Send me a line from my published fanfic, and I’ll tell you a piece of meta about the context.
(Or just ask questions, that’s always...
Several someones! *hugs all who fall into this category*
Have some Dirk as a hardy post-apocalyptic music man and his brother Dave. And Redglare. Based on one of the story ideas for the “fic you would like to see” meme.
You know you are approaching what is hopefully civilization when the occasional farmstead becomes more frequent and closer together. The people here are welcoming within a general definition of the word that includes “will not shoot you or eat you,” and “will let you sleep in their barn and give you directions to the nearest place you can get your bike fixed.”
Though in this case, Daniel Baxter, the owner of the barn you and your little brother spent the night in advises you to consider a method of transportation that doesn’t require as much maintenance. “We use pedal power to work irrigation pumps and the like, but there’s no bike shop.”
“Well, the bikes were pretty dead anyway,” You say. You glance over at your little brother, who is watching Mrs. Baxter feeding the chickens. “Let’s go Dave.” Dave stands up and grabs his satchel and your guitar.
It’s noon by the time you reach the town. It is surrounded by two rings of low walls with a ditch between them. The gates are guarded by the town’s militia, who manage to be wary and cautious without being dicks about it. They give you the usual questions and do not ask you and your brother to take off your shades. (It is somewhat reasurring that a couple of militia members have slight deformities. This town does not appear to have a thing about mutants or birth defects.) You ask about any rules about performances in town. It’s pretty rare for there to laws, but it pays to be careful. It turns out you can set up anywhere as long as you have permission from the business your camped in front of.
You find a house that will let you use their water pump and you and your brother wash off the dust. The home owner becomes your first client after you and your brother prove your musical skills; her daughter is getting married in a week. The person who was supposed to play had his legs broken for him. You’ll be playing at the reception in exchange for room and board and tokens you can exchange for supplies.
Afterward, you head for the market, wanting to get a feeling for the place before starting anything. The town is big and active enough to have a market three days of the week. According to the guards today is also Court Day, which means between noon and sunset there will be a “Justice” listening to cases in the town square. (Which is also where the market is located.) This tells you that this town may have actual laws that are not arbitrarily decided by a whim. Another vote for the rule of law of one kind of another is the very precise and organized way the the buildings have been set up. The streets are clean and there are wooden sidewalks.
You and Dave wander into the general direction of the open air “court house.” This is a kind of bandstand in the middle of the square. There is a woman presiding which is a little unusual. She’s wearing some kind of headdress.
Except it’s not a headress.
“Holy shit, she’s a Gen.” You said it quietly, but you’d swear she heard you somehow, because her head turns in your direction. Her eyes are covered by pointed shades and her mouth slides into a brief, shark-toothed grin.
You abscond with Dave as quickly and as calmly as you can. Your heart is hammering fit to burst, but you force yourself to breathe. To think. So the Justice was a Gen. Also commonly known as a “troll.” So what. Just because Gen are highly modified, nightmare super soldiers doesn’t mean they really are mindless killing machines. They were supposed to be smart as humans, or nearly, and he had heard of rumors about Gen-run townships further north. (Of course, he’d also heard that trolls running those townships treated humans like cattle and ate babies.)
You calm down and you’re able to do a set. Dave beatboxes and dances while you rap. You do a couple numbers on your guitar, and you and Dave sing. You draw a crowd of listeners and you get a lot of tokens. When it starts to get dark, you and Dave start to pack up. You get the guitar stowed away when there’s an odd sort of not-quiet that makes you look up.
It’s the Gen. “I’m sorry I missed the performance!” She says. “I could hear you from the stand, but I was a little busy.”
“We’ll be here for a while, Ma’am,” you said. You figure you don’t want to risk offending this lady. “I guess I could play an extra set.” You start to take the guitar back out, but the Gen puts a hand on your arm.
“Can I invite you both to dinner? We stay in town on Court Days because of paperwork.” She smiles. “I promise you will not be on the menu!”