The Royals had terrorized the citizens of Comiskey for years. They were back, being led by Old Man Chris Young into town.
Standing in their path was a cowboy named Jeff Samardzija, known around the west as "The Shark." Samardzija sold the nickname with a fearsome appearance - black pistols hidden underneath his black coat and a black cowboy hat sitting on his long, black hair. His mustache and goatee sold the look of a weathered cowboy who had plenty of fire built up within him.
Samadzija had grown up near Comiskey, but business had brought him to Wrigleyville for the first seven years of his gunslinging career. His first year back home was rough, coming back to a ghost town. He was certain that business purposes would be causing him to move soon. So he wasn't going down without a fight, let alone to these Royals - who he had gotten into a brawl with at Spanky's earlier in the year.
"Chris, take your boys and get out of town," barked Samardzija at the Young.
"Jeff, you know this ain't nothing personal," replied Young. "Hell, we'd love to have you join our gang."
"No can do Chris," Samardzija said as his fingers tightened around his pistols. "Now leave."
The silence was deafening, due in no small part to the fact that Comiskey was almost entirely empty.
Then the Royals charged Samardzija on their horses. The cowboy's aim was off. Samardzija missed the bandits with his shots and had to fall back to Spanky's.
Adam Eaton and Tyler Saladino waited for the Royals and opened fire the second they stepped foot into the saloon, though they knew they could only fend them off for so long. Samardzija could recover here, but the rest of the town would have to fend for itself.
Unable to go after The Shark, the Royals went to burn down the nearest business - Soto and Flowers' Gun Shop.
Geovany Soto and Tyler Flowers were two business partners who seemingly opened a new store every month. This month it was a gun shop, but it was plagued by the duo's notoriously bad luck. Over half of their stock had been replaced by novelty guns.
With the Royals standing on his porch, Soto didn't know if the shotgun he held would save him or if it would shoot out a flag that had "BANG!" written on it.
Pulling the trigger, Soto heard a loud BANG. He could hold his ground until the night.
John Danks heard the commotion all the way from The Bronzeville Train Station. Danks lived near the station due to his business, the Danks & Danks Mining Company. He had operated the company with his brother Jordan, but following a company crippling fire, his brother left. Now on hard times, Danks operated the company alone and was rarely seen in town.
Looking towards Comiskey, Danks remembered one thing - he hated the Royals.
Danks was en route to Comiskey minutes of the commotion breaking out, hunting rifle slung over his shoulder and pickax in hand.
Danks entered town and his pickax found its way into the backs of various Royals and their horses. The pickax was unconventional to fight with - it was old and blunt, not nearly as fearsome as it used to be - but for some reason against the Royals, it worked.
The Royals left town for the night, but set up camp outside. They weren't done yet.
The Royals struck early. Jose Quintana was the first line of defense, but the normally steady marksman was off, just like Samardzija.
The town kept pushing the Royals back. At one point Melky Cabrera, owner of Melkman's Cattle Ranch, rode into town on a raging, red bull with blood tipped horns. The fearsome beast caught the Royals off guard, but soon they got back into town and again went for Spanky's, hoping to find Samadrzija.
"Alexei!" called out Eaton from behind his bar.
"Yeah, Adam?" replied Ramirez, beginning to move up stairs.
"Play a saxophone solo!" said Eaton with the look of a mad scientist.
"What?!" shouted a confused Alexei.
"Just trust me!"
Lo and behold, Ramirez's saxophone solo was so beautiful that the Royals were entranced. They were so distracted that none of them heard J.B. Shuck sneak up behind them with a baseball bat.
The Royals left most of the town, but they we're trying to raid Bridge Port, Comiskey's maritime trading center. Their focus was on the expensive boat currently docked - The Bullpen.
Lieutenant Dan Jennings, a crewman on The Bullpen, tried to fend the Royals off for as long as possible. He used his rifle, the ship's cannons and even a lasso to fight the rowdy gang.
Then Lorenzo Cain, a fleet footed hitman for the Royals, ran up to Jennings. Using the handle of his rifle he knocked Jennings out. The Royals stole what was inside of The Bullpen, though there admittedly wasn't much. The only things that they found were trading goods, mainly shipments of bronze and milk from Danks & Danks and Melkman's Cattle Ranch.
Fed up with the Royals, Chris Sale was anxious for revenge. He knew their camp wasn't far from town.
"Robin, I'm going to go get them," Sale told Sheriff Robin Ventura.
"Are you sure? You could get killed out there," Ventura said statically.
"Those Royals need to learn their place, send anyone you want with me," replied Sale quickly.
Ventura sent the new kid, Saladino, to watch Sale's back. He had held his own admirably in the recent fighting.
Sale told Saladino to wait outside the camp, knowing it would get ugly. Saladino watched from afar in silence.
Sale stepped into the middle of camp, yelling for someone to come answer for the Royals' crimes. He had his hand on both pistols, ready to go.
Danny Duffy stepped out to meet Sale.
"Chris, you'll want to walk away now," yelled Duffy. "You don't want this duel."
"Duffy, you're the one who doesn't want this," replied Sale.
The two men took their spots across from one another as the other Royals looked on. Saladino thought that there was no way Sale lost this duel, he was the fastest gun out there.
"One..." started Sale.
"Two..." continued Duffy.
Saladino was awestruck. Sale was down, not bleeding, but down. He rode into the camp and the Royals only agreed to return Sale out of pity. Saladino checked to make sure Sale was still alive and lo and behold, the bullet was lodged in a book that Sale carried around in his front pocket. The Art of War by Sun Tzu.
Saladino rode back into town and brought Sale to Ventura to have him looked at it. He would be ok.
It was a rough weekend in Comiskey. One that might have ended their hopes of salvaging this year.
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