Old 07-26-2009, 09:09 PM   #1
Lunaramblings
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Heroes Out of Time IC

********
A Future.

A lash of lightning tears through the sky, suddenly illuminating the harsh, barren waste. Once a world thrived here. Children laughed and played, families picnicked by the babbling brooks. Then this world, like so many before, was destroyed. It is gone now, all that we have struggled for, all that has been real and held dear, all gone in the blink of an eye. As the lightning fades, a shimmer of purple light appears. A man in gold and blue emerges.

"This is my fault. Because of me, this world has been doomed..... But there is hope. There is still a prophecy. Nabu, you have sustained me.... now I will call on the last vestiges of power, and try to save this world before it can be doomed."

The man turns and faces a companion as he steps through the portal: a man with a terrible scar and a leering grin.

He wore guns on his hips, and a tattered, weatherworn version of a Confederate Army uniform. His hat was tilted low over his eyes, but this did little to hide the damage that had been done to his countenance.

And he listened, dubious at best, to the man in gold, as he tipped that hat back now on his head with an upraised index finger.

"'Save th' world,'" he hmmphed. "Catchy phrase, ya could write papers back East. But what's it gotta do with me?"

"It is now to be your destiny. I bring you here so you can see what has come to pass. I will show you those that tried and failed."

The man in gold waves his hand, and above what appears to be a run-down cemetery a vision appears. Flickering images, memories of the great cataclysm.

Solemn, the man in the black duster and the faded grey uniform watched the tableau unfold...

A man with a hammer, striking with such fierce strength at the dread machines harvesting this world. A young man moving so fast the backdrop is a blur, lashing out and smashing the enemy hordes, until a blast seems to disintegrate him. As the blast clears the man with the hammer is surrounded, taken upon by the enemy, he dies, his hammer in his hand. Then from somewhere to the side comes a horse, a man firing his guns, before long he too is taken to task. A man cloaked in Green Flame, also torn down and destroyed, the glowing lantern he held thrown to the winds, guttering the flame goes out. Battle rages, a pair of gunslinging twins fall to the horde. Finally, stranded and alone, a giant of a man, dressed in the traditional war garb of Native Americans is torn to pieces, his screams rock the very ground.

The witness to this display, this display cast by the man in gold, his grin was no longer leering. He was no longer grinning. The vicious age-old wound down the right side of his face seemed to throb with his displeasure.

He spat hard at the ground beside him.

He struck a match and lit a hand-rolled cigarette, and sombrely took a drag upon this as he shook the match out.

"Damn shame," he harrumphed, as the smoke billowed out through his parting teeth.

"These seven men, these seven warriors, they died trying to defend the world from The Sheeda. They were the heroes of your time Mr. Hex. They were unable to stand against the horde. Now, I shall try to right that wrong. The timestream, as you are aware, has been damaged. This give me one chance. I shall send the heroes of my time to yours. You must lead them Jonah Hex. You must ensure they succeed in stopping the Sheeda. If they fail, this is what you will have left to look forward to. Jonah, you did not find me by happenstance, you found me because I am Fate. I am sending you home. Watch for the Signs. The Seven will come. You must be there guide. Seek out the Buffalo Spider, it will lead them to the heart of the Sheeda, to Castle Revolving itself."

"I seen a lotta things," Hex mused, the coffin-nail smouldering in his fingers. "Here in this twisted damn shell of a far-flung 'future.' But most'a what yer tellin' me is still ringin' like nonsense in my ears."

He shook his head. "I ain't no hero, not like them purehearted sons'a'bitches what died chewed up by bugs an' metal monsters. I ain't no saviour. Notta this Thru a Glass Darkly world, notta th' one I got flung forward from."

"Jonah Hex, you are a man of honor, truth, and strength. You are the standard by which a generation will judge it's heroes."

Another drag from the smoke, and a slow slow tattered grin as the smoke billowed down from his nostrils and climbed on the winds...

"What I am is a pair'a sixguns," he noted, "a scattergun an' a tomahawk an' a knife. I'm th' hands an' eyes an' guts ta wield 'em."

He looked again at the place where the mystic display had wavered before his eyes. "Point me at somethin' what needs killin', I'll kill it. And it seems ta my eyes that buzzy-winged guttertrash needs killin'."

Hex pursed his lips, an odd expression on one of his features.

"M'gonna need help."

He shook his head. And chomped on the cigarette.

"Make sure it's good goddamned help."

"I assure you, those that I send, shall be among the best this world has ever known. They will follow you, all I ask is that you lead them straight."



This thread is the IC for the OOC of the same name. If you are interested in this thread please see the OOC and PM me. Thanks. Do not post here until approved.

Last edited by Lunaramblings : 07-26-2009 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 08-08-2009, 12:49 AM   #2
ChasNicollette
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They were seniors, now.

Even the youngest of them was eighteen, now.

They had been at Bruce's house, the auxiliary Wayne estate in Smallville.

(Bruce, of course, was still gone. No hide nor hair of him. Not 'till he was ready.

He was still amongst The Shadows.

But Alfred frequently travelled betwixt The Mansion in eastern Gotham, and The Manour in Smallville. He tended both places.

He kept them ready for his master. And for the friends of his master.

He kept the place for the use of The Outsiders.)

Not all of them had been there.

But there had been a gathering. Just enough for a quorum, of sorts.

There had been an argument. Fever pitch.

Disagreements about what to do if The Insiders came back. The Thinker Virus was only getting smarter.

And Lex. Oh, Lex.

Horrifying Lex.

And at the climax of that argument, the different parties had split, had gone into separate rooms of the house, and then there had been a flash.

White and gold. And Chloe, sitting behind her laptop, alone in the kitchen and fuming...

She had recognised in an instant the shape of that light before she was blinded.

She saw an ankh.

And then they were gone.

********

Chloe awoke.

The room was dark.

It smelled...

It smelled of hay and must, it smelled of manure. The smell reminded Chloe of Kara's barn... or what Kara's barn might have smelled like if The Kents didn't keep the thing so pristine and perfect. (How did they do that?)

Chloe had theorised that it was kind of like Kara only ever rarely even seemed to have a spot of dirt on her, even after playing softball. And like the split ends thing that Ms. McCrimmon had noticed.

Something pure about Kara filtered out into her surroundings.

...but this, wherever this was, this was a place without Kara.

Her first breath left her hacking and coughing she felt cold all over, she felt like beads of sweat had frozen on her skin.

She remembered, perfect eidetic memory, the novelisation of the movie "StarGate." ...molecules funneled at hyperspeed and then slammed back together, compressed, momentary annihilation of kinetic force, severe temperature drop.

She felt like she'd been flung to the edge of known space.

It was rather not unlike dying. Except when she died, she went to a little apartment that smelled of lilies and myrrh. And then she came back.

This place smelled like a stable.

Her hands trembled as she put them under her, she felt floorboards.

She pushed.

Rose a few inches.

Slumped.

"C'mon, Sullivan," she muttered. "If Dale Tennylson can beat Chuck Norris in a push-up contest..."

She tried again, staggered to her feet.

Dust was swirling, and she sneezed.

Light was coming from somewhere.

She squinted, tried to scrutinise through the dark, tiny filters of light.

There was a window, and things were stacked in front of the window, but light was seeping through the cracks and through the slats in the woodwork.

Things were moving outside. Big things.

Slowly, slowly, Chloe's eyes adjusted to the inconvenient dearth of photons.

The things in front of the window were hay bales, naturally, go figure. And there were bags of things that looked like feed, this looked like some sort of supply shed. (And oh, yeah. Fertiliser. Thaaaat figured.)

So, where?

...there was a door off to her right. And between her and the door, in the middle of the wooden floor, was a strongbox.

A locked strongbox.

Looked like cast iron, looked like an antique.

Her golden eyebrows bunched over her mysterious hazel eyes.

Something about that strongbox screamed "buried treasure" even more than a cask of rum and a map marked "X."

She ran her tongue over her teeth.

Back to that in a minute.

She walked around the strongbox to the door, and turned the knob, and swung it wide with a creeeeak of ancient hinges.

And saw immediately what the big things were that were moving outside.

Men on horseback, historical re-enactors, ohgodohgod, massive horses, men in black hats and jackets and one of them wheeled his horse around and slapped leather and there was a gleaming pearl-handled six-shooter leveled at her forehead.

"Damnation!" he growled, all black unshaven bristles and iron-grey eyes, and the hammer thumbed back, "someone's in with the--!"

Chloe's eyes went wide.

Oh, shit.

I'm going to die again.


********

Ceri's eyes snapped open.

She sat up, her booted feet were under her, her hand between her heels with fingers spread, a pair of scissors flashing into upthrust other hand from seeming nowhere...

...only when she was there, crouched, ready to kill, did it hit her that there was freezing cold pain all over her, all throughout her.

She almost fell back over but she steadied herself, she steadied herself... "Owh. Strewth, owh!"

She, too, was in a room, a wooden building, there were bottles and casks, there was the smell of aged barrels and spilled beer, and--

"--without a capsule," she heard a mumble, and she recognised the voice, like an instant, in an instant, Estuary English accent. "Killer."

She straightened, and next to her there was a keg, and peering over the keg she found her former husband strewn out on the floor, his coat spread out behind him like a cape.

He was staring up at the ceiling and breathing hard like he'd just outrun a murderous massive claw machine.

"Bonked me conk," he mumbled again, "me glasses came off."

"James," she murmured, pocketing those scissors, stepping around the keg to his side, kneeling beside him, weaving her fingers into his. "Tell me yeh're okay. Tell me what happened. There was that row, and we were in the sitting room, and yeh were across the room sprawled on the settee, told'yeh teh get yehr shoes off the cushions..."

He sat up, holding his head, and his hand freed itself from hers, then went out searching and came back with his spectacles. He popped these on, and he shook his head.

"Interdimensional displacement," he frowned, holding her hand again. "Teleport exchange. Still collating data. I think... there's a distinct shift in geomagnetic resonance around us, we're not in the same place on Earth and--"

He paused, and blinked dark dark bespectacled eyes at his ex-wife and on-again lover. His tongue flickered out, a bit snakelike, as though he were tasting the air. "Did the Earth just get younger?"

She leaned back and she hauled him to his feet and he steadied himself against her. "Younger? How should I know? That's not poss--"

They stared at each other.

Brown eyes and brown eyes, roguishly spiked brown hair and spilling raven-dark locks.

And in that instant, they understood.

And then the door to the front of the saloon burst open and a fat white-bearded fellow in period dress pointed a very very real looking Winchester at them.

"Paid through the rest of the month!" he snarled, though he looked far more frightened than angry, "still ya barge in here, tryin' ta..."

He trailed off. Blinked.

"You're not with them."

"No," Ceri smiled faintly.

"Shouldn't think so, anyway," Jamie agreed.

And then a gunshot rang out, rang out in the distance and there was a feminine shriek, a howl of fear and pain and Ceri recognised it instantly.

Chloe.

The man with the Winchester flinched and he glanced away and Ceri's foot flashed up and around and across and knocked the muzzle aside and then her elbow came up from under and to the bearded man's shock the rifle bounced from his hands...

...Ceri's other hand shot up and snagged it from the air and the heel of her free hand slammed into the man's bearded chin.

He went down like a sack of fertiliser.

Ceri bounded over him, the rifle over her shoulder...

Ceri cleared the bar and sprinted through all the period-dressed patrons gazing at her in dread, sprinted past the man cowering beside the piano, the Winchester across her shoulder as she ran.

Jamie's lip twitched.

More gunshots were going off, lots more, not all from the same gun, he could tell by the sound, his ears were sharp.

He took off his glasses and put them away and he put his hands in his pockets.

"Just like old times," he murmured, fully cognisant of the irony of that assessment.

And then bounded over the fallen man and hurdled the counter without even slowing down or touching it, sprinting after the woman with the dark hair and the rifle.

********

Rose had been upstairs when it happened.

But then the light flashed and she fell, she fell before she could stop herself, the cold somehow still managed to hurt, despite her powers, she felt the ice all over, and she fell headfirst headfirst she saw the two wooden buildings slicing by on either side of her...

...she hit a rain-barrel head-on and it exploded, she was there amongst the sand and there was water and bits of wood everywhere and her head was ringing and her shoulder was aching.

Her red hair was everywhere and bleary-blue-eyed she glanced up.

"Kyle?" she mumbled, and she staggered to her feet.

Her head was ringing and she couldn't fly and she couldn't hear the gunshots she wanted to know what had happened to Kyle...

...he'd been up at the same level as her, had he gone shadowform or whatever in time, did he pass into one of the buildings beside her...?

Then again, teleporting...

Fuck.

Please Jesus God let him have landed on one of those roofs.

Please.


"Kyle?"


********

"Damnation!" he growled, all black unshaven bristles and iron-grey eyes, and the hammer thumbed back, "someone's in with the--!"

Chloe's eyes went wide.

Oh, shit.

I'm going to die again.

Merick--


And her eyes slammed shut.

And gunblast rocked the desert landscape.

Chloe screamed.

Chloe hesitated. And when she opened her eyes, she still saw the same burning sun.

No apartment. No lilies and myrrh.

She saw the black-bristled iron-eyed man teetering on his horse, and all his friends were acting hysterical, and the black-bristled iron-eyed man had slapped his neck like he was striking down a mosquito...

He fell off his horse; blood was everywhere.

And a man with a ravaged face and a grim grim grin waded into the chaos.

K-CHAK. He ejected a shell from his rifle.

There were six horsemen.

(There had been seven.)

The six horsemen swung their weapons, bringing them to bear on the duster-clad Confederate who'd come from nowhere, he was killing them--

BOOM.

...a gnarled old skinflint fell from his horse, clutching the red blossom on his chest...

...and then there were five.

K-CHAK.

"Girl," the scarred gunman bellowed. "Inside!"

He didn't have to tell Chloe twice, she lunged back into the dark shed, she threw herself behind the strongbox and she covered her head with her arms.

"Oh God," she mumbled, "I've died. I've died and gone to Stagecoach."

Gunfire hammered the wall of the shed and a stray round kapwinnnged off of the strongbox and Chloe scrunched her eyes shut.

Dying wasn't fun. Coming back even less so.

She wasn't in any hurry to do either again.

Jonah Hex threw himself amidst the hail of gunfire, the rounds chattered around him, sizzling the air...

BOOM.

...and then there were four.

K-CHAK.

...as the shell casing tumbled through the air, end-over-end, a skinny guy dove from his horseback and drew a knife and went, airborne, for Jonah Hex's throat...

...a black blur moved in the periphery of his vision...

...a dark raven with a Welsh accent: "KIAAAAI!"

...she pounded the butt of the Winchester into the skinny guy's chin in mid-air and the jaw shattered, the guy sprawled, the knife skittered...

Without even slowing down, without even hesitating, the woman picked Jonah's pocket, yanked his tomahawk out of his belt and she whirled and twirled and threw--

--the axe sank deep into the heart of a man and down he, too, went.

...and then there were two.

The two hesitated.

Jonah arched his eyebrow at the woman. "Much obliged."

BOOM.

A hole gaped in the forehead of the one on the left and his hat flew off.

Down he crumpled.

...and then there was one.

Ceri smiled faintly. "Not that yeh needed my help, of course."

She leveled her borrowed Winchester at the sole remaining man.

K-CHAK.

And Jonah's rifle followed suit.

"Just tryin' ta be polite. It's a first fer me."

The sole remaining man hesitated for a moment more. And then threw down his gun. "I'm done, I'm done, I don't want no more trouble."

And Jamie Hamilton walked up beside the man on the horse, casual as you please, hands in his pockets--

--he took one hand out of his pocket and slapped the horse's hindquarters and for the horse, oh, that was the last straw, the horse pelted out of there, and the startled tenderfoot astride that mount hung on bellowing for dear life...

"Sweetheart, dear marvellous Ceri," Jamie pondered, "why are we killing people?"

"Always did like to pull for the underdog," Ceri remarked. "Though it helps that this one was defending a friend of ours."

...and Chloe emerged from the shed, looking more than a little haggard.

"Which, bee-tee-dubyoo, thank you," she suggested, though she hardly looked especially grateful. Her hazel eyes danced across the corpses and she looked away sharply.

"So we weren't the only ones, then," Jamie mused, glancing about.

Ceri put the Winchester across her shoulder again. "Doesn't seem like it."

Chloe blinked. "Weren't the only ones what?"

Jamie clucked his tongue in his head, squinted, glanced back the way they'd run, did a little math. "Positions relative. Chloe was in the kitchen, we were in the front room, we wound up in the tavern, she wound up in The Shrieking Shack, here..."

Jamie paused. "(Were the Tennylsons still out in the front yard?)"

And glanced up. "(Was it just the ground floor?)"

"This is real," Chloe finally acknowledged, though disbelief in shards still littered her voice. "Mass temporal abduction?"

Hex grunted. "S'posed ta be seven. Seven total. But I'd take more if it were offered."

Chloe, Jamie, and Ceri looked at him as one.

"Mind repeating that?"

Hex lit a cigarette with a match. "We ain't gonna get nowheres if y'all can't keep up."

********

Rose managed to levitate high enough to catch the edge of the roof with outstretched fingertips. Her head was whirling, the cold had been murder, it had been years since she'd felt real cold, she'd even gotten used to Kyle's cold darkness...

...and her head was pounding, pounding.

One-armed, she dragged herself up onto the roof...

"Kyle?" she breathed, desperate: "Are you here?"

Last edited by Chasnicollette : 08-24-2009 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 08-08-2009, 02:25 AM   #3
Lunaramblings
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Merick hated fighting with these people. They were all he had. Well, that wasn't true. He had plenty. There was a rather large trust fund, his powers, and of course the love that he felt for Chloe.... But these people, they were family none the less. Merick sat on the porch, still confused. Watching Dale and Edmund arguing. Truth be told, he was almost hoping they would fight. It was always a fantastic site. Like two starving wolverines battling over a morsel. Then there was a flash. Light enveloped Merick.

Merick was tumbling as he hit the ground. He was pretty solid at the landings most times these days. But this.... this was different. Everything had been wrong. Merick had appeared at the top of a flight of stairs. And he tumbled head first down the flight. As he landed in a heap, he heard her. He heard Chloe shriek.

Merick disappeared with a swoosh. Suddenly he was staggering to his feet on the porch. He watched as all hell broke loose. A man with a dark terrible scar fought along side Ceri. It seemed he was defending Chloe. Remind me to buy that guy a.... a.... sarsaparilla??? Damn.... where the hell are we?

Merick quickly moved to meet the group.

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

There was a flash of light and Dale was left on the lawn alone. Edmund meanwhile, was dropped through a card table at a saloon.

As Edmund was about to smack his dear son upside his head, there was a flash. And suddenly, there he was. He felt his body go cold. Felt himself shift and realized just as he hit the table that he was in a very different place. Edmund's body crashed through the table. Knocking several men to the floor.

Edmund was on his feet quickly. It still felt wrong. Everything was moving in slow motion. Then it was all moving too fast. Men were getting to their feet. Yelling, pulling knives and guns. Edward smiled.

"Boys, I don' wan trouble. Jus' passing through. Sorry bout the game." Edmund grins. He knows they aren't planning on stopping. This will be fun.

The first man swings with a large bowie knife. Coming inches from Edmund's face. Edmund drops low, swinging his foot in an arc, intercepting the lunging man. Suddenly the man is in the air, and the knife is lost, tumbling end over end in the air. Edmund lashes out, catching it in his hand. Before he stands he has hurled the knife. Dipping, lashing out, throwing and standing, faster than the men can react. The knife is driven through the wrist of one of the men with a gun. Edmund laughs as he drives a knee into the stomach of one of the men and follows with a back kick to the shin of the other. Bones shatter. In an instant all four men are on the floor.

"Huh. Ya know, it is more fun with out the killin' I guess. A challenge." Edward grabs the man with the broken leg. Edmund pulls him up by his shirt, inches from his face. "Where the hell am I. Shit. When the hell am I."

The man blubbers on for several seconds. Barely understandable. Edmund pieces together the date and the town name. Other than that he doesn't get much out of the sniveling.

Edmund is on his way out when he hears the fighting. Then he sees Merick appear across the street. Edmund watches as Merick swooshes to Ceri's side.

"Chloe! Where are you hon?!"

Edward saunters over to the gathered crowd.

"Jamie, any clue what this is about? According to my sources this is 1875. And this is apparently Pepper Gulch. Never heard of m'self."
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:56 PM   #4
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"Chloe! Where are you hon?!"

Chloe ran to Merick, hopping carefully over a body.

"God," she breathed, "am I glad to see you. I don't suppose you could click your heels and get us someplace like home? Or is this one of those 'part of established events' scenarios?"

Edmund saunters over to the gathered crowd.

"Jamie, any clue what this is about? According to my sources this is 1875. And this is apparently Pepper Gulch. Never heard of m'self."


"1875," Jamie mused, and ran his tongue over his teeth. "Any idea what month it is? If we can get to Scotland for Christmas, we can catch the first Edinburgh derby."

"S'only January," Jonah grunted, walking over to one of the dead men and yanking his tomahawk out of the man's chest.

He wiped the axe clean on his bandanna. "Sorry ta disappoint. But if you're here past February, it'll be as corpses."

"Oh," Jamie blinked.

"Swizz," Ceri supplied easily, agreeing.

"I've been burgled," Jamie sighed.

Jonah turned and fixed his gaze on Edmund.

Weighed and measured the man for a moment, cool eyes on cool eyes, like samurai at opposite ends of a bridge. The man moved like a jungle cat despite his obvious age. Probably had the claws an' teeth to go with it.

To say nothing of the woman. But he'd get to her in a minute.

"Th' reason," he continued, "Old-Timer, that y'ain't heard of Pepper Gulch, is that it gets incorporated inta a larger town 'round about 1912, when this here Arizona Territory gets turned inta one'a them officially ratified States a' Th' Union. In th' meantime, as the one good man bearin' the star'a The Law just got his hindparts absconded inta th' future an' th' town's been conquested by dirty hombres with dollar signs fer hearts an' bullets fer consciences, this town's present is decidedly unstable.

"Also," he mused, glancing in a vaguely Southwestern direction, "since we're sorta in proximity ta Miracle Mesa? Cartography can get a mite twitchy 'round here."

Chloe glanced away from Merick at that. "Wait. Did he just say...?"

"1875," Jamie shook his head, whistling softly, as if that idea was still settling in.

"'There is no Arizona,'" Ceri nodded, absently.

"Well, sort of," Jamie replied, frowning good-naturedly at her.

Ceri shrugged. "Something Rose would say. Couldn't let it go unsaid."

Jamie digested this. "Quite right, too."
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:57 PM   #5
Abraxas Winterlight
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We kissed until I heard Ceri's "thats enough" chuff down the hall, then Rose went into her room, and I made my way to the one I used here. I was still grinning when I closed the door behind me. I could still feel Ceri's gaze on me. She knew we loved each other, but she was a mom first.

A highly trained ninja assassin mom, but a mom. I couldn't love her more if she had raised me.

I plopped down on the bed, turned on some tunes, and pulled the grimore from the bedside table. I had been slowly reading and practicing the spells in it, and was getting the hang of some of it. Shadow magic was not easy to do on Earth. So far, I could make a coldfire light, and could create a small tendril of solid shadow which could crudely move things under a pound in weight. It was a start.

Mostly the history was what fascinated me. The creator of the book had been a previous scion countless centuries ago. Born in a mud hut, he had grown to be the most feared being on Earth, until Hell's scion took him down.

Seems thats how a scion usually dies. Something to remember.

I was studying a particularly pain-in-the-ass spell (something about shadow scrying) when lights exploded around me. I screamed as pain coursed through me, the book clutched in my fingers as they spasmed. I then felt a wrenching pain as my back hit something solid. The book flew from my hands as I crashed through a wooden structure, then hit a table, collapsing it as I crashed to a wooden floor.

"What in tarnation??" I heard as several people moved around me. "Clyde, you said this here place was safe. What the hell is this?"

"I don't know who this tinhorn is Sid, but he seen your face, and he probably heard about the heist we is plannin. Bleed him with your toothpick and we can dump him out back after everyone settles down. One more body in this town won't be noticed."

I was down, and still in pain, but I could hear steel clearing leather. Over ten years of fighting demons and other assorted nasties woke up reactions that were hardwired into me. My leg kicked out, breaking the knee of the man next to me with a sickening crack. He dropped a very large knife and started screaming. Me, I grabbed the knife in mid, drop, spun to my feet, sweeping the legs of a extremely dirty man drawing a frikin huge gun from a holster. The gun went flying when his head bounced off the floor.

Idiot number three was also drawing a gun, so I threw the knife, pinning his hand to the wall behind him. More screaming. It was getting noisy in here. One of them had voided his bladder and the smell of urine filled the room. The last guy, better dressed than the others but still looking like a extra in a spaghetti western, drew a gun. I closed with him fast, slapping the gun up which discharged into the ceiling. A quick strike broke his wrist, and a followup put him down with a broken arm on the other side.

Bruce would have given that at least a eight, maybe eight point five. Of course Bruce would have probably dismantled all the guns at the same time. Man was scary fast.

I reached down and pulled the better dressed one up until my face was inches from his. (man needed a tic tac in the worst way!!) and my voice dropped down to a feral growl.

"Who are you? Where am I? What is this place? You have five seconds before I start breaking more bones."

I had to play hardball. I tried to change when I felt myself falling. Nothing. My powers were gone!

I was just a human right now.
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Last edited by Abraxas Winterlight : 08-24-2009 at 04:42 AM.
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:31 PM   #6
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There was a hole in the roof.

And next to the hole was a book.

Kyle's book.

He'd hit the wood and he'd gone right through.

Frell.

Rose clawed her way across the roof for a yard or so, forced herself to her feet.

Broad daylight, teleportation, he's got no powers, what if he broke his neck on the way down, he's supposed to outlive me by aeons, not die taking a header into a--

The thought died unfinished.

She could hear tussling.

She jumped near out of her skin when gunblast went off and the bullet ripped through the rooftop barely a yard from her foot.

Rose watched it rise, squinted at it, watched it fall and land in the street six metres from a horse trough.

She rolled her shoulder. Blinked her eyes. She was healing already.

And Kyle was okay. She could hear him.

"Who are you? Where am I? What is this place? You have five seconds before I start breaking more bones."

She smiled softly, tiny delighted little smirk.

As far as Scary Voices went: Bruce was tops, and then Wraith, and then Damian. But Kyle Greystone didn't need to be Wraith to score fourth place.

Rose picked up the tome and stepped off the roof and into that hole, dropping down neatly and levitating before she hit, cushioning her impact on the floor.

Quick glance around. Threats defused. Kyle in in-terror-gation mode.

"Hey, sweetie," she murmured, rolling her bruised shoulder first one way, than the other. "Brought your Oxford Wonder World."

Her eyes, deep sky blue eyes, flickered across to Halitosis Bill Hickok. "I'd answer, if I were you. He doesn't always ask twice."

There were more gunshots happening, down the street, but right now this was their own little world. Just the happy couple and the hapless cowpoke.

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Old 08-22-2009, 11:54 PM   #7
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Merick tried to take it all in. They were somehow in 1875. Had his powers misfired? That had happened before, but never with out some type of stimulus.

Merick hugged tight to Chloe. "Ok. So here is what I can figure. If, somehow we are here, which I guess we are right? Then what does that mean? Hey, Tony Montana, how the hell do you know about the future?" Merick regarded Jonah Hex carefully. He was trying to determine if he was friend or foe.

"S'Okay, Merick. This man is a friend. Least he is if he's how I reckon he is. The uniform, the scar, the bravado. And the time seems bout right." Edmund smiled and extended a hand. "I am a bit of a student of history, wartime stuff 'specially. Recall reading about a man, a legend. Surrendered to the Union, then his platoon was killed. He was branded a traitor. Went on to become a fierce bounty hunter. Sound familiar?"
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:02 AM   #8
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Kyle

I glanced over at Rose when she levitated down the hole. She looked a little banged up, but overall she was good.

"You really want to tell me what I want to know. I'm starting to get impatient." I growled.

"I'm nobody. Sam Waters. I just open safes. Never hurt nobody, just open the damn safes! Your in Pepper Gulch. What are you??" he asked, still white with shock.

"What year?" I said still in the voice of the warrior.

"1875. It's 1875. Don't kill me please don't kill me. I just open the safes." Urine stained the front of his trousers. Fear was overwhelming him.

"Good enough." I growled, then punched him into unconsciousness.

I stood up and walked over to Rose, and enfolded her in my arms. "Don't squeeze too hard love, I'm pretty busted up. Nothing broken, but lots of bumps and bruises."

Various aches and pains were starting to throb as the battle state faded. I looked Rose in the eyes, then pulled her to me again and kissed her forehead.

"Any idea what the frell is going on?"
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:58 PM   #9
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Sam Waters was out cold before Rose could make the requisite "Law and Order" joke.

But, as she herself reflected, that was probably for the best. The name wasn't quite right anyway.

I stood up and walked over to Rose, and enfolded her in my arms. "Don't squeeze too hard love, I'm pretty busted up. Nothing broken, but lots of bumps and bruises."

Various aches and pains were starting to throb as the battle state faded. I looked Rose in the eyes, then pulled her to me again and kissed her forehead.

"Any idea what the frell is going on?"


"Well," Rose reflected, smiling softly as she adjusted her hold on the shadowtome so it didn't press uncomfortably against Kyle's side. "Barring some way-impressive method acting on the part of Sam the Safecracker? We're about ten years too early for Back To The Future Part 3. And about a hundred and ten years, give or take, too far back to be within the 'Quantum Leap' boundary my dad found for Mer's chronoswooosh."

She glanced down at the book. "So. Maybe my StarTropics II joke was retroactively prophetic and you've been unwittingly mucking about with time-travel magicks? Or something else is going on. And that, I don't know the frell what."

Rose held up her fingertips to his chest and, with a crackle of energy, she lightly frosted him, restored to him some of the molecular cold he'd endured upon arriving... soothing those aches and pains.

"Without your powers, you're still sensitive to cold," she mused, "but that'll work to our advantage until we can find a way to either get you healed or medicked. 'Warrior needs food badly.'"

She glanced in the direction of the door. "'Till then. Recon?"

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Old 08-24-2009, 02:50 PM   #10
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"Wasn't me love. If it was I would be in my work clothes."
I kissed Rose again and stepped back, surveying the carnage I had caused.

"Recon is a good idea. I'll take the tome and see if there is a back way out of this place. Meet you outside in a few." I said.

I cautiously made my way out the door and found a window I could crawl out of and lower myself down. I tossed the tome (damn thing is practically indestructable) and climbed down, then parked next to a busted rain barrell to wait on Rose.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:21 PM   #11
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Jonah Hex took a drag from his hand-rolled cigarette, and then, removing the smoke from his lips, he spat on the ground.

"I hear tell ya can figger a lot 'bout a man from his handshake," he noted philosophically.

And then turned away from Edmund's offered hand like it was a signpost pointing to nowhere. "Me, I prefer my privacy. An' maybe there's stuff about ya I m'self'd rather not figger."

He put the cigarette back in his mouth and quirked his damaged lip at Merick.

"Says a lot 'bout you two," he harrumphed, "that fer one, I get likened ta a gangster, an' fer another, that ya'd rather study hist'ry 'bout me than some genuinely virtchus feller. Don't they have any worthwhile folk in yer book-learnin'? Johnny Henry, Frankie Marion, 'Mad' Tony Wayne, Tom 'Stonewall' Jackson? I ain't worth his'try's notice. Make me sound like some Lone Ranger, last'a my kind."

He stalked past the temporally-displaced group and stood in the doorway to the shed in which Chloe had landed. "I goddamn wish I was th' last'a my kind. Looks like th' proud tradition's been carried on."

He vanished into the shed, and muzzle-flash illuminated the interior, BOOM, K-CHAK.

He emerged a moment later holding a brown, aged envelope, and a small blue box.

"The rotten-skulled guttertrash," he mused, "what's taken over this here township, just last month pulled a job on a stage headin' through t' somewheres in Nevada. An' part'a what they stoled was post meant fer me. So this is me, takin' back my post. (Y'all're my witnesses.)"

He held up the envelope. "This here? Is a map a' The Soft Places, made by an ancient shaman name'a Manitou Raven, th' direct trans-Beringian ancestor'a one'a th' men in th' previous Seven Soldiers. S'th'only thing that'll keep us from gettin' lost in twitchy locales like Miracle Mesa an' Slaughter Swamp. When th' landscape shifts, th' map'll shift with it."

Ceri shook her head, in wonder. "Still having trouble keeping up."

Chloe chuckled faintly, though still she looked incredulous: though reassured by Merick's presence, she was obviously discomfited by the situation in general and by Hex in particular. "I've heard of The Seven Soldiers, but I thought they were a recurring urban-legendary archetype, like the supposed 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.' And Slaughter Swamp is notorious in paranormal research circles, it's like an inland Bermuda Triangle. Manitou Raven, on the other hand-- there's nothing urban about his legend."

"Legends do, they say," Jamie mused, eyebrows scrunched, "frequently have a basis in fact."

"Yer in a position ta know that better'n most," Hex chuckled darkly. "Bein' one yerself."

Having only intended to obliquely reference his own history with the paranormal, Jamie's eyes went a little wider. "Beg yours?"

Jonah shook his head. "If ya don't know already, I ain't tellin' ya. Suffice it ta say--" and at this, he tossed Jamie the little blue box, long and thin and capped with a lid the same colour as the rest of it "--tech-ni-cally, this here's addresed to yer own self."

Jamie caught the box in mid-air, and prised off the lid, arching a wary eyebrow at Jonah before he glanced down at the contents and--

--stopped cold.

He blinked.

Ceri arched an eyebrow and moved in beside him, glancing down at the box contents, and she was similarly perplexed. "James?"

He said nothing.

He reached into the box and pulled out a slender rod with a blue unlit L.E.D. on one end, and arrayed with tiny dials and knobs almost invisibly small.

It was slightly longer and thicker than a pen. And it was retracted, it could be slid open like a telescope and made slightly longer still.

He stared at it like it was a signpost to somewhere he'd forgotten as a boy and still couldn't quite remember.

Also in the box was a tall thin booklet. The cover read simply: "Instruction Manual."

He looked at Ceri. Ceri looked at Jamie. They both looked at Jonah.

Ceri took the box-cover from Jamie, examined the address written on it in loving, flowing script: "To: Doctor James David Hamilton, Pepper Gulch, Arizona Territory. From: Doctor John Smith. With respect."

"Who, erm,--" Jamie hesitated.

"Who are you?" Ceri demanded, with as much awe as irritation.

Jonah Hex put out what little was left of his cigarette on the doorjamb of the shed.

"I'm yer tour guide," he grunted. "As fer my knowledge'a future events?"

He licked his lips, and smiled a wholly terribly frightening smile.

And smiled that smile square at Merick Tennylson. "I've led an int'restin' life."

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Old 08-26-2009, 03:31 PM   #12
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Rose

Quote:
Originally Posted by ******* Winterlight View Post
"Wasn't me love. If it was I would be in my work clothes."
I kissed Rose again and stepped back, surveying the carnage I had caused.

"Recon is a good idea. I'll take the tome and see if there is a back way out of this place. Meet you outside in a few." I said.

I cautiously made my way out the door and found a window I could crawl out of and lower myself down. I tossed the tome (damn thing is practically indestructable) and climbed down, then parked next to a busted rain barrell to wait on Rose.
Rose watched him go, watched him worriedly.

She wished Kara was here, not for the last time, she longed for her friend.

X-Ray vision to examine Kyle for internal injuries would not go amiss.

But then, all he had to do was get his powers back, he'd be right as rain.

They'd figure it out. They always did; they always would. They were a team. Even amongst The Outsiders, Rose and Kyle were a team.

But sometimes teams had to divide to conquer. Kyle went for the alleyway, and Rose...

...Rose flew straight up through the hole in the ceiling, in the roof, and hurtled upwards, flew straight up, straight and true.

And she searched the ground below with sharp, sharp eyes.

She saw bodies. Horses.

Men and women. Her mother and father. Mer' and Chloe and Mer's scary but brave granddad. A man she didn't immediately recognise. And at the other end of the town, more men on horses were gathering.

They looked angry. And it looked like they were angry about the dead men at the opposite end of Pepper Gulch. She dropped from the air.

Rose landed in a crouch beside Kyle. "I've found our party. Looks like we're not the only Outsiders to get our capacitors fluxed with. But the local wildlife looks a little agitivated at our escapades."

She hesitated. "I've got to go warn them. But there may be ruckus. Can you promise me you'll keep your head down for this? Battle-hardened warrior or not, there's a lot of dudes on saddleback and it looks like the most of 'em are, uh, totin' iron. And you don't have the bulletproofy goodness of magical organic body armour to call upon. Please don't get dead. Not until we can fix you. Promise me you'll stay down?"
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:46 AM   #13
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Kyle

I hadn't seen Rose this worried since her mom showed up after we broke that lamp when I came back from Shadow. She was right too. I was used to being bulletproof. If I forgot that for an instant, then I could be dead.

"I'll stay here love. When you get a chance have Mer come get me. It's not like his teleporting me is going to fritz out my powers. Go be a hero, I''ll be doing some damsel in distress practice, without the distress (I hope)."
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:18 AM   #14
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Rose nodded. Firmly.

Good.

And she jumped. Jumped, planted on one wall, launched across to the other plant jump plant jump plant jump airborne...

Wind whipped through the red of her hair and lashed against the pale of her skin and the blue of her eyes. She zeroed in on her friends and her parents and that complete stranger...

...landed in a puff of Arizona sands in a crouch.

"Hello, everyone," she smiled awkwardly. "Everyone, hello."

She cleared her throat. "Um. We've got a fresh contingent of Spaghetti Westerners riding in from the other end of town, did you guys disturb the peace or something? Just, uh, to let you know. Also, Kyle landed kinda badly, so maybe some healing and/or forcefielding wouldn't go amiss? Just, uh, to let you know."

Rose waved again, and smiled faintly. "Just another day, huh? (Is this everyone? Who's grumpy-guts?)"
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Old 09-12-2009, 11:08 PM   #15
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"Th' reason," he continued, "Old-Timer, that y'ain't heard of Pepper Gulch, is that it gets incorporated inta a larger town 'round about 1912, when this here Arizona Territory gets turned inta one'a them officially ratified States a' Th' Union. In th' meantime, as the one good man bearin' the star'a The Law just got his hindparts absconded inta th' future an' th' town's been conquested by dirty hombres with dollar signs fer hearts an' bullets fer consciences, this town's present is decidedly unstable.

"Great. Chronal fluxes... seems this is more up yer alley Mr. McCrimmon, than mine. Merick's too I s'pose. It is easy to assume what role one plays in history, much harder to see the truth. Truth is you inspire others. Give them an Ideal to lie up to. Nothing is with out worth, especially our history. Did I hear you mention Slaughter Swamp? Got a bit a hist'ry there myself. So, this map, it's meant to get us through where exactly?"

"Also," he mused, glancing in a vaguely Southwestern direction, "since we're sorta in proximity ta Miracle Mesa? Cartography can get a mite twitchy 'round here."

Chloe glanced away from Merick at that. "Wait. Did he just say...?"

"Miracle Mesa? Chloe? Wasnt that one of the places that you had articles about on that wall of yours?"

"1875," Jamie shook his head, whistling softly, as if that idea was still settling in.

"'There is no Arizona,'" Ceri nodded, absently.

"Well, sort of," Jamie replied, frowning good-naturedly at her.

Ceri shrugged. "Something Rose would say. Couldn't let it go unsaid."

Jamie digested this. "Quite right, too."

"Ok. Hold up. This is junk. I mean we are stuck in the old west, and here I am with out a DeLorean. Ok. So, Yosemite Sam here, is our tour guide. Makes sense I guess. So where does this Magical Mystery Tour begin? Also, I have always wanted pony. Do I get to ride a horse?"

Rose arrives as Merick is grinning foolishly. Merick smiles as he sees her. Torn as he is. Good she is okay, bad she is here.

"Great. More gunmen. So, Sam, can I call you Sam? What should we be doing? I mean, I don't want to erase a whole line of dna from the gene pool cause I crush a butterfly." Merick looks at Chloe. His devilish grin growing slowly. "Also, what exactly are henchmen? I mean, seems every bad guy has a whole flock of them. But what is a hench? Does one go to school to learn to hench? Is that kinda like a liberal arts degree? Or more of a four year plan? I mean, seriously. Does it help your henching if you are a hunchback? I mean, seems like at least in Western Europe they had the market cornered."

"Merick. Now might not be the time for a joke. Listen, Hex, I respect yer means and methods. I will be more 'en glad to help you dispatch these ruffians. But when that is done. When the dust settles. I want answers. Plain ol' English. What is this all about? I been round long 'nuff to know a few things. One of which is, someone went to a lot of trouble to get us here. I wanna know what for, how and why." Edmund regarded their tour guide. He was not overtly threatening. He rarely needed to be. There was a certain way his words meant more than were said. And although he meant no threat, he did intend to get answers. Come hell or high water.

"Look, I am just saying, know thy enemy. I wonder... do henchmen get decent benefits? I mean, I figure they get totally beat to snot pretty regularly. Must at least have good medical. Do they get dental? Paid holidays? Christmas Club?" Merick grinned as he looked around. "Tough crowd."

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