|Time & Date||7/22/2015 / Time|
|Summary||Tallin heads to Blythe to find work|
Blythe - Trading post
It's late morning, just a bit before noon as the shadows would fall. The trading post is situated about a mile in from the main road - just enough so that people don't run into the walled enclosure without a bit of a detour. The old town is basically a collection of ruined buildings here and there - squatter homes for Refugees and the like; those 'citizens' of Blythe who exist around the tiny kingdom on a hill.
Hellcats rumble in and around the old town as Rovers come and go - hauling Scrap in from the ruins of any nearby settlement but mostly from the remains of Old Phoenix. Never really knowing what to expect, or what he may need, Tallin made sure to have acquired some goods for trade. Having some funds back in LATMA, makes the aquiring of some things easier.... At least, when he's close enough to slip in and get them. Something he took a little time to do before he came all the way out here. His goal isn't a long stay, more, catching up on how things have changed since the last time he had been out this way. Kinda checking in to see how things are under new leadership.
He couldn't help the shudder though. The place still had the old feeling about it, made worse for the people lost to raiders. Some things, need time to be erased, need time to heal. Driving His hellcat on to the main town, the place with the walls, he couldn't help but wonder what he would see. He also couldn't help that a part of him was telling him to go back.
He really didn't like it here.
The town didn't surive the raid that well - everyone knew that it wouldn't. Their feeble walls of cars and old busses positioned here and there did little to deter the Snakemen - all it did was make the hunt that much more enjoyable for them. But, in the years since the raid, people have started to rebuild their lives - mostly up on the roof tops of the old buildings - those that still have roofs. The first thing that would strike anyone who hadn't been here in a while is the general lack of clutter found in the ruins of 'Old Town' - the area around the walled enclosure. It's not exactly tidy but it's a close cousin. There's not the usual level of grime and trash strewn about here and there and the few people that you see as you drive by look, for the most part, healthy-er. Something's changed. They're not all smiles and laugh but they're doing a bit better it would seem.
The main gates of the walled 'fort' are closed - though one of them is kept half way open to allow those who have business inside the ability to leave. Gaining entry, it seems, is a bit more complex. Two heavily armed guards stand before the gate inspecting anyone and anything passing inside and there's two crows' nests on the towers above the gates with another pair of guards each. Clearly not much is getting inside without their say so.
Tallin kills the engine of his hellcat as he draws closer to the open gate, allowing it to roll on for a bit before hopping off to walk it. The gesture makes him approach at a disadvantage, and he hopes, it keeps the guards from being too eager to start trouble. He doesn't try to pass through though, stopping a ways from the gate, or when they order him to stop, whichever comes first.
The guards don't give him much of a second thought. To them, Tallin is just another Runner or Scrapper coming in with something to sell or a need to buy. They give him a quick look to see if he's carrying anything too dangerous and then wave him inside. The enclosure isn't large enough to take one's bike inside so a number of the Hellcats are parked in a neat row just outside and to the right of the main gates - presumably under the watchful eye of the guards.
Once inside, the enclosure is, like Old Town, oddly tidy. People come and go here and there with their own business but there's not the usual level of filth one has come to know and detest about such a place. Immediately to your left is the slave auction - though no one is in chains which suggests that it's all, mostly, voluntary. Boys and girls of nearly every age from 15 and up stand in whatever garments they own as people occasionally offer a nod or a ... wait, is that Wyck?
Among the young men being auctioned off is a boy of around fifteen years with shock white hair and pale skin but...as he looks up you can tell that the features are wrong. Must be another pale, skinny white boy with white hair. Odd.
Tallin of course, parks his bike, shoulders his pack and 'wares', and moves on. Seeing the auction, he looks away, not sure which bothers him more: The look-a-like, or just seeing the slave auction. That sick feeling, the one he felt the last time, it's back. While there are no chains, they are no less a prisoner of sorts, a person stripped of their value and dignity. He can feel his beast stir, waking up from the knowing of something wrong. The Strider can only wonder how many more things he'll see, and in that, how much more awake that beast will become.
As he suppresses his desire to free them, knowing there is nothing he can do to save them all, he then starts to push aside the thoughts of trying to free one or two from what hell may be waiting for them. What kind of life would they have as wanderers, or as 'samurai' as warriors were sometimes called. No, that wouldn't save them, that would just be a different death. He doubt they would thank him for that freedom.
Continuing on, he looks around, taking note of things. It seems better here, cleaner, but he's also well aware that don't always mean 'better'. He would have to see more to know the truth. To your right, as you enter the compound is the large green tanks of Biofuel that now power most of the Hellcats. They give off the smell of an old pond or possibly a healthy swamp; very 'green' and algae laiden. The steam coming out from the machine just spews chlorophil-laiden moisture into the air which, in the desert environment of Blythe, is like throwing money away. Above the 'Green Machine' and against the wall is the Runner Deck; a sort of 'bar' for the Runners who are in town. Small children, usually boys below the age of 15, seem to be scurrying back and forth up the stairs from the deck to various points within the trading post - running errands for the Scrappers and such.
As you make your way further into the grounds, a young boy of about ten or eleven slinks up in your path and smiles brightly. "Hey - haven't seen you around here before... you new to Blythe?" The boy is healthy, apparently well-fed with clean skin, bright eyes and at least some sense of clothes on his back. The blue hooded poncho conceals much of his frame but from what you can tell he's probably doing 'ok' for himself.
Tallin stops, looking towards the boy. "The last time I was out this way, was awhile ago. Seems things have changed quite a bit. Apparently, it is now under new, and more tidy, management." He says quietly. "I'm going to gather, you're the one to go to, when you want to find someone, something, or learn who's looking for what. Am I right?"
The boy nods emphatically and sticks out his hand, "Names Buster. You got it, I can sell it. You need it, I can find it." Just a little business man it would seem by his confidence and willingness to jump in front of a stranger's path. "What can I do for ya...mister...uh..." he tries fishing for a name.
Tallin chuckles, then shakes the kid's hand. "Tallin Stormdancer." He answers before looking around. "What's the method of trade here, Buster? Straight barter? Chips?" The second that Tallin's hand touches the boy's there's a spark. Not just a static spark of electricity - there's nothing really around that would help convey such a thing. This is a spark of...something else. It's fresh, bright, new - like holding an acorn and knowing that it could become a mighty oak. There's something to it that's not painful as it is...surprising; like the first splash of a cold rain drop down the back of one's neck that signals an oncoming shower.
"Chips is what ya get from the Scrapper Bay - if that's what you want." He answers quickly, apparently ignorant of any 'spark' or its effects. "But most people can go with straight trade if you want to go that way. What you got?" he asks curiously. "Pre-Tek? Maybe some Meds? A guy I know was looking for some old stuff like that if you had any." Tallin answers the youth quietly. "I've got some electronics components, some pure metal, seeds, ration packs, a set of clothes, an axe, and a med kit, all of which are open for trade.... If needs be, or the price is right." He doesn't remark about the spark, but he does keep it in mind. That, is something to talk to Wyck about when he gets back out that way.
The boy looks at the man curiously, raising an eyebrow in question as though he just said something that's not often heard out here. "You got...seeds? Like what kind?" He doesn't let that first question stop him as he then rambles onto what the other materials will go for. The ration packs will get you top-chip here in Blythe as they're food that's quickly consumed, fairly safe and relatively healthy. Metal is metal and can be found nearly anywhere but usually can get you a few chips for something that's workable. Med kits, especially the hypo-spray kind or one with flesh tape will get you basically anything you want. "So...what are you wanting out of all this? Chips only work in here - or I guess in Old Town if you can find someone who wants them."
Tallin keeps his eyes on the youth, answering the first question first. "I've got a few apple seeds, one for an oak, and some corn seeds." He then answers the second. "Not sure what I'm looking for yet. I'll figure that out after doing some looking around." He slips off his heavy backpack, pulling out one of the rations. He then slips the pack back onto his shoulders, offering the ration over. "Happen to know what work is available out here?"
The boy takes the meal bar and peers at it for a second. He does his best not to look like he wants to tear into it himself, but it's -right- there. "Uh, if you're looking for work then you best talk to Avin. He's the Boss around here." The words are quick, clipped almost as he tries to rush through them to get back to the topic at hand. "So where you want me to take this then?" he asks holding the ration bar up as an example. Tallin shakes his head. "It's yours. Just tell me how I can meet with the boss for work opertunities."
"Avin is the guy you want to talk to. He's right over there in the red tower. Just tell 'em Buster sent ya."