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Community => Fiction and Story Hour => Topic started by: Gatac on July 14, 2007, 11:57:49 AM

Title: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on July 14, 2007, 11:57:49 AM
It begins here! (

Named, of course, for the Paul McCartney song.

When you were young, and your heart was an open book
You used to say live and let live
(You know you did, you know you did, you know you did!)
But if this ever changing world in which we're livin'
Makes you give in and cry
Say live and let die!

It's a bit dialogue-heavy this time as I try to establish things. The action is somewhat grittier than previously - there's one quick move and it's all over. The consequences are much more interesting, though, and this is just the tip of the iceberg - those 6 shots are the beginning of a small avalanche that'll come down on the Big Apple soon.

My aim is not to depict a thoroughly corrupt NYPD here - what I am trying to show is a mutually beneficial arrangement you'll see in more detail as the story expands. For the moment, suffice to say that Mark doesn't run around shooting people every day - he covers his back, and he covers his employer's back. Everything's kept quiet that way.

Cocaine is the 80s drug of choice. You may be asking yourself what a Cartel does when it's apparently against the rules to deal in drugs. Again, all shall be made clear shortly.

And there's Sharon again! You all remember her from Just 'cause Chapter 17, don't you? This is where it all goes pear-shaped for her, though of course it'll take a while before it really does her in. The road to hell, though? That's this story.

(And Daddy still wants comments!)

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Valentina on July 14, 2007, 09:13:31 PM
I like it, know this: I'll replicate that protocol at some later date. Very cunning Mr. Simmons, very tricksy he is.
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on July 22, 2007, 12:39:43 PM
Here's Chapter 2, named after The Cars - Drive.

Who's gonna tell you when
It's too late?
Who's gonna tell you things
Aren't so great?

You can't go on thinkin'
Nothing's wrong, but bye
Who's gonna drive you home

A first glance at what Young Mark does differently than his older (and presumably wiser) counterpart: while totally having the drop on an opponent, he seriously chooses to slug it out with the guy. Ah, the folly of youth.

A Kubotan is a small stick that can be held in your hand to increase your punching power or strike at pressure points. It's a pretty nifty thing and perfectly legal to own almost anywhere, but should probably make you reevaluate your opinion of anyone with one on a keychain. Those are the kind of people who can handle themselves in a fight (or at least believe they can).

That car? Yeah, it's a compact. It's not cheap to have a good apartment in NYC proper, and it wasn't much cheaper then. On the other hand, Sharon's pretty frugal in general - she wouldn't buy a new car on a loan if she could help it. She'd rather have a (reliable) POS that she owns than some land ship that's 90% bank property and too big for any parking space you might find on the island.

The Poor Man's James Bond is a real book, or rather, series of books. The third book in particular deals with police techniques. I figure that's more useful for a cop than diagrams on how to build weapons from scratch. (Mark has that one, though. And Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independant Contractors. Not much educational value for a professional assassin, but it's good light reading.)

Yes, a suppressed .45 will still be much too loud in an apartment complex. Even the .22 might be pushing it. It's not that the walls are thin (though they are), but these things make a lot of noise even with a suppressor. In fact, that little fight probably made more than enough noise, even without anyone speaking or shouting. When you're far away, fists aren't that scary - somebody else is getting beat up. But a gunshot? That'll spook ya if you're not used to the sound. (Then again, you might not realize that sound was a suppressed gun, since they can sound pretty weird - which is the point of the suppressor. But why take chances?)

Sharon got a new Glock. The old one's being dusted for evidence (though not with very much enthusiasm), but since it's her issue weapon, checking out a new one wasn't a problem.

Comments! We want comments! (And by we I mean I. And the other voices in my head.)

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on July 27, 2007, 04:24:01 PM
And it's Number 3 comin' at you like a brick in a sock, rocking out to Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down Again.

I'm taking a ride
With my best friend
I hope he never lets me down again
He knows where he's taking me
Taking me where I want to be
I'm taking a ride
With my best friend

"Brainiac - Science Abuse" has conclusively proven that strong duct tape can be used to hold a person's weight. Just not very long.

In researching the music for this chapter, I realised I missed the perfect opportunity to use "Smooth Criminal" on the last one. Oh well.

What do you get when you put two headstrong, "cool" people together? Showboating. Now that Sharon's mostly over the shock of Mark pulling some cold shit, she's right there with him, counterattacking while he tries to assert his "alpha dog" mentality. I can't imagine she's thrilled about staying at a mob safehouse, either.

Livos is a greek wind deity, for those too lazy to google it.

Can you spot the Max Payne reference?

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on August 01, 2007, 01:48:46 PM
Number 4 drops like a sack of hammers. Pop in your "Licensed to Ill" CD, because we're rolling with the Beastie Boys and there'll be No Sleep Till Brooklyn (

For the record, I have smoked a grand total of 1 cigarette in my life. That said, I've seen enough people get cranky without their cigarette breaks that this doesn't seem too farfetched, especially if it's just a symptom of the larger stress issue. It's a fascinating little social've got your "health" alcoholics ("At least I won't get cancer!") and your "high functioning" chain smokers ("At least I can still drive!"). It's not my intention to remake Requiem for a Dream here, but if I may step on my soapbox for a second - do think about what you're putting into your body.

Alexandra is the cartel boss's daughter. Vinnie is Vincent Ratioli, previously mentioned as Mark's pal from the old days - he's been mentioned before. Just FYI.

By all accounts, JFK is terrible for trying to get sleep. Since it was hard to find period information that confirms this, I figured the current atmosphere couldn't be that far off from what came before. Poetic license, if you will.

Keep your eyes on that Beretta.

Canonisation is a bear. With his religious background, Mark knows this.

Mark doesn't smoke, but he has matches - mainly because he works with a lot of people who smoke. I used to carry a lighter for the same reason. Nothing is more frustrating than having a cigarette and no light for it. It's better for their mood and your sanity if you come prepared.


Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on August 15, 2007, 08:47:19 AM
I hope you like David Bowie, because he just showed up at your table and said "Let's Dance".

If you say run, I'll run with you
And if you say hide, we'll hide
Because my love for you
Would break my heart in two
If you should fall
Into my arms
And tremble like a flower

I don't know about you, but I'm all about putting a lot of time between waking up and getting up. Ruins my day when I have to hurry.

For the record, Mark and Sharon were discussing what they could do except for sitting in the hotel and playing cards. Sharon doesn't want to waste the two weeks vacatation just because they've got a hit on her.

As many clumsy people have proven, it's surprisingly easy to go through drywall if you want to. Not pleasant, but possible.

Changua is a scallion/milk/egg breakfast soup popular around the Andes. Yes, I looked that up.

I also looked up 1st Gen cell phone numbers. Or tried to. In the end, I just gave up. It's not worth my sanity to worry about this too much...besides, the 555 is the classical "fictional" code, so I figured using that would be the only responsible option.


Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on August 26, 2007, 01:43:32 PM
Chapter Six is here, this time to the sounds of Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb.

There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship, smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.
When I was a child I had a fever
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I've got that feeling once again
I can't explain you would not understand
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb.

I wonder how long it'll take Sharon to use that Glock.

The Jersey exchange is from The Godfather. Figures both would've seen that, doesn't it?

I don't know about you, but I hate snow sludge. Hate it with a passion. You ever get that feeling that it'll stop being cold if you can just draw your jacket a bit tighter? It never works.

The CZ 85 is an ambidextrous version of the CZ 75, a quite famous little pistol. I wish I could claim that there's some gunbunny-ish reason to recommend it, but the truth is that I fell in love with it when I read Gunsmith Cats. And it makes sense for Vince, who has a sort of East European flavor going on with his weapons, again underscoring the weirdness of having an Italian guy working for a South American cartel.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on September 07, 2007, 06:33:59 AM
What would the 80s be without Tears for Fears? I'm here now, excuse the delay, it wasn't my intention to keep you waiting. You shouldn't have to Shout (

I also highly recommend the Disturbed cover - Shout 2000. Loud, it is.

Interestingly, nobody really shouts in this one. Huh.

How much time does Mark think women need to grab a suitcase? It was already packed, for crying out loud. Seriously, the man has no idea. *ahem*

Again with the experience - you ever get that "I have to breathe, now!" hump when you're underwater? It's pretty amazing - when I work past that, I can hold my breath pretty much twice as long. I thought that warranted a tribute of some kind.

Unholy measures were invoked to make sure that a prototype SPAS-15 would not be anachronistic.

I like comments...I want comments...please post comments...this is not a recording...

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Mister Andersen on September 07, 2007, 10:11:47 AM
When posting updates, a link to the update might help a little  :-*
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on September 15, 2007, 02:53:14 PM
By popular request:

Blogspot ( Livejournal (

It's Motorhead - Ace of Spades (!

Pushing up the ante, I know you wanna see me,
Read 'em and weep, the dead man's hand again,
I see it in your eyes, take one look and die,
The only thing you see, you know it's gonna be,
The Ace Of Spades

They don't ever die quiet, do they?

The archetypical hand grenade comes with a few seconds worth of timer. Exaggerated for effect, but none of them were cooked, so I figure it's borderline squint-hard-and-tilt-your-head semi-plausible. (And that's all I ask.)

Tap-Rack-Bang! is a nice little mnemonic on how to fix a misfire in a handgun - tap the magazine from below, rack the slide to feed the next round and then fire.

This is, in fact, the first time Mark handles a broadsword. Of course he uses it like a big knife.

I do not recommend this way to drain a swimming pool, but shotguns will fire underwater. Pretty much anything fires underwater, some guns even more than once.

It was in fact my intention to kill Silvestro in his first actual scene. More of an abstract objective than a character, but eh, there's more where that came from. :D

*sings* Iiiiiiiiii want com-ments! (Dum de dum de dum, dum dum!) Iiiiiiiiii want com-ments!

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on September 19, 2007, 01:26:43 PM
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This chapter brings you the sounds of Genesis - Invisible Touch (

She seems to have an invisible touch, yeah!
She reaches in, and grabs right hold of your heart
She seems to have an invisible touch, yeah!
It takes control and slowly tears you apart

We'd all like to forget Saturday Night Fever, I think.

I have no idea if rice + beans with banana would actually yield an edible dish, but I challenge my readers to cook it and report back. Remember, if it's disgusting, you're doing it wrong! :)

Um, yeah, that last sentence also applies to what comes after that. Some people don't need to get drunk for that.

Like any decent movie, I remain solely focussed on the hyperviolence and graciously fade to black for the hot lovin' scenes. I do hope you appreciate that.


Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Synchronicity on September 20, 2007, 02:49:52 PM
Well, I for one am reading this avidly, and have been glued to my seat for all of Mark's adventures so far. I just happen to be a congenital lurker and really bad at making posts. So just pretend I commented on this and every single update prior with effervescent praise, k?  ;)

I don't have any more useful comments, I'm afraid. I mostly just keep going 'wow!' and 'I wish you could do that in Max Payne...' - which, incidentally, reading about Mark's activities always makes me want to go and play.
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on September 21, 2007, 12:10:54 AM
Thanks. Max Payne happens to be one of my favorites, too. :)

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on September 23, 2007, 01:20:45 PM
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Chapter Ten, to the tune of the love song experts at Foreigner (

I've been waiting for a girl like you to come into my life
I've been waiting for a girl like you, your loving will survive
I've been waiting for someone new to make me feel alive
Yeah, waiting for a girl like you to come into my life

Yeah, sure, they make a big soapy mess *now*. They don't have to clean that up later. I don't know whether hijacking a new boat for every tryst is economical, though.

The whole "Meet, go on a date, get to know each other, have sex" progression has been totally short-circuited. Then again, when did we ever care for speed limits?

I thought about "I want to know what love is" as the song for this one, because I personally like it better, but it doesn't fit as well. Maybe I can use it another time. (Note to aspiring authors: When you're weighing the benefits of different Foreigner songs in your head, GET OUT.)

Oh, you wacky non-Manhattan-ites and your stoic straight man-ness! I don't know if it's Comedy Gold. Maybe Comedy Nickel.

Life is a rollercoaster, but let's not go there quite yet. (Wrong millenium, anyway.)

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Minion on September 24, 2007, 02:17:14 PM
So I just got through reading all the Two Guns stuff. Found it a damned entertaining read, cheers Gatac!

I'm not particularly au fait with the Ultimates, so can I ask a few questions? Apologies if I ask something that's answered in the wiki. Are they actual player characters? I assume Two Guns is fiction, not an actual play report (if it's an actual play report, then I am in awe of the players! Two Guns 1 would be the greatest opening session ever if they were actually players!). I have a really hazy recollection of a 'design mega-characters' thread on the old AEG Spycraft boards -- is that in any way related to this?

I can see I've got a lot of back-reading to do! Any advice? Start from the start?
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on September 25, 2007, 12:05:25 AM
Ultimates is straight fiction. It sprung out of a thread on the old AEG boards where a couple of people built 20th-level characters, back with 1.0. Equinox started writing a story around it, based on the "20th level challenge" left unsolved in the Shadowforce Archer books: defeat Villain X. Then there was the sequel, Present Past, which was based on the other big challenge left unsolved: rescue Fade. (That's also where Mark came in, if you're counting.) Needless to say, we managed both, which put the Ultimates team in direct opposition to the Shop. We've firmly remained there since.

As for Mark, there's a few stories you'll need to catch up on as soon as they're back on the Wiki: first off, The Gray Wolf and Otherside, detailing Mark's recruitment and his first big mission after Present Past, respectively. Then the Assassin Trilogy (Die or Get Rich Tryin', Hitman Down Under and Rising Son), in which Mark ends up shooting his way through Russia, Australia and Japan respectively.

After that come the stories I have posted to the blogs: Childhood's End (Rowena's training with Mark), Just 'cause (Rumble in the jungle) and Two Guns, the way way flashbacked story of Mark's great love and how it all went to shit.

Frankly, my bibliography is the most involved of the Ultimates writers, simply because something is wrong with me - I have to shove one of those chapters out there roughly every week. I'm as giddy as my readers to see where it all goes. Maybe even more.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on October 12, 2007, 02:29:33 AM
Chapter 11 is in progress. Sorry for the delay. I hope I can knock it out over the weekend.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Equinox on October 13, 2007, 04:55:44 PM
Two thumbs up for what I've read so far.
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Mister Andersen on October 13, 2007, 11:09:58 PM
You're alive!
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on October 14, 2007, 06:14:15 AM
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Chapter 11 is here. This one is titled after Sting's song "Russians" (

How can I save my little boy
From Oppenheimer's deadly toy?
There is no monopoly in common sense
On either side of the political fence
We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the russians love their children too

This took a bit to write, obviously. Sorry again.

Sometimes, things get bigger than you. Watch out that you don't get crushed.

There are "white" Merlot wines, but they're more rosé than really white. The standard-issue Merlot is definately red, though.

Éire is Ye Olde name for Ireland.

The PB is a modified Makarov with an integral silencer. Truly an assassin's weapon.

I have no idea if the 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 came in dark blue. Given the age of such a car in the 80s, it's obviously been repaired, refurbished and repainted, though, so who cares what it looked like when it was stock?

I'd like to reaffirm that Mark does not pick up on Nicolai's gambit just because of the wine. It's what pushes him past the point of casual mistrust into defensive mode.

Yes, cliffhangers are evil. It just seemed like the best point to break off this chapter.


Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on October 31, 2007, 09:41:24 AM
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Chapter 12 is here, finally. Throw down with Mike and the Mechanics - it's Silent Running (

Take the children and yourself
And hide out in the cellar
By now the fighting will be close at hand
Dont believe the church and state
And everything they tell you
Believe in me, I'm with the high command

Can you hear me, can you hear me running?
Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?
Can you hear me, can you hear me running?
Can you hear me running, can you hear me calling you?

More delays. I think we're gonna have to get used to a longer writing cycle. My bad, I'm pretty busy at the moment.

Clearly, requesting that you hand over your weapons doesn't do a bit of good when you don't actually search people. Pay heed, children: Even the best rules are useless when people refuse to play by them.

There's actually a Krav Maga move designed to deflect a pistol aimed at your head and disarm the attacker, but I kinda wrote this to point out two problems: 1) That requires someone stupid or desperate enough to have his gun right up to your head, and 2) that guy's liable to try and shoot you as soon as you flinch, particularly if he's expecting the move but still unwilling to just shoot you right there - he'll be watching for this.

Don't get shot by AKs. Or rifles, in general. Really bad idea. Then again, getting shot in general is a bad idea.

A Canadian mercenary? Yes, I'm trying to work in previous throwaway details again. (And I really hope I'm not screwing up John Done's timeline here.)

Lots of cusswords here. I tried to work in some Italian phrases for Vince. It's part of an experiment in writing, so to speak - I always feel like I can't get character voices right and tend to default to either "stuffy" or "sassy" dialogue instead. Work in progress, as always...

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on November 14, 2007, 10:26:14 AM
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Chapter 13. I'm Rick James, bi-atch! *cough* No, not that one. The one that made actual songs. Like Mr. Policeman. Sorry, no music video for this one that I could find.

Hey Mr. Policeman
I've seen you in my neighbourhood
You look to me a do-no-good
I've seen you with a gun in your hand
Hey Mr. Policeman
I saw you shoot my good friend down
He was just havin' fun
Checkin' on a one & one

It's a shame
It's a disgrace
But every time you show your face
Somebody dies!

Guards should be where you left them. Anything else is bad.

Your body comes with the recommended amount of holes. Adding any is bad, too.

Antagonizing cops? That's bad, too.

And for God's sake, don't shoot Russians in the face. That's just dark, dark karma.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on December 02, 2007, 10:50:32 AM
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It's Chapter 14, ably acoustically accompanied by R.E.M. and "Losing My Religion" (

Things continue to twist and turn upside down.

That's me in the corner
That's me in the spotlight, I'm
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don't know if I can do it
Oh no, I've said too much
I haven't said enough
I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

As if this wasn't talky enough already, I cut out a discussion between Sharon and Kyla. It might show up later, though.

This is the danger of giving people a break from the asplosions and gunfights: when they have time to concentrate, they'll start asking questions.

As previously mentioned, I hope I'm not screwing up Done's timeline here. For reference, I imagine that he's fresh on the merc trail or maybe even undercover, but I'll try not to dig too deep here. But we have nose damage to set up here, people! We endanger continuity for the sake of continuity! That's how we roll.

Done's gravely voice is an attempt to couple his abysmal Charisma with badass cred. Also, it's Deadpool-ish, which I figure is just the right thing to do where John Done is concerned.

Don't put teenagers in command. One way or another, it's gonna bite you in the ass.

Hey, whaddaya know, this Captain won't have your badge, you loose cannon, you. He's completely on your side. Which is great now, but given Sharon's doubts as to whether she's on the right side to begin with, this might be less than good when the fortunes turn once more.

It's not just a file folder - it's a mystery file folder! Ooh! *makes ominous sounds* Ahem. I'll try to get the next chapter done sooner, really.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on December 20, 2007, 10:37:40 AM
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Chapter 15 is here. I know, so much for getting it to you sooner. I bet you were hungry. Hungry - like the Wolf.

Videos! (Yes, multiple ones.) Here's the original (, here's my favorite Anime Music Video (, and here's Bruce Campbell. (

In touch with the ground
I'm on the hunt, I'm after you
Smell like I sound, I'm lost in a crowd
And I'm hungry like the wolf
Straddle the line, in discord and rhyme
I'm on the hunt, I'm after you
Mouth is alive with juices like wine
And I'm hungry like the wolf

There's a reason Sharon has so many guns, she's been picking them up at Mark's pace, but unlike him, she doesn't ditch them.

Now that we've shown that Sharon gets annoying phonecalls from work, let's never bother with that again. Screw you, realism, we're telling a story here.

Sharon and Mark don't really know each other all that well - they know who they are, but they're missing so many details. It's high time they got around to fixing that problem.

That's some pretty fancy wine there. In a pretty fancy restaurant, to boot.

Said terrible movie is Remo Williams:The Adventure Begins. Featuring Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway) as female lead! (Not that she's got a lot to do, but still.) It's actually not half bad.

They fished a corpse out of the Hudson (Whitton had the first report on his desk last time), and now the ID is in - it's Berkovitz. Yeah, I know. What the hell?

And now, with my trademark cruelty, I decree that I'm taking a break over Christmas. New adventures in the new year.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on December 30, 2007, 04:10:57 AM
Not Two Guns-related, but the old stories are now up on the wiki. Read up on The Gray Wolf, Otherside and the Assassin Trilogy here (
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on December 31, 2007, 04:07:53 PM
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Happy new year! I'm certainly tired. Here's hoping for some Sweet Dreams (

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree?
Travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody's looking for something
Some of them want to use you
Some of them want to get used by you
Some of them want to abuse you
Some of them want to be abused

If you can think past MTV Cops, you'll recognise that being in a Vice unit is not a good way to strengthen your faith in humanity.

Not much else to say here, really. Things should explain themselves.

Oh, the usual begging for comments. I do love me some validation.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Equinox on January 04, 2008, 05:56:16 AM
Sutibly and subtly complex, thoroughly engaging and enough cameos to keep things interesting. I'll be interested to see what leads to the lovebirds' fallout.
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Mister Andersen on January 04, 2008, 07:37:01 AM
Speaking of stories we'd like to see...
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on January 23, 2008, 04:46:28 PM
I'm not dead!

Hey guys, just wanted to give you notice that I recently moved to California for an exchange semester at San Diego State University. Still don't have Inet at the dorms, so I can't post the next chapter, but it's done and will go up as soon as I sort this out. Thanks for your patience!

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Crafty_Pat on January 24, 2008, 04:01:44 PM
Glad to see you on the boards again Gatac. Hope you enjoy the sunshine!
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on January 25, 2008, 02:39:06 PM
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Chapter 17 comes with delays and possibly some spelling errors I overlooked in its vastness, but hey, didn't you hear? That's okay. Everything is broken ( (Here's a live version from 1989 ( I know, the song wasn't technically released until a couple years later, but cut me some slack, okay?)

Broken hands on broken ploughs,
Broken treaties, broken vows,
Broken pipes, broken tools,
People bending broken rules.
Hound dog howling, bull frog croaking,
Everything is broken

I do hope this sheds some light at what happened to Boris, even if it is still qualified with being speculation. Honestly, I believe most of this could be inferred from previous chapters, but I gotta put my foot down here and say: that's as good as it gets. The characters just don't have any better intel, and part of their story is seeing what they're working with.

I shudder to say it, but hot chocolate may be a "theme" in my writings. Official warm comfort beverage of the Ultimatesverse!

At that point, the Ingues cartel is probably rather technologically advanced, not only procuring cell phones for its members but using them to guarantee that they're reachable. Of course, that requires people to actually carry their phones...which would be why they worked so hard to shrink those down from the first bricks.

Dollar is waaaaay too much fun to write. Horribly cliche, but fun.

After this massive dose of low-level schemeing and talking, it's time to inject some action into the story. Look forward to Chapter 18 - The Trooper soonish! (Yes, the Iron Maiden song. Watch it on YouTube here ( You'll get it.)

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on February 12, 2008, 09:46:14 PM
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Chapter 18. The Trooper. Iron fuckin' Maiden. ( What else do you want? Oh, right, you want some artfully chosen excerpt from the lyrics. Here you go.

We get so close, near enough to fight
When a Russian gets me in his sights
He pulls the trigger and I feel the blow
A burst of rounds take my horse below

And as I lay there gazing at the sky
My body’s numb and my throat is dry
And as I lay forgotten and alone
Without a tear I draw my parting groan

Aw, fuck it. You get some Charge of the Light Brigade, too.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd & thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

This isn't just loud. It's a frickin' war fought in New York City. No matter how well Mark & co did (and they did well, after all they're still alive), they're royally fucked now. That kinda shit doesn't fly.

Oh, are we edging in on the off-hand comment from Present Past chapter 1? There's the Calico, at least, in a story of epic fail. To be fair, it got kind of a bad hand there.

No real technical commentary here, since pretty much all relevant info on the guns and such are already in there.

Actually, not much to say, period. Speaks for itself, really.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on February 25, 2008, 06:57:19 PM
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It's Chapter 19. What does that mean? Well, it's about time for the hammer to fall (

Oh ev'ry night and every day
A little piece of you is falling away
But lift your face the Western Way
Build your muscles as your body decays, yeah

Toe your line and play their game, yeah
Let the anesthetic cover it all
'til one day they call your name
You know it's time for the hammer to fall

Did I mention how much fun it is to write Dollar?

For those of you keeping score, Whitton knows Berkovitz is dead, and has known for a couple of days now.

As originally written, Kyla used to be addicted to XTC, but although that's an appropriate club drug for the era, crack felt more "hardcore" and fitting for the 80s.

Not a good night for Sharon, obviously.

Oh, and if you haven't done so already, please please PLEASE head over to the poll thread and vote for the next story. Two Guns is about 3/4ths done and I need some lead time to gear up for the next piece of writing.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on March 08, 2008, 05:11:48 PM
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It's Chapter 20. The experience has left me somewhat bruised. You see, I fought the law ( And the law won.

Robbin' people with a six-gun
I fought the law, and the law won (x2)
I lost my girl and I lost my fun
I fought the law, and the law won (x2)

Killed my baby, felt so bad
Guess my race is run
Sweetest little woman that I ever had
I fought the law, and the law won
I fought the law, and the...

You thought I forgot about Karen Ayers, didn't you. You thought I'd leave this thing from waaaaaay back in the original Ultimates Side Story: Otherside hanging, didn't you. Well, think again!

Yes, she's also the mystery caller.

In conclusion, continuity!

We all know what series Mark is watching, don't we.

If you haven't voted already in the poll thread, please do so. I didn't know so many of you wanted to see Wayward Son, but rest assured, your voices were heard. We've got about...well, about six chapters left to go in this story.

Oh, and comments! Did you know that reading these chapters without commenting is like theft? You filthy thieves. Come on, do the right thing. :)

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on March 22, 2008, 11:43:03 PM
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Chapter 21. Wherein we find ourselves hunting high and low. (A-ha!) (

I'm hunting high and low
And now she's telling me
She's got to go away...

I'll always be hunting high and low
Hungry for you
Watch me tearing myself to pieces
Hunting high and low
There's no end to the lengths I'll go to
Oh, for you I'll be hunting high and low

I don't really have any smartass comments here. You know the drill.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: jolt on April 02, 2008, 12:08:29 PM
Sorry for the noob interruption here but, before I delve into 21 Chapters, what other info should I read first to understand what's going on?

Love fanfics, btw.  I admit a slight preference towards actual play reports only because, having played with the same group of people (more or less) for a very long time, it's interesting see how differently people play compared to us.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on April 03, 2008, 02:05:54 PM
Actually, you should be pretty good, since the whole story is chronologically the oldest in the Ultimates 'verse. You'll get more of the references if you've read the other stuff, but generally speaking there's no actual prior knowledge needed to follow the plot.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on April 04, 2008, 02:52:03 PM
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Chapter 22. This is a story. This is not America. (

A little piece of you
The little peace in me
Will die (This is not a miracle)
For this is not America

Blossom fails to bloom
This season
Promise not to stare
Too long (This is not America)
For this is not the miracle

There was a time
A storm that blew so pure
For this could be the biggest sky
And I could have
The faintest idea

David Bowie, we salute you. Again. Incidentally, the next chapter will also see a repeat performance by an artist/group this story has featured before. Try to guess who for bonus points!

There's just something amazingly bleak about how close Coney Island and Little Odessa are. Like a one-stop shop of depressiveness in the winter of this story.

You might also note that this is where Mark and Sharon landed after they sunk Silvestro's yacht. Could this be planning?

Speaking of Silvestro, does the bastard continue to fuck with our heroes from beyond the grave?

Mark didn't go to Alfredo's funeral, I do believe we've been over that part.

Choices have been made.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: jolt on April 04, 2008, 05:05:31 PM
Thanks.  I read chapters 3 and 4 because I can't seem to figure out how to get 1 and 2 to display.  I'm thinking about printing it all our because my ageing eyes can't read text on a screen for lengthy amounts of time.  Also, it's mildly irritating to have to read a chapter top to bottom but then have to scroll up to the next chapter; though I still need a way to see chapters 1 and 2 (my assumption is that I've overlooked something glaringly obvious).

I've enjoyed what little I've read so far.  It's not the typical type of story I would normally read but I like to read stories that are non-typical (for me anyway) as I think it's a good experience and helps keep your perspective straight.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on April 04, 2008, 05:22:34 PM
Try these:

Chapter 1 (

Chapter 2 (

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on April 12, 2008, 09:28:02 PM
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Alles klar, Herr Kommissar? (

Don't turn around, uh-oh
Der Kommissar's in town, uh-oh
And if he talks to you
Then you'll know why
The more you live
The faster you will die

Time-honored problem solving technique: Sell your friends down the river.

We have...*looks at plan*...three more chapters. Give or take 1.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on April 18, 2008, 10:31:04 AM
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Chapter 24. Who wants to live forever? (

Theres no time for us
Theres no place for us
What is this thing
That builds our dreams
Yet slips away from us?

Who wants to live forever?
Who wants to live forever?

There's no chance for us
It's all decided for us
This world has only
One sweet moment
Set aside for us

Who wants to live forever?
Who wants to live forever?

Who dares to love forever?
When love must die

For those of you who don't remember, here's Chapter 17 of Just 'cause (, where this scene originally occurred. I like it better this way, but I realize that it might be confusing for some who prefer it spelled out.

In a way, this was both inevitable and not. I knew that, at some point, I'd have to get to this, but all the way through my mind was racing with ways to sidestep this. Picture this, I'd actually gotten attached to Sharon a great deal. Living characters are more interesting than dead ones, and dammit, can't we just throw all this cynicism overboard and have a happy ending?

But the closer I got, the more I mapped things out, I began to realize that it couldn't work out. It'd be cheating both you and the essence of the story to do a bait & switch like this. Things had to happen, though I believe that you know Mark well enough now to see why it had to go this way.

Enough said. This is draining enough as is. The story isn't over, though. Two or three more chapters.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Mister Andersen on April 18, 2008, 08:37:36 PM

There are, of course, ways back from the precipice
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on April 23, 2008, 01:35:50 PM
Just as an FYI, I'll try to make the rest of the story run weekly, so you should see a new chapter on the weekend. I'm also going to prepare some "special features"; two I'm committed to are a short essay on what the story means (since it is, imo, the first of my Ultimates story that really lends itself to analyzing themes and motifs) and a short list of songs I wanted to use but couldn't, for some reason, plus a short explanation of the whys and hows of their avoidance. If your heart longs for something on top of that, feel free to request it here.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on April 27, 2008, 08:56:42 AM
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Chapter 25, as we find our heroes knockin' on heaven's door (

Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can't shoot them anymore
That long black cloud is comin' down
Feels like I'm knockin' on heaven's door

Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door

(Yes, that was a concert in the 90s. But they have been playing it live since '87, so there. It's kinda ironic that I had to throw this justification in for both Dylan songs so far.)

The downward spiral continues.

For the less gunbunny-ish readers, a 9mm Hydra-Shok is a high-velocity hollow-point round favored for law enforcement use. A IIa vest isn't rated to withstand that. Given that getting shot with a vest on is unpleasant at best and can fracture ribs even when the vest isn't penetrated, it's not surprising that this can really mess up your day. But then, point-blank GSWs are never fun.

Has our intrepid hero's luck finally run out completely? He was kicked when he was down and the ref didn't call it - but is it a knockout blow?

Well, the story ain't over, so I think we know the answer to that one. See you next time.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on May 04, 2008, 01:31:11 PM
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Chapter 26. You can't leave now. You just can't. 'cause you belong to the city (

When you said goodbye, you were on the run
Tryin' to get away from the things you've done
Now you're back again, and you're feeling strange
So much has happened, but nothing has changed

You still don't know where you're goin'
You're still just a face in the crowd

You belong to the city
You belong to the night
Livin' in a river of darkness
Beneath the neon lights

You were born in the city
Concrete under your feet
It's in your blood, it's in your moves
You're a man of the street

I hope I didn't go too far with the "heavy" narration. It feels like it's about to collapse in some spots, so wear a hardhat when you read it.

I'm kinda sorry for the mostly off-screen escape. I actually had it all worked out, but it's too long and involved and doesn't really matter to the story. Just doesn't flow very well in this context. So you get the summary.

Two more chapters, to be set to Suzanne Vega and Dire Straits, respectively. Then we are done and can move on to more light-hearted things.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Number Three on May 04, 2008, 09:40:43 PM
Two more chapters, to be set to Suzanne Vega and Dire Straits, respectively.
Would it be considered rude if I guessed the chapter titles? :)
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on May 04, 2008, 09:53:54 PM
No, go ahead.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Number Three on May 05, 2008, 06:39:22 AM
The only Suzanne Vega song I think off that would remotely fit is "Tom's Diner", but even that's a stretch.  Then again, I don't much Suzanne Vega.

The easy move with Dire Straits would be "Money for Nothing", but considering the tone so far, I'm going to say "Brothers in Arms".
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on May 05, 2008, 06:56:04 AM
1 of 2, not bad. ;)

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 05, 2008, 03:40:23 PM
Well, it's likely going to be either Marlene on the Wall or The Princess and the Solider; given what we know of our hero's future, my money is on the latter.
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on May 05, 2008, 03:52:32 PM
And thus we have 2 of 2. :)

If I get Wayward Son planned out like I fully intend to do, I'll be able to give you a list of bands beforehand and you guys can submit guesses with slightly more advance warning.

Then again, me and planning have a strained relationship at best.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on May 12, 2008, 05:38:54 PM
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Chapter 27. 'tis a tale of the Queen and the Soldier (

I'm not going to post an excerpt. All the lyrics, this time. The whole song.

Mark's not a very expressive guy, is he?

I'll 'fess up: in the original plan, Mark kills Alex. Horribly so. But then I thought that this doesn't make sense: all the bad things he did for her, he did because he thought it would be best. And knowing that she betrayed them doesn't really matter, in the end. And I think it's actually a "better" result. It would've been easy, though.

Here we have the breaking of Done's nose. And why Mark has a sword. Given the frequency with which Mark dumps weapons, he probably grabbed a whole lot of actual "fighting" swords to use and lose. That's it with the continuity porn, I swear.

One more chapter.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on May 16, 2008, 07:02:50 AM
Final chapter on the weekend, probably. Moving out of the dorms over the weekend and had my finals this week, so no work got done. To tide you over, here's something from eBay:

Airwolf! (

I don't know about you guys, but I'm watching this. Might just be one of Equinox's cover IDs that wins the highest bid...

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Mister Andersen on May 16, 2008, 07:33:46 AM
It doesn't fly :(
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on May 18, 2008, 04:56:02 PM
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It ends tonight. (

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day you'll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you'll no longer burn
To be brothers in arms

Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I've witnessed your suffering
As the battle raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

There's so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun's gone to hell
And the moon's riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it's written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We're fools to make war
On our brothers in arms

I realize that not every possible question is answered here. Some (What will happen to Whitton?) are, I think, reasonably obvious and need no explicit answer. Other stuff (Where does Mark go?) I'm leaving open for the moment, though I'm reluctant to delve into another "Mark's past" story. A lot of it just doesn't need to be looked at.

As promised, here's a short list of songs I wanted to use but couldn't fit:

Michael Jackson - Smooth Criminal (I believe I pointed this out in a very early chapter.)
Foreigner - That Was Yesterday (Very much like the band and the song, but couldn't make it fit the storyline.)
Jackson Browne - Lives in the Balance (Original plan included a trip to Colombia. Scrapped that pretty early.)
Queen - The Show Must Go On (Would've pushed the Queen quotient waaaay high. Also not actually an 80s song, to my great dismay. Grr.)

And probably a few more I can't remember right now.

Things would have been much easier if I had nudged the characterizations just a tiny bit from where they are now. The difficulty of working out the ending and the perhaps hesitant style in which it is written stems directly from the main actors being caught between very bad things and having to choose. Mark could have had Sharon. Their relationship wasn't doomed, and if he had been willing to throw Alex under the bus, or even step out of the way, he could have gotten that. But he wasn't willing to sell his "little sister" down the river. And I don't think it was the obvious "stupid" choice, either.

But enough of the analysis here, I'll write a seperate (and much more detailed) post with my take on the whole story. In the mean time, let's hear it from you - what did you guys think?

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Valentina on May 18, 2008, 09:49:15 PM
I'm not sure how to analysis it.
Mark's trade is death, it's his answer. And that's mine. He chose his strength, chose to react in the way he couldn't fail. Shadow and I has discussed how that's a classic tragic hero trait; supremacy in a given realm that becomes it's bearer's downfall.
He and Sharon shot each other because neither would turn back. Too much purity for that much dichotomy.

My gut response is something like disgust. They had a good thing, and fucked it up. Sharon was far, FAR too grounded in normal and her death is on Mark's hands for letting her wander from her little orderly little playpen. Mark's failure is his naivety, seeing something concrete in the relativity. The tragedy is in the failure to transcend or even acknowledge their ultimately fatal flaws. Awareness has it's own value. It doesn't guarantee redemption, but good luck without it.

All that makes Two Guns an amazing story of coming-of-age, of crime and punishment, and of the tarnished ideals of the street.
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on May 19, 2008, 10:03:14 PM
As promised, I posted some additional notes on Two Guns here ( More opinions welcome, of course.

Wayward Son will take a few weeks to prep. I'll see about bonus content in the meantime to tide you guys over.

Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Valentina on May 19, 2008, 11:42:37 PM
Hmm, neat. Very deliberately laid out and thought provoking. I'll have to reread Two Guns and feel the lay of the land now that I have a map to guide me.
Inspirational as well, and since I've been spamming you with PM's I thought I'd ask if you've got mental space for one more about weapons of choice?

And, having so read that, it's odd but...Alex is really the pivotal character. Mark's bloodily defended social status of criminal homeostasis existed as a financial goal. Or in other words, the status quo creates stability. And so if it hadn't been for Alex and Mark's loyalty to her father he could have opted to sit this drekstorm out.
Title: Re: (Ultimates) Two Guns
Post by: Gatac on May 20, 2008, 07:46:00 AM
Sure, bring on the weapon of choice. If you walk without rhythm, it won't attract the worm...

Well, how far would you go for your little sister? (Not that the Ingues family adopted Mark, but they might as well have.) It might not be what Mark actively wants, because he also wants to stop sacrificing things that matter to him, but it's what he feels is his duty. He swore on his life to protect her, and that's what he does with grim determination, (ultimately) no matter what it costs him or others.

The breaking point is the same as when he also tries to protect Sharon - he will not throw his life away. (From that perspective, getting arrested is the same is killing himself, mostly because New York had the death penalty on the books during this time and he's the perfect candidate.) He'll risk death, but he doesn't stand there and let people kill him. That's why he shoots Sharon, and that's why he leaves the family at the his mind, the only other option to stop the insanity is to fall on his sword. Being the survivor type can be a bitch.