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Wet in the Wastelands: Redux

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On 12/12/2018 at 9:02 PM, ju48 said:

I would say that they should switch, but not every hour. If they switched that often, neither would get any sleep. I say they switch halfway through.

Good point.

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"So who stays up tonight?" Asks patches.
"Could you?" Asks Jessie. "I've had a long day as it is."
"I mean...I could." Patches says, looking outside. "But there's no-one around here. There never is, and we-"
"Fine. I'll stay up." Julia says, frowning.
"Julia, there's no one around." Patches says, putting her hand on her hip. "Why not lie down and sleep with me?" She suggests. Julia frowns. Patches smirks. "That's not what I was getting at, but feel free." She adds.
"Fine." Julia gives in. Patches sounds pretty certain that there's not going to be anyone around, and she does know the area. Or so she says. "If we get killed in our sleep, I'm pinning it on you."
"Yeah that's fair." Patches says with a giggle. She sits down on leaning against the wall of the collapsed tower. "This wall's not really comfy though...mind if I sleep on you?"
"What?"
"You know, can I use you as a pillow?" Patches asks, pulling her shoes off. "You look soft and comfy."
Julia looks at her and doesn't say anything.
"What if I promise to behave myself?" She asks, before adding a subtle "For tonight."
"...Fine." Julia says. She lies on the floor with her head on her bag. Something hard bashes against her head, so she turns around to pull out the food-boxes, tosses them to the side, and leans back down. Much more comfy. And now she has breakfast ready for when she wakes up.

"Want me to tell you a bedtime story?" Patches asks.
"No."
"You sure?"
"I would quite like to sleep."
"A story would-"
"No."
"Fine." Patches says, grinning as she rests her head on top of Julia's stomach. It's warm enough over the sleeping bag that the weight doesn't bother Julia. "Good night then."
"Night."
"G'night." Patches repeats. She giggles quietly when Julia doesn't respond.

 

Patches is the first to wake up the next morning. She opens her eyes gently and leans forward. Something feels odd though...She looks down at the seat of her pants...
"Nothing!" She whispers. "Dry morning!" She adds, fist-pumping weakly. "The heck is that noise?" She asks aloud, turning around.
There's the sounds of something wet and unpleasant from behind Patches - and it's not coming from Julia. Instead the noises are coming from two wild dogs, tearing into the boxes of food tossed beside Julia.
"Hey! You!" Patches shouts, standing up and nearly falling over. The dogs look up at her, trying to comprehend what's happening as a tiny tanned girl scrambles to her feet, shouting at them. "Go on! Fuck off!" Patches yells, falling over Julia's still sleeping body as she tries to run toward them. As her forehead bounces off the floor, the two dogs decide to bail, but Patches isn't finished with them yet. She picks up one of the boxes and lobs it at the dogs. It shatters on the wall behind the two scarpering dogs, showering soup and shattered plastic into the air.
"Hey!" Julia exclaims as she lifts herself into a sitting position. "What's going on?"
"Dogs! They ate our food!"
"What?"
"Dogs!"
"Why is there soup all up the walls?!" Julia shouts, pointing at the big brown wet smear where Patches hurled the box after the dogs. Patches blushes. "D-dogs."
"No that's not the correct answer!" Julia shouts, trying to stand up in the sleeping bag. "Why is there soup all over the walls!?"
"I threw it at the dogs!"
"Why?"
"I don't know!" Patches shouts. "I figured it would help!" She says, gesturing at the soup. Julia stands in her sleeping bag, exasperated. What a start to the morning. Half the food is eaten by dogs, the other half is slowly dripping to the ground, spreading a beefy smell around the body of the tower. Patches looks to the splatter, then back to Julia, then back at the soup.
Julia raises her hands and lets them drop again. The sleeping bag hangs down on her waist.
"I forgot you were naked under there." Patches says with a smirk. Julia frowns as she steps out of the sleeping bag.
"I've got to pee." She says, still frowning. "You can stay here."
"What if the wolves come back?" Patches asks, feigning concern. It sort of works.
"...fine."

The morning light is almost blinding at first, but Julia's eyes quickly adjust as she walks out bare-legged into the woods. She's not used to feeling breezes like she is right now. It's chilly.
"The drain's around the back." Says patches, following closely and shielding her eyes from the sun. Not the moon though, she's eager to point out. Julia looks a bit annoyed from the soup incident, so she chooses not to.
"Where's the drain?" Julia says, turning to face Patches, who immediately grins.
"Just around the back of the head of the tower here." She says, pointing.
"I'll follow you." Says Julia.
"No it's easy, you go first"
"No, I'll follow you."
"Fine, just around here." Patches says, walking around the wall.

"How do you walk around barefoot like that?" Patches asks, walking awkwardly as stones dig into her feet. "I could never do this."
"I don't usually." Julia says. "I did have some really comfy boots, until the Warhogs took 'em."
"At least it's a short walk." Patches says. "The drain's right there."
"Great." Julia says, walking toward the drain and squatting down. "You keep watch, I'm gonna...Rephrase that."
"Oh I'll keep watch." Says Patches, undoing her skirt and walking around the back of her. She doesn't bother squatting. She holds herself open again like she had at the tree the day before, and immediately begins, unleashing a strong stream onto the floor with a splatter.

Julia looks away as she lets go, trying her best to ignore Patches' presence, and also trying her best not to blush as her pee splashes slightly against her own leg. It's kinda hard to relax in this scenario, but she manages, and before long there's a second stream splattering on the ground.
Neither of the girls say anything, and the silence of the woods around them is only broken by the dull hiss and splatter of the two girls going onto the floor.
A gentle steam rises around them as they both relieve themselves onto the ground. Julia stops herself sighing, in contrast to Patches who let's out a dramatic 'haah' as she goes.
The puddles grow around them slowly as they empty their bladders onto the floor, catching bits of dirt and leaves as it grows, before it's drawn to the drain with a hollow splash. Julia can't help but feel an overwhelming sense of awkwardness and embarrassment, knowing that this almost-total stranger is doing the exact same thing so close to her - so close she can quite actually feel it splattering onto her lower shin.
Patches on the other hand is loving this moment. The relief from emptying her bladder sends a warm shiver up her back, and she's got a great view to boot. She smiles as she stands enjoying the view of her new found 'friend' so casually nude in front of her, even if there's a warm stream pouring out from under her. She watches intently as Julia takes a tentative step back to keep her feet from being engulfed in the puddle beneath her. She's so entranced she doesn't notice her own warm puddle swallowing her feet below.
For almost a minute the girls stand in the relative silence of the splashing of water onto the ground beneath them, and the gentle pouring sound as it trickles into the drain.

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Julia is the first to finish peeing, shaking herself before she stands up. She looks over to Patches, who's stream is dying off. Patches doesn't even make the effort to look above her waist, grinning all the while as the last of her stream stops falling directly and instead slides down the inside of her thighs. Julia frowns, before turning around and making her way back inside, leaving Patches to finish. When she walks out of sight, Patches realises that something warm is running down her bare leg. She flicks her leg off a couple times once she's finished, before making her way back into the tower, her wet feet slapping on the concrete as she does.

Inside the tower Julia takes her now-dry pants off the piece of metal that Patches had put them on the day before. They're dry now, and the smell has largely dissipated. She shrugs and begins to put them back on, doing her best to ignore what happened to them yesterday.
"So what's the plan for today?" Asks Patches, who's walked in, carrying her skirt in her hand. She tosses it to the floor and picks up her underwear.
"Well I figure the first thing we ought to do is find food." She says, pulling up her pants. "And that means we need money. So we best head into the city - there's a bunch of settlements and stations, and they always need something." She says, pulling up the zipper. She looks toward Patches. "I figure we'll do better together, rather than on our own."
"I like that idea." Says Patches with a smile as she pulls her shoes back on. Her legs are still wet enough to glisten. Patches finally picks up her skirt and stands into it. "That way we get to be together."
"I was thinking more 'we're less likely to die' if we stick together." Julia says. She picks her bag off the ground. "And hey, maybe I can get new pants if we find a decent settlement."
"I don't think you really need them."
"I don't think you really needed to yeet our soup because some dog was bothering you. But here we are." Julia says, casting Patches an angry grin. Patches raises her eyebrows in agreement.
"So where do we go from here?" Julia asks Patches.
"Well if we don't want to walk bag into the Warhogs, we ought to follow the path again. Should take us to the outskirts of the old city." Patches says.
"Right, let's get going." Julia says, handing Patches the revolver. "I sure hope we don't get hungry."

The walk down the road in mostly uninteresting, aside from one or two interesting moments. An ominous cloud of smoke from a good distance back is a clear sign that the Warhogs are still on their tail, and that they've got to make some distance between them before they'll be safe.
The road itself is old and worn, an old asphalt road, long since faded and crumbled by the passage of time. The once black tarmac road has faded into a paled grey, stained over brown with dirt and dead leaves. The trees either side of the road begin to thin out as the girls get closer to the outskirts of the town. A handful of ruined buildings line the road, mostly reduced down to their very frames where the materials have been taken for other buildings.

One such building sits at the fork in the road ahead, a dull little shack made mostly from salvaged materials and wood. It looks like it could collapse at any moment. The heart of the building is a very rusted old-world bus shelter, but it looks more to have been converted into a rest house. Julia casts an angry look toward Patches at her lack of mentioning this building the night before. Patches just shrugs.
"Should we see if there's anything in there?" Patches asks. "Maybe someone left something cool, like water, or food, or....a frog..."
"No harm in looking, right?" Julia says, as she steps toward the building.
"That's the motto I live by." Says Patches, following closely.

The inside of the building is surprisingly cosy, with a bar and some seats, although they're totally bare. A couple mattresses lie in the back below the original frame of the bus stop. The only thing on the bar is a girl, leaning against it, with a large bag to her side. She looks a little surprised to see the two girls walk in.

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"Wow." Says the girl. "You guys caught up quick..."
"We're just that good." Says Patches, taking a step toward her.
"The bag's on the floor over there." Says the girl, gesturing to the bag.
"I'll just be taking th-" Starts Patches before Julia takes her by the shoulder to stop her.
"Oh. I get it." Says the girl. "Can I finish my cigarette first?"
"Yeah go ahead." Says Patches.
"Oh for..." Says Julia. "Stop it, Patches." She says, pulling her back. She turns to the girl. "Who are you?"
"You're not with the Hogs?" Says the girl with a face that suggests relief. "I'm Rachel."
"That doesn't tell us much." Says Julia.
"Oh, right." Says Rachel. "I was a mercenary. Then the group I was with was ambushed by this gang of raiders calling themselves the Warhogs-"
"We've had run-ins with them already." Julia cuts in. Rachel draws in a breath from her cigarette.
"Then you know what they're like - they killed most of the group, but I was...busy...behind a bush. When I came back, they were looting their bodies so I started shooting, and they ran away. They left a lot of stuff though, like this bag here." Rachel says. "The bag's full of cigarettes, so I imagine they'll be coming for it at some point. These are worth a fair bit."
"Well as it happens." Begins Julia. "The Hogs are after us, too. I've escaped them and she (She says, gesturing to Patches.) used to sort of be with them."
"I was a mercenary, and I was only there because they would have shot me if I left." Patches insists.
"How did you leave then?"
"I was chasing down Julia with some other Hogs, and Julia shot them, so I went with her."
"Either way." Cuts in Julia. "Seeing as we're all in the same boat here - would you want to come with us?"
"Where are you going?" Asks Rachel.
"Well we need food first of all after someone decided the last of what we had was better suited to ballistics, so we're going to be heading into the city." Julia explains.
"Well, I was thinking of going there myself. And being in a group does mean being safer..."
"Come with us then!" Says Patches.
"...Sure." Says Rachel. "How are you two getting into the city anyway?"
"Haven't planned that quite yet." Says Julia.
"I know the area around here pretty well." Says Rachel. "I could help you figure it out - and I've got a shotgun if we get attacked."
"Sounds like you're more than just a pretty face." Says Patches. Julia rolls her eyes.
"You might wanna get used to this." Julia says. "She won't bloody stop with that." She adds. Rachel looks to Patches and winks with a smirk. Patches blushes quite red.
"Well I'll get my stuff from behind the counter." Rachel says.
"Sure, we'll meet you outside." Julia tells her.

"Oh my god." Patches says, still blushing.
"What's up?" Julia says.
"She winked at me!"
"What?"
"Do you think she likes me?"
"Excuse me?"
"She winked and smiled and - Oh-oh, She's coming back out!" Patches says, trying to keep her cool and fixing her hair with her hands. "R-ready to head out then, Rachel?"
"Ready when you are." Rachel answers, smirking at Patches.
"I-I'm Jessie by the way. B-but everyone calls me Patches."
"And why do they call you that?"
"Because she's a bedwetter." Cuts in Julia. "I'm Julia, by the way."
"I-I'm not a bedwetter." Patches says, trying to laugh it off. Rachel smiles again.
"Well." Begins Rachel, turning to look toward the city, down the forked road. When she turns away, Patches punches Julia in the arm.

"The fork to the right will take us through Hardhould, which is a small trading settlement. To the left is the quick way through to the station of Goldfall, which the first station of the metro. The traders there are generally richer, but the route's a fair bit more dangerous. Raiders usually frequent the area around it."
"So Hardhould is safer but not as profitable, but Goldfall is more dangerous, but we'll be better off." Julia confirms.
"Yeah, something like that. Plus the gunsmiths at Goldfall are pretty decent. And there's this really nice cafe in the station." Rachel says. "We should go there if we go to Goldfall." Rachel suggests, looking directly at Patches.

"What do you think, Julia?" Patches asks. "Goldfall, or Hardhould?"

A) Goldfall - The trading will be better, and probably of higher quality - although it's more dangerous route, with raiders patrolling the streets.

B) Hardhould - A smaller trading post nearby - The rewards won't be so high, but the route is much safer.

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"What do you think, Julia?" Patches asks. "Goldfall, or Hardhould?"

"Gee." Says Julia, feigning thought. "Should we go to some upstart trade post, or should we go to an established station?"
"Well Hardhould's a lot closer." Rachel says. "Could get some food while we're there."
"Food's probably nicer at Goldfall." Julia responds. "How much further away is it?"
"About....an hour or so." Rachel says with some thought. "It wouldn't be so far, but half the roads are blocked by debris and what-not."
"That's not too bad." Says Julia. Patches casts her a funny look. "What's wrong with you?"
"I'm hungry..."
"Well maybe next time don't toss soup at dogs." Julia says. "You'll build up an appetite by walking anyway."
"Sounds like we're going to Goldfall then." Says Rachel. "These cig's should sell pretty well there, too."
"Why cig's?" Asks Patches.
"Good commodity. Makes a handy currency. Not so useful you won't trade them, not so useless you won't buy them." Rachel says, picking her bag up off the ground. "plus you can smoke 'em if things get quiet."
With her bag slung over her shoulder, Rachel leads the girls away from the cabin, down the left road to Goldfall.

The walk down the road shortly takes them from the open air and into the cramped streets of town. At first the occasional building stood aside the road, but as they walk the buildings get denser. Before long the husks of old houses and shops are towering over the girls from both sides. The painted walls have faded and peeled over time. What doors remain are more often rotted to the point they've fallen from the hinges, revealing the abandoned insides. Some show signs of life, but most don't seem to have been touched.
"This place is famous for it's feral population." Rachel says. "They'll be asleep now, but let's try to keep quiet, just to be safe."
"What's so dangerous about ferals?" Patches asks. "Just like...shoot 'em."
"There's a lot of them." Says Rachel. "A lot of them."
"Should we be talking this loud?" Asks Julia, just above a whisper.
"Oh they're not that sensitive." Rachel answers. "Not at this time of day. They only come out at night."
"So we're fine?" Patches asks.
"Yeah."
"You're getting me all worked up over nothing!" Patches says. "If I hadn't have pee'd earlier..."
"Speaking of which, could do with going myself." Rachel says.
"There are drains everywhere." Julia points out.
"I'd rather not. Ferals aren't the only danger around here, and I'd rather not be caught with my pants down if some bandits find us."
"How likely is that?" Patches asks.
"Well it's not unlikely." Rachel says. "All these old buildings make for great cover."

The ruins of the old town seem to go on forever. The air is still and quiet, save for the subtle sounds of wildlife scattering about. Each noise doesn't fail to make Patches jump. The morning sky glows red as the sun rises slowly, casting an eerie aura over it all. Patches scans each and every open window as they walk past, in contrast to Julia's confident strides forward, rifle in hand.

"How much further is it?" Patches asks.
"Not too much more." Rachel answers. "We've been walking a good half hour now and - hello hello!"
"What is it?" Patches asks, clasping her revolver.
"Nervous? Don't be, it's good news." Rachel says. "Look over there - that old road sign."
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At the end of the street stands one road sign, painted crudely over. 'GOLDFALL' has been painted the over top half of the sign, with the left pointing arrow beneath still visible.
"Looks like we're closer than I thought." Rachel says as they walk up to it. "Huh, this looks kinda new."
"What does it say?" Patches asks.
"Gold...fa-fall....stat-station." Rachel answers, struggling with each letter. "And the arrow points left. I'm sure you could figure that last bit out yourself."
"You said the paint looks new." Julia points out. "What do you suppose that means?"
"They're trying to establish more of a presence?" Says Rachel.
"Or." Julia says, touching the paint. Some of it wipes off on her finger. "Someone's leading us into a trap." She adds, looking at her finger before wiping the paint on her pants. Patches swallows hard.
"What other choice do we have?" Rachel asks. "The road ahead's blocked."
"Best we keep going then." Julia says. "But keep your eyes open."

 

"Have either of you been to Goldfall before?" Rachel asks, cutting into the silence.
"I was there about a week ago." Julia answers. "Seems like a nice place. Went there with the caravan I was traveling with - stayed overnight."
"I don't think I've ever actually been inside a station." Patches says. "My old folk used to camp outside in the forests usually, and then I was with the 'hogs for a few weeks, and now I'm here."
"I'd be glad to show you around, if you'd like." Rachel says. "There's a really nice little cafe inside - only place I know of where you can get tea that isn't half saw-dust."
"T-that sounds nice!" Patches says, trying and failing to not sound too eager. She blushes and clears her throat, looking up to see Rachel smirking at her.
"My treat, of course." Rachel says. "I think it might be nice to get to know you over a cup of tea and a sandwich."
"Am I invited?" Julia asks, deliberately trying to kill the mood.
"Er, yeah, sure." Rachel says before looking back to Patches, casting her a wink. "So tell me about yourself, Patches. Hey - why are you called Patches?"
"It's because she's a-" Julia starts.
"It's b-because I can, err, sew." Patches cuts in quickly. "Whenever I get a tear in my hoodie, I sew it over with a patch."
"But your hoodies full of holes." Rachel points out.
"W-well, I've not had much fabric recently...s-so I can't sew them up."
"Might be some at Goldfall." Rachel says. "I've got some holes in my clothes as it happens, think you could sort them out?"
"Uh, sure." Patches says. "Just hand them to me and I'll take a look."
"Look at you, undressing me already." Rachel smirks.
"No-wait-I meant I could - well yes, but I-I mean...I'll sew the - but, I don't-"
"Christ, Patches." Julia cuts in again.
"She's a bit tongue tied." Rachel says with a satisfied grin. Patches blushes bright red. "Oh, hey, another sign."
"Looks like we're getting closer." Julia points out. "Let's keep walking."

 

"Another sign." Rachel points out. "This one says something else though...Toll...roh-road. Ah...ee-ahd. What is that?"
"It says toll road ahead." Julia says.
"What do you suppose it means?"
"I suppose there's a toll road ahead." Julia answers. "Only one way to find out."
The girls turn the corner round the street. Facing them, from the far end of the road is a crudely made barricade, manned by a couple of girls. Seeing them turn the corner, the girls pick up weapons from behind and ready themselves in front of the barricade.
"Should we shoot?" Patches asks.
"Well they've not shot us yet." Rachel says. "We should see what they want. But keep your gun ready, just in case."

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Walking closer to the barricade, the girls come into clearer view. They're armoured with bits of scrap metal and old road-signs strapped to their bodies. One girl has an old welders mask that seems to have seen it's fair share of punishment.
"Alright you three!" Shouts the first girl as the three walk closer. "Welcome to the Goldfall toll-road."
"Who are you?" Julia asks.
"Duh. We're the...err...trolls. Yeah, trolls. And this is our toll. And you gotta pay the troll toll."
"Why?"
"This isn't a question booth, it's a toll booth." Says the first girl. "What do you have, huh? Cough up."
"What do you want?"
"Got any food?"
"No, we-"
"Aw, balls." The first girl interrupts. "What do you have?"
"Not much." Julia answers.
"Could we offer you something more...physical?" Patches asks. The first girl raises an eyebrow, before looking to her friend.

"Come 'ere Tess." The first girl says to the other. "What do you think?"
"Don't they have any food, boss?"
"Weren't you listening?" She asks. "No food."
"Balls."
"Tell me about it. But! They're offering something 'physical'."
"We can't keep doing that, boss, we did that last time. What's in their bag?"
"Good idea." The first girl says. She turns back to the three girls. "What's in your bag?"
"Cigarettes." Rachel answers.
"Cigarettes." The first girl says back to Tess. "What do you think."
"I think we can't eat cigarettes." Tess says.
"True..." Says the first girl. "But!" She adds, raising her hand. "We can sell them. For food."
"That's true."
"Hold on." Says the first girl, turning back again. "How many cigarettes?" She shouts back to Rachel. Rachel looks in the bag.
"29. And a bit." Rachel shouts back.
"That's very specific."
"There was thirty. But I'm already into one of them."
"Thirty..." Says the first girl, turning back to Tess. "What do you think?"
"Could take half."
"That seems fair." Says the first girl. She turns back to Rachel. "We'll take half."
"How about I jam them up your arse." Rachel retorts. The girl in the mask slaps her shotgun threateningly.
"Stop that Rachel, you'll get us killed." Julia says. Julia turns to the girls. "How about five?"
The first raider turns back to Tess. "They're offering five."
"Hmm." Tess thinks for a moment. "How about five and a physical payment." The first girl nods.
"How about five packs and...you get us off."
"Deal." Says Julia.
"Hold on." Rachel cuts in. "I didn't agree to that."
"Well it's either that or fifteen packs of cigarettes." Julia says.
"How about we just shoot them?" Rachel asks. "There's only two of them, and three of us."
"I don't think they'd be so brave if it was just two." Julia points out. "Even if there are just two, I'd rather we didn't get shot."
"So what are our options?" Patches cuts in.
"We give them fifteen packs, or we 'get them off' and pay five." Julia answers.
"Or we shoot them." Rachel says.
"That's not an option." Julia insists.
"Yes it is." Rachel responds.

"Would you three hurry up?" Shouts the first raider. "We're getting bored over here."
"Make it four packs." Says Tess to her boss.
"What?"
"Don't over-charge them. Plus that one in the skirt is exactly my type."
"Do you want to make a profit here? Or do you just want to get serviced? Again?"
"Just make the offer before they decide to leave."
"Fine." The first girl sighs. "We'll make it four if you service us." She shouts to the three.

"Well what do you think?" Julia asks Patches and Rachel. "Four packs isn't bad. We'd make that back in Goldfall."
"Or we shoot them." Rachel says.
"No we don't." Says Julia.
"So it's either fifteen packets or it's four?" Patches points out. "I've always been one for a bargain..."
"...Fine." Rachel sighs. "But it'll be you two going over and dealing with them."
"Could just pay in full?" Julia suggests.

"So what do we do?" Patches asks.

A) Pay the full toll of fifteen packs.
B) Pay the toll of four packs and a quick 'romantic' encounter.
C) Try to fight them and hope to not get killed in the process.

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