“You know, I’m getting real tired of having you pop up all sudden like. Ain’t natural,” Crockett said, a trifle bitterly. “Santy Anny had a few like you, wouldn’t have been no damn war.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment,” El Aguila said, tapping Crockett’s throat with the edge of his blade. “And I will also take that golden ornament that Senor Fink is carrying.” Continue reading
‘RUNNING THROUGH THE JUNGLE’
“JesusjesusjesusjeSUS!” Fink bellowed, arms pumping, head down. Crockett found it hard not to agree with the sentiment as the over-sized reptilian engine of death stomped after them, releasing scream after honking scream into the muggy air.
“What the hell is that thing?” he shouted, glancing at Fink.
“Hungry!” Continue reading
“Get up, Fink. We’re in trouble.”
Fink cracked one eye and looked up blearily at the indistinct form crouched over him. He swiped at it with one hand.
“Mike. You don’t get up right now, I’m going to shoot you in the head.” Continue reading
“Thank you very much, Mike!” Crockett barked as the Fool Jim slewed sideways, smoke boiling from her guts, the air screaming past. Fink, holding tight to the railing, released a string of unintelligible curses in reply. Crockett spat one of his own back and looked around, looking for anything at all that could save him from a messy end. There was nothing. Continue reading
‘DUEL UNDER THE SUN’
Ney’s Damascus blade easily parried El Aguila’s own as it darted for Crockett’s heart. Davey glanced at the Frenchman, who inclined his head.
“My pardon. Would you rather-”
“No, no. By all means-” Crockett raised his hands and stepped back.
“Are you sure-”
“Have at him.” Davey turned and lifted his rifle in time to block a looping blow from a man armed with a club. “Ain’t a swordsman, me.” Continue reading
‘ALLIANCES OF INTEREST’
The Fool Jim slewed to the side as thunder rumbled and a distant cannon barked. The snarl of the rifle was a puny thing in the echo of the bigger gun, but it had more impact all the same. Crockett crowed like a rooster as a distant figure pitched backwards away from the rail of the other ship.
He sank down behind the rail and began to reload his rifle with quick, precise movements. Half a minute later he hammered the butt of the rifle against the deck to settle the powder and prepared to stand.
The sound of a pistol being cocked stopped him dead in his tracks. Continue reading
The other air-ship was a blotch on the horizon. Small now, but growing bigger.
“I take it that’s the fellow you swindled out of this-here boat-” Crockett began.
“Ship.” Fink corrected absently. Crockett waved a hand irritably.
“Whatever. Damn it, Mike.”
“What?” Fink looked aggrieved. “How was I to know he’d hold a grudge?” Continue reading
“Michel Ney? Ain’t you dead?” Fink said. Ney laughed.
“Aren’t you?” He gestured at Crockett with the pistol. “And you?”
“Got you there, Mike.” Davy said. Continue reading
‘ABOARD THE FOOL JIM’
“Welcome aboard the Fool Jim, Davy.” Fink said, watching Crockett clamber over the railing. Davy glared at him.
“Not going to give me a hand or nothing?”
“So they tell me.” Fink stretched his arms as if to encompass the air-ship. “What do you think?” Continue reading
‘RACE FOR THE SKY’
Glass shattered and a man flew backwards into the street. He hit the ground, bounced and tumbled into a horse-trough, causing the horses tied there to whicker and shy away. A few seconds later, two more men followed him, though they both stayed on their feet.
Crockett whirled as soon as his boots touched dirt and fired a pistol back they way they had come. A man screamed.
“Them new Colts is something.” Fink said. “Can I-”
“Damn it!” Fink snarled, fists raised. “You got two!” Continue reading