A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #841
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    Sean sits in the car, with a window opened to talk to the guard, ready to park where directed. For now, he answers the questions. "Haven't ever been here. Got business with Major Chalmers, but we don't mind him coming outside. He most likely neither expects us nor is aware of the business itself, so probably a messenger should be arranged, or something."

  2. - Top - End - #842
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    Richard frowns as he drives through the shanty town. He knew that people out here had it bad, and they'd already had run-ins with people like the mutants and escaped slaves as examples, but seeing it together all here like this...there had to be a better way for things to be better.

    Sliding off the face mask as the car approaches the gate, Richard eyes the signs and guards warily. So that was the kind of law and justice they favoured here, huh? It seemed to him like the people in Gunmetal were justified in their opinions of this place.

    When the guard approaches, Richard puts on his usual 'good first impressions' smileand demeanour, despite his reservations about the guards, and nods as Sean explains. "We've been fighting the Gamblers here and there for the last month or so, you see, and we've come across several pieces of useful intel on their operations and bases. We were told that the Rangers in general and the Major in particular would want to see it, so here we are." He pauses for a moment of thought. "We could also do some trading while we're here, if you're open for business with us. Fighting those raiders has gotten us a decent amount of stuff, so there might be some opportunities there if your people are interested."

  3. - Top - End - #843
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    Quote Originally Posted by u-b View Post
    Sean sits in the car, with a window opened to talk to the guard, ready to park where directed. For now, he answers the questions. "Haven't ever been here. Got business with Major Chalmers, but we don't mind him coming outside. He most likely neither expects us nor is aware of the business itself, so probably a messenger should be arranged, or something."
    The guard gate sighs. "Major Chalmers? Oh, boy. This is not your lucky day. Chalmers went into hiding weeks ago, he isn't going to leave Red Brick anytime soon. He's still in the city, past the gates, but he is not going to meet or accept messages from anyone who hasn't been verified. Guy is paranoid, even for this city."

    Quote Originally Posted by Volthawk View Post
    "We've been fighting the Gamblers here and there for the last month or so, you see, and we've come across several pieces of useful intel on their operations and bases. We were told that the Rangers in general and the Major in particular would want to see it, so here we are." He pauses for a moment of thought. "We could also do some trading while we're here, if you're open for business with us. Fighting those raiders has gotten us a decent amount of stuff, so there might be some opportunities there if your people are interested."
    "Glad to hear you've been fighting the black necks. What gang are you in?" The guard smiles a little.
    "If you want to do any trading inside the gates, you and your friends need to have the Red Mark." He points to the sign besides him. "That means you submit to a pat-down, a medical examination, and you either pass the test or get sponsored by one of the big gangs. Then the Commission tattoos you with this." The guard lefts up his shirt to show his bare belly, and the red symbol tattooed there.
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  4. - Top - End - #844
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    Richard sighs as the guard explains about Chalmers, and then listens to his explanation about the entry process. "Any idea how we'd get Chalmers to hear us out? Or at least, if there's anyone in this place he does trust me that we can work through? As for us..." Richard shrugs. "We're not really in a gang. We've just been travelling as ourselves, really. We've helped out other people out here as we've gone, but we're not really part of any of them, if you seee what I mean. Haven't been out here in the area long enough to make connections that strong with anyone. What's this test you mentioned, and what people do the sponsoring? I don't think we've come across anyone with particularly strong connections here, so I think we'll need to do the test, but it's worth checking."

  5. - Top - End - #845
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volthawk View Post
    What's this test you mentioned, and what people do the sponsoring? I don't think we've come across anyone with particularly strong connections here, so I think we'll need to do the test, but it's worth checking."[/COLOR]
    The gate guard strokes his chin. "Chalmers hires some gangers as protection and errand boys, the guys calling themselves The Ninth World. Get in good with them, and they'll pass on messages. You might not like helping them out, though."

    The other gate guard smirks a little at Richard, "If you're not a gang yet, why not make yourself one? They're always in fashion!" The guard laughs at his own joke, as another guard comes over to explain what the test is.

    "We, uh, hold a sweet little sporting event, for the crowd both in and out of the city. Makes for good gambling. It's an obstacle course, pretty dangerous. Folks take bets on it. Make it through the obstacle course in one piece, we give you the Red Mark as a prize."

    The gate guard who approached Sean and his friends in the first place nods, "Now, as for sponsors...Well, there are four different gangs around here you can ask for a favor. I belong to one, The Sweet Blades. Some of them are...less admirable. Do a job for them or pay them off with bullets or drugs, they get you the Red Mark."

    The other gate guard looks somewhat bitter, "Don't so eager to join a gang, boys. I've seen probies have to kill a man in cold blood to get an in. That might not be your style."
    The third guard lists off the gangs, "Yeah, we're The Sweet Blades. Over by the dice toss, you got The Rippers. In that little bar over there, The Lemons hang out. Finally, running the hookers, we got The Angel Skins."
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  6. - Top - End - #846
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    "You can call us Radar Base Guys, if you want a gang name or to find us on the radio. Though it is true we are fairly young and small gang. How much wealth to pay to get sponsorship? Is it dependent on something, like an interview or what not?"

  7. - Top - End - #847
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    Quote Originally Posted by u-b View Post
    "You can call us Radar Base Guys, if you want a gang name or to find us on the radio. Though it is true we are fairly young and small gang. How much wealth to pay to get sponsorship? Is it dependent on something, like an interview or what not?"
    The guard nods, "Well, my gang usually sponsors people if they pay us drugs and bullets, or do a quick job for us...consider yourselves lucky, other gangs are real chisellers. You'll still need to get patted-down and examined by our doctor."

    (OOC: $500 is the basic bribe, you can roll Streetwise or Reaction Roll for a better deal. Or you can try other gangs.)
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  8. - Top - End - #848
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    The guards smile and nod as the exiles produce bribes - they especially seem impressed by the amount of heroin they have on hand.

    "Alright, let's do this, then. Come this way..." The gate guard shows the exiles to a small tent next to the entrance. Inside are more guards, resign and drinking. One of them is dressed in a white doctor's coat and holding a bag of medical supplies and tools.

    "Got a new batch of new citizens!" The guard announces. He turns to the exiles. "Can you guys just stand here and spread your arms and legs out? Gotta check you all."
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  9. - Top - End - #849
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    Sean does not object to be searched. He does not try to hide anything, but, unless commanded otherwise, keeps all his regular gear on himself. He stays before the doctor, with arms and legs spread out, two grenades in front pockets and a loaded rifle behind his back. "What exactly are you looking for? Just wondering."

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    Or have been warned to leave the weapons or something?

  10. - Top - End - #850
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    The doctor shrugs as he watches the other men pat everyone down. "Contraband, apparently. We are looking for contraband. Not much is actually banned in Red Brick, though..."

    The guard announces, "Yeah, we got some explosives and stuff here. Let me guess, you don't know who slipped these grenades into your pockets? Gonna have to log that...You can keep it, for now, but make sure nothing gets exploded while you're in the city, or you will all be arrested as suspects, understand?"
    The guards seem to be sternly annoyed at the exiles' highly destructive weaponry...until one of the guards starts admiring the rifles.
    "Man, these are some fine cannons you got here! No wonder you guys managed to kill some black necks!"

    Eventually, the guards finish their search.
    "You guys are clear, no signs of black neck tattoos or suspicious abnormalities..."
    Tariq figures out that the whole "pat-down" routine is mostly a cover for checking people for raider tattoos. So what's the deal with the medical examination?

    The doctor stands up, "Guess that means I'm up. Who wants to get examined first?"
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  11. - Top - End - #851
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    Richard shrugs when the guards start talking about the explosives the exiles have. "They've been handy for taking on the blacknecks. Mines when they've come for us, grenades when they've invaded somewhere and dug in, charges to disable their vehicles, that kind of thing. We're not in the business of randomly blowing places up while we're trying to do business there. as for the rifles...yeah, after their first attempt to kill us failed they left behind some nice stuff. We were able to sell them off to a travelling merchant and pick up those two. Pretty handy out there. The pistols are mainly my work - we've come across a fair few damaged ones out there, and I was able to get them working fine again with some work."

    The doctor speaking up is met with a nod. "Sure, I'll go first. What's this for, by the way? Are there diseases or something we should be careful of out there, or is this to do with those mutants we've been seeing out there?"

  12. - Top - End - #852
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    Tariq assures the guards, "I know my way around explosives, don't you worry, they're perfectly safe around me. We only use them on people who get on our bad sides...", eyeing them up as he says so, "...and I don't think you guys are likely to do that, are you?" He complies with the pat down and the medical examination.

  13. - Top - End - #853
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volthawk View Post
    The doctor speaking up is met with a nod. "Sure, I'll go first. What's this for, by the way? Are there diseases or something we should be careful of out there, or is this to do with those mutants we've been seeing out there?"
    The doctor dodges the question, "Uh, something like that..." He mumbles as he takes samples of Richard's blood and fingerprints, and puts a stethoscope to his chest.

    "No injuries, no sickness, no other problems..." The doctor eventually announces to no-one in particular as he makes notes. "This one is clean."

    With that, the doctor moves on to Tariq.

    Quote Originally Posted by GnomesofZurich2 View Post
    Tariq assures the guards, "I know my way around explosives, don't you worry, they're perfectly safe around me. We only use them on people who get on our bad sides...", eyeing them up as he says so, "...and I don't think you guys are likely to do that, are you?" He complies with the pat down and the medical examination.
    The guards seem sceptical about Tariq's confidence.
    The doctor prods and probes Tariq for another 30 minutes before giving his approval.

    When the doctor examines Sean, he frowns as he runs his tests. When the blood testing machine prints out its results, the doctor immediately gets more alert...and angry.
    "What the...? Code 15! Code 15!" The doctor exclaims. The guards either put their hand on their holster, or draw their guns.

    The doctor storms up to Sean and gets in his face, "Care to explain this?! You're a mutant!"
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  14. - Top - End - #854
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    Richard raises an eyebrow and shoots a confused glance in Sean's direction as the guards kick off. "A mutant? That doesn't make sense, the only time we even knew mutants existed was when we met them out here, back home there wasn't anything like them...the intel we got from the Gambler leader called the mutants clones, anyway, Sean's no clone..." He goes quiet as he mulls it over for a little while longer, trying to figure out the answer here, and settles for just trying to manage the situation instead. "...In any case, we've gone along with everything you've asked, you can see we're here in good faith, so let's dial down the aggression a little, alright? We can deal with this and sort it all out without guns being drawn."

  15. - Top - End - #855
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    Sean shrugs. "Well, yes. I believe it's acquired and has no effect on my mental capacity or personality, so, being unaffiliated with the real mutants, I should be no more dangerous than any other man. Took one of those nanomachine injectors when we were under attack. It healed me a bit, maybe saved my life, but had some side effects. Namely, my thermal regulation has failed and has not restored itself since then. As for how we get this stuff - we found it when we took control of the radar base. I believe, when properly made, this should have had no side effects. It was, obviously, not properly made, but I am not much of a medic, so cannot provide the details. You can test this dose here on any well-known non-mutant dog and observe the effects. Or test me on a polygraph, or something."

  16. - Top - End - #856
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    The doctor motioned for the guards to cool it, which they do.
    "Okay. Okay. We need to run a few more tests, okay? Can I have a look at that injector you took?"

    The doctor works at his desk for 30 minutes, straining over his medical instruments and writing down observations. He occasionally rechecks Sean's body, gingerly collecting DNA samples.

    When the doctor is finished, he reluctantly sends a message to his superiors about his findings.

    "So what's the diagnosis, doc?" The gate guard asks nervously.

    "Yeah, this guy's been mutated, all right. Weird skin thing, mostly. But he is not one of the doppelgangers. He passes, for now, but we have to report him to the Commission. In the meantime, give him the Red Mark."

    With that over, the guards nod and ask the exiles to present their bellies - they get their tattoo artist to break out the needles and ink...
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  17. - Top - End - #857
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    "Not the one I took, that got discarded after use, but we have more from that heap, here you go..." Sean hands him a full nanomachine injector. "Do you know where they make these and if the effects are reversible?"

    Anyway, Sean is happy to receive his Red Mark. When the tattoing is done, he asks where we can find someone from The Ninth World and maybe a good realiable drug dealer too. The later is for something high-tech and not recreational.

  18. - Top - End - #858
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    The doctor examines the injector for a while before he concludes, "Yeah, this is experimental technology. From the Old World, even, if I had to guess. If these things mutate you...Maybe it was glitched? I've never seen this kind of medical drug before, but I have heard rumors of Old World tech...As for reversing the mutations, it is theoretically possible, but you'll need far more advanced laboratory work than anything I have ever used. Maybe a deep Shelter could create a cure, but good luck on that front."

    A gate guard comments, "If you wanna talk to a Ninth World ganger, try the Lonesome Road Bar on the market square. It's a popular hangout for the local hardcores."

    The doctor sighs, "If you need an actual doc and not just a candyman, go talk to a colleague of mine. He's called Hugo Poole, he runs a clinic on the corner of Bran Street and Starry Road. Don't waste his time."

    The tattoo artist ignores the chatter as he works, inscribing a symbol and serial number in red. He takes a good 15 minutes to complete the mark on Sean's belly. The tattoo is about as big as a palm without the fingers.
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  19. - Top - End - #859
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    Richard steps forwards to get the tattoo next, his smile returning as the situation returns to being calm again. As the artist works, he considers what the doctor has said and asks some questions. "A deep Shelter? What do you mean by that? Are they different somehow from the ones that formed this city, Gunmetal and Bread Basket? Also, what exactly is going on with those mutants? The Gambler orders we found referenced cloning facilities, you called them doppelgangers...are they clones of people living out here now, then, or of people who lived before all this..." He gestures around vaguely. "Lived in the old world. And how close to normal human can they look, if you need to do blood tests on everyone who comes in? What problems do they cause for you, if you need to be this vigilant? And what about the weird animals we've been seeing? The..." He pauses again, remembering what the wastelanders they helped called them. "Teddies and ratdogs and the like. Are they from the same place, or something else?"

  20. - Top - End - #860
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    The tattoo artist keep his hand steady as he paints the red symbol and a serial number on Richard's stomach.

    "Deep Shelters, you know, the ones that are kept secret and haven't opened up to the outside yet. Those kind of Shelters." The doctor explains, "The Shelter that became this place opened up to the outside 60 years ago."

    The gate guard cuts in, "The mutants attack people out there in the sticks. Sometimes, they raid towns. We think they're ALL clones of the same guy, the one guy who got cloned, so they all look the same. We don't know where they come from. We've seen other kinds of mutants, too, and mutated animals as well. The mutants are human enough, we learned how to look for mutations with a blood test, if they're not obvious at first glance. Mutants sometimes really to hunt normal people, for some reason."
    The other gate guard points to Sean, "You look okay, though. We've heard stories of friendly mutants, but the Commission doesn't take chances. Nothing personal."

    Another gate guard shutters at the mention of "teddies and ratdogs".
    "I hate those darn things. Horrible monsters. We shoot those on sight. No idea where they come from."

    Richard's tattoo goes smoothly, and now it is Tariq's turn.
    "Where are you guys from?" The tattoo artist idly asks out loud as he takes a swig of his bottled water before pickign up the needle again.
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

  21. - Top - End - #861
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    Richard's eyes widen as the doctor explains deep Shelters. "That was a planned part of the Shelter system? I thought they were all supposed to open like this place." He glances over at the other two. "I guess that explains some of the questions we had, but..." Sure, now they had an idea why 44 was being kept secret, but that didn't explain why the Gamblers were enforcing its secrecy while targeting the Shelters that did open. "What makes you think they'd have a cure? Anything particularly hinting that way, or is it just that they have to have something special if they're this secret?" He wasn't so sure about that - unless 44's leadership was even better at hiding things than they ever guessed, they didn't have anything like this, did they?

    The tattoo artist's question quietens Richard for a few moments. He'd hardly been secretive about their origins before, the people here have been helpful enough once the mutant misunderstanding was dealt with, and he figured they had probably had enough experience in reading people to see through any lie he told, given how bad he was at it, but still...something about this place made him unsure how much he could trust anyone here. Still, they had a mutual enemy, and in the end his usual honesty and desire for more allies against the raiders won out. "Shelter 44." He pulls out the HVT sheet and shows them it, and the exiles' part of it. "I'd been wondering why it was mostly closed up and secretive while the other Shelters we've come across - barring the ones the Gamblers have wiped out or marked for containment, at least - had opened up and set up these societies. Maybe it's one of those deep Shelters you mentioned, maybe the leadership just decided to ignore the standing orders. We don't know yet, and before you ask we're not going to mark its location down for anyone just yet." He shrugs. "Main thing is that for some reason being from 44 has put us on the same list of Gambler targets as your cities. Shelters are particularly important to them for some reason, not sure why yet. Need to capture more intel. That's why we've been going after them so much - they made themselves known by laying siege to where we were set up, so now..." Another shrug. "We have a vested interest in weakening their presence here, besides it being the right thing to do."

  22. - Top - End - #862
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoot Da Moon View Post
    Richard's tattoo goes smoothly, and now it is Tariq's turn.
    "Where are you guys from?" The tattoo artist idly asks out loud as he takes a swig of his bottled water before pickign up the needle again.
    Tariq listens with interest to all the talk of clones and mutants and Deep Shelters. He is not looking forward to the tattoo, and has a hard time keeping still in the chair. He opines to Richard while he waits, "Now that we've been out in the world a bit, I think it's pretty clear that something was up with our Shelter's leadership. I wouldn't want anything to happen to the place, still have family there, but I don't have a lot of warm and fuzzy feelings for the people in charge. I mean, a guy messes up one little explosion, and they exile him!"

  23. - Top - End - #863
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    Tariq's stomach is exposed to cool air.

    The tattoo artist rolls his eyes as he gets to work on Tariq's belly. One of the gate guards enjoys one of the pills the exiles paid him while they wait for Tariq's mark to be done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Volthawk View Post
    "What makes you think they'd have a cure? Anything particularly hinting that way, or is it just that they have to have something special if they're this secret?"

    [...]

    "Shelter 44." He pulls out the HVT sheet and shows them it, and the exiles' part of it. "I'd been wondering why it was mostly closed up and secretive while the other Shelters we've come across - barring the ones the Gamblers have wiped out or marked for containment, at least - had opened up and set up these societies. Maybe it's one of those deep Shelters you mentioned, maybe the leadership just decided to ignore the standing orders. We don't know yet, and before you ask we're not going to mark its location down for anyone just yet." He shrugs. "Main thing is that for some reason being from 44 has put us on the same list of Gambler targets as your cities. Shelters are particularly important to them for some reason, not sure why yet. Need to capture more intel. That's why we've been going after them so much - they made themselves known by laying siege to where we were set up, so now..."
    The doctor shrugs, "I am just spitballing here. I've never see the crazy stuff the Shelters have first hand."

    The gate guard seems utterly puzzled by Richard's admission. "That is...quite a story. I never knew the raider gangs cared about Shelters that much. And I never heard anyone say anything about problems with the Shelters...but I guess it makes sense that the leaders of Shelters went rogue or something..." The man takes a small sip of liquor as he ponders the thought.
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

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    (OOC: If you want to talk more with the gate guards and the doctor, do so. When you're all ready to move on, say so...)
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

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    Assuming we are done here, Sean proposes to find that Lonesome Road Bar on the market square and ask if we can contact The Ninth World. It is the evening, so should be about the time.

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    Richard nods thoughtfully as he listens to the guard and doctor. "The way things are going, we're probably going to end up with the answers to my questions one way or another. Or we'll die." Richard shrugs. "But I don't think that's going to happen any time soon. We still have the advantage against them, the way I see it. If we find out more about the deep Shelters and what's going on with all of that and we pass by again, I'll let you know.

    Once they're done with the tattoos, Richard is in agreement with Sean's plan. He wasn't sure he'd like what was about to happen, given the differences between his views on right and wrong and law and order and those of the locals, but it had to be done.

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    Tariq is glad to be done with the tattoo and is ready to move on, agreeing with Sean's plan.

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    With the tattoos done and the exiles given proof of citizenship, the guards escort them back to the gate and allow them entry into Red Brick.

    The gate leads inside directly onto Main Street, where the casinos and hotels line both sides of the way. There are numerous stalls selling food, drinks and drugs on the sidewalks. Sex workers hang out nearby, careful to avoid annoying anyone more powerful than their managers. Red Brick likes to keep its best attraction close to the entrance. A few men are lying face-down in alleyways, drunk, dead or down for the count.

    Making their way past the gangsters standing guard and keeping order, the exiles find their way to The Lonesome Road Bar. As expected, the watering hole is hopping with patrons, sitting at tables with their guns on their hips. The Bar is decorated with all kinds of grim trophies - the biggest is the rack of cleaned skulls above the bar, honoring the famous dead. The first owner of the bar is given a central place in the rack, in remembrance of his amazing mixology and skill with violence. Other respected skulls include big time gangsters, high price mercenaries and heroic protectors. The exiles park their cars out front.

    The exiles quickly spot a couple of Ninth World gangers drinking at their reserved table, their affiliation made obvious by their custom jackets.
    (OOC: Tariq, you have Streetwise skill...)
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

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    Tariq approaches the gangsters, trying too hard to project an air of swagger while trying to fit in, "Greetings, friends. May my companions and I join you?"

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    Default Re: Worse Than the Disease IC

    The gangsters narrow their eyes at the exiles.
    "Get lost, we're busy." One of them grunts, pausing to put his beer to his lips and take a gulp.

    The other crook scans the crowd and looks over his shoulder, like he suspects Tariq is trying to distract him. His hand slips to his holster, the revolver inside it fully loaded.
    Anachronism will never high-light the folly of my convictions!

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