One-Shot - Tangent 6: The Unfortunate Ballad of Andrew Black

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Kaome Sky Deathand
Assessor of the Black Tontine
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:14 am
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One-Shot - Tangent 6: The Unfortunate Ballad of Andrew Black

Postby Kaome Sky Deathand » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:59 am

1900.
Turn of the century. A revolution in industry being unfolded with new discoveries and advances taking place almost every day. The expansion from the east, Manifest Destiny, and the rapid displacement of the native tribes. The birth of new ideas and new places. The construction of bridges and railways. The government taming the wilds and bringing a 'civilized' flavor to the far and away places. All this was leading to one harsh and fast eventuality, the death of the West.

In such a time there were many a place that sprang up from one reason or another, a source of water, a strain of gold, a deposit of ore, or any other number of finite things that would bring men and wagons, guns and girls. Our story here takes place in the old West, in its last legs, the few good years it truly had left before it was lost to the sands and the legends of mens minds.

In the Dust Territory there lies the towns of Coyote, New Vada, Old Vada, Gravestone, and Hagen. 'Round abouts are the ruins of Blackstone, the abandoned, yet still owned, Foxhill silver mine, the mining operation Ore Pit, and the pass of Rifle Way, along with various other outposts and ranches. Each town, save for Old Vada, a booming young upstart (compared to other cities) but quite up-to-date on the times. Coyote and Gravestone has that rustic real west feel, New Vada has the latest from the East, and Hagen is the watering hole for the bandits and thieves of every color. Old Vada is a struggling town with its share of problems, mostly in the form of bandits and gangs.

The Horton Gang -- The Horton Gang has been terrorizing the people of Old Vada in an attempt to gain control of the city and turn it into a self-styled fort against...well whatever it is the think is a threat no doubt. You can always tell a Horton gang member by the deep green sash they wear, proudly displaying the message of who they are and what they would do to you.

The Juxes -- A relatively young gang that seem to stem from Hagen House, the large mansion over-looking the town of Hagen. They haven't gotten into too much trouble but that only serves to make the law ever more cautious.

The Smiths -- A large family gang that controls one-half of New Vada. They are experts in the handling and smuggling of firearms and are always on the lookout for the newest gunslinger they can add to their vast numbers.

The Wessons -- The other large family gang that controls the other half of New Vada. They are careful smugglers and thieves that excel at transporting goods back and forth from the border. They are always in the need for a savvy street-smart crook with a quick draw and a sharp eye.

So begins our saga, the Unfortunate Ballad of Andrew Black.
Cruor Vult

Hope, it is the quintessential human delusion,
simultaneously the source of our greatest strength, and our greatest weakness.

Soon we shall be One...joined in the Word.

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Kaome Sky Deathand
Assessor of the Black Tontine
Posts: 1175
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:14 am
Location: Lingering at Life

Act I: Quick on the Trigger

Postby Kaome Sky Deathand » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:44 pm

The day was cool, a good wind kissing the sweat off the exposed skin to those under the gaze of the sun.
Up until a few minutes ago, Andrew Blackstone was having a good day...

It had started as usual, rising from the basement of his family's burnt-out home, all that was left of his grand estate. The fire that had ravaged the building had taken the lives of his siblings, father, mother, most of the hands, stables and all the possessions inside. None of that really mattered to him save for the loss of his father. He was the outcast, born out of wedlock and given nothing after he reached the age of fifteen. He had been schooled, gaining an education equal to that of what the rich can get. He had been left to wander his own life and without the urge to see his father keel over and leave everything to him Andrew Blackstone, going by Andrew Black so as not to reflect on the family, had left to seek his glory.
Glory came to him in the form of bounty hunting, of quick draw duels, of card sharking tables, and dealing with gangs. He worked for money and that meant he was on either side of the law. His time abroad had sharpened his mind and when he returned to the Dust Territory his father had secretly started to meet with him, enthralled to have a son that wasn't stuck up and anxious to see him die. Days became weeks and weeks months as the two would converse on the stories of Andrew's deeds or the workings of his father.
It was as such that Andrew Black came into possession of the Blackstone family deeds to the manor, the lands, and the Foxhill silver mine, gaining what he never hoped to have from a father that meant well now that he saw the this was the son he should have had by his side. While away on a bounty hunt, the manor and all the people inside had been reduced to ash. Andrew came home to charred wood and blackened ashes and never gave it more than a seconds thought. He would rebuild, in time, and do what came natural to him...find out who did it and put them in the ground.

So he had risen, early, and worked a bit on clearing the charred wood into piles that the wagons would take away. He had a few hands, but he didn't know any by name, they weren't loyal but they took money for the job and that was enough. Andrew took care of the rest. He had visited the stables he rebuilt by hand and saddled his horse, a butterscotch Saddler with dark brown forelegs. He had owned it for a few years now and the two formed a mutual bond. Dressed in his usual black attire consisting of a broad-rimmed hat with teeth and spent rifle rounds, duster jacket, gloves, pants, belt and boots with silver spurs. His shirt was deep red and matched the scarf that hung by his throat. On his horse, among the saddlebags, there was slung a Winchester Repeater Rifle in chestnut wood and silver metal etch. On the deep brown belt around his waist was the weapons of his trade. Slung by side in a dual rig set was his black metal single action 'Peacebreakers' one on his hip and one by his side. On the left the traditional Bowie knife also in a deep brown sheath. Ammo ringed the belt about his waist and on the bandolier beneath his jacket.

Into town he rode, a short ride from his home, hitching his horse at the Bank of Coyote.
He took his time, not in a rush, his demeanor not unpleasant nor unfriendly, the days had been kind to him recently. He removed a tin box from the saddlebags of his horse and headed into the bank. A few stout folks milled about, the law eyeing the man in black, relaxing a bit when they noticed it was Andrew Black. He had a name and a reputation, he had done evil things but also some good. He was alone, and even though quick on the draw, he couldn't rob a bank all by himself. Instead he walked the few steps from door to teller post and put the tin box up on the counter. The man across from him had a neat mustache that was quite the opposite of Andrews four day stubble. He wore a monocle on a gold chain and a larger, thicker chain in a vest told the story of a pocket watch. His suit was black and tailored, so a man of money he was, working at a bank was good honest work and the pay was good and honest as well.

"A deposit to my account." Andrew had stated, opening the tin box and revealing the stacks of bills.
He had done this often and most folks new his name simply by his appearance. He sorted out two stacks of a hundred bills each and closed the tin box. As the teller reached for the money to double-check his counting the discharge of a gun from outside and the brusque manner in the entry of five men into the bank told Andrew everything he needed to know. Hoopin' and a hollerin' they came guns out eyes wide.

"THIS IS A STICK UP!!!"
The screams of women and the lamentation of men. The sweep of a pistol turning in Andrews direction before eyes recognized and mouth opened. With spittle flying and foam forming the bandit yelled in a shrill-shredded voice:
"ANDREW BLACK!"
Pistol came up and with a suck at his teeth Andrew dove for cover behind the nearest bank table and listened to the hot lead of pistols as the bandits snuffed out the guards and blew chunks of wood away from his cover. It had been such a good day....
Cruor Vult

Hope, it is the quintessential human delusion,
simultaneously the source of our greatest strength, and our greatest weakness.

Soon we shall be One...joined in the Word.

User avatar
Kaome Sky Deathand
Assessor of the Black Tontine
Posts: 1175
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:14 am
Location: Lingering at Life

Act I: Quick on the Trigger

Postby Kaome Sky Deathand » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:51 pm

His guns were in his hands and every inch of him wanted to get some killin' done.
Just as he was about to ditch his cover in lieu of spraying his foes with a hail of bullets the bank teller in the fine vest rose from the cover of the teller booth with a street howitzer and unloaded both barrels into the nearest man. Blood sprayed in several arcs and a strangled scream escaped the dead mans lips. That was all the distraction Andrew needed as the four remaining men gazed on in a daze.
He sprang up from the cover like a pouncing cougar and unloaded his pistols in a series of flashes and thunderclaps. Three men fell, blood leaking out of the holes in their chest and arms. The spell broken when the weapons discharged, the furthest man managed to escape the bank and so caught up in terror, took off down the road as if hell itself followed at his heels. Slowly, with purposeful strides, Andrew Black poked his head out around the door frame of the bank then holstered his hot metal weapons. He stepped to his horse and unslung the Winchester rifle, Took careful aim and squeezed the trigger. A puff of smoke, a whistling doom, and yards and yards away a scream let loose as a bullet found its mark.
Andrew stood there a moment, then satisfied that the man wouldn't be getting up, chambered the next round with a quick flex of his hand and reslung the weapon upon his mount. The horse snorted, as if impatient with the delay. Andrew paid it no mind and started to walk toward the fallen man. He took his time, first reloading one, then the other six gun at his waist, spinning the chambers as he did so. He discarded the spent casings in the street, not at all concerned about the ammo lost in such a short brawl. His spurs kicked up dust and his duster fluttered in the wind for a moment as he carefully leveled his revolver to the sprawled figures back.

Not surprised, the man still lived.
The shot had gone high and to the left, putting a nice meaty hole where the mans shoulder should have been. Andrew kicked the man over on his back and shook his head in disgust. There, proudly displayed, was a deep green sash beneath his jacket. Well that settled the matter of asking the dead man questions and without a word, Andrew shot the man point-blank and headed back to the bank.
By now, of course, the whole town was privy to what was going on and the local law had shown up to do pretty much nothin' but move the bodies out to the pine box man. The sheriff eyed Andrew Black, switched his cigar to the other side of his mouth and visibly sneered.
"I suppose you want a reward for this mess."
Andrew took the moment to discard the spent casing and put another bullet in its place before answering.
"Are you offering one? Much obliged." He holstered his gun and fixed the sheriff with a 'frak off' smile.
Still sneering, the sheriff went to the very same teller and withdrew twenty dollars.
"Here." He all but threw the money at the mercenary. "Conclude your business and get out of town."
The sheriff pushed his way outside, looks of his men and others following.

Andrew shrugged, walked back up to the finely dressed teller and put four dollars on the counter.
"Nice shooting for a city man...do be sure to deposit my two hundred."
He tipped his hat at the monocled man and left just as he had entered.
Cruor Vult

Hope, it is the quintessential human delusion,
simultaneously the source of our greatest strength, and our greatest weakness.

Soon we shall be One...joined in the Word.


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