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Sharp Sam

Wyatt Earp is My Friend By Doc Holliday Chapter 18 The Ugly Bug Brawl

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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!]


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