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Weird West

Earth

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a part of Weird West, by NotSoHeartless.

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NotSoHeartless holds sovereignty over Earth, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

266 readers have been here.

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Default Location for Wierd West
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Earth

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Earth is a part of Weird West.

12 Characters Here

Cain Cassidy [8] Keeper of Secrets
Lucien "The Luck" Lachance [5] The Black Hand of The Dread Father
Jacob Dalton [5] Civilian. Greenhorn. Fiscal advisor.
William Silvaro [4] Outlaw Doctor
Jackson Curtiss [4] Sheriff of Fort Travis Junction
Striker [3] "Oh this? This here's for pain."
Leos Kroh [3] "Did Somebody order a pickup and a Tech-Specialist?"
Valora Bowing [2] Second in Command "Big Red"
James Doolin [2] Leader of an outlaw group known as "The Posse"
Sharron Rose [1] Just a loner living in Fort Travis Junction.

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The sky above Fort Travis Junction was awakening, the sun barely pushing it's bleary rays through the dark blue atmosphere. Purples, golds and pinks blazed across the horizon, a fiery carpet rolled out for the sun's reception. Though most found themselves rising with the rooster's crow, some things didn't sleep. Miles away, trudging along old, steel tracks a cargo train was headed for town. It's black metal gleamed against any light, be it sunlight or star light, and could be seen a good distance away. It served as a beacon, blaring a message of hope to those few settlements who had nothing. Fort Travis Junction, however, wasn't one of those settlements. What they didn't have in wealth they had in pride and hardiness. Trade was performed mainly through the railway, but they had ways of handling themselves should the occasion call for it. Crops, livestock and working weapons were some of the perks of living within the town walls. It wasn't called 'Fort' for nothing. However, like everywhere else, the train offered them hope. Parts and medical supplies were needed and knowing the train was due mid-day was a wonderful relief to some folks.

Onboard, buckled down, lay the precious cargo. To those who knew the train's schedule, the Fort was but the second stop, leaving much of the boxcars full. What was a blazing beacon for some was a moving treasure chest for others. However, this was not unknown knowledge. Raiders and mercenaries had tried before to take the contents which lay inside the thick black walls. Armed men and women filled the extra space, most being mercenaries themselves, people who's only allegiance was to the big pay-off they'd receive once the cargo was unloaded. This was the way of the world now-a-days. People do what they can to survive. Time, war, disease, famine- all these left their scars across the land. The technologies of yesterday now lay mostly in scrap heaps. Complete, working machinery was a rare thing. Most mechanisms were slapped together using any feasible parts. An old, functioning piece of high-tech was only owned by those lucky or wealthy enough. Though, many tales covered the wasted land, one was known by all: The Lost Tech. A rumor, a child's tale, that one could bring back the ruined past. The Lost Tech was believed to hold the knowledge and capabilities to do so and those who had it, had the world.

This is were our tale begins. On a train like any other, which carries not only the hope of the town, but possibly the hope of the world.

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Character Portrait: Jacob Dalton
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#, as written by Cypher
The tracks had been rolling by for quite some time now. At least a day, perhaps longer. Who knew? With the gaps in the tracks, the roving bandit parties, the wild animals and the harsh weather sometimes causing the train to halt for minutes, for hours - and at least one time double back and return to the previous station - it had been moving for a while.

Jacob Walter Dalton, Junior, had been on it for what he assumed to be a thousand years. The last transfer between stations had been when there was still ocean visible. He had ridden out with other young men and women, some of them dressed in the fatigues of the MARCR's armed forces. They had dismounted at the last stop when he had. That was the wonderful metropolis of Grey, population a bustling 204 ("And rising every day!" the sign over the station awning had declared proudly). He had waited on the next line for at least a day, spending the night in a cheap hotel while, all through the night, horses, boots and the occasional truck rumbled past outside - Grey was a military town, if the great big flags, the great big tents and the great big men with short hair and shiny boots was any indication, one of those boom towns that had sprung up on that initial dash west and was now all but abandoned except as a hub for people to get on and off the train. Perhaps when the military went away again, or when a larger town opened up further down the line, Grey would fade out of existence again, nothing but a dot on the map and a few clustered, ramshackle buildings. Who knew? With the rate that borders changed nowadays, Grey could just as quickly become a booming metropolis again.

When he left, it was still 204 people and two full companies of MARCR grunts, waiting to march out into the wastes, to claim a plot in the name of "Civilized Society".

Jacob sat on his bench, reading a penny-dreadful he had taken from a lazy susan on the station platform, paying a man in a threadbare coat a whole two dollars for it.

That had been at least a day and a half ago.

Now the train, half-empty, rolled across an open wasteland stretching as far as the eye could see, an orange sun hanging in the azure sky, the cracked earth quivering with dry, stagnant heat. Off in the distance, a blasted house stood alone, a single windmill - its blades destroyed, some of them even missing - slowly turning in the distance. Jacob marveled at its simplicity before dragging a hand across his brow to clear the sweat from it. It was hot in the unconditioned rail car, and not even the added ventilation of the open window helped with that much. Dalton felt drowsy, numb with the heat, and he seemed to slip in and out of reality, time passing in quick, sudden bursts.

Who knew how long it had been before he felt the train buck suddenly, pulling out of the station. Jacob sat bolt upright in the seat, his eyes searching. Had they been stopped? Was there a posse outside, searching the train? No, they would be stopped if that was it. After a few moments, he suddenly realized that he was staring at a rather pretty young lady next to him in the seat. Somewhat spooked, he gave a slight jump. The girl turned her blue orbs to face him.

"New t' the area?" She intoned dully, giving him a slight smile. Dalton gawped at her for a few moments, confused. She let out a slight laugh. "Thought so."

"Er." Dalton raised a finger inquisitively. "I, uh. Er. I mean, I..."

He sighed. "What is the next station, madam?"

The girl shook her head. "Hell, you really are new. Fort Travis Junction, mister."

"And how far... Uh... How far is that from the end of the line?"

"'Bout a half-day by train."

"Oh, um, thank you, madam."

Dalton shrank into his seat.

It was going to be a long ride.

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Character Portrait: Jackson Curtiss
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Jackson was riding along the rail; the day was a norm; one or two clouds and the sun as hot as ever. He loved taking long rides like this and did them near the rail to give him a justified reason for them. Nothing ever happened on the rail other then the train passing, the once In a while repair and the usual long knives activity. The long knives were the main consumers of Jackson's trade in these parts, hell he had spent more bullets on them buggers then all the ammuniton used by both sides in the battle of sapper's creek waged during the civil war years back; he should know as he had to clean up the mess they left behind. Jacks had left Deputy Walker as the desk joe while he was away and Lena could look after herself, at least for a few hours. She had to learn to do so any way as she would not have old Jacks looking over her shoulder all her life, most sheriffs didn't live longer then 40 as a rule; age and enemies normally took em out at some point usually collaborating on the subject.

Jackson had considered retiring, Walker was ready for the badge as he had proved more times then god could remember. Never seemed to want to retire, the job was a way of life and was probably the reason why never in the books of Fort Travis had a sheriff retired; they had all died on the job around the age of 30 or 40. Even if he did retire what would Jacks do? Lena would be grown in a few years and then what? No other way of seeing it, without the badge and the title there was no Jackson Curtiss.

The horse puffed, it was a good beast and Jackson's other reason for riding long seeing as his brother was the local horse breeder and needed some one to test them. Since red strap died Jacks found it difficult to connect to a new horse, no horse could be like old strap was; reliable, fast and a life companion for many years.
Jacks heard the rail beat coming on, it was the train coming in probably the express from what Jacks could read from the position of the sun. All the top cargos went on it and the train only stopped near big fish ports like Fort Travis. It would be a few moments before the train would pass along, slower then the rest of the track as it began to brake due to the upcoming junction. Jackson cleared the rail when something caught is eye…

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#, as written by Asper
Lucien was walking slowly into Fort Travis. A young youthful guard at the entrance had given him and suspicious look but it was turned into a welcoming smile when Lucien had payed him off. Lucien reviewed the "contract" in his mind, it wouldn't be much of a job. It wasn't any he was used to, he was used to killing targets not looking for Ancient Artifacts. The pay was handsome enough to make an exception for this job. It was hot but he felt a cold air surround him as he felt the Dread Father whisper to him. He never spoke to him with words, but through feelings and images. When he was about to turn down the job he felt the Dread Father wanted him to accept this contract. Now he was being filled with reasurrance. He knew the place he was supposed to meet the Agent who he would be helping on the job, so he headed for a saloon where he bought a warm beer and found the darkest corner in the Saloon to wait. He stood out in his black robes but no one would dare confront him, the cold insidious power that was the Dread Father surrounded him. It was known to everyone in that Saloon that he was a killer and if one dared to make comment of him, they knew they would be a corpse not recognized by their family and friends.

He felt the Void as he slipped into a deep meditation, reliving past assassinations, reliving his first kill and smiling at every look up surprise and pain as he drove his dagger deep into his victims.

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Sharron

Sharron didn't really have anything against Fort Travis Junction but she didn't like the town either, it was simply the place she had settled down in. Not that it didn't have anything and most everything she could need and it wasn't that it didn't provide a decent living, but it bored her. Of course one reason she could find the town boring could be because she had never really made an effort to get to know anybody. She was simply a loner through and through, she had settled in a town one day and never really told anybody why and she had kept it that way. Not that it mattered, folks kept to themselves as long as she didn't cause trouble. Not to mention that being a gunsmith in a town with guns made her an asset of sorts and provided her good trade. So while she had nothing really to complain about besides her own anti-social attitude, she was prepared for something new, somewhere new, or at the very least a couple of faces that she hadn't seen before. That was why she had long since decided to go ahead and make her way somewhere else, and it seemed like the day to do just that, the train would be stopping in come mid-day and there was nothing stopping her from finding what else was out there.

Hell, Sharron had already packed up everything she was going to take with her and it even fit into a single bag. She had a change of clothing which was exactly the same as what she was currently wearing, a bit of food and a water skin, a few little tools she used to work on her weapons, and all the cash she had collected over the years which was no vast sum but enough. The rest of her belongings she kept on her person. She had her two guns, a knife, the locket around her neck, and some extra bullets in case she ran into trouble, which hadn't actually happened for awhile, not since she shot some poor bastard who broke into her house thinking she would be an easy mark. In her mind that was all she was going to need, she didn't have anything else of value and as for friends and relatives she had none, the only people who would miss her would most likely get over it pretty darn quick. Nope, all she had was her possessions and that was fine with her.

She wasn't just sitting at home with all of her stuff though, she had left her house early in the morning and had been sitting in the bar drinking since it opened, a good place to help pass the time. In fact there had been a card game but that had ended some time ago and now she was just sitting in one of the back corners relaxed, waiting for mid-day to come down and the train along with it. It was up to shots of whiskey to help pass the time at this point which was rather drab. Sitting in the saloon was as boring as ever and even alcohol seemed to lose its taste nowadays and she attributed that to the lack of excitement. Because she had lived in town so long nothing happened, everyone knew her if only by rumor and that stopped people from doing anything stupid and giving her reason to create her own 'excitement', even the ladies in town were well aware of the intention behind her charm. Sharron finished off another shot from the bottle of whiskey and just sighed to herself, pushing a bit of her long black hair out of her face and looking towards the door at the light filtering in, it was going to be a boring wait. It got slightly less boring when an odd character walked in wearing strange black robes, but gave off a very unpleasant vibe. She wasn't quite sure what to think of him but there was no use worrying about it, it was most likely be the last time that she would see him and he didn't look like good company, even for the small bit of time yet to pass.

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#, as written by Asper
Lucien felt the stares of one of the women in the bar. He watched her under the darkness of his hood and smiled coldly to himself. He could feel the torture in her life, other peoples pain was apparent to him. He could see the pain on their face, and hers jumped out at him. He smirked and thought to himself, "She would make a good killer."

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Character Portrait: Jackson Curtiss Character Portrait: Striker
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The train. The train was a hot metal vein, bringing new life to Fort Travis. The train brought new faces, it brought hope, and it brought opportunity. And that opportunity brought Striker. Out from an alley with a mouth full of dust and foul tastes, squinting beneath the brim of her hat in the mid-day sun, roused like a snake from under a rock.

She looked like hell. That long sandy mane was bound with twine, pulled back in a tangled mess at the nape of her neck. Her lips were chapped, her eyes somewhat bloodshot, and her throat dry as the town itself. It would have to wait. The rumble of the train was urging her onward. On up the railing on the side of a building, to a higher balcony where she just didn't belong. But she was often there, watching the new faces, watching for her mouse.

Lately her ability to stack a deck and cheat in general had kept her stomach full and her head down. She'd not stolen anything by force, she simply swindled her way into a meal at any chance..But it just wasn't enough. This town only had so many people to screw over...She needed something just a little more substantial. Something she hadn't quite found just yet. But today was the day. Today that train had the perfect mouse for Striker, she just didn't know yet. Today, like every other day the train rolled in, she was lounging on that rail, sipping warm stagnant water from her canteen as she observed the going on at the junction. What was being unloaded, who was leaving, who was visiting. Important stuff. She'd watch under the heat of that sun, shifting a wooden splinter for one side if her mouth to the other, weighing her options. Hell, the train was nearly empty, and worse, that Jackson fellow was lingering about the track on a horse. Well fuck that.

Striker had not had the pleasure of meeting Jackson face to face, but often she would watch him from a distance. Watching every little move he made, watching the cogs turn in his head, and doing her very best to stay out of his line of sight. The less he saw of her, the better.

She'd spit off the rail before slouching to the side and returning her attention to the train, not giving up hope just yet.

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Character Portrait: Cain Cassidy
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Cain

The man marched his way through town, his keen, hazel-green eyes peering from beneath a well-worn hat. He was bored and unimpressed. Stories of Fort Travis Junction made their way far into the deserted wasteland, but from what he gathered in his short time here, it was a town like any other. He arrived early this morning, when the sun was still rising, and already traveled nearly the circumference of the fort. The faces he met along the way told him everything he needed to know about the place and regardless of the large barrier he assumed the town would die out as any other. Shame, he thought dragging his eyes about the rugged buildings, It has potential.

Honestly, all the town really needed were a few more good working machines, which brought him back to the reason why he was here in the first place. He stopped on the side of the street and studied the shadows, getting the time the good old fashioned way. He was running late, but it didn't really matter. He wasn't the Agency's poster-boy and regardless of how urgent the task was, he was fine with having a bit of fun on the side. He walked farther on taking in the 'sites' until his thirst made him pause. He was supposed to meet the other Agent at the town bar, a perfect place to blend in and conduct business, as all sorts of people passed through these parts. He pulled his wind-blown poncho back in place and licked his chapped lips. Yes, drink was a good idea. It was about time to get to business.

He back-tracked through town and pushed the bar doors open. He nodded politely at the the few who turned their attention to him and continued his way inside. It didn't take long to find the man he was to meet, he stood out like a sore thumb. He mentally groaned taking in the curious character. He hoped the Agency knew what it was doing. Operations such as theses were handled best covertly. Making yourself disappear into the background was the best and easiest way to get the job done. Hiding in plain sight came as easily as breathing to him. This man though..just the vibe he gave made people weary and that was something that could put a damper on his plans. Rather than walking up to the man, he found a seat at the bar and ordered a drink. Either the man would figure him out and make his way towards him or remain brooding in the corner, like a disciplined child. Regardless, he wanted to see how the man behaved. If he was to be working with the bloke, he wanted to know what he was getting in to.

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#, as written by Asper
He took note of the man that noticed him as he came in. He examined his face and quickly realized he fit the description of the agent he would be helping on this contract. He stood up and approached slowly. He knew he had to be discreet on this mission so as he finally approached him he said quietly, "Excuse me friend, but would you like to have your drink with me in the corner?" He said this quietly enough so that only the Agent would hear and if anyone else heard they wouldn't suspect much of it.

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Character Portrait: Cain Cassidy Character Portrait: Lucien "The Luck" Lachance
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Cain

He watched the dark clothed man out from the corner of his eye, taking a long drag from his drink. It wasn't alcohol, he wasn't stupid. Only idiots impaired their senses. He set the old glass down with a thud and grinned to himself as the man made his presence known. He was unsure of how he picked him out so quickly, considering they've never met, but it lifted his worries somewhat and even more so when he presented himself as a friendly drinker. At least he's not an imbecile. He turned to meet the stranger and leaned against the bar, looking him blatantly up and down. Besides the manic smile, the man seemed fairly normal, but that was the beauty of 'normal'. What kind of person is quick to judge an average Joe? Humans were a very superstitious and judgmental species. It was always better to fit in and pretend rather than cause suspicion. It also was amusing as hell and he gladly went at it.

His eyes seemed to brighten and a broad smile spread across his face. He slapped the stranger on the shoulder and gave him a friendly shake, "My God!" he spoke as if he'd just seen a long lost friend, "Is that really you, you old goat? It's been ages! Yes, yes, let us drink. We have much to discuss." With that, he took his glass and walked briskly towards the depressing corner. Though his outward appearance revealed mirth and energy, mentally he mocked the situation. What is it with the dark cliche? Dark clothes, dark corner..God, I hope this man isn't one of those overly emotional types. He took a seat at the table and cast a smug smile in the stranger's direction. He wondered what thoughts laid behind those cold grey eyes as he made himself comfortable. "Tell me, friend," he spoke coolly, taking another drag from his drink, "What's your business here?" At least now they could speak openly, they were old pals afterall.

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#, as written by Asper
Lucien said normally, "Just wandering through these parts hoping to make my way North." Then leaned in and said quietly, "I know my appearance is throwing you off, don't worry, the people here won't remember me, you may call me strange but I prefer darkness, it helps me remain unseen. Your keen eyes may of been able to keep watch of me, but in this corner. Their sun damaged eyes quickly lost site of me and their alcohol destroyed brains quickly forgot me." With that he leaned back and said quietly enough so that no one could hear, "I was not put on this mission to help you engage the Lost Tech directly if it has been activated, I am here to make sure no one gets in your way, my blade is yours and I will cut down anyone you tell me to. Of course also anyone who shows aggression towards you, I can do this discreetly or openly if you wish." Lucien had been evaluating his character, he knew the Agent was hesitant of him but he had a liking of the him.

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Character Portrait: Cain Cassidy Character Portrait: Lucien "The Luck" Lachance
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Cain

Though he kept his body directed entirely at the stranger his eyes were ever watchful of the people within the bar. Lost Tech was a fragile subject. The people figured it to be a rumour and he would dam well keep it that way. His eyebrows rose somewhat upon listening to the man's monologue. Cuts right down to business. It amused him somewhat, the quick explanation of his attire and actions. Cain supposed that since he was 'The Boss' of the operation, the man most likely felt he needed to explain himself. He snickered inwardly and leaned back in his chair. "The name's Lucien, right? First off, we appreciate the help," Though, the Agency wasn't known for handing out flowers and rescuing those in need, Cain wasn't against showing some respect, "As you already know, my name's Cassidy. You did me a favour and cut straight to the point, so I'll do the same," He pulled himself further in, resting his hands around his glass on the table and looked the man in the eye. Though every part about him seemed fairly laxed, his tone iced over in warning, "You are not a part of The Agency. You are a tool. If you endanger my orders in any way, I won't hesitate to cut you down. You do your part and watch my back and I will watch yours."

The man knew what he was doing, else the Agency wouldn't have bothered hiring him. He would have plenty of time to judge Lucien later on and see if he could hold his own. For now, Cain would keep things simple. Friendships didn't last. As soon as this was over, regardless if the man was alive at the end or not, Cain would continue on. That was his job. Nothing would come between him and fulfilling it. Cain leaned back in his seat once again and sighed, "As for the package.. The thing hasn't been operable for over a millennia. I think it's safe to say that any possibility of it be activated is extremely slim."

For all he knew this was just another piece of broken equipment. Despite working for the Agency, he didn't quite follow their beliefs. The world was a shit-hole. All technologies were destroyed in the war eons ago. Whatever tech people had now was it. No amount of junk was going to change anything, but if the Agency wanted to keep on this little treasure hunt, it was fine by him.

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Character Portrait: Cain Cassidy Character Portrait: William Silvaro Character Portrait: Jackson Curtiss Character Portrait: Sharron Rose Character Portrait: Striker Character Portrait: Lucien "The Luck" Lachance
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The Posse wanted something on the mid-day train when it arrived at Fort Travis, which meant that they would need someone in the town, watching for anything suspicious that might be going on there, any unusual characters who might want to fill the outlaws with lead. The problem was, of course, that the group of men were all outlaws, in one way or another, and should any of them be recognized they'd be shot, or worse, thrown in jail and questioned. However, this was not the case with one of the newest members of the group, Doc Silver.

William had been sent on ahead of the train a few days earlier. He hadn't killed anyone yet, no one of any importance who would be missed anyway, and they had yet to put his picture on any wanted posters. He had kept a low profile, which was part of his plan. Keep a low profile, stay around with the outlaws only as long as you need to, find the man who ruined your life, and end his. A simple enough plan, but it was more complicated than that. For instance, now he sat in a saloon in the walled off town of Fort Travis, keeping an eye out for anyone who might but a damper on the Posse's plans, which meant look for anyone with a badge or a gun. It seemed like most people here carried a gun, which was a common sight anywhere, and to him, they all looked suspicious. Even the lady who sat at the bar now, drinking whiskey, waiting or something. She had come in some time earlier and watched a game of cards before she had set to drinking. Watching her down the alcohol hit a nerve with William, made his throat dry, but he knew that fire water was the last thing he needed, especially today.

But then, a man he marked as very dangerous entered the saloon. He was an odd one, wearing black robes in this head, and a hood to hide his face. The man took a seat in a dark corner, and seemed to not longer exist to the others after a few moments, which William figured to be his plan. Sit in the dark, blend into the shadows, draw as little suspicion as possible, then wait. The question was, what was he waiting on?

A short time after this, William got his answer. A rather normal looking man, with a layer of dust on his clothes from walking the streets of Fort Travis, came into the saloon and took a seat at the bar before ordering a drink. The dark figure approached him, and the two set off for the darkness to talk. After watching them talk for a bit, unable to hear anything the man in black said, William stands, finishes his drink, and lays his money on the table before walking out and back into the sunshine.

It took only a few long minutes for William to make his way over to the train station, where the train was just pulling in to stop for a time. by the time he got to the ancient platform people were moving in and out of the machine, making the doctor think of some monstrous blood transfusion. The old blood being the people, some of them flooding out of the train as if from a wound, the new blood moving into the vain that was the train through but one or two entrances. Looking around, he could see a few other people he felt should have notes taken about them. There was a man atop a horse near the tracks, who looked as though he might be the law around this town, and as he makes his way over to a bench to sit and wait, his knee starting to pain him, noticed a woman on the railing, looking as if she crawled out from the gutters, watching everything about the train and the people closely. Obviously, she was looking for something in particular, not that William was worried. Instead, he takes out his silver pocket watch and checks the time as he waits.

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Character Portrait: Leos Kroh
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Leos sat patiently within his AH/G-52, the main systems on standby in case he had to move. His prey was the train, hiding inside a hole like the worm it is. He was the bird of pray, waiting ever so diligently on cracking open that shell and find what kinds of tech hidden within.

His bird, dubbed the Insurgence, was once a military masterpiece. Twin Atares Turbofans dominated the sides of the craft, serving as the main propulsion as well as doubling as wings. Modified to carry up to 6 passengers, as well as cargo, it served well as his mobile residence. Sure, the original blue paint was wearing off, chipping away from the sands, and that a new paint job was in order, but it would change little, for the simple fact that he is one of the few to own such fine machinery in nearly flawless condition.

A few days ago, he had flown into town to trade some salvaged tech that he found laying about, mostly radiators and compressors and other tidbits that are needed. Every once in a while he'll scavenge up a weapon or two, sell them for parts. But he was also here for another reason: to refuel.

Sure, the robed tinman wasn't known for his attitude towards people, but how could he fix up a damaged generator and make it run better than it would originally run. He had visited the bar the previous morning, concluded some trades, mostly for food. He would always wear that helmet of his in public, further adding the mystery behind that mask. Nobody exactly knew who he was, and he wanted to keep it that way.

The Posse knew of him, but didn't know him per se. He was brought onto the gang as a tech-Specialist, as well as their emergency ride in case raids didn't turn out as well as they planned. He's one of the newer members, mostly because he thought it would be best for him to stay away from the other members most of the time. Call him when needed. Each one of them carried a special, hidden communicator on them, making it easier to coordinate their activities, share information, and so Leos would be able to make pickups and offer transportation. He was a ghost, particularly to those who tried hunting him down. While not stealthy in the least bit, he is often skilled in leaving nothing to track him with, and he likes it that way.

"Ghost to Gang, what are the cards?" Asking over the communicator, each on a private, secured channel that Leos had fine-tuned each of the communicators to himself.

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#, as written by Asper
Lucien laughed a little, "I am very well used to being a tool, after all that's what Assassins are right? A tool for those who can't get revenge themselves and as for The Agency, you have my deepest assurance that once this job is over the Agency will be nothing but the past to me." Lucien interlocked his fingers together in front of them, and thought of another subject on hand that would need to be discussed, "All I need to know is what you want me to do, am I to stay close or distanced? What are your leads on the whereabouts of the Lost Tech and what will be our next move?" Lucien snickered remembering one more thing, "As for cutting me down, I also was told that if you in any way threatened the mission I was to take care of you and report back to the Agency so that they could get a different Agent on the job, do not be insulted or angered, as I'm sure you realize, this whole ordeal is, well, simply business." Lucien's eyes drifted to a man who had been watching them, the man got up and left shortly, Lucien didn't make much of it but made a mental note to himself to not forget that face.

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Character Portrait: Cain Cassidy Character Portrait: William Silvaro Character Portrait: Jacob Dalton Character Portrait: Striker Character Portrait: Lucien "The Luck" Lachance
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#, as written by Cypher


"Fort Travis Junction!"

The shout carried down the center of Dalton's car, and roused him from his slumber. The heat of the desert they had been crossing for the last several hours had carried him off into the ether, granting him a brief reprieve from the uncomfortably hazy, bone-dry air. Jacob realized that his mouth was incredibly dry, and his suit - even made of the lightest material he could afford - was uncomfortably warm. He exhaled a dry breath and realized, suddenly, that he was not only hot and sleepy, but incredibly hungry and thirsty. His seat-mate had already up and left, and even now people were departing the train. Porters were moving towards the freight cars towards the rear; although Dalton did not notice the mercenaries standing guard nearby. He was too busy standing, as if in a trance, and slumping down the center aisle, heading towards the steps and the town of Fort Travis Junction.

Slumping onto the platform, Jacob realized that it may actually have been cooler outside than in - perhaps it was his mind, or perhaps it was the fact that the train was more efficient at baking things than a godforsaken oven - but either way he was grateful for the reprieve. He moved silently off the platform and cast his eyes about for the bar, eventually settling on a building that looked altogether like a saloon straight out of another dime novel; batwing doors and player piano and everything. Jacob smiled a bit, and adjusted his hat, working to keep the sun from his eyes. He quickly strode down the main street and into the bar.

He immediately regretted his decision. The room didn't turn and stare at him like in so many cliche western movies - rather, the air carried tension, foreboding. A man passed him on the way in, checking a silver watch. Jacob quickly stepped out of his way, his overly large steamer trunk bumping into a chair nearby. The loud noise didn't interrupt any of the conversations around him, but Jacob felt no less at ease.

He'd taken no more than three steps when he came across a disheartening sight - two men, one of them completely unremarkable, sat in a corner. As mentioned, one of them was dressed in the same dusty clothes he'd seen everyone outside wearing, but the other - well, as his father would have said, 'He was an object.' He was dressed in all black from head to toe and the very air around him seemed to shimmer with some sort of malicious aura.

Jacob suddenly didn't feel so thirsty. He hastily backed up and batted the batwing doors aside, and made his way back into the street. Along the way he passed a vendor selling some cheap food and drink, and passed a couple dollars along to him for some food and a bottle of water. His face looked ashen as he made his way to a bench nearby and sat down. He took no note of the woman standing on an upper balcony across the street from him.

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Character Portrait: Cain Cassidy Character Portrait: Jacob Dalton Character Portrait: Lucien "The Luck" Lachance
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Cain

"Spoken like a true businessman," Cain smirked when Lucien bit back. The man knew his place, but was confident enough to let even Cain know he took his orders seriously. Perhaps business with Lucien wouldn't be so terrible afterall. He dug into his pocket and pulled out what looked like an oddly shaped button. "No offence, friend, but I want to be as far from you as possible. This here," he spoke, sliding the equipment across the table, "Is a communicator. One of the fancier doo-dads the Agency lets us play with. All you do is push it and I'll hear you," he stretched some and moved a bit in his chair. He never was one for staying put in one place for long. "You keep that on you and we'll keep in touch. The package is at the station, if the train hasn't be delayed. Keep some distance and keep an eye out for any suspicious characters," he looked the man up and down and grinned, "I trust you know all about that. Once I receive the package you I'll give you a call and we'll rondevu elsewhere. I'm not the kind to take someone out and never call back." He winked, amusing himself.

During their talk Cain's eyes remained darting around the bar. Though one fellow seemed to take interest in their conversation he left rather early on. It wasn't until an other, definitely an out-of-towner, seemed to bust into the saloon on accident that he felt he was dragging out his time. All it took was one look at them and he seemed to quickly change his mind. Though, the lack of confidence in the man nearly had him laughing, the man's reaction clicked. He scared him away- they scared him away. If all it took was one glance to make a full grown man uneasy he wasn't exactly blending in. He watched the bloke turn tail and jet, his suit burning a picture in his mind. "Yankees," he scoffed to himself. Taking the man's entrance as his cue to leave, Cain stands and stretches one more time. He pats Lucien on his shoulder as he moves out, "Keep in touch."

Exiting the bar his eyes take a while to adjust to the light. "Damn dark corners," he mumbles to himself, pulling his hat lower to shade his eyes. There was a reason folks didn't take much to shadows. The darker it is, the light just seems that much brighter. After gaining back his sight, he sees that the town is filling up, indicating the train's arrival. He'd give it some time before he retrieved the package. He wouldn't get caught up in reuniting friends and families and passengers fighting to obtain cargo. He'd wait a minute or so then head down and watch the circus of people. Passing by he noticed the man who ran off and tipped his hat. Everything about him was awkward, from the way he held himself, to the suit and the ghostly-paleness of his skin. Had he ever been outside? "A bit out of you're element ain't you, stranger?" He chuckled. Some small talk would do him good during the wait and after his talk with 'Mr. Dark Lucien 'The Luck' he could use some entertainment.

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#, as written by Asper
Lucien exited the Saloon after Cain had, he took a turn down several roads an alleys till he located an area secluded enough. He stripped him self of his robes and hid them under a large rock, he was now dressed in some what ordinary clothing. Clothing that would not draw attention, he figured he looked different enough that even Cain wouldn't be able to recognize him. He didn't intend to wander the town, nothing else there would hold any interest in him, he instead chose to head near the train station. Lucien found a near building an sat against it watching the station, he was preparing him self for anything that could happen.

He knew something was amiss with the contract, it wouldn't be a simple package pick up, the feeling of the Void that he normally felt was strangely disturbed. It was a warning to expect more then he intended, he felt worried for a moment then excited. There would be death in this contract.

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Character Portrait: Cain Cassidy Character Portrait: Jacob Dalton
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#, as written by Cypher
Dalton suddenly found himself addressed by a man with a dusty, dry accent. He turned and found that it was a man in a likewise dusty and dry coat, with a dusty, dry face. He faintly recognized him from somewhere, but couldn't quite place it. So many folks like him around here wore the same style of coat, they all got jumbled up in his head. This man could literally be anyone. He looked down at his waist and saw the gun holstered there, then quickly darted his eyes up. He seemed overly stiff and seized up at this point, almost comically like a soldier at attention. He stepped away from the food stand (and the rapidly generating line) before addressing the man.

"Ah... Yes, I suppose you could say I am quite out of my element here..." He raised one hand for a handshake, the other one clutching his massive steamer trunk. "Jacob Dalton, accountant. I'm from the, uh, the East Coast. Um... Massachusetts-Rhode Island-Connecticut Consolidated Republic, to be precise. I was offered a job out this way." Reaching his free hand into his jacket, he produced a letter and almost handed it to the man. It was practically in his hand when he read the postmark in the delicate handwriting of his fiancee.

"Oh, er, wrong letter, sir, I'll just..." He quickly snatched the letter back and stuffed it into his breast pocket, then withdrew another letter, printed on heavier stock. "Here."

It was in a simple font, small letters spelling out the terms of a job position with the Shaded Valley Transit Company. "They offered me a job at a post at the end of the line... Um, I'm an accountant, see, and the job was simply too good to refuse, so I pulled up stakes, and now -- here I am!" He raised his arms about himself and laughed nervously. "Here I am," he said, lower, less enthusiastically.

"What about you, sir? What are you doing here?" Jacob smiled, rocking on his heels. The train was sure taking a long time to offload...

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Character Portrait: Cain Cassidy Character Portrait: Jacob Dalton
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Cain

A dry smile graced his lips as he watched the man fumble about himself. He took the offered hand and shook it firmly. Not many folks had the decency to introduce themselves out in these parts, what with the constant come and go. It was refreshing to see at least one man who held on to his manners. "Pleasure to meet ya, Dalton." He retracted his hand quickly, dropping it to his side, as he watched the man rummage in his jacket. He didn't stay alive without keeping alert. In his line of work anyone, Yankee or otherwise, was capable of pulling a trigger and conditioning was a hard thing to combat. Gathering what the man was doing, his hand left his side and casually took the gifted letter, only having enough time to catch the womanly font before it was taken from him. The fact that he had a woman's letter shocked him somewhat. What kind of girl would take to a man like him? He smirked shamefully to himself. Damn, I'm an analytical bastard.

He couldn't help but chuckle at the poor man's attempts and took the other letter in good humour. "Accountant, eh? Heh. I take it back Dalton, you're not just out of your element, you're in a whole other world." He handed him back the parchment and patted the man on the shoulder. "Don't fret, Kid. This town's as good as any. Fort Travis Junction's been here a while, so you can make yourself comfortable." He wasn't sure why he was being nice, maybe he felt bad for the bloke. He shrugged inwardly, maybe he just felt better knowing he gave the man some sort of pleasantry before he ventured out. He didn't picture Dalton surviving long out here.

"Me?" He questioned, answering the man, "I've got business here." Not wanting to drag the conversation on and possibly risk the Yankee clinging to him, he began walking towards the station. "Good luck, Dalton," he said, keeping his back to the accountant, "This ain't the East Coast, but keep your wits about you and you'll do fine." He figured enough time had passed. He didn't want to become lazy and have the possibility of something, regardless how slight, occurring without him being at the station.

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Character Portrait: James Doolin Character Portrait: William Silvaro Character Portrait: Valora Bowing Character Portrait: Leos Kroh
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#, as written by dig17
James Doolin had been watching the train ever since it pulled in. The antiqued machine needed to be lubricated at multiple stops on its way to the other side of the Mississippi; it was the process of a time before them, like an echo reappearing long after one has spoken. Indeed, James had always enjoyed seeing trains; they were the most complicated and interesting amalgamations of steel and fire that had ever graced his little farming community of Abilene, Kansas. Their whistles could be heard from over the largest hill he'd seen until he was 16, from what seemed like miles away; as soon as it was confirmed, he'd race to meet it with his brothers and sisters, waving the conductor on as the shipment of coal or food or people passed away from them like a dream at dawn. Those were the good days, filled with simple sunsets and pretty neighbor girls. As Leos' voice buzzed in his ear, he decided that it was all worth the work he was doing so far away from home.

"Ganger to tha Ghost, we's got a straight. Be ready to cash, please."

The plan was simple enough. The real question was if it would go right. He hadn't tried anything like they were about to, but after riding with the Kansas Rangers during the Bloodletting, he hadn't done much of anything more than twice. It was the lifestyle, the idea of adaptation inside the frame of their capabilities, which was more than they'd figure a lot of the time. Either way, it was time to sing old Willy and Val their cues; he had taken to singing old folk songs learned on the trail in Kansas as a way of confirming to his 'Posse' that he saw elements of their heists ready to be executed.

"Ah been with Sally, ah been with Sue, ah been with Cindy and 'er sister, too." He huffed up a breath. "Now ahm tryna settle down, start a family with that cute lil Kim," James paused a moment to take note of the plume of smoke coming up from the great steam engine on the train, hissing with energy. "But now that ah tasted blood, now this wine tastes too thin."

He realized most of the townsfolk seemed ugly. Really ugly. Royal Territory Of California ugly. These weren't farmers, surely; these were folk who made their living in the fort. Self-sustenance inside 'civilized' areas always resulted in the worst mish-mash of genetic code that could be combined. A blender of the bullshit; only the weakest members of the species lived in towns like this. James bent his head down to spit in the dirt, more out of contempt than necessity. One out of every five women who passed him were even worth glancing back at; out in the farmland, a farmboy NEVER gave the neighbor girls less than two looks. Maybe it was the water that made them so pretty; he had to admit, the water source of Fort Travis Junction seemed tepid, likely infected with some ungodly parasite. Perhaps this was God's own way of telling James that this state was cursed and needed to be robbed of their treasures, such as the one on the train he had caught wind about. Either way, all he kept thinking about was the sweetness of little Jolene Hutchinson.

"Ah got a needle, don' be alarmed, it shoots streams o' lovely things into my arm. Well ah'd sell my own mother for that sweet heroin." He tipped his hat to an older woman who looked back at him, somewhat disgusted or horrified at the lyrics. "Oh, now that I've tasted blood, now this wine seems too thin."

He began strolling toward the saloon. Maybe they didn't call it a saloon, or it wasn't titled the saloon, but Goddammit, it was a saloon. They served beer and pussy, and where he came from, that was called a saloon. Regardless, he didn't see much of a fighting presence there; no military or peacekeepers in uniform, for sure. If there were, they'd be served copper-coated candy if they decided to put up a fight once the gang rose into action.

"Sometimes the white coats, they hide black hearts, we learna to sugar coat the same black guards." The last part of this stanza was one of his favorites, surely one lyric he'd take to his grave; the Kansas Mounted Rangers sang the song often, and they'd get the loudest when the last stanza came about. "Well, ah turn lead into gold, ah'll cure original sin. Oh, now that ah tasted blood, now this wine seems too thin."

He stopped and looked out. He hadn't seen Willy or Val anywhere. Maybe he wasn't looking hard enough; maybe he didn't WANT to see them. At the very least, he didn't want to give their position away by constantly eyeing them as they moved, so he stood in place, leaning against one of the posts outside the saloon doors, staying out of the way as he reached into his coat and found a ratty cigar, which promptly went between his lips as he lit up a large flame from several matches at one time. He puffed the smoke out, enjoying the flavor as he took one last look around before breaking radio silence; nobody was talking. If they didn't acknowledge him, he'd have to improvise, and that would be too much fun.

"Willy, how's the rest of the song go, ah?"

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Character Portrait: James Doolin Character Portrait: William Silvaro Character Portrait: Valora Bowing Character Portrait: Leos Kroh
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"Ganger to tha Ghost, we's got a straight. Be ready to cash, please."

The commlink buzzed to life, something that had felt like an eternity and it was exactly the thing that Leos was waiting for. He reached overhead in the cockpit, flipping a couple switches here, turning a couple dials there, then punched a small red button labeled Ignition.

As he pushed it in, the external fans built into the wings started spinning, generating enough lift to push the craft from the ground it was perched. The Insurgence was alive...

"This is Ghost. Little blue bird is in the air, I repeat, blue bird is in the air."

Finishing those words, with his left hand, Leos set his little radio on loop, playing his little "pump music".

The blue metal beast roared to life, its nose shifting into a climb, quickly hovering away from its perch. It thrusted forwards, maintaining altitude as well as gaining speed, its nose now slightly leaning towards the ground. Leo check his altometer...

10 meters and rising...

15 meters and rising...

He looked out through the cockpit's windshield, pulling back on the throttles. People outside didn't know if this guy had a deathwish, appearing as if he wasn't going to make it over the station.

25 meters and rising... And Leo had made it over the station's topmost exterior paneling. Veering off away from the town's fortifications, the Insurgence appeared to be heading straight into a dust storm.

"Ghost to gang, my little birdie goes tweet tweet tweet..."

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Character Portrait: Jackson Curtiss
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"What in the eternal fires of hell is that?" exclaimed Jackson when he saw a strange machine appear on the horizon.

Jackson knew of machines capable of flight but he had never had to deal with one directly as sheriff, Jackson remembered witnessing the destruction one such machine had delivered during the civil war and had since hated such tech; not for its existence but for the way humanity put the works of great minds to the petty interests of those with wealth and power, this was after all the reason for the current state of affairs all over the world and Jackson could not ignore that. One such machine had raided fort Travis while he was a deputy and Jackson wasn't about to take any chances with this one.

Jackson lost view of the machine to a looming sandstorm but doubted if that would be the end of it, Jackson needed to warn the militia but riding all the way to the fort would take far too long; the only operational communication's device nearby was in the saloon.

Fort Travis had no guard or armed force other then the deputies and the artillery operators; the militia assembled to counter threats to the town however only a few people could be mobilized at a moment's notice. Jackson would have to find at least a few men to deal with this problem until the militia mobilized.

Quickly turning and riding towards the station Jackson proceeded to quickly tie his horse upon arrival a few minutes later, jumping off the saddle Jackson made his way to the security office of the station; at least two deputies attended the station at all times and Jackson wanted at least one watching his back.

Jackson cursed, the communications of the station where out of service and now when he actually needed fast accesses communication he simply didn't have it. As he entered the office he saw only deputy Eric attending the post.

"Eric why are you the only deputy here?" asked Jackson angered by the breach of protocol and security; who would man the post if a problem such as this presented itself? Jackson could not simply leave the station unattended."

Eric quickly stood up at attention; this wasn't a military but Fort Travis had a long military heritage dating back as far as the old US army. Eric was young man barley of age and only recently named deputy, normally Jackson would not appoint such a young man but as his father was killed while on duty Jackson had no choice but to recruit him; Jackson had promised to look after the families of all his men if they were killed and the only way he know how to directly keep an eye on orphans who had no family left like Eric was to appoint them if they wanted the job. It was also a long standing tradition of those whose ancestors manned original garrison of Fort Travis to become deputies for at least a few years.

Eric stumbled with his words before saying nervously

"Sir… err Martin left a few hours ago to the Saloon, said he had to take care of something but he hasn't returned since and I could not inform you without leaving my post… sorry sir"

Jackson patted Martin on the shoulder he was a good lad and would soon grow out of his inner self doubts, Jackson hoped he would be as competent an officer as his father was and the boy certainly did not deserve his anger, Martin the gambling idiot did however.

"Its all right son, it's not your fault. You stay here and man the post while I will look for Martin, there is a strange flying machine around our turf so put in effect all the emergency security regulations; I will send you some men from the militia as soon as I can."

Jackson ran out of the office and into the near by Saloon, Martin was a solid fighter but a incompetent deputy; he had no respect for the rules and buggered off to drink and gamble whenever he could, if not for his steady aim while on the saddle Jackson would have kicked him out of the deputy office long ago.

Jackson quickly found Martin utterly drunk near the door, cursing Jackson made his way to the back office of the Saloon. Reaching for the communicator Jackson made a call to the deputy barracks and the mayor's office asking them to ready the defenses for a possible raid. Jackson then proceeded to the center of the Saloon were he tried to speak, failing that Jackson pulled out his pistol and fired a shot in the air to attract the attention of the many people who populated the Saloon.

"Attention to you all, as of this moment the town is under emergency protocol by my authority as Sherriff, no one is to leave this establishment unless he has a militia service pass. Go back to your drinks and stay put while I and the deputies deal with the problem"

Jackson did not mention the directive stating all outsiders had to hand over their guns for safe keeping while the emergency was going on as he did not have the force to back that order up yet, he would have to wait for the deputies for that. There was a very good reason for keeping outsiders in the Saloon; it was not unknown for robbers made their way out of the Saloon to cause trouble while their palls attacked from the outside.

Jackson walked to the bar and placed on it a number of dollars, all silver as paper dollars were worthless out in these lands unless you exchanged it with one of em city accountants that had places for exchange like one in Fort Travis. Jackson apologized to Joe the Saloon owner for the mess and went to the side in order to get Martin on his feet.