I don't own anything, besides Deric Jawstrike and the other OC's as well as the story line.
… … … …
The sand burned the snakes' scales, the large amount of heat coming from the creatures body making the cool, light sand leave him shivering at the cold fire that erupted beneath his scales. His heart raced and his breathing was ragged, and extremely labored as he slithered as fast as he could across the desert, dead, blackened trees the only thing he could see for miles besides the never ending sky and the off white desert sand. A screech from above made the reptile look up, golden-red eyes widening in pure fear at the shadow that passed over the full moon.
"No," the voice was a whisper, and it would have told everyone who heard it how much trouble the snake was in, if there was someone to hear it. The male rattler looked down at the many gashes that layered his body, his dark red, practically black blood reflected the silver almost white light that came from the moon overhead, and it did nothing to help the snake predicament as the cool liquid pooled around his quaking and weakening body. Again the large shadow passed over the moon, wings spread wide as it swooped down talons spread for a kill, the young snake twisted his body as fast as he could narrowly avoiding the sharp talons, only to receive a hard nip to his neck by an equally sharp beak.
"AHH!" the snake screamed in pain at yet another wound being added to his already beaten and battered body. Yet, even in his exhausted and borderline delusional state, the young male could see a small hole near the base of a tree, big enough for him to fit, yet small enough that the hawk would be unable to get to him. The burrow was a few yards away and under normal circumstances the young male would have been able to make it to the hole with no problem, but in the state he was currently in, it was an extremely large chance that he wouldn't survive, but that chance was better than attempting to fight persistent hawk with no bullets left in his Gatling gun.
The young snake dove for the burrow, the smell of his blood splashing across the ground as he moved, hearing the wind underneath the hawks wings as it made another attempt to catch him, feeling the sting of the dirt and sand that had entered his wounds, and seeing the talons that were mere inches from his scales as he almost reached the entrance to the burrow…
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Rango screamed, sitting up from his most recent nightmare, something that had become more and more often as nights had passed. The chameleon couldn't really understand why he was dreaming what he was, all he knew is that they were accurate as hell, bloody as fuck, and it was creeping him out. Lifting his right arm to wipe the sweat off his brow, Sheriff Rango looked out his window into the night sky, seeing the perfect full moon sitting there in the south-west, it's silver rays lighting the street outside well enough to not need a torch of any kind. Sighing slightly, almost in relief yet in frustration, Rango stepped out of his bed, still dressed in a pair of slacks and the Hawaiian shirt he came to town with, and he slowly hobbled over to the window before looking over at the small map he had on the desk. The young lizard still staying at the Sheriff's office out of habit, but on a night like this, it came in handy. Looking down at the map it showed all the territories in the whole Mojave Desert, ranging from the town of Dirt, to Mole Lake and Silverback Ridge, and breathing a heavy sigh, Rango rubbed his eyes, just over the bridge of his snout, before laying his soft golden orbs back on the map.
"What 'ave ya gotten' yurself into now Jake?"
Morning came with the usual crowd getting up to open and clean their stores, some sweeping, others arranging their shelves, all to make sure they were ready before the rest of the town awakened, however that usual schedule was interrupted by the Sheriff and new Mayor, Beans, the two of them having called a town meeting for the early morning hours just outside of the Sheriff's office.
"What 're we doin' 'ere?" Spoons asked aloud, many of the other Dirtonains nodding their heads at his question, but still quieted down when Beans stepped up onto the make-shift pedestal that was really just one of the tables from the jail.
"Now listen 'ere!" Beans' voice was commanding like always, yet soft, a quality that everyone in the town wanted in a Mayor, one that wouldn't screw them over like the last one. "Rango had another dream last night,"
"Again?" Wounded Bird spoke; his shoulder having nicely healed after Jake defended himself months ago, the snake even making it a clear shot through the shoulder, nicking nothing in the process, later apologizing to the crow in secret, saying it was only habit to defend himself. However Rango flinched slightly at the looks some people were giving him, his little white lie that he told four months ago gave him a lot of trouble in gaining the trust of the towns people back, many had said that he had proven his worth when he faced off against the Mayor, while others were still wary of him. Though what the crow had said was true, Rango had been having many dreams of Rattlesnake Jake for the past few day, and all were extremely accurate in timing, and where the snake had last been seen, some, including Beans and others in the town, going as far as to call them visions at just how accurate the Sheriffs dreams were.
"Yeah, again" Rango said, stepping up next to Beans on the slightly crowded table, "now I 'no that this town repay's its debts, an' we owe one to Jake for dealin' with the old Mayor," some of the crowd cheered slightly at the remembrance of how the snake left with the old tortuous, the men and women in town not likeing the times that the old Mayor was in power, and it was not something that they really liked to remember, "and last night I saw Jake gettin' attacked by a hawk, from the looks 'a thinks he's beaten and beaten bad," Eglin, Ambrose and Buford all looked at each other, obviously knowing full well what the Sheriff was getting to, "so, wer gonna go get 'em, and bring 'im back."
"E' could be anywhere in the Mojave Rango" Ambrose said, speaking up, "where do we start?"
"Isn't it obvious?" a small voice said, the crowd parting to see little Pricilla standing right in the middle of the crowd of towns people gathered in front of the Sheriff's office. "The one place that is in the direct center of Jakes territory,"
"An' that would be?" Rango asked, many of the other towns people around him snickering slightly at his ignorance, having claimed to be the rattlesnakes brother at one point, they thought that the Sheriff would at least know a little bit about the outlaw.
"His hometown," Eglin said, stepping up and patting the little mouse on the shoulder, "Good thinkin' Pricilla."
"What's Jake's hometown?" Rango asked Beans, his accent now more natural than it ever was, and definitely not as forced as it was when he first arrived in Dirt a little over four months ago.
"Small town, almost smaller than Dirt," she said, her voice a whisper as the other towns people formed a small Posse to head out into the desert after the dangerous outlaw they owed a debt to, "It was a peaceful town, until da hawk attack ten years ago, only two rattlesnake survived out of da twenty-some families that lived der."
"I'll take it one was Jake,"
"Yup," Beans said, jumping down from her little stand, and waiting for Rango to follow, "the other became the towns blacksmith, he creates de best guns an' swords the world's eva' seen, e' even created Jake's Gatling gun from scratch." The little fact she gave made Rango stop for a second, thinking clearly over something that was sure to help them all out.
"That rattler may know how ta find Jake," the Sheriff said, the two leaders of the town making their way to their roadrunners in Spoons' barn.
"Most lik'ly, it's known that they remained close friends even when Jake went off inta the desert, 'e still returning sometimes during summer to stay with 'im, and the blacksmith is also da one that supplies Jake with 'is bullets." Beans spoke while looking directly into Rango's eyes, "it's said that the blacksmith is just as testy as Jake is, he ain't the Sheriff of the town but 'e might as well be. He protects everyone there better than we protect our water, don't be getting' on his bad side Rango." The female warned, her chocolate brown eyes locking on Rangos' own golden-green.
"I won't be, count on it." The Sheriff said, giving the female Mayor a quick peck on the cheek before mounting his always ready roadrunner and going out onto the street to see the old gang already set to go, their old female member having been replaced by young Pricilla, who had grown a great amount both physically and mentally in the past few months. "Yawl ready?" he asked the group, Eglin nodding his head as Sergeant Turley smiled slightly, Doc was ready with his wagon hitched behind him, and Waffles was ripping and roaring to go at any given minute. "Then let's ride!"
The roadrunners were causing dust to fly as they ran forward at their top speeds, sure that was nothing compared to a certain Mojave rattlesnake but it was better than what the riders themselves could run. Being lead by Pricilla and Wounded Bird, the young mouse because of her extensive knowledge from studying maps and the crow because of how he was able to easily find directions and short-cuts around obstacles that were in the Posse's way, the team found their way to Desert-Star easily, though it did take a few hours and a couple rest-stops along the way.
It was high-noon when they entered into the small town, the entire Posse seeing that the area was once large, the history of it having said that there was once many rattlesnake families that made a home around the outskirts, before the hawks attacked, now most of the southern half of the town was deserted. To Rango's surprise there were many creatures out on the street, however most looked as though they just stopped in the town for supplies or for a rest, and would then leave before night fall.
"Saloon, best place to start." Wounded Bird said pointing with his jet-black feathers, "Find blacksmith there."
"How do ya know dat?" Eglin asked, his fluffy ears twitching slightly because of the warm wind.
"Unless 'es an anti-social lunatic" Ambrose said while dismounting his earth-brown roadrunner, "he will come eventually." Many of the others chuckled at the birds comment, following his lead by tying up their steeds and walking into the almost empty saloon, finding a young female fox and a dark red coyote behind the counter, Pricilla and Wounded Bird the only two that stayed outside to watch their roadrunners.
"May I help you?" the young fox said, obviously female from her almost Barbie doll figure and voice, her short white skirt and top leaving practically nothing to the imagination as her clothes matched the white flower clip that kept her auburn colored fur out of her emerald green eyes.
"Got any Cactus Juice?" Sergeant Turley asked, the red coyote grinning as he grabbed a few bottles and handed them out to the posse, making sure not to prick any ones fingers in the process.
"No offence, but I don't know how you men can drink that stuff," the young fox chuckled, many of the other men chuckling with her, "Oh! Where are my manners, my name is Shakira," she said, motioning to herself with her left hand, the short claws painted a light tan color, "and this is my boyfriend Skrillex," she motioned to the red coyote next to her, who nodded his head as he placed his hands into the front pockets of his dark-brown slacks, his white button down shirt matching the females entire outfit.
"Nice to meet you," Rango said standing, and extending his hand to the two, "My name is Rango, and this is Eglin, Sergeant Turley, Doc, Waffles, Spoons and Buford," he pointed to each member of the posse in turn, and they nodded their heads or waved as he said their names, "Our other two, Wounded Bird and Pricilla are outside."
"So you're the lizard that Jake was talkin' about." Skrillex said turning to his girlfriend, his voice having only a very small accent, meaning he was around the town longer than his girlfriend had been, but to Rango, he sounded more like one of the pets from the city than from out west.
"Rattlesnake Jake?" Spoons questioned, taking a small sip of Cactus Juice.
"Yeah, that's the one!" Shakira smiled, "But he kept calling you the ignorant puke-green lizard that just happened to have a VERY long lucky streak." The Dirtonians around Rango snickered slightly, the younger ones unable to contain their laughter at what the famous outlaw apparently called their Sheriff. "Ms. Dawson slapped him upside the head for that one."
Whoever wasn't laughing before sure as hell was now, Spoons and Ambrose were clutching their sides through their fits of laughter, Waffles was on the floor just trying to breathe, and Eglin was just about getting Cactus Juice out of his nose.
"Shakira, I don't think Jacob wanted you to tell anyone 'bout that." Skrillex chuckled, trying and failing to hide a smile at how everyone reacted, knowing full well that they didn't get to see how the real thing looked.
"Why? Flagrunn told Bash!" the fox pouted, her tone almost that 'as a matter of fact' one that Rango always heard Beans using.
"That's because Flagrunn is the Sheriff and Bash is," the coyote thought for a second, trying to come up with the right word, "Well Deric is just Deric!"
"Who's-" Waffles started, having climbed back into the bar stool after his laughing fit on the floor, however he was cut off by the red coyote.
"Flagrunn is a cottonmouth viper from Mississippi, he took over as Sheriff about, uh, seven years ago," Skrillex said nodding his head to one of the many pictures on the wall, obviously motioning to the sandy colored viper with the red tail, "Deric, aka Bash as we call 'im, is the local blacksmith and has been for most if not half of his life." Rango's eyes moved to the other Dirtonians, everyone having quieted down to look right at him.
"Where can we find Deric?" the fox and coyote looked at each other for less than a second before turning back to the lizard, green and golden eyes reflecting some hostility that the posse didn't see a minute earlier.
"What do you want with Bash?" the female asked, the Dirtonains looking at the two locals cautiously.
"We need his help to find-"
Everyone in the saloon turned toward the entrance, guns raised as the gunshot sounded, one that all of them recognized as a Gatling gun.
"Get out of mah town ya overgrown lizard!" the new voice sounded as though the owner came from the east, and the sound of a whip cracking against skin made everyone flinch as a yelp was heard, the voice one that the Dirtonains knew.
"Alright, alright we're goin'!" The Australian accent was none other than Bad Bill, obviously having fled from Dirt after the old Mayor was killed. Rango and his team exited the saloon closely followed by Shakira and Skrillex as they joined Wounded Bird and Pricilla out on the deck. The sandy colored cottonmouth from the photo inside was right in front of the building, dark brown belts filled with knives covering most of his upper torso, and his long red tail ended in a whip that was probably surgically put on, a small blade at the end to create a better sting, and a deeper wound. The viper was smaller than Dirts' usual gunslinger, but he had similar orange-red eyes that burned fear into a persons' soul. A red bandana was wrapped around the snakes neck, covering most of a dark brown, almost black, scar running down his back and side, his cowboy hat masking the sun from his eyes and matching the knife belts around his form, the reflecting light from the sun giving the snake an almost eerie look.
"Get 'im Flagrunn!" Skrillex shouted to the cottonmouth who grinned just slightly at the support he received.
"They're leaving now Skril," the snake said, backing down as the group of troublemakers left town, the voice of the cottonmouth much softer than when he was shouting at Bad Bill, obviously using a stricter tone for the guys that were causing trouble than the towns' people he cared about.
"What were they doing Flag?" Shakira asked; her eyes never leaving the retreating forms of the thugs as she spoke to her Sheriff.
"The idiots tried to raid Deric's shed," the Sheriff said, a slight hiss of displeasure escaping him as he approached the group.
"They didn't get anything did they?"
"A'course they didn't!" a new voice shouted; the western accent much more dominant in the masculine voice. The sound of scales against sand filled the Dirtonains ears as they turned toward the source, everyone gasping as they saw who the owner was while Flagrunn, Shakira and Skrillex all nodded their heads in respect for the newcomer.