the Assassination of Wild Bill Hitchcock for Writer's Cramp
The Assassination of Wild Bill Hitchcock by the Time Bandits
Sam Adams was a junior agent for the Time Lords, the secret masters of time whose job was to police the timeline to prevent unauthorized time travelers from going back in time and changing the past and thus the future. His boss, the mysterious Maria Lee, was a shape-shifter reptilian from the planet Sirius. She was abrupt and aloof and did not like anyone asking too many questions. She gave you the assignment, answering only process-related questions, but refused to explain why the assignment was given.
One day she summoned him to her office and as usual, barked out his new assignment.
“Okay Sam, you are going to the 19th century, Earth to assassinate a criminal, Wild Bill Hitchcock. He died during a poker game when he won and was accused of cheating. His winning cards were a full house, two black aces and three eights. You need to read up on the history of the period, learn how to play poker, and learn how to hang out with cowboys and western folks circa the 1880s. You will be inserted into Deadwood a week before the event and befriend Wild Bill Hitchcock.To make it easier to blend in your cover will be that you are a British newspaper writer doing a tour of the wild west. You will join in the game, and shoot him dead. Then get out to the pickup point. Do not get picked up by the local authorities and do not reveal your real mission. Now get studying. You leave in two days.”
She went on with the standard lecture she gave to all the rookie agents. The time lords' mission is to preserve the timeline by preventing people from traveling back in time and changing things. Each planetary system had its time lords, but the Time Lords worked together across the galaxy.
In dealing with time, space, the universe, and multi-verses there were just so many things that could go wrong and it was too complicated for anyone to understand all the ramifications anyway. The bottom line was
“Don’t screw up.”
He went to his room and studied poker, got outfitted like a gunslinger or a Reporter covering the west would have looked like, and practiced his British accent. Then he was ready. He went back to the 19th century and started hanging out with Wild Bill Hitchcock, whom he soon bonded with and decided that he would not kill him after all. Wild Bill was a fun guy to hang out with and besides Sam was getting tired of being a time lord. Time to do something different with his life he thought.
He had told Will Hitchcock that he was from the future and that someone would try to assassinate him that day. On the appointed day, he was playing cards with six people, including Wild Bill. A man stood up and accused Sam Adams of cheating and attempted to shoot Sam Adams but missed and shot and killed Wild Bill Hitchcock instead.
Sam Adams was detained as a witness and as a known acquaintance of Wild Bill Hitchcock.
Jake Lee, the man who accused Sam Adams of being the cheat, was a time bandit whose job was to track down and assassinate Time Lords. He told Sam while they were in jail that the Time Lords were master criminals and that his organization had been battling them for centuries and offered him a position.
“ You see, Sam, the Time Lords work for the Committee that controls all the various planets and works to make sure that corporate interests are always protected, and radical revolutionary changes can never take place. On earth, they are going to let the corporate interests destroy the planet before evacuating the corporate elites. That is what they do. Come join us and assassinate the Time Lords and their masters the corporate elitists.”
Sam Adams found himself back in his time and was charged with violations of time lord rules and regulations, including fraternizing with time bandits, and was fired.
He called up Jake Lee and asked him if the offer was still good. Jake said,
He joined the time bandits the next day and never looked back or regretted it.
Write a story or poem set in the American Old West ... but, to mix it up, cross it with another genre. This can be straight-forward (e.g. mystery or romance). But I encourage you to try something more challenging ... e.g. sci-fi (aliens land), horror (zombies!), fantasy (is Tonto actually a were-buffalo?). I'd love to see someone combine stereotypical Western with a noir-style detective story. Steampunk, by its nature, is already genre-combining.
One of your genres must be Western.
For inspiration, you can listen to the old episodes here.