Mar 20, 2019 9:13 AM
Mab falls into Frostpunk
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"Well, hon, right now my priority is making sure you're warm. Poor thing, I'm surprised you're not frostbitten!" She fishes out more heavy furs from a backpack. "Here we are. Dry and warm."

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Isn't it so surprising?

She acquires furs. They are much better at insulation than her school robes, and cover up the shiny badge on her chest with the letter on it. She smiles gratefully.

"Thank you, um - I don't think I caught your name?"

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"I'm Beth. Elizabeth, my mom named me, but really... I'm Beth. And what's your name?"

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"Oh, I'm Mab - really it's short for Mabel, Mabel Caldwell, but I don't mind being called by either. I can't say that the circumstances are the best, but it's nice to meet you, Beth."

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"Nice to meet you too. By God, how did you get out here? Were you with the advance teams? We only barely made it ourselves, on falling-apart boats."

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"I'm honestly not sure. It seemed like one moment I was safe, and the next I was here." The corner of her mouth twitches. "I'd call it magic, but that's not really a proper explanation, is it?"

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"Not an explanation at all, magic... Is your head sore at all, Mab? Have you been here long, know about any dangerous surprises waiting for us?"

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"It would explain a lot if it were, but no, my head feels perfectly fine. And I haven't been here long at all, but nothing looked especially dangerous. There's a little office and it looks like someone used to live over in that corner."

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"We'll check the place out and then talk to the city back home." She glances at the others and drops her voice a bit. "I'ma make them let us take you with us, hear? You'll have to work hard shifts, in the city, but we all do, and it's better than freezing to death, innit?"

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"I've never really fancied being an icicle," she admits. "- thank you, again. I don't know what I'd do otherwise. I know I'd be another mouth to feed, but I really am willing to work to make up for it."

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"Yeah, we'll take care of you. Nobody left behind, all that rot. How did you get here? You say your head feels fine, but what do you remember?"

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"Hmm..." She makes a face. "...could I take a rain check on that question? What I have's a bit muddled and nonsensical, and I'd like to have it sorted in my head before I try to tell the story."

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Beth's face goes serious. "...Kid. What you're hiding, is it going to kill someone?"

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She fiddles with the edge of a fur. "...no, I really don't think so, and I'd say if I did. But it might make me sound like a madwoman, so I'd rather see if there's sense to be made from it before risking that."

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She nods sharply. "I believe you. In that case, you can keep it. You'd tell us if there were hungry polar bears or a crazed gunman around, I hope. Anything less, I won't pry. Though others might."

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"I don't believe there are any crazed gunmen or polar bears about, unless they're very small and fit inside crates. And I don't mind if they pry - it seems a reasonable thing to do, when you find strange girls in abandoned factories - it's only that everyone's still new to me, and I'm in the habit of being careful what I say to whom."

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"Hmm. Well, missy, careful not to talk too much like a Lord. You kind of sound like one, with the fancy words, and there's a lot of bad feeling 'bout the Lords. But anyway, you want indroductions? I'm Beth, there's Glen, Elena, George, Sam, and Cooper. Glen likes rules, so the Captain put him in charge of our little troop. Elena's a good shot, and his husband. George used to be a lumberjack. Sam's good with equipment and stuff. And Cooper takes care of the sled dogs."

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She nods along. "I'll try to remember everyone's names, once I know which faces they belong to. I used to know a lot of people so I like to think I got pretty good at it."

A pause.

"- you said it like it was obvious, so I'm thinking I'm really lost, but I don't know who the Lords are or what they did. I'm sorry if I'm dredging up anything bad, but could you tell me? It sounds important."

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"Why, they pretended everything was fine and dandy when they knew the winter to end all winters was comin', and worked us who actually work for a living to the bone preparing their supplies and escape boats. We found out what they were hiding, 'cause they wanted to take a few doctors and such, with useful skills, with 'em, and the doctors wanted to take their wives and kids, and their wives and kids wanted to take a few friends... And then everyone knew and it got a bit crazy. So, we stole a bunch of boats and came up here before the Lords could."

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"I'm glad you could make it out safely," she says, with emphasis. "That's not how people should use their power."

A pause, and she frowns.

"...when did this happen? Are the Lords still... there?"

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"No it is not. But that's the way of things for most people. Our Captain got chosen because he was a union head, before, and he organized the trip. He's been alright so far. I don't know anything 'bout the Lords except rumors. Probably baseless rumors. But the rumors say they're coming after us in their own boat. And that they have guns. Just, like I said, that's rumors."

"Beth!" The scouts' leader calls out to her, "We've made a circuit and we're going to report back to the city now. You take the cans from those pallets and load them onto the sleds."

"Aye, Glen. Sure thing."

"And you, kid-"

As she turns away Beth shouts, "Her name's Mab!"

"Er. Right. Mab. Do you know any other potentially useful areas around here? We want to scavenge everything we can for the city."

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"I don't think I've seen anything you haven't - just the cans and crates and that corner with the bedrolls, and there might've been a safe in the office."

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"I more meant any other buildings in the area, but I'll check out the safe. There's probably just old paper money in it. Might be worth hauling back for the metal, though. Do you know anything about the surrounding area, though? Where we could go next? Where you came from?"

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"I didn't see much besides hills, but then again, I wasn't out in the open for very long."

She pauses. Makes a contemplative expression.

"-- I remember being somewhere very different before I arrived here. I have a guess at what happened besides 'I bumped my head and lost a journey's worth of memories', but it's complicated to explain and might just cause more questions. It's up to you if this is a good time and place for it."

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"Yes, I want to hear what's going on. The more we know, the better we can plan and react."

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