T. A. Murrow

Barrett Summer's Quarters

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Barrett sits back before saying, "I meant no offense. It's just... no one since my parents died has... cared this much about me," Then a lopsided grin crosses his square jawed face, "So... who am I as a person - in your eyes?"

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Emily smiles, "I care about everyone in the vault Barrett. It is what the Overseer has taught us after all." She looks at him for a moment before continuing on. "But thats not the only reason, but such talks are for another time. You need your rest."

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Barrett smiles back as he stands up, "I look forward to the discussion... but you are right, I do need to rest."

Barrett heads to his small bedroom.leaning on the door jam for a minute as he speaks over his shoulder staring deep into her eyes, "You are welcome to stay; make yourself at home - or if you feel a need to check on your charges, I can meet you later - perhaps for that late meal I missed with you the other day."

Barrett tottered into the bedroom and collapsed into his bed, a gentle snore soon being heard from within.

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Barrett woke up, not sure how long he had been asleep but feeling in tip-top shape when he awakened. He looked for Emily but wasn't surprised not to find her although a part of him was disappointed that she wasn't there sleeping next to him when he woke up.

Barrett then did a hundred push-ups which was his wont in the mornings before showering and dressing for work. His stomach growled loudly as he tied on his high top boots. Barrett smiled, not really sure when the last time he ate occurred, but sure that the first stop of his day would be the mess hall, even before his devotional in the Atrium.

Edited by T. A. Murrow

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On convalescent leave from his job in waste management, Barrett left Emily in the mess hall to grade her students' papers. There was something odd about Emily, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it. There were so many mysteries in Vault 14 but he had neither the authority and now the strength to investigate them.

When he returned to his residence, Barrett sat his muscular body into the large overstuffed high-backed chair that dominated his main room with a satisfying sigh. Flipping through his saved music on his Pip-Boy, he looked at "Electro-Swing" for a moment then the big man shook his square-jawed head slowly in the negative and with a lop-sided smile decided that was much too energetic for his state of mind. Finally he selected some relaxing classical music and with another sigh closed his brown eyes and let his thoughts gently flow with the calming music.  

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Sitting in his overstuffed high-backed chair, Barrett was just dozing to the dulcet tones of Brahms when there was a sudden rapping on the door to his quarters.  Awakening with a start, he raised one black eyebrow wondering who it could possibly be. He wasn't expecting anyone, but that didn't mean anything for not long ago he invited many of his neighbors to stop by anytime for tea.

Barrett sat up slowly still a convalescent from his recent injuries. As he walked ponderously to the door, he again wondered who it might be and so was completely surprised to see Nino although that was not the name he knew her by, but he greeted her with a smile, "Good to see you! Please come in and make yourself comfortable." The big man gestured to a chair at his small kitchen table then exclaimed, "I'll put on some tea!"

Edited by T. A. Murrow

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She polity nods her head with a faint smile and enters the room. Tea always was a reason for an occasion for Nino. She thinks to herself 'If Barret would ever come over to my place for tea time, he would be in a shock for how much care I put into it. ' She lays her notebook on the table with a new page that Barret hadn't seen before up. This time it's a violin.

"Always good for tea, you know that"

She smiles a tad larger, but this might be the most he's seen her smile.

"I'm sorry if I interrupted you from anything... the music is lovely as always."

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As Barrett went to the small kitchen nook in his quarters and put the kettle on in preparation for the tea, he frowned. Nino was not the type to just drop by to chew the fat. There was usually some reason to everything she did - and it usually was personal. The fact that she just dropped by didn't seem happenstance to him.

Once the kettle was on, Barrett went over and sat across from her asking, "Not that I don't mind you're visiting because I always enjoy our talks, but you usually don't just stop by with no purpose. So Julia... what's on your mind?"

Edited by T. A. Murrow

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She looks at Barret as if she is surprised that he would say that.

"No no no.... its not like that, I just want to ask you a favor. You work in waste management... I wanted to know if you could score me some wood and a few other things if it ever comes through."

 

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"Hmmm... I don't wish to do anything illegal but..." Barrett's square jawed face was impassive as his intense brown eyes regarded the older woman before asserting, "If you can assure me personally that you too are not going to do anything illegal with the materials on this list, I can file a requisition form for them if you give me the list. It will be under my name for my boss likes me especially since I saved the child in Waste Management saving him a great deal of criticism if she had died. I'm sure he will not only approve the list but will fast track the requisition because of it. Just remember that because of that... misunderstanding... with the librarian in the Mess Hall, I'm under scrutiny by the Overseer so my neck is on the line if there is anything... illicit in the request."

Barrett grinned warmly exclaiming, "Let's see this list then Julia!"  

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Nino smiles excitedly, Barret really wouldn't have ever seen her this happy, but is slightly concerned that Barret would even think Nino would do something wrong.

"Oh god no I'm not doing anything illicate with it. I'm making a violin!"

She laughs lightly.

"I made a guitar in the past, but now I want a violin... and well.... I don't have one. So I'll make one. I don't know many people around who have violins."

She points to her book that has a list of materials needed next to her drawling of what the violin will look like after its done.

 

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"Hmm..., we usually keep woods of all kind as they are so rare in the Vault locked in the storage room, which I am charged with keeping inventory of what is contained there, " Began Barrett looking at Nino's book pointing a the passage with a forefinger the size of a large sausage, "The front of a violin is most often made from a high quality spruce, the tighter the grain on this, the higher the quality. I can't guarantee the quality of the wood, but we do have a huge pile of untreated spruce logs there."

The kettle started to whistle ad Barrett went back to this  kitchenette preparing the rose decorated teapot and two matching cups on a plain plastic tray. He put the tea into the pot to steep, then brought the tray to the table to eagerly continue the conversation

Barrett explained with an excited gleam in his dark eyes, for he always interested in the creative projects of fellow vault dwellers, "The back, ribs, neck and scroll are most often made from Maple. I know we have a broken two legged table made of Maple in the back room for sure. The fingerboard, pegs and what your book calls the 'purfling', the lines around the edge,  are made from Ebony or sometimes Rosewood. We have no Ebony for I would remember that but... Rosewood? Maybe.  I think a broken picture frame in the back may be made of Rosewood, although I'm not sure."

Barrett poured them each a cup of tea as he thought, than raising one brown eyebrow asked after taking a sip, "How soon do you need this? I mean, what is your timeline on this project?"

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*Nino smiles warmly as he speaks about the wood, and gets excited about the fact that she’s doing this project.*

”Well.... should be a total of about a month. Maybe less or maybe more. It really comes down to how much time I have free, which is usually quite a lot. I’ll need some pine as well to make the insert to start the building process... that is if we have it. I could always just use more of the untreated spruce. This whole idea makes me very excited! I love repurposing old and unused things into something beautiful. Before the war I met someone who made a violin out of an old dead oak tree in his back yard. That’s just cool to me”

*she happily takes her glass and sips from it.*

Edited by Empress Nino

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Barrett had never seen Nino so chipper! She was usually forlorn, lost in her sad family history but she had found a light out of her own personal tunnel of despair with this violin project and he couldn't be more happy for her as he remarked, "A month? Well, then we should get those materials to you as soon as possible. I will be going back to work tomorrow and need to secure a certain silver spoon I promised to to little girl so I can secure the materials you need too by... say mid morning? I'll come to your quarters then with a full cart if that is convenient."

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*Nino takes a long drink of her tea before setting it down on the table. She continues to smile.*

”Aye that will work well. Going to need to go do everything at the workshop. I doubt the overseer would let me have the tools for the course of the project, even if I do have a clean record. Could ask though. I need to talk with him anyway. I’m going to have to make do without special tools though. I very much don’t we have tools meant specifically for violin making.”

*she laughs at her own comment and picks the glass back up, taking an even longer sip.*

 

Edited by Empress Nino

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Barrett frowned with a sudden thought remarking, "And the strings for the violin - they're going to be hard to find."

Barrett took another sip of his tea, the tea cup looking absurdly small in his big hand as he suggested, "Maybe the librarian has tools you might borrow that are fine enough to do the work you want to do as he does rebind books. Note, I have no idea what kind of tools are needed for that. Perhaps he might know of some one who does have the tools you need. A craftsman of some sort? It wouldn't hurt to ask."

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*nino sighs lightly and takes a sip from the tea. Her mind fading into the past.*

”I could possibly ask him, but most likely I can make do with the tools here In the vault. I could fashion up the tools I need. I can’t wait to get started. Just make sure to get me a board or two more than I ‘need’ since mistakes do happen. I’ll be able to make a beautiful instrument to entertain the vault. I’m sure we could use a concert every so often! Maybe even a movie night. That would be great.” 

*her mind drifts more, and her huge smile has lowered.*

Edited by Empress Nino

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"That would  be... lovely," Barrett commented wit a grin but thought to himself, "I really hope we won't be kept in the vault that long to have a whole series of concerts!"

"So... have you given up on the idea that we will be released from the vault anytime soon?" Asked Barrett as the grin disappeared from his square-jawed face adding, "You had some very important missions you wanted to do outside, if I recall correctly."

Barrett knew Nino wanted to find the body of her true love who died outside during he war over twenty five years ago and to give her a proper burial but thought it impolite to be too specific.

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*nino drums the table with her fingers for a moment as she thinks. After about 10 seconds she lifts the tea to her mouth and finishes it.*

”No... I haven’t given up hoping we’re gonna get out soon, but I’d like to have something to do to pass the time. I’m at my best when I have something to work toward. Once I get out... I’ll have graves to dig. I’ll need help with that. I could probably do it on my own but....” 

*she looks saddened thinking of how her families bodies will look*

”I don’t know if I’d be able to pick their bodies up... it would hurt me too much.”

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Both Barrett and Nino would hear a soft, metallic thud against the wall. It came from the quarters that were immediately adjacent to Barrett's, the quarters of Elizabeth Weiss. It was barely loud enough to catch their attention, and there was silence afterwards. 

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Barrett nods solemnly to Nino in understanding volunteering, "When the time comes, I'll will be glad to do the... chore.  I'm sure that Mr. Jeffreys, who I believe was a minister before the war, will be glad to conduct a burial ceremony if you wish."

Before Barrett could say anything more he heard a mysterious metallic noise coming the quarters' wall he shared with Elizabeth Weiss. He remembered the mysterious bruises she had on her face earlier and her weak explanations for them. In a second, his policeman's sensibilities would not let him ignore the sound even though he had not the authority of a policeman but only that of the janitor for the residential area of Vault 14.

"Excuse me Julia, feel free to finish you tea here, but I must attend to Ms. Weiss to make sure she is unhurt," Remarked Barrett as he stood up ponderously then moving his big muscular body slowly to to and thru the his quarters'door still feeling the aches and pain from his rescue of the little girl earlier that week.  As he got to the door he rapped loudly on it hoping nothing was wrong with Elizabeth for she seemed to be a nice if quiet young lady.

"Ms. Weiss, are you okay? It's Barrett Summer," Said Barrett loudly, adding unnecessarily, "The janitor and your neighbor next door." 

Edited by T. A. Murrow

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"Perhaps you are correct," Barrett agreed with Nino, then Barrett faced the hallway security camera giving his name and security clearance telling them of the dilemma and asking for Protectron assistance.

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