“Oh, God, that feels good”


“Yeah, just... Gentle – Rub it slowly”

“Like that?”

“Oh, God yeah” Jay sighed in pleasure “That’s good”

Gingerly tugging up his shirt, Cass pursed her lips “That looks painful”

“Yeah, it’s throbbing alright”

“I bet it goes right the way down your leg – Hold still...”

“Oh, fuck” Jay gasped, arching his back.

“How did you even ride in this state?”

He shrugged “Needs must”

Cass reapplied the cold compress to the bruising covering Jay’s back “You should have got Jade to have a look at this”

“I’d have been fine without any fussing”

“Well, they certainly did a number on you”

Jay gave a hollow laugh “You should have seen the state they were in once I was done”

“I hope you killed the fuckers”

“I didn’t have much bloody choice”

“Here, hold this” reaching forward from behind him, Cass guided one of Jay’s hands back, onto the compress “I think we’ve got something to make you more comfortable”

Standing, she walked across the forge to where the contents of the first aid kit had been scattered on the workbench.

“That’s a look I haven’t seen in a while” Jay said, smiling as he eyed her fishnets and corset ensemble as she sorted through the medicines.

Snatching up a few strips of dermal tabs, Cass turned back to him “What?” she teased “Did you want to slip a couple of twenties into my knickers for old time’s sake?”

“No, I, ah...”

Cass laughed “Oh, you’re no fun” she crossed the room and plonked herself back down on the bench, behind him “Right” she said, peeling off a couple of tabs “Get that shirt off”

Jay waited patiently, while she finished her ministrations, before rising to rebutton his shirt.

“Do you think we can do this?” he asked, as he finished.

Still sat on the bench, Cass shrugged “Truthfully?” she sighed “I don’t know. All of a sudden, I’m not Brittany anymore, so I can’t even begin to second guess her. She’s something else now; something alien and utterly terrifying. What’s it going to do to the universe if we kill her?”

Jay glanced sharply back at her “I meant the Alamo. You have concerns?”

“This is batshit crazy territory; so yeah, I have concerns” she fell silent.

Sat there in her old fashioned finery, to Jay’s eyes, Cass looked somewhat diminished and unsure of herself; less confident than usual.

“We’ll be fine” he soothed, easing himself back down onto the bench beside her. The drugs were kicking in nicely and he could already feel the nanites working on his back.

“Can we trust Greyman?” Cass hunched forward, her elbows on her knees “What if he’s just part of one of Brittany’s schemes?”

“That’d just make things really fucking awkward”

“How are we even going to do this?”

“We wing it” Jay said decisively “Same as ever – Something will turn up. It always does”

Cass eyed him sceptically for a moment “What’s going to happen to me?” she asked in a small voice.

Jay realised then that this was what had been bothering her – No Brittany could very well mean no Cass.

“The paradox structure will preserve your timeline” he said, wishing that he felt as confident in this as he hoped he sounded “It’ll protect us all”



They lapsed into silence.

“I’m scared” she said after a moment.

He slipped an arm around her shoulders and gave her a squeeze – Human decency dictated at least that much of a sympathetic response.

“I’m not going to let anything bad happen”

Closing her eyes, Cass leaned against him but remained silent. Jay’s track record on not letting bad things happen wasn’t exactly stellar.

The rumble of horse’s hooves outside made them both start, Jay snatching his arm back and quickly rising to his feet – Cass would probably get all the wrong ideas about what had just occurred there, but he sure as hell didn’t need everyone else doing the same.

“That’s either a posse, come to round us up, or the other back with the horses” Cass said, clambering to her feet as well “Any chance of some more appropriate attire?”

“Sure” Jay tapped away at the time drive’s controls “What do you want? – Jeans, shirt, duster and Stetson?”


“That’s hardly period costume”

“We’re here to change history, not worry about making a sartorial statement”

“Yeah, but...” tempted for a moment by the naturist option, Jay selected a nanosuit from the inventory menu and tried not to stare as the black suit oozed slickly over her skin “You’re going to attract a lot of attention”

“Hey guys” Sam put his head around the door “We’ve got the - Whoa”


“Oh, just... Fine” Cass huffed “I’ll have a duster as well”

Two days later, stiff and tired, Cass shifted uneasily in the saddle. Unlike Jade who had apparently had riding lessons when she was younger or Jay who seemed to be a natural, Cass hadn’t taken at all well to horses – She hated the way the big, stupid creatures bounced her around, almost as much as she hated feeling like she wasn’t in complete control of them.

Texas on the other hand was amazing – It had been a very long time since she had seen as much wide, open space and clear blue sky, and as much as she disliked riding, she had to admit that it was an agreeable enough way to experience the vast landscape around her.

A shout came back from the head of the company. Colonel Neill had called a halt. He hadn’t been at all happy about having Cass and the other women joining them, muttering darkly about them being a distraction for the men, but Jay had managed to talk him around with promises of decisive weaponry and demonstrations of the Dwarfer’s far superior firepower, so he had grudgingly agreed to let them tag along.

“Seems a bit early to be stopping” Jade mused, sat astride her horse nearby “What’s going on?”

Cass shrugged “Maybe there’s trouble?” she warily eyed the trees on either side of them, looking for any signs of an ambush.

Shielding her eyes against the glare of the low, winter sun, Jade could just make out a column of smoke rising ahead of them in the distance. “What do you suppose that is?”

“Dunno” Cass frowned “I can’t be the Alamo, can it?”

“Maybe Artemis started without us?”

“Santa Anna’s army shouldn’t even be there yet” Cass shook her head “In any case, I’d rather we were there to back him up”

Jay came cantering back down from the head of the company “Looks like we’ve got trouble ahead” he called as he approached.

“What sort of trouble?” Jamie asked.

“Well, that smoke’s definitely coming from the Alamo which is somewhat concerning, but it looks like we’ve got more immediate problems”

“Like what?” Cass slipped her pulse pistol out of its holster, several of the other Dwarfers around her, likewise following suit.

“There’s a corpse on the trail ahead of us – The scouts reckon he’s only been dead for a day or two at the most”

“That’s not good” Eve murmured, wishing not for the first time, that Jaxx was there to protect her.

“Agreed” Jay nodded “We’re just trying to figure out –”

The sudden sound of gunfire rang out nearby, making the horses whinny and shy as one of the riders ahead of them fell to the ground, missing half his skull.

“Ambush!” Jay yelled above more shots that followed.

Figured I’d move things on since we’ve all had a pretty quiet week – I've only tagged those mentioned, but just assume your character's there if I haven't tagged them.

Who is it that’s attacking us? – is it the Mexicans or someone / something else? – Is the attack somehow connected to what’s going on at the Alamo?

Your character is being shot at - what does he or she do?

How do we keep the Delorean safe?

Artemis: What is going on at the Alamo?

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