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Thread: (M) The Treasure of the Lost Mountains IC (bluemoon x Siks apocy RP) (M)

  1. #71
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    As evening set, the seventeen men...and two women...in Ez's group settled down around a large bonfire for their dinner. Unlike a typical meal with everyone sitting with their own gang, they all ate together at her request so she could determine the shift rotation for guard duty that night. Considering the dangers, it was finally decided that six men, in groups of two, would cover a three-hour shift each. Ez chose the teams, and although she would have preferred to team with Jackal, she split her shift from his, allowing for a better allocation of skills. As she finished the roster, she looked to Sammy, who was sitting between her and Jackal, a look of anticipation on her pretty young face.

    "You will shadow with me Sam, if that is okay? I'm sure Owens won't mind a third?"

    Owens nodded curtly and Samantha brightened. Her excitement at a chance to be included in the watch evident on her face, her youthful features lifting in a smile. She squeezed Jackal's hand and looked at him shyly under her long lashes. After a moment, she realized she hadn't responded and she added a nod, mimicking Owens, before rising to gather up the dishes from dinner.

    "Leave those," Ez directed, "...we have first watch and need to get geared up. Owens meet us in five," she called. Together the two women walked to their respective sites, each gathering up their weapons and additional ammo. When they met with Owens, they set off to the north, finding a good vantage point to observe the camp. The location was level, but at a higher elevation, and had several rocky outcroppings and small groupings of vegetation...and too many places for shadows to hide as far as Ez was concerned. The only positive thing was the half moon--they wouldn't have to worry about visibility unless clouds moved in. Together the three settled in, Ez periodically talking softly to Sam as time ticked slowly by.

    ----------------------

    Ez was discussing Crawlers with Sammy, describing the creatures propensity for emerging in the dark and surprising their prey, when Owens stated he needed to take a leak. Ez paused, noting with good humor that Sammy's eyes were wide, the description alone scaring her. She was pleased with her positive outlook and the young woman seemed to absorb information like a sponge.

    "Just a sec..." Ez responded, but when she lifted her head, the man had already disappeared.

    Torn with indecision, Ez finally decided to wait for Owens and give him a good oral whipping when he returned. She could understand his reluctance to have two women stand over him while he urinated, but the buddy system was in place for a reason. It wasn't like she had never seen a penis before...and the same was true for Sammy. Sometimes men could be so infuriating.

    After ample time had passed, Ez started to pace, worry setting in. She called out to him using their special signal--an owl's hoot--and waited, listening intently. She realized suddenly that the silence was complete...when had the night insects stopped chirping? She turned to Samantha, waving the girl over to her and putting a finger to her lips. She crept forward, Sammy copying her movements and keeping to the shadows as much as possible. When they came to an outcropping, Ez scooted around, pressing herself to the rough surface, leading with her hand.

    A mix of smells hit her senses as she rounded the edge--first, the heavy odor of ammonia, then, copper. In the dim light she could see a dark patch and she bent to dip her fingertip into the substance, cringing at the warmth.

    "Sam...you have to go," she whispered, putting her mouth as close to the girl's ear as she could. "Wake up the camp...anyway you can." She could see the girl's reluctance. Her fear. "I have to look for Owens..he could still be alive." She put her hands on the girl's shoulders. "Keep low..stay to the shadows. But you have to go fast." She gave the girl an encouraging nod, knowing this was breaking her own rule to stick together, but there was no way she could do both--not if there was a chance at saving Owens.

    Finally gathering up her courage Samantha nodded. She would go wake up Jackal. He would be able to help find Owens--she was sure of it. She wasn't going to let Ezra down. She took off at a slow jog, doing just as Ez had instructed, not knowing that two sets of eyes were watching her.

    -----------------

    Hidden behind a clump of trees, two darkly dressed men, who liked to refer to themselves as "salties", watched as the buxom blonde headed back towards her camp. They had been watching the two girls creep their way around the rocks--although it wasn't until the taller one had whispered that they had realized that she too was a woman. Both men wore grins, the heavier set LaSeur sporting a full beard. In charge, he pointed to the blonde and then to his companion, and then they split up.

    ----------------

    Ezra found Owens a hundred yards from the rock, lying in a thickening pool. It had been easy enough to find him...she had simply followed the blood trail. She knelt by his side, her hands pressed to the gaping wound on his head, knowing she was doing nothing, but unable to stop herself. The man tried to speak and she shook her head. "Shhh...help is coming. Just hold on." Then his breath hitched and his chest fell, no other sound coming from him. Ez bowed her head, cursing silently while she wiped her hands in the sand.

    Just as she was rising, Ezra heard the sound of a twig snapping right behind her and she turned quickly, seeing a dark figure almost upon her. The man laughed at her surprise, a deep and resonating sound that sent chills down her spine. Fight or flight? she screamed to herself, grabbing for her gun in its holster. Despite his size, the man was fast, and before she could even lift the gun out, he had gripped her hand in his, squeezing, his much larger appendage swallowing hers. The small bones in her hand were ground together and she reacted instinctually, bringing her knee up to connect with the man's upper thigh. He bellowed, his hand loosening enough to allow her to twist free from his grip. ...and she ran, flight winning out over fight this time. She ran blindly, deeper into the wastes, before a shadow stepped out from the trees and snagged her from behind.

    "Hey LaSeur...need a hand with this wild cat?" called her newest captor, his hand gripping the back of her leather jacket as she struggled. With a quick move, Ez drove both of her arms backwards, allowing the coat to slip from her arms. For a brief second she thought she was free--but she was hit from behind, the force of LaSeur's body contacting hers sending her to the ground, his heavy weight holding her in place. With a grunt, he grabbed a handful of her hair in one hand and twisted her right arm behind her back with the other.

    "Done fighting? Or do we have to get real nasty?" he growled in her ear, twisting her arm higher until she groaned. He pulled her head back and slammed it against the rocky ground until she stopped struggling. "Get me a rope--gonna tie this bitch up good and tight. ...and don't forget to get her weapons."

    ------------------------

    Sammy had made it past their look-out spot and started to pick up her speed as the camp came closer, her confidence increasing with each step. She never heard the man running behind her and never saw his rifle sweep in front of her feet, tripping her up. She fell forward, her momentum crashing her to the ground in a tumbling roll. Stunned, she looked up, seeing a tall slender man looking down on her with a lopsided grin. He was panting, his eyes riveted on her breasts, his eyebrows lifting when he saw her look at him. For a moment she froze, unable to think, but all that changed in a heartbeat when the man reached for her.

    With a quick gab, Sammy kicked her foot against the ground, pushing herself backwards as she reached for her gun. She did not take the time to aim, just pulled the trigger once it was pointing in his general direction. The bullet whizzed past him and he cackled, a high pitched chitter-like sound. She remembered Ez's words..."wake the camp"...and she screamed then, loud and clear, the sound cut short by a blow to the side of her head.
    Last edited by bluemoon; 02-19-2018 at 12:34 AM.

  2. #72
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    The attack came from all sides. But Vash's keen nose was what awoke Jackal, it was very rarely that the lawman never listened to his mount's nose. But these bandits seemed to have been scouting the camp for a bit, because before Jackal could get up he was jumped on by three men. But they misjudged one thing, never run up on a Chabbit. Vash let out a vicious screeching hiss and began swatting the men away blood staining his blunt claws. All three were killed and the lawman recovered shortly there after, His rifle at the ready and soon he heard Sammy's scream and like a switch the camp came alive and the other men jumped up from their beds dropping Salties like flies. They had the element of surprise, but the bandits didn't bring any guns with them.

    His rifle barked and Salties died each time he pulled the trigger. He had no idea as to the number, but the Salt Flyers were a good sized group and decently organized. He knew a number of low ranking Black Jacks that fled to their ranks. The leader was a mystery though even to the vigilante, they were only known as Salt, but whoever they were they really liked women and used any man they captured as some kind of to-the-death gladiator.

    "Stay here Vash, kill all who come near you!" He ordered his mount who reacted like a savage dog snarling and hissing. He left his coat and most of his effects by Vash just taking his guns, some ammo, and his two blades. Jackal needed to find Ez and Sammy, but he wasn't sure where they were set up on their guard shift. He just began running the perimeter of the camp his mind moving towards what he hoped was the obvious spot.

    He arrives and sees Owens tied up, but he was killed before he showed up. Looked like a single axe strike to the top of his head. The girls weren't here, but Jackal wasn't alone. Some of the younger Salties were carrying some of his groups supplies away, but they didn't notice Jackal nor did they react in time before one's head was exploded. And the other was dropped with a round going through his shoulder and spinning him around making him drop his loot. The kid let out a scream than the lawman was upon him smashing the butt of his rifle into the boy's forehead.

    Stunned the kid groaned but he was silenced, by Jackal pressing the stock of his rifle against the Saltie's throat. "Where did they take the women!?"

    The kid growled lightly refusing to speak. But the Lawman really wanted an answer. Taking a sharp rock he pressed it to the boy's eye.
    "Talk, or I'll cut your eye out and dig around your brain for the answer." His voice was low and dangerous.

    The boy's courage faltered and he swallowed nodding his head. Jackal moved the rifle.
    "Where are the women that were standing guard here?"

    "LaSeur is taking them back to Salt...*cough*... an hour or so West!" The boy coughed staring at the sharp rock still very close to his eye. Jackal looked up and saw the faint footprints of two men who looked to be dragging heavy objects.

    The boy took advantage of Jackal's distraction to shout at the top of his lungs.
    "THE JACKAL IS IN THE CAMP!" Anger flared in the Vigilante's eyes and he quickly jammed the sharp rock directly into the boy's eyes socket before smacking his skull hard killing him outright.

    He could save Ez and Sammy still. Running at full speed he followed the tracks and burst through the tree on the outskirts of their camp. He didn't see any of the other men in the expedition, he wondered if they were captured, killed, or just ran the fuck away. But that would be for later, he needed to save the girls. He landed in a small crater dust flying up around him, it wasn't much but it distracted the Salties long enough for him to three more shots off killing three more raiders. But a shotgun blast in the sky called his focus and he turned to see both Ez and Sammy trussed up like dead Kufu unconscious and at the feet of a heavy man with a full beard. Before Jackal could aim his rifle the bandit aimed both barrels at the girls' heads they were close enough together that one shot would kill them both.

    The man let out a bellowing laugh shaking his head in amazement.
    "My damn, Jackal Lawless as I live and breath. Heard you fly through the sky on ink black wings and wielded lighting instead of some shitty old .308." The gathered goons laughed nervously, LaSeur was the only one crazy enough to goad the lawman so they let him do it. "And after all these years of being untouchable all it takes is threatening two whores to stop you dead in your tracks. That's a bit of a let down. But I'm sure the boss won't mind us bringing you in for a prize as well as two more playthings for her. Grabs his things boys."

    The other Salties inched back some putting their hands up like they were being asked to touch a roaring fire. The big man sighed shouting at them. "Grow some balls, he won't try anything! Not as long as I have his little bedmates under my gun." He cocked the hammer on the shotgun back moving the barrel closer which caused Jackal to disarm himself tossing his rifle, pistol and blades aside, but he would remember the man calling the boss a 'her'. The Raiders scrambled to grab the weapons for their own use, but once again LaSeur shouted this time like he was yelling at misbehaving children. "All weapons go to Salt to pick first. You fucks know that!"

    The men grumbled, but the weapons were tossed into a bag and loaded onto LaSeur's horse. Jackal studied each and every feature of the bearded man. After he killed whoever this Salt bitch was he'd enjoy skinning that fat fuck over a hot fire. But his thoughts of revenge were cut short by a hard blow to the back of his head which knocked him out.

    With three prisoners and a nice haul of supplies the Salt Flyer mounted up and rode West towards a natural stone amphitheater like salt quarry where the enigmatic Salt was waiting for her prizes.


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  3. #73
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    An untold amount of time later Sammy woke up with a pained groan. Her eyes were blurry, but her body felt cold. Moving her hands over herself she felt her bare skin. She gasped and quickly felt her chest--she was wearing some kind of fur bikini top and a weird thong loincloth. But other than that she was nude. Her senses fully returned and she looked to be in a cage of some kind.

    Ez was next to her still knocked out, but she was wearing the same kind of outfit only her's was red rather than brown. She shook the older woman, but a rich mocking laughter was heard from the darkness around the cage. The sounds of bare footsteps on stone were heard then torchlight began lighting up around the hut. Soon Sammy saw a woman swaggering around, the many skulls on her belt clacking lightly as she moved. She was very beautiful, but also had the wild look of someone bordering on psychotic rage. Sammy froze up, her hand gripping Ez's firmly.

    Salt licked her lips. "Hmm one of my toys is awake, start by kissing and groping her. I'll be in soon."

    Eagerly, the men reached into the enclosure, grabbing at Sammy to pull her out. Desperate, the young woman clung to Ez's hand as long as she could, the men's efforts finally separating them. "Ez..." she cried, "...wake up." Then she was lifted out and carried to the bed, thick furs beneath her. The men didn't waste any time following Salt's orders, one of them holding Sammy's wrists while his mouth pursued hers and the other running his hands along her bare skin, kneading the soft flesh. Sammy struggled against them, but the men anticipated her moves, delighted in them, their laughter filling the room.

    As for Ez, she didn't know if it was the sound of her name or Sammy's pleas that awoke her, but she came awake in a thick fog, struggling to regain consciousness. She could see lights behind her closed eyelids and slowly she opened them, squinting against the pain in her head. "Sam?" she questioned, before realizing the girl was not with her, but across the room. It was the sight of her struggles that finally pulled Ez from her stupor.

    "Sammy!" she screamed, grabbing the bars before her and shaking them violently. The action caused her pain, it seemed everything ached, but she continued, trying to find a weakness in the structure. When all her efforts failed, she began screaming curses at the men, telling them to leave her alone. She felt helpless...and guilt filled her. This was her fault...she had failed to keep the girl safe...and on her first night with the group. All earlier thoughts of her dislike for the young woman disappeared, and in another burst of anger, she struck the bars again then started pacing, the cool air causing a chill to spread over her skin. Surprised, she looked down at herself, noticing for the first time that she was scantily dressed in red skins.

    Lady Salt watched the men torment the younger girl, they were never allowed to actually violate her toys before she got bored with them. But watching them fight was all foreplay for her, soon they would tire and she could have her way easier with them. She had already removed her fur skirts and was standing in the fur bra and loincloth as Ez and Sammy were. But Sammy had some fight in her and Ez's yelling and anger was just so arousing. Soon she snapped her fingers and ordered the men away.
    "Go play with some of the old toys. I'm ready to break these two in now." The men reluctantly stopped, but one look at the dried men's scalps on the woman's wall made them leave.

    Sammy took this chance to run back into the cage and into Ez's arms. Salt licked her lips and followed her hips swaying slowly. "Hmm you two almost have as much fire as your Master out there, but then again...oooo the legends I've heard about Jackal Lawless, hmm if he survives the night in the ring, I may bring him into my bed and let him be the first man to have me without first being castrated. He'll give me such strong daughters. But I'm sure you two know all about him." She slowly opened the door to the cage and entered, slamming it shut behind her, locking it and tossing the key on the far side of the cage. It sailed through the bars and clacked into a window that looked down on a dirt ring with barbed wire acting as the fence. She was unarmed, but Salt was a well-built woman and a Raider Queen, so unless Sammy and Ez thought up a plan quick they might be in trouble.

    Sammy tried to be brave, but those men and now the crazed Raider were quickly wearing down her courage. Ez stepped up with an idea to save Sammy some pain. She squared off with the raider. "Take me, Salt." The words came out of her mouth like bile, but she wasn't going to let Sammy be the first to suffer more than she already had. "Master Lawless hasn't trained her well, she's just a girl we picked up in the last town."

    Salt stopped and shook her head. Shoving Ez aside.
    "No I'll save you for later, she's already like a scared little bunny. I like scared little bunnies."

    Ez responded in kind and sucker-punched Salt square in the head. It stunned the Raider, but also worked her right up. She grabbed Ez and slammed her into the cage kissing her deeply while her hands ripped open Ez's top and letting her hands go to work. Ez quickly shot her eyes to the keys on the window sill, signalling Sammy to grab them while she kept Salt busy by playing rough back, ripping at the Raider's own clothes.

    Sammy took a few seconds to figure out Ez's plan, but quickly acted. The cage was just close enough to the window that she could almost reach the keys with some work, but when she looked out the sight almost made tears come to her eyes. She saw Mr. Lawless in just his pants in the middle of the dirt ring surrounded by what looked like ten dead Salties. He was wounded, heavily and his body was coated with dirt and sweat. He was shouting something while more Salties surrounded him.

    Sammy pulled her eyes away from Jackal with difficulty and pushed her body against the bars, reaching for the key and finally snagging it with her fingertips. Behind her, Ezra continued with the charade, her hands clutching Salt's breasts as she brought her mouth to the woman's neck. She pushed her body against the woman's, flipping their positions so she was now in front, her thigh moving between the queen's as she began to kiss her again. Faking arousal, Ez moved her hands to her face, grabbing her hair roughly as she increased the intensity of the kiss. When she pulled away, her expression had changed from passion to hate and she looked hard at her captor, slamming her head forward. Salt's head hit the bars and Ez shoved it against them again, feeling the woman's nails rake across her cheek. She cried out and threw herself into the woman, slamming her entire body into the attack. With satisfaction, she saw the eyes roll upwards. Salt crumpled to the ground.

    "Fuck you..." Ez growled, then turned to Sam, unable to look her in the eye. "Come on...let's go."

    .............

    Once outside the cage, Ez and Sam searched the room for weapons, finding little other than sex toys. While they searched, Sam relayed what she had seen out the window, her voice hitching as she tried to control her tears. "We'll get him," Ez assured her, putting a comforting hand on her shoulder. She pried open crates, finding more of the fur outfits and resigned herself to putting on another top piece rather than go without. They had almost looked everywhere, when Sam reached between the mattresses. When she pulled her hand out she was holding a small pistol.

    The women left the hut, armed with a small knife and pistol, hardly worthy of going to war, but it would have to do. Ez was surprised by how few men were in sight, though she could hear voices coming from the arena close by. Taking Sam by the hand, she pulled her along, entering the building and keeping to the side. There had to be a way for them to get below but first they would need to keep out of sight. Ez started opening doors until she saw a set of stairs heading down. Together they descended, finally coming to the ground level. Here the sound of cheering was louder, and Ez quickly moved deeper into shadow, ducking down into a small alcove that had a sparse supply of medieval weapons. She put her finger to her lips and stayed low, waiting for a good time to help Jackal...but not really expecting one to come.

    Sammy sighed picking up what looked like an axe of some kind and handed the pistol to Ez, her hands were too shaky to be a decent shot, but Ms. Bastian seemed perfectly calm and steady. She wished she was like that, maybe then she'd have more of a chance with Mister Lawless. He seemed the type to like brave strong women more than...scared little bunnies like her. The girl could hear cheers and boos coming from beyond the tarp that covered the door to whatever building this was it looked like some kind of armory and she wondered if their clothes and things were stashed in here somewhere.

    She wished she had the courage to look out and see what they were doing to Mr. Lawless, he looked like he was in a great deal of trouble in the ring even though he'd already killed ten Salties himself. She visibly shook looking down at her hands trying desperately to hold onto the axe. She laughed ironically.

    "I bet my mother would be proud of me, my first day as an adventurer and I've already been ambushed, beaten, felt-up, and now I can't stop myself from shaking."

    Her thoughts elsewhere, Ez glanced over at Sam. She wasn't surprised the girl was frightened, she herself was afraid, both for their lives and Jackal's, although she kept the feelings locked away. She couldn't come up with a way to distract the men in the arena that did not involve dying. Without better weapons and some luck, she would be leading herself and Sam to slaughter.

    Ez moved closer when the girl continued to shake, wrapping her arm around the slim shoulders, and pulling her close. She did it for comfort, but also for warmth. She leaned in close, keeping her voice low. "Hmmm...your mother was a doctor, wasn't she?"

    The girl leaned into the older woman's arm shaking her head slowly.
    "No...well not really. I was adopted by the two formally good Doctor's in Outpost 4. Drs. Green and Green. And they were pretty good parents for a bit. They taught me to read and write and were actually training me in medicine. That was until Doctor Regina died when I was thirteen, then Doctor Dave tried to raise me himself. But he couldn't keep up with his medical practice and raise me, so he turned to gambling to make up the differance, but he sucked at it so he turned to the drink. And soon he was 200 Gold Chips in debt to Simon, and when you're in debt to Simon you pay one of two ways. In blood or in boobs." She let out a sigh cupping her large chest and squeezed her boobs firmly. "I was only fifeteen, but I had these already so I got my first...and only job. I still wasn't quite enough so Simon shot him dead on the spot." Tears streamed down her face. "So I was an orphaned whore, and the worst part was the Greens told me my real mother was alive somewhere. She was fifteen herself when she had me, but the dad was dead and as strong as my real mother was, according to them, she couldn't raise me herself. They did tell me she was a damn good adventurer even so young though."

    Ez listened to the story in silence, her body feeling a chill that had nothing to do with her scant clothing. She sighed heavily and shook her head. "I'm sorry..." she said, "...that...that you went through that. No child should have to pay for their parent's mistakes." Chewing her lower lip, she looked away for a moment, listening to the sounds of the fighting outside as they continued unabated.

    "...and your mother...your real mother...I know she would be proud of you. This life...scaving...it takes some getting used to...and there are lots of dangers. All things considered, you are holding up well..." She squeezed the girl's hand to reassure her, giving her a small smile. "It shouldn't be long now...I think things are starting to escalate out there...if we are going to act, it will have to be soon. I might need you to stay here...as back up...do you think you can do that?"

    Sammy smiled and squeezed Ez's hand back, but was going to ask how Ez would know. But the loud sound of a gunshot was heard over the snarling crowd around the Arena. Silence immediately followed and the women could hear foot steps running back their little hidden door. Ez peeked out and saw that the men that were closest to their new hiding spot were gone. Giving her and Sammy an unhindered view of the carnage below and a quick route to a a pile of crates that could hide them both easily. With something happening in the camp she no longer felt safe leaving the girl alone.

    She took the girl's hand and led her to the large crates. Crouching low they could both see the arena and hear Jackal. He was hoarse from yelling and in his hands were a small hatchet with blood dripping from the head and a two foot long steel pipe. There was some ruckus going on by Salt's Hut, the Raider Queen must've woken up from Ez kicking her ass. But Jackal and the six new men he was fighting didn't seem to care. Each of them wanting the honor of killing the Jackal and Jackal was simply refusing to die.

    "Come on you fucking dogs! I'll send you back the Devil's asshole right here right now!" Blood was dripping heavily from Jackal's body and the dirt under him had turned to rust colored mud staining his barefeet and trashed jeans. The Salties glanced around at their dead comrades, when LaSeur started this game they were eager to try and kill Jackal. But they overestimated their skills and numbers vastly. Jackal quickly killed the first three attackers and armed himself the next seven survived longer being more cautious, but still Jackal killed them all. But they wounded him, eventually he would bleed out...they hoped.

    But these six were young and growing bored fucking Salt's old toys and watching Jackal kill their friends. Ez knew the look on Jackal's face he was showing the wild rage he showed in the bedroom when telling the Frankie story, dangerous, but as scary as that one was it was the quiet burning rage he showed when she first told him about Gabe's lies she hoped to never see again. This loud killing rage was something she could handle it would pass as soon as he got away from the Salties. But she didn't know what would happen should he get pushed to the quiet danger of pure rage she knew the man capable of.

    The six new combatants circled Jackal who snarled grasping his weapons tighter. Words from scripture began flowing from his lips agai.
    "For he is Godís servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out Godís wrath on the wrongdoer." The Salties had no clue what he was saying, but two of them charged. The vigilante moved like lightning his hatchet came up horizontally, he flung it pointblank into the head of the nearest man. The attacker's forward momentum caused his feet to continue forward while his head was whipped backwards. He then brought the pipe up and hammered the back of the hatchet in splitting the man's head cleanly. But he didn't forget the other attacker swinging his entire body around he crashes the pipe across the man's head the sound of bone cracking echoing around the arena.

    This brought the rest of his attackers upon him he was down one weapon. The remaining four swarmed him. But once again Jackal moved quicker then they expected he ducked under the first swing ripping the hatchet from dead man number seven and took out the legs of dead man number nine, before he smashed the axe into his chest. He rolled over number nine's body the pipe coming around to smash the knee of number ten. He spun on his heel and brought the hatchet up and around severing ten's spine. The whole thing only happened in a handful of seconds the bodies almost hitting the ground as one. But Jackal was on his feet shouting like a beast at the rest of the Salties.

    Ez watched Jackal take out the six men with awe...fascination....and dread His movements were fast, liquid, and she almost couldn't keep up with the numerous strikes that destroyed the Salt men. He was more like a machine than a man, and with his final outburst, she felt her heart beating rapidly, her breath coming in gasps. So mesmerized was she with the events that had unfolded before her, that she didn't hear the approaching footsteps until a baritone laugh reached her ears.

    "Well now...what do we have here?" LaSeur mocked, looking at Ez and Sammy with humor in his eyes. "If it isn't the little wild cat...and her kitten...seems I have bettered you again." He allowed his eyes to rove over their bodies openly, lust filling their depths. "I do like your new look."

    Ez leaped to her feet, pushing Sam behind her as she faced off with the man. He was tall and broad, more of a bear than a man, and her bravado brought a smile to his already amused manner. Keeping his stance relaxed, he gestured for one of his men to come closer.
    "Go let Salt know we've found her lost pets," he ordered, then turned his attention back to them.

    As the man moved towards her, Ez stepped backwards, trying to keep some distance between them. Finally, with little room left to navigate, she stopped, glaring up at him in defiance. La Seur laughed, reaching out to her and tracing a line along her cheek. "Salt likes you...really...really...likes you. No one stands up to her...ever. It's a shame...I was hoping to get a piece of you." He back handed her then, surprised when she smiled.

    "A big man like you...and that's the best you got?" she taunted, finally in her comfort zone. When he stuck her again, blood began to ooze freely from her lip. He saw the change come over her and he moved in closer, his mouth covering hers as his hands groped at her and freed her breasts from the fur top. She met his eagerness, grabbing his upper arms to pull him closer. When his hand slipped around her waist, she grabbed it, firmly. "No..." she gasped, redirecting him to her stomach and pushing it downwards. As he continued his advances, she reached behind her back with her left hand and pulled the small dagger from the waist of her fur G-string. LaSeur was a big man, but as she had noted from their first encounter, he also was quick. Ez had no more brought her hand around when her wrist was grabbed. His grip was crushing and he began to laugh. "What did you plan with this--to poke me a little?" He shook his head, his amusement shadowing his earlier lust.

    Ez stared at him, her tongue wetting her lips as she regarded his easy posture...his humor. "No..." she responded, "..it was just a distraction." ...and with that, she pulled the pistol around to the front of her body and squeezed the trigger. Although Ez had anticipated him dodging her first attempt with the dagger, what she wasn't expecting was for him to twist so quickly with the second, diverting the strike from a killing shot to one that only cut through the meaty part of his side.

    LaSeur roared, his hand going to her throat. His grip tightened and Ez felt all the strength go out of her limbs. She saw a flash of movement, followed by a feminine scream, and the air rushed back into her lungs. Taking no time to breathe, she brought up the pistol again and fired point-blank at his chest, squeezing the trigger until it clicked on empty, LaSeur's blood covering her in an instant. As he dropped to the sand, she saw Sam behind him, her axe firmly embedded in his side.

    "Go to Jackal..." she directed, her hands on her knees as she gasped, seeing the slick gown of red that now clothed her. "I'll be right behind you." ...and she was, at least for a few steps. But Ez's luck had run out that day, and in the next moment she was retrained again, this time by her hair. With a quick movement, her head was slammed into a wooden beam, her knees buckling, but her body staying upright due to the pressure of a female body now pressing against her back. "My pet," Salt purred in her ear, "..how I 've missed you." The leader's arm encircled Ez, her hand cupping the scaver's breast and pinching the nipple firmly. Ez gasped with the pain and heard more laughter. "You like that...don't you...and I have so much more to give you." The feel of cool steel was pressed against Ez's brow, the gun's muzzle moving along the line of her jaw, down her neck, between her breasts, then along her flat stomach, finally ending at the waist of her fur panties.

    "Have you ever made love to a pistol? It's...delicious...as I will show you...and so much more. Of course you will be securely tied to my bed...splayed. I will let your master watch...maybe even let him join in, if he behaves."

    Salt grabbed Ez's arm and twisted it behind her, the gun once again against her temple. She moved them into the arena, finally stopping before Jackal, Ez essentially acting as a body shield. With the gun firmed placed, she allowed her hand to rove along Ez's blood covered chest as she scanned the carnage before her with pleasure.

    "Well now, Jackal Lawless...you have exceeded my expectations. I applaud you. Never before have I seen a man like you...you are just what I have been looking for...and since your whore has killed by best dog...well...I'm looking for a replacement." Her eyes roved over his body hungrily, her hand moving lower on Ez's abdomen. "Yes...you and I shall rule together...you by my side." As her finger played at the waist of the fur, Ez visibly stiffened, her body starting to shake.

    "Tell me vigilante, which one of these whores is your favorite? I like this one...but it's your choice. The other one we feed to the dogs...the men can be so hungry." The leader lifted her eyes to the man before her, her mouth tightening into a grimace. "I will make you mine...or you will die...with your whores. What will it be? Choose me, and I'll let her live...or...we can decorate this sand with one more body." As she watched the man, waiting for his decision, the scavver looked up, meeting Jackal's silvery gaze for the first time.

    Where once there was a killing fury, now there was a molten fiery glare, full of hatred and a touch of insanity. Ez recognized that look and it frightened her...even though she knew she had not instigated it, she was in its direct line. She tried to back up...calling to Sammy to move behind him...but Salt clamped a hand over her mouth, silencing her in an instant. There was nothing she could do but wait for his vengeance.

    Sammy needed no further heeding once she was free she rushed behind Jackal. Holding her bloody axe to her chest she looked at the change that had come over him. She's seen lots of angry men, loud angry, drunk angry, pathetic impotency angry. But this was a more terrifying one, one she'd only ever seen in animals about to attack. Cold, steady, coiling up some kind of savage attack. The girl worried if being behind him was safe, but she remembered an old saying Dr. Roger used to say, "it's better to be at the right hand of the devil than in his path. And as Jackal moved himself squarely between Sammy and Salt's line of sight the girl felt safer than she had in a long time.

    The slavering hordes of Salties were silent, eager for Salt to give them the order. They'd swarm the arena. The tall man may be able to kill a few of them, but he wouldn't be able to take them all on and as soon as they got the cute little whore back she'll be all the reward they need. But Jackal stood like a statue, his back straight, his shoulders set back and his steel eyes glowed with the hellfire of pure rage.

    He dropped the pipe and flipped the hatchet to his left hand.
    "Stay here you need not fear any further harm." Was all he said as he walked towards Salt and Ez. He stopped a few feet short of the women his steel eyes resting coldly on Ez for a second before they stared directly into Salt's, the Raider Queen met his gaze fearlessly but he could see the fear and lust behind them. They stayed like that for a few seconds, but Jackal spoke.

    "Release us all or die in the hellfire I will visit upon this camp of sin." His voice quiet, his voice steady, and Ez knew he wasn't bluffing. She tried to inch out of Salt's grip, but the woman grip held and Ezra could feel the woman's body tense up in sudden anger.

    She cocked the hammer back on the pistol aimed at the Scavver's head and shrieked almost directly in Ez' ear.

    "NO MAN ORDERS SALT THE QUEEN OF THE WASTES TO DO ANYTHING!"

    Jackal's face flared in anger, but his voice remained calm.
    "Then you have chosen death." He lifted his right hand to his lips and let out a shrill animal like whistle. Salt stared at him in disbelief for a few seconds, then curled her finger in on the trigger. But soon the sounds of screaming men and the strange hissing roar of some beast. And in seconds Vash burst through the wall of Salt Flyer, his mouth was foaming and his claws and teeth were stained with blood. While not known meat eaters, the Chabbit species when tasting blood have been known to go into a berserk rage. It was the result of mutation and a very excitable nature, and it was the beginning of the end for Salt and her bandits.

    Jackal let out another whistle getting his raging mounts attention. The mad creature looked it's eyes looked like the same kind of cold rage as his masters. Jackal pointed at Salt and said a single phrase
    "Bring her to me." Vash let out a savage roar and bound towards Ez and Salt. The Raider shoved Ez away and tried to fire at the Chabbit. But the beast was undaunted, and collided with Salt and fully threw her into the ring almost directly to Jackal's feet.

    ...and in the next moment, Ez felt herself falling forward and the events that followed occurred so closely together that she could not separate one from another. A burning sensation raked along her scalp and the report of a gunshot rang harshly in her ears. She fell to the blood soaked sands, feeling another body crashing into hers. Sammy was there suddenly, her mouth moving, but nothing coming out...and Ez felt herself being pulled away, the young girl struggling with her weight. There was screaming and Ez put her hands to her ears, her own voice joining in with the others in a mix of frustration and pain. She shook, her eyes riveted on the scene before her...the frightful man in front of her, the screaming Raider at his feet. Slowly as Sammy pulled her away form Jackal and Salt she calmed herself, starting with her breathing, then working to control the tremors, the pain, the torment. Her wall rebuilt itself, brick by brick, while the pretty young blonde girl cried beside her.

    Salt was still stunned by the attack by the Chabbit, she scrambled away. The animal's throw caused her ankle to break in the fall, but still she was trying. Jackal easily kept up he even picked up a discarded whip one of the men he killed had. Once it was in hand he took an extra long step and stamped on the woman's broken ankle making her scream for help. But the enraged Chabbit with no further orders was reeking havoc through the camp. His tough paws ripping through fleeing men and some women, his path crossing many campfires kicking the sparks up everywhere many of the coal catching on the dry huts and other materials around the arena. Soon the entire Salt Flyer camp was ablaze, but none of it mattered to Jackal he was simply enjoying the sheer pain he was inflicting on Salt by pressing into her broken limb. Salt tried to kick free but the man knew what he was doing. She was topless still so he quickly twisted her to her back and lashed the whip down and across her back. Salt let out a piercing scream. But Jackal shouted.

    "Be silent raider whore! Your penance begins now!"

    He lashed another stroke crossing the first.
    "That one was for the defilement of my camp!

    Salt screamed again turning on the man.
    "Please no more, I let the girls go!"

    Jackal's eyes and face remained still his eyes on fire with his desire to punish. A third slash cutting the woman's lowerback.
    "That one was for attacking and killing some of the men."

    Salt was crying from the pain now still pleading.
    "I'm sorry, I'm sorry please. Please I'll let you be in charge, you can be my master as much as you are the others. I can be a good slave, like them" She fearfully pointed at Ez and Sammy.

    Sammy was clutching Ez's arm her eyes wide and her body shaking with Ezra's. "Ms. Bastian why is he...doing that- he's a good man. That-that can't be Mr. Lawless!" Tears were streaming down her face seeing her hero in such a monstrous light.

    At first, Ezra didn't answer, considering what would be best to tell the girl. With each whip strike on Salt's skin she flinched, but she was calmer now, almost under control. "He's doing what needs to be done--ridding the wastes of vermin. It's just his way..." She ran a hand along Sam's hair, trying to comfort her. "It doesn't make him a bad man...just a vengeful one."

    Sammy looked up at her, her blue eyes red rimmed and filled with tears, "..but she's begging...shouldn't he giver her mercy?"

    "Mercy doesn't cure the disease...only death does that." ...and she truly believed her words...although she found it difficult to watch the Saltie queen's torture. Death was easier when it was quick, but Jackal's method was anything but that.

    Jackal brought his whip down again and Salt screamed again in agony. "I have silver...it's all yours..please just stop..."

    Jackal was unmoved by Salt's pleas. But Sammy's cries stopped him. Salt hand turned over to her bleeding back her breasts bouncing gently as she tried to inch away.
    "Yes, yes, all the chips you want and three pleasure slaves! What...what more could a man such as...yourself want?"

    Jacakl stopped whipping Salt, and soon the sounds of gunfire could be heard then Gabe and the rest of the men crested the hill staring down upon what looked like a genuine scene from hell. Blood, Fire, and dead bodies were everywhere. Gabe looked down, his greedy eyes eagerly devouring the topless women before him especially Ez. He could also see the fear in her posture as she watched Jackal whip the Raider bitch. He could use all of this to his advantage.

    Sammy cried hiding her face in Ez's bare shoulder.
    "Please Mr. Lawless stop, you're better than this." She cried only glancing at the vengeful one.

    Clarity seemed to come to Jackal. Salt had moved to her knees before him her hands gripping his belt trying to undo it, hoping maybe she could prove her worth and eagerness by pleasing him quickly. He stopped her mouth lifting it away from the front of his pants. Shaking his head.
    "Where are our items?"

    Salt kept her one hand on Jackal's pants and pointed the other to the hut Ez and Sammy came from after escaping her own hut, it was stone and mostly unaffected by the conflagration still raging around the Bandit camp. "There, there Master Lawless, take as much as you want." She stood up and began moving towards the armory, but the loud crack of a rifle ripped through the air and the Raider Queen collapsed to the ground a bullet hole through her head. It was Deck, he thought she might go after Sammy. Jackal looked up at Deck who simply glared down at Jackal shaking his head slowly before holstering his scoped rifle.

    But the lawman looked at Ez with his cold almost dead stare. His eyes didn't roam over her topless body, a sight that would've aroused him easily. But this time he simply redid his pants and began stalking over to the cowering women. Deck took in a sharp breath lifting his rifle to Jackal, Gabe and the others quickly joining in the short cook's worry.

    With rifles baring down on him, Ez watched the vigilante's approach. Instinctually she moved to block Sam, uncertainty filling her when she saw the blank expression still plastered on his face. She put her hand out, trying to signal him to stop...knowing she couldn't face him on her own...but also knowing she would die trying if she could spare the girl. As he approached she took in the array of wounds he suffered...it would be her only advantage. Her eyes flitted to the men aiming down on him and she shook her head, hoping to stay their hands. She had to believe he wouldn't hurt her...or Sammy...and if she was wrong, she would suffer the consequences.

    With each step the blood loss, and exhaustion began to show plainly on Jackal's face and in his quickly faltering steps. Sammy continued to hide behind Ez, the image of Jackal whipping Salt and the present dead look he was giving them both. They would be branded in her mind, but also Ez's sudden protectiveness over her played through her fear. At the start of the day she wouldn't have anything to do with her and the girl even thought Ezra hated her, but now she had thrown herself in the way of danger for Sammy at least three times. Why?

    She almost voiced her question when Jackal stopped a few feet in front of them his eyes unfocused and his body swaying slowly. "Now you are safe." He quickly dropped to his knees, then fell forward landing to the side of Ez, his hand coming up to grip her's and Sammy gently before his eyes closed.

    Gabe and the other men rode down surrounding Ez, Sammy, and Jackal. The underboss grunted. "Told you he liked the killings."

    Ezra had gone still with Jackal's collapse, immediately feeling concern, a tightening in her chest filling her as she stared at him. There was relief when her men arrived, the feeling quickly leaving her with Gabe's words. She pulled her eyes from Jackal's inert form, gently removing her hand from his, and rose. Her nudity did not deter her from standing tall in front of the scarred man, her shoulders squaring off. She slapped him across his face then, putting everything she had into the blow.

    "He is a better man that you will ever be..." she said simply, her own exhaustion preventing her from saying more--even her rage was used up.

    As Ezra turned from him, she reached for Sammy's hand and drew her to her feet. She led her to the armory where their weapons and clothing were stored, as well as other sorted supplies and coin. She handed Sam a bag with a red cross on it, her own, and told her to help Mr. Lawless. As the girl ran back to his side, Ez pulled down large sacks and began filling them, quickly replacing their lost supplies with new ones. Her expression went blank--mirroring Jackal's only a moment before, as she tried to work out her feelings--those for the vigilante...and those for Sam...

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    Even with the Salt Flyer camp burning around them the Expedition quickly grabbed what loot they could. Weapons, clothing, food, medicine, water and even a couple of Salt's old toy were gathered up like cattle and led away from the burning wreckage. It was done as quickly as possible, and as they group rode away hard the dark sky was lit up bright orange for miles and the black smoke could be smelt all the way back at the small oasis.

    Jackal had been carefully placed in the flat bed of a supply wagon with Vash who has recovered from his blood rage, but was still tweaked his fur bristling and his jaws snapping at anyone who wasn't Ez or Sammy that came close to his wounded master's side. Sammy was seated in front of the wagon with Jackal, she'd cleaned up what she could of his wounds, but even with her bag she'd need lots of time and clean water for him. Neither of which she'd have bobbing around in the wagon, but that suited her fine right now.

    She couldn't look at Jackal now without feeling fear of him, but it also strangely aroused her. The blood, carnage, and near death experiences filled her head with all kinds of thoughts, desires, and adrenaline. She stole some glances at Ez as she rode in back her eyes distant, but her hand was laying gently on Jackal's shoulder holding a bandage over a nasty wound.

    They were a few miles from camp still, but the silence was too much for the young girl. She tried to think of conversation, but could only think of one thing.
    "Thank you Ms. Bastian...for saving me."


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