new short series
DISCLAIMER: I'm certain TPTB of Climb the Highest Mountain didn't think of this scenario. I just borrowed them from Provisions.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This little story that has just taken on a life of its own, is an AU Über story. Set somewhere in the mid 1800's, I've taken to spoof some westerns and movie musicals rolled into one. I've paid absolutely no attention to details or historical accuracy, and yes, I did once tell someone: "I'm an out of context sort of person".
The idea came from a chance discussion with a colleague at work on that song Doris Day sings: "Once I had a secret love".
über: Taking the characters - Janeway and Chakotay - out of their normal [Trek] setting and placing them in another time and place.
SUMMARY: No one messes with Calamity Janeway when she rolls into town. A word of wisdom from Miss Kate: "Men! They're the varmints of the earth! Especially Chakotay Angry Warrior Fleetfoot.
Part one of a new über series. Let me know if I should carry on.
"'struth, Calams, I ain't gonna give." The man sat facing her at the small round table. His nose was running and his face was red and bloated. He raised the glass, spilled some gin, but managed to throw the rest down his throat. A loud burp followed. A cautious laugh went up here and there, stifled as the woman glared at them with fiery blue-grey eyes.
"Good. You're one brave man, Pipe. Now, Pour!"
She pointed to the bottle. An anonymous hand of an anonymous bystander poured quickly. The woman picked up the small glass, filled to the brim with gin. She looked at Pipe. Her lips curved into a smile, tugging up at the corner. One eyebrow lifted. Unidentified Pourer wondered how Calamity Janeway could be sober after fifteen drinks. She looked beautiful and alert. Not-Drunk, was what his Mama used to say. He looked quickly away from the woman before she gave him the skunk-eye. He didn't wanna be caught looking at a lady - hell, she was the fastest dang gun in the West. Lady? What lady? She could draw a gun faster than a mad snake could spit. Anyway, he didn't want to be caught looking at what didn't want to be looked at. He heard about them varmints who got gunned down in the middle of the road right in front of the Sheriff's office, for just looking at her like she wanted looking at.
"You were meant for me" stopped in mid-air as Pianoman suddenly stopped; his hands paused over the keys.
The unhappy opponent leered at her.
"You ain't gonna put that away, Missus."
Unidentified Pourer wanted to warn the drinker. The lady didn't want no one calling her missus. Didn't he see the notches on the butt of her Colts?
"Watch me, punk."
She raised the glass and threw the gin down in a single gulp. The empty glass went down on the table top with a clank. She drew the back of her hand across her mouth in a deliberate, slow swipe, not breaking eye contact with the man opposite her. Pipe Gantry wished he'd never taken a bet with this one.
He was red, puffy. He couldn't take another drink. He wanted to pee. There was no doubt Pipe Gantry was drunk. Pipe Gantry was very drunk. The woman smiled, the corner of her mouth lifting. She got him exactly how she wanted him and then some.
"You were meant for me" started again on the honky tonk.
"Hey, Kid Paris, cut that, will you?" she said without breaking eye-contact with the man opposite her. The music stopped abruptly. Calamity's palm pressed flat on the table; the other hand was hidden from view. Unidentified Pourer knew the Agenda of the Hidden Hand.
Please, Pipe Gantry, he prayed silently, don't mess with the lady.
Pipe Gantry's head lolled. The hand that reached for the glass freshly filled by Unidentified Pourer, shivered as Pipe touched it. He looked beaten. He looked like he wanted to give up before kissing the floor boards. She wanted to see him make contact with the floor. He was going to give up, the punk, the yellow livered coward. It was always a thrill. The varmints who called themselves men thought they could drink her under the table. Why, they fell for that time after time. Calamity lived for the pleasure of seeing the look in their eyes just after they had taken the last drink. Surprise, surrender, humiliation before they fell over backwards. It killed her every time... Serves them right. She had a score to settle. Good to keep the embers of hate glowing so she wouldn't forget. Let them come and lay their bets. Pipe looked at her, ready to capitulate before hitting the ground.
Why, Pipe Gantry was going to give up, the coward. She wasn't gonna let him. Let him say his piece. Just let him. She was ready for him. He wasn't gonna get away. She wanted to see him eat flea dust.
"I'll call it a day, Missus," said Pipe Gantry.
The hand that had been under the table for the last seven drinks, held the Colt she had drawn five drinks ago. The men gasped, some grinned when they heard the familiar sound as she cocked her gun. A turn and a click, all with one finger, they knew. Gantry was messin' with the missus. Everyone knew no one called her missus... Not to her face, anyways. .
They knew where the gun was pointed under the table. Calamity Janeway purred.
"You call it a day and I'll shoot your peepee off, punk. You'll piss through your nose."
The glass seemed to float to Gantry's mouth and pour itself down his throat. For ten seconds he remained motionless as the potent fluid hit. They mixed tequila and gin for the bet. Then Pipe Gantry choked and gasped. He clutched his throat. His eyes popped. The next moment, Pipe Gantry keeled backwards over the thin backed chair and thudded to the floor.
The onlookers chorused.
"Hey, Kid! Play somethin'," Calamity Janeway shouted over the heads of the cowboys. She rose and walked round the table. Her boot landed hard on Pipe's chest as she kicked him. He didn't move. The punk was snoring. She nodded to one of the Anonymous Cowboys.
"He's drunk. Better get him outside. Wash him in the trough. He smells of varmints piss," she ordered.
"Yes, Ma'am! Aye, Ma'am!" four men chorused as they manhandled the hapless Pipe Gantry and pitched him out of the Triple S.
"That's gotten rid of him," she declared. Only then she tipped her Stetson so it hanged against her back. Calamity shook her hair out. It fell about her shoulders, in bronzed-golden tresses. She wore a leather waist coat, coarse trousers and boots with spurs. But it was not the men's clothing she wore that made their eyes explode. Calamity Janeway had a head of her that all of Bella Torres' ladies dreamed of having. Rich, golden it was. She had a look that said: "Hey, what you looking at? You like what you looking at?" That kind of look.
"Dang! I'd run me hands through them curls and smell them all day, " a cowboy who wished to stay Anonymous for the rest of his life, said.
She swivelled round and glared at the man.
"Hey! No shit-smellin' varmints who bathes once a year, gonna touch this hair," she hissed. Her hands hovered dangerously close to the Colts in their holsters.
"No, Ma'am!" they chorused. No one messed with a gun totin' tiny terror like Calamity.
One cowboy who lounged at the bar counter touched the brim of his Stetson. He spoke in a rough voice. "We hear strange things here in Goose Creek, Calamity Janeway. We hear about them Indian what got you creamed good and solid."
Calamity Janeway swung round to face the speaker. With his Stetson pulled low over his head, she couldn't see his face, but that was okay, because...
She pulled her gun faster than her cousin Ellery McIntyre could say his name. She used to practice sharpshooting with him saying his name, and every time she beat him to it, running ten cans off the tree trunk by the time he came to 'tyre'.
The next moment, one Stetson flew high into the air and landed with a soft thud on Pianoman Paris's head.
He grinned broadly.
"My pleasure, Paris."
She ambled slowly towards the offending speaker. She had no problem seeing his face. Boy, she thought. The man's face looked like an insect laid eggs all over it.
"I say, I might be wearing them men's trousers and boots and spurs and leather jackets, but I ain't never had a face like that. What you do? Piss off the Almighty?"
The man shifted uncomfortably. Calamity Janeway's hands were never far from the butts of her Colts. She was primed. Any move from him and he'd kiss his... No, better still.
"I could shoot every pimple off your face, Buster, but that be helping you with your particular plight. I bet them ladies - " she looked up the stairs where several girls were leaning lazily against the balustrade - "wouldn't touch you with them pimples lining your face."
"That's right, Calamity Janeway," shouted Bella Torres with a fierce scowl on her face. "We've been trying to get rid of him - "
"You do that, Bella. You do that. Maybe Pianoman Paris can play you a song."
"That weasel? He's been playing 'You were meant for me' all day!"
Calamity Janeway laughed. She kicked the pock-faced man against the shin. "You be careful," she hissed. She walked with daring arrogance towards one of the tables in the corner.
She counted. Six…five...four...three...two...
A heavy silence descended on the saloon. The men waited, held their breaths. The ladies' bosoms heaved in anticipated fear.
Pianoman Paris ducked. The rest of the patrons ducked. No one had seen Pock Face move, and no had had seen the split-second reaction from Calamity Janeway as she drew her gun with lightning speed, flipped it behind her without turning to look at Pock Face, and aimed for his face. The bullet grazed a pimple.
A gasp went up from the onlookers.
"See? Told you I'd shoot a pimple off your face. Now," she continued as she pulled up a chair while looking at the scary-faced youngster who sat there holding a metal mug too big for his hands. She grinned when she saw it. "Now, no one mentions that darned Indian again, you hear me?"
"I swear, Calamity Janeway, I said nothing," the young cowboy spluttered. He pressed his hat deeper over his head. Calamity wanted to laugh. The kid drowned in his hat. Maybe it belonged to his dead papa who lost his life in a duel.
"Say, Calamity, we know you don't like men. Them be varmints, right?" said Kid Papa's companion, just as young as the Kid, fresh-faced and untried. Why they tried out the world by sitting in the saloons and messin' around with her? The Companion was brash. It was time his fellow cowboys educated him and sent him packing to his Mama's ranch. .
She grabbed Kid Papa's giant metal mug.
"What you drinking? Ghost Pee?" she asked as smelled the cheap ale. Then she brought the mug down hard on the table and cheap wine splattered all over Kid Papa and his companion.
"Men... Hate the varmints!"
The men who stood at the tables watching their friends play poker, moved to make way for Calamity Janeway as she stalked out, pushed the stable doors and left them to bang against the face of the cowboy who followed her out. There, on the sidewalk, she brushed down her pants, touched her Colts, touched the broad shiny buckle, then flipped her hat back on her head.
She looked to the side and shrugged. Pipe Gantry still lay drunk as a drunk monkey in the horses' trough. He wasn't gonna wake up any time soon. Good for him. She gave a low whistle, and the horse whinnied as she heard Calamity's call. She untied the rein from the wooden pole and in a swift, smooth movement mounted her horse. Her spurs dug into its flanks and in the next instant horse and rider rode off into the sunset, down the dusty street of Goose Creek. The Sheriff looked at the vanishing horsewoman and shook his head.
When Calamity Janeway rode into town, there was always a man in the trough by the time she rode out.
Inside Sandrine's Select Saloon - the Triple S - the patrons breathed a sigh of relief. Even Pock Face was none the worse for wear as he wiped the blood where the pimple had been moments before. He had been stupid enough to try and outdraw Katie Janeway of Echo Creek, Montana. He leaned over the counter and ordered him another gin.
Pianoman Paris, the blue-eyed, blonde haired sharpshooter turned pianoman on account of his having lost his head when he shot his three friends accidentally, played "My baby don't care for me" and he tried to wipe the tears from his eyes. Bella Torres laughed at him and said:
"You in love with Calamity Janeway?"
"Bella Torres, I'll take my chances with you. That - that crazy virago, she needs someone else to tame her."
He launched into the next tune, titled "I hate men!"
"We hear the Indian did, but he got busted, by her!" Bella Torres laughed. She slapped one of the buxom girls good-naturedly on her buttocks.
"I heard that too! She got mighty pissed when she heard him profess his love and in the next moment he admitted he won her in a poker game."
"A game the Indian rigged, we hear."
"He should never have said it! What was he thinking?"
"She could have been tamed by now!"
Bella Torres couldn't stop laughing.
"He won her in a poker game! Can you believe that!"
"Don't ever let her hear you say that, Bella Torres," Pianoman Paris warned her as he started into 'Anything you can do I can do better'.
"Don't ever let Calamity Janeway hear you say the Indian won her in a poker game..."
***END, FOR NOW