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Sharp Sam

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  1. 'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the west Lawmen and Outlaws were taking a rest; Watchers were all hibernating in their pods, Even the Hex was in land of nod The Natives were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of the great spirit danced in their heads; And Wyatt in His Long Johns, and Doc in his cap, Had just settled down for a long winter's nap, When out on the Veranda there arose such a clatter, Doc sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window He flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-blown sand Gave the lustre of mid-day to the arizona land When, what to Docs wondering eyes should appear, But Doctor Carpathain with reanimated reindeer. These terrible animals, so Mechanical and Strong, Doc knew in a moment something was wrong More Ugly as Vultures his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name; "Now, Slasher! now, Smasher! now, Stamper and Viper! On, Portent on Heartbreak on, Bomber and Biter! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now Smash away! Smash away! Smash away all!" As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, they threw it to the sky, So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of Weapons, and Carpathian too. And then, in a Crescendo, Doc heard on the roof The Stamping and pawing of each Mighty hoof. As Doc drew his gun, and was turning around, Down the chimney Carpathian came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with RJ and soot; A bundle of guns he had flung on his back, And he looked like a devil just opening his pack. His eyes -- how they Glittered! his Grimace was scary! His cheeks were pale, this is no festive fairy His mouth was drawn up in a rictus like grin And the Mutton chops on his cheeks was as black as sin. The stump of a cigar he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a devilish face and a Bionic Eye That would glow bright red when someone was about to die Fresh ammo for Wyatt, Bourbon for Doc Even Jesse James got something in his sock All these presents to give a cowpoke some hope Although it may be a reach when he gave Ike Clanton Soap He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, Then kicking the door down into the night he goes He didn’t give a fig if Wyatt and Doc Froze He sprang to his sleigh, all shiny and bright And they all took of as if their bum was alight! But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, WILD WEST-MAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-FIGHT!
  2. Krampus Christmas Medley Time! You'd better not shout, you'd better not cry... because that's how he finds you... Alarm bells ring are you listening? In the lanes blood is glistening, a horrific sight, he's killing tonight, stalking in a Krampus Wonderland... Deck your foes with big sticks of Holly Arrrgh Arrrgh Arrrgh aaargh ah oh god... Now bring us some sticky brains... I'm dreaming of a blood red christmas... Christmas Time, Gristle, Toes and Spine And finally For whom the jingle bells toll. #sorrynotsorry
  3. Good Doc Carpathian Proudly Looked upon His latest deadly Creation Its two heads looked about Ready for devastation Brightly shone it's Iron and Brass And its weapons were cruel Prepared to kill all through the night Running on RJ fuel "Hither, creation, and stand by me We've a Union to render asunder By the time we're finished here Grant will be 6 foot under. The creation scratched one of its heads To think too much made it ill This was most unfortunate Because it's hand was a Drill Bring me Brains and bring me spine Bring me a new RJ Cylinder We’ll Try again and maybe this time We’ll make him a little bit brighter Harmony and Doc did their best They work well together Eventually succeeded in the quest And made a better Monster "Doc the thing is smarter now And his arms are stronger But Fail my heart, it wants not to fight It just sits and ponders "Mark my words, my good nurse Though I say it boldly Two heads are not better than one When you need to kill most coldly Now the creation is so smart He got 1st class at university He unlocked the mysteries of life He excelled at string theory Therefore, clever men, be sure No matter how many heads you are possessing Ye who will use your brains Shall yourselves find blessing.
  4. On the twelfth day of Christmas, Carpathian gave to me Twelve Troopers Charging, Eleven Shamans Chanting Ten Spica Shooting Nine Vixen’s Mimicking Eight Wayward Bandits Seven Deadly Mercenaries, Six Rebels A-yellin’, Five Rj Cells Four Hex Beasts, Three Gun Dogs, Two German Twins And Legendary Jed On 20-20
  5. Old Stonewall said to me Pa rum pum pum pum The Union is your Enemy Pa rum pum pum pum Carpathians gifts we bring Pa rum pum pum pum To protect land and kin Pa rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum So to fight for him Pa rum pum pum pum Here we come Pum pum pum pum Pa rum pum pum Pum pum pum pum Pa rum pum pum Pum pum pum pum Pa rum pum pum Pum pum pum pum pa rum Hey Sergeant Pa rum pum pum pum this ain't much fun Pa rum pum pum pum I ain't got a gun! Pa rum pum pum pum Just a lousy drum! Pa rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum Shall I play for you Pa rum pum pum pum Pa rum pum pum Pum pum pum pum Sarge nodded Pa rum pum pum pum Marching to keep time Pa rum pum pum pum I played my drum for him Pa rum pum pum pum I played my best for him Pa rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum Then he smiled at me Pa rum pum pum pum My regiment got blown to bits Pa rum pum pum pum I've decided that war is really the pits! Me and my drum Come they told me Pa rum pum pum pum A new battle for me Pa rum pum pum pum Me and my drum Me and my drum Me and my drum but I'd rather have a gun! Rum pum pum pum
  6. She Writes The Stories She has many names. To the Warrior nation she is “Tells the World Stories” The members of the Dark Council refer to her as “The Scribe of Fate” The Alien watchers have designated her “Observer Alpha” The Order say she is “The One Who Bears Witness” And the good people of Tombstone call her “Miss Sara Corkswell” Whenever a story happens She's there to tell about it. Always there, just in the background, Just out the corner of the eye. If you were to turn to look she'd be gone. But she WAS there and she saw it all. And for a few cents you can read about it tomorrow. Always freelance, never tied to any one publication. She sells her stories to as many newspapers who can buy them. Back East her stories are highly sort after, her readers, used to tall tales by the likes of Bill Hickock, say somehow her stories feel “more real “ She has friends everywhere. Her nature puts people at ease almost instantly and even the notoriously tight lipped Wyatt finds her easy to talk to. Rumors of her exploits abound, it is said she has had high Tea with Doctor Carpathian in his inner laboratory sanctum, Witnessed a meeting of the Dark Council, explored the Watchers base in Superstition Mountain, been shown the mysteries of the Spirit World by Raven Spirit. Supposedly her pen nib is made from the very 1st nugget of silver mined in Tombstone and her ink is as blue as the summer's sky. She may be the only woman ever to keep Broad Arrow Jack at arm's length. Cerulean mimics are unable to copy her eyes, all who try fall into a state of shock and endlessly repeat “They’ve seen so much” over and over. Countess Byron is known to want them for her “Collection” She has the fastest handwriting, never uses shorthand, but effortlessly keeps up with even the most talkative of interviewees. Even Doc, a man not known to use just one syllable when there are 4 or 5 that will do just fine, couldn't outtalk her. After the interview he remarked to Wyatt “Nothing i could say threw her, she kept up with me word for word. She was so fast i started to wonder if she was writing down what i said or was i saying what she was writing down?” Then he laughed and helped himself to another shot of Bourbon. She has many names None of these are entirely accurate...
  7. Finally got it written! Apologies for the delay! [Notes in square brackets are game stuff - the narrative may not always Exactly follow the order of events as artistic license/ docs memory dictate. There may also be instances where we forgot rules and made mistakes The game: capture minecart objectives. 50% of the carts have valuable ore in them the others are empty this will be determined on dice roll upon capture. These are represented on the table by a couple of tracked vehicle models and some blue dice. My Force is Wyatt, Doc, Ranger Interceptor, 2 Attack dogs in a team (Jerry Lee and Old Yeller) 1 attack dog on its own (Tango) Gundog with gatling (Hooch) and Gundog With Flamer (Toto) The watchers: Alpha Viridian (called Rango), Beta Chigoe, Beta Locust, Chigoe Unit (3 models) Played by my mate Scott and my 8 Year old Son. Scott has the Alpha and Chigoe unit My Son Has the two Betas] Turn 1 [Lawmen win Initiative Jerry Lee and Ol’ Yeller capture 1st cart Toto moves into position Chigoe moved to cover of rocks Ranger moved and shot twice killed 1 chigoe Alpha tries capture cart and finds nothing Beta flies towards toto Tango Advanced Hooch advanced Wyatt moves and shoots beta = disorders. Doc Moves Locust takes up position on gantry I got real lucky with Action points two draws of 4’s in this turn alone] As we charged into the mine Wyatt ordered Jerry Lee and Ol’ Yeller to Guard the nearest minecart to stop the bugs getting whatever the hell it was they wanted. Toto advanced slower on point to cover our own approach On the other side of the mine Ranger Andrews had found a new friend. One of the mine security K9’s named Tango was running it's “get help” protocol and a Mounted Ranger fit the bill. Andrews had the new k9 go for another minecart while he ordered Hooch to Prowl. Andrews gunned his bike and raced into the open area in the middle of the mineworks. Ahead He saw a group of bugs hiding amongst a group of rock spires. His bike cannons blazed and death claimed its first victim of the day as a bug was shredded into a blue-green goo.under his helmet Woodrow smiled. But The Bugs moved fast, too damn fast for my liking, turns out they can fly! One of the bigger ones flew towards Toto clearly hoping to destroy our faithful mutt but in doing so the skittering thing came in range of Wyatt, his Peacemaker blazed and although its armour held firm it was enough to slow the critter down. While this was going on the biggest ugliest bug had reached another minecart I can't tell you what it actually said, but i know swearing in any language when I hear it. The cart was empty. So far so good but Death was stalking this place looking for new souls to ferry across the river Styx and he'd soon have customers. A solitary bug was taking up a high position and he was looking right at our brave Ranger Andrews. Turn 2 [Watchers win initiative Chigoe beta closes on Wyatt charged Attacked twice Wyatt survived 1st Second attack stunned but survived Woody goes for the Chigoe kills one more Locust buys woody a farm Chigoe runs and captures 3rd cart near doc and wyatt Hooch Gundog shoots locust but survives on rerolls Wyatt kills beta Doc shoots alpha but blocked.] Tango captures second cart “Damnation!” Wyatt exclaimed. The flying critter charged straight at him, Wyatt barely had time to get his shield up. Its 1st blow he blocked easily but quick as lightning as second blow caught Wyatt on the right side of his head Must have been a hell of a punch because Wyatt went down to to one knee under the force of it. Just the one knee mind. My friend wasn’t done yet by a long chalk. Gathering himself he Dropped his shield to reveal his pistol and he did fire directly into the belly of the beast grievously wounding it. The screaming sound it made set my teeth on edge, like a finger being ran around the devil’s own wine glass. Put me off my shots at the biggest critter and they bounced off it's armour harmlessly. Meanwhile Ranger Andrews had his foe in his sights and was not going to let them rest until he’d personally sent them back to the hell they crawled from. Just on the edge of his vision he saw a movement but ignored it, stay on target,. Guns blazed a second time but the, the remaining son of a cockroaches skittered away towards Wyatt and I no doubt fearful for their lives, but Andrews only had a second to enjoy his the sight of them fleeing before death came to claim him. On the Gantry the solitary Bug coldy allowed The Ranger to advance further even though this may mean the death of another one of his fellows. Carefully aimed it shoulder mounted weapons and gave the mental command to fire. Unnatural blue flame streaked from its position striking the humans machine full on the side, it exploded and cartwheeled threw the air Andrews,landed with a sickening crunch, his body burning, one leg completely gone and was still. No doubt this hellspawned insect felt some satisfaction at the demise of its target, but i hope it was soured somewhat as Hooch sprayed its position with lead causing it to retreat into the shadows of the gantries. Tango meanwhile made it to another cart and found it full. It entered Guard mode and secured the precious load. [Why did I not change targets? The Locust was the clear and present danger. The reason is simple. My son had a special card to play called “Daddy please don't shoot me that will make me sad” he also cashed in big blue eyes and wobbly lip tokens for bonus on the roll. Didn't work when I tried it back on him I noticed. But i got his Chigoe Beta as payback. So that pretty much was Woodrow Andrews Rounded up. Yes his name was a pun on Sheriff Woody] Turn 3 [Law win initiative Hooch shred locust +1vp Alpha punches doc disordered Wyatt charged alpha and kills Chigoe gets flame and one dies and one survives on fire Chigoe kills doc - reroll does not save.] Sat what you like about a K-9 but once they've got your trail they don't stop until either you're captured, dead or they are destroyed. Hooch had Ranger Andrews killer in his sights and Gundogs don't do capture. The gatling span up to speed, humming a death knell and then spat forth its fury, dozens of rounds exploded into the vile insects torso obliterating it from the face of the earth. I had my own problems though, the big ugly one had decided to get all close and personal with me, and let me tell you, I don't know what these things eat but don't include mint. Even with my mask on its Breath smelled like a combination of a slaughterhouse and an open sewer in high summer. The thing swung its weapon swatting me like a fly (the irony huh? Bug swats man!) , I was fair stunned by the force of the blow and in desperate trouble. I reckoned my time was due I swear I could see the reaper himself holding aloft an hourglass as the last sands trickled down a strange peace settled on my soul. And then there was...Wyatt. No matter how many times I've seen that man fight, it's still a sight to behold. He moves faster than a man his size should, leaps into any fight with the absolute confidence that winning is the only possible outcome. Once in a fight he plants his feet and does not give an inch, he is an extension of the land an unbreakable rock that his foes batter themselves against. When he does move it's only ever forward, an avalanche of fury that sweeps any opponent away. Right now the avalanche was aimed square at the monster so determined to kill me. Wyatt‘s charge into its flank caught the beast by surprise but it recovered unnaturally fast and a whirlwind of blows were exchanged. Neither side feet moved, the blows struck like thunder I did not know how much longer that even Wyatt could take the storm, surely one of them had to fall soon? The creature made the 1st mistake and if you're fighting Wyatt Earp you only get to make one. It thrust out it's staff with a strike that would have impaled a lesser man, but hit nothing but empty air as Wyatt deftly turned to avoid it. Too committed the creature overreached bringing its head down to Wyatts level he promptly placed his pistol behind where its ear should be and blew half its face off. It would appear the Reaper wasn't ready for me just yet. Or was he? The remaining smaller bugs had been tracked down by Toto and they was given a bathing in hellfire though ought to have seen them off this mortal plane to wherever it is they go to next one went down screaming with and with an awful smell the other bug though was a tough little son of a *****. Still on fire it leaped and landed behind me before i could turn it unloaded its pistols at me. Now i will humbly say i’m fast, fast as a rattlesnake maybe, but at that moment was not my best. A shot caught me just above the left knee a searing cold exploded from the wound as though i’d been shot by the coldest of ice. I dropped to the floor and once again wondered if it was my time. Death was playing with me like a cat plays with a mouse and i didnt appreciate it. “Just get on with it already” i cursed Turn 4 [Chigoe kills tango for extra vp + extra shoot Then tries toto. Misses! Puts out fire. Wyatt can't kill him Hooch recapture objectives but no kill] Damn Bug wasn't done yet, all its friends were down but it weren’t giving up fighting like a thing possesed it unleashed another blast of bolts this time at the fast approaching Tango, the loyal contraption was cut down easily then he tried to shoot Toto but the big Dogs Armour shrugged off the bolts easily. Toto secured the mine cart knowing that its flamer was no use with Wyatt so close to the target. Wyatt took on the Bug but his previous exertions with the two bigger ones had him out of breath the bug easily avoided his swinging fist. Turn 5 [Wyatt blows the chigoe away and finally captures last cart] This state of affairs couldn’t last though the bug was outclassed, once again Wyatt brought up that big old cannon of a revolver and once again blue-green blood stained the (almost) virgin sands of Arizona. We’d won or so it seemed. One hour later… We patched up my leg as best as we were able but our joy at surviving was soon tempered by the sight of Ranger Andrews broken body, Hooch was standing guard over him there was nothing to be done for him we buried him where he fell, another brave lawman had met his end unflinchingly. Tango was still just functioning when we found it, still trying to get up and do its duty. Wyatt held its head whispered “Good dog” as it finally shutdown. People who know Wyatt a little, will tell you he’s as hard as stone. But People who know him well will tell you he’s only hard on the outside. Inside he’s easily the softest of the family, losses hurt him bad. And i reckon that day he stopped seeing K-9’s as machines they were his dogs now. And worse was to come. While the fight was going on Henry had made his way around the mine to try to help His Wife. We found him in another part of the mine, sobbing beside two corpses. I recognized them as his in Laws Hugo and Lily. They were still holding hands. I still can't think of that without feeling the tears well in my eye. We found two other bodies both male and something else, not a bug and not human either. But of the formidable Eloise? No sign. And just when it couldn't get any worse. We found Hugo’s truck with a picnic hamper, and in the picnic hamper Baby clothes and a toy bear wrapped in pink and blue ribbons. Poor Henry. Wyatt picked the distraught Henry to his feet and looked him square in the eye. “We’ll find her, Henry, We’ll get her back, and you’ll be a family. Or we’ll die trying. I swear it. but I need your help. I need to know what they were after, ‘cos they didn't get it. So they've got to try again and if we can be there when they do, we're a step closer to her. You understand?” A nod. “So why you think they want silver ?” Henry slowly focused on Wyatt “Copper, I mine copper not silver,” he spoke slowly the words coming through a fog of grief “coppers used in all sorts if things, it's valuable if you've got a lot” “Don't think it's the money aspect they're after” i interjected “they probably dont want to make a nice cooking pot either” By now we had made iur way back to where our battle had been I looked in a minecart and was surprised. “Forgive me Henry it's been a while since I was at school, but am I right in saying this ISN'T copper?” the ore in the truck was a blue grey colour. Now I had Henry's attention. “No no that ain't Right, that's waste product from the mine called cobalt. You often get it with copper. But until it's barely worth anything…” he paused thinking “...but the fellas over in Payson were looking to buy it…” Wyatt's head snapped up “What does Carpathian want it for?” “I never said that name Marshall,” Henry explained hastily “just one of the Ore Buyers asked if I had any, said he had a little project in mind offered me 25 cents per pound, normally can't give it away so I said I'd send some down with the next load to Smeltown. Couldn't tell you what he wants it for though, only use I know for it is it makes a pretty blue on fine China plates.” “Then enlightened ain't making plates and these bugs sure as hell ain't either.” Wyatt said “Think I'd like a word with that ore buyer of yours” A sound to our right caught my attention I looked around and saw a most alarming sight “There's someone else we could ask Wyatt!” I yelled pointing. The Biggest bug. The one Wyatt had blown half a face off was standing just about upright holding it's wounded face. It pointed right at Wyatt. “I'll make you pay for this Human” it's voice was like nails been scratched down a blackboard “see you soon Marshal Wyatt Earp” and with that it vanished into thin air. “Yeah see you real soon” said Wyatt. [Historical notes: Henry Clifton is a real historical person who Did discover Copper in Arizona in the 1860’s the present day Mining Town of Clifton is named after him. These days Copper is Arizona's main industry. In 2007 Arizona was the leading copper-producing state in the US, producing 750 thousand metric tons of copper, worth a record $5.54 billion. Arizona's copper production was 60% of the total for the United States. (Wikipedia). Today Cobalt is one of the most valuable minerals on earth as it is been used in production of high-performance alloys. It can also be used to make rechargeable batteries, and the advent of electric vehicles. Cobalt does indeed occur as a product of copper mining but not in Arizona I took an artistic licence here hopefully any Geologists reading this will forgive me!]
  8. Wow. This is excellent ! i tip my hat to you sir! 1st two paragraphs are very evocative of both place and person, and you convey emotion extremely well.
  9. The Perils Of Eloise Clifton-Darbonne Chapter 1 The worst happiest day of my life. This is a Fiction/battle report For WWX . Its runs alongside My earlier piece "Wyatt Earp is My Friend By Doc Holliday Chapter 17" And gives alittle backstory on Henry's formidable wife Eloise. again all constructive criticism is welcome. Please Note Words in Italics are translated from from French. I didn't want to use bad French translations nor did i want to do a Wild West 'Allo 'Allo and write phonetic "Frenchlish" Eloise prefers to use French but mixes with english freely. Her family tend to use English. Henry uses French to talk to Eloise and English at all other times. Today: July 5th 1880 Clifton Mine Arizona “You never know when the next punch is coming from, But you can make sure you stand firm when it comes.” Wise words from her prizefighting father and very apt for the current situation. That is to say Eloise was running for her life across her husband’s mine being pursued by monsters. She had definitely not anticipated this particular situation. But she had a plan, if she could just make it across the ore processing works, she would get to her brothers truck and maybe get away. There was just the small matter of the two grey skinned guards… 2 years ago. New Orleans “The west is no place for a delicate bloom Mon précieux” Antoine “Le Démon” Darbonne folded his massive arms, his face was set determined. However In his very soul he knew he had already lost this argument with his only daughter, but as in every challenge he faced he was determined if he was he was going to lose, he would lose fighting. “I know Papa, which is why I’m going with Hugo to look after him” seeing the faintest crack of a smile at this joke Eloise put her arms around her father's massive chest. “Pleeeease Papa? Hugo says there will be lots of well to do families who want a tutor for their children. I am sure to be employed very quickly” “In large house with three children called Daniel Mary and Luke perhaps?” Antoine asked playing his trump card.“Your mother does talk to me Ellie, did you really she wouldn’t tell me that you’d gone behind my back and already got a position?” “Well, you are not shouting, so you’ve already agreed! Thank you Papa!” Eloise Jumped up to kiss her fathers cheek and ran out of the room to collect her already packed suitcase. “You could at least let me lose with a little dignity” Antoine muttered. He turned to his Son “Hugo, try and keep her out of trouble” Hugo looked incredulous “I am an accountant father, not a miracle worker, if there's any trouble I’ll be standing behind her!” 18 Months Ago. Tombstone Eloise had take to frontier life like a bird to the air. As colourful as New Orleans could be, for her the stark beauty of the desert and the vibrancy of life here was far more exciting. Her days off were spent exploring the landscape around her finding delight and adventure in equal measure. As she had predicted her teaching skills and knowledge of French were in high demand amongst the well-to-do of Tombstone. She now rented her own modest house, close to Hugo and his wife Lily. Hugo was doing very well for himself as well, for as he had said “A mining town always needs someone who can count without using their fingers.” And while the silver flowed from the ground of Tombstone, accountants like Hugo were there to count it all. Hugo had been right about another thing, Eloise didn’t need help if there was trouble. In her 1st month in Tombstone a drunken local dentist had made some VERY inappropriate comments, and she had put years of practise with her father and 5 elder brothers into a solid punch that had sent him flying across the saloon. Nobody bothered her again after that. 10 Months ago. “I am sorry Sir and Madam the supplier made a mistake and only sent one copy of that Julie Verney book you both asked for” Eloise was in the Tombstone bookstore and after waiting for two months for her book to arrive she was both disappointed and surprised. Someone else had requested a book by Verne written in its original French? She turned to see a Man standing behind her, he was about 10 years older and quite short, no more than an inch taller than herself, but he had strong arms and shoulders, this and his clothes (although clean) clearly identified him as a Miner, but a French literate one was unusual, another Louisianais? Very few of her statesfolk had come out this far west. “Umm “Jules Verne” Mr Carter. Hmm Ladies 1st I believe, I will wait.Please could you ro-order as soon as possible Mr Carter?” He turned to her “After all Anticipation makes the thing all the more worthwhile n'est-ce pas vrai? Enjoy the book Mamesoille.” Even more interesting, his english accent was not clearly Louisiana it was more Eastern States and his French accent sounded as if it came from Europe rather than here. He nodded politely and walked past her to leave the shop. As he past she could clearly smell that he had bathed that morning. He stepped out onto the street replaced his hat. Even with his back to her she could clearly see him sigh before he walked on. Taking the book from Mr Carter she quickly followed the Miner and caught up with him. “Monsieur? You left before I could say thank you.” She used French to see if he would respond in kind, his accent intrigued her. The gentleman Shrugged and smiled a little,”My pleasure Mammesoile” he seemed a little shy and awkward but when he responded in french he seemed to relax a little, the language flowed from his lips like a stream, natural and easy going. “It will be quite some time before Mr Carter can get another copy, perhaps you would like to borrow mine when i am finished? I am a fast reader.” Now his smile widened immensely and it was a handsome smile she thought “Ah Oui that would be lovely. Umm Have you read Many of Monsieur Verne’s work? I have all of his writings so far, if you would care to borrow in return?” “Yes” She thought to herself “all in all, a very handsome man indeed.”. 9 Months ago “Hey Clifton! you found any silver yet!?” The Old Man laughed as he threw out the Oft heard Jibe, Henry simply smiled and responded as he always did “Just a couple more days, a big strikes coming you’ll see!” The old men laughed into their beers and shook their heads Over four months since Henry had brought the mine and they were still getting good use from the joke. Henry was walking with Eloise down Freemont. They spent most of their spare time together now, mostly conversing in French (While His father was from Pennsylvania, His mother was from Lille) It was clear to anyone who looked that they were very much in love, although no one could understand what she saw in the clearly foolish miner who would be surely penniless in a few more weeks. “Would you like to see my mine?” he asked This was a surprise, Henry rarely talked about his work other than things were proceeding well. Eloise had heard the talk around the town about his mine and had so far resisted the temptation to ask. But secretly she was worried that Henry was dreamer and would need brining back to Earth soon. But he never seemed worried and his affection for Fantastical Fiction aside he was one of the most Grounded and dependable people she had ever met. “Oui, Of course” and then teased him “you spend so much time there, i want to know what it is that keeps you from my side reading me poetry” “Bon! And of course you are invited as well Hugo!” Henry called to Eloise’s brother who as always was accompanying them a discrete few yards behind. “That will be interesting I'm sure.” Hugo responded carefully. He liked the miner, Henry was well educated, courteous and had excellent humour, Eloise clearly adored him, but Hugo worried that the man's prospects were decidedly risky and as her brother he was duty bound to protect her future. Of course telling his sister “no” never went well, only Mother had any real control of her and she was hundreds of miles away. Hugo wished for everyone sake that Henry's mine had a River of silver the size of the Mississippi. That Evening “This isn't silver” Hugo stared at the lump of green and brass coloured ore Henry had just placed the rock in his hand and proudly told Eloise and Hugo this was what he had been mining. Hugo dropped the rock, for Eloise’s sake he was trying to keep calm but Henry was standing there grinning like an idiot. The mine was admittedly impressive. Large Automata mining machinery had dug out an complex series of caverns. But Hugo had yet to see an ounce of Silver. Even Eloise looked worried. “Of course it's not silver Hugo, there was never silver up here. Let me ask you a question. How many Miners are working those big silver veins in Tombstone?” “I don't know, Hundreds I suppose” “And how many would you say are rich?” “Very few?” “Exactly” Henry stated triumphantly. “The rich ones were the 1st here, everyone else either works for them, or scratches an existence on their own claims. Months of toil for either a wage packet or a few meagre ounces of their own. There is no money in silver anymore, it all goes to the lucky few. Copper on the other hand, now that's different.” Hugo scratched his head at this, there WAS money in silver, he knew this for a fact, after all his job was to account for it but Henry had a point. Considering all the silver he saw, Hugo also saw a lot of poor miners who could barely think past where the next whisky was coming from. “...but Copper? It is worthless no?” “No Hugo, today pure copper is worth 83 cents for one pound” “very well, ALMOST worthless” Hugo retorted “...And I have about 16 tons of it. Give or take” “Even so...pardon?” Hugo’s mouth hung open in shock. “16 tons” Henry repeated “But that’s..”The numbers in Hugo’s head were making him feel a little dizzy.”$26,560!” Henry continued “of course the ore is a little variable in content but it's high grade, the smelters will take their 20% cut to extract it and there's transport costs but I think a healthy profit for this first few months.“ “But” he finally gasped “but everyone thinks you're a mad fool? That Hanratty conned you” Henry laughed “Jonah Hanratty could sell you sand in the desert. But he didn't know a thing about mining. Me? I’m a fifth generation Miner practically born underground, I came here looking for a copper site. I knew there was copper here my time in the Army and I was not off the train more than 10 minutes when He starts his patter about his silver mine. I was ignoring him until he said where it was. Right where I wanted be. I knew he was trying to con me so i played the fool.” He paused and smiled “ Come and see this.” Henry led Eloise and Hugo to a small cave near the entrance to the mine proper. A sign pinned to the rough door said “The Hanratty Vein” Inside it was narrow but with a high ceiling. Henry shone a touch up the wall and near the mixed in with the Copper ore ceiling a thick line of silver sparkled beautifully. “I thought you said..” Hugo began. Henry chuckled “That isn't silver, its geologically impossible, I had to bite my hand to stop myself from laughing when he showed me. It’s nothing but Tin, Glass, Paint and Paper Mache. Isn't it pretty though? Must have took him days up a ladder to make. In a cave with easily $1000 worth of copper on the walls. So He’s going on about this Rich strike but he’s going back to his mother and the claim will be lost is he goes. So if I could buy it from him for just a few hundred and a share of the silver...The idiot is handing me the copper mine of my dreams on a plate and he thinks i’m the one being conned.” Henry wiped a tear from his eye “I almost felt bad. So i paid a little more up front for him reducing his cut to 2% of the silver, and as soon as I find some silver, i’ll send him that share gladly!” Late that night after taking Eloise home Henry and Hugo walked together and Henry asked the question that Hugo had been expecting for some time “So Hugo, are my prospects good enough for your sister?” “Oui my friend, I will write to father and recommend you. You will be able to propose in a few weeks, but one question? Why do you let this town think you are a fool?” “Two simple reason, i don’t care much what folk think of me. But the other is more practical. I want to buy more stakes to widen the site, if the town knew why the cost will rise. I will sell this load and buy more land. After that the secret will probably be out, but i will have what i almost everything I need.” “Almost?” “I’m going to need an accountant” 4 Months Ago. The wedding was in the 1st warm days of Spring. Eloise and Henry could not have wished for a finer day. Surprisingly the secret of the mine had kept. People still thought Henry was mad, but he didnt care, he had a beautiful wife and the mine was more productive than ever. Yesterday “Congratulations Madame, you are with child, about 6 weeks or so, expect a baby in February.” The Doctor Smiled. This was everything Eloise had hoped for, she asked her brother and his wife Lily to Drive her to Henry’s mine early the next day “We are having a picnic!” She explained when asked. And so she would tell her husband her news, then her beloved brother and sister in law. It would be the happiest day of her life so far. This Morning. No sooner had Hugo, Lily and Eloise arrived it was clear there was trouble. Parts of the mine were on fire, ragged holes had been blasted in the rock and aside from one of the security K9’s Still on standby in its shed not a soul to be seen. They quickly activated the K9 and ordered it to get help, it disappeared over a ridge faster than any real dog could ever run. Hugo Said they should turn back but Eloise would not abandon her Husband to his fate and was determined to find him. She set off into the mine complex leaving her brother behind to look after his wife. Then all Hell broke loose. Dropping out of Thin air Several monsters surrounded Eloise. Pointing strange weapons the largest ordered her to follow them, his voice was horrible a mockery of English mixed with strange clicks and screeching whistles. Eloise could not see her brother and sister in law and could only hope they had got away. One of the creatures waved a device over her. When the device reached her stomach it vibrated and buzzed. The creature examined the device and passed it over her stomach again. When the device gave the same reaction it spoke, not in english but a voice language that seemed to set her teeth on edge and cause a pain at the base of her skull. Despite not understanding the words the meaning was all too clear. They knew. And they were VERY interested in her now. Elise had never been scared in her life, now she knew what fear felt like a cold sick feeling in her stomach seemed to turn her limbs to lead, that threatened to take away any chance of escape. She forced herself to breathe slowly, be calm and stay alert. She may only get one chance to escape she had to be ready. They led her to a cage with strange glowing bars inside she recognised some of her husbands employees but no Henry, Where was he? Escarped or dead? No Henry was Alive He HAD to be and she would see him again. A resolve like steel replaced to gnawing ice of fear. The cage was opened if she went in there she knew she wouldn’t get out. But they had made a mistake they’d opened the door too soon now their attention was diverted between her and the men in the cage. Now Or never. She Feigned a stumble and as one of her captors tried to catch her, She Lashed out, Her Blow caught the thing square in the Jaw it went down and she launched herself at the next nearest. This one took more hits but also fell. The men in the cage saw there chance and rushed out. The ensuing Brawl was short but satisfying, she almost wished her Father had been here to see her. They ran for the Truck. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The Battle [Anything is square brackets is the Game report outside will be the Narrative. The scenario is 5 Civilians Vs 2 Greys. The Human are trying to stay alive and/or get off the board, the Greys are trying to prevent this. This is Scott and I’s very 1st game of WWX so we thought we’d try out a mini fight 1st to get the hang of the rules without lots of abilities getting in the way. Then play the main scenario with Wyatt and Doc Vs the Viridian’s We are using angry mob stats for the humans (minus the frenzy rules which would be suicide) The Humans played by me (Sam) are split into two teams of 3 and 2 on the Right and left of the board. Eloise and two mine workers are on the Right of the board near a tall tower, Hugo and Lily are on the left. The Greys are played by my mate Scott and my 8 Year old Son are spread over the board with Scott On my Right nearest Eloise and My Son on my left Nearest Hugo and Lily] Turn 1 Eloise vaguely knew the miner workers, the tall blonde one was Sven, he a maintained the automata. The older man was Hank he was in charge of blasting on the mine. Both looked terrified she told them her plan to escape and the both agreed readily clearly too scared to argue. They came out of he narrow passage leading to the processing area, high above the processing plant. From here they could see Hugo’s Truck, Hugo and Lily thankfully safe on the east of the plant but for now out of reach, and between them and safety two Grey skinned creatures were on patrol. Hank pointed to the top of a tower nearest them. “Up there i got some equipment that might help, couple sticks of Dynamite would sure make a mess of them skinny runts” “We’d have to be very quiet “ stated Sven “It’s Risky, better to sneak straight to the truck.” “Non” Said Eloise, We won’t get far in the truck with them shooting at us we go for the tower. On the other side of the Processing Hugo and Lily could see one of the Grey creatures between them and the truck but were unaware of the other. “ we will cross the gantry to the other side if we are quiet the beast will not see us” hugo reassured has scared wife. They crept forward slowly making their way up the ramp keeping as low as possible, Meanwhile Eloise, Hank and Seven carefully made it to the top of the tower. Hank opened the locker box but the hinged squealed as the door opened startled he let go of the door anda gust of wind slammed the door back the nearest Creature definitely heard that . “Merde!” Swore Eloise Hank Started grabbing Dynamite “its ok no way can he hit us up…..” The Shot from the creatures rifle struch the underside of the grated floor at Hanks Feet, Red hot iron shards exploded upwards shredding Hank instantly. It’s a miracle the explosives dont kill them all. [Despite being at long range and having lots of cover between the Grey and the Target Scott Lucks out with a 10 and 8, Hugo And Lily move and hunker My Son moves his Grey into position] Turn 2 “MERDE! Down Down Down” Panic Stricken Eloise and Sven Slide down the ladders to ground level and hid amongst the machinery down there The monster tries a second shot taking the hat of Svens head but other than Spooked sven is unharmed. [a ten hit but a grit check is passed] On the other side of the plant the second Grey has spotted Hugo and Lily unable to reach them it moves into a better firing position and waits. [Goes into standby] Lily see the horrific death on the other tower and doubles back jumping off the side of the ramp and running for the cover of a nearby rock formation Hugo See the danger and tries to stop his beloved wife but he cold heart of the Grey cares little for love it calmly pulls the trigger and Hugo and Lily die holding hands.. [after losing Hank i decided the gantries and towers were a death trap and tried to get into better cover on the ground unfortunately I ran the gauntlet of my sons Grey and once again the Dice fall very favourably for my opponents and they are dispatched] Turn 3 The Greys started to close on their quarry Eloise and Sven knew the were in dire peril the only option left was to run and pray. Shots whistled around them as the broke cover. Eloise is front with Sven hot on her heel. A shot came within a few inches of Eloise's face the flash of the blast dazzling her, but she clearly heard the wet explosion and crunching this behind her as the shot buried itself in Sven chest. Her lungs bursting with effort She dived for a small rock outcrop. [Greys repeatedly shoot and succeed in killing Sven, Eloise runs and hunkers down] Turn 4 Eloise was desperate, escape was now impossible, she'd be gunned down as soon as she tried it. Only one option left. She picked up a small rock and charged the nearest monster. The look of surprise and fear was unmistakable and gratifying. She drove the rock into it's unnatural face aiming or where a nose should be and was rewarded with a satisfying crunch of breaking bone. [Eloise fights the nearest gray and succeeds in beating him] The thing went down, Eloise just had enough time to realise it was dead, before her left shoulder exposed in pain. The impact threw her to the ground. She could see the other creature advancing slowly toward her rifle still aimed. A mixture of the pain, the oppressive heat, fear and her condition were too much for her, as she passed out her last sight was two enormous black eyes staring at her. [Second grey (my son) Shoots Eloise with a roll of 9 and 10 She fails grit and it’s Game over and total victory to the Cursed aliens] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Conclusions This was a hell of a lot of fun to play and a good way for Scott and I to learn the rules In hindsight, the odds were heavily against me not having a ranged weapon. If we ran this sort of scenario again we might even the odds up a little better by having one ranged weapon per unit or something (and i have plans for Eloise being held captive and escaping, so this is a possibility). My plan to try and survive the turns out, by hiding on the gantry’s and towers might have been believable from a narrative level, but was real dumb as a tactical one! On to the main event!
  10. This is my attempt at writing for the WWX universe. The following is intended to be the set up for a scenario for my 1st Game this weekend with my buddy (He will be playing Watchers vs my Lawmen) After the game I will use the battle report as part of the story and write the conclusion depending who wins. Big thanks to the amazing Sarah Cawkwell for the inspiration and encouragement. Constructive criticism welcome. I am no writer and I know this section relies too much on conversation. The battle section will be more descriptive (assuming I don't get wiped out in turn 2) I make no apologies for my sense of humour. This is intended to be read as if Doc was narrating so get your best Val Kilmer impersonation on. Wyatt Earp is My Friend By Doc Holliday Chapter 17 – The Out of Town Claim Jumpers It had been a long night in Tombstone. The Locals had been all riled up on a combination of one hell of a party over at the Birdcage Saloon, strange lights on the horizon and tales of unnatural things out in the desert, all this meant lots of tense standoffs, jumpy townsfolk, wild goose chases and not much sleep. Dawn was just showing its face over the town and it seemed that even the sun hadn’t had much sleep that night, the early morning light seemed all worn out before the day had even begun. Warren, Morgan, Virgil and yours truly were just getting coffee in the Marshals office. Warren was only half awake, his head nodding as he sat at his desk. Morgan and Virgil were awake but looked all drawn out and edgy, too little sleep and too much coffee ain’t good for a man’s disposition I myself on the other hand, was feeling fresh as a daisy, being no stranger to the joys of seeing a night right through to the next day. Of course, I usually have a deplorably fun reason for behaving so, like a strong hand of cards, a good whisky bottle or bad woman (often all at the same time). But last night was in pursuit of my duties as a duly Deputized Marshal of the Arizona Territories and such virtuous behaviour does wear heavy after a while, I was hoping for an opportunity to redress the balance sometime soon. Wyatt stomped through the door, clearly exhausted and in sore need of a coffee. Which was going to be a problem as I was drinking the last of it. The mischief was in me and quick as lightning I did deposit my coffee mug on Warrens desk and replaced my respirator to hide my smirk. It didn’t take long for Wyatt to find not only was there was no coffee nor beans to make more, but also his younger brother had apparently had the last of it. Wyatt Slammed his hands onto Warren’s desk jerking him awake. “Well good morning sleepy head!” He growled at his startled brother. “I really need a coffee Warren” “err pot’s over there Wyatt?” Warren was still not completely awake but there was no mistaking the warning in his brothers’ voice. “You want me to make you one?” Wyatt gestured to the half empty cup then grabbing Warrens lapels, hauled his brother to his feet “you appear to have had the last of it” Looking over Wyatt’s shoulder Warren could see Virgil with his hand over his mouth, shaking with mirth, he also caught the glint in my eye. Morgan had stood ready to break up the impending fight his face impassive. Time was when Morgan would have joined in with the joke. But since his “near” death and “miraculous recovery” thanks to some Enlightened friends… well he looked like Morgan and sounded like Morgan, but I don't think Morgan was there anymore. I don't think there was anything “near” about his death at all. The Enlightened had done wonders for Virgil arm, “saved” me from consumption with this damned mask, but Morgan? I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. “Ah hell Wyatt that ain’t mine it’s…” “Get me coffee. Now.” “It's 6 on a Sunday morning Wyatt, where the hell am I gonna get coffee?” Wyatt’s eyelid started doing that twitching thing he does when he's really mad. Warren considered his options. “I'll get some from my house!” Warren lived clear on the other side of Tombstone but the walk would mean putting a fair 3 miles between him and his older brother. I swear his feet practically grew wings as he ran out the door. I had to hold onto Virgil to stop falling over from laughter. “What are you two finding so damn funny?” Wyatt snapped “Why Wyatt, Whatever do you mean” I retorted Realisation dawned on Wyatt, “Ah hell, the walk’ll do him good” Wyatt picked up the half empty mug of lukewarm coffee and sighed “Better than nothing I suppose” He walked towards to door to get a little air. It was very unfortunate that at this precise moment Henry Clifton barrelled through the door and knocked the mug from Wyatt’s hand before he'd had so much as a sip. “Marshal! Some weird looking fellas claim jumped my mine!” Wyatt stared at the fast disappearing puddle on the floor, every drip through those old boards seemed as loud as an undertaker nailing down a coffin. I was pretty sure I was going to have to arrest my friend for attempted murder. His glare could have split a mountain in half. “Oh God I'm sorry Marshal, let me make some more...ummm you're all out… oh god…” Wyatt pulled a chair up to his desk. “Sit. Down. Talk concisely.” Henry sat like a naughty schoolboy hands on his knees, eyes at the floor and clearly thought that concisely meant “Fast” “So last night at my mine, there were all these bright flashing lights in the sky and around the hills, next thing I knew these guys looking like giant grasshoppers appeared out thin air and started shooting the place up, me and my boys high tailed it out of there real fast, I got in my mule truck and drove over here as fast as I could. I worked that mine for all year, Marshall and I ain’t gonna let some overgrown bug steal it from me now…” All three Earp’s faces had expressions of utter confusion and I imagine mine was similar. Henry’s mine was something of a Joke in Tombstone. Henry, looking to make his fortune in mining, had stepped of the Train last year greener than the grass and walked straight into the welcoming arms of one Jonah Hanratty, a well-known con artist around here, by the end of the day Jonah had convinced this poor fool to buy his worthless silver mine with the promise that “a big strike was only a few days away” But Jonah had to abandon it to care for his dying mother. The locals laughed into their drinks and shook their heads. Henry had stuck it out though, only came into town every month or so for supplies. He’d even managed to get married to a very local teacher called Eloise Darbonne, who, due to unfortunate misunderstanding about her profession as French Teacher, I can attest, is in possession of a surprisingly effective punch. It seems the strain of it all had finally gotten to Henry though. “Giant Grasshoppers?” queried Virgil “umm yeah, i mean it was dark and all but that’s what i thought they looked like” “Do you drink Henry?” Morgan went for the most logical explanation “No Sir! My wife doesn't approve!” “It was a really hot day yesterday” I ventured. ” Y’all think I’m crazy!” henry protested “But I know what I saw!” Wyatt stroked his chin “Could be Enlightened constructs” He mused. Henry looked gratefully at the Marshall “Could be I suppose, but see them things regular, my mine is nearer Payson than here, but never seen anything like these.” There was a long silence. Seemed no one wanted to say what we were thinking. Morgan finally spoke “Hex?” Henry looked confused “What? What’s that?” “Some things you just don’t ask” Virgil told him. Henry paled and lapsed back to silence. “I believe such things are Marshall Miller’s area of expertise, we could call her?” I suggested. “No.” Wyatt’s voice was adamant. “I ain't calling Miller and her circus unless absolutely necessary. We check it out, we deal with it.” He paused to think then the orders came out fast and assured. Seemed that all Wyatt really needs to keep him going is the call of his Duty. “Virgil, You and Warren still got to escort the 9.30 stage like we planned. Morgan, you and your Lawbots can look after the town while Doc and I take the K9’s and check this out.” “Well that’s not what it had planned today” I thought to myself “Thank you for this opportunity to die an interesting death Wyatt, but I’d like to point out at that even with the dogs we might be short-handed. “ The door swung open. “Reckon I might have a solution to that” Said Virgil “Meet Ranger Andrews” Ranger Andrews was dressed for riding, almost as tall as Wyatt, Brown hair and eyes, big grin and a nose that had been broken at least twice. “He came in last night” Virgil explained “Volunteered to patrol the north of the town on that Interceptor of his. Freed up a couple more of us to keep order here. Much obliged to you for that” “It’s Woodrow and My pleasure. Something’s been going one out there, that's for sure, I found seven sites were the sand been fused to glass like this” he took out a chunk of a glass and a map with locations marked on it. “some places were dotted with ones about the size of a wheel, others so big you could put a cart on them and…” He pointed at the map” ...one really big one you could stand a Judgement on. all perfectly round and at least 2 inches thick. I had to shoot it to break this off. Careful it’s sharp as hell.” “Good work” said Wyatt. “And now i got a new job for you, Virgil, Henry, bring him up to speed. Doc you and me’ll get the dogs. We all meet at the rail station in 30 Minutes, we’ll get the driver to stop near the mine and make our way from there.” I followed Wyatt outside, the sun was wide awake now and promising another blast furnace of a day Even at this early hour it was already uncomfortably hot. A few drunks from last night were still making their way home, blinking in the light whilst the businesses were just setting up shop. The blacksmiths forge was already lit, the smell of hot iron mingled with the bakers, the cook houses and the livery and all of it underlined by the unmistakable tang of running RJ generators. The K9’s were kept in secure storage sheds just across from the Marshalls Office. I caught with Wyatt and tapped his shoulder, I had news he wasn't going to like. “Umm, Wyatt About the dogs…” He stopped and turned to face me “I’m not going to like this am I?” “Oh, it’s not that bad” at least I hoped it wouldn't be “You know the Gayle girl? Well She’s been through a lot and…” Wyatt cut me off “Every time someone says that girls been through a lot, they mean she’s done something odd, what is it this time?” “Well um, it's like this, you know how she lost her parents, and there was the thing with the storm last year and then that hex Witch killed her dog and nearly got her a few weeks ago?” “I know what she’s been through Doc, I killed that witch myself, what has she done now?” Wyatt asked impatiently. “She’s found herself some new dogs to look after, four of them in fact” Wyatt looked at the storage sheds “You’re kidding me? Those things ain’t pets Doc!” “True but they seemed to have taken to her real nicely” Wyatt looked through the shed door window and stared at the sight of a 16-year-old girl playing with the four K9’s as if they were puppies. One of the ½ ton gun dogs had its head in her lap while she scratched between its ears and at the same time she was giving belly rubs to an attack dog. The other two were Nuzzling her affectionately. When they'd arrived a couple of months ago they were just machines that looked like dogs, we locked them up when we didn't need them, and they never moved an inch. Now they were behaving like dogs. But made of metal. And armed. As the door opened the dogs fixed their attention on Wyatt and snapped into a defensive ring around her, Growling. I for one was very glad the weapons were kept unloaded. Their jaws still worked though. “Now don't you boys be so silly” Miss Gayle said in a dreamy faraway voice “it's just the Lion and the Scarecrow come to say hello, now sit and be friendly” the four dogs instantly obeyed. The ground shook slightly as the gun dogs sat. “Am I in trouble Marshal Lion? Please don't be mad but they were awful lonely in here by themselves” Wyatt spoke very carefully “No Miss Gayle you’re not in trouble, in fact, I wanted to thank you for taking care of them so well. But I need them to go to work now… is that OK?” “Why sure Marshal!” she said brightly “Now you all be good dogs and do as The Marshal says and I'll take you all for a walk when you get back.” Wyatt pinched his nose between his eyes as he tried to get rid of the mental image of this slip of a girl leading walking a nearly tonne and a half of killing machine around Tombstone. “OK, Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma. Heel!” Nothing. “I said Heel!” One of the dogs cooked its head and made a whining noise. But stayed put. “Oh! I'm sorry Marshal I forgot to tell you, I've changed their names, they didn't like those names Doc Scarecrow gave them.” “They didn't like… never mind. What are their names now?” She pointed at the attack dogs “The red one is Jerry Lee, Doc said you used to have a dog called that so I'd thought you like it if I named one after him? This one is Old Yella because he's painted yellow.” now she put her hands on the huge gun dogs “this Blue one with the Gatling is Hooch I named him after Old Man Sanders dog because he drools just like him” true enough ‘Hooch’ was slobbering what I can only hope was oil from his jaws. “And this one” she said giving the Green Painted Flamethrower dog an affectionate hug “is my brave little Toto” Wyatt blinked a few times clearly hoping that this was a dream and he was in fact asleep on his desk. No such luck. “Well alrighty then!” He shouted with a painfully forced jollity and he slapped his hands on his thighs “c’mon Jerry Lee, c’mon Yella, Hooch and Toto you two as well, now heel boys!” The dogs all fell into an obedient line and damn me if they didn't do it with tails a-wagging. Miss Gayle skipped off down the street looking for all the world as if she was walking through a spring meadow instead of the dusty streets of Tombstone. I saw birds singing follow her down the street and hardened killers who’d cut the throat of a sleeping man for $10, Tip their hats and wish her a good morning. I thought if I watched her for long enough I wouldn't have been surprised if a rainbow appeared complete with Leprechaun and pot of gold. Wyatt broke me out of it with a Nudge “You think the train Driver will have coffee?” ********************************************************************* The Train Driver did not have coffee. However it was a two hour journey to our stop, we were travelling in an empty waggon so we did manage to get some shuteye, Although having a mechanical dog trying to cuddle up to you is a novel experience, turns out while they ain’t soft, they are quite warm, not something you really want when trying to sleep in a metal box on a hot morning. Just before 10 Wyatt, Henry and I were hunkered down behind a ridge overlooking Henry’s mine. Woodrow was off to the east with Hooch. the other dogs waited a little way back behind us. Heat was already making the air hazy. There was a strange sensation the area. The hairs on my arm stood up even the rocks seemed to tingle, and I could taste something on the air similar to RJ but decidedly different. “Well” I said “Henry’s not crazy. Grasshoppers is about right.” “they look worse in daylight, they've got four arms for God's sake” Henry was definitely not enjoying his moment of vindication. “Busy things ain't they?” growled Wyatt The Grasshoppers were moving minecarts into position in front of something that looked like a portal generator, it didn't look like the weight was bothering them too much either. Henry cursed a word I will not repeat here. At 1st I thought he was worried about his mine, but he wasn't looking at the carts. On the far side of the mine. His Wife was being led by five of the Grasshoppers towards what looked like a jail cell with glowing bars already occupied by three or four men. As the cell door was opened She stumbled, and as one of her captors reached out to steady her, she turned her motion into a spin and caught the guard with a right cross punch that floored it. We clearly heard it land even all the way over there. She launched herself at the next nearest guard and landed several extremely painful looking blows, the occupants of the cell took the opportunity to rush out before the other three guards recovered their wits enough to point their weapons at anyone. the brawl soon caught the attention of all the other Grasshoppers. Henry managed a small chuckle. “That's my Ellie.” “Now or never” Growled Wyatt. We broke cover and charged.
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