|Elsie||Surelda is on the job! It's very exciting to be on the job, even if the job is just about giving lost caravaners directions, taking reports of raiders, or chatting with other operators in different locations. The shifts are 12 hours long, though, and every now and again she requires a break. This is just such a break.
She's stepped out, and is hanging around the front step of the radio shack. She has her hair pulled forward in two silver pigtails, and is wearing that same stylish blue dress underneath the oversized leather jacket. She breathes deep the fresh air, or comparatively fresh, and then reaches into her pocket for a little pill bottle. She slides one out, and pops it into her mouth.
|Jacqueline||Jackie Wayne is a frequent visitor to the caravan operating center in town. So it's usually not a surprise to see her coming through the gate, even if it might be one for Surelda. She brings her modified Lone Wanderer to a stop close by, shutting off the engine and restoring the peace of the morning.
Sighing contentedly, she dismounts, looking the bike over. "That patch on the muffler's holding fine," she says absently, as if talking to the bike. "Maybe it'll work permanent-like."
Abruptly, she realizes that someone's nearby. "Oh, hey!" she says, offering a cheerful wave and a smile to Surelda and moving to join her. "I wasn't sure I'd see you again after what happened on the farm. How are you?"
|Elsie||Surelda tucks the bottle deep back into her pocket at the sound of someone coming. At first, she just watches, her big black eyes wide and curious at the arrival of an unknown face. Another Caravanaer for her to meet? Oh! Recognition flashes across her features. She smiles slightly, and begins to walk down the steps to cross the camp toward Jackie.
"Hello," she says, in a quiet voice. "I'm doing quite well, thank you. It wasn't a bad cut, it just hurt like the dickens over my burn. I meant to thank you for helping me, I was just too crabby at the moment," she apologizes.
|Jacqueline||"It's okay," Jackie replies, bowing her head in greeting. "I had a feeling you weren't exactly up to politeness right at that moment. It's not like I was, either. All's forgiven," she adds, offering a hug. "I'm afraid I didn't catch your name... I'm Jackie, Jackie Wayne." With her distinctly Chinese-American features, she doesn't look much like a Wayne.|
|Elsie||The hug is perhaps surprising, but Surelda returns it with a one-armed gesture of her own. It makes her smile grow a little bit brighter. "Surelda," she says, by way of introduction. No surname; just Surelda.
"Do you work here, with the Caravans I mean? I just started a few days ago. I'm the newest radio operator, though I'm still trying to come up with a call name for myself." She grins, apparently enjoying the process.
|Jacqueline||Jackie's hug is warm, but gentle. "Surelda... it's a new one on me, but I like it. It's like something out of an old book or something," she replies. "I don't work with the caravans, but I do come by once in a while to check on the latest stock, or when something needs fixing."
She considers that matter. "What's a call sign?" she asks at last. "Is it like those names ancient truck drivers used to call each other? I've seen a couple old documentaries about them. I think one of them was something about smoke and a bandit..."
|Elsie||"It's a little strange. My mom was ... well, a little strange," Surelda admits, glancing sidelong for a moment at some little memory or other. But the question brings her back to the present, to the here and now.
"Hmm? Oh yes, it's like that. So we don't use real names on the radio, so people can't track us down. Things like that." Who would want to track her down, anyway? And yet Surelda is a pretty unique name. "I was thinking like Silver, or something. For my hair, you know?" Indeed she does have silver-dyed hair.
|Jacqueline||"Are you running from someone?" Jackie has to ask, considering the matter of being tracked down. Her tone is curious, though, not eager; someone's not sniffing for a reward. "Silver isn't bad, actually... Silver Breeze, maybe?" she suggests, as one rises, whipping up the campsite's dust as well as any loose clothing and long hair.|
|Elsie||"Hmm?" Surelda asks, blinking once at the question that Jackie poses to her. And then she smiles, shaking her head. Those silver locks sway with the gentle motion.
"Nothing like that," she responds, easily enough. "But it just seems safer to not use real names or talk about where each caravan is exactly. I'm ... not really sure why, but it does. Caravans are often loaded with caps and expensive goods anyway, right?"
And yet if Jackie looks into Surelda's eyes, she'll see some discomfort in those black orbs. Some subterfuge. Some lie.
|Jacqueline||"Liar, liar, pants... /skirt/ on fire," Jackie teases softly, her own dark eyes twinkling with warm amusement. "Don't worry, I won't say anything about it. Keep your secrets, if you must. It's true enough that raiders sometimes try to listen in on caravan radio chatter, so that's a plausible enough reason to use a different name. I should think of one, in case I ever get a radio."|
|Elsie||Boy oh boy. Not only does Jackie catch Surelda in her lie, but she calls her on it. Suddenly those pale cheeks darken with soft pinkness, and those black eyes widen in surprise and concern.
"It's just..." Surelda begins to say, but decides against it. The woman says she won't taddle, and really all Surelda would do by continuing on the topic is run more risk of getting caught in something she shouldn't.
"Yes, the raiders," she finally agrees, softly.
|Jacqueline||"Good enough reason," Jackie agrees, sympathetically. "But if you ever want to talk about it, I've been told I have a pretty good ear."
She switches to another subject. "Have the caravans brought back much interesting stuff lately? I'm always in the market for certain kinds of scrap, and motor parts."
|Elsie||Surelda is all too happy to jump to a different subject. She practically trips over herself leaping for it.
"None of the caravans are really running right now," the silver-haired girl admits with a shrug. "They're trying to figure out who got hit, what's left to trade, and if the routes are safe. Mister Ward is going to take a loaded trip to New Rome as soon as he's healed up to try and reestablish a route. Hopefully then things'll start looking up."
|Jacqueline||"Have there been a lot of caravans attacked?" Jackie wonders aloud. "I know El Dorado and some of the local townships got hit, but I wasn't sure about the trade routes."|
|Elsie||Surelda shakes her head. "Not that I know?" she suggests, becomming a bit more at ease as the conversation turns away from her own personal plights. She turns to lean her rear end against one of the low buildings, surely helping to prop it up as she relaxes against the wall.
"But I think that's kind of the point. No one really knows. So they want to be safe rather than sorry. IT'd be silly to just go on like nothing had happened, not knowing what's going on outside of the city, I suppose. But then I'm just a radio girl."
|Jacqueline||"It's a good idea. Do they need anyone to go out scouting?" Jackie asks, rubbing her chin and glancing at her motorcycle.|
|Elsie||Surelda shakes her head, silver hair bouncing at the gesture. "I don't know," she admits honestly. "But it couldn't hurt. Mister Ward is holding a meeting with some of the town's leadership next week I think it is. Why don't you come? He might have a scouting job or something like in there for you, if you're seeking the work. Dunno how good it is or how safe it is, but it's worth looking into, I'd guess."|
|Jacqueline||"It's not my usual line of work, but I can cover a lot more ground than most scouts," Jackie replies, nodding. "I'll try to come by and at least offer my services, maybe with someone a little more trail-savvy if they don't mind riding double."|
|Elsie||Surelda nods. "Worth a try," she says, giving the girl another little smile, though the look of concern still remains in her eyes. "I'd better get back on the box," she says, tilting her head to indicate the radio shack. "But maybe I'll see you at the meeting, then." She pushes off from the wall, preparing to turn and head back inside.|
|Jacqueline||"It was cool to actually meet you, Surelda... or Silver, if you'd prefer that," Jackie says, lightly teasing the taller girl. "I'll try to be there. Good luck finding out about current caravan events!" She turns for the shop.|