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Postby jesspasc » June 29th, 2012, 7:00 pm

Chapter 52

The people of Mission's End held no delusions about the questionable nature of Jesse's work. They didn't jaw about it, but everyone in the town knew that if you wanted to find something, you asked Jesse. And that had been just fine in Jesse's books; it gave him a cache in the town that he found mighty appealing. He became the regular outlaw boss of the outcropping, which in turn allowed him to do more of his questionable work.

Then they asked him to find something different: a girl. Four, maybe five years old--who could keep track of birthdays these days, anyhow--when she went missing.

"Addy just started sleeping in the girls' room," her ma told Jesse tearfully, "She wanted to sleep with her sisters like a big--like a big--" Sobs overtook her weather-beaten face and her husband took up the tale. His hands worried the brim of his hat.

"She went to bed first, being so little. She didn't want to--she wanted to stay up like the big girls, but we told her no. She went in there first and then later…later our oldest, Sally, came in and said she weren't there. I went looking, we all did, but it's been two days and we don't…we haven't…" He gripped the brim of his hat more tightly. His hands were sinewy, Jesse remembered, with knuckles that glowed white through the sunburned and scarred skin. A certain quality in the tale had snapped something inside Jesse.

So it had begun with Addy Windale. And so it continued with other children of Mission's End and the sprinkled homestead shanties that fanned out westward. He always found them. Sometimes he found them two weeks later, huddled in the back of a stable with clouded eyes. Sometimes years would pass before he found them working in a brothel or on a gang. The worst was when he found them alone on the plains, only recognizable by a distinctive hair ribbon or embroidered collar. He always found them--and if he couldn't bring them home, he could at least tell the family what happened.

He'd gotten lucky a few times, found things he wasn't looking for. The Chinaman's sister. Audie's first wife. He saved those, saved 'em for a rainy day. And goddamn if it wasn't pouring now. Jesse smiled through the pain, which felt at the moment like a hot wet cloud pressing on his stomach.

Only recently had Jesse begun to see a larger picture forming. He imagined he could see the silky, sticky strings of a web stretching out and gently connecting everyone he met and knew. He saw a spider, soft and fat, resplendent in the center, gently twitching a strand here and there.

As the whiskey started wearing off and the stabbing pains returned, so did his memory of Cass. Hers was the only one he regretted. He had known if he found what she asked him to he'd lose her forever--so when he found it, he didn't tell her. He gritted his teeth, trying not to hear the steady drip of his own blood onto the Doc's scrubbed floor, and trying harder not to think of what Cass was almost certainly doing now.
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Postby happywaffle » July 1st, 2012, 3:44 pm

Chapter 53

Something was wrong. He'd smelled it in the stormclouds two nights prior. Passed it off at the time as childish superstition, but then came word over the wires that the Mission's End saloon had burned to the ground. Jesse's whore of a barkeep was nowhere to be found, dead or alive.

Why should he worry? Why wouldn't McCray exact a little sweet revenge—on the girl, on the saloon itself—as he passed through town in search of Jesse? What about it smelled so wrong?

With a shake of his head, Horatio Dicks gave up on sleep and rose from the bed, taking care not to disturb the nameless wench next to him. He re-lit last night's cigar, grimacing at the stale taste when it hit his tongue, and set foot onto his balcony. The plaza where two hundred townsfolk had been chanting his name, not three days before, sat empty. He smiled faintly as a coyote scampered across—Dicks had always been a lover of nature—but then the coyote turned and looked directly at him, moonlight reflected in its eyes.

Dicks decided he'd had enough of this foolishness. He stepped back into his bedroom and lit the lamp. "Get up," he told the girl brusquely, and she quickly obliged, smart enough to sense that he was not to be fussed with at this hour. As the Celestial dressed, Horatio considered having another go—to distract himself, if nothing else—but instead he pretended to busy himself with paperwork.

Finally dressed, she stepped to the door. "Thank you," she said, and bowed in a practiced bit of theater. For some reason this bit of nonsense awoke his fury, and in two booming steps he was at the door, flinging it open, and shoving her out the door.

The girl screamed.

Dicks came close to doing so himself.

The Oriental—Wu Yun himself—stood there, pistol cocked, its barrel not a flea's-spit from the center of Dick's forehead. He was distracted but a moment by the unexpected third party; later, Dicks would wish to high heaven he'd taken advantage. But the opportunity was quickly gone. The Chinaman pushed the girl aside into the hallway, met Dicks's eyes yet again, and advanced into the room.

"What do you want with me?" he challenged Wu Yun as he stepped backwards, prodded by the pistol at his head. Damn if some Chinaman was going to hear fear in his voice. "Seems we oughta be partners in this." Dicks stumbled over his own rug, then sank into a chair. His face flushed, but he kept his composure. Wu Yun had fury in his eyes. Will this be the last sight my eyes ever see?, Dicks wondered. Get him to talk, it's my only play.

"We both want Jesse, Chinaman. There's no reason we oughta be pointing guns at each other here. Jesse was my prisoner, and he scampered back to Mission's End with some gold owned by… your employer. The way I see it, we work together. You get the gold, I get the man. I've got no fight with you."

Wu Yun had seemingly been waiting for him to say just that. The Chinaman reached into his pocket and tossed a worn folio into Dicks's lap. Dicks recognized it without needing to look at the picture inside. That son-of-a-bitch Jesse, he took this from my desk on his way out of town. He'd spent his entire time since leaving San Francisco trying to forget Lien-hua's name, forget her face, forget the fact that he'd cared about her. And now Jesse had given it over to the Chinaman.

Wu Yun finally spoke. "Understood which you where my this girl is?"

"So what if I do?" Dicks immediately regretted his bravado as Wu Yun clocked him in the forehead with the butt of his gun.

"So what if is tell me in minimize pain Xanax."

Dicks nodded, feigning resignation. "I can show you where to find the girl. But you'll be needing a train to San Francisco."

"Train does not need." Wu Yun smiled. "Train has."

Dicks knew just what Wu Yun meant, and he groaned despite himself. Maybe a bullet would have been better.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » July 2nd, 2012, 11:54 am

Chapter 54

The cabin door was already open. Cassandra gave it a good kick on her way through all the same. She crossed the room in two long strides, her long coat rippling around her.

"I've only got three things to say to you, Jesse Calhoun!"

Jesse sat up with some effort, his fresh clean bandages straining against his wound.

"One, if you say you're gonna be at the cave...be. At. The cave!" Her hand struck across his face. Doc Jenkins stood, unsure if he should interfere. McCray knew better than to get between these two storm fronts and just smiled.

"Noted," Jesse rasped, clutching the side of his face.

"Two..." She took his face in her hands and kissed him hard, and deep. Her eyes were shut tight, the tears squeezing through. This was a moment she'd dreamt of since he'd left. And she knew once the moment was done, so were they.

She pulled away and stood upright. Her hands reached into the folds of her coat. One pulled out the package and flung it at Jesse. Its contents fell into his lap: a severed hand, wearing a Masonic ring, with a three pointed scar below the middle finger.

"Three..." She unholstered her revolver and aimed it at Jesse's newly healed chest. "What the fuck are you doing with my Daddy's hand?"
Sweetness Prevails.

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Postby happywaffle » July 2nd, 2012, 11:57 am

Hee!!!!!
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Postby happywaffle » July 2nd, 2012, 12:02 pm

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Wu Yun: Bounty hunter hired by Sheriff Brettsdick to capture Jesse. His horse is named Happy Beauty Pony. His gun is named Killer of Bad Personss.
Jesse Calhoun: Fugitive from the law who exerts mob-style protection over Mission's End. Thief of some quantity of gold, which he used to lure Wu Yun and McCray. Owner of three mysterious packages:
- For Cassandra: her father's severed hand
- For Wu Yun: a picture of Lien-hua and Judge Dicks
- For McCray: unknown (related to his first wife)
Red Boy: Apache youth who hangs around Jesse, and yet shoots him in the chest when given the chance to split the stolen gold.
Cassandra Cleary: Barkeep in Mission's End, Jesse's secret wife who has betrayed him to both Wu Yun and McCray… at Jesse's request.
Sheriff Brettsdick: The cowardly sheriff tasked with recovering the missing gold. He hired Wu Yun to do the dirty work.
Judge Horatio Dicks: Federal judge. Well-loved by the people. Jesse was his prisoner. Romantic connection to Wu Yun's sister.
Audie McCray: Federal marshall hired by Dicks separately to capture or kill his estranged half-brother Jesse. Upon receipt of the package, however, he turns to Jesse's side.
Lien-hua: Wu Yun's sister, once thought dead, but apparently living as a whore in San Francisco. Abducted by Cassandra's father. Romantically attached to Dicks.
Chandler Cleary: Cassandra's father, a Mason, and the shadowy figure who is the source of the gold. Missing his right hand. Possibly one of Lien-Hua's attackers.
Doc Jenkins: Solitary doctor to whom Audie brings his wounded brother, Jesse, for treatment.

EDIT: I think I got this right:
Image
Last edited by happywaffle on November 24th, 2012, 5:07 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » July 2nd, 2012, 12:59 pm

we know at the very least that the package Audie got has something to do with his first wife. is the fact that Cassandra is Jesse's wife a secret? it seems like Audie at least knows. wasn't sure if that had been established outright. and Doc Jenkins should get a credit in the cast (not sure how long he's sticking around, but still...lol).

thanks for keeping track of all that, Kevin. it definitely makes it easier. :)
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Postby happywaffle » July 2nd, 2012, 1:00 pm

Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:we know at the very least that the package Audie got has something to do with his first wife. is the fact that Cassandra is Jesse's wife a secret? it seems like Audie at least knows. wasn't sure if that had been established outright. and Doc Jenkins should get a credit in the cast (not sure how long he's sticking around, but still...lol).

thanks for keeping track of all that, Kevin. it definitely makes it easier. :)


The fact that she had her wedding ring tucked away in a drawer led me to refer to her as a "secret wife."
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » July 2nd, 2012, 1:15 pm

happywaffle wrote:
Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:we know at the very least that the package Audie got has something to do with his first wife. is the fact that Cassandra is Jesse's wife a secret? it seems like Audie at least knows. wasn't sure if that had been established outright. and Doc Jenkins should get a credit in the cast (not sure how long he's sticking around, but still...lol).

thanks for keeping track of all that, Kevin. it definitely makes it easier. :)


The fact that she had her wedding ring tucked away in a drawer led me to refer to her as a "secret wife."


ah, i see! i had thought of it as a symbolic gesture, but i like that interpretation, too. and there's certainly nothing to refute it in the canon (even Audie's implied knowledge of their relationship doesn't mean it's known to the public at large). objection withdrawn, counsel. ;)
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Postby happywaffle » July 2nd, 2012, 1:15 pm

WU YUN HAS CANON #shitjustgotreal
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » July 2nd, 2012, 1:24 pm

of course...but it's early in the story yet and not everything has been established...

...so it's a loose canon.

THANK YOU, GOOD NIGHT!

#micdrop, #smokebomb, #ninjavanish
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Postby Chuy! » July 6th, 2012, 11:51 am

Someone write a damn Mexican into this so I can be in the live staging!
Chicken Fried Steak and all that...
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Postby happywaffle » July 6th, 2012, 12:03 pm

Chuy! wrote:Someone write a damn Mexican into this so I can be in the live staging!


I had you pegged as Red Boy.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » July 6th, 2012, 12:09 pm

happywaffle wrote:
Chuy! wrote:Someone write a damn Mexican into this so I can be in the live staging!


I had you pegged as Red Boy.


hehe!
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Postby Chuy! » July 6th, 2012, 12:17 pm

happywaffle wrote:
Chuy! wrote:Someone write a damn Mexican into this so I can be in the live staging!


I had you pegged as Red Boy.


Fuck. Better stop using sunscreen...
Chicken Fried Steak and all that...
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Postby B. Tribe » July 10th, 2012, 5:49 pm

BUT WHERE IS GENERAL TENGEN AND ASICS KANBARRA
“It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it.” -Sam Levenson
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