another 16 years.
Dash snorts a laugh. "Nah, see, it's right over there," he says, jerking his head at the cork board of town advertisements without looking up from the fabrics. "Fine print. 'Hogarth's Opinions must be carried on your person at all times'." He finds a bolt of gingham, white and black check, marked 70% off. Score! He adds it to the basket. At least two shirts could come out of that.
He flicks a glance at Logan when he sees him signing out of the corner of his eye, chokes down a laugh. People eating thing indeed.
Itchy gets kind of a dumb smitten look on his face, gazing at nothing, as Holden talks about how he feels about Dia. Then he gets his scowl back on. Stupid mushy newlyweds. He rolls his eyes at Dash. "Well thank Christ you're here because God forbid I go a day without your opinion."
"First, you smell like you rolled in the sand the entire time we've been here. Second, yes, I am okay with her diet. Perfectly fine. We live with people from strange lands and customs. And helping her hunt was the most alive I felt...since I don't even know." Holden pauses, sighs, "You should open your heart." Beat. "I didn't say pants. I said heart. Companionship is important."
Logan laughs silently. Opening one's heart in this modern age usually requires one to open their pants too, brother. I'd rather not disappoint someone who gave me their heart. He signs to Nils with an amused expression on his face. I have friends. That is enough.
"I've got you covered, buddy," Dash assures Itchy. He glances at Holden and Logan, murmurs something under his breath only Cedric is close enough to hear. He finds a bolt of brocade in black and silver, points it out to Cedric and raises his eyebrows in a wordless question of 'useful?'.
Kit finally enters after finishing his cigarette outside and enjoying that blessed amiable weather. Good //gracious// it is something about a ride in a car he, like his kind, just finds absolutely fascinating. And now that he's on two legs instead of four with his head out of the side of the vehicle? Well, the luster, as they say, has wore off a bit. He leans on the door frame jsut watching the chaos of his folk, "I swear y'all was tryin to build the store from the ground on //up//." Which is Kit for I am entirely too delighted watching everyone mill about and look busy. It takes a lot to dour the man's mood.
Sure, Cedric is one of the Fair Folk, but they aren't known to be the glittery magic fairies at this time and yet, here he is, picking up sparkling craft items such as sequins for the dancers. Of course, he overhears much of the conversation going on around him even if he picks and chooses which he pays attention to most. Then there's Dash who is on a roll for such snark and to the quiet words said, the leprechaun's dark eyes lift to stare across the way at Logan and Holden, when he murmurs, "He should." Cedric says in mostly idle agreement, "If he's hopin' on keepin' herself anyway." A smirk is then flashed in Kit's direction when the guy starts to grouse. "If we had enough to build up a store, it'd mean no longer needin' to head into town. So I've no complaints, I don't."
"Are you tryin' to talk him into gettin' a girlfriend again?" Itchy says to Holden. "Never gonna happen unless he takes a bath more than once a month. Sorry, boss," he adds to Logan, not sorry at all. He peers over Dash's shoulder to look at the cloth. "Rado would love that." When Kit appears, Itchy says, "There you are," like Kit is a wayward chicken. "You want anythin'?"
"Yes! We have this discussion often. I tell him all about the joys of love and he comes back about friendship." Holden laments with an exaggerated tone. "As if someone as smart as him can't tell the difference." He pats Logan's shoulder. "The Fates will find you someone who will love you as you are. Dirty, chaste and all." He even give his brother a loving lean. "I do not count."
Logan gives Kit a little salute of greeting as he puts the last of his purchases into the pile he'd been gathering. He snorts at Itchy and shrugs his shoulders as if to bemoan his lack of frequent baths. That whole selfless thing may be taken to far where that's concerned. He pats his brother on the back.
"Could make him a new vest, maybe," Dash suggests to Itchy, adds it to the basket. It's not on sale, but they've got a little wiggle room in the budget since they came up short on spices. Speaking of which, he heads over to fetch a sack of salt and a small bag of peppercorns, hauling them to the corner where other things have been gathered, nods a greeting to Kit on his way. He takes out the slip of paper Olivia gave him, checks off a few things, circles others. Logan gets a sideways look for the lack of baths, and a lack of other things as well.
Kit leans off the wall and widens a sharp grin to the boys, patting Cedric on the shoulder as he passes. "Itzahk, If I don't need something I'll come up with a want. That, my friend, is the sure bet." He looks to Logan and then hsi brother extoling all the feelings and slaps Logan on the back, "He ain't wrong, friend. Ain't wrong." He has nothing yet but leans on the counter, inquiring, "I don't suppose you have here any of those hair combs the gals is so damn wild about right now? I happen to know of someone in need of somehtin particularly nice." Because presents do not buy themselves.
Not wanting to spend the entire day shopping when one could return to camp and oversee the rest of the packing up of the Carnival, Cedric looks about ready to depart even if the others seem to be taking their sweet time. "There's a pretty big difference between love and friendship, but that don't mean it can't be muddled together in some way. Why not have both?" He says, looking over at the brothers as he sets his items down at the counter, slipping a hand into his pocket to pay.
The young man at the counter - 'Hank' says his nametag - has been generally staring at the carnies unabashedly the whole time, and he blinks when Kit addresses him, as if not realizing at first they're talking to him.
"Oh. Uh. Maybe? I-" Gulp. "I'm not real sure."
The radio behind the counter natters away with some drama, a man and woman talking quite seriously.
Itchy snorts, shaking his head in response to Kit. "I got no idea what you said but I'll take it as a no. Go half with you on that fabric, Hogarth." The last thing he gets is tobacco, rich and sweet-smelling, to bring to the counter. "What, you ain't seen a buncha rousties before?" he says to Hank, annoyed.
Holden is glad he can't watch this display. He's listening to the radio instead. He loved dramas and he's been without for some time. "I wonder what this one is..." He lets go of Logan and slowly moves towards the radio.
Logan signs so Nils can announce for him. It's a long story, Cedric. I am chaste. He brings his items to the counter to check out after the Fae, looking amused at everyone's concern about his lack of romantic prospects. He holds his armload of things as he looks after his brother curiously.
"Deal," Dash says to Itchy. He pulls some money out of his wallet and assembles his purchases on the counter. He catches sight of the signing in his periphary, sighs and shakes his head. This time he doesn'r say anything, but his disapproval at Logan's chastity could not be more plain.
It fades to amusement at Itchy's annoyance. Ah, a welcome distraction from Logan's poor life choices. He asides to Itchy, "Eh, lay off the kid, he probably hasn't. This is Truth or Consequences, not Albuquerque." Now to Hank, "Bet you don't see our sort here much at all, yeah? Mostly just tourists." There's a faint Chicago accent lurking in there somewhere.
Kit chuckles and keeps that easy charm as were he building the tip. One arm leans on the counter, other finger nudges that sharp boater hat of is up. With that easy charm of his, nods, and gives Itchy that look gently adding, "Itzhak, easy now, this might be the most excitement our frind," He pauses and looks, squinting those gold eyes, "Hank's seen here all week. Just some nice folk passin on hrough. Hank, I would be mighty appreciative if I could see what it is ya have. The...situation as it were is there's a young lady doin her best lookin after her lil girl. These are tryin times and..." The smile warms as sure as teh sun rises at midday, "Well if I can help you out and her? I'll call it a good day." Who the hell Kit is on about now or if they are real? Eeeeh, one guess is as good as another.
While he's waiting for his own items to be rung up, Cedric takes a look between this Hank and Kit, before his gaze washes over the various aisles within the shop. "I'm sure I'd seen them back in the corner o'er there." He says of the combs. With that out of the way, his attention is now returned to the nervous man behind the register just as Baldr joins him, "I'm sure they've got something in the apothecary that can cure that right quick." He says in his heavy Irish Brogue, eyes on Hank, "And how do I owe you, friend?"
Hank startles at Itchy's retort, looking even more like a deer in headlights. "N-no, sir? Not really."
"I just don't know what to do, Doctor!" says the overly dramatic woman on the radio.
"Yes you do," says the Doctor, firm and serious. "You know exactly what to do. Yes, Hank. That's it. Take the gun behind the counter and shoot that carnie freak dead."
Hank nods, still wide-eyed, and reaches for the gun they keep behind the counter, drawing it.
ROLL Logan rolls brawn for: : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 4 1 1 3 -- d6)
When the words of the radio register and Hank reaches for the weapon, Logan's form shimmers for a moment as his invulnerability comes on line. The Norseman moves to step between the store clerk and Itchy, putting his form between the unicorn's believer and the gunman.
ROLL Sebastianus rolls 4d10 for: : x1 : x2 (Pair) : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 10 9 2 9 -- d10)
ROLL Colorado rolls 4d8 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 5 7 3 4 -- d8)
Dash is probably one of the least graceful carnies. And yet, somehow, he manages to see that gun, and react--not as usefully as Logan, but then, he's just going on instinct. Gun! Pointed at Itchy! Move him! So he does; it's not exactly a graceful maneuver, more like, he flails in Itchy's direction, and somehow shoves him clear.
Itchy's looking down at the money he's taken out of his pocket, counting it off in his head. He glances idly up at Hank--and there's a gun. And Hank is pointing it at him. Itchy reacts immediately, flinging the brocade fabric at Hank, which is both less than effective and doesn't even make it to Hank, since Dash is shoving Itchy aside. He manages to do what he does best and yell. "GUN!"
Hank raises the gun, unsure why he does so, and squeezes off a shot that hits Logan square in the chest. And does nothing. The flattened slug falls a beat later, leaving only a burn mark on his shirt as it clatters to the floor. Hank's eyes go wider.
Locals cry out at the sudden gunshot, screaming and taking cover. With a clear path to the door, this may be a good time to hit the exit.
ROLL Kit rolls finesse+1 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 6 1 2 4 5 -- d6)
With one hand still in his pocket idly toying with the coins kept within, most likely quietly counting them as he waits, Cedric only catches bits of what is said over the radio. If he'd heard that it were on earlier, it was just a droning sound that he'd filtered out. Now, however, standing this closely to the counter and feeling this uncomfortable tension building between Hank and the others, the presence of the radio is far clearer.
Then things begin to stir and people are taking action and only then does he remove that hand, on seeing just what Hank is going for and with the cry of alarm thanks to Itchy, Cedric ducks out of the way. With that shot fired, he shakes his head, "Can't say this is lookin' good at all, with the attention it'll bring." It's his turn to warn the others, "And just how this will make us all look. Let's grab our people and go." That exit is looking mighty good right now.
Logan staggers back a step from the force of the bullet, but he is wholly unharmed. His poor shirt? Not so much. But that can be replaced. He sweeps up the flattened slug from the floor as he signs to Nils, EVERYONE OUT! BACK TO THE TRUCKS!
Kit tries to make a go for grabbing the gun from the young man, "woah Woah WOAH!" Instead of grabbing the gun he misses, flinching from the noise. This is one of those ears laying back moments. He's not overly a brave man, just a fairly reasonable one, but even a shot past his head at that range is enugh to make Kit Cody think twice! He crouches, back to the counter, "Hank, what'cha doin, pal??"
Dash can't agree more. Kit and Logan are dealing with Hank the counter guy, so as far as Dash is concerned, it's time to bail. He grabs his money off the counter, reaches for Itchy to see if he needs a hand getting up after Dash's 'help'. "Come on," he says. "You heard the man, we're out of here."
Itchy grabs Dash's arm with one hand and the collar of Kit's shirt with the other. Self-appointed defender of wonders. He shouts something in Yiddish at both of them, which is easily translatable into the universal language of 'get the fuck outta here!!' Which he does, shoving Dash and Kit ahead of him.
Hank stares at the result of the shot, then at the gun. "I-" He tosses the gun aside behind the counter like it might bite him. "I don't know!" He scurries away through an 'employees only' door.
As the group starts hitting the street, they exitt the storee to find three young boys - newsies - puffing cigarettes and carrying newspapers. They stare at the carnies with eyes far older than they have any right to be, a hungry, predatory look within them. One of them smiles wolfishly.
"Extray! Extray! Read all about it! Man struck dead by car!"
Cedric sees just that, a car about to plow right into him.
ROLL Cedric rolls finesse+1 for: : x2 (Pair) : x2 (Pair) : x1 -- Match Value: 2 (Raw: 3 1 1 2 2 -- d8)
Unlike some of the others, Cedric wasn't waiting around. He was already out the door! Even with this scrambling, he's trying his best not to look overly suspicious as if he'd robbed the place or anything, so once he's out, he moves at a much more casual pace. The newsies, like the radio, don't immediately catch his attention. Nor does the headline... He'd heard it uttered, thought nothing more of it than old news, but that's when he notices the car looking to want to ram right into him. Where did /that/ come from? Quickly on nimble legs, he launches himself out of the way, "Bloody Hell!" He's still not sure what just happened. Coincidence? Either way, he's dusting himself off as he rises to stand, "Watch where you're goin', ya maniac!"
Logan makes his way out of the store only to see a car bearing down on Cedric. It's far too late for him to do anything about it but watch. Thankfully the leprechaun's luck holds true. He begins ushering his family of choice towards the carnival trucks. They need to get the hell out of here.
Kit hears a few things: the gun clatter, the kid take off, and the radio yappin away. Up he goes and hops over the counter he takes the gun, but also if he can see it: those hair combs and a couple things they inquired about. The father of thieves is not one to leave an assault empty handed! He murmurs, "This... shall start to make us even." His gold eyes narrow at the radio and says, in as dignified voice as he can, "Radio, I suppose this means our dance card is no more. Damn shame as you did so have such a lovely voice, btu I'm afraid there are some thing I cannot abide, beautiful." And with that yanks the cord from teh wall and turns to head out.
The radio goes silent once unplugged.
Out on the street, the car speeds past Cedric, narrowly missing him. Another of the three kids calls out, "Extra! Extra! Blind man forgets how he lost his sight!"
"Shit, newsies!" Dash says, eyes wide. He already thought newsies were demonic, having tangled with them unendingly in Chicago, but these really do seem demonic. But Cedric isn't run over, and he focuses on heading for the truck, shouting, "Make sure your radio stays off!"
ROLL Holden rolls brains-1 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 3 7 1 -- d8)
Nils pulled a swift double duty of translating for Baldr, a revered one and making sure Holden got out safe and into the street. The Newsies are well within earshot and then they mention a blind man...well, there is just him. He grabs Nils, blinking and upset. "Nils...this is going to seem like a stupid question but...how did I go blind? Was I sick?" Nils is just stunned. "Sir, let's get you safe, first, okay?"
Itchy stays with Dash, just in case he picks a really bad time to pass out, like a tall and cranky sheepdog. He bolts to their truck and starts the engine.
Logan helps Nils get Holden into the truck and he starts her up. He pulled his radio out of the truck right after he met it's namesake in Nowhere, so there is nothing to fear from that at least. For a moment, he's tempted to run the little newsie fuckers over, but he's more concerned about getting people back safe.
ROLL Kit rolls spirit for: : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 6 4 5 4 -- d6)
ROLL Holden rolls spirit for: : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 1 2 1 6 -- d8)
ROLL Logan rolls spirit + 1 for: : x1 : x1 : x2 (Pair) : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 4 4 8 3 2 -- d8)
ROLL Cedric rolls spirit+1 for: : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 5 1 1 3 6 -- d6)
Each of the beings of belief present on the street feel ice run through them when the 'kid' makes Hodr forget a piece of himself. They have no idea that it's only temporary or what the limits are, but the implications are staggering on a level that makes them feel dread like they haven't in a very long time. These children can erase them.
Cedric is still recovering from nearly being struck by that mechanical monstrosity, though once he knows he's safely out of the way, does his attention turn to those children! He'd heard what they cried out just moments before. Bewildered, but willing to chalk it up to coincidence, it's what the second newsie cries that makes him realize that this was no coincidence. On hearing the headlines about a blind man, he immediately turns to Hodr, catching that bit about him inquiring about his blindness. He doesn't yell out loud, but he makes quick pace to join up with the others, saying what some of they may already have guessed, "It's those blasted kids, the newsies. They... it's like they wiped away his memory." He won't go on to say the major concern that he has about all this. "The streets are too crowded to try an' shut them up here and now."
Logan's eyes go wide as he realizes just what has happened to his brother. He hits the gas and streaks away down the street, back towards camp, as far away from those newsies as he can. He has been completely chill about the coming of Ragnarok, but nothing in the myths talked about forgetting oneself. To lose oneself is true death.
Shaking with adrenaline and terror, Dash clambers into the truck. "Y-you heard that, right?" The--that fucking radio, it told that guy to shoot you. It told him and he did." The radio isn't on, but Dash double-checks it. "We're turning these fucking things into spare parts soon as we're back," he vows.
Is hustling ass back to camp with his tail between his legs dignified? No sir and/or madam, but it sure do get the job done! His feet come to a stop looking at Logan and Holden, back to teh kids with a squint, and back again just ashen-faced. "Ced... we do need to be gettin on now, brother." Back he heads damn glad he told Inali sure, stay withthe gals and let then make little outfits for you if you want. It was ridiculous, but now he might owe Olivia a dead chipmunk for the effort. "Logan, get him in the truck. Boys, We are done here" Heart hammering like thunder in his chest he looks for teh fastest route for himself (+loot) to the vehicles.
Holden is still asking Nils for answers. "I can't remember why. It's like this huge gap. Damn it." His eyes dart back and forth, trying to recall. "Fuck. Nothing. A party for my brother and then..." Nils puts an arm around his god. "You fell ill. There was nothing anyone could do. Relax, sir." Holden, as gullible as he is, nods. "So, there was a gun?"
"Get in here old man," Dash says, gesturing for Kit to sit with him--one way, or another. Does he care if Kit doesn't shift first? He just saw a radio tell a guy to shoot Itchy and some brat paperboys make Holden forget how he went blind so, no, he doesn't care if Kit sits on his lap as a guy or a coyote. Not one bit.
Itchy revs the engine to a menacing roar, one foot on the brake. Would he actually run over a kid, even if that kid is actually the minion of an avatar who wants to destroy Colorado? Well, from the furious gleam in his dark eyes, he's at least thinking about it. He puts it in gear to intercept Kit, then--they're outta there.