There's a saying that when the Sun sets in one part of the world, it rises in another. Well…that's the best way to describe the beginning of this strange tale.
The Year was 1875, if I remember correctly. Now, I didn't really know much about it back then, but during that last decade or so, the lands in the far East was going through some mighty big changes. You see… The island of Japan had just entered what is known as The Meji-Era, where once again the land was put under imperial rule.
A lot changed when that happened, for a lot of people. But perhaps for none more than those legendary warriors…the Samurai. You see, during the Meji-restoration, a lot of new laws were put in place to uphold peace and the like. And well…what the hell's a warrior supposed to do with peace? And not only that, but the country itself realized it was pretty far behind the times when it came to advancements in technology, cuz let's face it, for most people, you put a gun against a sword? The guns gonna win….for most people…Anyways, the warriors of Japan found themselves in a heap of trouble. The way of the Samruai was dying. There just weren't no use for them in the new world.
But like I said, when the sun sets in one place, it rises in another. You see, that time period was also a time of pioneering and growth, in a land far across the ocean. This new world was just being formed, and was filled with all sorts of wonders and riches, just waiting for folks to come in and pick its golden fruit. This was a world that could be just as dangerous as it was unforgiving. This was a world filled with adventure and excitement. This was a world filled with heroes, villains, and just about everything in between.
This was the world… of the Wild West.
The saloon's swinging doors were thrown open, nearly breaking off their rusty hinges. The tavern's usually noisy patrons fell silent as three men stepped into the building, everyone's heads turning to stare at the newcomers. Each of them was armed, a revolver strapped to their sides. The tallest of the three men stepped forward as he looked around the bar, drawing his gun. His eyes narrowed when his gaze settled on a man sitting in the back of the saloon.
Sneering, the gunman walked toward him, signaling for the other two men to follow. The tall man raised his gun as he neared the man sitting at the table. The man had his hat tilted forward to cover his eyes and his legs resting on top of a second chair, ignoring the tall man.
"I knew I'd find you here." The gunman growled, cocking his gun, "Everywhere you go, you always leave a big trail of blood behind. Don't you, Raikou Chandler, The Devil Killer."
The man called Raikou titled his head slightly, his expression still hidden by his hat. The gunman kicked his chair lightly.
"Get up." He ordered, "I wanna finish this face to face. Then I'll feel real good about collecting that one million dollar reward on your head."
Behind them, the bar erupted in a frenzy of whispers.
"Holy Shit…you mean that's Raikou the Devil Killer?"
"What's he doing here? Hell, how'd he even get in without us noticing?"
"Did he say One million dollars?"
"Raikou the Devil Killer…"
The gunman kicked Raikou's chair again when he didn't move.
"I said get up! I'm giving you a chance to fight like a man! If you don't I'll just blow your damn head off right here!"
A sigh escaped Raikou's lips as he reached up and pushed the brim of his hat up, revealing his golden eyes, his gaze locked onto the man with the gun.
"Well?" The gunman asked, "Get up and lets draw."
Raikou stared at the gunman for a few more moments before leaning back and tilting his hat back over his face. The gunmans eyes twitched in furry as he gritted his teeth. A click echoed throughout the bar as he cocked his gun.
"Why you bastard!"
Raikou suddenly raised his hand, brushing aside the side of his coat to reveal a black handle. His hand hovered over it.
"Boss he's going for a gun!" One of the gunman's partners exclaimed.
"Shut up!" the boss shouted, glaring back at his partner. Scowling, He stared down at the Devil Killer, "So, are you gonna fight me or not?"
Raikou was silent for a moment, before his tilted his head slightly, his golden eyes staring calmly at the gunman.
"I think…it would be more of a fair fight like this…" He said in a low voice. The gunman's hand started shaking in fury. He gnashed his teeth together.
"Oh? Is that fuckin so! Fine! If you wanna die like a coward so bad, THEN DIE!" He shouted, pulling the trigger. Raikou's hand grasped the back handle. A gunshot rang out and a flash of steel flickered in the saloons light.
The rest of the patrons ducked as a glass of alcohol shattered and a hole was torn into one of the wooden walls. As the sound of the shot died down the bar fell silent, the only sounds being the dripping of the spilled drink.
Sweat suddenly started dripping down the gunmans face as he stared at the weapon in his shaking hand. His mouth had fallen open in complete shock.
"A-ah…" He tried to speak but no words came out as he stared at the barrel, which was cleanly cut in half. Slowly, he tore his eyes away from the smoking gun to the man standing before him.
Raikou slowly lowered his katana, a small bit of smoke was rising from the gleaming blade. He tilted his head so he could look at the gunman from under his hat.
"So," He said calmly, "Wanna go again?"
The gun clattered as it hit the floor. Moaning slightly, the gunman fell to his knees, his eyes unfocused, and his whole body shaking in terror.
"Boss!" One of his partners exclaimed, rushing forward.
"Boss! Snap out of it! Come on!" The other shouted, grabbing the gunman by the shoulders. Raikou stared at the three for a moment before sighing. The sound of sliding metal filled the saloon as the man sheathed his sword. Putting his hands in his pockets he walked past the men and headed for the door.
The rest of the patrons could only stare at his back as he lazily pushed one of the doors aside and walked out into the sunlight.
"Now I know why he's called the Devil of the East. That guy…he had a freakin sword."
"And I though the Devil Killer was just some chinaman with a chip on his shoulder. Definitely wasn't expecting that."
"They say he's killed over a hundred men."
"I've heard that he destroyed an entire town with just six bullets and that sword."
"They say that his gun was made by demons and his sword was forged in fires of hell itself."
"Raikou the Devil Killer. Jesus Christ, I can't believe there's really such a man."
GUNBLADE 01: The Goofball Badass From The East
The train's horn wailed in the distance. From atop the hill, the horses stomped their feet impatiently, digging into the grassy earth with their hooves.
"Raikou…Chandler…" The wanted poster bended in the breeze, "Also known as the Devil Killer, the Devil of The East, and the Lightning Demon. Whaaaa?" The woman frowned, cocking her head as she stared down at the paper in her hand.
"Wanted for Suspected Murder, Suspected Robbery, Extortion, Destruction of Public Property, Suspected Arson, Suspected Kidnapping- Jesus! Is there anything this guy hasn't done?"
The woman looked up from the wanted poster and glanced over her shoulder. A tall man with combed back greasy hair and a shotgun strapped across his back looked at her quizzically from atop his horse.
"The boys are ready to go." The man informed her. The woman smirked, crumping up the paper in her hands. Tossing it forward it was quickly blown away in the wind.
"I've got a good feeling about this one Sam." She grinned. "We're gonna make some bank today."
The one called Sam smiled, shaking his head slightly. "Just don't be too overconfident, Jackie."
Jackie laughed, pulling on the reigns of her horse. "Yeah, yeah." She chuckled. "Anyways..." The trains horn was much closer now, "Lets go work. It's payday!"
The constant rattle of the wheels on the rails was somewhat dulled inside the cars. Through the windows, the country side could be seen rushing by as the train sped through the grasslands.
"Mommy!" A young boy called, "Is he dead?" The child pointed at the man sitting in the seat across from them.
The young man was leaning against the window with his legs curled up in a fetal position. He had a blank and unfocused look in his eyes as he stared at nothing, moaning occasionally.
"N-No, sweetie." The child mother replied, gently lowering the childs hand. "Sir? Are you alright?"
"Trains…" The man mumbled to himself, "I hate trains. Such a big engine, all that fire. Throwing all that fuel in it. It'll blow up. It'll blow up for sure…"
"Sir?" The woman repeated, a little louder. The man blinked, as if just realizing his position. Slowly he sat upright and looked around before noticing the woman and the child.
"Oh, sorry ma'am." The man replied, scratching the back of his head in embarrassment. "I tend to get a little nervous on trains. I would rather just ride my horse, but Ridgstone's way too far for that, especially cuz I'm in a hurry." The man laughed easily, crossing his legs on the seat as he smiled.
"Oh, I see." The woman replied, a little surprised by the mans openness. "It's no problem. Please don't mind my son." She apologized.
"Haha, it's no problem." The man smiled, reaching beside him and picking up his hat. The boy cocked his head at him.
"Why're you so afraid of trains mister?" The boy asked. The mans eyes suddenly crossed.
The woman's eyes widened as the man fell into the position he was in earlier, slumping up against the window.
"S-sir!" She exclaimed, "Jimmy! Stop bothering the nice man!" She scolded. After a second, the man groaned and forced himself upright. Adjusting his hat he forced a sheepish smile.
"Sorry, It's kinda stupid I know. But I can't help it."
"I'm really sorry Mr.…" The woman trailed off. The man smiled, pushing on the top of his hat to reveal more of his face.
"You can call me Chandler Ma'am." He said kindly, "And don't worry about it. I can tell you got a real nice kid there. You must be a real good mother."
"Ah, thank you." The woman said, blushing slightly. She paused, a thought striking her. "Chanlder? That name sound a bit familiar. I know I've heard it somewhere before…"
"Aha, have you?" The man said, laughing nervously, "Well it's not that uncommon of a name. H-Hey, if you don't mind me asking, what're you two doing going all the way out to Ridgestone?" He asked, quickly changing the subject. The woman smiled softly as she rubbed the top of her childs head.
"Oh I don't mind. We're trying to get a fresh start. About a year ago his father passed away. I thought I might be able to keep us going on the small salary I made working at the local saloon and a bit my husband left behind for us, but it was all just too much. We're heading out to live with some family until we can find a way to get back on our feet."
"Oh, I'm sorry about your husband." Chandler said, looking saddened, "It must have been hard."
"Losing family is always hard." The woman smiled sadly. "But that's life I suppose. What about you? What are you doing headed so far out west?"
"Ah, I'm actually searching for some answers about my own father." Chandler replied, his smile returning.
"Yeah, My father went missing when I was a kid. So I came all the way to this land to try and find some information about it. This was where he was originally from."
"This land? What do you mean?" The woman asked. Chandler grinned.
"Well you see, I'm actually from-" He was cut off when the train cars door was suddenly burst open, nearly ripping from its hinges. Gunshots rang out as bullets were fired into the roof of the car, causing women to scream and children to cry. A young woman stepped into the passenger car, lazily twirling one of her colt's while holstering the other.
"Hey everybody. Havin a nice ride?" She asked in a cocky smile, peeking out from under her hat.
Chandler, crouching behind his seat, narrowed his eyes as several more armed men stepped into the car behind the woman. He blinked in surprise when he heard sniffling next to him. The woman's child was sitting on the floor next to him, rubbing his face as tears threatened to spill out from his eyes. The child sucked in a quick breath when he felt a hand fall on top of his head. Lowering his hands he saw Chandler kneeling next to him. The man never took his eyes off of the woman and her gang as he spoke to him.
"Don't cry kid." He said, his voice uncharacteristically serious, "You'll be okay."
"Alright then!" The woman called out. "I'm sure you know what this is. Hell, I'll bet some of you have been in this situation before. Just your standard hold up. Do what we want and we won't hurt you. Simple as that."
"Simple as that! You damn bitch!" One of the passengers shouted, standing up, "I don't take orders from a cheap whore like you! You expect me to believe you're going to rob us! Just who the hell do you think you are!"
Red suddenly splattered the cars wall as a shot rang out. The man fell back, screaming in pain and clutching the side of his face where his ear used to be. The woman lowered her gun, looking angered.
"Don't listen to me…" She continued, looking around the car, "And that happens."
No one said a word.
"Hey Sam." The woman called. A tall man holding a shotgun stepped up beside her. The passengers shrank back in terror as he passed them.
"Start collecting, and watch out for anything funny, you never know what kinda freaks could be on these trains."
"Okay you heard the boss!" Sam said to the other men, "Get to work."
Grinning, the other two reached into their pouches and pulled out burlap sacks, holding them out to the passengers for them to drop their valuables in. The woman watched while the two worked, keeping her gun cocked and moving it across the crowd.
Jackie opened up her gun to reload the bullet she had used while surveying the robbery.
Che, what a damn waste…
Flicking her gun, the barrel fell back into place. Letting out a sigh she glanced at Sam who was watching the other two collect from the passengers while occasionally glancing at both door to check for any unwelcome intruders. Seeing that everything was running smoothly she walked to the back of the car, not interested in actually robbing people herself. She had only taken three steps before she heard an angry shout behind her.
"What the hell do you mean no! This ain't a choice you dumbshit!"
Biting back a frustrated sigh Jackie turned back around to see one of her gang members pull out his gun and point it at a young man with brown hair and wearing a long black coat. He was kneeling in front of a woman and a child with his hands held in the air and a nervous smile on his face.
"Please sir, can't you just leave them alone? The kids father just died and they don't have that much money. You can have mine instead." He said forcing a chuckle.
"I was gonna take yours anyway dumbass! Do you think I give a rats ass about their problems! I said put your money in the damn bag!"
"Come on," The man pleaded, "Can't you just find it in your heart to let these two go?"
The outlaw gritted his teeth, cocking his gun. "How bout I just shoot all three of you and take the loot off your fucking cor-GHA!" The man fell to the side when the butt of Jackie's gun slammed into his face. Falling in a heap on the floor the bags contents spilled out, covering the ground.
"Did I say you could shoot anyone?" Jackie asked coldly, looking down at the man.
"B-boss?" The man yelped when he suddenly found the spur of her boot next to his face.
"I said no killing today, Ralph." The woman said darkly.
"I said. No. Killing." Jackie stated again. "I told you that earlier, and now I have to tell you again. So either your freakin stupid, or you were about to disobey an order….well?" Her red eyes glared down at him, "Which is it?"
The man stared up in terror, his mouth open as he tried to speak.
"I…I'm just stupid?" Ralph let out a breath when Jackie lowered her boot.
"I don't need an idiot in my gang." She said, turning back around, "So wise up or get the hell out."
Ralph stared at her back as she walked back down to the end of the car. Reaching up to touch his bruised face he scowled. His fist clenched angrily as Sam kneeled down next to him.
"Shoulda listened." The tall man said.
"Che, shit." He hissed, glaring at Jackies back. "Why the hell are we even following a woman anyways? 'No killing' what bullshit. Women are freakin soft. They shouldn't be running gangs."
"Hmm? You think so?" Sam raised an eyebrow. The man smirked.
"Hah, I say we just shoot her in the back and throw her off the damn train. We need someone more dependable. Like yourself, Sam."
Sam cocked his head, "You really think that?" he asked.
"Anyone would be better than that bitch!" Ralph responded, his voice low enough for Jackie not to hear. Sam rubbed his chin, apparently thinking.
Ralph screamed as he thrown out of the moving train. The outlaw hit the ground hard, a loud crack sounded as his arm broke. Rolling a small distance he came to rest on his back. Laying on the dessert ground, the train sped on without him.
"Well that's just more for the rest of us." Jackie shrugged, turning and walking back into the car, Sam following in after her. The Gang leader walked down the aisle, ignoring the nervous stares of the passengers. Frowningshe stopped in front of the brown haired man, who was still kneeling in front of the mother and her child. He looked up at her, expecting her to do something. Slowly her eyes drifted from him to the mother.
"Oi you." She called, "You're money. Give it to me. All of it."
"But-!" The man started to speak but fell silent when Jackie pulled out her gun and cocked it, pointing it at his head.
"Now." The Gang Leader demanded. Her hands shaking, the woman reached into her inner coat pocket and pulled out a small drawstring sack. Slowly she held it out for the woman to take. Holstering her weapon Jackie grabbed it and opened it, peering inside. She frowned at the pathetic amount of bills and coins inside.
"This is it? You're not lying?" She asked coldly. The woman shook her head, the terror on her face telling that she wasn't. Jackie stared down at the money in her hand for a moment longer before sighing, tightening the drawstring and tossing it back at the mother, who was barely able to catch it.
"Hold onto that." Letting out a breath Jackie turned to walk away but paused when she saw the man staring at her.
"What?" She hissed.
"Ah." The mans expression changed from shocked to a simple smile, "It's just…I was thinking you're pretty nice. You're not a normal gang leader are you? You're actually kind, and pretty too-" the man let out a yelp when Jackie brought her fist down on top of his head.
"Shut up, you're annoying." She growled angrily.
Turning away from the man she called out to the man holding the bags of valuables.
"Hey Jason, how're we doing?"
"Just finished up boss." The man's voice was nervous as he tied the sacks, "But…we've got a problem."
"What kind of problem?" Jackie asked, gritting her teeth in irritation.
"A big one." Sam answered, looking out the window. Jackie sighed again before walking over next to him to look outside. Her eyes widened in surprise before suddenly narrowing.
"Shit." She cursed as she watched the men on horseback ride up next to the speeding train. Whooping and shouts could be heard as several men jumped from their horses onto the luggage car in front of them.
"We gotta go." Jackie said, turning towards the back of the passenger car. Suddenly a hole was blown through the door, ripping it off its hinges. Slowly, Jackie turned around. The door creaked as it fell forward onto the floor.
"…Too late." Jackie muttered as several men dressed in black stepped into the train car, each one of them heavily armed. One man with two silver revolvers stepped forward, twirling them in each hand.
"My good ladies and gentleman if I could have your attention ple-" The man froze when his gaze landed on Jackie. The woman gang leader grimaced as a the man stared at her for a minute before a twisted smile spread across his face.
"Well holy shit." The man whistled, the glee evident in his voice. "Jacqueline Rose, and her merry band of ball-less pussies. I don't fuckin believe it. What are the odds that we would try and rob the same damn train?" He laughed, tilting his head back slightly, never taking his eyes off Jackie. The woman Gang Leader clenched her fists as she scowled, her hand inching towards her holster.
"Oh and look!" The man continued, glancing at Jason. "Check it out boys! Old Jackie here's gone and gathered up all the loot for us! Ain't that sweet of her?"
"Like hell I have, Wakes." Jackie spat. "I got here first. Go find yourself a candy store to rob."
Wakes smirked, cocking his gun. "A nice idea, but you know what? I've got a better one." he said, "How about I shoot you dead right here, once and for all. Take the loot, and have myself a nice evening at a saloon. Hell, with you finally dead, I might be feeling good enough to spend a little at a nice brothel. You got any relatives you'd like to recommend?"
Jackie eyes narrowed in furry, grasping her guns handle so hard her knuckles turned white. She was about to draw her weapons when she froze, finding the barrel of Wakes revolver only three feet from her head. The outlaw smirked.
"Too slow." He pulled the trigger. Smoke flew from the gun as the shot rang out. The entire car fell silent, the only sounds being the rattling of the rails under the train. The passengers stared in shock. Even the children had fallen silent, their eyes wide as they grasped their parents clothes. For a full minute, nobody moved.
Looking down at his gun, Wakes eyes narrowed.
Shaking, Jackie slowly raised a hand to her cheek, feeling the shallow cut the bullet had made as it grazed her face.
"…He…missed?" Sam breathed, surprise evident on his face. Wakes stared at his gun for a moment longer before gritting his teeth in fury.
"What the hell!" The barrel of the gun had a large dent in its side. The once gleaming silver was now tarnished with black scorch marks. Wakes hand started to shake as he glared at his now ruined gun.
Wakes and Jackie both slowly turned their heads at the voice. Their eyes widened when they caught sight of the still smoking barrel of a Colt Revolver. The brown haired man was sitting with his back against the car wall, the hand holding the gun resting on his knee. His hat had fallen forward to cover his eyes.
"I'd feel bad if I just sat by and let you killed her, you know?" The man said, lifting his free hand to raise the brim of his hat to reveal his golden eyes.