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Author Topic: The Extended Steam Salon  (Read 72176 times)
Athena
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« Reply #225 on: June 13, 2009, 04:09:49 pm »

She looks at Ms. Storm. "Yep. The small ones are throwing knives. They're also good to hide if you want to be stealthy about it. A quick stab in a crowd, walk away, and no one knows what happened. The holder on my back is good too. Keeps it concealed, unless you know what to look for." She reaches to her lower back, undoes a clasp, and pulls it out quickly. "And when you're through, voila. Slip it right back in. It's made of a polymer that sharpens like metal, so no metal detectors can pick it up." She grins and reaches into her bag. "I picked these up for you while I was at my place. They should fit." She hands Ms. Storm a pair of pants and a shirt.

She thinks about the situation for the moment and turns to Tommy. "But the people who were there, those that were left anyway, saw us. They know your car. And they know you shot the mayor of the city. So we've got Lippy's people, as well as anyone else that decides to chip in, after not only you but us. Sounds like fun." She grins and lights a black cigarette. She takes a deep breath and parts her lips slightly. It has a painkiller built in, a little number she picked up in Old Saigon. She lets the smoke out slowly while she stretches her legs. The painkiller slips in and it starts to take effect.
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Sgt.Major Thistlewaite
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I am, therefore I think.


« Reply #226 on: June 13, 2009, 04:40:00 pm »

"True," says Tommy, blowing another smoke ring, "but th' cops rounded up a lot of 'em. Th' Russians will probably be deported, eventually, and Lippy's goons are just a bunch o' small fry. They'll never sing, an' even if they do, the Feds won't believe 'em. I doubt if any of 'em ever even saw th' Buick...that's why we parked so far away, and th' ones ya thought were tailin' us probably weren't...never hurts ta be careful, though. An' take a look at th' numbers...no doubt Brantley's Gatling gun had somethin' ta do with it, but we left 47 dead bad guys back there, and we got out with a couple o' cracked ribs and a flesh wound. Yeah, we got lucky..but we were also good,....they're not gonna be in any hurry ta tangle with us again." His brows knit together..."I am wonderin' what happened ta Brantley, though...that bit about 'not existing in this century, and be back in a few hours don't jive..." He nods to the Professor. "Thanks fer holdin' down th' fort, and fer passin' on MW's message...but it don't make things any clearer, really." He stubs out the Camel in an ashtray on the bar, and puts another two fingers of bourbon in the water glass. "When Mrs. Cross gets back..if she gets back.... we're gonna owe her a lot fer all this booze we been soakin' up..not ta mention losin' her clockwork wonderman..."
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Yet well thy soul hath brooked the turning tide, with that innate, untaught philosophy,Which, be it wisdom, coldness, or deep pride, is gall and wormwood to an enemy.
Athena
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« Reply #227 on: June 13, 2009, 09:54:22 pm »

She thinks to herself that Tommy does have a point. And whatever happens happens. If nothing much does, then that's good too. As long as her more primal impulse stays in check. The pain was beginning to back off. That's good.....she got up and walked a bit to get the feel of doing it again.

"Yeah, we're gonna owe her a lot. Maybe since we saved the town she won't mind too much..."
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OldProfessorBear
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« Reply #228 on: June 13, 2009, 10:50:27 pm »

The Professor nodded at Gunn. "No," he said. "I thought at the time it was about one percent clearer than mud, but on reflection, I'd have to retract that; it's much murkier. Clearly, there's some time travel paradox involved here, and those things are mighty tricky. Believe me, I know quite a bit about these things."

He sighed, took a long swig of coffee, and continued, "As for holding down the fort, well, let's just say it's been a long time since I was involved in any ... action ... so it has been my pleasure."

Looking back at Miss Honey, who was now sleeping again, her head on the table, he said, "I know when he left here that Brantley was going to her assistance, but there wasn't time for him to explain anything. Obviously he succeeded, but I'm afraid that she was totally incoherent when she got back here. From what you say, Brantley must have tracked her to the Lipschitz warehouse and somehow managed to grab her. But I don't think he brought her all the way back here, so I wonder how she got back ahead of you, in your car, even though you did make a couple of stops on the way. Not, I suppose, that it matters really. When she stumbled in here, she was repeating a few words over and over: 'airship', 'disappear', 'guns' and something that sounded like 'timebomb'. I carried her over to that chair and administered black coffee, but she clammed up and hasn't said a single word since."

The Professor shook his head, saying "Not that unusual in cases of extreme temporal stress. I do wish she could tell us something coherent, though. It could be important. However, I suppose we'd best let her sleep a bit. She may sleep it off ... or not ..."
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MWBailey
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rtafStElmo
« Reply #229 on: June 15, 2009, 10:47:00 pm »

MW's entire life, and maybe his furture, too, plus lives he'd never lived , lives lived by other people who looked like him (The "him" named Dreyfuss was especially interesting, what with the uniforms and the airships and what looked like space travel or time travel (or maybe both), swashbuckling and derring-do, not to mention a 1st officer as beautiful as any Gypsy princess, and twice as good with gun or blade as any man...

The internal movie, backed by the howling winds of time, finally ended, depositing him in the midst of a mostly-empty field; by the looks of it. He lay in the tall grass and let the universe spin around him adn over him for a few minutes, letting it grind slowly to a stop, before trying to sit up or take any sort of stock of his situation.he reached into his waistcoat and pulle dout his pocket device, while simultaneously checkin that his Mauser was still in its holste-- his MAUSER!? MW took the gun out, looking at it in incredulous alarm as he realized the implications of the weapon's presence. He had not even see self-loaders for general sale to the public until 1899, and if he were in the right era for the mission to work out, it was no later than 1889 he looked at his pocket device, and it was the same as well, but he wasnt really worried, until he stood up and saw Clark across the field, confronting Jack Pulcifer with his backup revolver against Jack's big Walker model Colt...
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""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
Sgt.Major Thistlewaite
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« Reply #230 on: June 16, 2009, 12:57:14 am »

( Like the cat who ate cheese and then sat by the mouse hole with "baited breath." we've been waiting all week-end for you to write this....don't toy with us, bucko.... pray continue..... Grin   
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #231 on: June 16, 2009, 09:55:06 am »

MW sang out, then, and yelled, "BOTH of you stop, now! Jack made as if to go ahead and shoot, while Clark, unable to deny a direct order from a human, simply watched Jack try to shoot him, and then a shot rang out for real, and Jack's revolver fell in the dirt and Jack stood cradling his gun hand.

"All right! ALL RIGHT! you've made yer damn' point, Brantley, but dammit, I want to know why I have to stop building the machines that will change transportation forever."

"Because they'll not only change transportation, they'll change time and the universe itself, and not for the better, either. Stop 'improving' the chronojammer, Jack, and go ahead and perfect the chronojumper! that machine is not nearly so damaging to the fabric of spacetime! He then went ahead and explained what he had seen in the future, and the ways that the chronojammers already in existence threatened spacetime itself.


It's 3:30 AM, and my brain is refusing to function; I'll pick this up again tomorrow. I have to go to bed now, the patched eye is going all wiggly.
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Sgt.Major Thistlewaite
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« Reply #232 on: June 16, 2009, 05:45:09 pm »

I thought youse guys might like ta see a couple o' photos o' Thomas Gunn, P.I.--





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The Abiliegh
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The_Abi
« Reply #233 on: June 16, 2009, 07:33:53 pm »

Sidebar: I'm home, and I've FINALLY caught up reading. Good job!

Now, to figure out how to reinstate myself. I do think, now that you've all saved the world, you should come save Mrs. Cross Wink
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« Reply #234 on: June 16, 2009, 08:45:04 pm »

Next time I visit the twentieth century, I may have to enquire whether your services will be available Mr.Gunn  Smiley
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The Abiliegh
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Wench with a Wrench

The_Abi
« Reply #235 on: June 16, 2009, 10:17:50 pm »

It was dark. That was the first thing worth noting.

The second was that her head was spinning, and nausea was threatening to overtake her.

The third was that she was surrounded by very, very loud noises. Industry noises, once listened too, and under those, the barely imperceptible sound of the ocean.

The fourth, and possibly most important thing woth noting was that she was bound, gagged, and blindfolded. She made a conscious effort to fight back the nausea before doing anything else.

After laying still a few minutes, she used the ground to pull off her blindfold. It was still dark, but at least, in a moment, she would be able to discern a little of her surroundings. There was a faint light behind her, a window, she assumed. She wouldn't know until she could get herself unbound and able to move.

With her wrists bound behind her, she tried to bring her feet up to reach into her boot. It was rather awkward, but eventually, she felt a knife fall into her fingers. Following that, she made short work of the ropes around her wrists and ankles, and from there, she removed her gag.

"Captain?" She whispered softly, but with enough force to be heard over the machinery should Brandsson be in the room. "Max?"

No response. Either she was alone, or he was incapable of response.

She had been correct about the window. It was a small barred opening high against the wall, and illuminated little, but at least she could confirm that it was night, and that she was indeed by the ocean. The waves could be heard a bit more clearly as she stood on tiptoe, trying to see as much of the sky as she could.

She tapped her manicured nails against her chin, thinking. I've got machine noises, so I'm in a time that isn't to terribly far off from where I belong... most likely. The ocean doesn't mean a damn thing, really, but the fact that I can see starlight over it means that i'm either in a smallish establishement away from any cities, or polution hasn't become to big a problem yet. Here's hopin for the latter...

She paced the room, thinking outloud, and following the wall with her fingers.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2009, 10:25:29 pm by The Abiliegh » Logged
Sgt.Major Thistlewaite
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« Reply #236 on: June 16, 2009, 10:54:37 pm »

Tommy gives a quizzical look to the Professor. "Say, Prof, ya know a good bit about this time travel stuff, right? So, did Mrs. Cross and Captain Brandsson just vanish into another time because o' th' difference between time in here, and time outside, or did maybe somebody snatch 'em?" Although he has not known her long, T.E. has grown very fond of Mrs. Cross, and he's worried. "Brandsson was mixed up in this business with Lippy and th' Russians, up to his neck is my guess...any chance somebody tracked him ta this place when he 'jumped' in? He said he took that Timepiece off a guy right before they ditched him...mebbe somebody wants their toy back." Tommy grimaces, and takes a swallow of whiskey. "O' course, the last time we saw that thing, it was in th' Tin-man's chest, and who knows where..or when..he is now."
The big detective desperately wants to help Mrs.Cross...he just doesn't have a clue as to how to begin. He's never felt so helpless, and he knows he's still in way over his head. Tailing somebody, or finding missing people, he's good at...tailing them through time, not so much.
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Athena
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« Reply #237 on: June 16, 2009, 11:01:05 pm »

Sidebar : Good pic Sgt, and Welcome Back Abbie! ^_^

Athena leaned against the bar for a moment, trying to make sense of the previous events. "So this thing that changes up time....when Ms. Cross stepped out of there, it's like she was stepping on a merry-go-round, right? She just got off at a different "time" than everyone else did. Is there any way we can sync up this machine (do we even still have one somewhere) and time it correctly to know that the instant we step onto the carousel and off we'll land in the same time as she did?" She knows this sounds hazy and unclear....but so is she at the moment.
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OldProfessorBear
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« Reply #238 on: June 17, 2009, 01:35:26 am »

Looking thoughtful, the Professor stroked his beard for a moment, then said, "That's probably a fair analogy to what happened. The problem with your suggestion is that Brantley sent Clark into the past to prevent the device that set the merry-go-round in motion from ever being produced. Assuming, as we must, that Clark's mission was successful, then we have no way to start it or sync it up again."

He poured another cuppa java from the fresh pot and continued, "Now, it is just possible that Brantley may have followed Clark -- he cetainly knew the exact coordinates -- and somehow changed the outcome. He did intend to return here, although no longer existing in this century, which in itself is another enigma. Everything happened so quickly that he never had a chance to explain what he meant by that, and I can think of, oh, any number of meanings.

"We all sense the urgency here, but I think we should give Brantley a chance to return before we do anything that might cause another time/space rupture. Partly because we probably can't, but mostly because he evidently knows more about this than any of us. Failing that, chances are I could rig something up, if I can get the materials. But if Brantley's message is correct, then he should return long before I could finish a device.

"First, I suggest we get Miss Honey into a more comfortable position; I think that large booth in the back will do if we pull the table out. Then we'd best take some sustenance. Working on an empty stomach leads to all sorts of errors, I've found."
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 01:38:27 am by OldProfessorBear » Logged
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« Reply #239 on: June 17, 2009, 02:37:49 am »

At a table by the door, a nondescript gentleman closes a notebook and drains his glass. Rising, he consults a pocket watch; his brow furls in thought. After a moment he pockets the watch, distractedly lays a few coins on the table, and walks slowly toward the door, heaad bowed in seeming concentration.

As his hand touches the door-handle, his head snaps up; surprise and confusion chase one-another across his features. He glances rapidly at his surroundings, as though puzzled at how he came to be in this place. Then, with an angry shake of his head, he slips out the door into the darkness.
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By the Beans of Life do my thoughts acquire speed
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By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
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Sgt.Major Thistlewaite
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« Reply #240 on: June 17, 2009, 02:53:26 am »

Tommy's head snaps around, just in time to see the nondescript gentleman slip through the door. "That's the third time that ghost or whatever he is has done that!" T.E. gets off the bar stool and strides over to the table by the door. "He just ...materializes...at this table, then gets up and leaves." Picking up one of the coins from the table, he bites the edge of it..."Huh! Well, the coin is real enough! Somehow, that fella figgers into this..I'd sure like ta get a peek at that notebook."
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Sgt.Major Thistlewaite
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« Reply #241 on: June 17, 2009, 08:22:09 pm »

Book Cover, or story illustration....The Case of the Chrono Catastrophe.



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The Abiliegh
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The_Abi
« Reply #242 on: June 17, 2009, 09:52:31 pm »

The thunderlike sound of large stage-lamps being turned on shocked Abiliegh, and before she could do anything, there was spotlight trained directly on her. Several, if she could decern her surroundings correctly in her new blinded state.

She raised an arm to shade her eyes, and squinted into the darkness between the lamps. There was movement, living movement.

And Captain Brandsson was no where to be seen.

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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #243 on: June 17, 2009, 10:56:34 pm »

"Okay, I need to stop buildin' th eChronoJammers. Fine.  You faded out in th etwentieth and ended up here. That sfine too. You still hav ethat pocket device from the last time when you and them, what'd you call 'em, again?"

"Rough Riders." Brantley said, his patience getting a little thin.

"OK, Rough Riders, when you and them two Rough Riders came through here three, mebbe four days ago. What I don't understand  is why you need my new chronojumper! I'm pretty much washed out as a pilot, but the Beau Rosin is my home...er, when I'm not in the shack..."

"Because I left in the Beau Rosin, and in order to rescue or at least pick up Mrs Cross and Capn Brandsson, we have to have it to keep up universal continuity. This 'fixing time' business is tricky stuff, Jack, you dont just roll out of bed in the morning and do it, like changing a glow plug."

"Hurm." Jack Pulcifer thought a moment, then cam eto a decision. "Alright, tell ye what. you give me that there self-loader you'v egot there, in trade, and you've got a deal."

"Really?" Brantley exclaimed, suddenly suspicious.

"Really. no ifs or buts or strings. What, you think i want you back here with a portable gatling top blow me to smithereens. yeesh, learn to trust, kid."

Two hours later, they were over the Irish Sea, the four-lung diesel now brand-new and relatively strong by comparison, the scow sporting all of the original four repeating deck guns, and the gatling in the trapdoor, although it was manually-operated, the electric rig not having been installed or even envisioned yet. But the chrono-jumper was new, and ready for use. Brantley went into the cabin at the stern, while Clark steered the deceptively ungainly-looking craft, and set the 'jumper using Brandsson's pocket device (the timepiece) as a reference. He turned the chrono-jumper's crank three times, flipped a toggle, reset the clockwork compensator array, and cranked it three times more, and the universe rotated through three axes around the little blimp-- and then there, below them at three thousand feet was their beloved Chicago, and the waterfront with the long street that led up to just behnd the Salon.

Brantley dialed the gas out of the bag and into the cylinders, the mechanical pump drawing its motive force from the P.T.O. shaft on the rear of the diesel engine, and cut the rotation of the propeller down to one-half. th e tiny airship sank toward the harbor below, as the morning sun climbed a bit closer to zenith.

The air outside and inside the Salon filled with the roar of a brand-new four-lung diesel as teh Beau Rosin crunched and grated to a stop in the wide alley behind the Salon, and Brantley tied the mooring lines to various plumbing standpipes, and Clark walked around to and through the front door...
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Sgt.Major Thistlewaite
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I am, therefore I think.


« Reply #244 on: June 17, 2009, 11:23:18 pm »

The unmistakable sound of a four-lunger diesel overhead reverberates through the room, and a moment later the heavy front door opens, and Clark enters. " Hallelujah!" exclaims Tommy. "Th' barkeep's back!"
He grabs the mechanoid's hand, and shakes it enthusiastically, then winces as little and rubs his own hand...Clark has quite a grip. "Ya still got that ticker, Clark?" inquires T.E.. Clark nods,and taps the small door in his chestplate, "Safe and sound, Mr. Gunn." Tommy says, "I take it that racket is MW's airship?" Clark nods another affirmative. "Great!" Tommy grins his lopsided grin. "Now mebbe we can start puttin' two an' two together...hopefully th' answer won't be five."
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The Abiliegh
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Wench with a Wrench

The_Abi
« Reply #245 on: June 17, 2009, 11:25:18 pm »

"Ah, Mrs Cross..." An amused baritone echoed from behind the lights. "You're awake."

Her mind reeled, trying to place the voice, futile though the effort proved. She couldn't connect it to a face. "Who're you?" She finally conceeded to ask, hiding a slight tremble in her voice.

"There are better questions for you to be asking."

She cursed under her breath. Not only was he playing with her, but he was right. She smoothed her already straight skirt over her thighs, tossed her hair and took a few steps towards the voice, having gathered her courage.

Until she heard the gun cock.
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MWBailey
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"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #246 on: June 18, 2009, 01:12:27 am »

MW poked around in the stern cabin (the only cabin) of the scow portion of teh blimp, and finally found what he was looking for uner the pillow on the cot in the corner on the starboard side: a big Smith and Wesson side-loading cartridge revolver. He checked the cylinder; yep, it was a 45, all right. he poked ar ound a bit more and found a full box of 45 ammo, and dumped it into the pocket of his trenchcoat, then began putting th erounds into the ammo loops on his shoulder rig (Jack hadnt seen any use in the shoulder rig, and called "a damn silly thing for a man to wear").

MW then set up a loop that would keep anyone without a pocket device set exactly like his own form being able to board the blimp, and walked around the side of the building, to the front door, and slipped in just as a huge black Cadillac FlashSteam Cabriolet rolled slowly around the corner.

"Howdy folks. Save the hello's for a few minutes, I think we might have company--"
BANGBANGBANG BOOM

two bullets tore through the outer flesh of his right leg as Brantley fell, rolled over, and fanned the S&W out the still-closing door at the fast-departing black cadillac...

Which bore no rear license plate. Brantley cursed and lay flat for a moment on the blessedly-cool tile just inside the salon's front door. "Dammit, the coat's brand NEW and so's the damned PANTS!"  he raged.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 03:27:02 am by MWBailey » Logged
Captain Brandsson
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« Reply #247 on: June 18, 2009, 01:45:44 am »

I regained consciousness with a slight hangover, but no damage that I could tell...  And then I looked around.
It was a cold holding cell, same as you might find in any county lock up.  Nothing special, at all.
Except for my cellmate.
I'd seen some nasty beatings in my day, but this...  This was...  The unlucky sack of meat sitting across from me looked like he'd been dropped from a zeppelin, hit by a train and then worked over by Joe Louis with a grudge.
He also looked just like me.  So much like me that I wondered if I was still out cold and dreaming.
"You're not dreaming, chum" the amused grin he gave me seemed to pain his entire face and make his lips bleed...  more so.
OK, yeah...  He even sounded a lot like me, but the swollen features, the blackened eyes, the broken nose, even the hoarse croak in the voice...
This could easily be some kind trick.
"And it ain't a trick" the man winced with every syllable "I hope this does you more good than it did me..." he paused as if remembering something and then let out a hacking cough that I somehow knew was supposed to be a laugh "In about five minutes you're gonna go through Hell."
I thought about telling him to shut it but the notion had barely formed when...
"Just listen.  Save the tough guy act.  You'll need it." he coughed again.  No laugh in that one, just more blood "Stay strong, stay in the moment.  The pain they are gonna lay on you will kill you.  Then they'll bring you back and keep going.  The only way to stick it to them is not to let them get what they want, so stay in the moment.  Don't worry about what'll come after.  Let me worry about after, OK?"
The sound of booted feet started making its way down the corridor.
"Stay strong" he repeated, "Stay in the moment.  Those red bastards can't do a thing if you stay in the moment."
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 02:02:41 am by Captain Brandsson » Logged

- Maximilian
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« Reply #248 on: June 18, 2009, 01:51:57 am »

"Sunova..." MW is no more in the door than gunfire erupts from outside, striking him in the leg. MW goes down firing. Tommy, his slab-sided automatic in his hand, hops over the Customs agent's prostrate form and barrels through the door. The big Caddy is almost to the end of the block,but Tommy empties the clip in that direction anyway,and is pleased to see the back glass shatter and one rear tire blow. It doesn't slow down, though, and throwing sparks from the low slung frame takes the corner on its three remaining tires and disappears. The big P.I.'s mind is racing as fast as his heart as he instantly analyzes the known facts; "Probably more gangsters...they love those Cadillacs..and they weren't after MW...he just got here, and they had to have been headed here already. No way they could have known...they must've been after somebody else, somebody they already knew was here." There's only one logical conclusion....they were after Honey. If not for MW's quick action, no doubt they'd have come into the Salon and tried to grab her.
Tommy drops the empty clip into his coat pocket, shoves in a full one and racks the slide, chambering a round. Going back into the Salon, he asks MW, "How bad ya hit, man?"
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The Abiliegh
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Wench with a Wrench

The_Abi
« Reply #249 on: June 18, 2009, 03:28:56 am »

She stopped walking, holding her body perfectly still. "What kinda game is this, mister?"

"Mister?" The man chuckled. "You know me better than that, you little tease."

She bristled under the condescending tone of his voice, but her eyes were adjusting. She could make out the silhouette of the man. Soon, perhaps, she might be able to see his face... She just needed to keep him talking. Not angering him was the key.

She softened her expression a bit and lowered her voice. Silk and velvet were not as smooth as her intonations. "Tease, you say?" She played with a curl. "Darlin, I haven't been a tease for a long, long time."
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