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Old 06-03-2007, 02:42 PM   #1
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Rough Riders

Accessing brief history of mankind in space:
Mid-20th century: Mankind races to space, landing on the moon and establishing the first space stations.
Late 20th century: Mankind's interest in space travel dwindles, even if satellites search for extra-terrestial life while satellite density in Earth's orbit increases and private corporations start to dream of space tourism.
Mid-21st century: Mankind's interest in space travel is resurrected by the invention of ion engines and wormhole drives. Long trips can be done in mere hours.
Early 22nd century: Mankind reaches Centauri system and establishes colonies, starting their realistic reach for the stars. The lawless colonies cannot be managed and are abandoned.
Late 22nd century: Colonies are re-established, this time properly and law kept under the banner of the United Space Agency. Nations of Earth start to form larger governments after poor nations start to crumble due to the lack of colonies to keep them running.
Late 23rd century: The United Space Agency is formed into the government of Earth as well as the Colonies. New name: Unified Space Alliance. Rsistance groups rise due to the new government's lack of democracy.
Early 24th century(Now): Civil War begins. Colony worlds unite into the Colony Space Alliance, engaging the USA in frontal assaults. Many CSA worlds become lawless during the war and after the CSA is defeated, are hard to subdue under USA laws. Gunslingers run the towns now.

------

On the planet called Andros, the gunslingers were at their worst. Towns were either run by oppressive criminals or lawful rangers, but in either case the one making things work were the gunslingers. It was like a re-enactment of the American Old West, but with spaceships and other such additional technologies. Even thought the weapons were still quite primitive and especially in the Colonies the revolvers and rifle designs of old had become quite fashionable lately.


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 06-03-2007, 03:19 PM   #2
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On the barren word of Andros, a quiet man reached a lone town in the middle of a rocky field where a battle once took place. The buildings were small and made out of anything the citizens could find after the Civil War. Horses were a strong means of transportations on the world, and so the man arriving also had one trusty steed under himself. The rider wore a dark green poncho, a pair of durable trousers, boots, spurs of course and a black cowboy hat. On his belt, covered by the poncho, there were a pair of revolvers and a row of bullets. Hanging from the saddle was a holster for a rifle similiar to an old Winchester.

He rode throught the busy town, looking at the gunslingers spitting on the ground, leaning onto walls and looking at the newcomer most probably on orders from the mayor. The horse stopped next to the saloon, letting the rider off to tie the beast down and then walk inside. Some gunslingers followed the rider inside, watching he didn't cause any ruckus. By the bar, the new man ordered a whiskey and set himself down on a stool, seemingly not even noticing the looks laid upon him by the gunslingers around him that worked for the mayor.


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 06-04-2007, 11:47 AM   #3
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A local inhabitant watched the newcomer ride in, and go into the saloon. He also watched the gunslingers follow him, he followed as well. He hated fights and escpecially when they were started by 'government' agents. He walked in to the saloon, a regular there he was greeted by some friends.


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Old 06-05-2007, 08:36 PM   #4
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A small, old cargo transport touched down with a rattling groan on the outskirts of the little town. This crew was often tasked to deliver supplies to the less manageable planets, as they had little to do with the government and were better accepted for it. The only thing that made this crew more acceptable than others was that they had once been locals and they still called Andros home.

"Andros," the captain murmured. She was a tall woman, standing short of six feet tall by four inches. "Home, not so sweet Home."

"Could pick another base, Cap'n," a younger woman reminded her. The younger girl's bright blue eyes sparkled with laughter. "Ain't nothin' holdin' us here..."

"Once home, always home, Leila," Captain Elizabeth Cantrell reminded her young pilot. "As much as I may despise Andros, it's always been home and it always will be." She smiled faintly and gestured back toward the ship. "Get Ed and Vince working on the lack of supplies issue. And tell Martha to stop tinkering with the reactor. Works fine as it is."

"I'll tell her, Cap'n," Leila O'Brien answered, an impish grin coming to her lips, "but twon't make a difference an' you know it."

"I can dream," Captain Cantrell sighed. With a tired shake of her head, she strode forward into the town, one hand resting lightly on the butt of her gun, an exact replica of an old Glock .40 caliber pistol, which she'd had custom made after seeing a picture of the gun at an antiques show. In a small pouch on her left hip, six full extra clips were stored, ready in case of a shootout.

Squinting against the sun, Cantrell crossed two streets and entered a small saloon. Though she hated the place, it was the only location the mayor's man would agree to meet. So as she smoothed a stray strand of chin-length, dark brown hair back against the side of her head and tucked it behind her right ear, she crossed the room to where the little balding man sat.

"Welcome home, Cap'n Cantrell!" he exclaimed, sitting up a little at the sight of her. "Got the supplies?"

"Need you really ask?" The captain demanded irritably. "You know full well I got 'em. An' I suppose you know why I ain't happy right about now."

"Sure I do," the man answered cheerily. "You had the feds on yer tail the whole way here, didn't ya?"

"Lost them early on," Cantrell growled. "But I wasn't aware I'd be in danger of a fed escort opposite the way I wanted to go... care to explain?"

"Self explanatory," the little man replied. He grinned. "Lil' Beth Cantrell gettin' uncomfortable about a fed escort to a prison world?"

"Won't take too many more of your illegal operations, Bugsby," Beth Cantrell snapped. "Now, so long as it's justified, you know I don't mind illegal. But I cracked open those crates your men took and gave to me... sedated 'cargo' isn't exactly my idea of justified and you should know that."

"Slave labor's important on Andros," Bugsby retorted. "And you're the most credible importer we've got."

"But I loose that cred if the feds decide to search me and find what I had in my cargo bay these last couple of days," Beth hissed. "I'm not warning you again, Bugsby. No more slaves. Find someone else to do that dirty work."

Bugsby muttered something and kicked a bag of cash beneath the table to Beth. "This is yours... unless you did somethin' to that sedated cargo o' mine..."

"Woke 'em up, let 'em go," Beth replied, kicking the bag back. "They deserve better'n anything you can find for 'em to do."

She rose and moved away toward another table. "Your heart's too big for your own good," Bugsby called after her.

"Your thirst for a profit's too big for yours," she shot back. And with that, she sat down, still within Bugsby's sight, but far enough that he would not speak to her. Applause followed her, for there were many locals who, even if they didn't mind the slave trade, despised Bugsby for other elements of his illegal businesses.

"Same as always, Cap'n?" one of the waiter's asked with a wink and a grin at the young transport captain. Beth chuckled and looked up at him.

"Suppose some things never change, eh Max?" she said softly. With a nod, Max withdrew to bring Beth her 'usual', a cooled beer, still in the bottle. One was her limit today, for she knew she'd have to stay sharp now that she'd annoyed Bugsby.


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Old 06-05-2007, 09:45 PM   #5
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Jonathan Wells watched as Captain Centrell walked in. He'd seen her around, ran into her a couple times, but never created a friendship per se. Didn't mater though, she'd probably be leaving soon and he still was keeping a weather eye on the mayor's men.


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Old 06-06-2007, 04:15 AM   #6
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The newcomer finished his beer and stood up. Spurs jingling, he walked to the table where Bugsby was getting ready to leave. He didn't sit down, but instead leaned on the table with his fists.

"You Bugsby?" he asked, taking a toothpick from the small tray in the middle of the table and putting it in his mouth. It helped him concentrate after he'd quit smoking. Before Bugsby could answer, the stranger continued.
"I've got something for ya" he said, reaching inside his poncho and causing the effect of the mayor men getting ready to draw their guns. The rider didn't seem to even notice them, drawing out a golden star with blood on it. You could still read the words 'Sheriff of Marston' on it.

"Tell your lynching buddies to drag their asses over here. I'm finished trying to gather them all up myself. I'll finish you all here and before I do, you can kiss goodbye to getting me out of this town" he said and spat the toothpick on the table. The sharp toothpick drilled itself into the table and stood there by itself while the Rider left, tilting his hat to the Captain on his way out, taking she was the only respectable lady in the saloon at the time. The man walked out, taking his horse and then heading for the hotel next door. BEfore he tied the horse down, he took the saddlebags and the rifle from the beast's back. A kid ran by, but the rider's strong hand grabbed his shoulder, stopping him and turning him around.

"Take my horse to the stables. Say to the stablemaster to keep good care of the Stranger's horse" he said with a smug smile while handing out a few coins to the kiddo. Afterwards, he walked inside and booked himself a room with a balcony overlooking the street. Roughtly immediately he appeared on his balcony, spitting to the street below him and watching as Bugsy left the saloon nervously. With the rifle beside him and the pair of six shooters on his hips, he was aware he probably now had the mayor's men on his case. He had stirred up the town and they couldn't have that. Especially when a stranger comes into town and starts spreading threats as his first thing.


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:10 AM   #7
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Beth watched the stranger leave the saloon and smiled faintly. It was about time someone stirred things up in this dusty old town. With a little sigh, she wondered if things would ever truly change. Quickly, she finished off her drink and headed back to her ship. As she reached it, her mechanic, Martha Rallins came out to meet her.

"Bad news, Captain," she said, a frown on her dark face. "Fuel lines are rusting and the compression coil's about shot. Only way we'd be in worse shape is if the reactor went boom for no reason. We've gotta make repairs. Now."

Beth cringed. "Guess we won't be leavin' tonight then... how much is it gonna cost?"

Martha hesitated. "Too much. Think we'll be grounded a while."

With a nod, Beth moved past her mechanic and boarded the ship. It was looking like they'd have to find some form of work planetside for a little while and that was a prospect none of them liked.


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Old 06-06-2007, 12:02 PM   #8
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Jonathan finished his drink and left, happy to see no fight had broken out. He went back to his repair shop.
"Wiliam! hows that broken bike looking."
"Well I don't see how it could be worse, but its fixable." said a voice from behind a mangled bike. Then a head and arms emerged. "I heard a new guy is in town."
"Yeah, he looks like he might cause some trouble, but I can hoope he won't"
"You always do." William said before he ducked back under the bike.
"Yes indeed..." Jonathan said as he walked over to a pile of scrap looking for some parts for the bike they were working on.


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Old 06-06-2007, 12:53 PM   #9
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((Curt, I sent you a PM a while back. You thought about the proposal?))

The stranger leaned onto the reiling of the balcony and watched the people go about on their business for a while. It was a hot day and it seemed like the sun was burning right above the town. The well in the middle of the town was low on water, as the mayor had been having some trouble with the neighbour town which held the only water tank in the nearby area. That meant that the well wouldn't be filled until either the two mayors managed to strike a deal or rain came. Inthe latter situation, the water would have to be purified, which would instead cause trouble as the government didn't want to transport low quantities to small places instead of high quantities to larger areas.

The rider picked up his rifle and took it with him as he left the balcony and entered his hotel room. Taking off his poncho, he revealed a shirt and below that a skin-right bullet-proof vest. He checked the vest for wear and tear before putting the shirt back to cover it and then the poncho ontop of that and the cowboy hat on his head. The man opened the saddle bag and took some ammunition for his revolvers and several throwing knives which he placed into slots on his belt before walking to the door. It was highly unlikely that the mayor hadn't sent people after him, so he got ready before opening the door. As he closed the door and was ready to lock it, a man jumped into the hallway from the staircase leading to the next floor. The stranger dove back into his room right before the sudden arrival's shotgun rang out, tearing the walls with buckshots. As he entered the room after the stranger, he treaded carefully, not knowing where his target for assassination was. After going all the way to the balcony, he found out. The click sounding from the cock of the hammer alerted him of the figure mere inches away, clinging onto the wall like spider man with a gun. A gasp of air. A boom. Splatter of blood on the open balcony door. And on top of that, civilians and the Sheriff looking that way. The stranger grunted, holstered the revolver and threw the body off the balcony and in the middle of the street with the shotgun. He tilted his hat to the sheriff and looked at the blood on the balcony door. He walked back inside, closing the door and going all the way to the hallway. The stranger locked the door and then walked to the reception area.

"Sorry 'bout the mess. Put it on my bill" he said while he walked out of the hotel and looked at the crowd suddenly changing side of the road or disappearing into the alleyways and into the piles of trash. The man merely smirked and started to walk towards the nearest store.


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:41 PM   #10
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Captain Cantrell and her crew were passing through the town on their way to Beth's house, on the other side of town when the would-be assassin was hurled from the balcony and fell to the street below, long since lifeless. Beth looked up and watched the stranger move back into the room, nodding slowly in approval.

"I say it's about time somebody got the filth worked up 'round here," she said in a low voice to her crew. They nodded their agreement and Beth turned to the tallest of the two men with her. "Eddie, spread the word we'll be in town for a couple of months and in need of something to do... preferably something that pays."

The big man nodded and split off from the group to do as ordered.


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Old 06-06-2007, 10:49 PM   #11
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((Yeah, I got it, I replied))

Jonathan heard the shots and wlaked outside to see a crowd gathered around a man who'd appearently been shot and thrown off the balcony. He shook his head, and walked back into his shop.
"Stranger caused soem trouble." William said without looking up from what he was doing."
"Yeah." Jonathan said as he got back to work.
"I hear Captain Cantrell will be in town for a couple months, looking for some work to pay for thier repairs."
"Well if shes smart, and I know she is, she'll know where to look." He said and smirked at William who let out a chuckle.


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Old 06-10-2007, 02:00 AM   #12
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"What's the status, Eddie?" Beth inquired as the big man entered her little house.

"I got Martha a job in a mechanic's shop," Ed McGrath answered, running a hand through his short, graying hair. "Vince an' me'll do cargo loading to whatever ships as need loaders. Couldn't find anythin' for you or Leila. There's bartending, I s'pose, but really don't think either of ya wanna do that..."

"You figure right," Leila agreed hurriedly. "C'mon, there's gotta be some form of cargo hauler I can drive about on this rock!"

"Not even a horse an' cart, I'm afraid," Ed answered sadly. "Figure you built up a reputation from last time the mayor let you drive his wagon through town..."

"Crashed on accident!" Leila protested. "Damn horses wouldn't listen to me... I work better with ships anyhow..."

"It's alright, Ed," Beth interrupted her pilot's rant. "I'll find something for Leila and myself. We'll get through this and get back to the skies. Don't you worry overmuch."


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Old 06-10-2007, 05:17 AM   #13
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"Kiddo, you know who the lady is who came into town today?" the Stranger asked, grabbing a young boy from his shoulder as he was running past.
"Yeah. She's Captain Cantrell. Many of the townsfolk are proud of our local girl getting so far in life, but the mayor doesn't like her or her crew" the boy answered and the rider nodded in approval, but didn't let go.
"I overheard she's got some trouble?" he asked from the kid, putting a toothpick into his mouth and chewing on it.
"Yup. She's got some trouble with her ship" the boy asked, looking at the hand holding his shoulder.
"Where's she staying?" the gunslinger asked, finally smiling to the boy.
"In the Captain's house of course. It's at the other end of town. A big painted house. You can't miss it" the boy said and smiled back at the man.
"Thanks kiddo" the stranger said and handed over a couple of coins before starting to walk towards the other side of town as he was instructed.

Shortly afterwards, he arrived at the only completely painted house in the whole town. Making sure he had his revolvers by his side, he stepped up to the door and knocked rather loudly. The man took the toothpick from his lips and spat on the ground beside the steps before putting the toothpick back to his lips.


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 06-10-2007, 11:50 AM   #14
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Though Ed McGrath was big, Vincent Marks was bigger and far more intimidating. Standing at near seven feet tall, he weighed near four hundred pounds and the great majority of it was muscle. His black hair and piercing blue eyes only added to the intimidation. And for this reason, he usually answered the door while the crew were in town.

"You're new," he said, his deep voice a little gruff. "Ain't never seen ya 'round before." His eyes narrowed slightly. "What d'ye want?"


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Old 06-10-2007, 02:26 PM   #15
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"Eh? I've never seen you around either but I'm not asking private questions" the rider said and with a swift movement, he took a step back and both of his revolver barrels pointed at the giant. The 5'8" man was tiny compared to the man standing at the door and it would appear to be a true David and Goliath scene.

"Step back, grizzly. I want to speak with your captain. Nice and slow now so I don't have to waste bullets trying to find a vital organ in there" he said and cocked back the hammers, forcing him back. After he got the door closed after himself, the stranger unloaded the revolvers and holstered them with a spin around his index fingers. With a hand still on the grip of one of his revolvers, he peeked through a window and gave a sigh.

"Sorry about that. I need to keep an intimidating front so my enemies won't catch me off guard. Hesitation on their part is my only friend" he said and looked around.
"Now where's that captain of yours?"


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 06-10-2007, 05:03 PM   #16
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Once the door was shut, Vince grinned down at the stranger. "I go for appearances too," he said. "Cap'n Cantrell's this way." He led the man through to a small room near the back of the house. Beth was seated there at a small table, sorting through some paperwork. She looked up as the stranger entered and then smiled at Vince.

"Thanks, Vince," she said, setting the papers aside. To the stranger, she gestured for a chair opposite the table and Vince withdrew to leave the two alone.

"I'm Captain Elizabeth Cantrell," she said by way of introduction, "though that's no secret. I'm sure in discovering where to come to find me, you learned that... at any rate, I have not yet learned your name... or why you come to me now."


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Old 06-10-2007, 10:02 PM   #17
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"Bike's fixed." William announced walking into the breakroom wiping grease off his hands.
"Great, going to take her for a test drive?" Jonathan said without diverting from his book.
"If its alright I'dm like to relax for a bit?" William asked politely.
"Hell Will, you know you don;t have to ask to relax, you do nothign but work, you deserve it, I don't knwo what I'd do without you." Jonathan said getting up form his chair. "I'll take her for a ride, be back in 20." He continued as he walked out.

250km/h. Tight turns. 90 degree drops. Jonathan loved the desert canyons for this reason, riding as fast as he can without a care in the world. He didn't want to total the bike again though, so he headed back to town.

"She rides nice Will." Jonathan said as he returned to the shop. No response. "William?" Jonathan said as he entered the breakroom. A note on the table where William had been. It said one simple sentence. "Told you, you'd pay."

Jonathan walked up the painted house and slammed his fist against the door 3 times. He knew who'd answer, he wasn't intimdated by him. Not like he has any reason to, only 6 inches shorter than him and a hundred pounds less of muscle, Jonathan was quite an intimdating man, and with a heritage form Jamaica, he could be a force to be reckoned with, if he chose to be.


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Old 06-11-2007, 04:02 AM   #18
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"I heard you're stuck here for a while. I might know a place where you can get some parts for free, taking your ship's not that much advanced than the one I know" he said, effectively dodging the question about his name. It was clear he wished to remain anonymous for now.

"And since I might be in need of getting off this planet after I'm done here, we have a mutual goal. You happen to have the only ship currently on this side of the planet. I checked from the space dock charts" the stranger continued, grabbing the nearest blank piece of paper and a pen, scribbling a rough map of the canyons and then making a thick cross on one of the dead-ends.

"It's how I got here with my brother. We served in the CSA army, guarding this sector when it was attacked. The ship's a small warship. Corvette, to be exact. None of the other crew besides me is still alive, so it won't hurt anyone if you pillage it. However, I haven't been there since we crash landed, so it might be already pillaged. Depending on your needs, it's worth to take a look" he said while scribbling, then slid the paper across the desk to the captain and put the pen back where he got it from.


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:09 AM   #19
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"So you're offering parts from your crashed ship in return for passage offworld when the time comes?" Beth simplified. She frowned. "Let's say I accept that offer. How long do you plan on remaining before you come 'round wanting that flight offworld? After all, if you move too quick, you'll catch my ship still not fully refitted. Move too slow, and my crew's gonna be gettin' antsy to be movin' again."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

It was Vince who opened the door, poking his head out with a scowl. But the scowl faded into a big grin when he saw who it was. "Jonny boy!" he exclaimed, stepping aside to let Jonathan in, and then shutting the door behind both of them. "Long time no see. How you been?"


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Old 06-12-2007, 09:29 AM   #20
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"Exactly 52 hours from the extraction of the parts. If everything goes as I have planned" he said, leaning back on the chair and moving the toothpick from one side of his mouth to the other with his tongue. He gave a glance at her and smirked.
"Can you manage that?"


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:58 AM   #21
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"We'll have to ask my mechanic," Beth answered. She called out to Martha, who came down the stairs with a cheerful skip. As soon as she laid eyes on the stranger, her smile faded and she immediately took on a more professional demeanor.

"What is it?" she asked calmly. Beth smiled faintly.

"Stranger, this is Martha Rallins, my mechanic," she said. To Martha, she went on, "The Stranger's got a place to get repair parts for the ship. Can you get the repairs completed by 52 hours after you get the parts?"

Martha cringed. "That's a stretch," she said slowly. "Possible, but a definite stretch..."


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Old 06-12-2007, 11:59 AM   #22
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"I was good until 10 minutes ago, I need to speak to the captain, now."


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Old 06-13-2007, 03:41 AM   #23
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"It's a two hour trip back and forth with horses. With bikes, it's cut down to 35-40 minutes if you can handle the speed and have enough cash to get some bikes" the stranger said, looking at the captain and then at the mechanic, flashing a smile.
"60 hours because you have such a lovely mechanic" he said and stood up from the chair, taking out the toothpick and throwing it into the trash.

"That's my last offer. Take it or leave it? Otherwise, I know a great brothel just in the next town that might need some girls. 'Cause that's the only way you'll ever get the money for the parts otherwise"


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:11 AM   #24
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"I can do 60 hours, Cap'n," Martha said, a smile tracing itself across her lips at the stranger's compliment.

"We have enough for bikes," Beth said. She stood and extended a hand to the stranger. "We have a deal."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

At Jonathan's abrupt manner, Vince's grin faded. "She's a little busy right now, Jon. But we can go see how it's coming..."

He led the way back to the little room where Beth was meeting with the stranger. He came to the doorway, just as the captain finished her sentence. "Cap'n? Got another visitor. Jonathan Wells. Says he needs to talk to you."

Beth smiled at the Stranger. "See you in 60 hours."

Turning to Jon, she said, "Come on in."


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Old 06-13-2007, 12:06 PM   #25
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"Hello Captain, I hate to interrupt but I need your help, and I can offer you mine as payment." Jonathan said straight out, the breathed heavily and contiuned. "Willima has been taken by the Orange bandana gang."


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Old 06-15-2007, 01:51 AM   #26
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Beth's expression grew very stern. "Stranger, my ship will be ready in 60 hours or less. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got other business to attend to."

She turned to Vince, who stood behind Jonathan. "Vince, get Ed and Leila to help Martha with the parts we need. Tell them I've authorized the price of bikes. Have them get the parts back to the ship as soon as possible."

To Jonathan, she said, "We'll get him back. You can help with ship repairs when we've got him."

In a moment, Vince returned, followed by Ed and Leila. Beth handed over the map the stranger had drawn for her to Martha. "Martha, take Ed and Leila to the spot on the map. Get the parts, get back to the ship. Work 'till the job's done. We'll be along to help if we can."

Without a word, the dark-skinned woman nodded and gestured for Ed and Leila to follow. In less than a minute, they were out the door. Once more, Beth turned to face Jonathan.

"Anything you can tell me as to leads on where they might have taken him would be greatly appreciated," she suggested.


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Old 06-15-2007, 11:56 AM   #27
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"All I know from the rumors that they have a hideout at the abandoned mine shaft, from there all I can tell you is that they are nuts and shoot first, ask questions later. Damn Sadists." Jonathan answered.


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Old 06-15-2007, 12:56 PM   #28
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Beth smiled faintly and said, "Well we ask questions, find some good cover from psycho first-shots, and then return fire in ways they could never expect... in that order."

"We're also good at sneaking about," Vince added with a grin.

"Vince, get any blueprints you can find for that mine shaft," Beth ordered. "We'll have a look at what we're up against... what would be the smartest way to defend it, what would be the dumbest, and what way would be most likely for the Gang to use."

She turned to Jon. "Don't wander too far. I want you to come with us once we've planned this out."

As Vince left to do as he was told, Beth stood. "Now that he's gone, I want you to be honest with me," she told Jon quietly. "Why did they take William?"


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Old 06-15-2007, 02:27 PM   #29
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The stranger left the house and looked around quietly before heading off towards the saloon. He had nothing to do for the next 60 hours unless the mayor's little hitman group showed their faces and began a firefight with him like he was planning it should go. And 60 hours should be a good timeline for it to happen and for the stranger to manage and break out of jail after the gunfight. He had some tricks up his sleeve if the sheriff decided to put him in jail until they found a judge and could assemble a jury. Of course if they managed to find it before the ship was ready to leave, the rider would be in serious trouble with a most probably hanging ahead of himself after the mayor bought off the judge and the jury. In that case the best thing for him to do was to have enough ammo to slaughter most of the town that's coming after him. He hoped it wouldn't come to that.

So he entered the saloon, sitting up by the bar and ordering himself a pint of ale to keep himself busy until the hitmen arrived into town. Of course, he would jump to the first job that involved gunfighting pretty much immediately if he got such an offer.


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity in all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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Old 06-15-2007, 04:00 PM   #30
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Jonathan breathed a breath and began. "Its not complicated, I owed them a favour because they bailed me out of bad situation, when the time came for me to pay my debts, I refused to do it. So I ran, they caught up with me it seems." Jonathan said. "And now I got william caught up in this mess too." He said with sadness and anger.


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Old 06-19-2007, 12:11 AM   #31
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"Don't worry," Beth said gently. "We'll get him out of there... Vince will be back in no time at all with those blueprints and we'll start working on an infiltration strategy."

She began pacing, thoughtful about the upcoming rush of activity. Suddenly, she paused, turning to Jonathan. "Can I get you anything to drink while we wait for Vince?"


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Old 06-19-2007, 10:11 AM   #32
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"Yes please, whiskey will be fine." Jonathan said as he took a seat.


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