Wasteland Walking

World of Darkness based games.

Re: Wasteland Walking

Postby Cady » Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:09 pm

Cady shrugged from her spot, lingering in the edge of the firelight's reach. "I tend to avoid people for the most part, and maybe they do the same. I mean anyone, though some I keep clear of for different reasons."

He saw people all the time? Maybe he was looking to run into them. This world was so full of creatures now, and it was sometimes hard to tell who or what you were looking at and dealing with. Most often, her run-ins with other humans or human-like people ended in her getting screwed out of something or put her in mortal peril. Thus, this 'Rand' guy was the first person she'd spoken to in about three weeks. The last time she'd been close enough to one of those cities to do a bit of trading. So far, so good. She was remembering her social graces while still keeping wary.

The girl arched a brow slightly in the dark as he claimed the fire was free. Almost enough to make her scoff, but she held back. Likely both of them knew nothing was free, but he did have a point. You could light a fire, feed it, but unless conditions were right, it wouldn't keep going. As she'd come to understand the way things were now, things had spirits. Just as the Native Americans and so many other religions believed. Western religions, mainly monotheistic, had been so very wrong. Had the world not crumbled on the reveal of that truth, she might have found it funny.

He gestured for her to take a seat by the fire and warm herself then and she hesitated just long enough for him to invite Oss along too. "Friends are harder to come by out here. Debtors are.....how was that said....a dozen for a dime, right? Something like that."

Cady put her foot forth and took a step towards the fire, to the right of where he was sitting. Then a second and third step before she realized the dog was staying behind. Tail low, head tilted to look at her as if to say 'You're really going over there and leaving me alone?' She glanced back at Rand questioningly again. Something was off here. For certain.
"Come here, come on now, Oss. We'll be fine. What's your problem?" Of course, she wasn't sure if he or she would be fine, but backing off was pointless right now. He knew they were here, and if he meant them harm, running just meant they were going to have him at their backs instead. To her, sitting by the fire would give her a chance to find out about him, while keeping warm and keeping wild animals at bay. Hard to deny which choice felt better.
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Re: Wasteland Walking

Postby Rand Nailo » Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:07 pm

"I can imagine why, and good reasons all, but the world is a lonely enough place without making it lonelier. Or, at least, that's my theory. Of course, I have the benefit of being able to take that sort of risk with a reasonable expectation of coming out on top should things go sideways." It had been a long time since he'd been standing where the girl was standing at that particular moment, a position of weakness and exposure. Even if they were both perfectly normal humans Rand would still be more than a little dangerous to her. She might even be worried he wanted something more traumatic than her life. "I'm not here to hurt you or steal from you, I have more than you do and nothing you have is needed. I even put a present in one of your snares before I started my fire."

Rang grinned when she tried to turn an old phrase. "A dime a dozen, actually. But syntax aside you've got the right idea. I find debts are an inefficient mode of trade these days, I prefer straight barter. No listed price means no price." Which was more a justification of his amoral approach to life than any real code of behavior. Rand lied, it was in his nature. He also never felt bad about it, also in his nature.

"He's terrified of me, most domesticated animals and wild prey are. I might have overdone the dominance thing."
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Re: Wasteland Walking

Postby Cady » Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:14 am

Cady was sharp enough to catch the comment about being able to handle and triumph in a fight. Was that just bravado or could he do as he said? Was it a gentle dig not to take him on? She swallowed the questions and stored them for the moment. "I prefer to pick my battles, Rand. That means I end up talking to my companion here more than anyone who looks like me, so be it. I'm not going to say I like it, just come to find out I'm just about all I can trust. No offense."

Loneliness sucked. Oswald couldn't really talk back to her, though she'd learned a lot about things he tried to tell her with body language, eye shifts, and such. That was why the hairs on the back of her neck hadn't exactly laid flat yet. She trusted Oss. She was wary of anyone else, Rand included, especially due to her dog's reaction. German Shepherd/Rottweiler were not breeds that shied over anything unless it was worth it. She nodded slightly as he made his claims and intentions, though at the end her head snapped up a bit. [i ]Present?[/i] Though it seemed he meant it as a kind gesture, she wondered just what was in her snare about now. How had she not heard a branch snap, grass move? How had they both missed his presence? He could have probably killed her. She sensed magic, or something else having to be at play. " Oh? I'll have to check them then...I'm glad fortune has smiled on you. She'll get back to me again."

That was actually something her dad had always said on bad days. Fortune was busy smiling on someone else, and she'd turn it back on when it was time. Annoyed her and her mother to no end, but it was what had got him through a lot of those nights in the beginning of collapse. Maybe she was smiling now? Hard to say, and she still felt uneasy.

His smile and slight correction of the phrase, something so familiar, was a small step in the right direction. His philosophy was decent enough too. The way things were now, bartering was all most outside the cities had. Even inside the cities, money was less useful sometimes than things that were needed, and couldn't be afforded the old-fashioned ways.

The fire felt so warm and inviting now that she'd come closer, but his words in regard to Oss' behavior sent an icy breath of realization down her spine. She looked up at him, then Oswald, then back at Rand. She really ought to have known. Still, it surprised her somehow. " Maybe you did. You aren't like me then, are you?"
Her voice was fairly calm, resigned even. The gun was back at the shed, she had a knife on her. But it wouldn't much matter, and he hadn't come across as meaning her harm yet anyhow. She maybe had time to think and be logical. The thin t shirt was rotten against the chill of the night. After a moment, she signaled to Oswald again and he slowly got to his feet, eyeing Rand and moving to the far side of Cady before taking a single step towards her. His loyalty was at war with his sense of position in this group and the confusion slowed him a bit. He whined a bit, low, and took another baby step. If he was not a human, as suspected, she wanted her friend by her side more than ever. Humans are rare. I really ought to have known, but would it have stopped me? No.

You didn't get to hide forever, no matter how careful you tried to be.
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Re: Wasteland Walking

Postby Rand Nailo » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:12 pm

"I think everyone does, even the most brutally fanatical of warriors would prefer to find battle rather than the other way around. Something to be said for the element of surprise. Of course, there's also something to be said for having a companion who talks back from time to time." He chuckled, whether she intended to or not she was having a companionable conversation with him. She'd even settled in at his fire so all of her caution had been eroded in fact if not in mental acceptance.

He waved of her... praise? Yeah, that would work. "It's a sealed MRE, from before the fall. Before the War. Before things became so.... beautiful." Rand was Garou, after all. The world was a better place since the veil had fallen. The humans disagreed, in general, but they were just behind the curve. Once they realize that it empowered them to stand with the creatures they feared they would come around. If there were any left outside the Kinfolk by that point.

Rand gave a shrug. "Depends on your point of view. At the moment, no amount of science ever known to man would be able to tell us apart. It would take Wyrm Tech, the Technocracy, or the Warders of Men to tell the difference and even then... it's just seeing my potential. But up shot, I'm not one of the creatures that eats people. Gaia knows there are plenty of those running around, but the werewolves aren't amongst them."
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Re: Wasteland Walking

Postby Cady » Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:15 pm

She could only nod at his point. "My point exactly. Not to say Oswald doesn't have every ability to signal is dissent or agreement to a path or target I've chosen."

Was that a trickle of humor from her? Somehow, though tense, his humor was hard not to pick up on and reflect, at least a little. Social interactions like this were not usually her forte out of situation as much as desire. But it was still there, lingering beneath the surface to be dusted off when wished. Like now.

She blinked a bit as he told her what it was. She knew well enough what an MRE was, having had to develop a taste for them at a rather young age. War being pretty much all she'd been raised on. They weren't so bad, but they also weren't all that easy to come by anymore, and the fact wasn't entirely lost on her. "That's overly kind of you, anyhow."They kept nearly forever, so people tended to hold onto supplies of them rather than trade. She arched a brow at the 'beautiful' bit, but held her tongue. To each their own on perception. Nature was a gorgeous thing to see crawl back into spaces stolen from her, shaking off the hackles of civilization like a dog shaking water off; splitting walls, covering cars, all of that. She did miss the occasional trips to a fully stocked hospital or grocery store, though. Also, the slightly less chance of being eaten, that was missed. Sorely.

Standing about ten feet from him to the right, and about that distance from the fire, she had a good look in the flickering light at him as he divulged who he was. Well, what, exactly he was. She tensed, but didn't turn tail. Cady had already decided what to do before she'd asked, anyway. Stick around and see about him. Soak up the fire, see if he had anything useful he was willing to say. The werewolves were certainly not the worst thing out here. Not by a long, long shot. He was right about that, at least. She took the moment to really look him over, study him so to speak. Then, she moved a bit closer to the fire, placing her hands palms out toward it to absorb the warmth. Oss moved to the right side more than she did, still close but far enough away from Rand so that he felt he'd be out of the way. So much help... Then he hunkered down by the fire, watching the two of them quietly, his dark fur tinged with reddish brown that caught the fire's flickers and made the accents look nearly golden.

The young blonde turned slightly on her heel to face Rand. "I didn't need science or magic tricks to offer me my clues, just needed my companion. He has better senses, and I've learned they are seldom wrong. Werewolf, huh? I've not run into many, at least if I have they've never told." She shrugged a bit. Having him just bluntly explain what he was was an odd comfort she'd take to the bank, had there been any. No game in it, no hiding. It was still, even after many years after the creatures other than humans had been revealed to walk among them far more than anyone expected, surprising for her to see them. They didn't look any different so much of the time. Horror movies she'd seen years ago painted werewolves and vampires, and witches so often in obvious lights. Truth was a much more basic, and yet so much more complex.
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Re: Wasteland Walking

Postby Rand Nailo » Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:24 am

He neglected to point out, again, that Science wouldn't have helped anyway. Instead, he decided to add to her paranoia. "Actually, you probably have. Those humorless jack booted types that run the trade stations between the shield cities are all werewolves. They've just been Jacked In by the Weaver. And more often than not, if you meet someone out here in the wild its one of us. Or a Kinfolk and three of us." Even if she'd not seen the other three. Most of his kind still made Humans extremely uncomfortable to be around. Being a Ragabash, even a warrior Raggie, meant that he was less disturbing to their inner prey animal. Which was good, the constant terror was tiresome.

"You should stop by one of the Septs, honest trade and friendly faces. The Kinfolk love to hear news from beyond the grounds that hasn't been filtered through we Garou first." He rolled his neck, tilting his head to direct his ear in a particular direction. He made a thoughtful sound but turned his head back to normal again without speaking about it the act. "Might meet yourself a nice fella. Or gal, whatever your flavor of choice may be."
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Re: Wasteland Walking

Postby Cady » Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:37 am

His words were just a bit disconcerting. Cady hadn't really wanted to think of the possibility of having encountered and done business with any such creatures, not without knowing who or what they were. She tilted her head slightly to think about it now though. Was that a cold breath of air, or a chill at the notion he'd given her? Either way, it made her scoot a bit closer to the fire, folding her arms. "I think that describes a few I've met. Oss hasn't reacted much to them, not like he did you. Now you know why I keep what little company I do. Been on my own almost four years out here."

You really never knew. It was why she just tried not to put herself in a position to have to guess. Yeah, it was lonely sometimes, but one way or another, others were a burden at best, a disappointment or deadly at worst. It was hard enough feeding herself out here. His suggestion brought her out from getting tangled in her memories of what she'd left behind her and she lifted her head to watch him. She shrugged and managed to smirk a bit at him in the flickering shadows. "Honest trade is far more appealing to me than finding a 'nice fella or gal'," She even used the air quotes, shrugging it off. "well, that and news, if it's reliable. I try to make sure what I offer is true as I can get it before I spread it. Lies out here, more trouble than honesty."

She could certainly use a roll in the hay every now and again, but the last guy she'd picked, well, he'd tried to rip her off once Cady had fallen asleep. Only thing that saved her from losing too much, or having her throat slit was Oswald. He'd fought the dog for a few minutes, coming out of it with an ear torn and bloody, as well as gashes down his leg and arm. Poor Oss had a limp for a week that slowed them up, and she'd been worried it was the end for the dog, but he'd saved her life, so she gave him the time he'd needed to heal up. Speaking of him, Oswald stood and stretched a bit, trotting towards the far ring of the fire's light. Figuring he needed to relieve himself, Cady turned back to her unlikely companion for the evening. "I have been having trouble finding medical supplies. That's part why I'm on the move. What I don't use, I trade. Getting harder to find outside the cities now."

That was a truth, if anything was. The last mall she'd visited, about a week's walk south, had been nearly torn down to the studs in the pharmacy department. A small bottle of expired ibuprofen and two larger bottles of vitamin B12 were the best things she'd come away with. Those fetched a lot of provisions, and without the income, she was having to rely mostly on scavenged food, bandages, and tools. That was doable, but a lot more difficult to sustain.
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Re: Wasteland Walking

Postby Rand Nailo » Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:05 pm

"I tipped my hand with him. This generation, more than those from before the last war, our kind have a greater focus on woodcraft. Dealing with animals, plants, less common things. Rather than the machines, government, and social structures that no longer exist." Not that Rand was a part of that generation. In fact, his generation was on its last legs. The eldest Elders were of his generation. His own children, the two that were still alive, were Elders now. Two boys, one merely whiling away the time until he could rejoin his wife in the spirit realms. It would be sad, if Rand were able to process such things into emotions.

Rand smiled, as if those thoughts hadn't just been running through his head which, for him, was just the same. "Good priorities, until you meet a nice gal or fella and it all falls to the side if favor of giddy first blush of lust. He or she smiles, you fall half in love, and then you have no idea what the hell you're doing." Rand was quoting J.D. Salinger, of course, because he knew jack all about love. He valued people, like his children, but it was a purely logical thing born of tactical thought and practice. "They'll appreciate the news, the materials, and so on. I promise. And you'll just deal with Kinfolk 90% of the time, someone like me when one of our kind is called for. The rest make non-Kinfolk really really uncomfortable."

He watched the dog stand up and trot away. It was only a matter of time before it realized what was on the wind as well, but for the moment Rand was still thinking it might be coincidence. It hadn't gotten closer yet. Red Talons didn't hold territory in these parts, it would have to be a migrating pack and those tended to get encouraged to keep moving right along by any Sept that became aware of them. They were dangerous to Homid Kinfolk, hostile to Homid Garou, and tended to twist up the Lupus if left to it for long. Not good at all. They were the tribe least changed by the dropping of the veil, which was disturbing when most had believed they would be the most changed. There were more wolves than ever, more open territory, less humans. Yet the Red Talons had remained aggressive, grown even more so in some areas, as if this was the opportunity to eliminate all humans even though that would destroy the Garou just as surely. There was an extremist element in power but nobody else had been able to put a finger on it yet.

"We have medicines, better than anything ever bottled by the old world. Healing when you need it. Make yourself known to a couple of Septs as honest, fair, and shrewd and you'll never be far from a friendly face and a safe bed. Warm bed if you wish it. You could trade there, trade with the others you're used to trading with, and get better intel about the threats that are in the area."
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Re: Wasteland Walking

Postby Cady » Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:13 am

She nodded slowly, trying to soak in all he was saying, though she didn't entirely get what he meant. Either way, he'd shown Oswald right away what he was, and as much as she didn't care to admit it, that had probably saved them a much more vocal and perhaps more violent confrontation. The mixed breed wasn't very friendly to anyone but her, mostly though he stayed quiet and followed her lead with people trading and such. Maybe that was why she hadn't spotted anything or anyone amiss usually at those sorts of places. He knew to keep from barking and acting up, or she would have left him outside to fend for himself while she did what she needed to do.

She couldn't help but shrug at his insistence that love would change things. Cady had a few times in the past been taken briefly with a guy or he with her, or both. He wasn't entirely wrong, but her track record spoke to her enough to know to be guarded when it came to more than a casual thing for a night or three. It had been months since she'd even bothered with that though. Something about growing up in a world where you had to fend entirely for yourself and death lurked in every corner had left her with a healthy dose of reality she remembered teens and young adults lacking in the past. If she met someone worth it, they'd have to be something pretty damned special. That's fair enough, I guess. Amongst the right sort of people, things could be different."

She turned her hands over letting the backs get a little warmer from the fire's heat now too. She perked up a bit as he answered her query on medicines. It sounded like plenty worth trading for, at the very least. The intel on others would be invaluable, but for some reason, as nice as the warm bed sounded, it was the thing she felt hesitant about. When she slept alone with just her and Oss, she might be cold and uncomfortable, but she felt safer. Maybe it was just because she was used to that more than the comfort of a bed for the last half decade or so. "I hope I don't need it for myself, but good to know. Is there one within a few days of here?" She asked it, but only half expected a straight answer from him. He owed her nothing at all, and she wasn't even sure she'd risk going. It was worth knowing though, just to be aware of it.

Cady's head turned quickly then, her gaze shooting over towards Oswald, who had given a snort and a low growl. His body language was tense, still as death. His nose lifted a bit and he sniffed the air, a quite whine and a look her way afterwards. He was upset over something off in down a bit on this side of the road, by her guess. Not Rand this time.

Silent as she could manage, she turned on her heel to look that way too, a thousand thoughts rushing in. Had this been an ambush all along? Was it a bear or something out foraging? Had it been smaller game, Oss would have just given chase. Cady strained to see or hear something off, but other than a quieting of the insects she might well have imagined, there wasn't anything.
"What is it, Oss? Shhhh hush." Her voice was just above a breath and not quite a whisper. Somehow, keeping silent felt like the right thing to do about now. She looked at Rand, questioningly, trying not to leap to accusations. Without even realizing it, she'd taken a step back, towards the shed across the road where her things were.
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Re: Wasteland Walking

Postby Rand Nailo » Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:07 am

Rand nodded, pointing North. "Fianna, primarily. About four days that way. Fierce warriors to keep it safe, fond of a good celebration. Just be aware of who you're dealing with, they have an Irish sensibility about a great many things and an unescorted young lady is one of them." The old ladies would tisk, the young men would start circling, and some members of both groups would have ulterior motives. It was almost creepy how hard the Fianna worked at getting somebody into everybody's bed, even if just for a night. It was why he avoided their hard held territories most of the time, he didn't have an interest in sex that they were able to understand. Feelings sometimes got hurt, and the Fianna were really really bad at dealing with hurt feelings.

Rand kept an eye on the darkness, though what he and the hound were hearing were nowhere near close enough to be seen. Not even if it were broad daylight. "He hears what I hear. Red Talons, on the run. They've crossed the trail of something they don't like and are deciding what to do about it. It's not their territory, so it could go either way." Dollars to doughnuts, they were going to pursue. Their noses said lone human less than a day ahead of them and for Red Talons that was too soft a target to turn down. The question then became how far were they willing to hunt. A day's travel on human legs was about a fourth of a day's travel to wolves, and it didn't sound like they were a whole day's walk away to begin with. Were they aware of just who's territory they were in? Rand doubted it.

"Do you have gear you would have to collect before moving on with your journey?"
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