Log:Wanderers of the Wastes
The sun is bright and the winds have rearranged the dunes. The result is the landscape is both familiar and strange. Up ahaed a well wrapped and ragged figure staggers over rise, barely managing to drag a large sled one handed. The bundle on the sled might be a human, or a lumpy load under a blanket.
Charlie drives like a bat out of hell, of course, which is pretty terrifying, considering that he drives an ice cream van from hell. Still, the guy has driven this thing all over the Wastes, and he’s pretty good at it to boot. Sure, it’s seen better days, but it’s still got a few weapons and defenses. It’s not totally useless. He’s got a pair of broken goggles strapped onto his face, hand-rolled cigarette between his lips as he yells over the roar of the engine, “You see anything? What a fucking mess!”
Vishys lives for this shit. Is he hanging half out teh van? Sometimes. This vehicle rides like an angry lunchbox that makes him hungry for finding some action out there. Different is good. Many people are uncomfortable with change but Vishys? The quartermaster knows change means opportunity and he lives for some opportunity. Hand shading his good eye he scans. Knickles reach back to knock on the windshield and point. "THERE. Try that way." The van's armed, and the Warkid is always armed. Sliding back into a drop in the shotgun seat he does a quick weapons check. Looking up to Charlie the faint grin forms. "Could be buzzards. They came before us? Might set ambush or traps. I'll keep look out for company."
The figure nearly trips over some debris and stands swaying. There is certainly cover for an ambush, but there is no visible sign of one. The person stands swaying a long moment, then laboriously pulls the sled the long way around the rocky patch.
Charlie makes the kind of hairpin turn that would send lesser men’s cookies a-tossin’. Not Vishys’, no doubt. The van has a gun, as per standard, and a nitro booster and armor, plus some ramming spikes. As he turns, the tinkly, out of tune rendition of “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain” seems to get even louder as he squints towards the bundle and the sled. His grin grows around the chomped cigarette, reflecting Vishys’. “You see that? Something interesting up there, I reckon..."
Vishys arches one eyebrow reasoning, "Someone." This is a job for Mother May I, a.k.a. the long neck rifle that is allergic to missing. Can a weapons have allergies? Course they can! Vishys will be the first to tell you it makes her break out in shooting and shell casings! That broken, stapled back together half-grin widens like a Jack-o-Lantern possessed and says, eyes still on the be-sledded stranger, "Let's go... say hi."
The figure pulling the sled turns out to be a teenaged girl, face heavily tanned and somewhat bruised under the general grubbiness. She shades her eyes at the proac of the ice cream van from hell, complete with demons. She simply gives up, falling to her knees, exhausted. She looks to be on the verge of collapse and the tourniquetted arm does not look good. Swollen, discoloured, likely dying. Blood is soaking through the thick, rough bandage.
The man covered up against the sun looks to be barely breathing as he lies on the sled. Nothing moves but that faint rise and fall of the blanket. It's hard to guess injuries given the blanket. There is some gear piled around him, as if she'd cleared it to make the nest for him.
‘She’ll be drivin’ six white horses when she comes’...the music comes to a sudden, jarring stop as Hexeyed Charlie slams on his brakes. Still behind the wheel, he takes a long pull from the jug of moonshine beside him, passing it to Vishys as he gets out of the van, pushing his goggles up his forehead. “Oi!” Charlie flicks his cigarette into the dirt, glancing at Vishys as he heads towards the girl, sparing a glance to the covered man. “The hell happen to you two?” He spits, putting his hands on his hips. “Shit. They probably need medicine or something.” The Scavenger looks almost disappointed.
Vishys is a team man, not a cowboy. Today's not the day he'll be witnessed into Valhalla, and certainly two walking dirty treats ain't gonna pay that toll. Newp. He does take the jug and take a swig though. See there's perks about riding with Hexeyed Charlie: One? He's got 50 more panoramic vision. That's nice. 2? He's got the drink. now one is easy to come by, but two? Not so damn much and it is a fine thing to have in company.
He caps it holding with is hand and letting nimble fingers stopper it again. That rifle? Well she's staying on target. His eye is on everything else. Charlie can lead the conversation. He takes a quick glance at them, the fennec on his shoulder makes a couple high-pitched barks. and sniffs. "Yeah? Damn shame that." He's not a medic, but in spite of his name he's also not a savage until the situation calls for it. He glances to him and takes the rifle off the vulture bait and tries to find targets to pick out that might linger while they answer Charlie's question.
Pebble looks at the in a resigned sort of way. She rasps. "If you're going to shoot us shoot us. I think we're dying anyway." She waves back the way they came and says with real bitterness, "We thought we were going to be so rich. It's... it's huge. Full of stuff. It'd take us years to haul it all back, but turns out, we weren't alone in there." No marauding band of scavengers pops out of cover. Yet.
“Damn shame,” Charlie agrees. One thing’s for sure about Charlie: the man likes to talk. Often to himself. He scowls at Pebble. “Why would we shoot you? What do we look like, Devil Boys?” Should’ve brought the jug with him. “What’re you talkin’ about? You found a haul?” There’s a bit of a glint in his eyes. Charlie likes stuff.
Vishys just looks at Charlie. One of them really does. All things fair. Still, steel's not pointed at them. His eye squints as he sucks on an eye tooth. Charlie likes stuff, hell Vishys likes stuff. He also likes a good challenge. Though he knows he looks like hell itself spat him back out and says "Naaaah. Wouldn't wast the bullet on ya. You get out of here ya earned it." No immediate threats. He takes a wandering two steps closer to get a good look-see. Sand in the wheels and sand blasting most of the paint off...wagon doesn't look in too great of shape either. He looks to Charlie, rifle lowered, but at the ready always out here in the open. Roadkill starts to sniff the air but doesn't make so much a peep right now which is telling in its own right, but hell if anyone by the weapons keeper knows what she's saying. "We got anythin in pocket right now? I ain't no organic mechanic."
Pebble eyes first Charlie, then Vishys, "If me and Jasper were healthier, we could show you. It's not just A Haul. It's THE Haul. If you've the guns to keep it and nice big vehicles like that music box you're riding to carry it off. Wires. Wood. Big ass pots and pans and the like. Old tech. Books." She reaches back slowly with her good hand, "I'm not drawing. I want to show you something." Up close there are indeed books and metal things around the likely dying man. The books are in really good condition. Nearly unweathered. Barely nibbled.
“I got some pills,” Charlie says to Vishys. “In the -- whaddyacallit -- ‘glove compartment.’ Maybe they’ll do something for ‘em. At least keep them numb enough to get the fuck out of here.” But then Pebble’s describing the haul, and did she just say...books?! Books are nearly as interesting to Charlie as booze. “Yeah? You show me. But any funny business, and my mate’ll do something unspeakable to ya.” Which may or may not be true. Whatever. Charlie squats down, grabbing for one of those books, sniffing at the dying man. “Show me,” he says, casual-like, but he’s very happy to find one of these things.
Vishys is generally resolved. He doesn't jump at books. That's a think he's got less than 0 use for though there's always someone interested. Today, Charlie. Maybe something for one of found pups. Wood. There's something you don't just fucking come across in the world where plants feel like a myth and dust eats the sun. He gives the area another look around and heads to the junk box in the front console to dig up the do-dads. Finding something else of interest he puts the Hula girl on a suction cup back on teh dash with a POP! for safe keeping. Maybe the days of heat have gotten to him but this shit is amusing.
Oh yeah, dying people with information. Them. Right.
sauntering back over he frowns and says, "You know," he hands the pill bag to Charlie. It's his and he takes no liberties. His finger itches the jagged scar on his cheek, "Barter town's a bit off that direction. You make it there? Might be able to trade some of this for a fix-er-up."
They smell of blood and dust and some sort of animals maybe. The nearest book is a big slick covered thing with constellations on the cover. Some sort of Ancient Book of space, apparently, with names and ears from the before time written on a lined sticker inside the front cover.
Pebble holds up tw little baggies with a Smith's logo on them. One in green, one in yellow. "Super stale, but still good." Jasper keeps up that slow shallow breathing. "We'd get help faster with a ride, and I don't think..." She blinks fast, "I don't think my brother has long." Or her arm.
The hula girl wiggles, probably glad to be liberated. No doubt she fell off the last time the ice cream van rode into a ditch. The pill bag contains capsules and tablets and who-knows-what of every color of the rainbow. Probably only Charlie knows what they all do. He shoves the book under one arm and sniffs a reddish pill. It’s huge. “Here, give ‘im this. It’ll hold him for now.” Charlie gets back up to his feet, looking dubious. “I guess you two can ride with us. But if you try anything, I’ve got about a million ways to kill you in that van. And you’re bringing me back to get the rest of the stash.” The Scavenger eyes what’s left around hungrily and begins gathering some of it up, books in particular. “Vishys. You help them on? I’ll be there in a sec..."
ROLL: Vishys rolls brawn-1 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 7 2 8 -- d8)
Vishys adds dryly, "Careful. Riding in it might be enough to make you see last sun." Still, the Warkid is not unreasonable and brings the pills over with a few cloths they had with them to try to re-bandage some of that. He's not a first aid guy. he's usually the last-aid guy. Still it's no skin of his teeth. Some of these peeps might have been his own once. He dunno. Now/ Now they're all out to survive.. Reasonably if they don't make it out to Bartertown they'll follow them a bit behind and pick on what's left over. They get their shot though.
Glancing to Charlie on occasion he asks, "Any with pictures in em? Always interest in that." Right now? They have to get to the van. Right. Between the dust and the heat? He's not carrying anything longer than he has to. Part way there the cough catches up to him in such a way Sprocket has to check her footing. Her human, too, is a broken machine, but she doesn't bolt. Finally Vishys' fingers flick to follow in a way he can help pull them on. There's some sympathy as he offers, "Gets you out of the sun."
The girl eyes the pill. She crushes it into her canteen cap and pours some water on it. She squats by the sled and pries opren the man's mouth, dripping some in, them massaging his throat to try to get him to swallow. She meets Charlie's eyes, "I'm in no condition to fight, Nor is he. You save us, I'll take you, but you'll be wanting a lot of guns, and we weren't the only ones saw it." She gestures at the wounded arm. "You'll want to move fast. Secure the entrance."
Jasper's leg is tied off too. His calf is mottled and puffy around two obvious puncture wounds. Pebble's gunshot looks like it went through. The issue is the bleeding. There has clearly been a lot of it. She does her best to help load her brother one handed. "Thank you. Out of the sun is good."
“Oh yeah. They got pictures. Words, and pictures.” Charlie’s voice drips with glee. The real talk from Pebble, though? That makes him groan aloud. “Fuck. Bet I know some of the folks who’ll be after this, too. I know everybody.” He sounds somewhere between angry and proud about it. And while he’s grabbed a bunch of goods, he’ll probably try to help them onto the van, too. After all, they’re useful. Or so they say.
Vishys crouches down to allow Pebble to help roll Jasper forward giving her the nod, "I got him. You'll get the door." Then he can keep an eye on both of them for all reasons. "Hexeye?... reckon we can drop em off if we's going that way?" More of a suggestion of hitting up that route on the way back so they can map it and drop them off damn close. The grin comes back and he assures the girl, "That... can be done. Right now let's worry about makin sure he ain't buzzard meat." There's a chitter as Sprocket darts from one shoulder to the other, "Yeah you'll go too. Settle down." He surveys the situation and dropping back into the side when the situation is handled he murmurs to Charlie, "I'll see about a patch jobber on him. Supplies. See what you can get for details. Bring it to the Rock for a war party if it's worth it? You'll get your cut."
Pebble nods, "You want one too, Mister? I got a really nice one with pictures of all these weird imaginary animals living in sort of blue green landscape with crazy ass background things. Sort of like rocks only colourful. The ancients were weird." Once she's settled safely inside, door closed, with her brother and their gear, she goes back to trying to drip feed her broher water. She nods firmly, "Oh, it's worth it. More wealth than you can imagine if you can get it out safe."
“Damn right I’ll get my cut,” Charlie grunts, but he’s agreeable enough. He tosses his wares in the back of the ice cream van. He squints at Pebble. Always squinting. “Yeah, I want one. It’s a book? I wanna see it.” Then, drawing a little closer to Pebble, he pokes her right in the collarbone. “What’s in it for you?”
Pebble looks him in the eyes, "I maybe get to keep my arm and I may still have a breathing brother tomorrow. Maybe we get a cut of the spoils. No way am i going back there wthout help. There place is... dangerous." She gestures at her brother, "One bite did that."
Charlie knows the way to Bartertown. Easy enough, he’s done it a hundred times. He doesn’t know the Wastes as well as some Scavengers, but he knows it a lot better than most. Heck, he’ll even help these two actually get seen to by an organic mechanic, if he has to. But he stays close to them. He needs to get a lot more dirt out of Pebble, even when she’s being seen to. “Okay. Tell me more about...whatever the hell it is that did /that/.” He nods towards her brother, now getting tended to.
Jasper survives to reach the organic mechanic in Bartertown. Pebble's wound will be survivable if she manages to avoid infection. Her brother's condition is very dangerous and it's a question of will he survive the night. The scavenged treasure in her cart will see them through payment wise, at least. She sits by her brother's pallet, holding his hand in her good one. he gives charlie a level look. "Snakes. It's full of snakes. It's why the books haven't been eaten away, well, that and the thing's probably been mostly buried for who knows how long. Big weird ones. Sort of stripey. And not the usual ones. We didn't see 'em at first. Had time to have a look around the... It's big. Not sanctuary big, but big for a ruin, and most of it still under sand. We were taking the second load to the wagon and it darted out from under one of those... knocked over metal things and bit him. Suddenly there were a bunch of 'em. We ran, but by the time we got outside his leg wasn't too good. Got shot pulling him out towards the road. Bunch of other musta spotted us coming out and laid low. I went fast as I could and they were more interested in what's in there. Hope the snake get em. saw signs of more on the way out of the place once I knew what to look for.
Charlie...stops, suddenly, and stares at Pebble’s brother. His eyes go half-unfocused. “/No/,” he says, hissing through his teeth. “I’m not telling her that.” Sighing, he reaches into his dusty trench coat and pulls out a makeshift flask. Takes a long drink and holds it out to her. “Snakes. It had to be snakes.” He gets up, restless now. “But just snakes? No one else yet? Nobody at all?"
Pebble's eyes go wide at the hiss, but she goes very very still while she works out what's going on. Still, the flask's on offer so she flashes him the ghost of a smile and takes a swig, "No footprints in the sand, just the snake trails. Guys that shot at us though? Odds are they went in after us. Maybe went for help when they saw how good the haul was. Wait until you see the wood. If it's just them? Maybe three four people. If they got help? Odds are their friends'll be racing for it soon as they get back to their people whoever they are."