(2016-06-21) 20th Most Powerful Nuclear Nation
Summary: 20th Most Power Nuclear Nation
Date: 2016.06.21
Related: None

Monica is, of course, at the machine shop. She's working away on a replacement cylinder for her beloved 1858 Remington clone, so she can put caseless ammunition in it, too. Something to do, so the waiting (for the power to be switched on, for Piper to bring the case to her so maybe we can do something about the aliens) doesn't drive her crazy. There are other things she could do, and two or three possibilities leap to mind with an intensity that surprises her, but… only so many condoms left.

While Piper would have liked to get the large locked Pelican case to Monica earlier, circumstances just didn't let that happen. Today though seems to be working in her favor…at least as far as getting the case onto a wagon so she can drag it down to the shop where the woman spends a lot of her time. On silent, and bare feet…don't tell Quinton, she makes her way into the shop, though the sound of rubber wheels on the concrete floor is a tell that there is a visitor.

Monica holds the modified cylinder up, checking the bores yet again. It's a simple beast, essentially a copy of one of her existing percussion cylinders with firing pins where the nipples would be. Caseless simplifies certain things. Shove cartridge in the front just like in the black powder days. Ram it in with the rammer so the slightly-oversized ball seats the whole cartridge in the back of the chamber. Pull trigger. It's as simple as that. It looks right. She's completely unaware of Piper's approach, focused entirely on the task at hand.
<FS3> Monica rolls Gunsmith: Good Success.

The woman stops within viewing range of what Monica is working on, but out of easy arms reach. It's just one of those days for her., as opposed to yesterday when she could almost make whole sentences. It takes her a moment to realize that she hasn't been noticed yet and finally speaks up, first by clearing her throat and they with her usual soft "Hey."

Monica jumps. The cylinder clatters to the work bench and her hand flicks toward her holster. Her gun is disassembled all over the bench, so that's not what she winds up with. Her hand comes up with a screw driver, and she looks down at it sheepishly. She sets the screwdriver down. "Hi."

"Hi." Piper echoes, looking from the screwdriver to Monica and back. Her eyebrow quirks upward in question, before she finds the action humorous and her lips quirk into an amused grin as well. If she had the same amount of words as she did yesterday she might just say something snarky, but she doesn't. Instead she gestures to the wagon and the large heavy duty case on the wagon with it's stenciled. U.S. Army across the top.

Monica blinks and and looks at the case. She sets the cylinder for her revolver down. "This is it?" She moves over to the mill and sets to work changing the arbor and cutter.

"Yes." Piper gets that out easily enough and she pulls the wagon over to where Monica will be doing the work. "Okay?" she asks the other woman, undoubtedly an inquiry as to how she is doing as she watches and waits for the machine to be modified so she can get help lifting the case up and into place.

Monica nods. "Yeah. I mean, if there's a bomb and we blow ourselves up and take the machine shop with us, we screw the whole camp out of their machine shop, but I'm the only one who uses the thing, I'm pretty sure." She looks at Piper. "Knowing what you know, do you believe the thing is booby trapped?"

That's not exactly what Piper was asking, but she is used to random answers on occasion. "You." she clarifies what she was asking. Looking down at the case she hmmms "No." she shakes her head. She doubts, very highly that it is.

Monica clamps the trunk into the mill, and starts the engine. She raises the table until the cutter just barely touches the surface of the trunk, and sets the mill up to carve a window into the trunk. She turns the power feeds on and lets it get to work. "Yeah, I'm doing ok. Kind of… I dunno. I was expecting it to be us who started the final battle with them, on our own time. The fact that it could all basically be a lie… and that the final battle is coming on their schedule… makes it all seem a little futile. That, and the fact that I can't get my hands on any drone parts, and now that we have council I can't seem to get ahold of any of them… it's frustrating." She grins ferally at Piper. "But given the chance, I'd give my life to blow that damn ship out of the sky if I was the last human left on Earth and I was doing it for my horse."

While Piper is listening to Monica speak, most of her visual attention is on the mill and its work on the case. She grimaces slightly at the nose the cutting makes "Don't ask." she gives Monica a glance as she doles out that piece of advice. She then gives a nod, the horse bit is funny, but it was meant in a serious manner so the woman doesn't laugh or make any other amused looks or noises.

Monica chuckles a little. It's how she survives. A thousandth of an inch at a time, the mill peels away at the window into the cover of the footlocker, until like magic, the last layer of the cover gets cut into chips. Machining can be thought of as tightly controlled erosion, and indeed, some machine tools use water at extreme pressure to cut metal. Mon contemplates this, and wonders if she could get one of those running. Maybe some day, if we have a future. "We're through," she says quietly, and turns off the mill to look inside the trunk.

Piper tilts her hear head at the chuckle, once more thinking she has been misunderstood by Monica, which is probably the case, but with the machine finished with the removal of the lid top her focus goes to it instead. Lifting on her tiptoes, still isn't enough for her to be able to see into the case, not with it on the machine. Short girl problems.

There seems to be a rack that can lift out and on it are two smaller cases, similar to what a person would use to carry a pistol in when traveling. They are locked too, but with ordinary padlocks, nothing fancy like the one they are in did. Under that are two basketball sized globes made of the same material that the drones are, same color too. They are cradled in a rack designed to keep them from moving while in transit.

Monica looks around and finds a crate for Piper to stand on. Once that's in place, she peers in again and catches herself shivering. “How alien do you think this technology really is?” Mon asks herself quietly. She'd love to find out, but while she might get whatever they are apart with the (comparative) stone knives and bear skins she has available, it's unlikely she could get them back together. The window was strategically placed fairly close to the lock on the trunk, to make it easier to check for booby traps and (maybe) to break the lock. "What do you think?" she asks Piper.

Stepping onto the crate Piper peers down into the case, her pupils dilating to make up for the lack of light. "Very." What she sees makes her go pale. Not a good sign that. "The eyes." she says, not that such a vague response is any answer. At least until she makes a noise with her mouth that sounds like an explosion and she points down at the globes.

Monica blinks. "Eyes?" Mon looks puzzled, until the explosion gesture comes out. Then she pales. She was pale to begin with. "So this is booby trapped, or are they… ammunition?"

Why she calls them eyes is a mystery, but they are round like eyeballs would be. Guess it will remain a mystery too until one used. "No." she is quick to answer if only to relieve Monica of any worry of the thing exploding right away. "Bombs." she explains, as she reaches in to pick up one of of the small cases, recklessly giving it a shake, though nothing can be heard rattling around inside.

Monica gasps, then nods. "Bigger than the one in the little girl?" Yeah, if Piper was wrong, Mon'd have died asking questions. Not entirely inappropriate. Once her heart settles back into her chest where it belongs, or at least that's what it feels like, Mon rummages around for bolt cutters. If Piper holds the inner case for her, she'll make short work of the padlock on it.

Piper gives a hand wobble and then a shrug, she is clearly unsure about the blast radius or strength of the eyes. She is more familiar with the bomb the little girl had implanted, since there is evidence of that one here in town. Holding the case firmly she waits for Monica to cut the lock off then hands it over for the other woman to do the honors

Monica chops the lock off without further discussion. It throws a little spark in the somewhat gloomy machine shop. Mon sets the case on the workbench next to her revolver, takes a breath, and pops the latches open.

In light of their findings, Piper has gotten over the bit of skittishness she had earlier and is standing right beside Monica as the smaller handheld case is set down and opened. She lets out a gasp when she sees the contents.

The case is lined with that thick gray foam, to keep things from moving around. Imbedded into the foam, in little cutouts in it, are three airtight vials of some kind of clear polymer, inside each vial is one of the micro-explosive throat bombs like the one recently extricated from the little girl.

Monica watches Piper's reaction. She hasn't seen the little-girl-bomb, but has heard about it. "More bombs? Are these the kind they put inside little kids?"

"Yes and yes." she answers as she takes a few steps back, covering her mouth, and holding her breath, despite the fact that the things are in airtight containers. 'Big…" the gestures to all three and makes that explosion noise again and reinforces it by fisting her hands together and exploding them outward as well.

Monica wraps her arms around herself and shakes her head a little. "And they convinced human beings to put these in our own children." Mon shakes her head again. "I wish that was harder to believe." She watches Piper curiously. "What, do they crawl in on their own?" She's picturing something from The Matrix, or perhaps Alien now.

Knowing what she does now, Piper has no reasonable answer to that "Programmed." not convinced, they were programmed too, slightly different from her point of view. "What?" she question has her confused "Crawling?" this time she isn't sure what Monica is asking.

You say, "You're covering your mouth like the bombs will crawl in if you don't."

It takes a few moments for Piper to parse that statement and then she shakes her head "No." there is a few moments of though as she tries to think of how to explain it with her limited vocabulary "CO2." then she makes exploding hands again.

Monica whistles. "Nasty. It'd make a hell of a car bomb, too." She does, one might notice, take some care to point her breath somewhere else now. She reaches in, gingerly, to take the other case out. "You want to cut this one open too?"

Thankfully the little microexplosives are sealed up tight, so they are safe to breath around at the moment. Doesn't hurt to be cautious though. As Monica takes out the other case Piper gives a nod, why not, they have gone this far. She'll do the holding though and let the other woman do the cutting.

Monica chops the lock off this case with the same devil-may-care attitude as the other. If the things are going to blow up, being careful to do it at arm's reach won't make a particle of difference. Mon is doing some mental arithmetic. If one of the little child-portable bombs is equivalent to a tactical nuke… "I think Camp Hope just became the 20th most powerful nuclear nation in the world." She waits for Piper to open the last case, wondering what new horrors lie within.

Close to that certainly, though thankfully there is no nuclear radiation to be had in the little devices. Else they would have been dead from radiation long ago…or mutants! This time Piper opens the case up, but it's just the same old horror as the previous case. The three little vials and their explosive contents. She looks at Monica with a grim smile, no joy or happiness in it at all. "Big Badda Boom" to quote The 5th Element an all.

Monica nods. "Well, we have the firepower, that's for sure. What do the eyes do? Are they just bigger bombs, or can they move?"

Piper nods in agreement to that one. They can take down the Mothership. The problem is getting the explosives to the ship, though Monica seems to be trying to solve that one too. "Bigger." she then hand wobbles "Sorta." there is her pause for words "Don't move."

Monica nods. "Okay." She tries to think where to store all this stuff. Putting it inside the perimeter… if they're remote controlled, would make it easy for hostiles to utterly wipe out camp hope. Putting it outside the perimeter is drastically insecure. She settles for putting them back in the footlocker and duct-taping a piece of plywood over the hole. "Maybe… put this back where you had it?"

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