|B||The girls are safe. B can only say that so many times in her head as she lifts her rifle and looks down the sights. It's easier with that in mind. She's invited Derk to go with her a little deeper into the wasteland. Everything nearby has been picked over so many times. True -- she's looking for specific things but even those are hard to come by so close to the town. But, she heard of a place down in a hollow that might have a few things she needs: bottles with screw on lids. After all, if you're going to brew alcohol, it's nice to have things to put it in.
Glancing up from the map displayed on her hand-held pip boy, she gestures with the muzzle of her gun. "Just over that hill. Herd there's an old homestead where they used to make pickles. Wonder if any of them would be good, if they're still there, after all this time."
|Derk||"Pickles?" Derk asks with a lofted brow at the idea of such things, "Reckon we can't be making such things anymore, ya know? Then again, I don't think I've ever eaten a pickle. Actually, what's a pickle?" That asked and the conundrum brought to a point, he raises his rifle as well, keeping t up as they move towards the hill that will give them a view of the homestead, and give them more of an idea as to what they could be facing.
Armor is on this time around, helps to protect from errant bullets and in his case the vitals are protected, so win win for him. After B finishes with her review on her little device, he gives her a nod, crouches, and starts moving up the hill, dropping lower as he nears the crest to peer over it.
|B||B tucks the device away in one of the pockets of her apron. She's a sight -- new tactical vest over top of her dusky pink dress, complete with a clean but not quite white apron with pockets. And then there are her arm guards. There could be more things out there wanting to scratch 'em up. You never know. "Some kind of baby vegetable stored in vinegar so you don't need to keep it cold." She rolls her shoulder in a shrug. "P is for pickles," she quotes, "Read it in a book when I was younger."
Derk's movement draws her out of her reverie. Hefting the gun with both hands once more, she follows along after him, trying to copy his movements with a modicum of success.
The top of the hill affords little in the way of visual protection -- just a few scragily bushes sans leaves and a skinny tree bleached white by the harsh sun. From there, a thin plume of smoke can be seen, rising up not from the small homestead below but a cook fire set outside of it. Three people sit around it, drinking from tin cups while a pot of something bubbles over the fire.
Beyond them, there is no other signs of life though the place is clearly inhabited. Even the rusted out shells of cars (three of them) look like they've been converted into makeshift sleeping quarters. But if they're sleeping out here, then what's going on in the house?
Roof partially collapsed on the left, the building has the same signs of wear and decay commonly found among the rest of the world. Paint peels from the weathered boards, leaving only enough trace behind to indicate that this house was once a white bungalow with a wrap around porch and three windows on either side of the wooden door.
Beyond it, the fields that once produced a bounty of who knows what sit barren and half hidden under gritty dust. Looks like someone's attempted to bring life back to the farm as there are some vines planted along the ground with no rhyme or reason.
|Derk||Derk gives B a nod and then as they crest the top of the hill he drops to his chest and shimmies up the remainder of the way. Looking at the three figures at the house over the sights of his rifle, he shakes his head slowly, waiting for B to join him on the rise. Without taking his eyes off the three, he whispers to her, "Well, looks like it's occupied here. Do you want to deal with em, or should we see if they mean to be friendly?" He asks, chuckling softly, no one ever seems to be friendly, is what his tone seems to suggest.
Boots finding purchase in the scragglly ground beneath his toes, he inches back a little ways, waiting to make plans with B before running in. "One of us should probably hang back here to cover the other, if we plan to go talking. I don't like the idea of shooting first and asking questions later, if you know what I mean?' That said he moves the rifle to his sack and exchanges it for his pistol so that he can wander in less impeded. "Alright, so you gonna cover me?" He asks, and then moves down the hill so that he can rise and approach the trio from a slightly different position, and also that he does not expose B in the process.
|B||B follows Derk up the rise. She blinks as he goes down on his belly, uncertain if that's a good idea. She hangs back instead, gaze finding the smoke in the cloudless sky. "Raid or trade?" she murmurs in response, not really pleased with just attacking people without cause. Now, if they had a couple of people in shackles, or heads on spikes? Different story.
Nodding, B promises, "I'll cover you .. but I'm not the best shot. Just try not to get between me and them, alright?" Checking to make sure the safety is off, she watches Derk head off and around the hill.
If they're raiders, they're not very proficient at it. Derk's able to get quite close before one of them shouts in alarm. Turns out they're all three armed, and out come the weapons. One has a bat, the other some knuckles, and the third a pipe revolver that's aimed squarely at him.
"That's close enough," says the one with a bat lazily resting over his shoulder. The other two, also both male, glance at each other and smirk.
|Derk||Derk's approach is rather non-hostile, though he's armored and the jacket doesn't really hide the fact he's got a combat vest on. "Ah, friends, I was sent to see if you got something for trade. Been hearin' tale past that there's some glass jars here. Ya know? Something about Pick-L's?" He raises empty hands for a brief moment to show that he's not packing a weapon in his hands, though he's got the pistol tucked into his belt at his back. ready to draw if necessary.
"How's about we don't start pulling weapons on the lone wanderer, and we talk about some lucrative trading? Eh?" With that he'll wait at a safe distance, enough so that he'll be able to draw his gun and fire on them should they advance.
|B||The one with the bat eyes Derk up and down, noting the empty hands, the combat vest, and the Brotherhood clothes. A glance is spared back to the one with the gun, clearly marking him the leader of the three.
Now it is he that pipes up. "Lucrative, huh? What is it that you have to offer?" he wonders, lips still twisted in a smirk as he lowers the weapon just a tad. Seems that caught his interest.
And let's not forget about Knuckles here. Light glinting across the metallic surface, he's definitely a bruiser, this one. Built like a tank .. only one that's been picked up, spit on, chewed out, and thrown back into the wasteland only to end up here, eyeing Derk's duster like he's wondering if it'll fit.
|Derk||"Well ya know, the sort that may be making some caps, you know how it goes? Course that all depends on whether or not you got them jars for the Pick-L's. You ain't seen nothing like that in there, have you? And it is a bit odd ya knows, you all sitting out here round this little cookfire, with a perfectly good home 'ahind' ya. You ain't got a Deathclaw trapped inside there, do you?" He asks? Giving them a small smile, but clearly confused as to why they are all just sitting pretty out in the open.
Knuckles get's a bit of a look at his eyei'n of Derk and Derk shakes his head," Prolly won't fit. Look at them arms, they're all beefy and the like, you lift bro?" He asks the bruiser of the group, but then turns back to the natural leader. "I think I 'splained it best what I'm lookin' for. Glass jars, with lids, hopefully some boxes of them in there, ya know. You searched it right yet?"
|B||The leader of the three glances back towards the house. Deathclaw? In there? He scoffs at that, but offers no explanation. Lowering the weapon and sticking it in the waistband of his jeans, he crosses his arms over his stained grey shirt. "I know what you're talking about, and if we had 'em, how much would you be paying for them?"
The man with a bat, (no .. not going to call him Bat Man) looks back to the leader in surprise. Obviously, that's not the reaction he was expecting. But, he doesn't lower his bat from his shoulders.
And Knuckles' eyes narrows at Derk, dropping down to his shoes. "Be surprising how much muscle you build working around the farm." They won't fit either, and he's lost interest in the man's attire.
|Derk||"Well, I'd need to see em to make sure they're the one's I'm lookin' for. If'n you got boxes of useful type with lids and all, I'd probably give you forty caps per box. Not like they're much good for anything else, ya know?" Derk responds, giving the man a serious sort of glance. Knuckles and Bat-man both get cursory glances and Derk ensures that his position allows B a clear line of fire on all three should she decide that she wants to start making holes in them.
"Not that it's my business, but what sort of operation you got going on down here? Farming you say? You making some good ole tatos for the populace, looking to make it rich on a variety of edibles, or you putting your time and efforts into something a little more interesting? Not that I'm looking to start, or stop something, but one never knows what they can do with some good information and suppliers, ya know?"
|B||The leader reaches out to swat Knuckles and jerk his thumb towards the building. "Go get 'em a box." Without waiting to see if his order is obeyed or not, he walks a little closer, hands refolding across his chest. "We grow melons," he says, curtly, putting an end to that line of questioning. "What'cha need the bottles for?"
Knuckles grumbles, shoots Derk a one of those looks that would kill if it could, and turns to plod towards the house. He goes slowly, not because he's interested in Derk's response, but because he's got this stubborn streak in him and will go toe the line but no further.
The man with the bat, snickers at Kunckles' plight and glances towards the fire. His lunch is there. Burning. Whatever the boss wants with this guy in the armor better be worth his time too.
|Derk||"Ah, nothing like a juicy set of melons," Derk replies, licking his lips at the thought of such an idea. "Well now, melons aren't a bad way to be doing things either and if that's as you say and I ain't saying you ain't saying what's straight, but I am sayin' that if that's what you're saying, and that saying be right, I am sure that there's a few folk that would be looking to get their hands on your melons. Right be wanting a proper trade and the like, if you know what I mean?"
A pause as Derk raises a hand to scratch behind his ear, 'Making shine and all sorts of good stuff. Not that shite that'll leave you with the squirts for a week after, no. Proper stuff, put a fire in your belly, a warmth in your mind, and leave you with peaceful dreams for the morrow kind o' shine. Melons wouldn't be a bad crop to start decanting neither. Could pull out some serious... now you wouldn't be interested in some of that stuff, now would you? Cause if you were, I'm sure that we could be making a whole other sort of trade in the future, if'n you were looking to supply your melons."
|B||"Shine?" That caught all of their attention, even Kunckles with his hand on the door. He hesitates just a moment before yanking it open and walking inside, back to his dark grumbling. "You're making shine out here? Huh. That might be worth trading for. How's about we take your forty caps for a box o' them jars you're looking for. After that, you bring some back and we'll see about trading some melons or more jars, depending on how good this shine of yours actually is. Deal?"
The man with the bat arches a brow, glancing at his pal. Rolling his shoulders in a shrug, he unswings the bat from his shoulder and taps it against his shoe, knocking a bit of dirt from it. "Where you from?" he asks, casually enough before repeating the action with his other shoe, "El Dorado?" Just a guess, given the tone of his voice.
Knuckles comes back out a second later. A little too quick to be coincidence. But, there, in his hands, is a box that clinks when he walks. Mason jars with rusty but functional screw top lids are haphazardly stacked inside. There's at least a dozen there, ranging from short squat jars that won't be much help to taller, narrower ones that will work perfectly.
He marches right up to Derk and practically thrusts the box in his hands, waiting ever so patiently for these caps that Derk supposedly has.
|Derk||Derk gives a look at the box, waiting for Knuckles before he commits to anything from the leader. "Well that's sort of what we're looking for," he remarks, pulling out the longer jars, but then putting the smaller ones aside, "You get me a full box of ones like this, then you bet I'll be back, we'll let you taste the shine and we'll make a proper trade for other such goods, if'n you want." There's a pause as Derk sets the box down, having left it half full with the taller ones, and looks to Knuckles to see if he'll go about getting him the other jars to make it a proper set.
Looking over at boss man, Derk arches a brow then reaches slowly into his front pocket, pulling out a handful of caps, forty which he'd already counted out earlier, perhaps intending to only ever spend that much, but he's waiting a gesture towards the box, "I think it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, we start this off right, ya know?"
|B||Knuckles' eyes narrow once more at Derk, but he doesn't move until the leader tells him to. Then, every inch of him extruding malice, he turns and stomps back to the house to throw open the door and stalk inside. This time the door is left cracked enough to see another shadow inside.
"Right," agrees the leader, voice gravelly. His lips curl in what could almost be a smile, or a grimace. Friendly lot, aren't they? "Ain't got no pickles for you though. Doubt it'd make good shine anyway." Absently, his gaze strays to Derk's hip for just a moment. "When'll you be back with the moonshine? Wanna make sure I'm around."
The third member of this trio looses interest in the conversation. Question unanswered, he goes in search of his lunch. Gourd soup. Yum.
|Derk||"Well, probably a few days, you got melons, we'll be back with some stuff to trade," Derk responds and when Knuckles brings back the jars that Derk wants and the combat-medic is looking at a box full of usefulness, Derk gives the leader the forty caps and then picks up the box. "Well folks, been swell, and good luck with those melons. Be back in a few days with a sample of the brew and we'll see what other sorts of fun we can get up to, right?" Derk gives them a salute with one hand, as most salutes are, but his other hand holds the box of jars and then he's off, headed away from the homestead and out into the wasteland, hoping that B will catch up with him shortly, lest he have to round about back for her.|