(2016-09-21) Hello or Goodbye
Hello or Goodbye
Summary: Mon and Avery prep the machine shop for either possible result. If the mothership doesn't go boom and the town does, well, at least they have some tools stashed away. Please note that this log has been backdated, and was actually RPd on the 28th.
Date: 2016.09.22
Related: None

<FS3> Monica rolls Machining: Good Success.
<FS3> Monica rolls Machining: Good Success.
<FS3> Monica rolls Mechanic: Good Success.
<FS3> Monica rolls Mechanic: Good Success.
<OOC> Monica says, "heh. Couldn't do that again on a bet."
<OOC> Avery says, "Lol"

Monica steps out the door of the machine shop, takes careful aim at one of the wrecked buildings, and after a quick shout to warn anyone downrange, she pulls the trigger on the revolver in her hand. Five times, in fact. Then she changes for the revolver in her other hand and fires five more times. She breaks the action on one, then the other, looking for signs of leakage around the front seals. "Well shit," she says, and walks back into the shop. "Okay, I'm done. Unless you have anything last minute you want to do, let's get things ready for D-Day."

Looking at Monica as Avery uncovers her ears, the girl shakes her head. "No…" There's smudges of soot on her face now from her hands. "I'd just as soon get things ready to move and get in a shower-who knows how long it'll be before the next one." She points out quietly.

Monica nods. "Yeah, right with you on that." She loads one of the revolvers with the slightly redesigned cartridges, of which only a hundred exist in the world, and holsters it. "Not in the shower, I mean…" Mon blushes. "Sorry. I have all kind of weird stuff going through my head right now. Basically, I figure we should pack up the measuring tools-calipers, mics, straight-edges, rulers, and like that, and the small tools - files, cutters, scrapers. Stuff that's not dead common or easy to make. We can make the heavy equipment if we have to, although God knows how we'll power it. I have no clue how to make carbide cutters though. Do you have a gun?"

"Older women are weird." Avery concludes after a moment before turning to survey the shop. "I have a bow." She offers and picks up a rag to start wrapping up some of the files in. "Is it just us carrying it all out? That's gonna limit how much we move."

Monica pffts. "I'm only 22." She thinks about the bow. "Do you want a rifle? It's good for keeping nasties at a longer distance, and I mean you and I've just made like ten thousand rounds for them."

"Can't hurt. Might save the bow for hunting then." Avery says and shrugs at Monica with a wry, small smile. "That's almost ancient these days." She teases and looks back to the files, counting them and looking around with a frown until she remembers where some others are.

Monica thppppts, in a moment of uncharacteristic childishness, and chuckles too. She unlocks the cabinet marked "spare parts" and draws out a fully assembled M0. "Okay. Short version is… don't point it at anything you don't want to kill. Finger off the trigger unless you're about to shoot, and always, always always assume it's loaded unless you personally have checked since you picked it up. There's no safety. If you have to run and shoot, use the half-cock. If you're done shooting, take the magazine off and unload the cartridge that's in it. Have you shot a rifle before?"

"Back home a few times." Avery shrugs and reaches out to take the M0 and look it over, checking out all the parts carefully. "It's very odd, holding a gun again." She admits after a few quiet moments.

Monica nods. "Yeah…I keep feeling like I'm naked if I don't have one on me. Back in the world, that put me in some pretty nutty company. Now…" Mon shrugs. "I dunno. I'd be dead right now if I hadn't been armed when I left home." Mon wraps her arms around herself a moment. "I don't know if I can watch the world end twice. I really…don't know."

Scowling now, Avery nods and works to start getting things packed a little faster. She sets the M0 gingerly on a counter to return to collecting parts. "Yeah. I should be starting college or something now…" She clenches down on her jaw and shakes her head. "Shitty timing for the world to end."

Monica snorts a little, then chuckles and looks down, and gets busy packing too. "I figured we'd use my horse cart for this stuff. Haul it out of town and hide it in a dead car or something. Preferably one that still stinks. What did you want to do? I mean…in college? What did you want to study, what did you want to be when you grew up and all that?"

"An engineer." Avery admits after a moment, looking up from her careful wrapping. "There were loads of STEM scholarships for girls. I could have gone to a good school and everything." she shakes her head. "Aliens should have waited for like, world war three or something." Something in the hazy someday far from them.

Monica nods. She boxes the measuring tools up carefully. After a moment's thought, she leaves one set of calipers and one micrometer in the drawer. "In case Devon pulls it off, but our cache gets raided," she explains. She thinks about it. "I'm a junior college girl. I can teach you some of that…but we should really hook you up with Linc. He's an actual rocket scientist. I was basically in pre-oil-field, to be honest. Work the machine shop keeping equipment going, maybe do gunsmithing on the side or something. I can do the math, but I don't like it that much."

"It hardly matters now, does it?" Avery says and nods at the idea. Leaving one of each item behind isn't a terrible idea. "We could wrap the rest in oil cloth to keep the moisture off them and grab some bones and scraps from the kitchen to leave over the stash-make sure it's gross enough to leave alone?"

Monica nods. "The oil cloth's a good idea. Dunno about the bones. Might attract bears or something. And yeah, it matters a lot. If we all wind up on the campout that never ends, we'll be starting from scratch, without the benefit of a thousand years' knowledge how to stack rocks so they support themselves and don't fall on us. If we get to come back home to here…doubly so." She holds up the partially dissected alien power pack. "And then there's this. If it does what I think it does, and we can suss out how to make them, rebuilding gets a whole ton easier." She tucks the pack in her bag. "I mean…room temperature superconductors? That's the future. Someone's gotta engineer it. If that's what you love, then heaven knows we'll need it." Mon grunts as she picks up the not-very-heavy box of tools. "No matter how things turn out."

"It's just like-I'll ever be a REAL engineer will I? You know. No matter how much I might learn, the more learned people, the PhDs, and Masters, how many do you suppose are left or even able to communicate that knowledge in a way where it'll feel like it's not all prayers and guess work that it was taught right?" Avery sighs heavily. "I could hoard all the texts, absorb as much as I can from smarter people and it won't be enough."

Monica nods a little. "Is a real engineer someone with a piece of paper and a pre-defined skill set? Or is it someone who does engineering? There's stuff you won't know that you might have otherwise, but think about it. If you were hiring an engineer back in the world, would you go for the one with the best certificates, or the one with the most experience in your particular field of engineering?

Scratching her head a little, Avery gets some grease in her hair and shrugs. "Wouldn't you want the smartest one?" That makes the most sense to her at least and she shakes her head. "I don't know really." She'd rather focus on the task at hand, getting things collected and sorted out.

Monica shrugs. "Depends, probably. I know machining…it's a job where you have to use your brain, but you also have to use your hands and your senses. So it's more like sports. I mean, take the M0. The engineering way would be first, pick your price point, then design the chamber and the cartridge so the cost of your steel and whatever special alloys you use aren't super-high just to contain the pressure you're generating. Takes computer gas flow modeling, lots of constants, knowing your materials inside and out. Linc could probably do it. I can't. When I built the first one I didn't even know what kind of steel I was working with, so I assumed it was mild. What I did was do a chamber, put a small charge in it. Adjust the shape to lower the pressure, then add more propellant. When chamber tweaking stopped lowering the pressure enoguh, add more steel. Repeat until I got the velocity I wanted, with the safety margin I wanted, without needing wheels to haul it around. It took me a couple months of experiments. Which way's better? I learned a feel for the steel and propellant I can't quantify well, but it works for me."

"I don't know that one is better…I guess since we don't have computers it's probably good to figure things out like you did…" Avery shrugs and starts digging around for the oil cloth. "You think we'll survive the next wave? A big group like this?"

You say, "We do have a computer. It's flaky as hell, and unless the electronics gang has gotten Linux installed on it, it's running Vista, but we have one, solitary computer. I'd settle for a pocket calculator. That failing, I'm going to have to read up on adding machines or slide rules, I guess." Mon crawls behind the lathe to a cabinet underneath the lathe's table. She opens it. "Here it is," and hands an oil cloth to Avery. "Maybe." She looks up at the younger woman. "Problem is, without cities, it's hard to build the mass of knowledge. Might be… you and me out in some farm house and we figure out alien power packs, or whatever, and the rest of the world never knows. And also…without cities… without the ability to mass firepower and like that… we're a lot more vulnerable to the kamo kids. As long as their ammunition holds out. I figure… fifty percent casualties the first year, and I might well be one of them with my bad teeth.""

Shuddering, Avery tries to shut the idea out. "The camp is screwed with out you." She points out and takes the cloth to set by the things they need to get out. "Might have Elijah look at them? He's a doctor."

You say, "I have. We can extract them. I'm holding on in hopes of finding a dentist before then. If I'd thought about it, I'd have had him pull the teeth a month ago, so I'd be fully recovered and disaster-ready by now." Mon gets up. "And to be honest, the camp got by ok before I got here. They lived more 18th century, heat your wash water, and bathe once a month, and they lived with outdoor privys and candle light…but they did ok. Right now I'm not sure I did anyone any favors. When you live that simply, leaving is no big deal.""

"Hmph." Avery offers, grunting at her point rather than voice her thoughts one way or the other. "Guess it's a good thing I've been on the road recently. Should've known I'd be on it again soon. We'll never get a real chance to settle, we'll never wipe them all out, will we? Always going to have to move until we're all dead."

Monica reaches out and tries to put her arm around Avery's shoulders. "If Devon does what he says he's going to do…then we'll have clear skies, at least for a while. Given how big space is, it could be quite a while. Centuries, thousands of years, who knows? If he doesn't…you may be right."

"That's a lot of hope on one smarmy asshole's shoulders." Avery says bluntly and glances at Monica before sliding out of the hold. She's still not much of a toucher. "If he does manage it…we still might not survive as a species."

You say, "There were never any guarantees about that. We've always been one big asteroid away from extinction." Mon shrugs and goes back to boxing up tools and carrying the boxes out to her cart. "The only way to hedge our bets…is to survive now…figure out the tech the Others left behind…and start spreading humanity out onto other planets. And when we find where the bastards came from…wipe them out. As a species."

"Isn't that genocide. Star Fleet would hate that." Avery murmurs in all seriousness, keeping her eyes down as she stashes one of a few other tools in what she considers clever hiding spots for things.

Monica chuckles. "I note they did not come to our rescue here. Would have been nice. It'd still be nice."

Lips quirking a little, Avery shrugs and does her best not to chuckle back. "Maybe that'd be violating the Prime Directive." She points out. "We might really be on Earth 2 and be off brand humans or something." What did Avery imagine to keep herself entertained alone in the woods for so long?

Monica laughs. "Hey, anything's possible. We could even be the mirror universe Earth, and this is how things get so nasty by the 23d century. What'd you do on the road, sit there and remember Star Trek episodes or something?"

"Nothing." Avery shrugs, flushing a little now. "Forget I mentioned Star Trek." She says and hops onto a counter to reach a higher shelf. Emptying it carefully she jumps down with a thud. "I should go clean up. We can finish in the morning, it's not like we're leaving just yet." she adds, closing off again.

You say, "Hey. It's ok. We all have this stuff in our head from the old world, and even if it doesn't make sense here, sometimes it's good to have something else to do with your brain. Better Star Trek than some of the crap I have in my head." She waves. "I'll see you there, probably." She carefully hauls the cart into the (mostly) empty bay of the garage. "Just need to tidy up." And probably say goodbye to her cast iron friends of the past four months. Just in case."

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