Don't Be A Line In The Sand

Joined: June 21st, 2013, 4:48 am

June 25th, 2013, 4:34 am #1

She didn't have much. All that the tiny blond had accrued in three weeks could be rolled up in a single blanket, knotted off with leather lacing at either end so she could drop it across her back. She might come from a far more technically advanced universe (and how fucked up were those thoughts?) but she'd gone days without power when she was young. Younger. She'd had it pointed out multiple times that she was still young compared to many creatures that lived through the looking glass known as Door.

Seraphina Grant lifted her lip in a snarl as she glowered at the man in charge of interim housing. She wouldn't be back and he wasn't sad to see her go. Not when her greatest pleasure was, according to him, attempting to make people cry. As though the blond didn't know that people in Door were tougher than leather and just as hard to chew. The petite IT Specialist smirked to herself as she strode out into the sun. At least it wasn't freezing rain and sticky mud. Sleeping in that was hell, this ... well this was just another fucking bump in the road.

The blond moved through town, focused on one thing alone. She didn't smile or wave at people that she passed by, though some of them attempted to do so with her. They'd learn. She eyed a few small children in distrust, children were sticky and messy and often spoke of things they didn't fully understand. In a word, they were useless. And loud. And whiny. And sticky, she couldn't underline that particular problem enough. They touched things and didn't wash before touching other things and it was disgusting.

It didn't take long to move past the kids and eventually past the houses until they got fewer and further between. Her goal was a specific outpost. One in which the 2nd in command of the Red Collars kept his personal shop. Alexander Donald had already agreed that she would be an asset to their faction. She was supposed to report to Hunter Williams for assignment. She reached the outpost (the right outpost on her first try, apparently that didn't happen often.) and was sent to his shop, which was empty.

Rather than search him out Fi took the bedroll off her shoulder and dropped it on the floor, pulling one of her knives out of the holster she'd sewn into her vest. Apparently 14 hidden throwing knives was a record for someone coming through the Door. She wondered briefly what other weapons had come through and if any others could be recreated as she flipped the knife in the air and caught the handle again. It was a comfort gesture, one that made many others nervous. Thankfully the scrawny little blond didn't care about other people's feelings. She flipped the knife and looked around the shop waiting for the 2IC to show up.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 7th, 2013, 8:53 pm

June 25th, 2013, 6:17 am #2

Hunter had been having one of his most productive days in two weeks; finally having worked his way through to the bottom of a stack of administrative nonsense he'd been pretty well ignoring. That is, until Alex had started riding his ass about it all, then there wasn't really the option of putting things off for another day. So, instead of forging ahead on projects like the combination plow/seeder with variable bore depth or repairing/fabricating any number of vehicles, Hunter had been cooped up in his office behind a desk reviewing and signing off on Team Lead reports, personnel updates and recruitment files. His only break from the monotony where the shifts he spent out on duty with his squad, performing some task or another at Maela’s whim.

This morning instead of trying to decipher the chicken scratch most folks seemed to considered handwriting; Hunter was elbows deep in the guts of their medic buggy relaying the oil, fuel and brake lines after ripping them out and patching the leaks. Funny how things liked to break down all at once. Unable to quite fit the new end cap on the brake line into the old pressure switch (as noted by the spray of fluid quickly coating his arms and face) Hunter pulled the line out once more and rolled out from under the vehicle, popping up from behind a table and a few stacks of salvages sheet metal. Clanging around the table he blindly searched for a rag to clean out his eyes. Upon regaining his vision he took a few steps forward to pull a flat file out of a disheveled drawer, only then did he notice the company.

He had been so tied up in the task the man didn’t even register the sounds of someone entering the open garage door of his shop through the low level din of machines and pumps that always played in the space. So once he’d spotted her the man couldn’t begin to tell you just how long the unfamiliar blonde woman had been loafing around his shop. Cool eyes glanced her over; short and wiry, with few curves but a face that might have been decently pretty had she not been sporting a scowl so deep she may as well have been sucking lemons. Hunter, predictably, skipped all the small talk and headed right to the point. ”Don’t know how long you’ve been around these parts darlin’, but walkin’ in on folk’s unannounced is a fair decent way to get a bullet in ya.”
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 21st, 2013, 4:48 am

June 25th, 2013, 7:29 pm #3

Well apparently the 2IC was already there. She cocked an eyebrow, gazing evenly at the man as he rolled out from under ... whatever that was he was working on. They were working with substandard equipment out here and there was a distinct lack of grace to all that was made in Door. She wanted to wrinkle her nose at it all, she'd been in sixty year old buckets of rust that were prettier than some of the vehicles she'd seen out here. She turned back to her perusal, letting him finish whatever it was he was doing as she looked over everything.

"19 days." The response was immediate and full of dry disgust. She didn't want to be here, no point in trying to hide that. Did anyone that wasn't born here want to be in Door? Hell, did anyone that was born in this place want to be here? If the answer was yes the blond was fairly sure that was due to some kind of radiation poisoning or heat stroke. Nothing else would make sense.

"Do you shoot every stranger that wanders into your abode?" She was drawling, completely unimpressed with the threat. She'd heard worse. Dark blue eyes glanced over the length of him, head to toe. Mussed hair, scruffy two day beard, sweat stained top, dirty denim, red bandanna. So this was the illustrious Hunter Williams. At least he was pretty to look at.

The petite woman flipped her knife one last time and quickly slipped it back into position under the hem of her denim vest. She leaned back against the wall and lifted her chin, staring at the other man's face for a moment. "So either you forgot about our meeting or Alexander forgot to mention it." She tilted her head to the right and eyed him again, her mouth pressed up in a mockingly thoughtful expression. She'd been warned that her abrasive personality wouldn't stand her in good stead with the taller man. As thought there was any other way for the scrawny woman to be.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 7th, 2013, 8:53 pm

June 25th, 2013, 8:44 pm #4

The woman was leaned up on the wall just as relaxed as she pleased, as though she had some sort of claim to the space she was standing in. That already had him irked, killing off any slack he'd have been willing to give her. This shop was his, built with his own blood, sweat and hands. Maybe where ever she came from the woman was allowed to do as she pleased, but she sure wasn't there anymore. "19 days." It hadn't actually been a question. Her displeasure was more than evident, but Hunter couldn't really bring himself to care. This whole multiple universe thing might be a new concept for her but in the last three years he'd seen an untold number of folks stumble through the Door, nearly every one of them just as shocked and angry as the last. As far as Hunter was concerned life owed a person nothing, so you simply dealt with the hand it played you, it was naive to assume you had and sort of handle on what the future would hold. Plus, it wasn't as though he was particularly keen about the constant stream of unknowns popping up in the middle of his town needing to be fed and protected; there was only so much food to go around.

"Do you shoot every stranger that wanders into your abode?" Abode? Was that some word for house where she came from? And further more... why would that seem odd to anyone? Of course he shot intruders. "If somethin's in my house I don't know the face of then I sure ain't about to serve it tea. 'specially when they don't so much as knock or introduce themselves and are tossin' weapons about." There was always a firearm, of sorts, nearby in his shop. He'd made more than a few makeshift weapons for folks, and his prototypes were still scattered about the place. There was one laying in the clutter of the drawer he'd pulled the file from, but the man didn't make a move toward it, Alex got mad when he pulled weapons on folks too quick. "So either state your buisiness or get to leavin' right quick." And here he had been in such a pleasant mood...

"So either you forgot about our meeting or Alexander forgot to mention it." Meeting? Hunter cast his mind back briefly to the haze of paper work; mention of a meeting might have been in there somewhere, but if it was he had no memory of it. Still, there were only a handful of reasons Alex would send someone this fresh from the Door in Hunter's direction. Either the woman needed something fixed (which was going to be more costly the longer she kept this high and mighty act up), she was going to try and trade him some tech that came through with her (the best scenario really), or she was a new recruit Alex hadn't felt the need to place in basic training along with the others. "Sugar, quit wastin' my time by recounting the obvious. I got better things to be doin' here than soothe yer fragile feelin's over being forgotten. What'd Alex want you to come see me about."
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 21st, 2013, 4:48 am

June 25th, 2013, 9:12 pm #5

Touchy touchy. All because she was in his shop waiting for him. What was she supposed to do, wait outside in the sun? Not likely. The blond kept her back to the wall, happy with this position because it meant others couldn't get behind her and if he rushed her she had more directions to run. Also, there were plenty of things in the room that could be used for quick weapons if she chose not to use the knives on her person. Wouldn't do to kill the boss man one her first day as a Red Collar. Well ... she pondered that thought for a moment and then decided her original thought was best. It really wouldn't do well to kill your boss less than ten minutes after meeting him.

"Don't get your panties in a twist, I wasn't going to hurt you." Which didn't imply that she wasn't willing to do so now or in the future. She cocked an eyebrow again at him, her face hinting at a smirk. It was obvious that she was thinking mocking things, the blond wasn't one to hide her thoughts if they could be used as a weapon and with someone this hot tempered all her words could be weapons.

Sugar? Who the hell did he think he was, using pet names with her? She wasn't some floozy he could speak down to until it was time to toss up her skirt so he could have his way with her. "My name is Fi." Since he didn't know her name she could get over the use of such a simpering little word. Eyes narrowed and muscles tightened around her jaw as she contemplated showing him exactly what he could do with those soothing gestures. She'd never been referred to as fragile and she didn't like the implications that kind of word said about her.

Fi screwed her face up into something that was half snarl and half smile. "And no worries muffin, I'm hard to hurt." She rocked on her heels a bit, noting the size difference between them. He had to be a foot taller and at least twice her weight. Usually arms muscled like that brought dirty thoughts to her mind and watching the shoulders flex sent heat straight south, but in this instance it just left her measuring how badly off she'd be after a fight between them was finished. "I'm the new recruit."
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 7th, 2013, 8:53 pm

June 25th, 2013, 10:28 pm #6

Presuming she was human, the woman didn't really pose too much of a physical threat with that tiny little frame. Except Hunter knew far better than to make an assumption like that; he would need both hands and feet to count the number of tiny people enlisted with the Red Collars that could fling him around like a ragdoll. So the sarcastic 'assurance' about her intentions being peaceable did nothing to defuse his thoughts about shooting her in the face where she stood.

Ugh... muffins. Of all the mocking pet names she could have picked... and with such an uppity expression on her face. It was taking a fair toll on his reserve of self control to keep from flat out barking at her. And that smart-ass tone... sure Hunter wasn't exactly giving her the warmest of greetings, but he'd been succinct about what she'd done wrong. Maybe... Fi was it? Maybe Fi wasn't clear on the command structure she was trying to enter. What kind of person unabashedly back talked their commanding officer on their first day?

"Don't get too comfortable there Princess, ye ain't but three weeks inside the Door. Don't matter if ye were the meanest fighter on the block back home, here yer lil' more'n helpless. All kinds of dangers in this town your pretty little head never even dreamed on, and many of 'em are the folk you been dilly dallyin' in the street with. " Come to think of it, Hunter had no recollection of a recruitment file for anyone named 'Fi'. Alex wouldn't have forgotten to send that over before a meeting, so either this was all very suspiscious, or that wasn't her actual name. "If'n yer a recruit you'll have tranfer orders." With a sharp flick of his wrist the man called her forward into the shop, he ceritianly wasn't about to go out of his way, she could come to him. Wiping his hands on the rag he was holding, dark steady eyes held fast to her face.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 21st, 2013, 4:48 am

June 25th, 2013, 10:41 pm #7

Well wasn't he just big old ball of sunshine. The kind that burned and blistered and was less useful than it could be. Did he treat everyone with this attitude? Like they were never going to amount to much and he didn't want them around him anyhow? How in all of hells burning fires did he get to be the second in command of a group like the Red Collars if he didn't want anyone different coming into it's hallowed structure? The people running this show must have shit for brains.

Princess!? Who the fuck did this asshole think he was. Fi felt her hands twitch closer to her knives and she pushed them down. No. She would not gut her soon-to-be commanding officer. No matter how much she might want to drag his intestines out of his stomach cavity and drape them over his face just to watch the horror in his eyes. Nowhere to hide his body where people wouldn't immediately find it in this place, she needed to control her temper.

She didn't "dilly dally" as this unschooled Neanderthal was saying, she kept to herself. Didn't bother making friends because she didn't really beleive in them anyhow. They were just weak spots in one's personal armor. Best to leave them out, keep your eyes clear, keep your nights open, be ready to leave in a moment. Oh, wait, nowhere to go here. Nowhere but Red Collar. She pushed off the wall and strode past the taller man, tugging papers out of her bed roll and holding them out to Hunter.

"Seraphina Grant, reporting as ordered. Sir." That last word was said so sweetly you could have choked on it. She'd show him princess.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 7th, 2013, 8:53 pm

July 3rd, 2013, 9:48 am #8

There. This was much, much better. His words had struck a nerve, that was perfectly clear from the way her whole body tightened and that near crazed gleam in her eyes screaming 'I want to murder it with paper cuts and lemon juice'. But for the first time since she'd shown up the woman was actually conducting herself like a hopeful recruit. Hunter was never easy on strangers, and he was even harder on the recruits. Any lingering notions they had about knowing better than the Lieutenants needed to be squashed right quick. Door really was a nasty, volatile, deadly place; those that clung to their old lives didn't adapt quickly and as a result didn't last very long. In the last three years he'd seen more deaths than he had witnessed his entire life growing up in the Vaults.

Still, Hunter’s motivations behind the tongue lashing weren’t even close to completely virtuous. A large part of this had to do with his ever present pride. The man had a considerable ego, but really who doesn’t. It especially liked to rear its ugly head around outsiders. Hunter didn’t take kindly to insolence, but he also responded quickly to signs of respect; so the sudden about face of the woman’s attitude felt a lot like a victory.

Seraphina Grant, unlike ‘Fi’ that name actually was familiar. He’d definitely breezed over her file... but for the life of him the man couldn’t put a finger on the specifics. Satisfied now that she probably wasn’t some wild Blue Flame sympathizer intending to throw magic at him and drag him through the streets lynch mob style, Hunter reached forward and took the transfer orders from her grasp. Alex’s familiar handwriting covered the page, summarizing Seraphina’s practical skill sets and specifying that she be placed in the technology centric Alpha Company, which so happened to be Hunter’s direct command. A wave of irritation boiled back up, why couldn’t Alex just stash her in with the other recruits? Leona was the drill sergeant; breaking in the fresh meat was her job, not Hunter’s. Orders were orders though, and Hunter wasn’t about to try and tell Alex how to run things around here.

Hunter’s demeanor was suddenly all business, their near confrontation pushed aside. He spoke without taking his eyes from the page, internally trying to work out which team she would suit better. ”Alright. A’fore we get started on the details I need you to tell me a few things about this so called 'electrical experience' you say you got. What were you doing with it, and for how long. Technology between the multi-verses got a habit of bein' wildly inconsistent.” Finally finished with the page, cool eyes flicked back to her face, one brow hung slightly cocked as he awaited her response. If the day had any mercy her universe wouldn’t be one of the ones that used totally different terms and measures from the standards here in Door. That was always a headache and a half to work around, lots of wasted hours on tutoring sessions and practical lessons just because some species somewhere decided gravity should be called ‘Limeron’.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 21st, 2013, 4:48 am

July 10th, 2013, 4:12 am #9

She felt her eyebrow cock a bit, she likened it to spastic brow syndrome. Often one or both shot up to show her contempt of someone, her amusement at something, sometimes it was just because she was feeling feisty and in the need to taunt someone. It didn't really matter. The brow went up and she crossed her arms over her stomach, letting the big man go over the paperwork. His hands, large and calloused, flexed once and the paper crinkled a tiny bit. Apparently he was not amused.

Her other eyebrow joined the first, reaching for her hairline when he began snapping off sentences in a firm tone of voice. He didn't look at her, instead keeping his eyes on the paper that probably didn't tell him much of anything all things considered. Hell, Fi couldn't even remember half the shit she'd told Alex about her background. What the hell did that say about her, though? That she couldn't remember how she'd described herself to the person that that was going to decide her fate in this gods forsaken whatever.

"Electrical. Like wires." She said it slowly, as though talking to a very simple child. The sweet tone of voice probably wouldn't help land her in the man's good stead either. She should probably have attempted to play nice, but it wasn't exactly her strong suit. Besides, the saccharine comment gave her a moment to get her thoughts together enough to be concise.

"Think IT. Equal parts hardware and software. Hacking, decoding, ripping things apart to create a bit more back door leeway, that sort of thing. Control systems, simulators, more than a few vehicles. Simple orbital mechanics; superluminal, geostatic, and inertial drives. Quantum entanglement communications, Tachyon absorbative shielding, stuff like that." She was used to graceful and half invisible software paths and quick and dirty hardware patches. Half her vehicles had been modified short range fliers, but she didn't know enough about FTL to do shit herself, and quantum physics was a headache waiting to happen.. She just knew their brains.

And now she was stuck in a place full of the brainless.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: June 7th, 2013, 8:53 pm

July 27th, 2013, 11:07 pm #10

As she started to speak Hunter had actually allowed himself a moment of hope, the woman had paired the words electricity and wires! It was a great sign, everything was starting off so well, but the day did not in fact seem to be feeling particularly merciful. From that point on it was all but gibberish. Hacking sounded promising... they always needed people to go in and rip machines apart for salvage, even if that had shit all to do with electrical work. But IT, orbital mechanics and... What were all those kinds of drives again? Tachyon? Her words just kept getting more and more foreign.

Hunter did manage to pick up on one term as familiar, though it took him a few moments to dredge up the memory. Quantum Mechanics was spoken of in the papers he had read about the modern scientist Albert Einstein’s work, a man who had helped create the nuclear bomb. Needless to say his work had been well preserved even in the haste of trying to find safety in the shelters. Hunter had poured over the papers time and again, but it was largely over his head or referencing concepts that were not found in other saved writings. Much of the world’s knowledge was lost when the bombs fell. Hopefully ‘Quantum Entanglement Communications’ had something to do with Quantum Mechanics, that would mean Seraphina might come from an advanced universe and be able to fill in some of those gaps...

For a moment Hunter was energized from tip to toe with excitement, then he remembered who it was he was talking with. Not one ounce of his being wanted to ask this woman for help, or even worse, have her be more knowledgeable than him! She would be insufferable. Insufferable and smarmy. Still he had to respond! Seconds were ticking by and pretty soon the silence would stretch into the realm of stunned, Hunter’s pride couldn’t handle that either. In a last ditch effort Hunter fell back on his de facto growling timbre. ”You aren’t in your universe anymore.” The growl was too much, defensive more than anything else, he consciously toned it back as he followed up. ”So your terms might just be different, or your science is. Anything in this room that looks remotely like what you just listed off?”
Quote
Like
Share