Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Lucius Cypher
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"Yes, yes, bricks for stones and all the castles for cattle." The strange man rambled as he grabbed a stack of newspaper and tossed the bat somewhere within his pile of assorted junk. The ink on the paper has long since faded, but they seemed dry enough for the purpose Cat needs them for. He took the bullets, for some reason tasting the tip of each one, before tossing them into his bullet box and handing you the .223 rounds. When you brought out the spice packets he carefully took it and sniffed it. "Mhmm.... Salt. Salt and wounds for fools and loons. Okay okay, got some here for you yeah..." The man brought out a fairly hefty bag containing some nutrient bricks. They looked relatively fresh: cracks haven't formed on them yet and they're still rigid and solid instead of brittle and crumbling. For better or for worse of course: fresh Nutrient Bricks are hard to chew through but you can be certain they'll be here long after the extinction of mankind. The only ones at least could be mixed with some water or booze and turned into a very bland porridge.

As for the bullets, he showed you what he had. Most were 9mm, a very common type of round for handguns and pistols. Decent enough to protect yourself but not exactly what you'd want to use against anyone wearing decent armor, and pretty much useless for most mutants that pose an actual threat. Most people use 9mm for hunting, saving the heavier ammo for bigger threats. Aside from the 9mm, there were some .38 caliburs, .357 caliburs, and the odd 20 gauge shotgun shell. Really just a random assortment of civilian ammunition. There was, however, something else that might interest Cat that she would notice was inside the man's tent. Crossbow bolts. She may vaguely remember that Hunter himself was using a crossbow. A properly made one can be surprisingly effective against mutants: the right kind of bow and arrow can pierce through mutant hide, doesn't make nearly as much noise as a firearm does, and you could even get your arrow back. They make poor weapons against other people, but only if you're expecting to get into a firefight. Being able to kill someone silently from a distance was something to consider. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like the trader had any crossbows. "So a bricks for bracks. Bullets galore. Take your pick, cept these, I'm keeping these." The man says as he pockets the .308 rounds.




Donny was doing his best to stay busy and comfortable. He took off his boots, stashing them behind him so no one could steal them, while he tried to get to work on the gun. He knew that he would need to forage some more parts if he wanted to actually get it in some sort of working order: a lot of small mechanism have been destroyed, likely due to the cold, and was little more than a club. "Well, if nothing else, could cannibalize parts for my rifle. Ain't like we got bullets for this one anyways." Donny mumbled to himself as he dismantled the rifle down to it's usable parts and what's been destroyed. As he was working he heard a young voice approach the campsite. Instinctively he reached for his pistol but only touched the handle, not drawing it just yet. The voice likely was from a child, could be curious... Could also be looking to steal something for herself. Donny wanted to make it clear he wasn't going to tolerate any shenanigans.

"Yeah. Bit busy right now. If you got something you want to trade, talk to Cat. She just left with anything valuable." A soft lie. Certainly Donny had valuable things himself but surely if this was a thief they'd be more interested in worthwhile things than nutrient bricks and scrap metal. Donny also made it a point not to reveal himself, letting his voice be heard but his figure hidden so if this person was a thief, Donny could get the drop on them. Or at least they won't realize he's armed, since there wasn't really much room to do any sort of stealthy maneuvers in this cramp little campsite.
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Cat calmly performed the given trades with the loony man and finally selected herself an assortment of varying civilian use ammo in numbers within teh agreed deal. She made sure to pick a couple of everything, but she grabbed every shotgunshell she found. Both hers and Donny's handguns didn't use standard ammo from what he had avaible here. Donny's from what she recalled by the form and size of the gun, using the same ammo types as her rifle and his rifle used even bigger bullets. Still having a number of smaller ammo types avaible just in case they come across a weapon they can use that made use of em would be good. For example the gun that her new partner was repairing.

She made a note of the crossbow bolts, but didn't comment right now for a few reasons. First seh didn't want to raise it to the attention of anybody that might be listening and second she had no crossbow to use em with so that was moot untill she gets one. Maybe for the future, a crossbow would be a fine replacement for day to day hunting of all manners of things. Way quieter than a gun and with recoverable ammunition. Eventually she will get one, but for the time being, better make good use of their resources and not trade them all away for naught." Good trades, will likely come back to trade again in the future. Have a good day." She told the slightly crazy man and headed away from him. His craziness wasn't a bad thing per say, besides who's to say he wasn't the one truly sane and all of them were being weird?

Still she had good stuff, tomorrow they might get better trades from security on more specific gear, but these were good public trades. She kept the new luggage secure as she walked in the direction of their makeshift camp. They had food for the near future and coal to keep temperatures high if they every got hit by another cold wave. All in all it was a good enough deal for everything. Paper could be used for padding underneath the armor and clothing, keeping them warmer and drier while also serving as easy tinder when they needed it. Alternatively it could be for packing, which was nearly as important. Finally, could be used to seal off small gaps and spaces. There were other uses that were likely to become apparent with time, thigns had a tendency to happen and requrie unusual solutions with materials one had at hand, so it was better to have a good selection of materials always at hand.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The mutated dog made a barking sound of some kind at Donny's voice and then a whine. While hte girl kept quiet for a moment, before giving the hidden Donny a chuckle as she crouched by the crates and sat on the ground next to her dog." Trade? No, not really, got nothing to trade. Already ate my daily rations and haven't really explored outside the place... Not really allowed out by myself, too young htey say, so I just keep occupied around town to earn my keep."

"Was wondering if you have stories from the outside actually. I mean last people we had come were kind of assholes and then caused a bunch of problems for everybody so we didn't get much news from them and the people here, don't really like talking about what they had it like in their old places before they came here, so... I'm curious." SHe explained in the kind of voice that only a very curious child could." Hey in return, I could tell you about Underhaven! I've been ehre for a good long while, I've more or less learned a lot of the ropes. Can also share some rumors and stuff I heard in return."
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As Cat walked away, she could hear a disturbance unfold. Near the campfire two men were talking in very aggressive tones. It was easy for her to hear them. It seemed to be a father and son, with the father lambasting the son for eating more than his share of the rations. While the son counters that the father hasn't actually done any work himself besides maintaining the fire, something the girls could do, while he's been trying to scrap for wires in the metro. Most everyone was trying to ignore them save for a few who were watching carefully. Soon it devolved into a shouting match, where the son pushes the older man away and heads towards the exit, grabbing a bag and and a crudely made spear.

A young woman calls out for the man but he just shoulders his way out, heading towards the metro. The girl starts to cry, comforted by an older woman while the older man just looks bitter and angry. "Lost another one." Cat would hear behind her. There was an older man, missing a hand and replaced with a knife he was sharpening with a stone. "So close, yet so far. I don't recognize you. You must be the new lifer." After checking the edge of the knife, the man wraps the blade up and looks to Cat with an inquisitive look. "Lemme guess. Came here because you heard rumors of this place accepting new immigrants. Running from your past or something. None of my business of course... But it's not as simple as just working hard and doing what you're told." The man points to the family who were huddling near the fireplace, some of the womanfolk still crying, and even the father was looking sad. "They've been here longer than I have but still haven't gotten in yet. Food's getting scares now that there's more people working, more mouths to feed. And more workers means less scavenge around here... Won't be long till another incident happens." The man sighs as he looks down at his feet.

Then he smiles and looks back up to you. "Names Wernher. I'm from Steelport, one of the few colonies that had a steel mill running. Up until it got taken over and I skipped town so I didn't become a slave. What's your name stranger?"




"Stories huh?" Donny considered it. Gossip was a tradegood back at his old colony too. Information was vital, and even rumors had some grain of truth in them. The only reason his colony was so successful during raids wasn't just because they had guns, but because they had info too. Knowledge is power after all. He needed to know what to expect from Underhaven, and he didn't have anything else to give but some stories. "Well, it's not like I need to tell her the truth either. I can just bullshit her and see what she gives me. Can't believe everything she says either." He still didn't trust her but Donny checked to see if anyone else was around before putting his things away and thinking of a story.

"Alright I got a story for you. I call it Jack and Shill. So back where I come from, there's a big guy named Jack. Strongest guy in the colony. He's a nice enough fellow though, but that doesn't mean he isn't a badass. He could fight mutants bear handed and once ran through a Cold Wave without getting too hurt. But Jack has a friend named Nim. Nim's not a tough guy, but he's a good liar. One day a beautiful woman comes to the colony named Aerie. She likes strong guys and Nim likes her. So he talks to Jack and convinces him to help make Nim look good in front of Aerie. Being the good friend he is, Jack decides to cause some trouble in the colony and when Aerie is scared that Jack is going to do something crazy, Nim comes by and stops him, beating him up and saving Aerie. The two get together. But when Nim goes to find Jack, he finds a letter from him instead. It said that Jack had to go now, so that Nim could be with Aerie and be the new strongest guy in the town. And that's how that story ends."

The tale was somewhat true, albeit bowdlerized for a child. In particular Aerie wasn't really that beautiful, she was just a whore and was looking for a strong man to protect her. And Jack did go crazy because he also liked Aerie and wanted her for himself once he saw how she looked. Nim won his fight against Jack because Nim had a pocket pistol, and when Nim went to go finish off Jack, the tough guy had already managed to flee with some of his friends and abandoned the colony. Now they're just another bandit group bothering Valklin. Incidentally it was thanks to them that Donny was able to make a relatively clean escape from the colony. No one wanted to risk going after him while Jack and his boys were still on the prowl and Donny brought safe passage from them with some guns and bullets. But the kid didn't need to know all of that.
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"Ehh, close enough I suppose." Cat replied calmly at the man's question." I'd certainly like to be accepted in for a degree of security, but honestly for all intended purposes, just having this place serve as my trading point is enough for me. I can live in the wild, problem back in the city center and it's settlements was with the people. It's always the people." She quipped and shrugged.

"Nice to meet ya Werner. Name's Catherine, though I mostly go by Cat. It's shorter and easier to remember really. I'm from the Fourth Shelter, though they go by another name these days. A dumb one." She grinned. Shelter Four or Fourth Shelter as it used to be known back in the day, the good old military led enclave and present day slave ring with ambitions for grandeur. Though Cat was reasonbly sure in a few years there might be a problem there, after all current leadership wouldn't last forever, they were going old and health issues were popping up, then there was the fact that sure the military leaders all high on power were indulging themselves in vice, making some of them somehow grow obese even in the apocalypse. Then there were the harems of slave servants for the bigwigs. As a whole the regular guards were eventually going to be way less than the slave soldiers and the regular opressed people, it was a matter of time before the current regime get's axed and replaced. Next one might be worse, but that was for hte future to tell.

"So you mentioned 'lost another one', what's with that? I assume This happens often enough with the current situation getting desperate?" She asked, a bit curious.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kid made a really hard thinking face after she listened to the story. She looked at Donny with evaluating gaze for a while before nodding." Good story, a bit childish though. If Im retelling it later, might have to make it a bit more bloody or something. Folks at the cantina don't really pay for fairytales." She sighed. Weird kid... or maybe not, given the state of the world." Well name's Ellie. Nice to meet ya and thank you for the story." Kid added with a huge grin.

"Now for my end of the deal, you told me a story, so I'm gonna tell you some info in return. A few weeks ago there was a quake around here. It was felt somewhat, but it wasn't a natural earthquake. Some scouts that were dispatched to locate the source and figure out if the place's in danger, found the cause, one of the tunnels around had it's floor cave in into one of the old metro tunnels... one of the ones that got sealed off in the initial cataclysm due movement of the earth from teh disasster. Nobody's scavanged the location yet, mainly because it takes a long rope to get into it because the tunnel we used turned out to run right along the roof of the station by the sound of it so it's like 50+ feet drop and the ferals have taken a general like to the area, so it's dangerous to explore without a crew to watch each other's back. If you find yourself that way for soem reason after the ghouls' been dealt with, you might get a lot of stuff there. I mean, they said the traincars were intact for the most part, there may be electronics and stuff to salvage even."
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Werner nods and motions to the others sitting around them. "As I said, a lot of these people have been waiting to get in, working their skins raw to prove their worth, and all they're getting from it is barely enough to eat and these walls you see. Oh sure, certainly better than eeking out a desperate living in the metros... But not by much." The old man looked at his hand nostalgically, gripping the wrapped blade. "Bout a month ago a good size group of refugees tried to do something about it. Back then Underhaven was a bit more open. They went in and tried to talk to the mayor about letting them live inside the settlement instead of out here, but one thing led to another and they got boxed in. Couldn't get out, but didn't have the firepower to fight back. They had to resort to desperate measures, and escaped through Underhaven's nuclear reactor. Way I hear it most didn't make it, but some did. A lot of them were young folk, friends and families of the people you see here." Werner seemed to be telling a different side of the story that the head of security told Cat.

"One of my daughters was with that group. Bright eyed girl, always saw the best in people. She really thought if she could just... Talk to them, they'd let the people in. Let us in. Should've... Nevermind." The man let go of his knife and looked back up to Cat. "Anyways since that incident there's been word that those who managed to escape have started their own colony somewhere. Can't let people know about it of course, since a lotta folks in Underhaven would love to just gun them all down, so whenever someone here in camp gets fed up with waiting they go out and try to find them. I..." Werner looked towards the fire, his eyes seemingly blank and empty. "I'm just telling you because it's only going to get rough from here on out. Underhaven ain't a perfect place, and no place really is, but there's a storm brewing and we're all going to get caught in it. Just like you said: problem is the people."

Another thing Cat might've noticed now that she's been with Werner for a while, he had the slight scent of alcohol on him. It was small, and she would've missed it if it weren't for her keen senses. Most metro hooch was in such poor quality that you'd need to drink gallons before you'd really get drunk off of them, and by then you'd likely already died by poisoning. So Werner either had a stockpile somewhere in this cramped camp, or he has some high quality booze hidden away.




Donny listened to the kid, Ellie, as she critiqued his story. "I'm just telling it as it is kid. But ya know... Don't need too much imagination in this world to know how bad it can get." Donny felt a bit defensive about his story. He thought it was pretty good. But aside from that Ellie told Donny about some quake. From the sounds if it, might've been prospectors. A special type of scavenger who specialized in clearing away old ruins to get to the juicy bits inside. Naturally of course, prospectors had to be very skillful to deal with the various hazards and threats their actions cause. Most die on the job, but a few who don't come out very successful. From the sounds of it though, whoever found these tunnels didn't make it to salvage the rewards. At least if what Ellie said was true.

"Untapped tunnels huh? Well, maybe once I get settled in, might be able to prep for a big job like that. Not too keen on taking on a bunch of ferals without some serious firepower at my back. But thanks for the tip kid." Donny made sure to look over his belongings again to make sure nothing was stolen. As he did so, he did have an idea of how to jury rig some parts for the rifle. He'll just need access to a fire, even a small one, just enough to heat up metal to be malleable. "Say kid. Think you can get me some of whatever you guys are using to keep that fire going? I'll give you a couple of my knives for it."
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"It always seems to be so indeed." She nodded at the people comment. She sighed and thought." Well that might explain the ferals... my apologies, but on our way here we've encountered a few ferals that have been caught by the cold wave. If they've fled via the reactor, some of them might have been irreversably changed. You have any news on your daughter's fate?" Cat asked, her voice soft and rather friendly. There was more to this conflict than it seemed. She had thought something was wrong when she heard the briefing mention that the people who fled took seeds of all things. So starting a new colony was one explanation, now the sole question was if there were any of those who fled that still retained their facultries. What the man said suggested there was and that not all of them had turned ferals. There was still too little information overall for her liking though. They'd have to proceed carefully from here on out.

She caught of course the scent of his alcohol. That smeleld rather strong. Unusually so, it was hard to get access to proper spirits for the most people. It required specific equipment to refine alcohol and most settlements didn't have that. Cat had no intention of griling him about it, alcohol was pricey commodity and it was his. Asking about it would likely make him defensive and she didn't want that. A conenction with him seemed like a good thing to have.

"Hey, since I've got no plans to stay at one place for too long, even if I was accepted in Underhaven, I'd always be scouting and exploring the tunnels. Maybe I will keep an eye out for anything useful and of note that might help if things get bad. Like another place for a settlement for example or at least one that would make a good refugee center temporary in case a conflict begins?" She suggested. It didn't hinder or cost her any to keep an eye out for such locations." We are at the edge of the known region, right? I doubt even Underhaven has explored much further beyond, there could be anything out there and I imagine a good resource producing location might ease up the requirements for entry and ease the tension some, a farming outpost of sorts for example?"

She'd have to talk with Donny about this, he had a rather decent head on his shoulders, so he'd likely have a good insight on this situation. Still she now had some suspicions on the sides of the conflict, she wouldnt' be killing the escapees if they weren't ferals. Theyd' need to proceed carefully indeed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Hey it's a nice story... just a bit too kind for some." Ellie reassured him." I know the other kids I live with will like it, I mean they are younger than me, would appreciate a good bedtime one." The kid smiled at Donny. Seems there were other kids around that were likely homeless too. Urchins, question now was if they were orphans and urchins when they arrived or if they were abandoned afterwards. Either could be, or maybe their parents died while trying to earn their keep here.

"No worries, if you get any good information or stories out there, do make a note to tell me some later, okey? It's not much, but dealing in rumours, information and stories at least earns some cash." She was essenitally living as a novice bard from the pre cataclysm fantasy tales. She entertained bar patrons with stories, bartered in information and rumors. Ellie was already learning how to play a guitar from one of the other refugees, but it was slow and she didn't own one." Well... it will have to do until I'm old enough to also explore the tunels or start selling myself out." Honestly grim to hear a child speak about these things, isn't it?

"Hmmm?" She made a sound, turning her head to the burning barrels." Well... maybe? I assume you don't just want some brief sparkle..." Ellie added, thinking." Well I can probably find you some... and a decent knife will be a fine barter. Fine... give me a little while and I will return with some." She finally stated and walked away, though her dog stood behind, tilting it's head at Donny, patiently waiting for it's owner to return. About 5 minutes later, the girl returned with what appeared to be a a small beer keg that she was dragging behind herself since it was heavy and she wasn't able to carry it." Here, this should burn properly for a good hour and will give of heat for at least another one afterwards while the embers settle. Guy wanted 2 knives for it, but I tlaked him down to one, though I'd take the second one as commision, if you don't mind." The kid grinned. Hey she had to make a living too and while she wasn't well of herself, she knew the place and who had what and where to deal with different items.
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Werner shook his head grimly when asked if he knew anything about his daughter's whereabouts. "I've tried to look for her when I'm out but... Like I said they've done a good job covering their tracks. Only way I'd find them is if I give up everything I have here to do that and..." The old man simple sighs and shrugs his shoulders. He was still holding out on the hopes that his daughter may just end up coming back on her own, as unlikely as it was. "And beg pardon ma'am, but the chances of finding a place good enough to compete with Underhaven as a settlement seems unlikely. It's not like no one's tried to find a place to settle before they got here. But between the Cold Waves and the mutants still roaming these halls, it ain't exactly easy for settlers to find a place to call home. There's just a lot of logistics and such that goes into it that we simply can't get outside of Underhaven. But who knows... Maybe you'll find something out." Werner seems to think about what you said before standing up and walking away, mumbling to himself.

The camp was fairly quiet right now. People were throwing some new fuel to the fire and seemed to be getting ready to make a meal. Water and rations were being brought out. There was a new shift in guard too, though it just consisted of two from the wall being exchanged with two people from within Underhaven. Their equipment looked more or less the same. The only difference was that these guards looked visibly older: as in elderly men. This world was too dangerous to enable the old to rest, but even so it could be a cause for concern if your protectors are old enough to remember the old world. Or perhaps these were the type of people who could survive these harsh conditions despite their greater age. Fear old men in professions who die young, and all of that.




Donny tried not to think too much about what Ellie had said about herself and what she does here. On one hand, he gets it. You gotta do what you gotta do to survive, and there's some real freaks in this world. Even Donny has had... Strange urges from time to time. But he's managed to keep himself in check, if only because it was more practical for him to focus on his job than his base desires. Too many young men back at his colony practically devolve into beasts when they lack the sort of focus Donny can muster. When she left Donny looked at the mutant dog. He hasn't seen an animal that wasn't mutated and trying to kill him. Even some of the dogs back at his colony were so feral they're chained up anytime they're not suppose to tear someone apart. Made Donny wonder why anyone bothered to keep them given how uncontrollable they were.

Soon Ellie came back with a small barrel. She wanted two knives for it, one for the person who she got it from and one for herself. Donny scoffed, but produced two of his rebar knives. It wasn't really that bad of a deal, but he notes that next time he ought to just go look himself if he wanted the best price to himself. "Aight, fine you little brat. Just don't cut yourself on them. They're sharp, but I never made a sheath for them." Donny handed Ellie the two knives, handle first. Despite being made entirely of metal they were quite light, easy enough for even a child like her to handle. They lacked a proper hilt but the grove right underneath the blade was dull, to prevent accidents while cutting, and the threaded shape of the rebar that made up the handle gave it some extra grip. "Now then, I got work to do. Now that I got some heat and time, I can work my magic." Donny carefully stood up to gather up his equipment and prepare the area he had to turn it into a makeshift forge. He'll need to be careful as the small keg wouldn't burn nearly as hot as he'd like, but he could use what heat it does produce to make some of the scrap metal he has malleable, which would give him the precious opportunity to shape them into parts he needs to make the rifle operational.

"Hope the others won't mind the noise, because it's about to get busy here."
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The girl let out a childish giggle as she picked up her payment for the barrel. She had a sly foxy grin on her thin lil face." Hey, got to do what you got to do to survive. Besides you need to know where to search for htese deals, it's not like just everybody will agree to give you that for a knife or for a even two." She shrugged, clearning noting his slight annoyance she had made a bargain of the deal.

"Well, I got to go then. Will leave you to do your thing in peace, I suspect that pretty lady companion of yours will return soon too anyhow." The child stated and neatly hide the knives away somewhere underneath her loose clothing after wrapping the blades into a piece of dirty cloth." Will come by next time you come over to Underhaven again, we can swap stories or something. Come on, Snuffles, we've got places to be." She called to teh dog as it barked happily, gave Donny a final tilted mutated puppy look and ran after it's supposed owner, leaving Donny alone to start making noise.

~~~~~~~~~~~

"Can't be certain until it doesn't or does happen. Besides it just needs to be passable and suitable, getting another setup as Underhaven might take years. What people need is at least somewhere they can be reasonably protected and get some food sources going. As I said, an outpost for this place might be a good idea to lessen the number of people camping here and get them to work on somethign productive." She simply replied to him." Well if I do find something good, you will be one of the first to hear, you seem like the right guy to arrange or at least pitch the idea around here. Anyhow, was a pleasure meeting you, friend." SHe reassurd him as he moved away.

As Cat headed back to their makeshift camp between the crates, she noted the state of the place now. Calmness, granted it was nearing 'nightfall' so people were mostly resting now. Given the situation, resting was an important task, it allowed one to safe up the crucial energy of their body, especially since supplies were rather tight. There were surprisingly old guys with good armor. They looked rather well actualy, ther bodies in pretty good state and training, unlike 13th shelter where the old military guys were nowdays all getting fatter nad out of shape where the slaves and regular civilians were growing thinner and thinner.

Finally after a good deal of time longer than she initially suspected, she returned to their camp to see Donny fiddling with his new rifle and then he had a small campfire going in a small barrel." YOu seem to have just as productive time as me." She quipped in amusement as she took seat in their lil shelter, placing all the gains from her trading run by her." Got us some supplies... actual coal, paper, bullets and so on. I saw and learned interesting things too.." She showed him and said conspiratorially in rather quiet voice.

"There's more to the refugee riots event we heard earlier... at least another side to it. We will need to be careful on how we proceed with that." Cat didn't go into details right now since she didn't know who might be listening in, but it was enough to inform him and give him a clue." What about ya, beside getting a fire barrel, anythign interesting?"
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Donny was quietly heating up some scrap metal by the time Cat came back with extra supplies. He looked up to her as he kept the metal evenly heated. "Possible place for plunder, if we happen to have more bullets and a really long rope. Some sort of earthquake opened up an unexplored metro. Could be a whole lot of nothing in there, or some untapped old world goods. Only problem is the place is crawling with ferals so you know, not exactly a friendly place to be." Donny relayed the info to Cat as he looked over the bounty. He largely ignored the bullets as he still had a healthy supply for his pistol, but the coals interested in. Better than trying to smelt with questionable aged wood. However he recognized the importance of this coal to not waste it on their campfire right now: coal like this was vital during Cold Waves to stay warm without producing smoke like what Donny's last campfire did, thus making it safer and more efficient to stay warm.

Once the metal was heated up enough, Donny took it to his anvil and began to shape it with a hammer, the sound of his work echoing in the camp. "There's always two sides to any conflict. Let me guess, someone tell you that those ghouls had sympathetic reasons for attacking Underhaven or something?" Donny shrugged his shoulders as he began to twist the metal into a spring. "Fact of the matter is Underhaven is the only livable place around here. Unless you're real lucky finding a fungi cave, you can't farm in the metro. You need heat, clear water, fertile soil, and you can't get that digging into cement. I'm sure this place has got it's ghosts too but let's be honest, no where is a utopia." The blacksmith looked up to Cat, his face still hidden behind that metal mask of his. "In the end you just gotta do what you can to survive."
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"Huh... talk about curious coincidences." She quipped, thinking aobut what she had learned just earlier. A whole new metro line that was waiting to be explored with ferals. Could be the place the people who left Underhaven under questionable circumstances were at... or it could be an unrelated place that had ferals of it's own. Either case could be the one and either had it's own possible benefits. Old metro stations were obviously used as shelters in the initial outset of the cataclysms and while countless people had flocked underground to escape the dropping temperatures, the storms and other fallout, the resulting quakes soon after had left many trapped, crushed or unaccounted for. Hell a huge part of the metro networks were still unaccounted for. What they knew as the civilized world were just a bunch of metro tunnels, caverns and the like that still had some degree of easy accesibility via undergroudn means. Underhaven required a surface treck to access though as brief as it was. That said, if that metro tunnel was burried and left without connection to the surface, even if people had fled to it initially, it meant they were all dead or they were the ferals, though admittedly ferals required a good deal of radiation so most ferals were higher on the surface where radiation could have seeped in. Still better be ready for anything.

She snorted at his comments." Yep, more or less. I'm not saying I'm buying either side really, just saying we should be careful and play it right and not just get used as disposable tools. Sure admittence in Underhaven brings in a lot of benefits, but I didn't leave one 'home' to be a slave at another." She replied with a frown." We do as best as we could by us, some would call it selfish, but those people are just hypocrites. I will do what I think is best and at worst, we can always just get admittence via other means if we really need to." She pointed out, sure chasing down the exiles/ferals for hte seeds was one way, but if those guys really found a place they could settle with reasonble safety and manage to get farms going somehow, then it'd be best to leave them to build up. Still all was up for theories and hypothesis right now on that topic.

"Anyhow, we've got some new supplies here, so we are good to depart tomorrow morning." Cat stated and made herself comfortably, ladying down, using her bag as a pillow, one hand on the handgun and the other on her knife as she was preparing to sleep, calling it an early night. Though by her sleeping habbits, it was clear she'd be jumping like a spring if something distured her rest in even a slightest way. Instincts of a trained soldier, survivor and her highten animalistic traits, ensured it was so." Wake me up at some point after you are done with your tinkering so I can take watch, we probably shall take a few turns while resting, this palce's safe from ferals and other monsters yes, but it doesn't mean it's completely safe." She smiled and closed her eyes.
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Donny took a moment to think about what Cat said before simply shrugging. "Is what it is... Anyways rest up as well as you can. Unfortunately my work isn't quiet so... I'll try to be as quick as I can." The night goes uneventfully, aside from a stiff breeze that eventually kills the fire Donny was working with and forcing him to stop working for now. By the time Cat is awakened to do her watch, nothing happens either aside from a changing of the guard. However she is awake when it seemed like something was going on. Many of the other refugees were gathering up weapons and equipment and heading out towards the gate. It seemed like it was presumably "morning", and time for the refugees to earn their keep. It was also when the guards changed shifts again and this time, where two guards left, only one came out to replace them. But the one who came out was huge. A titan of a man with sickly yellow-green skin, standing around ten feet tall, possibly higher. He was so huge his head was only a few feet away from the ceiling, and even the makeshift barrier around the entrance was barely chest high. In lieu of conventional weapons this giant seemed to have some bricks hanging from chains on his, to be used as either flails or projectiles. And chances are the piles of cement bricks by the wall, which could've been mistaken as part of the reinforcement structure, was more likely to be his own ammunition in the defense of the wall.

Donny would be roused awake, and the first thing he'd do is check his foot. It was still sore, but not as much as before, so he could walk, possibly even run, as long as he doesn't do anything else to damage it today. Seeing the mutant he also seemed genuinely surprised though that was hard to tell behind his own metal mask. "Cripes. How did this ghouls get past that? That guy's bigger than a pseudogiant..." Donny commented as he got the fire going again. There wasn't much left but what little he was able to get going could be used to heat up some food. Though as all he had was his nutrient bricks, Donny simply heated up a pan of mosswine to mix the brick with for a bland porridge. Though he had a bit of salt and pepper he saved from last time he cooked, without any meat or vegetables to add to the meal, he'd feel like it would be a waste to use precious spices on an overall boring breakfast.

"Managed to get some parts done for the gun by the way. Missing bullets now, but I replaced enough that it's functional." Donny reached behind him and showed Cat the rifle. "Based off the design it's actually clip fed, so I managed to make a few clips if we ever get more bullets for it. I'd say it'll hold about five or so shots. Rifles like this aren't exactly the most practical in the metro but they pack a punch and they're good if for some reason we have to fight something topside. Just don't go beating someone to death with it, I've only managed to do enough to get it working again but too much damage could break it, and if it goes broke again I may as well just strip it for parts. With any luck however we could possibly trade it for something good. Either more supplies or a weapon I can actually refurbish into something better." He hands the gun to Cat to look over. He's already got a rifle of his own so he had no need for it, but if she felt she could make use of it, he'll leave it in her hands.

"So what's the plan? Looks like they're handing out spools so we can go strip those wires. Or we can keep looking around for clues about those ghouls. Not to mention we still have that map from the dead guy, had some locations marked on it. Could be something useful there, assuming they haven't already been picked clean. My foot doesn't feel like crap anymore so as long as I don't get shot in the ankle I should be good for running and gunning."
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Cat rose an eyebrow when she saw who was replacing the guards.' That's a big guy... just wow.' SHe thought, seeing the man that was now guarding the entrance. This was some serious protection right there, honestly she wasn't sure anything short of full combat grade ammo would even put a dent in that guy. Pistol type ammunition would likely do little to no damage if his skin or hide... hard to tell really was as sturdy as it looked. That and he used big heavy things as projectiles? Yeah no, hse wasn't liking the idea of taking a ba og cement to the face thank you very much. The bricks were amusing though for some reason. Maybe he used them as melee weapons in some kind of martial arts that focused on bricks? Like in some of those old world books.

"First, honestly not sure it was all ghouls that made left this place... and second, I'd gather he wasn't on guard duty at hte time. If he just stands in front of the enrance and spreads his arms, pretty much nothing's making it past him without some serious firepower." She told him, thinking about the issue. Between the two of them, they might be able to do something if they had to, she doubted even that juggernaut of a being would take a bullet through the mouth or eyes that well, but that was of course only in the realms of the hypothetical.

"Hey don't worry, we'll just carry it along for now. I've still got ammo for my own assault rifle, so we are good for the time being. Besides if I need to get handsy with somebody or something, I've got this." She pulled the handmade knife from somewhere on her person, hard to tell exactly where, but since Donny would be somewhat familiar with it for their travels so far and since she pulled it a few times prior when they camped, it was from her left boot. It was a sturdy piece of metal even if it wasn't originally a combat knife. It was made out of a steel pipe that was polished, cut and sharpened, making a surprisingly effective tool for killing. She put it away again.

In difference from donny who made himself a bit of an improvised meal that was at least easier to swallow. Cat directly pulled a few bits from the nutrient bricks and chewed on them, before washing them down with a swing of her cantina. She didn't waste time in preparing a meal, mostly cause she wasn't too trusting when in a settlement filled with unknowns. She was 'fed' in a matter of moments and ready to go. She was used to worse conditions to eat in anyways, this was rather alright.

"For now we go out. Nobody said anything about us returning every day here..." Cat stated and looked at Donny." We shall go on an expedition for a few days..." She drawed and looked about to see if anybody was listening." We will explore the areas beyond Underhaven, will check the map markers if possible and along the way we will strip some wires if the situation allows it. We can keep an eye on the 'ghouls' as we go along. If they really passed by the react, then it's true that some would have gone feral, but I'm getting the feeling not everybody did. Some would ahve died over hte radiation poisoning and some might not have lost their minds. We will keep an eye out for them, but we've got ourselves to think for first. For now we should focus on exploration, scavenging and securing a more longterm secure location we can call at least a hideout. PReferrably one that as few people as possible know about."

With that she stood up and offered a hand to help Donny do the same." So, what do you say, partner? Time to hit the wilds?"
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Donny tried not to groan at the idea of being out there for longer than he had to. Perhaps he was spoiled for his time working within the colony, but he disliked the notion of willingly camping outside of the safety of a colony or settlement. However he didn't voice these complaints, knowing full well that this was simply the sort of life one had to live to survive this day and age. After finishing his meal and clean up, he took Cat's hand and stood up. "Aye. Let's head out."

Once things were settled at the camp, the two would head back into the metro. It was almost odd, as some of the other refugees were still nearby, even after leaving the safety of the colony. It seemed like most of the refugees were working together, with one group making a sort of advance camp while others went to scavenge. None of them really paid any mind to Cat and Donny, however Cat would spot Werner as one of the few people staying at the camp. He wouldn't notice Cat however, as he and a few other young men were busy setting up a shelter of sheet metal and cement bricks. Nothing that would protect your during a cold wave, but it could be a useful defensive position if you had to fend off mutants or raiders. "Alright, let's try to hit up some of those locations then. The closest is that Cassie's place. I don't know what's there, but hopefully it hasn't be plundered yet."

Based off the map, Cassie's was some sort of small store. Easy to miss, probably not something you'd intentionally go looking for. As the duo would head in that direction they'd come across the first obstacle: the most direct path to Cassie's was caved in. The map didn't show this, annoying Donny. "Looks like we're going around then." Donny picked up a rock from the rubble. It was cold and frozen over. He chipped off some ice from it before tossing it away. "An old collapse. Probably ten or so years ago. Damn, reminds me that these tunnels aren't going to hold forever." Looking up, you could already see the cracks in the ceiling from years of erosion. Ice formed in these cracks, which were only going to weaken the structural integrity even more so. "Still... If we happen to run into something our guns can't handle, maybe we can drop the rocks on them. It was something the Valklin would do in their raids. Usually went along the lines of attacking the colony, feigning retreat, and then blowing up the ceiling above the defenders while another group attacks from a different entrance." Donny took out one of his firebombs. "With a bit of timing and luck even a humble oil bomb could trigger a collapse. Keep an eyeout for cracks in the ceiling, in case we need to do some demolition."

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She grinned as she pulled him up. He was a bit heavy given his heavier gear, but it wasn't a problem for her, especially since she was well trained when it came to her body. She had muscle even though it wasn't as buff as some of the mutants out there. Years of training and careful maintaing of her nutrition, meant she wasn't skin and bones. Hard to fight and carry combat gear if you lacked the strenght to actually carry it and wield it effectively after all.

"Sure, sounds interesting. It's named after somebody." Cat shrugged, unsure what it was about, she was born after the cataclysms or rather during them, so she had no idea of the pre-cata world and it's quirks. She had studied and was forced to learn a bunch of lore and knowledge as a slave soldier with prospects of being a domestic slave. Mostly because as soldier, she'd have on occasion to venture out and explore on missions to bring back loot to the settlement as as a domestic slave, she needed to know what was what least she hurts her owner by mistake. Needless to say, she never put those skills and knowledge in use for those bastards. SHe was now going to make use of em for her own survival and prosperity." Honestly, I'm hoping for something that's more convenience story. A bit of everything rather than something dedicated like groceries. Those for the most part would have expired long ago unless it's bottled or cans." She quipped as they reached the forward refugee base. They weren't going to gain much from scavenging this location, but it was better than nothing and more secure, she supposed.

Wandering further on, they came upon another cave-in. She nodded at Donny's comment." Yeah, these tunnels weren't build to witstand endless punishment. The ice and water getting into crack's doing a number of them, luckily cave-ins are more rare now that the temperatures settled to low enough on the surface constantly so there's not much chance for water to form without freezing up real fast and not soaking into the ground. Still, it's already started and it's only a matter of time for a lot of these." She agreed." We used similar tactics prior too, mostly sacrificing exists that they weren't planning on using anymore. Hell we burried a whole raider squad once in a tunnel with nesting critters. Not a nice way to go, we had to also go afterwards and clear the beasties before they have chance to populate in numbers big enough to be a danger to the 'shelter'. Turned out it was spiders. Giant mutated spiders. We had to pour fuel into the tunnel and lit it ablaze to make sure nothign survives in the end." She retold him the story as they turned to leave and try to find an alternative route.

She looked at the map and studied it for a moment." Hey, look at this." She pointed out a road line on the map and ran her finger across it." We are about here on the map." She said and pointed out their location within some margin of error, but pretty close." If we follow the fork in the tunnels to the side, we should find a surface entrnace around this point. Either a metro station surface entrance or a ladder to a maitenance hatch on hte surface. It'd be a lot easier for us to make our way to the marked locations on the surface than trying to make our way throug hthe maze underground to reach each of them, especially with Cave-ins on the way. Plus if we are on the surface, we might find more rare resources we can exploit. Besides those marked points of interest, the surface ruins were filled with goodies, some were looted right off the cataclism started, but others were likely deemed unimportant at the time. Things that nowdays we can likely find good use of. Like libraries or office supply stores. Settlements would actually pay good money for a decent supply of notebooks or blank paper. Runing a succesful settlement is a lot of paperwork that needs to be kept track of."
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Donny looked at the map and the path Cat pointed out. He had his doubts. "Walking the surface huh? Normally I'd avoid that but... You're not wrong either. Doesn't seem like there's been too much salvaging around this area, or at the very least it's mostly been done in the metro. Could be stuff on the surface to find, but there's also a chance for danger too. Harder to get your bearings if there's a storm up top, which there usually is... But if you think it's a good idea, let's at least see how things are up top. Better than digging through rocks at any case." Memorizing the path, Donny and Cat would head out towards the surface. The path was pretty save aside from slightly slippery floors, as this area still had frost from yesterday's Cold Wave. But the fact the frost was here also indicated no one had been here since said Cold Wave. Soon the two would find a small service staircase leading up. Unsurprisingly it was covered in snow, but still solid enough for the two to make their way to the surface.

Much to Donny's surprise, it wasn't snowing. Didn't mean it was safe however: there was a cold wind that left a chill in the bone, and occasionally it would whip up a flurry of snow that could blindside you. But this was a rare moment where the clouds weren't dropping more snow and ice, and it was merely windy. It was also vaguely day: the sky was a dull grey, indicating that the sun was up albeit still blocked by the snow clouds that have been here ever since the apocalypse came. It made Donny think back to that doodle from those dead kids. Now he really wished he didn't think about it.

Looking back at the map, it wouldn't help them on the surface but as Cat mentioned there may be more metro entrances along the way. Only problem would be finding them beneath the snow. Not to mention the temperature: the metro was bad, but livable as long as you weren't caught in a Cold Wave. But the surface sapped your strength constantly due to how cold it was, and Donny had to turn on his armor's engine just to resist the freezing temperatures. "Let's move quickly. It might not be bad now, but I don't want to be here when it gets worse."

Trekking through the snow and ice, there wasn't much initially. The first thing they came across was an abandoned car. Seemed like someone had already broken into it however: the dashboard was stripped of it's radio and other electronics, someone siphoned what little fuel was left inside, and the trunk was broken into. Even the upholstery was torn up, though this might've been due to mutants rather than scavengers. The only thing worth grabbing was perhaps the tires for rubber, but Donny wouldn't bother since he lacked the tools or the immediate need for frozen tire rubber. Moving on, they would encounter something a bit more interesting. Beasts and people weren't the only things that have mutated in these conditions. The radiation that has leaked out into the world to create bizarre and strange creatures have also created strange fauna, so Donny and Cat would actually find a grove cacti growing out of a snow bank. "Oh shit, prickle pears! Seems like heading to the surface was a good idea after all." Donny eagerly went up to the cacti, taking out a knife and opening his bag.

"Prickle Pears grow on these spiky plants. You want to get the small white ones at the top: they're edible and have seeds you can make into a porridge. If I wasn't freezing my ass solid right now I'd try to prune the needles off and take some of the body. If you heat them up over a pot, you can siphon fresh water from them. Most creatures eat them whole, and when they die the seeds inside feed off the corpses to grow into these cacti. Fact there's so many here must meat something big died here a while ago... So take what you can." Donny already harvested most of the Prickle Pears, carefully avoiding getting stabbed by the needles. Despite being plants they were almost as hard as steel, though easy enough to remove from the sides. Evidentially they were meant to break off once stabbing into a creature, ensuring a slow and painful death long after the creature or person left. Even plants were violent in this day and age.
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"I know, I know." She sighed at him. She knew what Prickle Pears were! She wasn't a child or something. She was a soldier, a scout and a former slave. She knew more than enough of survival in the wild. She picked a few of the pears herself while he talked, but since he was focusing mainly on those, she instead found herself pulling her knife and carefully digging some of the needles out of the cacti.

She had a few different uses for the needles actually. Curiously enough they actually did make great sewing needles, if you managed to get a notch at the dull end and carefully drill a hole or at least a nook or hook to attach the thread at. They were useful as puncture tools, take a piece of wood and some duct tape or anything other and you can make a mighty fine improvised shank out of those. She had seen wounds of such a thing, sure they weren't as grand as a proper blade, but a single knife stab or 4 shiv ones in the guts and you still died the same really. They could also be used as nice tips for arrows or darts. She knew of some people out and about that used them with a blowpipe and in conjunction with poisons and the like. So yes, a meriad of ways to use simple needles.

She had just finished pulling out her 5th one when she stopped and turned around, narrowing her eyes." We should continue. There's movement around, it's not close right now, but we shouldn't just stay here and make ourselves an easy pray, got all the pears you need?" She asked, putting away her knife and the needles.

One of her hands gravitated towards her crowbar as she moved away from the cacti. There weren't many animals out here honestly, there was the occasional mutant, but still. After a bit, she pointed out a thing to Donny." Look at that." She pointed out what once was a grocery store of some kind, but one that had long since been broken into both by people, wildlife and by nature itself as ice and snow had cracked the glass panes of the windows and gotten inside. She carefully made her way to it and peered into the former store through the door. It was empty really, well it wasn't one of the marked locations and she was all, but ready to continue, when she noted something.

"Hey the storage room's sadly blocked, there might have been something left in there, but with all the ice and snow blockign the door we cannot really access it." She sighed, a bit disappointed that there wasn't anything visible to use. There was a chance that there might be cans or other preserved foods laying under the snow, but they didn't have time right now to test that theory. As they could return to the road to reach their first destination, she heard the sound again and this time she knew what it was." I'm hearing the sound of footstep, human footsteps." She whispered to him, pointing in a direction." Wana check it out? It's nearby enough."
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"S-Sorry." Donny said somewhat shyly. "I get excited when I see food. Everyone just eats nutrient bricks... No one really appreciates real food these days." Collecting what he could, Donny looked over to Cat when she alerted him to movement. He didn't notice. "Right, I'm done here. Let's go." He followed her away from the cacti and followed her to the grocery store. Despite knowing better, Donny did begin looking for anything worth looting. Alas, the only thing of any possible worth was glass and cement: Any food be it canned or preserved was long gone, and even the cash register was stolen. Looking at the storage room, it was indeed frozen solid. "Hmm... If I had the proper tools, could crack the ice. Unfortunately don't have anything like that here, and it'll take me time to make one. Might want to keep this location noted though, in case we want to come back."

However as Cat mentioned more noise, Donny was on guard. This was the second time he didn't hear it. That meant either they were very far, or they were close and moving quietly. When Cat described them as human Donny shook his head at her offer. "Let's not. Don't know who's up here and I'd rather not tangle with them. None of those refugees are equipped to be up here, and if it's ghouls I doubt they'll take kindly to us either. Let's just head back underground, I don't like being in the open like this anyways." Donny said as he took out his rifle. Cat would finally see his massive gun, which unlike many firearms of this day and age, actually looked new. He opens it to check the ammo, before closing it and holding it close. Donny's tense. He looked like a new militia solider: nervous but willing to kill. This was likely Donny's first time using this rifle. And possibly his first time encountering human threats.
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"Even if we can crack that ice it'd be a long process, look at it, the doors practically halfway buried, that's going to be a lot of work." She shook her head in resignation. Such places were a hell of a gamble really. There could be something good or it could be nothing of value. She knew her old settlement threw away slaves at such missions like candy, partly for the possible rewards and partly to maintain a certain degree of numbers among the 'rabble'. That and there was the little case of keeping the population in check. These were practically suicide missions even with soldiers escorting them and the soldiers always had orders to prioritize their own safety over the slaves." If we ever come back here, we'd have better luck just spending the time and efforts to break through the wall instead."

"Alright, there should be an entrance ahead in that direction... we might be able to follow the rest of the tunnel to our target in a few stops." She stated, aiming her gun down the street away from the noise and began walking down. The weather was stable enough and it didn't make it overly difficult. It would have been hell if it was a blizzard, but the light snow that was starting to rain wasn't an issue... yet. In fact it was better to be snowing since it masked their own traces more than anything.

About a block away from the ruined store, Cat slowed her pace and gestured for Donny to be quiet and to follow her to the shadow of the nearby building to the left. She crept up to the edge of the building, sure enough on the other side she could see the entrance to the metro, however what bothered her were the meriad of traces in the snow. She couldn't hear anything from behind hte corner, but she wasn't going to just walk out and neither was she going to risk trying a mirror or anything reflective and giving her position easily. In the end she very carefully peaked around the corner before she finally walked around after confirming nobody was there. She crossed the street halfway and looked at the trails in teh snow that were being slowly covered by the freshly fallen snow.

"What do we have here... Look at this... sleds..." She stated and showed him the rather well parallel lines in the snow." At least 3 3, about the size a person can pull and 5 sets of footprints." She added, eyes following the trail to the side and away from their destination. It went roughly in the direction of Underhaven, but who really knew what the destination was given it was on the surface." Well they are leading away from our destination so we should be good to go." She said and carefully made a few fake trails of steps that join the ones going along the surface and backtracked back to the tunnel. Just in case to confuse any other trackers some.

The entrance of the Metro this time around was rather decrepit. Some of the stairs had completely collapsed and the ancient escalators were gone also, leaving just a single staircase to move up and down to the tunnels. As with most stations, there wasn't really anything of note left to salvage, except maybe the old husk of a metro wagon that was mostly stripped for it's metal panels, leaving the harder to disassemble steel frame.
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"Sleds? Haven't seen those in... Forever. Do you think they're from Underhaven? Maybe some hunters who came out before us?" Donny suggested when the two arrived to the tracks. He knew some colonies that made use of sleds and even raised mutants to pull them. The only time he's ever seen them used was to haul loot from raids, and usually they were pulled by slaves. The remaining footprints didn't seem like they belonged to any mutants, but then again maybe it could've been ghouls. Either way Donny left the trail behind, following after Cat.

Going into the metro, Donny switched from his rifle, which he meticulously put back into his bag, and took out his pistol. He made sure it was loaded with bullets before continuing down into the darkness. Much like the rest of the metro there was next to no light here, but fortunately Donny had made sure to salvage enough wood to make a second, somewhat sturdier torch. They still had the glow sticks too but Donny wanted to save those for a real emergency. The ground here was wet, with signs of ice melt having gone through here recently. This was a good and a bad thing: the ice melting means there's a shift in temperature making it warming, so the chances of another Cold Wave probably won't happen today, or at least soon. But the ice melt also washed away most signs of footprints on the ground, so it was unknown to Donny or Cat if anyone else had passed through here recently.

Going through the initial part of the tunnel was uneventful. There were obvious signs that this place had been raided before: whatever shops remained were in ruins, windows broken, even benches were torn out from the ground. Donny was starting to have second thoughts about whether or not this Cassie's place was going to have anything worth raiding. But soon enough they would arrive to the location. Cassie's had a dull red sign with an image of a leaf next to it. The door was missing a handle, but unlike other doors in the area this was was made of a sturdy black metal. Ice and rust lined it's frame, and while there's a lot of damage on the surface itself there's no indication that anyone ever managed to break in. Donny looked to Cat. "Try the crowbar. I'll help you out." Donny would set the torch down so he had a free hand to help Cat.
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"Can't be sure... they were loaded, that much I can say. Anything else is up for guessing. This far from the city center, it's either traders or scavengers from somewhere. Could be hostile, couldn't be friendly." She shrugged as they left the sled tracks. She would have liked to track them down and confirm, if they were traders, then there was a good chance there was a sort of stop off point for traders. A sort of safehosue that those who make a living wandering the ruined world outside of settlements keep.

Walking down across the WET ground of hte tunnel, Cat's eyes narrowed." This is... unusual. For water to melt it means temperatures were above melting point... and it rarely gets that high this close to the surface." This was weird, could mean a whole slew of things and it could also be just a very curious phenomenon that happens around here. For example maybe there could be a natural hot spring that had formed after the cataclysm that brings hot water somewhere nearby, even through the stone and concrete walls and floors, it could explain the temperatures raising... or it could be some kind of weather phenomenon. She wasn't a native to the area, so she didn't know, but it warranted later investigation.

Eventually after moving down the tunnel and going out another station staircase, with a bit more walking through the snow they found themselves in front of the coveted location- 'Cassies's '. It was... curious and looekd rather well protected. The metal door would have kept most people out after the cataclysm. It was damaged and frosted over too." Yeah, let's give this bad boy a workout." She grinend and pulled the crowbar from where she she had attached it to the rest of her gear setup. Cat looked at Donny first though." Going to need to make a good leverage spot and maybe get rid of some of the frost first. You keep an eye out for the time being. This is going to cause some noise and noise attracts attention."

Taking the crowbar firmly in hands, she began whacking and chipping away at the ice covering the frame, enough to expose the corner of the door so she gets a place to leverage at the door. It took a good few whacks and afterwards she began hitting away some of the bigger pieces of ice also. The whole process took about a minute and adozen good hits, but with that done she secured the edge of the tool in the nook she opened and after applying some force without it popping out, she decided it's good to go." Alright, let's do this." She stated and beggan pulling the end of the crowbar, applying the force on the other end. She was also using the doorframe for support as she had one of her boots against it.

Honestly despite the fact she was aplying a lot of force since she was a trained soldier and all that, she was in pretty good physical shape, it wasn't moving an inch. THe forst across the entire thing was holding firm, despite her chipping away some. After Donny joined up, it was still not making any progress over the next few pushes and pulls until after a few times, there was a low crunching of ice and the next attempt caused the door to creak open with the frost shattering across the door. The inside didn't appear like it had snow and ice, so it meant the building had maintained decent condition at least and helped with the door opening, since it didn't have to push against snow on the inside. Right away she was ready to fight, holding the crowbar as a weapon, peering into the dark insides. There wasn't likely to be anything in a secured room after all these years, at least anything alive, but it didn't hurt to be careful.
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