Author Topic: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm  (Read 22192 times)

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5100 on: November 14, 2018, 02:50:25 pm »
Hector waited until he had an opportunity, giving a wave when he spotted Roxanne, along with Catnip. His first priority of course was ensuring that he'd catch Roxanne before she could inevitably sneak off again. At the introductions he nodded, shaking Rey's hand. The man had two inches of height on him, and he suspected the man was the sort to be expected of an order of former mage hunters turned assassins, but nonetheless kept his sizing up of the two rather cursory. "A pleasure to meet you, brief though it may be. Seems we'll have catching up and a proper introduction to do, later on."

At Roxanne's suggestion he soon found himself caught up in handing over the papers, relaying the various tasks handed off to him by various people who'd given up as a result of his presence. That at least was easily relayed, and it still surprised him how readily Catnip had taken charge of matters. How she'd grown during her journey. Along with the papers though, was a familiar silver badge, one hat likely stood out to both Catnip and Roxanne among the mundane paperwork. A few of with still remained in Catnip's collection, brought back from the raid on Apophis, and he had to assure her that the thing he ran into was far less of a fearsome beast than the creatures they described after the raid, despite his shield and cuirass bearing signs that the thing he ran into was dangerous in its own right, for entirely different reasons.

"All this time and it seems like you've settled into managing things far better than any of us could." he said, with a bit of relief. Rallying then together as he had, keeping some degree of unity, was one thing. But as their handling of things in Catnip's absence had revealed, without Catnip the farm hadn't been able to keep up with even the most mundane day-to-day tasks as the year wore on.

Catalina sighed a bit as she looked over the personnel files and forms, noting with some degree of annoyance that Leila's resignation, while accepted by her, wasn't quite as official as she would've liked. At least not with the higher-ups from the Old Guard still much more present at the center, seemingly investing even more attention after the first official reunion between their forces quite literally blew up thanks to Brynna.

At the knock on the door however, and answering it revealing who it was, all those thoughts fell away, leaving only a few on her mind. The admission to herself that Leila's departure hadn't bothered her much at the time, and that it was a new departure that seemed likely, inevitable even, that brought her mind to the matter of resignations and procedures, the sort of thing she used to despise in the days before it all quite literally blew up, in an entirely different manner than the recent incident. "...private Barrowfield."

"Good morning Captain." Atomos chirped hollowly, she seemed rather energetic and somehow a bit lighter. Bouncier. She slid comfortably into the seat across from Catalina's own before the captain had so much as rounded her desk to take up her position behind it. That struck Catalina as a bit familiar of Jennifer, but she let it slide. As irritated as she was from yesterday, she wouldn't be the one to sour things here. If they weren't soured already that was. It seemed though, that they weren't.

"Awfully energetic this morning are we not, Private?" She said enquiringly.

"I've eaten an entire cake." Jennifer blurted back. Catalina felt a strong urge to cover her face with her palm hard enough to knock herself out and just about did it when Atomos went on. "And a bunch of chocolate cookies and breakfast."

"One step at a time..." Catalina thought, then aloud asked, "why... Did you eat an entire cake?"

"Because it was there." Atomos stated before backing up and trying again, "Because when it comes to food, I seem to have lost self control." Her tail twitched, flicking side to side. It could have been Catalina's imagination of course, but the luxurious fur on that appendage struck her as less of a rich rouge and more of a vibrant youthful red than it had before. It was hard to tell since the young woman it was attached to had hidden it as much as possible until then. "I would like," she went on, "to start off by saying I'm sorry. I thought of just writing it down, but that didn't really seem personal enough. I could just leave all this stuff here and shove off but... But that wouldn't be fair. I'm sorry Captain, I was unfair to you yesterday, and I'm sorry for being so."

Catalina, surprised as she was by Atomos' recent strange behavior, was at least relieved that she'd come to apologize. She however found herself seeming unable to look her in the eye, before nodding a bit. "It's understandable that you'd be frustrated with what I'd kept hidden from you. If I'd known this would happen, or if I'd known how to handle this..."

Atomos shifted uncomfortably in her chair, she wasn't used to the captain being sorry and it made her oddly uncomfortable. It also brought her down a little. Despite her previous anger at Catalina, Atomos still sort of looked up to her. The papers in her hands felt a bit heavier and she hoped the third of the documents, the one chef hadn't seen because it had already been finished, would lighten what was to come.

"Um, well... It feels sort of out of the blue, but I was serious yesterday. I'm sorry for being so uh, uncouth about it..." Atomos mumbled, then taking a steadying breath, went on, "Captain Catalina er... Sandell, I am formally resigning as an acting marine in service to the United States military."

Catalina was taken aback by this, snapping out of it after Atomos explained what she was here for, looking Atomos in the eye. "Are you...sure that you wish to now? I'd recommend giving yourself time for some much needed R&R before turning it in. Plus, we need all the help we can get." she said. In truth, she knew it'd be hard to force Atomos to stay if she didn't want to, and it's not like the Old Guard was able to push its regulations like it could before the cataclysm. But at the same time, she was reluctant to let Atomos go, for her own various reasons.

"Oh, I intend to take a break. A day or two adjusting to uh... Life at the center. New Paris. All the new people. Then I'll head out again on my normal duties." Atomos explained. She handed over her third sheet and went on, "I'm not going to abandon the center. Just separating from the Old Guard. Er... Take a look."

She pushed the paper across the desk at Catalina, nudging it a few times almost childishly. It appeared to be some kind of declaration, and the contents were interesting but only a little surprising.

"I, Jennifer "Atomos" Barrowfield, hereby declare the organization of "The New England Rangers." Duties include but are not limited to; supplying New Paris and all affiliated groups with supplies acquired from the field via salvage, forage, or hunting. The pursuit of dangerous wildlife. Outreach and pursuit of potentially advantageous contacts with outside groups. Mediation in non-violent dispute between New Paris and outsider elements. Subversion, sabotage, and espionage of hostile elements within and without New England territory. Scouting of dangerous pre-cataclysm territory. Cooperation with Old Guard elements when deemed necessary.

The New England Rangers by the sealing of this document swear to uphold pre-cataclysm law which still applies in these latter days in and around the New England region, based out of the refugee center hereby known by it's residents as 'New Paris.'

Signed - Jennifer Barrowfield, Ranger Alpha.

Atomos stared at the floor while Catalina read over the short document, mouthing the words as she went along. The declaration was clumsily written and basically outlined the things Atomos had already been doing, only under some new organization she was proposing. There was space on the page and she realized that Atomos had likely left it that way for negotiating further duties and terms, and also so that Catalina could sign it. While she read a pen had found it's way onto her desk, confirming her suspicion.

"This is an unexpected surprise, Jennifer. That said, I'm glad you're not breaking ties with the New Paris completely." she said, glancing the document over. "This might need a bit to review, and to determine what other duties will be needed." she said, the rather obvious reaction. Likely trying to buy time to find some way to convince Atomos to stay.

"I'd hoped to offer other alternatives to leaving entirely, to be honest. I know the old command structure was ad-hoc and a result of the necessity of the only CO being from 3-IV, so I had intended to make arrangements for a platoon formerly assigned to the cruiser to be stationed here, to formally take command of the other two marines left over." she explained.

"That's fine, that's fine." Atomos said hurriedly, "just... Hold onto that, I made a copy in case it gets lost or something, and when your ready to discuss it just, well, you know where to find me. I'm not leaving or anything like that. I mean, where else would I go? I could probably throw in with the raiders or the farm, but that's not really what I want to do."

She paused for a moment to let that sink in and maybe collect her thoughts. Then, she flinched. "Stop it, just stop. This is just how it's done, we have to be professional about this... Stop pressuring me."

Catalina nodded at that, carefully setting the paperwork aside. "Alright, just take it easy fior now and I'll see what I can do in terms of making arrangements. I suspect the center leadership will probably like having part of their ability to protect the area be outside the Old Guard's chain of command." she admitted, stifling a hint of bitterness that nearly shone through.

At Atomos' quiet remarks however she was a bit unnerved, still not fully aware of what was happening with her. "Just...definitely try to take it easy. For now though, you're dismissed."

On Mount Katahdin, a burnt offering was laid out on the circle of stones near the old cabin, hidden away far from the prying eyes of the village below. The smoke would be seen within the hour, faint though it was, and the old hermit found himself wondering if the people there would take it as an ill omen, maybe a sign from the "watcher" that guarded the region.

There it was. A faint flash of insight, distant. It took great effort to bridge the gap between realms and commune with the Veiled King, unless he was the one seeking someone out. Or unless someone had one of his relics, and the sudden premature absence of the new wound in reality made it almost certain someone used it for its intended purpose. Close to the heart of God's Army even, and the thought put a renewed worry into his mind.

"This offering, to bind and renew our grant insight where darkness clouds our minds..."

" oath you have broken."

Horace stopped his horse, Abraham looking over at the Knight of the Veil as the two had continued on their path. So far they'd had no overarching goal since their escape from Abaddon, no new orders yet. Events had seemingly held the Veled King's attention now that things were less hectic here, and so far Horace had been simply maintaining an uneasy course back to the settlement he had originally been guided towards.

But for a moment, they overheard the answer He From Beyond The Veil gave to something else, but whatever else transpired was left unheard. "Huh. Y'think yer spook there has lost his mind?" Abe said, glancing around.

Horace grimaced a bit, focusing his full attention on the axe. It was a few minutes of a wary canter down the road, in utter silence, before he felt the watcher's presence again. "It seems I have a fitting task for you. Farther northwest, along the mountains, there is someone who has lost their way. They have something for you..."

Horace hmmed a bit at that, concerned but simply giving a nod. "Alright then...coming with me, Abraham?" he asked, and the gunslinger nodded. "Yer spook did give the offer t'begin with, an' I stick by my promises. Besides, sounds 'bout good enough. Might get somethin' out of this after all..."
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 09:18:35 pm by Chaosvolt »