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RPG Scrapworld: The Skycleaner (Mature)


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This world is one of never ending winter. No one is really sure how the sun was blocked, or who did it. Maybe we did...maybe they did. It's been so long. All we know is that when they finally stopped, it didn't matter. We fought for this Hell. And now?we have it all to ourselves?in this world of never ending winter?humanity shall take its final breath.
Lyle stared at the papers and calculations he had been working on. It had taken him five hours, and he had checked the numbers 16 times. There was no getting around it. Rosa put a hand on his shoulder.
?Bad news??
??at this rate?we?re going to run out of fresh water within a year?we?ll eat through our food supplies in two years. I have to tell Scotts and Boris.?
?What do we tell everyone else??
?Nothing right now. We?ll discuss it further before announcing it.?
The doctor nodded quietly and walked off. Lyle stared at the papers silently.
??this place is going to collapse all around us?if we don?t do something fast??
The heavy bronze pipe clicked against the metal halls as Archimedes slowly made his way down the stairs. The sound echoed through the complex, the metal walls and roof serving to heighten all the noise in the massive shelter. Wearing a thick brown turtleneck under his heavy red parka, the old man was practically smothered in the oversized clothes. He moved slowly, the pipe clinking alongside his own shuffled footsteps. He hummed softly in a strange irregular tone as he turned the corner, standing close to the wall to avoid the quicker moving traffic in the middle of the corridor. Most of the people had already finished their breakfast and were going about their daily tasks of cleaning, organizing, and maintaining the large shelter they all lived in. As he entered the mess hall, he looked around. Not many people left inside. He slowly made his way over to the counter, grabbing a bowl with one hand and a spoon with the other. He bit down on the spoon and shouldered the pipe, holding the bowl out to the server with both hands
?Morning Archie.?
?Hello Jonathon. Everything going well??
The cook smiled as he ladled a pale, clumpy paste into the bowl. Oatmeal or what came close to it in this place. It had no particular taste whatsoever. Archimedes found that it was about all he could stomach in the early morning hours.
?Dolly?s a bit sick?got a fever.?
?I see?didn?t she recently start a job maintaining the boiler room??
?Yeah?I?m hoping its just exhaustion. She isn?t used to hard labor.?
?I?m sure she?ll be fine. Maybe Duo could take a look at her for you??
?I?m going to ask her when the morning maintenance is done. You know they?ve got everyone working down there.?
?Yes. Makes me wish I could do more then hobble around and tell stories.?
?You did your part during the war, Archie, from what I hear. Besides, you do plenty around here.?
?I only clean and repair clocks and gadgets. Useless trinkets that have no purpose but to amuse.?
?You?ve kept Heat in working order, haven?t you??
?Yes?I suppose there?s one thing I?m contributing, though I know most just want to throw him out.?
?He is a little glitchy, isn?t he??
?He?s aging rather poorly?I just don?t have the parts needed to fix him completely. Still, long as he?s useful, I have a reason to stick around.?
With that, Archimedes took his bowl and hobbled over to a table to eat quietly.
Down in the pipes, a steam valve had ruptured, injuring two workers. The blown out section of the pipe was shut down, preventing steam from escaping into the area. An engineer stood nearby, making sure no one accidentally wandered in, when a loud series of clanking and whirring reached his ears. As the catwalk shook with each step, Heat rounded the corner, hauling a heavy piece of sheet metal on his back as he lumbered towards the damaged pipe, gears popping and spinning swiftly as the camera eye pivoted onto the man in front of him.
?Fix! Fix!?
The engineer nodded and stepped aside as the Scrap moved into position. He picked up a radio phone nearby and rang the top levels.
?Hey, tell Kilo and Ishild that Heat is in position and waiting for them to get down here with the welder torch. Tell them to hurry up too, this hulking mound of garbage is shaking the entire level with his damned stomping.?
Heat waved to the engineer with one massive claw. The man nodded at the Scrap, turning his back to the robot.
?Fucking junk pile??
((Now I?ve sent you all PMs on what you?re ?morning tasks? include, thus go about that and let?s have some fun, shall we?))
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Maya yawned as she sat up in her bed. She immediately regreted doing so as she was greeted by cold air. Shivering, Maya put on a turtleneck sweater that was so long on her it could pass as a dress. She liked this particular sweater because it was green, the color the world was said to be before the never-ending winter set in. Maya shoved on her parka and boots and jumped over to Ishild's bed. She grabbed Ishild's arm and began shaking it back and forth. "Ishi! Ishi! Ishi!" Maya whined.

"Huhm...?" Ishild groaned, rolling over to face Maya.

"Ishi! It's time to wake up! I know because I always wake up EXACTLY when it's time to wake up! And you know what, Ishi?! That means you're already behind, because you just woke up now and NOT exactly when it was time to wake up like me, Ishi! Hey, Ishi, are you getting all of this?"

"Maya, Maya! I got it; I'm up!" Ishild groaned, pulling on a thick sweater.

"Hey, Ishi! I was thinking, can I help you with your morning task? Please?! I know I'm too young to have one, but don't you think my mental capacity makes up for the age gap?"

"No, I do not. Now go eat breakfast and stay away from dangerous things until I call you for scavenging, okay?"

"Okay... Can I go visit Mr.Archimedes?"

"Sure, I guess, long as you don't bother him."

"Alright then!" Maya said with a smile, scurrying out the door to get breakfast.
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[COLOR=DarkRed][FONT=Book Antiqua]Ishild got up after Maya had left and got dressed herself. She left behind a few layers though, since this wasn't her turn to scavenge. It was Zlota's today. After she was dressed, Ishild started up the protective Scrap and explained today's mission.

"Okay, Zlota. This time you're going out to help scavenge. You'll be counted on, so behave yourself out there and make sure you get as much as you can grab."

Ishild's radio interrupted her little explanation, however.

"Hey, Ishild! Heat's in positition, grab your welding mask and torch and meet him down at the Pipes. You'll be helping out both Heat and Kilo today."

The radio cut out and went to static. Ishild gave sent out a signal of beeps to let them know she was on her way, as she grabbed her gear. She donned her thick welding gloves, in case of any accidents, her welder's mask and an extra thick coat. She looked over at Zlota, her welding mask raised so she could talk.

"Well, it looks like you'll be on your own today, Zlota. Just work hard and you'll do alright."

Ishild left the room, followed by Zlota, lowered her welding mask and closed the door. Moving quickly through the labyrinth of the Skycleaner, she soon came to the Pipes. A large but old Scrap was there and waiting for her.

"Hi, Heat. Sorry about the wait." She smiled, though you couldn't tell by looking at her mask.

"Where's Kilo? Ishild asked as she turned to the engineer.

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[color=darkblue] Lucy watched Maya and Ishild's conversation in silence. She had always gotten up early, usually before the others were up. It gave her an opportunity to enjoy the silence without being in the deathly cold outside. And so, that's how Lucy began every morning. When Maya woke up, immediately calling out to Ishild, who still slept, Lucy couldn't help but smile. Soon thereafter, the little girl ran out of the room, and Ishild got up. Lucy's dark eyes followed Ishild until she remembered her morning task, and she looked at Zlota. Boris had asked her to see if Zlota could help the scavengers in the afternoon hunt. So, once Ishild left, the dark haired girl stood up, keeping her sharp eyes locked on Zlota. As she approached the Scrap, Lucy smiled a bit.

"Come on, let's go, it looks like you're helping us today, Zlota." She faced the Scrap, beckoning towards Zlota.

The two traversed the hallways, Lucy leading Zlota to where they needed to be. Her gloved hands zipped up her heavy winter jacket as they approached the meeting point for the Scavengers. Some were already here, Lucy frowned slightly knowing the fact that she had been up for quite a awhile and could have been down here helping. As her sharp amber eyes found Boris amongst the people, Lucy led Zlota over to Boris.

"What shall you have us start with today? I brought Zlota like you asked." Lucy asked in her somewhat monotone state of voice.[/color]
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[COLOR="Navy"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Duo sighed as the hustle and bustle moved past her, she was sipping on thick black stuff that the mess halls called coffee. She turned the corner and entered the infirmary, seeing Rosa bent over a couple of workers who were burned badly. She automatically set the coffee down and went about boiling some rags for bandages. Seeing that they were short she went through and found some old medical shirts and set about cutting them down and making more bandages. She looked up as Rosa gave her a smile and smiled back.
"Good thinking Duo."
"Why not, their just sitting there with no purpose. Might as well use them for something."
"Well, they're small but I'll try to make them work."
"That's what she said."
Rosa let out a soft chuckle and shook her head as Duo crushed up some pain pills and mixed them in with a couple glasses of water and helped the injured drink it slowly.
"I'm sorry it's not stronger. If there was anything I could do to make you more comfortable I would..."
She helped clean the wounds and bandage them suitably and leaned on the wall her small smile still in place.
"Hey Rosa, do you know how our ie supply is?"
"It's a little low, I think Lucy and Zolta are bringing some back with them."
Duo nodded and looked up at the door as a young man stumbled in, his arm bleeding heavily.
"What happened?"
"A wire popped lose and caught me on the arm."
"Alright, let's see how deep it went and see what we can do."
She took some of the water she had boiled the bandages in and gently poured it over the man's arm and tsked as she saw the extent of the wound.
"You'll need stitches."
"We're out Duo."
Duo nodded and looked at the bottom hem of her shirt and smiled, she lifted the shirt and took it off in one swift movement and smiled more as Kilo entered with the morning rations for the injured. She shivered momentarily as the cool air hit her skin; her black sports bra being slightly to small. She flipped the shirt inside out and set about working to loosen the bottom hem and remove the string from it.
"Morning Duo."
She gave and small wave and yanked the thin string from her shirt and examined it.
"It's not perfect but it'll do, just try not to work to hard and break it."
The man nodded and hissed as she began to stitch the wound swiftly to keep the pain minimal. Once done she helped Rosa make the steam burnt men more comfortable and than walked over to Kilo taking the rations from him she gave them out and slipped her shirt back on. standing next to him she looked up at him smiling. She had been the one to find him those years back, crawling from a cave blind and scared. She was young than and had just been found her self by Rosa. She would never forget that day, the day she gained a family and a life. She was about to say something when Kilo's radio went off.
"Kilo, where are you, Heat and Ishild are already here."
"On the way, just dropping off the food rations to the hospital wing."
He clipped the radio back on to his hip and turned giving her a smile.
"See you later Duo, duty calls."
She smiled and nodded as he left and watched him go, a small feeling of emptiness intruding on her.
"Duo, no time for day dreaming about your wanna be boy friend. People need to be taken care of."
She shook her head clearing her thoughts and helped Rosa boil more clothe for bandages and set about boiling down the last of their ice supply for when more people stumbled through the door sick or otherwise. It was never a boring day here, and Kilo usually stopped by often.
"Duo, I need another glass of water and two pain pills."
She nodded and handed Rosa what she had called for, she bounced back and forth from bed to bed and looked up at Achie came in with a young woman.
"She has a fever, I was hoping you could take a look at her.
"Always! Has she been working any lately?"
"Down in the boiler room."
"I see, she's exhausted that's a given. The bruises on her arms tell me she's been doing some heavy lifting as well. Dolly, what have you handled these last few days?"
"The brass pipes..."
The girl gave a weak cough and slipped back into her own escape from the pain, Duo had seen in many times.
"Have you had any cuts or scrapes?"
"One, on my knee, two days ago."
Duo immediately cut open the girls pants to see a small scratch but the skin around it was green and yellow.
"Blood poisoning. I can make her comfortable Arch...but as far as making this go away...I don't know...We have no penicillin....Go tot he kitchens, see if they have any moldy bread, if they do, take it all and bring it back to me."
He gave her a short nod and walked out, his pipe clinking through the halls, turning her attention back to Dolly she cleaned the wound, bandaged it and gave her a few pain meds that were also fever reducers. Sighing she continued to help Rosa make more bandages as she waited for Archie to return, hopefully with what she needed. [/FONT][/COLOR]
Sorry fr the length...got into it.
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((Length is good, hell, look at mine!))
The engineer turned to Ishild.
"I have no - "
His radio crackled and he listened for a moment, then turned back to her.
"He's on his way, he had to drop off the food rations for the infirmary. Hey, can I leave this junk pile to you? I got a lot of work to do, some wires busted earlier and cut a guy up, I need to take over and fix them before they get any worse."
Heat readjusted his footing, causing the catwalk to quake a little bit. The engineer gripped the sides and shouted at the Scrap angrily.
"Oi! Stop moving you idiot, you're gonna bring this whole place down!"
Heat froze on the spot, camera eye circling to look at the engineer.
"Not moving."
The engineer mumbled something in irritation, then turned to Ishild.
"Look, just make sure the junkyard doesn't break anything, I really got to go. Kilo's on his way."
The engineer hung up the radio and walked off, climbing the narrow ladder to the upper levels. Heat spun his camera eye and focused on Ishild.
"Don't worry, won't move, Issshhild!"
The Scrap's voice speaker broke out in static as he tried to pronounce Ishild's name. He always had trouble with SH, usually only managing a long static hiss to make the noise.
Archimedes moved fairly quickly, much faster then most people would figure he could go. He rounded a corner and nearly tripped over Maya.
"Oh my! Maya! My dear, you shouldn't run around like that! I nearly tripped over you!"
"Archi-I mean, Mr. Archimedes! Sorry!"
The old man smiled and patted her head as he continued heading down the hallway.
"It's alright dear, just be careful you don't run over any old codgers like me while you're rushing around! What are you up to?"
"Ishi won't let me help her out with morning tasks, so I came to see you!"
"Ahhh. Well, actually I could use your help, if you don't mind helping me carry some moldy bread."
"Yes, a young girl is sick and we need to make some medicine. So we're hoping that the mold is Penicillium."
"I thought that [I]was[/I] a medicine?"
"Oh yes, I sometimes forget how intelligent you are. They're basically the same thing, the mold can make a weak version of the medicine without refinement. Actually, it's pretty clever of Duo to think of that."
The pair entered the mess hall.
Boris glanced up at Zlota and Lucy.
"Oh good. Can't tell you how much I appreciate it girls. Ron's setting up the main hauling sled over there, go help him out, he's having some...difficulties."
The two looked over and saw a 16 year old boy with incredibly light blonde hair struggling with straps and buckles on a heavy metal sled. Boris sighed.
"He's new to the team, and isn't particularly well coordinated. But ever since we lost Cash on the last trip, we've been having trouble finding volunteers to go with us."
Cash was a brutal reminder of the dangers of the Wastes. The young man had been searching through an old warehouse when the roof collapsed in on him, burying him under 16 feet of snow and debris. By the time they dug him out, he had suffocated to death. Boris looked at Lucy and forced a smile.
"Go teach him how to set things up before he ties himself to the damn sled!"
The hefty scavenger turned at his name and Lyle pushed his way to the group. He ignored the girls, instead leaning in close. Lucy and Zlota could overhear his words.
"We have a problem we need to discuss, come with me."
Boris nodded and turned to the Scavengers.
"Oi, get everything ready! We're out there in one hour!"
Then he walked off with Lyle, hurriedly whispering with each other.
Maya burst into the infirmary, holding a bucket full of bread. Archimedes tapped in behind her, carrying a large sack with more bread in one hand. Rosa looked up.
"Archie, what are you doing? You shouldn't be doing heavy lifting!"
The old man rolled his eyes.
"I'm fine, I may be old, but I've still got more oomph then some of the younger people do! Duo, here's the bread, Johnathon's worried sick about Dolly now though. I told him you'd do your best, but there's no way we can be sure of anything."
Rosa was about to say something more when Lyle and Boris stepped in.
"Rosa, a word please?"
"I'm really a little busy right now Lyle!"
"Rosa. Now."
The tone made Archimedes raise an eyebrow. He watched as Rosa glanced at Duo, who nodded. The doctor stood and walked out as Archimedes and Maya went over to Duo.
"Duo...has Rosa mentioned anything to you?"
"Like what?""
"Anything that could have the head engineer on edge?"
"Not that I can remember..."
Archimedes stared at the medic for a moment with his hazel eyes before turning to Maya.
"Maya, stay with Duo and help her out please."
With the old man strode out of the door at a surprising pace. More surprising was that he did it without the aid of his bronze pipe, which was leaning against the wall near the door.
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[color=darkred]Graham barreled down the walkway carrying the welding torch in his right hand. People scrambled to get out of his way to avoid being trampled. Within a minute he rounded the corner and came up next to Heat. "You scoot over a little?"

Heat's eye swivled over to him. "I was told not to move" Graham gave a small smile. "I am pretty sure you will be okay just move your right foot over a bit." As soon as Heat did the pipe ruptured in a different spot sending a spray of hot steam over Graham. He gritted his teeth as he immediatly went to work on the first hole, the steam slowly burning his skin. He had the first hole patched withing seconds. "Fuck fuck fuck!"

Heat beganbending the pieces back together and holding them shut as Graham began peiceing it back up, being careful not to weld Heat's hands to it. As soon as they were done Graham picked up the tank again, pain searing through his right shoulder and the side of his face. "You alright?" He gave another small smile. "Yeah i will be fine don't worry about me" He turned around making hsi way back to the storage closet to return the tank. "Now if only i can avoid her...." He rounded the corner coming face to face with Duo as she waited for the bread.

"Avoid me huh?" Graham acted innocent. "I have no idea what your talking about." Duo raised her hand and held right nest to the burns on his face. "What are you doing?" Duo gave an evil smile. "Admit it or i touch you" Graham narrowed his eyes. "You wouldn't dare" Duo lightly touched it causing Graham to wince. "Aww come on you didn't have to do that"

She put one hand on her hip and rocked to one side as she pointed inside. "Now" Graham hung his head as he walked in and set the tank down. "Fine"[/color]
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"What? I have to clean up all that?" Julian asked, looking down at the sheet of paper for morning chores. "Frickin' clean up duty...BAH!" Julian swore, angry that he was playing maid. "Whatever... everyone does their share...

Julian made his way down, after filling up a fresh pail of soapy water and a mop and scrubbing utensils. These dark halls were in a seldom used area of the Skycleaner, and he had been ordered to play clean up, rather than his usual tasks and duties teaching the children or going out to search for salvagable parts.

He looked down the dark hall, the lights had long since burnt out, or at least most of them had. He continued to mop, the dirt and grime proving to be a challenge to get up off the floor. most of the dirt had solidified a long time ago, and Julian used more than his fair share of 'explanitives' to describe the difficulty of cleaning the floors.

"God fucking damn it.... this shitty maintenence is really gonna piss me off...." He muttered, on finishing the main hall to be cleaned. He looked to his right, down yet another hall, one of the many he had come upon while cleaning this particular one. "Why they had me clean this finally is beyond me...hmph..." He looked down the hall, and in the dim light, he could see a doorway, the terminal ever so slightly ajar. His brow furrowed, he ventured closer.

"Storage room." he read out loud. "Figures they'd shaft me with cleaning the most obsure parts of the sky cleaner." Still angry, he swung open the door, and it slammed against the wall audibly. Cringing, he felt around for a light switch. On finding one, he flipped it. With a loud POP! most of the lights promptly went out. Julian swore again, but didn't leave, as there was still a few lights in the room. Looking around, he could see alot of various parts and cloth covered objects. He couldn't make out what any of the objects might be, so he grabbed the nearest one and whipped the cloth from it.

Turns out, the thing underneath was a peice of a scrap. "Remind me to tell Archie... He might be able to use that to fix something..."

Julian started to pull various cloths off, finding more and more parts of scraps. Finally, he decided to remove the cloth from the final figure, this one being small and sitting against a wall. He grasped the cloth, eager to know what was under it. He yanked off the cloth, and immediately screamed like a little girl. The cloth fluttered to the feet of what at first sight appeared to be a little girl in a ragged dress.6 He thought she was dead, and backed away. But, then his eyes moved away from the face so fine and along her body. He then saw she was a Scrap, and a finely made one at that. She appeared to be inert, as she did not stir when he pulled off the cloth.

Julian moved closer to her, and reached out to touch her face. It was smoth and flawless, and made of some substance he had never seen. It was pliable, yet it felt quite hard, as if it were like human skin but much much more durable. She wore a dress, and it looked like it had once been beautiful beyond compare, thought now it was dusty and spiders had weaved their webd on her, the arachnids now long gone. She appeared as if her dress had had many lacy bows and other such decorations, but they had all fallen apart, though Julian wasn't sure if it was due to age or if it was due to something else. However, he did notice a single decoration still mostly in tact, a single rose brooch fastening a dark green bow to the bossom pf her deep red dress with the many ruffles. Her hair was rather faded, like it had once been a vibrant blue and had held exquisite ringlets. Her hair hung in loose curls, framing her fragile looking body. He noted that her bangs had fallen over one eye, and he moved it, if only to see a gaping hole leading to her robotic innards.

He suddenly drew back his hand, startled. He looked over her limbs, and saw what looked to be mary jane shoes, now dull and no longer the shiny black they should have been. The remains of more of her 'skin' could be seen on her arms and hands, through ruined gloves with many holes in them. Her joints were quite visible. leaving Julian to wonder where the rest of her skin was, as none of it was lying about her.

"Who is she?" he wondered out loud. Julian lifted up her dress, revealing her legs were in much the same fashion as her arms, though they had the remains of tights on them.

Julian pondered what to do with her. She was obviously old beyond belief, maybe she would know what had happened to the Key!

Julian reached down her back, and felt around, his hand feeling more of the strange substance that made up her skin.Then, he felt it. A slight CLICK! and then the sound of gears grinding into motion. The pretty little scrap fell back against the wall, and Julian backed away. He hadn't planned on waking her up......
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The gears whirred into silence, and she sat up, straightening her back. Slowly, she opened her eye, as her other slowly focused.

She focused on the man in front of her. She began to run a background check on all her parts, and began to speak, her voice sounding extremely young and yet quite mature for someone who looked so much like a child.

"Hello. May I ask where I am?" She cocked her head, observing the rather muscular man in front of her.

"You're aboard the sky cleaner...."

"Truely? Is the war over? Has the sun come out from behind the perpetual winter clouds?"


Rose looked down, at her brooch. Raising her hand to it, she sighed. "I see.. so the Key was never found?"

"No.... do you know where it is?"

"No.... I must apologize I cannot be of more assistance..." Rose suddenly shot up, looking alarmed. "Oh, dear me, I'm sorry, where are my manners?! My name is Rose. And may I ask yours?"

"Julian. It's no problem... Um.... I don't really know what to do with you right now... It was kind of an accident you were woken up."

"I'm afraid I won't wind down for another few days, should I choose that route to travel. Slowly, Rose stood, her shooes letting out faint taps as they touched the floor. "Please, allow me to go see how the world has changed."

Julian stepped aside, and the little scrap made her way past, and ventured down the hall, Julian on her heels.
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[COLOR="Navy"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Duo moved about the room swiftly and efficiently as she instructed Maya to tear the bread where the most mold was and give it to Dolly to eat in very small pieces.
"...With any luck the penicillin in the mold will fight off the poison in her blood."
Maya nodded in understanding and than went about talking about something different. Duo loved the little girl, she was energetic and talkative making a wonderful companion for Duo when she was alone in the infirmary. She finished giving out another does of pain meds to the burn victims and than walked over to Kilo with a small smile.
"So, try to play hero again?"
She took a cool rag and gently placed it on his arm and than took a tube of burn ointment and spread it on her hand and with a small blush gently placed her hand on the side of his face and smiled as he sighed, the pain receding.
"I heard Heat was down there, why didn't you have him help you more?"
"He was already helping and the engineer wasn't giving him enough credit."
She shook her head with another small smile pulling at her lips, she looked up at him and gave him a bright winning smile.
"You have a good heart."
She saw some color enter the cheek she wasn't covering and looked away gently pulling the cool rag off of his burned arm and noticed it went all the way up his shoulder and shook her head.
"I need your shirt off."
As he stood and went about the task of removing the shirt with out hitting the burns she walked over and put her hand on Dolly's head.
"Good...it seems to be going down quite a bit. I think she's gonna be okay. Good job Maya."
She smiled as the girls beamed up at her.
"Hey Duo do you think that I could come and help you and Rosa? I mean I know alot of stuff and I could be helpful. I can help you alot I know I can...are you getting all this?"
Duo smiled at the trademark saying of the young girl.
"I got it Maya. You want to help me again?"
She nodded enthusiastically.
"Can you go into the back room and find me another tube of burn ointment?"
She nodded again and bounced away towards the back room, turning Duo felt her cheek heat up as she saw Kilo looking at his own arms judging the extent of his burns.
"Stop checking your self out there Kilo, the burns aren't that bad, you'll live and trust me the scars won't mar your well defined shoulder."
She put sarcasm into the remark but found her face heat more as she stood next to him and gently ran her cool hands over his shoulder and arm feeling where the burns were.
"You got a pretty good dose of the steam didn't you?"
He looked down at her as she moved her face closer to see better through the dim light.
"Second degree...I can give you the ointment and some mild pain killers but I can't do anything other than that. I'm really sorry."
"I'll live remember? Besides, I think I'm tough enough."
"Tough enough? Really? You think so?"
He nodded slowly regretting the choice as she poked him lightly making him wince.
"Tough enough, your nothing but a big puss."
He smiled and shook his head as she went about putting ointment that Maya had retrieved on his burns. Keeping her eyes down to avoid him seeing her blush she finished up quickly but her hands remained gentle and soft like silk as she bandaged the burns carefully and gave him a pain killer wiping her hands free of the ointment she checked on the other occupants of the room and cleared her throat as he stood to leave.
"Where do you think your going Kilo?"
"There's work that needs to be done."
"Nuh Uh, forget it, I'll get Heat to take that back to the boiler room, you need to rest. That shoulder of yours can't take heavy lifting."
"But that's all I know. You know me Duo, all work and no play."
"Makes you a lonely man. Speaking of which, any little tart you have your eye on?"
She leaned on the wall near him and watched as he held up a hand and began to mock count.
"Um, yeah a few."
"Oh really? Like who? I can put in a good word for you."
"Duo, your putting in a good word for someone is a death sentence in its own context. I think I can handle my love affairs on my own thanks."
"Well screw you too than. Here I was trying to help."
"When, where and how hard?"
She felt her cheeks flame and huffed stalking towards the back to get more rags and an extra tube of ointment for him to apply when he was in his dorm, her grumbled retort unheard.
"I should be so lucky."
Reenter ing the room she pushed the tube into his hand letting her hand linger on the rough hands she knew he would have.
"Twice a day, morning when you wake up, night before you go to sleep. Make sure you do this, if not they won't heal right and you'll be back here with cracked bleeding skin so make sure you do this. If you need help come find me, please?"
He nodded giving her a smile and went about the task trying to get his shirt over his head. Duo felt her cheeks flush as she helped him and stood back as he arched his back stretching.
"It's about lunch time, I'll bring up some for you guys, what do you want?"
"I'll eat anything. Don't matter."
He rolled his eyes and nodded giving her a smile he walked out and around the corner and again she felt the small empty space invade her but ignored it covering it by giving Maya a big smile that was returned as she say by Dolly's bed watching as he breathing evened out and her cheeks regained the right color.
"Good job Maya, she's gonna be fine."
Again the girl beamed and went back to studying Dolly, Duo just watched smiling at the girl's curiosity.[/FONT][/COLOR]
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Rose walked the halls, observing all she saw. There were a great many humans aboard, far more than when she had gone to sleep. Julian explained to her all that was going on in the world, and she learned quite a bit.

"So, the war is over, but the Key was never found? How sad for humanity...The human species must be dying out....How tragic...." Rose looked rather sad, if she could shed tears she probably would have. "Truely, I wish I knew where the Key was, I could be of more help then..."

"Hey, don't worry about it... we have people searching for it. I think the people here are going to make a group just for that purpose."

"Oh?" Rose smiled, and clapped her hands. "I would so love to be a part of that expedition! I wouldn't take up any supplies, and I beleive that if there are any kind of older communication devices I can use them!"

Julian smiled, this little scrap acted just like a human little girl. "I have some people I'd like you to meet, Rose."

"More people?" How splendid!" Rose turned, and began to walk with a bit of a spring in her step. Julian led her to the makeshift infirmary, and he opened the door. "Hey Duo, what's up?"

"Hey, Julian. Some of out best and brightest got some burns.... and Dolly has blood poisoning.

Julian walked over to the little girl, and placed his hand on hers. "Hey, sweetie. How ya feeling?"

"Better..." she mumbled, she had broken out in a cold sweat. Rose spoke now, drawing attention to herself. "Excuse me, may I be of any assistance?" This simple phrase brought wide eyed stares to her. They looked her up and down, confused as to where she came from. "I am Rose. May I inquire as to your names?"

"Graham, a pleasure to meet you, little lady."

"Duo.... I've never seen you before, Rose. Did they find you outside?"

Rose shook her head. "No, I've been asleep for a great deal of years in one of the storage rooms. Julian found me and woke me."

A little girl came bound over, and began to poke Rose, examining her. "So you're a Scrap?"

"If that is the term for a machine, then yes."

"You're really pretty...A little dirty.... but really pretty."

"Well, when I was built, I was a child's toy. But, that was a great number of years ago.In this day and age, I might be able to serve a different purpose."

"I'm Maya, it's nice to meet you!"

Rose smiled back, and nodded. "Likewise." Rose turned to a heavy thudding and clanging noise. She turned to see a gargantuan Scrap coming down the hall. She took a step back, frightened if onlt for a moment. It came closer, and stopped.

"OKAY?" it asked, pointing at the man sitting on the bed, guesturing at his burns.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Hey, Heat, there's another Scrap on board." He pointed to Rose, and the Scrap's eye rotated to look at her. There was a moment, both of them looking at one another. Rose's eye began to glow, as data was beginning to be transfered between the two scraps. She took a sudden breath with realization, and lifted her hands into the air, as Heat bent down. Rose touched his head, and spoke. "You're just like me..."

"SAME...SAME...SAME" The large scrap said, his eye glowing too. Several moments went by, as data was transfered between them. Then, it was over.

Heat stood up, and Rose cocked her head. Heat spoke. "CONFUSION."

"As am I...I'm.... not sure what just happened...." Rose leaned her head onto her raised hand, and closed her eye.

""Rose? Are you okay?" Maya asked, taking Rose's other hand. Rose nodded, and smiled. "I just don't understand what happened, Maya. I'm fine. I apologize if I had you worried."


Rose smiled."I am a child's toy, would you like to go play somewhere? Perhaps we can have a tea party?" Rose courtsied, showing off her dress. "I am already dressed for it...."

Heat simply stood there, and watched Rose. Maya turned, and smiled. "Did you want to come to tea with us?"

"YES. PLEASE." Maya grabbed onto one of Heat's claws, and Rose's hand. "Come on! Let's go!"
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Julian watched Rose and Heat be led off by Maya, shaking his head.

"She may be a genius, but she is still a child."

"I think it's a good thing you woke up Rose. Maya has someone of her intellect to play with." Duo replied. "I think Maya was feeling kind of lonely, hanging out with us adults. Now she has someone to play with, and can match her wit for wit."

Graham spoke up."I don't know, Rose strikes me as something... strange. Did you notice how she never actually told us how long ago anything that had happened to her was? We don't even know where she really came from."

"Well, she's a Scrap... And she was just sitting in a storage room."

"But why? Why was she there? Is something wrong with her? Is she a trap?"

"If she was a trap, don't you think I'd already be dead?" Julian crossed his arms. "She's not what you think she is, though Heat seems to have a thing for her. I wonder what that little episode was about?"

Graham sighed. "Look, I'm not agaist Rose. I just think we need to be cautious."

Duo snorted. "I agree, but nothing about her struck me as odd, other than how she was dressed. And she did say she was a child's toy, so the dress she's wearing can be proof of that."

Julian looked at the ceiling. "All in all, Rose strikes me aa a lot more human than a number of people here on the Skycleaner that I can name. Plus, that dress she was wearing.... She's old, very old. I've never seen a dress like that in all my life. But, I have seen those dresses in books salvaged from various places in the world. They were from a long time ago, when people kept track of time. But, as people advanced, so too did clothing, becoming lighter and more comfortable. Yet, dolls were sometimes still dressed like that. But it had been before the war that dresses like that had been made, and even longer when Scraps like her were built. So, she might very well be older than any of us by centuries."

"You have too much history shoved inside that head of yours..." Duo commented. "Why don't you just ask her how old she is?"

"Because, it's considered rude to ask a lady her age." Julian commented, smiling.

"Bullshit. You ask me all the time how old I'll be on my next birthday." Duo retorted, smiling too.

"Yeah, but you're not a lady."

To this end, Duo threw a bottle at Julian's head, beaning him. "Ow..."

"That's what you get!" Duo laughed. "so, moving on. Got a boyfriend yet, Julian?"

Julian blushed. "No.... and don't you have better things to worry about other than my relationship status?"

"Dolly's gonna be fine, so is Graham. So no, not at the moment."

"Bah..." Julian stood up. "Well, I have to get going. I think I'll crash the tea party. See you two later."


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Maya was sitting in the mess hall with the two scraps. Watered down coffee was their tea, and the teacups were the regular dented metal mugs everyone used. "Wow, you must have been sleeping for a reeeally long time! I've never seen a dress like yours! It's all frilly and nice, albeit dusty. You know, I've never really had a tea party with anyone before. Can you believe that? You'd think that the normal little girl activity being tea parties, I'd have already played it with some other kids! But I don't, 'cause they just don't understand what I try to talk to them about! I suppose that's the price to pay for being a genius... Besides, those kids usually don't stay very long. They always go "somewhere else". At least that's what the adults tell me, but I know that what really happens is those kids are dead! Dead as dead can be! That's because they always freeze or starve or some thing, hey, Rose, are you getting all of this?"

"Yes, I am, Maya," Rose answered.

"Hey, what's wrong? You sound sad!"

"It's a shame that so many young ones must perish because of that awful war..."

"Yeah, I guess so, huh?" Maya sighed, shaking her mug back and forth to look at her "tea". Suddenly, Maya's head shot up toward the mess hall entrance. Zlota was making her way to the table where the tea party was being held. "Oh! Sorry, I have to leave now! I'm going scavenging! I'm not supposed to, because I'm so small, but I alwas hide in Zlota's sled and we go and find great things sometimes! Bye, Rose, bye, Heat!" Maya giggled as she ran to Zlota.
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[color=darkblue]Lucy and Zlota were both helping Ron out with the main sled when Zlota randomly walked away to go find Maya. The light blonde haired boy looked at Lucy, his face showing obvious curiosity. The dark haired girl didn't even respond, not knowing where Zlota was headed, nor what to say to Ron for that matter. Instead, her gloved hands secured the last rope on the main sled, tieing it tightly so nothing fell off. She pointed at the knot, indicating to the new Ron how to tie it correctly and handle it correctly in as few words as possible, as that was Lucy's style. In actuality, Ron was looking at her even more confused as Lucy often didn't speak in complete thoughts, making it harder for the other parties to understand; so when Ron spoke up, Lucy stopped moving and just stared at him.

"What?" Was what Ron had said.

This had never happened to Lucy before, when similar occurances had happened, most would just walk away to seek out someone else's help, instead Ron had replied. It was rather awkward for the young boy as the girl's cold amber eyes seemed to burn a hole in him despite the cold weather. Finally, after the long silence, Lucy spoke up, pointing to the rope and the sled in general as she did.

"That's how you set it up. Simple."

The boy seemed to nod, now understanding a bit more of his new responsibilities. But Lucy's thoughts were elsewhere, wondering where Zlota had run off too. She was somewhat annoyed that Zlota would run off when Boris asked her to get the Scrap to help. Lucy sighed, scratching her blueish hair before turning around once more to Ron, who was basically just standing there, not sure what to do.

"Good luck." Lucy said to him before walking around to the others in the room, checking to see if they were set up correctly.[/color]
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Lyle threw the papers across the table.
“I wasn’t even close with the other estimates!”
Scotts held his chin pensively, hand shaking slightly. Boris ran a hand over his head.
“What do you mean? We don’t even have a year?”
Lyle rubbed his eyes.
“If we kept the current rate of food and water intake, yes, but as you said, the Scavengers are finding less and less material in their hunts! We’ve exhausted our supplies in this area.”
“We can’t go any farther out, the Skycleaner is the safest shelter around, and if the team goes much farther, the risks are too great!”
“I know Rosa! But with these numbers, we don’t have a choice!”
“How long?”
Scotts looked up from behind his glasses at the engineer, who exhaled slowly.
“If the resources keep dwindling…we’re talking 7 months before we’re completely out of food and water.”
Lyle and Boris looked at each other and gave a small nod.
“I think it’s time we consider…leaving the Skycleaner.”
The room was silent before Rosa slammed a hand down.
“Are you insane? We can’t leave this! We have no idea if we’ll find another shelter capable of holding 200 people!”
“No! Listen to me; I have sick people, wounded people! They can’t be moved in their condition! Healthy people die out in the Wastes, what makes you think we can bring sick people alongside us?!”
“We can’t…”
Rosa froze. Then realization crept in. She moved closer to Lyle.
“What are you saying?”
“…if we left, we couldn’t take the sick, injured, or elderly with us.”
“…you…you’d leave them here? Leave them to die in this place?”
Lyle was silent. Boris turned his head away as Scotts shut his eyes quietly.
Boris and Scotts stared in shock as Lyle recoiled from the massive slap Rosa just dealt across his face. She stared in rage at him.
“Go to Hell you bastard! I’m not leaving these people to die!”
The doctor stormed out of the room. Lyle hopped out of the chair, moving after her.
“Rosa, wait! Wait goddammit!”
He grabbed her wrist and whirled her around.
“Look, that’s the last thing I want to do, but I have to think about the majority! I can’t risk the future of everyone here to keep a few people alive!”
The doctor was quiet. Lyle let go of her wrist.
“Look, I swear to you I won’t even consider that option unless it’s absolutely necessary. But we have to consider all of the options.”
Boris walked by him, putting a hand on his shoulder.
“Lyle, I gotta get my team moving. Can you hold off any decisions until I return?”
The engineer sighed.
“Yeah…yeah, go ahead.”
Rosa looked away from Lyle’s eyes.
“I have to get back to my patients…”
With that, the doctor turned around and strode down the hallway, leaving Lyle and Scotts alone.
“Are there any other options here Lyle?”
“…at the moment, no, but I’m sure we can think of something.”
“May I make a suggestion?”
Both men jumped as Archimedes walked out of the adjacent empty room. The old man stared at them intently, obviously having overheard the entire conversation.
“Find the Key.”
Heat waved a huge claw at Maya as she ran off, squatting on the floor awkwardly and clutching the cup in one massive claw.
“Goodbye Maya!”
A loud creak was heard and Rose looked to see that Heat had crushed the cup accidentally in his massive claw. The massive Scrap swiveled his eye to look at the destroyed cup before looking at Rose. He dropped the cup and swiveled to face her directly, reaching out with one massive sickle finger to gently touch the top of her head.
The claw moved down and prodded her chest gently.
Rose smiled slightly.
"Yes, we are the same, though…how?”
“You don’t know?”
“Sadly, I do not.”
Heat drooped a little. Then looked up as Julian walked in.
“Julian! Want tea?”
Heat looked around and picked up the crushed cup, holding it out to the man. The camera eye swiveled to the crushed metal as Heat slowly pulled it back.
“Sorry. Wrong cup!”
The massive Scrap looked around for another cup to give to Julian, causing the entire room to shake as he pivoted and fidgeted. Julian quickly held up his hands.
“Whoa whoa, stop! Heat, stop!”
The massive Scrap froze on the spot, camera eye swiveling to Julian.
“No tea?”
“No thanks. No tea.”
Heat sat back down with a loud clang. A man leaned into the room.
“Hey! Move the fucking junkyard to the garage dammit! It’s going to collapse the whole damn floor!”
Heat immediately got up, knocking over a few things as he squeezed his massive frame through the door into the hallway.
“Sorry! Sorry!”
The Scrap turned and leaned through the door, holding out a massive claw to Rose, who gently took the tip of one of his fingers.
“Goodbye Rose! Goodbye Julian!”
With that, the Scrap lumbered off to the Garage.
An engineer leaned in to Ishild, who was finishing up the last bit of welding on the broken steam pipe.
"Oi, Ki-what the? Where's Kilo?"
"He got burned pretty bad. Why, what's up?"
"Shit. Look, we need a hand over here, one of the catwalks is buckling pretty bad, looks like the support beam is breaking! We need a hand stabilizing and reinforcing it, you can turn that pipe back on afterwards!"
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[COLOR="Navy"]((Hi everyone! Screamsin knows i'm in, just direct all of your questions to him.))[/COLOR]

[SIZE="1"]Grettel was busy in the pipes nearby, turning a valve to check the water pressure in a section of the network. Her eyes constantly flicked every which way as she examined the pipework for cracks or damages. The joints in her arms whirred as she moved her elongated arms upward, gently tapping here and there with her thin fingers before giving a tiny nod to herself. Her arms retracted as she swiveled her head around to glance quickly over the pressure gauges, the advanced optics in her eyes noting every detail before she spun the valve in the opposite direction, unconsciously dusting her hands off before she turned to see the engineer speaking to Ishild.

"Oi, Ki-what the? Where's Kilo?"
"He got burned pretty bad. Why, what's up?"

She silently moved closer to listen, the layers of clothing covering her mechanical parts muffling her movements. She disliked interrupting conversations, or really even speaking unless it was necessary.

"Shit. Look, we need a hand over here, one of the catwalks is buckling pretty bad, looks like the support beam is breaking! We need a hand stabilizing and reinforcing it, you can turn that pipe back on afterwards!"

Grettel immediately turned her head on her long slender neck, seeing the commotion the man was talking about. Humans were hustling about the catwalk, calling to each other as they steadied the creaking catwalk. She hunched slightly before quickly walking toward the scene, her feet making a light tap tapping sound on the floor. A Scrap's strength would be required here to assist with the repairs, she concluded, moving alongside the workers. Her arms reached out, grabbing onto two joints and holding them still as she braced herself.[/SIZE]
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Maya was digging through the snow, looking for anything worth scavenging. She was in an area that had a cliff near it. She knew this was once a campsite for soldiers during the war long ago. So far she had found a few rusty spoons and chunks of leather that were probably once a pair of soldier boots. "Zlota, there's not much left here...," Maya sighed, kicking the snow a little. Zlota kept still, standing behind Maya to keep the cold wind from blasting the child. "Hey! What's this thing?" Maya asked herself, picking a small, cold metal box that filled both her palms. She opened it, with some diffuculty and saw an arrow and some letters. "Hey, Zlota! It's a compass! Let's go take this stuff back!" Maya suggested.

Suddenly, Maya heard a crackling sound. She looked up at the cliff and saw the edge of it falling toward her. Maya's eyes widened and her grip on the scavenged goods tightened. Then, Maya felt herself lifted off the ground. Wind was hitting her in the face for a short while. When Maya opened her eyes again, she saw she was being held up by Zlota. They were now about 3 yards away from the big chunk of rock that was resting where Maya was standing. The cliff piece had created somewhat of a crater where it had landed. Maya shakily made her way toward the rock. There was still snow on the frozen ground surrounding the cliff chunk, but Maya could see a lumpy thing under some of it. She walked up next to the lumpy thing and brushed away the thick layer of snow on top of it. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!!!!!" Maya screamed, quickly backing away from the lump. It was the frozen body of a dead soldier, his eyes now dark holes and his skin blue and clinging to his face. Hearing the scream, Zlota once again yanked Maya up and away from the perceived threat. "Zlota, I want to go back to the sled now...," Maya whimpered. Zlota immediately began making her way back the the sled.
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Julian looked down at Rose. She looked up at him, her empty mug in front of her.

"You can actually drink?" Julian asked, looking her up and down. "You look like you could.... you're really advanced..."

"I was built to be a child's toy. I can drink most fluids, my body can prossess them easily. However, solid foods pose a bit of a dilemma for me."

Julian furrowed his brow. "Eh, that's not what I'm worried about. Are You in working order? I'm sure we have somepone who can fix you if you aren't."

"I am in as best working order as I am able to be. I honestly doubt humans at this point in history are able to live longer than a century. Truely, I estimate that anyone with the techical know-how to fix me is long dead."

Julian shook his head in confusion. "Just how old are you?" Julian blinked, wondering just what the hell this scrap had been through.

"I'm old enough to remember what the sun looks like." Rose smiled, standing up. "Did your mother ever teach you how rude it is to ask a lady her age?"

"Yeah... but you're not human...."

Rose smiled. "Of course, I must take that into consideration. Forgive me. But, Mister Jullian, would you please escort me around? I'd very much so like to explore the rest of the Skycleaner."

"I'm sorry, I can't. I have some things I need to go do. If you're around later, I'll be more than happy to be your tour guide."

"Thank you, mister Juilian."

"Just call me Julian, that's formal enough."
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((Amazing what happens when people post.))
"Archie, this really isn't the time for stupid stories..."
Archimedes moved closer as Lyle sat back down at the table. Scotts stared at the two quietly as the old man placed his hands on the cold metal.
"It's not a story, Lyle. This facility proves it! You've seen the technology used inside the core of the Skycleaner. You're a brilliant engineer, and you can't even figure out how any of it works!"
"Archie, the cleaner is dead! This place may have worked at some point, but all those systems, all that tech is completely inactive! It has been for decades, the Key was just a rumor that was used to give us hope! We didn't want to believe that the Skycleaner was broken, so we made up the idea that the Key was stolen and that finding it would magically solve our problems!"
"You know that's not true, this place has a purpose. That tech is in pristine condition, and you're going to tell me that of this entire facility, not one piece of those mysterious machines is in working condition?"
Scotts' eyes flitted over to Lyle, the point hitting home.
"He's got a point Lyle."
"Aw dammit Scotts, not you too! This is all bullshit, and you know it! We've gone over those goddamn machines how many times together? They don't react to any form of stimulus whatsoever!"
"What have you got to lose?"
Lyle fell silent at Archimedes' words. The old man folded his arms.
"I'll look myself. I'll take Heat, he'll go with me, you guys have been wanting us out of here for awhile now."
"That's not true, and you know it!"
"If I search for the Key and I find it, we can save the planet! We can save humanity Lyle!"
"And if you don't find it? If you end up dying in that godforsaken wasteland?"
"What will it matter to everyone here? Either I go look for it, and possibly die, or stay here, and get abandoned when you have to inevitably move anyway."
The room was silent. Archimedes turned towards the door, but paused for a moment, not bothering to turn around as he spoke to the two.
"You know you can't actually stop me from choosing to look for it Lyle. I'll go by myself, I won't tell anyone where I'm going. Heat will come with me, he can protect me. Don't worry. I may be old, but I'm the only one here who was in that war. We didn't lose hope then. I won't lose hope now."
With that, the old man walked out of the room. The two men stared at each other in cold silence.
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[COLOR="Navy"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Duo was leaning on the wall as Archie emerged.
"Been there long Duo?" He asked with a small smile.
"Long enough. I'm going with you. God only knows what kind of help your gonna need and I can be useful if you get sick:"
Archie tapped his finger to his chin thoughtfully and than shook his head slowly.
"As much sense as that makes Duo, I'll not endager your life as well as mine."
"I do it willingly. I'm not asking old man, I'm telling."
Archie looked her way and saw a serious look in her eyes even though she was smiling prettily at him.
"And what about Kilo?"
This hit a small nerve everytime.
"What about him? He's a grown man and can do as he pleases."
The words did not reach her eyes as she averted her gaze.
"Arch, I'm going and that's final. When do we leave?"
"Young lady, you need to listen to me. There's a good chance we could die, and than what?"
"That's life Archie, life sucks and than you die."
Archie had to shake his head at this, she was always so full of sarcasm and spirit it was amazing she was as upbeat as she was.
"Just come and let me know when we leave. I have some things to take care of for Rosa. Just please Arch, take me with you, don't go out there on your own alright?"
His resolve broke, had he not just given and small speech about them not stopping his as well? He nodded slowly giving her a small smile. She returned it with a bright, full one of her own and waved at as she bounced down the hall, her serious look replaced the the sparkle of child as she dashed away, the rope of hair bouncing behind her like a tail growing out the back of her head, he shook his head smiling.
Duo rounded the corner and stopped in her tracks as she saw Kilo with a couple sacks on his arm, crossing her's over her chest she cleared her throat and walked up next to him. He looked down at her giving her a sheepish look.
"I thought I said no hard work Grham."
He winced slightly, she only used that name when he had really upset her.
"Aw, c'mon Duo, there's stuff that needs to be done around here you know that."
She didn't answer him but simply spun infront of him and stood on her tip toes getting close enough so he could feel her breath on his face as she examined the steam burns there. She was concentrating on his wounds and not how close they were, in doctor mode as he called it. She ran her fingers along his jaw lightly, almost intimately and examined the steam burns.
"Grham, when you get done doing what ever it is your doing, cause I know you won't listen to me at the moment, please come and see my in the infirmary. You haven't been putting the ointment on these like you should and by your dialated pupils your in more pain than you'd like to let on."
He blinked as she let her hand linger on his cheek for a moment longer and than it was gone and so was she bounding down the halls dodging the other people coming and going as she headed back to the infirmary.[/FONT][/COLOR]
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Rose was standing at the end of the hall and had over heard everything. When the old man turned around, he had a look of disbeleif, he hadn't yet seen her since she had been woken up.

"Oh, my, where did you come from?"

"I've been asleep for a long time in one of the storage rooms. Sir.... Are you going to look for the key?"

"Yes, I am. The people here will all die if we don't find it.... And time is running out for all of us."

Rose looked down, and clutched her brooch. "May I come with?"

"A little scrap like you?"

Rose nodded. "Yes... I don't doubt your abilities to handle yourself, however, I am older than most people think. I can use older communication devices, and other various means and objects. I can be useful.... And being an...." Rose searched for a kind word, trying not to call him 'old', "Experienced gentleman like yourself, it wouldn't place such a burden on yourself."

The old man laughed. "You're too kind, little lady. You can call me an old man, it doesn't bother me. My name is Archemedies, though people call me Archie. And What's yours?"

"I am Rose. It is a pleasure to meet you, Mister Archie." Rose courtsied, and smiled. "May I please come with? I wouldn't be a bother, I promise!" Rosse clutched her brooch once more. "I... I also remember a lot of the world before the war.... I might be able to help guide you anywhere you like."
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Maya and Zlota finally reached the sled. But much to Maya's dismay, Boris was right next to the sled, looking very angry that a certain child genius was currently out in the wastelands. "Maya...," he growled. Maya ran up to him and attached herself to his leg with a hug.

"I-! I-! Th-there was-! B-buh!" Maya whimpered. Boris' eyes widened as he looked down akwardly at the small child.

"Maya, what IS it?!" he demanded.

"B-b-body! Dead guy! Soldier under the snow a-and b-b-blue skin a-and! Are you getting all of this?" Maya blubbered.

"Dead soldier?! DAMN IT, MAYA, THIS IS [I]EXACTLY[/I] WHY KIDS YOUR AGE ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THESE TRIPS!!!" Boris shouted, looking up at the sky in frustration. "Okay! We're heading back now! Hurry your butts up!" The rest of the scavengers gathered and they made their way back to the Skycleaner.
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Julian sighed, lighting up a ciggarette. He was glad to know they at least had nicotine stil, though it was usually every month or so when they got a shipment in from one of the underground farms.

He was sitting alone in the dimmly lit garage, looking at all of the direlect Scraps and the ones in even poorer condition that were still functioning.

"They keep running them into the ground... No wonder humanity is going to die out...Humans are so greedy and selfish..."

Heat came lumbering in, and fit himself into his own bay, his eye swiveling to look at Julian.


Julian blinked in disbeleif, he'd never heard Heat say anything like that.

"Hey, where'd you learn that word, big guy?"


Julian sighed. "Figured. Anyway, Why are you down here?"


Julian snorted in disgust. This only argued his point he had been talking to himself about just a few moments ago.

"Heat, do you think that we can find the key if we set out to find it?"


Julian smiled sadly. "It's kind of funny, the machine has more faith in humanity than the human itself does..." Julian looked down, his face covered by shadow. "Does humanity, for everything it's done unto itelf and the world, even deserve another chance?"


"I see....You're a far better person than I for thinking that." Julian stood up, rubbing out his ciggarette. "Well, you feel free to stay here if you want, I'm going to go get something to eat. Later, Heat."

Julian walked away, and up a flight of stairs to get to the main common room. He was happy to see Maya there, taking off her coat.

"And where have you been?"

"Outside..." Maya looked down at her feet. "I already got yelled at for it."

"Yeah, but I'm not going to yell at you." Julian got down on his knees, and smiled. "I know you like going outside, and no one's ever going to be able to stop you. So, there really isn't a point to trying."

Maya looked like she was in shock, staring at Julian like he was an alien. "You mean that????"

"Why wouldn't I? Now, come on, let's go get you something warm to drink, I'm sure you're cold."


"We have some? Alright, why not..."
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[COLOR="DarkRed"]The garage echoed with a chorus of clanking and scraping metal as the scraps wearily dragged themselves along aimlessly just as an excuse to move their bodies. Vangelios stood erect among them posing like the steeple of a chapel, gazing upon his kin through a glazed lens, and delved into the recesses of his poorly fabricated mind. Though the scraps he watched over had no destination for their wondering, at least they were in motion, and are managing to get somewhere.

Vangelios stood motionless, and waited for the word that would summon him to fulfill his duty to the sky cleaner. As undesirable as it was to him, it still allowed him to continue living, and it was still a purpose. He was quickly roused from his inner reflections as a scrap had unexpectedly tripped over the low rod that was fixed in Vangelios’ grasp. With great curiosity Vangelios peered down at the flailing scrap as it whined and struggled to right itself up.

The poor scrap cried in a distorted voice that made any words it might have uttered completely lost in the wave of screeching noise. Vangelios prodded the scrap with the point of his rod attempting to assist the struggling scrap, but the pointed jabs only seemed to lead to further distress. Working his other arm past the folds of his metal cloak, Vangelios scooped the scrap up with his hand, and slowly and clumsily lifted the scrap back to its feet.

The scrap focused it’s gaze upon Vangelios as he assisted it up with the harsh unreadable expression of a scrap. It’s sporadic voice barked at him, and then cooled to a calm whisper before the scrap attempted to limp away. Vangelios tipped his rod against the scrap and guided it a short distance with its support before allowing the scrap to continue his wandering on his own two legs.

Vangelios lifted his rod to his vision and stared at it in deep thought. While this was a handy tool to make up for his damaged hand, it has been a bit of an obstacle for others to avoid, especially in the busy hallways.

The garage abruptly echoed with the booming voice of Heat possibly in conversation with someone. With anticipation Vangelios waddled awkwardly supported by his rod in pursuit. While the minor errors in his sensory system lead him to make some odd turns to head in the right direction he eventually came close enough to hear the shared dialogue between Heat and a human.

Heat let out a few optimistic and kind words toward his human masters as simple as they were. Vangelios always found Heat to be a pleasant scrap to be in the presence of. His seemingly blissful ignorance was quite alluring.

A loud hiss pierced the air as Vangelios noticed a deep vermilion liquid beginning to trickle down the folds of his metal cloak. [/COLOR]
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[COLOR="Navy"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Duo passed Juliean and Maya on their way to the galley and smiled as Maya looked up beaming.
"We're going to get cocoa!"
She looked up at Juliean.
"We have that?"
He gave her shrug before he was drug off by the girl and she shook her head smiling.
"See you later Juls!"
He shot her a glare at the nickname she had given him and was promptly taken around a corner. She continued into the garage and spotted Heat.
"Heat, what are you doing down here?"
"Made to much noise. Here I can move and not worry."
She shook her head and walked a little further looking for a few pieces of extra scrap metal here and there to give to Archie to help fix Heat, with all the scraps that lumbered around down here they sometimes pulled it off the roof and sides of the shelter. She sneezed and looked around smelling a strong scent of something, not sure what it was she looked around til she heard a light hissing and grinding noise. Looking up she saw a large scrap under a metallic looking cloak.
"Are you damaged?"
The scrap just looked down at her seeming not to believe that she had spoken to him.
"I asked are you damaged."
Again nothing, he lifted a large metal rod and shook it back and forth as if waving to her. She noticed liquid seeping from under the metal cloak of the scrap, she gently moved around til she could look under it and see where it was coming from.
"You are damaged..."
She looked around and spotted a radio, picking it up she hit the button on the side and spoke into it.
"Kilo! I need you in the garage, please hurry and bring your tools, there's a damaged scrap down here!"
A few voices filtered through the radio back at her comment, some not so nice.
"Shut the hell up! If it weren't for them this place would have crumbled a long time ago! Show alittle respect!"
She threw the radio down and took off her white tank top so she was in her black sports bra and held it tightly against where the leak was coming from, not knowing much about scraps she did know that pressure helped in most cases...would this be so different? She pushed against the large scrap trying to keep the liquid at bay as she tried to help.
"Don't worry, Kilo is a good friend of mine, he can help, I know it. We'll get you fixed up and maybe not as good as new but you'll be okay. I promise. One way or another we'll get you fixed up..."
She looked up as Heat lumbered forward and wrapped a giant claw around the spot were the scrap was leaking fluid.
"I help."
She smiled up at the large scrap.
"Thanks so much Heat. That's very nice of you."
His eye swiveled around to look at her and he nodded. She put her hand on Heats cool metal and held it there, knowing that there wasn't much more she could do but wanting to help no matter how little it might be. She looked up as Archie entered the garage looking for his missing scarp and saw Heat and Duo trying to help the over sized scrap.
"My, what is going on here?"
"Arch! Perfect! Can you see what's wrong with him? I think he's hurt!"
Archie came forward and looked.
"I called for Kilo."
He nodded as he continued to examine the scrap.[/FONT][/COLOR]
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