Ace of Clubs: 'Abaddon'

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C'mere boy. I gots a story for ya, if yer up for buying me a drink!

Not interested, huh? It's about an ol' friend o' mine, name of Jude. Father Jude. He was a preacher, ah, priest from Boston I believe. The fella' moved out all the way here with his sister 'bout ten years back. They were Catholic, the sister was a widow and Jude was fixin' to set up a church out this way. 'Said he needed to get away from the city, don't know why an' I never asked. So 'bout ten years ago, he's got his church and joins this town's little community. It's all swell, there were plenty of catholics here already.

Few years pass, they're enjoying a quiet life. Me, I'm not a religious man, but I had nothin' against the fella. So Father Jude and I ended up becoming friends one day when my mamma passed on. Helped my kin more than any preacher ever would'a tried, y'know. He was what you expect from a priest - tall, wears black with that white collar, never set foot without this big ol' tattered hat of his. Never set foot in the bar, never flirted with the ladies, was polite and well-mannered. You'd be surprised just how well he fit in here.

Well, all that went to hell when Draco came into town. Who's Draco, y'ask? Who's he? Haha, why he's the most fearsome outlaw ever to set foot in town! Came in on a horses with some gang of his and staged a takeover of the town. Sheriff was the first to go, was real bloody too. Draco was one of those wild Guns. Y'know, he held a Card, the Five of Hearts. Called it the Heart Attack, since anyone who got shot with it died of one later, if they survived the initial shot that is. I hear tell that there's another Five of Hearts, the Nightmare. Rumors, rumors, whistlin' on the wind - after a while, you can't tell fact from fiction anymore. Anyways, after that, for a while Draco had complete control of town. No one left without his permission, no one even pissed or shit without word from him, that's the kind of iron grip he had. Egomaniacal, I tell ya, he lived for control.

--

Anyways, this Draco fella' did the unthinkable - he raped an' murdered that poor girl, Jude's sister. Real tragedy too, it just 'bout shattered his whole world and stripped him of his faith. I remember he crushed her rosary in anger!

Few weeks after her funeral, Jude and I are playing cards with this Brit' in a black suit passin' through town. He's dealin' the cards, we play a while, tryin' to cheer up Jude. No gamblin', 'course, Jude's still a priest then. As we play, the Brit' learns a little more 'bout Jude, big grin on his stinkin' face. I knew somethin' was up, an' I was waitin' for an opportunity to confront 'em. But the man gets to his objective first - he takes a new deck out from under his hat, an incomplete deck for god knows what. The brit's offering the both of us to take a card, and I reject him but Jude just sits there and thinks 'bout it for 'bout a minute. Then he plucks a card out of the deck, and it's the Ace of Clubs. We both take a look at the old card, then glance back up to the ol' Brit', but 'course by then he's vanished outta thin air. We both look back down at the card, but 'course there's no card there anymore an' Jude's holding a Gun.

It's a beauty of a gun, too. All black, lever-action pistol that fit Jude's hand just fine, just fine indeed. No markings, 'sides a white Club on one side of the barrel an' a white A on the other. He stares at it for the longest time, then looks up at me an' says the words I sure dreaded to hear. He looks an' says to me, "I know what I have to do."

--

An hour later, Draco and Jude are face to face outside the sheriff's old place, an' ol' Jude's challenging 'em to a duel. Draco's kinda amused, he knows he killed Jude's sister an' he's surprised the priest has the guts to threaten him. What Draco doesn't know is that Jude has a damn good Card in his coat, and a piece he borrowed from me in his hand. So Draco thinks that ol' iron is all Jude's got, and accepts the challenge immediately. Things happened real fast after that, they set up for the duel. Me, I'm shakin' in my boots, ain't got no idea how things are gonna turn out, but Jude's acting all cool an' confident. Draco's kinda nervous now, he's not used to people not bein' afraid of him.

Now they're facin' each other for the draw, an' one of Draco's boys flips a coin, tellin' 'em to draw when it hits the ground. An' they do that, the coin hits the ground an' Draco pulls out his Heart Attack an' fires a shot right for Jude's heart. Now I'm sure Jude's a dead man, ain't no one gonna survive a shot from that gun. Jude's got his Ace of Clubs' out from his jacket and lined up half-assed like at Draco at this point. The sound of Jude's gun ain't a bang like a normal Gun, though, more like a metallic shriek. Now I'm expectin' Jude to fall over dead or at least injured, but he stays there, standin' still and unharmed. All us bystanders look over to Draco an' realize he ain't there no more. All that's left are his feet, everythin' above the ankles was blown away by some tremendous force. Then I notice a huge hole in the building behind Draco, an' it keeps goin' and goin' until the bullet left town, like nothing could ever stop it, an' anything it grazed was blasted to oblivion. That evenin', this town witnessed the power of an Ace first-hand.

--

After that? Jude up and left town, takin' only what he could carry on his back. Before he left, I only saw him that one time. 'Asked him why he was leaving, but he doesn't say much to me. Just says that he can't stay anymore, now that he's no longer a priest an' all, even though he's still wearin' the damn collar. He says he's going to put 'Abaddon' to good use though. Abaddon, that's what he called his new Gun. Seems to be the name of the Angel of the Abyss, I hear. Fitting, I'd say. So, Jude wished me well an' told me to take care of everythin' for him while he's gone, that maybe when he's found his way out he'll find his way back here. An' that was the last I ever saw or heard of my ol' friend, Father Jude.


Wild Cards
Spades: 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - J - Q - K - A
Hearts: 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - J - Q - K - A
Clubs: 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - J - Q - K - A
Diamonds: 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - J - Q - K - A
Jokers: Red Joker - Black Joker
Introduction - The World - Gameplay - Stories of the world
On the Attainment, Ownership and Passing of The Cards
Variant Rule: Hands