Continuities » Sandboxes » A bar, a refuge?
Sep 22, 2017 9:52 PM
Walta and Ace in Milliways
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Someone is having a very bad day.

Her mom yelled at her for eating the last apple but she was so hungry and she bought that apple she's the only one in their little 'family' who keeps getting raises that keep up with the ridiculous prices, because she taught herself machines and electricity. A hundred million reichsmarks an hour how's that for money. But she might lose that job now too because there's no walkers to fix and the machine shop owner can't even buy parts and fuel and stuff anymore. She's no good at telling what he's thinking. He could fire her tomorrow, or just stop giving her raises. There was only one walker in the shop today at all, which doesn't bode well.

Her last letter from her dad was four months ago. It's getting increasingly hard to ignore the inevitable conclusion there. She always liked him more than her mom. Her red hair seems to make people dislike her. 'Not a real German'. She can avoid it, mostly, so far.

And she might be getting sick. That would practically be a death sentence, can't work if you're sick, can't rely on savings when they're worth half as much tomorrow.

 

She stumbles into a shop of some kind looking to spend her hundred million reichsmark bill on, perhaps, a loaf of stale bread or a few potatoes.

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This is a bar. There's a girl in the bar, with a creature sitting on the stool next to her. She is drinking a slushie and the creature is slurping something milky out of a bowl.

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There's a Darwinist in downtown Berlin. And she hasn't been arrested, somehow?

She walks up, keeping a respectful distance and warily eyeing the critter, and looks for the bartender.

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Isn't one.

"Hiya," says the girl.

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"Um, hi." She shifts a little bit, tool belt clanking. Her black-stained clothes smell like some kind of fuel.

"This place is strange. Too... Not-run-down."

And she notices the stars-window. "Um."

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"It's magic," the girl says. "Here, I got explanations already, you can just read those." She shoves a stack of napkins in the new arrival's direction.

The napkins explain Milliways.

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"Magic, right..."

She reads quickly.

"Bar? I would like the most filling and nutritious thing you will give me for my free drink. If it stops me from getting sick, better."

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Certainly, dear.

A huge mug of something only loosely qualifying as a liquid appears.

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She takes a sip and nods happily.

"I'm going to assume this isn't a fever hallucination... No help for me if it is. I'm Walta. I fix walkers."

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"I'm Bella, I train Pokémon. What's a walker?"

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"It... Walks. Instead of using wheels."

Pause. 

"Sorry. I'm bad at. Talking to people. Walkers are mechanical vehicles, that use legs. Twos and fours for little ones. Landships sometimes go for eight, ten, twelve. I like them. Got a decent job 'cause I like them and know 'em."

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"So you're a mechanic. Cool. ...Are you expecting to get sick?" She nods at the drink.

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"I'm maybe a little sick already. And if I get sick enough I can't work it would be... Bad. What's a Pokémon?"

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"Like Zag." She pats her creature, which murmurs "oone" into the bottom of its bowl. "There's lots of kinds. Do you not have them in your world?"

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"No. It reminds me of Darwinist creatures." Sip, sip. "Darwinists use creatures for lots of things that we use machines for. They design them. I guess they think it's easier, a creature eats food not fuel and makes more of itself. I always found it creepy."

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"...humans also eat food not fuel and make more of ourselves."

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"...Um, yes, that's right?"

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"And yet I tend not to think of humans as creepy."

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"It's more the designing thing. They come up with some really scary stuff that regular animals can't do."

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"Like what?"

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"Things I know are real because they're in history books about the war are flying whales carrying bats that drop bombs on you, hawks that make acid on their claws, barnacles that can eat through two inches of steel in a week. Things that might be made up or exaggerated... Are really really scary and I don't want to talk about them." She's shaking.

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"...okay. Sorry."

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"Sorry if I'm making you sad."

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"I don't really have enough context to be sad. Bar'll loan me a book on the things if you don't want to discuss them. I'm not sure if explaining Pokémon wouldn't scare you, though."

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"I think it will probably be okay if they're from a different world. And half of... That... Was me worrying about other things."

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"...okay, well, Pokémon are the nonhuman living things that can move around on their own, in my world. They're really dangerous in the wild - not all of them are aggressive but enough are that you're in trouble if you go much of anywhere in the wilderness. And they're way too strong for a human to fight one off. So we catch them and train them to protect us, and they do other stuff too - I ride around on some of mine a lot, they can do a lot of kinds of labor and generate electricity and people breed and show them and whatnot. And people fight their 'mon against other people's in between the handling the wildlife thing."

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