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 Post subject: Metal Frontier: New Trails of Lonely
PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:04 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:35 pm
Posts: 44
The monster fled into the desert, and the mech in black followed.

Boulder was fairly unflappable, as most 'bots went. He'd been sheriff in Fissionton for nearly fifty years, and deputy to the former sheriff before that. A botched arrest attempt had been the cause for his promotion; both his boss and the wagon robber had bitten the dust. Rather than turn him off the pursuit of justice, it had turned him cautious. He didn't like trouble, either in the town or in the jail. While he knew that just running bad folk out of town didn't do a damn thing to stop them from making problems somewhere else, he had a very sure sense of 'better them than us'. Fissionton was his to protect, and times were hard. He had his people, and other law-abiding folk expected him to do his job, not get shot at, or worse, perforate storefront property. He'd taken the Beast Form of an armadillo, so he was slow, big, tough, beady-eyed, and with a good shell-full of guns and assorted knick knacks that served to dissuade most from ever drawing down in the first place. All of this combined together served to make him utter a low, grumble-groan as his own deputy burst into the office, shouting about some other 'figure' wandering into town with a saddlebag over one shoulder and a chip on the other.

"Calm it down a hitch, son," he said, and furrowed his brow. First things first; get the facts straight.

"But-"

"I said, calm, it, down, a, hitch," the sheriff repeated, glaring at the deputy. He was a wet behind the ears newbie, on loan from some rich burg somewhere. Why in the blazing black desert he'd want to be out here, Boulder had no idea. "Now, if you're sufficiently calmed, you said he just walked in?" He questioned. Boy had a pair of good optics in his head, if not a quick head on top of his shoulders.

"Yessir," Snapdraw answered, and the sheer eagerness almost drew a smile out of the experienced, weathered sheriff. "Right in off of Main Street. Lady Gray saw 'im." He shifted from foot to foot, unable to stop himself. Boulder figured that was the coyote in him. As the boy's words sunk in though, he frowned.

"Wait now. Main Street? Lady Gray was in her shop?" The boy nodded, and Boulder leaned forward, folding his hands on his desk. "That doesn't make a bit o' sense. At least ten, fifteen other folk should've called this in. Didn't stop at the inn, then? No wagon, no scaleback? Nothing?"

"Nosir," came the answer, a quick shake of the head confirming it. This was sitting worse and worse with the sheriff. He'd give the possibility of making it into the middle of town without being spotted, or reported, especially if he was a low profile type. But nobody in their right mind tried walking the Black Waste.

"Lot easier to eat your gun," he murmured thoughtfully. While new and untested, Snapdraw was a quick learner, and didn't ask any questions about the thought muttered out loud by his superior. He'd transferred out into the wild for some action, a chance to test his skills, and if nothing else he'd get to work on his procedure. "Huh. Armed, then? You said a saddlebag?" Couldn't hold much in the way of rations in there, Boulder mulled. He could've gotten dropped off, but any wagons or trains coming by usually dropped off a bunch more than one, or hit up the refining plant for fuel and energon. Didn't make much sense so far.

"Yeah, Lady Gray didn't mention much in the way of weapons. Nothing t'obvio-" He paused, and corrected his grammar, and this time Boulder did smile. City boy. "Too obvious, sir. The reason she mentioned it was his manner of dress, sir." Boulder sat up straighter. No one in their right mind wore cloth or clothing on Dustball. Not unless they were looking to boil their neural net.

"Go on then, son. Wait now..." Again, his brow furrowed, this time with a bit of irritation. "Wearing colors, was he?" While most gangs or posses that formed rarely lasted longer than a solar cycle or two, now and then one group would get particularly full of themselves, and fly color. Red bandanas, hats like those old western holovids from races. Trying to be all manner of distinct and dangerous.

"No, no color." Snapdraw paused. "Except black, sir. Lots and lots of black."

"Oh?" Dressed in black, presumably head to toe, and mayhaps having crossed the Black Waste. This time Boulder's lined face broke out in a grin. Two manner of crazy, then. Well hells, maybe that brought this newcomer right back round to sane again. "Sorry, sorry. G'on."

"Er...a long coat. A duster, but leather. And...a scarf." He finished.

"...scarf? On Dustball?" Boulder asked, in mild surprise, before he stood up, pressing his hands firmly into the desk until it creaked. Wouldn't do to break the thing, so he just pressed in. That was enough. "So much for coming back 'round to sane. Let's go talk to 'im." He paused. "Nah. I'll go talk to 'im. You circle round behind, keep yourself to the shadows and out of sight. Things go south, you put him down."

"Yes sir!" Snapdraw said, and darted out the doors before Boulder could get in another word.

"...dangit," the sheriff said to an empty room, scowling. "And don't get yourself killed, either." Having said his piece, even if no one was around to listen, Boulder stomped out from behind his desk and out the front door to his office; turning sideways to manage it. He’d never had it widened since the last sheriff had renovated the place, as much as was possible on Dustball. Just didn’t feel right. Nonetheless, he paused once he was outside, the sun, almost noontime high, beating down on him.

For some reason, now that he was outside, it didn’t feel like his office anymore. Putting that grim thought out of his mind, he headed towards Main Street to head off the newcomer and put some questions to him.


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 Post subject: Re: Metal Frontier: New Trails of Lonely
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:35 pm
Posts: 44
I do not kill with my hand. I kill with my spark.

In Fissionton, strangers were usually welcomed. If not with open arms, then at least with open registers. Travellers coming in from the Black Waste spent credits, traded goods, and brought news, and those three things were always in short supply. The city itself was located as close to the Waste as one would dare to live, near one of the last functioning hover rails on the planet. It was another one of those odd dichotomies one found on the far flung colony worlds; a town build up with wood and steel in the middle of the desert, most buildings three stories tall at most, only a few klicks from one of the larger energon processing facilities on Dustball. A hover rail, government owned and operated of course, ran in from the Waste and stopped off at the plant. At least a few travellers would drift in from the rails and take in the sights of the town. If they were city folk, or off-worlders, they'd usually go for pictures, or that 'authentic colony' feel. If they were from the colonies, they'd come in for a taste of familiar.

People that were not welcome however were bandits, rebel rousers, or company bigwigs looking to buy land 'just in case' that energon vein under the plant ran further to the east than they'd thought. Mysterious mechs in black that wandered in from an uncrossable desert with no wagon, no scaleback, and no greetings were also high up on that list in Boulder's estimation, and so the armadillo sheriff stood off near the saloon, eyeing up the new arrival with a practised gaze.

Medium height, lithe, tapered, but with a sureness of step that added weight to his movements. Sure enough, a black leather duster was in place, the collar folded around around his neck, the bottom ends tattered and worn. As he walked past, Boulder noted with a small bit of curiosity than the coat had two small somethings, indentations maybe, at his upper back, running vertically. The scarf in place was made to flutter slightly by a soft wind from the south, made of a smooth, thin, but dark fabric, wrapped snugly a few times over around his neck, and all the way up to just below his optics. That made Boulder frown; too damn close to a bandit mask for his liking. Likewise, no sign of a gun that he could see, but there were a lot of places to hide one, and knives, too, under that coat. The final article he had was a saddlebag, slung over one arm. Just like Snapdraw has said, there was maybe a week, two weeks of rationed energon and water that could fit in there.

From what he could see of him around and under the coat, his coloration ran mostly black, with silver accents here and there. Hard to guess the beast mode, if not for the black wolf's ears on top of his head. Likewise the hand gripping the worn leather of his bag was silver, nasty looking claws on the end of each finger to boot. His feet were leather wrapped as well, no doubt to ease the desert crossing, straps of it crossing the joins to stop sand from getting in. Couldn't make out the feet at all, in fact, except for a faint glimmer of silver here and there. Top it off with a pair of softly glowing red optics, and Boulder had taken a fairly quick dislike to him. The sheriff glanced off to the right, got a quick nod from Snapdraw who had positioned himself relatively innocuously at a table near one of the town's two inns, and marched out to meet him.

He wasn't very fond of this kind of meeting, as the other paused in his stride ten meters away. The rest of the citizenry were wise enough to avoid the street when words were being spoken between mysterious mechs in black and Boulder, so there was no company for either of them save the wind. It had a bad end written all over it, and so Boulder decided to speak gently, for him, and try and get him moving on.

"Always interesting to see a new face in town," the said, amicably enough, and he'd said it so often in genuine that it wasn't hard to manage a smile on top of it. "Your get up and manner has a few folks spooked though. If you're here for rest and to kick your feet up, that's fine and dandy, but-" At this, Boulder paused. There was no kind way to put what was to come, really. "-but, there's been some anger about lately. You might consider spending a night and then moving on, stranger." The other looked at him, and Boulder could imagine the frown behind that tightly wrapped scarf. He looked to the inn, then the saloon, and then, resumed walking. Boulder was a touch cross that he hadn't even responded, especially as he began drifting to the side with each pace, looking to make his way around him. "I didn't mean to run you right out of town to the rails, son," he said, a bit more firmly. "Fissionton's a place full of varied people, but as long as you don't start any trouble, there won't be any. My deputy says you came in off the desert. Any truth to that?"

The mech in black paused again, and nodded. Boulder was getting an itch on the back of his neck. "You can't talk, can you son?" It was rare for any injury to be permanent in a Transformer. Even out here on Dustball, as long as you could drag yourself to town, there was usually somebody around that could put your parts back to bench alignment so your internals could do the job of fixing you up. Now and then though someone'd devise a genius new toy that retarded any kind of repair module or nanite, or sometimes a wound would just go too long without being mended. Boulder himself had nearly lost all the servos in his knee after a bad shotgun shell filled with sand shot took him on an open injury. Still. Losing your voice, that was something else. Sure enough, the other 'bot shrugged, and Boulder felt a hair bad for coming on so strong. But only a hair.

"Look. Head over yonder," the sheriff said, gesturing at the saloon, "and tell them I sent you. They'll give you a decent rate." The other didn't answer, merely continued to look hard at Boulder, and the sheriff felt his good nature quickly evaporating. Before he could say anything though, the sound of a scaleback posse reached his audios. "Damnation," he muttered, and turned himself about.

Sure enough, riding up from the other side of town were five figures on scalebacks, the larger kind, bred strong enough, big enough, and in some cases, stubborn enough for a Transformer to ride. When he could finally make the lead figure out, and the smirk on her face, Boulder could barely stifle a groan. As it was, he folded his arms across his very broad chest, and shifted his weight so he was nice and centered. Just in case. This had the side effect of making him look even more intimidating than he did already. The lead rider held up a fist and the other four in her posse slowed to a stop.

"Well, well," Boulder intoned, letting his voice rumble and roll out now that the scalebacks were stationary. "If it isn't Perfection, roaming back into my town. I could've sworn I had politely asked you to leave." He let the phrase hang for a moment. "With my guns." She let out a laugh at that, head thrown back, seemingly genuinely amused by his statement. She dismounted with practised ease, displaying long legs and a bit more at that, the kind that tended to draw unwanted, or for some ladies, wanted attention. She made a show of patting herself down, brushing trail dust from brown and green armor, chipped in places; camouflage painted onto her shell, displaying some bright sky blue beneath it. Even after he'd busted her down from recruit to prisoner, Boulder never had put a handle on her Beast Mode. Putting on a winning, knowing smile as she folded her arms under her breastplate, she may not have been her namesake, but she was damn close enough.

At least until she opened her mouth.

"Oh, don't you worry none, honey-bunch," she drawled, her accent extra thick, not because it was, but because she always had enjoyed needling the good sheriff. "I ain't come back here to take arms up against the government's stooge." The shapely femme gestured with a hand towards the figure in black, whose red optics narrowed in response. "I'm here to take arms 'gainst a bounty, offer'd and proof'd by them generous folks in Gildtown." Boulder looked at her and her posse, the other four of which had also dismounted, then back towards the solitary mech in black, and considered his position between them. He scowled, and spat.

"Damn."


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 Post subject: Re: Metal Frontier: New Trails of Lonely
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:58 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:35 pm
Posts: 44
We each of us, one and all, owe the world a death.

"Like ah said," Perfection repeated, "all ah want is the fellow in black over yonder. You git out from between us, we walk away and get rich and happy." She grinned. "Mayhaps we even come back 'ere and spend some of that hard earned coin."

"Boy comes in from the Black Waste," Boulder rumbled, "you takin' him down now isn't going to be much in the way of work at all, Perfection." Even as he spoke, her four allies were spreading out in a line. Boulder took the time to mark them, one by one, and he hoped Snapdraw was doing the same. He had a nasty inkling this was going to get a lot worse before it got any better. Perfection was flanked on both sides by two of them, and from their stance he could tell they'd done this kind of thing before. One thing experienced gunfighters knew, it was better to get what you wanted without drawing down than not. All it took was one lucky shot.

First on the left, some kind of desert lizard. A forest of sharp spines ran from his neck all the way down to a restless tail, one that swept side to side, but in a slow measured move. No gunjumper this one. Faded brown, and orange, hard to tell exactly what species he'd taken after, or worse, he could be camouflaged, to a degree, blending into the rough dirt under his feet. Boulder hated 'bots with tails, almost as much as he hated ones with extra limbs, like spiders, or worse, centipedes. Seemed every one of them had an extra gun or two in 'em, and in his experience the ones with tails could blast you with anything from acid to cannon shells or worse. Not a great start.

Moving over one, things didn't get any better; another impatient looking 'bot, a young gun, that reminded Boulder of Snapdraw. This bounty hunter though was tapping his right foot, beating out a rhythm on the dirt with such speed and repetitiveness that he'd stamped the ground flatter than it already was. He had a pair of revolvers, held in a cross pattern in front of his waist, looking like a fairly average caliber. Slipstream cat, Boulder figured, from his coloration and that damn annoying tapping foot. Average caliber didn't matter much when he could shoot you six times with his gun before you could even draw your own.

He skipped over Perfection for now, moving on to her left. A more heavily muscled Predacon, with a vicious, wicked grin on his face. He seemed to notice Boulder's gaze, shifting his focus from the mech in black to the sheriff, and raising one hand. He flexed it, and eight inch long blades sprung out from the backs of each finger, razor sharp and glinting in the nearly noon-day sun. "Try me," he rumbled, but Perfection held up a hand, shaking her head. Razorcougar, Boulder thought, the species springing to his mind as he looked at the other's rust-brown fur organic bits. Fairly rare creatures, probably would have had to have had the animal brought in, had his DNA Beast Mode reformated. Lots of credits burned doing that, which mean that he'd really, really wanted those claws, and the power and speed the native beast had. Bad news.

The last of the femme's posse besides herself was a bird of some kind. Falcon, maybe? Either way, he had a heavy caliber rifle held casually in one hand, the barrel crossing over past him and nearly digging into the dirt. He had a cool look fixed on Boulder, and smiled slightly, inclining his head in acknowledgement towards the lawman when it was his turn to get evaluated.

"Leave it to my luck to have the damn sniper be a flier," Boulder muttered. Last but not least of course was Perfection herself. Medium height, lithe and curvy, Boulder had seen her ruin many a young mech's ambitions, most often with what she called 'The Answer'. That name had come about when a wagon robbery had made it into town, and some foolhardy thug had demanded what Perfection was going to do about the hostage he had. She'd answered by anchoring herself with a pair of nasty spikes that fired into the ground nearly a foot from her heels, and blasting him off his feet with her shoulder mounted cannon. That, in her own words, was 'her answer'. Sure enough, it was slung over her back right now, the magnetic, oval-shaped points on her arm ready to lock it in. More than any reason he wanted to avoid a fight was that gun right there. It'd put a hole in damn near anyone and anything, including most of the steel buildings in Fissionton.

"So all you want's him, then?" Boulder asked aloud, jerking his thumb back towards the mech in black. He could feel the other's narrowed glare at his back, and ignored it.

"Just him," Perfection confirmed, nodding. Silence fell again on the seven of them; the lawman, the posse, and the wanted. Boulder was looking like he was giving the matter considerable thought, tapping the outside of a leg, pondering, hemming, and hawing. The clawed Predcon growled.

"Enough stalling, Maximal. Move out of our way, or prepare to be moved," he snarled. Boulder's hand stopped taping, and Perfection frowned.

"Give him time, Rage. It's not an easy decision to make," she said, her Western drawl now almost completely gone. "One mysterious wanderer in black, or the wrath of five seasoned gunslingers," he finished, her voice turning wry at the end. "I mean, how much collateral damage could a fight in the middle of town possible cause?"

"If you can take him," Boulder said, moving out of the way surprisingly quickly for his size, "you can have him." The mech in black had already pushed his coat aside in anticipation, revealing a heavy caliber revolver on the front of his thigh. Unfortunately, two of the five posse members were faster; the sniper had his weapon up, ready to fire from the hip, and the young gun, the one with the slipstream alternate mode had both pistols drawn and up before Boulder had even finished sidestepping.

"Best drop it, boy," Perfection says, her smile winning, her accent returning. "Before you get dropped. Reward's dead 'r alive, after all, 'n I don't do the liftin'." A few tense moments passed, Boulder well aware of the weight of his own firearms before the wanted mech slowly reached down, and unclipped the belt that held the weapon in place, and let it fall to the ground. "Good boy. Now if'n you'll just waltz yerself over here real nice n'easy, we can-" As he was raising his hands, he crossed them over, and dropped to one knee. Boulder's optics widened slightly in mild surprise; he'd known the other wasn't going to go quietly, even though he'd hoped it. What he hadn't been expecting was the pair of machine pistols produced from beneath the sleeves of his longcoat!

"Gun!" The quickdraw of the posse, the one with the two revolvers was already diving out of the way, drawing his weapons and opening fire. Rage sprinted forward with a snarl, looking to close the distance, while the avian sniper took to the air. Perfection moved to duck behind a scaleback, and the last of the group, the lizard, was caught flat footed as the mech in black opened fire. He crossed his arms, holding the triggers down, but after only a second the sound of two weapons firing in tandem was down to one. Dustball liked complicated, automatic weapons as much as it liked most things high-tech, and one of the guns had jammed.

"Dead it is then!" Perfection yelled out, her rather pretty face twisted in fury and rage. "Kill him! All we need is one limb!" The lizard went down with a grunt of pain, his legs sparking from a half-dozen hits, but the rest of the group had either escaped injury by virtue of speed, armor, or luck.

"The little bastard's running!" Rage roared, and sure enough, the gunslinger had broken into a dead sprint for the nearest building. He leapt into the air, pulling both feet in tight to his chest and then kicking out when his jump brought him to the door. Being wood, it gave way before the weight of a Transformer in a full tilt sprint, and he tumbled into the two story shop's front room, rolling out of sight of the posse. Rage stopped short then, and quickly moved behind the rusting hulk of a hovercar, one that had been too much of a hastle to move. "No sign of him," he growled.

"Then we level the building!" Perfection yelled back, the Answer humming slightly as it clicked and locked onto her arm, ready to fire. Boulder looked from where the bounty hunters were regrouping to the darkened building that the bounty had holed up in. He had no love for criminals, especially when both sides in a fight were of that nature. But this was his town, and he wasn't going to let the posse level whatever they wanted to get their credits.

"I'd recommend you leave this place instead, Perfection," he rumbled, flexing his arms. This was going to get ugly.

"I'd recommend you go hide in your office until this is over, 'sheriff'," she retorted.

"Fine then. How much is he worth?" He returned. This didn't get answered right away. "Well? How much? Enough to add another share and a half?"

"And a half?" Perfection scoffed, but her posse was on hold. She must've given a signal or two out of sight, all five of them hunkered down between bits of dubious cover. "You think you're worth that?"

"The half is for my deputy. If we help you bring him in, we want our fair share," he said, folding his arms across his broad chest. He was speaking loudly enough for Snapdraw to hear. He just hoped the kid realized that was he was doing was the best thing for the town, and didn't get any misguided notions of justice of heroism in his neural net.

"We don't need the help!" Rage said loudly.

"Speak...for yourself!" The lizard groaned from behind a hunk of rock. "Slaggin' mark took out one of my knees! He's definitely not getting out of here alive!"

"Deal," Perfection said, and smiled slightly. "Glad to have you back, 'boss'." Boulder just frowned, walking towards her. Still no gunfire from the building. Maybe he'd just taken off and out the back, headed out into the Waste again?

"Money's going back to the town to pay for whatever you wreck. And you're not levelin' that building, are we clear?"

"Crystal," the femme answered back, and the smile on her face wasn't anywhere in her optics. Boulder looked back to the building. No, he decided, whoever that mech in black was, he hadn't run away. Maybe from a bad situation, but not from the fight. Things were going to get ugly before they got worse. He scowled, and motioned for Snapdraw to sidle closer to the building, staying hidden while he did it.

"Damn," he muttered again.


Last edited by Pyre on Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Metal Frontier: New Trails of Lonely
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:06 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:35 pm
Posts: 44
The moment you set foot on the field and face down your foe, you have died. You must earn back the right to go on. All of we breath only so briefly. A momentary life.

Inside a darkened room, a miraculous thing was happening. A weapon that had taken a remarkable amount of time and effort to manufacture, test, re-manufacture, and produce was being taken apart and put together in a matter of moments. It lay spread out on a table that had been dragged into the back corner, away from most fields of fire. The gunman's saddlebag lay open and on the table as well, revealing a variety of implements from modern to archaic, all of which had their place in repairing the jammed automatic pistol. It hadn't been cleaned in a while, and like any good companion, had finally decided to complain. Agile fingers were now bent to the task of putting each piece back into its place. A single bullet, deformed and useless, had been discarded and replaced. The tools went into the saddlebag, the bag into a smallcupboard behind the counter; if he lived, he could retrieve it. If not, it would hardly matter who inherited it, now would it? He lightly took hold of the slide and let it click into place, a new round loaded and ready.

Alone in the black, blending in almost perfectly, he was ready.

So he waited.

* * * * * * * * * *

"He ain't coming out, is he?" It was the cat's turn, the one in Perfection's posse. He spun one of his handguns on a finger, holstered it, and then repeated the motion. When that was finished he mirrored it with his other hand, alternating between the two, as restless as when Boulder had first laid optics on him. Not a good sign.

"Doesn't look that way," Rage growled. While he didn't have the nervous twitches the others seemed to have, that just made Boulder all the more concerned. Having to deal with some go-getter, got something to prove type was one thing. Dealing with a stone cold killer that liked his work? That was a different kind of trouble all together. "If you're so eager, Mach, go in and get him. I promise we'll spend your share on a nice tombstone for you."

"Hah. He's fast, but I'm faster. He didn't even touch me with those guns of his, and I-"

"Put a sock in it before I bury you myself, you little punk." This was the lizard chiming in. Boulder hadn't heard a name bandied about for him yet, and that was fine. Slowpoke would do as well as any, for the moment, given how he'd gone and got himself shot up. There was no answering banter from the cat or from Rage, and the sheriff filed that tidbit away for later. It had been almost ten minutes now since the mark had kicked his way out of sight and into the general goods store, and he'd been smart enough not to show his head or any other part of him in the door or the window; Perfection's sniper had set himself up, not directly across the way, but one building to the left instead. It made a shot harder, but it also meant he'd be trickier to find. Boulder got the sense that none of the posse were at this little showdown to put away a wanted criminal for the good of Dustball, so he'd bet even credits that none of them were eager to be hero, either. Except, to his chagrin and irritation, his own deputy, Snapdraw. Hearing all the back and forth between Mach and Rage, not to mention having seen the bounty draw down, empty half a clip and sprint out of sight before he'd even managed to draw himself? Bad for the ego.

"All three of y'all need tah shut yerselves up, ya ken?" Perfection drawled, managing to hiss the words out angrily all the same. "Affor I pick one a'you tah go in thar." She had joined Rage behind his cover, after having rushed the scalebacks out of the direct line of fire, while keeping them close enough for a getaway, if need be; losing one of them would cut into the profit margin, after all. All four of them, right... Boulder paused, frowned. He could've sworn there were- A loud crash interrupted his train of thought, and he turned towards the general store, cursing loudly as the sound of automatic gunfire rang out. The whole building shuddered violently, and Boulder's optics hazed over in anger.

"Perfection!" He roared, and there was enough threat of bodily harm in that shout that 'Slowpoke', closest to him, raised a mean looking rifle in his direction. "Who in the Pit did you send in there?!"

"Thought it'd be obvious," she said with a smirk, "hard tah get tha jump on someone if'n you go tellin' everybody yer plan, hmm?" A moment later and the front of the building erupted outwards in wooden slats and metal supports as the sixth member of Perfection's posse, with the beast mode of a scaleback of course, stampeded out into the main street. The building shuddered again as the beast warrior turned about and transformed, looking as tough and ornery in robot mode as he seemed in his alternate mode.

"Hah! Two seconds and that place's going down boss!" He said, in obvious delight. "See how well he hides under a few tons of that!" In one hand, he had of all things a heavy duty looking crossbow, his left hand empty for the moment, at least until he leaned down and picked up the gunbelt the bounty had dropped. He whistled at the sight of the handcannon in its holster; the gun itself would bring some fine coins. The building creaked ominously a last time and began to collapse, and the scaleback grinned. "Time for a payda-"

"He's on the building over!" Snapdraw shouted excitedly, and sure enough, a black shape darted across the building right to the left of the damaged one. Somehow he'd made it up to the second floor and out one of the side windows. Luck was with him that the general store's neighbor was only one story high.

"No," the sniper said, so matter-of-factly it made Boulder uncomfortable, "he's not." A loud rifle shot rang out and the black shape seemed to be pulled off the roof by an unseen figure, falling into the alleyway behind the line of shops. "Done."

//No, he's up, I can see him!// Boulder shifted slightly as Snapdraw's report shifted to a com channel. //I've got him!//

//Damn it son, you hold fast right where you are!// He radioed back, and got to his feet, lumbering forward.

"What?" Rage growled, watching the other get up and go. "What is it? I'm talking to you!" The big cat leapt over his own cover, leaving a scowling Perfection all alone, the two 'bots joined by the scaleback as well, all of them converging on the last place Snapdraw had reported spotting the bounty.

"Buncha idjits," she said, and moved to stand up, only to crouch again a moment later, grinning wickedly to herself. "More shares fer me, 'an less work." As far as she was concerned, that was win-win.

* * * * * * * * * *

Snapdraw crept carefully down the alleyway, gun drawn. He'd seen the bounty go down, but the alleyways in Fissionton were almost more like small garbage dumps; discarded bits of vehicles, old furniture that could have been metal, wood, or other, even in one case an old broken down Transformer shell. Plenty of space to hide behind. His fuel pump hammered in his chest as he checked each spot out, being sure not to open himself up to any obvious lines of attack. No broken windows, or open ones for that matter, and he came across a rather heavy impression in the dirt, but he saw something that made him pause. Small, black, it fluttered slightly where it lay half hidden underneath an old energon burning engine. He reached down for it, crouching, only to hear a soft 'click' and feel something against his temple. He let out a low groan, his optics flicking to the left. Sure enough, there was the mark, red optics narrowed as he gestured with his other hand to Snapdraw's pistol, and then to the ground. Obediently, the deputy tossed his weapon aside.

"Alright, you got me." He slumped forward, both arms hanging limply, looking totally defeated. His left hand pawed idly at the dirt, as a small compartment in his right calf slid open, his other hand drifting towards it. "Now what, are you going to shoot me?" Even as he finished off the sentence he drew a small hold out pistol, and the compartment closed as silently as it had opened. "If you think your bounty is bad now, you-" He began to bring his hand up, his arm blurring as he fired twice. The black gunman drifted to the side, two neat holes appearing in his coat, ending up on one knee himself. Snapdraw had only had the two shots, so he closed his optics and braced himself for the feel of an automatic pistol opening up into his back...and instead let out a low groan as a hunk of metal struck his head once, twice, three times and he collapsed. To any organic being it would have been a savage beating, but it took a lot to knock out a Transformer...but Rage, watching from just around a corner between two buildings, thought him a coward for not finishing the job. He waited until the gunman discarded the blackened wreckage and put his right hand to his side; the rounds had creased his armor, digging furrows in it, but not deep enough. This time.

Before he could think of what to do next, Rage leapt forward and took hold of him, lifting him upwards, his optics going wide as the bounty hunter gripped him around the throat and one thigh.

"Now you're mine!" He roared, and moved to hurl him back out into the street towards the rest of the posse. Instead the little punk twisted and shifted, bringing one of his hands down and in towards Rage. The staccato sound of metal on metal rang out as a short burst of gunfire went off, and Rage howled, dropping the smaller 'bot like he'd been burned. Mech fluid dripped from one of his hands, and he lashed out savagely with a kick, propelling the other gunfighter into the space between two structures.

Then, as if things weren't bad enough, the general store finally met its end, collapsing under its own weight, both floors sinking down into one another...and then erupting into blue fire as the stored fuel and energon exploded, sending a plume of flame and debris skyward. The remaining beams and pieces still standing tilted haphazardly to the left, before cracking apart and colliding with its neighbor, the conflagration quickly spreading. Boulder fought down panic with training and sheer determination. This was getting out of hand. These thugs were going to tear apart the town trying to get their bounty, assuming Rage didn't tear him limb from limb to begin with. As bad as he felt for the gunslinger, he wished the damned fool would just surrender.

"This deal's getting worse all the time," he muttered, and, upon spotting the downed Snapdraw, went over to check on him, relieved at the apparent lack of obvious wounds as Rage lunged after the mech in black.


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 Post subject: Re: Metal Frontier: New Trails of Lonely
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:46 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:35 pm
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The mech in black rolled awkwardly out from between the buildings, collecting more dust yet as Rage's kick sent him flying. He managed to end up on one knee and one hand, more than could be expected of most, but that was just in time to find himself looking up at the barrel of his own gun. Roughhouse, Perfection's ace in the hole, was aiming the hand-cannon of a revolver he'd picked up from the dropped holster.

"Nice piece," he commented with a genuine grin of satisfaction. His large hands barely fit in the trigger guard, despite the length of the barrel, and they were more than a little large for the grip. None of that mattered with the muzzle of it pointed right between the bounty's optics. "You're a fast little one, huh?" Rage emerged from the alleyway, cradling his wounded hand, swearing vehemently. "He's fast, ain't he rage?" He said, loudly, and looked over his shoulder at the injured Predacon. True to form, the other 'bot only snarled back wordlessly. "Hah! Though s- ouch!" The mech in black had reached up, gripped the barrel and turned the weapon up and to the left, trapping Roughhouse finger in the guard, twisting it. He released the gun on reflex, and now the earlier situation was reversed. Strangely though, Roughhouse just grinned.

"You idiot!" Rage exploded. "You gave him back his gun! Why didn't you just toss it to him, and be chivalrous about it?!" The big scaleback just chuckled in answer, especially when the trigger on the revolver was pulled, resulting in a singularly loud 'click'. A small red dot appeared on the back of the young gunslinger's back, and rose up to the base of his neck; the avian sniper sighting in. Roughhouse rolled his shoulders, and then cracked the knuckles on his large hands, before dropping five heavy caliber bullets into the sand.

"Gun's not much good when it's empty, y'know," he said. "I wanna have a little fun before we collect him. Been a while since I got free reign from the boss to mess someone up."

"Just leave some for me," Rage growled, flexing his injured hand experimentally. Two of the claws on the back of his fingers had been blasted off by the burst of gunfire. "And watch out for his other gun."

"Wait, what?" Roughhouse's brow furrowed, just in time to watch the bounty's working machine pistol jump out from beneath a coat sleeve, spraying what was left in the clip right at him. The bullets struck the heavy armor on his front, and baring a few lucky shots that found their way into the plated seams, they ricocheted off, Rage cursing again as he felt a few narrowly miss him. Remarkably, the gunslinger himself was untouched, and Roughhouse moved forward with surprising quickness for his size, gripping the mech around his wrist and squeezing. While he made no sound, the other's red optics closed in a clear sign of pain, and the pistol dropped to the dusty ground. "That almost hurt. Kinda." He took a firm hold with both hands, and swung him through the air and across the street at a building opposite, sending him through a large, but opaque glass window.

Boulder, having followed Rage out of the alley after tending to Snapdraw, saw the name on the building and groaned, especially as Roughhouse transformed, pawed at the ground, and then began to charge.

He was headed straight for Lady Gray's.

"Stop you idiot!" Perfection yelled out; originally a townie herself, she was perfectly aware of the situation Roughhouse was getting himself into. Either he didn't hear, or didn't care, but he stampeded right through the front of the small two-story building, sending wood and glass and a few bits of metal flying.

"I see you somehow found a way to scrap all the way through the bottom of the barrel and into the topsoil," Boulder said, stopping short as Perfection emerged from the cover she'd kept herself behind.

"I could off you before you blink," Rage growled out ominously. Somehow he'd managed to work himself behind the sheriff, and the other hadn't heard him moving.

"Wouldn't be the first to try," Boulder said, turning around, answering back before he could stop himself. "Won't be the last." Rage took a step forward only for Perfection to block his path with the Answer, the cannon on a low charge, humming softly.

"We wait until Roughhouse comes out...or gets knocked out," she said, her face uncharacteristically grim.

"What do you mean knocked out?" Rage asked, only to get his answer as Roughhouse, once again in his robot mode, sailed out through the front of Lady Gray's, landing on his back and sliding a half-dozen meters before sitting up slowly, looking both dazed and confused...and looking down at the smallish, but clawed hand print in his armor. All optics went to the wreck that was once the front of Lady Gray's business.

Standing there was a woman, an organic, glaring out with great disapproval. Of medium height and a slight build, with pale gray skin, no doubt responsible for her name, she nonetheless wrung her left hand slightly, flexing her fingers. She'd clearly been the one responsible for Roughhouse's tossing, despite the fact that she was not even six feet in height! A red, not terribly rich dress and a pair of simple red shoes along with a rather sizeable sun-hat clothed her, and she took care not to step outside of the darkness of the building.

Roughhouse clambered to his feet and glared right back, seemingly no longer off-put that this small and rather frail looking fleshy had just sent him flying.

"I believe we had an agreement, Sherrif Boulder," she said, her voice curt as pale gray hands brushed down the front of her frilled red dress, smoothing the fabric and pushing out some dust. "Something to the effect of, 'Don't start nothing, won't be nothing'. To paraphrase." Her cool gaze passed over to Perfection and she frowned. "Ah. This explains it."

"Nice tah see you too, Lady Gray," Perfection drawled back, her accent firmly back in place.

"I'm gonna tear your arm off and beat you with it," Roughhouse rumbled, and lowered himself to charge. Gray smiled faintly.

"I very much doubt that. Also." She moved back into the battered two-storey, and dragged the bounty out by his coat, tossing him unceremoniously into the middle of the street. She looked from Transformer to Transformer, and then at the blaze formed by three houses, on the opposite side of fh. "If that will be all, then? I expect compensation for the damage." Brushing off her dress once more, the shoulders this time, she went back into her storefront.

"...huh." Roughhouse scratched his head. "Did we...did we win?"

Perfection just sighed.


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