want to know

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Re: want to know

Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » February 4th, 2013, 11:56 am

Addy WIndale was the first missing girl from Mission's End that Jesse was asked to find, which set him on his current path (and allowed him to locate both Hazel and Lien-Hua). as established in Chapter 55.
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Re: want to know

Postby happywaffle » February 4th, 2013, 11:58 am

Ah! The search function failed me, it only pulled up Ryan's post as a result when I searched. Updated the characters and drew a new graph.
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Re: want to know

Postby Andreas Fabis » February 4th, 2013, 12:36 pm

Chapter 60:
Wu Yun's eyes glazed over as his mind went back to his childhood and the stories that his grandmother Baozhai had told him in the kitchen. Seeing these women ready for battle reminded him of the saga of the Siege of Heng Long, where 32 peasants kept off the army of Emperor Lu - armed only with sticks and insane courage. Their fearless leader, Meifeng, or translated into English "Beautiful Wind", is said to have singlehandedly defeated nine enemy soldiers before succumbing to her wounds. Baozhai had shown him the picture of Meifeng, battleworn and bloody, towering over her fallen foes.

Hazel's worn face was mirrored in a single tear running down Wu Yun's face, a tear that carved a path into the blood and grime like the Rio Grande carved the mountains. When it finally fell, the impact shook Wu Yun's world and he had to steady himself on a table.

Wu Yun forgot to cry when he was 11 years old and the experience rocked him harder than a bullet to the chest.

He looked Hazel in the eye and said: "You can help!"

Then he collapsed into Hazel's arms and with horror the women looked at handle of the big Bowie knife sticking out of Wu Yun's back.
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Re: want to know

Postby happywaffle » February 4th, 2013, 12:37 pm

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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Re: want to know

Postby Lacy » February 5th, 2013, 10:43 pm

Chapter 61
It was an unusual morning when Jesse didn’t trickle away the moments between sleep and wakefulness with rumination about Cassandra. All other mornings, he lay steeping in memories of her -- the first time they lay entangled in one another’s embrace, nights that faded into early mornings together, the way her eyes glittered when she laughed, the cluster of eight tiny freckles on her lower back….
______________
The first time he had laid eyes on her, he knew he had found who he was looking for.

He had just ridden into Mission’s End, dismounted from his steed, and stumbled, exhausted, into the saloon on Main. “We’re closed,” said a woman’s voice from the back room. “I jus’ need a quick drink,” he had replied, obstinate and enervated from months of weary traveling. “When I say we’re closed, we’re clo—,” she snapped as she entered the saloon from the back room. She stopped when she saw Jesse, - “Oh. I thought you were one of the men from the mill,” she said, as she looked him over, self-consciously adjusting stray hairs that had fallen across her face. He could tell that she was fighting to hide her curiosity behind a dogged and decisive gaze.

He learned that this was a look that she had developed over time to manage town drunkards and ne’re-do-wells that stumbled into the Saloon. Jesse couldn’t help but smile back at her, which had made her glare intensify.

He hadn’t expected to find her here, in this moment, or this saloon, and he was unprepared, and caught off guard further due to her striking beauty. He was rendered speechless once he saw her, which for Jesse, was unprecedented.

In the tattered photos her father had showed Jesse when he hired him, she was much more of a girl than a woman –frizzy hair, pudgy cheeks, and gangly legs. Now, dark auburn hair lay across her shoulders, loosely tied in a practical ponytail, and her eyes gleamed with beautiful depth, carrying the intensity of secrets that only she held.

He had grown to love those eyes, and had grown to love her. He knew that there were things that she had kept from him, but she wasn't the only one with secrets.

______________
On this particular morning, Jesse was reminiscing about the time that they had had a mud fight behind the saloon after a particularly heavy thunder storm. He was drawn out of his memory by the clanging of a pot. Jesse held his pounding head as he tried to sit up, making out the fuzzy outline of Doc Jenkins across the room. His body ached. “C-C-Cassandra, is she here?” he stammered. Doc answered by handing him a plate of eggs. Jesse looked around the room fruitlessly. They were alone.

((I just read through all of the previous chapters...so I hope I didn't miss/contradict anything... :)
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Re: want to know

Postby hujhax » February 6th, 2013, 1:32 am

Chapter 62
The worst of it was, they all tried to look so damn casual, thought Audie McCray. It was like they wanted to say, "How d'ye do! Just visitin'! Nothin' to see here!" with their shiny vests and neat, thin moustaches. But you could tell, just by watching their eyes. It was obvious. In Mission's End, things were simple. If you were a bodyguard, you were a bodyguard, and you didn't make no pretense about it. Here in San Francisco -- or, no, in "Historical Telegraph Hill", like the street-sign said -- things were different.

He wanted to glower back at them, but he smiled -- the big, confident, war-hero grin that another Audie had worn, years ago -- made sure his marshal's star was pinned on straight, and kept pushing the wheelchair down the hall. He stopped, grimaced, and kneeled down to adjust something on the axle.

"I make five of 'em," breathed Jesse. He sat lolling in the wheelchair, bandaged up like something the cat had drug in, his mouth barely moving with the words.

"Six."

"Aw. The girl, too?"

"Six bodyguards."

Jesse took a breath. "This goes right, it shouldn't matter," he said. His tone aimed for optimism but landed someplace else.

They turned a corner, and a butler -- a burly man with a scar peeking out from under his collar ("Seven," thought Audie) greeted them.

"Marshal McCray," said Audie. "Reporting to --"

"Yes," the butler cut him off with an unexpectedly prim and high-pitched voice. "Mr. Cleary will see you now."

He opened the door on a room... well, a room fit for a king. A room bigger than a house in any small town he'd kicked around in. Big windows looked out on the city, so clear it was like they weren't there. A piano sat in the corner, so shiny that he reckoned nobody played it.

And yet, where Chandler Cleary sat, it was like the light didn't want to hit him.

--

Jesse had explained it all before. "Cleary? He ain't no criminal. Least not according to the world."

The two of them had sat, staring out at the creek behind the Doc's cottage, listening to the spring crickets chirp, looking like they were sitting on all the trouble in the world.

"He's gone respectable. Every year goes by, Chandler Cleary gets a little respectabler, 'til, hell, he'll go and make himself president someday. That gold? That gold came from the U. S. government, though what they were payin' Cleary for might not have reckoned with what he's got planned."

Jesse kept talking, and Audie kept staring out into nothing, as tense and as tight as a whip. "I'm gonna kill him," said Audie, cutting Jesse off. "I'm gonna find him, and I'm gonna show him that bible, and I'm gonna get him to tell me where to find my Hazel..." His voice stumbled, cracked a bit over the name. He blinked, blinked again, and finished: "... and I'm gonna kill him."

"No, y'ain't." Audie looked at Jesse like he was suddenly noticing the man for the first time, and glared at him like he was ready for a fight. Jesse stared back, impassive. "No, y'ain't," Jesse repeated. "Not Chandler Cleary. Not a guy who's got half the U. S. Army ready to hop to when he rings a little bell." Jesse took a deep breath, winced in pain, and sighed. "No, this needs what the Frenchies call 'finesse'." Jesse nodded to himself. "You need a way in. You need a plan."

--

Audie snapped back to the present, to the sunlit room, and the piano, and Chandler sitting at a desk the size of a buffalo. "And of course, your... assistance and delicacy in bringing this gentleman to me will be handsomely rewarded."

Chandler Cleary said every single word like it really meant something else, and you didn't want to know what the something-else was. Audie eyed the room uncomfortably, while Chandler flourished a paper to his desk.

"And a contract is a contract," Chandler said. He dipped a mother-of-pearl quill into an inkwell. "My mind is a sieve, I fear. Is it the sixteenth?"

"Seventeenth," corrected Audie. "Seventeenth of April," he said, "nineteen-aught-six."

Chandler beamed at him. Audie felt his stomach turn. "Your lucky day, isn't it?" said Mr. Cleary.

"Yes," said Audie. "Yes, it is."

And for just a second, the look on Audie's face told the god's honest truth. It wasn't the face of a heroic lawman who'd brought a vicious fugitive to justice. It wasn't the face of a farmer-come-to-town tourist gawking at all the pretty rooms. No, for a moment, anybody looking at Audie -- watching Audie's face instead of clumsily scratching the date onto an old contract with his non-dominant hand -- anybody could have read Audie's expression clearly.

I know something you don't, it said.

:mrgreen:

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Re: want to know

Postby madeline » February 6th, 2013, 4:46 pm

Chapter 63

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\Previously, in Broken Back, Nevada\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

Burning tears pooled in Jesse's eyes as he took in the state of his former lover. Heath's head lolled back like a ragdoll's, the veins in his neck pulsing slower and slower as his blood, tainted with the poison of the sweet poppy, drained from his wrists into the porcelain clawfoot tub.

Heath and Jesse had been best friends, soulmates, lovers inseparable as they went through their daily duties on Cleary's farm, Dry Gulch Ranch. The golden days & starry nights rolled by, taken up with roundups, cattle drives, daily nothings given meaning by the warmth and heat of each other’s presence. They paid no mind to the meanderings of Cleary’s house, or the cloudy-eyed young men and women that seemed to stream in and out of the gleaming white manse, like a slow stumbling parade. They were blind to anything but each other.

Their golden days were starkly interrupted when Cleary swept Heath away into the confines of his white manse, taking the young cowboy as a lover, while sending Jesse out on a dead-end mission to find some girl who done run away with the circus.

Jesse never thought he'd return to a sight like this, bathtub like a white tulip cupping blood, Heath the pale pistil centerpiece. Heath, the only man he'd ever loved. Heath, with a face chiseled like fine marble, once warm and eternally brimming with life, was now cold, cold, and dead. Jesse knelt down, cradling Heath’s perfect blonde head, & delivered one last kiss.

Chandler Cleary, in the main drawing room, resplendent amongst his papers and finery, smoked a pipe with his left hand while writing in his receipt book with the right, his Masonic ring glinting in the shafts of afternoon sunlight, reflecting off the fine embroidered silk curtains and intricately carved jade figurines of young men.

Jesse strode into the drawing room, his boots leaving clouds of dust, traces from all his travels, on the fine Oriental carpet.

“Ah, Jesse. The butler told me you’ve located Cassandra. Returned for our monetary reward, have we?” Cleary unlocked a drawer, and plopped a large deerskin sack of gold onto his desk. Cleary rifled through the sack for a little gold token to toss to his employee.

Jesse, unwavering in his gaze, made 3 long strides, machete’d Cleary’s hand cleaner than a whistle, spit, & swiped the gold sack, receipt book, & hand... all in one fell swoop.

And just like that, he was gone.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Horse and man, gulping for breath, galloping. Horse and man, running for life. Jesse clung to the mane of his stallion, as they traversed the desertscape. Horse and man, on the run. Jesse’s eyes, steely resolve. A sack of gold, a book, and a hand. “I will pick Cleary apart. Dissect every muscle. Break every bone. His empire, every strand of his being, will crumble beneath my hands into cold white dust.” Jesse violently knew, as the beautiful wind blew, what his first stop would be: a wedding ring for Cassandra.
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Re: want to know

Postby Jessica » February 6th, 2013, 5:54 pm

Chapter 64

Cassandra rode into San Francisco on a white arabian horse. You might leave the circus, but they remain your family until your dying day.
She stalked the streets of San Francisco until the smells turned oriental and the faces became strange and exotic.

She bought a dumpling off a girl selling food on the corner and asked for the "Most renown brothel of charms."
"Oh, no no!" The young lady had said, "You no be wanting there to acquire!"
"Oh?" Said Cassandra, "You got a reason for that there opinion sugar plum?"
"Meaning disrespect of none!" The lady protested, "Scary home resides Mr. Cleary of anxious."
Cassandra smiled, "Perfect." She flipped the lady a nickel for the good news.

It was obvious the place had been through some violence from the bullet holes and cracked windows. But Cassandra would be a poor kind of circus girl if she couldn't easily scale the sides of the brothel and come in through the upstairs window.

The room she entered contained a china man on the bed - she couldn't tell if he was dead or just resting, but it didn't matter. She snuck through and peeked out the door. Although she heard voices in the hall she saw no one.

Three rooms down she saw her father, tied to a chair, blood coming out of his nose. He opened his swollen eyes but couldn't seem to focus on her.

"Hey daddy," said Cassandra. "Need a hand?"
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Chapter 65

Postby Heidi.N.Rogers » February 6th, 2013, 7:55 pm

Chapter 65

Wu Yun awoke to the smell of wet straw and fresh manure. He felt a familiar tongue licking the side of his face, his hair matted to his left side. Happy Beauty Pony stood over him as a mother over her infant. Relief spilled over the pony as she neighed with delight. The sound brought a smile to Wu Yun's face. "See you to is nice Happy Beauty." He reached to pat the pony on his mane but then a searing pain rushed through his shoulder and then his arm, quickly dispelling any notion that he would be able to caress the beautiful pony standing above him.

"Well I'll be! He lives!" said Hazel with a coy smile on her face. "I was sure you were a goner!"

"It take more than one knife to end life of Wu Yun."

"Well, maybe that's just your mystic oriental ancestors workin their voodoo or some such nonsense, but whatever it is, I'm glad it's workin today!"

"How long Wu Yun been sleep?"

"Four days," replied Hazel. "Doc Jones didn't think you had a prayer, but he procured some of them oriental herbs and shit from some old witch doctor type lady in Chinatown and it seems to have done the trick!"

"Wu Yun grateful to Hazel and Doc Jones."

"Well don't be too grateful yet! That shoulder of yours still looks pretty bad and it'll take some time to mend. But the fever's broken so you should be all right for the long haul."

Hazel felt the heat of emotion rising to her eyes, holding back the tears she had been too strong to release for these last four days.

Wu Yun heard a loud growl like a bear coming from within himself. "Wu Yun hungry."

"Yes," said Hazel with a smile, one tear slowly dripping down her cheek. "Wu Yun should be very hungry, I reckon! Let's get you and that damn loyal pony of yours some fresh grub!"

Hazel quickly left, wiping her tears as she went, fromf stalls behind the brothel to fetch some food from the kitchen.

Wu Yun laid back, now fully experiencing the pain of his wound. Wu Yun knew that he had his grandmother Baozhai to thank for his miraculous survival. He knew she was watching him from the afterlife and that only her powers and those of his other ancestors could have brought him back from certain death.

Wu Yun whispered under his breath, "Thank you grandmother." With that his strength failed him and he lay still, comforted by the hot breath of his loyal pony, and contemplated how he would continue his journey now with an injury such as this. But he was more determined than ever to carry on, to find Lien-Hu, and to bring justice to those who had harmed them both!

Suddenly, a shadowy figure appeared in the stalls...

...Who is the Shadowy Figure? Will Wu Yun have the strength to defeat the evils that lurk around every corner? What will Hazel fetch for breakfast? The answers to these questions and many more will be revealed next time on another exciting edition of the "Wu Yun Chronicles!"
Cheers!

Heidi :)
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Re: want to know

Postby happywaffle » February 7th, 2013, 11:06 am

hujhax wrote:"Seventeenth," corrected Audie. "Seventeenth of April," he said, "nineteen-aught-six."


Oh, you sneaky bastard…

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1906_San_F ... earthquake)
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Re: want to know

Postby happywaffle » February 7th, 2013, 11:35 am

Jessica wrote:Chapter 64


Heidi wrote:Chapter 65


Eep! Simultaneous chapter-writing! Contradictions in story! EVERYBODY PANIC
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Re: want to know

Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » February 7th, 2013, 12:19 pm

some slight chronology problems, but nothing we can't sort out...perils of non-linear storytelling. ;)
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Re: want to know

Postby Chuy! » February 7th, 2013, 2:20 pm

happywaffle wrote:
hujhax wrote:"Seventeenth," corrected Audie. "Seventeenth of April," he said, "nineteen-aught-six."


Oh, you sneaky bastard…

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1906_San_F ... earthquake)


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Chicken Fried Steak and all that...
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Re: want to know

Postby hujhax » February 7th, 2013, 2:59 pm

Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:some slight chronology problems, but nothing we can't sort out...perils of non-linear storytelling. ;)


Chronology problems... or ARE THERE TWO WU YUNS

:mrgreen:

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A Higgs-Boson walks into a church.  The priest says, "We don't allow Higgs-Bosons in here."  The Higgs-Boson says, "But without me, how can you have mass?"
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Re: want to know

Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » February 7th, 2013, 4:44 pm

Chapter 66

Jesse caught a glimpse of his own face in the mirror as he splashed a handful of water against it from the chipped porcelain basin. He'd never been what the poets might call "handsome." His face was a bit too lean, his eyes a bit too wide, his skin worn rough under the march of time and the sun. Still, this strange jigsaw of features was arranged attractively enough, especially when he smiled. And not many could recall the last time he'd genuinely done that. The chaotic rush of the day's events had capped off what had been for him years of strangeness, plotting, and loss, leading up to the last few weeks of treachery and violence. And still more loss. He stared at the tired bloodshot eyes before him and wondered just how much more he could stand to lose and still put feet to clay every morning.

Then he smelled it. Just a hint. Rain and whiskey, and that other thing he could never identify. He almost let himself smile...

His gun was already out as he burst through the door where they'd tied up Cleary. So was his wife's, their barrels staring as longingly at one another as their star crossed eyes. She was still wearing the same duster as the last time he'd seen her, her hair mussed up in a way that no hand could design but framed her face so perfectly that it made you believe in fate more than coincidence.

"We gotta stop meeting like this, pretty girl..."

"Oh, you know I always liked it when you were already drawn and ready for me..."

"Seems last time you had the advantage of me. You recall?"

"You mean when you told me my dear old daddy here was some kind of kidnapping pimp and criminal mastermind? That you'd only married me as some revenge scheme for him killing your fucking BOYFRIEND? Yeah, I might have some faint recollection of that particular chat."

"I never said..."

"I can't believe you would..."

"I never SAID..."

"...have the nerve to..."

"For the love of all flying fuck, woman, will you shut your trap for five fucking seconds and let your husband get a word in? Fuck, only damn reason anyone's ever accounted me with a reputation for stoicism's just 'cause they only ever seen me around you when there ain't need for me to move my jaw save chewin'! You stormed out of that old Doc's house before I could come near to explaining! You're the one who asked me to find whoever was behind all them abductions! I can't help that it turned out to be this piece of shit cocksucker what sired you, who I already had plenty cause to hate for what he took from me! And I didn't marry you out of revenge, I married you because I love you and I couldn't bear the fucking thought of this shitwhistle taking away or hurting anyone else I fucking care about!"

It was the most words he'd strung together in months. The effort exhausted him and the silence between them was only punctuated by his gulping for air.

The next moment was broken by Cassandra's voice, soothing and calm with a practiced concern.

"How'd you beat me here anyway?"

"What?"

"You were still laid up on your near deathbed when I left and headed this way. How'd you get here before me?"

"You rode that stubborn mule of a horse the whole way. Once Doc Jenkins said I was clear to move, Audie and me jumped a freight. Only stubborn ass I had to deal with was my brother."

"And you tracked down my daddy here?"

"Figured he'd have to tend to his holdings eventually. We had this whole plan to take him and his whole operation out. Audie turned me in, was collecting the bounty check, and we were just about to rain all manner of righteous fire down on this devil and his army...when word came to Cleary the Chinaman was headed this way."

"That fella passed out up the hall?"

"Nah, that's just some dragon chaser, sleeping off his nod. I'm talking about Wu Yun, that bounty hunter come after me back in Misson's End, the one you told to find me at the caves. He came in and..."

Jesse's voice trailed off, remembering the spectacle of the one man battle he'd witnessed earlier.

"I don't think I realized how lucky I got off with Red Boy just gut shootin' me like that. Audie and me didn't want to blow our plan but figured we should have his back, so spread out to cover the exits. Cleary tried getting away, but Audie busted him across the nose with his peacemaker and hauled him up here. You know how fucking hard it is to tie a one handed man's arms behind his back?"

"Seeing as you're the one cut his hand off..."

"The humor of it ain't lost on me none."

The next moment was broken by laughter. A genuine laugh. Not the forced tension of two people pointing guns at each other, but the easy laughter of two friends and lovers who know each other's rhythms like nobody else.

"Did you love him?"

"Who?"

"Heath."

The truth caught in Jesse's throat, but only for a moment.

"First person I ever gave a damn about in this world beside myself was that man. Yeah, I loved him...hell, I still love him."

"...Do you love me?"

"Hell, girl. My heart couldn't break into this many pieces unless it was big enough to love you both."

The storm passed for a moment. Their eyes met. Their guns lowered. What might have happened next between these two hearts, only the romantics dare to guess...

...as the next moment was broken by a scream. In a heartbeat, Jesse and Cassandra were side by side, close as lovers, guns drawn and aimed out the window.

"The stables," Jesse blurted. "Wu Yun! We put him back there to tend to his wounds!"

Cleary's pained laughter echoed through the room. "I never did congratulate you two on the marriage," he said, in his usual precise and clipped tone. "Mazel tov."

The next moment was broken by a gunshot.
Sweetness Prevails.

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