Tag Archives: james

Deadlands – Fallen Flags Episode 14

Agency Internal Dossier TOP SECRET – US EYES ONLY Verification Code 2-15-19-19-B Subject: Dr. Darius Hellstromme, Multiple Degrees, Multiple Universities Author: “Tom Bondsley”, Field Agent

Alright, here’s where the (alleged) spy work gets tricky. There’s any number of fictionalized accounts of Hellstromme’s life and upbringing, ranging from him being some kind of heaven-sent angel of technology and war to him secretly being one of his own automatons, looking to fill the world with beings like him. To be frank, I don’t think he needs to be an automaton to do that, his college is doing perfectly fine at it by their own mundane means. Anyway, as near as I can tell, here’s the procedure of events. He was born to a poor London family in the 1820s, and was recommended to the military engineers by his factory-owning uncle. From there, he went off to India, and… something happened that changed his outlook on the use of technology. I’ve lost three men so far trying to figure out what. I think one of them is oiling a set of gears somewhere now. Either way, he came out to these parts, chasing the smell of ghost rock. And I get the feeling that between The West and him, one is going to end up killing the other before the rock runs dry.
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Deadlands – Fallen Flags Episode 13

Agency Internal Dossier
TOP SECRET – US EYES ONLY
Verification Code 2-15-19-19-A
Subject: Dr. Darius Hellstromme, Multiple Degrees, Multiple Universities
Author: “Tom Bondsley”, Field Agent

Well, here we are. I’m sure we have a million documents on this man, but I was assigned to study all the thousand scientists in his hellhole, and I’m not going to receive a reprimand because I missed the obvious one, [EXPLETIVE REMOVED] it. Hellstromme. The boss man. The head honcho. The king of the hill. The [MULTIPLE CLICHES REMOVED]. Sometimes it seems like in a hundred ways, he’s one step away from ruling the world. He’s the frontrunner in the Rail Wars, except that he needs to link through the territory of two men that despise him. He could build devices that save humanity from illness and pain, but he prefers to make weapons of war. And he could easily give any nation a firm challenge on the battlefield, but he seems uninterested in war itself, except for how it could make him money. He could run a uniquely powerful territory with all that money, but he seems completely uninterested in political power, except in how it provides him freedom. But freedom to do what? the future is unknown to us, so we have to look at the past. More on that next report.

REPORT CONTINUED IN CODE 2-15-19-19-B
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Deadlands – Fallen Flags Episode 12

Dear Diary, what am I doing here? In the name of pride, I find myself eating soot for breakfast, having failed a recovery even when I knew full well the target’s location. But it’s not simply shame in my heart. This place instills a sort of misery in you, a feeling of running in circles, just like every wagon wheel and damnably grinding gear in this creativity-prospector’s languishing silver mine. A cleverly hidden boot flask is enough to keep my walls standing, but the futility is crashing against them more like waves than enemy action, more like a force of nature than a strike to anticipate. The exhilaration of discovery, the prospect of making one’s fortune, I’m certain these distract, but in this town more than any other… It seems only a matter of time before it asks more of you than you can offer. And one way or another, there’s no escaping when your debt comes due.

-Recovered from a cognac-stained page in the diary of an unnamed debt collector, written mid-August, 1877
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Deadlands – Fallen Flags Episode 11

Agency Internal Dossier
TOP SECRET – US EYES ONLY
Verification Code 22-9-3-20-15-18
Subject: Dr. Manfred Stark, PhD (Biology from Oxford University)
Author: “Tom Bondsley”, Field Agent

A proper doctor, as I understand it. As proper as a graverobber can be. Allegedly, anyway. By proxy. I know it’s more or less standard practice these days, but it unsettles me either way. Regardless, this one is most famous these days for being an outspoken opponent of the smog and steam that covers Salt Lake City and associated land. He claims that it’s killing both the people and the game used to feed them. I’m not much of a scientist, but if he’s right, that’s obviously bad news. Maybe not worth putting a stop to the production in our own labs, but maybe worth a more in-depth cost-benefit analysis. That’s just my opinion, though. Most folks have been calling him a lunatic, but if he’s been rooting around in people’s bodies, maybe he has a more in-depth look. And maybe it’ll come down to either building a better factory, or building a better human to use them. I’m sure Hellstromme is working both angles anyway.

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Deadlands – Fallen Flags Episode 10

Agency Internal Dossier
TOP SECRET – US EYES ONLY
Verification Code 13-1-4/13-1-24/C
Subject: Dr. Leonitus P. Gash, PhD (Mechanical Engineering and Biological Sciences from Duke University)
Author: “Tom Bondsley”, Field Agent
Special Note: Current Bounty in the State of Deseret, $1000 alive, $100 dead

This is a peculiar one. I have no idea from where this one operates, really. He has too many of his brutish flunkies warding me off the trail. But on the condition that I not try to speak to him in person, he’s agreed to maintain written correspondence. Will redouble location efforts if given more human resources explicitly to do so. So we all know that this is the scientist responsible for the modified limbs of the worker class in Deseret, both before and after he became a wanted man. The popular story is that he gained his bounty when the workers started removing their own limbs to gain replacements, rather than simply replacing what was lost. But that doesn’t seem to be the whole story, considering that receiving voluntary limb replacement remains a legal act, even if performing it is now a crime. The true reasons are up to speculation, but an infiltrated assistant in Hellstromme Industries found a copy of Gash’s bounty marked for review, sitting at a thousand dead OR alive. It seems Hellstromme convinced Deseret to lower the dead bounty. Which means Hellstromme wants to encourage him coming into captivity alive. No easy task, frankly. The people love this man. Or at least his arms and legs.

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