|Beers and Boxes|
|Location||Wycked Grounds, Redlands|
|Time & Date||7/18/2015 / Time|
|Summary||Tallin aggrees to accompany Wyck out to the Redlands|
Twilight - the violet hour has settled across the city of Pasadena - though it's difficult to tell with so many neon signs and buildings lit up as far as the eye can tell. Still, as one looks up and past the ambient glow of so much wealth and power, one can see that the sky is darkening and the sun is losing its battle and will eventually seek shelter under the ocean to the west. On this night, Wyck has returned from his small sojourn out to the Redlands with his Winibago and is making a bit of a 'pick up'. The coffee house, as it was, is closed (only open in the day light hours anyway) so it's empty. The back door, with the loading dock, however, is open and he appears to be hauling boxes out to it from the store room.
Tallin has decided to check out the coffee house. It's hard to tell the reason why, there are so manythat come to mind. However, the main one is simply; Something just drew him here tonight. The Strider moves about with care taken to minimize the attention he may be receiving. It's something he's learned how to do over the years he has spent in LATMA. A sound catches his attention, and he moves towards it to investigate. Why would he do so when his mind whispers of how it could be a bad idea? Once again; Because something calls him to do so.
The boxes -appear- to be labeled as things holding books and such. However, there's everying but texts within them. Wyck, it would seem, is making another haul of medical supplies, utilitarian things and such that one can't easily find out in the Redlands. The back room of his old coffee house has been turned into a staging point or so it would seem where he converts the packaging that the items came in into something more easily able to pass any random security sweep on his way out of LATMA. Stacked neatly against one wall are a few make-shift cots, like the ones one might find in one of the emergency shelters. They'll spot you for a night or two but it's not something that you would want to call your own forever. Then again, if you're out where there are no real beds - such a thing would probably be a luxury. But where is he getting the money for all of this?
The pale-skinned youth is happily being busy - seemingly oblivious to the approach of the Strider. Only when he gets close enough that it might register in peripheral vision does he pause in his packing to glance over, "Hey..."
Tallin nods to Wyck, looking around for a moment before commenting quietly. "You're running a hell of a risk here. I can't imagine what punishments would be pondered, were the powers in control to find out about this, and catch you."
Wyck shakes his head, "I'm not worried about being caught - besides, this is my last haul..." he starts to say while hefting the box over to the winibago's side door. "...at least for now." he adds and closes the door. For a second, the inside of the winibago looked like the inside of a warehouse. Just for a second though. As soon as the door closes the illusion is gone. Perhaps it was some kind of trick of the light? His work done, Wyck walks back into the storage room and then up to the large door which is about a foot out of his reach. "Hey - do you mind grabbing that?" he asks the man which is most probably a foor or so taller than the young man. "Sucks being small again..."
Tallin walks over and pulls the door down with ease, looking over at Wyck. "It's been awhile since I've gone out there. I've been thinking, perhaps it's time I let them know that I'm not dead." He stands straight once the door is closed. "Besides, I think I've spent enough time in LATMA for now."
The street-witch cum Wasteland Runner invites Tallin into the storeroom so that they can talk more freely - away from prying eyes and ears. Sure enough, as soon as the rolling loading door is closed, it's possible to see that every door and window has a chalk circle drawn around it so it's probably protected from most 'conventional' surveilance means. "It's so much... I don't know if I can use the word 'better' out there - life is hard, make no mistake... but it's not..."he glances out one of the nearby windows to the multi-story apartment towers..."-that-."
Tallin nods slowly as he looks out the window. "It's true, the corps do a wonderful job at killing what life is supposed to be like. The sad thing is that most of the bright world has forgotten how to live. Really live." He looks back at Wyck. "But then, I suppose, that is what comes of things when people have their eyes opened by fools, and create a war."
Wyck shrugs a little and wanders over to an old-fashioned electric fridge. "Beer?" he asks opening it and reaching inside to pull out two bottles of homebrew; a more flavorful version than that 'synthahol' stuff served in the bright, upscale bars. By the design of the bottle it might be one of the brews used by the Wolves Mantle across the street. Whether Tallin would accept or not, Wyck offers the man one in the same vein of hospitality that he was raised with. To -not- offer a guest a drink would be the worst insult imagined. "Ya know...,"he begins popping of the lid and taking a quick sip of the cold brew, "... one thing I'm looking forward to is getting out of dodge before my people find out I'm hanging out with 'the enemy'." He adds emphasis with his hands as though he were fearful and holding up a defensive posture. "All that bull is just poisoning people here. Too much history and all that."
Tallin takes the bottle, opening it. "Not everyone wanted to deal with that war. I know there are those on both sides, who like me, thought it was wrong." He lowers his head. "I still have dreams, about that. I don't think those are ever going away." He sips his beer, then grits his teeth. "It was too many lives lost, for something so foolish."
Wyck shakes his head at the whole mess. Wyck's never said where he was during the Caern wars - though he did hint that he was in the service of one of the Fae for a while. Maybe he missed it. "I'm just gladd that you made it out bud," he leans over to offer the neck of his bottle to 'toast' Tallin's in a sort of alcohol-laced handshake or bro-hug. "I have been trying to see if any of my peeps are still around but I think most jumped the first door they could to get out. We'll probably be paying for saving our own asses for a while - elephants and magi have -long- memories."
Tallin nods slowly as he taps his bottle against Wyck's. "Winter seems to have decided, it wasn't my time, what a surprise." He sighs. "Unfortunately, as far as memory goes, the Nation doesn't just have long memories. They have people writing songs and tales of it." He sips his drink.
The street witch nearly flinches at the mention of 'Winter' said in such a way as it would suggest that the season was a person. "Uh...when you say...that. What do you mean? -Who- decided?" There's no doubt to the small amount of trepidation that's crawled its way into Wyck's stomach and now starts to dribble out of his lips as he speaks. There doesn't seem to be anything else on his mind until he gets a better sense of who Tallin is talking about.
Tallin looks at Wyck, speaking quietly. "To my people, Winter, is the same as Death." He walks over to the window, looking out. "And I, I seem to know when she has come for someone important to me."
Wyck lets go of a breath he was holding when the answer was given. He seems perfectly content with the use of Winter as an alagory for death and was nearly over-joyed that the shifter wasn't talking about 'Her'. "Oh...ok," he tries to hide his uneasiness a little by taking a sip of his beer. Noting how Tallin seems to be a bit 'antsy' he tries to change the subject a little. "You know that they've been able to set up a solar net out in the Redlands? There's a huge old apartment building or something that never got finished and people have moved in since it's -a lot- safer than anything on ground level." While telling the story, Wyck's short legs start to swing back and forth like the kid for whom he resembles. He's wearing a simple t-shirt that has been dyed to a faint tan or off-white though it's probably because it's been washed in well-water far too many times. The oft-patched shorts he's wearing hang down past his knees and are held around his waste by a length of rope as no belt he had would keep them on his waiste.
"If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that some of your people are out there the way they're taking great pains -not- to do further damage to the world. They even have a big tree in the building's lobby that they've been watering - trying to coax it into life..." he takes a sip and adds with a smile, "...and it seems to have come back from the edge. All green now. Magic...ya know."
Tallin slowly looks at Wyck, the change in him not missed. He doesn't try to press the conversation, but he has the strong feeling that he knows the 'Winter', Wyck is worried about. "Amazing sometimes. Life. Its magic can enable it to overcome such impossible things." He moves from the window, taking another sip of beer as he leans against a nearby wall. "As for my people, I wouldn't be the least surprised if some are out there."
Wyck offers, "You know - you don't have to ask. I'd be glad to give you a ride back out there bud. Maybe it'll do you good to get away from the webs and the weave and all that and actually do some good for a change?" He seems hopeful - oddly hopeful and that's something new for a guy that spent the past ten years in service to a Queen of the Fae. "I'm sure that you're probably not one that has a lot of stuff to move around with them."
Tallin takes another sip of beer, then comments. "Well, I have a vehicle actually. Some things I've had someone holding for me. You see, I had thought about going back out there, so I made sure I had things ready. I could use a ride to the site though."
Wyck nods, "Sure thing. I was planning to head out sometime tonight. Easier to get past the check points than during the day and all that. It's about ah... two to three hours with all of the checkpoints and all that." He scoots himself off of the edge of the table and dusts off his rear before up-ending the bottle to finish it off. Ahh, the simple pleasures in life. The street witch sets the glass bottle in an old box on the ground next to the frige so that it can be reused and glances around to check and see if there's anything else he needs to toss into the winibago for tonight's run. "When did you want to head out?"
Tallin quickly downs the remainder of his beer, then moves over to put it in the box. "Lets do this when you're ready. No point in delaying."
And after a two hour drive...
It's about one o'clock or so in the morning and the two have pulled up to the secured compound deep within the walled settlement. Piles and piles of red trucking containers have created a high wall around the ruins of old San Bernardino to create a haven for them. A few friendly faces walk up, heavily armed, and offer Wyck a quick hug or a handshake. It seems that the evening is still as active as the day here - perhaps more so now that the sun has set and it's a bit less hot. Solar-powered lights give off an odd, faintly blue light here and there to bathe the block a moonlit-like glow.
Tallin was waved in with Wyck's own word - though he might be known by some here, those at the gate are trained to be wary of anyone and everyone. "Who ya got here?" asks an older woman with long, silvery hair after giving Wyck a grandmotherly hug.
Tallin walks his hellcat along, pausing when others stop to chat with Wyck. When the older woman stops Wyck, and asks the question, Tallin says quietly. "I'm most commonly known as Tallin. Tallin Stormdancer."
The name seems to be not too unfamiliar among those gathered. The older woman, which everyone seems to be following her lead, simply smiles and walks up to Tallin to get a sense of him. She looks at him in the eyes, looks him up and down 'from his boots to his brains' and seems to be satisifed with something. "Well, if Wyck brought ya you gotta be good people." There's something about her that suggests she's been around the block a few times and knows a lot more than she's letting on. Wyck doesn't mention anything about the cargo - or that it needs unloaded. Curiously enough, in the short trip where he was ferrying Tallin to get his things - the back of the RV had not a single box in it. "Have you decided what you're going to do with it," she asks Wyck and gestures to his mobile home.
The young boy smiles back as they seem to be all heading inside the big tower marked 'PARADISO' and starts to answer, "Well, I thought about driving it around and parking it by one of the small gardens up the street. No one seems to be there and I could set up shop - at least until we get some of the spaces up top cleared away." Before they make it inside, the grandmotherly woman turns back to Tallin and asks, "Will you be stayin a while with us son?"
Tallin answers the woman. "The last time I was out here, I found myself all over the place. Chances are, being back out here, it'll happen again. For now though, I suppose I should stick around awhile, get a feel of the place." He then smiles, before glancing at Wyck. "Besides, it wouldn't be right to take off right away when a friend seems to have decided this is home."
The older woman nods to herself as if confirming something about Tallin in how he's answered the question. Once they're inside, she pulls the hood back from her head to reveal more of the silvery locks that have been braided to keep them out of the way. The inside of the tower is hollow - like a large doughnut with rooms surrounding the lobby. Directly at the center of the lobby is a large oak tree which stands roughly twelve feet tall. High above, the central column of air rises all the way up to a large sky light which shows the moon in the night's sky. People hang laundry and things around the wall that spirals up from the first floor but curiously enough, not a single line stretches across the distance in the center. Nothing, it would seem, is allowed to obstruct the view of the tree.
"Well, you can crash with Wyck tonight if you like or we can find you a spot down here on the lower levels with the kids. We're still clearing out the upper floors before we move in." She walks over and takes a seat near the tree and rests her old body on an old coushin before looking around and then over to Tallin. It looks as though they have the first five levels occupied but there's easily a good twenty more in some state of construction. The center of the tower seems to be the first part that was constructed as it's the most 'finished' It's the outside that was left incomplete. "Everyone's gotta pull their weight here, son. So find yourself a bed for tonight and maybe you can earn your breakfast come morning."
Tallin shakes his head. "I'm used to long hours. Perhaps I'll spend some time working on the state of things in the upper levels before finding a place to rest." He looks over at Wyck. "No offense meant, but, I don't want to invade your space."
Wyck shakes his head and grins back at the man, "Nah, it's ok. I can tell you're a blanket hog." With that, Beka goes on about her business and Wyck escorts Tallin up into the winding spire of the tower so that he can get some sense of what is ahead of them.