T. A. Murrow

Barrett Summer's Quarters

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The common area of Barrett's room is a mixture of Vault prefabricated furniture and antique pre-war furniture that Barrett has collected in waste disposal over the years as older vault residents died off heir-less or which their families didn't want, of course with official permission.  A large stuffed high back chair dominates the center of the room where Barrett enjoys music from his PipBoy. To one side is a small wooden dining table surrounded by a mismatched collection of chairs, with to the other side a small kitchen nook with a handmade bar cordoning off the small kitchen and a small selection of kitchen appliances.

On the other hand, the small bedroom off the common area is almost Spartan like with a single built in bed and a small attached bathroom and shower, both unadorned standard Vault-Tec fare, with the exception of over a score of pre-war books in the prefabricated built-in bookcase.

Edited by T. A. Murrow

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Barrett refilled the cups of his guests and as Nino spoke of following her desire to pass on the history of her pre-war experiences to the generations born in Vault 14, he wondered yet again when he might be able to make his own history outside of the Vault as a pioneer reclaiming a post-war America.

As he finished pouring the tea, Barrett asked his companions in a casual tone "So tell me, once the Vault doors open, what do you plan to do in our own New World outside?"

Edited by T. A. Murrow

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Nino looks over to barret, sipping from her tea.

"Well... aside from burying my family? I uh... I suppose I don't rightly know."

There is a long pause.

"It's on us to start anew... As awful as this war was... I think..."

She pauses for five seconds.

"I believe we can make the world a place better than what we had before. Racist ignorance must be a thing of the past... no more fighting over petty nonsense. We all must decide that enough is enough."

She takes another sip of the tea and looks at it, speaking to herself quietly for a second.

"End the vanity of nations...We've but one earth on which to live"

Nino looks up to Barret and speaks with real confidence.

"I think thats what I want to do. I want to help people... to fight those who would harm others. To save peoples lives... and to pass down to the coming generations the lessons of history... As the old adage goes, those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it"

 

Edited by Empress Nino

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Olivia smiled sheepishly at Barrett's question, not having really pondered the thought of what goals she'd like to accomplish with the peace of the cool breeze through her auburn locks. Though the woman had many aspirations, part of her had always felt too comfortable within the vault's metal and concrete to think of the all the possibilities. 

Then there was Julia's story... so sad and bittersweet that any aspirations the redhead may have had herself, seemed shrouded under the weight of the other woman's words. Instead of contributing, she sat quietly... nodding her head in silent thought before lifting the cup up to her mouth; the action silencing her further.

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Barrett nodded in understanding as Nino told what she wanted to do once outside which was to remind people not to repeat history's mistakes saying as he did, "I'm sure we can all benefit from your wisdom - once we are indeed gone from this Vault."

Barrett noticed Liv's reticence to answer his question but he really wanted to hear it so he gently pushed the question with a warm smile as he said, "Liv, you are a brave woman. I saw how you faced down that brute in the hallway. I have no doubt that you will overcome any obstacles on the outside that you may encounter, both natural and human made. Surely you have some aspirations for when we are released into the wilderness?"

Barrett didn't mention that the reason he wanted to know was to see if her ambitions matched his own - and whether there may be a way that he could help them both achieve them.

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Liv looked up at Barrett, the edge of the mug against her mouth as she did so. Finishing her mouthful, she pursed her lips as she thought... not entirely sure how to answer the question. The skin between her brows crumpled and knit together as uncertainty masked her pale features. Had she really thought so deeply about it? The majority of Olivia's thoughts of outside had been a dizzying mix of excitement and nervousness... making enough sense out of it in order to string a coherent thought together had proven quite difficult. 

When she spoke, her voice came out in a cheery nature that poorly portrayed the turmoil in her mind. The tips of her nails tapped idly against the ceramic, keeping her fingers busy as a response pieced together in her mind. "Well... my grandmother told me... the most wonderful stories about beautiful trees, blue skies... and warm grass between bare toes. I was hoping to find a place, deep in a forest and just... experience everything that was in her stories. Maybe, just for a little while... just to know what it's like..."

Olivia looked sheepish, as if she had divulged something terribly embarrassing about herself. Taking another sip from the warm liquid, she used its heat to calm her nerves before parting her lips and continuing, "I mean... that's for a start. I haven't really... figured out the rest yet."

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She thinks long about what Oliva's plan would entail, and how most likely it is completely futile. She isn't sure how to express that it is a fools dream. That the trees are probably blown to dust, and anything left alive was probably an irradiated mess. She then thought back to Chernobyl, and how despite the harsh conditions, animals and even people were able to survive, let alone the red forest, alive and well but completely lethal to humans.

"It... could work. There are bound to be spots sprinkled about here and there that weren't caught in the firestorm.... what I do know is we need to stick together despite what different opinions and goals we have. No doubt its hellish up there, and moving to the surface we'll be like fish outta water. But I haven't known a challenge we couldn't tackle together here in vault 14... so I think we'll be okay."

 

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Jeffry's thoughts wandered, as the fellow dwellers talked.  I don't think I've had one single normal social interaction my entire life.  Why am i so awkward?  Why do i feel like i'd be so useless Outside.  What do i hope to contribute?

"Cheers to that" Jeffry toasted from the corner of the room with a raised teacup, "Sticking together, and all that, amen" 

 

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Terminology like 'firestorm', and 'hellish' burned a pit into Olivia's stomach. Not only that, but the hesitation in Julia's voice made her think twice about her aspirations... not only about the legitimacy of them, but the stupidity of them as well. 

Forever her own worst enemy, Liv waved a dismissive hand and tried desperately to smile past the frown that persisted on her face. She was sure it was a pitiful attempt, though she could barely blame herself for trying. "You two are right... better to focus on more realistic things."

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Nino shakes her head.

"No no no... it's not that bad. These things can and probably do still exist and survived the blasts... it just depends on where we gotta go to make it happen for you. I'm hoping that West Virginia was spared much of the firestorm due to the Appalachia."

She pauses a moment.

"Have you ever heard of Chernobyl?"

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Olivia listened to Julia, though a small part of her had given up hope for those things she longed for. It was a foolish dream, one that was beautiful and idealistic... But not a reality, not really. 

The redhead opened her mouth to answer the question that had been asked, but the familiar footfalls of a protectron pulled her thoughts away. 

She turned her head towards the noise, long copper locks brushing the sides of her face from the movement. Though the noise was a familiar one, what wasn't was the fact that the footfalls ceased right outside of Barrett's doors, and a sound of metal on metal rung out in a knock. 

Liv looked back at the others, wearing an uneasy grin. "Should I get that?"

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Olivia stood up and walked towards the door, opening it slowly to unveil the Protectron in question. Her voice was soft when she spoke, "Yes? Um... Barrett Summers' residence?"

A low humming of grinding components could be heard as it assessed the situation. The metallic twang of its voice chimed through the room, "Mr. Summers, Ms. Culper, and Ms. Nicholls... How convenient you all are together in this manner. It has been brought to my attention that all three of you are tardy on your mandatory visits to our barber shop. The Overseer in all His glory demands all vault dwellers look tidy, clean and professional. I will escort you there now."

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Nino finishes her drink rolling her eyes.

"I don't lose track of time... Been what... 24... maybe 26 days?  I wouldn't call that late if I were you."

She stands up and goes to the door.

"How is it that the overseer was made aware of this.... infraction."

Nino thinks for a moment about the situation. Attempting to put pieces of a puzzle together. The probability that the three people who are 'tardy' just so happened to have a very negative encounter with one of the salon staff was pretty damn low. She grits her teeth at the thought of who most likely caused this 'report'. She awaits the protectrons response before escalating further.

 

Edited by Empress Nino

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Barrett was thinking how beautiful Liv's dream was although it was highly unrealistic to think that things had remained unchanged after the War when there was a knock at the door interrupted his reverie. He nodded letting Liv answer the door watching her backside as she walked to do so and feeling slightly guilty that he enjoyed the sight so much. Barrett frowned grimly as he listened to the Protectron and then Nino's comment.

"Maybe the Overseer, in his infinite wisdom, has decided we need hair care sooner rather than later," Barrett said with a shrug, then drained his tea cup in a single gulp, "Bless the Overlord's attention to detail."

Barrett hoped the others didn't discern the undercurrent of annoyance in his voice for he was upset at the interruption of their pleasant tea party but remarked forcing all emotion out of his voice, "That said, we had best go," Then replied impassively to the Protectron, "Lead on Macduff."

Barrett had a copy of the Collected works of Shakespeare in his bedroom bookcase so he knew the true quote in Macbeth was "Lay on Macduff" which meant to attack vigorously. Barrett didn't usually engage in passive-aggressive behavior in his word play but he had really been enjoying his company and resented any premature ending of the first enjoyment he had had in a very, very long time. Still as the Protectron led them to the Barber's, he followed trusting that the Overseer knew best.

Edited by T. A. Murrow

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Either Jeffry's hair is reagulation, or he is simply not part of the drama.  Which based on Barrett's nicely groomed head, probably the latter. 

'Suppose being reclusive has it's advantages' he thought.

So seeing that this tea party seams to have reached it's conclusion, and everyone looked as though they were leaving, he offered to Barrett, "Thank you for the lovely tea, and company my friend, if you are leaving, might I offer to wash and put away your tea set while you are gone? Then he concluded the offer, "I promise as a professional courtesy to lock up when I am finished"

 

*when I read it at first it seamed like we were all still in the room, or exiting*

Edited by Kooduh
Whatever

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*Jeffry took it upon himself to clean the tea-set, and perhaps he got carried away with cleaning at Barrett's, hope he doesn't mind the extra cleaning he did.  He was bored and everyone just left him there with nothing to do, so he cleaned and detailed the dwelling.   Of course turned out the lights and locked up when he was finished*

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Barrett woke up from a restless night. He had come home from work to a surprisingly clean quarters with no trace of the morning's tea party. Barrett reasoned that it must be Mr. Clifford's doing since he was the only one left there when the Protectron forcibly took Barrett and his two lady guests to the salon. Although embarrassing, Barrett would rather have that than a neatness violation on his permanent record with the Overseer.

When Barrett went to bed, he made a mental note to thank Mr. Jeffrey when next he saw him so that wasn't what kept him twisting and turning in his small bed all night long. It was his encounter with Ms. Dairy in the Mess Hall. After he woke up, Barrett thought about what was said and what was done at yesterday's breakfast all during his morning routines of showering and shaving. Mr. Brown's inconvenient intervention was unfortunate but that unpleasant x-variable could easily be taken out of the equation of his ill ease.

Barrett finally realized as he dressed that he was the factor at fault. He had put Ms. Dairy so high on a pedestal of perfection that it took very little to knock her off of it.  In this case, it was her small frown of disapproval when he finished his breakfast once Brown had jumped into the conversation. Ms. Dairy was no longer an unapproachable Goddess but just a human with feet of clay. She was still beautiful, and the conversation pleasant, but there was nothing else there. He was not comfortable with that frown and Barrett was a man who treasured comfort, both in his surroundings and in his friends.

Barrett finished getting dressed surprising himself in thinking, "Emily is no Liv," as he realized that the same frown could have come from Liv and it wouldn't have bothered him near as much for when he met Liv he was instantly comfortable with her unlike when he met Emily. 

"Perhaps it is because I had no high expectations when I met Liv, it was just a natural meeting between two strangers who became friends," Thought Barrett as he opened his quarter's front door and exited into the Residential Hallway to head to work.

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Barrett makes it down the residential halls only tripping twice but not falling down. He fumbles with the lock combination, getting it open on the third try. Once inside, he goes to his overstuffed chair and collapses into it. He would like some tea, but is just too tired to brew it. Putting some electro-swing music on through his pip boy hoping it will energize him.

Barrett sees Emily framed in the doorway, a vision of loveliness, and he forces himself to stand saying with a smile, "Would you like some tea? Since we didn't get to talk at dinner, shall we now? You were going to ask me something?"

Barrett moves to the small kitchen and begins brewing the tea for himself or for both or them awaiting her answer.

Edited by T. A. Murrow

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Emily smiles softly, "You really should be taking it easy since you just said that you were getting tired." She walks into his room to stop what he was doing and goes to try to move him back to his chair.

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"You are too kind," Barrett doesn't resist her efforts to move him back to his chair.

As Barrett lowers himself carefully, he says with a grin,"Seriously, I feel guilty keeping you from the young ones. They need the education only you can provide them."

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"Believe me, they are being taken care of by some of the older residents here that volunteer their time" She smiles. "Besides it will give them a chance for a small break before I get back to them with teaching."

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His smile disappears as he regards Emily with dark eyes a he contemplates his next words carefully before he says, "Emily, I appreciate you caring for me but if you are doing it for gratitude for saving little Katie I would have done that none-the-less or out of some kind of misguided guilt, for you have nothing to be guilty about,  please don't. You are very important to our Vault and your time is valuable whereas my time... well, I'm a mere janitor and my time is far less valuable"

Barrett leans forward in his chair, his big hand sweeping through the hair he no longer has as he asks frankly, "However... if you are still here... because of some other reason, please tell me what it is."

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Emily  stares at Barrett in disbelief.  "I am not doing this out of some type of guilt Barrett." She frowns slightly. "Also, you need to stop saying that about yourself Barrett. You are valuable. It doesn't matter what you do here in the vault, it matter on who you are as a person."

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