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Wildcat Kate

Tenacious, hard-headed outlaw looking for trouble

0 · 352 views · located in Splitcreek, Arizona

a character in “Westward Bound”, as played by Luv-is-a-Bug


Given Name: Katherine Sullivan

Nickname: Wildcat Kate

Gender: Female

Age: 24

Good guy or bad guy? Explain: What is a "bad guy", really? If you're seeking "revenge" you're a bad guy, but if you're seeking justice, well, that's another matter entirely. It's all in the wording, isn't it? What if you do bad things for good reasons? Like stealing from the rich to give to the needy, and all that Robinhood bullshit? Not that Kate is any kind of Robinhood. She may have started off needy, but she's pretty well off now, and she doesn't give to anyone but herself. Still, Kate doesn't see herself as a true baddy. In her eyes, she's more of a...vigilante. That's the thing, isn't it? Villains never think they're all that bad. So...good guy or bad guy...I guess it really depends who you're asking. If you ask anyone she's stolen from, or cheated in a game of poker, they'd tell you she's bad to the bone. But if Kate were to look into that black, bottomless hole she calls a heart, she might, just might, say there's hope for her yet.

Position: Outlaw

Personality :
Well, they don’t call her Wildcat Kate for nothing. Tenacious, stubborn, and, let’s face it, a little aggressive, Kate isn’t really known for her charm. There’s also been some speculation as to whether she’s all there in the head. Her rash and impulsive actions can read as more stupid than brave, though if she realizes this she doesn’t show it. You want to know the truth? Sometimes she puts herself in dangerous situations just for the thrill of it. Because in Kate's case, after all she's done and all the people she's hurt, it's the only way to feel something. Even though that something is fear, it still feels a whole lot better than nothing at all. She needs that rush to feel alive, to feel human.
There was a time when Kate had manners, but her proper Eastern upbringing has since been replaced by experience gained from years dodging the law. Loud and crass, Kate loves to make a scene, and specializes in dramatic exits and elaborate, unecessary action. There are, of course, times when it is in her best interest to lie low, and despite her wild nature, she does it well. If Kate doesn't want to be found, you're hard pressed to find her, though her hiding spot is often right under the nose of whoever's looking for her. She has no moral qualms about talking, bribing, or, in some cases, shooting, her way out of any sticky situation. Oh yes, our little outlaw is a lying, thieving snake, and proud of it. She's stealthy and sneaky to a fault, rather like a hungry fox when it comes to slinking around.
Her best friends are her engraved six shooter pistol and her horse, Gunsmoke, which gives you a good idea of her people skills. She’d sooner beat you in a drinking contest or take your money in poker (or else hold up your stage coach, rob your bank, or any other number of crimes) than sit down and chat with you. She’s a woman of action, not words. Does her lifestyle get a little lonely? Sure it does. Are there times she regrets trading in her petticoats and pinafores for chaps and spurs? ...Well, that happens a lot less often, but sure. If it weren't for all the hate in her heart, Kate would've burned out a long time ago. It takes a whole lot of something to keep a lifestyle like hers going. You don't do it just because it's fun. You do it to fill a hole inside you; you do it in a desperate attempt to replace something you've lost. What Kate hasn't yet realized is that all the poker chips and booze in the world can't replace what was taken from her. That's why she has to steal and lie and cheat so often, because the high she gets from doing so never lasts very long. And the longer she wanders in the world, the more it takes to fill that aching hole that losing her family left inside her. At this rate, Kate might just self-implode before she ever fills that hole.

She’s competent with a gun, and definitely has a fondness for her pistol, but she’s no Annie Oakley. She’s an excellent horsewoman, though, and has made most all her daring getaways on her trusty steed, Gunsmoke. She’s also pretty handy at cards, mostly due to her steely poker face.
Oh, and drinking. She certainly does love to drink. But then, who doesn’t?

Kate wasn’t always a hardened outlaw. In fact, until the age of 12, she was a privileged little girl growing up on the east coast. Then, unexpectedly, her father lost his job. Around the same time, her mother contracted tuberculosis. The combination of unfortunate events prompted Kate’s parents to bring their seven children out west, where her father hoped to strike it rich in one of the booming mining towns.
Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go as planned. Her father, always a betting man, was impatient to make his fortune and, after four months without much success in the mining business, bet a large chunk of the family’s money in a poker game and lost. When he refused to pay up, the man to whom he owed the money, famed outlaw Bill Tuesday, sent his men to burn the family ranch as incentive. Kate’s father and her two older brothers were shot when they tried to protect the barn.
Over the next 4 years Kate spent caring for her 4 younger siblings and sickly mother, her mother’s conditioned worsened. Kate was 16 when her mother died, and the day of the funeral she gathered her possessions, grabbed a horse, and never looked back. Angry with her mother’s death, and still seeking revenge against Tuesday, Kate set out to make a life for herself. She always intended to return home, and was able to send money back to the ranch by taking part in petty theft, but she couldn’t bring herself to return to the ranch until she avenged her father and brothers.
Kate is still roaming the desert, seeking out the outlaw, but overtime her motives have changed some. A hardened criminal now, Kate can be found on many a wanted poster for bank robbery, horse theft, and a number of other crimes. She moves from group to group, never staying with any band of outlaws for long. At the end of the day, this cowgirl rides solo.

Personal Relationships: Her closest "friend" is her horse, Gunsmoke. She's not much of a people person

Kate is a tall, slender girl, 5’9” and about 115 lbs. All lean, wiry muscle, there’s nothing feminine about her, and she knows it. Her dirty blonde hair is usually tied or braided back from her face, though there are always bits and pieces escaping, especially after galloping across a sandy desert. Her eyes are blue, though it’s hard to tell, for her trademark black Stetson is always pulled down low on her face. She has a spattering of freckles across her face, and tan skin that’s telling of years under blistering sun. Her thin, chapped lips frequently curl into a half-smile, though the smirk is more sarcastic and bitter than a welcoming grin.
Never one for fashion, Kate prefers to spend her stolen money on shiny new weapons and booze. This has resulted in a rather lack-lustre wardrobe of collared shirts, pants, chaps, a kerchief tied around the neck to make a convenient dusk mask, her favourite boots, and the aforementioned black Stetson.


So begins...

Wildcat Kate's Story

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Every time Kate went riding off into some godforsaken desert, she swore it would be the last time. The last time relentless sun would beat on her back. The last time choking dust would fill her lungs. The last time she’d go without poker and expensive liquor. The last time she’d let her backside go numb from hours in the saddle, or eat nothing but beans on stale bread. But that was the problem with Kate: she wasn’t very good at keeping promises. Not even to herself.

Which is why she found herself in the midst of some hot, scrubby desert yet again, her shirt clinging to her sweat-soaked back. Her bedraggled blonde braid hung out the back of her trademark black Stetson, as limp and lifeless as the tail of a dead rat. The half of her face not covered by her kerchief was caked in dust, and despite her best efforts to keep her vision clear sweat trickled down her brow in grimy rivers. She shifted in the saddle in hopes of finding some respite from her sticky clothing, but the movement only served to make her chaps constrict uncomfortably around her thighs. “Goddammit” she muttered, tugging furiously at the kerchief around her neck. Nothing made Kate irritable like desert heat. Well that, and being stone sober. Even Gunsmoke, her trusty mount, seemed fed up with the heat. Kate had given him a loose reign, and his neck was stretched out long and low, his nose just inches from the scorching desert sand.

Yes, the pair was definitely looking the worse for wear. The triumph of Kate’s last robbery had long since left her, and the high of her fiendish success had been replaced by her usual sour mood. To distract herself from the heat, Kate thought back to her last job, hoping to comfort herself with the knowledge of saddlebags laden with jewelry and cash. After all, things had been going quite well for her as of late. She’d made quite a name for herself in the last year, and was finally gaining the notoriety she so craved. She’d upped the ante from petty theft and fraud to some much bigger crimes, and her descent into depravity had made her bolder and wilder than ever before. She’d caught sight of a “Wanted” poster of herself in the last town she’d blazed through, posted alongside the likes of some of the nastiest outlaws in the West. Sure the drawing wasn’t a perfect likeness of her, but the words “WILDCAT KATE: WANTED for robbery, horse theft, cheating at cards, arson, assault with a deadly weapon” had made her heart swell with a sick and twisted pride.

Her last job had been one of her closest scrapes yet. She’d joined up with the Dalton Gang, a motley crew of 5 nasty, brutish outlaws. They’d had their sights set on the bank in the budding town of Deadwood, and had been bickering quietly amongst themselves when Kate happened across them in Deadwood’s saloon. With a bit more planning (and a lot more bickering) Kate and the gang prepared to rob Deadwood blind. Maybe all the infighting should have clued her in, but the robbery itself had gone far from smoothly. Due to some miscommunication about exactly who would be keeping watch, the sheriff and town marshal had burst in at a most inopportune time. Kate knew when it was time to cut her losses, and while the rest of the gang fumbled to gather as much as they could carry, Kate grabbed what was conveniently within reach and split. It was only thanks to the distraction of the Dalton Gang and Gunsmoke’s fast legs that she had made it out of Deadwood in one piece. In fact, one of her saddlebags now bore the mark of a bullet hole from the trigger-happy sheriff’s gun. She’d ridden hard and fast out into the desert, not daring to look back.

Kate had always liked the idea of having her own gang, but the few times she’d attempted to assemble a crew of her own had left her feeling so murderous and cross she’d nearly set fire to a saloon. The problem with outlaws was they were so damned stupid. And greedy and selfish and dishonest, of course, but Kate could handle all that. (After all, she was plenty greedy and selfish and dishonest herself.) What she couldn’t handle was stupidity. She’d found that her recruits had lacked a certain…focus, as well as the common sense that generally prevents people from making decisions that are just plain dumb. And she wasn’t about to risk her life or her freedom on account of someone else’s bad choices. After 8 years on her own, Kate’s interpersonal skills had dwindled to almost nothing. She was far from communicative, and anyone who didn’t immediately grasp what she needed from them was, in her eyes, as worthless as the dust under her boots. In a high-stakes robbery she hardly had time to sit down and walk her thieving companions through every step of her plan, but that seemed to be the only way to prevent them from getting distracted, lost, or killed. And so Kate had given up on the fantasy of having her own gang of hardened outlaws. Instead she flitted from one gang of outlaws to another, using them for her own selfish plans and disposing of them at her earliest convenience.

Which is how she’d found herself here, alone in the desert once more. And then, just when she was certain she really wouldn’t last another minute in the heat, she saw it. There, on the shimmering horizon, was the faint outline of a town. Kate didn’t know the name of the town, and she didn’t much care. Towns meant food, liquor, and (perhaps most importantly) cash. Kate smiled to herself, her chapped lips cracking in the dry heat. “Well, would you look at that,” she said, watching the town take on a more definitive shape as they rode closer. “Gunsmoke, I think it’s time you and I acquainted ourselves with the people in this fine town, don’t you?” And, with her greedy little heart beating fast in her chest, Kate spurred Gunsmoke towards an unknowing Splitcreek.

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Kate and Gunsmoke came up hard and fast on the town of Splitcreek, Gunsmoke's hooves pounding on the hard-packed desert earth. Kate's braid blew out behind her like a yellow ribbon, the stray strands whipping around her face in a frenzy, and the wind rushing by freed her sticky shirt from her skin. The cool breeze brought by Gunsmoke's speed brought a nice respite from the baking heat, and she found her spirits lifting as Splitcreek drew nearer and nearer. Off to her right, in the distance, she could just make out what looked like a mining camp, and beyond that a formidable bluff, which Kate judged to be one of the town's borders. On the left side of the town was a portion of a snaking river, which wound uphill, presumably into more desert wilderness. The river, Kate reasoned, was probably what had first drawn people to this godforsaken patch of desert. It generally only took one lucky miner to bring in a flood of people hoping to find similar riches, and where there were people, towns were sure to follow.

Expending Gunsmoke's last bit of energy, the outlaw rode up on the town's main street, which was lined with saloons, shops, and hotels. At midday it was fairly busy, bustling with people of every race and creed. Saloon girls stood in the shadows of saloon fronts, simpering coquettishly at any man who walked by in hopes of enticing them in, while more "proper" women strode briskly from storefront to storefront, clutching parcels and shopping bags to their breasts as they held their noses high in the air. A blacksmith stood at the entrance to his shop, banging a hunk of metal into shape on an anvil, and scrubby looking miners schlepped about, toting loads of mining gear. At first look, the town looked like any other Kate had visited, but upon closer inspection, she noticed more than a few unsavory characters stalking the street. It takes an outlaw to know one, and while these men looked insignificant at first glance, a closer look revealed that many of them were armed to the teeth. They watched the street with hard glares, either from shaded porches or the backs of their horses. Some travelled alone, others moved in loose packs, and Kate noticed they were given a wide berth by passersby. So she wasn't the first their to stumble on this little mining town. Not the first, but by far the best and most cunning, she thought self-importantly.

Kate had an ego the size of the whole untamed West, and no amount of failures or setbacks could convince her she was anything other than the most formidable outlaw the West had ever seen. It was easy enough to blend in with all the activity on the street, and she rode Gunsmoke over to the hitching post outside the nearest saloon and dismounted, her body stiff and sore after hours in the saddle. Even a horsewoman like Kate couldn't ride forever, and she was glad to have her feet on the ground again. Gunsmoke lowered his head to the trough and drank thirstily, his sides still heaving after the last gallop into town. "Drink up, fella," she said, patting the large bay's neck, "you earned it." Now that she'd watered her horse, Kate set about quenching her own thirst. She looked up at the saloon before her; she could just make out the words "Silver Spur Saloon" in faded lettering above the establishment's double doors. She guessed that this saloon had been one of the town's first; it was well-built, but it's exterior was already showing wear from the harsh Arizona weather.

The din of clinking glasses and clattering poker chips drifted through the doorway- music to Kate's ears. She'd intended to keep a low profile, at least until she got a better feel for the town and its idea of law and order, but she was itching to take some sucker's money in a game of cards. Just a quick game she reasoned. Afterall, I do need to acquaint myself with the town. She used her kerchief to wipe the worst of the dirt and sweat from her brow, then straightened her stetson on her head and stepped inside. The saloon's cool, musty interior was a welcome change from the dry heat outside, and Kate smiled as the familiar smell of cigar smoke and the strong perfume of saloon girls enveloped her. In her element now, she sidled up to the nearest card table, where, after a few minutes of scoping out the game with a practiced eye, she invited herself to play the next hand.

The three men, already quite drunk, appraised her with lazy eyes. They looked generally unkempt, with large guts and scruffy faces. Kate guessed they spent most of their days in the Silver Spur, drinking and losing money hand over fist. Her presence didn't seem to make much difference to them; no doubt they each thought they might finally have a chance to win some money with a woman now at the table. The intoxicated men were easy prey, and a short 15 minutes later Kate found herself quite a bit a richer. She knew she ought to leave before the men got suspicious, but sometimes she just didn't know when to quit. Her slanted, feline eyes appraised the table...what could one more round hurt? The disgruntled men were growing agitated, but Kate kept up her front, assuring them she'd never been so lucky in her life. Perhaps she smiled a little too wide when she drew the pile of chips and cash over to her when she won the next hand, because one of the men finally snapped.

"Yer cheating!" he bellowed, slamming his fist down on the table. "Yer a goddamned thief! Ain't nobody that lucky!" Kate didn't mind being called a cheater or a theif (she was both, after all), but she did wish he'd do it a little more quietly. He was drawing attention to them; heads were starting to turn in their direction.

"I don't know what you're on about," she said coolly, stuffing a fistful of bills into her pocket. "Tell me, are you as stupid as you are broke?" she sneered. Kate knew she was pushing her luck with the last comment, but she always had been an antagonistic little thing.

"I'll teach you to mouth off to me, you thieving little snake," the man roared, drawing a pistol and training it on Kate.

Now the patrons of the Silver Spur were really looking, and Kate, in typical fashion, only realized she was in over her head after it was too late. She could handle a few drunk gamblers, but if anyone of any real clout was hanging around, she'd just blown any hope of keeping a low profile to hell.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgan "Doc" Crowe Character Portrait: Johanna Baker Character Portrait: Wildcat Kate Character Portrait: Samuel Cole Character Portrait: Oliver Hope Character Portrait: Sheriff Clifton Wheelock
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Oliver wiped the handkerchief across his brow, the sweat trying to force its way into his eyes. Shoving the cotton square in his pocket, he pushed his shirt sleeves up to his elbows and out of the way before hoisting the barrel onto his shoulder. Jo's fingers tapped a quick beat out on the railing behind the saloon.

"You could help," Oliver suggested. Jo laughed aloud.

"Now why would I help when I have you to do all the heavy lifting?" she asked playfully. He just sighed and hauled the barrel up the steps. All the other saloons were cutting their whiskey with turpentine or gunpowder, but the Old Man had never done that. So Oliver and Johanna never did it. In fact, they were almost religious about keeping the Silver Spur the same way he had kept it. Very little had changed. Neither sibling could decide if they were honoring the man that helped them when they needed it most or if they just weren't quite ready to let go of the way he did things. Or to let go of him.

One by one, Oliver rolled the barrels onto the back deck. He would load them behind the bar in the evening, but at the moment they needed to get back to the bar. Ed could handle a lot of shit, but leaving anyone alone to run the Silver Spur for too long was just asking for the kind of trouble that brought buildings down in flames.

Jo traipsed through the doors behind her brother. "Late breakfast, boys?" she greeted the men at her bar counter. She stopped in front of the stranger, ignoring the dramatic goings on of those she already knew. There'd be time enough for that any day. "You're new. You should answer him," she said in reference to Morgan's query. Oliver huffed a laugh from where he was cleaning abandoned glasses off the tables, but he didn't say anything to stop his sister from prying. After all, he was curious too. He'd take any way that he could satisfy his mind and still save some face.

"Yer cheating!" Oliver's head whipped around to find the gambler clobbering the table with his grubby fist and yelling. "Yer a goddamned theif! Ain't nobody that lucky!" Johanna's back straightened, and her mouth pressed into a thin line.

"Watch yourselves over there," Oliver snapped, but the gambler pulled out his pistol on the woman anyway. Guns were not something Oliver was really ever prepared to deal with. Drunks, yes, arguments, yes, but guns made him freeze up every time.

Johanna's hand found her own pistol under the bar, the rest of her body not moving an inch.

"You know the rules," she said. "If you're in here, you're pistol's in its holster. I'd hate for something bad to happen, and I'm sure the sheriff here would hate to have his breakfast get cold."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgan "Doc" Crowe Character Portrait: Johanna Baker Character Portrait: Wildcat Kate Character Portrait: Samuel Cole Character Portrait: Oliver Hope Character Portrait: Sheriff Clifton Wheelock
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Sam kept eating for a moment longer before wiping his mouth and chin. Cocking an eyebrow a little when more dust came off than anything else. He looked over to the doctor for a moment before nodding and offering the man a handshake. "I reckon I'll be trying my best to stay out of any trouble. 'Specially with the sheriff. I'm Sam, Sam Cole" He said, chuckling a little before eating some more.

"As for what brings me here?" Sam thought for a moment. "I guess it was just time for a change of scenery. Got tired of shoveling coal into a fire box all day, even if it did pay good. Heard about this place and figured I might be able to make a little pay. Might even settle." He told the older man and the young woman who'd joined their conversation, pulling out a simple looking pocket watch with the Union Pacific Rail Road logo on it. He had a little money saved up, enough to buy a plot of land he figured, traveling like he did, you didn't spend a lot of money. He noticed that the young woman seemed fairly interested in hearing what he had to say, figuring that it was just part and parcel since she was working behind the bar. News was news, and a new face showing up in town was always of interest to others.

"Yer Cheating!" Sam heard the drunken man call out behind him. He slipped the pocket watch back into his vest pocket as soon as the commotion started behind him. He turned around in his bar stool, watching as the man slammed a fist down onto the table, staring at the woman across from him. Poker chips and cards clattered to the floor from the force.
The woman looked about as rough and trail worn as he figured he did, her braid had bits and ends sticking out at angles, and her face and clothes were streaked with dust. She hurriedly stuffed the money into her pocket and said something to the man.

As soon as the drunks hand went for his pistol, Sam slipped his hand down carefully, unbuckling his holster to free his gun to draw. He watched the exchange closely, waiting for the sheriff to take action first.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Morgan "Doc" Crowe Character Portrait: Johanna Baker Character Portrait: Wildcat Kate Character Portrait: Samuel Cole Character Portrait: Oliver Hope Character Portrait: Sheriff Clifton Wheelock
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#, as written by Coupons
The sheriff was calmly eating his meal until the card game went wrong. All of the locals knew him as the quiet type; though usually friendly enough, he was a man of few words. Upon hearing news of the boy, “I’m real sorry to hear about that,” was the only reply which came. Once iron cleared leather, though, Clif put down his fork, turned towards the commotion, stood up from the stool, and spoke some carefully-selected words. “You just put that gun down on the table, now.” His voice was calm, but authoritative. His hands made no motion for his gun, his arms hanging idly by his sides. “If I think you’ve been cheated, I’ll see you get your money back, but you let me get a feel for that stranger first, before you go shooting her. Alright? Whatever happens, your worst choices start with pulling that trigger. I mean, sure, you could shoot her, shoot me, and shoot whoever else you think is a threat, but you ain’t got enough bullets to keep yourself from running, in the end. Nobody wants that. . . Not even you, if you think real hard about it. . . She ain’t worth it, and neither’s that money, so put it down.”

Out of words he thought might be useful, the sheriff just took a deep breath and closed his eyes. His hand drifted slowly to rest on the grip of his pistol as he exhaled slowly, just listening to the quiet stirring of the saloon. He hoped that quiet wasn’t the last he’d hear before his life was snuffed out in a flash of drunken anger. He’d been ready to die for a long time, truth be told. If he went now, he’d be fine to retell his own story on the other side, whether he arrived at the gates to Heaven or Hell. He was content, and he’d lived a good life, and that was all he could have hoped for, until now. Now his only hope was that what he’d said would get that man to put down his gun, and that he’d live to see mid-day.