Don't Be Nosy


Blondie, Lie, Nazareth, Zela

Title Don't Be Nosy
Scene Synopsis The day after securing the warehouse, Nazareth's crew runs into a Wastelander in the wrong place at the right time.
IC Date February 16, 2194
OOC Date August 4, 2009
Logger Lie

League City

The next day in the heat of noontime, Nazareth has awakened but has not braved the hard Texas daylight just yet. A bit of smoke here and there wafts off of the entrance of the boarded up factory they now inhabit. Nazareth leans on the side of the main doorway, shades down and drinking from a bottle of something vaguely resembling whiskey in color.

Downside to having Blondie as your personal bitch and foot-soldier … Because he lacks a nose, he has a very strange snore. It sounds a little like a whistle. So, in the morning, he's stashed one of his three guns somewhere safe. The other two are strapped on as he goes on a round, exploring the general outside of the warehouse. Plodding back towards the doors, spotting Nazareth with the bottle, he smirks, "Morning, boss."

They say it's the heat that'll kill you out in the wastes, before the radscorpions or super mutants do anyway. That egg-boiling heat of the desert ripples off of the broken concrete of the desolate street winding by the factory, sand kicked up in tiny dust devils that whip and whirl around.

It's in this egg-frying heat that a clink of metal and a clank of something slightly heavier breaks the eerie stillness of the wastes. That, followed by the distant and distinctive sound of a grenade exploding, and a plume of smoke rising up from behind a natural barrier of twisted concrete and rebar plowed between two nearby buildings. The noise isn't an isolated thing, and soon after clunking and clattering rubble comes, followed by a tiny silhouette clawing up over the debris pile, then tumbling right back down it onto the street. Metal and leather flash in equal fashion as someone comes falling over the pile, landing only when she slams up against the side of a derelict car.

"Shit," the kid breathes out, shifting up onto one arm as she scrambles around the other side of the car, one piecemeal metal gauntlet clawing at the rusted vehicle's husked frame for support. She lifts up a pair of goggles, her back to the people at the factory, watching, waiting for something to climb over the rock pile, oblivious that there's more than just her and the wastes out here.

Written on the exterior of the warehouse, in red blood, is "MUTIE ARMY TERRITORY". Standing underneath the writing on obvious guard, is the hulking green form of Zela.

Nazareth looks over at Blondie as he comes around. He opens his mouth as if to say something before he snaps his eyes back towards the direction of the grenades going off. He leans back as if he's about to yell an order at his new metal pets, but he hesitates and turns back, peering off and seeming to have a bit of trouble remaining upright.

"I've got this, boss." The ghoul extends a hand to pull out the smaller of his two guns, checking down the barrel before clicking the safety comfortably into the off position. Turning around on one heel, he begins to make long stalking strides across the broken concrete, foot-falls making a decent amount of noise. He squints against the sunlight for several moments, old face pulling into a pucker of concentration. Then, he yells hoarsely. "Hey, kid, get your ass over here!" He's pointing the gun at her for now, but, Hell, you can never be too careful.

Nothing comes over that rise of rubble. In thanks for that, the sunburnt and tired kid slouches forward and whumps her head against the rusted fender of the car. She stays that way for a few moments, pushing her leather jacket open to retrieve a familiarly designed 10-millimeter pistol from within, pulling the clip out, checking it, before slapping the magazine back in and holstering it inside of her coat again. One cloth-bandaged hand wipes sweat and grime away from her forehead, pushing welder's goggles up higher before the sound of Blondie's voice rasps out in the air, causing her to jerk her head around and back up against the rusted hulk with hissed curse slipping under her breath.

Wide eyes stare out towards the gun-wielding ghoul in the glare of the hot sun. She's transfixed on the look of flaking, rotting skin and dusty clothes, more so transfixed on the chrome of a desert eagle leveled her way. Lie sucks in a breath, eyes upturning to the red blood-smeared sign above the building, mouth starting to open as brows go up in a very clear look of oh shit.

It's only in periphery that Lie notices the green-skinned super mutant standing under the sign that declares the place an unwelcome site. Not noticing Nazareth among the other more pressing matters, the tiny girl slowly raises her hands and takes a few slow steps forward. "There's… maybe a radscorpion or two, uh," her head jerks back towards the rubble, "that way? Maybe you don't— uh— want to… you know, maybe conserve ammo for them?" A grimace spread across her lips, awkward and hopeful. It's a polite way of saying don't eat me.

Zela grunts but says nothing. She scares people enough just the way she looks without adding her speech to the mix. She stands still, where she is.

"Easy," Nazareth says to the ghoul. He glances at Zela for a minute, pausing to think before moving out onto the street in front of the factory. He plucks he scuffed up and bangled hat from his head, waving it over him and shouting, "You hurt?"

The Ghoul is no no stranger to freaking-out children. In fact, it frightens him a little if he doesn't get a look of horror and disgust out of them— because it usually means there's something terribly wrong with the kid. He snorts at her and smirks, the ragged remains of his lips pulling back slowly. The barrel of his gun, bright and well-maintained, drops to point at the ground. His stances remains ready, in case something worse than a teenager comes charging out of the rubble after Lie. "I think she likes you." He mutters to Zela, extending a hand to pat her on one massive arm.

The sound of something a touch more human makes Lie's eyes track past the ghoul towards Nazareth. Her eyes narrow, flit back up to the sigh, then very importantly focus down on the super mutant before tracking towards the gun leveled at her. "A little," she answers in a quiet tone of voice, hands still raised. One of her arms, notably, is reflecting a glare of sunlight from the piecemeal gauntlet covering it, odd gauges and dials, pistons and hydraulic valves along the side making it look like someone's garage welded onto a sleeve.

When the gun lowers, so to Lie's hands, the un-gauntleted one wrapped in grimy and bloodied bandages. "I'll live," she says quietly, looking up at the ghoul with some uncertainty, moving from where she stands on the broken pavement under the hot sun just yet. "You… aren't raiders, since m'still standing. Sorry I bumped into y'all out here… ran myself into a patch of bad luck a few blocks back and pissed off a pair of radscorpions." She swallows, dryly, eyes flicking back and forth between Blondie and Nazareth.

"You… wouldn't happen to have any water, would'ya?"

Zela grunts and takes a pouch off from around her waist. She walks over towards the child, taking a canteen out from inside the pouch and replacing the pouch in its position. Holding the canteen out to Lie, the massive, smelly, hulking green mutant smiles. "Free."

Nazareth's face is creased by a wide and dubious smile. He lifts both arms and gestures for her to come his way, whiskey bottle sloshing around as he does, "I got better. Booze and congealed sugar." Yeah, he'd definitely give liquor to kids.

Blondie rakes his eyes over the horizon, shielding them with one hand as he does so. He must become fairly sure no one is going to come ripping out from behind a building and charge the group, because his gun is cautiously holstered in a sorry looking leather belt. The Ghoul places one hand in the small of his back, grimacing at Lie and Zela. Nazareth … Well, he just gets ignored because he isn't offering Blondie booze. "I'll shorten your wondering—the Super Mutant is a good one. She likes to help people."

Lie can't help but laugh at the offer of alcohol, brows furrowed and head shaking. "Yeah uh— we'll… see about that." Her eyes upturn to Blondie, then flick over to Zela off by the warehouse before focusing on the ghoul again. She nods her head, wordless acceptance of the ghoul's word, for the time being, as she sidles past the decaying gunman and towards Nazareth with a slow pace, each tired and heavy step jingling the gauntlet on her arm. "You've got some pretty, uh," a glance is given to Zela, then back to Nazareth, "prime bodyguards." For a kid easily ten years Nazareth's junior, she seems pretty calm given the situation.

Zela grunts, shrugs and replaces the water in its pouch. She returns to standing underneath the bloody sign, still smelling rather like rancid eggs in the hot desert sun.

Nazareth's arms drop and dangle there from his shoulders. He's leaning just a bit now, making it quite clear he's been rather enjoying himself. The girl's comment gets a short chuckle from him, "The hell's jailbait know about killing? Whatever, just come into my parlour." He turns and moves back through the front door with a wobbling swagger and a down from the bottleneck. Once just inside the door, he stumbles a bit, but sets the bottle down at last before dragging his gear bag out into the sun with them. From it hangs an assortment of goods, Nuka Cola bottles, fruits, and a few cardboard boxes marked 'Class-A Ration'.

Blondie's gaze slips over towards Zela a moment, squinting, and twisting his head from left to right. "I bet when you were human, you were probably the hottest piece of ass in town." He splits a grin at her widely, exposing teeth tinted brown with age. One hand raises to push back at his curling hair again, slipping his shades on as he scans the bright blue sky. Despite Lie's anxious attitude towards the pair of mutants, the Ghoul only seems to be vaguely annoyed. She can hang out with the good doctor, they seem to get along. Something lifts Blondie's features a moment, his face registering something akin to dark amusement. "So, Zela, when you movin' on out?" A glance is sent back to the drunken Nazareth and his new compadre, that amusement fading as the ghoul narrows his eyes at the doctor.

"You see any jails 'round here?" Lie notes with a quirk of her lips, walking towards the front of the warehouse, eyes angled up at that sign again then back down to the doctor on his swagger back into the sun. "I know 'nuff about a few things, what with it being the way of the world n'all. Can't not know something about killin' and hope to walk 'round out in the wastes, right? I…" she hesitates, carefully choosing her words, "…was runnin' some salvage out about a half mile east of here," she wipes across her forehead with her bandaged hand again, unconsciously smudging wet crimson across one eyebrow; whatever she did to that hand, it's still bleeding. "You ah…" she looks at the sign again, the freshness of the blood nagging at her, "come out here just recently?"

Zela grunts in response. She is silent a long moment. "I was the most beautiful girl…" she mummers. "The families of…New Reno all wanted me to marry…their sons. I had offers…from other places. My parents moved…to Junktown to…protect me. We never made it." She goes silent.

Nazareth takes a bottle of Nuka by the neck and stands, "Twenty caps," he states flatly. There's a mildly expectant look on his face, but his sun-baked features aren't gearing towards looking exactly hostile at this very moment.

Dark brows lower as Lie's focus shifts over to Zela when the mutant talks. Something plays across her face, compassion of pity, it's hard to tell which mix of furrowed brows and lingering stare it is, but it's quick to pass. She looks back over to the doctor, grimacing for a moment before offering out her bandaged hand. She smirks, looking from the bottle to Nazareth, then back again. "Liette," the girl rather abruptly introduces herself as she fishes around in her jacket pocket, clinking and clattering accompanying the return of her bandaged hand, held out in offer of a handshake, but with a stack of caps in it with some form of Wasteland irony.

The Ghoul continues to watch Nazareth, curious about the pair as they converse. However, it is Zela's halting words that brings a darker look to the mutants face. "Aw, shit," he says, "I didn't mean to go and make you sad, now. I've been up by Californiathat's what it was called back thenprobably would've been a pretty sight to see you." Blondie hunches his shoulders slightly, patting the mutant on the arm again. Shoving a hand into a pocket uncomfortably, he finally hears the doctor set a price. "Hey, boss, nice to know you ain't gippin' me."

Zela grunts. "Life goes on." she replies, before going silent once more.

"Nazareth," he says during the exchange, palming the tin bottle-tops and stowing them away in one of his many pockets. He gestures at the hand the girl's wrapped up, "You gonna tend to that or just trying to lose some weight?"

"Sure as fuck does." Says the old Ghoul, grunting underneath his breath. "I wonder," he mutters, "if the mutants like you are going to get old like us Ghouls. Don't know if I'd wish that upon ya, honestly. Much hasn't changed in the past hundred years." He squints upwards for a moment, moving the glasses he wears aside—as though to check something. "Though the sky is blue again, that's kinda nice."

Taking the bottle by the neck between her knuckles, Liette's eyes shift down to the ground at her feet for a moment, then to her hand. "The bandage is the best I've got, it'll stop bleeding soon. I cut my hand on some sharp metal picking apart some sensor modules out of an old auto-turret system…" Her brows furrow together as she takes her gauntleted hand and — there's a bottle cap opener attacked to the forearm. Pop, the top comes off and 200 years of carbonation fizzle out the neck with a wisp of mildly irradiated mist. She raises her brows with a grimace and tips the bottle up, taking a few long swigs from it before letting it fall away from her lips again.

"I dunno why I drink this, knowing what's in it." One eye narrows, and Liette glances back up to Nazareth. "You find anything out here? Haven't come out this deep into the city before," on her own, because obviously seventeen year old girls must frequently be scavenging thirty miles outside of the city. "Might be willing to take some tech off your hands, I've…" she hesitates, glancing back at the ghoul and super-mutant before looking back to Nazareth. If he wanted to rob her, he already would have. "I've got the caps, if you've got the tech."

Zela shrugs. "Some think…we are immortal." Zela says. "But I have no…evidence. The body is too complex. We will…wait and see. I doubt I'll live…long enough to…die that way…if we do." She pauses. "That gives me strength." she insists.

Nazareth lets off another chuckle and grasps a loop of his satchel, replacing it just inside the main door. "Oh yeah?" he asks, turning back again and giving the girl a hard look up and down. "Know anything about robot motivators?"

"If I'm immortal, I'm gonna wait another nine years and then throw my sorry ass off a cliff. Because I'm almost a hundred and fifty and all I've got is a pair of nice sunglasses holding my shit together." He becomes fairly foul-mouthed on the subject of age, probably acting much like an elderly person if someone announced to them they were going to live an extra long time with osteoporosis and dementia. All he needs is a cane. Every so often, the Ghoul glances over his shoulder at Nazareth and Liette— checking to see he can keep them in his sight. It's a wonder who he is watching out for more; the girl or his boss.

Zela chuckles. It sounds like nails on a chalkboard, almost. "Have you heard…the story of the Master?" she asks Blondie.

Head tilting to the side, Liette looks up at the doctor for a moment like he sprouted a third arm, an incredulous expression crossing her face before it's replaced by a smile. "C-167 models or older?" It's a smart-mouthed way of saying sure I do, a bit pretentious, but given her age right about normal. "The only thing I didn't dump running from the radscorpions was my toolkit and my colt," she pats a folded leather pack on her hip hanging from her belt, there's a muffled jingle with the slap. "You want me to take the parts out? I've got most of the tools I need, I'll pay you a hundred and fifty caps per motivator…" She's expecting whatever's attached to them to be non functional, clearly.

Nazareth just smirks and shoots a knowing glance Blondie's way before turning and moving into the belly of the factory. His left arm raises and gestures for her to follow as he steps through the door and into a darkened hallway. "No, no, I mean on something like these," spoken as they entered into the cubicle complex, wherein two very much active and online Sentry Bots swivel on their three legs to face them as they enter. "And I don't need 'em cannibalized, obviously."

"You mean the guy who created all of— well, you. Sure, I've heard a few stories— " he pauses a moment, bringing up one mottled hand to scratch the side of his neck. " — granted, some were very praising of this guy, some of them weren't. It changed with what race you talked to. Ghouls who were up in California seemed to be more— more— " he searches for the word, biting his lower lip, "—scholarly about the subject. Humans talk about him like he's some sort of demon. I've heard everything from he wanted to kill the humans, to he wanted to recreate 'em, to that he thought he was some sort of God.."

Blondie seems to realize he's begun to ramble, and clears his throat uncomfortably upon seeing Nazareth disappear inside with the girl. "Let's go into the factory. We're both baking out here and I don't sunburn all too pretty. … So what about this—Master?" He begins to take steps towards the warehouse, which quicken after a few strides.

Zela follows after Blondie. "You remember…before the war. Have governments…changed since then?" Zela asks Blondie, by way of response to his question.

Keeping one brow kicked up in a questioning expression, Liette looks back over her shoulder at Blondie and Zela, then back to Nazareth as she takes another swig from the Nuka-Cola and starts after him. As she comes into the warehouse, the tacky grit of blood sticking beneath the heels of her boots are indication enough of where the previous occupants went. Her eyes flit up, towards the ceiling, then around in search of something.

All that questioning ends when she hears the whirr-click-hiss of a Sentry Bot coming to life. Her immediate reaction is a shocked gasp, eyes wide first at the fact that electricity is still running in the facility, and secondly that the bots are functional and armed. "You— they're not— " clink-thumping bootfalls take Liette right past Nazareth on a beeline towards the robots, stopping just shy of arm's reach as she turns to look back over her shoulder at the doctor, giving a subtle look to Zela briefly as the topic of their conversation skews. But that look, it's a fleeting one, hiding her interest as she looks up to Nazareth.

"You're kidding me, this is a RobCo Sentry 676!" She whirls about on her heels, sloshng the contents of her Nuka-Cola around in the bottle. "How— how did you find these things active let alone not, you know," she makes a gun-hand with her gauntleted hand and flicks her thumb down, making a ka-pew sound.

"Oh rest assured. Some people endured some bullet wounds so that these guys would fall into my possession. Be careful with them, though. They're a little finicky with their targeting right now. Don't let them get to thinking you're hostile," Nazareth explains. He's clearly quite proud of the robots. They are largely statue-like aside from the slowly sweeping light on their heads that bounces to and fro scanning. The good doctor continues, "Thing is, I'm more of a doctor than a mechanic. As you can see, they took a bit of a beating. You fix them, I fix that wound and make sure it doesn't get infected or worse."

"Before the war? Sure, I remember. It's a little hard not to remember. I mean, the teens are a little sketchy these days and getting worse—but I remember college. College means 'school'." Blondie removes his sunglasses when they step back inside, tucking them inside of his shirt. He doesn't quite walk up on Lie and Nazareth again, but keeps within a decent hearing distant. Parts of the humans' conversation is convoluted and dim, but he can hear the excited shouting of the kid. "Government?" He laughs a little, but it sours at the end. "There wasn't no slavery, I'll tell you what. No mutants, either. But there was this fear /of/ what was coming. We built our whole lives around the 'big one' that was eventually going to fall on us. I have this thought, from time to time, that humans are happier now than they were before." Blondie smirks at Zela, though his expression is annoyed and bitter beneath it.

"I'm gonna' need some spare parts," Liette notes as she folds open her toolkit, reaching down inside and pulling out the simplest of tools — a screwdriver, "scrap metal, whatever. If they're servicable enough to move around they should be good for now, though." She ducks under one massive arm, eyes uplifted towards the pitted and bullet-dinged chassis. "These things aren't that bad, truth be told. Some superficial structural damage…" the young girl's voice echoes from behind the machine, followed by a clink and a pop as a metal plate falls away. Silence, briefly, as she waits to see if it turns hostile, then goes back to whatever it is she's doing behind the sentry bot.

There's a few more clunks, scrapes and rattles that come before she speaks again. "Wow, this thing's pretty clean on the inside, usually they get all caked up with dust and grime by the processors." Leaning out from behind the robot, Liette looks around the chassis to Nazareth. "Hey, " her brows narrow, what is this place, anyway? These are pre-war military models," she leans back behind the robot, "usually these guarded armories or weapons depots. Not trying to be nosy, but…" a grunt, then a clink and a spring bounces down to the floor as Liette reaches for another plier-shaped tool from her kit. "A place this big, with working electricity that hasn't been lived-in or picked clean? Gotta be something good in here to have these two killing machines guarding it, right?"

Zela nods, snorting. "Fear. Yes." She nods again. "These new governments…think they are different. The ones that pop up every…so often. They have all the…answers. Organize…scavenge. Become what humanity was…before." She continues following after Blondie. "But before…is what destroyed the world. Shallowness, greed, jealousy…ruling the world and…ruling men's hearts. People not doing what they knew was…right. Instead of…becoming what we were before…people should become…better."

Nazareth smiles wryly, "Then don't be nosy." He has a certain way about those short responses that smacks of a great deal of ego and quiet hostility. "Robots, disengage combat routines," he commands, and the bots lower their arm weaponry, dropping into a standby mode. "But there's a whole floor out there with random odds and ends, no problems just using some of it in a pinch."

Doth, Blondie hears the sound of a nerdy teenager destroying Nazareth's equipment. Or so the Ghoul believes, wondering exactly what convinced the doctor that she would be a good idea to let handle his precious robots. "Well, Ghandhi, I don't know about you but I happen to like a couple of them out there. Aside from slave camps, raider settlements, uh, less than peppy super mutant homes, ugh—" Blondie grimaces, realizing his list of 'bad communities' could just about go on forever.

Zela grunts. "You see our…point." Zela replies to Blondie. "Add to that…starvation, radiation, disease…the harsheness of the wastes. The Master saw…that the world was…wrong. He wanted to make it…better. To raise everyone to…his level. To make them see…as clearly as he did." She pauses. "His vision was…flawed, but it was what…he believed. He was one of…the best our world had ever…produced."

Random odds and ends. Liette's eyes sweep over to the warehouse floor, then back to Nazareth as she she leans back behind the Sentry Bot. Narrowing her eyes, she begins poking around in the components inside, casting an uncertain look at her bandaged hand in the interim. Pursing her lips, Liette leans around the machine, cracking a smile. "I'll just go'n make myself at home then," she notes, and then in a slightly more subversive tone to herself, "and hope your robots don't blow up in m'face…"

Even as she works on the rogue sentry bots, Liette can't help but eavesdrop on Zela and Blondie's conversation, and while tool click, clank and ratchet inside of the robot's back, it's the unsettling conversation of the Master that makes this meeting all the more surreal.

"Well, I ain't taking sides. You talk to any Super Mutant— that can speak— and you'll fields of love for this Master. You talk to any human aware of him—- and the guy who killed him is their personal god and savior." The old Ghoul coughs into a fist, rubbing at his face with a hand. Lifting it away, he peels off a tiny scroll of skin. "I'm just too goddamned old to get involved in these debates." With that, the Ghoul flicks out his gun with a creaking old hand and salutes the mutant, stepping out the door for another round.

Zela nods to Blondie and returns to her watch-duty underneath the bloody sign.

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