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Mace

Long Haul Leather

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To those scanning the channels, the sudden crackle of static was audible on 131.3, a transmission beginning with the shuffling of papers and the clear of the speaker's throat before he began, his voice a soft, somewhat weary tenor with a southern US accent.

"Hello everyone. I am Mason Thompson, or just Mace, though I don't expect most of you to know who I am, which is fine. I've spent the last few days making myself comfortable somewhere far away from the hustle and bustle of what is becoming 'city life' in South Zagoria, though I have been doing my best to keep myself up-to-date on the goings on in the area.

To those that do know me, or of me, I worked in Stary Sobor, or Tortuga if you prefer, for a while making leather clothing and goods for the townspeople, and I continued this through the transition to Kabanino and beyond, though around Christmas I took myself out of the picture and decided to convalesce from some unfortunate injuries by myself. Since I am starting to get my strength back and can actually afford to start long-distance travel again, I thought I would offer the same services I have been to those who might need them.

Despite the unusual lack of snow, it's obvious enough that the weather is icy and the almost constant rain can be miserable at the best of times. Add to this the frustration of having to worry about surviving both in the sense of the infected and simply having what you need available, and it can be seemingly insurmountable at times to simply eke out another day here on earth. Now, I can't offer absolution, nor can I really do much to try to help alleviate the worst of the conditions that we live in, but I can at least try to help make basic survival a simpler endeavor, and one of the keys to survival is warm clothing at a time like this.

So, as is befitting 'the leatherman' I'm going to be doing a bit of business on the radio and traveling out to select locations that I know have some semblance of civilization in them to deliver. So far this seems to be Grishino and Kovar's Market in Vybor. If you find yourself needing anything made for yourself or those you travel with, leave me an order here and I will give you a rough estimate of how much time it will take for me to complete it. I'll say now that my stock of leather is, currently, not the best, but I still have enough for a couple of small things, or perhaps one big project, so don't expect same day delivery, I'm not quite that good."

With a moment taken to chuckle at his own joke, the sound of shuffling paper could be heard for just a moment before he continued.

"The price of pieces will depend on what I need at the moment, and I'll always try to be generous with them. Currently I'm looking for a proper fishing rod, if anyone can actually find one, to replace the makeshift one I've pieced together myself so that I can do a bit of fishing in rougher waters, though that is more a hope than a demand. Food will always be welcome, though I prefer to deal in canned food or white meat, meaning white fish or chicken. Composite arrows are also good given my tendency to hunt with a bow, as are crossbow bolts for the odd times I use one. Depending on the size of the order and anything specific about it, such as coloring the leather, the price can vary, as it can simply based on how much I have leather I have ready to produce.

Finally, if you would like to contribute pelts in exchange for leather work, then I am happy to work with you based on what you would like, though for the sake of this 'business' I will most likely take a cut of whatever pelts are brought for my own personal use and leave the majority of it up to be focused on the order you would like."

Again there was a momentary pause as pages shifted and the speaker took a moment to drink before he spoke up once more.

"So what is it I'm offering specifically? I've been working in treating and tanning leather for a few months now and have done it on an almost daily basis for a good portion of that time, and the quality of what I offer reflects that. I can create jackets, almost like a lace-front leather tunic that, like all of my pieces, offers considerable customization in the joints. I make sure each joint or seam in the piece is double-layer thick and stitched with rawhide that can be let out or tightened to allow for different fits and, hopefully, a sense of 'one-size-fits-all' should you want to trade them between yourselves. In addition to the jacket, I also offer what I call the scavenger's vest, lined with internal and external pockets, along with enough room for, if you want, a small series of internal straps to hold a pistol or similarly-sized firearm while maintaining an inconspicuous look. Next would be the breeches which offer the same seam and stitchwork of everything else along with a lace-front construction in lieu of a zipper or button fly, and belt loops to fit most sizes of belts I've seen around here which are civilian in nature, though I've not studied any military-grade belts or attachments so I don't know how well they will work with them. Fair warning.

Finally, from the actual clothing I also make accessories, including some wide-brimmed caps which aren't exactly advisable in the weather we have now, but can help to keep the rain off of you in some of the warmer months, I always recommend an ushanka or something similarly toasty while the weather is this cold. Moccasins are also doable, though they are without arch support as you might expect and do not offer ankle support so do be careful if you do buy them that you aren't expecting something that will stabilize your foot like a combat or work boot. Beyond that, the moccasins can be good in warmer months for long distance travel as they are lighter than most shoes. Then there are rucksacks and water skins. The packs I make are fairly small in profile but can hold a fair bit of material, and like everything else they come with reinforced stitching and a simple design that keeps them easy to repair yourself if they do manage to get snagged or torn. The water skins are fairly small, admittedly, because they, unlike canteens or water bottles, bloat with the liquid put inside them, and making them much bigger than I do results in them sloshing about or being cumbersome to put in bags without risking them being punctured.

Now, with all that out of the way, I look forward to hearing from anyone who would like to do business. Just remember to have a bit of patience for me to get your order ready and I promise it will be worth the wait.

Stay safe out there survivors, and remember to bundle up, preferably with something made by me."

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Deed listens half heartedly to the man speaking on the radio, not caring much for the business proposal, but happy to at least hear a human voice as he sat

huddled in the rain all alone.

At the mention of Vybor his head snapped up, however, as he remembered the horrors which had occurred there recently. Ever quick to react he grabs hold

of his raio to relay a question:

 

“Leatherman” he says urgently through the com “Have you been to Vybor recently? I must know! Is there a man there, wearing mostly green with a high caliber

assault rifle dressed in gun wrapping?! Please, I need to know. Also he drives a bus around making deliveries… I must-t know if he lives”

Edited by MummaCandy

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At the distressed response, the southern-accented voice responded quickly, his tone more confused than anything.

"What? It's been...A week? Ten days? Something like that since I've been to Vybor. I've not heard of anything happening there though. Are the people who were running the Market all right at least?"

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Fae takes the radio from her pocket, entering a tent in the market to get some quiet so she could properly hear the conversation. 

"Mace, its lovely to hear your voice again, it's been too long. I have so much to tell you, if you find yourself in Vybor soon, please come talk to me. I have something I want to discuss with you. A... business opportunity.

Stranger, I run the trading post in Vybor with my colleague, Mrs. Kovar, I haven't seen a man fitting that description, nor have I seen a working bus in quite some time... that being said, I can keep an eye out for him. Does this mystery man you are looking for have a name?"

Edited by Genji

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His tone had shifted with the sound of a familiar voice, and as he responded again, the man seemed to be more relieved.

"Well it's good to know you two are doing all right at least. If I hear anything about someone matching that person's description I'll send a message out, but I'm out in the country right now where I belong. I can be in Vybor in a couple of days. I've got to get some fishing done today and start smoking it in case we ever do get a big snow storm coming through."

There was a sound of rustling for just a moment, along with a deep sigh before he continued.

"I'm going to see if I can bring in some of the leather I've got and do a bit of stitching while I'm there. Just because I'm not risking popping stitches every time I move around doesn't mean I'm at a hundred percent yet though. So give my fat backside some time to tromp over there and we'll talk about whatever you want before I go back into hiding."

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*Frowns as he hears the voices on the radio* Ford thinks about saying something...anything..but decides against it. Vybor had been a waste of three days. Three days helping others only to find himself threatened and now lost in the woods. "Shit." He swore and tossed the radio across the room of the small hunting cabin he was in and leaned back against the wall, unaware that he had pushed the talk button as he swore aloud.

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"Something you'd like to contribute, sir? I don't think swearing is necessary."

Fae raised an eyebrow at his outburst, she wasn't entirely sure if it was intentional or not. Still, the man must feel strongly about what was being discussed.

"Of course, Mace, take it easy. Whenever you are able to pop down and see me, we can talk. I'd offer to come find you, but we know how terrible I am with directions... if I get my hands on another truck, ill perhaps come to see you. Stay safe out there in hiding, won't you?"

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*Walks over and picks up his radio, realizing someone heard him* "Hello? Sorry about that. Just..a bit frustrated."

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*Hears Fae insult herself and just has to interject and presses PTT*

Alright Fae where is he at Ill go get him if needed to... and teach you your directions.

*Joey releases PTT*

Edited by Ryan Carter

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*Drops his apple and grabs the walkie* "Fae...Fae from Vybor? This is Ford. I was in Vybor for a few days, met you and I believe your husband. I was doing supply runs...growing food for the trading camp. Do you remember me??"

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Deed digs out his radio once more, having escaped the chasing walkers:

"His name was Jerin, Jerin Boyko a weaponsmith and armsdealer not to mention my friend. He was in Vybor but 1 day ago, doing supply runs with his buss. If anyone knows I would be greatful for any word of his werabouts"

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"Uh, sorry for hijacking your frequency, Mace..."

Fae rubbed the bridge of her nose, listening to the various calls coming through.

"Joey you've tried, glue a compass to my hand cause it's the only way I'm gonna learn!"
She laughs a little, then continues.
"Yes, Ford, I remember you. Like the car, yeah? What is the matter? You seem... somewhat flustered...
And yes, I will keep a lookout for your friend. The name doesn't ring a bell, but you never know, he might be around somewhere"

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*Joey smirks and presses the PTT*

You got the super glue then or you prefer duck tape?

*Joey releases the PTT and Laughs his ass off*

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*Presses the button* "I'm on frequency 91.3...if you want to talk. I don't want to clog this guy's frequency. Ford out."

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As the waves were cut in with another transmission by the original broadcaster, the tail end of a sigh could be heard huffing from him before he spoke.

"No worries, Fae. Apparently there have been a lot of things going on since I tucked myself out in the wilderness to work. Feel free to use the frequency to help get everything in order. If there was something going on in Vybor that has someone worrying for their friend's life and other people are coming through to check on it, then that's a bit more important than my little leather business.

If you folks need anything though, don't be afraid to ask. I'm going to finish up my fishing here in a bit and start getting everything ready so I can spend a few days away from camp and see what's been going on in the meantime while I was nursing my wolf bites.

Stay safe, folks."

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Deed bursts through the large iron doors to the old industrial block at Vybor, shooting wildly with his glock 19 at the horde of infected following. He breaths heavy as he shouts a series of warnings into his mic:

"He's dead! Nedrin's dead, Vybor is-s overrun by walkers and its the only t-thing I can do to hold out. I'm here with another man named Hunt, Lorenzo Hunt and Frank, we are securing the area!"

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*Anna presses the PTT*

”There was working bus with headlights still on parked in front of market this morning.  I noticed it when I went in to do cleaning chores.  I walked around compound, but, didn’t find anyone.  And now I know why.”

*A sigh would be heard before the transmission ends*

Edited by Darra

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The sound of heavy, panting breaths broke through first as the transmission came through, though the speaker seemed to be doing his best to sound more presentable as he spoke.

"Finished up with everything I had to do, running my way up to Vybor now. Definitely won't make it until tomorrow unless I go all night though. That said, in the rummaging I did while I was on my way through a couple of sites I found some presents to deliver so I won't show up empty handed. I never did like coming by somewhere without something to offer."

As if to punctuate the statement and prove its validity, the sound of a few hollow, metallic thumps echoed in the background of the broadcast.

"Here's hoping you've got some room in the market. I look forward to seeing you two soon enough, hopefully after everything has calmed down and heads have been counted."

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"Sounds like things calmed down during my trip."

The voice spoke up with the same ragged breathing, the sound of heavy, boot-clad footsteps audible as he walked and talked along what sounded like blacktop.

"Fae, Anna, here's hoping everything in Vybor's safe now and you're both bundled up and asleep. If not here's to let you know I'm pushing on through for as long as possible. It's not too cloudy tonight and I've got some food and plenty of water so I'll try to be in Vybor in the morning, even if I have to take a nap. No leather on me this time, but the gifts are still coming, even if it's a bit late for Christmas.

To everyone else in the area, and to the people who apparently were lost earlier today in what happened, you've got my condolences. If any of you need help I'll be happy to do what I can while I'm in the area. Don't be afraid to ask. Until then, stay safe and bundle up folks, time for me to get my fat backside in gear."

The faint rustling of the radio being moved was audible for just a moment, along with the thrum of it brushing across something hollow and metal before the transmission cut out.

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*Not realizing his radio was still set to the channel from the other day*

"Justin this is Ford, do you copy? I'm enroute to Vybor from camp. I'm passing Novy and I....SHIT!!" *running can be heard, and the occasional snarl of a walker in pursuit*

"Justin I got one after me, if..if you can hear me, I'm head....your....hope I can....Holy hell! Just ran into....guy going other way...thought...was...walker. I...." *transmission cuts out*

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Faith slips down onto the bed, she looks exhausted. She would let out a relieved sigh before taking her radio from her belt and rests her head against the wall. Faith would remove the mask covering her face, her hat and glasses. After a stressful day she would take her radio to contact Mason.

"H-Hey Mace....

I think y-y-you s-said something a-about needing m-more p-pelts. I m-managed to get t-two, Chris has o-one more...

H-Hope t-t-to see y-you s-soon..."

She would place her radio on the bag as she slips onto the mattress. Almost feeling like she sunk into it before passing out into a deep sleep.

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The sound of rain pattering on a metal roof could be heard faintly as the transmission began, the southern tenor sounding equally exhausted as he spoke.

"Hey Faith, I'm on my way home with a couple of my own. I've already got a bit of leather and I'll be saving some of it so I can teach you how to make a backpack for yourself. More pelts are always welcome though, so don't be afraid, if you're in the area, to drop by and let me know. I can also work on getting things whipped up for your friends if anyone needs anything."

There was a pause, the transmission cutting for just a moment, though not quite long enough to hide the yawn that he had attempted to conceal.

"I'll see about being in Vybor tomorrow or the next day with a batch of leather too so I can start taking orders and getting some work done. If you'd rather meet somewhere else then let me know privately and I can see about meeting up with you and yours to get some things done. Despite it being mostly just walking, I will say it was a fun experience today traveling with folks again and not just humping it through the woods by myself.

Stay safe, same goes to your friends too, and stay bundled up."

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The incoming transmission gave a quiet burst of static before the southern tenor began to speak.

"There's a limited time offer at the Vybor Trading Camp. Because I've had so many people who have been so kind I have a surplus of leather and I decided to do something with it while everyone was asleep and while things were going on last night. The inspiration and insomnia coalesced into a wonderful little deal for anyone who is looking for something warm to bundle up in for the winter.

There are currently three full leather outfits, including moccasins and hats at the Vybor Trading Post, as well as a spare vest and a few pieces of leather clothing I've made that were somewhat worn, but still in quite good condition after patching up. They're all dyed as dark as I can get them, so as close to black as possible, though I will say the hats took to it the best I think. So to reiterate, there are jackets, vests, pants, moccasins, and hats all at the Vybor Trading Post for those interested. Be sure to leave something good for the traders or, if you're interested in helping me continue my business, leave pelts and leather working tools in the tents and I will try to help keep the flow of clothing coming. It's a time consuming process but at least I know it'll help people keep all their toes on cold nights.

I'm going to get the sleep that I lost last night and into the morning, so if you do end up getting some of the leather outfits let me know how they turn out for you and I may see about trying to make more, or adding some rucksacks to the tents as well for those who want something that's subtle but still offers a good bit of carrying capacity.

Stay safe and bundle up folks."

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*Ford squashes down the talk button*

"Mason, I'm gonna assume this is you, considering you're the only other leather-man out there besides myself." 

*A brief silence*

"I uh, left Vybor for a bit. There was some shooting and a few of our people (Static) I don't know where our doctor is but (static) Eli is helping out til (Static)

Don't know where Lily is or hell anyone for that matter. I hightailed it out of there and headed to (Static)

I appreciate you letting me hole up with you for a bit, I stashed a barrel near your (Static) So go ahead and peek thru it, just let me know if and what you take.

........................

Hope you make it back here (static) Think my battery is ....................

 

 

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It didn't take long before a response came over the waves.

"Hey Ford, yep, it's me. I'm going to see about grabbing Lily and Johnny and coming down to the camp sometime in the next day or so. Feel free to take whatever you need, the jerry can is full of clean water if you don't want to use up any of the purification tablets since the nearest well is a bit of a hike. Besides that make yourself at home. I've spent a lot of time insulating that place against the cold so bundle up with the furs that are inside and enjoy."

There was, for just a moment, a suppressed chuckle before he cleared his throat.

"I'll see about bringing back some pelts so we can have a lesson on tanning leather too if you need any pointers. I've still got a good bit saved up after making the outfits for the camp, but it there have been a few tense moments, I don't blame you for wanting to hike it out and wait. I'll talk to you soon. Stay safe."

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