Dec 01, 2021 1:16 PM
The Group is not allowed to have an uneventful quiet meal
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"Maybe? I wouldn't even exactly call it asking, it was more - answering a question with its obvious answer," she says, half mumbling. "I wonder if there's any way to test it safely. Or get someone else to test it safely. Someone, you know, harder to mess with."


"I wish we knew more upperclassmen, or more Americans. Someone has to have a better sense of what his deal is." 


"Well, Malak has siblings, but she's already asked them. I... think there might be circumstances under which I can ask for help from Cairo, but I don't know that 'can you explain the deal with the guy who stands on tables' is one of them? Did we ever ask Bella to ask her cousin?"


"No, we should ask her about that in history of artificing this afternoon."


Wendy in her crinkly raincoat and ugly purple backpack (weighed down really heavy, enough that it's messing with her posture) has gotten pretty good at broadcasting her intent to approach a table through Body Language and Being In Sightlines, before actually approaching it. It's a small skill but it's a skill.

She Intends To Approach Annissa, and then when she gets close enough to be heard, "Annisa, right? I'm Wendy, Chicago mundie. We met at orientation. I have a trade to propose."


"- hi, Wendy." She does not invite her to sit down, yet. They're a Group, they can be a little picky, wait to hear the offer at least. "What're you interested in?"


"Lots of things. More clothes, first off. What I have to offer is I think kind of a big deal, 'specially long term. I have second pickings of Monday morning shop 'cause nobody warned me not to ask for too many schedule changes. So, kind of doomed except," she pauses dramatically, "Orion freaking Lake is in that class so as long as I'm not the first one to the cupboards maybe I won't even die!"


" - Orion Lake? Sorry, I don't know who that is - uh, awesome if he agreed to protect you in Monday morning shop, though - is he an upperclassman -"


"New York's wonder kid? He barged right into the room and killed a huge mal like nothing and none of the other New Yorkers acted surprised, but like they're all there, like six of them, and if they think it's safe-"


Naima turns around from looking at the table that may or may not belong to Seattle.

She hasn't heard of Orion Lake, and she's never seen this kid before. She's - pretty sure this kid is going to die, if she ended up taking Monday morning shop through sheer incompetence, but - 

"New York's taking Monday morning shop?"


"Yeah. I mostly have a lot of metal, that's what seemed good and what was left after a bunch of New York seniors plus the freshmen went through everything. Have a shopping list I can try to fill?"



New York is in Monday morning shop?




Annisa quite abruptly fucking hates them, as intensely as she's never hated anyone in her life because -

- she had that shop, and she switched out, because you can't dream in high school, you can't imagine what you'd be able to build with all the supplies you wanted and all the time to work in safety in the world, and even enclave kids have to be careful, in school, it's not a fact about being weak it's a fact about being human, and -

- and it's stunningly unstrategic to be jealous of them for it, the Annisa who is hurt dies, the Annisa who lives is fine with it fine with it fine with it fine with it 

"Wow, that's so lucky! So you're offering to trade second pick of the shop, for more clothes and then whatever else?"


"Incredibly damn lucky, and I know it. I cannot count on anything like that that happening again. But- Yeah, more or less. Do you mind if I set down my backpack, it weighs like eighty pounds right now-"



You know what, she is not going to try to comprehend what New York is doing. Whatever the foreign enclaves are doing this time is not her problem and not her focus.

"Sit. I can make clothes. I made a pair of cargo pants this weekend, if you want to check the quality of what I can make in here."


"This is my group - Naima, Cairo, healing, Julian, Hong Kong, large-scale artifice, Malik, Damascus, stealth." We are very serious people and getting to sit with us is a big deal. "You might want to trade for a better backpack, too, the backpacking kind, you'll throw your back out trying to fit too much in a small one."


(Annisa has Chantal's clothes and backpack but she is not going to volunteer that just yet.)


"I can also make a backpack. I have canvas, which is great for that, but I don't have anything soft. - here, do you want an actual shopping list, I can write one up."


Annisa is doing some sort of social game. She doesn't really have the energy to respond to it but doesn't feel like Annisa is a Big Player, so luckily she doesn't really have to? It might be better if she could but she really has no brain for that kind of shit. So just do what feels natural.

"Healing? Nice. I could use a bit of mending on this jacket too. Wendy. Chicago mundie. Metal, I think, let me know if anyone hasn't disassembled their furniture yet, I can do it in ninety seconds. Another backpack is on my list, but what isn't? I'll have to rely on this cute little one for now. And an actual shopping list for next week sounds like a way for both of us to get things we want."

When she sets it down on the seat carefully, there's an audible clank.


"Metal's a really solid affinity."


"I have a few clothes I'd be willing to trade, I can also hide your room from mals if you can get me something good. Looking to buy fabric - lighter ones, no canvas - and gems and animal parts. Treated leather's no good, hides are."


"I have extra clothes and a backpack, and I could make you a proper forged combat knife, and I'll take leather and steel and ivory."


She pulls out a sheet of paper and starts writing. 


- Soft cloth, particularly patterned cloth, particularly beautiful patterned cloth. Anything that seems suitable for underwear is great. Large sheets are better than small pieces, but bring small pieces, too. If you find something you like a lot, I'll turn it into clothing for you in exchange for additional fabric.

- Memory foam.

- AA Batteries.


- Cloth that seems too rough to use for underwear, but not too rough for clothing, especially if it's patterned.

- Elastic bands, spandex, or other fabric that's very stretchy.

- Things that seem sort of like cut-rate memory foam. 

- Thread.

- Cotton, linen, or flax fiber, especially in large amounts. Wool is also valuable, but less so. 

- Paint in colors other than pink and orange.

- Duct tape.

- Wood or metal glue.

- Leather.


- Cloth that's too rough for clothing, even if it's basically a rug or a carpet.

- Sponges.

- Drawing or coloring materials other than paint, including oil pastels, colored pencils, or wax crayons.

- Chalk.

- Tape that's sadder than duct tape.

- Cardstock or patterned paper.

- Sandpaper.

- Hardwood. 

- Beads.

- Buttons.

"This isn't exhaustive, and obviously you should use your judgement, when deciding what's valuable, but that's a start. - And can we see what you have? If you happen to have anything very good I'll give you the pants right now."


"It looks like that's full of metal? If some of it's steel I'll give you a shirt now as well."



"Yeah, basically full of metal. I'm going to stockpile them in assumption of having lots of use for random metal later. New York dibsed literally all the gems. I have some pieces that are either iron or steel, I don't actually know how to tell those two apart - and tin, pewter, copper, a bit of bronze scrap, lots of other metals I'm going to try identifying. I'd like some knife care lessons actually, Annisa. And artificing tips. Maybe a whole third knife but I do need to treat mine right- And I have some fabric, here lemme-" It was being used as padding for the big glass casserole tray.

She passes over the fabric fold- It's thick linen of some sort. Off-white, maybe eight by five feet. "I guess it was destined to be a curtain before it came here? Naima, do I need to sweeten it any from this for those cargo pants?" She can offer a tip about Karen's bigger piece and similar need to make up the difference if she has to, but then again that might be a fairly big reveal, but then again it's not exactly a secret that Karen's in monday morning shop so she may as well cash in-


"I can offer knife care lessons and metal identification lessons if you want those though I think class will get to it by September or so.. I'm going to make a honing steel once I have a free hand in the shop, knives like being sharp." New York can DIE IN A FIRE consider Annisa's application for membership after graduation.

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