Yan Sun trudges over to the back of the truck, ready to pick up as much as she can carry of what Jessica is sliding her way. She seems none too happy about being out in the cold, of course she's only been out a fraction of the time that Jessica has.
#AbandonedPrefab – February 2, 2019
It's a cold and painful process, but the pair eventually gather everything Jessica has deemed necessary in the main room of the old house. Portable heater. Portable stove. Sleeping bags. Pillows. A duffelbag stuffed with rags, towels, and extra blankets. One of their large jugs of water. Eggs and some wrapped carashan meat left in the cooler by Kirill and Rafe. The old house is quite cold inside, but after a few minutes out in the wind and snow
it's a welcome change. It's a small prefab. One that sees plenty of use by corporations looking to set up a quick operation. Living room, dining room, and kitchen all in view from the front door. It's small. Barren aside from that which was deemed too much of a hassle to take with when whoever once resided here abandoned it which is mostly kitchen appliances. The interior doors are manual, and two are on the wall opposite of the front door,
wide open due to Jessica's sweep. One leads to a bathroom and the other to a bedroom. The only thing remaining in the bedroom is the frame of a bed, mattress nowhere to be seen. A third door is located in the kitchen, leading to a walk-in pantry with empty shelves that line the walls. Bits of garbage have accrued in the corners of the house, perhaps left behind by others passing through and looking for a temporary escape from the outdoors. A
few of the windows are broken, leaving small piles of glass along the floor beneath them, but they've all been boarded up. It causes a dull whistle to fill the air each time a particularly strong gust of wind rolls through.
Jessica gives a loud complaint of, "Fucking cold!!!!" as she arrives through the front door with their final cargo: Two shovels for in case they need to dig their way back to the truck. She sets them against the wall beside the door, shuts the front door, and begins bouncing in place in an attempt at getting the blood flowing through her body again.
Yan Sun is clearly relieved to finally be done and with the door shut, likewise bouncing in place for a bit before removing her mittens. Her implants light up and she covers her right hand with her glowing left, squeezing it as the cybernetics start to generate heat. "Cozy..." she says quietly as she takes in the dilapidated space properly for the first time, a sniffle quickly following.
Jessica takes her gloves off and tucks them into her jacket pockets. When she spots Yan Sun warming her hands, she huddles in close to her, wrapping her arms around her from behind and placing her own hands over Yan Sun's. What might seem like a sweet gesture at first is quickly revealed to be little more than a selfish attempt at warming her hands up when she scoffs, bouncing against Yan Sun with a muttered, "Stop stealing all of the
Yan Sun rolls her eyes, bumping one shoulder back against Jessica lightly. "I mean, it's my arm..." she mutters with another sniffle. Despite this she helpfully grabs Jessica's cold hands in her left one after the other, rubbing them with her own unnaturally warm palm.
Jessica remains huddled up against Yan Sun, bouncing slightly as she allows the cybernetics to do their thing. "Mmmm." she hums in response, "But you belong to me, so this is my arm." she counters.
Yan Sun snickers quietly, resigned to remaining in place without argument until they've both warmed up a little.
Jessica glances about the old worn down house as she waits for feeling to return to her fingers. She leans a bit heavier against Yan Sun for a few moments, chin resting against her shoulder as her teeth chatter. She gives her one final squeeze before releasing her and stepping up beside her, rubbing her hands together to keep them warm. "Maybe once the heater is going for a while, it will be maybe not so cold..." she muses. "What you
Yan Sun raises an eyebrow, looking over towards Jessica. "That... is kind of the point of a heater, isn't it?" she asks with a small smirk, looking over there things and then across the room again, lingering on one of the boarded-up windows. "Not exactly well-insulated though..."
Jessica cocks a brow as Yan Sun questions her understanding of heaters, small scowl returning to her face. She steps over to the heater and begins lugging it towards the bedroom as Yan Sun begins to assess the windows. "Stop being such a pussy." she says as she leans into the bedroom and sets the heater down, cranking it to high. "The window in here is not broken-..." she begins before turning her gaze further into the bedroom, brow
furrowed as she studies something, presumably the window. "...Maybe." she mutters. A moment passes as she continues to assess the bedroom window from the doorway before deciding with a nod, "Is fine." It's certainly far colder in here than in the truck, but she seems deadset on staying.
Yan Sun frowns slightly. "Wh-... right. My bad. Nothing concerning about sheltering in an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere... in the middle of a snowstorm." she mutters while looking around the room, gaze resting on some of the detritus gathered in the corners. She soon carries the sleeping bags and pillows into the bedroom, joining Jessica and taking a look inside the room herself.
The room, much like the rest of the house, is small. To Jessica's credit, the window does appear to be intact, though it's difficult to tell with the boards covering it. There's a simple bedframe against the wall sans mattress. It's a single, so whoever lived here probably did so alone. There's scratches along the floor beside the door as if furniture had been dragged at some point. An old blanket is rolled up and discarded in the corner of
Jessica allows a small grin to return to her face as she crouches down to fiddle with the heater settings, eager to dispel the chill in the air. "You are scared, kitty cat?" she asks with that usual, condescending undertone.
Yan Sun sets the sleeping bags and pillows down on the floor with a grumpy glance Jessica's way. "No..." she says defensively. A muttered "Shut up." is added a moment later before she goes to bring over the duffel bag as well.
Jessica gives a few snickers, continuing to work at the heater. What she's doing is anyone's guess. It's on. It's on high. Maybe if she continues to turn the dial down then up enough it'll... work... better...? "What there is to be afraid of? Mmm?" she asks, giving a small shrug of her shoulders. "Is fine." she decides, a moment passing before she gives another dismissive shrug of her shoulders, "Unless Old Erik comes..."
Yan Sun shoots Jessica an unamused look after dropping off the duffelbag. "If this is some stupid ghost story..." she cautions.
Jessica casts a brief glance back over her shoulder at Yan Sun, brow furrowed. "Mmm?" she hums, not particularly paying attention as she tries to psychically encourage the heater to work faster. "You do not know about Old Erik...?" she asks as she lifts her hands in front of the heater and begins rubbing them together once more.
Yan Sun crosses her arms, her unamused look remaining as she looks down at Jessica, waiting for her to elaborate.
Jessica cocks her head to the side as she glances up at Yan Sun, blinking a few times. With a scoff, she draws in a deep breath when it becomes obvious that she's going to have to explain. "He is-... I don't know..." she mutters, pressing a hand against the floor as she lowers herself into a seated position and scoots over to the wall beside the heater. The heater's readout and the reflection of the snow outside through the narrow slits
of the boards over the window are the only sources of light in the room. It's dark, but it's manageable, though with the sun going down the room will most likely be bathed in black soon. In an effort to get out ahead of it, Jessica pulls out her omni-tool and activates the holographic interface, the orange glow helping a bit with visibility. Once that's taken care of, she turns her gaze back to Yan Sun. "He is a man." she
Yan Sun goes to close the door, figuring they'll have better luck just heating the bedroom. She then grabs a pillow and joins Jessica in the flow of hot air from the heater, sitting halfway facing her on crossed legs, leaned against the pillow in her own lap as she listens.
Jessica gives another shrug of her shoulders. "He-... gah-..." she stammers, unsure of how to explain. "I don't know." she mutters once again. "He is somewhere in the mountains." she continues, cocking a head towards the mountains in question. Though, having been turned around since entering the house, she unknowingly nods the wrong way. "With a bunch of other weirdos. You can sometimes hear their messages on-..." she gestures towards
her omni-tool. "God this and blah blah that." she rolls her eye and draws in a breath. "He is trying for to get people to come to him." she adds matter-of-factly.
Yan Sun blinks as Jessica's clumsy, but matter-of-fact explanation makes her feel like this is an actual person and not some attempt to spook her. "What, like... a cult or something?" she asks, eyebrows furrowing a little.
Jessica shrugs her shoulders. "I don't know!" she repeats. A small smile crosses her lips and she presses back against the wall, extending her legs out in front of her, forearms coming to rest on her knees, "You want to ask him?"
Yan Sun 's frown deepens a little. "Uh... no?" she responds, looking a little confused, and definitely not amused.
Jessica brings one hand to the pocket opposite of where she stowed her gloves and begins digging. "They say that he eats people." she says, seemingly incredibly non-plussed by it, far too distracted by whatever she's searching for in her pocket.
Yan Sun 's expression grows skeptical. "A cannibal." she says, sounding unconvinced. "Riiight. That's the best you could come up with? Cannibal cult leader?" she asks, arms crossed over the pillow her elbows are leaned against as she studies Jessica in the dim orange light of her omni-tool.
Jessica furrows her brow as she pulls her hand free, coming up empty. She frowns and gives a deep sigh. "Huh?" she asks, settling her gaze on Yan Sun. It takes a moment for her to realize she isn't buying it. "You think that I make this up...?" she asks.
Yan Sun rolls her eyes, a smirk crossing her lips. "Come on, Jessica... I'm not that gullible." she comments, before frowning slightly as her stomach growls. "If this is your way of making me lose my appetite it's not gonna work..."
Jessica blinks a couple of times. With a shake of her head, her frown returns. "Believe me. Don't believe me. I do not give a shit. But I did not make it up. Everyone around here knows about Old Erik." she says confidently. She presses a hand against the wall and uses it to help her climb back to her feet. "I will get the foods." she says, seeming very uncommitted to convincing Yan Sun about the existence of the cannibal cult leader.
Yan Sun seems a little thrown off by Jessica's seeming indifference to whether she buys her story, a bit of uncertainty briefly creeping into her expression. No, stop that! That's what she wants! Don't let her get you!"Sounds good!" she calls out, refusing to dwell on the matter. "Think it's safe to fire up the stove in here?" she asks, not exactly an expert when it comes to cooking. Or camping. Quite the opposite, really.
Jessica shrugs as she opens the door. "Probably." she says. Good enough, right? She steps out of the bedroom, raising her voice to be heard as she collects their things. "He came to Aite a few years ago." she calls back, carrying on the conversation idly as she sifts through things. When she appears back through the doorway she has the old, beat up carrying case of the portable stove by the handle. A duffelbag is over her other shoulder
and she's gripping the large jug of water in her hand. "At first he is just some weirdo going all over telling people about his Gods. Then? One day he just goes to the mountain and-..." she shrugs dismissively as she sets the things down and closes the door back up. "...and starts to eating people. I guess. Some people go to see him because they hear his messages." She crouches down beside the items to begin removing the
portable stove from the case. "Stupid people." she clarifies, not bothering to look Yan Sun's way as she speaks. "Some stay with him. Others are eated-... ated." she corrects, though the frown that follows implies she realizes that's not right, either, but she doesn't dwell on it. "And nobody ever see them again."
Yan Sun lets out the kind of uncertain laugh that indicates she's not quite sure if she's supposed to be laughing or not, watching Jessica when she re-enters the room. "Uh-huh." she says, doing her best to dispel any doubts that this is just Jessica's attempt to mess with her. She puts the pillow down, moving over to Jessica. and sitting down on her knees next to her. The lower part of her pant legs are wet from now-molten snow, but
Jessica takes the stove out of the case and sets it aside. It's essentially little more than a burner atop a dedicated fuel source. It has enough fuel for a few extended uses, but there's another canister in the truck bed if needed. Jessica unzips the duffelbag and pulls free a pot and a pan, tossing the former aside causing it to clank against the floor. She sets the pan atop the burner and drops back into a seated position, pulling
the duffelbag over between herself and Yan Sun. The only other things inside are the eggs and the tightly-wrapped carashan meat, which is still quite frozen. "They say that his teeth are all-..." she gives a raise of her lip, touching her tongue against the bottom of her teeth briefly as she continues to set up the stove, "...all sharp, like knives. Is for eating people easier." she explains.
Yan Sun 's confidence seems to return with the ridiculousness of that claim. "Right, of course." she says with a slight snicker, sounding thoroughly unconvinced. She watches Jessica set up the stove, sitting next to her as if ready to help, even if she has no idea how she'd go about that.
Jessica starts the stove up and then pulls the carashan meat out and begins unwrapping the paper around it. It's a thick cut of meat with a bit of bone separating the red meat. She cocks an amused brow at Yan Sun's skepticism. "You think that I am trying to scare you." she observes with a shake of her head and a snort. "If I am wanting you to be scared then I am just going to remind you of allll of the shitty people who would love to
slit our throats and take all of our shit if they saw our truck because someone did not park it close enough to the house." she muses aloud. "Besides, Old Erik would not waste his time on you." she says, casting a glance Yan Sun's way and giving a dismissive shrug as the grin returns to her face. "There are no meat on your bones."
Yan Sun shoots Jessica sidelong glance, eyebrows furrowing. "Wh-... that's not funny!" she exclaims, casting a glance towards the door. There were a lot more tracks towards the end of their trip... The last comment distracts from her rising unease, however: "Thanks..." she mutters in response to Jessica's 'reassurance', grumping a little as she watches Jessica unwrap the raw meat.
Jessica reaches into the pot to pull free a fork, snickering to herself as she gets the desired reaction from Yan Sun. All of the cookware left by Kirill is old and beaten up. Dented and dinged from years of travel and use. But what they lack in aesthetics they make up for in durability. She picks up the hunk of meat and drops it onto the pan which causes an instant sizzle. Jessica shifts back up against the wall beside the stove as she
watches it. It's probably going to take a while to cook from frozen. "You have never eaten carashan?" she asks as she begins to poke at the cut of meat with the fork, pushing it a bit in the pan, mostly just to keep herself busy at this point.
Yan Sun shakes her head a little. "I... don't think so? Not like all the meat has been super well labeled since I got here..." she replies, shifting to free her legs and leaning over to the duffel bag with the towels and blankets, pulling out a blanket from it, as well as grabbing the pillow she was holding earlier. She puts the pillow underneath herself to sit on - some much-needed comfort for a city nerd with a bony, cold butt. She starts
Jessica rolls her eyes. "Bitch, bitch, bitch." she mocks, though there's a small smile on her face, "You complain too much." The smell of cooking meat soon begins to fill the small room and Jessica draws in a deep whiff of it, eyes closing briefly as the smell reminds her of just how hungry she is. The combination of the heater and the flame of the portable stove are doing a nice job of raising the temperature. It's still nowhere near
the comfort of the truck bed, but it's already a huge step up from just a few minutes ago. As Yan Sun tries to get more comfortable, she does the same, setting the fork against the brim of the pan as she unzips her boots and tosses them aside. "I bring some rags in the bag, too." she says with a nod towards the duffelbag Yan Sun got her blanket from. "You are starting to stink. Since I am going to be stuck in a truck with you,
Yan Sun furrows her eyebrows slightly, Jessica's comment causing her to pull at the collar of her jacket and sniff inside it. The idea of washing up has her looking a little hesitant. "With a rag...?" she asks with a bit of distaste. Sure, there were obviously not going to be any hotel showers on their trip through the Aitian wilderness, but despite Jessica's brief reminder at the start of the trip she'd managed pretty well not to think
Jessica casts a confused glance Yan Sun's way. "Oh! I am soooo sorry! I forget!" she begins, and Yan Sun has been around her long enough to know that whatever she has to say probably isn't going to be nice, "...You are too good for rags! Is fine! Don't worry, kitty cat. I will call the-... the-..." she's got nothing, "...the-..." nope, "...the-... people to come and wash you! Mmm? This is what you are needing, yes?"
Yan Sun quickly clamps up in the face of Jessica's mockery, wincing slightly as she lowers her gaze, busying herself with covering her legs with the blanket she grabbed to avoid looking Jessica's way. "I didn't-..." she starts, before letting out a sigh and settling for a mumbled "Sorry..."
Jessica's smile slips away as Yan Sun apologizes and she turns her focus back onto the sizzling steak. With the blizzard outside and the setting sun, what little light comes through the boarded window is rapidly dwindling, the open flame of the stove and the soft orange glow of her omni-tool making up most of the light in the room. She prods at the cut of meat with the fork, pushing it around a bit. "Is fine." she says softly, realizing
she has once again fallen into that old habit of pressing all the wrong buttons. A few moments pass in silence before a grin returns to her face and she glances Yan Sun's way. "But I do not think there are any washing servants out here, kitty cat." she continues with a fake, apologetic tone. "So tonight, I will have to do, mmm?" she adds with a small raise of her brow, an attempt at sweeping her cruel judgement beneath some
Yan Sun glances Jessica's way, discomfort and humiliation still lingering in her face. It's no doubt obvious by now that her privileged upbringing is a big sore spot for her, and shame is quick to take over when she's called out as spoiled. The fact that it's by Jessica just makes it hit that much harder. The attempt to lighten what was said garners a longer look and a small shrug, a half-hearted smile starting to creep across her lips. "If
you're offering..." she says, doing her best to play along and pretend like she wasn't bothered by the comments.
Jessica gives a small shrug of her own, a low snicker escaping her as she prods the meat. "Mmm." she hums an affirmative. She is, indeed, well aware of the sore spot. It's specifically why she pokes at it. Just a kneejerk reaction that seems impossible for her to avoid. Hit 'em where it hurts. It's meanspirited and cruel, but it's just who she is. A fact that hasn't escaped her. It causes the smile to slip away as soon as it appears
as she considers saying something. Not an apology, of course. But... something. "How you are liking your meat?" she asks. That suffices, right?
Yan Sun 's attention turns back to the pan as silence takes over for a while, watching the sizzling cut of meat. Jessica's question causes her to glance over to her briefly, eyebrows furrowing slightly as she considers the question. "Uhm... cooked all the way?" she says, more out of concern over how safe the meat is than any taste preference. They often had meals with rare meat back home, but that was either vat-grown or high-end, guaranteed
Jessica uses the fork to flip the meat and it sizzles anew. This cut of meat is certainly not vat-grown or high-end. Never even saw a store or a market stall. Hunted, skinned, and butchered right here on Aite by Kirill's people. She gives a small frown as Yan Sun's response deprives her of her chance to give a snarky response about it not mattering how she likes her meat because she has pretty much no idea what she's doing. She just
pushes food around until it seems cooked. Can't judge it if it works! "You are too picky." she decides on instead, casting a sidelong glance Yan Sun's way, a small semblance of her previous smile returning.
Yan Sun shifts a little, crossing her legs to sit more comfortably, gaze still lingering on the pan, and the stove beneath it, one of the few points of light in the increasingly dark room. "'Cooked' is too picky...?" she asks with a raised eyebrow, shooting Jessica another glance as a hint of amusement breaks through her still somewhat dampened mood.
Jessica gives Yan Sun a nudge with her elbow. "Shut up, slut." she says as she continues her technique of pushing the food around that would surely make a world class chef jealous. "You will eat it and you will like it." she decides, her tone that of a playful threat.
The sun is gone by the time the food has finished, replaced with the soft glow of Litae that reflects off of the snow outside and just barely penetrates the boarded window. Now that the stove is off, Jessica's omni-tool is the primary source of light and, if it were to go out, it would be pretty close to pitch black in the room. There's no plates. Just a frying pan sat between them with a slightly-burned slab of meat that she's working on
cutting in half. And, to go with it, the finest of uncut batarian ale! Straight from the bottle because, in Jessica's words, glasses are for pussies. (Not to mention they have no glasses and getting one of their water bottles would require facing the still-raging blizzard outside)
Jessica has a look of intense focus as she holds a fork tightly in one clenched fist to keep the meat in place and uses her batarian knife to carve it from the bone. If one were to walk in at this moment, they might think it wronged her in the past. Once the food has been thoroughly bisected, she lifts the large, serrated blade and licks at some of the juices that stain the blade. She gives a pleased raise of her brow as she looks back
to Yan Sun. "How this does compare to your fancy Earth restaurants? Mmm?" she snickers. "Good foods." she gestures to the carashan meat with her blade, "...Booze." and the ale, "...Fancy lights." the omni-tool. There's a distinct lack of judgement in her tone as she raises the question, an obvious attempt to continue to sweep her earlier cruelty under the rug.
Yan Sun has unzipped her jacket thanks to the temperature rise by the time the food is done, blanket still covering her legs. She grits her teeth a little as she watches Jessica carve up the meat. The question causes her to roll her eyes slightly, the motion highlighted by the glow in her left eye. "You know I spent most of the last couple of years living on noodle cups and street food?" she says with a small smirk, trying to maintain a
Jessica has tossed her own jacket aside entirely, floofy hat joining it on the floor beside her, dumb sunglasses stuffed back inside of it just like she found them. She's still wearing her long sleeved gray thermal shirt and cargo pants with some thick winter socks. She's seated cross-legged on the opposite side of the frying pan from Yan Sun. She takes another fork from the pot and stabs it into the meat, scooting it to Yan Sun's side
of the frying pan. She gives her own eyeroll as Yan Sun reminds her of her choice in food. "Mmm, yes. I notice this." she mutters. Though she did pick up a few of those noodle cups Yan Sun is always eating for the trip, so she can't dislike them too much. She swipes her blade back and forth across the thigh of her pants a few times to clean it off before setting it aside. Yan Sun's final statement causes Jessica to look
across at her, a small smile tugging at the corner of her mouth as she studies her. A short nod accompanies it. "...I know, kitty cat." she says, her words soft despite her gravely voice.
Yan Sun takes the time to dig her holo-projector out of her pocket while Jessica grabs the second fork, fiddling a bit with it before setting it aside. She gains a small smile when Jessica speaks, her mood seeming to lift a little as she reaches for the fork. "I'm starving..." she comments, grabbing the handle and lifting it to look over the piece of meat uncertainly, clearly not sure quite how to approach this.
Jessica gives a brief, curious glance to the projector, but her attention turns to the food between them soon enough. Like Yan Sun's food, hers is just a hunk of meat with a fork stuck in it. But she doesn't seem to have any issues figuring out the puzzle. She merely grabs the fork jabbed into her piece and lifts it up, tearing into it with her teeth. Given the slightly-overcooked nature, it requires a bit of tugging, but soon enough
she's chewing away at a mouthful of carashan meat. Of course there is the knife if Yan Sun needs to cut her food up. A pleased moan escapes her and her eyes shut as she chews, clearly enjoying the meal. "Is soooo good." she says.
Yan Sun seems determined to do no worse than Jessica, she bites into the chunk of meet, baring her teeth and letting out a... less-than-fierce growl as she struggles to tear a piece off - she doesn't have the benefit of years of experience using her teeth as a bottle opener after all - but eventually she succeeds in tearing a mouthful of food free, the recoil of her now-free fork hand causing it to spring away from her, nearly dropping it in
The meat is gamey and more dry than would be ideal. A bit tough, a fact which is only enhanced by the fact that it has been cooked for a tad too long. But it's not terrible. Not too far off from deer.
Jessica gains an amused look as she watches Yan Sun struggle with the meat for a few moments, the near-drop getting a snort. "You are such a fool." she muses as she tears another bite off. She reaches down to grab the large blade with her free hand as she chews. She gives it a little flip in her hand, catching it by the blade to extend the handle towards Yan Sun. "Here." she offers through a mouthful of food.
Yan Sun is far too busy chewing to respond to Jessica, but she declines the oversized blade with a shake of her head "Ahm gud." she manages, continuing to chew in silence for a time. After finally managing to swallow she licks her teeth briefly. Her mouth is dry but she's not about to ask for the ale, that much is sure. "Maybe some seasoning next time?" she suggests with a small grin, taking another bite, careful so as to not drop the fork
Jessica sets down the blade with a shrug of her shoulders. She gives an unamused raise of her brow at Yan Sun's suggestion and a middle finger is quick to follow. "Maybe fuck-you-you-can-cook next time? Mmm?" she suggests in turn as she reaches over for the bottle and takes sets it in her lap so she can get the cap off with one hand. She takes a healthy swig from it to wash down the bite and, holding it by the neck, extends it towards
Yan Sun 's grin returns as she chews, and after swallowing she replies with a confident "Maybe I will!". How hard can it be, right? The offered bottle causes a skeptical wince, eyeing it uncertainly. "Eh..."
Jessica's grin returns in response to Yan Sun's confidence. She thrusts the bottle towards her, jabbing it at her like a knife. "Fine. Next time we take out the stove, you are cooking." she says, giving one more jab with the bottle before adding a quick, "Slut."
Yan Sun nods in agreement. "Deal!" she says, the final addition eliciting little more than a quiet snort before she takes another bite from her food. After finishing chewing she holds up the holo-projector again. "Was thinking I could light up the room a bit?" she offers.
Jessica gives a small frown when the bottle seems to be refused, pulling it back with a shrug. Oh well, more for her. She takes another swig, gaze turning to the projector as she idly tugs another bit of meat off the fork. "What you are going to do...?" she asks while chewing, setting the bottle aside and reaching out to pull her omni-tool in closer.