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

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Re: CDDA: Adventures in Cataclysm
« Reply #5100 on: November 23, 2018, 05:57:21 am »
Branches awoke the next day to a pile of neatly folded if somewhat filthy clothes and wondered where Illiana had gotten off to. She at first assumed that the Deus Ex had brought the clothes, but upon further reflection it was probably the automatons who'd brought them. The streaks of dirt and mud on them pretty much confirmed that. They'd have to be cleaned before they were eventually returned. The real issue was the volume. Pants, shirts, skirts, dresses, underwear, shoes. If it all belonged to Helen, then the mage hunter would be waking up to find her dresser completely empty. Also, some of the clothing was either too large or too small for Helen. That, or simply not her style. A leather track suit, split at the seams in some places and terribly stretched in others. A blue silk blouse so fine that it could only be real, and the product of much scavenging. A tattered skirt that looked like it had been worn constantly for far too long. An oil stained cotton tank top and a pair of much loved mechanics suspended pants, sans suspender belts. A bra that was too big for most of the farms residents, but too small for the giant tiger. There was even a well cared for quilted gambeson. Most of it though was Helens, either pilfered straight from the hall or pulled down off a clothesline. There was more though too, not just clothes but books. Books, canned food, tools... While branches looked on in horror, some of her servitors broke from the tree line with a heavy oak chair carried above them. Furniture.

"No! No! No!" Branches shouted, "we're supposed to be subtle! We're-" she noticed the damage. The little clay golems hadn't gone unnoticed. Little injuries here and there mostly, but some of them had gone about their thefts much less carefully and had suffered far greater damages. Missing arms, cracked limbs, even one unfortunate automaton with a hefty bullet hole in it's chest. That last was hardly moving. Branches felt a sinking feeling, a deep gnawwing in the pit of her stomach. There was no way these thefts would go unnoticed, and who's fault was that? Not the golems, now that Branches thought about it, no. It was her fault. Branches had been too distracted by her attempts to sleep and too fixated on the new soft lumps of flesh on her chest to worry about her servants. So distracted in fact that she had neglected to tell them to stop. So, they'd stayed up all night collecting things for their creator and when they'd run out of clothes that were easy to swipe, they'd shifted their focus on other things Branches might like.

"I'm so dead. There's no way Helen won't notice this. There's no way everyone won't notice this... I'll have to send it back, have them take it all back. No, that won't work, they'd be destroyed on sight. No, I have to... Oh boy..." Branches mumbled. The day before, life had seemed great and good and just fine. Today, it seemed like it was just about to end. The homunculus couldn't send the stuff back via her golems. She would have to bring it back herself. Not all of it was Helens though, and that was the hard part. Some of it could have come from the farm or from Sharlene's clearing, but not all of it. Some of it had to have come from someone else. what if... What if they'd been followed?

The last question answered itself with a sudden feeling, an intrusion that was alarming in it's implication. Someone had just entered the woods under Branches control, strangers she didn't recognize. For a long time she stood frozen, surrounded by stolen goods. Then she turned stiffly back towards her mud hut and sprinted back inside to hide.

"Those things took the shit this way man, I fuckin' know it. What would those things even want with all that crap?"

"I don't know, little shit people is what they are, who knows why they want it. What matters is we get it back, Yellow Jacket is gonna be fucking pissed. Some of that stuff was slated for that cult she's thrown us in with. C'mon, let's just find em and get this over with. I hate brush cutting."

Branches could hear them now and cursed herself. She'd been prepared for Helen or someone else from the hall, but not complete strangers. The big golems in the forest didn't bother hindering these Intruders, Branches hadn't instructed them to. She focused, trying to direct them indirectly, but found that she was too nervous to do it.

"Jesus, look at all this shit. Why the hell did they pile it up here?"

"Shut the fuck up Kenny, we got a live one. Over there. Do little shit people build houses or light fires? Maybe there's somebody here who can own up to the theft. Maybe Yellow Jacket will wanna have a word, ya dig?"

Branches shot a glance at the small dug out clay fireplace. The fire was dead but it had left behind a pile of smoldering ash, small signs of life just beneath. She considered putting it out for good, but dismissed the thought. It wouldn't do any good now that the light smoke from her admittedly too tall chiminy had been seen. Instead she tried to focus harder, putting all her effort into trying to get her sentinels to respond, sharpening her panic into an arrow of purpose. That arrow fell yards short of the mark, and the sentinels in the forest shifted not a single inch. It never once occurred to her that maybe they wouldn't shoot her on sight, maybe they wouldn't try to grab her or charge her with some crime. It didn't occur to her because she was certain of it. She had two options, as she saw it. Fight or flee. If this were Helen, she'd have fled. But it wasn't. Instead, she threw on a ragged blanket and a broad straw hat. She didn't want to hurt anyone so Branches was going to try something else, just to see if she could guage the newcomers or maybe scare them off. In one instance of the things she was certain they'd do, she was completely correct. The plan was to pretend to be some kind of witch or great and powerful something or another. 'chances are,' she thought as she threw on the cloak and hat, 'this isn't going to work. Maybe I'll at least buy myself a headst-'


The crack of the pistol shot and the near simultaneous feeling of the bullet tugging the brim of the hat hard enough to spin it a half turn on top of her head took her completely off guard, and Branches dropped to her knees with the suddeness of it.

"Don't fuckin' move a single fuckin' step!" One of the men shouted. From her position, it would have been difficult to do anything of the sort these men didn't want her doing. As they moved in on her, Branches had a moment more to reflect on how it came to this, whose fault it was, and if she was going to be all right.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 02:43:18 am by saltmummy626 »
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