The Old World, New Again?

Lawless New World
What Can it Hurt, Being a Hero?

27thof April, 1948

From Sacramento and back…not as easy as it sounds

After a couple of days in Sacramento, Ava runs into a school friend, who has a problem…

Beth was a young assistant teacher, whom Ava had struck up a friendship with, and Was quite surprised to find her here. But it seemed that Beth’s daughter, Diana, had gone “missing.” Well, not quite missing…Her father took her. And because he was the father, well, the police had better things to do. Beth asked if she knew anyone who might be able to help her, and Ava offered that she might. It had been a few days since Doug had taken her. “Some place where she will be respected,” he had said. She knew that his father lived in some sort of village or compound up in the mountains outside of Truckee. A place he called Williamsburg. She could offer much, but she had some rainy day money and offered that up.

Ava went back and asker her new found travelling companions if they would be interested to help out her friend, and they agreed. So they take the car that they have been driving up the road a few hours to Truckee. They rent a couple of rooms from a dingy roadside hotel at the edge of town. Pinky goes out and gets some bread and lunchmeat a a bag of apples, while Ava, Emmett and Apollo go to see what they can find out about this Williamsburg place.

Turns out, Williamsburg is not thought of too highly, but its location is not overly secret. It is down a secondary road towards Tahoe. They often ride horses in once or twice a week. They decide to go out and visit, posing as itinerants, with a skilled doctor and teacher. They find the road easy enough, and it is still snow covered, but it has been driven before, so they head carefully down it. The rad is narrow, with sharp turns and occasional steep drops off the side. About half an hour or so down the road, about 8 or 10 miles, they spy a small camp off the side of the road, so they go to investigate. Several of the buildings have bullet holes in them. Inside, they find a body with a rifle, but no ammo. Its rifle has been jammed with what looks like a nail broken off inside. They find shell casings and signs of others, vacated blood stains but no sign of the girl. Just before they leave, they see a stylized “S” on the door. The end of the bottom of the letter was a distinct point, and the end at the top of the letter was a rounded triangle. This shape had a slanted line, or bar drawn across it. Deciding that if the Williams’ had done this, they were likely more than a match for them, and if this was Williamsburg, then the girl was no longer here. So they returned to town Making plans to leave in the morning.

The next morning, as they are leaving town, they see 4 men on horseback ride up to one of the groceries not far from the hotel where they were staying. The decided that they would give it one more chance, so they went over to talk with the riders. A young man was waiting with the horses, and they noticed a bandage beneath his coat. They introduce themselves, and he tells them they will need to speak with his uncle. When the others come out with tied bundles, Virginia starts to introduce them, and the older man tells her to shush, while the men-folk talk. He and Emmet talk for a few moments, and he welcomes them to their retreat. They follow the riders in the car. It takes about two hours to get where they are told the car will have to stay. When Virginia and Ava grab their gear, the older man rebukes them for letting their women carry their gear! The seemed to expect that Apollo would be carrying all the bags, but when Emmet grabbed some, they didn’t say much.

They walk about a mile in fairly churned snow, and they come across a large log across this well defined path, having to walk around it. less than another mile and they come into a small settlement of about a score buildings. These are all log cabins and appear to be about 8 homes, one of which, at the back of the camp is notably the largest. The ladies are set up with the unmarried women and the men are put up with Keith and his 2 ladies.

Over the afternoon and evening, they find out many things, one of which is that they had recently been raided. One of the men was killed, several were wounded and two of the women were taken, one of which was Doug Williams daughter! The Doc, Emmet, with the help of Gramma Dot, the apparent camp matron, Virginia and some local hooch, part of a bullet is taken out of Doug’s gut. Apparently Dot had taken the other pieces out before, and didn’t do to bad of a job. The camp is run by “Pop” Williams, the head of the Williams clan. He is a member of the Latter Day Saints, and expects manners and respect from his community. The next morning, they meet Pop and his wives. With his permission, they take their leave, as the camp “Is not as safe as they had hoped!”

Returning to the car, and then to town, having decided that the girl is gone, and if they were outclassed by Williamsburg people, they obviously had no chance against the Serpent Killers, who took Diana. However, when they get back into town in the early afternoon, they see several men ride up on motorcycles. They are all wearing Leather Jackets with a black tire and the word Tahoe on them. They drive up to The Well, and after they go in several people leave.

They go out to see what else they can find out about the Serpent Killers. The discover that there are three known bandit gangs that occasionally cause problems: The Serpent Killers, The Tahoe Rovers and the Klansmen, an order of the KKK. On the way back, however, Virginia is stopped by Detective Stewart, who asks several questions, including whether she is travelling with a black man, is an older model Dodge 4 door. It seems that the vehicle has been reported stolen, and it was seen in town earlier. She denies it and they head back taking circuitous routes to the car as well as to the hotel. They decided to go buy bus tickets to Reno, and would take the bus the next afternoon.

That night, a little after midnight, a knock at the hotel door woke them. Outside was a bundled up woman, who worked at The Well. Her roommate told her that they were asking about the Rovers. Shortly before she got off shift, she heard one of the talk about “the girl” that they needed to get to “Hotts” tomorrow, and that they had camped up in the pass, just off the road to Reno. She didn’t know anymore and was thanked and left.

As the last opportunity to rescue Diana, if it was her, they decided to head up the road, to see what they could find. About 6 miles from town, at a roadside pullout, they saw several me around a fire in a trash can, with motorcycles. Attempting a stealthier approach, Virginia made to the wood for a call to nature, while Ava went to distract them. Which worked maybe a bit too well…The drunk ruffians decided that they might have their way with her, but…While four of them gathered round her and started to fight, Virginia went to her rescue, as did a baseball from Apollo. Emmet went to se what else he could see, and approached the little lean to with someone sleeping in front of it.

Two of the ruffians had pistols, and the fight seemed to ebb and flow for several moments, and as Emmet approached the tent, it was suddenly swallowed up in shadow! The cloud covered moon and the woods, were fairly dark as it was, but now, its as if something just blocked what little diffuse light there was around the lean-to! A couple of moments later, a man emerged from the shadow with a squirming bundle and went to get on one of the motorcycles. Just then, one of the ruffians laid Virginia low with a well placed pistol butt! As Emmet went to tend to her, sirens could be heard. Ava knocked the escaping man over just as the state patrol pulled up, and both officers got out of the car with shotguns and began ordering people to put up their hands. They ended up shooting one of the ruffians, but they think two of them escaped into the dense forest. Emmet stabilizes Virginia and brings her around. They then harangue the patrolmen to let them be, as they were just defending themselves, and they needed to get the girl back home! He eventually let them off with a warning, as he had dealt with the Tahoe Rovers before, and they were hell raisers.

So, they climb aboard the car, now with a broken windshield, apparently it took a stray bullet, and drive back to Sacramento, Arriving just before daybreak. Within the day they reunite the daughter and her mother, collect a small amount of money, and settle in for a couple of days of recovery, as Virginia is in a pretty bad way.

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That Snaking Feeling

On the dark and cold ride back to Sacramento, Emmett’s thoughts are lost to a battlefield so far away but still too close to be forgotten. The bodies lying around the ground of the makeshift camp in the dead of night was too much for him to contain. Using great effort to resist the memories of his first real battle, he falls victim to what he sees next. Crawling from foxhole to foxhole following the cries of his brethren, witnessing the mangled bodies still somehow gasping for air. It was his job to sustain them. Somehow he, with a small canvas bag, was supposed to keep all these men alive. This one gasps one gurgled last breath. He stares and the trance is only broken by another painful moan. From hole after hole he slithers. Destined to crawl on his belly like a snake only to witness death at every stop. An unending dream, this is how he will spend eternity. Slithering from hole, to hole, to hole…

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It all Started...
An Introduction, of sorts

h2. 18th of April, 1948

h4. It started on a bus, going to San Francisco, and ended with a stolen car going to Sacramento…

On a bus, from Seattle going to San Francisco, on a sleeting April night. Ava, Emmett Brown, and Virginia all note that the bus driver has a gun tucked into the newspaper beside his seat. He has not changed, as the other drivers have, but has taken every other relief.

Around evening, the bus pulls into the lot of the Petaluma Gold Motor Hotel, but none of the lights are on, and there is no sign of passengers or a relief bus driver.  After several minutes, two long black cars pull in to the lot, at which point the man who has sat behind the driver since Seattle, opens his briefcase, takes out an ugly submachine gun, stand at the front of the bus and demands everyone stay seated and keep quite, in a Russian accent! 

The back door of the rear car opens and another large man, in a long dark coat steps out, looks around a moment, then steps out of the way, as a lad, about 12 or 13, with a brace on his leg works his way out of the car.  The coat he is wearing is not really heavy enough for this cold.  At the sight of the boy, the driver nearly leaps from his seat, but then catches himself and waits. Another thin man comes out of the car and he waves to the driver who rushes out and scoops up the boy.  As the first man that got out of the car leads them toward the office, two more men get out of the first car with submachine guns.  The board the bus, and one of them gets in the drivers seat.  The other one gets into a confrontation with Virginia about moving back, but she asks to stay because these seats are warm.  He goes to swing at her and a black man further back in the bus stands up and hits him with a thrown baseball!

This leads the man in the front to open up with his submachine gun, but he hits no one.  The scene erupts into pandemonium.  Virginia stabs the man who was going to hit her, Ava shoots two of them…During the fracas, the thin man says something in Russian, and the bus driver is shot in the head cause the boy to break into wailing sobs.  Emmit wings one of them, but the thin man and at least two of his minions drive away, where Ava notices the distinct smell of O-Gas exhaust, but not before the thin man tosses a grenade under the bus!  Fortunately, the bus absorbs almost all of the blast.

Virginia and Ava head off behind the hotel, carrying one of the guns.

 

Moments later, a police car pulls up with lights going, and immediately radios for backup, and an ambulance. After hiding the gun under the propane tank out back, Virginia comes back around and joins the crowd. Emmet informs the policeman what has happened, who then directs him to call the hotel manager and tell him to come out.

The police interview folks, the medics do what they can for people, and everyone is given a room for the night with instructions to stay around in case more info is needed. Our group sets up watches, with Ava and Virginia in one room and Emmet and Apollo in another. There is a young deputy on watch at the office. Ava sees a black car pull up well after midnight, and two men get out, and go into the office. A few moments later they come out, and drive away, so she goes out the back window, to check on him. but he is fine.

Not long after that, Ava and Emmet both notice a car pull up across the road, without lights, and a man gets out and seems to be watching the hotel. After waking their comrades, Ava again goes out the window, to tell the deputy, who goes out to see what is going on. When the deputy is there, the man hides under the car, until the deputy heads back in. After that, he goes to the trunk, and pulls something out, almost dragging it to one of the doors. The group goes out to interrupt him, and he is setting a bear trap in front of the door! When the deputy comes out to see what this new commotion is, he says he is looking for Russian spies!

Just before dawn, the decision is made to leave this situation, so Ava hot wires the car left by the interloper, and they head to Sacramento, the current operating US capital!
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