Author Topic: Catnips Odd Trip  (Read 2839 times)

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saltmummy626

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Catnips Odd Trip
« on: September 20, 2017, 05:03:22 pm »
                                                                                                                         1. North of Nowhere

    In the sonoran desert, three thousand miles from New England and the ravages of Gods Army and the bandits that troubled that region, a star moves and settles gently in a lonely tract of hardpan just north of what was once the Texas Mexico border. The bright point of light stops a few feet from the ground before widening into a field of stars, disgorging its passengers before fading into nothing. One dead, one merely unconscious. There is no one to witness this strange event, none to greet the cosmic passengers of that traveling star. The sun begins to set, the screamers begin to emerge from their hiding places among the dunes, and the stars above in the crystal clear sky play out their stellar show for none to see. The sun rises in the morning, banishing the screeching pygmies that have come to call the desert home and turning the sky into a bottomless vault of blue. A wheel of perfect azure rolling away in the distance, marred only by the blazing sun trundling across its unmarked surface and there is no one to mark its passage. The winds blow to cover the bowl and it’s star borne travelers in drifts of shifting sand. Night falls, and the screamers come out. This time, they find the body of the deceased and they rip it to shreds without finding the other buried beneath her protective dune only a few feet away. Day break again, and this time, something is changing.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 10:45:12 pm by saltmummy626 »
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

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saltmummy626

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Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 01:25:09 am »
    She’s hot. So hot, so dry. She needs water, so much water, a bucket, a barrel, no... even the river that runs adjacent to the farm cannot provide enough water. Part of it is her desire for alcohol, flaring up after a week or two of sobriety, but that’s not all it is. Catnip pushes and pummels herself into wakefulness, and finds herself buried in something gritty but fine. Sand. So much sand. “I’m dead?” she thinks, “No, if I was dead, would I be this thirsty?” Her hands break free of the sand confining her, the air above is not cool. It is hot and dry, and she can feel the already hot morning sun burning into the bare flesh of her palms. “Kathrine?” She tries to say, getting a mouth full of sand for her trouble. It springs her awake fully, and she explodes from the dune with the force of her coughing and choking. It strikes her before the fit subsides that she is surrounded on all sides by sand, she’s never seen so much sand and hardpan and dirt, but no grass or leaves. No water. Never been so hot. “Where…” Catnip reaches for her hat, maybe even her sunglasses, but finds neither. She looks at herself and finds that is nude. Her clothes and tools are nowhere to be found. Not in the bowl, not buried beneath the brownish sand. “What the… Why am I…?” Catnip has never felt so dry, so thirsty, so exposed. She crests the rim of the bowl of sand, and the sight before her shocks her. “Where am I?” Comes her awestruck whisper. Stretching out around her in every direction, is a trackless waste she has never imagined existed. “What is this?” she asks, but there are none to answer her question.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    “Kathrine…” She says, her voice cracking on the second syllable. Had she thought the sun was bright at home? No, she’d been foolish then. She knew better now. The desert sun shone down on her with malevolent intent. It wanted to kill her, to dry her out, to turn her to no more than dust and a pile of bleached bones. “You’re going crazy Mistress.” That was Kathrine’s voice, but Kathrine wasn’t here. No one was here. Just Catnip and the sun and the indentations her feet and tail made in the shallow sand behind her as she pushed ever onwards into the desert. A thing she’d discovered about the desert, the things that bothered her the most, were the mirages. Natural heat illusions that put her withdrawal hallucinations to shame, promising distant water only to take her deeper into the heat blasted landscape. She pleaded for water from gods who were not listening, and she walked on.

    Her tongue felt like a dry and cracked door mat on the floor of her mouth. A dusty dead thing, wanting only for water. Her tail too had swelled, taking in blood and cooling it before allowing it to flow back into her body. She would have thanked Agmen, if she’d had a mind to, if she knew the benefit her tail was providing. In the evening, hardpan and sand had given way to rocky fields and scrubby grass struggling to push out of the ground. Heat baked from every stone, and even in the shade there was no relief. “I will show you fear in a handful of dust…” Catnip mumbled again. Who had said that? Roxanne? Something Roxanne had quoted to her? Roxanne was a prodigious reader, reading and devouring every word like Catnip's voracious sister devoured viscera. She’d never understood those words, but now she thought she did. There was so much of the stuff, and not a drop of water to be seen. Not even in the dry river bed she’d come across. She could smell the water at that place, but there wasn’t any. She’d dug for it, thinking that perhaps the desert had swallowed up the stream, made it flow underground. She’d come away with nothing to show for it but dirty hands and eyes too dry to produce the tears they so desperately wanted in her frustration. There were trees at that place though. Scraggly dying things that provided no shade, and tall green things covered in vicious barbs that clung to Catnips fur like painful parasites. She had to watch where she was going now, thanks to those last. The thirst would kill her sure enough, but stepping in or, god forbid, falling into a patch of those nasty things would make her current misery seem like the thirst for a glass of water at the end of a warm day.
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

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Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 08:37:34 pm »
     Where? It was that question that brought her heat addled mind to brief lucidity. “Where…” Kathrine was at the farm, but the farm was… In danger. But how to get back? An image of Medeina strapped into the passenger seat, controlling the train via the robotic control unit came to her. An interesting thought, if it had actually happened. It would have eased her a little, if not for her predicament. “What will they tell Kathrine?” She thought, “Where did mistress go?” Catnip staggered suddenly, couldn’t recover, and fell face first into a high drift of sunlit sand under the searing evening sky. “What will become of me?” She thought, before the dimness that had been lingering at the edge of her vision since the afternoon, closed in on her waking mind and snuffed it out.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
     She’s being dragged. Strong hands grip her under the arms and drag her away from some kind of screaming thing. It looks like sand, but for the patches of black that breach and sink into the crust of its gritty surface. It’s like a tiny man thing, like one of the apes in the biology books Catnip had at home. One of them suddenly leaps at her, scrabbles for her tail, trying to bite it. There’s a loud report, some large gun, a shotgun of some kind, and the little creature explodes in a shower of sand and black gobbits. The ooze sinks into the ground and soon a new creature is forming and coming at them again. “Get the truck started goddamnit! For fuck sakes!” The person, it must be a man, shouts. “Just leave it! Leave it Mark!” Comes the reply, it sounds like a woman. The first man shouts back, another thundering blast punctuating his words, “Like fuck I will! Fuckin’ meaningless goddamn run, I’ll be fucked if we don’t get something off this fucking disaster! Start the fucking truck you cunt, or I swear to fuckin’ god I’ll put your sorry ass back on the slavers block so fucking fast you won’t even know you’re back in a fuckin’ collar before I’m long gone!” The man swears a lot, Catnip wants to tell him to stop. He’ll upset Kathrine, He’ll…

    Night has fallen, and she’s no longer being dragged. Someone has thrown a sheet over her, and she has the sensation of movement. The kind of movement that only being in a vehicle can emulate. Gentle hands are trying to give her water, but the water cramps hit her right away. The pain is like having a cold dagger sunk and twisted into her guts and she keels over, the world lights up in a menagerie of colored spots and stars and the blackness edges back in on her vision. The hands take her by the head again, and slowly the pain passes. “Easy girl, easy.” It’s the woman’s voice again, “Drink it slow. How long have you been out here girly? What’s your name? Where you from?” More water is poured into her mouth, and she struggles with an urge to snatch the bottle and guzzle down the rest of the water. The fluid is like nectar after two days under the blazing sun. She wants to answer the questions, but her throat is cracked and parched. All that comes out is a weak croak. The woman is a mutant like Catnip. Just, like Catnip. Her fur is a light grey, her ears are more rounded, and her tail is shorter. She’s taller too, but that isn’t hard, Catnip is shorter than most normal people. “Don’t give her all the water L, we gotta make it to Prescott on what we’ve got left.” Catnip tries to see who this other, more masculine, voice is coming from but her sight fades. She gets the impression of something ugly and scarred, and then knows no more.
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

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Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2017, 01:05:40 am »
“She looks like one of you Mislings L.” Muses the scarred mutant, “Different kind though. Didn’t know Mislings came with brown fur.”

“We don’t, and she isn’t, Kyle.” Says the mouse-like L as she takes the canteen from Catnips loosening grasp. “I’ve never seen a Misling with rat features before. Too bad Mark intends to sell her off.”

“Heh, well. You heard him. This entire run has been nothing but a goddamn tragedy. Whole party of scavvers wiped out by screamers, all that equipment down the hole, and we couldn’t even bring back the ordinance we found if we wanted to.”

The truck bounces along in silence for awhile, tracing a path along the sand swept road in the dim evening light. “How much do you think we can get for her, if the Misling delegation don’t decide to kick up a fuss about some unique genetic variant getting put up on the slavers block?”

 L, who had come along with about a hundred similar beings from a lab dedicated to creating a cheap to maintain and fast breeding work force, said “Probably a lot. Fifty watermarks at least. Mark will try to sell her off to one of the freak shows, or even one of the cat houses. Now that I think about it, almost certainly one of the cat houses.”

“Shame.” said Kyle, who had a general distaste for slavery. Especially slavery in the sex trade. His distaste didn’t stop him of course, but it did keep him up some nights. “I guess he’ll take her to Doc Casper to get her looked over?”

L, who had been a slave herself due to outstanding debts, responded quickly, “No, hell no. Mark doesn’t go for Casper anymore. Not since that… pig… got outed for what he was doing.”

“Nasty piece of work, that. Glad we don’t gotta deal with him anymore.”

The Misling nodded enthusiastically. “Marks got sense enough to keep his merchandise out of the hands of that kiddie diddler. Still though, I guess I share your feelings about selling this one off.”
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

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Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2017, 10:35:45 am »
     The desert would soon give way to dense scrubland and pine forest as the elevation grew and the travelers in the truck went north, only to descend back into desert on the other side. Before that though, they would have to bypass the deadhouse that was Phoenix, a proceeding that was arduously slow. Catnip awoke once at that time, long enough to drink a few sips of water and ask where someone named “Kathrine” was. “Must have been in a caravan or something that got hit.” Kyle commented.

“This far south? I fuckin’ doubt it.” Mark said. Mark was a balding fat man with a soft complexion. “Find any gas Kyle? Tell me you managed to get some fuckin’ gas.”

     “Yeah yeah, let’s hurry up. I don’t wanna be around here when the rotters catch up.” Kyle tossed the rubber hose in the back of the truck and fished out a funnel, taking a moment to check and make sure Catnip was still breathing.

     “Too late boys, better get the truck fueled quick, they’re on their way.” L said, pointing back the way they came. In the distance behind, a small group of people were approaching. Weaving through the vehicles on the highway. The way they moved belied what they really were. The living dead. bodies wasted by the desert heat, the only moisture in them appearing as thick rivulets of black ichor dripping from eyes and mouths. “Get the shotgun L,” said Mark casually, “and get the truck fueled up and started Kyle, I’ll be back in a sec.”
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 12:10:59 pm by saltmummy626 »
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

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Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2017, 06:21:09 pm »
     It was hard to miss in the desert, the lights of Prescott could be seen for miles across southern Arizona as the last waypoint into the south for what was left of the citizens of the good ol’ US of A. “Thank fuck for that.” The fat man breathed. It had been a day since they’d picked up the unconscious mutant alongside the desert road. “How many marks we got left Kyle? We’re gonna have to tank up on water in Prescott or we aren’t getting back to Pricetown without stopping.”

     “Fourteen. Why did everybody have to park their goddamn cars in the fucking road?” Kyle asked bitterly. It was a question L and Mark had heard many times, and the answer was always the same. “People thought they could escape by car, you know how it is. Bunch of fucks panic, get into a traffic jam, panic grows, people start dyin’. Least’ there’s plenty of fuel to be siphoned.”

     “It’ll be easier moving once we get through Prescott. The Cor will take care of us.” Said Kyle, referring to the residents of Prescott, the deformed mutants that made the last settlement at the edge of the American waste home. “Your dad still in Prescott Kyle?” Mark asked. The mutant shook his head. “Naw, Daddy went into the desert last year. Tradition you know.” Mark nodded slowly. “Sorry to hear it.”

     In the back, L gave the unconscious mutant a little more water. “Still not awake huh?” She said to herself. The response, “Awake enough to hear you,” startled her. Catnips eyes fluttered open, she felt weak. Weak and hot. “Where am I?” She asked. L looked down at her, confused. “North of nowhere, you don’t know? How long have you been out here?” Catnip shook her head and tried to wrap the sheet a little tighter around herself, but couldn’t seem to get the strength to do it. L saw the move and understood Catnip’s intent, so she did it for her while noting Catnip’s shapely hips and thinly defined muscles. “You’re either a lover or a fighter girly.” L commented, but Catnip didn’t seem to understand. “I’m a mechanic.” She stated plainly. “Oh.” Said L, not sure how to respond. As it turned out, she didn’t have to worry. Catnip had already passed out again.
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

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Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2017, 01:29:38 am »
     “Hey Mark.” Said Prescott’s outfitter, “L. Kyle. Headin’ back to pricetown? Get a good haul?” Mark had begun to nod at the greeting until the outfitter mentioned the results of their trip into the big nowhere. “Fuck no we didn’t Rasmusin, I don’t wanna talk about it, thank ya very much. Water, we need water. How much?” Rasmusin gave his clipboard and calculator a few quick taps and came out with a number. A high number. “Shit. We can’t cut a deal?”

     “Sure we can cut a deal Mark, sure.” He named another, even higher, number and Mark swore. “Fuck you Rasmusin, how about-” The sound of the dickering was drowned out in Catnips ears by the other sounds of Prescott. She was reminded strongly of her first experience at the refugee center, and the thoughts of the center that the reminder brought up made her sad. What had happened? How did she end up in this unbearably dry place? She took water, and introduced herself. The words coming to her over years of practice. The woman who identified herself as something called a “Misling,” introduced herself as “Elle.” The ugly man was introduced as Kyle, and Catnip wondered why he wouldn’t look her directly in the eye.

     Despite the heat and the generally appalling appearance of it’s residents, Catnip sort of liked Prescott. From a distance, the settlement appeared huge because of all the lights, but in reality it was a bit of a facade. Prescott was really just a smallish village situated on the inner edge of the old city, and it’s mutated residents had taken great care to keep what little infrastructure they needed going. For one, the plumbing still worked, for two, the lights worked. It was a small marvel to Catnip to see lights working without being connected to a generator of some kind. The refugee center back home ran on a plutonium generator fueled by an atomic slug. The farm was powered with Catnips own “solar reactor.” And unstable device that produced no noise in summer, but was louder than the motor used to make it should have been during the winter.
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

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Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2017, 02:39:11 pm »
     L brought her a pair of loose fitting red swim shorts with a drawstring in the front and a likewise loose fitting cotton T-shirt. The sheet she’d been provided with made for ample cover while she put them on. “Where am I?” She asked. It wasn’t the first time she’d asked that question, though she didn’t really remember the real first time, and it wouldn’t be the last either.

     “Told you before girly, north of nowhere. We should be getting back to pricetown in a day or two.” L explained, only to be confused when Catnip just cocked her head and asked “Pricetown?”

“Er, yeah, Pricetown. Everybody knows Pricetown. Where have you been living Girly? Under a rock?”

“No. Dervish said it was uh… New ing-land?”

     L thought Catnip was messing with her, even began to laugh a little until she saw how earnest the rat mutant was. “Your not serious? No one comes from the other side. The rockies are too dangerous, the other side is full of toxic smoke and giant monsters.” It was Catnip’s turn to be confused.

     “Nuh uh, it’s better than being…” She gestured towards the open sky, “In this. How can you live when it’s so hot all the time?” If it was a joke, L didn’t think it was funny. “You’re either a crazy or a liar girly. If you are telling the truth, then how’d you get here? You’re sun addled.”

     She told her story up to the point when she attacked the bishop, leaving out a few details here and there, and L listened closely. Sometime during Catnip’s oration, Kyle approached and listened in. When she’d finished, L said gently “Definetly sun sickness. Few days in the desert without water will do that to you.”

Catnip wanted to argue, wanted to insist, but the ugly mutant interrupted. “L said you claim to be a mechanic? If that’s true, I could use your help with the truck.”
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 01:29:43 pm by saltmummy626 »
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

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Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2017, 01:25:04 pm »
    As soon as the hood was up, Catnip got to work. She took stock of every piece and part, every tube and wire, running her fingers over every inch. “Turn it over.” She requested. Kyle did so and Catnip listened carefully. She made a key turning gesture where the mutant could see it, and the engine clicked off. She listened to it run down as well. “Hm… It’ll all have to come out.” L smirked at her, but Kyle asked “What’s wrong with it? We just had it tuned before our trip.”

     Catnip wiped her hands off with the sheet in the back of the truck and explained, “It’s full of sand. You know how it is, sand gets everywhere. Though… I’m not sure how it got in the fuel pump filter hose thingy mabob. If you keep running it like this, it will be ruined in no time.” She gave a few testing prods at some tubes with a screwdriver Kyle handed her. “These tubes could stand to be replaced too. Look at how cracked they are. And this wire bundle! Some of these have been snapped, I’m surprised it runs at all! The timing belt needs to be replaced and the cooling tank is nearly empty.”

     “Huh, I hadn’t noticed the wires or the timing belt.” Kyle said, scratching the back of his head. “I’ll tell Mark. If it’s as bad as you say then yeah, the whole thing will need to come out. How long do you think this’ll hold us up?” Catnip did a quick burst of arithmetic, throwing away the results when she’d finished since they had no bearing on the question asked and the answer likely being both wrong and inapplicable to the repair at hand. “A day. Make it two, three at most. Do you have chocolate? I accept chocolate, shinies, and plutonium cells.”

    L scoffed. “Chocolate? Plutonium? Girly, how about ‘we just saved you from dying in the desert?’ The least you could do is fix our truck.” L had forgotten about calling Catnip a crazy or a liar. Maybe she was a mechanic after all. A free check up on the truck would be sure to please Mark a little. “Alright," said Kyle, "I’ll go tell Mark and get some tools. Oh, and a word of advice Catnip, don’t drink the water around here unless you want to end up like me.” He waggled his eyebrows and gestured towards his face, his lopsided eyes and malformed skull showing the results of drinking the water of Prescott.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 09:21:11 pm by saltmummy626 »
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

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Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 10:37:38 am »
     As Catnip watched Kyle go, a woman approached cradling a camera on a sling. From her appearance, she wasn’t a local and Catnip was a little in awe of how incredibly tall she was. Apart from her height, she was also quiet thin, and covered head to tail in bright scales that reminded Catnip of Dee. Where Dee’s scales were a mottled brown and tan though, this woman’s were a collection of black, red, and orange stripes running up and down her limbs and back while her belly from groin to chin was a pale yellow. “Hey there!” She said, “I’ve never seen a misling with brown fur before! Can I take your picture lady?” L scowled at her, “Get out of here kid.”

     “Kid?” Catnip thought, looking up into the face of the distinctly serpentine woman. She huffed, “Hey, let her say if she wants it taken or not. What are you? Her owner?” L’s scowl deepened into a truly vile glare, but Catnip interrupted the growing tension. “Sure. I have a camera too, but it’s not here.” She introduced herself, and the tall “girl” did likewise. “Catnip? Groovy, I’m Leslie.” Catnip rubbed her eyes after the flash of the camera’s sizable bulb. “Are you guys headed for Pricetown? I am. I heard they need a photographer for some newspaper thing they are setting up out there. Hey lady, take my picture with Catnip would you? Please?” L took the camera, momentarily considered throwing it away, and then decided she needed to ease up. No need to be a bitch. Catnip had to stand on the trucks quarter panel just to stand shoulder to shoulder with Leslie. Until now, Lilith had been the tallest person Catnip had ever met. “Say cheese!” L said. Catnip and Leslie did so, and once again Catnip was momentarily blinded.
 
    Leslie's tongue flicked out, caressing one of the collection of pictures. “Thanks lady, it means a lot. I gotta get lots of pictures for my portfolio.” Leslie said, taking back her camera. Catnip wondered what a “portfolio” was, but she understood the need to take lots of pictures. Once upon a time, Catnip had spent a lot of time taking pictures of things. It was a hobby she didn’t pursue much anymore. She was thinking about it when Leslie tapped her on the shoulder.

     “Here Catnip, I ran a copy off for you too!” Catnip took the polaroid and examined it. Leslie had put her fingers up behind Catnip’s head as a pair of mock rabbit ears, even as Catnip was doing the same to her. “Pfft.” Leslie said, “We sure do make a pair yeah? Maybe we’ll meet up again in Pricetown?”

     Catnip nodded, perhaps they would.
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

saltmummy626

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Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2017, 02:09:26 pm »
    “Mark says no.” Kyle reported, rolling his eyes. Catnip’s expression became something like a cross between disappointment and anguish. “But- But it’s gonna break!” She insisted, the idea of simply letting it happen filling her with a horrid dismay. Kyle Shrugged and shook his head. “He says we can’t afford the expense in time or money.”

“The expense in time and money is only going to be greater if it isn’t tuned up now.” L growled. Over the last half hour since the photographer had approached them, L and Catnip had talked casually. As usual, Catnip had endeared herself to the person she was talking to through natural charm and naivete. The mutant could see this. Furthermore, he could hear it in the way L spoke. “Our hands are tied guys, I’m sorry. We can’t even replace the timing belt or top off the coolant. Mark’s being pretty tight fisted about everything right now.” He explained, adding “I’m not really expecting to get paid myself anymore.”

    Catnip didn’t want to spend more time in the desert. Prescott was still hot as hell, but it was relative paradise compared to the explosive heat of what L explained to be the “sonoran” desert. If the truck broke down, and she knew it would, she would be stuck in it again. Or at least stuck in the hills outside Prescott. That thought wasn’t so unnattractive, Prescott likely had plenty of places to pick up parts and fuel and tools nearby. Maybe the truck would go down just outside Prescott even. Then they could simply walk back into town, maybe get someone to give them a tow, and then Catnip would be allowed to get to work in the comfort of a town filled with ugly as sin, but undeniably friendly, mutants. Maybe…

    “We got a single can of fuel and enough water to get the hell out of this shithole.” Mark barked at the trio, making them jump. “Let’s get the hell out of here. We have a deadline to meet.”
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saltmummy626

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Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2017, 10:39:31 pm »
    An hour and about forty miles later, the truck did just as Catnip said it would. As it crested a low hill, Mark made a simple gear shift and was rewarded with a loud bang. Something under the hood emitted a tooth grinding screech, and the tortured engine cut out.

    Under the high drone of the trucks horn blaring it’s single note, one could hear the repetitive offensive noise of a balding fat man screaming epithets into the steering wheel. L had put her fingers in her ears and hadn’t taken them out until Kyle had tugger on her elbow and given her a pair of ear plugs. Catnip on the other hand didn’t bother. She’d heard much louder things on a regular basis back home. Machine gun fire, the report of her friends tank firing its main gun, various explosions, her sister screeching in her ears, and even the divine roar of the Catnip Express. “The horn is gonna run out of air.” She shouted over the noise. Soon enough, this prediction too was confirmed as the horn wound down.

    “How far away from that town are we?” Catnip asked. The ugly mutant checked his watch and told her. Too far to walk back, it was the one thing Catnip hadn’t wanted. “I guess we better start walking. I’m not looking forward to this.” L said. The truck whirred. “Get back in the fucking truck.” Mark shouted at them.

    “Trucks not gonna move Mark. We’re gonna head back to town.”

    “We’ll never make it back before dark, get back in the fucking truck.”

    Catnip packed a few of the tools she thought she’d need, sliding them into a canvas carryall found in the trucks storage. “ Too far to walk, we can pick up parts or maybe another car somewhere along the way.”

    He scowled at her, “Get the fuck back in the fucking truck, I’m not walking anywhere and we aren’t getting another fucking car.” Catnip didn’t like his attitude. It seemed to have taken on a condescending commanding tone. She offered to fix the truck, the offer had been denied. Not just denied, denied aggressively. When the truck had broke down, she’d offered to walk until she found parts or a new car. In return, she met staunch resistance. “Ok, but no. You guys want to help?”

    L and Kyle silently went about the task of collecting up tools and supplies, leaving enough water for Mark. “Ready?” Kyle asked. “Ready.” Catnip said. Instead of walking towards Prescott, the trio went north. There had been nothing between Prescott and the place where the truck had finally died, but the road ahead had plenty of rest stops. They were sure they could find what they sought at any of those places.
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
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saltmummy626

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Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2017, 11:32:36 am »
    The three of them talked as they walked, and Catnip found L and Kyle to be ready conversationalists. From L she learned about the Misling and from Kyle she learned what there was to know about the Cor.

     Simply put, the Misling were humans mutated into a small selection of rodent forms. Specifically, mice. There were a few bird and ferret Misling, but these were anomalies. Incapable of reproducing. The Misling were made from America’s cast offs, mainly homeless people abducted off the streets. For most of them, the transformation into a virile workforce had been traumatic but beneficial. For one, it got those of them who were addicted to drugs off the crap they were putting in their bodies. For two, it had provided them with food and shelter until the cataclysm began. “That was when the AI in the lab went apeshit.” L explained, “Took all the handlers and scientists and turned them into Misling too. We managed to shut it down about two years later and escaped. Since then, we’ve been mostly living and working in pricetown.” L herself went on to explain that before her transformation, she’d been out on the streets because of a gambling problem. After the Cataclysm, it had got her in trouble. “But that’s none of your business.” She told Catnip.

     The Cor on the other hand weren’t the result of a controlled experiment. Instead, they were the result of poor handling of Prescott’s water supply. Someone had mixed the wrong batch of “stuff” up at the ol’ water treatment plant. “Something in the filters I guess. Turned everybody into freaks.” Kyle said casually, “Even other mutants can’t drink the water, so we pass out bottled to visitors and warn them away. Whole sections of Old Prescott don’t even get water anymore since we shut the valves. You don’t wanna be a Cor, death ain’t pretty for us. Most of us are sterile, thank god.”

     “They explode when they die.” L explained. Catnip looked at the deformed man with a bit of sympathy and confusion. “She’s telling the truth. It’s a… messy sort of death. No fuckin’ clue why whoever installed those damn filters had to turn us all into volatile freaks. My daddy went not long ago, wandered off into the desert. We do that, so nobody else has to see it or clean up the mess.”

     “I’m sorry…” Catnip said, not sure what else there was to say. She didn’t know what having a father was like, except maybe a little. She thought about Floyd, and wondered how he was taking her disappearance. She hoped he hadn’t gotten hurt in the attack, hoped he didn’t believe she was dead.

     “No need to be sorry, just our lot in life. Besides, so far as I can tell, we live full lives. My daddy was eighty six. Remembered the good ol’ days. Liked to bitch about ‘the liberals’ and their ‘commie leaders.’ Heh. I guess I’ll miss the old guy. Uh… gimme a sec.” Kyle seemed to be overcome suddenly as his lips seemed to squirm a little. He turned quickly from Catnip and L so they couldn’t see his face and crossed the road. It was like he’d gone to examine something only he could see, but Catnip could hear the sounds he was making. She guessed that even here in this place, it was sad times.
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
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saltmummy626

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Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2017, 09:47:30 am »
    “Hey, hey, hey, we are in luck ladies.” Kyle put on an accent Catnip didn’t recognize. Dee did something similar when he was trying to be clever, but Catnip understood the references Dee was making about as much as she would understand the finances of the towing company which owned the small building she and her new friends had come to.

     The sign above the door claimed that the building had been a branch of “South by Southwest Towing.” Catnip read this with the laborious slowness of one who has only recently gained a grasp of basic reading comprehension. “What’s towing?” She asked. L gave her a look that Catnip was coming to understand was disbelief.

     “Exactly what we are looking for girly. If the batteries are still good in any of these auto-tows, we could go back and haul the truck here for repairs! We should have remembered that this was here, Mark probably wouldn’t have been such a dick.” L said. In new england, Catnip had never seen an “auto-tow.” The auto-tows were lined up along the front of the building like a small fleet of refrigerators on wheels. Each one reminded Catnip of the robotic street sweeps that Hector had pulled back to the farm for her to salvage for parts except that instead of a scoop and a series of brushes, each auto-tow was equipped with two wedge shaped things and a pair of cables with hooks above those. Catnip could see how they worked right away, the wedges would adjust, and had a depression to hold a vehicle's wheels in place while the cables ensured that the car being pulled wouldn’t slip off the back. She was willing to bet that some straps would have been slung over the top of the wheels to add a bit more stability. She checked one, and found a set of exactly that in the auto-tow’s storage compartment.

     “What do you think Catnip?” L asked a little nervously. They’d only been on speaking terms for a day, but already L had begun to differ unto Catnip for the question of mechanics, and it made her feel a bit smug.

     “I think the batteries are dead.” Catnip said after a cursory examination of only six of the ten devices. “They’ve been sitting too long in some kind of idle state, these things will never move again unless they can get recharged.” She pulled at a plug attached to the front of one of the auto-tows, and found that the plug was attached to a self winding spool of electrical cable. “That’s clever.” She commented off hand. “Maybe they have something else we can use, we can at least look through all the cars out here to see if any of them still run. She shaded her eyes from the harsh light, and wondered if she might convince L to help her find a hat. Kyle saved her the effort by emerging from the towing office with a baseball cap in her size. “I noticed you squinting a lot Nip, not used to the sun? How about the auto-tows, any of them usable?” She explained the situation, and he sighed. “Alright. You're right, I guess we could find something else. Hope for the best and expect the worst, you’ll never be disappointed. If you ladies wanna get started, I’ll join you in a sec. I’m gonna go around back and tap a kidney.”

I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
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saltmummy626

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Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2017, 01:54:13 pm »
“Thanks for sharing Kyle.” L snarked. “C’mon Catnip, let’s do some window shopping.”

     The fence around the yard wasn’t difficult to bypass with the bolt cutters they had brought from the truck. Once inside though, Catnip was irritated to find that one side of the fence had been ripped down in a pile of twisted chain link, corrugated metal, and razor wire. “It’s hard to tell through all the cars and sheet metal Catnip. What about this one?” L stopped and made an exaggerated pose over an expensive looking convertible. “It’s very nice, but there’s only room for three, if someone sits on somebody's lap.” L giggled awkwardly, which suggested to Catnip that the idea embarassed her. Catnip popped the hood on the candy red vehicle and took a look inside. “It looks alright… Hey, if this Mark guy is so hung up on money like Kyle says, what if we brought him a couple cars?”

     “It’s a good idea, but cars aren’t really in demand because Pricetown is too crowded to drive around.” L told her, “Mark isn’t much of a salesman anyway.” Catnip checked the car’s oil level, then noticed something odd. “Hey L.” She said, “The starter thingy is gone.”

     This was a theme with all the cars in the lot. One after another, Catnip would run through her list of things to check until she got to the starter. In each and every vehicle, the starter had been removed. “Weird.” Catnip said, scratching her head in wonder. “That’s a very specific bit of damage for every single one to have isn’t it?”

     “It’s not damage.” L sighed, “They must have removed the starters to keep people from stealing them. Anyone can hot wire a car or have a key made. Back then they could anyway.” It was a bit disappointing. Especially since they had come all this way in the uncomfortable heat. The two of them stood there in mutual discomfort at the way they had both begun to sweat and stink with exertion. For the first time, Catnip complained openly about the heat, and L checked her watch. “Do you think we could find and get a starter installed-” L began, but just then, they both sensed something had changed, causing their ears to perk and Catnip’s long whiskers to twitch. “Did you hear that?” Catnip had, it sounded like shouting. It sounded like Kyle shouting.
I'm really just a sexy skeleton in a suit.
Fingering techniques are very important
Quote from: Six
Using guns while sober? Sounds like you're a coward.
Yes, little hats for every noodle.
Everyone is forks it seems.
"Everything is fucked forever, and ever, and ever." -Forrest 2016

 

NOCTIFER IS A FAGGOT