Summer in Schonen: Apocalypse
APOCALYPSE WORLD: SUMMER IN SCHONEN – The fiction so far….
“The sunshine forces its way through the almost black clouds and ends the night with its grey glare. This is your first morning in Schonen. You wake up in your various beds (or lack of), your heads filled with drifting memories from dreams that you are trying hard to forget.
You look outside, get a glimpse of each other and through nods and signs, you decide to meet up at one of the buildings at the center of the hold.
You’ve come to this place due to various reasons, but there’s a silent acknowledgement that even if you’re not friends, you need to stick together. Something is off here.
Other people in the hold quickly move around beginning their daily tasks. There’s unease in the air, and those of you with the right proclivities sense fear all over.
You get to talk to each other for a couple of minutes; you all see Tik, the guard who let you into Schonen, getting up and out of her tent, sending you a look – she’s going to talk to you very soon. And she doesn’t look like she’s had a pleasant night….
Ash doesn’t wake up first – never been much of a morning person – but when the glare of the sun reflecting off the metal of Ethel finally reaches ‘maximum bothersome’ he decides he may as well lift his ass out of his bucket seat and check out the new place. The door of his car creaks loudly in it’s frame, definitely in need of some WD-40 after so many days in the dirt. He sets one fist against his hip and runs his hand along the roof of Ethel and looks profoundly bothered by her state. “Oh well…” he mumbles, and slowly joins the crowd.
Grateful for the cool cloudy day, Ash finds reason to tip his brain into being positive. This isn’t so bad, he thinks distantly, at least better than Bookie. I guess that isn’t saying much… He spots Amalia just ahead of him and takes a few jogging steps to catch up. Before he can say anything, a pixie looking chick slips out of her tent – cute, thought first, then, shit, she looks pissed. Tik doesn’t seem to like Ash. He gets the honor of the first piercing glare of the day and the briefly positive feeling quickly shifts to anxious. Ash has a history with guards disliking him – maybe because he’s so… normal, at least in contrast with the other freakoids that roam the wastes. It also probably doesn’t help that he’s stolen from a number of settlements, he must have some little reputation now. He doesn’t recall ever seeing Schonen before, and tries to take solice in the hope that there’s no way anyone here could know of him.
Stitch doesn’t like Tik at all. Before letting her in, that bitch demanded that Stitch earn her keep around the holding, as if “I heal people” wasn’t good enough. And then she gave her some water, but she had to find a patient in the middle of the fucking night and earn some food from him. A man named Crax with a burn on his hand gave her some porridge-and-beans and a place to sleep in return for a bandage and salve.
Come morning, Stitch drags herself outside with the imprint of Crax’s floorboards still pressed into her cheek. When she spots Ethel, a look of relief passes over her face. While scanning the hold for Ethel’s driver, she spots the other two newcomers. With a wave for Amalia and a nod at Pretty Boy, she moves into a nearby building, where she can get some shelter from the glaring sun and cold wind, and still see Ethel through the doorway.
Assuming Amalia and Pretty Boy join her eventually, she greets Amalia with “Hi Amalia” and Jett with “Hey, I don’t know if you remember me or not. I’m Stitch.”
Maybe they have some time to talk or not, I don’t know.
When Ash crawls out of the car, Stitch looks confused for a moment, then her hand goes almost unconsciously to her chin and her face clears. She looks like she wants to say something but maybe she doesn’t get a chance, what with Tik and all.
(to Stitch) When you see Tik get out of her tent, she gives you a quick glance and acts as if nothing’s happened. Like, she probably either wants to piss you off further, or she simply thinks that you had to do what you did to stay in the hold. Yeah, you’re right; you really don’t like Tik.
Tik checks her weapons, mutters a quick word to her friend Burn (you don’t know, but something might be going on there), then she turns to face you and walks towards you in an almost robotic way. If someone has trouble with authority, you can smell it before she gets in your face.
“Alright, people, it’s time to earn your place here in Schonen. We need a lot of manpower, and I won’t lie to you, I will make sure that you do your part. Tell me, what do you think you can do for us? It doesn’t look like any of you are exactly experts at anything… " (she gives Stitch a look that lasts half a second…)
So she wants to hear what each of you have to offer; what you can do for Schonen.
Ash can tell by her presence that she’s a no nonsense kind of gal that puts her duties before her self… but what does that mean for him? He offers her a smile from a distance, the first question on his mind being what can I do to get her to like me? – knowledge valuable when deciding how to behave in front of the little pix. Ash already feels at a disadvantage based on the looks he’s been getting, and feels the heavy strain of those around him – but he does have two working cars, something special in the wasteland. Clearly he’s skilled in mechanics, a potentially valuable (but sometimes useless) trade. Maybe deciphering her disposition will help put him at ease (hopefully!)
Tik squints at you (Ash) – she doesn’t like mornings. She looks around the group and says “Who’s the owner of that nasty vehicle parked outside the city?”
he definitely gets the feeling she covets that vehicle and thinks it would be very useful in defending the hold.”
Meanwhle, Burn comes running up with a fucked-up Hello Kitty clipboard in one hand and a stubby pencil in the other. He stands beside Tik and takes badly-spelled notes as she asks you each for your name and skill.
Seeing an opportunity, Ash raises his hand, his surreal, colorful but ultimately ugly tattoos bare in the cloudy sunlight. “It’s, uh, mine, ma’am. That’s Ethel,” he says, gesturing over the low wall surrounding Schonen at the eyesore. “And the Meatgrinder is that way,” he jabs his thumb the other way then strokes the bundle of dreads tied together in his beard and adds, “I wasn’t sure where to leave the girls… I hope where they are is alright.”
He isn’t sure how willing he is to offer either car outright in light of the Bookie Fiasco, but feeling he needs the leg up tells Tik, “those are my usual meal ticket. Need something got, I’ll get it.”
Tik looks at Ash, then back at the Meatgrinder. That’s the vehicle she’s interested in. "Well Ash, I think you’re halfway onto something there. Tell me, how many people can you fit in that thing? And how much gas you got?”
Ash looks incredulously at the clipboarded minion but returns his attention as quickly back to Tik as he can. "Seats 4 comfortably, 6 in an emergency, but she’s out of gas… well, almost. Between the two of them I’ve got less than a quarter of a tank. You guys are way the fuck out here, I’m honestly surprised I made it this far with what I had – which means I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.”
While Tik talks to Ash, Burn continues down the line, asking everybody for their name and what skill they have to offer. You should give them a reason why you can stay…
“I’d like to make you a little proposition,” Tik says, touching Ash gently with her forefinger in the center of his chest. “We have a few boys and girls who could use a ride… Riding round and round in circles, that is. Perimeter Patrol. Driving is faster than walking, yeah? That means more eyes in more places, sooner. The perimeter is roughly one mile around. Duties would include a minimum of six daily patrols, plus availability on call day or night. You won’t need to doany shooting, however,” she says, looking at the machine guns… "We’ll take care of that.”
Stitch doesn’t quite manage to hide her hostility as she says, “I’d be happy to fix up any of your sick or injured to the best of my ability, but I expect to get paid. Otherwise I’ll run out of supplies and then nobody’s getting healed. Not well, at any rate.” She fidgets with the fingertip of one of her gloves.
She stares for a moment at Burn and his clipboard. That meathead can write? she thinks, He must be smarter than I thought.
“Actually, Ash,” Stitch mutters after Tik’s attention leaves them, hoping he remembers her, “I was hoping to hire you and Ethel for a quick trip. The sooner the better.”
She recognises Lojack, a big brutish fellow who rides a big, brutish motorcycle (or used to). He put a lot of people from Sickle Crossing into the infirmary, back in the day. You know, before they ran her out of town. Now he doesn’t looks so great himself. Limping, in fact.
Ash raises his brows above the edge of his black sunglasses when Tik closes the distance to touch him. He clears his throat, “oh, yeah, sure. It sounds like you guys have gas, then?” He nods his head as if hoping she’ll mimic him. Stitch catches the corner of Ash’s gaze. She’s making him edgy. "Can we talk about this elsewhere?”