Which he appreciates, unlike a certain annoying short man named Jacob Vale.
In any case, it indeed isn’t hard to find him. He’s doing doughnuts on a disused bit of Golden Age highway in a car that looks fast and fragile. One of those two things is true.
Off to the side of the road a car built by the Guild House Dacia pulls up. Inside is a Dogboy who looks like a spaniel. Big floppy ears and a slightly fluffy that’s been trimmed so his ‘hair’ is long but the rest is short.
“Good news, Clark…” the dogboy intones into their comms system “The Dacia Sandrio has been released …” He sounds … rather gleeful about it. “Now let’s see me give you a run a for your money.”When Bridge said she knew where to find these two, she wasn’t kidding. With the THylacines gleefully sticking their heads out of the front passenger’s side window, the truck pulls up next to the just-arrived Spaniel and his new Dacia.
“Remember what I told you about these two, Clancy.” It was most definitely a warning. She cuts the truck’s engine and climbs out of the truck to go greet Barnabas. “Let me guess. Jamison just got new tires on that thing.”The doughnuts stop and a tall, older man with curly hair leans out the window. “You know they’ll never make a proper tuned fusion engine version of that. Guild House Dacia…” It’s worth noting that Clark pronounces it ‘Da-chia’ and the dog boy pronounces it ‘Day-see-a’ “Has never been good at releasing things on ti- oh hey. There’s Bridge. And who’s that with her?”
“Sure thing, Mum,” Clancy retorts from underneath his spirit-animals that are perched on top of him, so they can stick their heads out of the window. “Hey, you did more than just fix this thing up, didn’t ya?” he inquires before letting the thylacines out of the door — so he can climb out. “What exactly did I pay f — oh, g’day! Hoons. I love hoons.” He grins broadly and herds his thylacines away from the truck.
Barnabas glares at Clark “Well that got this one out on time and it’s fusion engine is rated at even better than that thing you’re driving.” he sounds so mournful. “Guild House Dacia does good wor—- Uh, hello Bridge. Fancy seeing you so soon. Did you get that run done already?”
The spaniel glances over to Clancy and literally sticks his nose in the air “We aren’t hoons. We are transporters.” a sideways glance to Bridge “You’ll never tell he got new tires, not now …” The thylacines get a look from the Dogboy… if they come sniffing at him ….“Don’t worry,” Bridge asides to Clancy, “You’ll only have to pay for the repairs, not the other upgrades.” Not that she really had all that much else done. Mostly just upgraded suspension and the like. Actually useful functional things.
To Barnabas she says, “I thought about the suggestion about that plant Jamison mentioned, and I think it’s worth looking into it before I make that run. Do you think Clark’ll be willing to show us out that way?”
The thylacines learned from Bridge quickly and well to NEVER try to sniff her. She swats their muzzles with her stronger hand.“Fine, Transporters then,” Clancy replies to the Dog-boy with a grin. “I like Transporters too — ‘speciallly this one.” And he jerks a thumb at Bridge. “Except when she’s cranky — ‘ave you seen ‘er when she’s cranky? Hey — .”
That last word is directed to the spirit-beasts, whom the totemist summons back to his side. They reluctantly obey. To Stella he adds: “Someone mention a plant? Plants are my thing.” He sticks a leaf of something in his mouth and starts chewing, eyes closing in ecstasy for a moment. “Hits the spot…”
“You want to look at the plant, eh? Well that calls for a road trip. Which means… well I don’t think we’re going to be getting there on ‘roo power, if you know what I mean. Only good honest horses here. So why don’t we all get started and you can eat my dust all the way to the plant…”
Someone certainly thinks highly of himself. He’s already reving his engine.
“If you can put up with his ego, he’ll show us the way…” Barnabas intones, eyeing Clancy with a certain … distrust. “And it’s not that type of plant… It’s a manufacturing plant.” There’s nothing to say about Bridge when she’s cranky.
As Clark speaks, the Dog-Boy rolls his eyes, shaking his head so his ears flop about. “Don’t keep waiting.” That’s to Bridge and Clancy “You’ll be eating my dust…” that’s to Clark “Uh well, you would if I knew where we were going…” he corrects himself under his breath as he slides into the drivers seat of the Sandrio.
The vehicles engine roars to life and is soon revving soon. “Alright then, Jamison. Let’s get this show on the road…”Good. Bridge turns and gestures for Clancy and the thylacines to climb aboard again so they can be on their way. Not that she thinks Jamison would just leave them behind. He’d //never// do anything like that.
The truck’s engine starts with far less fanfare than even the Dacia. Because it’s not all about appearances with her.As Clancy heads back to the truck, he summons his totem animals back into the tattoos on his arms, smirking. “Sorry mates,” says he as he climb in. “Shotgun’s mine this time.” He looks over at Stella and arches an eyebrow.
“You know some interestin’ folks, Bridge,” he tells her. “Are they partners with this…plant? Or competition? Or both? From what you told me before… I’m thinkin’… they’re whatever suits them at the moment.” Despite the levity in his voice, his expression is a bit more serious now. “Anythin’ else you can tell me ’bout this place we’re goin’, luv?”
Eventually though Clark pulls up to what looks like a ruined old parking structure and gets out.
“Behold…” He gestures as if everyone should be suitably impressed.
Barnabas … complains through the whole of the trip. Bemoaning the lack of suspension in the vehicle and the effect it has on his back. “Oh my god, Clark. I think we should drive on the side of the road, it would be better than where you are leading us.”
Finally, the torturous trip comes to an end and the Sandrio pulls up beside Clarks muscle car. Sliding from the vehicle he looks at the structure “Well it’s not much to look at it, really…” he says as he watches Bridge and Clancy join them.Bridge explains as much as she can on the drive over, which unfortunately isn’t really all that much. Mostly that the plant in question would be a VERY useful building for vehicle owners to have access to. And meanwhile, the improved suspension Stella spent money on is now very clearly earning its keep as Barnabas moans and complains the whole way and she and Clancy don’t have that to contend with. At all. When Clancy exits the truck, he is sans pets and carrying his ironwood staff. A real country bumpkin he must look. He wanders around the front of the vehicle, glances at Bridge and leans on the staff.
“Seems… cozy,” says he. “Useful — could do with a stable though, ‘n maybe a place ta get some tucker. Blimey, now I want damper…” Instead he chews on another mysterious leaf from his herb pouch. “How’dya find this place ta start with?”
The tall man walks up to one of the support pillars of the structure and presses his hand on a seemingly plain section of wall. It depresses, like a hidden switch and a whole section of the ground tilts downward to reveal a sleek, high tech ramp.
The door is open and inside…
Well inside it looks like a mess. But not an irrecoverable mess. There’s a lot of high tech microfabricators laying around. A couple dozen. Of the set, only maybe five or six look salvageable…
“This… is our project. And our spare parts room. All in one. Just need some elbow grease and expertise…”
Barnabas follows Clark in, looking around with a skeptical air. “This place is a pig sty. It’s going to need to be thoroughly cleaned.” Peering closely at the equipment, careful not to touch anything, the Spaniel whuffs a little in disappointment. “Only a few of these are usuable.” he says.
It’s Clarks last comment that gets chuffing laugh from the Dog-Boy “If it’s expertise you needed, good thing you’ve got me along. You can get the drinks…”And this is one of the other reasons why Bridge asked Clancy along. She knows he’s got mechanical aptitude — when they first met he was part of a competitor’s racing pit crew.
“I have to admit it, Jamison. I thought youwere completely full of crap. Color me at least a little bit impressed.” She then turns to Clancy and asks him quietly, “What do you think the chances are that you can get one of these machines up and running?”Clancy doesn’t immediately reply.
He’s too busy grinning a little grin at the place.
He glances down at the thylacine tattoos and nods, then casts a look back at Bridge. “They said it’s nice bein’ needed,” says he, and he walks a number of footsteps into the place, over toward the machinery. Clancy drops to his haunches, running his hands over the machine and clamps the leaf in his mouth between his teeth.
“Doable. I’ve seen worse — though I pity the poor sod who’s gotta clean it all first… But it all comes down ta parts. Reckon we can get ’em? I can give ya a list…”
That’d either take someone who can read and write, or who has a good memory… or Clancy’ll have to go ‘shopping’ (and/or scavenging) with them. Not a terrible solution, in any case. “Hell of a find, this place…” Then he wrinkles his nose. “Stinks half bad though. Gotta fix that.”
So big oaf turns, leaving the other group in the stinky, slightly damp room full of wonderful, wonderful autotech.
The Spaniel looks over to Bridge as Clancy speaks, his brows rising, impressed. “He’s a good find, this one. I hope you’re keeping him…” he chuffs again as Clark admits to being inept.
“The Orangatang really is…” he intones mournfully, a tone completely in keeping with his looks. “… inept that is. You should have seen the job he did on my car, not the Sandrio, my Saab. Looked it had been done with a knife and fork…”
He doesn’t wait though, just gets right down to, shifting equipment, opening panels and peering inside. He works diligently for a long time and slowly the equipment comes together. There’s even a list being made – this Dog-Boy, surprisingly, can read and write.Bridge gestures toward the large group of machines. “I’m hoping that there are enough machines in here to cannibalize them to make one working one.” She watches Clark actually admit to being useless at something, then shrugs lightly and moves to start helping Barnabas and Clancy with getting the place set to rights. She’s no stranger to drudgery, and she has no complains about starting to do a general cleanup of the area to get the old, musty, unused smell out of the room. This would be why there were cleaning supplies in the bed of her truck. Not to mention a packed lunch from Gran’s. Grinning rather broadly, Clancy stands up and jogs over toward the Dog-boy and sticks out his hand. “Barnabas, roight? Clancy Drover — call me Clance. Yer mate’s Clarke? Deadly. Oh, and me mates you saw before: Grasper an’ Keeper.” He glances at the tattoos. “They say hi, too.” Presumably he greets both Transporters properly.
Turning back toward Stella, Drover takes off his long coat, lays his ironwood staff aside, and puts his herb pouch down next to it. A half dozen other talismans get put on the pile as well, along with subtle curse should the wrong hands touch them. “Now, first up — don’ put any high-tech gizmos ‘n thingamajigs near me; they don’ like me. Fer anythin’ else… gimme some tools. An’ a beer. Lots of beer.”
Then he gets to work.
Clark plays errand boy. To hear him tell it he’s very, very important. But mostly he gets food, beer and tools wisely leaving the work to the ones who can actually do it.
He knows that Barnabas knows his stuff, but he’s watching Stella and Drover with interest.
“Barnabas, yes…” the Spaniel says soulfully, polishing one of the machines with a rag. He’s meticulous as he works, ensuring his tools are all kept in order, neat and tidy … and making the machinery gleam as it slowly comes together. “Your dogs, right?” He means the Thylacines, but he’s not seen anything like them. “Clarks not deadly. He’s a damn Muppet.”
Standing back after examining the generator he chuffs again “Clark! We’re going to need fuel for this. Did you think of that?” He lay dollars to donuts the ‘important’ man did not. Or if he did, they’ll soon be hearing ‘why yes, yes I did!’
Stella and two other Transporters bring Clancy Drover on board to fix up a brand new, utterly filthy, completely cluttered garage for maintaining their vehicles. How could anyone say no?
January 27, 2410