EPISODE 3: Viva La Bandit

"Sometimes it takes time to see a person's true colors if they're stubborn."

~Anonymous

"Welcome to Las Vegas, boys! Population, I have no idea…"Snake Skin proclaimed.

After two days of travel, Jack, Snake Skin, and Dan enter the once notorious city, Las Vegas. Of course, it was also hit by the Cataclysm, which it is as desolated as Phoenix and every other city. Yet, Las Vegas is still known to house many people. But the only problem is, there was nobody in sight. Snake Skin looked around while pushing the bike. For some reason, people were heading indoors. Jack looked at the sky, and it was sunny and clear. What were they hiding from?

"Snake Skin, what's going on…?" Jack mumbled, dragging his pole.

Snake Skin put a hand on Jack's head. He didn't make eye contact. "I don't know. Someone scary I bet, maybe a bandit."

Dan spotted a woman, possibly out side of her house. "Hey, lady!"

"Dude, you're not gonna fall in love with every girl you see, y'know." Snake Skin told him, this time looking at him.

"I'm just going to ask for information." Dan clarified, walking over to the woman. She was covered in a long white cloth. "Excuse me? Why is everyone hiding?"

The woman grabbed Dan's jacket sleeve and pulled him close. "You must get out of here, or the Whip Girl will get your money."

"Wait a second, who's-" Dan was cut off by the woman dragging him inside her house. "Waaaaaiiiiiii…!"

Snake Skin sighed as he grabbed Jack by the arm with one hand, and the bike handle with the other. "C'mon, Danny the lover needs us."

"Hey, wait- Snake Skin!" Jack was being dragged into this a little too quickly, sadly alike to Dan.

Later…

The three were inside the woman's home, which was once a stripper bar. There was a lot of furniture, which fit the fact that it could be lived in. The woman was quite old, around in her 70's. She gave Snake Skin and Dan some wine to drink.

"So you're saying this girl takes only men's money, right?" Dan said, drinking some wine. He was sitting next to the woman on a vibrant couch, one of his arms wrapped around the back of it. The woman had a sad face, so he tried not to make eye contact.

"That's right. She's a terror to this town. They call her the Whip Girl. She rides on a jet-black horse, and uses a long whip to get men's money." She implied, looking downward. "I heard she also has an eye patch on her right eye."

"Wow, she sounds nice." Snake Skin replied sarcastically, drinking as well. "Too much whipping in there for her to be charming, though." He was sitting on a red recliner, with his feet up.

"Why are there so many bad people in the world?" Jack asked, sitting on the arm of the recliner Snake Skin was occupying.

"Because of the Cataclysm, Jack." Dan stated rather loudly. Jack looked up at him. "People didn't know what happened exactly, but since the world was destroyed and crap, people want power and money even more, so they can feel better about themselves. I've seen it a lot. Even I do it, but just for survival."

"Why do you sound like and old man every time you talk? That's a better question." Snake Skin pointed out, drinking the rest of his wine. Dan glanced at him, growling. Snake Skin stood up. "I'm going after this girl anyway."

"But you can't!" The woman also stood up.

"No worries, I have a rank Z, and I'll give the money to Dan. I can do it." Snake Skin clarified, sticking his hands in his pockets.

"He does have a point." Dan said. Jack just nodded in agreement.

"Fine. But don't blame me for anything."

Somewhere else…

Clarissa kept the grip on the man's collar as she took his wallet. He started to babble nonsense, so she let go. The man ran off back to his house like a mouse back to its hole. She smiled as she mounted her black horse, Rider of the Storm, or just Storm for short. She rolled up her whip and put it back on the belt. She shifted a loose lock of hair to the side and kicked her horse to go.

She went down yet another abandoned street, or what it seemed to be. People here were either scared of her or were broke. She then saw a very expensive looking motorcycle parked on the side. But a man emerged from the building it was parked in front of.

Snake Skin looked at the girl. She had reddish-pink hair that was put up in a ponytail. She had one eye patch and the other eye was an emerald green. She had a buffalo-skin vest with a pink shirt underneath it. She had black fingerless gloves. She had a brown belt with the whip holstered to it. She had jeans that were rolled up to her knees. She had buffalo skin cowboy boots. She was about Snake Skin's age. "So you're the one terrorizing the town, girl."

"Hm, and you're a gunslinger." She looked down upon Snake Skin.

"I don't like to be called that." Snake Skin got serious. He took out his dual guns, and kept them at his side. He slowly walked toward her.

"You're quite interesting, boy. If you want to fight, then I advise you that I won't hold back."

Snake Skin smiled. "I'm no boy. And I just want to see what you got." He raised his gun and fired at shot. She moved her head to the side, nearly missing the bullet. She jumped off Storm and brought out her whip. She kept her eyes on Snake Skin as she tied her horse to a bar. They both moved to the middle of the street. They both stared at each other for a good two minutes until Snake Skin raised both guns and started to shoot. She side-stepped, and moved backward. She flung the whip towards Snake Skin's direction, and slapped him in the wrist on his left hand, making him drop the gun. He stopped shooting. "Lucky hit, girl."

"It's Clarissa!" She shouted, flinging the whip again. Snake Skin took notice of her footing and saw which direction of the hit. He dodged to the side, and did a kill shot. Luckily, it did hit her, but it only tore her vest a little. As if she took it as a real hit, she fell to her knees. "How could you predict…?"

"I'm a rank Z, remember?" Snake Skin came over to her, and offered her a hand. "You're still a good fighter, none the less."

She blushed a little and took his hand. As she got up, her face was still red. Storm neighed and jumped up. Snake Skin looked behind him and looked grim-faced. Clarissa went to Snake Skin's side and saw no one other than bandit riders. There were at least 5 men on brown horses surrounding them. Possibly the leader of the bandits who had a Mohawk and dark sunglasses laughed. "We enjoyed watching your little battle, but we want all your money, Whip Girl."

While inside the old woman's house, Jack was waiting. The woman had returned to her room for some reason that she didn't tell them. Dan was just taking a nap on the couch, with his hat over his face. Jack was sitting on the recliner, twiddling his thumbs. Dan probably noticed, and sat up, stretching. "What's wrong with you?"

"Snake Skin's been gone for a good 10 minutes. It normally takes him five or seven." Jack said nervously.

"Kid, I wouldn't worry that much." Dan yawned.

Jack heard the sounds of neighing. He looked confused, and then went up to one of the windows in the front. "Do you hear that?"

"Sort of…" Dan came up to him. Jack and Dan looked out the window, seeing Snake Skin surrounded by bandits. Jack's eyes shot open and ran to his pole. "Kid, you can't possibly…"

"He needs my help. Sure he's a rank Z, highest rank next to X, but he can't fight off that many guys a once!" He picked up his pole.

Dan was surprised. He blinked a couple of times, and then sighed. "Alright, fine. But I'm coming too." Dan grabbed his gun that was at his side. Jack nodded, and then they emerged from the building.

Snake Skin smirked as his comrades came out side to join him. "Took you guys long enough."

"Yeah, well…" Dan loaded up two more bullets.

The leader of the bandits looked at the two new arrivals. "Oh, so you got friends, whip girl. Possibly boyfriends?"

Clarissa looked at both Jack and Dan. "They are not! I've never met them before!"

Dan smirked. "Don't worry, we got you covered." He gripped the side of his hat as he looked at Clarissa.

"Yeah, you just sit back, we got this one." Jack raised his pole. "When was the last time we fought together?"

"All three of us? Never." Snake Skin said. "Bring it on, bandits."

The leader smiled, and moved his horse forward, and drew a dagger. "Go, my men!" Clarissa backed off, as the battle began.

Jack was ambushed by two of them, in which one had a long dagger, and the other a gun. Jack spun his pole to deflect bullets, then to pierce the gunner off his horse with the end of it. The one with the dagger charged toward Jack, and did a stab motion with the weapon, but Jack moved to the side. He then swung the pole to the back of the bandit's head, making him topple over, off his horse.

Dan had to handle two of his own, both with daggers. Dan held his hat down as he fired kill shots. He pointed one down to a horse hoof, which made it jump, shaking its rider off. Dan smirked, but it didn't last long when the other bandit came up behind him and slashed along his back, cutting his jacket and skin. He howled in pain, and turned and shot the bandit, making him tumble to the ground, actually killing him. Dan grit his teeth, it happened again.

Snake Skin shot countless bullets at the lead bandit, but he deflected them with great accuracy. Snake Skin growled, looking at his wounded comrade. But for each bullet, it is always deflected. This isn't going to work.

The lead bandit laughed evilly, and pointed the dagger to Snake Skin's throat. "Watcha goin' do now?"

But the dagger was taken out of the bandit's hand because of Clarissa's whip. The dagger landed in Clarissa's hand. He growled at her, and dismounted. "You little bi-" He was cut off by a shot from Snake Skin. Blood trickled down his chest. He was shot in the lower abdomen. He fell to the ground with a thump.

"Man, are you rude or what? Calling a perfectly good girl a female dog." Snake Skin said, kicking his body a little. "Now let's clean this up."

Later…

After the living bandits left, the dead ones were buried, and they made camp outside of the city. The group was eating chicken wings from the old lady. She seemed really grateful. Jack devoured a lot, about six. Snake Skin started a fire as the sunset on the eventful day. Even Clarissa joined them in something to eat. Storm was chewing on an apple, and then fell asleep.

"Ow, watch it." Dan groaned, trying to stay still. He had to strip down his clothes in order to bandage up his wound. It was all across his back, along the shoulders. The most uncomfortable part was the fact that Clarissa, a bandit girl, nearly 10 years younger than him, was wrapping bandages around him.

"Oh, quit it, you big baby." Clarissa joked. The bandages started to turn red. "You ok?"

"That's the second worse wound I've ever had." Dan turned to her. Clarissa blushed. "Is there something wrong?"

"Sorry, I've never been around boys who've been traveling, and about my age." She turned away. She then mumbled, "Let alone touch one…"

Dan this time blushed. "You're at least ten years younger than me!" He looked away. "Geez..."

Snake Skin laughed. Jack tried to, but he was busy eating the chicken wings. Once Jack swallowed, he asked, "Clarissa, what did you do before this?"

She looked up at the sky. The stars were quite bright. "Well, I grew up in a little town, and my mom was into rodeos. So as I grew up, I learned to handle bulls and horses, and did it for other's enjoyment. I even knocked out an eye." She pointed to her eye patch. "And sometime in my early teens, my mom died because of rape. I began to gain anger against men because I thought all they do was leer at girls, get drunk, and have sex. I thought they were worthless, so I took my mother's whip, and Storm over there," She gestured to her sleeping horse. "…And started to take men's money because of what they did to me. So now I'm here."

Dan chuckled to himself. "More subtle than my background."

Jack just smiled. "You know what, how about you join us in traveling to the gate?"

"Uh, really?" Clarissa looked surprised. "But my rank…"

"It shouldn't be much of a problem, really." Jack replied.

"Yeah, I hate to drag Danny around on my motorcycle, so why the heck not? We need a chick on the team." Snake Skin shrugged. Dan looked annoyed at that name.

"Oh, I don't know. I don't think Storm would like walking for so long." Clarissa shifted uncomfortably.

"We take breaks." Dan said, biting into a chicken wing. "Hm. These are good."

She picked up her whip, and stood up. "Fine, count me in. I kind of hate being in one place all the time." She started to act mature again.

"Great, let's get started." Dan exclaimed, falling over in drowsiness. "After we sleep."

All of them just ended up laughing.

[Sorry if that was rushed….]