Tag Archives: western

Deadlands – Fallen Flags Episode 15

There comes a time in every notable life when one must choose to use their strengths to pursue either wealth or their convictions. With luck, one might find the former while chasing the latter, but the latter almost always dissipates in the search for the former. And so it is with my work; Do I build to change war, change peace, change work, change leisure, and in doing so, become a titan of industry? Or do I do what I can to seek answers to the most fundamental questions at the heart of mankind, those that one asks shivering in the darkness when the light of day has absconded with life’s distractions? Is there a God? If there is, He is much crueler than we could have ever imagined. Is there life after death? Assuredly so, as the survivors of the risen Gettysburg Cemetery can attest. Can one return unscathed to the ones they left far, far too soon? I’m damn well going to find out. The secrets of our fragile, unraveling reality are buried deeper than we have ever thought to dig. But just as our species used its intellect to cease the fumbling of our fingernails against the unyielding earth, so too shall we use the fruits of this New Science to uncover the bounty below. And anyone who tries to stop me shall become track for my wheels, and fuel for my fire. My love, you departed believing that my work pulled me from you. It will be the final thing to reunite us. This I swear.

-Document recovered at great difficulty from the home of Darius Hellstromme, mid-August, 1877

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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 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 9

Agency Internal Dossier
TOP SECRET – US EYES ONLY
Verification Code 3-18-15-23-12-5-25
Subject: Dr. R. Percy Sitgreaves, PhD (Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University)
Author: “Tom Bondsley”, Field Agent

Dr. R. Percy Sitgreaves, owner of Infinity Press (the publishers of the Smith and Robards New Science Catalog) and former R&D scientist for Smith and Robards proper, is a bit of an anomaly among modern scientists. And after all the other dossiers on the subject, that is not a claim made lightly. Not only does he practice both modern magic and modern science, he professes theories that combine the two in some way. Nonsense of course. but it seems to have aided his endeavors in both fields. I attempted to speak to some of our local scientist operatives to leverage this benefit, but they either laughed me out of the room or claimed they already knew the theory intimately, but refused to speak more on the subject because I “wouldn’t understand.” This was often followed by asking how the name was spelled. One would think subtlety would be more common among Agency operatives. Regardless, R. Percy Sitgreaves is a man of many mysteries well worth further investigation, not the least of which is what that damned R stands for.

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