Gracecan, Gracecan, What secrets are inside - Part 1
Dec. 15, 2020, 9:57 p.m.
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Lucafrase sits glumly against the intransigent door, some combination of fuming and strategizing 'a next possible move.' "... do we have any sorcerors in the club? If we could lower the temperature of the lock enough..."
Kerf on patrol here. He doesn't think they are alone in the district, but at least there isn't anyone coming up on them trying to break and enter. When he turns the corner and sees Luca still on the outside of the unit, he stops and looks at the impenetrable door... then up and around. Maggie must have gone to check the doors to the spice emporium. What's a can of lima beans without the bay leaf? "A Pathian could do that easily," he points out, "if their magic functions as expected." He isn't sure it does.
Lucafrase finishes Kerf's thought. "... but we can't contact Pathi. I assume. It really is 'just us.'"
He considers the mechanism reluctantly, then scoffs at himself. "Should have packed a kit of tools back at the shipwright's unit. A good prybar would do." He glances back the way they'd come. "Unless you happen to be a climber." There's a steel drainpipe bolted vertically to the corner of every units to divert rain water. The low peaked rooftop, he infers, "..might offer a skylight glimpse of the interior."
Lucafrase nods. "I've been asking around for a blacksmith for a week-- trying to find someone to bash together a workable set of chisels and planes." She, too, rises and wanders the perimeter, peering hither and yon.
Kerf nods as she does, getting the absent look of someone indulging in a triggered memory. "I've been half-expecting one to show up.. a blacksmith I know. She couldn't have missed out on something like this," he says oddly. Then, instead of doing the sensible thing and jogging back to the previous warehouse for something like a prybar, he approaches the doors, and leans his shoulder against it above the secured handle. Pushing it experimentally to test the give, he then rears back and gives the door a forceful bash.
Kerf rolls with advantage 0 at difficulty 15, using combat.
The result is a success.
Lucafrase startles a bit, but once she's on Ker'f frequency she merely watches for any onlookers who might be getting 'too curious.'
There's no masking the thump of impact and the crack of timber as the door frame splinters around the lock fastening. Kerf's eyes are lowered on the task, so it's good to have someone ready to yell Cheezit, it's the cops! But none appear on the scene by the time he takes the weakened handle and twists it loose. The door mutters open a crack, and then gasps as its contents joing with the new reality.
Lucafrase scurries back over. "Should we assume they started to go off when the fog revealed this part of town?" She cranes her neck, curious as to what's inside. "... how long were you and Maggie an item?" she asks from inside the warehouse.
Kerf shakes his head, standing aside in the open doorway, while dust motes swirl in the daylight that falls through the unlit interior. Soon another light source would become apparent, from the two long but narrow glass windows angled into the rafters. Immediately inside is a wide open floor space for receiving product, and beyond them stand giant shelves stacked with dozens or hundreds of crates. "Wha.. a while. Years." The Rebman furrows his brow having to answer trivia when the possibilities of the warehouse lay yawning before them. "Things.. organics.. were safely preserved in the houses around Martha's Inn, up until we went inside. This should be the same idea."
There's a smallish windowed room built against the wall nearby, a receiver's office of some sort. Kerf goes to see if he can scare up a goods manifest there.
Lucafrase *snif, snif.* "Do you think they've tried refrigeration?" Luca, in her turn, looks around for a prybar or a chunk of something useful for removing nails-- that isn't fingernails.
"They, who..? Far as I am aware, Amber had electricity of a sort, in some sectors. But mostly, they relied on House Sorgo to keep things fresh." Kerf tries the office door but that is very reasonably locked.
Lucafrase shrugs? "Look, I don't have any context either-- I remember I'm a carpenter. I remember 'a vaguely-similar place called Amber,' but-- it wasn't like this. It's all kind of a surprise to me."
Kerf frowns, turning away from the door. "Apologies. I hadn't known. If you know refrigeration, you are perhaps not native to the Amber I recall and always knew to be the -true- version." He walks back to help scare up the unpacking implements -- they're hung from the wall. "That is, apparently, an invalid presumption."
Lucafrase shakes her head. "I just know I wasn't allowed in Amber. I wasn't supposed to be anywhere... near... the city. That's what I remember, OK?! Being told to stay as far away from here as I could."
Kerf appears momentarily ruffled by the exclamation, eyelids and brows flaring higher. Then he lifts his shoulders too, briefly. "Okay... but that has no bearing on the situation, anymore. You're here now, Lucafrase."
A shadow dims the light coming in from the main entry. It glides into the shaft of light penetrating the warehouse. Awkward of silhouette, it moves with a measure of grace nonetheless. It is followed without much ado by Maggie who has improvised a pair of sacks that she has slung over her shoulders. Her step is sprightly, her manner alive, "Hello again. The spicery has a lot of dried spices all packed into tins and bags. I brought a selection. Martha can use them and then send for more. Even if everyone currently awake and aware uses them liberally, they should last for years. What did you all find?" She takes a look around, but her attention is drawn to the office with it's recalcetrant door.
Lucafrase spreads arms? "We've got crates. Pull up a prybar, we'll see what they've canned. I mean, my... guess... is probably fish? Anchovies? Tree-nut or fish oils?"
Maggie moves toward the wall of the office. She gently sets her sacks of spices down on the floor, resting them so that they lean into the wall. All the while, she looks in faint awe at the stacks of crates. Leaving the sacks, she walks slowly up to one of the crates. Circling it, she looks for any sort of label, "Was there a manifest or sales record in the..." Her eyes lift to the office door, "Oh. It is locked, yes?" Her tone indicates that she is debating the merits of trying to get it open and just opening the crate in front of her.
Lucafrase chuckles, wry. "... isn't everything around here?"
Maggie laughs just a bit, but shrugs, "Well... Presumably the Gracecan folks didn't want miscreants to run off with their goods. I am sure that they did not anticipate this situation at all." Looking back toward the entry to the warehouse, she adds, "Did Kerf handle the door there?" As she speaks, she rolls up her sleeves and moves toward Luca. Extending a hand, she adds, "Do you have a prybar?"
Lucafrase *flexes her arms.* "HE MOST CERTAINLY... absolutely did, yes." She ambles to the wall, where Kerf had indicated tools were laid, and nabs a pair. Heading over, she presents: "Madame's key."
Maggie laughs a bit more freely than she has in... maybe in years. Who knows? Her eyes sparkle and her lips remain quirked upward. Following Luca for a bit, she then waits and accepts the prybar, "Thanks." Slapping the metal into her free hand a few times, she turns to the piles. "Nothing like a good key to get the blood pumping. Come on." Selecting a box almost at random, she eyeballs the lid and gently inserts the bar's flattened end between the lid and the rest of the box. "Ready? Heave ho!"
Lucafrase goes similarly, selecting a nearby crate and methodically *snapkt* *snapkt* at the embedded nails. A bit of wiggling, a bit of grunting-- "Ah, the sweet smell of... ehm..." *snif, snif* "Cedar-shavings, I think."
Maggie follows suite, the snapping of nails being pried free sounding in alternating retorts from Luca's. When the lid is lifted, Maggie peers into the crate. "You got cedar-shavings? I wonder if that means you have something that moths might love." Resting the prybar against the crate, she reaches into the crate. "Hmm. Looks like..." Lifting a can from within, she peers at it, "Uh. This looks like some kind of yellow vegetable. It might be squash." Food!
Lucafrase nods. She peers into her own crate, pulling a can from within. "Could just be insulation. Sawdust and offcuts are cheap filler for things you don't want to bounce around too much?"
Maggie shrugs, "Possibly? Probably?" Turning, she glances at Luca's find, "I don't know much about this process. I used to ship these crates, but I never really explored the process. What did you find?"
Lucafrase finds a label? "Pickled eggs? I guess that explains the care."
Maggie says, "Wow. I don't know if I've ever had pickles eggs." Turning again, she chooses another crate and pries off the lid with fairly efficient, quick movements. "Let's see what is in here."
Lucafrase cranes her neck to watch, curious?
When the lid is lifted, Maggie sets it aside. She moves some packing matterial aside, then peers in, "Huh." Lifting one of the cans, she holds it up. It is shaped the longer side of an egg on one side with the other flat. Turning it, she displays the image if a smiling pig looking out at them, "Canned meat. Pork, I think." Looking at it, she tilts her head to one side, "Though, maybe it isn't pork and that is why the pig looks so happy."
Lucafrase chuckles. "Horsemeat and sweet potatoes for all!"
Maggie laughs, "Sounds good to me." Resettling the can, she looks around at the stacks of crates still to go. "I think that we can say that we have found the food supply. Maybe we should go find a cart of something to carry these up to the inn for Martha." Turning toward the entrance again, she adds, "I think... that I would like to find that woman we saw earlier and see if she and her folks need food."
Lucafrase's eyebrows pop. "You're sure? It seems like we risk assault..."
Maggie shrugs, "Maybe. But what is life without risk?" She looks at Luca, her smile yeilding to a more sober expression, "Maybe they are hungry. Maybe that is why they were so bellegerant. If they were looking for food and saw strangers showing up. Or, maybe they thought that we meant to move in. Invade their territory. It would be difficult to be welcoming if one is hungry and afraid." She pauses and studies the crate she just opened, "There is enough meat in here to feed us for weeks... I'd rather share and build good will than be covetous and cause people to suffer."
Lucafrase nods. "Alright. I do feel guilty for fluffing up my fur and barking so loudly."
Maggie smiles at Luca, one hand lifting slightly, "No, that's okay. We are all a bit on edge." Looking around again, she adds, "But... I'd rather speak to them with Kerf with us. Some people react well to women, others to men. I like diversity." And he was impressive enough to give their bruiser pause. Can't hurt.
Lucafrase nods. "Agreed."
And then one day, lo, it happened. It started in the Switchback and slowly spread down the mountain side. A gentle soothing rain. Water from the sky. The first change in the weather that has been seen since our heroes first awakened here.
The rain was somewhat spring like, warm, gentle and eventually fizzled out in the bay.
But since that day and continuing today the weather seems to be returning to normal, at least in some places.
Kerf comes back around with a wooden carpenter box with the carved handle and the chisels and such with in providing a comforting weightiness. He?d detoured down a row to shop the company shingles, but does not try to break down any more doors before there is a need.
Maggie looks up as Kerf returns. She waves, then gestures to the opened crates, "Hey. Welcome back. We found some vegetables, meat and deviled eggs. At least we have some food to give to Martha for everyone." She sets the jar of mystery meat that is probably pork down and leans on the crate. "I'd like to try to talk to those folks who... Visited... us in the other warehouse. I don't like leaving things where they are right now. Might be that we invaded their space or interrupted their own search for food. It would be a shame if they felt we were adversaries just because everyone was on edge. Lucafrase has agreed to come. Would you be willing to as well?"
Kerf is, of course, willing to go with them on the new objective. The food, in this ideal state, can wait for them to find a method to transport and distribute it amongst the existing populace.
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