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The Ballad of Fort Trinity

Fort Trinity


a part of The Ballad of Fort Trinity, by Jag.

Fort Trinity, Texas. Originally established as the outlying settlement from the actual fort just west of the town proper, Fort Trinity is a fast-growing community under the watchful eye and cunning grip of "Gentleman" George Ramsey.

Jag holds sovereignty over Fort Trinity, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Fort Trinity

Fort Trinity, Texas. Originally established as the outlying settlement from the actual fort just west of the town proper, Fort Trinity is a fast-growing community under the watchful eye and cunning grip of "Gentleman" George Ramsey.


Fort Trinity is a part of The Ballad of Fort Trinity.

11 Characters Here

Daniel Shay [12] Don't inquire into a person's past. Take the measure of a man for what he is today.
Doctor (Doc) Oliver McCallister [11] Trying to build a new life for himself and his daughter, Lydia.
Madeline Whitten [11] Saloon girl
Red Hawk Nocona [8] Proud. Fierce. Deadly.
Lydia McCallister [7] The Prairie Rose
Andrew Keatley [6] Local farmhand with a penchant for acting without forethought.
Amelia Fyler Fitzgerald [5] When we say a woman is of a certain social class, we really mean her husband or father is.
Elizabeth Reddy [3] Gunslinger for the Lucky Sevens
Rebecca Keatley [3] Quiet, compassionate store clerk with a heart made of gold.
"Gentleman" George Ramsey [0] The brains, the brass, and the class behind the whole Lucky Sevens operation

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3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Doctor (Doc) Oliver McCallister Character Portrait: Lydia McCallister Character Portrait: Andrew Keatley
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#, as written by FizzGig
Well, Andrew may have had his secrets, but Lydia wasn’t like most girls, who thrived on the latest tidbit of gossip that the elder ladies liked to toss around when they came in to call on her father. Sometimes she listened, most times she didn’t, and as a result, the young lady remained blissfully unaware of many of the unimportant pieces of information that floated around town. When Andrew had walked in that door, specifically to call on her…

Well, she knew that the tittering elders sitting in the back of the room would have a field day chatting about it over evening coffee and poker cards. For seemingly no reason at all, the girl’s cheeks flushed a delicate pink, and she tried to draw attention away from that by lifting her hand and drawing the back of it over her brow. In fact, the room was quite cool. Desert rains frequently brought the temperature down so that one might be comfortable tossing a shawl about their shoulders.

“So good to know that the family’s holding up.” Lydia said softly, her tone genuine and innocent, with only the slightest hint of concern. No man or woman in this town took pity well, and she made sure never to dish it out in large quantities. People could hold their own in Fort Trinity. They didn’t need the whispered sympathies of a girl like her. She was about to continue, but Andrew’s eyes, and his attention, had drawn to someone behind her.

Turning to acknowledge them, she saw her father standing there. The look on her papa’s face was unlike anything she’d seen in a long time. He looked more like a boy who was fixing to stir up some trouble, and for whatever reason, it distressed her that he was looking at Andrew the way he was.

”…how’s things?”

“Mm?” She turned her attention back to Andrew, ignoring the soft chuckling of her father as he disappeared back into his private studies. “Oh! Things are well. I find myself getting busier all the time, between helping Papa with his work and keeping this place from falling to pieces.” She leaned her elbows on the bar counter, drawing just a little closer to him and looking up at the young man through her lashes.

“Mighty nice to have someone come visit me though, makes me feel pretty special.”

Her heart had started to stutter. She was no stranger to what these sorts of feelings were, the flustered behavior, the anxious flutter of her heart in her chest…the way her skin kept flushing warm whenever she met his eyes. She’d not experienced them personally, not that many times, and certainly not with anyone she’d particularly like to be serious with, but she knew from books that girls often got this way when they were fond of someone.

She looked about ready to say something, perhaps even adventure further on that train of thought, but Andrew’s request brought her up short. She blinked, as if to clear her thoughts, and abruptly looked up to gaze at him straight on.

“I..of course!” she said, smiling to cover up her confusion. “Just give me a moment. I happened to make some fresh this morning.”

Without waiting to listen for his response, she turned around quick enough that her skirts swished about her ankles, and disappeared back into the kitchen. She was surprised to find that she wasn’t alone.

Doc stood there, with a plum skewered on a fork, his large frame leaning on the countertop as he gazed at her with that self-same twinkle in his eye.

“That boy,” he began, his voice a deep rumble in his chest. “…is making eyes at you.”

She blushed, which contradicted the words that spilled out of her mouth. “He is not! He came for pie!” Her pie, but still. “Andrew’s just come to see how things are going, more than likely to bring Becca something.”

Doc chewed that plum, chewed and chewed until that mischievous grin broke out on his face again.

“You sure about that?”

No, but the obstinate look that made her features stern and hard was amusing enough. She definitely had her father in her, but her mother’s stubbornness was eager to shine through in moments like this. “Why on earth would a man like Andrew Keately take an interest in a girl like me?”

He shrugged his massive shoulders, straightening before coming over to put an arm around hers. “I could give you lots of reasons, Miss McCallister, but I think your best course of action would be to ask the young man himself. Throw him a rope. He’s floundering out there.”

Lydia’s lip twitched, turning her body so she could rest her forehead against his chest.

“Do you like him, Papa?”

He laughed. “Every father’s hope for his daughter is for her to find an honorable, hard-working young man who’ll take care of her and take care of his family.” He nodded to the doorway that divided the kitchen from the back of the bar. “That young man is about the finest cut of human being this side of the Mississippi. You’d be wont to lose him.”

He turned her around though, after setting down his empty fork on the counter. “But you make sure you like him plenty well before giving him hope. Nothing hurts a man more than the games some women like to play.” He kissed her forehead.

“But you’re an angel. He’s made a good choice. Go give him his pie.”

Lydia’s face was pinched with thought. She leaned her head back, going up on tip-toe to kiss her father’s cheek before stepping around him and going to the pie-tin. She cut a slice, disappeared down to the ice box to get a little bit of cream and sugar, then dressed up the plate before making her way to the door. Doc was already gone, perhaps off to his office to mull over bills. She was on her own now.

Suppose I should just let things happen naturally, she thought to herself, putting on a smile and leaning against the door with her shoulder so she could step out and greet Andrew with a smile. Setting the plate down on the counter, she gave him a utensil before leaning her elbows on the counter next to him.

“Pie must be pretty good if that’s what drew you all the way out here. You sure there isn’t somethin’ else on your mind?” she asked quietly.

So much for subtlety.


3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Annie Monroe Character Portrait: Red Hawk Nocona Character Portrait: Amelia Fyler Fitzgerald
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#, as written by Jag
Maybe it was fear. The sight of the blood-covered Indian stepping out of the shadows, heavy breaths and heavier threats rising above deep footsteps causing the entire floor of the library to creak would be enough to cause anyone a moment's pause for fear. Whatever the cause, the young woman didn't react in the time that it took for Red Hawk Nocona to close the distance between them.

It wasn't until his hands wrapped around the soft flesh of her neck that she finally reacted with a blood-curdling scream. Her body flailed as she tried to pull, push, kick, and squirm her way out of the grasp of the mountainous man, but there was nothing her frail frame could do to escape the death grip that cut off the scream and began to choke the very life from the girl. As the last glimpe of light died on the horizon, the last gasps of life escaped Annie Monroe.

The thud of her body hitting the floor was soon followed by the hulking footsteps of the man crossing over her and staring down at the old man in the corner. Red Hawk lifted a hand, hovering the weapon over the man's sleeping frame for a moment.

"Soon, soon," he spoke, slowly lowering his hand and turning away from the man.

Still, the Indian and the old man were not alone in the old and creaking library. There was another, Red Hawk had heard in his patient waiting, in the next room. Breaking from his resting position and barreling into the other room, the man locked onto the frame of the young woman between him and the front door to the library leading back onto the rain-soaked streets of Fort Trinity. Unlike the plainly-dressed and obviously-poor librarian, this woman carried the look and airs of society. She smelled like the worst of the white women and Nocona's eyes hardened as he stared to pierce the distance between the two of them.

Amelia Fitzgerald stood between Red Hawk and the door, but escape seemed to be far from the man's mind as he towered, blood still draping his body and another death weighing on his hands. He stared. Then he stepped forward.

"Are you going to scream, little woman?"


2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Shay Character Portrait: Madeline Whitten
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#, as written by Jag
Daniel followed dutifully, catching full glimpse of the man Maddy greeted with the name of Jonah. The stranger had hollow eyes, the kind that had seen too much emptiness and hurt in the world and shut themselves off from taking in any more. Cold eyes, the kind that would gaze into a fire but not be able to remember what it meant to feel warm. In the brief instant that Daniel gazed at the man, he could smell it.

The man smelled like death. Not the smell of a rotting corpse or the burning flesh of a hot bullet to the gut, but the cold and empty bitter nothing of death. Daniel shook himself free of the gaze and followed Maddy away. The smell of death was infectious and Daniel had invited enough trouble on himself for one lifetime.

Daniel remained a few steps behind as Maddy led him away from the saloon and the scene that set the table for the night's activities in Fort Trinity. The old prospector hadn't been lying about the place as the central hub for the going's on and finding out who was where, with who, and why when it came to the bustling Texas town. Maddy herself had been more help than he'd expected, putting information with names Daniel had picked up along the trial and jostling old memories he'd buried deep in the clay dirt somewhere between here and the smoke-filled hills of the East.

Once secluded from the prying eyes of the world, Daniel slowly shed the layers he'd carried for too many miles before reaching the town, the least of which being the clothes on his back. Stretching a sore shoulder and rolling the cuff a few times with a wince followed quickly by a sigh of relief, he barely registered when the young woman finally spoke again. It was strange, hearing her ask for him name now in the midst of their current situation, almost enough that a man thought to give someone else's name out of a shame or secrecy. Then again, his man was having enough trouble just keeping up with the truth. Mixing in a few lies was only going to sour the milk more than he could stand.

"Daniel Shay," he spoke with another sigh as he felt himself relax, glad as hell not to be perched up underneath a rocky cropping with a wet bedroll trying to avoid the worst of the cold rain blasting down on from a sky that managed to be full of clouds and yet fill empty at the same time, just like the stranger's eyes he'd noticed from before.

"There's got to be something wrong with a man that spends the better part of three weeks all by his lonesome and runs as fast as he can to get away from people first chance of sight he gets at a town," he mused aloud, unsure of why he was talking opening with the young woman. It wasn't like he had anything to lose, sure, but that normally didn't open the quiet man up for more than answering a few questions or a polite utterance or two. Maybe he was just happy to have someone to talk to or maybe he found himself running at the mouth just to distract himself from the uncomfortableness of the situation.

It wasn't the act that bothered him, really, just the transactional side of it that always felt strange. It wasn't his first and it wouldn't be his last, but that didn't make it feel any less strange, like getting water in your boot and sloshing around with a wet sock. There was no getting used to it.

Daniel found himself starting at the cattleman's revolved on the belt he'd hung up by the door. He was damn sure glad not to need the thing for a night.

Boy, he hated being wrong.


2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Shay Character Portrait: Madeline Whitten
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“Daniel. Nice to meet you. You just settle in and I will take care of the rest.” She smiled at him and stepped into the hall. It wasn’t long before Maddy heard the sound of him descending into the tub of hot water. She slipped into the room and scooped up the dusty clothes. Exiting the room she spotted one of the cook’s children who was bounding down the hall. Maddy waved the girl over.

“Needs to be cleaned and brought to my room, understand?” The girl nodded and took the clothes. She scooted off down the hall. Maddy could hear the crowd downstairs. The night was just beginnng to pick up and already it was loud enough to carry clearly to the second floor.

Maddy turned and entered the room again,closing the door behind her. She lowered the lantern's light a little, bathing the small room in a low but warm light. She moved the chair close to the tub and sat down. Her skirt was lifted from her calves and her moccasins were slipped off. Bare feet placed themselves on the edge of the tub. Maddy relaxed as Daniel bathed. Her eyes looked him over as he seemed to slowly relax. The rain beat down on the roof and reminded her of home. Daniel's voice drew her out of what would have been an unhappy memory.

Maddy raised one dark eyebrow, a small smirk playing on her lips. “Should I be flattered that you chose to leave the vast majority to spend the evening with me or should I be insulted that I don’t count as a person in your little scenario?”

She smiled at the seated man, leaning over to the small table to pick up the soap. Her feet went to the floor as Maddy leant over the tub to hand it to him. She held it out for him to take. “Three weeks though, that’s a long time in the saddle. At least all the dust covering you makes sense.” She let out a low laugh.

Still holding the soap, Maddy let her other hand play lightly on the surface of the water. “Long time to be alone too. Where are you riding in from?” Her head tilted slightly, dark hair falling towards the water.

She wanted to learn all should could from him. If Daniel planned to go and visit Ramsey, any information she could give the Gentleman in advance would go a long way.


2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Red Hawk Nocona Character Portrait: Amelia Fyler Fitzgerald
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#, as written by Celedia
Enraptured with her book of children’s stories, Amelia stood near a single lit candle perched upon a worn wooden counter strewn with paperwork and ledgers. Having assumed that the owner of the establishment was simply too busy to tend to her and with the storm raging outside, the cattle baron’s daughter immersed herself into the tome with the thunderous booms and sheets of rain falling upon the rooftop being her only accompaniment.

Then a sharp sound followed by a strangled gasp. Two faint sounds from the depths of the library drew Amelia from her reverie and for a moment she simply stood, book opened and clasped between smooth fingertips while she tried to discern the source of the interruption.

Tis only my imagination…. She thought, eyes sliding back down to the treasure in her hands but then the unmistakable sound of slow, plodding steps drew her gaze once more.

An Indian. Tales of the savages met her ears often since her return home to her father’s estate. They were one of the largest causes of profit loss for the cattle baron as the roaming tribes took what they needed with little thought as to ownership. Yet, the blood spattered man didn’t look like he was traipsing about looking for sustenance and her mind nearly broke under the weight of her terror as halting English words parted the man’s cracked lips.

"Are you going to scream, little woman?"

Frozen with fear, Amelia’s survival instinct kicked in 5 seconds after her reply.


A simple statement, said in a near whisper before she panicked. Lobbing the heavy book in the general direction of Red Hawk, she grabbed at her skirts, plowing out into the downpour with little thought of what to do other than escape.

A woman’s bloodcurdling scream pierced the rumbling of the tumultuous storm as Amelia Fyler Fitzgerald ran down the street in search of safety, causing her to seek refuge in an establishment that she would otherwise avoid at all costs. But the loud music and raucous laughter hinted at people, many of them. Enough people to drive away the bloody savage with the piercing gaze and towering frame.

Sobs left her throat as she pushed through the doors of the Lonesome Dog, sopping wet and hysterical. One gloved hand pointing outside and while the music halted abruptly and her broken words filled the sudden silence.

“He… He killed someone…” Her chin tucked in close to her chest as she tried desperately to draw breath. “An Indian. I- In the library.”


2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lydia McCallister Character Portrait: Andrew Keatley
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#, as written by Celedia
As Lydia disappeared into the back room to retrieve his pie, it took all of Andrew’s willpower not to adopt a look of consternation and toss his hat around in a fit.

“Mighty nice to have someone come visit me though, makes me feel pretty special.”

Had he been quick-witted or a smooth-talker like some of the other men in this town he would’ve thought of something worthwhile. A compliment upon her pretty eyes or her smooth skin or those rosebud lips or the way she tucked that lock of hair behind her ear and how sometimes he wanted to do it for her.

A quick shake of his head dislodged the train of thought that he was on and he set himself right, trying to regroup before she emerged once more. A tittering sound, though light and slightly muffled, could be heard behind him he didn’t turn to eye its source. He knew that the little old ladies in the back corner were probably getting a good show with his poor performance here and that made his sun-kissed skin ratchet up to another shade of red.

The door swung back open, capturing his attention again and he sat up a little straighter in his seat. For her. That slow grin stretched its way back across his lips again at the sight of her and he already had a whopping bite of her pie stuffed in his mouth when her softly spoken words almost made him choke to death.

”…You sure there isn’t somethin’ else on your mind?”

A chunk of crust got stuck in his gullet and as he tried to dislodge it, he made a fist and thumped it onto his chest a few times until it finally slid down his throat. Silence drifted over the room for a moment until a chortle broke through followed by a question from one of the men at the bar.

“You all right there, Dusty?” Another loud guffaw, quieted only when Andrew held up a hand and waved it to signal he was fine.

“Reckon I’ll be breathing normally again here soon enough…” He tried to save face and conversation finally resumed around them, allowing the young farmhand to settle his gaze back upon Lydia.

“You do make a mighty fine plum pie, Lydia…” Andrew trailed off, casting his eyes at his pie for a moment before a sly grin tugged at his lips. “But I did come to see the cook, herself.”

He paused for a moment, then two, to gauge her reaction before more words tumbled out of his mouth. Better to get them out in the open before he seized up again and high tailed it out of there.

“Was wondering if perhaps you wanted to go on a ride with me here, soon. A picnic.” The storm raged outside and he amended his request.

“Well, not today, of course. With the rain and all.” His lips clamped shut then to prevent anything more idiotic to pour out of them.


4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Red Hawk Nocona Character Portrait: Doctor (Doc) Oliver McCallister Character Portrait: Lydia McCallister Character Portrait: Andrew Keatley
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#, as written by FizzGig
“You reckon I can’t ride in the rain?” Lydia teased, removing a kerchief from one of the pockets of her dress. She handed it over to him, gently laying a finger against the corner of her own mouth. “Y’got something on yourself. No need to save it for later, plenty more where that came from.”

She spoke in a low tone, keeping it between him and her. Never was it her intent to embarrass the poor young man in front of the other patrons. Still, in spite of her confidence, she couldn’t help the slight blush that colored her cheeks.

“But, to answer your question, I think a ride and a picnic would be lovely, and I’m flattered you came out all this way just to ask me.”


In the back room, where Doc had fashioned an office of sorts, the man had left his window open a crack to allow for a small draft, simply to exchange the air in the stifling room. His kerosene lantern sat on the corner of his desk, flickering at the lowest it could to help preserve oil, and he was passing the time reading over a few books of the medicinal kind. Other things lay strewn on his desk, reports and statements scribbled over papers in the crude chicken scratch of someone unpracticed with a fountain pen. He’d memorized them and cast them aside, eager to take his mind off the dismal happenings outside of town.

Lightning flashed, the thunder following like a cacophonous drum roll, sending a familiar shiver of pleasure down the man’s spine. He loved the sounds of a storm. Reminded him of his days on the battlefield, when he was a younger man and far too naïve for his own good.

Something lingered after the thunder faded. At first, he thought his ears were ringing, but as he stood, walking closer to the window to get a better sense of what he was hearing, he recognized the sound of a panicked woman’s screams.

The man grit his teeth, grabbing for his duster and swinging it over his shoulders before grabbing his hat off a hook and shoving it onto his head. His double-barrel was next, resting comfortably against the wall. Without so much as blinking he swung it up into his arms and burst out of his office, coming out behind the bar and immediately making his way towards the front without so much as looking back.

Startled, Lydia looked towards her father with wide eyes. “Papa?”

“Stay inside.” He instructed gruffly, the door to the saloon swinging shut behind him as he stepped out into the torrential downpour. Rain and darkness obscured his vision, but he went to his horse, mounting it without bothering with a saddle, and pulled it around with the reins held firmly in his hand.

The horse trotted through the mud, bringing him closer and closer to the place where the screams had originated from. What he saw emerging from the library had him pulling up short, his eyes widening beneath the brim of his hat.

What the hell was a Red Man doing so far away from the reservation?

“You’re a long way from home!” he bellowed, trying to be heard over the sound of the storm.


1 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Elizabeth Reddy
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Something was off. She was standing in Ramsey’s office looking down at the casino floor like every other day but today felt wrong. Beth brushed a stray strand of light brown hair behind her ear. She was frowning, not that it was easy to tell since the woman almost always looked completely unimpressed with the world around her. Her mouth was a straight line.

The storm was driving more and more in. It wasn’t that the casino was ever at a loss of patrons. They liked to gamble and this was the place to go. She sneered slightly as she watched bets being placed and cards being dealt. Her cold blue eyes scanned them all. Over head the thunder rumbled and rain pounded the roof. Beth rolled her shoulders slightly, feeling more tense than normal.

Her eyes went from table to table. There were many familiar faces. Some were part of the gang, enjoying a bit of a break, some were Seven’s on the floor keeping close eye on the goings on and some were just regulars. A figure at one table drew a hiss from her. Her eyes narrowed. Peter Donnel was at one of the poker tables. The man had been tossed out just three days ago. His debt with Ramsey was too high and he had no chance of paying it back. On top of that he had been overheard saying he had no intention of paying back and wasn’t afraid of the Lucky Seven’s. Now he sat at a table again as if flaunting his insult.

Stupid, stupid man.

Beth had little respect for those who didn’t understand the position they were in and continued to act foolish. Everyone knew that a debt with Ramsey and the Seven’s was paid one way or the other. Some just had to learn the hard way. Her brother had learned as had countless others. It was her job now to help ensure the lesson stuck.

She turned and stepped behind Ramsey. She removed her hat and leaned towards his ear. Elizabeth’s voice was a quiet whisper in his ear, at this volume there was no harshness or rasp to it.

“Donnel is back, playing poker. What do you want done about him?”

She waited respectfully for his answer.

It was at that moment that a scream ripped through the air of the town. It wasn’t so close that Beth could make it out completely but her keen ears had heard it nonetheless.

She bolted upright, hands on her guns at her hips. Her eyes were on Ramsey, waiting for a signal of what he wanted her to do. There was no threat to him but if something was going on in Trinity he’d want to know about it. The question was would he send her, go with her or send a few of the boys to check it out.


2 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Shay Character Portrait: Madeline Whitten
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#, as written by Jag
Daniel Shay

The jerk reaction in his muscles at the sensation of being immersed in the hot water came without warning. It had been some time since he'd been able to ease himself into a proper bath and allow his body any true relaxation and luxury. Then again, it had been too long since he'd seen a town the likes of Fort Trinity and its bustle, growing with every year under the watchful eye of ranchers who eyed their cattle like dollar bills and gangsters who eyes the citizens of the town the same way.

"I wouldn't take insult where a man didn't mean any," he said as he slid down, the spasming muscles in his fire firing off sharply a few times before succumbing to the relaxation the hot water provided. Daniel had all the appearances of a strong man but most of that strength seemed to have been twisted and knotted up into all sorts of balls and kinks in his back and legs that a night's rest and relaxation would go a long way to restoring. "Just meaning that there'd be more'n a few happy to share a few drinks and a few tall tales with less...well...delicate company."

The soap and water began to wash away layers of the trail, layers of the past, and layers of the life he'd left behind on his way to Fort Trinity. It did a number to lighten the color of his skin, but not as much as one might expect. His features were soaked in the sun and carried the color of a man that knew the outdoors better than a roof over his head.

"Sulphur Springs was the last place I really stay for more'n a day. Mt. Pleasant before that." The trail he described painted the picture of a long ride from somewhere back East and, given his lack of descriptions along the way, it would seem that the man pressed his luck with a hard pace and hard ride to get here very quickly, even if he wasn't too forthcoming on the reasons why.

Still, he felt relaxed and more of a man than he'd felt in weeks at this point. Maddy's gentle company, her easy demeanor, and shelter from the cold rain were doing wonders to breathe some life back into the tired shell he dragged into the saloon earlier that evening. He suspected that this was just another night for her, another customer, another couple of dollars that she would be able to square away for whatever it is that drove her to living and life just like the rest of them, but that didn't mean that she didn't do her job well. For a moment, the rider was able to put everything else away for a few minutes and just accept the reality of things. No fiction, no need to pretence or games. It was what it was and there was nothing to fear or feel ashamed of.

"I met with some ol' boys in Tennesse who told me that Doc McAllister had come out this way a few years back and I felt oblige to track the man down. Got an old score to settle with the man. Closer I got, the more I kept hearing about this 'Gentleman' fella that everybody keeps talking about. If half what they say about the man is true, I'm a'thinkin' that maybe the Doc's got his hands full six or seven different ways that might need an extra pair of eyes to make sure he doesn't end up with a knife in his back or hangin' from the end of a short rope."

The story he'd heard on the trail about the man hanged while his house burned was still with him. He'd seen the rubble of the structure on his ride, but thankfully someone had already taken care of the body by the time that he rode by.

"Some men live by the fear they can build up in others. Way I see it, they're probably even scared themselves a little more and maybe need someone to remind 'em what it feels to bleed just a little."

He closed his eyes and leaned back for a moment, allowed a sigh to release the thoughts from his mind for a moment.


3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Red Hawk Nocona Character Portrait: Amelia Fyler Fitzgerald Character Portrait: Doctor (Doc) Oliver McCallister
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#, as written by Jag
Red Hawk Nocona

The silence between them beckoned the darkness of the night, heavy air tingling with the electricity darting through the night sky and permeating the distance between his blood-covered hands and the fair skin of the woman he eyed with vicious intent. The silence was marked only by a distant clap of thunder and a tired groan of the floor beneath them having seen years of stress and seconds of violence, both enough to end a lifetime.


The woman's voice broke the silence. Somewhere in the darkness, the dark man smiled.


The book flew at him, honestly catching the man off his guard in the instant, giving the young woman a chance to flee. Nocona's hand shot up to protect his face, the binding of the book catching a glancing blow at his cheek as the large invader covered his right eye for a moment out of instinct. It was long enough for Amelia to pour into the street. Into the storm, out fo the danger. For now.

Shaking off the blow, Nocona grunted and charged after her, his large frame passing through the door and noticing the last of the young woman's body and skirts diving into the saloon. It would be suicidal to follow her now -- too many white men, too many guns, and too many drinks in their systems for the white devils to avoid pulling the trigger the moment that he appeared. Red Hawk Nocona may have been a man with a death wish, but that wish was set on his own terms and following the girl strayed from the vision he'd been given.

The sound of shoed horsefalls through the mud of the street carried the man's eyes up and meeting the eventual gaze and words of the lawman. It had only been a matter of time until he'd come, only a distance of death to summon the wrath of men who believed their word to be a truth from above destined to rule the hearts and souls of other men. Control was everything to them and Nocona did not fit neatly into the grids and plans by which the white men were so eager to live their lives.

"You're a long way from home!"

Water dripped from the white man's hat as thunder clapped again, this time closer as if heralding the heroic call to action of the man charged with keeping the peace and protecting the innocent from the likes of this savage. Nocona stepped forth from the protection of the library's porch and into the cold rain, beginning to wash away the blood covering him. Some feared the rain, feared the cold, feared the elements. Nocona felt a new strength surge through his body at the sensation of the coming emar.

"This is my home, lawman," Nocona spoke in the broken English that carried the tone and meaning of his words without loss. "Badge and gun you carry does not take my home away forever. Makes you a thief. A sickness."

His hands hung down to his sides, but the mere size of the man and the blood covering his torso gave rise to the threat he carried even if no weapon was visible as he stood in the street.

"Girl inside is dead, lawman. Too weak for what comes. Her spirit free, no suffering. Do not weep for her."


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#, as written by Jag
"Gentleman" George Ramsey

Money, power, influence, people, gossip, rumors, truths, ideas -- they all flowed through Fort Trinity like a river and Ramsey was the damn that filtered it all. No one who wanted to rise and fall in this town could do so without his permission and anyone who bothered to try staking their claim as independent were soon shown what fury waited at the wrong end of a long iron or a short rope. The news of what had happened to poor Ted Stetz had spread not only through even inch of Fort Trinity but was sweeping through the Plains with every footfall that carried a soul away from the town and out into the sweeping vales of the prairies and brushlands beyond. Many wept for the man, others cursed him for not knowing when to keep his head down, and others didn't even dare bring up the subject for fear they would invite some of the same trouble back in their own direction, mindful of the debt they owed themselves.

Peter Donnel. The man had been a thorn in Ramsey's side for weeks now. Three months ago, an outstanding run of luck with the cards had drawn him and invitation to sit at Ramsey's personal table and play a few hands. As happened with so many who shared a drink and an evening's conversation with the Gentleman, Donnel found his luck turning by the end of the night. Maybe it was fear of beating Ramsey too many times, incurring his wrath, or maybe there really was some magic in the cards imbued in the man's hands that never allowed him to fall too far behind, but Donnel found himself in the same place so many had before -- taking a loan on the personal stake of Ramsey from the house to keep playing, doing so with a clap on the shoulder and wink that the loan was one of friendship because of the generous contributions to the house.

The house, of course, always came back around to win.

Now Donnel flaunted himself back in after a severe warning last time that had ended with a few strong shots to the gut and being tossed out into the alley. He was sure, Ramsey knew, that he would be able to win back everything, find himself on top of the world again without a penny of debt and scoring himself another invitation to sip brandy and smoke cigars with the owner as an equal and respected friend.

"Self delusion is a powerful thing. A man can make himself believe that he is anything or anyone given enough time for his imagination to craft the armor of a dream surrounding what really exists in an inevitasble-miserable life." Ramsey leaned forward as he spoke, matching the glance of the woman down to the tables below. "Wake a man midst that strong of a dream and he's likely to break, don't you think?"

Anyone who was "lucky" enough to spend much time in the company of George Ramsey found themselves on the other end of a number of such pseudo-philisophical questions and musings by the man. Those that stuck around learned quickly that the man wasn't really looking for an answer and would just as soon dismiss anyone that really tried to engage him. Most of the time, it was a nod or a short agreement that pacified him for the moment until the next thought brewed and he was contemplating the mysteries of life again. After all, the "Gentleman" didn't pay them good money for his prods to think and pontificate. They were there to work.

"Our friend Peter seems to be jarred in his dream a little stronger than most. I think he needs our help," he said, rising out of the leather chair and coming around the corner of the desk to meet the glance of the young woman. Elizabeth Reddy had come into his service in the most peculiar of ways, but Ramsey had come to enjoy her company more than most of his employees. There was something sharp about her, something about the way her eyes turned over a situation and broke it apart to examine all the little pieces before she spoke. She was a thinker. While thinkers were dangerous to have as prods, Ramsey found that this one was an exception, someone he found himself damn near trusting at times.

Unlike many, she found herself largely free to walk in and out of his office, to pour herself a drink from his personal bar, and to make her suggestions quickly or even act on a hunch and explain herself later. Considering what she'd been facing some time ago at the hands of the Lucky Sevens, she now found herself in a unique place within them. For some, there was a resentment of her quick rise and what seemed to be Ramsey's favor. For others, there was a fear and respect for anyone that could make their way into his graces so quickly. Rumors often arose as to just how she'd been able to do that, but her actions spoke quickly enough to speak of work done on the business end of a revolver rather than the flat of her back.

"I don't want to see him here again and I certaintly do not want to have to pay a visit to that charming little home where his brother and family have been graciously putting him up for the past month."

The scream carried to his own ears, even if just barely. The intent in Beth's eyes was more than obvious to a man who made a living staring to another's eyes to study their heart, their soul, and their cards.

"Leave this one be. After all, I'm sure the fine and honorable law enforecement of this humble town will protect us from an injustice that may fall on our pious community," he offered with a smile before pouring himself a drink. The smile faded as he glared back down at Donnel, reflecting further on the man's brash conversation and Ramsey's table weeks before.

"Peter was always so skilled with his shuffle of the cards. Would be shame if something were to happen to his hands," he said, turning around and locking onto Beth before taking a sip of the scotch. "Don't kill him."


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Character Portrait: Red Hawk Nocona Character Portrait: Amelia Fyler Fitzgerald Character Portrait: Daniel Shay Character Portrait: Madeline Whitten Character Portrait: Doctor (Doc) Oliver McCallister
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Maddy smiled. She hadn’t taken the statement as an insult but it was fun to tease the semi-serious man a little. She shook her head as he relaxed.

Her brows knitted together just a little. He had come from the east and not the near east. ”What would have you riding so hard and so long...” She wondered silently as the dirt drifted from his skin into the bath water.

“Looks to me like you brought the entire road in with you.” Maddy stood and moved around the tub to grab a pitcher. She tested the water and found it still warm. “Close yer eyes Daniel.”

She slowly poured the fresh water over his head rinsing away more dirt and the soap.

“Aye, McAllister has been here for a spell now.” Maddy crouched next to the tub. “You going to protect the Doc from the likes of the Gentleman then?” An amused smile on her lips. “Ramsey runs this town. No one makes a move without him knowing.”

Maddy sat back in her chair, her bare feet once again on the edge of the tub. “I don’t know a single thing that Ramsey is afraid of but everyone around here is either working for him or doing their very best to stay on his good side. Might be best to stay out of his way Daniel.”

Her voice was soft and comforting as the man closed his eyes and relaxed in the water. She looked him over and wondered what Ramsey would think of this newcomer.

The room was quiet save for the pattering of the rain. Maddy watched Daniel’s chest rise and fall. Given what he had told her about where he had ridden from and how long he had been on the road she was amazed he had been upright when he had come into the saloon.

She brushed the side of his face gently, keeping her voice low. “When you are done here there is a warm bed waiting f..”

The rest of her comment was cut off but the scream of a woman. It was the kind of sound that makes a person’s heart stop. Maddy stood up quickly and bolted to the door. She opened it and looked out. Up and down the hall others were doing the same fearing it was one of their own. Her mouth was dry but her ears picked up the sound of a commotion downstairs.

A few men were in the hallway now, pulling on shirts and unholstering guns as they rushed down to the main room of the saloon.
Max looked up as the well dressed lady practically stumbled in through the saloon door. She was soaked to the bone and trembling. The scream that had caused the entire saloon to pause must have come from her. He quickly moved from behind the bar to where she stood pointing out the door.

“He… He killed someone…” Her chin tucked in close to her chest as she tried desperately to draw breath. “An Indian. I- In the library.”

At the word Indian many men began to stand, pulling guns and moving to the door. Max and the woman stood in their way. A clattering of footsteps from the stairs added to the new uproar.

“She said Indian and he killed someone!”

A few of the girls gasped fearfully and clung to whoever was near by. Nellie frowned and looked out the window. Max put an arm protectively around the hysterical woman. “Now, none of you are going anywhere. You George, you can barely stand and we don’t know for sure...”

“There is an Indian out there and the Doc’s with him.” Nellie could see the figures down a ways from the saloon.

Max turned to look out the door spotting the figures himself. “Sweet Jesus.”

He pulled the woman away from the door. “Get her a tea Annie or something stronger if she wants it.” He handed Amelia over to the closest girl. She led Amelia to a nearby chair. Max turned and quickly grabbed his rifle from behind the bar. Her stepped outside and a few men now followed him. They stood on the covered porch and waited for some sign from Doc that he needed help.

Maddy heard the word Indian and darted to the window. She pushed the curtain out of the way and looked out the rain streaked glass. “It’s true....”

She turned to look at Daniel. “There is a man out there and the Doc is with him.” Maddy nodded, “I’ll find you some clothes.”


3 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Red Hawk Nocona Character Portrait: Elizabeth Reddy Character Portrait: Doctor (Doc) Oliver McCallister
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Beth nodded. She never answered Ramsey when he talked like that. Not because of her throat or the lack of anything to reply but because she knew he did not want an answer. They were musing he put out there, whether it was because he was trying to figure the world out or simply liked the sound of his own voice Beth didn’t know and didn’t much care.

Her eyes watched Ramsey. Unlike many others when his eyes met hers she did not look away. Beth had earned her way here and she would not let anyone tell her differently. She knew quite well what Ramsey was capable of there was nothing there for her to fear. Beth had faced death once at the Seven’s hands and since then she had never been afraid of the man’s intense stare. Others who faced him at the poker table found him unsettling and intimidating. She liked to see a man’s cunning in his eyes it gave her an idea of what was coming.

As expected, Ramsey took exception to Donnel being back in the casino. She placed her hat on her head, an apathetic look on her face when he told her to let law enforcement handle the scream. She let out a slow exhale, still very tense. Beth waited patiently as Ramsey poured himself a drink.

"Peter was always so skilled with his shuffle of the cards. Would be shame if something were to happen to his hands,"

Beth reached for her coat that lay over the back of one of the chairs. She pulled it on and gave Ramsey a look. His eyes focused on hers.

"Don't kill him."

She nodded and headed out of his office, closing the door behind her. Beth moved down to the main floor of the casino. She gathered two other Seven’s with her and gestured for them to follow her. The others were used to her not speaking, even if it did bother them at times. She could speak but she chose not to more often than not finding actions to speak louder than words.

Beth approached the table where Peter sat. She stood across from him, looking down at the man from under the brim of her hat.

Peter Donnel paled visibly at the sight of her. The other two Seven’s moved to stand behind his chair.

“W-well now, what can I do for you?” His voice was shaky as he tried not to let on that he was scared. The others at the table had already dropped their cards and waited silently.

Beth lifted her chin, a gesture to him to stand up. Her hands were at her side and she stared at him. Peter shook his head, more in fear than defiance. Beth nodded her head at the men and they each took Peter under the arm. Turning, she led them outside.

“Come on....I just want to win some money back. I wasn’t doin’ no harm!”

Beth was glad her back was to the men as she rolled her eyes. Peter was being carried between them, his feet frantically trying to dig in and slow them down.

“Ugh, stop the fuss and just take it like a man.” One of the Seven’s grunted at Donnel.

Beth led the party out back, the rain soaking them. She cast one glance down the road towards the earlier commotion and despite what she saw, Beth left it alone and followed Ramsey’s orders.

The woman stopped and pointed to the stump of a tree in the brush behind the casino. Normally she’d have dragged him further out of town but it was raining something fierce and the sight of Doc and the Indian put her on edge. Her shoulders felt tight and contempt for Donnel grew. If the man wasn’t so stupid she wouldn’t be out here in the rain dealing with scum.

The men pinned Peter down.

Beth shook her head. “Hands on the stump.” The cold tone of her hushed voice made one man shiver.

Peter began to whimper and whine. “No, please....not my hands I need them!” The two Seven’s held the thrashing man down as Elizabeth approached. She crouched down, coming eye level with him.

“You were told not to come back. You don’t listen. You had a chance.” Beth tapped his hands with the barrel of one of her guns. “You have to make amends for the insult.”

She stood and shot the gun once. The bullet went through Peter’s hand, straight through the palm and into the wood. Her head tilted slightly to the side and she aimed for the other hand. This time it was two shots. One for his thumb and then one to the palm.

Peter’s yells mixed with the clap of thunder overhead. The men let him go and Beth watched passively as he writhed on the ground. She took two steps towards him, her booted foot coming down on an injured hand. “Don’t come back.”

She stepped down hard until the man screamed and tried to kick out at her. Holstering her gun Beth headed back inside and went straight up to Ramsey’s office.

She slid her coat off, tossing it over the back of the chair again. Beth removed her hat and placed it down as well. She looked at Ramsey and gave him a nod. She sat down and began to reload her gun.


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Character Portrait: Red Hawk Nocona Character Portrait: Doctor (Doc) Oliver McCallister
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#, as written by FizzGig
He couldn’t mean…

“Many of us here in this town were not personally responsible for taking that away from you!” He shouted over the roar of thunder. “…including myself, and the girl inside that library that you killed. Taking out your anger on someone as innocent as she makes you no better a man, and subject to the laws that govern these lands now.”

Rain ran in rivulets down his cheeks, reminiscent of tears. That girl was Lydia’s age, the quiet sort who wouldn’t harm a fly even if it landed on her dinner plate. He gestured to the gun at his side, before dismounting and standing to face off the Indian. Man to man. Neither one better than the other. Nocona was big, but Doc was big too, and he had a gun.

“I can’t let you hurt anyone else.” He told him, taking the weapon in both hands. He did not, however, bring it to bear. Not yet.


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#, as written by ElRey
Neither Nocona nor Doc seemed aware of the third member of their little stand-off. The beady pair of reptilian eyes which stared, silently analyzed them like some sort of science experiment. Nestled atop a crooked stool, under the protection of the saloon's canopy, sat a third man, pale and thin as the bones of death himself. Thin wisps of smoke drifted from the fiery orange cherry of the cigarette which was clenched between blackened, plague-bearing teeth. The only signs of breath were the inaudible drags upon his tobacco, which flared the color of the iridescent tip.

Henry was all but invisible in the murky darkness of the saloon porch, masked by the driving rain and the deep shadows in which he perched, the twisted, grizzled maw of the aging gunslinger had curled itself into a comfortable scowl. It was enough that the red-skin had dragged his feather-wearing carcass within their towns borders without seeking approval from the Sevens; he had up and killed a woman while he was at it. A pretty little thing Henry had planned to ravage one of these nights, just had never quite gotten around to it.

Balls of brass on this red devil, Henry mused bitterly.

And here, right before his very eyes... the first would-be hero on the scene, McCallister, was trying to play head doctor with a savage. What did he hope to accomplish? What possible goal could be met by coercing a native into surrender? Clearly he had no idea what these beasts respected. Power. Purest in the form of a red-hot, steaming bullet to the gut.

Slowly he felt that familiar tingle in his knuckles, the boiling of the blood in the tips of his ears. The call for a life to be taken, shifting his vision red. Without a sound he greedily pulled another solid drag from his cigarette, tossing it out into the storm before standing and taking a pair of steps forward, his slender yet towering frame cutting an imposing figure in the wide staircase to the street. Droplets of water pooled on the exposed fringe of his hat, dribbling lazily from the front of its round brim and obscuring the malicious gleam in his eyes.

"You don't reason with a savage, Oliver." he chuckled, stepping casually into the full fury of the weather as a crackle of lightning flashed the scene. In unison with the rumbling clap of the thunder overhead, Light-Finger raised his pistol at the burly native, and in a practiced, fluid motion; albeit one a touch slower than it had been a few decades ago, fired two shots. The echoing rap of the hammer was lost in the relentless deluge, as another burst of lightning illuminated the wild grin on Henry's face.