One Timeline's Trash Is Another Raccoon's Treasure.

April 11, 2017:

Rocket Raccoon finds Atli camping in a Junkyard and agrees to an adventure.

Jeb's Junkyard

A junkyard. With junk. And for now, a goat.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Star-Lord, Groot

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Jeb's Junkyard.

Why anyone would call it a Junkyard is a mystery, because this is the best place for forty or so miles to find some of the best pieces of ad hoc tech from Earth there is! But it's still just Earth tech, unfortunately.

Tonight though, there's more than just the chained up dogs that have come to know and love Rocket so very well and tell him loudly every time they see him how much they adore him by barking and foaming at the mouth. Awww. Wuv. Tonight, there is a presence about the place that is, well, Godly.

Not far from the best, new piles of junk is the braying of an irate goat, and the form of a girl who has started a fire in half an oil barrel, her gaze fixed on the flame as if it holds some answer to her many question. She if, of course, familiar, having very nearly set a bar on fire while Drink-Lord was trying to serve them all.

She also has the magic pets, the ones that somehow didn't get her throat ripped out.
Atli scrunches her brow up in annoyance before long, waving a hand at her goat. "Quiet your wordy malcontent, beast. There is plenty of metal for you to chew on and a great many puddles to drink from. All flavored with whatever it is that leaks from these broken hulks. It is far better than I have had in the last days." Her hand finds her growling stomach, and she makes a face. "Curse me for not taking the Bag of Everflowing Gold from the vaults. I do hope the Butcher of Worlds found it ever-tasty."

It's difficult to make a living when you're suddenly cut off of your main supply of income. And really, Rocket saw no reason why Zatanna should ban him from her abundant liquor cabinets. It's not like she ran out anyway, or paid anything for the stuff he sold, and he'd made a pretty penny so long as it had lasted. But alas, Zee had come home, and his enterprise had dried up.

But that's okay because he's stocked up, having anticipated such difficulties. Still, Terran currency went pretty quick, but Terrans themselves tend to be a wasteful bunch, as can be told by such places as the junkyard. Best part about scavenging places like this is that no one objects when you take anything. ….well okay, sometimes they do, but when you carry a giant blaster rifle, they learn pretty quick to leave you well alone. The dogs on the other hand, well, so long as they stay out of his way, he won't bite them back.

Humming to himself as he picks his way through the paths of scrap, Rocket pauses as he hears someone else's voice. Rather, he hears a foreign sound of some creature that isn't one of the dogs, and then someone speaking. It's a curiously familiar sounding voice, and as he taps his furry chin in contemplation as to where he's heard it before, the littlest Guardian redirects himself towards its origin.
"Huh." That's not much of a greeting, but it's what comes out of his mouth first once he comes into view of the Asgardian and the goat. "Weird choice'a location for a bonfire. We havin' goat steaks?"

There's a series of dull blinks as the diminutive creature steps into her field of view, and she rises immediately from her sitting position, as if preparing for battle. But it's a brief thing, for recognition dawns on her after only a few words from the smallest guardian. She beckons Rocket closer with a wave of her hand, then settles back into her seat - something that she ripped out of a car, the bench-style seat easily big enough for Rocket to fit. Of course, there's a few other things he could sit on too.

"If wishing made it so, Rocket, friend to Drink-Lord, Tree Wrangler and Fair-Eared. But the goat is a companion made for riding and fighting, not eating. Come, share my fire. I have nothing else to offer in this woeful place, this spiteful realm, which sees fit not to gift me even a meal for all I have done for it."

Did all Asgardians talk like they were written by that Tolkien guy? That writing's a trip. Rocket glances over at the goat before shrugging as he moved to join Atli by her fire. He drops his gear to the side of the makeshift sofa and hops up onto the seat itself.

"Well, if you say so," he says in regards to the goat. "Um. So….why /are/ you here then?" He realizes he knows next to nothing about this chick other than that she knows Thor and apparently has no problem with near burning down a bar. Scratching his head as he parses her Asgardianese, he then rests his clawed hand on a knee as he leans forward a bit.

"What do you do, anyway? Way I see it, people around here can be pretty ungrateful. Then again, I think that's everywhere."

There is a drag on her very soul at Rocket's question. Why is she here? A hand finds her face and she seems to claw it downward, dragging eyelids and cheeks and lips until it all pops back into place with a grunt. The fire lights up her eyes, her face, and her burning red hair with an eerie atmosphere as she speaks, her voice grim, and yet it holds the same tone that it did when she invited him over.

"I survive, Rocket Fair-Ear. I have come here, but not of my own doing. From another time, far away from this one. When all of Asgard is filled only with memories, and other Gods from other worlds, displaced, for they too are without those who could worship them. And even turned into a place of salvation, it became a place of doom. The Butcher of Worlds came, upset because I broke an axe against his jaw, and because my Grandfather broke his spirit against old Midgard itself. By tricks of Old Man Loki the Worthless, I am here now. And.. I try, Fair Rocket. I try very much, you see. I am told the people of this world are worth protecting, and so I do so. But this has not earned me a place to sleep. I was resting upon the large tower in the other city, New ..York? Yes. That is the name. This 'Stark' citadel was a fine place to sleep upon but then there were loud sounds."

She shrugs, describing the alarm JARVIS finally raised to drive her and the goat off. "I did not mind so much, but the goat whined and whined. And so we left, in search of other places to lay our heads. This seemed as good a place as any. The animals here seem to like me, and the goat has plenty to eat and drink." As if to punctuate the point, the goat crunches on a bumper, content to eat anything and everything in it's sight.

"And tell me, do you live here, in this place? If so, please forgive my trespass. It was not intentional, my friend."

His fingers trail up his head to touch his ears before he jams one into it and twists it about to dislodge any earwax. "Huh," Rocket says again, his chin propped up in his other hand as he regards Atli. "So basically yer here because you upset the wrong people. Yeah, I can relate to that." The story of how the Guardians became grounded on Terra isn't nearly so dramatic as what the Asgardian relates, but Rocket can't really remember the details of what all had happened anyway so he's since claimed it all to be Star-Lord's fault and has stuck to it.

"On a /tower/… Ah, then you're just bummin' around, eh? That's tough." The raccoon leans back, folding his arms behind his head. "Me? Nah, I don't live here. I got a bed. And a roof over my head. I just came to poke around and see if I could find anything worthwhile to make into something that blows up real nice."

As down as the Asgardian is, it is the pull of Rocket's care free attitude that draws her from the gutter of her dregs and brings a small smile to her otherwise dour expression. A nod when he describes her situation in far fewer words than she used, though the description of his activities force her brows to rise.

"You turn the things you find here into things that.. blow up?" She seems not to understand at first, and then the goat brays something onory and she shoots it a glare. "Hel's Bells. Enough, creature, or I will let Rocket chew on your face until he has had his fill." It brays again, and she lifts a hand as if to dismiss it. "And tell me, what do you do with these things that blow up? Are they weapons to destroy your enemies? A kind of hedge magic against the giants of this world? Which.. I suppose for you, is most Midgardians. Hmm. I can see how these would be useful. I have met many an irate Midgardian."

Indeed. Like the Biker Gang she angered the night she met Rocket. "And also.. lizard people? I am not well versed in these, but they had advanced weapons not of this realm, at least none like I had ever seen."

Skakarans, perhaps? ARE THEY STILL AFTER THE DRINK LORD?!

"Basically. It's pretty limited though. I mean, it's still crap out here. At most I can maybe rig something to destroy a building or maaaybe a city block, but even that's stretching it." He sighs wistfully. "But yeah, you can never have too many weapons because as it turns out, no matter where you go in the galaxy there's someone just itchin' to kill you for the most petty reasons!" …and sometimes not too petty, but it does get kind of annoying either way.

The raccoon shoots a look towards the goat, briefly wondering how one would prepare goat's head. He makes a face, glancing back towards Atli.

"Midgardian? That's…you mean the locals, right? Terrans? Yeah, even the little ones can get pretty angry. I shot up a whole park full of 'em the other day but it's their fault for firing first." Of course he neglects to mention that it had all been with water guns. There's a bit of a mental record scratch as Rocket backs up his thoughts as he reconsiders what Atli'd just mentioned.

"Wait, lizard people? Aw hell, really? When'd you see 'em?"

When Rocket recounts the tales of battle, with errant Midgardians after his well-patterned hide, she laughs. Of course, asking about lizard-people, that brings her to her own story of battle, and her eyes light up and she draws her sword, raising it to the sky. Somewhere, far away, Thunder calls, and lightning rings in the clouds on the horizon. "A pile of creatures who looked very much like the locals I had fought before them, on the night we met, but after we were done with our revels. Terrans, Midgardians, whatever we call them, they were much like them, weak frames but covered with the skin of Bilgesnipes. They had powerful weapons, and were of greater number, and while I had much to drink, a fight is as good as any revel I can remember."

She's out of her seat again, and whirls, cloak trailing behind her as her sword's slashes through the air, this way and that. "They came from all sides, a dozen or more, but I had enough of them after the first four dying refused to quell their hunger for battle. They rallied, but I called the lightning!" And so she does now, her sword's pommel stretching out to make it into a spear, and when the lightning strikes her weapon the world lights up. Her eyes fill with a terrible fire, and her expression boarders on ecstatic madness.

The goat lazily looks over, then goes back to it's meal of bumper and tire.
"I.. honestly do not remember what happened next." Though the sound of thunder and the bright flash of lightning DAMN NEAR IN ROCKET'S FACE might have been jarring, the way her shoulders deflate after tells the tale of someone for whom battle alone does not fill the dark corner of her heart. "Some were perhaps alive, maybe. I woke up in a ditch with the goat laying on my head, perhaps to keep me warm. Perhaps to suffocate me. I do not yet know the truth of it. But the morning after revels left my mind a fog. I do not know what the scaled men wanted. I am… sorry, friend Rocket. Are they your enemies? I dare hope they were not your friends."

As Atli gets up and begins to launch into her tale of the encounter with whatever these lizard people are, Rocket leans forward again, his face propped up in his hands as he folds his legs, getting comfortable in the manner he would when binging on Netflix shows with Groot. The Asgardian talks like a crazy but he likes a good fantasy story!

And then comes the lightning. The distant rumble that first breaks along the dark skies draws the perk of his ears, but he's too drawn into Atli's recount of her encounter with her foes to be bothered by something so far away. Of course, when that flash of electricity comes tearing down from the skies right in front of him he near on topples the car bench for the force that he'd thrown himself against its backing.

He's still trying to blink away the jagged after-images when he realizes that Atli's story has come to an unusual end. Rubbing at his eyes, Rocket scoots back towards the edge of the car seat, frowning. "…flark no, they're no friends of mine. If they're who I think they are, I thought we took care of 'em. Didn't know there might be more skulkin' around."

There is a long moment where Atli looks for a whole other reason to grandstand, to tell another story, or perhaps just brag a little. But her accomplishments are few and far between. Finally, she shoves Jarnbjorn's blade into the ground, reaches out to fully right the seat, and flops back onto it.

"I wish I could be more help to you friend Rocket, but I did not stop to take their names. Only their woes. I think. And then I slept. For a long, long time. Verily I know not where to begin to find them, if you must."

There's a moment of silence there, and the scent of ozone in the air. And, of course, the growl of her stomach. The goat, for once, is silent. "Though, since it seems as if it is no accident I came across them, it could be that more have come to take issue with you, over 'taking care' of their brothers. I would be remiss if I did not search with you for these bilgesnipe-men, and finish what I started in thinning their ranks. I have but a small request." How to ask this delicately? She doesn't know, and so she just out and says it.

"Might I borrow a small portion of this world's currency? I have nothing for trade, but it would do me well to eat something. It has been almost a week, and though I do not need much to sustain myself, even Gods have their limit in such things."

"Eh, they probably don't got names you can pronounce anyway," Rocket says dismissively, waving a hand. "But it'd probably be better to find 'em sooner than later."

He doesn't sound terribly worried. Saskaarians are a nuisance at best, and it's not like they haven't taken care of them before. Of course, the question that begs to be asked is what happened between them and Atli that's left the Asgardian with no proper answer for how the battle had turned out. Rocket taps his chin.

His fuzzy brows arch as the woman speaks up again, mentioning a request. "What? Oh! That's right, you're flat broke." He regards her for a moment before turning to hop off of the seat so he can rummage through his pack after moving his rifle aside. "Here," he says, tossing her a Slim Jim before rifling through the wallet he'd pulled out. "And here's…what is this-" he mutters as he pulls out a twenty, peering at it before he slaps it on the seat beside her. "We'll just say it's a finder's fee."

There's a blink when the Slim Jim finds her hands, and she stares down at it long and hard. Is this.. is this what it's come to? Is this her last meal, starved by the annuls of time and destitution? She looks at the stick, plastic, it seems, with a frown, slow blinking as the goat meanders up and tries to take it from her.

With a harsh jerk she pulls it away, scowling at the beast, and then she bites at it with a grunt, tearing and pulling until plastic and meat both fill her mouth. She makes a face as she chews, and somehow manages to spit out the plastic.

Only then does it dawn on her. The spicy beauty of her first real food in days. Her eyes fall shut and she strips the plastic away to devour it in as many quick chomps as she can manager.

By the time Rocket turns around, her mouth is puffed out like a chipmonk, and she chews away until she nearly swallows it all at once. Almost daintily she takes this 'twenty', staring at it long and hard before balling it into her first. "This day, Rocket Fair-Ears, you have made a friend most loyal and true. I promise you this. We will find your enemy and drive them from this realm!"

Groot's got someone to give him a run for his money when it comes to putting down Slim Jims. Rocket stares a bit at Atli even after she's swallowed the mouthful of processed meat.

"Huh? Oh. Okay. Awesome." How does he get stuck with these people? Nevertheless he grins, nodding at the woman as he props his fists at his hips. "You bet we will. And if we can't drive 'em out, we'll obliterate them." He's more for the latter really, since it doesn't seem like you can negotiate with Saskaarians. Although on the off chance that they aren't…

Eh, he'll deal when he gets to that bridge.

"Yes. YES! The woeful sounds of their family members will echo across the eons as their body parts fly! Come goat, our friend Rocket will lead us to his roof, and we will sleep on his floor. But after we stop to spend this currency on more food." The goat does not reply, except to break wind in their general direction.

This draws a frown from the Girl of Thunder, now saddled with a goat of equally dangerous sound, and she reaches for it's harness, picks up her spear, and shrinks it to sword form to store at her back. "Lead the way my friend. In the morning, our hunt will begin in earnest. And.. if your roof has to many sleeping under it already, I will settle for a place that does not smell like so much burning."

Really, it does smell like burning here. And not just from the lightning that Atli called down.

"Now you're talkin'!" the raccoon cackles. "I- wait, what?" While Atli gets her things together, Rocket puzzles over her fancy words before…before scowling at the goat. "One day…" he warns, shaking a finger at it. Turning, he goes to grab his things, slinging his pack over a shoulder and his rifle across his back.

"All right. I'm sure no one will mind, it's like a glargkin' hotel. But if you don't like it, you can use the tent me an' Groot pitched on the front lawn."

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