'So Shiny, So Chrome' takes place 13 years after The Fall, a combination of the Oil Wars that came to a climax with a nuclear event. Our setting is the Wasteland, once the Australian outback. Wildlife mutated by radiation prowls the wasteland; weather is harsh and highly unpredictable; roving gangs of survivors fight for what remains of precious resources.
What a day, what a lovely day.
----- Season: Winter Weather: Days 8°C/Nights -10°C
Winter has descended once again on the Wasteland as merciless as ever. Days are cold, and with little cover the high winds are all the more biting; even without snow, hypothermia and frostbite are a constant threat. The only relief is that many of the Wasteland's creatures are in hibernation.
Crash held the wriggling sack as far away from him as he could, last thing he needed was to be bit through the bloody bag. He watched the small woman walk back over to her bike and smirked.
He hoped his sarcasm would shine through on this statement because he couldn't hold it in.
"Are all your first dates this exciting or do you like me that little?" he said playfully, smiling behind his bandana. She was either going to laugh and flirt back, or she would shoot him. Either way the comment was totally worth it!
[presto][/presto] Even with half his face obscured, it didn't take a genius to see that Crash was far from pleased to be holding a sack containing a live, venomous snake, especially in the way he held it as far away from himself as possible; which begged the question why he was helping her on this decidedly psychotic venture of hers at all, now that he seemed rather convinced she didn't need his help.
"Are all your first dates this exciting or do you like me that little?"
Well, that answered that question. His mouth was covered, but the smile was there in his voice, even with the accent muddling his words.
Yue raised an eyebrow coyly, picking up the jar with the glove stretched over the top.
"You do not begin your dates with dangerous snakes?"
[presto][/presto] Even with her limited grasp of English, though Yue didn't fully understand what he was hinting at, it was clear by Crash's inflections that whatever he'd said was meant to be taken for flirting. Really, being hit on was tiresome and --more often than not-- threatening, and by this point she didn't much care if she died as chaste as a monk. But to the strange-looking man's credit, he was certainly much better-behaved than any man Yue had encountered in a rather long time.
How sad that basic human decency was now wildly attractive rather than a minimum requirement for her time.
"Now that you're about to open the sack, how do you plan on milking this thing?"
She couldn't have missed the smirk in his tone even if she'd been deaf. And really, this was about as far ahead as Yue had thought; she'd planned on figuring it out when and if she actually managed to catch a snake.
Tying the sack with the snake to the side of her bike, Yue dug into one of the saddlebags and pulled out a small pouch; she had never been a smoker, but since being taken in by the Vuvalini and seeing firsthand the demand for smokable tobacco, she had become accustomed to trying finished batches to make sure they were the right quality. Nowhere near enough to take up the habit herself, but enough not to cough like a first-timer filling the bowl of a pipe, lighting it, and breathing the smoke into one of the sacks. Near immediately, the snake's angry thrashing started to calm.
[presto][/presto] It didn't take a businesswoman to recognize the way Crash was staring; not at her, but at the pipe in her hand. What a stroke of luck to find a potential source of trade this far out into the middle of nowhere.
"Lass, how did you manage to get a hold of real tobacco?! And do you have any for trade?"
He quickly cut himself off, but Yue had already caught onto his eagerness to procure a trade; not that she was about to tell him, however charming he was, that it came from a place where plants could grow. Nothing would invite unwanted attention quite like the promise of an oasis in the middle of a desert that could grow fresh produce.
"Sorry lass, I use to smoke two packs a day, and I still get cravings for a good old fashioned smoke."
Breathing another mouthful of smoke into the bag, Yue pretended to look thoughtful before offering the pipe. It was as much a peace offering for his help wrangling the snakes as it was a way to give herself the upper hand in a trade; tasting tobacco that hadn't gone stale was a surefire way to hook a nicotine addict.
"I know people." She replied cryptically, "Though it depends what you offer in trade."
She reached gingerly into the bag, where the snake was placidly wriggling at the bottom and put up little fight as she grabbed it at the base of its skull in her thickly-gloved hand. It seemed resistant to bite when she brought its mouth up to the lip of the jar, and Yue began to wonder if she'd used too much smoke before it bit down; very slowly, tiny droplets of venom dripped from its fangs, and she couldn't help but grin that her crazy plan had actually worked.
The wind picked up briefly, making the scarf over Yue's hair flutter; she flipped it back, not wanting to bother with readjusting it while wrangling snakes. Being spring, the sun wasn't quite so intense, and a few minutes of sunlight wouldn't ruin Yue's success thus far at keeping her pale complexion.
He took the pipe gingerly and squatted down next to the woman as she milked the snake for it's death juice. He put the mouth piece and took a greedy drag from the pipe. He smiled and instantly relaxed as he felt his eyes flutter. He felt like he was king of the world again. He exhaled slowly as the wind picked up. He saw her flip her scraf away from her face and he smiled again. He was in the company of a porcelain skinned lady out in the middle of the desert with real tobacco. Life was good.
"I have some prepacked and sealed pre war food and some fire arms to trade, depending on how much tobacco you have to trade of course." He said and then took another drag off the pipe before handing it back to her.
[presto][/presto] It was mercifully quiet for a moment; it often was, as smokers relished what was usually their first taste of real tobacco in so many years, giving Yue a moment to try and work the last few drops of venom out of the snake in her hand. It wasn't much, not even enough to wet the whole bottom of the jar, but then she did have four more tied to the sides of her bike.
She put the snake back into the burlap sack, still undecided whether to let them roam free, or to keep them for later.
"I have some prepacked and sealed pre-war food and some fire arms to trade, depending on how much tobacco you have to trade of course." He said finally, offering the pipe back.
That tactic never failed. Yue puffed on the pipe for a moment, repeating the process of smoking the captured snakes; honestly, she despised the taste and the jitteriness the nicotine left her with, and couldn't understand why so many people craved it. But, then, she supposed it was one of those simple pleasures; gods knew before the Vuvalini took her in, Yue had craved tea in much the same way.
"I have food, I have firearms," She replied, retrieving another snake and setting to work milking the venom from its fangs, "I need bullets, gas."
Jackie had made their bikes amazingly fuel efficient, but they couldn't run forever.
967100 - Crash ae2a3a - Xiang Yue
Last Edit: Nov 22, 2015 21:23:33 GMT -5 by Xiang Yue
Crash listened to her request then glanced back at lightning. His fuel drum was over half full and had plenty of gas to get back to the wash. He also had an assortment of bullets. He looked at the woman and grinned.
"I got ten gallons of fuel for trade and a box or so of ammo I can part with depending on what you need." He put the ball in her court to see what she would do.
"And depending on how often you are out this way and how much tobacco you can get, maybe we can set up a regular trade for something? I am always interested in doing business." He said with a shark grin on his face.
[presto][/presto] Ten gallons was a promising offer, though more than Yue could probably carry on her tiny bike, and she would have to find out from Jackie what sort of ammunition they needed... But there was a lot of potential for them to do business when she was better-equipped.
Sure enough, at the mention of regular trade, Yue offered a coy smile.
"So would that be, how do you say... second date?"
Flirting was a risky business; plenty of male customers read far too much into it and had accused her of leading them on and demanding sex after the fact (hence the length of lead pipe that rarely left her side). But, then, if he was serious about a regular supply of tobacco, Crash ought to be smart enough to know that getting handsy too soon wasn't going to earn him any favors.
Just as much as it was a shame that decency was rare, so too was having to be so wary of the opposite sex.
She just resisted the urge to cough, handing the pipe back to Crash; it had been a while since she'd had so much, taking the opportunity to lean over to the saddlebag on the other side of the bike, withdrawing a small block of pressed tobacco leaves, about the size of a stick of butter. She had no idea how long it would last a 2-pack-a-day kind of smoker, but it ought to be enough for a few gallons of fuel.
"This, for 4 gallons."
967100 - Crash ae2a3a - Xiang Yue
Last Edit: May 24, 2016 10:03:52 GMT -5 by Xiang Yue
Crash grinned when she metioned a second date and took the pipe from her when she offered it again He took another greedy drag off of it when Yue turned around and lifted a literal fucking brick of tobacco and all she wanted was a measly four gallons of fuel.
"Someone pinch me because I am in heaven. M'lady you have a deal indeed!" Crash exclaimed not hiding his excitement. "Hell for that price we can have a second, third, and forth date any bloody time ye want lass!" He said laughing at the end. He couldn't begin to believe his luck.
[presto][/presto] Four gallons was a low asking price, she knew. But for someone promising to become a regular source of trade, having a good opener tended to make things run more smoothly; especially when gas and bullets were in high demand but low in supply.
"Someone pinch me because I am in heaven. M'lady you have a deal indeed!" He said, sounding very much like an excited (and very oversized) child. "Hell for that price we can have a second, third, and fourth date any bloody time ye want lass!"
She cracked an amused smile; this trip had turned out much more fruitful than she had anticipated.
"Perhaps." She said, equal parts flirtatious and cryptic, "Though you promised dinner and a movie."
Crash nodded at her "That I did." He stood and strode over to lightning. He popped the trunk and waved her to bring her bike over. He reached into the trunk and pulled out two sealed MREs. He also pulled out a length of garden hose and closed his trunk. He set everything on the trunk and popped open the lid of his fuel drum and fed the hose into it. As she approached with her bike He looked at the MREs and then back at her.
"Would you like the meatloaf or the jambayla meal on this evenings menu m'lady?" He asked with a smile. He scores a good smoke, a brick of tobacco, and dinner with a beautiful woman. If the powerball were still a thing on his way home he would have bout 100 tickets with this kind of luck.
[presto][/presto] The last thing in the world Yue had anticipated when coming out to this brush was a dinner date and to refill the motorcycle's nearly-dry gas tank, and she'd be lying if she tried to claim it wasn't nice to be treated like a lady for the first time since before the world ended.
Even if military rations and gasoline were a far cry from a life in the lap of luxury she'd grown up being accustomed to.
Yue only just resisted the urge to play with the pearl necklace around her neck (for the billionth or so time, as she did when feeling nostalgic); they were worthless now, save for their sentimental value, but the habit of hiding it had yet to die. With some difficulty, Yue pushed the laden bike towards his car, watching as he popped the trunk (and keeping a wary eye out for any other weapons, knowing his pistols were still in the cabin).
"Would you like the meatloaf or the jambalaya meal on this evenings menu m'lady?"
She frowned a little at the new word.
"What is jumble-eye-a?" She asked, tripping somewhat over the pronunciation that in no way resembled any words in Chinese or Russian she'd ever heard of.
Either way, the prospect of meat that wasn't snake or rat was promising.
Crash looked back at the MRE and then at her. "To be honest, I haven't a clue. I know its a cajun rice dish and it's spicy as hell. That's it." He said as walked over to him.
He unscrewed the cap on her bike and set it to the side, then syphoned fuel down into the hose, Spitting as some on the acidic liquid got in his mouth. He put the other end of the hose into her gas tank and let the tank fill. He kept a close eye on the fuel to make sure he didn't spill any and after her tank was full he capped her tank back and emptied the hose back into the drum. He then sealed the drum back and popped the trunk again. He tossed the hose back in the trunk and then looked her and her bike over again. He realized this crazy woman had no weapon save for a lead pipe. He started to rummage through his trunk, trying to find that bloody 9mm he had in here for ages. Finally he stumbled across it wrapped in an oil canvas. He made sure to wrap it back up and grabbed a half full box of clean brassed 9mm ammo he had taken with him to trade in bartertown as he scouted the place. He closed the trunk again and handed Yue the box and oil wrapped canvas.
"You need to carry more protection out here in the wastes last. Its not much, but consider it a gift from old Crash. Now, did you want the meatloaf or the cajun spicy rice and chicken meal?" He asked as he picked up both the MRE's again.