Location: M6 (Tram) -> Around Town -> M6 (Tram) -> N5 (Street)
Ash nodded his head with understanding, listening to Thana. Of course, he wasn't in a position to help. Technically he was part of the community now, if only for less than a day, but had yet to receive assignment or even the basest of clearance. There was less in the way of trust here than there had been in Newnan. Or maybe "trust" was the wrong word; the people of Newnan were decent folk for the most part who needed an opportunity, and whose individual skills were put to almost immediate use in the community. This was a different approach, certainly. This place had more in the way of people and a lot more physical area. Different protocol for different circumstances.
The tour was fairly standard, though Ash couldn't help but think that their tour guide was trying a little hard to be charming. Maybe it was just him. It was hard to just shut off being a soldier, when exactly those instincts to question, assess, and persevere is what he attributed to his being alive still, in equal measure with the trust he placed in others. It seemed that the General felt a similar way (though on the level of communities rather than people), considering the recently acquired knowledge of Camp Mexico Beach's proclivity to help out smaller, starter communities.
That they had a distillery piqued his interest. That would be a task to which he was highly suited, having been raised among it since birth and, though it meant next to nothing now, having his family name emblazoned across a brand of spirits native to the Virginia mountains. Naturally, after hearing that they had safeguards in place to prevent a catastrophic explosion from obliterating the settlement, Ash had to wince. It didn't matter that the ground collapsing was what set off Newnan distillery, Ash was in charge of Newnan, and in specific Engineering and Distilling operations. No, it wasn't his fault. It still didn't feel good to think about. Instead, he mulled over the distilling processes of traditional Tennessee bourbon, a straighter, cleaner flavor in his estimation than other methods common to the American South. Maybe he'd get an opportunity to trade recipes eventually, one liquor producer to another.
He bid Thana a quick farewell when she hopped out at the pier, kissing her back and smiling a little upon her egress. It felt a little strange, being the kind of person who gave someone a kiss before they went off to work. That hadn't been him
for so long that it felt almost foreign. This whole "normalcy" thing was something that might require some readjusting. Well, he was prepared to adjust away, because this was his life now, for as long as he could possibly make it last.
The rest of the tour was slightly less interesting to him. He still listened steadfastly, and indeed many things that were mentioned appealed to him as an Engineer. The civil works, in particular. Working a system designed to support a community using only the resources of a smaller section of a once-thriving tourist destination. The Chapel also presented some interest, though more limited than it once might have. He still tried to be a godly man, though the time spent considering such matters or being in supplication of a just and loving God had lessened over the last five years.
As they returned to their starting point of the tour, Ash was pleased to note that Thana was nearby. She was still limping, though she wasn't expected to have a miraculous recovery due to some eldritch force at the pier. "Thanks, Padre. Be seeing you,"
he called to Atticus, for taking the time to provide them a brief tour of their new surroundings. Likewise, he took the time to bid the rest of the people he had spent the last week locked away with, and in the case of some of them the last couple of years or so with a polite, "Excuse me. Meet up with you at the Mess,"
before making his way down the street a little to Thana. He gave her a hug, like the had been apart for longer than they actually had, and a quick kiss before leding her a shoulder to lean on. "Hey, Doc says you're supposed to be taking it easy."
A mischievous smile took him, and he asked, "Time for that piggyback ride?"
He stooped to effect an easier mounting, saying, "Point, and we'll go that way. K?"
M6 (Tram) -> Around Town -> M6 (Tram Parking Lot) Skills:
There were a few places of interest within Camp Mexico Beach for Thalia, though she was still preoccupied with the issue concerning her personal effects. Or effect
, singular. Still, for a borderline paranoid woman of otherwise practical disposition, it was within her best interests to learn what she could about the place. Housing boarded up around the Distillery, nothing not much else nearby. It might be a place to go if she wanted to be alone, maybe find a quiet rooftop, alcove, or crawlspace to informally claim when not on duty. Whatever "duty" was supposed to be for her.
There was a lot of water around this place. Fitting, considering that it was a seaside community. With her new hardware where the more dexterous part of her arm used to be, swimming was not going to be the easiest task to accomplish. Open area aside, it felt like an extension of the walls. That was something to get used to. Maybe there was a way to adapt to it. That would be something to look forward to. She was here to train, after all. To that end, the concept of enlisted housing gathered her attention, nodding toward the presence of enough people of age and level of fitness to make for a useful standing army. Then the outright mention that they actually did have a military force. Alright, now they were talking. Just as soon as she spend God knew how long gutting fish and tidying up.
Electrical drew her attention, too. Charging batteries and tending solar units, etc. Once upon a time she was a college grad with a possible future in Electronics Engineering. When this whole "end of the world" things started, or about a year in, anyway, she was able to use her technical ability to piece together a functional satellite phone, which oddly put her on the path to this place
. It was funny how these things worked out. Oh, and of course the only person with whom she had a phone call of any note since the Grid collapsed got to die shortly thereafter, and right in front of her, too. It might have been her too, if Lola hadn't heaved her ass back at just the right time. Then she died too, that same day. Everyone did. Then why was she still kicking?
That piece of introspection waved bye-bye when she heard a voice continuing to speak to her. She nodded absently at his joke about an arm and a leg, raising her eyebrows as if to say, "Really?"
then shook her head in dismissal. Nah, too easy. Definitely an Uncle Joke. Just not her
uncle. Her uncle would have growled in annoyance and threatened something awful that he might do anyway out of pure principle. Now, how that man wasn't alive still was fully goddamned beyond her. She couldn't hold a candle to the man.
But back to the tour. She knew he village hotspots, so to speak; some of the places of interest. Generally unused spots where she could train on her own time that were away from people, with very limited chance of Zeds or hostile Living interrupting her. What was that the older guy called living hostiles? Assholes? Maybe that could work. "Assholes and Zeds: All the threats of the Apocalypse from A to Z". Whatever. The tour was coming to a close. She saw Thana limping up, and while she meant to talk with her, Army Captain beat her over there. Fine. They needed more time for the novelty of each other to wear off. Thalia could wait. She was good at waiting. Patient, stalkerish, predatorial waiting. (Okay, so she probably had to re-learn certain social skills.)
Alexander was speaking to her again. She wasn't trying to ignore the guy, really. In fact, the lapse in attention was actually a sign that she trusted him and didn't consider him a threat, a feat as good as any in this world. But to call her a kid? She was almost 30, near as she could tell. Wait, what month was it again? Yeah, 29. Some things were less important, like how many years passed to the day since someone was yanked out of someone else's crotch. But judging by the grey in Alexander's hair and vivid memories of times before her birth, he was old enough to consider her a kid, if a little inaccurate an observation overall. "You're alright, Mugsy,"
she said as an attempt at reassurance. "Getting emotional's naht something to worry about, 'k? None of us're done crying yet."
So that wasn't exactly the reassuring part. In fact, it was kind of dark. "Don't let it control you."
That was a little better. A little.
Thalia raised her arm, or rather the metal device replacing her arm, returning, "Thanks for sticking by me, too. ...k, enough gooey shit. I could eat. C'mahn, Mugs. Dinner in 20, right? I can practice glaring at the locals while we wait."