Sunday, November 10, 2013

Arrival: The Cowgirl & The Long Trip Outta Here

I forgot to mention that the night before at Saint Helios, Nico had a visionary dream about McCormack. The demon was frying beans by his tent on the top of a high building when he seems to notice something. He walks to the edge of the building, looking out to the university building where a large black dragon was draped off the brickwork, sort of settled on it like a hen might settle on an egg. There's a faint look of need on McCormack's face to which the dragon responds with a dismissive exhalation of smoke through its nostrils. McCormack then heads back over to the fire. Something to do with the hospital being under the protection of some entity? The dream then changed so that neither the dragon nor McCormack were a part of it anymore.

The smiling demon stood on the roof of the university campus' main building as a storm billowed up about it. A mad, cackling Old Man Winter type figure who threw bolts of lightning and sleet down on the university buildings. The smiling demon looked at Nico then turned his head to regard Old Man Winter, pointing fearlessly at it. Nico had an ominous sense that she needed to be there over winter to stop anything dreadul from happening.

That morning when she met again with Jack in the hotel, she wanted a bullet with her name on it and Jack wanted to meet the pretty 'Rochelle' that he had heard so much about who just happened to be the gunsmith's daughter.

Rochelle was an attractive young woman in a Daisy Duke outfit with a .45 Magnum who was demonstrating the gun's effectiveness. She had a lot of interest from a number of watchers - a few of whom made Nico's forehead, nails and teeth itch quite a bit when she used Scent of the Unrighteous. Rochelle seemed like a real cleanskin, though. Obviously hadn't needed to use her gun skills in the field.

Nico got some pistol lessons from Rochelle (bought Pistols specialty) and paid for some training for Jack as well. His shotgun skills (or rather, rolls) had been so atrocious she wanted him to get some fine tuning. Rochelle, like everyone else, seemed a bit nervous of Jack and avoided addressing him directly as much as she could.

Rochelle related her dream to go out there into the big, wide world and how her father was overprotective of her. Nico name dropped the various monsters she'd killed and took the opportunity to boast a bit. Rochelle was visibly impressed. Nico half expected for Rochelle to ask to tag along, but she didn't, so Nico just got her bullet engraved - a .45 bullet that matched what Allan McCormack might use to kill her - and asked after any cowboys who'd entered the area.

Nico found out that McCormack went by a different name here, Something Caldy, and that he had once adopted his apprentice as a young boy and had somehow raised him to be a really nice guy. Nico figured the orphan might be an innocent, but even if he was, that was because he was a 'beard'. In other words, a way to hide McCormack's true infernal nature.

Nico and Jack headed out, her through the front doors and him through the back. When she met up with him again, she noticed he had a tail ... and not the cute and fluffy kind.

Rochelle was trying to be stealthy but she wasn't great at it so Nickoconfronted her but rather than send her back, she demanded that Rochelle open her bag. She left it deliberately obscure over whether the girl was about to be robbed (valuable life lesson that) but in truth she just wanted to check if the girl had packed smartly.

Rochelle's hand moved subconsciously closer to her gun and Nico tapped the hand away brusquely, more as a kind of absentminded "No, naughty" then out of any real fear of being shot. It turned out Rochelle mostly had what she needed but she'd packed too many clothes and that her bug out bag didn't have the kind of top notch equipment one might expect to see from the daughter of one of the most highly paid merchants in town. Her dad could make guns, after all, and had a reloading bench. Obviously her father had weighed the odds of her running off against the needs of a good bug out bag and the former need had won out. Still it'd do, so Nico got her to write a letter to her dad - which ended up being two and a half pages long as well as tearful - which she left with one of the factory workers with the request that the gun shop owner get it. Then they headed off before he could get his hands on it.

After a day's journey Nico climbed to the top of a tall building with some wood and arranged the initials AMC (for Allan McCormack) and spray painted a large peace sign. She then left a note under a rock in the middle of the peace sign and set fire to the initials to draw McCormack's attention to it. The man could fly, after all, and he had binoculars so hopefully he would see it and realised that Nico wanted to call a truce.

The Letter Said: Hey Mc, We both got our own things to do so I think we might as well let the past lay in the past. Besides, I'm not in the talking mood. Conversation wouldn't do anyone much good and would probably be bad for their health. If you've still got a grudge then I guess I don't mind a showdown, but I don't think the math supports it. I don't suppose we can leave it there and move on with our lives? If not, looking forward to the shot that starts the race. Signed, Let's Face It, You Know Who I Am.

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