To the ends of the earth
OOC thread: Register here
The sun shone brighter and hotter than ever. It was summer, which one could easily tell from the intense heat that came about as soon as the sun rose. Most people, even in this day and age, would have collapsed wihin minutes, but for the people of New Quartz, this heat was home.
Ikea sighed and tossed aside a large, rusting piece of roofing. She knew there was treasure under this trash heap, and she was determined to find it. There was all kind of debris: broken glass, soggy remnants of burned wood, old rotting shingles, and the occasional broken pottery. However, none of this was of interest to Ikea, and she kept digging.
At last, she struck gold, in the figurative sense. There, amidst the piles of trash was a long, red, bendy string.
She quickly reached for it, grasping her new treasure in her hand. It was an old length of wire, still coated in insulation and still plenty usable. She fished around more and sure enough, she found more; a mess of wires all attached to an old light switch.
Today was a good day.
Ikea rushed home to the old pub in the center of town. An old sign that read "Yatch Club" hung over the door, a joke from the past about a desert town in the middle of nowhere.
Welcome to New Quartz, population: 20
Larietta let out a bored sigh. She was sweeping the pub's floor with an old broom.
Back and forth.
Back and forth.
Once she decided that the floor looked clean enough, she put the broom away in a closet and then went behind the pub's front counter and pulled up a stool. She crossed her arms and rested her head down. Boring life, boring town, dead world. She just had to be born during such an inconvenient time for mankind. She felt her stomach growl a bit... She didn't feel like getting up now. She can go find something to eat later.
As usual the landscape was quiet. Tortuga watched with lazy eyes from the sanctuary of his train car. The doors were open providing him a very generous view of the world before him. In the distance he could make out the lazily put together buildings of New Quartz. Licking and smacking his lips he reached down for his canteen at his side. Sitting up, he opened it and let some of the water cool his already parched throat. He pushed back some of the matted locks from his face and scratched his stubbly chin.
What was on the agenda today? He contemplated this as he lowered the canteen from his mouth ans reapplied the top. Once again his mind was left only with a blank. There was nothing to do but live each day and just wait and see if there was a next. His stomach rumbled vaguely and he pushed himself all the way up until he stood at his full height inside the car. He reached up and balanced himself by gripping the top part of the boxcar and then swung out, landing clumsily on his booted feet. He stood from his crouch and stretched slowly and yawning.
He'd been up for hours and yet he felt like he hadn't moved for days.
Now out of the box car he was able to get a more peripheral view. His eyes spotted a lone traveler peddling in the distance. He stood, lazily scratching his behind as the figure neared and the form of a small girl began to be visible through the haze. She peddled forward, not keeping the leisurely pace one would think came with the heat. She lifted a hand as she approached in a wave.
"Hola!" she yelled. "Senor Tortuga."
He allowed himself a smirk at that. He nodded, but he doubted she could make it out from her distance. He turned his back towards the approaching form, looking into his train car and pulled at his pack, pulling out a small container. When he turned around he saw the other person had finally reached him and had stopped her bicycle and was sitting there regarding him with inquisitive eyes.
He held out the container to her, opening the lid to reveal some jerky. She got off of her bike, letting it fall to the dusty ground, stepping forward and grabbing a strip for herself. Tortuga took a strip of his own and they ate in a companionable silence.
After she had 3 strips he closed the lid and slipped the container back into the boxcar. Once again when she turned she was back on the bike, rearranging the pack that was on her back. He suddenly realized she was carrying quite a load. The pack on her back was a little strained and the milk crate at the front of her bike held various sized jars with food stuffs stored in them. One was filled with rice grains. Two others with beans. There was also three thin "cocacola" glass bottles that was filled with a mixture of both.
Tortuga mentally berated himself when he found he was coveting them.
"Hasta manana," the girl then said with a slight wave. She then began to pedal once more heading into the town. He watched a few seconds as she pedaled away before he turned and began walking in the opposite direction.
Floralita pedaled into town. There were very few people lazing about. Everyone around her was moving or doing something that seemed to occupy their entire being. She waved a little but then stopped at the general good store. She knew better than to leave her crate out. She detached it from the front of the bike and carried it in.
"Hello, Alita," the shop keeper smiled. "I wasn't expeccting you so soon."
"I'm ahead of schedule," she replied.
She set the crate on the counter and took out all of the jars but for the coke bottles. Then she reached reached into her pack and pulled out some bars of soap wrapped in some paper.
The shop keeper's brows shot up in surprise.
"Soap?" he asked.
She shrugged, "That's what they gave me."
She then took the coke bottles and carefully situated them in the pack that now had room and then shrugged in onto her shoulders. She picked up the crate.
"Is that it?" she asked as she detached the skin bottle from her hip and handed it to the keeper.
The shop keeper refilled the skin and handed it to her. Then he reached under the counter and handed her a bright orange fruit. An audible gasp left her lips as she felt the weight of it in her palm.
"The previous girl brough a sack in a few hours ago. You just get one though so you better enjoy it. If anyone asks where you got it from be sure to let them know it's me," the keeper winked.
Floralita nodded and put the small orange in her pocket.
"Thank you," she said. She then turned and left the shop. She reattached her milk crate to her bike and then contemplated what should be next. She knew any one of the residents would probably love to use her service. She decided to take a break before asking around.
She walked her bike to the center of the town and leaned it against the side of the building. Then she entered in, removing her hat which was practically plastered to her scalp now from the heat.
"Ah," she muttered as she ran her fingers through her sweaty hair. "Hello, everyone." She said in a louder tone.
She wasn't a resident of New Quartz but she came by regularly enough as a post girl to not be a stranger. She saw a girl sitting on a stool at the other side of the pub and she went and took a seat at the counter too.
Ikea burst into the pub, a huge grin on her dust covered face. She rushed over excitedly to the two girls sitting at the counter.
"Lari, Flory, look what I found!" She cried out with all the joy of a 14 year old girl who forgot she was supposed to be an adult now. She was as old as her mother was when she gave birth.
"Key, did you find anything good?" the pub owner said from his stool behind the bar. "Like metal, perhaps?"
Ikea dropped her gaze.
"Some wire and a light switch..." She trailed off. The owner sighed.
"Next time you go trash digging, make sure to look for useful things. Light switches won't feed us. Now, you and Larietta need to go out and get us some food, since you're done playing.
Ikea hung her head. Her tinkering work was important too. Even though there weren't many people who came through looking for things to get fixed, she still pulled her weight. She set the switch and wires down on a table and grabbed a dull knife from behind the counter.
"Well, I guess we should forage?" She asked Larietta.
"Common...you can make it..." muttered Andrew while driving his automobile. He could see a patch of standing structures amidst the flat wasteland of dead trees and debris. Andrew's crude automobile was sputtering across the dirt, creating noises sounding less than safe. "Just last till I get there...please..." Andrew was praying silently as he drew closer and closer to the structures. The noises started to get louder and more violent as he drove slowly towards his destination, and Andrew was starting to panic. He was within a couple of stones throw to what he could now make out to be housing and various buildings which have survived the test of time.
A loud sputter, and frightening clank made Andrew jump as the car stopped. "No...no...I was almost there..." Andrew moaned as he flung his back to the seat and look up for a few seconds. The breakdown was bound to happen sooner or later, but it would've been preferred if it didn't happen in the middle of the wasteland, where it could likely attract unwelcome visitors. Getting out of the car, he locked all the doors and took out a few brown rugs from the back. Covering the car, he started to walk towards the buildings, hoping he could find people. The friendly type of people, more specifically.
Illana placed a piece of paper in her book and closed it, setting it down gently on makeshift desk in front of her. She scribbled down some notes and placed it in a worn messenger bag, which she slipped on before lowing out her oil lamp and heading out the door.
The two safest buildings in new quartz were right next to each other: The Yatch club pub, and "the library," a small, shack like building with a large basement filled with books, the personal residence of the Cunninghams, the local scholars. As Illana exited her underground home, she carefully locked the trap door and covered it with a rug, then headed to the Yatch Club to deliver her findings.
Floralita looked over as Ikea came in. She greeted her as well, but it was barely hears as the other girl and the pub owner began to talk. When the topic changed to food however she found herself following the conversation even closer. She thought back to the food stashed in her pack and pursed her lips a bit thinking about the best course of action. The food was mostly her payment for her deliveries and she planned to trade some of it herself. She decided to keep quiet for now.
"Well, I guess we should forage?" Ikea asked Larietta.
"Uhm... there's nothing here?" asked Floralita confused. She been to the town a lot but as a passerby she didn't really know what was going on as she hadn't been by in a little more than a week.
Larietta got up off the stool sluggishly, "All right, all right," she grabbed a old swiss knife from behind the counter, then went over to the same closet that she placed the broom in a few minutes ago and pulled out a rusty shovel. She rested it on her right shoulder. The swiss knife had lost a few of the blades but had two left and a pair of scissors. Lari kept the blades decently sharp, though the blades have knicks in them from a hell lot of use. She slipped the swiss knife into her jeans pocket.
Lari then went over to the door, glacing over to Floralita, then went back to thinking of foraging, "Let's hurry and get this done and over with before some weird weather comes."
((added NPCs to the OOC thread. Also, blue for Illana, purple for NPCs))
Menth sighed. He looked at Floralita and smiled.
"We do, if you need something, but that doesn't mean these two don't have to go out and do their chores." He said, glancing at Ikea and Larietta. "You go with them too."
Illana had only just stepped through the door when she saw Menth staring at her, before telling her to go with "them."
"These two rascals are going food finding. Go with them and make sure they don't bring home anything poisonous, like last time."
"Me? but..." Illana started to reply
"No buts. You need some sun anyways, you're too pale."
Looks like there was no getting out of this. Illana sighed heavily.
Evis sat at the pub, sipping from his cup with a slight twinge of guilt. His arm was still injured from the last job and now he was already wasting the money on some expensive juice.
"Hmm, I suppose I should find some work to do or something." He looked around, but only saw a couple of girls chatting, getting ready to forage he supposed. They were around his age, but he wasn't really interested in foraging.
He went out, deciding to look for some people he could extract payment from. Who knows, maybe he'd find some helpless treasure hound on the outskirts of town.
"Oh ok," Floralita nodded. "I just wanted to ask if you had milk."
It was extremely rare that anyone had milk but it was always the first thing she always asked for.
Menth shook his head, "Sorry kid. How often does that question of yours actually produce results?"
Floralita managed a chuckle.
"Well you never know," she replied. "I'll be back later on since I probably won't leave town today. What's the special so I'll know."
"Hare nose gelatin," Menth replied.
"Looking forward to it," Floralita beamed. She slipped out of her seat and went out the door right on the heels of another boy she never seen before.
"Well, let's get going. Come on Lari, I saw some nice looking cactus growing over at the edge of town. Maybe they have fruits!" Ikea said, hoping to get away with just foraging for vegetation. She was terrible at hunting.
Once outside Floralita went to her bike and looked at the boy. As often as she had been to New Quartz she was pretty familiar with all of the locals. She had definitely never noticed him before. Maybe he had came sometime between her last run. Or maybe she was just that unobservant. She decided it wouldn't hurt to ask.
"Hey," she said, throwing her leg over the seat and leaning against the handlebars of her bicycle. "I never seen you around? Sorry if it seems strange of me to ask. I'm a post girl and I thought I knew just about everyone here at least by face."
((ooc she talking to evis))
"Cactus? Okay... But we will probably have to hunt a bit too." Larietta responded, "Later, Menth. Try not to get too lonely without us 'rascals.'"
She then left the pub with Ikea and Illana.
Pinned on the wall of a building, there was crude text cut out on a piece of metal reading "New Quartz". Thank god, it's just a settlement thought Andrew. Walking to the middle of a large path that went through the buildings, Andrew put his hands together and opened them at a 45 degree angle and put it to his mouth. "ANYBODY AROUND?" hollered Andrew.
"Sweet. Let's go." Ikea said as she led the way out.
The three girls stepped out of the pub into the harsh sunlight. Illana could feel it burning her light skin, where Ikea reveled in it. As they made their way towards the edge of town, Ikea stopped and tilted her head.
"I think I hear someone. Doesn't sound like anyone from town."
Ikea grabbed Larietta by the hand and dragged her towards the source of the yelling, with Illana following helplessly behind. They arrived where a strange man was wandering ((Alex)) and ducked into an area where they were hidden from view by an old building. Ikea peeked her head out to glance at the srtanger.
Larietta, having been dragged into a hiding spot, also peeked her head out to check out the stranger. Brown hair... And he was huge. Height wise. He didn't seem threatening... why were they hiding? She emerged from the spot and approached the man.
"... Who are you?" She inquired.
Ikea felt like smacking her palm against her forehead. Hadn't Menth told them to always be careful?
She was about to call out to Lari when she noticed Illana step out from behind her.
Illana glanced curiously at the stranger. He looked like a decent fellow, and seemed like he just needed help. Her father always taught her to be courteous to newcomers.
"Can we help you with something?" she asked.
Evis turned to Floralita, surprised. It was rare that anyone would talk to him, let alone a girl around his age. He averted his eyes evasively.
"Ah, I've just arrived here, so you wouldn't know me. I'm just a hired hand looking for some work." He was a bit nervous. He was wondering whether to make friends with her or kill her if she got too meddlesome. In the end his fist relaxed and he held his hand out.
"My name is Evis Cross, pleased to meet you...?"
Floralita took his hand and shook it briefly.
"Nice to meet you. I'm Floralita," she said. "I'm not from here either. I'm actually one of the post girls in the region. Why do you look so unsure? I'm not going to bite you."
She shook her head and gave Evis a wry smile. She knew some people were a bit hesitant in trusting other people, but she thought it was rather ridiculous. They already couldn't trust nature and the elements.
"Anyway, if you need a job there's always Jim at the general store. Also there's Menth," she pointed her thumb back towards the pub they just left. "He always willing to help people out too. In fact he's who Ikea and that other girl in there get stuff done for from what I hear. I'm not to sure on that arrangement."
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