|B||Day's almost done but there's still a mountain of work to be done. Just off a barely distinguishable path from Bitter Lake to the gates of El Dorado is a small shack made of scraps. Smoke comes from a chimney near the back, despite the temperature. Out to the left of the shack is a small, raven-hared woman, kneeling in the dirt and pulling up .. are those potatos? Hard to tell under all the grime. No matter what they are, she pulls them up, shakes them off, and dumps them into a pile on the other side of her.
Wiping her hand across the back of her brow, B leaves behind a streak of dirt. She sits back on her haunches and blows out a heated sigh. Behind her, in the shadow of the shack, two girls sit building a little town out of sticks and rocks.
|Walker||A lone man who walks with a calm certainity along the path. He has the look of someone who has spent a lot of time on the road, that and the unmistakeable long rifle slung over his shoulder. He seems curious at the area, eyes taking in the suprising greenery that just shouldn't be there. Eventually his eyes move to the young lady crouched on the ground and pulling out poattoes, or whatever those are. He is careful to approach, letting her sense his foot steps and making enough noise to be noticed. He doesn't come very close , maybe twenty yards away when he stops and clears his throat. "Howdy miss, I don't mean to bother you but..well no one else around for me to bother." He would say he is friendly but that always makes you sound more suspicious than just being polite.|
|B||B turns her attention towards the footsteps and the man they belong to. Warily, she watches him approach. Sure, he doesn't get close enough to physically touch her, but that rifle on his shoulder would reach her from there. "Hello," says she, trying for a light and friendly tone.
Behind her, the blonde girl who couldn't be more than five, whimpers and cuddles into the older girl, who has brown hair. That one looks like she's about nine or so.
|Walker||Walker could have shot her from 400 yards away if she was just being still like that, not that he would mention it. He keeps his hands somewhat near his hips, she might notice the Magnum Revolver hanging there as well. "Ahh I'm Captain Walker Texas, NCR." He reaches up and tips the brim of his Ranger hat towards her. "Anyway, making my way here to El Dorado, first time here." He gestures to her potatoes. "I didn't expect the land would be so generous down here, expecting more of the same I guess. California, well it's got some green space too, but not much green between here and there. Nevada and Arizona were both a real mess, barely got out of there in one piece."|
|B||B looks down to the runty potatoes in her hand. Can they be called that as misshapen as they are? Wrinkling her nose, she looks back up to the man. "Nice to meet you. I'm called B." He'd probably notice the letter B tattooed on her face just below her right eye. "And I don't rightly know what these are .. only that I'm going to use them to make booze." She smiles at that, glancing over her shoulder to the girls to make sure they're alright. Seeing the younger one's fright, she waves them towards the shack. "Go wash up before bed, girls." It's not that late, but the young one needs to go to bed early so she's not up all night.
Getting to her feet, B brushes her hands off on the back of her shorts. "Don't suppose you'd do me a big one and sample it for me? I can't .." says she, patting the slight swell of her baby bump.
|Walker||Walker can probably draw a few conclusions from the tatoo and the name matching, but he doesn't comment on it right away. "Well maybe turnips then? Either way, booze sounds great though I was hoping maybe you were going to fix up some dinner soon." He looks like a man that might have run out of rations and just is dying for a bite to eat. "Sample the ..whatever?" He looks at it then frowns, probably had hoped it would be cooked. "Well, maybe if it was washed off a bit or something. Me, I rather fry up some potatoes and maybe mix it in with some meat, assuming I had meat. " He notes the baby bump, perhaps for the first time. "Ah..baby coming I see. Hmm ok hand it here and I'll try." His steps move a bit closer now, taking it slow so she doesn't scare off.|
|B||B blinks at him. Twice. "Not the potato-things. The booze!" She giggles at him, suddenly looking a little vulnerable in her joy. Shaking her head, she scoops down to pick up the potatoes she has gathered and gives them one final shake. "But if you're hungry .. I guess I could spare some soup. Least I could do for someone willing to help me out like that." Her lips purse in a smile and she gestures towards the front of the shack. "Have a seat there. I know there's not much of a porch left, but you should be able to find someplace to sit." And with that the woman goes inside with her find only to come out a little later with a wooden bowl of some kind of soupy stew, or stewy soup, depending on your point of view. In the other hand, she caries a tin can filled with pungent smelling liquor. Both get offered out to him and she takes a seat nearby. "So you came all the way from California? Why'd you do that?"|
|Walker||Walker is relieved because he really didn't want to bite into a raw potatoe. Of course she looks vulnerable, she's a cute 20 something young lady with a baby and two young girls, she coudln't be much more vulnerable unless she was deeper into the wasteland. "I see, this place is yours then?" He half wonders if a slave owner is around and she's just the welcome wagon.
He stops as she goes inside and then smiles up to her when she hands him the soup. "Much obliged maam, been some time since the cookable stuff ran out and it's been hard tack for me the last hundred miles or so. " He pulls out a spoon from a pouch at his waste and begins to eat. "Mmm good... Now to sample your brew huh?" He tilts his head back and swallows it down. Is this beer, liquor, what kind? "I sorta am taking a vacation from the NCR and trying to see where the road will take me. I wanted to get out of our territory and see what other people are up to." Why he left California in the first place, different story.
|B||B reaches up to tuck a lock of hair behind her ear. "This place is mine now," she states, smiling a little, "Just took some elbow grease and some time to make it mine. It's perfect for me and the girls." Speaking of them, they're peeking out the sole, glassless window towards the pair on the edge of the porch.
Wrapping her hands together around her belly, she smiles a little. "On vacation all the way from California? Wow. Guess the NCR really works you hard if you need that long of a break," says she, smile in her voice.
|Walker||Walker coughs a bit after the taste and sort of makes a wincing look. "Ah well..not sure you should sell this stuff to folk who can afford regular liquor. Maybe you should mix in some peaches or ..age it in oak. Really though I'd probably work harder on the recipe, it seems too sharp and has a taste of ..machinery or something. Maybe some of those barrels you used has oil or something in it?" He seems apologetic for the bad review, but he isn't going to lie to the girl. "Still, havn't had liquor in a bit and a few more sips won't hurt me none. Maybe help me sleep a little better."
He tries to consider how to address her question. "Vacation might not be the right word. I'm taking a sabatical, a hiatus? I probably should take the uniform off but it's good protection and I earned it. I'll go back one of these days maybe. I just needed to get away from bad memories." He glances back to the window and the girls hiding inside. "Oldest seems..well too old to be yours, they kin?"
|B||B's face falls when his review is less than stellar. "Damn," she murmurs, shaking her head, "I thought I got it. Must be missing something important. I'll have to redo this batch." She sighs. Just one more thing that needs to be redone. "Anyway, no, they're not mine. I just couldn't leave them behind when I left." Tattooing a slave isn't really a thing around here, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been done to others like it was done to her. The girls probably have tattoos on their cheeks too, but it's too hard to tell in the dwindling light. That and they're off hiding again as soon as they're spotted.
"Vacation. Sabatical .. all about the same, isn't it? A change from what's usual. You're off looking for that, while I'm looking for the opposite -- a place to finally call home. With the little one coming, I figured it was .. time."
|Walker||Walker ahhs and nods with some understanding. "You left your...man? Nevermind that's too much prying, I just wanted some soup right?" He smiles a little and finishes off the rest of his liquor. "I'm just looking for a new start, I had a place called home but , well that's gone now. Military life isn't what it's cut out to be either, time to try being my own man and not just a soldier." He smiles at her and gestures to her tummy. "How far along are you? Never was good at the guessing, figure it's better not to."|
|B||B's linked fingers drum atop her slight swell. "I'm not sure, to be honest. I couldn't even tell you when I'm due, really. I figure I'm at least four months along. Probably more. I met a doctor this morning down by the river. Maybe if he sticks around town then I'll look into finding out more. That and .. maybe when my liquor is a little better." Doctors sounds expensive.|
|Walker||Walker gives her a small reassuring smile. "It'll work out, nature has a way of moving those things along. I'm sure it's scary for you, assuming it's your first? Baby I mean, not batch of liquor. Though I'd be happy to give advice on perfecting your brewing. I'm not a brewer mind you, just a conisieur. Back in the NCR we had some really good craft brewers, I might remember a few things they did." He feels bad for her but is too nice to let it show. He finishes up the soup and sets the bowl down, wiping his spoon off on his pants. "So now you got three mouths to feed, and a fourth one soon enough. Probably ain't helping things much by bumming off you. Let's just say I owe you a favor, even if that involves planting potatoes."|
|B||"You're doing me a favour," she replies in kind, nodding towards the tin can, "but if it bothers you then you can always come back in a couple of days to try the next brew. Not any sooner than three days. Help me get this brew fixed up and we'll call it even?" She smiles faintly before reaching for the bowl. That and the can. Both need to go in to be washed up. "I have lots of potatoes. I'm sure we'll be tired of them before too long. Mabybe I'll have to get some livestock .. or a fence."|
|Walker||Walker isn't sure if free liquor is a chore. "Yeah, your going to need a good fence and maybe some defenses. Your patrols come out here much from El Dorado or is this ..kind of your on your own? Anyway I'm serious, I do owe you one but I'll happily come back for another drink, on the house." He can appreciate her wanting to be self sufficient, but in her position she probably should ask for some help. "Hey I see you have a Pipboy there." He gestures to where it hangs. "I found this old holodisk when I was exploring, can you play it?"|
|B||B blinks and looks down to the old pip boy hanging near her pocket. "Oh. Sure. I mean, I can try. Just pass it over and I'll give it a go." While he gets it, she sighs a little and looks back to her porch. "This place might not be perfect, but it's mine and that's something," says she in a quiet voice. Fiercely proud of the rundown shack she's squatting in, B smiles brightly and unclasps the pip-boy from her waist. With a couple of quick flicks, she turns it on.|
|Walker||Walker hands over the random holodisk and leans back. "Yeah it's nice to have your own place." There is a wistful, almost sad smile on his face when he says that. "At least with the girls you'll have some help once the baby comes along, well from the oldest at least. "|
|B||B accepts the disk. She turns it over to look at it. Shrugging, she pops open the disk player and pushes it in. "If she decides to stay. I'm not keeping them here if they don't want to. The little one, Pony, she doesn't talk much and certainly not at all to strangers. I think she'll end up with me. I took her into town today and she wouldn't let go of my leg the whole time."|
|Walker||Walker raises a brow as she talks about the girls leaving. "Where else would they go, at that age... I mean, unless they know where their real parents are. They probably sould stay with you unless you really trust someone. This world is full of all kinds of bad people, I'm sure you know what I mean but I"ve seen some really messed up stuff. "|
|B||B smiles wistfully. "I don't know. She might get mad at me or find someone that doesn't make her watch the little one. I don't mind keeping her here though. Hear that, you're both welcomed to stay forever." Lowering her voice back to her normal volume, she gets to her feet. "Well. I should be getting in. It's going to be dark soon and you should probably head out so you don't get lost in the darkness." How is she to know that he can probably navigagte his way by the stars high in the sky.|
|Walker||Walker nods and moves to stand up, stepping off the porch he gives you another small tip of his hat. "Much obliged for the food and for the booze. I'll try to head back in a few days and sample your new batch. Maybe they will get used to me eventually and come out and chat. Anyway , I'll probably be staying at some hostel in town or wherever there is cheap rent, feel free to look me up if you need a hand with those potatoes." His eyes flicker down and towards the town. "Yeah, better get there before curfew comes on, assuming they even have one. Still, it was good to meet you B."|