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New Dear Hearts and Gentle People (M)

Kreed · 68 · 3826

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Offline Kreed

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Despite the fact that Joe felt his response was lackluster, Akuma gave a satisfied smile that caused their glasses to move as their cheekbones shifted.

"That sounds more accurate, anyway. A vague truth is better than a solid lie, if you as me." The stranger reached down to collect their bag, shifting it onto their bag before moving to roll up their sleeping bag. With a reluctant groan, Susana stood up and shifted out of the way with a lazy roll and a shift to look upside-down toward Joe, as if to say 'are you seeing this shit?'

"That is of course," Akuma added, "Unless you're lying your way out of trouble. Which is not at all unlike me." They straightened up and tied their sleeping bag down to their pack with four solid knots in a set of leather straps.

"Well, big guy, you ready to head out? Maybe that's an easier question for you." They shifted, unzipping one of their saddle bags to reveal a mutfruit, still mostly in tact and only slightly overripe. They held it out, open-palmed, for Joe to accept. "You should eat too."


Offline Jabbathejack

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"I ain't going to lie to you." Joe was still on edge, expecting a negative response to just about everything. "I just need to... work a few things out."

Like what had just happened to him over the space of a single night. In just a few hours, his life had changed.

"I'm ready to go." Of course, he was trained to be ready whenever he was told to be, even if it was a second's notice.

Joe accepted the mutfruit, murmuring his thanks. It was sweet, slightly overripe, but it was good, something that he hadn't been able to have in quite some time.

He tied his bedroll in place on the top of his pack and lifted it up onto his shoulders, tightening the straps to hold it steady.


Offline Kreed

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"I just need to work a few things out." Hell, he could say that again. "You and me both, Blondie." With some fuel in Joe's stomach, Akuma felt comfortable with moving on. They checked all their bags and pockets, making sure everything was accounted for and secure in their places before tightening the straps of their bag.

"Good. Hopefully we don't run into too much trouble before we reach DC. I reckon we'd be aight, but no sense going out of our way if we don't need to."

Akuma turned their head to look down at their Yao Guai tagalong and lightly slapped their thigh to get the bear's attention. The old white sow rose with a grunt and nosed the southerner's palm, and was given gentle scratches on her muzzle for her efforts.

From their pants pocket, Akuma revealed a small, rusting, beat up tin box that might have once held cigarette or mentats. They flipped it open with their thumbnail, revealing a substance somewhere between clay and cream, in a deep khaki-veering-on-the-edge-of-olive hue. It didn't seem to have a strong smell of any kind, and by the way Akuma swiped a finger into it and smeared it onto the bear's ears and nose, it was thick but easy enough to spread into a thin layer.

"It's gettin' warm out there already." They turned and looked to Joe, swiping a muddied set of fingers across their stomach and neck with swift, practiced strokes. "You might want a little some of this. Keep you from burning up, since you don't have much protection on you at the moment."


Offline Jabbathejack

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"Oh." Joe frowned as he looked at the contents of Lucy's tin, realising that it was for protection from the sun. A good idea, considering he didn't have his hat with him, left behind in all the confusion.

"Thank you." He murmured softly as he accepted the tin and smeared his fingers in the greasey substance and applied it to his face and neck.

"I'll have to find myself a hat somewhere."

He handed back the tin with a nod and wiped his fingers off on his shirt absent mindedly. Beckett had given him the hat, but it had had little to do with his actual comfort, more about keeping his ability to move and fight decently. Joe grimaced, why was he even thinking about a battered military hat that he didn't even have anymore?

"I'm ready."
« Last Edit: August 16, 2020, 01:26:08 PM by Jabbathejack »


Offline Kreed

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“A good hat is hard to beat,” Akuma agreed with the click of their tin. “Course, I’m a little biased.”

 With their homemade sunscreen back in their pocket, they turned to leave the Super-Duper Mart. As they lead the way back toward the entrance, they scanned through the nearly barren shelves for any signs of potential supplies, either overlooked or forgotten. Unfortunately, between the chaotic mess and the excessive greed of the raiders, it seemed very little was salvageable.

It was when they reached the shattered front door that Akuma turned and looked over the store for one final once-over. “I checked out the pharmacy last night when you were sleeping. Seems like those idiots couldn’t figure out how to unlock the door. I’ve got water and some stimpaks if you need, but ... not really anything else. No chems. If you’re into that sort of thing.”

The wind from last night had not relented, and it swept around the parking lot in tiny spirals of dust. In the soft rosy light of the early morning, the full extent of the carnage was a familiar but ever haunting sight. Already, small blisters were forming on the skin and the crows watched from the letters of the Super Duper Mart’s sign, waiting to descend as soon as the coast was clear.

Akuma neatly stepped over and around the fragments of gore. “Best haul ass before the bugs come round. ... What direction are we headed in?”


Offline Jabbathejack

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Now that it was daylight, it was possible to see the full extent of the devastation that they caused the night before. Joe was glad to be leaving it behind, with its twisted decorations of human carcasses, acting as a warning for others. Well, between the two of them, they had left their own message.

He nodded as Lucy talked about the pharmacy inside.
"No chems." Joe shook his head. "Too many and they mess with you."

He'd seen plenty of people suffering from taking too many chems. Most of them had been back at Paradise Falls, shaking in the cells as their bodies went through the withdrawal stage. The slavers preferred to get them clear before they sold them on. Poor bastards.

Grimacing, Joe followed Lucy outside.
"Yeah." He nodded at Lucy's suggestion, wanting nothing better than to be on their way.

"This way." He pointed towards the road that led the way towards Rivet City. "There's a few things out this way. A couple of farmsteads, but they don't like strangers."

Joe grimaced, but he kept his gaze on the road ahead as he set off. The last time he had been this way was with Beckett. Strangely enough, the farmers got hostile when you captured two of their sons when they were out working the fields.


Offline Kreed

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It was good to know where Joe stood on the matter of chems; they could certainly be a divisive topic among the common folks. When it came to wastelanders and scavvers, the lines were simultaneously blurred and firmly drawn from person to person. They had their own thoughts on the matter, but it was best to keep that to themselves until they had cleared some distance between themselves and the fragments of raider that were waiting to cook on the pavement for any hungry critters that happened by.

Akuma was quiet as they cleared the parking lot, and did not speak again until they had rounded the next hill. It was only when the Super Duper Mart had disappeared behind the mud-colored landscape of Arlington. The Southern caught a glimpse of Joe's souring expression, and decided to draw him back in from whatever dark thoughts must have been brewing by re-engaging him in conversation.

"I'm of two minds about chems, myself", they said, "But I may be a little biased, the way I was brought up. I can see the use of them, but the danger too. Figure everything is best in moderation. The trick is figuring out what constitutes as moderate for each person, and each chem."


Offline Jabbathejack

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Joe blinked, snapping back to Lucy at the change of subject, taking him back to the matter of chems.

"I guess." He shrugged. "They might do some good sometimes, but I've seen the negative side too many times."

He kept his gaze fixed firmly ahead of them as he spoke.
"Chem heads were always easy targets for Beckett, except the ones on psycho, but he knew to avoid them."

Joe dropped his gaze to the path by his feet.
"No idea what would work for me, or if I'd even want any of that." Joe frowned, glancing at Lucy. "What would you suggest?"