This is my character in an Apocalypse World game I am playing in. He is the Savvyhead in the group and is a bit socially awkward (or inept). He also speaks to his machines. Most people think it is just an aspect of his insanity but maybe there is some truth to it. His discovery of a Radio, pronounced RahDeo by him, has been a major component in some plot points in the story. I decided to address his initial discovery of the Radio which wasn’t necessarily talked about much in-game.
Clutch hears a Radio
The converted garage sat at the outskirts of the community named Edge. A solitary structure visually out-of-place. The ruined shell of a building hung onto the garage, serving no purpose but to remind all that it once was important to this structure. The interior of the garage walls were lined with a multitude of objects, all haphazardly stacked upon shelves and upon themselves. The myriad of boxes and plastic tubs that held electronics of all sorts in a variety of stages of disrepair. The stacks of gears, circuit boards, wires and containers made a chaotic maze of equipment. A buzz and hum of electricity went through the small room as many of the devices operated in whatever function that was their purpose. It required a brave soul willing to cross the threshold of this garage, possibly putting their life in jeopardy by stepping in the wrong spot and causing an avalanche of mechanical and technological debris..
I single table sits against the east wall. Most of its surface covered with current projects of all sorts. The sun cast its morning light across the table, the metal components strewn about glimmering in its light. A single occupant sat, hunched over a carburetor, reassembling all of its parts now cleaned and fixed.
“I know how this attaches, calm down” Clutch muttered. “It isn’t my first time.”
“Did you remember to include all the pieces this time?” a electronic voice said.
“Yes, yes I did. Stop your fussing. I know what I am doing.”
“Sometimes I wonder” the voice quipped
“Hey, I can take your batteries out if you don’t hush. It’s real easy” Clutch admonished.
“Someone is arriving sir. They have passed the U-H ul and are presently approaching the entryway” a different voice chimed in.
“Umm Clutch? Is it ok to come in?” Twice asked.
Clutch looked up from his table and saw the young energetic man a little confused by the question.
“Ummm yeah. NO WAIT!” he exclaimed and got up to move on of the boxes at the entrance. “These not friendly.” Putting one of the spare lids onto the tub and sliding it into a whole under a shelf. “Come in.”
Twice walked in cautiously allowing his eyes to adjust to the difference in lighting. “So who were you talking to?”
“Umm My machines of course! Who else would I talk to in here?”
“Right. Hey Lost wanted me to bring this in. It was something that I found on a recent scavenge run.” Twice held out a small metal device about the size of a loaf of bread, “I can’t figure out how to get it to run but of course it looks like some kind of device and that is your area. Lost thought you might want to take a look at it. She also wanted me to tell you about our gathering tonight. She said you were missed the last meeting and are always welcome back. And well that’s all I got, I am going to head to Tao’s to get some breakfast. Apparently Blender found some powdered eggs last run. It is bound to be good. So I guess that’s it! Bye” he left as quickly as he arrived, a sudden expression of relief on his face. Whether is was to be leaving the cramped garage or just Clutch’s presence was unclear. Clutch was used to this reaction by now, he had experienced it most of his life, the uncomfortableness others had around him. He knew that he could probably do something to alleviate it but understanding humans was so much more difficult that understanding machines.
“You did not make that easy on him, sir” a dignified voice observed.
“I wasn’t trying to make it difficult. Kindle, It just isn’t easy to understand what to do sometimes.” Clutch commented
“Hell … brzzztt… just dont worry …zztzz ‘bout them fleshbags….they..they…they…they.. you dont need them” a static filled voice added.
“On the contrary, he DOES need human interaction or else will fall into a yet another of his states of isolation. Who knows how long it would take for him to come out of that this time,” Kindle added.
“Kindle, ‘Pod, can you two stop talking about me like I am not here. I need to look at this new equipment.” Clutch took his shop rag and began to wipe clean all the years of dirt and grime that had built up on the object. “It’s no surprise it wouldn’t work. They don’t think of simply cleaning it, treating it with respect before trying to turn it on.” After twenty minutes of thorough wiping, brushing and a cautious use of water, the device looked much newer. Where the paint still remained it was red in color. It surprisingly had very little rust. That made him wonder where it had been stored to limit the water exposure. He turned it over a few times examining the various scratches on the body. There was a dent at the right front corner, which was not bad for something that was obviously this old. Most of the devices he received looked much worse. Flipping it back over to the front, he began to read one of the words still found on it
“R..rrraaaahhh..Deeeee ooooo. RahDeo. It must be called a Rahdeo. Now to figure out what it can do.” Slowly and methodically Clutch began to analyze the Radio, disassembling it to see if anything inside was broken or disconnected. He worked on this project ignoring the sun’s journey across the sky until it had progressed across the sky and began to set making it difficult to see the smaller components of the Radio. It was only then that he realized he had not eaten anything the entire day. His stomach growled letting him know of its anger with this decision. It was time to at least get a little food. Clutch stood up and left his garage abruptly, not bothering to close the bay door, knowing no one would bother his stuff.
He walked to Tao’s to get a quick bite to eat. Clutch was so focused on imagining what the Radio might be that his normal anxiety of crowds did not begin to surface as it might normally. He arrived at the small diner moving on autopilot. As he opened the door sound escaped from the small place. People talking about the night before, making plans for what was to happened today and any other gossip that was floating around town. The sound of dishes clinking together with the sounds of people enjoying their breakfasts. It was those noise and chatter that pulled Clutch back into reality. He quickly approached a table, one closest to the exit, his favorite. He tried to avoid any eye contact with the patrons of the diner. He saw Prime looking at him out of the corner of his eye. She didn’t like him, and he wasnt sure why. He knew it has started back when he saw a flaw in her weapon and took it apart to fix it. It was a simple defect that could have cause the gun to jam after a certain amount of use. He tried to explain it to her but his words did not come out right, they never seem to come out, more so when talking with women.
“It’s so much easier talking to machines” he mumbled.
“Did you say something Clutch dear?” Ile said as she stood there. “Do you want your usual?”
“OH!” Clutch looked up not realizing she had approached . “I guess. And I want to take it to my shop if I can”
“Sure sweetie. You are always good with bringing the dish back. I’ll get Tao to fix it up for you real quick.”
After five minutes he had a bowl of Tao’s oats with grilled meat. It actually wasn’t bad. Tao was a master of making the simplest of ingredients taste amazing. It wasn’t like he had a lot to work with either. He spooned a few mouthfuls in as he walked, no sense in wasting time. He had just come up with an idea of what to do with the Radio. His pace picking up in excitement.
A few hours later Clutch sat up from his work table and stretched his sore muscles. He had set up some lights that he normally kept stored in the U-H ul, reserved for those times he wanted to work after sunset. His joints and spine popped, releasing their tension and enjoying the stretch.
“Sir, Do you think you have been able to fix it?” Kindle asked
“Yeah bzzzttt… ya got it workin’… bzzrpppttt … it’ll be fun to have to have to have to have zzzz another to talk to.” ‘Pod said
“We I think so,” Clutch looked upon his work with the start of a smile starting, “But there is only one way to find out.” As he switched the toggle that read On / Off into the ON position.
Static filled the air.
“Hmm that seems like an odd thing to do.”
“Brzzzttt… Seems damn stupid, zzzcccckkk if you ask me” ‘Pod stated.
Clutch began to move the small dial on the side of the Radio. The static changed slightly in tone but nothing distinguishable came out. He was on his second trip with the dial, moving much slower this time, ear pressed against the speaker.
zzzztttzzzzccckzzzkzzz. we are calling the followers…
Clutch sat up quickly. The Radio spoke but not in the way his other machines spoke. They had discussions or commentary with him about what is happening. This seemed to be calling from an external source. He realized he must find out more, this could be important..