Bits and Scraps [09-22-09]

((Editor’s Note:  Bits and Scraps will be a new semi-regular column written by Sandusky or others to report various RP activities occurring in the Wastelands. This will typically range from brief notes and first hand observations of skirmishes, rivalries, gatherings, activity, minor RP episodes, and even rumors or tall tales that may lead into full length articles depending on how they develop.  This relies on what we witness firsthand but also, and probably more importantly, on what tips or hints the community gives to the Press!  We can only write about what we know or have heard of but we can’t be everywhere or online all the time, so please feel free to give us a tip either IC by finding us in person or leave us a note at the Press mailboxes in the Wastelands region.  I check the mailboxes frequently.  You can also send us a tip OOC if you prefer.))

Whisper and rumor.  Skirmish and battle.  Scavenge and trade.  All of which add up to a typical day in the Wastelands most would say, but these activities have increased lately.  Old faces have wandered back from the outer wastes while newcomers arrive from afar…perhaps by sheer luck or following the word-of-mouth shared between nomads and caravans.

Recent events as reported earlier have resulted in the disappearance of the Old Man, Gill.   That strange collector was a trouble-maker in the eyes of most Wastelanders.  Time will tell if their distrust was rightfully founded, but for now, his wrinkled hide seems to have skipped town.

Meanwhile, the Tin Man managed to reactivate all of the broken salvage masheens, even providing additional ones for the community’s use.  No one knows how he managed to do it but everyone knows none of them work the same way.  Old combinations of salvage are mostly useless and the scavengers are desperate to rediscover the new ones necessary for their supplies and defense.  The cleverest Wastelanders have discovered new products and weapons sparking pride from their comrades and envy from their enemies.  The knowledge of the new craft and tech is tightly sealed behind their sun-chapped lips…well…those that still have lips.

Thus, a sense of renewed energy rolls through the Wastelands as scavengers eagerly hunt for salvage and each other.  Two factions, the Renegades and Black Market, have led the way in crafting new goods.  These rival clans are also eager to test the strength of their weapons on one another in frequent clashes across the settlement and even as far out as the barren of Cormac.  Meanwhile, veteran scavengers like the mercenary, Pietro Moskvitch, and the Ace of Parts, Sandling Honey, show they haven’t lost their touch in getting a salvage masheen to reveal its secrets to them.

Bloodshed and frustrated grumbles at the salvagers are not the only signs of renewed energy in our settlement.  The Trade Post, owned and operated by Jubal Quintus, has sprung to life also.  Tables are stocked with salvage and scavengers frequently rest their weary feet at the bar.  They lose a little bit of themselves and their bruises in the strange green liquid of the notorious After Glow while exchanging tall tales and rumors.  All are welcome within the Trade Post walls but adversaries better put their rivalries aside and keep their weapons stowed away.  The Trade Post is neutral ground and fights are strictly discouraged by the guards.  Those that forget will quickly find themselves staring down the barrel of Jubal’s slugthrower!

Trading drinks at the Trade Post
Trading drinks at the Trade Post

Strange stories and curious mischief can also be found among the ruins of our settlement.  One night, I caught up with the mutant witch, Ccindy Pfeffer, who still clutches the infamous Fire Crystal.   She’s kept her sharp eyes open for sign of the Tin Man to hand it over to him, as voted upon by the Wastelanders, but has had no luck yet in catching up to the evasive metal man.

While she and I spoke by the Stygian salvager, Sandling Honey arrived as well as two members of the Black Market, Oleg Kiranov and Riptorious Ulrik.   It seems the Market is interested in plants or moss of some sort.  I do not know why nor did they explain their motivations but they seemed eager for any that’s been found.  Sandling, despite being a manimal, appears to have earned a measure of gratitude in the eyes of the notoriously vicious clan for having already shared a bit of what they seek.  Maybe there’s something worthwhile to be gained for anyone that’s come across peculiar vegetation…

On the topic of peculiar things….just the other day, Sandling and I ran into an odd tribe of visiting nomads in surprisingly clean garments.  Luckily, they spoke our language very well, claiming to be explorers from the Show-Gun clan with a special interest for our history and relics.  Their strange helmets were made of something they called “Glass-Steel” but it honestly didn’t look like it could stand up to a Kidney Burster by our eyes.  Always the business-manimal, the excited Sandling still offered a trade for some of their strange clothing and armor.  To entice them, the crafty manimal proudly demonstrated one of his most prized possessions, a highly advanced relic from the old world…

A Wheel!

The Ace of Parts brokers a trade with the Show-guns
The Ace of Parts brokers a trade with the Show-guns

The Ace of Parts rolled the wondrous wheel back and forth and bounced it upon the broken road to demonstrate its unique character.  The Show-Guns watched him carefully, clearly impressed by his generous offer.  Curious scavengers like Riptorious Ulrik of the Black Market and Aviendha Vayandar lingered to watch while others walked on, shaking their heads with confusion perhaps.  Riptorious prodded the apparent leader ((Ulrich Bechir)), with his crowbill asking “Oi, you got any food?” to which the leader replied. “Don’t touch me with that.  And no.” but he did give Riptorious some object that caused him to stare in amazement and run away laughing.

While Sandling was on a roll with his trade, getting one of their suits for his trouble, I managed to convince the leader to take some issues of the Salvaged Times.  When I ran back from the Press, papers in hand, Punchface Klan was offering a trade for one of their womenfolk but the leader politely declined his numerous offers.   As they prepared to continue their journey, the Show-Gun leader gave Sandling and me small bars of a strange yellowish metal that he called “Latinum” but whatever it was, it sure looked like gold to us!

Then, the tribe suddenly vanished on the spot, consumed by pillars of fire unlike anything burning in Stygian’s crater.  Our jaws dropped in confusion.  Our eyes blinked repeatedly.  I wish I could say we drank too much of Jubal’s After Glow…that we imagined it all if not for the shiny metallic bars still lying in our palms.  The confusion passed quickly though and Sandling ran off to try his new materials out on the salvage masheen.  I wished him luck, but for some reason, I doubted even his clever nature would convince the masheen to cough up any results.

On the other hand, I’ve already put my golden bar of latinum to use in the Press office.  It makes a perfect paperweight for my scattered notes!

((Editor’s Note:  Special thanks to the Crew of the USS Shogun:  Ulrich Bechir, Olyvie Edenflower, Niclaus Teichmann, SVAndrei Baxton, Xia Mirabeau, Jonathon Seriman, and Moira Kelberry for playing along with Sandling, the Wastelanders, and me in this entertaining exchange of unexpected RP.  Of course, it certainly wasn’t our typical Wastelands RP but the episode was far too hilarious and too much fun for everyone involved for me not to share it with everyone via the Press! – SK))