(2016-08-15) Explosions and Excursions
Explosions and Excursions
Summary: Terry meets up with Monica and Carilena. Carilena joins Terry for a round of scavenging.
Date: 08.15.2016
Related: None

Auto Repair Shop Stratford
Mon Aug 15, 2016

For a building literally half-full of wind-blown garbage not long ago thanks to an open garage door, the auto repair shop excavations seem to be complete. It's a modest sized garage, four stalls, two of them that can be opened. The usual hydraulic lifts are in those, ready to lift nonexistent cars with nonexistent hydraulic pressure. The building has been here for nearly a century, and it shows. Where there could be two more stalls, there's a sagging roof over the tool storage room. Behind the big red Snap-On toolboxes is the welding area, with some gas bottles, an arc welder, and a plethora of welding rods. Bolted to the floor, and still there after 75 years because they're too heavy to bother moving, are a World War II vintage lathe, about three feet long, a similarly sized and aged horizontal mill, a big, belt driven drill press, and a shaper, an ancient machine tool for cutting flat surfaces. None of them look like they've been operated since the turn of the century. They're a little rusty, dinged up from propping up other things, and generally neglected. Still, the moisture-swollen cabinet has all the cutters and attachments for the tools.

It is summer. The weather is warm and drizzling.

<FS3> Monica rolls Alien Tech: Failure.
<FS3> Monica rolls Physics: Good Success.
<FS3> Monica rolls Machinist: Success.
<FS3> Monica rolls Gunsmith: Good Success.
<FS3> Monica rolls Mechanic: Good Success.

Monica has way too many projects going at once. She's tinkering with the wrecked drone, in an effort to get it flight-ready again. Camp Hope did an awfully good job of making it not flight ready, and there are lots of holes blown in it, but there's a good power supply in it. Mon knows, because when she tries to connect the drive system to it, the electric shock knocked her down. She lies there a few minutes blinking. "Ow…" The rest of the projects around her cry out for attention. There's the pistol design… it's coming along, finally, now that she's sorted out where the hammer should go and has a vague idea how powerful a pistol it will be. Half the parts for the prototype are over there on the workbench. And then there's the induction furnace. Its wound. The refractory is drying. If/when Devon comes, if he's willing to help her move it to the power station and then stick his head in it… that's gonna take some talking… for the moment, though she just lies on the floor rubbing her hand.

For their part, Carilena and Cosmo walk along North Texas Street, both looking around curiously. For her part, Cari half-marvels at the.. normalcy, really.. on display. It looks like a street in the television shows she'd seen set in the United States. It isn't truly as if The Arrival had never happened, of course; there are far too many signs, large and small, of the steps taken to protect the settlement, but even so. Shops. Stores. She stops at the Rite-Aid, peering through the window—then the loud electrical sizzle makes her and Cosmo look at each other. She races into the shop, going to her knees next to Monica. "Do you hear me?" she asks, making herself almost over-enunciate to make sure she's intelligible. "Please stay still and tell me what happened, please," she adds as she begins gingerly looking the other woman over.

<FS3> Carilena rolls First Aid+Mind: Success.
<FS3> Monica rolls Body: Failure.

Monica is dazed, staring up at the ceiling. Conscious, kind of, but not really there. "Mom?" she whispers. Her brow furrows, as though she knows that's not right, but… things are a bit confused. She looks at Cari, puzzled.

Well, then. Carilena's brow furrows as she looks at Monica, waving her left hand over the other woman's eyes to check pupil dilation, then leans back to sit on her left heel, resting her right forearm on her upraised right thigh. "Stay there for a moment, please," she says as she hunches over to do another quick visual scan. Nothing seems truly injured, which is, from a selfish point of view, rather nice. The last thing she needs is suspicion of sabotage or the like.

Monica 's pupils react normally. Apparently she didn't hit her head on the way down. She looks up at Cari and frowns again. "You are not my mother. You are a snort." She laughs a while at that absurd reference to an old kid's book, but she does as she's told. When she stops laughing she looks up at Cari again. "Cari. From yesterday." She takes a breath. "Welcome to camp hope."

…a joke. Carilena sags back a bit more, arching her left eyebrow. She doesn't /fully/ smile, though something of the sort does tease at the left corner of her mouth. Reacting to her comparative relaxation, Cosmo comes closer, stepping around his human's right side with ears pricked in curiosity. "Thank you," Cari says dryly,with something approaching amusement in her voice as Cosmo sniffs at Monica's face. He offers a pair of encouraging face-licks before Cari urges him back with a gentle but insistent nudging to his left fore-shoulder.

Monica gives the dog a moment to sniff her, then reaches up to ruffle his ears. "He's alright. When the dog pulls back, she sits up, notes Cari's machete. "Important safety tip. Partly charged alien power cells pack a wallup." She stretches her neck slowly, then her jaw. "How've you been?"

As Cosmo sits back on his haunches and watches the women, Carilena tilts her head a bit, watching the way Monica moves. Nothing seems to be wrong, so there's that. "I will remember," she says as her eyes move back to Monica's. "And we have been good. It seems..ah..very jururu, here, sometimes. Very—quiet?" With that, she pushes herself up to her feet and bends over to extend her right hand in an offer of helping the other woman to her feet.

Monica takes the hand and gets up. She's not very heavy. She may have put on most of the weight she lost during the starving times, but she was born wirey and slender, and that's how her body wants to be, and short of drastic diet alterations… which would be problematic… that's how she is. "Thanks." She looks at the drone a moment. "That could have actually killed me, I guess. Glad it didn't. They might have looked at you funny, at least until someone said "Remember the last time Mon blew herself up?" She dusts herself off. "So. I try to make civilization here. What can I do for you?"

"You have made much civilization," Carilena says with a wider smile, which is to say, one that's actually measurable. "I think it is—very good. We were walking down the street," a glance and a small motion toward the street with her left hand, "thinking it looks good. It.. looks like a home." A beat as she exhales and sets her hands on her hips, then she says, "And yes, I am glad it did not kill you, too. I would not like to be looked at funny." That might have even been a joke, of sorts. Maybe.

Monica rubs her head. "A lot of it was here, it was just a matter of getting it working and finding the energy to power it. The electrical and running water projects were my idea, but a camp-wide effort. The bathhouse and guns? Those I pretty much did by myself." She gestures absently toward the revolver parts on the workbench. "Do you shoot?"

"I have not seen this bath house," Carilena says as she cants her head a touch to her left. "I think I would like to. Cosmo and I have not been clean in some time. A bath would be.. tri-legal." That last pronounced more like TREE-leh-GOW. "Mm! Very good. And no, I do not shoot well. I learned some muy simple things, but I did not stay long to learn more." A shrug of her left shoulder, though it likely doesn't take close examination to realize the air of casualness she puts on is just that—and air, covering up tension at memories. And reacting to that, Cosmo gives a quiet grunt, ears flicking back a few centimeters, head dipping by about the same amount.

Monica nods. She shuts down the shop's various gasoline engines and gets her keys. "I didn't figure. Believe me, I don't hold being a little smelly against anyone. The year before I got here I got about three baths in. Total. I smelled like the southern end of a northbound horse. A dead horse, at that. Come on, I'll get you some supplies and show you the bathhouse, then we can find an apartment for you and Cosmo." She stops. "Is he ok with other dogs?"

Watching with some interest, Carilena notes how the machines get shut down… though she'll forget in an hour, she's sure. It isn't /that/ interesting, mostly because she isn't a gear-head. It's mostly just interesting from the perspective of what it takes to bring that "normalcy" to Camp Hope. When Monica returns, Cari smiles another of those tiny-but-existent smiles, then looks to Cosmo. A quiet huff through barely-parted lips to get his attention, then she bobs her head away from him, and he gets to his feet to follow alongside. To Monica, she says, "Yes, he is good with other dogs. With cats… no. He becomes very.. ah! Invocado? Irritado? He very much does not like cats."

Monica nods. "Well there are cats in the clubhouse keeping the rat population at bay, including some new kittens we'd like to keep around." She opens the door to lead Carilena and Cosmo out. "Is he fixed?"

"Then we will not go to the clubhouse," says Carilena rather pragmatically as she steps through the door. "And what do you mean 'fixed'? He has never been seriously injured. Both he and his—he has been healthy all his life." She then waits for Monica, hands hanging loosely at her sides.

Monica locks the door. "I mean can we breed him? We have some semi-feral dogs around, but having some big smart ones would be a good first step toward real agriculture. Right now we're running on scavenging, hunting, and gardening. Which is great, but we're going to need real agriculture in the long term. The gas and diesel we have are way past their sell-by dates already, and even if they don't go bad, we'll run out eventually as we grow. We can make biodiesel and butanol to replace them, or we can go totally electric if we can suss out how to make alien power cells, but we'll still need more food than the local game populations can support, if we thrive."

"Oh! Yes," Carilena says, realization dawning, her cheeks darkening a touch from short-lived embarrassment, "he can have puppies. I did not wish to 'fix' him. I also do not know much about this "biodiesel" or "butanol," but I am a hard worker. I take orders well and I am good with my hands. Cosmo is smart, yes, so if we can help.. hunt, dig, or something.. I would hope we are asked." Not a gear-head to /any/ stretch, and not one to even know what a power cell would look like, alien or terrestrial in origin. But she's more than willing to help in whatever way she can.

N. Texas Street (NTS) Stratford
Mon Aug 15, 2016

While the south side of town center is more residential, this side is more commercial, as evidenced by the various businesses that line each side of the street. Beyond those is more residential area.

It is summer. The weather is warm and overcast.

Monica nods. "How are you at farming?" She heads generally toward the bathhouse with Carilena. "I've done it, but I'm lousy at it. My family was always like "She likes fixing things. Let her fix things." But we've got some cattle here, probably some young bulls that need castrating and branding, we've got lots of gardens, we've got farms that have lain fallow for a couple years all around us… I'm still hoping to get a big greenhouse put together so we can start getting seed crops of the grains and sugar beets and whatnot that we need." Mon rubs her head again. "But first things first. We'll get you set up with the personal care stuff and get you a shower, maybe a change of clothes or two. Go from there."

"That would be good, yes," Carilena says with another of her brief-and-barely-existent smiles as she walks with Monica. "I only have three outfits. And I have done little farming. I grew up in a favela; I am much more experienced in making things with what is scavenged. You did say you wished for a greenhouse? Perhaps I can look at what is found and what is on-hand?" Making a greenhouse, conceptually, wasn't all that different from building a favela house. One took what one had, made it work for what was needed, and usually came out successful. Usually.

Monica nods as she walks. "Okay, let me stop making assumptions about you and ask. Where do you come from, and what are you good at? We need pretty much everything here, people-wise.

Another of Carilena's ghost-smiles, then she says, "I come from a favela near Rio de Janeiro. I am good with my hands, much through skills learned since—since The Arrival. I did go to university; I earned my Ph.D and Psy.D." A more rueful element comes to her voice, there, matching the way her left eyebrow quirks upward. "I was going to open a therapy practice for the poor." But things change. Plans become irrelevant. The world ends.

The sound of a dog barking cuts through the air. A few seconds later, a massive German Shepherd comes galloping (yes, galloping) in from the direction of the town center, and straight up to Monica, where he slides to a halt, and sits back on his haunches, tongue lolling out in a goofy sort of fashion. Soon after, the dog's owner — a guy who probably just stepped off of a Baywatch poster.. or, more appropriately, a military recruiting poster — jogs into view. Today, Terry is decked out in a pair of mocha-colored sneakers, white socks, matching brown board shorts, a white short-sleeve t-shirt, and a loose-fitting button-up Brunswick green overshirt. To those that know what to look for, he's also wearing his usual small-of-back holster, and he's packing.

Monica says, "Psych? Actually that's hugely useful. Everyone here is a refugee from somewhere. Most of us… got issues. "Hey you!" She ruffles the familiar dog's ears affectionally. "Hey Terry. This is Carilena. From Brazil. She just arrived yesterday. I was taking her over to the supply house to get her kitted out, and then to the bathhouse. Carilena, this is Terry. The guy who saved my life when I got here, and basically showed me around and got me going. He also tests my prototype guns and gives me good feedback. He's former military."

When the new dog appears, naturally Cosmo immediately becomes cautious, though also curious. And the former gives way to the latter quickly, to the point where his own tail begins to wag. A glance up at Carilena, who smiles a touch more deeply and nods her head toward the German Shepherd, and he trots up the few paces to begin the sniff exchange. As he does, his human looks at the newcomer, saying, "Boh-n djih-ah—good morning. Carilena Azevedo, and he is Cosmo." A nod to her dog, then she extends her right hand for a firm handshake.

"Once a Marine, always a Marine. But yeah, former military. Also former cop, out of Boston. Greenfield-born and -bred." Terry nods to Monica, and then directs his attention to Carilena. "Terry Collins. Pleasure." A beat. "Bom dia. Meu Portugues e um pouco enferrujado. Por favor me perdoe." He offers, with a shrug and boyish grin. He speaks slowly, with purpose, so as not to mis-speak and potentially cause issues. "This is Fritz. Don't worry about him, he's a big softie.. wouldn't hurt a fly, unless that fly was armed, and actively threatening a friend." He nods to his dog.

Monica nods. "I never think to introduce dogs by name. Sorry." Mon smiles a little." She grins at Terry. "Working on a new cartridge. Pistols and carbines for trade," she mentions briefly. "Also I got the drone power system live. It bit me pretty good."

"You get somebody to check you over, make sure you didn't al dente your noodle?" Terry cocks a brow. "I would, just in case. We still don't know the full ins and outs of their tech."

The man's Portuguese makes Carilena smile a touch wider than before, and she opens her mouth, but then he cuts her off, so she just cocks her left eyebrow in a similar fashion, saying, "I—have been given initial tests, yes. Awaiting full examination, I believe." She goes quiet, there, letting the drone-related conversation take precedence.

Monica says, "pretty sure it was just an electric shock, but if you insist, I'll go visit the doc when we're done." There's a vague, conflicted smile. Perhaps about the doctor. "Oh, before I get distracted again, I have upgrade parts for your M0. Two revisions worth. I made the extractor less stupid." She nods toward Cari. "She happened to turn up right after I zapped myself. I'm lucky. If I'd managed to stop my heart this time, I could have needed all the help I could get."

"Awesome. I'll stop by your place a bit later, and you can show me all the new bells and whistles you've cooked up." Terry flashes a grin to Monica, something shy of a kid during Christmas who knows he's getting epic gifts. "Sound good?"

Monica nods. "Sounds good. Where're you guys off to?"

Terry shrugs. "Was just gonna let my feet do the walkin', see where I end up." He promptly covers his eyes, spins around, lifts a finger, and… points in a direction, in which he then begins to walk. "Off I go, into the wild blue yonder.." He begins to sing, quietly.

At that little.. /display/.. Carilena arches her eyebrow again, the left corner of her mouth twitching upward in what threatens to be closer to a real smile. Looking to Monica, she uses her right thumb to indicate Terry, saying, "Ele biruta…" And to translate, she then twirls her right hand in a few circles near her temple. Though that near-smile stays on her lips, so there's that.

Monica says, "Hey Terry. You want to hook Cari up with clothes and soap and toothbrush and whatnot? I probably should see Eli. She seemed interested in the bathhouse too." Mon? Try to hook her big-brother figure up? Clumsily and awkwardly? It could happen.

Terry hadn't really made that much progress when Monica called out to him. He turns around. "Sure." A beat. "Let's roll." He gives a "get'cher butt over here" kind of wave, and follows it up with a hopefully-sociable smile.

Since she isn't fully experienced with American culture, Carilena can only tell there's /something/ underneath Monica's handing her over to Terry, though not /what/. Still, for the moment she's content to chalk it up to cultural differences. "Well.. thank you," she says to the other woman. "Tchau… goodbye, and I will see you again. Stay safe." The last said a touch more softly, given the current—everything. She then turns to head after Terry, and she doesn't have to call Cosmo, as ready as he is to continue investigating the other dog.

Monica nods. "You too." She really does have a screaming headache from her recent jolt. Seeing the doctor really is a good idea. Mon repeats that to herself a few times. "Be safe." She heads toward medlab, and turns her attention back to the projects she's working on, at least mentally.

146 Wall St Stratford
Mon Aug 15, 2016

A simple, brick, three bedroom ranch house, circa 1950ish. Once through the front door the living room immediatly greets you with it's more 1990s inspired furnishings, electronics and decor. Above the cold fireplace is a family portrait and more framed pictures dot the mantel.
Further on is an eat in kitchen, a few dishes still in the sink, along with a pool of stagnant water causing the stainless steel to rust. The table has moldy, dried up remnants of someone's last meal.
Down a hallway are three bedrooms, two clearly belonging to either a young child and a teen, the other clearly for an adult or pair of adults. Only one bathroom, typical for this age of house.

From the outside it can be noticed that there were once solar panels on the roof and in the backyard is a small wooden playscape with a couple of swings.

It is summer. The weather is hot and overcast.

"Alright, let's see here…" Terry gives the front door-knob a little jiggle. Locked. "Stand back," Terry cautions. Trying not to seem too much like a kid getting to show off for his friends, he then assumes the proper door-breaching stance — which, in this case, is more of a 'mule kick' — and delivers a swift stomp-kick to the spot just below the door's knob. The door jiggles, but doesn't open. He rears up, and gives it another try. This time, the door splinters slightly around the knob, and swings open, allowing entry into the house. Terry then unholsters his weapon, and holds up a hand. "Hang loose for a quick sec while I check the place over." He then performs a cursory sweep of the house. "Clear!" He calls, before returning to the entryway and standing off to the side of the door's splintered remains.

<FS3> Carilena rolls Mind+Alertness: Good Success.

For her part, Carilena watches Cosmo after Terry breaks the door down. Nothing causes her dog's attention to get piqued, so she only nods to Terry at his announcement. "Yes, it is," she says as she moves into the place, looking around, her eyes falling on the swings out the window. "We need those," she says, glancing at him before pointing to the swings. "Chains are always good, and seats can be used for other things." Cosmo wanders around, letting his nose lead him where it may, though nothing seems to catch his attention, at least not in a way that signals "danger" or "enemy" to Cari. That lets her focus on other things, such as getting supplies.

Fritz and Terry set about poking around the house. After a few minutes, the pair returns. "Not a whole lot here, that I can find. Nothing we don't already have enough of, really." He offers a shrug. Fritz, on the other hand, just gives a bored 'woof' of sorts, and flops onto the ground next to his partner.

While man and German Shepherd search, woman and mutt search as well. Really, it's more Carilena following Cosmo, since he naturally steers away from rotting food, medicine-turned-poison, and so on. At his announcement, she pops out of the kitchen, carrying a few vacuum-packed containers of coffee, a music box swiped from an upper cupboard where she surmises it was kept out of small hands' reach, a rather small wicker basket of mall-kiosk samples, and a bong—which gets dropped into the moldy trash can. "All we found that is good are these," she says as she holds her finds up.

Terry grins at the found loot. "Nice job." He drops down to level with Cosmo, and offers his hand for a quick sniff, before offering an appreciative petting. "Good boy, Cosmo!" He smiles, before rising to his full height. "Shall we move on, or stay?" He defers to the woman, out of respect.

Cosmo basks in the attention, giving the "smile" pant as his tail swishes back and forth. As for Carilena, she sets her finds on a chair, then gives another of her tiny-and-brief smiles. "One more search?" she says, already turning to Cosmo. A small huff to get his attention, then she crouches to start rummaging through the entertainment center. Cosmo lends his nose to the task.

Fritz returns to his Terry-scavenging-assist duties, sniffing around for things that might be of use. After a few minutes more of poking around, Terry returns with a hurricane oil lamp, a trio of knit caps — one orange, one red, and one a blue-white swirl pattern — and a pair of jar candles. "We could definitely use more of this, for when the power goes out.. or if we ever need to go dark again." A beat, and Terry ruffles Fritz's ears. "G'boy, Fritzie." The dog gives an appreciative woof.

Cosmo and Carilena are returning from their trip beneath the bed, entering the living room in time to see Terry poring over his own finds. "Muy bueno," she says appreciatively, slipping into a bit of Spanish. "You two make a good team, too. Should we continue looking, or go to the—chains?" A nod out the window, then she sets her finds on the chair with the others.

"Let's grab the chains. It's getting late, and we should head back to camp. There's some houses closer to camp that should have some clothes, if you're of a mind. We can also get you set up with some hygiene products at camp." Terry responds, nodding, as he glances out through a nearby window at the setting sun.

A bit of tension makes Carilena's shoulders bunch, though she tries to hide it by standing a bit straighter and adopting a casual expression. "I—thank you," she says with a short nod, then uses one of the sweaters to act as kind of a basket for everything else they both found, so they could carry most of it in one large bundle.

"Hey, Cari, how do you want to get this decrepit monstrosity back to camp?" Terry nods to the swing-set, with a playful grin.

"We can use all of this." Carilena says thoughtfully, standing outside and looking the play-set over. "Metal poles, chains—very good to bring back with us. Do you think we can take it apart here, before the sun is gone?" She looks back over to him, then, resting the sweater-bundle over her left shoulder.

Terry heads around to the swing-set, slips out of his pack, and lifts a small tool-kit from within. "Yeah. I think we can part it out here." He then begins dismantling the swing-set. The nuts and bolts keeping the play-set together have long-since rusted from exposure to the elements, so a bit of elbow grease is required to get the ball rolling. "I've got a duplicate toolset in my bag, if you'd like to join in. I don't want to hog all of the glory." He chuckles to himself.

There's finally something hinting at the general area of the vague idea of playfulness in Carilena, as she plucks the tool kit from his hands with an actual smile on her face. "Then you should get it for yourself," she says as she sets the bundle down next to Cosmo, then begins heads over to the far end of the play set.

Terry briefly rolls his eyes, and continues working away at the play-set. Every so often, he comes across a stubborn screw or nut that requires a good whack or two (albeit gentle ones, lest he strip the screw) to loosen and extract. "Speak up if you run into trouble." He offers.

What she lacks in raw upper body strength, Carilena makes up for with ingenuity and determination. "As will you, I hope," she says, smiling still. Her method of working on the lower nuts is to put her foot on the wrench and ease her weight onto it in several controlled bump-like motions. The upper ones are treated with her easing herself into a hang from the wrench, jiggling herself to make further bump-like motions.

Terry finishes working on his half of the nuts and bolts, and heads over to provide support for Cari's section, just in case something were to come loose prematurely. He won't let that happen. If he can help it, at all, no harm will come to Cari's pretty little face, or any other part of her body. "How's it coming along?"

His arrival coincides with her giving the last bolt a solid yank, freeing it and sending her to the ground. She lands on her rump with a muttered pair of syllables in Portuguese, the sort they don't teach in textbooks, as the wrench lands on the scraggly grass next to her. "I.. believe I am finished…" she says, looking up at the play set.

Terry begins breaking down the play-set, now that the nuts and bolts and whatnot have been extracted. He then helps Cari up, before returning to breaking things down, and sorting them away for easier transport. "There we go." He dusts his hands off in a businesslike manner, and surveys the area. "Nice work."

After accepting the hand up, Carilena helps organize and sort the materials, setting the poles together and using the swings to keep them bundled. "This will be heavy," she comments, then gives him a smile. "Are you able to help me carry this?" A bit of teasing, there; it's been a good day. She's been able to forget about the very-not-good days that came before, at least for the moment.

Terry nods, and offers a hand. "Sure thing. I'll take what you can't carry. I wouldn't want you to carry too much." A bit of teasing in return. "We really should start heading back to camp."

"It would be easier to share the load, no?" replies Carilena, motioning to the poles. "You at one and, I at the other, and we then carry this back." She tilts her head a bit, adding, "Unless you think you cannot help carry this…" Less a challenge, and more friendly ribbing, that.

"Sure, that's fine with me," Terry responds. "Let's get going." He picks up his share of the load, waits until Cari has her part of the load shouldered, and begins the trek back to camp.

Scavenging Rolls

1 Mall-Kiosk Samples
3 Vac Pack of Ground Coffee
1 Music Box
1 Bong
1 Box Pudding Mix
4 Sweaters
1 Taper Candles
1 Hurricane Oil Lamps
3 Knit Caps
2 Jar Candles

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