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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

coz1

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Herewith is my place marker to my next tale. It's still mulling around in my brain, but I have the basic stucture and if I don't start posting it now, I may never do it. I'm not sure how quickly I will get this one up, but it won't be as fast as my Persia tale came together, that's for sure. Anyway, hope you enjoy. :D

* * * * *​

Chapter I
Wyoming Territory, 1881


Dusk was settling and the town had grown quiet. Shopkeepers had closed their doors and the townsfolk had moved to their homes or the church far up on the hill. Only the saloon was bustling, but only because the men inside wished to have their drinks before the action outside began.

Sonny only stood there in the middle of the street, waiting. He would wait all night if that were what it took. He had waited a lifetime, so what were a few more minutes, or hours? He fingered his pistol and felt the bond between himself and his weapon. He knew it would need to perform just as much as he did. He recognized that this could be his final day on earth. But he didn’t care. More than anything else, this would be the revenge he had longed for since he was a small boy.

The men in the saloon hooted and hollered and gathered their courage to face the lone gunman in the street. Bill Tanney did not show his apprehension, but it was there all the same. His gut told him that this act might be his last, but one shot of whiskey was all he needed to convince his mind that he would be the victor.

As the sun lowered over the last cloud on the horizon, Sonny thought to himself, I’ve done this before. I’ve never had to worry about being slow. Just pull the gun from your holster and shoot. But he worried, as he never worried before. All those other men, now dead, had it coming. He shot them. He never flinched. But this time it was different. This time, he really cared. This time it meant more to him than just another notch on his handle.

He remembered the feeling he had when he realized the man in front of him was Tanney, standing there laughing it up with some whores by the bar. He had thought about shooting him right there, but that would have been cowardly. He wanted him in front of the whole town so they could see his act, his retribution. He remembered the satisfaction he already felt at knowing he would have his day. That was all he desired. And now that day was upon him. After 20 years, he would finally give this man his due.

He looked at the street in front of him and tried to focus on something other than his fear. The packed dirt stretching from one end to the other. The signs in each of the shop windows signifying they were closed. The lack of sound that usually was Big Bend. Oh how he had waited for this time, and now it was upon him. He looked at the horses tied up outside the saloon. I could just get on one and ride away. That’s what Corinna would want. But he put this thought out of his mind. Best to get it over with and leave knowing he had done his duty, that he had avenged his parent’s death.

But then he thought about Corinna again. She would be waiting for him out at the farm. She would wonder why he didn’t visit this night. She might even come looking for him in town. What if he wasn’t there to meet her? What would happen to her?

Before he could answer himself, the doors to the saloon swung wide and Bill Tanney walked out confidently and stood there grinning, eyeing his opponent.

“Well…you ready?” he shouted.

Sonny stood there without saying a word, his fingers tickling the grip of his gun.

“Well, ain’t you gonna answer me, you sumbitch?” Tanney asked again.

“Ain’t no need for an answer. You know what you gotta do, and I know what I gotta do” was Sonny’s only reply.

Bill Tanney walked out into the street, his topcoat flowing behind him as the wind picked up. He found his preferred spot and stood to face Sonny.

“You ready to meet your maker?” he asked.

Sonny looked at the other men pouring out from the saloon behind Tanney. They all seemed at the ready. If he missed, he was a dead man, and if he hit him, they would surely kill him anyway. But he didn’t care. All he wanted was to see Bill Tanney dead and if that meant he would have to die too, so be it.

The image of Corinna flashed in his mind again. Her golden hair, translucent in the sunlight. Her smile, so warm and natural. He might never see it again. Her twirled her around once more in his mind and then focused on the huge man in front of him. He flipped his duster to show his pistol and looked hard into Tanney’s eyes. He saw fear. He recognized that Tanney had as much fear as he did. Swallowing his thoughts, he stood strong and waited. He waited for the slightest movement to blow Bill Tanney away.

To be continued...
 
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Machiavellian

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Nice opening. I don't check out the Vicky forum as much as I used to these days, but this opening has hooked me. I'll be stopping in on this in the future.
 

stnylan

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A very good opening passage. You construct the scene, the street, very well. And the internal workings of both Sonny and Tanny - that one fortifying glass of whiskey - very well.
 

Wämö

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Incredibly interesting Coz1. You better make Sonny win, or else... ;)
 

unmerged(25129)

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and people say there arn't enough replies... look at em all...and you havn't even mentioned yoru country yet!
 

unmerged(14689)

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Flavius Aetius said:
and people say there arn't enough replies... look at em all...and you havn't even mentioned yoru country yet!
Yeah, everyone here who hasn't replied in my AAR-thread should be ashamed of himself! :mad: :p ;)
 

coz1

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Feedback-Feedback:

Machiavellian, stnylan, Judas Maccabeus, Suvorov, Seidita, Judge, Danny Sherinam - thanks for stopping by and enjoying so far.

Wamo - thank you as well...but I can't promise anything. Stick around and find out. ;)

Flavius Aetius - This is the most I've ever had for replies after any one post, much less the first in an AAR. I'm thinking my Persia AAR got me some street cred, but also things have begun to pick up all over the forum lately, and that's a wonderful thing. :D Thanks for reading.

As for the country - I'm playing the US but I don't want to say any more than that because you'll catch the rest in the AAR itself. However, I plan on burying the game fairly deeply in the narrative, so for those that want game play, check out my Holy Trinity AAR, as well as many other great ones currently going on.

Feel free to ask questions as we go along, or comment on my writing - constructive criticism is always welcome. Other than that, enjoy (I hope.) :D
 

coz1

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Chapter I (cont.)

* * *​

Red Strother sat at his usual table near the back of the saloon. He liked it because it allowed for him to blend into the crowd. He did not much like to be noticed or talk to people. He came to the saloon to drink, for Red Strother was a drunk. In fact, he was the town drunk. He was also the livery stable hand, but he preferred the former. He always liked to say with his toothless grin, “Ever’ towns got one, and in this here town, that’s me.”

He sipped on his glass of whiskey and watched Tanney’s men follow their boss out into the street. He knew what was likely to happen and it saddened him because he’d taken a liking to Sonny Gamble. He recalled when Sonny first rode into his stable yard and had found him passed out over a bale of hay. Instead of kicking him with his boot, like most of the men did, he only tossed a bucket of water on him saying, “Time to get up old timer. This here mare needs a drink too.” That put him in rare company in Red’s eyes and he aimed to keep Sonny a friend.

Red tossed back the last bit in his glass and slowly raised himself from his chair. It took a moment to gain his balance, but once he was steady, he could see that the place was now empty. Even the whores must be watching he thought to himself. He stumbled around to the back of the bar and found where Lester kept the older stuff. He figured no one would miss just a nip and pulled the cork from one of the bottles. Smelling it first, he found the aroma to his satisfaction and then tipped back the bottle.

“What in hell are doin’ Red Strother?” a voice hollered at him from the corner by the back door. He looked to see who it was and found Old Sal sprawled out on the floor.

“What you doin’ back there gal? Why ain’t you watchin’ the show?” he asked her.

“Havin’ a drinkin’ contest with Cuddy and couldn’t finish. Had to sit for a bit an’ didn’t want no damn cowpoke tryin’ to get at me when I weren’t lookin’. Now you answer me old man…what in blazes has got into you? You know if Lester finds you back there he’ll cut you off but good.”

“Well then don’t tell him, I says.” Red suggested as he put the cork back in the bottle and tried to straighten his vest. “Hey Sal…you think you can…hiccup…you think you can go out there and do me a favor?”

“What kind of favor? I ain’t sleepin’ with ya…I done told you that already. You too old and wrinkled for my taste. Sides, you ain’t got enough money for me.”

“Ain’t what I’m askin’ Sally. I need to get across the street an’ them fellas’ll see me…unless…well, if you give ‘em somethin’ else to look at.”

Old Sal blew a strand of curly, sweaty hair away from her face and looked hard at Red trying to understand what and why he was asking her for this favor. “What do you care ifn’ they see ya. Ain’t you they want tonight.”

“I know that. It’s the boy...and I aim to help him. Now you gonna do what I ask or not?…hiccup

“What in the hell can you do in your condition ya dumb son of a bitch? You too drunk to poke a mule.”

“I can manage,” he shot back steadying himself with his hand on the bar.

“Well hell…I guess I can flash ‘em my teats…that oughta distract ‘em for ya. But if I get cut, I’m comin’ after you old man. Now give me that bottle,” was all Sal could say. He seemed determined and she knew it was best to try and not talk a drunken man out of anything. After taking a swig of her own, she put the cork back and pointed over at the back door.

“You head back there and down the alleyway. It’ll take you out by Potter’s store. It’s far enough down that they should miss you when they see the show I got for ‘em.”

“Oh, like they never seen it…hiccup…before?”

“You want my help or not, dammit?”

“You’re right Sal…hiccup…you is a sweet old gal when you wants to be.”

“Oh get on outta here, ya ass. I don’t know what you gonna do when you get out there. Probably die just like him, I spect. But what the hell? I like to show off my teats anyway. Ain’t nobody been lookin’ tonight.”

She headed for the front and out the swinging doors. She saw Tanney’s men moving down into the street and forming a semi-circle behind him. Looking to her right she saw Sonny Gamble standing alone and defiant, hand at the ready. Neither man seemed to want to move first. She hollered out, “Hey boys! Why you wanna go and get to killin’ when you could have some of this?”

She spread the front of her dress open and wrapped it around the sides of her rather bountiful breasts, squeezing them together so her cleavage would be even more accented.

“Come on fellas…me and the girls are gettin’ cold up here.”

As she was flashing the men, Red Strother stumbled out into the soft light of the street behind Sonny and over to the other side. He made his way into the alley adjacent to the news office and found the back door. He heard someone in the street holler out, “Sal, we’ll get to you in a minute. We got work to do here.”

Without waiting for a reply, he tried the handle on the door and found it unlocked. He knew Dick Urban was probably up at the church with his mother and was happy to know that he could still count on a few unlocked doors in town. Entering into the main hallway, he walked to the front room and found the Remington he knew Dick kept behind his printer.

Gun in hand, and loaded, he made his way up the stairs into Urban’s office. He had a hard time taking the steps but with each one, he felt a bit more sober. Or perhaps it was his courage. He didn’t care. He told Sal he aimed to help and that was what he was going to do. He went to the front window and saw the men out in the street. One of them had gone to the front of the saloon and pushed Sal back inside. He was just getting back into the line when Red opened the window and took aim.

“You boys ought not gang up on one man like ‘at,” he yelled out. The men looked up at the office window and spied the silhouetted figure. Bill Tanney kept his gaze on Sonny and Sonny returned the gesture. Red saw one of the men behind Tanney go for his pistol and he hollered out, “Virgil Jenkins, I got my aim on you and ifn’ you pull that shooter, you’ll be a dead man.”

To be continued...
 
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Semi-Lobster

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I'm pretty sure what your country is! ;) Good work on this AAR and good luck!
 

Ksim3000

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Hey cool idea, very cool, I can't wait for the next update! Say just out of question, are you starting this is 1836 or later on, perhaps 1888?
 

unmerged(25129)

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I'm waiting for Clint Eastwood. C'mon, coz, where are you hiding him? :D

Yea we need Clint.


BTW I've read your AAR...just havn't thought of anything to say yet :)
 

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Most promising start, after a nice shoot-out I hope you will provide us readers with some juicy description of the whores that are bound to appear to celebrate the victor :)
 

stnylan

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The plot thickens. Help comes in unlikely places as they say.