Smoking Guns on the Water

There is a moment of tension as the militia men briefly consider disobeying orders. There is a primal sense of fear as the boys look upon the man who had beat them senseless only yesterday.

Doc drops his Maglite and steadies the gun in his hand as he shouts "Get down!" Thunderhorse, sensing the tension in the air, does not heed the warning and starts to charge.

Cody Mathews, a look of panic in his eyes, fires first. His unsteady hand pulls the rifle away from his shoulder before he shoots. The bullet rockets through the wood ceiling as the butt of the gun smashes into his shoulder, causing him to yelp in pain and drop his rifle entirely.

The sound of the blast causes Doc to duck down instinctively, but he keeps his aim steady and lets loose a round precisely into the knee of the middle man, Pete. He falls to the ground, fainting from the sudden shock.

As the man falls, Thunderhorse is upon Cody with his battleaxe, screaming as he jams the two pointed prongs at the tip into his gut.

The third man, Earl, manages to keep his rifle steady as he fires at Doc. The bullet slams into the Kevlar surrounding Doc's gut, nearly knocking the wind out of him. Earl steps back and begins reloading as quick as he can. Thunderhorse whacks him in the shoulder with his ax as he brings it back to deliver another blow to Cody.

Poor Cody Mathews stares off a thousand miles, his eyes glossed over as that vicious weapon sinks deep past his shoulder, ribs snapping, lungs tearing, and blood gushing. Thunderhorse peels him off his blade with his foot.

The blood curdling cry and the bruise on his stomach cause Doc to miss next shot. The bullet misses the last militiaman's knee and ricochets off the iron burner with a twang.

Doc realizes what has happened and shouts as loud as he can. "HALT!"

Earl drops his gun and puts his hands up. Thunderhorse turns to him, eyes blazing and covered in blood. The militia man wets himself.

Doc screams at him in German. "[I told you to get down! What the fuck was that?!]"

Thunderhorse replies, confused "[I got down here and killed this one. They had thunder slings. Now they don't.]"

"[I told you, Do No Harm!]"

"['Unless You Have To.' They were going to kill us. I thought we had to kill them back. Sorry, I guess.]"

Doc picks up the flashlight again. He yells at Judge Olden from afar. "For God's sakes we didn't want to hurt anybody! We're trying to save your lives!" He moves forward towards the carnage. Cody is for sure dead. No medical science of any era Doc is aware of can bring him back. The man he shot will be fine, although any doctor of this time will probably cut the leg off and kill him themselves. The man Thunderhorse is keeping at bay has a pretty nice flesh wound on his arm, but a few stitches should fix that up nicely.

Dr. Ritenrong chimes in on the I-Browse. "What was all that shooting, is everyone alright?"

Doc answers him. "We're fine. They're not. One dead, two wounded. You don't have any magic way to bring people back from the dead, do you? Any futuristic cures for a case of 'nearly-chopped-in-half-with-an-ax'? "

"Not with me, no. We can talk about that later. Just get the stuff and get back here."

Doc proceeds past and shines the light on the people in the back of the boat, hoping his stray bullet didn't hit anyone when it bounced off the cast iron burner. The people are black with soot, as they're sitting in the coal bin. They're fairly well dressed men and women. Judge Olden is among them, as well as Captain Daniels. Marshal Mathews is there too, his eyes red and swelling.

The Marshal moves forward slowly. Doc aims at him. He's not paying any attention. "You killed my boy," he cries softly. He pushes past him to kneel at the remains of his son.

"Shit," Doc mumbles.

Judge Olden steps forward as well, Captain Daniels behind him, hand on a holster. Doc levels his pistol. "Drop it. Hands behind your back." The captain leaves his gun holstered, but raises his hands and puts them behind his back, clasping his wrists.

Doc keeps the gun trained on him as he goes and grabs the pistol himself. It's a rather ornate piece of work.

The Judge complains. "Just what is all this about?! Here you come riding in on some screaming demon, shouting about how we're in danger and you're not here to hurt us and then you go and slaughter that poor Mathews boy like a pig?!"

"Me?! I come to save your ass from certain death and you order your men to kill us! That blood is on your hands! That boy shot first, and you're the one who told him to! Now if you wish to disagree any further, I guess I'll just let you get blown up."

"Son, what the hell are you talkin' about?"

Doc stares into the old man's eyes. This time that old stony face would not hide his inner fears. Doc can read him like a book.

"This boat is going down in ten minutes. I am a federal agent, a spy working directly for President Andrew Jackson. The Prussian Government has placed a very lethal bomb aboard this boat in order to cause chaos in an effort to hamstring the U.S. from it's westward expansion so that the Prussians can conquer France without us interfering."

"The Prussians?!"

"Yes. They know all about the fight over the Toledo Strip. They think if they can sink this ship and blame Ohio, they can incite the U.S. into all out civil war and we will not be able to help defend France."

"And that monster over there, your so called 'brother'? Is he a spy, too?"

"He's a Hessian mercenary sent to assist me."

"And your Uncle? I suppose he's Andrew Jackson himself in disguise."

"No, he's the Prussian agent sent to employ the bomb. I had to rescue him so I could interrogate him and find out where it is. Turns out you fools brought it right on board yourselves."

"Son, that is the biggest load of horse-shit I have ever heard in my entire life."

Doc lifts the gun to the Judge's face. "Just give me the everything you took from Dr. Ritenrong. Right now."

The Judge peels back his overcoat, revealing the inner pocket where a long, silver pen is clipped to the inside. He pulls it out slowly. Doc notices that the pen is longer than the pocket. He snatches it from the Judge's hand.

"There was a watch and a pipe, too. I need those as well," Doc orders.

"I suppose he hid the bomb in that old corncob pipe?" The Judge reaches back into the pocket. A look of confusion overcomes his face as he digs deeper into his pocket. The confused look becomes that of surprise as his arm disappears deep into the pocket, and terror as the rest of him suddenly follows, leaving nothing but the coat which drops to the ground, empty.

Before anyone can react, Captain Daniels picks up the coat. "Judge?!" He opens the coat and reaches into the pocket. He slips away into it, as well. The crowd gasps in horror. A woman screams.

Doc picks up the coat. Instinctively he shakes at the pocket. Some spare change falls out, but nothing else.


ERR said...

Round 1:
Initiative: Cody 21 (20+1), Doc 19 (17+2), TH 19 (18+1), Earl 17(16+1), Pete 13 (11+2)

Cody attacks Thunderhorse (rifle), 3 (1+2) vs 16 critical failure. Disarmed & Shaken

Doc attacks Pete (pistol), 13(14+3 -4 called shot) vs. 11 hit, Dmg 12 NL, Pete HP -3, Unconscious

Thunderhorse charges Cody (battleaxe), 20 (15+5) vs. 11, hit. Dmg 8, Cody HP 3

Earl attacks Doc (rifle), 15 (17+2-4 [in melee]) vs. 14, hit, Dmg 6, Doc HP 6

Round 2: (24 seconds passed)
Initiative: Earl 11, TH 8, Cody 6, Doc 4

Earl: falls back and reloads
Thunderhorse, attack of opportunity 24(19+5) vs 12, hit. Dmg 6, Earl 3 hp

Thunderhorse attacks Cody(battleaxe), 25(20+5) vs 11 critical hit, Dmg 14 Cody hp -11, Very Dead

Doc attacks Earl, 8(9+3-4 called shot ) vs. 12, miss

Round 3: (42 seconds passed)
Initiative: Doc 18, TH 13, Earl 4
Doc Intimidate Check, 11 (2+9) vs. Earl's 7 , success XP +7

Combat results: 48 seconds passed
Doc HP 6, -1 .44 round
3 defeated
Doc & Thunderhorse XP +30
Combat Victory bonus: +100 XP

Doc uses Read Emotions vs. Judge Olden
Olden saves: 9(4+5) vs. 19 Doc(16 wis + 2 level + 1 pow. level), Doc succeeds xp+9
Doc Speechcraft vs. Olden + 4
Doc Bluff check, 27 (14+13) vs. Olden Sense Motive 29 (14+15), failed

Doc total xp: +146
Thunderhorse total xp: +130

ERR said...

Mission objective complete: Retrieved Q-TIP, XP+500

Doc said...


First off, tend to the wounded as best I can, and quickly, such as a tourniquet, and have Earl hold his pressure point. Have Thunderhorse keep an eye on the crowd and instruct him that if ANYBODY moves, knock them out.

Take the coat, pistol, and pen with me.

Call out to the crowd, "You had better stoke these boilers and turn this boat around and get this man some help NOW! And if any one of you tells a single soul what you have seen, WE WILL come back and track you down!" And in a softer voice, "Marshal, I am deeply sorry. He was a fine man who did his duty when called upon and there ain't no shame in that." At gun and axe point, pass the hat for his funeral. Make sure the Judge's coins and some of Thunderhorse's make it into the hat.

Flee. Head to the ship and get the hell out of there before something else goes wrong.

Explain to Dr. Steve what happened and make plans for what to do next.

Sit down with Thunderhorse and explain that he did the right thing. He did exactly what I told him. I was only mad because I was afraid for him. He is the only friend I have in this crazy world and I don't want to see him hurt, and that I am always trying to protect him, especially from thunder-slings, a concept I'm sure he doesn't understand completely.

If I have the time, have the computer compile a film of guns and what they do, and show it to Thunderhorse so that he truly understands what they can do, and if possible, how they work. He just went up a level, and at some point he is going to have to learn how to shoot. We can't have a security officer who can't shoot. He has a 3 in ranged weapons, that should count for something. Perhaps try and explain it like a bow and arrow, or a crossbow. Something he might recognize. Hell, if I can't teach him how to shoot, I'll spend my own money and buy him a bow with arrows or a crossbow. He has got to have some kind of a distance weapon. I can't have him charging into every fray like Groo.

While I heal up, have my kevlar vest fixed, and I'll study up on modern/future medicine and quick-draw techniques (at level three, I would like to up my initiative and my treat injury/surgery.) Also, I want to order a pump .12 gauge shotgun with ammo.

Now for my two cents: Now would be a great time to really introduce me to the world I find myself in. Throw some storyline my way. What are we doing? Who is this Dr. Steve anyway? Let me poke around the ship. Let me get a better picture of this far-flung future. What is the norm here? Let me hang out with the robots. It doesn't have to be one big post, just keep doling it out until I need to make a choice.

I can't possibly imagine where we are going from here, but dag nabbit, it sure has been one hell of a ride up to now.

Actions: use whatever bonus applies. I don't know the rules and you do, so just let me explain what I want to do and you work it up. Whatever you come up with will be fine. I just came to play, and until I play a bit more, I'm not really certain what applies. Run with it, you are doing grand!


Doc said...

P.S.- Could I see what Thunderhorse improved on his level up?


ERR said...

Thunderhorse put:
1 points into health
1 into attack
1 into reflex
1 into Defense
1 into Hand-to-hand training

I'm still not liking my training system very much, I might just scrap it and go with the standard d20 model, but still with point buys instead of classes. I'll wait until next level, though, and see how it goes.