Author Topic: Catnips Odd Trip  (Read 2788 times)

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saltmummy626

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Re: Catnips Odd Trip
« Reply #60 on: March 25, 2018, 03:42:25 am »
For the rest of the day, Catnip helped sift rubble while the others went back to their ordinary duties. Felicia toyed with the sites computer network, a job she did herself because the projects computer specialist still hadn't shown up. Tobin was up above on the tower proper examining the dishes, while Tenny went over the wiring, carefully marking with red tape cable bundles that needed replacing. The architects gave the ok on the condition of the roof, but it was a cautious ok. Some sections didn't exactly look stable, particularly around the front of the main administration building.

"It could be nothing," Patrick said, "but all the same, that concrete has cracked a bit. I think the weather has gotten into it and stressed it. Shouldn't be a big issue though. It's got rebar running through it." Catnip thought she understood. Quinn had once explained to her how moisture would seep into cracks in the pavement and when it froze, the resulting ice would gradually widen them. it rarely rained in Pricetown, but it sometimes snowed at night. When day came, the snow would melt off. When night fell again, what was left would freeze over.

Catnip was getting ready to leave for the night when a call went up. A murmur of concern from what work force was still at the facility, gathered outside. She rushed to join them, meeting L as she ran.

"What's going on?" She asked.

L shrugged and ran after. "I don't know, something going on up the tower."

It was hard to see in the failing light, but up near the structures zenith, the crowd could see the outline of Tobin's large figure moving among the girders and rails. It was only due to the light he carried that he could be seen at all. When it suddenly dropped away, falling the length of the tower to explode in a shower of glass and sparks on the ground far below, seeing him became downright impossible.

"Why isn't he up on the walkway?" Someone shouted. Catnip could see well enough in the dark, but she couldn't see any reason for the man's erratic climb. Except maybe...

Catnip broke into a run for the tower, avoiding the broken lamp and taking the stairs two steps at a time. She couldn't be sure given the distance, but she got the impression that the cyborg wasn't alone up there, and whoever it was wasn't exactly friendly. She climbed for all she was worth and managed to reach the first of many walkways running the circumference of the tower, when the crowd below let out a sound of horror as something fell screaming past her. When she looked up, the tower was unoccupied. Below her, Tobin lay in a mangled heap among the ruins of his lamp.
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 #61 on: March 31, 2018, 03:11:36 am »
She kept moving, intent on finding out who had done this and dragging them down, unconscious or in the same way they'd done Tobin if necessary. Below, Felicia and several workers were checking on Tobin and finding out what they already knew. He was dead, his mechanical arms twisted into an unrecognizable mass of metal beneath his considerable weight. Catnip took the steps two at a time, ignoring the calls rising from below. She cleared the second landing and had barely made the third when something dropped past her like a stone, vanishing into the gloom like a shadow. There was the impression of a face and a small body, then it was gone.

"They can't survive the fall..." Catnip mumbled, shifting her momentum back down. When she arrived at the first landing again, Felicia and several guards were filing up. Catnip waved them back and shouted "Down! Down! They dropped down! Whoever it is is probably still down there! Let's go!"

The guards didn't need to be told twice, they reversed direction and stormed down, lamps in hand, and began searching the base of the tower. All that night they searched up and down, but they found no trace of anyone else having been on the tower. In the end, it was decided that no one was really sure if they had seen anyone else up there or not. Only Catnip had the natural night vision to say for sure, but who would believe a slave? Tobin's death was for a time written off as an accident, and his duties were split between the remaining specialists.
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 #62 on: April 14, 2018, 06:37:48 am »
The day after, everyone was given the day off. "A day of respect, stay home." The reality of it was that the city watch needed to investigate. The city watch, and several beaurocrats from the council. Tobin was a respected man, a man with friends in a couple high places here and there, though most of those places were unoccupied now since the slaughter at Kings Court.

That morning Catnip spent in the market indulging in petty theft. She had a knack for it, it turned out. Not a great talent, but she got away with it more often than not. So far she'd been caught four times. Four times in which punishment had been delivered forthwith, and Pinky not informed. It was only a matter of time until she figured out what King's big mistake was out there doing though. After the morning, as noon and hunger hit, Catnip went back to her room at Pinky's. There she would pray, plan, and lie in the dark wait for sleep. Today was different though.

As she entered the foyer, smelling the smells and hearing the sounds of Pinky's Pleasure Palace, there arose a scuffle in the wait area.

"Catnip!"

"I told you fucker, she doesn't take clients!"

"Fuck off me! Yo, rat!"

Several workers and patrons swiveled their heads to see who would use a slur like "rat" under Pinky's roof, and the scuffle with security that would surely follow. It was Patrick. Catnip grimaced. Of all the places she had to see him outside of work, didn't it just have to be here.

"What do you want?" Catnip hissed, putting that extra bit of vitriol into the way she said it and not breaking her stride. Patrick broke away from Minx who was dutifully trying to keep him away from Catnip and not doing such a good job.

"Wanna talk, but not here. Too many people to hear."

"Yeah. No. Maybe you should-"

"Your different from the others, got sight these grey's don't got. Me too in fact. You ran for the tower and no one else did, why?"

"What does it matter?"

"Maybe get this sorted, get a reward. Maybe buy your scraggy ass out of that collar. Can't talk about it here rat."

Catnip hesitated and considered. She would certainly love to be free again to pursue her road home. But that took capital and in Pricetown, barter just wasn't going to cut it.

"Alright, fine. We talk, then you go."

"Sure, sure." He said. Catnip didn't like the look on his face when he said it though. She decided to take comfort in the fact that she saw Minx in the corner of her eye, heading up to Pinky's office and shooting glances her way. She sighed, and led the way.
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 #63 on: May 03, 2018, 06:44:02 am »
"Alright, what do you want?"

Patrick strode into Catnip's room like he owned it, and shut the door quietly behind him. Catnip didn't like that, didn't want the door closed. 'You couldn't,' she thought, 'kick someone's ass out through a closed door. Unless you were Lilith...' The image of Lilith kicking this man through a closed door made her chuckle a little. She would pay good chocolate to witness that.

"What's so funny? Feeling nervous rat?"

"No. Just say what you wanted to say and get out. I have work to do."

He made a circuit of her room. "Sure you do." He said.

It was a rather sparse room, the walls bare except for a single poster featuring a cat hanging from a branch and bearing the legend "hang in there." In the window, Catnip had hung her collection of shiny geegaws. Glass beads and Crystal prisms. Things to catch the light and brighten her darker days. Beneath the simple bed, barely hidden by the blanket, Patrick spotted the bottles. A veritable horde of booze, all of it unopened, all of it most likely swiped. He fished under and came up with a squarish bottle labeled "Captain Sam's Single Malt." Catnip watched him wordlessly as he helped himself to a stash which seemed more attractive every day.

"I think Tobin was murdered." He said after popping the cap and taking a deep pull from the bottle, "you have shit taste in liquer."

Catnip ignored the slight against her choice of drink. Catnip wasn't drinking them for one and for two, she didn't care for what she was drinking if she had been. She waited for him to go on, but it seemed that he expected her to ask for clarification. Satisfaction, he would not get. Catnip didn't like him, and that was a relatively rare experience for her. It had become more common here in Pricetown but she still got along with most people.

"And I think I know who. You see this?" He put a finger to his right temple and his eyes shifted in color. The iris expanded to let in more light, and Catnip realized that the man was a cyborg. "Impressed? I got them for work. The point is, these babies are fitted with a lot of interesting bits. Range finder, glare reducer, diamond cornea, and most importantly, short scale video capture, thermal imaging, and night vision."

"So you saw who did it then." Catnip said, reigning in her excitement and momentarily forgetting who she was talking to.

"Sure. I'm gonna meet with someone later tonight at my place. I'll chat em up, make em feel comfortable, then I'll take em over to the job site and confront them there. If I can get them to admit doing it, present them with the evidence, maybe I can squeeze some dough put of them before I turn em in!" He said, snickering. He took another belt from the bottle and wandered closer to Catnip. She could smell him now, the strong reek of alcohol. The bottle in his hand it seemed was not his first.

"So who was it then?" She asked, taking a wary step away from Patrick and his stink.

"Wouldn't you like to know? I'll tell you what, you do me a favor and I'll tell ya."

An alarm bells went off in Catnip's mind, loud and urgent. She wanted to ask what, but his proximity coupled with the sound of his voice and the set of his body told her. Carmelo, that long lost errand boy, had put on the same sort of demeanor when he made his deliveries. Though where his we're comical and sometimes a little charming, Patrick was just menacing and overbearing.

"I'm not interested."

"That ain't an option anymore." He said, sweeping up the distance between them, "Rats are only good for working, and the only work whores do is in the bed. You want to know who offed Tobin, your gonna have to work for it." His voice took on a husky desperate sound as he started in on his advances. Catnip tried to push him away but it only seemed to make him more feisty. He set the bottle down hard and grabbed her roughly about the hips and breasts and buttocks, groping and seeking.

"You whores only do it for a couple reasons. For the money or for the pleasure of it. I bet your the second, you look like the kind. I'll bet you moan like a-"

She hit him with the bottle. Shards of glass flew and both of them were soused in strong liquer. Patrick reeled and tripped over something on the floor, Catnip's mechanical gauntlet. It had been knocked off the single lonely table when he'd made his rush at her. It didn't take long for him to recover, and he was already trying to find an angle to tackle her, undoinh his belt as he did so while she brandished the broken bottle at him. Then, the door slammed open, and Minx rushed in. The thing in her hand was long, heavy, and most importantly padded. The bat. A sawn off luisville slugger some genius had wrapped in yoga mat to make it less lethal. She came in like one of the furies and unloaded on solid swing on Catnip's assailant, connecting with the side of his head and sending him sprawling to the floor.

Minx dropped the bat and rushed to Catnip.

"Put it down nip, I got him, I got him. See?"

Catnip did see. He was down, knocked out for the moment with his jeans halfway down his ass revealing an expanse of his time stained jockies. Still, she didn't drop the broken bottle, she was too shocked, too on edge and fighting off her conditioning. Minx took the chance and came in low. She managed to slap the bottle aside, cutting herself a little, before lunging in for the hug. Catnip screamed and fought her, but then someone else was there holding her too. It was L, sorry faced and worried.

Pinky was in too, and with her were two heavies. Guards she kept around for just such an occasion.

"Get this fuck awake and out of here. Minx, is she alright?"

"I think she'll be alright ma'am. She hit him with the bottle. Nip, where did you get all this booze?"

"It doesn't matter Minx." Pinky snapped, "head down to storage and get this dog some smelling salts."

It turned out the salts weren't needed though. As one of the heavies hefted him up, Patricks head lolled to the side and he groaned. The bruise forming just above his temple was going to be an ugly one, but that seemed to be all it was.

"Coming around d ma'am." Said the other guard. He turned to Patrick suspended in his colleagues arms and slapped him. "Wake up fuck boy, the madam wants a word."

He came around quick, and uttered a foggy "wazat? Fuckin hit me..." Pinky advanced on him, uttered "ok," and then did as he seemed to be asking. She slapped him, giving the other cheek a strike as well for good measure.

"Take this scum out of here and beat him to within an inch of his life if you ever see him so much as set foot within sight of the pleasure palace. Do you understand me?"

"Yes ma'am." The guards said in unison.

Catnip had dropped the jagged bit of bottle, and Pinky turned to her. She was shaking all over, revulsed in a way she hadn't been in all her life. The man had done little more than grope her, but she felt dirty. If this was what it felt like, she never wanted to be touched this way again. Minx let her go, and L soon after. Once released, Catnip threw herself onto her bed and curled up, weeping.

"I told you, life's hard chica." Pinky said, striding over and seating herself next to the distraught mechanic. She stroked Catnip gently on the temple and ahe pulled away, staring wild eyed up at her mistress. She was, for better or worse, her mistress.

"I want to go home!" She sobbed, burying her face in the pillow. Pinky gently stroked her shoulder. As a business woman, Pinky was strict and sometimes rather cut throat. But when it came right down to it, she felt for people. She was a madam first, but at times like this she could be gentle.

"I know." She said, "I know."
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 #64 on: May 05, 2018, 08:31:10 am »
Minx and L stayed with Catnip for the rest of that day and a good portion of the night, talking and sharing. Over the course of the day, Catnip calmed and talked. She did a lot of talking at their behest.

She talked a lot about Kathrine. When Catnip had been spirited away, she had just been beginning her relationship with Kathrine. Except that wasn't right. Their relationship had really started the moment Kathrine had come stumbling out of the woods. It wasn't "love at first sight." Not for Catnip anyway. For Catnip, they were just friends. Somewhere along the way though they had somehow become more. When it happened, she couldn't say. Minx told her that that's how it worked. No one is ever just "in love." It's a thing that grows and creeps up on you until one day you realize you don't know what you'd do without the object of your affection. For Kathrine, they'd been a couple for a years. For Catnip, it had been only a short while. It was coping with the realization of her feelings that had taken her off guard before, made her hesitant.

"She makes me feel..." Catnip said, "I don't know. A little shakey and a bit woozy."

"You mean light headed?" Asked L. She glanced at Minx and the two of them shared a knowing look.

"I guess..." Catnip said, sitting up on her bed. She clasped her hands together and twiddled her thumbs while she explained how it felt to be near her. Even when she was going through withdrawal, Catnip had felt a kind of greatful adoration for the maid, bordering on dependence. She explained this to them, and broke down.

"I promised... Why am I collecting all this... This shit if I promised?"

Catnip sprang up from the bed and whipped off the blanket, then crawled underneath. She pushed bottles put, bottle after bottle. Whiskey, beer, scotch, bourban, rose', even a bottle of goldschlager. One after another came rolling or sliding out. Absinthe, moonshine, cheap ale, a six pack of lager, honey mead, champagne, and wine. Enough liquer to stock Pinky's for a month.

"Nip, Jesus what... Where did you get so much?" Minx said, shocked by the sudden change in mood and subject.

"I... I stole it."

"What!? You didn't take it from-"

"No... From chief street."

"And you weren't caught?"

Catnip shook her head while the rest of her shook in a different way. She wanted a drink, the other girls could see it. She wanted it and was resisting, but not doing very well. L told Minx to get someone to come get this stuff, and to be discreet. Pinky would have to know, but there was no reason to let it get any further than that. The blanket vanished into the dimness of under the bed and made the mechanic vanish. All but one tear gleaming eye and the tip of her long leathery tail.


The booze was gathered up and taken away without comment. Pinky knew it wouldn't be politic to chastise her for stealing. Besides, it gave her ideas. If Catnip could get away with swiping things as big as a six pack flat of beers, she may be able to get away with other things. The albino looked over the collection with a mixture of awe, sadness, and distaste.

"She's a hardcore alcoholic and a thief." Pinky commented while she looked over the bottles hiding the surface of her desk the next morning. It had been a busy one so far, and she wasn't even fully awake yet. Minx, get Kite to bring a pot of coffee up here, black, and an egg. Oh, and before I forget and end up having to do it myself..."

She fished an envelope out of her desk, wrote some simple message on it, put something in it, and gave it to Minx.

"Pay the girl for her stash."

"Woah Pinky, really? But it's stolen."

"I won't tell if you don't, she's had a hard night anyway. Make sure she understands she's being watched now though. If she keeps up this criminal shit, I at least don't want it coming back to my door. Oh, and get Kite to bring the stock cart for all this alcohol so he can put it in storage."

After minx had gone on her errand, Pinky picked through the bottles again and found the bottle of goldschlager. She didn't know that if given the chance and a total failure of her will, Catnip would guzzle the schnapps down like water, gold flakes and all. Pinky herself hadn't seen this particular beverage since her own pre-cataclysm club had been shut down what seemed like an age ago. She took it from the horde and carefully placed it next to the other high end drinks in her personal liquer cabinet.


Catnip was getting ready to go to work when Minx slipped the envelope under the door. Inside, she found twenty water marks, and a note. Two notes in fact. The first was from Minx, outlining all that Pinky had wanted her to pass on. The other though was simple and short. It said simply, "This is for the alcohol. Do not let me catch you stealing in my house. Have a good day at work chica."

Catnip flipped the marks like a flip book between her fingers. She hated the dumb paper money of Pricetown, but capital was capital. Also, Pinky hadn't said "don't steal." She'd simply said, "don't steal in my house." It made her feel a little better, but she wondered what would happen if she went directly to Pinky with what she took... No, that wouldn't work. She would have to think on it, and even consider if it was a path she wanted to take. Stealing was wrong, Kathrine told her that, but Catnip had grown up in the lab stealing. Stealing things from scientists, stealing things from security. Hiding things from those same people and even stealing from her brothers and sisters. They'd all done it.

"C'mon Nip, your going to be late." L said through the door, reminding her of her work obligation. She sighed heavily, a noise her assistant heard clearly, and began to dread work. Patrick would be there, and she didn't want to see him. She didn't want to be left alone with him either... L opened the door a little and urged her to hurry again, sticking her nose through in a way that made catnip laugh a little and banished a bit of her trepidation for the coming day. She still worried about Patrick though, about what she would do if he came at her again.

Fortunately, she didn't have to worry about Patrick. By the time she saw him again, she would have other problems.
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 #65 on: May 13, 2018, 06:45:20 am »
Catnip was told she could take the day off and she was sorely tempted. In the end though, and at the last minute, she decided to go anyway and had to run to catch up with L. She was afraid of seeing Patrick again, didn't want to be caught alone with him. L of course would keep that from happening. Minx made sure that the Misling knew that she was responsible for Catnip's predicament, and so in Minx's eyes, responsible for her well being.

It seemed though that they had nothing to worry about that day. Felecia gave Catnip a form the fill out with the heading "order of protection from stalking, aggrivated stalking, and harassment."

"What's this?" She asked, and L answered for the foreman. "It's a restraining order girly."

"Thaaats right." Felecia said cheerily, "your boss made one fiery complaint to the primary foreman and the council of three. Not that it matters much, Pat didn't show up for work. That's what the little x by 'name' indicates. They couldn't find him to make him sign it. I imagine he probably sobered up and got wind of what was comin' and decided to pound sand. Debtors who get charged with crimes, even petty ones... Er, no offense, tend to end up as true slaves or getting drafted into the reserve."

Catnip looked at the form. It was filled with big words she didn't understand and terms she understood even less. L told her to fold it up and keep it with her. If she so much as caught sight of the man, Catnip could call the shattered helm and use it to have him arrested and thrown in a cell.

The rest of the day was brightened immeasurably by this news. Not only was Patrick not here, he also wouldn't be bothering her any time soon either. She worried though about what he'd told her, and brought it up then.

"He said he saw someone up on the tower with Tobin. Do you think-"

"Shush. Shush your mouth little lady. Tobin had an accident, don't go scaring people with stories of murder. I told Patrick to do the same when he brought it up to me. Yes, he came to me about it as well. Tenny, George, and Leila too. The folks from the shattered helm haven't found any evidence of foul play and they are convinced it was a simple accident, understand?"

There was no fear in Felecias outburst, just exasperation. She had been over this with others this morning and was getting tired of it. It seemed that Patrick had been more open with his information than he let on. "I think," L would later comment during the lunch period, "he just told you it was a secret to get close to you, along with all the promises and shit."


Later, Catnip was taking a walk along the main concorse when she ran into the other architectural engineer, George Bannerman. He was checking over the columns between the concorse windows and taking down notes in a shorthand which was almost robotically blocky.

"Greetings ma'am. I'm sorry to hear of the regretable incident with Mr. Danneville yesterday. I hope you are unharmed?"

Catnip found herself charmed a little by the odd formal way he spoke, and said that she was indeed unharmed. The first impression she'd had of the man from the short icebreaker he'd given on the first day held fast after they'd spoken a bit. George was indeed a professional, quiet and reserved. The exception came as she talked of herself and her life on the farm, in specific, when she talked about the farms cyberneticist.

"Oh! So Zachary survived the Cataclysm then? Absolutely fascinating." He said, but seemed not to be interested in expanding further on it. Instead, he rather abruptly changed the subject and asked, "Would you mind terribly coming along with me? You and your assistant? I have an important section of the facility I need to give my stamp of approval for. Without Mr. Danneville around to double check my work, I won't be able to submit my report."

"Why me?" Catnip asked simply.
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 #66 on: May 15, 2018, 09:39:53 am »
What George wanted Catnip to look at was a shaft leading from an intact but inaccessible section of the sublevel, all the way up to the tower above. Catnip could see a tiny hole far above where the towers main axle punched up through the roof and connected with the outside world. She wish she could see more than just the axle, the machine that ran it would have to be very large or fairly sophisticated, she believed. George showed her and L around the room, indicating especially the strange teardrop shape of the chamber.

"What do you think, mechanic?" He asked. Catnip didn't answer at first, too busy eyeing the room and making measurements. She couldn't be sure of it, but the shape of the room was important. In her eyes, she could see the imaginary lines and spirals, nonsense numbers and letter, and all the other little things that made up her strange method of measuring by eye.

"I think we should get the lower level drained so I can look at the machine this is a part of." She finally answered.

"Yes, but what about the room itself? Does it look stable?"

"I'd say so, yes. It's an odd shape though, isn't it?"

"Oh yes, a very sturdy shape. What do you think the purpose of such a room would be though? Normally people build rooms like this for decorative purposes, but look, there is nothing ornamental about any of it. I would look at this and think to have professional paint it with images of stars to mimic the night sky or perhaps some simple patterns."

At the side of the room was a walkway, and it was this that the trio stood on while they talked and went about their work. Catnip looked over the railing and noted that even the floor sloped gently into a kind of bowl shape, making it so that there were no walls whatsoever in the chamber.

"I don't know." She said, "I suppose... Maybe it just wasn't finished?"

"I think," put in L, "We aren't seeing everything here. Look at that." She was pointing up at a ring in the wall, connected to the axle via a series of flat angled plates. "Do you think those moved once?"

"It's possible. You know, I bet we could find information about this room on the computer system, so long as it's not off limits."

Catnip nodded, computers were useful and this job would probably be easier if they all used them more. She bet that the howling towers computers probably had plenty to read. She had to pause for a moment though, and asked, "But that Samson guy hasn't been yet. Is it safe? Do you think?" George shrugged, heading for one of the many monitors set into one of the rounded walls.

"How hard can it be?"
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 #67 on: May 30, 2018, 01:30:20 pm »
"Can you get it on? I know that it is receiving power. Ah, here we are. What an obsolete system. Not really surprising for a government installation." George said. Catnip had checked all over the front of the console looking for a switch. Were it her laptop back at home, she would have just pressed the little silver button above the top right side of the keyboard. Up around the back of the monitor though she found it. While running her fingers around the slim screen, her hand encountered something that felt like a button that clicked in when she pushed it. The monitor made a slight hum that subsided after a moment, and the screen lit up with bright blue light.

"Oh! So, what now?" She asked. Catnip wanted to use it, wanted to see how it worked. Back home she hadn't been much into computers for more than just communication when she was too busy to leave the barn and she didn't want to bother Kathrine. Dee had set it up for her. He'd set one up for everybody. Even the 'network' was his doing. It then occured to Catnip that maybe she could send a message through this computer. It was possible, probably. Dee set up the network after all. If this computer was able to get onto the network, she could send a message.

"What are you doing Catnip?" L asked, peeking over her shoulder. George wanted to know the same thing but for the time being, she ignored both of them. Her fingers carefully ticked over the keys she didn't understand and moved the little arrows clumsily around the screen.

"I'm sending a message. This computer can probably get onto Dee's-" She didn't get a chance to finish. The console flicked off, and the red lights overhead began to flash.

"What did you do Catnip!?"

"Nothing! I didn't even get to-"

"EMERGENCY LOCKDOWN! UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS IN SECTION C, MAINFLOOR SECTOR A! REPORT TO YOUR STATIONS IMMEDIATELY! SECURITY PERSONNEL TO STATIONS AT ONCE! PLEASE REMAIN BEHIND WHITE LINES WHILE AUTONOMOUS SECURITY IS ACTIVE! REPEAT, REMAIN BEHIND WHITE LINE WHILE AUTONOMOUS SECURITY IS ACTIVE!"

Somewhere outside, Catnip thought she could hear the distinctive sounds of mass panic and the beep of something robotic coming to life.
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 #68 on: June 02, 2018, 08:13:25 am »

Outside, the yard of the complex was a sudden explosion of confused horror. Pylons, metallic posts topped with a simple metal orb, rose from the ground at regular intervals. With a loud electric cough, this "fence" sprang to life. It was very fortunate that the event took place at midday, or the casualties would have been downright tragic. As it was, very few people were caught in the net of the installations security system. In the aftermath, it was discovered that only five people were killed directly by the system.

A worker running to get across the line of the fence struck the odd barrier at a full sprint and rebounded as though he'd run headlong into a brick wall. In the daze that followed, he hardly registered the turret rising from it's hiding place beneath a cleverly disguised port until it began firing on him. Another, a Misling woman, stoppedid sprint when the same turret spun on her lightning quick and emitted it's warning beep. Her hands shot up in the universal gesture of surrender and she shrieked for what felt like hours. When the turret did not fire on her, she stopped and looked. A few inches from where the poor woman had dropped to her knees, there was a broad white line. She had the feeling that if she crossed that line, so much as touched it even, she wouldn't have to worry about paying off her debts anymore. Somewhere on the other side of the facility, a bird flying above the complex was brought down in a hail of bullets.

The howling tower was now locked down, and there was little anyone on the outside could do about it.


"What happened!? Report!" Barked a guard caught outside the barrier. The strange wall of force didn't prevent communication it seemed, and this was the first good news since the whole place had gone into lockdown. Things like tools and whatnot could also be tossed over, but not weapons it seemed. It wasn't long before things had calmed down enough for people to start getting organized.

"As far as we can tell," said Felicia, scratching the back of her head, "someone tripped a failsafe in the places internal network. No one knew it was here, so it was basically inevitable. Wish we had known though. Most of the computers are either fried or on lockdown. Any word from Samson? We could really use his expertise right now."

The guard shook his head. Samsons absence was beginning to get worrying. No sign of him in his apartment, and the men who were watching for him had seen neither hide nor hair of him coming or going. It wasn't all bad though.

Felicia sighed, then asked, "Could you and your sec detail do something for us?"
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 #69 on: June 03, 2018, 07:09:13 am »
Felicia thought about telling the shattered helm more about what had just happened, what she had gathered in the hour or so since things had calmed down. There would be time for it later though and she opted instead just to keep most of it to herself. It would only draw this out, and the foreman now thought that time was now short. Before her own work console was forcibly shut down, she had been reading about the facility itself. The goal behind this was to see if it had been built with a method for circumventing the ground water beneath Pricetown and as it turned out, there might have been. Beneath the lowest level of the facility was some kind of cistern made to catch water seeping in from the surrounding aquifer. At one end, was a pump that had once run continuously when the water reached a certain level. There was only one problem. Two, actually. The first was that someone had to man the pump station a mile outside Pricetown so that the pump stations foreign substance shut down wouldn't engage at the first sign of sand or screamers.. That in in itself wasn't so bad except that the area was known to be heavily irradiated. The pump station was designed to purify the water that passed through it, and it had done so with a radioactive element. The second problem was that no one knew if the pump was still operational. Felicia hadn't got to it's diagnostics reading before everything went to shit. It was the task she asked them that she bothered with. Go to the pump station, and keep it running at their end. Once it was open at this end, if it did open, everything would fall to them.
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 #70 on: June 07, 2018, 08:13:25 am »
A few hours later, Felicia was giving the rundown on the situation as best she could over the din of the screamers below doing what they did best. It was very simple. The facility was damaged, and the damage was such that the primary systems regulating damage detection were offline. When the security system had been tripped, the secondary kicked in. The simple AI assumed that the facility was under attack and wouldn't let anyone get close until the damage was fixed.

"It's all back asswards." Felicia explained, "How the egg heads who designed this place expected to get people in here to fix it when it went wrong is a damn mystery."

"I suppose you could just walk through if you had the right clearance." George suggested. Felicia nodded, that was possible but if their we're people who had the clearance, they weren't here now. Catnip was beginning to get a headache from all the shrieking rising up from below and asked to be excused.

"Yeah, I think we could all do with a breather. We've got two workers watching that mess with those fancy noise canceling headphones on, we should be fine to see about a break. Not like anyone is gonna stop us, eh?" Felicia yelled over the noise.


A little later, the specialists were standing in the large concrete flat that made up the "yard" of the howling tower complex. Large and ugly concrete planters stood arranged symmetrically along the main walkway. The flowers had long ago given way to weeds or run to riot, tendrils spilling over the sides of their confines and dying in the high dry air of the Pricetown heat. Or in this time of year, the cold. Being cold was better than splitting your skull on the sounds coming from the building behind them, but it was still not pleasant. L shivered, as did Catnip. Misling coats did little to deflect the chill, and Catnip's own somewhat thicker pelt had yet to grow back fully.

To fill the time and distract themselves, they fell to talking, and it seemed everyone went to the things they loved the most. Felicia discussed her husband, a man who had "survived marriage to 'lecia and the Cataclysm at the same time." George talked about, or rather lectured about, building techniques of the Roman era. Catnip listened with rapt attention and since it seemed she was the only one who really cared, it was to her most of the lecture was directed at. L talked about gambling, at first hesitantly and then with growing fervor. The topic surprised some of them until someone brought up how L would look in a gamblers getup. Leila talked about puzzles. Like L, she started slow and picked up the pace. Before the cataclysm, the pharmacist had been possessed of a vast collection of the things. Anything from four peices to forty thousand. Flat or 3D. Some of them she'd even made herself with magazine cutouts  glued to thin peices of sheet wood. Catnip of course, talked of the farm and her "family," then she took a turn none expected, but should have. Machines. Not robots, but machines. Cars, motors, mechanisms, engineering. Gas and smoke and steam. Internal combustion, radiation, and electrical theory. She spoke on the subject very matter of fact you, and with words and phrases that seemed to have both nothing and everything to do with her interests. Like an inexperienced zealot giving a sermon. More people joined in here there, those trapped with them. For a little while, people forgot the trouble of the day.

Catnip moved away from the group, not liking the close confines of the small crowd. On the outskirts of the group, she found Tenny fiddling with some kind of bracelet.
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 #71 on: June 09, 2018, 07:04:55 am »
"watcha doin'?" Catnip asked curiously. Tenny hurried to hide the bracelet, but it slipped back down her arm. It was a short chain of some kind fitted with little dangling rings from which hung tiny figures. Tenny shuffled them around nervously and Catnip found it insteresting how all that loose metal didn't even clink.

"Nothing..." Tenny mumbled, "I should get back to work..." Tenny stood and without looking back, hurried off to the other end of the yard. Despite stating that she wanted to get back to work, she simply settled in and glanced at the others now and again while toying with her little bracelet. Even in her long coat, she shivered like someone wracked with sickness. Catnip wanted to go ask her what was wrong, insist that Tenny share with her. Catnip could be trusted, she wouldn't judge or make light of Tenny's... Whatever it was.

Felicia reached a hand out and took Catnip by the shoulder. "Don't mind her Nip. Tennyson's had a hard life after the Cataclysm. Lost her husband to screamers north of Reno. Poor woman. I suppose the noise those things make reminds her of that night."

Catnip noticed people silently nodding their understanding. They'd all lost someone. Several someone's in some cases. L wasnt moving at all, just staring after the small lady in the too large coat.
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 #72 on: July 15, 2018, 08:27:49 am »
There wasn't a lot of sitting around after that day, people were too on edge after the first level of the underworks was drained. It was a time of excitement for some of them to be sure. The remaining workers were decided on the event really. Some couldn't care less and wanted nothing more than to be able to leave while others were excited by the progress. Progress meant a step closer to home and safety from the mycus. The uncovered level was little more than a crumbling walkway running around the edge of a large pool. Here and there, something oily and black could be seen trying to reach up and pull itself from the impenetrably dark depths of it's confinement.

"Walker, Parsons, Bannerman, with me. The rest of you stick with doc Kestrel. Let's see what we got." Felicia ordered. What they had was a series of important rooms, one of which contained the facilities backup generator. "It's been under water awhile. Ms. Walker, do you think you can fix it?"

Catnip gave it her "expert" examination, taking mental notes where necessary. It was a small electric model, not too different from some of those she'd passed up for use on the farm.

"I suppose." She said, wiping some more of the grime from the yellow plastic housing. It would need to be moved, since she couldn't work on it in that place. She said so and Tenny, surprisingly, backed her up by suggesting that the wiring down here would have to be rerun anyway. Once the details were worked out and a message run back up to the workers, Felecia called them together.

"I guess Patrick told you all the same thing and you've all had your own suspicions." She began, "some of the workers who were trapped with us have gone missing along with Samson's stand in. Patrick suggested a few things before he went AWOL."

George sniffed stiffly and added, "He seemed to believe there was a wolf among the sheep. You don't think our metaphorical wolf caught up with him, do you?"

"Maybe. But I'm of the opinion that he's most likely booked it halfway to Algol or Blue Haven by now after what he tried with... Er..." Felecia said, stumbling over the last bit. Catnip was too busy thinking about what Patrick had said and not what he'd done.

"So what you are saying," she said, clearing her throat a little, "Is there might be a killer inside with us?"
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 #73 on: August 17, 2018, 07:14:11 am »
"So... There's a murderer trapped in here. With us." Tenny said in a hushed voice. Catnip could hear the nervous tension in the sound of her voice, she seemed to waver on the edge of something like panic. Felicia and George looked at each other, Felicia with worry and George with Stony faced placidity. Catnip decided to focus on George, mostly because his attitude lent her a measure of stability but also she found it a bit strange. The most stable individual she'd ever met was Floyd. Her metal cow man, bringer of the lead wind, and grandfather figure. He never flinched except on certain occasions, and he never blinked when he fired his guns. Even Hector and Nathaniel would blink.

"Calm down Ms. Parsons, so long as we stick together it should be fine. We need to discuss what we are going to tell the work force though." Felicia said. George straightened his glasses a little and sniffed.

"We should tell them the truth. There is someone among us who wishes us harm, everyone should stick together. Groups of no less than three or four." He suggested. It sounded reasonable to Catnip, and after a bit more discussion, it was what they chose to do at the meeting later that night.

"For now though," George went on, "perhaps we should see to the other room? A generator is all fine and good, but perhaps there is something we can use in the other?"

As it turned out, there was.


The group of specialists moved smartly to the other of the two or three exposed rooms, inching along the wet platform as they did so. The door itself was like any door, but they had seen a sign like this in the upper halls.

"WIND CELL STORAGE #2"

It said. George assessed the portal and gave his expert report. The door had buckled, but was otherwise structurally sound. The frame too had suffered some damage, but the rubber between the door and the frame had formed a seal.

"In my opinion," he stated, "I do believe it may be dry inside. If not, then there is a chance that we could get washed away into yonder screaming pit should the room beyond be inundated."

While they spoke, Catnip pressed an ear to the door. She found it hard to believe, but she thought for a moment that she heard something. She closed her eyes and listened as hard as she could, and... There it was. The sublime sound of some machine, a noise she associated with the spinning blade traps she'd never managed to get working safely. A continuous "whirr" that had always been followed by a discordant "sproink." Only in this case, the final exclaimation never came. It just whirred on and on, singing a song of perfectly lubricated and tuned gears, springs that never wore down, and engines that never coked or stopped.

"It's beautiful..." She whispered.

"H-hey girl?"

She was pulled from her ecstatic reverie by Felicia. Her manager looked concerned, and Catnip felt groggy and drugged.

"We gotta get in there..." She groaned. Felicia thought Catnip looked like a girl who'd gone on one hell of a roll in the hay with a particularly skilled lover. "It's so... Hey, you alright Tenny?"

Tenny had begun to look once again like a nervous bundle of squirrels stuffed into a house coat. She fidgeted with the little bracelet on her wrist. She looked like she'd been sucking on lemons.

"No. I don't want to be down here anymore. The... The screamers. I can't stand being this close..." She whined quietly.

"Alright," Felicia said, patting Tenny gently on the shoulder, "George, take her upstairs and come back with a couple laborers so we can get in here. I need to see this myself."
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 #74 on: August 18, 2018, 07:34:32 am »
The door wouldn't give at first, prying was mostly impossible without some structural alteration taking place, but after an hour of ramming into the portal with a post driver it finally popped loose. There was no flood of water like they expected. No sudden rush of screamers or other beast that could have slipped in sometime between the destructive end of the facilities operation and now. What did meet them was light. Day light. The small room was the double of the wrecked one upstairs except for two major differences. First, this room was built with a narrow shaft leading at an angle up and out to the surface. The other was a set of plinths on one of which spun a grey cylinder. The walls were lined with them, each and every one of them lying still on racks. That's not to say that the room was not without damage. Several cylinders lay scattered and twisted in the corners, and the inside of the door showed why it had been so difficult to knock down. It had expanded. Not like a wood door soaking water, but like a sheet of metal heated and beaten to fill a mold.

"I say," George mouthed, " that is quite the sound."

"Yeah... How do we secure it?" Felicia mouthed back. Catnip staggered through the room, looking at all the cells. Broken, broken, broken. The more of them she examined, the more she found which had ruptured in some way. Only, the room hadn't been so badly damaged by the cells Sudden detonation. It seemed the only unbroken cell was the one still spinning on it's plinth. A cradle of sorts sporting a pair of pins which held the cell in place while it exerted itself. It was from this, the cell rubbing it's ends in infinite rotation against super alloy pegs, that the sound Catnip had heard came from.

"The others must have worn through their cradle or something..." Catnip suggested quietly. The one spinning cell was precisely what they needed. The emergency generator in the next room could, if Catnip got it up and running, finish the job of draining the towers main chamber and after that they would be home free. Simple. But not really. First, they had to get it off it's spindle and that was not just hard, but also dangerous. The cell spun fast enough and with enough force that any attempt to grab it would end up peeling the skin off any hand that was laid on it. This was sort of proven when Felicia attempted to prod the cell with a handy piece of aluminum shelving. It was bounced away hard enough to drive the strut into the concrete wall.

It was then that one of the workers hit on an idea. "Why don't we cut the spindle?"
« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 08:54:58 am 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

 

NOCTIFER IS A FAGGOT