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Lefty, the Gunslinger

May 1, 2008

Gunfire echoed through the underground complex as the local possy emptied their guns after the fleeing Lefty. Lefty duck and wove as best he could through the unfamiliar passageways and didn’t hesitate to throw himself over some railing as another shot ripped through his flickering shield and dissipated it into nothing. Lefty had just enough time to realize he’d found the stairs and to twist himself for at least a slightly less painful landing before he slammed into the concrete stairwell and went bouncing on down.

One of the men in the possy laughed, “Quick boys, lets get him while he’s still reeling!” The group converged on the rail Lefty had gone after laughing and cat-calling after the fallen half-man. They clustered at the rail and leaned over almost as one, taking aim down the stairs.

Laying at the bottom on his back Lefty had his sawed off shotgun in hand and a dark gleam in his eyes. He emptied both barrels into the concrete just below the supports on the rails and then kicked off the steps to push himself away from the few shots the group managed to get off. A few of them were lucky enough to jerk back instinctively when Lefty opened fire, but the rest of the group had already settled against the rail to take aim and left enough weight to send the group toppling into the stairs with a screech of tearing metal and the startled screams of the falling men.

Lefty had was already back on his feat and cracking open the shotgun, letting the spent shells fall aside as he reloaded, heading down the stairs with the groans and cries for help echoing down after him. “I’m beginning to think they don’t like me much here,” he muttered to himself, snapped thing shotgun back closed and spinning it into the holster on his left hip.

He trekked deeper into the complex, instinctively checking his gear to make sure nothing was damaged in the fall. The kukri still rested in its sheath along the back of his belt and hadn’t been bent. He also pulled out the heavy revolver and opened it, double checking the chamber was clear and the bullets loaded and undamaged. It went back into the holster as well. He was glad to have left the rifle with the rover today. It wouldn’t have done it any good to take a fall like that.

He started to slow when he realized that he couldn’t hear his pursuers anymore. He grinned a bit. Seemed that trick with the railing had worked even better then he hoped. He stopped and shut his eyes a moment to try and retrace his steps mentally and track where he was. All he needed was a way to slip back out and he could leave this whole mess behind.

He heard the skittering noise just a second too late. His left hand dropped to the revolver as he turned toward the noise, but the gun didn’t quite clear the holster before the large mechanical creature slammed into him, throwing him up off the ground and down the hall. Lefty landed hard and slid until the wall stopped him. The crunch sound from his shoulder as he pushed himself up and tried to blink his vision back clear was not a good sound.

The mechanical insect didn’t wait for him to get up. He had to admire how well built the thing was. It obviously had never been out in the sand for all of its servos to be running with just the barest whisper of sound. Especially for something nearly five feet tall and probably outweighing him by double, if not triple.

Lefty managed to find his feat and braced himself against the wall, this time catching the machines front legs as it started to lower itself to smash into him again and shoved downward with all his considerable strength. Its gears complained as it dropped further then intended and Lefty flung himself forward. The insect crunched into the wall, smashing deep into the concrete as Lefty rolled onto the body of the machine.

The blow didn’t seem to slow the insect down at all. Instead it bucked and then the center legs twisted upwards and knifed in at Lefty. The left leg of the machine came down into Lefty’s right shoulder, pinning him in place with a hiss of pain from Lefty, but he managed to catch the right leg with the curve of his kukri and hold it back from skewering him completely. He didn’t get much time to celebrate the small victory before it shook its left leg and sent him flying off.

Lefty managed to twist in the air and land reasonably well, though blood flowed freely from the deep wound in his shoulder. He weighed the kukri and eyed the machine as he turned toward him again, debating weapons choice. Now, the rifle would have been useful. Or the heavy slug shells for his shotgun, but reloading them with one arm and some sort of killer robo-bug after him seemed like a long shot. He waited for it to charge again, holding his ground.

The machine obliged and came running again. This time Lefty side-stepped at the last moment and brought the heavy blade crashing into the joint of the bug’s leg, letting the combined momentum of his swing and the machines charge sheer off the leg with a scream of metal through metal.

“If I ever run into the guy who built this thing again, I may have to kiss him,” Lefty said with a grin.

The sudden loss of limb send the bug spinning and crashing into the wall half upside down, remaining legs flailing. Lefty let the knife fall to the ground and drew the revolver, emptying all six chambers into the bottom of the machine in a tight cluster. The last two rounds were enough to punch through and send out sparks. The bug spasmed again. Lefty quickly stepped forward and planted a boot to hold it in place long enough for him to holster the revolver and draw the shotgun. sharp leg tips thrashed at him, drawing small streams of blood from both arms, but he ignore it and planted the barrel of the shotgun into the already sparking section and pulled the trigger.

The roar of the shotgun was almost instantly echoed by more sparks and then a sharp set of snaps from the bug. The legs twitched one final time before going still. Lefty shoved the shotgun back into its holster and then fell back onto the floor with a loud sigh of relief. He patted at the ground and found the kukri, managing to fumble it back into place. He looked down at the mess of his right shoulder and groaned softly.

“That’s not going to heal up nearly as quick as I might want it to,” he said to himself. Lefty dug around through a pocket and pulled out a pre-made poultice patch and tore open the package with his teeth before slapping it into place over the wound. He cursed loudly and fell back onto the floor as the mixture settled into the wound, then lay their, panting softly. He let his voice rise a bit to make sure anyone lurking nearby to watch the show could hear him. “If I see one more idiot with a gun trying to shoot me today, I’m going to feed it to them. Just so you know.”

In the distance, several sets of feet retreated back the way they had come.

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