(2015-06-30) Bringing Azia to the Gates
Bringing Azia to the Gates
Summary: Alicia leads Azia out of the woods and they run across Quinton on the road to Camp Hope.
Date: June 30th, 2015
Related: Strangers in the Mist

It is just after lunch time, the sun high in the sky as Alicia leads 'Andy' through the woods and out onto the road about a half a mile up from the gates, riding her Palomino while forcing the other person to walk. Alicia swirls the toothpick around in her mouth as she glances up to the sky for a moment, then turns about in the saddle as the horse continues to canter down the dirt road. She flips open one of her saddlebags and pulls out a pair of dried meat strips, "Fancy some deer jerky there Andy?" Alicia asks as she closes up the saddle bag.

Seeing the approach to the road, 'Andy' is quick to pull up the scarf and place the sunglasses over her eyes, pulling up the camouflaged hood again, to conceal herself from anyone who might be out in the open. The obscured figure follows Alicia's glance up into the sky and then focusses on the mounted woman. There's a moment of pause and then an eager nodding, a silent affirmative.

Quinton's been missing since breakfast. he was seen briefly but then disappeared after inhaling his meal. He's actually headed back towards camp, his backpack on and the poncho that he had on when he first met Alicia can be seen peaking out of the pack. He's keeping an eye on his surroundings, not particularly wanting to ruin the day by getting jumped. He notices the woman on the horse first and raises a hand in greeting, or just letting her know he's there.

Alicia leans down and hands off one of the jerky sticks to 'Andy' before straightening up in her saddle and spitting the toothpick out of her mouth, to be replaced by the dried meat in an instant. As she bites off a chunk she notices Quinton waving and raises her right hand in return, waving wide over her head and steering her horse in his direction, "Come on Andy, that there be Quinton, good ol' boy he is." She grins a bit over her shoulder at Andy before looking forward and focusing on chewing the deer in her mouth as she closes the distance between herself and Quinton.

The only immediate thing that can be seen about the covered figure that follows the horse out of the woods is the small size. Other than that he or she is covered from head to toe. A bit of a glint of dark glasses can be seen under the large poncho hood. They reach up and take the offered bit of food and then catch sight of the waving figure, the darkened face turning toward Quinton, tilted just a bit downward to keep the sun from revealing anything under the hood. The jerky is clutched in a hand that disappears under the poncho, and the small figure takes up a pace with the horse.

Quinton stops as a second figure emerges from the woods. He wasn't smiling before, but his face definitely goes neutral as he studies the two. he doesn't say anything, just eyes them both. A hand does sneak up to hook a thumb around the strap of his backpack though as he waits for them to get closer.

Alicia lets out a clipped whistle through her teeth, halting her horse as she draws a few feet away from Quinton, "Hey there Quint ol' boy, found 'Andy' here out in the woods prowlin' 'round. Seems like she'a be in the mood do some tradin'" There's some stress on the name 'Andy' with a grin from the cowgirl when she says it. She rips off another chunk of the meat with her teeth and then as she chews points at it with her other hand with eyebrows raised, as if asking Quinton if he'd like some as well.

Stops in a position where she could duck and put the horse between herself and Quinton if the need came up. There's a bit of a sigh from under the hood as the horsed woman announces that it's a 'she', and she reaches up and pulls the hood back and off. Flipping up her glasses and pulling down her scarf, the girl's face is revealed. Rather sheepishly she says, "Umm..well….actually..my name is Azia…", she says with a bit of a blush and a shrug. "Just like the country, except with a Z instead of a S".

Quinton quirks an eyebrow, studying the girl. He then sighs, "The woods, huh?" He glances towards the trees, and then back at Azia, "By yourself or with a group?" The explanation of her name actually gets a small smile from the man, the idea that spelling someone's name is still important is a good thing, in his mind. It's very…human. "I'm Quinton. What are you looking to trade for?"

Alicia injects between bites, "Found 'er alone, didn't notice no one else prowlin' 'bout with her. You want any of this jerky I got in my saddle bags? It lunch time or there 'bouts." She takes another bite of the stick and chews away, grinning slightly as Azia admits her true name but not commenting on it. It's not like Alicia uses her own first name anyhow.

Azia mentally reviews what she has stashed back in town where she's squatting, going over it in her mind, figuring what her immediate needs are. "I suppose a gun is probably too much to ask," the girl says wryly, not really expecting an affirmative on that. The poncho moves and gets slipped up and back over her shoulders, revealing a rather small-bodied girl underneath, and a sack tied at her waist. "I got me some baby food jars, and batteries, that I think are probably still good, and six spark plugs, if there's anybody with a car around. What I could really use is ….well, a lot of things…..", she says.

Quinton nods with a smirk, yes, a gun is too much to ask for. As he listens to Azia he quietly reaches up for a piece of jerky, "Thanks.." A bite is taken and he waves off what she has, "Baby food is good. Batteries and spark plugs too. I'm sure we can trade you for some of what you need, give you a hot meal even." It's not his place to make the offer to stay.

Alicia reaches back to fetch another piece from her saddle bags when Quinton reaches up, handing him that one as she pushes the last of her own into her mouth. She crosses her forearms against the saddle horn and leans her weight on it as she listens to the two trading.

Azia's eyes could be seen to light up at the mention of a hot meal, though she didn't want to seem too eager. She had slipped the jerky that Alicia had given her into a pocket, rather than eat it immediately, and now was the offer of more food. She nodded, trying to seem less than passionate about the offer. "Alright," she said. "I'd like to see you all got, at least, and I could eat somethin'."

Quinton thought that was the case with the food, he nods back to the girl, "What we trade isn't really up to me, but I know we have some clothes and such." With winter coming, that stuff can be important. He glances up at Alicia, "You headed back, Annie, or should I walk her to the gate?"

Alicia arches an eyebrow for a moment and then glances over her shoulder, before looking back at Quinton and pointing at herself, "You talkin'… to me.. cause I'm Tavers…Either way.." She drops her hand to the saddle horn, "Yeah I'm headed back, gonna help skin that deer I broughts in yesterday now that she's bled out proper."

Azia slips the poncho back down to conceal herself again. She starts to flip up the hood as well, but…really it just doesn't seem necessary at this point, so she forgoes it. Having the prospect of a coming meal, and a *hot* one at that, has gotten her stomach moving in anticipation. "Umm…so…am I going with you?", she asks Alicia, looking up at her on the horse.

Quinton just looks at Alicia and nods, like a that's what he said kinda nod. "Take her to talk to Sonny and Bea right away." Azia gets a soft smile, "If you decide to stay for the night, you'll probably get a tent…it's what we all have."

Alicia blinks a little, "Well ain't you comin'? Don't think it exactly my place be introducin' folks to folks, not like I's a main staple of the community. And if'n she does stay the night, and it alright with her, she can take my tent, looks like it'll be a clear night, I can sleep outside."

Azia looks to Quinton, then to Alicia, and then chimes in. "Umm…that's like…real nice and stuff, but….I ain't sure it's a good idear." She really can't put her finger on why. What could be better than sleeping in a place where she doesn't have to worry about getting woken by bandits in the middle of the night? The girl bites at her lip, a bit uncertainly, "umm….maybe I oughtta just…you know…um..trade my stuff and go." After that, a moment later she quickly adds, "Oh, and…eat somethin'…."

Quinton shrugs, "We have tents for new folks. That's what they're for." They can use them or not, not really his concern. Azia gets an eye though, he's seen that look, the hunger and want, "Well…come trade and get supper….you can decide after that." No pressure. He glances towards the two mile road and fidgets with his strap, weighting some choice, "I can walk you back, if you want. I'm not a staple of anything, but if you'd rather, I can."

Alicia nods slightly and then picks up her reins, "Well then lets be on our way, and yeah, probably be bettah you introducin' her to Sonny and Bea than I." She grins wistfully for a moment as she pulls down the brim of her fedora to block some of the noon glare.

Azia again listens to the exchange between the two, and then nods. She gives Quinton a long, very long look. Two people on the road, probably safer than one, but… well, there've been others who had come up with reasons to try and be alone with her in the past months, and typically it wasn't for her welfare. She shrugs, "Maybe I'll stay, if I'm welcome, but either way, I can get back by myself."

Quinton was trying to not be the one to take her back! The long look gets an eyebrow lift and he just stares back at her. So much for him trying to be nice. Instead of saying anything, or trying to defend himself from the look he just shakes his head and turns, starting to walk in the direction of the gates.

Alicia gives a click of her tongue and sets her horse cantering forward, "So what were you up to today Quinton ol' boy?" Alicia asks with a polite tone in her voice.

Azia falls into step next to the horse, keeping silent at first. She looks over the gate and fence as they pass by it, and turns back to the road. After a bit, she chimes in, "I guess I been hearin' about this place for a while, but …I ain't never came out here before. Is there stuff you guys need more than other stuff? I been stayin' hid in Fremont, and got a lotta places to look for good finds, but I pass over a lotta stuff, cuz it's things I don't need."

Quinton has to look up, Alicia's on a horse, "Scavenging. I was gonna head to try to find something for lunch." They have to fend for themselves during lunch time. When Azia starts talking again he falls silent, letting her talk and not interrupting. He just shakes his head, "Sonny and Bea would be the ones to talk to."

Alicia nods a bit, "I was out checkin' some snares I'd set up yesterday, no luck though, so I reset 'em, maybe get some rabbits tomorrow if'n I's lucky." She shifts back and forth in her saddle a bit, glancing down at her lap, "Gonna need some new pants soon, just 'bout wore the crotch out in these ones."

"Sonny and Bea," Azia repeats. They both had mentioned them before and Azia figured they'd be the ones running the place. Someone was always 'running' things, no matter where you went. Which brought to mind some other things she was curious about. "So like….do you guys have…you know…rules or laws or stuff like that here?"

Quinton glances, making sure Alicia's not in some fancy like pants, "I can look around…what size do you wear?"Pale green eyes are leveled at Azia, "Yes, we have rules. It's how we keep order." Assuming a few things, Quin adds, "It's all common sense, Don't steal, don't harm. Don't endanger the camp…things like that."

Alicia is wearing a pair of old denim jeans. She glances down and aside at Quinton with an eyebrow arched, "Whatcha think I swear? Small o' course… err a four I guess'd be the number." She nods along with Quinton's explanation of the rules, "Mah daddy use'ta say, 'Golden rule babe, dun do too no one what you wouldn't want'a done to yurself.'”

Azia nodded solemnly, of course, common sense. But sooner or later, somebody's common sense was going to disagree with somebody else's common sense, and then there would be looking over shoulders, disapproving of people's…choices. She gave a look up to Alicia astride her horse, and nodded. "Makes sense," she said, "But that's one a them rules that a bunch a people don't care about."

Quinton shakes his head, "I'm not sizing you up. I can guess, or you tell me a number." What is with these girls? He sighs, "We care about it. It's a good group."

Alicia chuckles a bit, "Well I did, a four.. I think.. I'll take a look at da tag when I get back to mah tent." She reaches into the pocket of her duster and pulls out a matchbox, getting a toothpick out with her teeth before sliding it back into its place. "Gonna need see if anyone's got some more toothpicks soon too." She stays silent for a few moments as she turns and looks over Azia, pondering a bit before she says, "Well thing is.. mosta them folks… they be a thinkin' ain't no one can return to dem what they done done to other folks."

Toothpicks. Size 4 jeans. Azia was making a mental note about things to look for. She'd maybe make a good trade with the horsewoman. Hell, she might just give the stuff to her if she found it. It wouldn't kill her to just do something because it was nice, would it? She used to be nice….what seemed a long time ago. "I know some clothing places in Fremont, that aren't looted out, but…well….the important stuff is gone…jeans, boots…stuff like that, but I'll keep my eye open."

Quinton's also make a checklist, it's kinda all he does. Although he'll not fight with the girl either. He doesn't add to the conversation, just keeps his eyes open and looking around to keep them safe.

The gate begins to draw near, the guards posted out front keeping diligent watch and one of them pointing out to the others the trio approaching. "Haven't gone into Fremont proper yet, ain't much took to cities since the Arrival, I know the plains, so that's where I stays if'n I can help it." Alicia falls silent, chewing away on her toothpick in contemplation as they draw closer to Camp Hope's gates.

Almost by instinct, Azia begins to reach up and pull up her hood as the guards come into sight, but again, she stops herself. What's the point? She listens to Alicia and nods. "I grew up right there in Fremont," she says, and gets a bit of a faraway look in her eyes. "So..umm…I guess that's …well…it's not really that great a place to stay anymore."

Quinton gets another ribbing by the guards about bringing back yet -another- new person, leading the girls inside the camp. Just a few feet in Quinton has them wait and fetches Sonny and Bea whom come over and go over the basic rules of the camp and tell Azia that they'll go over what she has to trade at dinner time, for now they're busy getting things ready for the night, but mention they'll throw the hygiene kit in with anything else traded later. Quinton wanders off during this process, and Alicia disappears for a short while, returning shortly after however with her saddlebags over one shoulder, hauling her saddle and saddle blanket in her hands.
Alicia is just returning as Sonny and Bea return to their duties, Sonny working with some of the men on some improvements to a few buildings while Bea heads for the communal kitchens. "Well whatcha thinkin', gonna stay the night or gonna make me walk yer ass home?"

Azia had to laugh a little at the question. "If you did that, then I'd have to walk YOU back. Well….maybe. You do have a gun. But I can stay outta sight way better than a horse." She really had to give the matter a thought. Sleeping without paranoia…that was a plus. But…she had scored a bag of weed yesterday, and it was burning a hole in her sack. Sure, they said the only rules were common sense, but…in her experience, somebody would object. If she stayed, she'd have to hike off and find someplace alone to smoke…and she really….*really* wanted to smoke. But she was here….she'd eat…and then walking all the way back would seem a bit burdensome. She could be seen to give the question a long bit of thought, and finally shrugged, "I dunno yet, but either way, I can make it back."

Alicia chuckles a bit as she starts heading through the camp along the dirt roads, hooking a few turns here and there and eventually leading Azia towards a clearing alongside one of the roads that appears to be a campsite, speaking as they walk, "Well, yah can't run or walk as fast as a horse, I'd of course give yah the pleasure of ridin' with me make up time, rather than forcin' yah tah walk with a fat belly full'a food." As they breach the clearing Alicia leads Azia over to a tent near the campfire, tossing down the saddle and blanket near the entrance. She takes off her hat and tosses it onto the saddle horn.

Azia frowns, her brow furrowing, not at all comfortable with the thought of riding on a horse. She shakes her head, imagining being trapped on the back of the animal and getting ambushed. "Nooooo," she intones, "I don't think ridin' a horse is anywhere in my near future…or far one, either." She looks all around as they arrive at the campsite, and without thinking about it, peeks into the tent in front of which Alicia tossed the saddle and hat.

The tent is bare aside from an acoustic guitar. While Azia is busy being snoopy Alicia is going through her saddle bags, pulling out a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste and a canteen. She glances over Azia looking into her tent and grins a bit, "I can play it too." She comments before she starts brushing at her teeth, wandering over towards the campfire and plopping down on a round of wood used as a chair.

Azia follows you over and sits down on the ground, crossing her legs under her, tucking her poncho behind her. She stares at the fire for a moment, and then asks, sort of out of the blue. "What do you miss….like…the most?"

Alicia glances over at Azia, then turns to the fire, brushing in silence for awhile, probably to the point that Azia might think Alicia has ignored her. Then she spits into the fire, uncaps her canteen and swishes some water around in her mouth, spitting this out into the fire as well. She shrugs a bit as she wipes her mouth off and takes a drink from the canteen and then finally replies with, "Probably mah brother." as she rinses out her toothbrush.

Azia gives a bit of a nod. "I don't ..umm…didn't have no brothers or sisters," she says, quietly, talking to Alicia but staring at the fire. She picks up a stick and idly pokes at the burning wood, not saying anything more than that.

Alicia grins a bit as a few memories play out in her mind, "Yeah well, they're a pain in the ass, brothers that is. Always in yer business. Can't even count how many suitors I lost cause he'd come bumblin' over all big brothery and beatin' their ass for talkin' to his sistah." She giggles a bit, rather girlishly, before she clears her throat and stands up, moving back over to her tent to stow her things back in the saddle bags.

Azia nods solemnly again. "Yeah, all up in your business. I get that," she says, in a very thoughtful, pensive tone. "That..um…well…who knows?", she says, suddenly turning to look at you with a faint grin. "One a them suitors could a been a really..you know…bad person…so maybe that was okay."

Alicia laughs as she walks back over, holding out another stick of jerky to Azia as she settles down and sprawls out on the ground beside the other girl, the holes in the thighs of her jeans from riding in the saddle noticeable. "Ha, yeah, bad boy woulda hated datin' me. He woulda crossed me an' I woulda shot him real good." She shakes her head ruefully with a smirk on her lips as she bites off a chunk of deer meat.

It's hard to read the snort that Azia lets out. An amused laugh? Derision? Is she reminiscing about something? She just shakes her head, and keeps her eye on the fire. She idly takes the offered jerky and chews at it. "I never thought about shootin' nobody, but….sometimes I wonder…."

Alicia glances over at Azia, running her hand through her sweat slicked hair and fluffing it out a bit, green eyes inspecting the slightly smaller girl for awhile. She nods a bit, swallowing her chunk of jerky, "Yeah.. ain't shot no one neither. Shot at some guy on the border of Dakota and Montana, he got the message an' let me through without no stupid toll."

"Toll. Tribute. Payoff..protection, whatever," she says. "You're lucky…sort of." She glances back in the direction of Fremont. "Most of the people in Fremont who are runnin' rackets like that have their own guns to shoot back. And there's a fair bunch of 'em want somethin' more than money if you're a girl."

Alicia chews on her jerky in contemplation of Azia's words for a few moments before she shrugs a bit, keeping watch on the other girl, "Only been one man try'a do that to me since the Arrival. He ain't got the balls do it to anyone ever again. Kinda got me a rep back in the Dakota territories as a girl tah avoid with them urges cause of it." She laughs softly, shifting her hips and settling her weight on her other leg as she bites off another piece of venison.

Azia shrugs. "It's just how it is. It'd be great if it was just one on one, and I had a gun. But it didn't take long after the Arrival for people to start runnin' in gangs, groupin' together." She takes a bit of her own piece as well, really savoring the unique flavor. "I coulda joined up with some of 'em….they'da been glad to have me around…but..well…I didn't wanna be in *that* position."

Alicia nods a bit, finishing off her jerky and looking up at the sky, "Well, there be a river bit ways off, yah can use my soap and shampoo if'n yah like to freshen up fore we meet for supper. Always been a loner myself, I'll probably stay another night or two here then move out into the prairie for awhile."

Azia readily accepts that offer, seeming oddly eager all of a sudden. Alicia grabs the mentioned hygiene supplies and hands them of, Azia heading towards the river to go wash off before dinner time.

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