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Private A Chicken and Egg Situation

Discussion in 'Dread Wastes' started by Lady Margolotta, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. September 5th, year 108

    @Amos Burton

    It had been days since Margolotta had woken up in the middle of nowhere. While she still lacked an idea what had happened, at least the dreadful headache she’d felt for the first three days was gone. She had spent the first day walking down the dusty road aimlessly, without meeting a living soul along the way. It could have been a pleasant walk, if she’d only had some footwear. The lack of clothes bothered her less in the given circumstances. The cold didn’t bother her, but she could feel every bump on the road she was treading.

    The following day would prove to be more eventful: it was dawning, when Margolotta, wandering down the road, came across a little tent, unguarded and empty, except for a couple of boxes stacked together. One of them had contained some clothes, the other food. With shaking hands, Margolotta dug through it, until she found a steak which may have been fresh and soft before. Still, she dug her teeth into it, grateful for the few drops of blood still left in there. The other box was smaller and it contained a variety of clothes, mostly underwear and what looked like pieces of a uniform. Without anyone to bother her, Margolotta spent the rest of the day there, in the tent, concealed from the sun and when she crawled out, at sundown, she was wearing a makeshift dress and a pair of boots. It didn’t matter that the boots were too big for her feet, nor that the dress was actually made out of an old military shirt which had previously belonged to a particularly large man and which she’d made more comfortable by tying a string around her tiny waist. It was the same narrative rule that prevented female vampires from rematerialising their clothes after a transformation that enabled them to look stunning in just about anything.

    The rest of her journey had been mostly uneventful, as she travelled at night, spending the hot afternoons hidden inside abandoned camps or beneath meagre bushes. Her throat, however, was burning with unbearable thirst that was only getting worse with every passing hour. It was hard to focus on anything else, when the only thing she could think about was blood. By the fifth day, the thirst had turned into physical pain and Margolotta was sadly aware that she would find it nearly impossible to control herself if she found humans along the way. And when she found herself sneaking through a sleeping camp, it took all the control she could muster to ignore the breathing and beating of five… no, ten… more than a dozen hearts. Gods, fifteen…

    Feeding that many people required a lot of food. Perhaps they also had a raw steak or two… so, Margolotta carefully snuck around the camp, looking for their provisions. How odd, she thought, that there was nobody on watch. Careful not to make a sound, Margolotta crouched next to a bag and inhaled its damp scent. Somewhere behind her back something moved and she heard the deep, metallic click of a weapon, which, she assumed, someone had pointed to her head. Margolotta slowly turned around and smiled the best smile she could manage.
  2. Amos Burton

    Amos Burton Guest

    Amos still wasn't quite sure where he was. Sure, they'd explained the concept of Pandora but it seemed like a load of shit - or would have, if not for the fact that he was apparently stuck in some kind of desert instead of the Roci. He'd given up on the idea of this all being a hallucination, and since no one knew who Holden was it seemed pretty obvious that he'd gone far beyond the confines of Earth's solar system. That man's face was known to every Earther, Belter and Martian, Amos would have bet money on it.

    He'd adjusted to his new reality with the same equanimity with which he handled most changes in life, and it helped that being the big guy who could handle himself in a fight was as useful here as it was to certain circles back home. This Wastes place didn't seem all that different from Baltimore, actually, aside from the weather and the lack of permanent structures. And the lack of people. Okay so maybe a lot was different from Baltimore but at least he was familiar with the desperate and almost feral way people here protected what little they had, and the greedy way most of them tried to get more. He knew where he slotted in in that kind of structure and it had been easy enough to convince one of the roving bands to let him have some of their food and water in exchange for a promise to keep everyone else away from it.

    His eye sight wasn't so great in the dark but Amos ambled the perimeter of the camp anyway, trusting to his ears more than his eyes, to the instincts that had kept him alive despite the increasingly messy situations Holden had gotten him involved in. A shadow moved at the corner of his vision and the big man paused for a long moment, listening for footfalls but hearing none. A moment of consideration later and he was moving towards the shadow anyway. Better safe than sorry, and in a place as desolate as this thieves were as desperate as anyone else.

    Amos could move quietly when he wanted to, especially for his size, and he didn't make the rookie mistake of hurrying. It was hard to know if he got the jump on their thief because he was quiet or because she wasn't paying enough attention, but either way the sound of his gun cocking got her attention. "I'm sure you can guess what we do to thieves." She was pretty, flashing him a smile no doubt intended to disarm, but Amos only eyed her impassively, the gun never wavering. "If you're smart you'll get out of here before anyone else wakes up."
  3. Margolotta was frozen in place, like a wild animal, caught as if she was preying on a tiny animal which suddenly and unexpectedly grew a set of long and sharp teeth. She tried to retain some semblance of calmness, although all of her senses were heightened, desperately trying to find a way out. But the proximity of his weapon, aimed at her, had left her in a rather unsatisfactory position. Could she escape fast enough if he pulled the trigger, so weak, with her aching and burning throat. And then the sad realisation struck her; gods, how desperate she was, rummaging around other people’s old bags. He had every right to call her a thief, she sadly decided. She, however, had every right to deny it.

    “I’m not a thief.” she whispered, her smile never leaving her face. Technically, she wasn’t telling a lie, the politician in her was quick to remind her. “I haven’t stolen anything from you...” she added, eyeing the man before her. He was human, her nose warned her, and very tall, over a foot taller than her… and gods, look at those arms! Her eyebrows rose slightly and her eyes widened as she observed his muscles. His weapon was still aimed at her and she knew that she had to think fast.

    Maybe he was right; a smart person would turn on their heel and flee, but a smart politician would try to get the most out of that situation. “...because I don’t have to. I am rich, sir, very rich, but I am also far from home.” Playing a damsel in distress, or even better, a rich damsel in distress just might inspire him to help her. “I have been watching you”, she added, “and you’re better than this sorry lot” she waved her hand in the general direction of the occupied makeshift tents. “So why don’t you come with me, help me get to Pandora Town and I promise I’ll make it worth your while.”
  4. Amos Burton

    Amos Burton Guest

    "Somehow I don't think they'll appreciate the difference." Intent was what mattered out here, and sometimes they didn't even bother taking it that far. Sometimes it was perception - if they thought she was here to steal that would be more than enough to damn her. The lot of them were pretty rough, no more so than others Amos had dealt with, but enough that he suspected this woman would wind up shitting herself just thinking about what they might do to her, whether they actually got around to doing it or not.

    The thievery itself didn't bother Amos himself, beyond the fact that stopping thieves was part of his job description. He didn't have anything of value on him anyway, and out here everyone was desperate for whatever food or water they could get their hands on. A loud snort greeted her assertion that he was better than the rest of the group, his arm steady even as amusement played briefly across his face. "Lady, you don't know me from Adam, you sure as hell can't judge how good I am." Which was not at all, if you asked him, and it would have been easy just to run her off and forget about her. Easy, except for Cap's voice whispering in the back of his head. Cap wouldn't leave a lady who needed help, even if she turned out to be a viper playing at being harmless.

    Amos' face didn't give away much - it never really did - but he stood wavering for a long moment before finally gesturing with the gun for her to get up. "Let's start with getting you out of camp before someone decides to shoot first and has this nice conversation later." And it would have the added benefit of giving him another minute or two to decide if he was supposed to be doing what Holden would do when Holden wasn't even in the same solar system anymore. Again he gestured with the gun for her to start walking, falling in a half step behind and to the side, within easy reach to grab her if she decided to do something stupid.