(2016-08-19) Farmgirls of the world, Unite!
Farmgirls of the world Unite!
Summary: The two farmgirls (Avery and Mon) finally meet. Avery is interested in mechanic-ing and machining. Exhausted Mon practically weeps at the news. Immediately after Guns, Lots of Guns.
Date: 2016.08.19
Related: None

Avery is sitting out in the less than ideal weather looking at the garden. There's just something so soothing about watching the plants and after her rocky entry into the camp a little quiet has been not a bad thing for her. Heat is nobody's friend really.

Monica is so exhausted she can barely walk, and the fact that she's carrying the prototypes of her new pistol and carbine, as well as her usual revolver, doesn't help. The new guns are light, they're designed to be light, and they're empty, since ammunition doesn't exist for them yet, but still. Mon isn't big, and she's not especially strong. She's also greasy to the elbows. She passes by the gardens and glances in, looking for Piper. She blinks a few times. Slow on the uptake. "You're not Piper."

Looking up, Avery frowns. "Piper? No…oh, the short girl? Very pretty? She's in the infirmary. Gunshot wound." Avery pushes up to her feet and dusts off her legs lightly. "My name's Avery." She leaves off the I'm new here. Her blue eyes study the other woman for a minute. "There are a lot of girls here. Don't you worry about the bandits raiding?"

That wakes Mon up. "Gunshot wound? Shit…" She looks toward medlab. Apparently Avery has understood exactly who Piper is. She resolves to leave it to the good doctor, that her self-taught vet skills aren't needed and slowly turns back to Avery. "Inside the perimeter, no. Outside the perimeter… well… that's why I make guns. And ammunition." She wipes her hand on a bandana and offers it to shake. "Monica. Welcome to Camp Hope."

"Thanks…" Avery says slowly and takes the handshake. Her palms are calloused, like anyone's who's had to survive except maybe the doctor. "You make guns? Isn't that hard to do since-" Avery makes a bomb sound referring to the emp.

Monica nods a little. "We kind of lucked out. In the auto repair shop, when we dug it out, we discovered they had a bunch of really old, manual machine shop equipment. Lathe, mill, shaper, drill press, some welding gear, all that stuff. We used that stuff back on the farm. I mean I learned CNC in school, but at home? Old school all the way. Given that and scrap metal from cars, we can do quite a bit. I've also been fixing blown alternators. It's usually just a winding fried. Pain in the ass, you have to unwind the thing if you're not lucky, but it's fixable. Some electronics work. Most don't. So all that gear, plus some gas engines off lawn mowers and stuff and we were in business."

"Wow. That is lucky. There's still usable gasoline? It hasn't all been used or rendered inert?" Avery asks curiously and seems to follow everything Monica is saying. "That is very lucky. Most places I passed through don't have a set up that sweet, some basic stuff, sure." She nods and cracks a small smile.

Monica nods. "The gas is going bad. There's plenty around, but it wasn't ever designed to keep. So we might as well burn it. We have wind-electric/hydro power for electricity, and I think we can expand it for some light industrial." Mon rubs her eyes. "The long term solution is to figure out how to make alien power cells. Once we have those, we can take them to Sunray, charge them up on the big industrial wind farm there, and bring them back here." She points toward the water tower west of town. "The windmill we have pumps water into that tower when the wind blows. The water goes down through a hydro-electric turbine into a holding tank. When you turn on the shower, it pulls from the same tank. There's plenty of water up there. It was meant to keep pressure for a town of a thousand people, their lawns, fire trucks, and whatnot.

Nodding, Avery looks up for a moment as she thinks. "There must be plenty of solar panels and the like around, has anyone looked at re-purposing them? I don't know exactly how they run, it might be a little investment in water or power to get them going…"

Monica nods and grins. "Oh I like you already. Linc was way ahead of both of us with those. The clubhouse is solar. The big problem is batteries. Most of them don't work, and I'm not sure why yet. He stores the power in… you'll love this. Leyden jars. The system works, so I'm inclined to leave it alone, just like the rainwater filtration system Terry put together. The tap water's drinkable too. At some point we'll need to edit these systems so we have less redundancy… but right now redundancy seems like a really good idea. And before you ask, the bath house gets water pressure, heats the hot water in all that black poly tubing on the roof, and drains into a septic tank. I'm not extracting interesting chemistry from the tank… yet.

"Well, any batteries in use might have been overloaded…the unused ones? I don't know…short life span? We could make some-I don't know how refines or strong they'd be with out someone who knows chemistry…." Avery says and shakes her head. "Does that account for hard water? The pipes will suffer first. Could raid an art supply or farm store for charcoal, make a filter on the tanks?"

You say, "It's hard water because it comes from an underground spring into the reservoir. And yeah. I haven't poked into batteries much. Right after I got here I started rehabing little gas generators, and when I need to start a car or something I just use that. I have some chemistry. I mean, I have to make ammunition too. Nitrocellulose for the main propellant, perchlorate primers. All the guns I make are caseless and my bullets are steel or iron. I never figured I'd be designing my own cartridges, but… three times so far, although the second and third ones I cribbed from existing cartridges. The 35/100 Foreman Nitro Express I did from absolute scratch."

"Ouch. Who'd ever figure we had to start over like this." Avery shakes her head. "My dad was a mechanic. I started working for him as soon as I got old enough." her smile turns bitter. "It's not much experience but I know a bit about machining."

Monica blinks. Several times. As though her eyes are tearing up. "Please… please tell me you're interested in working in the machine shop."

"Umm, sure? I've sort of been wandering, no ones set me to anything really." Avery admits and looks a little alarmed. "Why are you crying? Did I say something bad?" She asks and holds out her hands, looking around, she never touched her!

Monica will, unless Avery does something to stop her, hug Avery like a long lost sibling, or manna from heaven. "Oh thank God." She sniffles. "Oh thank God. I've got so much work that needs to be done… another pair of hands, any hands would be great, but you're a mechanic and you know some machine shop?" Hopefully that coverall comes clean easily. Mon's pretty greasy.

"Yes. I know cars the best, but I've had to make custom parts for ummm, things, hardware…" Avery tenses, surprised by the contact and very awkwardly patting Monica's back. "Please stop crying, people might think I hit you or something. I'm very mean." So mean, really.

That evening, Carilena and Cosmo are out for a stroll, though the Brazilian finds her left hand drifting to her left hip where her machete usually hangs. Understanding the need to yield it while inside the defensive walls doesn't make it any easier to actually do. It's ruminating on that as they enter the gardens that makes her not realize what, exactly, she's walking into. After a glance at Cosmo, she looks to the other women. "Ah - excuse us," she says, looking as apologetic as she sounds. "We -were walking. If - this is a bad time can we can find another place to walk."

Monica shakes her head. "They'd know better." She lets go of Avery and wipes her eyes. She laughs softly. "A mean one too, huh?" She sniffles again. "Next you're gonna tell me you're a Civil War reenactor too." She notices Cosmo and Carilena at the same time, and shakes her head. "No, no… no. It's good. It's all good." Her eyes promptly tear up again. "Don'd mind me. I get a little nutty when I spend too much time in the shop."

"No, uh, SCA. Not that that's better." Avery says and makes a face. She looks at Cari and smiles, hands going out at once to greet Cosmo. "Hi. I think I have a thing to do now, that's all. I wasn't mean to her or anything." She assures Cari.

As Cosmo eagerly steps forward to lean up-he's better-trained than to just jump up-and wag his tail slowly while he nuzzles into the offered hand, Carilena gives a small smile, saying to Avery as she rests her weight more on her left leg, "I did not think you were." She looks to Monica, then, adding, "And I think anyone would -get nutty- when staying in the same place all day. Especially these days."
Carilena drops Cosmo.

Monica nods. She wuffles Cosmo's ears if he'll let her. She finally just sits down, careful not to sit on a pot plant or one of the cacti. "I've been making rifles all week. Prototyping this, too." She unslings the rather small carbine from over her shoulder. It's no larger than a storm trooper blaster. "And a pistol that's the same thing with a shorter barrel and different stock. And that, so workign on the alien stuff doesn't keep me from sleeping.

"Shortened barrel? Isn't that squirrely? Folks will have to get used to the kick I bet. Anyone here that can fletch? I'm more for arrows. It's quieter." Avery says and pets Cosmo lightly.

Cosmo is a people-oriented dog, that much is clear, happily taking in attention, Cari loosely folds her arms beneath her breasts, glancing at some of the less -useful- plants in the garden. The general mentality is already clear even to her, so perhaps wisely she just focuses on the topic at hand. "I do not know how to -fletch- nor can I even think of who might do this. Though I think that-" a nod to the carbine prototype, "-has more, ah- stopping power, you say, I think." Cosmo sits on his haunches between the women, in equal-ish attention-giving distance.

Monica ponders. "I'll bet Fiona can fletch. She uses a bow. Piper too. I've never done it, but if you want to teach me, I'll learn. And yeah, it'll be much quieter.
You paged Terry with 'Okay. Foreman M0-R3 Main Battle Rifle'

"Oh, I can't fletch. I wish." Avery shakes her head. "Arrows stop people just fine with the right bow. It's not blunt like a bullet so kevlar isn't as effective." She flushes. "Sorry. I've been shooting a while." She flaps a hand. "Nerding out."

"As you say," says Carilena, inclining her head and giving the others another small smile. "I do not use them, so I do not know them. I have very little firearm training, and no bow training. I -try to avoid fights, but if I must, I prefer my machete-and Cosmo." A shrug of her left shoulder, there, in something of a casual gesture.

You say, "Avery was just wondering how we all stay safe. Bottom line? Most of us are armed in one way or another. And willing to kill to protect ourselves. Unfortunately. I don't think you get here without being like that, most of the time. Hence the need for psychiatrists around here.""

"Talk docs? Pass." Avery shakes her head. "I'll just keep on keeping my insights on the outside world thanks." She shudders and swings her hands lightly. "You find a thing Cari?"

"'Talk docs' are important, Avery," Carilena says, arching her left eyebrow again. "As Monica says, you do not get here without sacrificing things that once made us -civilized. Psychologists help work through that, come to terms with it -and use it." With that, she goes to crouch near Cosmos, giving him firm scruffings along his neck and shoulders. "That said, I am not sure a true willingness to kill is truly necessary. I am not -decided- yet." A glance at Monica, there.

Monica looks down and digs her boot heel into the dirt, resting the new, empty carbine across her lap. She pulls the rear-seal block back and breaks the action like an old fashione shotgun (or some revolvers), then snaps it closed again. Several times. "well… it's worked for me," she says. She keeps her eyes on the ground, and her tone sounds ashamed. Or nauseated.

"Cari, why are you so strict about doctors? They're awful" Avery sighs. But she's young and largely avoided docs before. "I just want to keep going. Get up, keep moving until you have to sleep and do it again, it works fine."

"Doctors are what allow you to -keep moving until you have to sleep," says Carilena, looking to Monica. "You understand this, I think," is said a little more quietly, her hands still working through Cosmo's fur. She looks at Monica a beat longer, then drops her gaze to Cosmo. The dog never fails to make her smile, if even only a little.

Monica nods. "Yeah. Could have used one when I had plague." She gestures to her face, even though the scars are faded considerably from how they were. "I've been working with one since I got here… to make it less likely that I'll shoot someone here by reflex." She grinds her heel into the dirt some more, not having looked up except to gesture to her face, and that only briefly.

"I've survived this long with out doctors." Avery says stubbornly. "My parents died, our friends died, I've walked from Oregon to where are we? Texas? I can survive with out the doctors."

"And this," Carilena says as something of an aside to Monica, "is why in my practice, I was not going to work with the young." She leaves that without elaboration, trusting Monica to "get" what she means. Granted she's not being super-secretive or anything, but still.

Monica rubs her eyes. "Be nice. Both of you. She is a doctor." She points to Carilena. "You don't get here without scars, either." She looks over to Avery. "And it sounds to me like you have some bad ones. Other than making sure you don't have anything contagious, you don't have to go to a doctor if you don't want to unless something bad happens." She stands up slowly. "Like stopping a bullet. Meantime… I'm grateful for having medical care, and posted guards, and all the other things you get with civilization, whether you use them or not. I lived out there on the road for a year. I got attacked twice, once by a camo kid, once by two cannibal rapists and their dad. I nearly starved, too. I sleep better knowing civilization's got my back. And I do my part to make it work better. Your trip might have been better than mine. You might be more skilled at surviving, and all that. But part of it was luck. Don't forget it."

"Oh. I just thought you liked doctors." Avery says to Cari and shrugs, sliding her hands into her pockets. "Didja tell Elijah?" She looks at Monica. "I don't want to talk about out there." She tells her and sets her chin. "I'm not even sure in here is as good as the curb appeal. Every settlement has is catch-even if they don't tell you at first."

"I am not that kind of doctor," says Carilena, giving Avery a small but sincere smile. "I -am a 'talk doc'. Elijah helps with the scars you get on your body. I help with the scars you get on your mind." She looks to Monica again, and voice a touch lower, she adds, "As you say, Monica - you do not get here without scars." Her own body, while far from flawless, doesn't show the physical signs others do. She has her own scars, however.

Monica nods. "Civilization is always a compromise. Always has been. Always will be." Mon shrugs. "If you wanted to help me, I've got a ton of projects, some more interesting than others. I'll introduce you around, make sure you get set up with an apartment, show you where the supplies are so you can get a change of clothes or two… and tell you when dinner is and where it is. A few months, you'll either figure out what the other shoe to drop is for you, or you'll realize that it's giving a shit about other people again, after how bad it hurt last time." Mon stretches. "That's my experience anyway."

Shrugging, Avery nods. "I'll work and earn my keep." She tells Monica and looks up at Cari. "I'm sorry. The only talk doc I met was a total pill pusher. He really messed up my mom. I don't put much stock in it." She frowns, screwing her mouth to the side.

"And that," Carilena says with a nod to Monica, "is what we are to help with - those sorts of tough choices. We do not…" She exhales as a thoughtful expression comes to her face. "He was a psychiatrist, not a psychologist. Psychiatry tends to revolve around pharmaceuticals; psychology tends to make that a last choice." With that she finally stops scritching Cosmo, getting to her feet again. "And Terry already showed us to the apartments, though he did not tell us about dinner," she says to Monica, putting her hands on her hips in a casual pose.

Monica nods. "In the clubhouse at «time» o'clock. So… long about now." She looks at her hands. "Guess I'll have to shower afterwards."

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