Title: Burgesstown- Los Lobos
Description: Welcome to Burgesstown
Ertia - March 11, 2008 03:06 PM (GMT)
The nearest town to the Heart of Gold, BurgessTown is a blooming cattle-country town.
The new space-port and glass factory make for shiny new profits for the Heart of Gold, while the Grocer, Bank and Seed & Feed Supply are all willing to do proper business with those from the Heart.
The Burgess Widow's mansion sits at the edge of town, next to the right and proper New Methodist Church, and the South Bellamy Baptist Denominational Chapel. They are less than willing to do proper business with those from the Heart.
The Theatre, Bookshop, and Henry's Used Goods are all down on Main Street, along with City Hall and the Sheriff's Office. The Theatre is pretty poor, the Bookshop is dusty, and Henry's has good deals and is willin' to trade some. Best avoid City Hall. They don't have much use for the Heart of Gold, unless they're finding something to fine or tax us for.
Here's a few local faces for you to look out for.
This here is Sheriff Yates. Feel free to make his acquaintance. Or not, dependin' on what your purpose is here.
Todd Mackellroy is an outlaw. You see him comin' best you walk the other way. Still and all, he's got his uses. ;)
Widow Burgess. Richest lady on this moon, and knows it. I wouldn't recommend crossing her.
Ryforth Danton, Attorney at Law. Works for the Widow and is, really, the only attorney in town. His office is on the corner of Willow and Main, right opposite the Bookshop.
Judith Wynter: Runs Henry's Used Goods. If you can't find it at Henry's it probably doesn't exist, and Judy's story-telling comes free with any purchase!
Chari Carew. I think y'all know her, and them that do mostly don't trust her overly much. Ladies, Gentlemen, and all those not-so-gentles, Welcome to BurgessTown.
Danton - March 11, 2008 03:14 PM (GMT)
Funny. If you looked them up in the dictionary, the definitions were clearly quite different. The thesaurus, however, was another matter.
Ryforth Danton slammed the thesaurus shut. So, Petaline's baby boy was dead. Todd Mackellroy was in the local jail, still half-delirius from the pain medication that the doc over in Los Alamos had given him. It would be a toss up to see if the rustler would ever walk again, with what that posse at the Heart had done.
And Miss Chari was sitting in the jail as well, under accusation of being an accomplice in the shooting. They were both denying it- Chari and Mackellroy. Ryforth figured the girl was telling the truth. Rance's death at the Heart had betrayed more than just Juniper Burgess, and the poor lost girl had found herself cast out of hearth and home, and facing surviving in a hostile town that saw her as just a whore.
Only Ryforth knew the truth. Ah, the similarity between wolves and lawyers- both knew how to howl with sound and fury, and still reveal nothing of the secret hearts of the wild.
Marshal J. Kord - March 13, 2008 06:43 PM (GMT)
"Worse places than Jinye." Kord thought aloud as he stepped off the ship that had brought him to this tired cattle town on the edge of nowhere. Dressed in comfortable jeans, black button down cotton shirt and the long swept duster that every Rim Marshal wore, replete with star prominently displayed, sun shaking like raindrops off his more silver than blond hair, he slung his brown leather bag over his shoulder and headed into town.
It was fairly empty this time of day, most folk being at work. The Rim Marshal rolled his neck on his shoulders, easing the tension of the long ride. He'd rather have done it in an official vehicle, but there was no one passing by this way, and a Marshal was expected to do the necessary to get the job done.
Sheriff Yates had been sending out warrant searches on a Karkoff Miller, seemed the boy participated in a minor disturbance and the Sheriff was hot to find a spot to pass him off to. The bulletin had caught his eye, and he was getting to suspect that Burgesstown just might hold one of the answers to a mystery he'd been pickin' at a good long while now. And maybe he could give the local authorities a hand while he was at it.
The Jail wasn't too hard to find, right there with the big sign and the silver star. His plain brown boots left a dusty treadmark as Kord came up the steps and entered unannounced.
Inside, sun streamed through a window, illuminating the sheriff's desk, his gun case, and the bars of the two simple steel cels. In one slumped a ragged tired looking woman. Drunk and disorderly maybe? From the bruising, she looked to a fighter.
The other cell held the by now familiar face of Karkoff Miller, who was seated on the floor, and a dark-haired stranger lying on the bunk, legs swathed in bandaging.
Sheriff was nowhere to be seen. Kord ignored the folk in the cells at first, scanning over the paperwork on the desk, opening a drawer or two.
Finally, he turned to find them watching him warily. A grim smile teased across his face and he took on the woman first, his voice low and non-threatening, "So, missy, I'm Kord, with the Rim Marshals. You wanna tell me how you ended up in here, or am I gonna have to beat it outta ya? From your face, looks like that might be your prefered method."
Chari - March 13, 2008 07:31 PM (GMT)
The spectacular swelling around her mouth twisted the suspicious look Chari shot the marshal into a painful grimace. "Hilarious. Really." She sighed. Being penned up as an accomplice to murder for two days -with the murderer in question- tended to make her cranky. "Aiding and abetting. And accordin' to the latest from missus Peters, it's hard to find time to plan all the murderin' and bank robbing I'm supposed to do with that'un," she said, indicated Todd with a wave of her slim fingers, between all the sex. Good to know. I'd hate to be wrongfully imprisoned without a consolation bump-a-bump."
She slumped further on the bench with another, deeper, sigh, propping her chin in the palms of her hands. "I'm sorry, but why are you here? Are you here with the lynch mob? Because I'd really appreciate it if we got the lynching over with so I can get back to work. My bosses tend to frown on being incarcerated from nine to five."
Rustler - March 13, 2008 07:55 PM (GMT)
"She ain't with me, Marshal." Todd spoke up suddenly, waving one arm as though he could push Chari back from him mentally, "She's just an ex-whore got in the wrong spot at the wrong time..."
With a grimace, he tilted his face back toward the ceiling, "I acted alone."
Marshal J. Kord - March 14, 2008 03:32 PM (GMT)
"I'm sorry, but why are you here? Are you here with the lynch mob? Because I'd really appreciate it if we got the lynching over with so I can get back to work. My bosses tend to frown on being incarcerated from nine to five."
Kord moved to the window, sidled sideways out of habit, lifted back the blue gingham curtain, and scanned the street, then his gaze flickered back to the cells, glittering with amusement, "No mob. Leastwise not yet."
"I acted alone." The dark haired one chimed in, and Kord sized him up slow and careful.
"I'm sure you did." The marshal drawled, not sparing a glance at the man, "'Then again, a man'll say all manner of things to protect the woman he loves."
Before they could protest, he chuckled and continued, "I'm not here over either of you two. Sheriff asked for some help with..." He turned to face the cage, standing over Miller, "This fella. Seems he's not big on chit chat."
"Harrassing my client, Jimmy?" The voice that came from the doorway had Kord spinning around, hand almost to the gun at the small of his back before he recognized him.
"Ry Danton! You ole dog!" Clamping his left hand on the lawyer's shoulder, he grabbed his right hand in his own and pumped it vigorously, "Haven't seen you since that muck-about over Los Alamos Town ... What? four years back?"
"Pretty much." Ryforth extracted himself from the Marshal's grip with a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. "I'm here to get Chari Carew released. Girl's shown bad judgement from time to time but she's no killer..
"It's not my decision, Ry," Kord paced back to the desk, leaning hipshot against it with his arms crossed.
Ryforth smiled at Chari through the bars, eyes glittering like snakes. What you know, I know, girl. Best mind your tongue if you want out..."Miss Carew? I trust they're treating you well?"
He glanced slyly back to Kord, "I know you have authority to override local law enforcement, J. I've seen you use it. Chari here is a responsible citizen, holds a job, has commitments here in the community. Both she and Mr. Mackellroy here will tell you they've hardly laid eyes on each other before being shoved in this cell together."
With another warm smile, he gestured Chari, "Miss Carew, why don't you tell the lawman what you were doing up at the Heart of Gold, so we can get you out of here and get you on your way."
Kord fired a rather dismayed 'this isn't my job!' glare at Ryforth, but his gaze sought out the woman in the cage.
Tessa Saville - March 16, 2008 02:58 AM (GMT)
Kennedy carried his partner true and proud, easing his gait so the exhausted figure on his back could find a few precious moments of rest. Since Jonah’s death and Todd’s imprisonment, Tessa’s workload had doubled. She’d been able to hire two extra hands to help with the Heart’s land, but Mackellroy’s fields and animals had fallen to her and her alone. For the ruse to work, they couldn’t let anyone know what they were about, so she went about pretending she was rustling the Rustler’s stock while he was locked up. To the observer she would appear to be a thief, but all the while she really played the role of guardian.
In the half sleep of the saddle, Kennedy’s foot falls took on a metered pace, and Tessa exhausted mind found comfort in the words the rhythm evoked…
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
The buildings of Burgesstown materialized around her, but her mind still slumbered…lulled by the words of the long dead poet master.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
The loyal stallion halted in front of the jailhouse and gently shook its head, rousing his rider from her dreaming. Tessa’s head rose to look at the building. Under her hat, her filthy face bore the dirt and sweat of two fields and two herds.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there's some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
With a soul weakening sigh, she pulled herself from the saddle, stood, and rested her head against Kennedy’s,
”Many thanks, partner. If I was a bettin’ woman, I’d put good cashy on you findin’ an extra apple or three this night.”
Stroking the horse’s mane, she turned to enter the jailhouse.
Never one to shy from hard work or duty, Tessa gathered the last whispers of her strength and entered the jailhouse.
Before her eyes adjusted, she spoke aloud…unsure if there was even anyone in the room,
”I’m here to see the killer of Jonah…I’m here to see Todd Mackellroy.”
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
<<lyrics by my grandfather's favorite poet, Robert Frost>>
Chari - March 16, 2008 10:45 PM (GMT)
"Miss Carew, why don't you tell the lawman what you were doing up at the Heart of Gold, so we can get you out of here and get you on your way."
"I wanted to see the wedding, a'course. The whole town got invitations to the wedding, didn't they? I thought I might've been included in that, but..." She shrugged, looking pointedly around at her surroundings. "Guess not." She smiled, though with a bit of effort it came out looking more annoyed with the whole situation than confused and worried, which it seemed to be going for. She probably should've been grateful, but her mama didn't raise fools. Burgess's pet lawyer wasn't springing her out the goodness of his own heart, that was for sure. He had some angle he was playing, even if she didn't know what it was- and at the moment, she didn't really care. She'd been offered an out, and she wasn't too picky about the wheres or whys, so long as it kept her pretty little neck from being measured for a hemp choker. Just like always.
Speaking of hemp...
Before Burgess's trained lawyer could bite, the Heart's farmhand waltzed in, bold as brass and smelling of horses and home. It really wasn't fair. The woman blinked as she came in, looking to be light-blinded, but Chari shrunk from her gaze anyway. She'd pumped herself for an appearance from somebody from the heart, but she hadn't planned on meeting with the farmhand. She'd been expecting to see Vitorria Tate. ”I’m here to see the killer of Jonah…I’m here to see Todd Mackellroy.”
Chari pointed out the mangled figure in the next cell wordlessly. She didn't envy him, no sir, but she couldn't rightly judge him for being a murderer, now could she? Talk about the pot callin' the kettle black.
Marshal J. Kord - March 17, 2008 08:01 PM (GMT)
"I wanted to see the wedding, a'course. The whole town got invitations to the wedding, didn't they? I thought I might've been included in that, but...Guess not."
"The weddin'?" Kord glanced dully at Ryforth, who nodded with a smile.
"Miss Carew here has tied out at the Heart, friends. She wanted to see the wedding. Now, who could blame her for that." The lawyer smiled disarmingly, and knew Kord was giving in.
"All right." Finding the keys in a desk drawer, each neatly labeled, he clicked open the cell containing said Miss Carew, not-lover of the murderer, who just wanted to see a wedding, "She's your responsibility, Ry. She Houdini's and I'm haulin' you in."
"I'd like to see you try, J. I truly would." Danton joked, pleased with himself. Yates would have given him more of a go-around.
The gorgeous young woman who entered with a cloud of dust and the tired eye of someone who may have been up all night birthin' calves stared around her, and Kord looked her up and down with an appreciative smile. Until she spoke, determined fire in her earthy tones,
”I’m here to see the killer of Jonah…I’m here to see Todd Mackellroy.”
"You can see him, he's right there." Kord answered her, before extending his hand, "I'm Marshal Kord, helpin' out the sheriff a bit."
Rustler - March 17, 2008 08:03 PM (GMT)
"Marshal?" Todd drawled warily. He'd scooted back on the bunk, "You mind declawin' the wildcat 'afore you let her near? I reckon I'd like to keep what I got on, at least 'till the hanging!"
Chari - March 18, 2008 05:28 AM (GMT)
Chari found her hand moving constantly to massage her neck as she followed Danton through the streets of Burgesstown. It made her uncomfortable to think about her near miss with the noose but she couldn't seem to stop herself, like poking at a loose tooth. It stung, but gorramit if she didn't go back to poking at it with her tongue anyway.
She felt oddly grateful to the lawyer for doing this, though she really didn't need to be. She ought to be afraid. He had his reasons for doing this, but if the mind took him he could still turn right around and leave her back at the prison, dressed up for the Heart of Gold like a turkey dinner.
She bit her lip as her heart sank. How many of her old friends from the Heart would've shown up to see her dance a jig on the end of the gallows?
Feeling more and more uneasy with this whole thing and her place in it, Chari stopped. Danton had led her to one of Burgesstown's quieter districts without her even noticing, and her feet dug firmly into paving stones instead of dirt. They'd gone far enough. "Look," she said abruptly, "lawyers just don't come down to the jailhouse to spring murder suspects. Not without being paid first, anyhow. And I know you haven't been- not by me, anyway. The only thing I got left is that little scrap I like to pretend is my pride, and since that hasn't been dragged off by a repo man, that leaves me kinda perplexed." She looked down at her hands, all twisted up in themselves, and forced them to relax. "You pointed out yourself that I don't always do the kind thing, or the smart thing, but don't treat me like an idiot. You want something from me. That being said..." Panic roared down her spine, making her legs twitch, but she held her head up high, meeting his gaze defiantly. Holding herself like she was worth something.
It all came out in a rush. "If that witch sent you to get me after the Heart again, then you might as well send me right back to that cell, because I won't do it."
All shady lawyers types have been god-modded with permission by the E.
Tessa Saville - March 18, 2008 06:33 PM (GMT)
"I'm Marshal Kord, helpin' out the sheriff a bit."
Pulling her hat back so that it hung down her back from the string around her neck, she gripped Kord’s hand,
”Happy to meet you, Marshall. Ain’t never known too much law to be a bad thing…’specially after…after Jonah.”
Her weary eyes turned to regard the floor, giving the departed boy a moment of silence.
With a sniff, her dirt streaked face turned back to the lawman,
”Can I get a moment with Mackellroy? I ain’t here to do him harm, though he surely deserves it…I’m just here to say my peace…Rancher to Rancher. It…I think it’ll help me start to breathe again.”
Taking off her denim jacket, the farmer bard spun around, showing she carried no weapon other than the knife strapped to her thigh, and with a smooth pull, she freed the ivory handled Bowie and handed it to the Marshall.
Wearing only a filthy and formerly white tanktop, Tessa placed her sun bronzed arms in her pockets, turning them out,
”I ain’t got nothin’ else on me…my rifle and pistol are outside with my horse. I didn’t come to spill more blood.”
Staring hard at Tessa, Kord finally nodded and moved over to Miller’s cell. Opening the door he cuffed the large man and shackled his ankles. With a tip of his hat, the cop and the crook walked outside, leaving the pair alone.
Leaving her jacket off, her eyes moved to the cell containing Mackellroy. The whole place smelled of perspiration with the lingering musk of crimes past. It wasn’t filthy by any means, but it wasn’t tended either. Where others saw a jailhouse, Tessa saw a field overrun with stone and weed. Turning from the environment, her gaze swept over the man. At the sight of his shattered legs, her chin trembled slightly, forcing her to look away or risk a break in her mask. Moving to his face, Tessa’s eyes only touched his briefly. She looked away quickly as a tear cut a path through the dirt on her face.
Clearing her throat, she spoke…her voice low and thick with emotion,
”I came here to tell you I’m lookin’ after your herd and seein’ to your fields. I’ve been movin’ ‘em at night. They don’t like it much, but they come around quicker than I reckoned they would. I’ve been tryin’ to water before daylight, but…well there’s just so much…”
She pulled her hat from around her neck and held it by its braided rawhide string, but still she couldn’t look at him. With the next, her voice went softer still,
”I shouldn’t have wasted the time to come here, but I knowed that if I was in there, I’d be needin’ to hear how my ranch was,” finally she looked up and revealed the tear plowed furrows on her cheeks. As she continued her voice held a hint of desperation…and guilt, ”I’ll watch your ground till I fall over...I won’t leave it to the buzzards to be picked clean. Ain’t none gonna take it from you…not after what you done for us…what you gave for us.”
She looked back to the floor, and her tears dripped across the dusty brim of her hat,
”I swear it, Todd Mackellroy.”
<<OOC Kord and Miller GM'd with permission from Ertia. If the shackles were too much, please let me know and I'll edit>>
Danton - March 19, 2008 03:06 PM (GMT)
Down Maple Street
"Look, lawyers just don't come down to the jailhouse to spring murder suspects. Not without being paid first, anyhow. And I know you haven't been- not by me, anyway. The only thing I got left is that little scrap I like to pretend is my pride, and since that hasn't been dragged off by a repo man, that leaves me kinda perplexed."
Ryforth came to a halt and turned back to the woman, smiling as she fought him. It was quieter here, off the path of the workers and housewives who made up late-morning Jinye traffic. No doubt she was getting scared. Off balance. Right where he needed her to be if he wanted her to listen.
Judging from the torrent of words out of her mouth, he'd have to wait his turn. A smirk of a smile came to the corner of his mouth as he read her body language, nervous, but determined, her liquid brown eyes glaring at his, daring him. Like that whore Petaline.
"You pointed out yourself that I don't always do the kind thing, or the smart thing, but don't treat me like an idiot. You want something from me. That being said... If that witch sent you to get me after the Heart again, then you might as well send me right back to that cell, because I won't do it."
Ryforth actually chuckled, his gaze meeting hers just as determinedly, "You don't know it yet, Miss Carew, but I'm the only friend you have left this town. The only real friend, anyway."
He hesitated, glancing up and down the street. They stood in front of the small Baptist chapel, and it was a weekday. No one in Burgesstown worshipped on a weekday. Not God, anyway. "And I think we both remember what happened the last time someone was foolish enough to take on the Heart of Gold."
"I'm glad that you admit that you don't always do the smart thing," Ryforth Danton's cool gaze slithered up the street and then back to Chari's face, his arms crossing over his chest, "And that, Miss Carew, is precisely why you need me. Because I AM the smart thing."
He let the statement sink in for a moment, a nurtured murmur of certainty, a promise hanging there just within her reach, if she cared to reach for it. "You and I were both there the day Petaline executed Rance. Us, the Heart whores, that mercenary band they hired; we know the truth, and we've never stepped up, not in all this time, let Juniper keep up the little illusion that Rance abandoned her and left her with his fortune. It was the best thing for all of us- Look what it's bought this town, after all? Jobs, economy, freedom of choice..."
A grand gesture around himself, and Ryforth looked Chari over slowly, "If we play our cards right, Miss Carew, you and I, we may come out, not only a good deal richer, but also, with luck, the heroes of this town. I know you had nothing to do with killing Jonah. Every good crime has three parts- who, how, and why."
"I know the who. I know the how. And I, of perhaps, two or three other people on Jinye, know the why." Ryforth smiled again, "And most importantly, I know you are none of the three. I'm not asking you to go against the Heart of Gold, Miss Carew. For once, I'm asking that you help them."
Rustler - March 19, 2008 04:59 PM (GMT)
People will say whatever they need to say,
To get what they want today.
Tell you whatever they think you want to hear.
Every moment that I love you
Is a moment of truth to hold onto.
No matter what anyone else may do,
”I shouldn’t have wasted the time to come here, but I knowed that if I was in there, I’d be needin’ to hear how my ranch was,” ”I’ll watch your ground till I fall over...I won’t leave it to the buzzards to be picked clean. Ain’t none gonna take it from you…not after what you done for us…what you gave for us.”
”I swear it, Todd Mackellroy.”
Those tears trickling down Tessa's beautiful face, each one a promise made hard on the risk of bein' lost, cut through Todd Mackellroy harder than any bullet ever would. The outlaw stared through at that little wildcat, turned to a bitty kitten just through exhaustion and fear. His stubbled face was unreadable in the glimmer of sunlight through the high window as he pondered the dilemma, takin' in her filthy clothes, worn boots, the rings under eyes, the tiny tremble in the tips of her fingers where they held her hat.
Miss Seville was ruttin' runnin' herself into the ground.
Now many a man woulda let her at this point. Woulda just sat back and rested easy knowin' that their own were bein' cared for. But Todd's pa once told him that any man who didn't take care of his
own was lookin' at a long life of lonely, and right that moment, seein' those tears plink off the brim of that dusty ole hat like tiny dew drops off a dandelion...
The rustler outlaw of Jinye knew what his pa meant. Somewhere deep in that small heart held too close in darkness for too long, Todd knew the only way he could take care of his own. Take care of Tessa.
Innocent hearts trust in the moon and stars
Sometimes they go to far.
Things don't turn out to be the way
Todd pushed upright on the bunk, swinging his damaged legs to the floor, and thrust his face close to the bars as he could. "Barton, was too slow gettin' there, and my legs... May be it's fer the best if I swing."
He hesitated, gaze straying away from her to a point on the wall. Felt like gorram cryin' his ownself, but hell if he would. "Hell, done enough to deserve it, even if it ain' this.""Yer right. Shouldn't a' wasted yer time."
Slowly his voice raised, grew more determined, let his pain feed into his voice, turning it dark and unrecognizable as he glared into her eyes, "Didn't ask you for nothin'. Hell, girl, you just come here to mock me? See The Mighty Mackellroy rott? Well, you just go on. Get it all out!"
Once he'd started, he found it easier to keep goin', even though every word seemed to be scoopin' out a part of his soul, like diggin' the punk from a punkin', leavin' just a hallowed out jack-o-lantern, still grinnin' even though nothin' was left inside.
Darlin' I believe
That theres a moment of truth we can count on.
The world don't seem to know right and wrong.
I look into your eyes, and see beyond all the lies.
Raising his voice loud enough for folk on the street to hear, Todd shoved back on the bunk, "You ain't wanted here, Wildcat! Take yer claws and go on! Get. Hell, You got my freedom! Ya might as well take my land! Take my stock, too! Gorram it, whore! Ya must be awful proud of yourself! Got me in a cage like a tamed jackrabbit, and ain't no one gonna blame you for takin' 'vantage!
The howling paused, and his eyes narrowed for a blink before he continued, tryin' not to look at her face, tryin' not to see how his words might be makin' more of those tears fall, tryin' hope she understood, "Suppose you want my gorram horse, too?! Go on! I won't be needin' 'im where I'm goin'!"
"Ya stupid saobi. Ya don't even know when you've already won! Just go on. You got what you wanted! Now get on outta here! Rest easy knowin' you got it all."
With a violent jerk, Todd flipped over on the bunk, facing the wall, his back to Tessa as he shut his eyes. Shut 'em hard 'cause if he didn't those tears he was holdin' back were start fallin'. And he weren't man enough to stop 'em if they did. Whether she saw the truth beyond the lies, he didn't know, he could only hope. "Go on. Git."Every moment that I know you
Is a moment of truth.
I look into your eyes, and see beyond all the lies.
Every moment that I love you.OOC: Lyrics are Susan Bogguss: A Moment of Truth. Only version I could find online is this German dance lesson. I may whip up a little somethin' for Rustler & Tess to it sometime if I ever get the rest of my workload caught up. ;)
Chari - April 7, 2008 08:46 PM (GMT)
Down Maple Street
She wanted to laugh, long and loud. The hero. Right. It was a lovely dream, but only that.
It was so strange to feel anything but hate again that she almost didn't recognize the sharp pain nipping at her eyes for what it was. She was grieving. It was terrible and painful and both better and worse than being so numb that she was nothingness in the shroud of her body.
For the first time in years, she felt painfully alive.
She could taste salt on her tongue, trembling on the verge of being shed, and it struck her that the she was grieving, too, although for whom she didn't know. For that poor, lost boy gone to Never-Never land? For the Heart? It was all of them and none of them, she supposed. Without noticing, she'd forgotten them all, one by one. It was the little things, mostly. The smell of Leelee's perfume. The soft silence of the mornings at the Heart, before everyone was awake and the only sounds in the whole world were the tiny trills of the escaped parekeet whirring through the flower beds. Nandi's smile.
But she remembered how they'd died, oh yes.
There had been blood when they'd died, more blood than she'd ever seen, churned into gritty black clumps saturated with the iron smell of life, and each one of them had looked so surprised to be dead that she'd almost laughed at the cosmic joke. But she didn't.
And she didn't cry, either, because no one liked a sore winner.
Even if this worked, if she became a hero, there would always be at least one person who hated her. Herself. Because she was the only one who knew of the silent hours, late at night, when she would take out her grief and turn over and over in her hands, relishing its weight and its misery before putting it away again.
She was also the only one who knew how utterly empty it all was. Because if she had the chance to go back and do it all over again... "What did you have in mind?"
She'd do same thing.
Danton - April 8, 2008 05:41 PM (GMT)
"What did you have in mind?"
Danton chuckled to himself. She was a right quick one. It was a shame she never had the opportunity for education. Chari would have made a hell of a lawyer given the chance. "For now? Keep you eyes and ears open. Keep an ear on the factory gossip- what folks are saying, how they're saying it. Any strangers in town, you let me know about as soon as you see them."
Danton glanced left and right, and then met Chari's eye directly, studying her like a witness in courtroom, "Juniper is planning her big move, and if I'm going to stop her then I need someone on the street, someone no one suspects of being involved." A tight-lipped smile flashed across his face, "Someone smart who knows how to get things done. Quietly. That's you."
"Kord being in town may complicate things, but he might prove an advantage at the same time. This town's never had law in it that wasn't attached at the carbine to the Burgess fortune. You might try keeping an ear to the ground where he's concerned. Test him out a bit." As the lawyer turned away from the girl, his murmur spoke more amusement than his expression, "I'll be in touch, Miss Carew. Do try to stay out of trouble."
With quick quiet steps, Danton strolled back down the street and popped into the Inn. Time for some lunch and a good listen to the heartbeat of Burgesstown. If he was right, he stood to make a real difference to this town. If he was wrong? Danton reflected grimly that if he was wrong, then Todd Mackellroy wouldn't be alone on the gallows.
Juniper Burgess - April 10, 2008 03:36 PM (GMT)
Admin Plot Progress- Early Evening
Juniper Burgess stepped onto the balcony overlooking Burgesstown's Main Street. It was the end of the day and workers leaving the factory filled the streets. Down below, was her town, were her people. Rance's people. Never her people. At her side, Ryforth Danton took the microphone that had been set up, "People of Burgesstown, it gives me great pleasure to introduce Chief Councilwoman Juniper Burgess."
Heads turned, eyes looked up, and Juniper Burgess, dressed in the formal black of mourning, stepped forward so that the late sunset light streamed across her, her face pale and golden in it's gentle rays. Dabbing her eyes with a delicate lace kerchief, she raised the microphone, her smile masked behind a wintery sorrow unbecoming of a spring day. She waved her kerchief to the gathering crowd as she started her speech.
"Dear people of Burgesstown, I am so proud of you." She waited for the admiring murmurs before continuing. "You have helped build this moon from a dusty rock to one of the most prosperous Rimworlds in the Alliance. With your hard work, heartfelt courage, and determination, we have factories, schools, spaceports, and a real medical clinic is being build in Los Alamos."
Her long slow inhale was tainted with the flavors of dust and sweat, "We built this moon together, and you are all very dear to my heart. So it is with great sadness that I must make the following announcement."
A deep swallow, as though forcing back sorrow, and Juniper raised her head, blinking to generate tears that would never fall, "As many of you know, my dear husband, Rance, has been missing for quite some time. Although I've held out hope for his return for years, I..." A sniff of restrained grief, "I can no longer pretend that he will return to me. I can only think that some terrible tragedy has befallen my husband. Proceedings have been undertaken to declare Rance legally dead, and all of the resources that I have carefully guardianed for him, and for you, since his disappearance, will become mine."
She hesitated a moment, turning profile for the capture unit, golden marble etched in grief, "However, it is with even greater sorrow, and with a plea for your understanding, that I must announce that I can no longer stay here on Jinye."
"Reminders of my life with Rance are all around me. I can't survive my grief and heal if I remain here." There was a murmur of sympathy from the crowd, mostly from those older women who had been widowed during the Unification War.
Juniper smiled sadly to them, acknowledging their shared pain before spinning a wan and weary smile over the crowd, "As many of you know, Rance's death, combined with the assets I've acquired for his estate since his disappearance, leaves me in holding of no less than seventy-five percent of Jinye Moon. And I recognize that I cannot possibly maintain my holdings here and do you, the people who buit and love this world, the justice that you deserve."
"So, it is with sadness, and hope, Yes, hope for a new future for Jinye, that I announce intent to sell my shares of Jinye to an offworld investor, someone who can bring a fresh and new perspective to this moon, and who will continue my work to see Jinye built into the kind of home that your grandparents all dreamed of when they came here."
"As soon as a suitable investor is found, I will resign my seat as Chief Councilwoman, and will be returning to my home-world. But I will never forget this moon, and all of the wonderful challenges that you, it's strong and amazing people, have overcome. Part of my heart will always belong to Jinye."
Dabbing at her eyes once more, Juniper Burgess, seeming overcome with the emotion of the moment, dropped the microphone back into it's cradle, gathered her skirts and hurried back inside of the Town Hall.
Out of sight of the public, she fell against the wall, a stifled sound that could have been either laugh or sob issueing from her long delicate throat. She pretended that she didn't have a buyer on the hook, but Samantha Weston had the resources, the inclination, and, definately, had the right sympathies. Jinye's nasty little Browncoat remnants, the dregs of the Unification War would soon find themselves as Allied as any of the Core Planets.
Juniper Burgess was finally, finally going to get off this ridiculous horrible rock that Rance dragged her to. And with enough money to re-establish herself in proper society. Although she had to silence her joy before the public, it was very much indeed a laughing matter.
Lincoln Bloom - April 13, 2008 01:24 AM (GMT)
It had to be one of the most uneventful trips he’d taken on a ship and thankfully so. The ordained minister had seen much more than most any man should and the horror he had seen much less dismal than the memories of the horror he produced. It was all behind him though. That was his reasoning for coming here, Burgesstown as he heard some crew call it, was a middle of nowhere place on a middle of nowhere planet and the last place he would be bothered hopefully. He hadn’t dressed in his robe since before boarding the Vecto Ventus freight.
To the captain he was just a man who wanted to go nowhere and do it discretely, the captain and his crew didn’t ask any questions, likely that the didn’t care, though Lincoln had paid slightly more for the guarantee of that secrecy. During the flight he had much time to think and while it seemed like that was all he ever did, it calmed him and seemed to help heal his past. He’d come to grips with most of who he was, some wounds however were too deep to heal quickly or at all.
Lincoln took his first steps off the ship and found just as he expected, a mostly impoverished settlement with only few signs of wealth. The dust of the street was blowing in the slight breeze while the sun now was all but hidden, replaced by the early evening sky. Bloom’s first order of business was to secure work and a place to stay. Of course he would have to make a contact or two in town but he had to take things slow, one thing at a time.
“Home sweet home.” The man quipped to himself as he carried his bags down the ramp and onto the soil of Jinye for the first time.
Eric Batterly - April 14, 2008 02:52 PM (GMT)
Eric shouldered his black duffle and strolled off the boat into the warm Jinye evening air, keen eyes taking status of the town. His long kevlar armored coat swooshed around the tops of his polished red leather boots. He'd changed from usual blue and white Vecto Ventus polo-shirt to a plain black t-shirt, and his Vecto ID was tucked deep in the inner pocket of his coat.
No sense spooking anybody unnecessarily.
This was where the Boss's intel had led him. A wrecked ship called The Perseus had been parted out here, and somehow the boss thought it was connected. Eric didn't want to be here, had, in fact, pointed out that Brun Bradley had been watchdoging Jinye shipments since the factory had contracted with Vecto, and had seen nothing.
Tong had been quick to point out that Bradley hadn't been specifically looking for her. A pair of fresh eyes with a specific goal might bring a new perspective, spot something Bradley had missed.
With a sigh, Eric headed for the Inn, only to find the streets clogged with murmuring town folk. He caught the words Burgess and sale, and 'poor dear', but they were a muddle, the insiders closing up when he passed by, eying him with cold suspicion. Yuo, this was gonna go great.
Karkoff Miller - April 17, 2008 07:01 PM (GMT)
OOC: Sorry, Dawson! I'm not sure where you went. :( I'll just go ahead with this so we can get things rollin' along. When you get back, we'll get you caught up and back in power. ;)
Miller struggled to keep his feet as he was pushed, headfirst, back into the cell containing the apparently sleeping Rustler turned baby killer. Glaring back over his shoulder at Kord, who merely shrugged as he unlocked the shackles, Miller had the distinct feeling that he wasn't going to be out of the marshal's rifle sites anytime soon.
Kord knew. He knew Miller had broken indenture-ship contract on Higgins Moon. Maybe even knew the role Kate's crew had played in the kidnapping and wounding of Fess Higgins. (God, what a relief to know they hadn't killed the boy!)
Yeah, Kord knew all that. He just wanted to hear Miller say it.
And he wouldn't. Wouldn't betray the woman who gave him freedom. Wouldn't return to Higgins Moon to sweat out the rest of his days in one the Magistrate's swamp boxes, or hip deep in black stinking mud.
Kord was couching his threats in promises, pretending he wanted to help, pretending there was something he could do for him, help him out. He'd done nearly everything, including threatening to let Miller just swing.
Karkoff figured it would cost him more in the long run, but he couldn't let it go without a final word, "Marshal, I ain't very smart, ain't had no schoolin', but even I know a pile of gose from a gold mine."
Kord chuckled as he slammed the cage shut, "Reckon you do. But the sooner you trust me, the sooner you're gonna be outta this rattrap."
Then the marshal headed out the door and into the evening streets of Burgesstown, leaving the jailed suspects to their silent reveries.
Mrs. Thelma M. Peters - April 21, 2008 09:02 PM (GMT)
All morning she served the traveler's going on, coming off, the regulars, and anyone else who needed to rest a spell. 'I never thought food'in be so popular, but god works his magic when your righteous.'
Moving table to table, Thelma cleaned each heavily. This was the hardest part of owning the resturant. Constantly carrying the tub to take the dishes to the sink, then having to wash them with sore hands. Such a hassle.
Stopping, Thelma looked at herself in the window. 'You ain't gettin' any young'r ol' gal. Maybe its time that you hired some one a bit younger. Teach'em your cookin' secrets. Teach'em how to treat people kindly, and such.' Looking back to the few people left finishing their breakfasts up, Thelma sighed. Truely who could ever fill her shoes?
Chari - April 23, 2008 06:26 PM (GMT)
Chari's bag dangled, forgotten, from her hand as the widow Burgess disappeared beyond the balcony, moved to maindenly tears. Tears. Right. Chari would be surprised if the old bat even had a heart left behind those shriveled sacks on her chest, let alone being capable of wringing out crocodile tears.
Her mouth moved, trying to form an appropriate response to the situation when there wasn't one. Good. Gravy. How dumb did the widow think they were? Everyone in town knew the old bat hated Jinye, hates Burgesstown, and definitely hated the Heart. If she was leaving Jinye, it was because that offworld investor had offered a good enough price that Juniper was willing to broker Jinye's heart off in installments. Well, however much it was, Burgess probably would've done it for much less.
The realization that there wasn't anything else to see was gradually getting through to the crowd, and townsman and her co-workers had begun to slowly disperse back to whence they came. They left in twos and threes, discussing the revelation in the barely interested, water-cooler tones of those coming off double shifts, which the majority of the factory workers did.
Chari, however, walked back to the boarding house alone. She wasn't too popular with the townsfolk, particularly anyone who frequented the Heart. The general reasoning was that a tiger couldn't change it's stripes- if she betrayed someone once, she was likely to do it again. She couldn't blame them, because she likely would've done the same, in their place.
Her normal route home took her by Thelma's place, so she could smell the chocolate pies cooling in the heat if not buy them herself, but lately she'd taken to walking past the spaceport, just in case anyone new came in. There usually wasn't too much in the way of newcomers, mostly relatives and whatnot -Jinye wasn't exactly a hotspot, Heart of Gold or not- but today there was a small knot of folk around the landing pad, most of whom she knew by sight. The last, two, though, were new to her. One looked to be some kind of Sephard, and the other was some type of tough, judging by the coat. She didn't have much in the way of schooling, but she knew kevlar when she saw it, and that was it.
Well, the lawyer man had told her keep an ear to the ground.
She eyed the two men for a little while, trying to decide who to cozy up to, and eventually decided to go with the tough. Priests weren't exactly a dime a dozen out here, but they tended to be less of a hassle than somebody wearing kevlar. Man like that was prepared for a fight, and worth watching. She could always take a gander at the priest later- he probably wasn't going too far, and he wasn't any danger to anybody save choir boys, and Jinye was fresh out.
She gave the gun-toting a look-over as she sidled up to him, and while he was definitely cute, she didn't see any obvious weapons about his person. Shiny. She'd been wrong before, but she really didn't see as he was carrying a piece, aside from the trouser snake. Ear to the ground. Right. Well, if she hurried, she might get a word or two in edgewise from this guy before the others had time to warn him about her. It was worth a shot.
Her aching legs protested as she started walking backwards to see the man's face, making her rawhide skort twirl around her knees. "Evening stranger! Haven't seen nobody not related to me pass by since that marshall came by." She hefted the bag with her work clothes in it up over her shoulder to a more comfortable position, and smiled prettily at him, doing her best to look sweet and innocent, and above all not guilty. "Are you in to see theater troupe? They're only up at the mansion, o' course, but I heard they're doing Glass Menagerie. Don't that sound romantic? Wish I could go."
Eric Batterly - April 29, 2008 07:40 PM (GMT)
"Evening stranger! Haven't seen nobody not related to me pass by since that marshall came by."
Eric didn't break pace as the girl scooted around him, giving him a little-girl smile. He gestured ahead to the man who had come in on the same ship. Lingua-purism cut anything longer to a single syllable, coupled with an expressive frown, "Him?"
"Are you in to see theater troupe? They're only up at the mansion, o' course, but I heard they're doing Glass Menagerie. Don't that sound romantic? Wish I could go."
He stopped walking. Not a sudden jolt to a stop, but a slight slowing and finally a turn to face her head on. Locals were the best way to get an ear to the ground. She was a ship-bee, no doubt, the kind who waited for new folk, felt 'em out, and checked the depth of their wallets before letting 'em into town. The kind of bee that was mostly buzz and very little sting.
And the kind of bee that knew the business of everyone else in town.
"Williams." Batterly nodded, seeing that they were close to an inn haphazardly signed "Pies & Pillows" with a handpainted banner announcing Home Cooked Dinners. His white toothed smile was quiet, but contemplatively inviting, "Hungry? I'll buy."
Of course, a bee was a chance to get information, but also a chance to get on the outside of town too quickly for Eric's mission to be accomplished. Two steps caught him up to the newcomer he'd gestured to before, stretching his syllables into full words for a change, "Dinner at the Inn?"
Lincoln Bloom - April 29, 2008 09:54 PM (GMT)
Lincoln felt the man take up stride beside him but he did not give him a look over at first. That is until he was offered dinner, he then slowed his pace to a stop and looked over at the inn. Seemed as good a place as any to begin and the man who offered was off the same ship he was so Lincoln would be cautious but had no suspicions of the man.
“Dinner. I don’t see why not.” He looked over the trollop who had approached the other man, not in any wrong way only to see if she was armed in any place easily accessible. She wasn’t from what he could tell.
He couldn’t help but laugh at himself, paranoia was getting the better of him as he now was suspecting of harlots on a backwater planet. He would have to relax more, he knew his old life was behind him but that’s what kept him looking over his shoulder.
This dinner would be a good opportunity for him to get to know the town from the young woman and possibly find a position to take up in town. Too bad sheriff was taken, when he was a child Lincoln would have loved to have a chance to wear the badge but times change and a badge would be a target.
“Please, lead the way.” It was Lincoln’s preference that the other two keep in front of him but he didn’t want to make it obvious that was so.
Chari - May 4, 2008 07:52 PM (GMT)
Chari's face screwed up slightly in puzzlement, momentarily unsure whether the laconic man had meant that his name was Williams not, but there didn't seem to be much point in asking him. Men of his breed were a cred a dozen in Burgesstown, and not a opne of them liked to repeat himself. Best to assume she was right, because there was no way of knowing the man's character this soon after meeting him, and Chari wasn't the type to trust anybody else on the strength of their character anyway.
No, the best way of figuring what sort he was, was to wait until he figured out what type of person she was. Nobody'd gone for her head with a shotgun yet, but there was always the possibility that this guy just might be the type. Not the safest way to 'sess out a John, but it'd worked before.
She followed his gaze until it landed on Aunty Thelma's place. It was a nice place, cool and friendly, and the food always smelled nice, esecially the chocolate. Chari never had the coin to spare on frivolous things like that, of course, but she likedf stopping in to visit Thelma. The old biddy was one of the few folk in town who tolerated her, even liked her.
Now, Chari wasn't so impolite as to say it to her face, of course, but Thelma was getting on in years, to put it politely. Put bluntly, she was older than dirt, by Jinye's standards anyway. It wasn't unknown for people of that age to get a bit forgetful, so it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think that maybe Thelma might've forgotten the kind of things Chari did to her friends. Even if she had, it was a nice change of pace. Not too many people were nice to her any more. She'd hoped Will would be one of those, too, but that obviously hadn't happened. Not surprising, really, but it hadn't been the highlight of her week, either.
"Hungry? I'll buy."
Chari found her attention hauled back to the topic at hand. She blinked at Williams, not entirely sure what she was supposed to say. The situation didn't exactly come up much. Her initial reation was to be offended, but she calmed herself down quickly. He'd just got in town, so how the hell would he know what the factory's wages were? It was an honest offer, then, made by the type of guy who'd spontaneously buy lunch for a chance-met stranger on the street. A rare breed. Not that she was too concerned with his motivations at that point- the chance to have something to eat instead of month old protein practically made her mouth water. She wiped a finger along her bottom lip in case she'd started drooling and beamed, barely remembering to stay in character. "Why thankee! I'd love to! You'll love it, you know, Auntie Thelma's got the best pudding pie there is, it's like orgasms cut in slices."
Williams hurried ahead the second the words were out of her mouth and asked the priestly type if he wanted a bite, too. Chari was delighted. She couldn't have worked this out better herself.
She twinkled her pearly whites at the serious minded looking gentleman and hurried into the building, putting forth the extra effort to smile at the early dinner crowd, and a little extra bounce in her step. The excitable little idiot she was playing would bounce. She'd used to bounce.
Thelma's was filling up some this time of night, mostly with factory hands looking for some coffee and a bite to eat so they'd have enough of a boost to get the rest of the way home, but those scraggly folk hovering in the back booth had the look of ranch-hands fresh in from the spring coltings in the grazing grounds. Ah, she was right. Now that she'd stepped a little further in, she recognized the scrawniest of the lot as Little Bertie, ma Frederick's youngest. He looked like he was working himself up to saying something to her new friends, but a glare sufficed to send him scurrying off back to his friends.
Another pass over the rest of the place settled things to her satisfaction. She knew most of these folk from her days at The Heart, and while most of them were looking a bit more sullen since she'd come in, nobody else was going to rat her out. Yet, anyway, and that was about what she'd expected.
She hung the bag with her clothes in it up on one of the hat pegs by the door and swung around to face the counterspace in front of the kitchen, Thelma's domain. "Three, Thelma," she chirped, and slid into the empty table closest by the door, making herself comfortable on the seat. She barely held back a groan as she sat down. It felt so good to sit after standing by the hot boilers for ten hours.
She leaned her elbows on the table and dimpled up the pair girlishly. "Can't say you've been around the 'verse till you've et this stuff. Nothin' like it."
(Wee bit of godmodding to get the gang into Aunty Thelma's)
Lincoln Bloom - May 15, 2008 12:30 PM (GMT)
Lincoln followed the young working girl and walked abreast to the other man, a result of neither man wanting to allow for the other to walk a few paces back. Not that they were paranoid.
As they stepped into the inn a woman named Thelma was notified of their arrival. Lincoln sat strategically facing as much of the bar as he could, with most of his back facing the wall.
"Can't say you've been around the 'verse till you've et this stuff. Nothin' like it."
The truth was, Lincoln hadn't eaten much in recent weeks. Preferring to keep to himself on the freighter and meditating. A good wholesome meal would actually hit the spot about now.
“You know she may be right. I’ve traveled far and some of the best meals I’ve had have come from these smaller planets and moons.” Lincoln directed the comment with his eyes toward the man he was assuming worked for Vecto Ventus. Now that he had them captive in their seats he figured it would be a good time to learn of any job postings in town. Turning to look at Chari again he leaned forward and rested his chin on his clasped hands.
“Where would one go to look at job postings in the area miss…” After thinking a moment he realized he hadn’t caught her name yet, hoping she’d fill in the blank he left as he trailed off.
Sincerity - May 17, 2008 03:08 AM (GMT)
Sincerity leaned against the steering wheel and rubbed his nose with a sniff, admiring the view of the spectacular sunset through trusty ol' Bessie's dusty, somewhat musty windshield. "Wooow. Lookit that, now. Ain't that pretty as a fresh-faced smile? All gold'n purply, and clouds smooth as baby Jesus's bottom. Won't get a sight like this in the core, not with all the weather control stuff and swamp gas and tequila monsters they got messing up the ecosystem there, no sir."
Sincerity's lone passenger looked a bit discomfited by that baby's bottom comment, but not enough to sweeten that sour disposition. "It'd be even nicer if I was seeing it from the Heart of Gold," he glared of from under piggy little eyes, and clutched that blasted suitcase tighter to his beer-gut belly. That thing weighed a solid ton and no mistake. He knew. He'd had to drag it up the stairs, because mister businessman didn't want to risk it in the storage space because of highway robbers or something, whatever they were. Rutter.
Sincerity smiled cheerfully in the rearview mirror and adjusted it so he could see Grandmama's house, in case the old lady came out and he had to make a quick getaway. What had she been saying yesterday? Oh, the new broom. Getting it, and such. He had, hadn't he? He thought he had, but that might've been a dream, cause of that nap and all. It'd been pretty hot out, in his defense, and he'd been up pretty late last night ferrying in that gang or tourists in from Verbena or something like that. They'd been a pleasanter group than this guy, that was for sure.
He turned the mirror back in time to see that scowl reach truly epic proportions. "Sorry, mister, I gotta wait for a full load." Well, he didn't have to, not technically, but it was a waste of fuel, and he didn't really like this guy in the first place, anyway. He'd called Burgesstown a dump. Sincerity figured he'd bit a bit more appreciative after an hour or two cooling his heels in this 'dump'.
The suit didn't look too happy about that, but then, he hadn't looked happy about anything so far, so it was kind of hard to tell. Maybe that was his default expression. "How long will that take? I wanted to be there at least an hour before nightfall." Or maybe not.
"Weeeell...." Sincerity pulled thoughtfully at his magnificent beard, or what would be the beginnings of his magnificent beard, if he were capable of growing hair in anywhere but a select few locations. But it was there, he could tell. It just needed encouragement, that was all. Okay, well, you couldn't really see it if you weren't at the right angle and had a magnifying glass handy, but he was confident that it gave him a certain rugged, mysterious look anyway, like that guy that used to hang around the Heart, panting after the missus Petaline. "Hard to say. Might have some people in after the lunch rush, but you might have to wait until tomorrow." Another lie. Sincerity brought the bus into Grandmama's every day for a late dinner, but he brought it right back out to the port around nine, just for the night-owls.
He pointed out the windshield, ignoring the passenger's groans as he tracing the shape of a cloud through the caked on sticky stuff from that time he'd sneezed apple cordial on it. He was the only shuttle in town, so unless the guy wanted to arrange a ride with somebody's horse, he was stuck here until Sincerity felt like leaving. "That one looks like a bunny, doesn't it?"
Chari - May 25, 2008 01:45 PM (GMT)
"Chari," she responded automatically, gaping. Jobs? Was he serious? "Jobs?" She echoed, looking as incredulous as if he'd suggested flying to Boros on a cow pattie. "You want... jobs?" She was silent for a beat as she absorbed this, then shook her head with an incredulous puff of laughter. He was lying through his teeth, of course, but what a lie! Jobs! "Sorry," she giggled, flapping a hand at him apologetically. "It's just... Wow. This is a day for the calanders. Folk just don't come to Jinye fer jobs, hon, not 'less it comes with a hand attached, you get my meaning. There's just nothing out here t'would catch a stranger's fancy, 'cept the Heart, and you'd know all about that," she started to say dismissively, then thought better of it. "Maybe not, then," she said slowly, studying him with renewed interest. "I'm guessing you ain't here for that. Ain't that's a thing."
"Well. Either way," she said with a helpless little shrug, "I'm not really the person to ask this sort of thing, honey. Started work at the plant 'fore I got the dust of the desert of my boots, myself, but that's the story of most of Burgesstown. Practically everybody works there, nowadays, those that can." There'd been more than a few accidents at the plant, but it'd made up for it in the money it brought into the town. They had grocery stores now, for god's sake! She didn't want to think about what would happen to Burgesstown if the plant ever shut down. "They'd hire a deaf'n dumb dwarf, actually, so there's no problems there, if you've got a record or anything like that." Good for her, that. "It's hard work, I won't lie to you 'bout that, but it's steady, and it gets food on your table, long as your table's pretty small. Other'n that, the only things I can think of offhand is maybe hiring on as a ranch-hand or a servant up at the fancy parts of town, but somehow I don't think that's where life's going to take you," she smiled.
"The Heart's probably the place you want to be, then. The Heart of Gold?" She prompted, just in case they didn't know. Which they definitely did. What other reason could they possibly have for showing up in this end of the path? "It's a whorehouse, of course, but they're good folk, there, reliable, and I'm willing to bet as they could find you something to do that don't involve the customers, if you object to that sort of thing."
She looked back and forth between the two of them. "That what you're both here for, then? Jobs? That makes a sorta sense, I s'pose. You obviously ain't out here for the Heart of Gold, I can tell that, but there really ain't much else out here anybody not born here'd like. Just ask the gorram feds, if they don't steal your balls out from under ya first."
Eric Batterly - May 25, 2008 04:25 PM (GMT)
Eric's steak arrived, medium rare, the heap of mashed potatoes nearly overflowing the sizeable plate, the steamed green...what was it? Squash? Who cared? It wasn't dried, ground, processed and reconstituted. It was real food.
Jobs? You want... jobs?"
Eric responded to her disbelief with a smile of his own. He wasn't here to find a job, he was here to do a job.
"The Heart's probably the place you want to be, then. The Heart of Gold?It's a whorehouse, of course, but they're good folk, there, reliable, and I'm willing to bet as they could find you something to do that don't involve the customers, if you object to that sort of thing."
And this was exactly the kind of information he needed to do it. Eric sighed, sliced a small portion of steak and popped it into his mouth, wishing that he didn't have concentrate on both the conversation AND the food. It was... cornfed beef fresh from the slaughter. The potatos were fluffy and running with fresh-churned real-honest-to-hell butter. Was that a hint of turnip as well? Swallowing his first few bites and washing them down with a gulp of milk... oh heaven! Real milk, He cleared his throat, "Got job. Looking to do it. Whorehouse? Spend much time there? Know the folk?"
He would have to tread cautiously. A town like this could close ranks faster than a military drill squad. A soft smile back to his food and he addressed the other fellow. He'd already taken in his dress... didn't seem the type to turn to whoring. "Councilwoman Burgess. Heard she owns most of town, you look a thing quieter."
Shifting slightly, Eric eyed Chari again, trying to read her, trying to decide how much to say. One thing was clear. He needed more syllables to say it. "Only reason I'm askin' ..." He pulled out a file from his pocket and laid it on the table, a shipping invoice for a ship called 'The Perseus.' "Small freighter went down outside of here a few years back, got parted out. I'm looking for ... the crew. Seems a whorehouse might be a good start."
Deschain - May 26, 2008 09:46 PM (GMT)
A long range shuttle sailed through the night sky, high, wispy clouds misting the cockpit glass. Deschain took in the dry landscape far below and thought mournful thoughts for the little clouds, sure to burn away with the sunrise. He had broken atmo a while back and headed for the only patch of light he saw, dim though it was. The town still looked to be a few miles off, and he frowned down at his gauges, willing the fuel meter to inch back up, even as he dipped the steering yoke forward to reduce altitude.
"Ya kin do it, boyo," he muttered to the shuttle as it sank closer to the moon's surface. Siaban whined softly, lifting her ruddy maw from ruddy paws and regarding him with tilted head until he glanced back at her. "Ne'er a worry, me girl. We're nearly there, amn't we?"
The yoke shuddered in his hands as the lights went out. "M'anam don diabhal!" He tapped the ignition sequence in, to no affect. "C'mon..." Again. Punching the control panel, he spun out of his seat. "我的媽... Alrigh'. Worry'n's back on da list o' tings t' do... Stay down."
Quickly, he grabbed the ragged mattress off of his cot and dropped to the floor, pulling it tight around himself and the wolfhound. The next twelve seconds were an eternity as he waited for the impact. Braced & holding his breath though he was, it managed to startle him all the same. "哎呀!"
They bounced around the shuttle's interior for another eternity, curses in Gaeilge, English and Mandarin falling from his lips as the hound bayed her distress. Eventually the little boat settled into a long smooth slide and Deschain carefully sat up, peering warily out the cockpit, half expecting to see that they were seconds from careening into some immovable object. Nothing but dry grass and drier dirt stretched ahead, and he watched it part and bow before them until they finally eased to a stop.
Siaban stood shaking, legs wide and head low. "Shh, now me girl. " Deschain scooted over to her and carefully slid his hands down her long legs, feeling for any breaks that adrenaline might be hiding from her. "'Tis all righ¡'. " She whined, long and low, nudging his chin up with her nose. "I know it. "
Feeling nothing amiss, he took a minute to appraise his own condition. Nothing hurt yet. Would any second. Everything seemed to work though. He stood a little shakily and staggered to the door, hitting the emergency release and watching it open about a foot. "Ah, bleedin' 'ell."
Deschain crawled out the barely open shuttle door, wiping a trail of blood from his chin as he stood, looking down at his crimson fingers and uttering, 'Huh,' before turning to assess the damage to his little boat. "精彩! Well ain't dat jus' bleedin' lovely," he muttered, shaking his head. "S'pose I'm stuck on tis rock a spell..."
He turned again, taking in his environment: all rocks and dirt. No point kicking himself for running out of gas on an atmo-entry. Can't buy gas (or fix a boat, for that matter), with no coin. He whistled shrilly and his great white hound belly-crawled under the door before padding to his side, greatly calmed and completely disinterested in the wreck or the barren landscape. "Ah, go on," he told her; and she loped ahead, head low, in search of fresh food.
He crawled back in his shuttle and pulled a battered rucksack from one corner, checking it for canteen, coleman, torch, rationbars and compass. He flipped the torch on to no avail and tossed it aside. He grabbed a small heavy book and tucked it in the bag, then strapped his gunbelts across his narrow hips and checked his ammo before looking around his tiny home one more time and crawling back out.
"Well. Lessee here...," He turned looked back at the long scar behind the shuttle, then turned back towards the nose. "Reckon I was headin' 'atta way."
Not one to let it get him down, he started whistling a tune and set off walking, squinting at the barely visible lights of town a few miles off, his usually faint limp much more pronounced after the beating he took in the crash.
After a few minutes of walking, the whistling gave way to singing. At the top of his lungs.
"Proudly da notes of da trumpet is soundin'
Loudly da war cries arise on the gale;
Fleetly da steed through da thicket is boundin',
To join da Wild Hunt in ShoShuh's green vale.
On, ev'ry mountaineer,
Strangers to flight or fear;
Flock to da standard of dauntless Red Hugh!
Li Xiu an' Donnegail,
Throng from each forest trail;
Fight on, ye Huntsmen
Cwn Anwn Abu!
"Never a friend to our aid is advancin',
We've only our brothers an' sisters to call;
Our fine snowy steeds through da gloaming are prancin',
Our war hounds are coursing, come one an' come all:
Many a heart shall quail,
Under its purple mail;
Deeply da murderous foeman shall rue
When on his ear shall ring,
Borne on da breeze's wing,
The Wild Hunt's dread war-cry
Cwn Anwn Abu!
"Loudly da Hell Hound, for Freedom is bayin',
Boldly da eagle sweeps over da plain,
'Bona na croin,' the children are sayin' -
An' all who would frighten dem are banished or slain!
Grasp every stalwart hand
Longarm an' battle brand -
Repay dem all da debt long overdue;
Aloise an' Chang Kai well
Can o' da Wild Hunt tell;
Onward for Freedom
Cwn Anwn Abu!
"Sacred da cause dat da Hounds are defendin' -
The altars we kneel at, the homes of our sires;
Ruthless da ruin dat da foe is extendin' -
Midnight is red with plunderer's fires.
On wit da Huntsmen, den,
Fight da good fight again,
Sons o' Dun Dearg,
All valiant an' true:
Make da Alliance feel
Freedom's avengin' steel
Fight for t'morrow
Cwn Anwn Abu!"
He trailed off into moody silence and trudged on, gritting his teeth at the throbbing ache that was beginning to work its way through every muscle. Eventually, Siabair was a ghost at his heels, gleaming in the moonlight and nudging at his hand until he absently scratched her ears as they went.
我的媽=wuh de ma=mother of god
M’anam don diabhol=damn me (Gaeilge)
Sincerity - May 28, 2008 09:27 AM (GMT)
A couple minutes and two bunnies later it was starting to get dark, so Sincerity started the bus up, much to the appreciation of the jerkholes among the audiance. Best to get going before it got too dark. Things got cold in the desert after dark, and he liked to have the engine warm by then. Gorram old nights. He'd forgot his extra socks, too.
Oh sure, now he wanted to look at the clouds. Sincerity peered out the windshield, and sure enough, a meteor or something like that was zipping across the night sky. He didn't know know what in the blazes it was, but it was coming down fast. Not that he was going to admit it, of course. "Flying saucer?"
Sincerity unbuckled his seatbelt so he could get a better look. It definitely wasn't a cloud. No cloud ever looked like this one did, for one thing. Now that it was closer, he could see more of t, and- yeah, the long tail-thingys on the end made it look like a smaller version of one of those really old long-range shuttles that Grandmama said Grunkle used to drive, what was it, Tennin Class? Wait. A shuttle? Who was driving the gorram thing? It was gonna-
The shuttle came down with a massive bang like when Grandmama's ol' fogey of a greyhound let one rip, it was that loud, and shot up this big cloud of dust and grit a half-mile wide, easy, maybe a whole one, even.
Numb, Sincerity turned on the wipers. Times like this you needed a cigarette just so you could spit it out and go, 'Holy ruttin' buttballs!' Too bad he'd told Grandmama he'd quit a few months back, or he'd have one, too.
A gorram shuttle crash right outside town limits, and it looked only him and this guy saw it. This was bad. What if he wasn't supposed to see it? Like, maybe it was an unmanned satelite or somethin'. Rutt, he hoped it was unmanned, cause anybody riding in that thing had to be squished flat by now, the way they landed.
Ah, rutt it, he was gonna have to look, wasn't he? Sure people might need help, but it was outside his route, and there could be criminals or something inside, like Reaver Arsonists or something, he wasn't equipped to handle that kind ofstuff, he might as well go get the sherif or-
Sincerity hit his head on the steering wheel. Right. There really wasn't an acting sheriff, was there? Just that Kord guy. Great. Yup. He was gonna go look.
Sighing to high heaven in hopes that the shuttle would miraculously become somebody else's problem -no such luck- Sincerity started the ignition and eased Bessy back onto the road. You had to love Bessy when she was just wakin' up, or she wouldn't love you back.
Sincerity's passenger looked like he'd eaten something the Heart's cook made. "And just where are you taking me? The Heart of Gold is in the other direction."
"Just takin' a little detour, mister."
"No!" The guy looked a little pancky now. It was a good thing they were covered in plastic, cause this guy was sweating bullets. "I can't get- look, can't you just call the doctor or something?"
"Uh, no? Remember the shuttle crash? Those're generally bad. Somebody could be hurt in there, we should at least go check it out." Oh, right, like he'd voluntarily go to the doctor anyway, especially after that surprise appointment Grandmama had made for him? What sadistic nutjob stuck her hand up an unsuspecting man's rear, fer God's sake? Just wasn't done. And don't tell him about cancer, oh nonono, didn't help. Sincerity didnot need to visualize old lady fingers all up in that area when he was alone with a buddy-pal, thank you very much.
This guy was fine, anyway, he was-
"Hey, look at that! We got survivors!" Look at this guy, not five, ten minutes after a crash and he was walkin' around like a grown-up and everything. Well, limping, really. Okay, more like hobbling like an old man that got bit right on the sweet spot by a mule with a grudge. So, yeah, a doctor would be nice. And- wow, was that his dog? That thing was massive! Rutt horses, you could ride gorram the thing! "Let's go-"
"THEY'RE FINE, let's go!"
"Good thing you're not the driver, then, huh?" Sincerity grinned into the rearview mirrr as he rolled the shuttle to a stop beside them and opened the side window so he could lean out, releasing a wave of peanut scented Bob Marley goodness. "You walkin' the path o' life here, mister, or you goin' somewheres in particular?" He craned his head out the window to see the smoking wreckage lying in the distance like one of those fat vultures as used to flap around Thelma's dumpsters. "Just out o' curiosity, you understand. We don't usally get two fine, upstandin' members of some community like yerselves prancin' round the desert like this." After nightfall, no less, with not a blanket in sight, and unless that yellerdog's mama had been hanging round camels, they didn't have any water, neither. Oh, and the shuttle crash. That was probably significant.
He leaned back in, and jerked his thumb at the door. "Hop in. I can get ya wherever you're in a mind to go." He nodded his head the way the man had come. "Less you got other plans?"
Deschain - May 28, 2008 07:35 PM (GMT)
Deschain noticed a distant vehicle approaching and slowed his gate before coming to a stop as the bus pulled up and the driver’s window opened. "You walkin' the path o' life here, mister, or you goin' somewheres in particular?" the gentleman within asked. "Just out o' curiosity, you understand. We don't usally get two fine, upstandin' members of some community like yerselves prancin' round the desert like this." Síabair dropped back on her haunches, the moonlight gleaming like silver on the white of her fur & turning her rusty face and legs nearly black.
The Athenian couldn’t help but chuckle at being described as upstanding, though he supposed he was standing up. The last time he was a community man was in the time of war. “I’d say I’m doin’ a bit o’ both. We’re all walkin’ da path, amn’t we? Must say, yer a sight for sore legs.” Deschain offered a crooked grin, lifting one hand to rub the back of his neck as he looked up at the man. “Was headin’ to yonder town t’ fuel up, an’ see if there mightn’t be daywork t’be had… Not needin’ da gas near s’much now.”
He reached for the door almost faster than his savior could gesture to it and add an invitation: "Hop in. I can get ya wherever you're in a mind to go… Less you got other plans?"
Deschain chuckled at that as he climbed in. “M’ plans ain’t s’ pressin’ as t’ turn down an offer o’ hospitality. Where I’m from dat’s a fair grave offence. Name’s Deschain. An’ I tell ye, I’m a grateful man. Let me know what it is I can do t’ repay yer trouble.” He offered the driver his hand as the hound hopped gracefully up behind him. “Beast here’s Síabair. Don’ let her fool ye. She’s meek as a lamb ‘less life demands otherwise.”
As he turned back to take a seat, he nodded a tired greeting to the other fellow in the back. With a huff, Síabair collapsed bonelessly at his feet, blocky head pillowed on her forepaws.
Sincerity - June 3, 2008 04:44 PM (GMT)
"Nice to meetcher two," Sincerity smiled, and tipped his flight cap at the guy's hound-dog. Sure was pretty, for a beast that could've probably taken Blacky at his best. "I go by Sincerity, and this," he said with a grand gesture that encompassed the glorios-ity of the posters plastered across every available surface of the bus, and a few that weren't so available, like the windows, "is the god of music, mister Marley. He would've changed the way the 'verse thinks if he hadn't come to a bad end like that." He pressed a hand to the genuine replica of a forgery of the Bob's real autograph for a moment, and returned it to the wheel just in time to avoid a rock the size of Síabair, or Sinbad, or whatever Deschain'd said his dog's name was.
"Whoo! Well, make yerselves comfy, we've got a ways 'till we get back to town. You two went'n picked one a the most desolate spots on this moon, you know that? Makes a sort of sense, though. You can survive skydivin' with a metal parachute like that, well, you oughta do just fine in town," he grinned, and angled the rearview mirror for a last look at the wreck as he pulled away. He made a mental note to send somebody out to tow the sad sack of bolts back home. In all likelyhood it'd be him sent out anyway, actually, but that was just cause the ranchers didn't know a fuel line from their bungholes, if it came down to it. They'd rip the framework all to hell if they tried, and then Sincerity'd get the blame, as usual. He could just hear it now: Why didn't you go with 'em, Sincerity, you know those moonbrains don't know a fuel line from their bungholes! Even his inner voice was getting naggier than usual lately.
"So what are ya gonna do now, anyways?" He asked as he put on his turnsignal, and put on a little more gas so's Bessy could wheeze her way up the ravine. He kept meaning to fill it in tomorrow, but the problem with that was that there always seemed to be another tomorrow. "There's the boarding house in town if you don't got a place to stay, an' I can always take you in by the Heart if you like. Real nice place Petaline's got there. They've got a pool, and-"
"Don't you rutting dare, Sincerity!"
Sincerity jumped with a girlishly high-pitched scream, accompanied by a frenzy of arm-flailing that threatened to take ol' Bessy off the road until he got her, and himself, back under control. "Damnation an' tartarsauce, Grandmama!" He growled once he was sure he didn't sound like a scared little girl anymore. "How long you been listening, anyway? Tryin' to hold a conversation here an' you go poppin' me personal bubble and squinting yer gimlet eyeball at me-"
Grandmama's response was a squealing rush of static-filled swearing that made that huge dog howl and Sincerity wince. "Ow. Ow. What?" He smiled the desperately cheerful smile of those who's sanity has been called into question into the rearview mirror, and tried his damnedest to strangle to comm unit. "No, he's fine, Grandmama, gonna set 'im up with a room at the boarding house 'till he gets back on his feet-"
"-don't you lie to me, Sincerity Houd Gaines! I know you! You was just gonna leave that poor soul in town without a though, weren't you?!"
"Grandmama, I weren't gonna do no such thing! Don't know where you're pulling this stuff from, but the suns sure don't shine there-"
"-you take that tone with me, young man!" Grandmama huffed, interrupting Sincerity's interruption with the ease of long practice. The trick was to ignore whatever he was talking about, because it probably wasn't true. "You just let him know-"
Sincerity sighed, giving in with bad grace. There really wasn't an better option- she'd win eventually anyway, and this way saved time. So troublesome... "Grandmama wants to know-"
"You want to know, you mean!"
"-I wanted to know if you've got any money, Deschain? Cause we can put the two a you up at the homestead 'till you get back on your feet, and-"
"Two of 'em? What two? Sincerity, you didn't mention two! What, he got a girl? Cause I don't tolerate none a that hankpanky under my roof, got it? She ain't a Alliance stooly-pidgeon is she?" She asked suddenly, changing topics faster than a nervous doll out on his first date. "I got the deeds hidden where they can't steal it, I'll have you know, your Apple Core friends won't take my property away-"
Sincerity covered the comm with one hand. "Yeah. So, ah, where you headed? Got lots of options, an' some don't involve my Grandmama, even."
Chari - June 3, 2008 07:49 PM (GMT)
Despite the protests of her stomach, Chari didn't immediately grab for her dinner when Thelma came around and slid three plates of steaming food onto the polished surface of the crooked pine table, though she had to clench her hands beneath the table so the men wouldn't see them tremble. If she started eating now, she wouldn't hear anything except the sound of her belly filling up until she was done, and it was the hearing she wanted to do. Sometimes she hated whatever spark of madness kept her here in Burgesstown, poor, she really did.
Her stomach made an unhappy noise. It was almost as empty as her wallet. She never would have been able to afford something like this -steak and potatoes and good god, there were green beans in some kind of sauce- on two week's pay, even before the rent and the doctor's bills, and she was starting to wonder what exactly the ranch hands did that they could afford it, either.
Chari settled for drowning her sorrows in Thelma's homemade lemenade as the menfolk finished chewing the cud and got around to the jist of the matter. "Got job. Looking to do it. Whorehouse? Spend much time there? Know the folk?" Williams had answered this time. They were double-teaming her, and she wasn't sure that she appreciated that kind of attention unless it involved a few of the more easily accessible sins of the flesh. Still and though, she was getting somewhere. Danton should like this.
Chari took another spine-curling taste of the sweet-sour drink, muling over what to say, before she put it down, and flashed the deep dimple in her cheek. "Practically lived there for a while, but no, I wouldn't wouldn't say as I know those people, or them me. Probably couldn't tell any of 'em apart at fifty paces anymore, to be honest. Why? If you're being paid to hunt down mail-order brides or anything like that," she added a mite suspciously when a thought occurred to her, "then you can forget it. We don't stand for that kind of thing around here, mister Williams. They're decent whores."
He smiled over at the other guy -hadn't caught his name- and told a joke she must've been missing the punchline for, then looked back to her. "Only reason I'm askin'..." He pulled out some kind of form and put it down in front of her. "Small freighter went down outside of here a few years back, got parted out. I'm looking for ... the crew. Seems a whorehouse might be a good start."
Chari studied the little file. She didn't know some of the words on it, but it looked official, certainly, with all the bells and whistles of corporate legalese go-se that went with it. That ship on it, though, now that looked familiar. The Perseus. Hmm. There was something about that name that rang a bell, but she wasn't sure if she was thinking of the right bell, let alone the right section of the band, just that she'd heard it somewhere before.
Anybody in town might have a better idea, but he was right, damn him, he'd have the best luck out at the Heart. The folk there were probably just as fuzzy about it as she was, but at least there were more of them to ask.
"You're probably right. You could ask around in town, some, but most of the folk involved probably left town by now, or 've been swallowing sand long since past. You'd have better luck asking up at the Heart. Just..." She hesitated. She didn't trust him, not by a long shot, but she didn't want to see him dead in a ditch somewhere, either. She had enough bad karma owed her without adding any more onto her soul. "Be careful, alright? There's folk on Jinye as want to foget the past, and they've mostly got good reason. You could rile up the wrong person in a twinkling, and they're not all that reasonable when they've got the drink in them, some of them."
She cocked her head and asked, partly because she had to know and partly just to satisfy her own curiosity, "Why do you want to know, anyway? You a deliveryman?"
Deschain - June 3, 2008 08:15 PM (GMT)
“Nice to meetcher two. I go by Sincerity, and this is the god of music, mister Marley. He would've changed the way the 'verse thinks if he hadn't come to a bad end like that." Deschain looked around at the posters of an attractive man that looked like he stuck his finger in an electric socket after getting a bad dose of drops. With no idea of what to say, all he could do was nod and grab at the seat when the bus careened off the road to miss a boulder.
"Whoo! Well, make yerselves comfy, we've got a ways 'till we get back to town. You two went'n picked one a the most desolate spots on this moon, you know that? Makes a sort of sense, though. You can survive skydivin' with a metal parachute like that, well, you oughta do just fine in town,” Sincerity continued. "So what are ya gonna do now, anyways?"
“Can’t say as I’m sure. S’pose I’ll try to find day work until I can get me boat patched. Lucky it is that I more crash landed than just crashed.”
"There's the boarding house in town if you don't got a place to stay, an' I can always take you in by the Heart if you like. Real nice place Petaline's got there. They've got a pool, and-"
"Don't you rutting dare, Sincerity!"
Deschain jumped with the driver as the voice screeched unexpectedly out of the comm. "Damnation an' tartarsauce, Grandmama!" The driver growled at the comm. "How long you been listening, anyway? Tryin' to hold a conversation here an' you go poppin' me personal bubble and squinting yer gimlet eyeball at me-"
A squeal of profanity laced static started Síabair to howling, which Deschain cut off with a glare. She looked up at him sullenly as she lay her head back down. "Ow. Ow. What? No, he's fine, Grandmama, gonna set 'im up with a room at the boarding house 'till he gets back on his feet-"
"-don't you lie to me, Sincerity Houd Gaines! I know you! You was just gonna leave that poor soul in town without a though, weren't you?!"
“Ma’am,” Deschain started, “I’m a man grown…”
"Grandmama, I weren't gonna do no such thing! Don't know where you're pulling this stuff from, but the suns sure don't shine there-"
"-you take that tone with me, young man! You just let him know-"
“Ye needn’t trouble yerself…” the browncoat tried to interject again.
With a sigh, Sincerity started, "Grandmama wants to know-"
"You want to know, you mean!"
"-I wanted to know if you've got any money, Deschain? Cause we can put the two a you up at the homestead 'till you get back on your feet, and-"
"Two of 'em? What two? Sincerity, you didn't mention two! What, he got a girl? Cause I don't tolerate none a that hankpanky under my roof, got it? She ain't a Alliance stooly-pidgeon is she?" She demanded, and Deschain was too shell-shocked to protest. "I got the deeds hidden where they can't steal it, I'll have you know, your Apple Core friends won't take my property away-"
Sincerity covered the comm with one hand. "Yeah. So, ah, where you headed? Got lots of options, an' some don't involve my Grandmama, even."
Deschain cleared his throat, taking the time to try to clear his head as well. He was beginning to wonder if he might have a concussion. It would explain all the confusion and make things seem chaotic and disjointed, right? “I, ah… Have a credit er two t’rub t’geder. Not enou’ t’live on, mind ye. But I got a strong back an’ a will t’work, if ye know anyone’ll trade room an’ board fer an extra pair o’hands… For now, I reckon I amn’t headed anywhere particular. Can’t say as I know much about dis little moon…” He can’t flat out refuse Grandmama Gaines’ offer of hospitality. It’s against everything he believes in. But he prays to God, Budda, and Ka that she won’t want him without any money. That, and she seems to think he’s got some purplebelly tramp in tow.
“Can ye tell me much about yonder town? And ye mentioned the Heart? Pray can ye tell me what that is?”
Sincerity - June 7, 2008 12:40 PM (GMT)
Sincerity nodded. "There's a boardin' house here in town, and the owner's real nice. You could probably get a room pretty easy, there, if you don't mind doin' chores for your rent. Just keep your dance card open now, you hear? Our house's apparently open if you need anywhere t'fall back on."
Sincerity shrugged as the man went on to ask about the surrounding area. Wasn't like he saw the inside of any building other than Grandmama's house or the Heart. "Nothin' you couldn't not guess," he lied cheerfully, and hit the blinkers to warn the tumbleweed tailgating the bus that he was going to move from one fossilized rut in his "road" to another before he pulled to a stop. "Now..." He pointed down the road. "This way's back to town, which isn't nothing so much as dirt, sand, an' small minds, far as the eye can see. Most of the action's up at the Heart o' Gold," he said, and pointed the other way, "which is your basic den o' sin -whorehouse, by another name- 'cept this one comes equipped with a pretty nice hotel, and pretty nice gals and dolls, too. You want a job like you said, I'd start there. If you can't find nothin' there, well, at least you tried, right?"
"I was headin' up to the Heart to drop this fine gentlest-man off, but I could swing by the town if you'd rather," he offered, ignoring his other passenger's shout, "No you can't!"
"Up to you and the little miss here."
Lincoln Bloom - June 8, 2008 08:14 AM (GMT)
Apparently work was hard to come by on this planet. Not that Lincoln was surprised but he was hoping to have some quick luck on that front. He wasn’t here to get paid, this was his retirement after all.
When the meal came he ate it sparingly, taking little bites and making each last as he listened carefully to the conversation. It seemed the three of them were playing the same game. All had their motivations for sitting at this table and none of them wanted the other two to know what they were. Young trollops such as the one with them didn’t often waste time eating with people when they could be out making money. Though she didn’t seem like the type to restrict herself to a title such as whore. Nor did Lincoln particularly care to use the term but when a woman waits at the docks for newcomers to arrive, that almost certainly was the appropriate terminology.
He’d remained quiet while the other gentleman spoke of his business as laconically as he was able. More proof that his objective here might not be on the level, not that it was of concern to Lincoln. He had no will to interfere in other people’s business regardless of what it was and he had no place to judge. He kept a mental note of the Heart, he would check there if nothing else he could be an extra hand. He didn’t care what he did as long as he was occupied for a time.
Deschain - June 8, 2008 09:53 AM (GMT)
Deschain had to stifle an appreciative chuckle when Sincerity referred to Síabair as ‘the little miss,’ instead interjecting a quick, “No!” and looking to the paying customer with a courteous nod. “I’d hate to inconvenience ye further, sir.” He lifted one hand to scratch thoughtfully at the scruff on his chin as he turned back to the driver. “I’m sure da Heart’ll be fine. As ye said, I c’n try for a job t’ere. If’n it doesn’ pan out, I’ll catch da next ride int’ town. An’ I t’ank ye for da offer, an’ your grandmamma, too. If’n I can’t put meself up somewhere or t’ other, I’ll be sure t’ come callin’.”
The gunslinger had no idea what sort of work he’d do at a whorehouse, but town didn’t sound appealing... Most folk wouldn’t think him intimidating enough for security, and half of security was intimidating people into behaving. Unless they saw his sidearms in action, Deschain wasn’t but a scrap of ginger in a shabby brown coat to most eyes. Odd jobs, maybe. Lord, he hated to clean, but a man’ll do as he must. And whatever he must do, he figured it might as well be done right. Perhaps they had horses needed tending. A bit of nostalgia gut punched him at the thought and his mind drifted back to Athens for a while.
Watching the lack of scenery drift by, he stretched his legs before him, crossing his ankles on the other side of Síabair and not quite managing to silence the grunt of pain that the simple movement drug from his lips. He was not looking forward to morning. He already felt like he’d been beaten by a mob. After a snatch of sleep, he knew he’d feel a hundred times worse. He could think of a few occasions in the war that might warrant comparison. He just hoped the worse of the bruising would avoid his face. Man with a black and blue face doesn’t have the best prospects when it comes to begging. Stretching his arms and shoulders experimentally, he decided not to worry about tomorrow before dawn, and he turned back to the driver.
“Sincerity? D’ye happen to know anyone I could talk int’ draggin’ me shuttle in out o’ the dust an’ puttin’ ‘er up 'til I can scrape t'gether some cashy money t’ get ‘er back in the sky? I couldn’ pay much for da trouble, but I have a little, as I said.”
Eric Batterly - June 9, 2008 07:10 PM (GMT)
"You're probably right. You could ask around in town, some, but most of the folk involved probably left town by now, or 've been swallowing sand long since past. You'd have better luck asking up at the Heart. Just... Be careful, alright? There's folk on Jinye as want to forget the past, and they've mostly got good reason. You could rile up the wrong person in a twinkling, and they're not all that reasonable when they've got the drink in them, some of them."
Eric choked on his mashed potatoes and had to gulp half his milk before he could clear his airway and laugh out loud at that. Precocious little thing, wasn't she? He doubted a whorehouse, or much of anyone in this town stood a chance to take him down if it came to trouble, but at the same time, he wasn't there looking for trouble. Although, if he found who he was looking for, trouble might follow ... for her.
His gaze shifting quickly to their quiet dinner companion and then back to the girl, "No stirring. Just asking."
"Why do you want to know, anyway? You a deliveryman?"
Eric laughed again. Deliveryman? With a lopsided smile and a tilt of his head, he withdrew his Vecto Ventus security ID and handed it to her, "Right company. Wrong profession." He managed to wipe the smile off his face, "Missing cargo. Just have to verify it went down with ship."
He rolled his eyes, indicating his frustration and disdain for the entire process, "Insurers. Crossed t's, dotted i's. Ship dropped over year ago. Just crumbs."To emphasize he gestured the remains of his dinner roll.
"What about you, miss? What do you do?" Eric grinned across the table at Bloom, both men having a fair idea of what she was doing, but the question was, why? "Questions you ask ..." He looked her keenly up and down, debated the joke for a moment, then said it, "Don't see badge, but ... you deputy sheriff?"
Chari - June 15, 2008 06:03 PM (GMT)
Chari eyed the man until he began to chuckle. "Right company. Wrong profession. Missing cargo. Just have to verify it went down with ship." He rolled his eyes, clearing speaking his feelings on The Man. "Insurers. Crossed t's, dotted i's. Ship dropped over year ago. Just crumbs."
Chari tried not to ask him if being a corporate lackey was such a hazardous career that he needed a gun, but it was difficult.
"What about you, miss? What do you do? Questions you ask... Don't see badge, but ... you deputy sheriff?"
Chari smirked back, letting Williams know she'd got it. Deputy Sheriff. Right. "Maybe I'm just curious," she replied blandly, mouth twisting in faint consternation. "May not have killed the cat, but it sure did lead to kittens, anyway. At least, that's the commonly held theory, and they're sticking to it. More to the point, if it wasn't me, she smiled as she speared a chunk of meat with her fork and dipped it in her potatoes, "it'd be somebody else here eating Thelma's potatoes with you, and that'd make me awful sad." That was a lie, if only by omission. There probably would've been townies crawling all over them like toads on a water pump, but not for same reasons. "It's not the same hearing it secondhand," she explained. "Hearing someone else's description isn't the same as looking an offworlder in the eyes and asking what they think of your sky and your people when they're still fresh from walking with God."
She held both their gazes levelly. "You've carried your identity with you -your dreams and ideals, your careers- and kept them close to you through to another world." Chari shrugged lightly. "That's impressive to me. It's hard not to wonder at what type of person can do that." She smiled again, and started to slice her beans into neat quarters. "Wouldn't you ask, too?"