: The Train Yard -> McNerta Ave.Interacting with: Introduction
On the other side of town, on the border of Tersei and Amaranth, there was a lonely old railroad yard underneath a network of raised highway ramps. Though most train yards weren't particularly beautiful, this one was especially rundown, though still functional by some miracle. A few locomotives sat motionless on the tracks, in the middle of being loaded or unloaded. Many of the cars were covered in graphic or profane graffiti. Being shielded from most of the elements by the overhead highway ramps and the surrounding buildings, the air was dense, eerily still and quiet.
Only the sound of slow, deliberate footsteps through the gravel broke the silence. A pair of old, faded white basketball shoes kicked up the little stones that ran parallel between two stalled trains. The young man, whose face was obscured by his hood in the dim lighting, checked the time on his phone before reaching his hand out and touching the rough metal surface of one of the train cars that was covered in spray paint.
"Wish I had this kinda talent," he mused to himself.
"That's not you at all, Knox." A different voice rang out from farther down between the two trains. The hooded boy turned his head and removed his hand from the graffiti. A smile formed on his lips as he chuckled.
"Oh?" he asked aloud, before a new figure emerged from the dark—a tall but lanky main with dark skin, hair, and eyes. He was shouldering a backpack and dressed casually.
"You're not the artsy type," he declared.
Knox looked again at the graffiti.
"I don't think most of the guys who made these were very artsy either," he supposed. He reached up with both of his hands and pulled back his hood, revealing more of his face, his eyes, and his hair.
The newcomer came up next to him and also touched the side of the train car.
"Eh, maybe you're right. Still not you though." He paused for a moment and spoke up again. "Always wondered who made all this grafitti and where they're from, you know? Trains go all over the country. Whoever did this could've been from Chicago, St. Louis, maybe even somewhere out in California."
"California..." The previously-hooded Knox pronounced the word slowly, feeling the words on his tongue. "Just the sound of it seems like some kind of distant, exotic land."
"Why not go out there? It's only a train ride away. Warm year round, and the best weed in the country."
"I can't now. I'm... tied down here."
The one with the backpack snickered and pulled off his backpack, setting on the gravel at his feet.
"Ah, right. How's the gangster life going for you?" he asked coldly.
"Can't complain. Would've probably died without 'em."
"Sure, sure." The newcomer unzipped his backpack and rummaged around inside.
"What you got for me today, KJ?" Knox asked expectantly.
"I've got your favorite."
KJ pulled out a bag and held it before Knox's beaming face.
"My man!" he exclaimed. He shoved his hand into his hoodie's pocket and pulled out a wad of cash, handing it to KJ before snatching the bag from his hand. He held up the bag to the light of a dim service light and examined his treasure.
"Noice," was his only affirmation.
"Guess where it's from," KJ told him.
Knox brought down the bag and stuffed it into his pocket in lieu of the money that was previously there.
"California?" he guessed.
"Whatever. As long as I've got hookups like you here, I've got no reason to leave."
"That's fair." KJ zipped his backpack back up and shouldered it.
"You should consider joining yourself," Knox suggested. "They're really chill. Good group of people."
"No thanks," KJ laughed. "I've got business with y'all and the Wolves. Gotta stay neutral for the maximum customer base."
"Tell that to my profits. Is that all for tonight, Knox? You could smoke through that in a day's time."
"I'll text you if I need more."
"Oh, I know you will. See you around. Careful not to get lose down here, either."
"I won't. My sense of direction isn't that
With that, Knox's drug deal turned and sauntered down the gravel back the way he had came. Knox, however, lingered for a moment more, looking and and touching the trains cars a bit longer. Finally, he turned and walked back the way he had also come from, leading onto a quiet side street of Tersei. He wandered down it for nearly half an hour, trying to find a good place to smoke at.
Eventually, he drew near McNerta Avenue, and spotted a park across the street from all the dive bars and strip clubs. Well, it was a park at some point. The grass had yellow and the trees had lost their leaves one winter, never to get them back. The fountain in the middle no longer ran and was filled with an opaque brown liquid that was more sludge than it was water. The ugliness made no difference to Knox, however. He eagerly took a seat on an old park bench in front of the fountain. He quickly and discreetly ground up a bit of the weed and packed it into his favorite bowl. He snatched out his lighter from his pocket and sparked the flame, taking a long, slow inhale from the open end of the bowl.
yes." He was in heaven.