While not anywhere close to as big as the two major cities of the area – Dogwood and Vesper – the boomtown on that’s grown up on the northern tip of Vanished Point could be argued to be just as busy. This is particularly true in the western portion of the dragon-sheltered town where the prospectors and salvagers that brave the ruins meet to sell their hauls, swap stories and advice and generally carouse and have a good time. It’s about eight in the morning and the streets are teeming. The ferries from both cities are bringing back those who slipped away to the mainland for the night as well as the usual crew of newcomers from points near and far. The shops are doing brisk business and the prospector teams are preparing to head into the demon and monster infested mega city to see what can be salvaged today. Everywhere the sounds of machinery and commerce echo.
In one particular corner – Meg’s Mechworks – a fairly new Northern Gun ‘Gunwolf’ bot having some of its armor replaced as its wolfen pilot comes out to find something hot and invigorating to drink. There’s a stand across the way… if he can get across the street. It’s crowded right now.
Passing through. The story of Artie’s life, and her ancient truck trundles off the ferry, the engine purring in a way that belies the battered appearance. In the driver’s seat, a blonde woman peers out at the town, considering it before she pulls into a parking space. Her hand gently pats the steering wheel, and she murmurs something softly to the vehicle before she hops from the seat, slamming the door. The words, tossed over her shoulder as she strides towards the stand, a drink in her sights, “Oh stop whining, Bertha.”
“And you think they can repair my armour?” A tall blonde woman, encased in silver looking armour edged in blue, looks //up// to the wolven pilot. She’s tall, no doubt about it, but she’s dwarfed beside the wolfen. Well she would be, if it wasn’t for the giant grey wings on her back. She stop at the edge of the road, looking for a gap in the traffic so they can cross.
The old truck pulling up, in the parking space next to them, gets a curious look as does the woman who talks to it.With so much commotion going on, it’s easy for small details to go missed, and really, with how many pairs of feet and any number of vehicles passing along the streets, who’s going to pay attention to one that hardly makes a sound?
Booted feet pass quietly along the throngs of people, the figure belonging to them doing his best to navigate around a place where everyone might think they have the right of way. Now and then he bumps a shoulder, twists to avoid a near collision, a murmured but polite apology offered each and every time. Long-fingered hands move to tug the point of his cap just a bit more over his face as he moves along to find a relatively open spot where he can stop and actually take in the rest of the place.“If they can fix mine they can probably fix yours.” Hunter assures the winged woman. His amber eyes scan the crowd for an opening for a minute or two before finally he spots one and dives into the traffic… right in front of where Artie and coincidentally a quiet, booted figure are coming.
The wolfen D-Bee is fairly obvious. He’s tall, nearly eight feet, and of the many D-Bees about there really arean’t a whole lot that look like the wolfen do. Of course the more prominent thing about him to Artie might be his right arm, which is chattering animatedly, even perhaps a bit jittery or ‘wired’. Of course… only she can hear it.
“Coffee, Ardul?” He glances behind him and nearly runs into the quiet figure. “Woah, sorry there.”
The two, well they are eye-catching at the very least, and Artie turns her head to glance over the armour. No people interest in that moment, that comes afterwards. The crossing of the street, that is done by striding between vehicles, dodging around them with an air of distraction. She ignores people, simply hoping they get out of her way, her strides taking her to the stand quickly with a few bumps. “a large coffee please, extra large. humungeous large… ” A vague request, made with a wave of her hand, a quick grin flashing across her face. She glances at Hunter, lifting her eyebrows, her gaze traveling to that arm. Distraction, thy name is Artie, as she listens to his arm, unsubtle for an instant before she blinks and turns back to the stand.
“I’d love one, Hunter” the tall blonde, inclines her head and makes to the follow the wolfen, skipping backwards slightly as she nearly bumps into the silent figure. “Oh, my apologies.” There’s nothing ‘soft’ about this woman. She’s a warrior, that much is clear.
It’s Arties attention in Hunter that has her smirking slightly “Seems someone is interested in your arm.” Her armour might not chatter Hunter’s arm, but it does have a ‘presence’ about it, as it blends technology into it. “I’ll have one of those sweet things you ordered the other day …”
Yaren takes a step back, at the same time bringing a hand up as though it would have done something should he not have stopped in time. An amused chuckle escapes him, and the hatted head is given a shake.
“No harm done,” he assures, his voice a curious one, if only because it has a certain, almost hollow quality to it. “It seems only inevitable that the lapses of space will be sought for and filled.” Lifting his head, one can better see his face now- or rather his eyes, because that’s all that can be made out despite the morning light. No pupils or anything to make out, they’re just a pair of glowing eye-shapes, violet in color. They narrow in the manner of one who might be smiling, if there’s a mouth behind the scarf that’s wrapped around the lower half of his face.
Those eyes then look over the two, intrigued by the pair who stand out so.The wolfen glances down at his arm and then up to Artie and then back down at his arm. It’s covered in a sleeve (it’s cold this time of year) and a coat except for the hand but maybe she could tell it’s entirely cybernetic. Some can.
The lupine D-Bee is shaken from his distraction by the loud honking of a horn. BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP (GETOUTTAMYWAYORIMGONNAEATYOU, Artie might hear). Hunter reaches out instinctively to try and take Yaren by the arm and urge him… her… it… off the road. “Sorry, we should move.” He murmurs.
Once out of the road he glances around again. The flow of people isn’t quite so crushing here. “Right. Sorry then. Name’s Hunter. This is Ardul.” Another glances is given Artie’s way. “Everything okay…?” He wiggles his arm a little. Is she okay?
Coffee. Oh yes, coffee. The distraction of chattering limbs and armour is shaken away with a sharp movement of her head, and Artie takes hers from the stand with another of those broad, quick grins. “Thanks so much.” Her hands wrap around it, as if it is a lifeboat, the cup lifted to her nose to inhale the coffee-goodness, her eyes closing for a moment. The beep makes her jump, and her lips twitch, some internal amusement lighting her face for a moment, a mutter under her breath to herself, “No eating here, friend.” Then her gaze slips, moving to linger on the chattering arm, briefly flickering over the figures that are around it. But then the person the arm owns is speaking to her and she blinks, lifting her gaze to him for a moment, blinking at him before she grins broadly, “Oh! Sorry, I was distract…” She trails off midword, and then offers her hand, “Artie.” Probably her name. Likely anyhow. “Nice arm. Noisy.”
“I’m glad then.” Ardul responds to Yaren. She’s polite, even if it is in disciplined sort of way. The beeping of the horn has the winged womans shoulders tensing imperceptibly and she moves with Hunter to clear the way. “Are you ok?” she asks the cloaked and masked person, who the wolfen just tried to help.
Once clear, she glances at her companion and then to Artie “I’m Ardul, as he says… Nice to meet you, Artie.” a small smile touches the corner of her lips “His arm is noisy? I can’t hear it. You must have exceptional hearing.”
“Oh!” He’s actually quite easily hauled along, and at Hunter’s sudden grab, the wolfen might have felt it give a little more than it should have for something that looks form-fitted. The cloaked, hat-wearing figure practically has no resistance as he’s tugged along, but indeed his boots still crunch lightly on the ground after the two, so light the sound’s easily swallowed up by all the shouting and rumbling about behind them.
Looking between the two, now three as the other woman comes up with her beverage, Yaren nods first at Hunter in thanks, and then his hat bobs in the same gesture as greeting to the group as a whole.
“A pleasure, Hunter, Ardul… Artie,” he adds, a smile in his tone. “This one is known as Yaren Seyuz.” Belatedly he brings a hand of his own up, offering to shake as though taking a cue from Artie’s own gesture, although he seems slightly hesitant once he does so, his long-fingered hand almost like something clawed. He seems more concerned that it might be an awkward thing to grasp, not at all friendly, but he doesn’t retract it.Hunter shakes first Artie’s hand and then Yaren. The latter’s diction is… interesting but not totally out of place. There are a lot of creatures out there that don’t quite parse ‘I am’ for various reasons. Hive mind. Lack of traditional individuality and so on. More interesting is the creature’s bundled up nature and seeming insubstantiality. And if Hunter could smell anything but coffee, rat-roast and motor oil he’d probably follow that up with some other examination. Alas, towns like this all smell like //people//.
And people stink. Literally.
“Can I grab you a coffee Yaren?” Hunter sidles over to the stall and gets at least two, one for him and a sweeter one for Ardul. He waits to see if Yaren wants one.
“Huh? My arm? Noisy?” He moves it a couple more times. And… doesn’t hear anything? Odd. “What are you hearing? Oh, sorry. Where are my manners? I take it both of you are new to the area? What brings you both in?”
Artie catches herself, blinking at Ardul for a moment before she replies, “Uh, it is noisy here, I meant. Sorry, don’t know where my head is at today, I’ll blame it on the driving.” Another of those quick flashes of a grin, lighting up her face as lightning brightens the sky. Her gaze flickers to the cloaked figure, studying him with a faint air of curiousity. She cuddles her coffee, inhaling the scent, her free hand shaking Yaren’s. “Pleasure… ” She comments. Her scent is coffee and engine oil, and metal. “Just blowing in with the wind, just … seeing where it takes me.” A vague reply at best.
Ardul cants her head at Yarens words. In her dimension that’s an unusual affectation but she’s coming to learn that here, on Rifts Earth, people and creatures speak differently. Taking the hand when it’s offered, she offers a smile “I am pleased to make your aquaintance, Yaren. Might I ask where you hail from?”
Her own language, her accent, is slightly off as well. Not that that’s unusual here.
“Ah, yes, it is noisy here.” she answers Artie “I can barely hear myself think.” Taking the coffee that Hunter hands over, she takes a moment to sip from the cup. “Aaaah. That hits the spot.”
That his hand isn’t outright refused seems to please Yaren as he completes the ritual (as such is what he’s come to believe it as), exchanging handshakes with all who offer. “It is kind of Hunter to offer. This one will however decline,” he says, as politely as can be as though he’s afraid he’ll offend.
His head tilts slightly as they speak of the wolfen one’s arm, gaze lifting to glance at Artie at her vague response to the question posed their way. Looking from Hunter to Ardul, he pauses.
“This one’s reasons are similar to Artie’s. There is no set destination.” When Yaren looks towards the winged one’s way, he bows his head slightly, almost sheepish. “…it is a name forgotten. This one cannot recall,” he apologizes.Can’t recall? Or won’t? Either way Hunter won’t judge. There are people who don’t want to remember the places they came from because… well sometimes they kind of horrific.
At Yaren’s refusal Hunter simply steps away from the stall so others can get their coffee. “I see. Well you’ve come to a great place to work if you’re looking for it. If you’re bold and very, very good you can join the prospectors going into the city…” And it’s a huge city. A huuuuuge city. Several levels of pre-Rifts mega city unlike almost anything currently extant on the planet. “… but it’s full of demons so be quick, clever or tough. Preferably all three. If you don’t like that there’s plenty of work here for those who support them. Fix their stuff. Make food. Sell them things. Buy things to sell in Dogwood and Vesper…”
Here Hunter gestures back westward, toward the out-of-sight mainland. Well, out of sight from here at ‘ground’ level. Climb the high rises and it gets much more visible.
“Plenty of things to do and see in the cities as well. Just depends on what you like to do but definitely no reason for a man, woman or wolf to go hungry.”
Artie’s quick grin flashes across her face in reply to Ardul’s agreement to the noise levels. She takes a swig of her coffee, curling both hands around the treasured holy grail of black liquid. She meets Yaren’s glance, giving him a smile from behind the cup, “Isn’t it supposed to be where you are going that matters, or the journey or some such crap?” Another swig of coffee, as she listens rto Hunter’s words. “Might stay, might not.” She shrugs, giving them that grin, “Depends where the work calls.” She sounds as if she means it literally, and her gaze flickers across the armour, and back to the arm, before it returns to their faces. “Have truck, will travel and all that.”
Arduls wings move slightly as they stand there and talk. Seemingly responding to her mood and actions. Sipping from the coffee, very appreciatively, she considers Yarens’ answer and inclines her head towards Artie “Indeed, it is the journey. Although sometimes knowing our roots can be useful. But if you can’t, you can’t.” She seems pragmatic at least.
“I’ve not had chance to explore the city, yet.” she gestures towards Vanished Point. “We were discussing that possibility while we waited for his robot. I’ve not chosen quite where to settle just yet, either. This world offers many possibilities.”
Work. It takes him a moment to figure out what Hunter means, so Yaren listens as the other goes on. “Demons…?” he echoes, the question mark audible. It isn’t that he is unfamiliar with the term. Such is what he’s heard other sentients refer to those of his kind, those who have Fallen. He can’t help but wonder if these might be the same.
Unfortunately he’s unfamiliar with such a saying as Artie offers, but Ardul at least seems to, and in regards to the importance of the journey, Yaren cannot disagree. Slowly his glowing gaze turns in the direction that Hunter had gestured, even though the place in question could not currently be seen. He nods.
“This one would like to see this city,” he agrees, wondering if he’d be overwhelmed. The place they currently stand within is already much busier than any dwelling of sentients he’s ever been to before. It’s both fascinating and a bit scary.“I see.” Hunter sketches Artie a salute with his cybernetic hand (sonicetomeetchadon’tbeastrangernow!) “Well if you stay in town keep in touch. Otherwise I work a lot in Vesper so hopefully I’ll see you around.” A bit odd, this human, but nice enough. He’s found that general descriptor pretty apt for a lot of this plant’s native species.
The ones that don’t try to kill him on sight that is.
“Well Yaren I don’t recommend going in there alone but you can always sign on with one of the teams going in. If you are about tomorrow Ardul and I will be going in. I just need my bot repaired…”
“HEY WOLFIE!” Comes from across the street, yelled by a being that looks like she’s some kind of leonine cat-person.
“Speaking of which, sounds like they need my attention. You all take care. Ardul I’ll see you in a bit.” Hunter turns and heads back across the street. His Gunwolf is going to be a bit longer it seems.
Artie gives them all a nod, with a grin, before she gestures towards her truck. “Time to go, she gets impatient.” She might be joking, but she turns, jogging towards it, coffee carefully balanced.
Ardul visible brightens at the mention of going into the city. She might a bit of a thrill seeker. “Indeed we are. Though I need my armour tuned a little. Took a bit of a damage when I took on a Lindwurm the other day. Well that, and a battle or two before .” Yep, definitely a thrill seeker. “You’re more than welcome to join us.”
The winged woman watches as Hunter leaves “I’ll try not to get into too much trouble…” She probably won’t. He’s left her with coffee and she does seem sensible. Maybe she’s just teasing him. “Farewell, Artie. Safe travels…”
“Well, I’m going to sit right over there and wait for Hunter to return, if you’d like to join me, Yaren.” Either way, she intends to engage in a bit of people watching.
Looking back to his new acquaintances, Yaren’s eyes seem to offer the smile that won’t ever be seen. Come to think of it, his voice although odd in tone doesn’t seem at all muffled despite all that he’s got wrapped about him.
“Hunter’s offer is well appreciated. This one will watch for Hunter and Ardul come the morrow,” he says, hatted head about to bob in a nod again, but by then the wolf is back to dodging traffic. Looking after him, Yaren then turns his attention back to the two women. “This one will not keep Artie.” They seem to at least have things to do, and as Artie moves to leave as well, he can but raise a hand in farewell after her. She? he wonders, but it may be that he’ll have to wait for an explanation on that one.
He nearly seems to beam at Ardul’s offer, always so reluctant to part ways with people he meets. And there’s much of this day left, which means plenty of time to explore Saren’s Rest as he can, later. So he nods.
“This one will gladly do so, Ardul,” he replies.
Stopping by Megs Mechworks, Hunter and Ardul meet some newcomers to Sarens Rest. One seems to talk to their truck and one has interesting diction
December 02, 2409