The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

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The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Trainbrain16 on Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:11 pm

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The year is 1970.  The American railroad industry is modernizing at an incredible pace, and steam locomotives as a species are being killed off in preference of more reliable and efficient diesel-electric locomotives.  Thousands of the old iron giants are being dragged off to scrap yards and smelting plants in long, ominous funeral trains, their eyes wide and pleading for help that will never come to any human they pass by on their way to their inevitable deaths.  To their old crews, these locos are family, but to the industry, they're now a liability, worth nothing more than their weight in scrap steel, at a rate of about forty seven dollars per metric ton.

In northern Washington State, trouble is brewing in the small railroad city of Fort Fairfax.  The local railroad company has been run out of business by the mega-tycoon that is the Union Pacific.  With the rail line shut down and deteriorating from years of disuse, the only way in and out of the valley was via the main 'highway', Route Seven, but on December 8th, 1970, heavy snow and ice caused a rock face in the mountains to collapse, completely burying three miles of Route Seven under millions of tons of granite boulders, snow, and ice near the town of Saint Josef.  Luckily only ten people were killed, but the road was rendered completely impassable, practically cutting off the entire valley of Bucket Falls from the outside world.  (There are other roads out of the valley, but Route Seven was the only one that was remotely safe in winter conditions, and the only route capable of supporting large trucks in any weather)  The only hope for Fort Fairfax, as well as the neighboring towns of Thomas Canyon, Josha's Cradle, Simonville, and Dunk Town, and the hamlet of Elena Junction, was reopening the old railroad.  The two main industries in the canyon, Dyken's Coal Mine and the Lena's Mineral Mining Company, were among the first to get onboard the bandwagon of reopening the line, followed closely by the Dunk Town Sawmill and Fort Fairfax Petrochemicals.  The companies could all theoretically survive through the winter by temporarily shutting down their operations to save capital, then reopening after the spring thaw would allow for Route Seven to be cleared and rebuilt, but in a rare stroke of plain humanity all four of the company CEOs decided that the railroad reopening would not only be good news for all of them, but more importantly, would be good news for all the people living in the valley.  With the support from the local industries and the residents of the valley, a group of citizens from Fort Fairfax formed the Full Bucket Line Preservation Society, which soon enough became the Full Bucket Line Railroad Company.  The initial investments from the industrial companies provided the FBLRR with most of the initial capital they needed to get most of the line repaired to the point of being safely usable, but that still left them with a rather serious problem.

What the hell good is a railroad with no locomotives and no rolling stock?

When the line was first shut down, the Union Pacific bought up everything worth recovering at the bankruptcy auction, which included all the locomotives and nearly all of the rolling stock.  There were a few cars left behind scattered around the line, but all needed serious work if they were even salvageable at all, and even all of them put together weren't going to be enough to run the railroad with.  Luckily most of the old railroad's employees were local residents, so there was no shortage of qualified workers, but the company was quickly running out of cash, and they still didn't even have any locomotives.

And so the search began for the trains that could help to save the valley of Bucket Falls.  For the size of the line they would be trying to run, starting off they would need at least one or two small locomotives for shunting work and pulling maintenance trains (probably small steam tank engines or diesel switchers), two or three mid-sized locos for general freight traffic and short, local passenger trains, and one large, powerful main-line locomotive for bringing the big freight trains in and out of the valley, as well as pulling the fast passenger services.  It's a tall order, but hopefully the folks at the FBLRR can find some of what they need without breaking the bank.

And hopefully the engines themselves will be willing to cooperate after being neglected and cast aside for so long.

~~~~~

Okay, so if you can't tell, this is a world where many of the vehicles that humans build and use are sentient beings, sort of like in "Thomas the Tank Engine" or "Cars" (if Cars had humans).  They have a fair bit of control over themselves, but still need human crew to fully operate most of the time.  They do have faces, but not Thomas-style faces where it covers most of the front of their body.  They're much less intrusive, being just eyes and a mouth somewhere that makes sense on the front of their body, like this:
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As sentient beings, they've all got their own personalities and feelings, most have names, they can feel pain and other physical sensations with surprising sensitivity.  Their bodies are a bit flexible, but not quite to the extent of the characters in "Cars".  When a locomotive and its crew are familiar with one another and have formed a tight bond, one can expect to see significantly better physical performance out of both.  The mental health of a sentient vehicle has a significant and direct impact on their physical capabilities, meaning a happy, satisfied train with a good crew that they're close to will tend to perform significantly better than their design specifications say they should be able to, while a depressed or angry locomotive or one with a crew that they're always at odds with will have substantially worse general performance, or may even straight-up refuse to work at all.

Please keep in mind for the vehicles that most of what the FBLRR is going to be using/getting their hands on is going to be old, outdated, and generally unwanted equipment.  Very little, if anything, is going to be new or modern (for the present time period of 1970) so try to keep to trains that were built between the 1940s and the early '60s, or were being retired from service in 1966 at the latest.  Trucks could probably be a bit newer, like '68 or '69 (giggity), but toss in some older ones as well for added historical nostalgia stuff.

Character Forms:

Human:

Name:
Gender:
Age:
Appearance/Picture:
Personality:
Relevant skills:
Recommended/Desired/Current job:
Other:

Trains:

Name: (If they were ever given one, or can remember their name)
Gender:
Road number:
Class: (The exact type of train they were.  Please be specific.  If you have an idea about what you want from the character, do some searching online to find something that might match what you want)
Personality:
Picture (Optional):
Other:

Trucks:

Name: (Again, if they ever got one)
Gender:
Make and Model:
Personality:
Picture: (Optional)
Other:

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Last edited by Trainbrain16 on Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:16 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Trainbrain16 on Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:46 pm

Connie laughed a bit and said "Cat, I wouldn't let them if they tried.  Is that orphanage here in Fort Fairfax?  Do you remember where it is?"

~~~
"And I'm glad to still be alive to feel this good," Sam sighed happily.

"And I'm happy when you stop rambling on and on about how good the steam cleaning feels," Rosie snarked.  "Hush up, *some* of us are trying to get some rest..."

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Starrnico on Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:38 am

Cat nodded and sighed softly "Yeah, it's the 'children's home' here on Poplar Street." She was scared to go near it with the way things were now.

~
Gus chuckled softly and finished his work, checking to make sure there were no leaks 'found' by the steam being used in Sam.

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Trainbrain16 on Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:54 am

"Well like I said on the ride over here, I think it's about time someone snuck over there to do a bit of investigating, then made an anonymous, urgent call to the police regarding a certain organization that's violating just about every child labor, exploitation, and abuse law there is."  She smiled and rubbed Cat's back a bit again.  "You're never gonna end up there, and if I have my way, neither will any other child ever again."

~~~
Gus wouldn't find any evidence of leakage or corrosion anywhere in Sam's system, and unsurprisingly, the big locomotive had soon been lulled into a deep, blissful slumber by the immensely satisfying feelings of the steam cleaning.

"Oh perfect..." Rosie groaned, rolling her eyes when Sam started snoring rather loudly.  "This is definitely not any better..."

(You wanna do a timeskip soon, maybe to like the morning of the day after the next?  Got a couple of things in mind to set in motion.)

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Finally back again, feeling really lonely and bored.  I need help bringing my creative writing spark back from the grave after so long.
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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Starrnico on Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:04 am

Cat smiled softly and nodded. She knew Connie would try, but until they were run out of business, she would still be worried. "Who's going to look after me and Nathan?"
(Yeah, we can timeskip whenever you want to Smile )

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Trainbrain16 on Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:59 am

"Honestly?  Probably all of us," Connie said with a shrug and a smile.  "You two kids are probably gonna become like part of our family, just like Ashley here did all those years ago.  One thing is for sure, though, and it's that we're not gonna let you get sent to a place like that, and we're not going to let Nathan get deported.  You two are gonna a stay right here."

(Sweet, I'll probably do it next post)

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Finally back again, feeling really lonely and bored.  I need help bringing my creative writing spark back from the grave after so long.
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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Starrnico on Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:06 pm

Cat nodded and leaned against her again, just resting there. She was glad for what Connie said and that they had a bit of experience with foundlings like her through Ashley. Maybe this would work out for them

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Trainbrain16 on Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:00 am

The two other girls both smiled again, eventually releasing Cat from the embrace and pulling back a bit to look around them again, noticing that Nathan had climbed up onto the stack of boxed train parts in order to join in the hug from behind Cat as well.

Mr. Iverson chuckled at the sight of the little bunch of huggers on top of the stack.  “Yeah, I think we’re gonna be pretty alright,” he said, smiling happily as the rest of those present seemed to have their attention drawn to the heart-warming scene.  “What we’ve got is something special, we'll get through this…”

-----
It was early in the morning of the day after the next when Dirk, Gus, and Riley were driving up to the front of the old farm outside Newton, having gone via rail until they reached a main road in Saint Josef and then gone by road from there onward.  “So I’m guessing this is the place, right?” Dirk asked curiously as he and Riley looked over the deteriorating old buildings from the road.

“Jeez, it looks like nobody has lived here in years,” Riley said observantly.  “Or the buildings are just super old and couldn’t handle this heavy snowfall.  Take a look there on the other side of the farm house, the roofs of those two barns have totally caved in.”

“Aww crap…” Dirk mumbled as he hopped down out of Riley's cab and headed over to check the state of the driveway's gate, wondering if they could get it open without breaking anything.  “Riles, one of those barns isn’t really a barn…”

“…it’s an engine shed…” they both said simultaneously.

~~~
“Here we are, this is the place,” Connie said with a smile as she, Cat, and Skylar pulled up in front of the apartment block that the orphaned teen used to live in.  She pulled Sky smoothly into one of the many empty parking spaces and put the faithful Dodge pickup in park, grabbing her coat as she prepared to get out.  “You want me to leave your engine running so you can keep warm, Sky?  We shouldn’t be here too awful long.”  Thankfully the huge blizzard had mostly snowed itself out, with the wind having gone and the snowfall slowing to just a light sprinkle.  Most of the roads that were still accessible had also been plowed and salted, mostly by bulldozers because of how deep the snow was, so driving around within the towns and between the towns in the valley was much more possible now.

~~~
At the same time, Corey and Roger had been commissioned by Connie to go and investigate the “orphanage” that Cat had been almost sent to, just to see if they could reconfirm her claims of how deplorable the living conditions were for the kids there and if she was right about them hardly, if ever, actually allowing the kids to get adopted.  “Bleagh…” Corey spat in a bit of disgust as he looked over the old building they were approaching.  “Well my initial hunch is that Cat's one-hundred-percent correct about this place.  I can practically smell the evil of the people who run this dump.”

~~~
All the others were back at the workshops with the locomotives; Lilly, Mr. Iverson, Julia, Ashley, Nathan and Ben.  Rosie's engine blocks had been drained and fresh fluids had been added, along with fresh batteries.  She and Duck only needed the brake pad replacements finished before they'd be ready to go, which could honestly be finished as soon as this afternoon.  Helen and Sam's cleanings had gone nicely, although Sam's had definitely taken a long time and a lot of effort, and there was now an old gondola car sitting next to the shed filled with around 4,000 gallons of essentially really crappy tar that had been sucked out of Sam's fuel system.  They would deal with that junk later, but on the bright side, both of the big steamers had been cleaned and oiled nicely inside and out, and both had significantly clearer and less stuffed-up voices to show for it.  They, too, needed their brake replacements finished, and Sam still needed the piston rod guide rails that Julia was basically forging from scratch, but Helen would likely be able to get running in the next few days.  Malcom was still crippled, there was nothing they could do for him at the moment, but Julia had promised him that he would get a new firebox if she had to make one by hand.  She hadn’t given up on him, even if he'd given up on himself.
Right now, however, they were all waiting on the arrival of a few very important people.  An official boiler inspector was supposed to arrive soon to examine and hopefully certify the locomotives as safe to operate, and Mr. Iverson had put out a call to some old friends and to anyone who lived in the area who needed work and had any sort of experience with railroad equipment.  He’d gotten a few replies, and was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new help.

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Finally back again, feeling really lonely and bored.  I need help bringing my creative writing spark back from the grave after so long.
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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Starrnico on Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:31 pm

Gus frowned as he looked around the place where they had stopped "You two go ahead and look there, I'll go to the farmhouse and see what's what with Eric" He said, heading off to do just that. 

The gate would move well enough, it was moved enough to still be in decent shape once the snow in the way was cleared. 

~~~
Cat looked at the apartments then to Connie, nibbling at her lip nervously. She was scared to even show her face here, but she knew she had to get what she could so her and her parent's stuff wasn't just tossed. 

Skylar glanced around too then sighed "You can, it'll be warmer for you both when you get back in that way" She said softly

~~~
There was a young girl, roughly the same age as Cat, watching them approach from her hiding place in the hedge along the fence. 

The owner, a thin, old woman was also watching their approach from a second story window as she sipped a cup of tea. The place itself was oddly quiet for the number of kids there, there was no laughter or screams from kids playing. There were some older teens in the yard proper, clearing the snow from the walkways. None of those in sight were properly dressed, wearing probably all their clothes but without anything more than a light coat among them. 

~~~
Duck was excited still, all he needed was to finish getting new brake pads and pass this inspection and he could start working again. Yay. 

Helen was as excited as Duck, since she would be able to start working with the new pads and inspection passed when that person got there. 

Lilly looked out when a vehicle approached and stopped. "It's the inspector" She informed, looking to the others then back out to the guy as he wrote some things down before he would get out to come inside.

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Trainbrain16 on Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:17 am

Dirk nodded his understanding once he got the gate open, then climbed back up into Riley's cab and, after letting Gus step to the side, the two of them started their way down the driveway, clearing the snow from the path for Gus as they went by the house and over towards the ruined barn and shed back behind the home.  They stopped outside the building that had a set of rails running under the big front door and Dirk got out to have a look around.  “Excuse me?  Frankie?” he called as he searched for a way inside the structure.  “Are you in there?”

Gus would find the front door unlocked, though the house was dark, cold, and dusty.  A rather foul, rotten smell permeated the air, which could have been from the rotting of the building’s wood or from some dead animal, but it also could have been from something else.

~~~
Connie chuckled and gave Sky’s dashboard a gentle pat as she got out, leaving her engine running like she’d suggested.  “That’s the thoughtful Sky I know and love,” she said as she motioned for Cat to follow her inside.  “Like I said, we shouldn’t be too long, then we can head back to the shops and figure out what to do from there.”

~~~
Corey looked up at the old woman in the window and frowned a bit, relieved when she eventually moved away out of sight.  He then glanced over at the cold little girl watching them from the bushes and gave her a subtle smile and wave, then looked forwards again to the kids shoveling the snow.  “Jeez, we could probably get the cops called on them just for this alone…” he whispered to Roger in frustration.  “Poor kids are freezing their tails off out here shoveling heavy snow, just for some lukewarm oatmeal…”  He frowned and shook his head, then tried to look a bit more casual and normal as they headed inside the building’s front reception room.

~~~
Malcom was depressive and glum, as always, knowing that he would fail the inspection if they even bothered to give him one.

Sam was fidgeting around from excitement and anxiety, eager to get approved for operation again but still a bit worried that something hidden and problematic might be found by a professional inspector.

Rosie, as usual, was dead asleep and lightly snoring, since she was a diesel-electric locomotive and wasn’t going to be getting inspected for anything today.  She was good to go once her brakes were finished, so she saw no reason to not get some extra rest before she would be hit with a huge load of work once she was running.

Mr. Iverson grinned and went to let the inspector in and greet him at the door, and the two conversed for a short moment before they came over towards the maintenance tracks and the engines that sat on them.  “Lilly, this is Inspector Larry Dowden,” he said with a smile, glancing between the tall, middle-aged man with dark grey hair and hazel eyes.  “Mister Dowden, this is Lilly, my daughter, she can show you around to the locomotives we need you to take a look at.”

“Pleasure to meet you both,” Larry said with a smile, reaching out to shake Lilly’s hand.  “I tell you what, it’s probably been twenty years since I’ve been contracted to take a look at and certify an actual steam locomotive.  Most of my career it’s just been industrial and maritime steam boilers and water heaters, but variety is the spice of life, is it not?”

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Finally back again, feeling really lonely and bored.  I need help bringing my creative writing spark back from the grave after so long.
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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Starrnico on Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:14 am

Frankie blinked his eyes open and looked around to see where the voices were coming from. He couldn't see anyone of course, being stuck in the shed like this. "Um, hello?" He wasn't certain if he was just hearing things or if someone was really out there.

Gus frowned and went in the house, looking around "Erin?" He called out, leaving the door open to dispel the stuffy, smelly air. Something was certainly wrong here, but he wasn't certain what yet. He checked the rooms as he walked through them, starting with the kitchen since the door opened into it then going through the living room to the bedroom at the back. He had to turn and leave that room quickly, going outside to lean against the house and catch his breath. When he had settled himself, he went in to try the phone, calling for someone to come for the body.
~~~
Cat patted the truck's dashboard too before slowly getting out to follow Connie to the apartment. She just hoped they could get in the place, get her things and leave. f course they would have to get the keys, since Cat didn't have them.

~~~
"Cops would see the shoveling as 'chores' though we might have something on the improper clothing. The government does pay for the kids to be cared for, not made sick by not having the right clothes." Roger said, glancing to the girl then to the teens.

"Are you gunna get us in trouble?" The girl asked quietly.
~~~
Lilly smiled at him as he came over to greet her "Hello and welcome. We are only getting a few inspected today, so we can break up the monotony again when we get the others ready enough to be inspected." She said cheerfully, then led him over to Duck first. "This is Duck, one of the engines we almost have ready to get on the rails again. Samantha and Helen also need their inspections to be ready to go." She said, introducing them to him.
(wouldn't they have to be ready before getting inspected?)

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Trainbrain16 on Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:23 pm

Dirk was excited to hear a reply from inside the remains of the shed and immediately spoke up in return.  “Oh great, you are still here!” he said.  “Frankie, my name's Dirk.  I’m a friend of Gus, are you okay in there?  Is there somewhere that you think I could get inside through?”

Gus would unfortunately find that, since connections for the power and phone lines leading to the house had deteriorated to the point where neither was functioning any longer, so the house was cut off from the outside world.  He’d have to report Eric's passing officially when they headed into Newton, likely to do specifically that.  The unfortunate old ex-farmer had apparently slipped and fallen getting out of bed, hitting the back of his head on the nightstand and breaking his neck.  It had been quick, but it was clear that the body had been there for years largely undisturbed.

~~~
“Hey Antoine,” Connie said with a smile as she headed inside the building.

“Connie!  Nice to see you again!” the old French migrant said with a smile.  “What are you doing here?  From what I remember you’ve had your own place for over a decade now.”

“Yeah, I have, but this isn’t about me,” the blonde explained.  “Its about Kathrine here.  She and her parents used to live here apparently?  Room 107?”

“Ahh, yes, I remember you folks,” Ant said, looking down at Cat in confusion.  “You guys just sort of vanished one day, and I could never figure out what happened to you.  I've been worried, Cat, where are your parents?  Are you guys doing well?”

~~~
“Yeah, that’s what I meant,” Corey clarified, glancing to the little girl before they headed inside.  “Not you guys, but hopefully the ones running the place,” he whispered, giving her a subtle wink before he and Gus went into the building.  Corey glanced around for a moment, then went up to the front desk and rang the service bell a few times.  “Lets hope they’re even willing to come to the desk…” he mumbled.

~~~
“Duck, huh?” Larry laughed as he approached the old GWR pannier tank engine.  “Well it’s a unique name, I’ll give him that much.  Now, it’s been a while since I’ve climbed in an old steamer like you guys here.”  He climbed up onto Duck's front running board and started unlatching his pilot so he could take a look inside at the front of his boiler proper.  “You’re alright with me having a little looksie, right Duck?”

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Starrnico on Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:29 pm

"The um, side door, opposite of where you are now. It fell off." Frankie said, looking around "Don't know what's outside there, or if you can even get to the door. The roof is sitting on me a bit, so it's not stable."

Gus headed for the sheds to get Riley and the guys and let them know what he had found. It was a bit of a walk from the house to the sheds though.
~~~
Cat leaned close to Connie, pressing against the other female at the questions. Tears pricked at her eyes and she shook her head, hiding her face against Connie. "No, they're...dead" She couldn't say anything else about that right then, trying not to start bawling again. It was still hard to say anything or be asked about them, though she was glad to have Connie there with her.
~~~
The girl gave them wide eyes before she vanished into the hedge then ran off to spread the word to the other kids.

A man came to the desk, he was about mid-twenties or so with brown hair and eyes. He frowned at the repeated ringing of the bell and walked over, slipping the bell into a drawer then looking at the two men "What do you want?" He asked in an irritated tone.

~~~
Duck chuckled softly "Yeah, it's unique and not one that will be forgotten easily. Go ahead and do what you need to. It'll be one step closer to getting to work again." He said cheerfully. He would let them take him all apart and put him back together if that was what it took to get on the rails again.

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Trainbrain16 on Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:47 pm

Dirk made his way around to the opposite side of the barn and looked around for the broken doorway, soon enough finding it and clambering through.  “Seems like it’s clear enough to get in here,” he said, having to step over and duck under a couple of heavy timbers from what used to be the roof of the shed.  “Well aren’t you a sight for sore eyes,” he chuckled as he looked over the jumbled mess of snow and beams that had fallen over the old Fowler.  “You look like you’ve gotten yourself quite the headache, didn’t you?” he chuckled as he maneuvered his way slowly around the short relatively tiny tender engine, surveying the damage a bit.  His cab roof, smokestack, and steam dome had all been crushed by the falling roof, and there looked to be a bit of damage to the top of his tender, but thankfully his boiler seemed to have withstood the blows without much more than scratches.

~~~
“They’re what?...” Antoine said in disbelief, glancing to Connie and understanding her glare to mean “Just drop it, we'll talk later”.  He sighed and shook his head a bit.  “Well what do you want here?”

“We were hoping that her family’s things were still in their room and that we might be able to take care of that,” Connie said.

“Oh, oh yeah, of course,” Ant said, fumbling around under the counter until he found his manager's key to where Cat's family had stayed, then led the way to the room in question and unlocked the door for them.  “Yes, by all means, it’s all here, I haven’t touched anything.  I’ll see if I can find some boxes in the back somewhere.”

~~~
Ben suppressed an eye roll at the attitude of this guy and put on a good fake smile.  “Well, I was wondering what sort of children you folks have up for adoption, and if we might see some of them.  My brother here, he and his wife were hoping to adopt their first child, but she’s out of town at the moment.  We had an idea of having a look at a few kids and hopefully surprising her with a session with one she’d really like when she gets back.”

~~~
“Thanks, and I like the enthusiasm,” Larry said as he carefully worked Duck's pilot open and clambered inside to take a look at the internal pressure vessel that could prove to be so dangerous were something really wrong with it.  “Well everything looks pretty spotless at first glance,” he said, getting out a flashlight to take a closer look at a couple places.  “I’m seeing a few minor dings and heavy scratches in the outer casing, but they’re probably just from rough working conditions or a sloppy maintenance crew being careless with their tools.  Nothing concerning at all up here.”  Just a moment later he’d climbed back out, resecured Duck's pilot, then had climbed up inside his firebox from beneath to investigate the rest of the boiler.

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Starrnico on Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:51 am

"Yeah, the roof fell in last winter" Frankie said, glancing up but trying his best not to move and shift anything around. "The extra snow this year isn't helping anything though. Do you know where Erin is? He wouldn't let the sheds get like this if he was able to do anything about it, but he was getting old himself." He was worried for his man.
~~~
Cat stayed silent as he found the key and led them to the apartment. She stayed at the door, biting her lower lip nervously as she tried to find the courage to go in. Everything was how they left it, waiting for people that would never return. 
It was only a two bedroom place, with a combined living/dining/kitchen area that the door opened into and a single bathroom between the bedrooms. Cat took a deep breath and walked in. Everything was the same, but different. She bowed her head after seeing the jar of peanut butter that had been left on the table from the sandwiches they had made for the road then bolted to her room, leaving the door open for Connie to follow or not. She grabbed a stuffed animal and hugged it as she sat on her bed, now wasn't the time to cry, they had Skylar waiting with the engine running. Her things would fit into one or two boxes, having lived a life 'on the road' so to speak meant she hadn't accumulated much stuff. Her mother had more simply because of the pictures she insisted on having, but still, even together, her parents stuff would only take four or five boxes together. If they took any of the food, that would be another box. Depending on the size of the boxes, the entire house (which had come furnished, so none of the furniture was theirs) would take less than ten boxes to pack up and take, especially with the missing bags they had taken on the trip with them. She seemed to remember fire in the car though, so she considered all that lost. 
~~~
"Nobody ever wants the teens. Why are you here?" The guy said with a frown "Only reason anyone wants teens is for working them, you got a farm or something?" He asked, though he did duck down to pull up a box and set it on the counter. "You can look if'n you wanna, but these here don't do work without having discipline. These here are troublemakers. You sure you wanna try one of them?" He asked and opened the box to pull out a stack of papers and set them down on the counter "This is what you gotta fill out to adopt a kid. Gov'ment fees and ours is right at a thousand a kid, no deals for multiple kids." The imposing paperwork and the fees kept most from going any further than the door here. He grinned, expecting them to turn around and leave so they could 'think about it' like most did.
~~~
Duck listed to what was said, staying still so he didn't accidentally hurt the inspector as he looked at him. 

Lilly looked to her father, happy to hear that there were no problems so far. She hoped all three would get cleared so they could finish getting them ready and on the rails that much sooner.

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Trainbrain16 on Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:06 pm

“Yeah, I’m sure it wouldn’t help much,” Dirk said as he carefully made his way around the snowy, cluttered interior of the building.  “I’m not sure about Erin, Gus went to the house to check on him, but I haven’t heard anything back from him yet.  How come you’re worried?  How long has it been since you’ve seen him?”

~~~
Connie looked around the room for a long, thoughtful moment as she waited for Antoine to return with the boxes for moving Cat’s family’s things.  However, before he would get there she slowly walked into the bedroom with Cat, sat down on the bed next to her, then leaned over and pulled her close in a gentle hug.  “It’s alright, Kitten…” she said softly.  “We’ll be alright, we can keep their memory alive together.  Maybe we can rename one of the Pullman coaches after your father, and the Dining Car on the express train after your mother, does that sound like a nice way to honor them?”

~~~
“A thousand dollars?... gee, that seems kinda steep, but… alright,” Corey said with a shrug, faking slight reluctance but acceptance to the tall order and the daunting paperwork he’d been presented with.  “I mean, it is adopting a kid, after all.  We can at least have a look at some of them before we commit, right?”

~~~
It was another few minutes before Larry crawled back down and out of Duck’s firebox and scribbled a few things down on one of the bottom sheets of paper on his clipboard, then removed it and handed it to Lilly.  “There we go, that’s Duck’s certification papers, that’s good for another two years.  I’m shocked by how good shape he’s in, all he needs is brake pads from what I’ve seen and he’s good to go.  Now then, who’s next?”

Ben and Ashley grinned at the sound of what the inspector had to say about Duck, both of them bolting up from their seats and heading to get the rest of his brake pads to install, now that his inspection was done and they could get back to finishing him.

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Starrnico on Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:01 pm

"I'm not sure, a really long time, more than a year." Frankie said with a frown. He looked to the wall again when he heard something. 

"Hey, Dirk, we need to go to town. Now" Gus said as he walked up to the shed, stopping by Riley and leaning against his hood.

~~~
Cat leaned against Connie again, listening to her talk. She frowned a little but nodded "Dad would like that I know. He loved his cars. Mom, yeah, she might like that too." She said, choking up a little as she thought of them more.

~~~
The guy raised an eyebrow then shrugged "I guess so" He said then flinched at a call from the stairs as the old woman walked down. 
"What is going on here?" The woman called as she came down then looked to the side and motioned a kid "Get back to the school room now" She then focused on the two males again, walking over to them and looking them up and down 
~~~
Duck grinned at that, he would be able to get on the rails and work once he finished getting new pads in. "Thanks" He said happily. 

"Next is Sam" Lilly said with a smile, taking the papers then motioning to Sam and going over to her side. "Helen is after Sam" She said, motioning to the next bay.

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Trainbrain16 on Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:49 pm

“Wait, what?” Dirk asked in confusion as he turned towards where he’d heard Gus’ voice coming from.

“Gus, what’s the matter?” Riley asked worriedly.  “Why are you so pale, did you find Erin?”

~~~
Connie smiled and rubbed the little girl’s head a bit in agreement, glancing over the little stuffed animal she was clutching so tightly and noticing the numerous rips and tears in the plush outer fabric, and the fact that it was clearly missing a lot of stuffing.  “You know, my mom taught me how to sew pretty well,” she said optimistically.  “If you’d like me to, I could probably fix this little guy up really nice for you.  I’m sure that he’s really important to you, I’d hate to see him just fall apart or something.”

~~~
“Hey, easy ma’am,” Corey said somewhat defensively, holding up his hands and backing up a half step.  “She just came in from shoveling snow outside, she wasn’t doing anything wrong.”  He glanced to Gus and back to the b#tchy old lady who probably ran this Gulag of an orphanage.  “Me and my brother were just hoping to get a look at some of the kids that he and his wife might adopt when she gets home from visiting her family in California.  We wanted to get a bit of a look at some of them before she got here so when she gets back, we can set up a session with one I’m sure she’ll already like.”

~~~
“Alrighty then, Duck, you ready for the last two pads?” Ben asked with a smile as he and Julia got the brake mechanism opened up and ready to receive the new brake shoe assembly while Ashley was busy unboxing it on the floor behind them so the two adults could easily lift the heavy piece of steel up and slide it into place.

“Think nothing of it,” Larry said with a smile towards Duck as Lilly led him down to the end bay, and he froze in surprise when Rosie was out of the way enough that he could see the huge, majestic, Golden-State 7 Class prototype locomotive.  “My word…” he said softly as he stood there for a moment, taking in the sight of the bashful steamer before he approached her again and started climbing up her front running board to her pilot.  “I’ve hardly seen such a beautiful locomotive before, what is she?  Are there any others like her somewhere?  If they are, I say they aught to be preserved, she’s magnificent.”

Sam was already blushing redder than the secondary lens of her Mars Light at the second compliment she was given, and the third only made it worse.


Last edited by Trainbrain16 on Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:43 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Starrnico on Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:19 am

"Yeah, I found him." Gus said, swallowing quickly then shaking his head. That was not a sight that would go away anytime soon. "We can come back later, but we need to get to town. Erin is dead." 
~~~~
Cat blinked and looked down at the stuffed animal she was holding so closely. "It's really old. She was mom's when she was a kid then she gave it to me." She said, absently petting it then looking to Connie again "You really think you can fix her?" 
~~~
The woman looked at them and frowned a little "The girl shouldn't have been out there shoveling anyway, that's a boy's job. It's a lady's job to learn to sew and cook and clean house." She paused and folded her hands together. "You can look at them, but so not interrupt the classes. Do not speak to the kids they are too easily distracted from their studies as is. Tom, show them what they want to see." 

The guy nodded and dipped his head to her "Yes, ma'am." He looked back to the guys, moving out from behind the counter. 
~~~
"More than ready" Duck said and laughed. He was excited about all of this now that he had gotten certified again.

Lilly chuckled softly as she watched him "Sam is one of a kind. She's a GS-7." She said, watching him as he looked over the engine. "I hope you get to see her when we get her all fixed up and painted, I know she will be even more beautiful then."

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Trainbrain16 on Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:52 am

“He’s what!?” Dirk blurted in shock.  “Oh God, Gus… Frankie, I’m so sorry, I… I don’t know what else I could say or do…”  He reached over and placed a hand tenderly on the side of Frankie's boiler, unable to think of anything else helpful.

Riley was silent in surprise and sympathetic grief as he leaned into Gus a bit to try and support him, unsure of what else he could do either.

~~~
“I’m sure of it, Cat,” Connie replied happily.  “And I would be glad to, she’s a part of your childhood.  What’s her name, by the way?”  By now Antoine had returned with a number of flattened cardboard boxes and started opening them up and folding their bottoms to make them open and rigid so they could use them.  Connie smiled at the sight and stood from the bed, immediately getting to work on collecting all the clothing items she could find, folding them up carefully, then storing them.  “You tell me if and when we find anything that you want to keep with you rather than packing up,” she said towards the grieving teenager.

~~~
Well those ideals are a bit sexist and outdated, aren’t they?... Corey thought in frustration as he listened to what the lady in charge had to say about the kids’ duties and their schoolwork.  “Alright, thank you,” he said with a smile as he followed after Tom towards the kids’ school room.

~~~
“Alright then, on three Jules,” Ben said once they had the mounting open and ready, and he and the Japanese woman both grabbed an end of the brake shoe assembly.  “One, two, three!” Ben grunted as the two of them heaved the heavy piece of steel up to shoulder height, then shuffled over against Duck’s side and slowly slid it into place on the mounting.

“There we go…” Julia said as she began bolting it securely into place.  “That was actually a bit lighter than I thought… you two go get the other one ready and in place while I finish up here.”  She smiled when she saw both of the others each nod in agreement and head off to do as she’d asked.  “We’re almost there Duck, just one more part and you should be all set to go…”

“A GS-7 you said?  Wow, never heard of that before,” Larry said as he got Sam’s pilot open and clambered inside.  “But yeah, I should hope I do get to see her fully restored… dear God, someone’s been taking very good care of her, it’s so clean in here I could almost say it’s sterile…”

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Starrnico on Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:06 pm

Gus nodded, though Fankie and Dirk couldn't see him, it was just something normal "The phones don't work, so we have to go to town to get authorities in to get his body." Ugh, he felt sick thinking about it. He was not going to be able to forget that sight for a while. 

~~~
"Her name's Jessie, mom called her Jessica but she let me make a nickname for her." Cat said softly, looking around then going to pick out things she wanted to keep with her. She paused by Antoine, looking to him then to the kitchen "Do you know anyone that would want the food? I don't want it to go to waste or anything." She had found a jacket of her dad's and put it on over her as well as the original blanket. From her mom's stuff, she took a necklace that looked more like costume jewelry, though of course it had a story. Those few things. a few pictures, her stuffed bear and her clothes were pretty much all she wanted to keep with her, though she didn't want to throw anything away. She just didn't want to try to stuff everything in the room she was staying in. 
~~~
Tpm led them to the stairs, going up one flight and taking them to a little balcony that overlooked the classroom where the girls were learning to sew dresses. It was more like a sweatshop than a class though, and it was obvious the dresses were for adults, not the kids there. 

~~~
Duck was doing his best to hold in his excitement "Do you think we could do a test run today, or do we have to wait for that?" He asked.

Lilly chuckled softly "I should hope so or all that time steam cleaning her would be wasted" She said jokingly. She came over to pat Sam's boiler, hoping for as good a report for Sam as they had gotten for Duck

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Trainbrain16 on Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:50 am

“Oh my God…” was about all Dirk could say, tearing up a little as he looked to Frankie.  “…I-I suppose we should go and alert the authorities… Frankie, I promise we'll be back for you, count on it.  Whatever we have to do to get ownership of you, I’ll do it.  I’m not going to let you have sat here alone for all this time only to get dragged off to the Mount Oliver Graveyard at the end of it all…”

Riley said nothing, but wore a harsh scowl, silently and angrily skulking at this turn of events.

~~~
“Jessie huh?  It’s cute, I like it,” Connie said with a smile as she helped pack up, finishing the first box and starting on a second.

“Who might want the food, you said?” Antoine echoed thoughtfully.  “Well, we might take it by the Poplar Street Orphanage and give it to some of the kids there.”

~~~
“This umm… this doesn’t seem much like schoolwork to me…” Corey said, playing like he was only skeptical when in reality he could see right through their act.  “It kinda looks like you’re just putting these kids to work for you or something…”

~~~
“Honestly Duck, that sounds like a fantastic idea,” Ben said with a smile.  “And I think I overheard Mr. Iverson saying something about some tanker cars with fuel for Rosie and Sam ready for us over at the Petrochemical plant, so I think we can get a bit of work done while we're at it.  We'd have to ask the boss to be sure, but I’m fairly certain we could do that just fine.”

Sam's inspection took a fair bit longer, which was understandable since she was a much bigger engine, but when Larry was done he laughed and looked over her one more time before he turned to Lilly and started scribing on one of his forms.  “Honestly, I’ve never seen a steam locomotive in such good shape internally in my whole career,” he said with a laugh as he handed a specially authorized sheet to Lilly, this one good for twice the normal limit because of Sam's “outstanding physical condition and structural soundness”, as he’d written in the notes section at the bottom.  “I mean, obviously you'll need to get her piston rails fixed,” he added.  “But I’m sure you guys are already hard at work on that, right?  Ehh, regardless, other than that missing guide rail, I can’t even find anything wrong with her.”  He looked down towards Helen and Malcom and arched an eyebrow curiously.  “Now you said you only had one more engine you wanted to get checked today, but there’s two more steamers down there.  How come you don’t want to get both of them looked at?  You still have valid papers for one or the other of them?”

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Finally back again, feeling really lonely and bored.  I need help bringing my creative writing spark back from the grave after so long.
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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Starrnico on Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:54 pm

Gus patted Riley then moved to the door to open it. "We should go"

"There is a will. Erin always said he wanted to be sure I was taken care of after he passed since he owns me outright." Frankie said sadly. "Go, do what you need to do." 
~~~
Cat gave him a smile at that then looked worried "They may try to take me if I go there. They don't get any good food in there, so you would have to give it to the kids, not to the owners."  She gave the warning then went to help pack stuff away. 
~~~
Tom sighed and looked at them "I thought you wanted to look at the kids, not at their learning to sew class. What, you want to learn to sew that lace stuff too?" He said then opened the door to the hallway again "So what if we get a little money from them fixing dresses? It helps keep the place running and the dressmaker is very appreciative of the help." 
~~
Duck grinned happily at that, wanting to have the test run though he could wait till tomorrow if he really had to. 

Lilly smiled at the praise, happy for Sam to pass with flying colors. She looked over to Helen and Malcolm then shook her head "No, they don't have an inspection sticker yet. Malcol there needs a new firebox, his old one flash cooled and cracked so we are making a new one for him, but that will take time, so he's not on the list to be inspected today. That's on our list to do once Sam's piston rods are finished and the others can get to work. He's also the reason you will have an excuse to come out and see Sam once she's painted."

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Trainbrain16 on Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:50 pm

“Yeah, I suppose we should…” Dirk said somberly as he looked over Frankie again, then sighed and started making his way out of the shed.  He paused before he got to the door and turned back curiously.  “Really, a will you say?  Do you know who he made it out to?”

~~~
Connie frowned in understanding, but asked “Now how could they justify taking you from us if all that happened was you showed up there with us?  Who’s to say they’d even recognize you or know who you were?  You’re part of our family now, Cat, and that’s something they can’t take no matter how hard they’d try.”

~~~
“Yeah, I did want to see the kids,” Corey said.  “But that woman said that they were doing their schoolwork and not to disturb them, and this definitely doesn’t look like schoolwork.  From the looks on their faces, it looks like forced labor to me.”  He also noticed a fair few of the kids adjusting their clothing subtly to uncover a wide range of bumps and marks on their bodies.  There were a lot of old and new heavy bruises, especially on their upper arms, which Corey thought suggested that when their “teacher” walked by and thought they weren’t doing well enough, they just hit them hard on the arm to straighten them out.
This was beyond messed up to him and anyone with some semblance of a soul, and there was no doubt left in his mind about the true motivations and methods these sick people used on these poor orphaned children to make an easy buck.

~~~
Soon enough the three of them had gotten the last set of Duck's new brake shoes slid into place and while Julia and Ashley worked on securing those, Ben made his way over towards Mr. Iverson to talk to him about the possibility of a test run for Duck where they could go grab the oil and diesel fuel at the same time.

Larry smiled as he listened to Lilly's explanation and chuckled as they made their way over to the front of the old CP Hudson locomotive.  “Well I’d say you make a good point there, Miss Iverson,” he said as he climbed up onto Helen's front running board and began to open up her pilot to do the inspection on her.  “Well your father has my information, so once you feel Malcom and Sam are both ready for me to come back and inspect the little tank engine, have him give me a call and we’ll work out a date and time when both engines will be here.”
Things seemed to go well enough for the first portion of his inspection of Helen's boiler, but once he began looking over the back area from inside her firebox there was a worrying groan and Larry could be heard saying “Uuhh ohh… Miss Lilly?  You might want to come and see this…”

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Finally back again, feeling really lonely and bored.  I need help bringing my creative writing spark back from the grave after so long.
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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Starrnico on Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:30 pm

Frankie sighed and frowned "Not for certain, though Erin did talk about Gus a lot" He said uncertainly "There were a couple of others that he trusted, but they weren't as interested in the railroad business, more the farm side of things." 
~~~
Cat dipped her head then shrugged and looked at the clothes she was folding. "I kept visiting my friend, giving her food, so they know what I look like." She said unhappily. "Legally, they are supposed to have me, right? Unless I get adopted or something?" 
~~~
"They are girls, part of their schoolwork is learning a sensible trade, that's sewing right now, that's what they are doing" Tom said slowly then shook his head. Thankfully from where he stood, he couldn't see what the girls were showing to the visitors. "That is part of life when you are an unwanted kid, you have to grow up fast and learn to work because no one wants to give you even one chance without being talked into it." He sounded like he believed that without a doubt
~~~
Lilly nodded as he spoke about coming back to see Malcolm when he was fixed up and ready. She frowned though when he sounded worried and went over to see what had him unhappy. "What's wrong?" She asked with a worried frown.

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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Trainbrain16 on Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:35 am

“Well that’s hopeful at least,” Dirk said somberly.  “We’ll do whatever we can to get you out of here soon, Frankie, regardless of if we can easily acquire you or not.  We’ll dig you out of this shed, bring you back to Fort Fairfax, and get you fixed up and ready to work again, if I have to drag you down the route myself.”  He gave a short wave, then left the shed and sighed as he headed over to join Riley and Gus.  “Well, I guess let’s get going and head into Newton to report this…” he said as he climbed up into Riley’s cab and started his engine back up.

~~~
“Well Julia already filled out and mailed the adoption paperwork,” Connie said with a shrug.  “So if they do try to take you, she’s gonna come back with those documents in hand and either get you out or sue them into the ground and then get you back.  I’m certain it’ll be fine, plus I’ll bet at least one of the kids there would love seeing you more than almost anything.”

~~~
Corey sighed in frustration at Tom’s views and opinions on the situation.  He did agree that it was sensible for the kids to be learning a relevant and practical trade skill, like sewing.  It definitely should not be done so forcefully or under the conditions they were currently in, however.  “So what do the boys do then?” he asked.  “What’s the ‘trade skill’ that they’re learning?”

~~~
Julia, upon hearing the disconcerting conversation, left Ashley to finish bolting on Duck’s last brake pad and came over to climb up into Helen’s firebox with Larry and Lilly from the other side.  Larry got up high and aimed his flashlight down at the base of Helen’s boiler behind the deflection plate inside the firebox, where one could see all along the bottom edge of the boiler a thick line of rusty red and brown corrosion.  “There’s some serious water damage in here,” Larry said as he and Julia both groaned a bit.  “That could be seriously dangerous, and I’m afraid that I can’t certify her to operate in this condition.  You guys are gonna have to do something about this rust damage before she can be fired up safely.”

This was clearly going to be a fairly major operation, which had Julia more than a bit put out to say the least.  “Well this is just fan-f#cking-tastic… as if I didn’t have enough work on my hands already…”  She leaned down and poked her head out of Helen’s firebox and hollered “Mr. Iverson!?... Any idea when that new help is gonna be getting here?  Roger, Connie, and I can only get so much done on these engines by ourselves, and some competent extra hands would be a wonderful help.”

“I know they will, Julia,” Mr. Iverson called in response.  “Jim is on his way, he should be here shortly.  Not sure about the other two, Starr and Scotty.  I haven’t heard from them since early this morning, but I think they were about to get on their way here when they called me.  It shouldn’t be too long, and I’m not going to be having you three doing much work on the coaches, if any.”

“Oh great, thank you sir, that sure is music to sore ears,” Julia replied as her frown faded a bit and she stood back up to look over Helen's damaged boiler wall again in a bit of anguish and frustration.

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Finally back again, feeling really lonely and bored.  I need help bringing my creative writing spark back from the grave after so long.
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Re: The Full Bucketniers RP (Open)

Post by Starrnico on Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:06 pm

It's just good to know someone knows I'm here again" Frankie said, watching as long as he could before he was left to watching the shed again.
Gus was already in the truck, waiting to go. 

~~~
Cat nodded as she listened "She's already done the paperwork?" She asked, surprised things were already moving that quickly. "Alice would be glad to see me again. It's been a while." 
~~~
"Accounting, wood or metal working, things that will actually get them a job when they get old enough to leave, or they stay like I did" Tom said with a frown. "You wanna see them too?" This was the life he knew, all he knew, so he didn't see anything wrong with it.

~~~
Lilly frowned and patted Helen's cab lightly "Well, that just means it will be a little longer before we get her going, but we will get the repair done and call you for another inspection when she's ready for it." She said softly. 

~~~
A truck pulled up outside, letting a passenger off before it drove away. Scotty looked over the place then grabbed his bags and headed inside to find people. "Hello?"

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