(2016-04-27) House Call
House Call
Summary: Monica visits Teigue at his apartment to discuss something.
Date: 2016.04.27
Related: none

Monica knocks on your door.

A voice calls through the door, "Who is it?"

"It's me, Monica."

"Come on in."

Monica walks in carrying a book. "Do you know anything about chemistry?"

In the apartment, the entire place is empty of all furnishings and any creature comforts. The only thing in the apartment is a blanket spread out on the floor in a corner of the living room with Teigue's pack being used as a pillow. Next to this, his rifle rests propped up against the wall. Teigue, himself, is standing near the door, awaiting her entrance. At the question, he raises an eyebrow slightly and shakes his head. "Not too much. Pretty much just common knowledge and basic understanding." He admits, glancing down towards the book she is carrying.

Monica looks around. "Not big on furniture? Or have you not gone looting the empty houses yet?" The book reads "Beyond Basic Chemistry." It's obviously a text book, and probably very old. "At some point, I need to make acetone for one of my schemes. And here I find out it used to be basically fermented from mollases, but the bacteria will eat starch, sugar, cellulose… you could throw old corn stalks in there and it'd be just fine. I'm thinking cow flops would be just about perfect. I'm reading up on how the end product separation works. As a bonus, if we scaled it up enough, we could make butinol, which is a pretty good substitute for gasoline. Better than ethanol, certainly.

Teigue chuckles as he looks around the apartment and shakes his head. "Yeah, I haven't gone looking for any furniture. I've only just got this place yesterday." He smiles and looks back at her as she explains what she needs, nodding his head slightly as he takes in all the information. "Do we have a source of molasses and/or cow droppings that would meet the production needs in order for this to happen? I mean, is there cows being kept in camp? I haven't seen any yet, but I really haven't done a whole lot of exploring." He considers the scale of the operation that would be needed to create a steady supply of a gasoline substitute. "If we can get the source material, we may be able to convert a warehouse or something into a production plant."

Monica sits down in half-lotus in front of Teigue, as though, at 22, her knees are still made of rubber. "We have cattle. Not enough to eat yet, but enough for milk and some cheese. We have some horses too, although I don't know how many are capable of breeding. Chester, my horse, is a gelding, so no colts for him. I'm trying not to get too carried away planning for the future, and I'm still working on how to do agriculture so we have feedstock for all this stuff, but… once we beat the aliens, we've got a lot of work to do. Thirty-some-odd of us aren't enough to avoid a dark ages, to say nothing of making a viable breeding pool.

Monica says, "The problem is, gasoline and diesel fuel go bad."

Teigue nods his head as he moves to sit on the floor near her, looking up at her. "Okay, but at the moment, we do have a steady source of manure to use for what we need." He shrugs slightly. "It could be enough to learn what we have to." The mention of fuel going bad, he sighs and nods. "True, but I think if we can get some fuel, they'll use up whatever we can make before it has a chance to go bad."

Monica says, "I was thinking more of the stuff that's in car gas tanks and underground tanks at gas stations, and farmer off-road tanks and like that. That's what we're using now. Propane shouldn't degenerate because it's stored under pressure, and ammo will keep for decades unless it's got mercuric primers, which it shouldn't. I just keep thinking we need agriculture, we don't have the hands to do it the old way, and the big machines need fuel." Mon sighs. "Sorry. Your second day here and I'm laying all my worries about the future on you." She puts the book down, takes off her hat and sets it on the book. "Electric power and running water are only the beginning. If we want to use the toilets in these buildings, we're gonna need a waste water treatment plant, or we're looking at cholera pretty quick. My bathhouses are kind of a temporary solution. Those houses have septic systems."

Teigue ahs and nods his head. "Yeah, I forgot about those. I haven't thought about vehicles in a long time. I went on a run last night and that was the first time I've been in a moving vehicle in a really long time." He leans back against the wall and rubs the back of his neck. "We've got to start at some place. First we need to get power running so we can run the pumps so we can get water. Then we can move on from there. Baby steps." He chuckles and waves off her apology, shaking his head slightly. "It's okay, don't worry about it. It's actually been giving me something to think about and keeping my mind off other things too. I appreciate the distraction."

Monica nods. "Yeah. That's sort of been why I'm so gung ho to do all this too. That, plus I want to take a long, hot bath indoors, and I'm sick of using the privy already. So what projects do you have in mind?"

Teigue nods his head. "Yeah. I'd like to get a sense of normalcy back and be able to take a shower when I want and actually flush a toilet." He offers with a smirk before he considers any projects. "Well, I haven't really had much time to think about it, but I would like to find a computer and see if I can get it up and running again. I know it's a long shot, but it would really help if we can get a computer." Yeah, his computer nerd is coming out.

Monica thinks about it. "For calculations hell yes. Managing data… I don't know. I mean, if we have critical data in it, and we can't repair or replace it if it breaks down, we're screwed. And with no Internet… Oh man, can you imagine how useful Wikipedia'd be right now?"

Teigue laughs and nods. "Yeah. I just want it mostly for calculating and design. Nothing too critical especially since we don't have anyway of backing it up. Pen and paper would be best for the more critical of things." He says, letting out a sigh as he remembers the internet and the vast wealth of knowledge that they've lost. "Hell, Google would be a godsend right now."

Monica nods. "Another ten years or so for libraries to go extinct and the fuckers would really have had us. We'll probably drop back a little while we figure out how to set type and make books again, along with everything else, but we're not beaten yet." She looks at Teigue. "How good are you with computers? I mean… could you build one from scratch? I mean… scratch scratch. Like, bare transistors or tubes or whatever?

Teigue smiles and nods. "Yeah. No matter how bad it seems, it could always have been worse. We're lucky we have libraries and books still, so not all the knowledge has been lost. And we are a resilient species. Look what happened when the Library of Alexandria burned and Rome fell. We rebounded." He says with a smile before he looks at her as she asks her question, offering a grin. "I'm very good at computers. It's what I did. Cyber security. I can hack into a lot of systems. Well, I could. I can program my own programs." He considers making a computer from scratch and nods. "I think I could. If I could get a schematic from the early computers and I could get the parts, I think I really could make one. Though, like most of us, I'm a child of the twentieth century. I'm use to motherboards and microprocessors."

Monica nods. "I just wondered. I fixed the jukebox at the bar. It was all vacuum tubes and basically it was like they went, "Huh. An EMP. That's nice." There were some burned out inductors, but that was it. I was thinking if we could find a warehouse of them… and a lot more power than we're going to generate…" Mon sighs and leans back onto her elbows. "Ok, stupid idea. We'd probably be better off getting you a drone brain to poke at."

Teigue smirks and shakes his head. "It's okay. I kind of miss the old stuff. They survived the EMP." He says with a smirk as he looks at her as she starts with her idea. "There are no stupid ideas." He offers before she mentions the drone brain. "Do you guys have one?" He asks, raising an eyebrow. "I mean, in the last camp I was at, we brought one down, but it was destroyed. Nothing was really recoverable."

Monica says, "I don't know. I have a dead power cell from one. I know they can be re-used. I haven't tried to open it yet. I'm a little paranoid about radiation and stuff like that. I may try stacking some car batteries around the mill and then try to mill the top off, just in case."

Teigue smirks and nods as he looks at her for a few moments, giving her a quick once over before he nods. "No risk, no rewards. It's something worth trying. Maybe we'll figure out a way to use them to generate power for us and maybe they'll be better than anything we can come up with. At the very least, we can see how it works."

Monica nods. "Yeah… I think we can rule out zero point energy or matter-antimatter. It's dead, and neither of those would run out, unless there's something wrong with the power cell or it has some kind of built-in self-destruct system. I haven't actually seen any drones closer than about half a mile. I have a nice big railroad axle though. I think I'm going to bore it out to a punt gun and see if I can't find a drone and shoot it down.

Teigue nods. "Yeah. If it was something dangerous, at least we won't be around long enough to have to worry about it." He offers with a slight chuckle. "I had a drone fly over me once, but I don't think it saw me. It didn't react or turn around. Was a few months ago." He raises his eyebrows at the mention of the axle. "Oh yeah? That would be a hell of a thing to see fire. If you get it up and running, I wanna be there when you fire it."

Monica laughs. "It's just a small, long barreled cannon. I've been working on making nitrocellulose for gunpowder today. I have a test slug doing stability testing out back of my shop."

Teigue thinks for a few moments about the gunpowder she's working on before he looks at her. "What about making some electromagnets and turning it into a railgun?" He asks with a slight shrug of his shoulders. "Could be easier to make than gunpowder."

Monica laughs. "I dunno, I've had pretty bad luck with big capacitors so far, and we'd be charging it all week. And that's if we had the big capacitors. But yeah, it's a good idea. They're certainly simpler to make than gunpowder weapons. Especially Gatling guns, which are on my list, right after I perfect a powder mixture for them, design a cartridge that we can mass-produce based on our renewable resources, figure out how to mass produce barrels, develop and test a rifle design… and so on. In the long run, we can't depend on ammo from the old world. In the short run, of all the things we can run out of, it probably keeps the best, so… I'm not super-gung-ho on that project yet. I need to replace my Sharps with something that loads a little more often, but I'm keeping my eyes open for a '95 Winchester or something like that.

Teigue can't help but grins and chuckles as he looks to Monica again, shaking his head slightly. "Just how many projects are you planning on doing? It seems like you have a lot of projects in the works. You've got enough to keep yourself busy for a very long time." He says with a slight chuckle. "You may want to go check the armory. On our trip, we came across nearly a dozen long guns. Maybe you'll find something you like among those."

Monica laughs. "I told you, I keep projects going so I can keep from thinking about everything else. Let's see. I have the power and water project, a grist mill that's about… half done, I'm planning a waste treatment plant, mostly so we can stop throwing away all that valuable nitrate, but also because now that I know about butinol fermentation, that really helps with the biofuel side. I want to get us growing soybeans and grain, maybe pot for fiber for making paper, I want to make movable type so we can get to printing books of all the stuff we know here, Umm…" Mon thinks some more. "Understand alien tech, find a way to destroy the mother ship, develop and manufacture sustainable caseless guns and ammunition with a longer reach than 5.56 NATO, adapt that cartridge to gatling guns, possibly do a higher powered version for snipers and long range fire, more power, more people, plan how to expand Camp Hope and seed towns around so we can not concentrate all the civilization in one easily bombable location… the list goes on and on.

Monica says, "And at some point, if things are stable enough, I want to have children."

Teigue laughs at the list that her rattles off, shaking his head slightly. It starts at a chuckle, but by the end, it's a full and hearty laugh. "That's quiet a list of things to keep you busy for years to come." He says with a grin, but it's the last item that causes the grin to fade into a smile then a slight frown, nodding his head. "Yeah. That's something I think everyone is going to want once things get stable enough. Kids. It's all we really have in hopes of keeping our species alive. I never thought about them, but after the lights went out. It started to become something I thought about out there. Especially when I was on my own. There were points where I didn't know if I was the last human left or not. I guess anyone who is on their own for long enough has the same question appear in their thoughts."

Monica sighs and nods. "Yeah, I had that. Looking at the south end of a north-bound horse for months at a time, and the people I DID meet… were either stand-offish or… well… bad enough that I had to shoot some of them. I always figured I'd have plenty of time to find the right guy, fall in love, all that, and then poof. Here we are." She chuckles a little. "At least I've been kissed now."

Teigue grins and nods. "Yeah. I know how that was. Especially when you hear rumors that they look like us. You didn't know if you could trust the people you saw. That's when I just hid from anyone I saw. I didn't know who to trust or not. I just didn't want to put myself in that situation, but then I had gotten the plague before that and ended up in the camp I was in before, so I knew there were good people. I just didn't know who they were anymore." He smiles a bit at her. "We always thought there would be plenty of time. Why else would we think differently? We thought we were alone in the universe." He chuckles a bit at her being kissed. "That's something. So you managed to find yourself a boyfriend then? At least you have something to live for now."

Monica chuckles, uncomfortably. "Not sure if it's that big a deal yet. It's more than nothing, but you know. Everyone usually has someone they're getting over. I doubt any of us got through what we've been through without some baggage.

Teigue smiles a bit and shrugs slightly. "Hey, no matter how small, you got to grab onto something. Even if there's a small ray of hope, hold onto it and use it to motivate you." He offers, nodding about the baggage. "You're right about that. Everyone has baggage. More so now and it's never going to leave us. We're survivors, so we carry the weight of those who weren't as lucky as we are." He says, pausing for a bit as he thinks on that before he speaks up again, trying to lighten the mood again. "You want a drink? I think I got something in my pack." He says, pulling himself up off the floor and moves towards he pack.

Monica ponders. "Sure, a little. Pain meds here tend to be home grown and strong, but I've been off them a couple days.

Teigue kneels down and digs through his pack, pulling out a few things and setting them aside. After a moment or two, he pauses and pulls out a small silver flask and shakes it, listening to how much is left in there. "A quarter left." He says to himself as he stands and starts back over to her. "I'm going to have to find something to fill it up with." He says, offering it to her.

Monica sloshes the flask and sniffs at it curiously. Then takes a sip. "What is it?"

Teigue watches her for a few moments, a large grin on his lips at her question. "One hundred percent Irish whiskey." He says with a quick wiggle of his eyebrows.

Monica laughs. "Of course." She passes the flask back. "It's good. Kind of like American rye, but… lighter. There's booze in town sometimes. That's another thing we need to grow grain for.

Teigue grins and takes flask back and takes a swig before he offers it back to her. "It's one of the few things I'm glad I did before the things went dark. I bought a bottle when I arrived and filled the flask. Sometimes those meetings were boring as shyte. I'd excuse myself and take a nip in the wash." He says with a grin. "Glad it's lasted me this long."

Monica nods. "Glad we all have."

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