Wayside

When your wandering takes you to parts unknown, you may wind up on the Wayside. A port town surrounded by a thick white fog, hidden from the rest of the world, just the way the residents like it.
 
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 The Stumble Inn

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Melancholy Melanie
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PostSubject: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:16 pm

The first building you are likely to see as you stumble in through the fog. A simple looking inn with an old fashioned hanging sign that creaks in the breeze.
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:28 pm

Melanie sits behind the front desk, idly tapping at the service bell out of boredom. It had been a long time since anyone new had visited her inn and her rooms were all empty. Not that it mattered much, there was no real currency here in Wayside. . . but still, the company would have been nice.
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:54 pm

Hal Buckley growled as Ten-Zhou, the Master of Mayhem cackled. "Try all you might, Buckley, but you will never stop my mass transporterator machine in time! Soon this entire planet will be sucking space air! That will show you fools for shunning me!"

Kasei-La raised her eyebrows in sheer befuddlement. "Space-Air? Are you serious?! Space doesn't HAVE air! It's a vacuum! That's why it's so dangerous! Gosh golly gee, you know nothing about science at all, do you?"

Hal looked back at Kasei-La, a finger over his lips. "Kasei-La, ssh. I'm dealing with a genocidal maniac." He turned back to the Master of Mayhem, and snarled. "You're MAD, Zhou!"

"For more reasons than one. Space air, gadzooks..."

"SHHHH."

"Fine, fine!" Kasei-La sighed, and hugged Zippy to her. "At least the monkey listens to me... When he's not trying to eat my face."

Hal leapt forward, and fired his laser pistol at the machine, causing the Master of Mayhem to shriek in terror. "NO! YOU FOOL! NOW WE'LL BE LOST IN THE COLDEST DEPTHS OF SPACE!"

"Actually, space is not cold at all. You can retain heat perfectly as long as there's nothing to transfer it t--URK!" Kasei-La jerked as Hal grabbed her, and ran back for the ship.

"This is no time for discourse, Kasei-La!" Hal raced onto the ship, but it was too late. The mass transporterator machine exploded, engulfing them in the teleportation energy.

"CURSE YOU BUCKLEY, CURSE YOUUUUU!"

The light exploded, and the ship plummeted down into the ground now 15 feet below them. The shock of the fall kept everyone in the now-sideways ship still for a few moments, but Hal recollected himself quickly. "...It seems... We've been transporterated to a new world... Kasei-La, stay here while Zippy and I go check it out."

"You're taking the monkey?" Kasei-La glared at Hal, incredulous.

"It's too dangerous for a young lady to go out on her own." Hal kept a fatherly tone of voice, and kicked open the hatch-door of their ship and stepped out into the strange... town?

Kasei-La grumbled. "But you brought me to a BLACK HOLE last week..."
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:00 pm

Melanie stopped dinging the bell and sat up straight as soon as she heard the crash. Someone was here? Someone new had found their way to the Wayside?
She turned around and quickly checked herself out in the mirror, straightening her black hair that was frizzing somewhat in the humid air, checking her teeth for food particles she might have missed. . . After deeming herself presentable she turned back around, straightened her shirt, and waited for their arrival, smiling a bit to herself.
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:08 pm

Hal waved casually at the woman as he entered into the inn, figuring it to be the best place to get information. He chuckled at the pun in the name and found it to remind him of the town he grew up in. Smiling from inside his cracked, glass helmet, he pulled it off his head, and a rush of fog-like gas escaped from the inside. He put the helmet under his shoulder, and his smile grew wider to reveal his irritatingly perfect teeth.

"Hello there! Good to know I landed on a human planet... Say, can you tell me where I am? I had a small mishap with another one of those planet-killing psychopaths and it seems his device managed to not only transport me to some world I've never seen before, but managed to total my ship. I have a little girl on board as well, and she might need medical attention, so if you can tell me where the nearest hospi-bot is, I'd appreciate that too. Oh, by the way, this little fellow here is my pet, Zippy." He pointed at the baboon, which was picking knits off its tail and eating them.

Kasei-La tried to get her footing, and poked her head out of the ship. She looked around, her eyes filled with wonder. "Woah... A human town... Never seen anything but a city up close..." She sank back into the ship, and smirked to herself. "Wonder how long it'll take before I spot the whore-house."
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:14 pm

Melanie's smile faded as she looked at the guy. He obviously came from one of the stranger worlds. . . she hoped that he wouldn't be any trouble. "This is the town of Wayside, sir. It's not on any planet as far as anyone here has ever been able to tell. With all the fog, we can't get a good look at the night sky to know for sure. . . " She trailed off, looking a bit distracted as she twirled some of her hair around her finger.

After a pause, she turned her attention back to him. "As far as medical attention goes, well, I suppose you could head down the street to Doc's house. He'd be more than willing to patch your friend up for you. He's treated people from several different worlds, so I'm sure she will be no problem at all." Melanie gave him a weak smile, but her expression quickly faded back into her usual mask of indifference. "Just right down the street. . . sign with a big plus."
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:24 pm

Hal blinked, and stared at the woman blankly for a few moments until it hit him. He rubbed the back of his neck, and bit his lip as he thought. Then, he flicked a button on his wrist, and a microphone came out of his collar.

"Buckley's log... Date unknown, for I do not have my chronometer to align with this strange place. It appears that I have fallen into a world between worlds, some sort of... Dividing or at least a world quite similar. They seem to have experienced tech regression of some sort, or maybe perhaps they never reached the level our society did. It would make sense. Social progress seems good, though. Women are indeed, able to hold property, but there's mention of men, so this is not a feminist dystopia where the women have killed off the men, either..."

He looked back up at her. "By the way, I am Hal Buckley. From what you've said, it seems I'm going to be here for a little while. Do you know where I could acquire some cigarettes, by the way?"

Getting fed up, Kasei-La leapt out of the ship, and scurried into the Inn. She huffed for a few moments, not looking up as she caught her breath.

"Why do you always take so long, Hal?"

Hal glared at her, like a scolding parent. "Kasei-La, I told you to stay in the ship... Well, at least I know you're alright."

"I'm sorry, you're just such a slowpoke that I was worried something ate you or another dang crazy thing happened to you." Kasei-La pulled off her helmet as well, and her lit up antenna bobbed for a few moments.

Hal turned back to the woman. "Yes, that's my ward, Kasei-La... Now about your name and those cigarettes."
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:30 pm

Melanie smiles a bit in amusement at Kasei-La's entrance. "So, your friend is alright. That's good. I'm not sure Doc has treated her type before." She drummed her fingers on the desk and nodded to herself. "Cigarettes. . . I'd check the General Store. I think that's where they are. . . I don't smoke, you see." She shrugged, apologetically.

"Welcome to Wayside. Yes, you'll probably be here a while. Few people have been able to leave. . . most who find their ways here don't try though, so that could be a bit biased. My name is Melanie. You could call me Mel, if you liked. Most people don't."
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:39 pm

Hal flashed a pearly smile at Melanie, and pointed at her as he walked outside to the general store. "Well, then Mel, I'll be sure to catch you after I get myself some cigarettes. Come, Zippy." Zippy squeaked, and hurried after Hal, "oo-oo" and "ah-ah"ing as he went.

Kasei-La rolled her eyes, and opened up her suit, giggling. "Sorry, Hal is kind of... Uh... Golly... I can't think of the word... Well, he may act like a dork, but he's a nice enough fella." She smiled at Melanie as she stepped out in her sari, her bare toes drumming against the ground. "You wouldn't believe how uncomfortable that is after a day."

She sat down, and grinned. "So, I'm Kasei-La, age 12 and a half." She felt the need to introduce herself on her own terms, since she always felt so small when Hal did it for her.
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:42 pm

Melanie leaned over the desk, smiling at Kasei-La. "Hello there. Pretty name, I like it. If he's a nice guy then he shouldn't have any trouble finding a place in Wayside. There's always room, some how."
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:46 pm

Kasei-La grinned, and wrinkled her nose. "I don't like the name much myself, honestly. It means "Little Girl", literally. It's like not even my birth-parents wanted me to become grown-up!" She sighed, and kicked her legs in boredom. "Oh... Um... There isn't anything like... Supervillains, or crazy people that gained powers from radiation that want to make a legion of rat-people, or anything like that here, right? No super-powered loonies?" She looked concerned, her eyes getting big and hopeful looking.
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:49 pm

Melanie chuckled a bit. "Well, Casey means alert and watchful to us humans. It's a good name." She paused to contemplate the girl's question for a moment, looking out the window. She nodded to herself and looked back at Kasei-La. "No, no super loonies here. Sometimes they show up, but usually they are ready to give up that sort of life when they reach here. Something about this town tends to calm down those sorts. I guess because there is nothing to really fight against."
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:53 pm

Kasei-La paused for a moment, as if trying to tell if what Melanie said was true or not. Then, without a moment's notice, she leapt up and hugged Melanie over the desk. "WOOO-HOO-- OW, MY STOMACH!" She pulled her bare midriff away from the edge of the desk, revealing a green line. "Note to self... Don't hug people when there are obstacles in the way." She shook her head, and then returned to her joyous state. "No more explosions! No more having to save planets! No more sheer insanity!" She danced around like someone who has just had an epiphany.
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:55 pm

Melanie watched her and gave and honest-to-goodness laugh. "Well, it's good to know that you aren't disappointed or anything. Though. . . I have a feeling that your friend won't feel the same way. He seems very full of himself."
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:03 pm

Kasei sighed sympathetically. "You have no idea. But he's not full of himself... It's more like... Well, it's a hero complex thing, I guess." She looked up as Hal walked in, lighting up his cigarette.

Hal puffed on his cigarette. "Well, I'm back, Mel." He flashed the grin he gave Melanie earlier, and walked over to her. "So... Care to explain this town to me? Tell me what you know? Maybe... We discuss it over dinner, perhaps? My treat, of course. That is, if all places here accept credits like the general store did." He looked down at his space suit. "But I suppose I'll have to get out of this, won't I?" He gave a rather corny laugh.

Zippy wasn't far behind, bounding after his owner.

Kasei-La just held her head in her hands and shook it, frustrated with Hal's antics already.
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:06 pm

Melanie frowned a bit. "I'm sorry, but I have a boyfriend. Or. . . I did. Before I came here. I'm. . .still waiting on him." She gave Hal a weak smile. "It's stupid, but sometimes it's all I have. Forgive me."
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:11 pm

Hal looked dejected for only a moment, the frown visible only for an instant. He covered it up quickly, replacing it with a false smile. "Oh, well... Don't blame yourself. It's quite reasonable... I've met many women who have done the same during the Interplanetary Wars. It's a noble thing you're doing. Just remember..." He beat his fist over his heart, and recited in the most hammy voice imaginable. "Never give up hope, because that's when the forces of darkness strike!"

Kasei-La grimaced, and picked up Zippy, stroking his fur as she yanked the suit off him. "There we go." Zippy struggled in her lap, but eventually settled and started picking gnits again.
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:14 pm

Melanie hid her smile behind a hand. "Yes, of course. The forces of darkness. . . We can't have that. But, if you need a place to stay, I'm the gal to see."
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:21 pm

Hal nodded, slicking back his hair. "Yes, the forces of darkness. Those who would take advantage of us in our darkest hour, the men and women who crawl out from the depths of our fears to wreak havoc and corrupt our hearts so that they are as twisted as theirs. It takes true dedication to face our greatest fears and pains, yet still remain true of heart. But I have a feeling..." He bent down, smiling at her. "That you can do it."

Kasei-La and Zippy looked at each other in that moment, as if they both understand the sheer stupidity of the speech Hal just gave. "Uh... Hal? Maybe we should work on finding a job for the time being?"

Hal smacked his forehead, leaning back. "Oh, right! I completely forgot about that." He smiled at Kasei-La "thank you for reminding me, trusted ward. Yes, well... Does this town have a sheriff? If not, perhaps I could fill that role?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:31 pm

"No sherriff as such, no. But really, you'd do fine without any money for a while. The people who work here work because they want to. We don't really have a currency, though sometimes we barter for what we want. . . We keep things simple around here. There's no one to trade with, so why bother being greedy? Nothing to gain for it. Anyway, all my rooms are empty. . . go ahead and take one if you wish."
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:38 pm

"Heh, careful there. You're one step away from communism." He smirked, and put out his cigarette. "Well, alright then. So there's free rooms upstairs, then? Sounds good... But... Say, if I can't treat you to dinner as a potential suitor, perhaps we can eat together as potential friends? When you're not busy, of course." His smile changed from a grin to a warm smile, and looked a little less forced than what had been seen before.

Kasei-La looked around, and sighed. "Are there any kids here, Mel?" She looked down at Zippy, who seemed to be scowling at her. "I know, I know, your company's great, but you're also a monkey."
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:41 pm

"Communism? I guess it is, yeah. But it works just fine for us. No one is really interested in being in power around here. What's the point of being king of nowhere? Not much of one, you know." Mel sighs and traces a spiral on the desk. "There are some kids here, Kasei-La. You could go to school if you like. Or don't, if you don't. But you probably should. The teachers are very nice. They teach for the fun of it, you know."
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:48 pm

Hal raised his eyebrow playfully. "You seemed to ignore my question, Mel. I know you might be uncomfortable talking to another man while you wait for your boyfriend, but that's all it is, talking." He leaned close for a moment, and then pulled back. "Besides, I have a lot of technology on board my ship. If I'm not going to be returning to space for a while, we might be able to scavenge some parts and maybe even find a way to bring your boyfriend here."

"Thanks, Mel! I'll consider it... And Hal, don't get her hopes up. That ship is dang messed up right now, and I'm not sure if most of the parts work anymore." She looked sadly at Mel, knowing what it was like to lose someone she cared about.

"Don't be silly, Hal Buckley can do anything he puts his mind to!"

Out of nowhere, Kasei-La shot up and shrieked. "You said that about my parents, too! Where are they, huh? I thought you could do anything! WHY COULDN'T YOU SAVE THEM, HUH?" She stormed up the stairs, yanking Zippy with her as tears streamed down her cheeks.

Hal stared at the spot where Kasei-La was sitting for a moment, craning his neck to the staircase. "...Where did that come from?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Mel watched Kasei-La go, twisting her hands with worry. "I don't know. . . but really, Hal, it's fine. I'll wait. If he doesn't wish to come to the Wayside, then he simply does not. That's just the way things go. And I'm sorry, I just don't feel like dinner right now."
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PostSubject: Re: The Stumble Inn   Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:57 pm

Hal sank, and groaned as he rubbed his temples. "Ergh... Alright. Sorry about Kasei-La's outburst... It's not her fault, though. She used to be the daughter of two Venusian ambassadors. But the Tralfamadorians... Aliens, attacked in an attempt to take slaves for their zoos. Her parents were killed as a fought them off. The aliens said it was destiny... I say it was murder. I tried to help, I really did, but... well, I was pinned down. Kasei-La was only six or so at the time, so I took her with me. I figured it was better than staying in an orphanage, anyway. She never really let it go..."
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