Rallahiem

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Re: Rallahiem

Postby Jack Rothwell » July 11th, 2014, 4:22 pm

OOC Thanks Grey! Ill make time to continue this and read the rest of Lorin's story when I can. Good to be back. :)/OOC
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Re: Rallahiem

Postby Jack Rothwell » October 15th, 2014, 3:28 pm

They found the big farmer at the edge of his fields in deep conversation with a heavily tanned man who seemed to be overseeing the sweating workers. The latter was jabbing his finger in the air as his mouth machine-gunned his irritation about Gods-knew-what to the owner. Yosef, for the most part, seemed serene by comparison, nodding idly as he sat in the saddle of the first horse Jade had seen in a month. The obvious straight-backed vitality of the animal that carried the heavyset man made her reassess any assumptions about she'd made about his wealth. Her shaded eyes picked out the glint of a gold ring on the hand which gripped it's reins, and the watch chain in his jacket as he wheeled his mount to face the approaching pair .

"...and these would be the bounty-hunters I've been hearing so much about?" The voice was husky, but it carried well in still air of the day. "What were their names again Earl?"

The foreman, his former agitation disappeared at the arrivals, reached into the pocket of his shirt of produced a notepad of stiff yellowing paper. He cleared his throat.

"Bernard Dupree and Jade Hollister, sir. Fresh from the debauchery of Brambrook and currently under contract of a Mr Ben Wentworth, owner and proprietor of the Summerhill gambling den."

Even the older mercenary's eyebrows raised at this; the job they'd taken had been a closed doors affair, and Wentworth was a man who rarely let his business be known. The big farmer's access to that information suggested connections his modest estate hadn't hinted at.

"A man with a hard reputation." Yosef turned fully to face the bounty hunters for the first time since their arrival. "And which poor soul bring your business to our fair town?"

"He was a former employee of yours." Jade replied. "Would have left two days ago. He was tall, well-built, short or shaved blonde hair and had a scar on his neck."

"I don't keep personal track of every drifter who approaches me for work."


OOC I know, I suck. There's been too much going on in my life lately to really indulge in my creative side as I'd like on the site./OOC
Last edited by Jack Rothwell on May 7th, 2015, 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rallahiem

Postby Graybeard » October 16th, 2014, 9:29 am

Keep 'em coming, JR! Glad you're back!

Lorrin's story has now ended, and I'm about ready to start a series of Sister Rose fanfic, as she and Argus are "retired" from Errant Road, at least for now. More soon...
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Re: Rallahiem

Postby Jack Rothwell » May 7th, 2015, 2:00 am

"He would've been carrying something distinctive with him." Bernard interjected. "A small wooden box, an old thing, made from cherry wood."

"There was an insignia on it." Jade added. "Two..."

"Two pistols crossed in front of a poker chip. Yes, I remember Wentworth's mark on that little curiosity." The overseer gave a thin smile to show the bounty hunters he'd been stringing them along, probably for his own amusement.

"So he left in which direction?"

"I tell you what, brave travelers, normally I'd charge for this type of information, but given the nature of your employer I'll settle for something else."

"Name it."

"Just tell Wentworth he owes he a favour." The big farmer's smile was back, fuller this time. "That'll be enough."

OOC Hey! Just a short one to let you all know I'm (very intermittently) back. I'm on the road doing a theatre tour right now, but at least I've got net access :)/OOC
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Re: Rallahiem

Postby Jack Rothwell » May 7th, 2015, 11:53 am

Morgan laid the last screw on the workbench as delicately as a surgeon and took a deep breath. He put down the screwdriver, checked the straps on his gloves, and gently eased his fingers under the casing of the foreign rifle.

"The moment of truth." He whispered.

The door to the tech's banged open so loudly and suddenly that the weaponsmith uttered a harsh barking cry and pushed away from his work so suddenly his stool tipped. The man hit the floor with an unceremonious crash.

"Morgan? Morgan!"

"Gods damn it Travis!" the techie cursed, pulling himself to his feet with a wince. "Didn't I tell you not to come charging in here? You nearly gave me a heart attack!"

"Sorry Morgan, but this is important."

"It always is." He muttered.

It wasn't really something that Travis could help, Morgan quietly reflected. The youth had been born enthusiastic it seemed. He was all wild eyes and a shock of blonde hair bouncing around on a scrawny body that seemed to have an inexhaustible supply of energy. His parents had asked the techie on several occasions to take the young man under his wing and teach him his trade, and Morgan had explained in turn that he had a better chance of training a wumpi as a house pet than getting the boy to sit still and learn for five minutes.

Still, a distraction was a distraction.

"There's bounty hunters in town!"

"I know."

"You know?" Travis actually looked momentarily deflated before beaming at the next piece of news he had to deliver. "Well, word is they need a guide to help them pick through the petrified wood. They're after a target there."

That made Morgan sit up sharply.

"And they asked you?"

"Well...yeah! I know the Rook like the back of my hand and.."

"Travis, you know the wood is roaming with nectar heads and worse. What in Na'ar are you thinking?"

"They promised me a share!" The youth cried. His voice turning hard and his posture stubborn. "And... I need the money for... for..."

He didn't need to finish the sentence. Travis had a little sister who had been sick for a long time, and the kind of care she needed was expensive.

"Ahh... Damn it boy." Morgan got to his feet and made his way to a trunk behind a curtain at the back of his ramshackle establishment. He returned a moment later with a pair of rifles in his hand. The sunny smile on Travis' face almost made the action worth it.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you Morgan! I swear I'll return it in one piece! Erm, why do you have two?"

"So I can make sure you live to see eighteen." The techsmith replied.
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Re: Rallahiem

Postby Jack Rothwell » May 7th, 2015, 3:46 pm

They met the bounty hunters in front of Sadin's grill, the pair were leaning nonchalantly against a wooden post which been erected a generation ago for Gods-knew what reason and eating unappetizing grey meat off skewers in the afternoon glare. Jade tipped a lazy hand to the new arrivals and wiped the grease down her already well-stained coat as they approached.

"How's the grub?"

"It's horse." The woman replied to Morgan's question. "Tastes like crap but, hey, seeing Yosef's gave me a craving. You got my gun?"

"I'll get it done later."

"Then why are you here? And with our guide no less."

Morgan spared a sideways glance at Travis and saw the rapt expression on the lad's face with a sinking feeling in his gut. The boy was definately developing a case of hero-worship for the outlandish pair.

"I'm here to lend a hand."

"No need. One guide is all we need."

"Hang on." The older bounty hunter spoke up for the first time. "An extra gun would be handy."

"And an extra share of the loot?" Jade murmured.

"That depends. You can come Techie, but you'll be taking your share out of Travis' portion. Is that acceptable?"

"I'm just coming along to keep an eye on him." Morgan replied, resting the rifle on his shoulder.

"Huh, charity." The woman pushed off her resting place and turned to the north-east, where the faint image of ghostly pale trees could be seen, appearing to sway gently in the fading heat. "Well, times-a-wasting."

"I hope you brought your own water." Bernard added, making to follow her.
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Re: Rallahiem

Postby Jack Rothwell » May 8th, 2015, 1:35 am

The petrified wood was a deceptive place for to an outsider.

The first thing that struck the bounty hunters as they passed the smattering of stunted trees that marked the perimeter of Brambrook's starkest features was the silence. There wasn't a bird call or an animal's cry to be heard. The trees themselves were pale statues pockmarked by black specks and empty holes that seemed to stare at the invaders in accusation. The dry ground was near bare but for the occasional branch or scraggly plant clinging to life. Small wonder that the place had been the feature of campfire horror stories for the local youth since time out of mind.

Travis, at least, seemed unperturbed as he headed to a small rut which was the only concession to a path through the uninviting terrain. He lifted his borrowed rifle to his shoulder as if he expected their quarry to come leaping from the scant undergrowth at any moment. Morgan heard the boy making 'pow pow' noises under his breath.

"Easy lad." Bernard rumbled, although his hand rested on the butt of an old machine pistol as he spoke. "If our target has an ounce of sense he'll be a lot farther in. Do you know of any place he could take shelter?"

"There's some huts in that direction." Travis replied, pointing the barrel a little to his right. "He might be shacked up there."

"Him or something worse." Morgan muttered.
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Re: Rallahiem

Postby Jack Rothwell » May 14th, 2015, 12:32 pm

"I've always wondered what the bounty hunter life was like, you know? Wandering the wasteland, going from one job to another, never knowing what the next day'll bring..."

They'd been trekking through the wood for fifteen minutes or so, and Travis had been talking to the bounty hunters for most of it. Jade had huffed and broken away in the early going, taking the lead alongside Morgan without a word of acknowledgement. Bernard, exercising some saintly breed of patience, had listened to the teenagers monologue with barely a word of interruption.

"But a man has duties to live up to. Ellen, that's my sister, she needs me to take care of her. She has the trembling sickness you see. Needs two shots of morphisol a week to stay on her feet."

"You're a thoughtful young man." Bernard replied in even tones.

"Does he always talk this much?" Jade asked, in a voice too low for the pair to hear.

"Only when he's awake."

Morgan's attention had been fixed on their surroundings from the moment they'd entered the hostile area. He'd already noted the torn up plants on their path to the tumble down shelters that had been built by Gods-knew-who in the last few years. The crushed orange leaves scattered through the undergrowth were a definite indication that nectar heads had been around recently. Beyond that there'd been no sign of them; Morgan had silently prayed that their luck would continue to hold.

crack!

The party froze in their tracks, reaching for weapons and dropping into firing stances, the exception being the young guide who fumbled, then dropped his rifle with a clatter. The female bounty hunter shot the youth an annoyed look before returning her attention to the source of the sound.

A moment later something stepped into view.

The creature pawed it's way between the trees on four stunted legs that ended in trios of short thick claws. It's squat body was a mishmash of white skin and black spots that were a clear concession to camouflage. A thick growth of bristles ran across it's back, tapering off at squashed face with a scowling brow and a mouth of tusked and serrated teeth. The animal looked at the interlopers for a moment before making a grunting noise and padding back out of sight. Morgan grinned despite himself.

"Just a wumpi." He said. "At least if this hunt of yours is a bust we can try to get dinner on the way back."

Jade rolled her eyes and put her revolver back in its holster.

"How much further to the huts?"

"Just a few minutes." Travis replied. "We'll get there before sundown."
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Re: Rallahiem

Postby Jack Rothwell » May 19th, 2015, 3:21 pm

Travis had regained his place at the front of the expedition by the time they found the small circle of huts partially concealed in the interior of the petrified wood. The foliage was a little thicker here; the trees clustered in tighter groups and the undergrowth even yielding scant patches of yellowing grass and small cacti. The discarded nectar leaves were in greater abundance too, although the silence was prevalent as ever.

The huts themselves were as patchwork as some as the smaller dwellings in Brambrook; each a mishmash of stone, wood and scrap metal. Most were in states of extreme disrepair, with one exception.

"Maybe your quarry's gone native." Morgan whispered.

"Hush."

A single hut had clearly been the subject of recent renovation. Even to the uneducated eye the fresh leaves clinging to the branches laid across the larger holes and the sight of a single empty can near the lopsided door left little doubt that someone had been there recently. The techsmith saw Bernard lean forward and sniff tentatively at the uninviting dwelling. He nodded to himself.

"Ash."

A fire. And set recently. Morgan tightened his grip on the rifle.

Jade turned and pointed at her eyes, then made a circular motion with her hand. Morgan nodded; the instruction was clear 'Keep a lookout while we check inside.' He made his own gesture to Travis to come his side. The boy pouted, but did as he was bid.

The bounty hunters crept towards the hut as the sun kissed the horizon.
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