Bill O. farmer Bill O. farmer
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This para and the one before are real openners! I expect trouble before i can go anyfurther. Great!

Deborah Boydston Deborah Boydston
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you have mis-spelled Walrus in this paragraph. :)

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Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
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The Robot Gunslingers of San Lucia Lane

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She had a friend.

      The Robot in the long chain-mail jacket standing bow-legged in the Blue end of San Lucia Lane – the one with the ragged cowboy hat and the snake-skin boots, people simply called “The Walrus.” Nobody knows why. Nobody ever got it out of him either. No. Nobody knew anything concrete. A strange individual he spoke very little but seemed to listen to everything around him as often as he could. People thought it queer that one day he simply arrived, suddenly appearing from a desert sandstorm, walking into town, a shady gunslinger hoping to make a name for himself maybe.

     Within minutes he had proved himself. Downed himself some Bogeys down at The Rotting Horse Saloon over in East Harbour Town. What do you expect from a shipping port as big and foul as East Harbour? Scumbags over there: a million ways to get yourself in a fix if you stare too hard or walk too heavy or care too little for spouting your mouth off. A dangerous place East Harbour Town. A haven for gunslingers lookin to make a name for themselves. And that’s precisely what The Walrus did. 1 comment

     I guess he went in for a game of Stud and ordered the wrong dame a drink. And like that, he found his attention not wanted. But...what I heard by people who were there, was that this stranger simply drank his fill, several times before being surrounded by Tucker Three-Oh-Seven’s Goons. Bullies. Trying to gang up on him. I never saw it myself, but I’d seen the footage. Raw! I’ve never seen anything like it! Cut a dozen of The Cleavers Crew down just like that! They didn’t expect it. Nobody expected anything like that, to see parts and steel flying in all directions, smoke filling the room, the sound of rapid fire, chambers spinning like a gat. From that day forth, the moment Beaner told me the story, I’ve been following him. The Walrus.

     Seventy-six and oh. A great track record. Enough to put him in direct sights of the Legends: Mad Max Thunderdrone, Sandy Sandoval, Bricks Hoss, Bruiser Tomlin, Jago Vender, Samurai Joe and Pollux the Great! And with the greatest Showdown to date underway, The Walrus has come yet again to prove his valour. His Pistola “King Looi” was a sucker punch to many a Legend’s ego, a savage brute of a machine in its own right, King Looi used one-off electromag-rail system, created by yours truly. King Looi was somewhere between a sleek narrow rail-gun and a cannon, punching out a volley of armour shredding rounds in one steel exploding wallop, leaving a long line of great Gunslinger’s in its wake. Bits and parts mostly. 1 comment

     That was over a year ago, and since then The Walrus had made plenty of enemies, and unwittingly too, he had amassed a faithful following and a large credit chip. It was that natural divide of Gangsters, Politicians, Bookies, Middle Folk, all the way down to the lowly street thugs, those rampant Robots looking to get rich and high, and those too he had robbed of their winnings with naught but smoking barrels and a poised stance that seemed to be perched on the edge of doom and life! Robot parts, charred and smoking, scattered about.

     From that first day, all his silence, all his mystery, his dark allure – what he wouldn’t say, brought him here, today, under a Tuscan Sun in the Shadow of the Valley of the Pistol:  where the law was dictated every second by a fallen Gunslinger or a deck of Stud and sometimes – when the rare occasion called for it...both. Daring and devilish! With every one of his lens zooming in, the crosshairs of all five eyes calculating weak spots by Infrared, wind, distance, nervous tension, battery pulse – anything that might give him that edge, I can only imagine that behind that crisp calm facade...his own battery pack is gathering quite the static charge. I’m sure he’s nervous. I’ll never know. And it wouldn’t surprise me if right now he is entering a world of supreme awareness, where every instinct is staring down his enemy, methodical, extremely fast and accurate.

     In the Red end of the street...his spot since...well, a very long time now – the one and only, The Legend of the Plains...the giant Red Benny. if there was ever a story to hear and one that I don’t mind telling, it’s the rise of Red Benny. There’s a story about Red Benny. They say he was made from a scrap pile of junk Parts on a distant planet somewhere beyond the Maroon Belt. They say he killed his whole tribe, painted his face with their black blood and made his hide skin get-up with their skin. A Giant, Red Benny is extremely speedy, and agile despite his ten feet tall frame. He’s dangerous as they come. Fast and driven as old Hell and the fires that rage run through his circuits.

     Red Benny’s baby, “Magic” – the beast he held in one hand is as wild and dangerous as it looks. A frightening red-hot sizzling Bow made from the parts of his enemies, the rail system was designed solely for one purpose: to annihilate. To completely obliterate his enemies. The electromag-shock blast that it produced rendered the enemy immobile for a mere moment, frying their systems just enough to cause a moment of an edge, allowing Magic to cut her enemies to pieces, leave them a mass of charred metal and end sparks.
     And so one’s been able to come close to besting the Giant. And with his back to the Setting Suns, Tomahawk in one hand, his Bow Magic in the other, Red Benny looks as mean and gangly as ever, scarred steel plates, squeaking parts and a scowl made of hatred and rage. As usual he’s wearing two thick chain braids to the side of his head and a necklace with the eyes and lenses of his enemies. His armour plates are made of the faces of many Robot Gunslingers. He knows only one thing, and that’s The Way of the Gun. Known it all his life I reckon.

     Both sides of the street, on every block, in every system on every continent...there are people holding tight to their drinks, puffing slowly on Colts and swilling Hard brew; every building, every skyscraper, every window, camera and monitor, every saloon and on every ship this fight is on right now. Across the entire planet! And ask me how I got my skinny britches rich and famous, go ahead. I’ll tell ya. It was a simple matter of right place, right time, under the right circumstances. Coming from the same shipyard as my long time pal Verikos Zaldt Seven-Seven-Nine and his Crown Town Posse – I was the one who pointed out to him The Walrus. And ever since, I’ve been Promoting these games across three hundred systems and making a lot of people wealthy.

     My name is Foster Henry, just a regular guy. A betting man. It helps too that I just happen to be close friends with Mobster “VW Vega,” and “Slam Jones” the biggest Bookie on the Planet. I won’t get into all that but to say that I’m good with reading people. Robots. Anybody. And today, I have my money on the two-to-one Underdog, The Walrus. I stand to lose a lot of money today, but I just have this feeling... You know...that one you get when all your feeling go one-sided no matter the odds. Although I enjoy watching Red Benny do exactly what it is he does...I have a strong belief in this Walrus character. As I’ve mentioned before...I saw him come out of that sandstorm. It was the first one in six-thousand years. I figure it had to mean something. And the way he done his business on that first day; so devastating. So fiery!

     Yes, I’m running solely on faith. A strange thing for a Robot to be running on, but it’s true. Okay, time to hush lil-dogie, it’s about to start. My drink is full, and my mind is racing and my static charge comes in little bursts that tickle me and annoy me at the same time. A vast silence sweeps over the planet as both suns sink into the ground, setting the stage for a final Gun Battle. And just then it begins with the announcer’s voice echoing through. “Ladies and gentlemen, Robots of all shapes and it an honour to have you here on this special day on Lucia Lane...” I have been waiting for this moment all my life.

     The announcer’s voice tells us all that we need to know. “In the Blue end of Lucia Lane, we have a young Contender with an impeccable record of seventy-six-and-oh! A silent killer, a beautiful beast with a heart of pure Iron! A feared and respected Gunslinger whose name is revered in over three-hundred systems...Ladies and Gentleman, Robots of all shapes and sizes, I present to you, the strikingly energetic challenger, The Wlarus!” And half of the planet screamed in unison, his name echoing over continents, filling every shipyard, every trans-route and every available ship. And The Walrus made no move to wave, bow or acknowledge his fans. He simply stared forward, his jacket flowing in the breeze, his hand just above King Looi’s grip. 1 comment

     “And...on the Red end of San Lucia Lane...the Legend, the one and only, the Berserker of Blood, the Horror of Horrors, The Guns of the Navarone...Red Benny!” And like that, the other half of the world applauded, screamed, whistles, blew their horns, slammed their drinks down and shot their weapons high in the sky. And like a wave of terrific cannons, fireworks lit up the early evening, and oil-rain began to fall as smoke filled the skies in a thick wonderful haze, coming from every part of the globe. And like the demon he was, Red Benny flexed all his parts, raised his hands as if to absorb some strange power right from the air itself. And what a beast! What a fantastically powerfully frightening beast. Like a cat staring down a mouse.

      The Walrus’ stance was as it was on every other day: so very still and poised, like a rattlesnake, and as snaky as the boots he wore, his eyes...locked onto the Red Giant who stood a hundred paces directly in front of him, staring down his sight. Red Benny must have looked like a genuine freak of Blasted Robot Parts to the skinny kid. And despite his own intimidating gaze, a wall of zoom lens sizing up his enemy, Red Benny lowered himself into position. And with Magic slung around his back one might get a little comfortable, thinking him slow and haggard because of his size. But the whole planet knew...everybody knew that Red Benny was not one to trifle with. No. You leave that one alone. You see him coming, you cross the street.

     And like a fierce ocean rising and calming, the air too, seemed to tighten as both adversaries sized one another up, on the verge of a madness similar to rage, coupled with supreme focus, and in only a few seconds it would all go down. I can hear my own internals clicking away, processing, processing, processing, my fingers crossed, my hopes set on a young mysterious Roibot Gunslinger with an even more Mysterious name. The Walrus. Who in their right mind would name a Robot Gunslinger The Walrus? Some mad Robot designer, that’s who! Ah...the tension is enough to sink a ship! Enough to cut through steel! 1 comment

     Surrounded by silence now, with time entering a slow plane, the Gunslingers squared off, valiantly, bravely, focused and prepared, ready to be Nullified, erased, deleted. After what seemed a long moment of silence it was The Walrus who moved first, moved with a movement that was done with stunning speed, King Looi letting off his rounds like a destroyer of Robot Gunslingers, letting off with the unbelievable speed and power, lighting up the street with its own fireworks, blasting forth sharp and deadly. It was a bold move against an experienced Champion.

      Time slowed down to a screeching halt for Red Benny in the moment The Walrus made his move. And with an unbelievable reflex kicking in, in a moment that was hard to tabulate, faster than the blink of an eye, Red Benny drew Magic and let her loose, her twenty-two round volley speeding through with laser precision. And in that moment, something happened that would define what it means to be true Gunslinger. With time slowed – following the rounds’ trajectory, were you able to see it happen, you would be so very amused to see both Robots fall to their knees, a wild shredding of steel, flames, sparks and smoke and the smell of fried systems left in the dirt. And for a moment, torn away and exposed...neither Gunslinger moved. The silence was vast and insatiable, curious emitting genuine concern for their chosen Champions.

     With steel ripped, shredded and torn away at the torso, arms and legs, both Gunslingers began to make their way to their knees, their guns lifted, their trigger-fingers twitchy, their aiming systems severely damaged. And while pointing, aiming and firing rapid assaults, neither Gunslinger could find their intended targets until a white Flag flew in from one of the upper windows, signalling the fight as a Draw. And the whole of three-hundred systems went mad with disbelief! And even the announcer was stunned. I was stunned. And I’m certain that both The Walrus and Red Benny were stunned! They dropped their guns, unsure of what had just transpired.

     And suddenly, like a dream come to me I had a wonderful idea pop in my brain. Just like that! My idea: Now I just heard – just now, that they’re bringing The Legends back from the scrapyard. And what a money maker it would be, if these two teamed up and faced off against Mad Max Thunderdrone, Sandy Sandoval, Bricks Hoss, Bruiser Tomlin, Jago Vender, Samurai Joe and Pollux the Great! I suddenly can’t help myself, but to call out to theVW Vega, “V Vega! V Vega! I just thought of something!” He took to it quite quickly and so did Slam. V Vega already has his best doctors out there tending to The Walrus and Red Benny. And I can see it now, in lights, in every city, state and country, big, bold and beautiful, “Robot Gunslinger’s...The Legends of San Lucia Lane! True Epic!”

     And now...I just have to find a way to get them to join up. I’m not worried though, I have it in the bag. That’s if they aren’t totally fried. What a fantastic battle! There’s a saying in these here parts: "A ghost in the darkness can only be seen by another ghost. But a bullet in the dark can’t be seen at all. Only heard and felt." Whatever that means! You just leave it up to me, I’ll sort this all out. I just hope they survive, The Robot Gunslingers of San Lucia Lane.

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Next: Under the Double Star - Chapter Twelve