Kari's Story: scene 5, Raygun City Story Cubes: a credit card and a scarab
Kari enjoyed her small victory against the government man as she slid down the cable to Raygun City, the lower half of Ronald Reagon City. There was always a haze and general funk to Raygun City caused by cooking fires, bilge water, floating refuse, and not enough fresh water to go around. Still, it was alive with people and wide open compared to the guts of the big ship. The zip lines ended at a big flat bed barge that was large enough to support the weight of the cables. Being one of the few locations where there was space to walk around, the barges formed the foundation for a local market and served as the crossroads for catwalks, small docks, or mooring point for other boats.
The market teemed with people shopping, eating, shooting the breeze, or trying to sell you something of dubious value. Most of the stalls sported a large umbrella or scavenged awnings and tarps to keep the sun and the weather at bay.
Is there anything keeping Kari from reaching her destination? CF 5, 50/50, GME - 62, No.
Kari weaves through the crowd with as much grace as possible and manages to avoid all the pick pockets, perverts, and peddlers along the way. It doesn'take her long to reach the fish market and Verde's booth. She hops up on one of the duct taped bar stools that are bolted to the front. "Hoy! What does a woman have to do to get fed around here?" The tall black woman bent over the sizzling grill turns around smiling, "Kari! Good to see you. How is the day treating you?" Kari wrinkles her brow, "Not so good Miss V. Is Tad around?" Verde straightens up her apron, "I've sent him out for errands. He should be back in a few." Verde gives Kari a looking over and decides, "Girl, you need to feed whatever is eating at you." That gets a smirk out of Kari and she points out a stick with grilled fish chunks and crunchy seaweed. As Verde hands it over, Kari plunks down a fiver*.
*After the disaster, the American currency tanked adding more chaos. While it has slowly regained some of its value, the UAF navy needed a more immediate solution. So, the machine shops of the various carriers started stamping out chits to suppliment the barter system. After all, they were the only ones with the tools to make them. Roughly one chit is a meal in value. Throwing down a five chit token for a fish kebob is spending way too much.
"Hey hey, your credit is good here." Kari nodded, "I know, but I need to pay up." Verde arched an eyebrow, waiting for the rest of the story to drop. "It's strange.", she said between bites. "My dad got some orders to move off ship. Like today. And, I guess I'm included." Verde gives a sympathetic nod and seems to notice the titanium bracelet for first time, "I see. Well, you best finish that stick. I can see Tad heading this way."
Kari whirls, the old bar stool squeaking in protest, fish kebob forgotten.
Tad is making his way through the crowd with a red plastic bin half filled with fish. Maybe a little older than Kari, he's got a slim but muscular build from hauling goods all around Raygun City. He's got a slightly darker complexion than Verde, but then he spends a lot more time out in the sun. A scarab tattoo adorns his left bicep, clearly seen since he's wearing a sleeveless t-shirt.
"Kari, looking good." He sets the fish down behind the counter, "I'd give you a hug, but I smell like sweaty fish." Kari begins, but falters, "I... I got..."
Does Tad notices the tracer bracelet? CF 5, 50/50, GME - 98, Exceptional No.
Does Verde clue him in? CF 5, Unlikely, GME - 65, No.
Verde chips in to give Kari some time, "I'll take the fish over to the edge and clean them." "Sure, mom. I'll mind the store."
Tad then stretches to work a kink in his back. Kari seizes the moment to jump off the stool and gives Tad a full on hug and buries her face in his neck. A surprised Tad gently returns the hug, "Hey, I miss you too." Kari squeezes tighter, "I want to remember what you smell like." Cluelessly, Tad replies, "I didn't know fish and sweat had this effect on you." Kari continues talking into his shoulder, "You're an idiot, but I can live with that."
Tad gingerly pries her loose so he can talk to her face to face when his hand closes around the bracelet. "Oh shit, did you get busted for sneaking into the reactor again?" Kari shakes her head in the negative, "No, but it has been a strange shit kind of day. My dad got some orders. He's shipping out and I have to go." "Oh, how long will you be ga..." Kari stops Tad with a long desperate kiss. When they break, Tad breathlessly finishes, "...gone." Kari puts a finger to Tad's lips, "This isn't a temporary duty. I have no idea how long I'll be gone, but I wanted you to know how I really feel." She gives Tad a more gentle hug and sits there silently until she has to go.