Five of Spades: 'Devotion'

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Five of Spades-’Devotion’

I was out of options, ya see. No money, no work, parents long ago disowned me, so I joined up. Yeah, joined the military. The 15th Scout Cav, to be precise. They were the ones who went out on long distance recon missions, all that sort of thing, or would have, had there been a war on. In ‘peacetime’ in the west, though, there was still a lot for the army to do, so the 15th acted as escorts to government officials, tax collectors, and all that, protecting them from bandits and angry civilians alike. Anyways, after basic training, I was sent along with a supply train to one of the forts where the 15th were stationed. We got in to town late at night, and I rode up to the fort, where the sentry told me to go the quartermaster, and get my gear. Well, I walked in there, it must have been 11 at night, the place is all dark, and I’m figgerin’ the quartermaster’s gone to bed, but I ring the bell there nonetheless. All of a sudden, the lights in the back come on, and this figure walks up to the counter. He was a nondescript kind of guy, but I do remember noticing he was in civilian clothes, which seemed kind of strange. Anyways, he walks out, and kinda looks me over, before grinning at me. I saluted, and he waved it off,

“New here? Well, let’s get you some gear. You a card player?”

I wasn’t much of one, having been raised by religious parents, but, joining the military had given me a new appreciation for games I’d once thought of as a sinful waste of time, and told him so. At that, he just grinned, and said something about how he’d get me into the big one, before heading into the back. He came out with a new uniform, haversack, and ammunition and set it down on the counter. Reaching under his hat, he pulled out what seemed to be an incomplete deck of cards, and dealt me a card. I looked down at the card he had handed me, the five of spades. I looked up, confused, but he just shrugged, and muttered

“It chose you,”

With that, he turned around, and walked into the back. I looked back down, and saw the card had changed into a lever action carbine, the sort that I would have been issued with. This one looked a little beat up, and, looking it over, I saw that a 5 inside a spade had been carved into the bottom of the grip. I looked up, and rang the bell, meaning to ask the man about this, but the lights in the back were out. Now, I only saw that quartermaster twice in my life, but the Carbine he’d given me served me faithfully. It always seemed to be able to make shots that were conventionally impossible, and I’d swear, it got me into risky situations so that it could get me out of them again.

---

The other time I saw him, me and the rest of 5 squadron, 15 cavalrymen in all, had been sent to escort some sort of missionary across the plains, to some isolated church. Now, when we got there, the locals were mighty happy to see us. Turns out, there were some warlike injun’s in the area, who had been raiding the village, who were only just able to fight them off with a hastily raised militia. They saw our uniforms, and of course, decided we were there to help. Turns out, there’s some law preventing us from refusing them, not that we would have considered it, until they told us that altogether, there were about 150 of the red buggers, and the chief was packin’ a card. Now, when I heard the legends of the cards, I’d realized what my carbine, ‘Devotion’ as I’d named it, was. I’d kept it quiet though, not wanting to attract any unnecessary attention to myself. So, when I heard the chief was the owner of another card, I found myself secretly hoping for a chance to take him on. We set up camp behind the town hall, and worked with the locals to build up some defences. After a few days, we noticed a huge dust cloud coming form the south. The injuns split up, and surrounded the town, while we rushed to the hastily built barricades. The chief raised his revolver, and fired a shot into the air, and the attack began. A vicious firefight broke out all around the town, with the injuns shooting from horseback, while the defenders sniped from in cover. Eventually, the enemy numbers began to show, and pushed their way into the town. The battle turned into a running firefight through the town. Eventually, half the town was burning, and I got trapped in the local tavern with a few other troopers, and perhaps 4 of the locals. We had the road pretty much covered, and were sniping at one another from cover, so not much was going on. All of a sudden, the chief strides out, and unleashes a hail of bullets from his revolver. Shot after shot slammed into the already riddled tavern, and a couple of my companions fell, dead. Without even reloading, the chief kept coming, shooting all the while. Cowering in the cover of one of the windows, I fired blindly with my carbine, keeping everything but my arms in cover. There was a single shot, and all the bullets slamming into my cover stopped. I decided to risk a glance, and saw the chief was dead, that single shot had slammed into his heart. With their leader down, the nerve of the other injuns broke, and they fled, leaving their dead. I walked over to the chief, only to see another man crouched over the corpse, carefully prying the revolver from the dead chief’s hand. The figure straightened up, and turned to face me, and I recognized the man from the quartermaster’s office. He grinned at me, and pulled a deck of cards out from under his hat, sliding a red card back into the deck.

“I told you I’d get you in on the big game” With that, he turned around, and walked off.



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