the times, they are a changin'

A factory-like setting that always smells of death and blood. The screams from the poor animals that enter this building are forever piercing your ears.

the times, they are a changin'

Joined: 30 Mar 2015, 03:16

21 Jun 2016, 03:21 #1

Clementine Dunn, who was all of thirty-two years old wore her long, dark hair plaited in two braids that hung past her waist. Wearing overalls and high boots and a crop top, Clem looked nothing like the head of an underground moonshine operation. She was near one of the pigpens that was close to the slaughterhouses, but the stink of blood and flesh, warm and spoiled, was barely noticeable to her anymore.

There was a large bundle, wrapped in rags, covered in, what smelled like garbage. She leaned over the fence, looking at the pigs in the pen, who kept watching her with their dark, beady eyes. She smiled, pursing her lips together, making sounds at the swine who stamped their hooves in the mud. They hadn't eaten in days.

She had called a meeting of those she trusted--along with a surprise guest. Things were changing all over Panem and she aimed to get ahead of the game--but she would need the rest of them to make this happen. "Soooooie!" she whooped, her voice lilting and echoing into the air. Clapping her hands, the pigs began to shove against each other, ravenous, eager to be fed.

Shielding her eyes with her hand, she looked to those arriving.

"Time to eat!"

Joined: 24 Mar 2015, 04:32

26 Jun 2016, 23:15 #2

Times change.

It was only two years ago that Ness shivered at the prospect of meeting up with any of the more elite Bootleggers. Now, he walked to an assigned meeting place with his hands heavy in his pockets, a slight slouch to his step, his head leaned sideways as a demonstration of arrogance. In his jacket was a gun. He never went anywhere without one.

Two years ago, he had sat down at his brother’s table, listening to him rant about his trials and tribulations - and to his promises. Kraft had always been a neat little package oaths and swears and reassurances. When they were younger, he had sworn that he would protect the goats and the cacti that had filled the Muldvarp family with hope for the future and joy for the present. Five years later, he killed every single goat; he turned the cacti wine, whose recipe was a family heirloom, into corporate pig-swell that failed its first week. Two years ago, Kraft Moldvarp had sworn his brother the paycheck of a lifetime, so long as he put on a little act for a certain audience. Ness had been on stage for two years now; he’d read his lines, followed the blocking to the best of his ability. And he had seen only hairs of the price promised him.

Ness didn’t need to think long and hard to know that Kraft had no money, and that he was soon running out of time. Ness had tried soothing the issue with deadlines, interest, et cetera. Kraft shrugged it all off. It burned Ness to a crisp, but he shouldered the burden, despite it all. Ever since an incident when they were fourteen, Ness tried to avoid giving his brother too much trouble or woe. It was the brother in him.

But times change.

When one lies for long enough, they become the lie. Ness had started off as a liar, passing off as another cock-fighter, distilling for the Baron and his passe, calm and quiet and never blinking when a bruiser crashed in and dragged some poor bastard off into the night. He spent two years of his life never blinking. A few times, he even helped bury the body when the bruiser was done with it; once, he even helped finish it off. And at the cusp, he had sworn an allegiance of betrayal with the fair mistress of the Bootleggers. He had, and was still, doing his part to help her, to help his brother, and most importantly, to help himself.

The latter was supreme. The former had offered him more than he had ever bargained for. In creating such a blood tie, Ness had found a place. If he wanted, he wouldn’t ever have to go back to the slaughterhouses as another pig murderer. He had power in the bootlegger system - nothing like Clem’s, nothing Shannon Rigby’s, nothing like any of the bruisers, and he would never have anything like the Baron ever had. But power could go a long way in the right hands.

And what did his dear sweet brother have for him but debt?

Ness took his hand out of his jean pocket, and caressed the gun in his weathered jacket. He breathed in the fumes of death as he walked about the slaughterhouse: the memories of shrill screams, bloody hands, and empty stomachs filled him; he walked on, his face stiff. No one seemed to be there except him and a couple of dumb animals that stared at him with trembling eyes, each huddled over in the corners of their enclosures. A few days ago, an explosion had racked the Justice Building and whatever important political offices of District Ten; the workers treated the oncoming political apocalypse as if it were a holiday. Ness couldn’t blame them. He was rather excited for it himself. He found that he rather liked change.

He turned around a corner, entering the stalls of pig-pens. A few feet away, Ness noticed the lovely Baroness that truly ruled the Bootleggers. She even made plain farm clothes look good. He smirked a little, his eyes glinting, neither predatory nor sweet, but rather as though he had just thought of some stupid joke only he would find amusing. He approached her. He did not fail to notice the large bundle caked with garbage, and felt only a slight elation. With unforced casualty, Ness piped up to her: “Lovely mornin’, Clementine. Not as lovely as you.” The flirting was a game he liked to play with her - such was how he played with most women of her caliber. Some of them found it charming, even flattering; Clementine seemed to usually find it exasperating: his favorite. In terms of sexuality, Ness had not really grown past those boyhood days of shoving girl’s pig-tails into ink.

Joined: 24 Mar 2015, 00:02

29 Jun 2016, 18:29 #3

Shannon made her way through the empty slaughterhouse. Her galoches stepped on dried up blood with every step she took. In any other day the blood would be fresh, dripping from the tables and the saws, but not today. Today she wouldn’t have the satisfaction of hearing the blood swoosh as she stepped on it.

Had she been younger she would have personally marched up to the houses of all the workers and kicked their arses back to the slaughterhouse. Obviously, she could have sent someone, but her bruisers didn’t know how to do the talking. Besides, there were only two of them, and if she wanted to keep this operation running she would have to do better than that.

This was her Slaughterhouse now more than ever. The owner had officially vacated the position, taking away towards the Capitol, looking for his own form of revenge for things long gone. He was an old man and a fool. Shannon was old too, but she was no fool. She ran this Slaughterhouse, and she was going to keep on doing it, as soon as she got the manpower necessary to get everything running smoothly.

The old woman opened up the door that led outside, where the company she had been expecting was waiting. Clementine Dunn was looking as radiant as ever; losing one's husband sure did wonders for a woman. Ness Muldvarp… well… Shannon hadn’t been expecting him. ”Don’t embarass yourself dear. Clementine obviously has no need for men in her life.Especially men like you.”

Getting a little bit closer, Shannon inspected the ragged remains inside the Pig Pen. A slight frown took over her expression for a mili second, before she returned to her regular sweet old lady smile. ”You should have cut it up.”

Joined: 24 Mar 2015, 19:18

29 Jun 2016, 20:00 #4

It had been a whole week since Bunny had seen the Baron, and the more he thought about the more he thought the other man was angry at him. There was no other explanation for the Baron to have told Bunny to wait for him at his place at around midnight and never show up. It had taken the young man around three hours to decide to give up, get dressed and go to sleep. He had not heard from the man since, but apparently he was in some kind of business trip, something he had never mentioned to Billy.

The Baron told everything to his Bunny.

He had not wanted to go to any meeting, but he was the accountant for the operation so he knew that he couldn't dip out, and maybe if the meeting was being called he would be able to get a glimpse of the man he loved at last. Without the Baron there was no reason for Bunny to stay with the Bootleggers, besides the fear of them coming after him and his family because of the knowledge he possessed. He was trapped there for good.

Quietly he entered the slaughterhouse, the Baroness was at the front with a sack she was feeding to the pigs. She could see Shannon Rigby and Ness Muldvarp at the front talking to her, but he had no interest in addressing the woman whom he had been helping the Baron cheat on. He had never felt good about it, really, if anything he felt incredibly embarrassed to be so willing to compromise his education, his morals and the lessons learned from his parents to satisfy a brute man like the Baron, but that was beside the point.

He took a seat near the front and looked down to his hands, it had been a week since they had touched the Baron, how much longer would it be? He was not there, but perhaps he was waiting to make an entrance, right?

Joined: 30 Mar 2015, 03:16

10 Jul 2016, 06:19 #5

[Tw: slight gore?]

The hogs, in their different pinks and tans, spotted and not, curly tails springy as they edged closer to the edge, near madness with hunger. She needed to feed them soon, or else they threatened to breakdown the fencing keeping them within. The greedy animals smelled what she had brought them, and they wanted to eat badly.

The oily entreaties from Ness met her ears, and she smirked as she turned around, bright diplomatic smile. “Ness, I knew I didn’t have to ask you twice to come visit your relations in the sty.” His relentless flirting, even though she was engaged to another was refreshing, but it also helped to put her relationship under the harsh light. There were days when the only romance she received had been from the greasy-haired, sweet talking, annoying as all get out Ness Muldvarp, and that notion was what kept her pushing the wedding back further and further.

Shannon arrived, and Clem gave her a sweet smile. Billy arrived last, but that was no surprise to Clementine. “No, I think it’s better this way.” she murmured, before untying the disgusting-smelling sack. She probably should have worn gloves, but she wanted to feel his face one last time. Stooping, the Baroness revealed the face of her deceased fiancé.

Smoothing the side of his face that wasn’t caked in blood, she pressed her lips to his forehead. Then silently, she sealed the bag up again, Brent’s face disappearing from view. “It seems that my dear Baron ran afoul of our competitors.” she stated, her voice even and devoid of emotion. “It’d be a crying shame to waste all that good meat, when the pigs’ll have it.” she added, opening the gate and dragging Brent’s body through. Immediately the pigs surrounded the corpse, dragging it from it’s sack, a flash of flannel here, a finger there, and Clem quietly closed the gate.

She turned to the group, her eyes white, not rimmed red from crying. “I’m taking control of this outfit, and if anyone has a problem with that, will be fed to the pigs.” Taking out a white towel, she began to wipe her hands clean.

Joined: 24 Mar 2015, 04:32

11 Jul 2016, 23:58 #6

Ness kept his grins in check as Clem ripped right into him. “Oink, oink,” he drawled, a slather of nasal pride drawing the words out.

Footsteps pattered; Ness turned his head to look, and there was the sweet lil’ ol’ lady of the pack. Shannon Rigby was something of a conundrum to him: she wore a grandmother’s smile, yet something about the way she held herself gave him flashbacks of his several nightly incarcerations in the goat pen during his wayward years as a ten-year-old. He wasn’t sure if he should like her just yet.

Shannon had overheard the one-sided minute-long dalliance between Clementine and Ness; to say the least, she didn’t seem to ship it. “Don’t embarass yourself dear. Clementine obviously has no need for men in her life.Especially men like you.”

Ness lifted his eyebrows, not sure if he had heard his ears quite right. One would have thought that sass rots as the skin shrivels, but he supposed that Shannon had lucked out. He almost forgot to quip back: “Prob’ly.”

She approached the garbage-clad bundle, eyeing it for a moment. Ness watched her, his spine a little straighter now, his mouth crooked in examination. Shannon turned, and smiled at Clem; Ness wondered if her mouth smelled like oven-baked cookies. “You should have cut it up,” she suggested. Clem glanced at her, and murmured in disagreement. With a thoughtful half-nod, Ness decided that he should learn to like Shannon, and fast.

Out the corner of his eye, he noticed Billy Buck take a seat nearby, quiet as any little shadow. Ness ignored him; Billy was quite easy to ignore. He didn’t really understand why or how the Baron would be engaged to someone like Clementine yet ended up fucking someone like Buck (as he had alleged from what Clem had told him).

Clementine began to kneel over the sack, opening it, and Ness saw the Baron’s face paled and reddened by death. There was something eerily romantic about looking upon a dead dragon, something both sobering and gratifying. Clem leaned forward, her face moving to his; Ness glanced away, even turned a little. His gaze slipped onto Billy’s face. Ness tensed like a cat, ready to spring at any moment, eyes precise as claws. Clem stood up to drag the bag into the pen; eyes locked on the Baron’s little Bunny, Ness stepped a little out the way, but did not help her: he knew she hadn’t use for anyone’s help. He heard the pigs squeal and slobber and maul with satisfaction. Clem closed the gate; he glanced at her. She turned on the group, on all the moles and bunnies and old ladies. “I’m taking control of this outfit, and if anyone has a problem with that, will be fed to the pigs.”

“Sounds fair to me,” Ness murmured, turning his gaze back to Billy.

(ooc: Sorry if this post seems kinda like just a reactionary waste of space. I wanted Ness to bring more to the topic, but a part of me felt like this response would be more realistic time-wise and would give the rest of y’all more freedom to do whatever development y’all had wanted to do. So, um, I guess this was the right choice...? Sorry if it wasn’t. I at least hope y’all find Ness’s internal monologue (is it really an internal monologue if it’s in third person?) interesting, at the least.

Roleplaying’s so much harder than it looks, like omg, how do we even do this...)