Apocalypse World: Uni City Chapter 1

[This is the first “summary” of my Lone Wolf Theater session of Apocalypse World.  I made four characters and ran through each one separately, as you’ll see below.  I included all the rolls I made in parentheses.  Scrib is a Hoarder, Dice is a Chopper, Mr. Sunset is a Mastro’D, and October is a Skinner.  I’m still wondering if this will work, I only “played” for about an hour and I got nearly 2000 words out of it.  A bit longer than I thought.

Feedback, negative or positive, is more than welcome.

Enjoy!]

SCRIB

Scrib blinks himself awake at his desk.  In the orange morning light he can see that he has been writing in his sleep.  In fact, he’s still writing.  This isn’t anything new.  Scrib had been writing before he could talk.  As soon as his tiny hands could hold a pen words came out of him.  Most of the time it was gibberish, but much too often his writing told him things, things he couldn’t possibly know.  But he’d heard of stranger stories in the Apocalypse World.

(Open your mind to the psychic maelstrom: 5+2=hit)

Scrib folded up the sheet of paper he had been writing on and got dressed.  He lived in stacks of books from the golden age.  His collection.  Scrib tied seven shoelaces around his forehead, it was the only thing that kept his writing under control, and put on his ancient wire glasses.  Then he unfolded his paper.

“Exit from the tower approached the field with a hand on the past and an eye on the future.”

Scrib sighed and walked upstairs to Mr. Sunset’s.

The main level is pretty dead, but that’s normal for this early in the morning, not even noon.  Scrib ties up his smock and looks around.  Peppering is the only one there not otherwise occupied.  Her dark features brighten up with Scrib’s attention.

“Is Mr. Sunset around?”

“No, he’s still asleep.  I can help you if you want,” Peppering says with a bit too much enthusiasm.

Peppering wants Scrib bad.  Scrib wants October worse.  That’s the way things usually work out.  Scrib grits his teeth.  What the hell?

“Sure.  I’m headed to Garage Dee.  Need some back up.  Have anything heavy you could swing if things get ugly?”

Peppering vaults over the broken counter and grabs a rusted metal baseball bat on her way.  She trots after Scrib as he walks out the door.  The other whores don’t even seem to notice as the door to the library slams shut behind Peppering.

DICE

Dice has been awake since dawn.  She hates morning shifts, but whatever, it helps morale.  Morning duty at Garage Dee is the worst though.  She can’t even ride her bike.  If the stupid fuckers in the Towers hadn’t snuck in and robbed their armory last month, they wouldn’t have to guard the border so … boringly.

When she sees Scrib and one of Sunset’s girls walking over looking all determined, Dice smiles and blows her sandy hair out of her eyes in one puff.  Finally, some excitement.

She flips the kickstand on her fixed gear and pedals up to Scrib with her trusty crowbar over her shoulder.  She calls out, “Ka-Kaw!” to the others assigned to morning duty with her.  Five other Fixies.

“Notice anyone from the Towers, Dice?

“Morning Scrib.  None of those fuckers have the balls to come back here after last time.”  Dice looks at the bat the whore is leaning on like a cane.  She can’t be older than 16.  Is that supposed to be his bodyguard?

Scrib points over Dice’s shoulder as the other Fixies pedal behind her.  “Who’s that then?”

Dice looks behind her.  Fuck.  A woman is walking down the mall toward them—from the Towers.

“Bits, go sound the alarm,” Dice says as the other four Fixies draw their weapons.

Scrib narrows his eyes.  “Exit?”

(Scrib reads a charged situation: 9+1=hit)

(Three questions: Who’s in control here? Dice for sure.)

(What’s my enemy’s true position? Exit, the girl from the Towers, is here to bargain.  She comes in peace.)

(Who’s the biggest threat? Partridge, one of the Fixies, woke up on the wrong side of the garage.  He wants blood, doesn’t care whose.)

Exit stops walking and puts her palms up.  Her expression doesn’t change.

Before the Fixies can ride off to beat the shit out of her, Scrib stops them.  “Wait, I know her.  Let’s hear what she has to say.”

Dice considers for a minute and looks at the would-be intruder.  “Fine.”

Partridge’s jaw drops.  “The fuck, Dice?  They stole both of our rifles?  We should cave this bitch’s head in.”

“Shut up, Partridge.”

(Dice uses Pack Alpha: 6+2=hit)

Partridge slams his PVC pipe against his handlebars.  Under his breath he says, “What happens when a bitch is in charge.”

A couple of the Fixies, both male, near him laugh at the comment.

Dice casually holds her finder up to Exit, still 20 or so feet away and rides over to Partridge.  He glares at her and tightens his grip on his handle bar and pipe.  In a fluid movement, Dice slams the hook of her crowbar into Partridge’s shin.  He screams and falls off his bike.

“Looks like you won’t be riding for a while.” Then she ride back toward Exit and starts circling her.  The other three Fixies are quick to do the same, leaving Partridge groaning on the ground near Scrib.

Exit looks less sure of herself than she did before, but she surrenders to a search by the Fixies.

“I just want to see your leader.  I seek asylum.”

“Don’t know what that means,” Dice says, “but you’re clean, so I’ll take you to Mr. Millions.”

Dice points toward the Coulburn Throne as the garage’s alarm goes off behind them.  “Start walking.”

MR. SUNSET

Mr. Sunset is startled awake by some quickly forgotten nightmare.  His partner stirs beside him, but doesn’t wake up.  He takes a few seconds to admire her nude form before covering it with his stained silk sheet.

Mr. Sunset puts on his long raincoat and does his tie in the mirror.  He takes one last look at the girl in his bed, remembering some bits of last night with a smile, and then walks downstairs to the lobby.

He takes his sunglasses from the lobby and adjusts them in one of the many mirrors in the lobby.  He frowns, noticing the counter is unattended.  A little girl in a neon pink bikini runs up to him and tugs on his coat.  He looks down at her and smiles, “Missed, my dear, can I help you?”

“Mr. Sunset, we don’t have enough food for breakfast again,” she said with quivering lip.  He can tell she’s practiced this speech, but it’s still unsettling.

“Mr. Millions was supposed to resupply us last night.” He turns to two whores lounging about in the lobby, “Girls, go see if you can’t get something from the markets.”

(Barter 6+2=hit)

“They should be able to bring back something for breakfast, but I need to talk to Mr. Millions.  Did he visit Dustwich last night?”

(Looking for someone: 8+2=hit)

Missing nods and runs to get him.

Mr. Sunset takes the time to go to his back office and get comfortable.  On his way he notices that Scrib’s door to the basement is opened.  He must already be gone.  Good.

Mr. Millions saunters into Mr. Sunset’s office shirtless and fighting to buckle his belt over his impressive hair gut.

“I trust you had a good night.  I think it’s time you paid me so that I can feed my girls now.”

Mr. Millions doesn’t look up.  “No, I don’t think so, Sunset.”

Mr. Sunset steeples his fingers and leans back in his chair.  “And why is that?”

Mr. Millions finally looks at Mr. Sunset.  “Last night pays for this month’s rent.  I’m not in the business of giving my rivals my surplus.”

Mr. Sunset sighs and folds his hands on his desk.

(Seduce or manipulate: 2+2=miss)

“I’m not after your job.  We’ve been over this, so, so many times.  I just want to protect my girls and provide my services to Uni City.”

Mr. Millions puts his thumbs in his pockets and licks his lips.  “Well, maybe we can work something out.  I we could talk about some shipments from the food supply … if I could have Dustwich for another night.”

“Done.”

“With October.  Both at once.”

Mr. Sunset crosses his arms over his chest and pivots his chair back and forth for a few seconds, never taking his eyes off of the rotund man across his desk.

“Fine,” Mr. Sunset says.

Mr. Millions smiles wide, showing the gaps in his teeth.  Before he can say another word a young boy bursts into the office.  Bits from the Fixies.

“Mr. Millions, sir.  Dice has a prisoner from the Towers.  She’s taking her to Coulburn.”

OCTOBER

October slowly notices she’s awake on her stomach.  It takes her a minute to remember where she is.  She sits up and looks around with her bright orange eyes and smiles.  She pulls the silk sheets up to her face and inhales deep.  It still smells like Mr. Sunset.

She  drops her dress over her head, she’s heard some older women call it a “slip,” which October feels is pretty appropriate, and descends into the lobby.  Everyone seems to be in some kind of hubbub.  October yawns and clicks her cheek.

“Knightro, here boy.”

In a few seconds her tiny scalecat canters up to her and jumps on the counter.  October scratches the scales under his chin and he purrs, his forked tongue stabbing the air.

“Hey, Missing.  Where’s Mr. Sunset?”

“He just left with Millions.  The Fixies got into some kind of trouble.”

“Well, did they at least leave some breakfast?”

Missing frowns.  “No.  Mr. Sunset sent some girls to the market, but they didn’t come back yet.”

October combs her fingers through her thick black hair.  “Guess we’re on our own, Knightro.”

(Barter:8+1=hit)

October, with Knightro following close behind, walk up to Tum Tums booth at the edge of the market.  His weathered eyes look at her with hunger up and down.

“October, you look so hot today.  I hope I can help you with something.”

“If you have more of those otter eggs from Lake Claire, maybe enough for me and Knightro here, it would make my day.”

Tum Tum licks his lips and wrings his hands.  “And what would you be offering?”

She winks at him and hits the front of the visor of Tum Tum’s straw hat.  “You know what I’m offering.  And I want a month’s worth of those eggs.”

Tum Tum starts giggling.  “Yeah, oh yeah.  I can certainly make that deal, October.  No problem.  Let me get you today’s catch.”

“That would be great, Tum Tum, I’m starving.”

He dives into the back of his rickshaw of supplies and pulls out a bucket dripping with slime.

Then they hear the echo of a gunshot.

Both of their smiles disappear and their heads snap toward the sound of the fire.  It came from Coulburn.

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