By Tim Meyer A tale of Deadlands Weird West

Previous Story:

Master Chan had offered Chen Li his condolences on the death of his Sifu. But for a favored student like Chen, it was hard to accept that he would not be able to personally avenge the death. "Master Chan, how can I ever face myself? I was unable to kill the man who murdered my Sifu. Sun Shu-Jen murdered Ten Do and I was unable to fulfill my duty and defend his Honor." Chen said, distressed.

"I was the last man who saw Ten Do alive after his battle with Shu-Jen. I had been trying to talk Shu-Jen out of the attack." Master Chan seemed to become uncomfortable as he spoke, "But he said you were his finest student and that he knew one day you and I would cross paths. He asked me to give you this." Master Chan held forward a staff. "As you know this is the only weapon your master ever used and until his death, he would hold it. Ten Do wanted to pass it on to you."

"He wants me to become the new Sifu of the Ten-Do?"

"You know this is your destiny. Chao Li told you to stay and continue Ten-Do's legacy. I will welcome you to teach and learn at my side."

"I have a - commitment. I have been traveling and training a friend of mine. He will not wish to join with us."

"I understand. The bond between master and student is strong."

"That's not exactly it. It is not quite a master and student relationship. We are equals."

"I will take responsibility for what I am about to suggest. I will allow you to continue to work with your 'equal' and to work with us... As long as your loyalties remain in the right place."

He was angrier then he had ever been. They had laughed at him. He had gone in to offer his help and they had laughed at him. They had called him a kid. They had called him a runt. They humiliated him like he had never been before. Timmy glared down the street at the Sheriff's office. Timmy picked up a rock...

Ashlar Mayfair sat across the table from Chen Li. The two friends were absent-mindedly playing a game of poker while they talked. "Mordecai Whateley is dead." Ashlar said.

"I'm sorry you will not be able to kill him... I know how that feels." Chen Li stated.

"The Whatley Family though is still on worth keeping an eye on after all they and their new friends 'The Black Circle' have done to me and my family." Ashlar paused to show Chen his full house, Chen sighed and tossed in his cards, "They also summoned a large Demon and that is part of what killed Mordecai, the events surrounding that summoning were very chaotic and you can her five versions of the same event."

"Have you determined the truth?"

"Well it seems the demon 'Knicknevin,' was destroyed by The Ghost and a enigmatic man named Stoker. I wish to find out more about Austin Stoker, so I will be staying in town as well."

Chen and Ashlar had been talking for nearly 2 hours and had yet to run out of things to say. The two had traveled together for a very long time and now that they were apart more and learning new things they made it a point to sit down on occasion and compare notes on the goings on in their lives and this town called Gomorra.

Chen realized that the rest of the saloon had gone very quiet as they talked. Turning, he saw two familiar figures walking towards their table.

Timmy was tossing the rock a few inches off his hand as he considered throwing it right through the window of the Sheriff's office. Timmy had practiced to hard and too long for his hopes to be crushed that easily and if the Law didn't want him...

"Zao, Mr. Bilton, Mr. Jefferson. I did not expect to see you here. Our feet continue to walk the same path." Chen Li greeted them men approaching the table.

Nash pulled up a seat by the friends. "Chen! Mr. Mayfair! When did you two roll in here? Can't have been long, or I'd have heard..." "Just a couple weeks ago, and when did you two head out this way?" Ashlar returned.

"We left right after you two did, we had a few stopovers, but we made good time." Bill Jefferson said smiling.

"So you two found work yet?" Nash asked.

"Well Chen Li is working with his Cousin, but we are both free agents, why you need some help?"

"Just so happens I'm puttin' together a bunch of good guns to fill the gap that girl Sheriff can't. A town needs a strong lawman, after all, and jus' look what happened after they let Hunter take over."

"As long as they can pay?"

"Well, our time and manpower are quite valuable..." Bill interjected.

"I do not agree with taking money for good deeds." Chen Li said, "But as I wish to save lives I will go along with it."

"A Job upholding the law and maintaining my status as a free agent, I will sign on for the time being Nash. When do we start?" Ashlar said, shuffling his cards.

"How's now for you, we've been informed that there is a problem on the edge of town. We just have to stop by the office on our way to solve the problem."

The group all headed for the door.

Timmy lifted the rock and pulled back his arm to prepare for the toss. He was about to throw it when he felt a large hand close over his hand and the rock. Timmy spun to see Nash Bilton taking the rock from his hand.

"Son if you got a problem with the sheriff's office, this won't solve it." Nash told Timmy.

"And how do you suggest I solve it Mr. Bilton?" Timmy asked.

"Help us put the Sheriff's office out of business."

Timmy looked at the 4 grown men. They were offering him a job as a good guy. They weren't making fun of him. These were good honest men and they didn't like the Sheriff either.

"So you in son?"

Timmy nodded. "Yessir. I'll make you proud."

The five of them continued down the street and entered The Nash Bilton Protection Agency.