Valley of the Sun - Deadlands

Dear Diary 2
Chinese Takeout!!!

I’m beginning to ponder that riding trains is a dangerous form of travel, TWICE we were attacked, but this time…China men! Luckily for my group, they had me to protect them, as I started shooting, taking out the big guys, but the little guys, move like Wang. Wangs to the left of me, Wangs to the right, last thing that any young man would want to face, being surrounded by Wangs, especially if your in prison. Between you and me what I did in prison was survival…SURVIVAL!!! As I was finishing the rest off, the wacky professor finally showed up, turning on his arm contraption and the whole thing blew up, almost taking half the passenger car! After the heaping smoke of ghost rock thinned out, HE WAS ALIVE! He didn’t look to good tho, a thousand mommy kisses couldn’t fix that. I am exhausted, cant wait to hit the nearest town and find a saloon and drink some liquid courage, and also find some female companionship <wink> <wink> (Bentley, you need to do me a solid and hook me up, a romantic one night stand, if you know what I’m talking about). Luckily for me, there was a newspaper reporter who will print my courageous exploits and increase my fame! Thanks for listening Diary, hugs and kisses, Love Thomas xoxxooXX

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The Professor in Hellstromme's expedition

Prof. Mordecai Erasmus Oglethorpe, the 17th day of July in the year 1879, at the site of the wreckage of the Denver-Pacific train:

In the aftermath of the chaos of the attack by the indigenous warriors and subsequent deadly crash of our means of transportation, my newfound travelling companions and I began to investigate the cause of the derailment. It was not long before we discovered an intriguing revelation, the cause was not an explosion as was initially postulated, rather the catastrophic failure of the support structures of a heretofore unknown underground railway was the source. It appears that this line ran along a parallel course just below the Denver-Pacific track. While the others openly questioned the origin, I silently considered who would be capable of such an undertaking and the answer became blatantly obvious. I tried to conceal my excitement, although I must admit the possibility of meeting such an intellect made me feel as giddy as a schoolboy. My hopeful hypothesis was confirmed as we explored the underground railway, and we came upon the Wasatch operation with none other than the illustrious Darius Hellstromme leading the expedition.

There were a plethora of incredible automatons performing a wide range of functions, perhaps the most impressive of which was the sentry possessing sensory abilities as well as an array of weaponry. Its effectiveness was clearly demonstrated through interactions with unknown individuals such as myself and my companions. It was clear that a differential logic processing was at work as it did not simply start firing at us as we rounded the corner—which would be the response of most contemporary automated armaments. It recognized we were unknown, but it also recognized we were not hostile, and responded appropriately. Of course, the most extraordinary device was the tunneling machine. Piloted by a single technician, this automated tunneler dug through earth and rock, ground the minerals into a suitable gravel bed, and reinforced the ceiling with uniformly spaced roof bolts. Truly an inspired design. However, an unfortunate attack by creatures drawn by the sounds of the machinery, and likely the wafting ghost rock dust, brought the operation to a standstill temporarily.

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The Professor on the Denver-Pacific rails

Prof. Mordecai Erasmus Oglethorpe, the 11th day of July in the year 1879, aboard a westbound Denver-Pacific railcar:

I found myself among quite an interesting assemblage of personalities this day, a testament to the greatness of this land. Of particular note, I was somewhat taken aback to see an aboriginal woman, dressed in the traditional regalia of the plains nations no less, riding as a passenger. I overheard her introduce herself to another passenger as Kimimela (a poor attempt to phonetically spell her Lakota name). If memory serves, I believe her name means “butterfly”, and her traditional beadwork was certainly as colorful and intricate as any Lepidoptera. As I recall my limited grasp of her indigenous language, I am reminded of the gifted young man who was my linguistic tutor. A brilliant young medical student named Charles Eastman, known as Ohiyesa among his family and the Santee, taught me some of the basics of his native language during some of our talks in Boston. I do believe that young Charles will become a great healer and physician, bridging modern medicine with the traditional practices of his people.

The gentleman with which the young Indian woman was conversing appeared to come from the Middle Kingdom, as I am told the pictographic symbols of their language describes China. However, after a few moments of observation, I altered my original assessment of the gentleman as a likely inhabitant of Fan Shan due to his apparent familiarity and level of comfort with our surroundings.

Speaking of western surroundings, a young woman by the name of Dakota Jo looked as if she walked right out of the pages of a Kit Carson dime novel, veritably covered in reddish brown traildust. Toward the opposite end of the railcar, a man clad in black kept to himself, which was probably for the best as he looked prone to violence at the slightest provocation. Of course, I must admit my judgment prejudiced by the presence of his gun belt and his dour demeanor.

The last occupant was a pleasant surprise, literally a rose in the desert you might say. Matilda James displayed the grace and poise of a woman raised in polite society, although the influence of the dangerous and decadent West could be seen as she introduced herself as “Mattie”. I was able to strike up a pleasant conversation with this refined and educated young woman, and I extolled the virtues of this miraculous new element known colloquially as “ghost rock”. She nodded politely, as she indulged this overzealous scholar prattling on about his inventions and theories. Fortunately, an opportunity presented itself….forgive me, let me rephrase that…we were beset by attackers and UNFORTUNATELY a number of people were killed or grievously wounded. However, it was fortunate in that I was able to utilize the healing properties of my device to save lives thereby demonstrating the effectiveness of ghost rock in medical applications.

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Quotes 7/17/16

(Once again, an onslaught of Wang jokes fill the afternoon, to no one’s surprise, Burke starts us off)
Burke – We’ll never get the wang out of our systems (upon discussing the possibility of not telling anymore wang jokes)

Risa – (in another attempt to change the topic from wang) … let’s make some McCloud jokes instead.
Foy – … or not!

Barry – (discussing how the jokes got started in our first game) Oh yeah, that’s when the wang beating started.

Burke – Stop moving that wang!

Foy – Should put that on google (talking about Dan’s character, Wang, along with his picture)
Barry – Search “picture of wang”
Dan – Oh, I’m sure plenty of things will come up. Thousands of images.

Risa/Mattie – Wanna play some cards?
Dan/Wang – … sure!
Everyone else – -snickers knowingly-

Dan/Wang – I’ll bet you one sticky rice ball
Risa/Mattie – I don’t want your balls!
Burke/DJ – Nobody wants Wang’s sticky balls

(After just a few moments of silent travel, the group is once again attacked, this time, by the Chinese…)
Foy – Me no love you long time no more! (going off the joke that Wang’s relatives are attacking)

Risa/Mattie – That’s my line… suga (looks to Burke/DJ pointedly)

Evee/Kimi – Once again, Wang’s in the wrong place at the wrong time…

Evee – (upon having to move Dan’s figure about the train, once again) why am I the one who has to keep touching Wang?

(As the day goes on, the Wang jokes continue mercilessly… the scribe, tired of writing them all gets the brilliant idea to simply keep a tally for everybody who makes a Wang joke… here are the results, thus far… Keep in mind, these tally’s were for the last half hour of the game ONLY)

1st Place: Barry with 22 Wang jokes
2nd Place: Bentley with 20 Wang jokes
3rd Place: Burke with 15 Wang jokes
4th Place: Dan with 11 Wang jokes
5th Place: Foy with 9 Wang jokes
and tying for last place: Evee and Risa with only 3 Wang jokes each…

Hmm seems the boys know how to play with their Wang jokes…

(Those are the quotes for the week, hope you enjoyed them!! See you guys next week – Evee)

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More from Wang
The Usual Suspects

Honored Uncle,
It seems as though that dastard Darius Hellstromme may win the Rail Wars after all. His infernal “mole-machine” was very successful in bringing his Wasatch railhead near to the city of Lost Angels. Since it ran underground it was not detected until he broke through to the surface.
I played a little bit of cards with Mattie and she was quite adept with them. I can now understand why she has a dangerous life here in the West, where card-playing can lead to gunplay. And so it was! As we compared our cards, agents of the Iron Dragon beset us. Though they succeeded in damaging the rail car carrying Hellstromme, he escaped unscathed.
Such was not the case with all of my new acquaintances. Dakota Jo nearly lost her life to a most grievous gunshot wound but Kimi was able to save her, I assume by calling upon the mystic spirits of her people, for the wound was deep and Jo bled a great deal. Our worthy Professor unsurprisingly managed to nearly destroy himself with his gizmo. Also unsurprisingly, he immediately vowed not only to repair it, but to create yet another! During the gunfight, McCloud shot at a most monstrous opponent, a creature of myth and legends, only to find that his ammo failed him several times until at last the monster fell.
Perhaps the mayor the city we are near will see the eeevil intentions of Hellstromme and not allow him to continue, I have heard he is a holy man himself. But I feel that malevolent forces have already taken hold here and will be a constant source of even more dangerous times.
Respectfully yours,
Wang Cheung

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Quotes 7/10/16

(While discussing the details of the train ride)
Bentley – You can carry arms on this train…
Risa – I have two arms! (announced proudly)
Burke – … I can fix that
Dan – You’d be the armless bandit!

(Mattie regales about her interest in a deck of playing cards)
Barry/Prof. Morty – I heard that playing cards was quite dangerous in the west…
Risa/Mattie – well, actually… about that… (continues into a detailed story about how her playing cards may or may not have gotten her into trouble a few times in the past)

Risa/Mattie – I’m perfectly normal!
Entire Group – um … yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaahhhh…

Burke/Dakota Jo – (in response to Mattie trying out Dakota’s word ‘sugar’) Go get your own damn thing… suga’

(… Dan’s character’s name is Wang… I think we all know what’s about to happen here…)
Burke – If you put any effort in what so ever, you’ll definitely beat wang

Dan/Wang – Wang needs cleaning… Wang feels dirty

Evee – I think everyone’s gotten in their beating wang jokes

(Here’s the quotes for this week! Enjoy! Evee)

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Dear Diary
by Thomas McCloud
GOOD LORD!!! What have I gotten myself into! Got on a train and find some rather weird fella’s who always seem to sit near to me. Some nutty professor with a gizmo like arm shooting some kind of lightning from his hand and spouting a language I never heard of. A porcelain skinned lady who cast witch like magic from playing cards ( talk about a loaded deck! ), a china-man who is slippery than a fish. A bounty hunter who eats a lot of sugar, and an indian girl!!?? On top of that, my train blew up and being attacked by war hungry Indians. I was able to fight them off without any trouble and passengers thanked me and hopefully spread my name across the lands. Found a horse, loaded up my saddle and the weird bunch asked me to stay and protect them, so with a generous heart I said “sure”. ( real thought, better to keep my meat-shields close by just incase anymore trouble arises =) Diary, you are the best companion ever, I know you’ll listen as I jot down my feelings and knowing you are the only one who trully understands me. After this bad event, I know for certain this was the worst of it and will be smooth sailing from here on out! Hugs and kisses, Your’s trully, Thomas XXXoooxxOOOxxXX
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Writings by Wang
part 1 (translated)

Honored Uncle,
After concluding business in Denver, per your agent’s instructions I boarded the Denver-Pacific line for what I thought was my return to Shan Fan. It was soon apparent to me that more was in store for me than just a pleasant train ride. The appearance of various personages of the “West” were not untoward, a cowgirl who introduced herself as Dakota Jo, saddle in hand, and traildust all over her clothes, and a man clad in black, carrying guns in well-worn holsters. He introduced himself only as “Macloud” but I am sure he goes by other names on some Wanted posters. I was surprised to see one of the indigenous people riding a rail car, since I had previously thought they had an abhorrence to them, but she shyly introduced herself as Kimi whose name means “butterfly” in the language of her people. I guessed that perhaps this was a message to me that she was on a quest, for do not butterflies travel thousands of miles in migration?

The last occupants who “happened” to be in my train car were the most curious and dangerous, I am sure. The older gentleman referred to himself as a Professor and extolled mightily on the virtues of what he assured me was the greatest scientific breakthrough of our time, the black mineral which I shall call “demon rock”. The last passenger in our car was a young woman from the far East of North America who called herself “Mattie” and has creamy green eyes, that remind me of my lovely betrothed Miao Yin back in China. Even though she appears to be an exotic beauty, I was certain this “Mattie” was quite more than she appeared. And I was soon proven right.

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Welcome to the Weird West!

Our newly formed gang survived an Indian attack and got to meet the famous Rail Barron Darius Hellstromme and editor of the Tombstone Epitaph Lacy O’Malley. They had their first creature encounter with a few Tunnel Critter Young’uns. What adventure lies ahead? Ride on to find out!

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The Professor in the Collegium

Prof. Mordecai Erasmus Oglethorpe, the 9th day of July in the year 1879, developing research partnerships in the Collegium:

I must remark on the simultaneously fortuitous and tragic circumstances of my current environs. Tragic in that dangers abound in both the natural environment and manmade settlements, and the inhabitants often fall victim to any number of deadly incidents. Fortuitous in that there are abundant opportunities to provide assistance to the doctors and medical staff in treating those grievously wounded, thus allowing scholarly progress and insight into potential future beneficial applications of ghost rock technology.

Key to these medical and biological applications are the properties of ghost rock at the molecular level. Briefly, a molecule of a substance is a small body such that if, on the one hand, a number of similar molecules were assembled together they would form a mass of that substance, while on the other hand, if any portion of this molecule were removed, it would no longer be able, along with an assemblage of other molecules similarly treated, to make up a mass of the original substance.

Every substance, simple or compound, has its own molecule. If this molecule be divided, its parts are molecules of a different substance or substances from that of which the whole is a molecule. An atom, if there is such a thing, must be a molecule of an elementary substance. Since, therefore, every molecule is not an atom, but every atom is a molecule, I shall use the word molecule as the more general term.

It is not my intention to expound on the doctrines of modern chemistry with respect to the molecules of different substances. It is not the special but the universal interest of molecular science which encourages me to pursue this course of inquiry. Considering the passion of myself and other researcher, it is not because we happen to be chemists or physicists or specialists of any kind that we are attracted towards this centre of all material existence, but because we all belong to a race endowed with faculties which urge us on to search deep and ever deeper into the nature of things.

We find that now, as in the days of the earliest physical speculations, all physical researches appear to converge towards the same point, and every inquirer, as he looks forward into the dim region towards which the path of discovery is leading him, sees, each according to his sight, the vision of the same quest. One may see the atom as a material point, invested and surrounded by potential forces. Another sees no garment of force, but only the bare and utter hardness of mere impenetrability.

But though many a speculator, as he has seen the vision recede before him into the innermost sanctuary of the inconceivably little, has had to confess that the quest was not for him, and though philosophers in every age have been exhorting each other to direct their minds to some more useful and attainable aim, each generation, from the earliest dawn of science to the present time, has contributed a due proportion of its ablest intellects to the quest of the ultimate atom.

The old atomic theory, as described by Lucretius and revived in modern times, asserts that the molecules of all bodies are in motion, even when the body itself appears to be at rest. These motions of molecules are in the case of solid bodies confined within so narrow a range that even with our best microscopes we cannot detect that they alter their places at all. In liquids and gases, however, the molecules are not confined within any definite limits, but work their way through the whole mass, even when that mass is not disturbed by any visible motion.

This process of diffusion, as it is called, which goes on in gases and liquids and even in some solids, can be subjected to experiment, and forms one of the most convincing proofs of the motion of molecules. In my recent work, this property of diffusion is hypothesized to facilitate the spread of the ghost rock infused rejuvenation.

This past week, an unfortunate prospector was brought into the Collegium’s medical facility after suffering extensive injuries from a ghost rock explosion. Despite the heroic efforts of the very skilled physicians, the burns and internal organ damage were too severe and the poor soul was slowly dying in excruciating pain. As a last resort, the surgeon and I calibrated my apparatus in an attempt to replicate young Victor’s process. While undeniably a success, the rejuvenation of such massive damage was quite…dramatic.

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