Campaign of the Month: January 2011

Honour Among Thieves

Hull Down Session Five
Worth Fiddles While a Church Burns

“I’ll be damned if those gorram cons are gonna burn our town to the ground!” shouted Sheriff Dayton. “Don’t let them take the water tower!”

The Doc took the church tower steps three at a time and rushed out into a sanctuary that was rapidly filling with smoke. The church, built of among other things, wood, was not exactly fireproof. He frantically searched about for a fire extinguisher, but found nothing but hymnals and the collection plate.

Out in the street, Johnson and his three companions made a run for cover to try and outflank the Boxers hidden beneath the water tower and who were up to no good amongst the pumping machinery.

From his position on the rooftop, Worth could only watch as the fire from the two well-placed Molotov cocktails started to burn out of control. Smoke began wafting across Main Street, obscuring the terrain.

The Doc continued his search into a side room, and found only a first aid kit, which he promptly rifled through to find the painkillers that could steel his nerves and give him some courage. Then the Shepherd yelled that there was a fire extinguisher hidden in the pulpit, and the Doc grabbed it and moved to the front of the church where a merry fire was blazing. As he was spraying the foam everywhere, he heard the sound of splintering wood from the rear of the church. “Company’s coming!” he shouted to the Shepherd.

Hull Down Session Four
...And Into the Fire

As the first of the escaped cons scrambled out of the shipping container, Worth opened fire with his automatic rifle. The first man out caught a round in the head, which popped like an overripe melon, and so it went with the next one and the one after that, with Worth emptying the entire clip at the open doors of the container. Most didn’t make it more than three strides away as his autofire ripped into their ranks. A writhing mound of orange jumpsuit-clad bodies began to form outside the hatchway, blood leaching into the dusty soil to create a crimson-stained muck. Sparks flew as rounds ricocheted off the heat-shimmering metal exterior of the shipping box. Here and there lay improvised weapons tossed from nerveless fingers – a fire extinguisher, a jagged shard of hull plating, a couple of stun batons. A few cons – some running, some crawling – managed to get out of the line of fire, but most of them, well, didn’t.

Hull Down Session Three
Out of the Frying Pan...

Worth and Ying Johnson collected the Doc and their weapons when they returned to the sheriff’s blockhouse. Sheriff Dayton had called a meeting of all the able-bodied men in town willing to take up arms against the cons and Johnson took the opportunity to convince Sai McKittrick that it was in his best interests to ferry the innocent townsfolk to the next settlement along the cattle drive.

Johnson pointed out that in doing so the Sheriff might be more disposed towards allowing McKittrick to defend his shipyard however he saw fit, including moving his ships to a safer locale. Johnson volunteered to fly the Firefly to Keyman’s Drift along with one of McKittrick’s mechanics and ensure the ship’s safe return.

Hull Down Session Two
The Adventure Continues...

The trio were quickly relieved of their weapons and handcuffed to their seats as the Sheriff and his deputies commandeered the bus and started back to town.

The crew was kept under careful watch by a young bespectacled deputy with murder in his eyes who looked all-too-ready to give them both barrels of his battered shotgun. A bandage on the boy’s head spoke to a recent run-in with trouble and it was obvious he was nursing a grudge. Sheriff Ellis Dayton (as he introduced himself) remarked that "you cons are getting bolder by the day, but if you decide to pay a visit to Evans City you’ll get more than you bargained for.”

As diplomatically as possible, Johnson pointed out that the three of them weren’t exactly sporting prison tats and the regulation shaved heads.

“Then what were you doing out there?” was the Sheriff’s response. Not wanting to cop to an illegal salvage rap, Johnson stayed quiet for the rest of the trip.

Hull Down Session One
The Adventure Begins...


The thug’s fist struck Ying Johnson square in the face.

The pilot saw stars for an instant as he was knocked out of his chair, playing cards scattering across the table as the poker game dissolved into a brawl. As he hit the floor, Johnson tried to shake the stars from his vision, and then realized he was staring out a porthole in the hull of the space station’s entertainment module.

Johnson’s crewmate, Wentworth Evans, stayed seated at the table as the drunken lout and his friend got to their feet, snarling oaths in Mandarin that would have scandalized his mother back home on Beylix. He folded his hand and dropped the cards to the tabletop, then took hold of Johnson’s recently vacated chair and calmly swung it overhand into the nearest man. The cheap wooden chair shattered, and as Evans heaved his three hundred pound bulk to his feet, so did the thug’s bravado. The brute staggered back, stunned, as bits of chair tumbled to the deck.

Johnson scrambled to his feet as his attacker, who had taken an off-hand remark quite personally during the card game stood before him, fists at the ready. Johnson smirked and launched a kick into the man’s midsection. The thug clumsily tried to parry the blow, but Johnson’s boot made contact, leaving an imprint on the man’s already-dirty work shirt. The kick knocked the man back into the table, spilling the remaining drinks and poker chips to the tavern floor.

Worth stood a good foot taller than his opponent, but that didn’t stop the man from flailing at him. He managed to connect with Worth’s stubbled jaw. Worth shook his head almost regretfully, picked up his own chair, and smashed it over the man’s head. This time, the thug’s body hit the floor around the same time as the pieces of broken furniture.


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