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What, was "Rudy" on cable last night?

. . . Yes.

Eliot Spencer vdistinctive
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A secondary sim within the matrix, Thursday
Things weren't making any more sense today than they'd made yesterday. Eliot had managed to work out a number of things: that this was supposed to be a frontier town circa the 1870s; that it was outside any currently recognized American or European territory and therefore "lawless"; that not only was Wild Bill fucking Hickok in town, but so was Calamity Jane and Al Swearengen, though as far as Eliot could tell they were all anachronistic as hell; and that every single cocksucker in this town was convinced that Eliot was a former former federal marshall turned hardware store owner and running for sheriff.

He'd lost track of Parker at some point the night -- day -- week? -- before. He'd lost track of how time was meant to be moving not long after that, since it seemed to be night or day on a fucking whim, and no one but the rich woman living at the hotel ever seemed to change clothes.

At the moment he was stubbornly avoiding his so called "partner" at the hardware store in favor of looking over the pages of the local newspaper the editor had hanging out front of his printshop. Most of it was so fucking obfuscatingly florid as to be completely fucking impenetrable -- just like half of the dialog in this goddamn place -- but there was one editorial on page 3 that caught Eliot's eye.

. . . No signals gettin' in or out, kids. Parker is also unsettled an' we compare notes on what we're figurin' out. Sparkle is normal. . . .

It was Hardison's fucking radio broadcast. Printed in the local fucking paper. Eliot grabbed the page up with one hand and grabbed the shirtfront of the editor with the other as the man came out to protest the rough handling of his draft copies. "Where the fuck did you get this?" he demanded.

"All -- all our editorials are submitted by the fine citizens of this camp for a modest fee, Mr. Spencer."

"So he's here, too? Hardison's in here somewhere?!" That was bad. Parker would be having it rough enough around here as a woman, but Hardison was likely to get lynched or shot. Literally. For no fucking reason.

"Er, I'm afraid I am unfamiliar with the gentleman of whom you speak, sir --"

"Who gave you this?" Eliot let go of the man's shirt to smack the article. "Where is he now?"

"Wh-which, sir?"

"This! This right here about the towers in Fandom!"

"S-sir, I believe you are mistaken. Y-you see, you are currently indicating an advertisement for the local laundry service."

Eliot glared at him. "Don't you try to gaslight me."

"Gas -- no sir, we don't sell any lanterns here. W-would you like to put in an advertisement for your establishment? A sale on gas-powered lanterns perhaps?"

"No, I ain't --" Eliot growled in frustration. "I'm askin' what cocksucker submitted this here article!" He moved to flick the paper again -- and froze.

The editorial was gone. Instead he was looking at an advertisement for a laundry service.

"Sir," the editor said, as Eliot stared wide-eyed at the paper. "Sir, perhaps you've been out in the sunlight too long, today?"

Eliot swallowed.

"Would you like me to send for the doctor, sir?"

"No." Eliot swallowed again and crumpled the paper in his fist, ignoring the squawk of protest from the editor. "No, that's alright. Ah. Sorry for the fuss." He let the page fall to the ground and stumbled out into the street. The editor called out an offer for a half-price ad for the hardware store -- and then a warning when Eliot managed to walk right in front of a passing cart. Eliot stumbled back and finally found a clear spot on the boardwalk to lean against one of the wooden posts.

What the fuck was going on?!

[my workday is long and so should my post be. The continuing adventures of Eliot in not-Deadwood. There is a lot of swearing in this.]

After escaping a surprise-betrothal to Anders at some point in Historical-Drama!Korea, Kathy had really been hoping to get back to Fandom. Or, at least sim!Fandom. Somewhere recognizable, at least. Instead, she'd shown up in what looked to be the Old West, due to the wooden clapboard buildings and the number of horses hitched to various posts (and the amount of horse-apples lying in the dirt streets).

Kathy knew enough history to know that being young, female, and East Asian was a pretty terrible combination to be for most of American history and that went double for anything to do with the Old West. On top of that, she was still dressed in her bridal hanbok, which hadn't gotten any less confining with the location switch. It did seem to be that much more vibrant and expensive when compared to her current surroundings, however.

"Hooboy," Kathy muttered. "Okay, so what are the odds I can just sneak outta town--"

"Well, what the fuck do we have here, boys?"

That was not good.

"Them one'a Wu's girls, you think?"

Oooh, maybe she could claim she was protected by this mysterious Wu character?

"Fuck no. You blind and stupid. Wu's girls ain't that clean. You think she's one'a Al's?"

Okay, maybe not.

"Fuck no," the first one imitated. "Al wouldn't keep no Chinese girl better'n his white ones. Ain't no one be willin' to pay more'n a dime for Chinese pussy, and ain't no dimes paid for that dress. Thing."

This...was getting out of hand. She might have been better off getting married to Anders.

"Y'all need to stay the fuck away from me," Kathy snapped, pulling a hair stick out of her elaborate hairstyle. "Or I swear to God I will stab the first cocksucker who lays a hand on me so fast his grandmother will need fucking stitches."

Okaaaay then.

Eliot's head snapped up when he heard her voice, and he jumped up onto the nearest horse hitch to get a better view on the street.

"Son of a goddamn bitch," he muttered. "Kathy."

He jumped down and stormed his way across the busy street.

"Gentlemen! I am going to need to ask you to back the fuck off!"

"Aw hell," someone said. "Here comes Sheriff Spencer."

So he was actually the sheriff now. He wondered how much time he'd managed to lose this time.

"Eliot? You know these here cocksuckers?" A hand came up to cover her mouth and she blushed scarlet. She never used language like that. Ever.

Then, "Please tell me Parker's with you! Mr. Hardison's going nuts!"

Also, how the hell had he managed to become sheriff of this place? He'd been gone--what? Maybe twenty-four hours at the most?

"She one of yours, Spencer?" One of the men asked. "Should wash that damn whore mouth of hers out with --"

He collapsed sideways and Eliot lowered his fist.

"You shut your goddamn filthy trap, you lily-livered piece of pox-infested horseshit." Eliot spat. Then scowled at himself, wiped his mouth, and adjusted his hat. "Parker's --" He sighed heavily. "I ain't seen her since the first night." Which was less than 24 hours ago, yes, but this sim was dilating time like nobody's business. "Let's get you off the street, darlin'. And then maybe you could shed some fucking light on what in goddamn hell is goin' on here."

"That would be wonderful," Kathy said with relief, cutting in between the remaining men to go straight to Eliot. "It's some fucked up shit like you wouldn't--whoa!"

And for the second time in just a few hours--and probably for the first time in Eliot's memory--Kathy tripped on the hem of her goddamned hanbok and fell to the ground.

"Son of a rotten whore's left teat!" she snapped. "And you do not wanna be lookin' at me when I pick myself back up, boys, or it ain't Sheriff Spencer gonna be the one pickin' your teeth outta his pretty new dress."

Eliot adjusted his hat, both startled and impressed. By the tripping, by the cursing, by the threatening. The two men stared across at him, looking faintly terrified. Eliot smirked.

"You cocksuckers heard the lady."

The men scattered.

"You, uh." Eliot sucked on his teeth. "You wanna hand there, Kathy?"

"Please," Kathy muttered. "This getup is God's own motherfucking nightmare." And now worth considerably less than it had been, considering the state of the road she'd fallen into. She was just going to tell herself it was all mud and pretend she believed it. "I reckon most wedding dresses are. Probably keeps the brides from running away too fast." In her hotel room, Alma Garret smiled dreamily up at the ceiling and whispered, 'Preach.'

No, seriously, what had possessed her mouth?

It was this sim. It got right into your head.

"I'll see if Jane Canary's got some spare britches you could borrow," Eliot offered, reaching down to pull her to her feet. "And -- boots. The fuck do you have on your feet, child?" He shook his head and scanned the road for any other shady looking characters, then rushed her over to the hardware store.

"Sol," he called. "Trixie, my friend here and I are goin' into the office. We'd dearly appreciate if you two could keep any of our neighbors from gettin' their noses up in our fucking business."

"Uhh, hi?" Kathy said with a small wave. "Umm, not a whore, if that's what you were thinking."

"Well, la-di-fuckin-da for you," Trixie said, looking Kathy over with interest. "Good, because Al'd fuckin' shoot you two as soon as look at you if he thought you were runnin' tail in here."

Kathy blinked. "...This sure is some fucking classy-ass town you got yourself made sheriff of, Eliot."

"You got that goddamn fuckin' right," Eliot muttered. "Trixie, might I trouble you for the favor of askin' Jane Canary for the loan of some more reasonable fucking clothes?"

"What makes you think she's got more than the one set?" Trixie asked. Eliot tilted his head and nodded as he closed the door behind him and Kathy. That was a fair point.

". . . You know, I could swear last time I looked this place was still under construction."

"Okay, so just how long have you been here?" Kathy asked, kicking the skirt of her hanbok up to keep from tripping for a third time, considering she no longer had her insane balance to do it for her. "Mr. Hardison's radio broadcast said you vanished yesterday? But you're sheriff with a shop? Or is that something that you just landed in, like how I was a princess last sim?"

"The, uh. Second one?" Eliot set his hat aside and rubbed both hands through his hair. "Fuck, I don't even know. Seems like every time I turn around another fucking week's gone by. You've seen Hardison? He doing alright?" He blinked. ". . . Sim?

"Ohh, right, you left before we learned anything. Oh and fuck this happy-crappy. Eliot, you got a knife?" She was gonna take care of this hanbok once and for all.

"I saw him, yeah. He's trying to collect data and information about this here bitch of a situation we find ourselves in. He seemed, uhh, a little fucking distraught on radio this morning. He took losing both you and Parker pretty hard. I think he tried to follow but--couldn't."

Looking around the town, Kathy silently echoed Eliot's earlier relief.

Eliot pulled out a large hunting knife, flipped it around, and held it out to Kathy hilt first. "Yeah, he wouldn't -- none of us would handle that situation too fucking well." He found a jug of whisky in the desk, pulled it out, and took a swig, then idly offered it to Kathy. "So you've got information then about what the fuck is going on? How the fuck did you even get here, anyway?"

Kathy took the knife to her dress with a relaxed skill that even their lessons together couldn't account for. "We got some information," she explained over the sound of ripping cloth. "Turns out it's fuckin aliens, because of course it fucking is. Goddamn buncha dirt-worshipping aliens thinking it'd be fun to, I dunno, kidnap us and send us off to the zoo? Simulation number forty-seven, I think the fucker in charge said we were."

Handing the knife back to Eliot, Kathy took a long draw off the whiskey and hopped up onto the desk, easing back a little. "That's much better," she declared. "Thank fucking Christ, I thought I would have to murder a cocksucker for a breath of fresh air on my cu--"

Thankfully there was enough not-Deadwood!Kathy to make her stop in time from finishing that sentence, clapping both hands over her mouth with eyes that were wide with horror.

No. She had not. She had not nearly said--no.

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