In Progress Hope Rides On - Chapter Two: The Sound and the Fury
09-12-2016, 02:39 PM
Post: #151
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Copperteeth Pete looked out the back of the cart, seeing the lady approach. He offered a hand up. He wasn't too keen on stopping (they were losing time getting to the gold!) but another potential hand to help pick or pan was always welcome.
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09-12-2016, 02:43 PM
Post: #152
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Tears streak her cheeks as she continues her breakneck pace, her breathing panicked and stilted. It hurts to yell, but she does so anyway, not looking back at the massive ball of metal rolling towards her. Relentlessly. Seemingly without tiring. It's terrifying.

"HELP!" Her throat is raw, but she continues anyway, her feet hammering the sand, "It won't STOP!"
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09-12-2016, 02:53 PM
Post: #153
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Coyote starts shooting the ball of metal because shooting things always had a high success rate in removing dangers.
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09-12-2016, 02:53 PM
Post: #154
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
El Dolor leaped from the wagon, running toward the girl. "DO NOT WORRY! EL DOLOR IS COMING TO HELP!"
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09-12-2016, 02:56 PM
Post: #155
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
"DOES IT GOT GOLD IN IT, ELDOLLAR?!"

Pete squints, trying to see the ball of metal.
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09-12-2016, 03:02 PM (This post was last modified: 09-12-2016 03:09 PM by Protoman.)
Post: #156
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
The ball screeches as the bullet collides with its shell!

The beast collapses forward, unraveling itself and revealing what appears to be a giant, screeching armadillo with a metal shell.

BEGIN BATTLE


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09-12-2016, 03:03 PM
Post: #157
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Theresa drove the cart she was in forward, hoping to be able to pick up EL DOLOR and the girl!

The one, the only, Vancho!
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09-12-2016, 03:03 PM
Post: #158
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
"EL DOLOR TRAINED FOR THIS! MEET YOUR END, FOUL BEAST!"

El Dolor charged in and delivered the thing a DEADLY UPPERCUT! Or at least, you know, he tried.
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09-12-2016, 03:03 PM
Post: #159
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
"THEM'S GOOD EATIN', ELDOLLAR, THEM'S GOOD EATIN!"

He offers a hand to Flo so she can climb on before grabbing his pickaxe and jumping down.
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09-12-2016, 03:04 PM
Post: #160
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Valentine sighed, stepped off the wagon, and drew his pistols.

He'd shoot for the weak spots.
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09-12-2016, 03:05 PM (This post was last modified: 09-12-2016 03:06 PM by Bigshot.)
Post: #161
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Thank god this thing was done chasing after her. Flo's breathless as she uses a last burst of speed to make her way to the bellowing man talking about food. Why, she doesn't know. The thing's metal, probably not good for eating. Still, she takes his hand, pulling herself up with a grunt and collapsing in a heap at his feet. Her legs are screaming, her lungs are burning, but she's alive.

"Kody!" She cries, her voice cracking, "C'mere, boy!"
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09-12-2016, 03:05 PM (This post was last modified: 09-12-2016 03:06 PM by Protoman.)
Post: #162
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
(09-12-2016 03:03 PM)Anomaly Wrote:  "EL DOLOR TRAINED FOR THIS! MEET YOUR END, FOUL BEAST!"

El Dolor charged in and delivered the thing a DEADLY UPPERCUT! Or at least, you know, he tried.

El Dolor successfully delivers a fearsome LUCHA UPPERCUT to the monster!

It immediately turns and begins waddling away, its screams now ones of fear rather than anger.

BATTLE END.



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09-12-2016, 03:07 PM
Post: #163
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
"Aw," said Valentine, holstering his pistols. "Poor thing."
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09-12-2016, 03:07 PM
Post: #164
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
"GIT IT, ELDOLLAR, GIT IIIIIT! HOLD IT STILL SO I CAN CRACK THE SHELL!"

Pete scrambled up towards El Dolor waving his pickaxe.
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09-12-2016, 03:08 PM
Post: #165
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
...Well then.

El Dolor turned back to the girl, and the rest of the caravan. "Worry not! We are all safe now, thanks to the FISTS OF DOLOR!"
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09-12-2016, 03:08 PM
Post: #166
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
"Well, that was quick. Never seen one of those armored-varmints reach those size though." Coyote adjusts her hat at the girl and her dog. "What's yer name, missy?"
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09-12-2016, 03:08 PM
Post: #167
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Theresa fished out a canteen of water and went over to the girl. She offered a drink to her.

"Are you unhurt, child?"

The one, the only, Vancho!
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09-12-2016, 03:10 PM
Post: #168
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Bigshot Wrote:Name: Florence "Flo" Eliza Finch

Age: 15 1/2. The half is very important. It's nice and accurate. Probably.

Appearance: Flo is a girl of mixed race. Her mother was a black woman, and her father was a pale white man. That makes her something in between, really, something her mother insisted was good. Her skin is still notably dark-- definitely not white or simply tan-- but not quite so dark as mama's was. Standing at 5'9", though, she definitely takes after her mother more than she does her father. Her hair's loosely curled, often pulled back into a ponytail at the nape of her neck, and almost down to her lower back. She's got her father's green eyes, and also her mother's wide nose, high cheekbones, and delicate frame. One might even call her pretty, if she ever saw other people. Being a seamstress has made her pretty soft, though, and she definitely doesn't have the muscles farmhands or physical labour folk have. Her hands are gentle, soft, and elegant, meant for holding needles and sizing garments.

Former Occupation: Seamstress. Studying since she was 6 or so. A pretty darn good one, too, if you heard her tell it.

Background: Flo's daddy owned a barber shop in Georgia. The business was moderately successful, which allowed her and her mother to live a fairly comfortable life. Unfortunately for her, she wasn't exactly a planned child, nor one that could be flaunted in front of customers. Her father opted to keep his woman a secret to avoid consternation and aggression, which meant Flo was also kept mostly confined to their modest home. That suited her just fine, though. Living inside almost all the time meant she got time to read and sew! Her mama taught her how to be polite and mannerly like any good southern girl should be, and she believes that manners can solve plenty of problems. Though saying 'please' to daddy when she wanted to leave the house never worked, that didn't stop her from believing it would. Someday. And look where she is now! She LIVES outside! Her home is long gone and she's been out of Georgia for MONTHS!

Relations:

Mother- Deceased. Killed by a mob at her old house. Burned alive. Still, her mother was the best person she knew, and taught her everything about who she was. She aspires to be someone her mama would have been proud of.

Father- Also deceased. Trying to explain to the mob didn't end up saving him, no matter how much he claimed to be better than his family. He was a dick anyway. Good riddance.

Kodiak (Kody)- Her only living friend. A large German Shepherd about 5 years old. He followed her even after the fire and has been her trusted companion ever since. Sweet, soft, and well-trained, Flo won't go anywhere without him.
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09-12-2016, 03:11 PM
Post: #169
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Pete followed El Dolor, looking crestfallen.

"Have ya ever tried 'Diller Bacon, Eldollar? Dang good! Heck, we could make us some... 'Diller Chorizer! That's what ya'll call sausage down there in Mejico, right? It'd be great!"
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09-12-2016, 03:12 PM
Post: #170
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Water is offered to her, and she has to fight back tears as she takes the canteen with shaking hands.

"Thank you, ma'am. A-all of ya, I mean. Sorry." She has to pause to take a big pull of water, cough into her hand, and then try to fix her hair. Because darn it, she didn't look presentable for these nice new folk. "I'm Florence. Flo, for short, and that thing's been chasing me a while now. Thank ya'll for your hospitality."
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09-12-2016, 03:14 PM
Post: #171
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
The dog hops up in the cart, tail a-waggin' and tongue lolling out. It seems much less stressed now that the threat is gone.
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09-12-2016, 03:14 PM
Post: #172
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Valentine reloaded, then holstered his pistols, approaching the newcomer.

"Doc Valentine, at your service. A pleasure to meet your acquaintance, miss," Valentine said. "Are you in need of the capable service of an accomplished medical practitioner?"
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09-12-2016, 03:21 PM
Post: #173
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
"Hmm, I guess we'll kill it dead then. HEY PETE, WANNA GET SOME 'DILLO DINNER?" Coyote yells as she cocks her shotgun.
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09-12-2016, 03:21 PM
Post: #174
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Exhaling, Flo takes another drink, then shifts to pull something out of her pack. After a few seconds of shifting she pulls out a bowl, sets it on the wood of the cart, and pours some water out for Kody. She also turns to give him a pat, then buries her face in his fur briefly before responding.

" 'M fine, sir. Thanks for asking." Her cheek's still in his fur as she sniffs, fingers curling. "Would ya kindly check on Kody, though? See if he's okay?" Shoot. She scrunches her face up suddenly, her eyes closing in what seems to be embarrassment before she adds on, "That's my dog, here. Please."
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09-12-2016, 03:26 PM
Post: #175
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
"DANG STRAIGHT!"

He looks at the metal plated behemoth.

"... CAN SOMEONE ELSE GOOD AT CLOSE UP FIGHTIN' HELP OUT? I DON'T WANT TO GET ROLLED OVER BY ALL THAT DANGED METAL!"
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09-12-2016, 03:29 PM
Post: #176
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Theresa smiled at Flo.

"It is good to meet you, Florence. I am sister Theresa. If you are ever in need of God, you need simply ask"

The one, the only, Vancho!
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09-12-2016, 03:29 PM
Post: #177
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
"But of course. Does he bite?" Valentine asked, looking to Kody.
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09-12-2016, 03:34 PM
Post: #178
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Flo gives a nod to Theresa, along with a dimpled smile. What a nice lady. Everyone here was being so nice.

"Um-- n-no, sir, he doesn't bite. He's very well trained." As if to prove her point, she snaps her fingers, gesturing downward. "Sit, Kody!" He'd sit by his water bowl while Valentine prodded him. No big deal.
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09-12-2016, 03:44 PM
Post: #179
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Valentine examined Kody to make sure he was okay!
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09-12-2016, 04:54 PM
Post: #180
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Molly exits the sleep caravan after taking a bit of a nap (and thanking Lizzie for the compliment earlier). She's stretches wondering what the commotion is about. God she hopes there isn't another Giraffe out there again.

"Mmmhm... is it my shift already?"
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09-12-2016, 08:48 PM
Post: #181
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Allie jolted, apparently having just missed a whole bunch. When did she nod off? She didn't remember. Perhaps it was time to stop leading her wagon. Was that... A dog? Come to think of it, she hadn't seen one in an awful long time. She hoped it was friendly.

The girl rubbed her eyes and hopped out of the wagon. She took a moment to beat the dust from her mask, and then approached all the commotion. Not wanting to crowd the girl just after she got here (or a strange dog who might be adverse to it,) she stood a little ways back, giving the new girl a quick wave.

Good OL Pete was making another scene, and Allie approached him. "Are you going after it? Armadillos are horribly diseased," the buzzkill informed him, "and too much trouble besides."
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09-12-2016, 11:38 PM
Post: #182
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Valentine gets to his examination, and Flo thanks him again, offering the canteen back to Lady Theresa. Over Valentine's shoulder, she catches someone waving at her-- a new girl-- and eagerly returns the gesture. With her free hand, she smooths out her blouse, still set on making a good first impression. The armadillo had kinda given her a few negatives, so the least she could do was pull herself together. Being pretty and mannerly still got a gal far in this world, right?

"How, um. 'Scuse me...how many of you are there?" Her eyes flick from Theresa to Valentine, then across the others in her immediate field of vision. Way more people than she'd seen in a while.
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09-13-2016, 12:05 AM
Post: #183
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
"Eighteen, kid. Well, nineteen now I'm guessing." Rowan mentally doublechecks to make sure that Carmen actually did make it back. "Assuming you want to come along, you and your pal there did a good job surviving out here with nothing but that armadillo to keep you company."
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09-13-2016, 05:42 AM
Post: #184
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
The compliment brings a flush to her cheeks, fueled also by something akin to frustration. I'm not a kid. She thinks wryly, her lips scrunching. She'd prefer being called 'little lady' to 'kid'. The former, at least, is more accurate.

She says none of this. Instead she nods her head, scruffing Kody's shaggy neck fur. "I would be right pleased to come along. I have nowhere else to go, sir."
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09-13-2016, 04:38 PM
Post: #185
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
(09-12-2016 03:44 PM)Cidellus Wrote:  Valentine examined Kody to make sure he was okay!

The pup seems fine! He's got a bit of mange and a lot of dust in his fur, but nothing too serious.

(09-12-2016 04:54 PM)pail Wrote:  Molly exits the sleep caravan after taking a bit of a nap (and thanking Lizzie for the compliment earlier). She's stretches wondering what the commotion is about. God she hopes there isn't another Giraffe out there again.

"Mmmhm... is it my shift already?"

Trent shouts. "There was a giant armurdalla out there!! It tried to eat us whole!!"

Lizzie rolls her eyes. "Did not! It just rolled up an' Miss Coyote chased it off with her gun. A girl and her dog ran off from him! Gee, I hope they're okay..."

(09-13-2016 05:42 AM)Bigshot Wrote:  The compliment brings a flush to her cheeks, fueled also by something akin to frustration. I'm not a kid. She thinks wryly, her lips scrunching. She'd prefer being called 'little lady' to 'kid'. The former, at least, is more accurate.

She says none of this. Instead she nods her head, scruffing Kody's shaggy neck fur. "I would be right pleased to come along. I have nowhere else to go, sir."


The Caravaneer checks in with the newcomer.

"You're absolutely welcome to come along, miss. We can't just leave you out here on your lonesome. Nice to meet you. I'm the Caravaneer."

"Guy you're talkin' to there goes by Rowan. The gal in the duster chasin' that Armadillo is Coyote - they joined up together and, before you, were the most recent inductees into the caravan. Don't tell 'em I said this," he says, loud and clear, perfectly within earshot of Rowan, "but I'm pretty sure they're datin' and just don't wanna admit it."

"Guy goin' with Coyote to try and hunt that big thing is Copper-Teeth Pete. He's, uh... Well, you'll get to know him soon enough."

"Your savior is El Dolor. He's a fighter from Mexico. Guy's got a bit of a screw loose, but he's sincere as all hell, and a damn reliable man."

"That over there's Allie. She's got bad lungs, but she's one of the smartest folks you'll meet. She was gettin' some learnin' in before the sun stopped movin'."

"Guy over there's Doc Valentine, though by the way he's pokin' your pup, I imagine you've already met, 'less he wants to lose that finger."

"Looks like you've already met Theresa as well. Her friend Carmen's..." He actually whispers this time. "She's got a little bit of an issue with her liquor, so stay away from her if you can. We're tryin' to work through it." He resumes his normal tone. "Theresa's a mighty nice lady. Dunno if you're the religious type, but if you are, she'll likely bring you some comfort in these dark times."

"We got people up front, too. There's Amy and Molly, who're takin' naps right now. Amy's another big thinker, just like Allie. Somethin' about A names, I'm tellin' ya. She's got a few folks with her - Rosa, Bart, and Emma. They're all real nice folks. Molly's a girl 'round your age. She's got a little brother and sister, too - Trent and Lizzie. They're real goo... Well, Molly and Lizzie're sweet anyhow."

"'Sides that, there's me and my old friends, Miss Martha Mailer - our resident huntress - and Ol' Nate Mulligan - our cook. Not that he's got much to cook nowadays, 'side from buffalo. Life's not great out here, but here's hopin' we can help you make the best of it."

With that, he turns towards Pete and whistles. "Hey! If you're not about to go kill that thing, let's get back on the road! Time wasted is food and water lost!"
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09-14-2016, 05:54 AM (This post was last modified: 09-14-2016 06:02 AM by pail.)
Post: #186
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
"A giraffe and now a giant armadilla? What the flying hell is happening to this place. I feel like I should walk around with my hoe constantly now. At least we got bad asses like Coyote, Rowan, Doc, Miss Martha and El Dolor hanging with us...- wait did you say a girl and a dog?" Molly looks a bit excited at the prospect of a new person, mostly for something different in the constant boredom that comes with the seemingly endless desert. "What cart are they on?"
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09-14-2016, 03:06 PM
Post: #187
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Flo feels endlessly lucky to have run her way into a group willing to take her in, just like that, no strings attached. Maybe it's because of her age, or maybe these people are just really nice, but either way, she's right chuffed.

She listens like a good, polite girl to everything the Caraveneer has to say. Honestly, she'd never seen so many people in her entire life. It goes without saying that she was going to forget pretty much all of their names almost immediately.

Which she does. Almost immediately.

Still, she smiles, and she nods, and she thanks the man after almost every introduction. She even silently mouths their names, as if that would help her retain the info. It doesn't. Nothing would. Not until she was able to put the name to all the faces and chant it under her breath, like, five times.
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09-14-2016, 04:36 PM
Post: #188
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Valentine approached the Caravaneer and Flo.

"Your canine companion is vigorous in both health and temperament, and it is my pleasure to say that he is uninjured and unimpaired," Valentine told her.
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09-14-2016, 06:44 PM (This post was last modified: 09-14-2016 06:45 PM by Protoman.)
Post: #189
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
"Alright, let's get a move on!"

The Caravaneer takes his place back near the front and relaxes as Lizzie informs Molly that the new gal is in the meat-drying cart.

The Caravan picks up speed,rolling across the dunes with renewed vigor.

You go through SEVEN of your nine meals' worth of food and water. Miss Molly can hunt more for you, provided you can agree on how many bullets you're willing to give her. Alternately, one of you can try your (less experienced) hands at the matter.

After several about one-and-a-half go-arounds of the driver's shift, Old Man Nate (who had been taking his turn walking) lets out a shout. "Jesus Lord Mercy! It's... It's a cloud!"

He points to the horizon.

In the distance - in a direction which, by your estimates, should be somewhere south-ways - a solitary cloud hangs in the sky.

It's the first cloud you've seen since this mess started.

Maybe there really is hope somewhere out west.

You continue onward. Lizzie, Trent and Nate have their eyes glued to the sky. Miss Martha seems to be continuously glancing around, nervous. "Just don't feel right about this place. Don't know what it is." Indeed, it's the same sort of bland desert you've been wandering through for god knows how long. There's no reason to be worried, you think.

A few shifts later, her premonitions are given a bit of weight.

You come across a wagon, not unlike yours, tipped over and burning. Beside it lie what can be presumed to be its dead passengers. They seem to've been gutted, mutilated, carved to bits.

One of them - a young man who doesn't look a day over sixteen - clings to life. His arm has been blown clean off. Whatever - or whoever - took it seems to've cauterized the wound. His intestines lie beside him in a neat little bundle. Even with immediate medical attention, the lad doesn't look like he has long to live. His breath is shaky, but he remains conscious.

What will you do?
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09-14-2016, 06:46 PM
Post: #190
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Valentine jumped off the wagon and approached the boy, his pistol out.

"If you have any breath left in you, tell us what happened. If not, then I can give you a quick death," Valentine said. "Most I can do for you."
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09-14-2016, 06:54 PM
Post: #191
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
El Dolor solemnly stepped up beside Valentine. Even he, crazy as he may or may not have been, could tell when someone was beyond help.
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09-14-2016, 07:01 PM
Post: #192
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Allie stood tall in the wagon to look at the scene. Her jaw hung open. She'd seen her fair share of nasty fates in this past... time, but never anything so gruesome. But still, as awful as the situation was, something felt off. The assailants seemed to be gone, but if that kid was still alive, mangled like that, then they'd still be visible, or at least their hurried tracks. Unless... "Guys," she called out, "Be careful... I'm not convinced whatever was here isn't still..."
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09-14-2016, 07:05 PM
Post: #193
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
He struggles to find words, but the light in his eyes prove that he's determined to make them count.

"...Reborn... He's... They..." He takes a deep breath, trying to keep it together.

"Came on horses... They used dynamite. And knives. Took m'sister. Y'gotta... She's..."

He coughs. Bits of dried blood come out, likely scabs from his raw throat.

He loses his strength. He's still speaking but words will not emerge.

He barely manages to croak something out. "Save her. Please..."

His face twists in pain as a new wave of hurts roll through him.
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09-14-2016, 07:06 PM
Post: #194
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
"Do you know where they went? What direction?" Valentine asked.
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09-14-2016, 07:07 PM
Post: #195
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
He shakes his head weakly. "No... had me on my stomach... 'fore they left."
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09-14-2016, 07:09 PM
Post: #196
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
El Dolor spoke now. "...We will track these Reborn down, and justice will be dispensed. Your sister will be safe. You have the word... of El Dolor. Now rest. We will do the rest."
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09-14-2016, 07:09 PM
Post: #197
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
Given this information, Allie actively looks for tracks.
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09-14-2016, 07:13 PM (This post was last modified: 09-14-2016 07:14 PM by Protoman.)
Post: #198
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
He nods. "God, there ain't no rest... 'Sall gone to hell... You're good folk. Please, just--"

He begins coughing horrendously, his mouth going red and black with blood, both new and old.

His body spasms a few more times before the light goes out of his eyes. It takes him a bit to stop shaking, even after that.

You search and you search, but the sand is smooth as marble. Seems the wind swept up the tracks long ago.

God knows how long this poor boy has been like this.
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09-14-2016, 07:17 PM (This post was last modified: 09-14-2016 07:18 PM by Cidellus.)
Post: #199
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
"Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine, et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Requiéscant in pace. Amen," Valentine said. He wasn't a particularly strong believer, but perhaps the kid would've wanted the words said. Or perhaps he'd been an atheist. Eh, better safe than sorry.

Valentine looked around for a high point from which to scout out the area. Maybe a particularly high dune.
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09-14-2016, 07:21 PM
Post: #200
RE: Hope Rides On - Chapter One: East of Eden
"His death must not be in vain. There is yet someone that needs our help, and El Dolor does not break his word. These bandits, whoever they may be, will pay for what they have done. This boy's sister is our responsibility. We must find her."

El Dolor checked the wreckage after he was done speaking to no one in particular.
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