- Gracie Law, Brash Journalist/Undercover Agent, played by Darcy
- Lo Pan, Chinese Kung Fu Master, played by Craig
- Plays With Fire, Indian Scout, played by Andy
- Professor Cornelius Vandersmythe, Mad Scientist, played by Marc
- Shady Doug Liveaux, Huckster, played by Jeremy
Sometimes there are those tales that I reckon’ll just make yer skin crawl. Well I tell ya, good reader, that this here is most likely gonna be one o’ those stories. Once upon a time, in the disputed territory of Kansas, just outside of an out o’ the way town by the name of Dodge City, five dark and grim riders swept across the plains toward a steamin’ locomotive. These riders, no good vagabonds and hired guns, had a single despicable purpose: a train robbery…
… but this ain't just any kinda train robbery. This here pilferin’ expedition could have ramifications that would sweep across this entire Weird West of ours.
Let me back up a minute… give you, dear reader, a bit more information about these downtrodden, murderous, thievin’ bastards ridin’ those horses and wieldin' doom and destruction.
A few days before this here train left Dodge City station, bound for that no good hell hole we like to call Denver, a shady Chinese man strolled into town lookin’ for the kinda folks willin’ to cause a ruckus. Goin’ by the name of Lo Pan, this master of kung fu, moo shu, wil poo fightin' (hell whatever they call it out in Shan Fan these days), well he was interested in takin’ down that Denver-bound steam-engine. Somethin’ dark and sinister was attached to the rump of that train, a coal-grey “Caboose-from-Hell”. And inside that caboose ridin’ across the West was the nefarious Professor Pain, well known in Kansas City as a deplorable scientist of ill-repute who had no inklin’ o’ trouble disectin’ all kinds of creatures, great and small…
...or of the human-like-persuasion for that matter.
Well Professor Pain had somethin’ of an … uh… “eh-pi-phoney”… yeah. He had one of them recently, and the product of that “phoney” thing was greatly desired by a certain Chinese Warlord by the name of Kang. This Kang was hell bent on overlordship of all that steamin’ pile o' Ghost Rock in the Maze, and he wanted to create some kind of super-army. If he could get a hold of Professor Pain’s journal, maybe… just maybe… he could create such a fightin’ force. Of course, that’s where Lo Pan came in.
Lo Pan needed some dirty-damn-deed-do’ers to take down Professor Pain, so he only enlisted the damn-dirtiest. Plays With Fire was an Indian with a terrible disposition and a hankerin’ to shoot bastards in the leg for no good reason. Despite his native adherences to some o’ the “Old Ways”, this Plays With Fire had a bit o’ fascination with all matters of devices technological. “Shady’ Doug Liveaux was a card shark, gambler, and Huckster of some renown in the worst parts of the Confederacy… namely that sunkin’ pit o’ swamp gas “New Orleans.” Lo Pan was also lucky indeed to make contact with one of Professor Pain’s former colleagues, the twistedly terrible Professor Cornelius Vandersmythe. Professor Cornelius was eager to take down his former partner in Mad Science, and brought just the right tool for the job: an “electro-static-dischargin’-whoosey-whatsit-inator.”
He probably called it somethin’ else, but this is my damn story!
Finally, there was this annoyin’ little journalist that wanted to tag along, and for some reason Lo Pan agreed. He said the story would help spread the tale o’ Kang’s power into the Disputed Territories. I originally thought she was just there to make trouble, but changed my mind later after hearin’ the story. You’ll see. Oh yeah, her name was Gracie Law. Ha… what a name!
So across the high plains those five filchers charged, eyes on that prized caboose-o-doom. The damned thing was by far the creepiest coach I ever did see. Like I said, coal-grey without a single window in sight. No obvious way into the ominous structure either, although it seemed like anyone foolish enough could probably slip in from the car it was attached to. And there were four hellish chimneys stickin' out o' the caboose's roof… each bellowed the white, spirit-laden howlin' smoke that could only mean that ghost rock was bein' burnt. Rather than try to tackle that creepiest o' cabooses, Professor Cornelius rode alongside the ponderin' locomotive and whipped out his lightning-i-fied whoosey-whatsit. One blast from that bastard of a contraption across the locomotive's path scared the bejesus out o' those engineers, and also managed to blow the shit out of a poor jackalope which just happened to be mindin' it's own infernal business on the side o' those rails.
Hot damn, if those two engineers didn't stop that train right then and there!
Once the train came to a full and complete stop… which took all of about two minutes… Plays with Fire kicked his horse and galloped right up alongside the second coach o' the train. Wait, let me clarify this a bit. Behind the locomotive were six cars, all gettin' pulled to that low-down scum suckin' town o' Denver. From front to back you had the followin' order:
Coach Car, Another Damned Coach Car, First Class (Rich Bastards), Dining Car (Chow), Luggage, and finally that scary-as-all-hell Caboose-o'-Doom.
Back to the story.
So like I was sayin', Plays with Fire was just about to jump on that second coach car when out of the compartment strolled this well armed guard sportin' a law-man's badge. Shouldn't've been a surprise for the Indian scout, since he waited a damned two minutes to start the heist. Well that there guard started a'shootin' his pistol! Lucky for Plays With Fire he had some backup. That journalist-woman, Gracie Law, she wasn't about to take any tootin' from no law dog (at least not one from the damned Disputed Territories!) That little lady rode up next to her partner-in-crime-and-such and whipped out her pinky-sized derringer. Well one blast from that noisy-cricket of a gun walloped the poor guard somethin' fierce! Down he went, smokin' hole right through his chest!
But then the rest o' the guards from inside the train started a'shootin': two from the front coach, and one remainin' in the second. Gracie was hit and had to withdraw on horseback, while Plays With Fire jumped on that train and continued the heist. Kickin' their respective thoroughbreds, Lo Pan and Professor Cornelius joined the fray. Lo Pan jumped on the dining car, while Professor Cornelius hitched onto the back o' the locomotive. The Professor commanded those two engineers to get off "his" train, and gave the official "this is a train robbery" kinda speech.
Cuz it ain't a train robbery, unless its announced. We may be lawless in the Weird West, but it ain't like we got no rules!
He shared his message o' potential death and destruction with the rest o' the passengers in the first coach car. Well they were already pretty damned freaked out at that there time, since the gloomy scum-laden Huckster from Hell, Shady Doug Liveaux, commanded the forces of darkness themselves, in the forms of green ethereal tentacles, to suck the very life out o' those poor bastards guardin' the first coach car. One died right on the spot, while the other followed suit not long after. Meanwhile, one car back, Plays With Fire had just nailed a guard in the leg with an arrow while three more entered from first class. Not wantin' to spend any time in front of a hangin' judge, Plays With Fire grabbed the first passenger he could find, and held him hostage. It was a standoff!
Now we can't forget about our friends Lo Pan and Gracie Law! It wasn't like they were just standin' around doin' nothin' while all this here high-plains-griftin' was goin' down. Lo Pan managed to enter the dinin' car only to be surprised by a truly horrifyin' sight! A deputized desperado, possessin' a mighty girth and an equally mighty spaghetti stain adornin' his monstrous buttoned-down shirt, was standin' in the middle o' the aisle sportin' a mean lookin' sawn-off shotgun. Gracie Law was a-peekin' through a window and instantly recognized this here law-man as Deputy Jasper Barrett, the deadliest man alive (in Dodge City) with a shotgun. Lo Pan flung a knife at the deputy and then drew his sword and charged. There was a clash o' steel and hard wood, and though the deputy missed with his first blast from his gun, he most likely wouldn't miss with a second.
Well Shady Doug Liveaux wasn't about to let his Chinese boss fall to no scattergun-weildin' pig! The huckster raced on horseback towards the dining car, and with a terrific leap vaulted off of his mount… right onto the ground. Turns out Shady missed his mark by at least fifteen feet, but when he stood up, there was a fire burnin' in his eyes. A wicked fire! The huckster pulled his deck-o-cards and started drawin' with the spirits. Soon, a massive tentacle, formed of green hell-fire and as ethereal as a foggy moonlight, arose from behind the deputy, and started a-twirlin'! The misty tentacle bashed the back o' that law dog's head repeatedly, tippin' the odds in Lo Pan's favor.
Plays With Fire's hostage plan wasn't turnin' out so well. The three guards facin' off with the Indian were considerin' shootin' right through the hostage in order to settle accounts with the thievin' bastard. That was about the time that Professor Cornelius showed up! The mad scientist pulled his lightnin'-spewin' cannon and leveled it on those three poor sons-a-bitches. When he pulled that trigger, two of the guards erupted into ash, coatin' that third poor bastard with a light sprinklin' o' powder that just moments before were his dear friends. Well that poor man started a-screamin'…
...and kept on screamin' until his death in 1920.
The rest of coach and first class got off that damned train, while Plays With Fire and Professor Cornelius strolled on back to the dining car only to lock eyes with Deputy Barrett as he struggled with that moo shu fightin' Lo Pan. Now five on one, the deputy resigned himself to death. But it was a death that would not come, for the party o' thievin' and mischievous bastards weren't done with that fat law dog. They demanded he unlock the storage compartment, which in turn would lead the entire team to the caboose from hell. The deputy, at this point handcuffed by Gracie Law, reluctantly agreed with the terms. He was untrussed and taken to the rear door of the dining car, which he unlocked.
The dark chamber was full of luggage, all sorts and worth all kinds o' money! Gracie Law quickly started searchin' the containers, while the rest of the posse took a look at the glowin' red door that would lead to the caboose-o-doom. There was a hum comin' from that there direction, and the hum was ominous, bleak, and terrifyin'. No matter, it didn't seem to faze Ms. Law, who continued to open containers with a jolly grin on her cheeks, until she came across one that stopped her cold. Dead cold. In one container, a simple box, all she found was a note. And when she opened the note it read as such:
"I'm coming for YOU, Gracie Law. I'm coming for YOU!"
The meanin' o' this message was not clear, although Gracie would point out after further interviewin' that there was some kind of infernal creature huntin' her down at the time. Another tale to tell, perhaps. Well Ms. Law was pretty shaken by this note, so she bolted out of the train through the dining car only to see another crazy sight. The caboose… or lack of caboose… was especially disconcerting. Instead, next to the train tracks was a large hole, with ghost rock steam screamin' up towards the sky. Gatherin' her fellow ne'er -do-wells, Ms. Law approached the big hole.
About thirty or forty feet down the caboose was a-diggin' in a mad frenzy! The new tunnel was at a relatively reasonable slope, and so the team approached the steamin' device, albeit with great caution. There was a single door on the back of the caboose, but when touched, the party realized that this caboose weren't no ordinary caboose made o' wood n' iron. Instead the coal-grey coatin' felt like skin, and the hinges bone. Nonetheless, Shady Doug Liveaux was a true southern gentleman, and knocked on the skin coated car.
"Go away!" screamed a voice from inside.
Havin' grabbed Deputy Jasper's shotgun, Plays with Fire decided to knock in a different manner. This of course left a big-ass hole in the back o' that fleshy caboose. The evil professor had no choice but to let the posse in. Plays With Fire, Professor Cornelius, and Lo Pan all followed Shady in enterin' the car, and were greeted with great kindness by the sinister lookin' mad scientist. Gracie Law of course wasn't about to step inside the weird and unnerving creation, so she just waited outside and took account o' the situation with her pen and journal. Asked about the device, Professor Pain insisted that it was not a machine at all. The "beast" of a caboose was also not just any sort o' devilish creature, but Professor Pain's own son! He pointed out that the jars o' pink flesh adornin' the chamber were "gobs" o' cellular material that could create more of the madman's children.
I don't know about you, but personally I found this part o' the story absolutely disgustin'.
Professor Pain continued his own form of hospitality by offerin' the posse "coffee." The brackish liquid was dispensed from a sort of metallic "nipple" that protruded from the side o' the caboose's interior. Only Shady chose to drink of the bile-tastin' filth, but when he retched it was clear that this was all a clever distraction! Professor Pain had poured that caboose-milk-coffee knowin' full well that a member o' the posse would drink, and then become violently ill! While the rest of the team watched as Shady hurled chunks the size o' Memphis on that caboose's skin-carpeted floor, Professor Pain darted outside and demanded that his "son" consume his enemies!
That was about the time that the caboose started to flood the compartment with some kind of stomach acid.
From inside the caboose the team desperately tried to get themselves free. There was a poppin' sound outside, almost like rapid gunfire, but it meant very little to the entombed quartet, about to become lunch for a ravenous caboose-o-doom. At least Professor Cornelius still had his rifle of 'lectric blastery, which he pointed at the ceiling, or roof, or top… hell what in God's name do you call the top o' a livin' caboose anyway?!?
Let's just say that Professor Cornelius pointed his device upwards and let loose! Yee-haw, the top o' that monster exploded, and dirt, guts, bone, and all manners o' leavin's rained down atop those poor bastards locked inside. When they finally made their way free, they found themselves a rightly strange scene. Gracie Law, sportin' a fine gatling pistol, was lyin' on the ground not far from Professor Pain, who was also sprawled out in the dirt. Professor Pain was pumped full o' lead, adorned with at least nine gunshot wounds... maybe more. Gracie herself was stabbed by some sort of bone-graft that grew from Professor Pain's wrist. Ms. Law said it was poisoned, and that she had to defender herself, but assured the party that they were more than welcome to do whatever they wanted with Professor Pain's broken, but still a'breathin', body. But Lo Pan wanted the professor's journal, was just about to pull it from the man's satchel...
And THAT's about the time that AGENT Law pulled her badge. "Freeze outlaws!" Agent Law screamed, pointin' her machine pistol in their faces. With a smirk she again told her former posse that they could do whatever they wanted with the professor….
… but SHE was leavin' with the journal, and all the bloody contents therein!
Notable Quotations and Comedic Statements
- Plays with Fire (Andy): "So who wants to tie themselves to the tracks and play damsel in distress?"
- Gracie (Darcy): "NOT IT!"
"Don't give me a lightning gun." - Marc's explanation at what happened to the whole infiltration part of the game
"Ladies and gentlemen this is a train robbery! You have two options: you can get off this train and run for your life, or you can die!" - Prof. Cornelius was a master of words.
"Girl's gotta protect herself…" - Gracie knew her way around a gun.
"If you happen to have a journal, and are willing' to trade it with us, it'll save us a whole mess o time." - Shady tried to make a few shady dealings.
"I must assume sir that you have copulated with a locomotive. On one had I do not approve, on the other hand I find the results absolutely fascinating!" - Prof. Cornelius wondered at how Professor Pain came to have created such a wonderful spawn.
"Freeze outlaws!" - Gracie Law