The Great Black Swamp

Doc and Thunderhorse lead Lightning down the gangplank onto the muddy, rain-swollen marsh. It is a gray and overcast morning, but the air is fresh and free of smog. Doc is instantly reminded of his youth in the country. Its been a long time since he's tasted natural, clean air.

"You should take off your helmet. We don't want to scare the locals," Doc instructs Thunderhorse as he adjusts the top hat on his own head. Thunderhorse reluctantly complies.

Doc wishes his costume would allow him some decent boots. His new shoes are already muddy.

The two begin loading Lightning with supplies. Without a cart, they can't carry as much as Doc would like to take, but in this terrain it's probably for the best. They tie the rum and whiskey barrels together and hang them across Lightning's saddle so that they hang to the sides and offset their weights. They conceal the flintlock rifle, Thunderhorse's battleaxe, and other equipment within the bolts of cloth and mount them onto the warhorse, who does not seem to enjoy his new role as a mule. Thunderhorse keeps him calm.

The two set off eastward. Going is slow, as the mud is thick and heavy with spring rain. Mosquitoes and flies torment them. The further they go, the more they smell of drowned worms and dead fish. The cool spring air does nothing to offset the hot sweat they generate while plowing through the mud.

They walk for an hour. Thunderhorse is getting pissed. His excessive layers of clothing and armor are irritating him. He mutters curses under his breath, but the I-Browse in Doc's waistcoat pocket translates and repeats them at full volume. Doc turns this off for the time being. He checks the GPS map. They're still seven miles out from town.

Half an hour of trudging through muddy woods later, they reach something of a clearing. Doc spies a corduroy road in the distance. "Look, there's a -"

Doc is cut short by a high-pitched, girlish scream and an accompanying whinny. Doc turns round to see Thunderhorse and Lightning in a panic attempting to flee through the mud from a water moccasin. Doc must've stepped over it unnoticed. As Lightning tries to run, the bolts of cloth tied to his back come loose and fall into the mud. So much for white linens.

The three-foot snake, turning its attention towards Doc, rears up in a defensive position hardly five feet away, mouth agape and hissing.


Doc said...


Shoot it with my pistol. It's close range, that should count for something, plus it is a weapon I'm would be very familiar with, so I should stand a pretty good chance of hitting it. If I miss the first time, shoot again if I get the chance. If I miss and the snake closes in on me to where I can't reasonably shoot for fear of hitting me, just strike it with the pistol in an effort to knock it away from me, and continue to seek it's demise.

After the confrontation with the snake, I may be wounded. If so, start first aid and call for Thunderhorse. If we remain unharmed, reload the pistol and call for Thunderhorse. Wait a few minutes by the road and see if anyone comes to the sound of gunfire and collect the snake, or what is left. If no one comes after twenty minutes, take our bearings, mark the spot, scope it out with the binoculars, and continue to town. While we wait, reload the horse and clean and load the flintlock rifle. How good is my German? Can I carry on a reasonable conversation with Thunderhorse without the translation?

I won't be putting the rifle back on the horse, but keeping it with me as much as possible, as it would have been common at the time for a traveler to carry a rifle. This is still mostly Indian territory. Also, if I can contact the replicater, I would like to order a flare gun and some flares.

Bonus: I just realized I don't have a pistol skill. None. Wouldn't that sort of thing have been part of my military training or perhaps part of my background? I don't know. It's o.k. if I don't as this is something I can learn right? I need to be able to use this pistol as my main distance weapon as most long arms are too big for concealment, which I'm guessing most of our missions might require. No matter. +2 Ranged weapons I guess.

Treat injury +2, Surgery +3.

Survival +1 for map reading and marking our position.
I am amazed at the striking resemblence of Thunderhorse to Timmian. Both hairy, smelly, drunken axe weilding killers with a heart of gold. Good. You do this character very well. Continue, this is great!


Doc said...

I also noticed on my character file that I already have a bulletproof vest, so I can keep the extra for Dr. Ritenrong.

I need to reread my character file more closely.


ERR said...

That's the vest from the replicator. I've been adjusting the profiles and inventories as I go along.