(2016-10-11) Living With It
Living With It
Summary: A few weeks after the destruction of the Mothership, Mon and Piper talk briefly. Turns out it's more complicated in the aftermath than it was with the mother ship brooding up there in the sky. Minus the risk of being bombed into the stone age, of course.
Date: 2016.10.11
Related: None

Who would have thought that up until the assault on the kamo kid base and the taking out of the mothership was the easy part? With a few dozen, if not more adolescents to acclimate to the NWO, and refugees filtering in every few days from not only the other camps in Texas but the surrounding states as well, the hard work has only just begun.

In the aftermath of Victory Day it was brought up in a meeting that the town should change its name. The name Stratford seemed to no longer apply. Not with the growing influx of people and of course those that had worked so hard to get it to where it was. There was only one worthy name put forth, New Eden, and that is how the town is now referred to.

Recently, the last few days, signs from all over town have gone missing. Not just any signs though, just the signs that refer to the town as Stratford. There has been speculation as to who and where they are going, but hey mystery solved. Standing under a gazebo, surrounded by these various signs is Piper. She wears a bandana over her lower face as she spray paints over the signs. Several already have been painted, using a stencil, with the new town name, and she continues to work on the others. She has a few helpers, some of the former Kamo kids working as well, and while Piper is working in silence there is the usual teenage chatter coming from the others.

<FS3> Monica rolls Plumbing: Failure.
<FS3> Monica rolls Carpentry: Success.

Monica has been hard at work extending the bathhouse, mostly by setting up a second one right next door. It's exactly the same design as the original, using that house's existing septic tank, just like the first one. She's even been dipping waste water out of the existing tank into the new tank in hopes of jump starting its bacterial environment. But things just aren't working. The plumbing leaks everywhere. Worse, hot water is at best intermittent. Mon's taking a walk to clear her head and think about what went wrong, or how lucky she got with the original bathhouse, when she stumbles across the sign painting operation. She'd have been hard pressed to miss it from the paint fumes. You just don't smell those every day anymore. "Hi." She looks at the signs.

In the weeks since the alien mothership was blown from the sky Piper has been seen but rarely heard and considering the circumstances has been uncharacteristically stoic. If she is in any kind of mourning she is keeping it private. The work pauses for a moment as the greeting is called out and a chorus of 'Sups?' and 'Heys' come from the teens working. Peeling the taped on stencil off the sign she is working on the town name shines wetly in white paint against it's navy background. Carefully lifting it Piper moves it to where the complete signs dry. Only after that is done does she tug down the bandana from her face to give Monica her patented stoic look and a monosyllabic "Hey."

Monica smiles uncertainly. She's still not used to all these people, especially adolescents. A town of 30 she understood. A town of nearly a hundred? That takes more adaptation. "Getting close with bathhouse-B. It's fighting me, but I have thumbs, and it does not. I'll win. I've been reading up on artificial marshlands for municipal waste treatment. There are a couple trade mags on it in the library. Looks promising." That was more to the teens than Piper. They're at the age where showering regularly starts to matter. She looks at Piper. "Haven't seen you since the big boom. How've you been?"

Having spent the better part of a year plus on a fully functioning military base and in daily military training, the adolescents are used to daily showers, it was not getting one that was the hardship. The mixed news is meet with both impatient groans that it is taking so long as well as one or two shows of support. They then get back to work once Monica addresses their silent supervisor.

Piper dreads that question, but her stoic expression doens't falter in the face of it "Surviving." is her one word response to the question asked. While others have moved from surviving to living now that the major threat has passed, she hasn't. "Okay?" she is asking the same of Monica.

Monica nods. "Adapting. It's good having some help in the shop. Avery's…like having a little sister, she's so much like me sometimes." She runs her hand through her hair. "So much to do…and that's before everyone starts having babies." She reaches out toward Piper's shoulder, but doesn't touch her quite yet. Just makes the intention plain. "Any thoughts on whether we should worry about more ships? I mean. We didn't win by superior firepower, numbers, or cunning. We won because…at least in theory…a silencer turned on them. I wouldn't count on that weakness a second time."

Piper nods in understanding about the adapting thing, that's something everyone has gotten pretty good at, though some are better than others. The mention of babies has her pulling a face. Considering the celebrations after their victory, they could have an influx of babies real soon "Nine months?" yep that's about how long it will be. If no one was careful that is. "We're safe." as far as aliens go at least.

Monica chuckles. "Yeah. Wars ending usually result in a baby boom. There's nothing like nearly being killed to make people frisky. That is a blush playing over her face. She doesn't elaborate. She looks at Piper. "Could you…tell me a little more about why we're safe? It'll help me sleep nights instead of trying to design weapons that can fire into orbital space."

Piper really can't elaborate on the babies thing…or she just chooses not to. She had no one to celebrate with in such a manner afterward and if she got to spend a final night with Quinton she isn't saying. Even with the blush of embarrassment she remains as stoic as ever. The cut must be deep indeed "Only one ship." she tells her succinctly.

Monica blinks. "In the whole universe? Only one ship?"

There is a deep breath from Piper before she answers "Took thousands of years to get this far." she explains "Their planet is dead." so possibly any other ships went elsewhere and it would take them a very long time to come back and get revenge.

Monica blinks again. "Slower than light travel. Or at least not warp speed, anyway." She scratches the back of her neck. "If they don't have FTL communications, it'll take thousands of years for anyone to even know the ship is gone." She looks skyward, where the great ship was, squinting into the sun. "Ironic, isn't it? Once a thriving civilization, now a bunch of…distantly separated colonies trying to survive. One could almost be sympathetic. If one didn't know better. 'Course they're in space. Wastelands don't get any more vast and empty than that. We can walk or sail anywhere we want to go for the time being." She takes a slow breath. "The heart pumps. The hands grasp, the feet walk. There's hope." She stops staring into the sun before it makes her embarrassingly poetic. "I gotta get all these sewer projects done and get back to hacking on their technology, or we're gonna wind up using oil and coal again." Finding no resistance to her earlier extended hand, and assuming that Piper saw it, she pats Piper's shoulder.

Piper just listens to Monica speak, her eyes occasionally going to the teens to make sure they are still working on the signs. Sympathetic? No sympathy is coming from her for the aliens. "Always was." a bit of that stoic facade slips, perhaps there is less for her now, but she is still alive, so there is that. "Solar. Wind." she says instead "Do it right."

Monica nods. "We're low enough population to do that. As we grow again, we'll have to figure out more dense energy solutions but…that's going to be a while. And we have their technology, if we can figure it out. It'll change everything." She looks at Piper. She knows big Quinn hasn't been seen since the big boom, and neither has Devon. She doesn't ask. Piper's expression would be vastly different if she'd heard from him. It's like talking around an elephant. She just nods quietly and heads back toward bathhouse B. "Take care."

"You will." Piper is confident in Monica's skills at least, and with people steadily coming in perhaps someone else has the knowledge too. The woman seems to look a bit apprehensive as she is looked at, almost as if she knows what is going through the other woman's mind. Though she has probably been asked enough times to at least guess close to right. When Monica takes her leave she nods "Yeah." she then goes back to her work of creating the New Eden signs.

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