- "Have I killed men? Yeah, I have I've killed eleven actually. Six of 'em was shooting at me, two of 'em challenged me to a duel, one tried to rob me, one cheated me at cards, and another insulted me, so I shot 'em all down. But not once did I shoot a man who didn't have it coming."
- ―Billy de la Rosa justifying his eleven killings.
|Billy de la Rosa|
|Date of birth:||July 21st, 2258|
|Status:||Seeking adventure, fame, and fortune|
Billy de la Rosa, also known by his nom de guerre of Two Gun Billy or Two Gun Billy de la Rosa, is a young man in his prime. A gunfighter with eleven notches on his revolvers, Billy has lived a short and violent life of excitement and adventure in his home state of Tamaulipas, Mexico and has proven to be one of the most notable and one of the quickest of the new breed of gunslingers, desperados, and pistoleros that have taken to calling the former Mexican state of Tamaulipas their home.
- "There weren't a lot of kids in Nuevo Progreso, but there were a lot of books and they were where my friends lived, me, Tom Horn, Jesse James, and Tiburcio Vasquez all played together, the adventures we had on those imaginary prairies having shootouts with bandits and hanging rustlers, it was perfect."
- ―Billy describing playing with his imaginary friends and role models as a child.
Billy de la Rosa was born on July 21st, 2258 to Santiago and Susan de la Rosa. His father was a Mexican prospector and vaquero and his mother was a Texan bartender who owned the only cantina in Nuevo Progreso. Being an open town, life was rough in Nuevo Progreso and no place for a child to grow up in a healthy manner. Most days were alright, however when comancheros came to town to spend the money they had looted at his mother's cantina the young Billy had to be kept in the cellar of the building to prevent him from witnessing the guaranteed murder or two that came with a night of comancheros partying.
Being the son of a Mexican and a Texan, he became fluent in English and Spanish and literate in both as well. From an early age he became intrigued with stories of gunslingers of old that he read about in a book he found in the cantina and he became fascinated with the gunslingers of his day that he heard about in stories from cantina patrons. Men like Johnny Ringo, Wild Bill Hickok, Doc Holliday, and John Wesley Hardin from the old American West and the pistoleros of post-apocalyptic Tamaulipas like Frank Turner, Esteban Ignacio Chavez, Salvador Miranda, and Dante Solano.
He often daydreamed of being a pistolero and growing up his favorite toys were a pair of wooden revolvers that his father carved for him while he was picking through ruins near Ciudad Victoria. He would tuck them into his pants and walk around town shooting it out with invisible posses of lawmen and gangs of rustlers and idolized the life of living by the gun, believing it to be a romantic life of adventure as portrayed in dime novels. With his father always away scavenging or herding cattle, Billy had no strong male role model in his life and developed his understanding of masculinity from hearing stories of gunslingers and from seeing comancheros when they rode into town. From the age of nine or ten his idea of a real man was a gun-toting, rot-gut drinking, poker-playing, cigar-smoking, desperado whose only response to an insult was a pull of a revolver's trigger.
Early Teenage Years
- "I wanted to be a comanchero then and when I couldn't be one, I killed one."
- ―Billy referencing his shooting of Diego Campo.
Billy wanted to join one of the comanchero gangs that often started in Nuevo Progreso before going into Texas to cause trouble. He was fifteen when he told his mother of his desire to be a comanchero and his mother agreed to help pay for some medicine, bullets, a rifle, and some leather armor for him in the hopes that her son would bring back some money to help keep the cantina operational. It was shortly after this that his father, who always came back in the winter when the cattle drives were over did not return with the drive in his saddle, rather draped over the saddle. It turned out that his father had been killed when he fell off his horse and was stampeded by beeves, his death devastated his mother but Billy didn't feel too bad. His father had never been there for him, staying in Nuevo Progreso only one or two months a year and Billy's bond with his father had never really existed.
His mother however was devastated and tried to keep her son with her, not letting him join the raiding party of Diego Campo as Billy had planned to do. Billy was furious and crushed but stayed, serving drinks to patrons. A year later however in 2274 when Diego Campo returned with loot and had a wild night at the cantina in Nuevo Progreso, Billy's dream came true, but turned out not to be what he wanted. Young Billy hadn't even been sixteen for a week when Campo and his men walked into the cantina and started drinking. Diego, who thought that Billy hadn't rode with him into Texas to loot and plunder out of cowardice proceeded to mock Billy for being a coward and wearing an apron, after calling him a waitress he tripped Billy, forcing him to drop the mugs of beer he was carrying.
Furious and humiliated, Billy rose to his feet and looked at the man who had been his role model and imitated him. He drew his one of his revolvers and shot Diego Campo at point blank range in the eye, killing him instantly. Campo's gang instantly stood up and the four men drew guns on Billy who was saved when his mother pulled out a shotgun from under the bar and threatened to blow the gang to oblivion if they hurt her son. The comancheros backed off and left but made it clear that it wasn't over.
The next day his mother came to him with a lever-action .30-30 rifle, ammunition, a pack of food, and most of her saved money and told Billy to leave town, fearing that if her son stayed that he would be shot down by comancheros from Campo's gang seeking revenge. Billy did and left Nuevo Progreso never to return and began his new life as a drifter.
- "Three men all walked up to me, and when the main one went for his gun I sent him to the promise land with two pistols blazing, since then I've been Two Gun Billy and I gotta say I like me the name."
- ―Billy reflecting on how he earned his nom de guerre.
Not having to pay for drinks, Billy began to gamble his money which while less than most of the others was still respectable at one hundred and forty pesos. He soon turned the one hundred and forty into three hundred and had a poker showdown with another man who when Billy went all in had no other choice but to bet his pistols, a pair of finely customized .30-30 Caballero revolvers. Billy accepted the guns as acceptable collateral and played his hand and won the two guns and the gunbelt. It was during that same night however that he would have to use the guns when three men with familar faces walked into the saloon looking for Billy.
The men were affiliated with Diego Campo's old gang and still seeking revenge for the death of their boss. They confronted Billy who was cornered in a booth, drinking with a young woman. Boozed up and not wanting to be killed by the men or disgraced in front of the saloon's patrons and the young woman Billy warned them to leave before they were hurt, drawing laughter from the three men. A moment later one of them reached for his 10mm pistol, but Billy with his young lightning hands were faster and he fired two shots from each of his guns into the man, shooting him four times within two inches of the heart in just a second and a quarter. Immediately following this he shot the man to the dead man's left in the side before the first man had fallen to the ground, incapacitating him but not killing him. The last comanchero instantly threw his hands and then was directed by Billy to throw his pistol on the ground with his left hand, which he did. Billy then had the comanchero carry his bleeding friend out of the saloon and gave the bartender ten pesos for 'the mess' as he put it and walked out.
Billy's display of quick-draw rapid fire death greatly impressed the entire bar and Juanito Flores who took to calling him 'Two Gun Billy', a name that stuck. The next day Juanito found Billy in an alleyway with a hangover and asked Billy where he learned to shoot the way he did and asked why the comancheros had come looking. Billy admitted that he was only sixteen, the man who had shot Diego Campo, and confessed to being self taught. Flores tried to get Billy to join him on another caravan run, however Billy declined to join him as he wanted to stay in Ramirez. Billy went back to the saloon in the afternoon and proceeded to rent a room for a week and lived in the bar, playing poker all day and participating in shooting contests with other patrons. It did not take long however for Billy's money to run out and eight days after shooting the comancheros he found himself broke. But not for long as on the ninth day his career as a mercenary began when he was contacted by a representative of the Vidal Family, one of two families feuding for control of Ramirez.
Involvement in the Molina-Vidal Feud
- "That whole ordeal was confusing, first I was on one side and then the other side shot me and then I was working for that side and then we beat the other side that I was originally working for and the side that I was originally fighting but helped in the end tried to kill me. It hurts my head just thinking about it."
- ―Billy explaining his involvement in the Molina-Vidal Feud.
The man who met him had heard of 'Two Gun' Billy's display in the saloon and knew him to be responsible for the recent killings in Ramirez. His name was Sammy Vidal, a member of the family by law who came to Billy with an offer for mercenary work. The work involved fighting the Molina family, a clan of cattle ranchers whose cowhands helped police Ramirez with lynch-law tactics. The Vidals, a family who owned Ramirez's largest cantina which also served as a cardhouse and brothel wished to have the town declared 'open' to comancheros like Nuevo Progreso was, ensuring that there would be a rise in profits but a major rise in crime. The Vidals were offering to provide a police force with their mercenaries if the town was opened to all establishments, providing they pay a fee that the comanchero money said establishments would earn, would cover.
The disagreement over how to run the town had turned bloody about six months before Billy arrived when a member of the Vidal family along with three henchmen shot a Molina who was gambling in the Vidal's cantina. Since then the Molinas had killed three Vidal mercenaries and the Vidals had hung a vaquero from the Molina ranch from the balcony of their cantina. The Vidal's offered Billy five hundred pesos to help hunt down Ramon Molina, the fastest gun the Molina family had and heir to the family who had shot one of the Vidal family mercenaries.Two Gun Billy joined a posse of five other Vidal mercenaries to raid the camp that Ramon was staying at, a small shack on the edge of Molina property near a stream that the Molinas watered their cattle at. The posse found the shack and attacked it however Ramon was fast and deadly with his Gaucho revolver, and managed to shoot two of the mercenaries and then shoot Billy in the chest, lodging a bullet in his rib. Ramon prepared to finish the bleeding Billy off, however it was then that his sister who was also present in the shack stopped her brother, pleading for the life of the handsome young man who she knew to be a newcomer to the feud and not a longtime Vidal supporter. Ramon hesitated but obliged his sister who helped Ramon remove his bullet and took Billy back to the Molina ranch house where she nursed Billy to health for nine months, with Billy flirting with her on a daily basis, something that she, Sara Molina took kindly to. While Billy may have been out of commission for a year, his draw didn't slow as everyday he had Sara put his gunbelt on while he was bedridden and then put his pistols in it, albeit unloaded. Billy practiced drawing the guns and in his time in the bed of the Molina family actually got quicker. His presence was unwelcome among the men of the Molina house, the only thing stopping them from hanging or shooting him as a Vidal operative was the protection of Sara who was the youngest of the Molinas and only daughter of the widower patriach of the Molina clan, Miguel Sebastian Molina.
Towards the end of his time in bed, Miguel Sebastian visited the young Billy and explained his side of the feud which had not fared well for the Molinas since Billy had been shot. The Molinas, while having the advantage in numbers proved not to be as skilled in holding their ground in urban combat in town against Vidal mercenaries who proved to be no match for the Molinas in open country gunfights. Miguel Sebastian asked Billy to help him, offering him a twenty thousand pesos and two hundred acres of prime cattle raising land if Two Gun Billy aided him in defeating the Vidals.
Billy accepted the gracious offer and proceeded to load his pistols and prepared to fight. For the first month or so he was guarding the Molina compound, continuing to flirt with Sara Molina who he was now in a relationship with, and a physical one at that. His daily routine consisted of patrolling the walls of the compound with his pistols hanging low on his hips. He had little supervision and this allowed plenty of time for him to get to know Sara and within three weeks he could count her virginity to be his. Their relationship continued when in August of 2275 he joined Ramon in his infamous Sunday Raid at the wedding of the middle daughter of the Vidal family to saloon owner, Brian Dawson. Disguising themselves as guests, Ramon Molina, Two Gun Billy, and five other vaqueros pulled their pistols during the reception and opened fire on guards and the heads of the Vidal family, sparing the bride and groom.
Seven men were killed in the raid before the Molinas retreated to their horses, losing two men as they fled. In the raid Billy shot down one man, Sammy Vidal the same Vidal who had contracted him to help assassinate Ramon. Billy did this with one shot to the man's mouth with the gun in his right hand and two shots to the gut with the gun in his left hand. Billy's killing of Sammy Vidal was the only success of the raid, in all the confusion of the raid it was Billy who killed the only Vidal, of the other six men shot two were innocent bystanders and four were Vidal mercenaries. Billy's killing of Sammy Vidal earned him a great amount of respect among the Molinas and marked his third kill, however it also brought down great repercussions.The Sunday Raid on a wedding was the final straw in the feud, furious and flustered the Vidals gathered every mercenary they had and launched an all out assault on the Molina compound. When Billy heard the gunshots he was in bed with Sara and jumped out of bed, threw on his clothes, and buckled his gunbelt. Grabbing his .30-30, Billy ran outside and helped to defend the compound, shooting the horses out from under the mounted mercenaries, shooting five men, and killing one with a bullet to the liver. After two hours of fighting the feud was over with most of the Vidals lying dead in the flat open fields that surrounded the hacienda and provided no cover for the attackers. Billy was a hero to Miguel Sebastian who provided him with a deed the following week, however as Billy was about to receive his payment, Ramon barged in brandishing his Gaucho with a crying Sara behind him, a Sara who was showing signs of pregnancy.
Realizing that he couldn't very easily talk his way out of it and not wanting to start a gunfight with the owners of the well guarded house he was in, Billy did the most logical thing he could. He drew his gun and shot Ramon in the leg before jumping out of the window and running for the stables. Inside the stable he found a horse and quickly jumped on it, riding it out of the hacienda with a limping Ramon shooting at him from the window and a walking Miguel Sebastian with four of his men firing rifles, Two Gun Billy's escape was nothing short of miraculous.
Time in Texas
- "Well when you bang the daughter of Miguel Sebastian Molina and then go and shoot Ramon Molina in the leg you really can't stay in Tamaulipas without a rope around your neck. So I stole a horse and went to Texas."
- ―Billy on why he fled to the north after the Molina-Vidal Feud.
With the most powerful ganadero in Tamaulipas outside of Valle Hermoso and San Fernando wanting him dead, Billy decided it would be best to ride into Texas and lay low for a while. He crossed the border with Texas three days after running out of the Molina compound and decided to name his newly stolen horse 'Susanna' after his favorite old folk song that a man in his mother's cantina would play on a banjo most nights. He rode up into the Corpse Coast and after a week of riding through the badlands he met up with a horse drive bound for Falfurrias, the mecca of brahmin ranching on the gulf coast of Texas. Since horses were mainly preserved in the private bunker of Asa Jackson in Valle Hermoso they were mostly found in Tamaulipas and thus most all drives to sell them in Texas originated there, meaning the drovers were normally Mexican vaqueros.
These vaqueros had heard stories of the Molina-Vidal Feud and Two Gun Billy was quite a popular topic for swapping stories. His killing of Diego Campo, killing of Campo's man, his involvement in the Sunday Raid, and his being saved by Sara Molina were all good stories and thus most on the drive knew the pistolero and gave him a hearty welcome when they met the gunslinger. Billy explained he was out of a job to the boss of the drive who offered Billy a hundred and fifty pesos a day, three times the normal pay for a guard if he would accompany the drive to Falfurrias. Billy accepted the offer and accompanied the herd of thirty four horses to Falfurrias riding guard.
Due to the slow pace at which the horses had to be moved, the herd took a full month to get to Falfurrias where Billy decided to stay for a little while, waiting for things to cool down in Mexico before returning to Tamaulipas. He stayed in the Arkansas Saloon gambling, telling stories, drinking, having shooting contests, and sleeping with prostitutes for close to four months. It was in February of 2276 that he left Falfurrias after making his name known when his bragging attracted the attention of Bad Tom Baxter, an infamous gunslinger who had led the raiding of cattle drives up from Valle Hermoso nearly twenty years before to prevent the price of Brahmin from dropping.
While old, Baxter was still quick, the quickest in Falfurrias and after hearing Billy bragging about being the quickest gun in Texas or Mexico, Baxter decided to approach Two Gun Billy and sat in with him at a game of poker. The two played and talked for hours, both trying to one-up the other with stories. At the end of the game the topic of who was quicker came up and Baxter said very confidently that he was the quickest and before walking away with his meager winnings told Billy that if the young gunfighter doubted those words and tried to test it, he would regret it.Taking the warning as a challenge to a duel, Billy got up from his booth and walked across the Arkansas Saloon up to where Baxter was near the bar and informed Baxter that the words he had just said were actually true only in reverse and that he was quicker than the old gunfighter. This brazen boldness infuriated Baxter whose ego was insulted as much as Billy's had been at his hands. He instantly dared the young pistolero to a duel. Not yet 18 for five months, Two Gun Billy played his hand with remarkable sangfroid. The two men walked to opposite sides of the saloon and began to pace, eying each other down. Who drew first is hard to say, but most agree that it was Two Gun Billy who had both pistols drawn just a tenth of a second before Bad Tom Baxter had cleared leather. When Baxter had his gun from his holster and cocked in four tenths of a second he already had two shots in his gut from Two Gun Billy's Caballero revolvers. Baxter's only shot was when his revolver went off after the cocked handgun hit the hard floor when he dropped it and fell to the ground dead.
After shooting down Bad Tom Baxter, Two Gun Billy went from a local celebrity to a household name. Word of the worst killer involved in the old Brahmin Rancher-Cattleman Range war being shot was news that went as far south as Ciudad Victoria and as far north as New Orleans. However Billy would not be able to enjoy his fame as when news that Baxter was dead hit the Falfurrias Brahmin Rancher's Association the ranchers and ranch hands got their rifles, torches, shotguns, pistols, and ropes and set out to avenge the gunman who many of the older stockmen had fought Mexican ganaderos with. With a lynch mob of fifty or more angry ranchers and cowboys coming his way, Billy took all his poker winnings, two bottles of booze, and his horse and rode south for the border with Mexico, not looking back once until he hit the town of Hidalgo.
Work in Hidalgo
- "Hidalgo was a good town until Harland Ross forced me out. It was for shooting the Green Laser Kid in a fair duel he challenged me to, pretty unfair if you ask me. I wanted to protest him, but you don't protest Harland Ross, I saw him work his pistol on a vaquero who was waving around a sawed off shotgun once, and I thought I was fast."
- ―Billy's opinion on Hidalgo and Harland Ross, one of his childhood heroes who he actually met and greatly admired.
Billy rode south from Falfurrias until he hit the Texas border town of Hidalgo in early April. Riding in he wasn't recognized, however when he dropped his name in a poker game in the Imperial Saloon he was greeted as a celebrity, especially now that the word of his shooting down of Bad Tom Baxter was spread across the wastes. As normal he took to his favorite hobby, poker. Staying in the Imperial Saloon he gambled all night long with his guns at his side and after three days had a meeting with the most legendary lawman on the border, Harland Ross. Curious about the reason for the gunfighter's visit, he sat down and played cards with Two Gun Billy for an hour. He made it clear that Billy was allowed to stay in Hidalgo as long as he pleased like every other wastelander but also stated that if he was in town to make trouble that he would regret it. However as harsh as the warning may have sounded, Ross took a liking to Billy and even paid off Billy's tab after he beat the gunslinger in poker. Billy continued playing cards in the Imperial for two weeks before his luck ran out and he found himself broke after going all in on three kings and losing to a man with a nine high straight.
Broke and destitute, Billy tried to offer the Imperial protection in exchange for a room and free liquor, however the owner of the saloon had no interest in recruiting the young man who then went to the law, particularly Harland Ross. Billy asked and pleaded for a job as a deputy, being the springtime when the ganaderos in Valle Hermoso liked to start their cattle drives and realizing that a pistolero could be a useful auxilary in his police force when the vaqueros rode into town, Ross hired Billy as a special deputy whose job was to handle saloons, namely The Imperial, The Ganadero, and The Arab Nights which he monitored for trouble for four hours a day each. Billy proved useful in breaking up barfights and stopping any card cheating that occured from escalating into a shootout. Living on his reputation for months at the job, his gun only had to clear leather once in three months as a deputy and that was merely to pistol-whip a drunk vaquero and then fire a warning shot to his shotgun-toting friend.
However as his eighteenth birthday neared in early July, his time as a deputy came to an end. On July 19th, only two days before turning eighteen, the young gunslinger was sitting in at a card game in the Yellow Rose, a cardhouse once owned by the communist militia leader, Pancho Mendoza. He was playing against three men, two of them Mexican vaqueros on a drive to the northwest headed for the Permian Basin and a gambler. About twenty minutes into the game Billy and the gambler had a showdown. Billy had in his hand three nines, a queen, and a jack of hearts while the gambler had four jacks. Deciding that he wasn't playing with a deck that had five jacks, Billy called the gambler out as a cheater. The gambler stood up and backed away as the patrons of the Yellow Rose got against the walls. Billy only stared up at the gambler as he sat in his chair, when the unarmed cheater began to turn to run, two holes were blown in the table and two holes appeared in the gambler's torso. Billy had drawn his guns while sitting down, fired them while they under the table, and hit center body mass, killing the gambler who had on him only a switchblade.
When Harland Ross heard about the killing he assessed it to be fair for Billy to take the gambler's life but that in the name of preserving the reputation of his police force that Billy lose his badge. Billy sadly turned in his badge and went back to the Imperial where he continued gambling until his 18th birthday where he decided to celebrate. He bought drinks for the bar and fired his pistols in a celebratory manner and started a party until on his very birthday a man with a challenge stepped into the saloon, a Texas gunslinger nicknamed The Green Laser Kid.
The Green Laser Kid was a renowned gunman who in his short career of just seven months had killed four men with his namesake weapon, a tri-beam laser pistol which after modification fired a green laser beam. A year older than Billy, The Kid was nineteen and decided that the border wasn't big enough to accommodate two kid gunslingers. Seeking to add to his fame by killing the only gunfighter who had accomplished more at such a young age than him, The Kid challenged Two Gun Billy to a stand in the street just ten minutes before high noon, a challenge the kid accepted.
The duel was like something from a pre-War movie, The Green Laser Kid and The Two Gun Kid stared each other down, a duel between laser and revolver, old and new, man to man. It was The Kid who drew first and fired off two blasts of his tri-beam in a rush to shoot Billy who was standing thirty five yards away from him. The shots, fired by a quick hand and a hair trigger got off in less than half a second, but missed. While The Green Laser Kid proved faster by just a quarter second, he made the flaw of trying to fire the first shot and not the last. It was Billy who fired the third and forth shots, one from each gun. The third shot ripped The Kid's right hand off but the forth shot, fired not even a twentieth of a second later found its mark and dropped The Kid with a shot just three inches from the heart. But while the quick shot dropped The Kid, it didn't kill him. Instead The Kid died when Billy walked up to him and fired a .30-30 slug from his right revolver into The Kid's neck, leaving The Kid's body and modified pistol to the scavengers who claimed everything they could.
But as victorious as he was, Billy would suffer for it. When Harland Ross heard of the fight he worried that if Billy stayed in town that more gunslingers would come to challenge Billy and eventually an innocent would get gunned down by accident. Accordingly Ross went to Billy and with no pleasure gave him until sundown to leave town, something which he did. Packing his bag and saddling up Susanna, Billy led his horse out of town and across the Rio Grande, ending his exodus and returning to Tamaulipas.
Return to Mexico
- "They'll tell you that they ran me out of the rangers because they were worried I would start a war with the mutants. That's not true at all though. It was the junior officers, they were all worried I'd take the promotions that they had been earning for so long because I was so good and so they ran me out."
- ―Billy on why he left the Valle Hermoso Rangers.
It had been nearly two years since Billy had left Nuevo Progreso and in that short time he had shot a comanchero leader, helped turn the tides in a family feud, impregnated a cattle baron's daughter, shot down Bad Tom Baxter and The Green Laser Kid, and met Harland Ross. The combined kill count, 7 men and all before he was eighteen for a day, however he would find in Mexico that his spree of violence would slow down when in September of 2276 he arrived in Valle Hermoso, one of two constantly feuding cattle ranching powers in Tamaulipas, the other being San Fernando.
If he had rode into town a decade before he might have found work in fighting ganaderos from San Fernando in the last range war between the two cattle communities, however the two settlements had been at relative peace for the lustrum preceding Two Gun Billy's arrival, and the young pistolero had no intent of changing that. He decided that he would pursue an honest career after his last adventurous two years and went to the Jackson Family ranch, the oldest ranchers in Tamaulipas who had emigrated from Texas to Mexico before the War and set up a vault containing plenty of genetically modified Texas longhorns and brush ponies, the foundation of ranching in Tamaulipas. Introducing himself as Two Gun Billy de la Rosa to Cal Jackson, Billy was initially met with doubt until he proved his skills at a shooting contest and found a ranch hand who had been in his poker game when he shot a man for cheating to identify him to Cal who immediately found use for a pistolero. Jackson put Billy in the employ of the Valle Hermoso Cattleman's Association as a Valle Hermoso Ranger, a man whose job it was to ride through the outskirts of ranches under the Cattleman's Association banner and take care of rustlers, comancheros, super mutants, and carnivorous fauna that posed a risk to the beeves that kept Valle Hermoso alive. Billy's new life as a ranger proved to be slow but good enough for the young man who had all the respect he could have wanted and felt that he no longer needed to use his guns as much. In their earlier days the life of a ranger was one of constant danger with the rangers killing on average close to five men a week. However since the last range war with the San Fernando Cattleman's Association and the super mutant posses organized by Cal Jackson three years earlier, Valle Hermoso had calmed down and thus Billy found that most of his time he was riding the outskirts of Valle Hermoso to check up on small ranchers or hunting down coyotes.
Billy proved skilled at the work and found it rewarding, becoming a sergeant after nine months of work for the rangers. He led patrols on the eastern edge of Valle Hermoso territory and had more added to his fame after his patrol of six other rangers encountered a band of a dozen super mutants herding a group of twenty rustled beeves. The first time super mutants had rustled steers from Valle Hermoso since 2261 when they had been expelled from San Fernando. Instead of returning for reinforcements and tracking them down as suggested by his second in command, he decided to charge the mutants and killed two personally with his men killing five others and causing the rest to flee, returning with all the stolen cattle.
His fight with the mutants made him a hero of the people however an enemy to some in the rangers, chiefly a top ranger lieutenant named Horace Browning who felt that Two Gun Billy's actions threatened Valle Hermoso by giving super mutants a rallying cry to raid more ranches in Valle Hermoso in the name of avenging their fallen comrades. The concerns that Billy would egg on a war with the nomadic super mutant tribes that wandered Tamaulipas brought him great scrutiny from his commanders who made him leave the rangers in the summer of 2277 after nearly a year of meritorious yet controversial service to Valle Hermoso, a community which he decided not to stay in due to his desire to be more than a cowhand like his father, thus he made a short trek west to the ruins of the small town of Santa Apolonia to take part in the cap rush that had started several months earlier.
Santa Apolonia Cap Rush
- "Santa Apolonia, me and Rafael spent all day sticking our shovels in a hole, then we spent all night sticking different shovels in a very different type of hole if you get what I mean..."
- ―Billy describing an average day as a prospector in the cap fields.
Billy rode into the ruins of Santa Apolonia on the two hundreth anniversary of the Great War in 2277. Santa Apolonia had recently been the epicenter of what was called the Cap Rush. The only Nuka Cola bottling plant in Tamaulipas and one of only half a dozen or so in Mexico had been located in the small town of Santa Apolonia. When the bombs hit Santa Apolonia was hit by a low-wield warhead due to the presence of a Mexican Army arsenal. The bomb however hit the bottling plant and sent debris flying in all directions. Large steel crates full of unused Nuka Cola caps were sent flying as well as trucks full of capped bottles of the beverage. These crates of caps, capped bottles, and transport trucks found themselves buried under the ruins and the desert.
It wasn't until early 2277 when Billy was riding with the Valle Hermoso Rangers that a prospector discovered one of the crates near the factory containing ten thousand caps in it. Word of his discovery spread like wildfire and soon prospectors were pouring in from Texas to dig for crates full of caps and capped bottles, intending to bring their salvage back to Texas where caps functioned as currency. In four months there were close to two thousand men and women digging holes in the desert and sifting through ruins for anything from the bottling plant. Billy decided that he would join them as a prospector.
When Billy rode into the tent city surrounding northern Santa Apolonia he found himself recognized and respected. He bought digging supplies and a tent and slowly trotted around Santa Apolonia where he thought he would have better luck. Digging up near a former highway looking for a transport truck, Billy worked all day long in the hot sun hoping to hit a fortune for weeks, spending his nights in the tent cantinas and brothels that followed the prospectors wherever they went.
Billy's luck in the cap fields wasn't good and he stayed alive by gambling for money to buy food and drink and female companionship which he found sometimes came free to him due to his fame and reputation which now preceded him wherever he went. Still he kept prospecting, spending his nineteenth birthday digging near the highway by other prospectors and then drinking two bottles of tequila to celebrate. He eventually sold his claim, which was a square of twenty yards by twenty yards marked by bottles of booze placed on stakes, to a newcomer who had journeyed from The Royaume controlled city of New Orleans, Louisiana to mine for cap crates and cap trucks. Not yet ready to give up his prospecting, Billy became partners with a man he met named Rafael Soto and the two took to digging together on the western edge of Santa Apolonia which had recently had four crates found in two weeks.
The two men got to digging and became best of friends quickly, spending all night long playing cards, drinking, and engaging in healthy helpings of female companionship, often together with the two 'sharing' a prostitute and splitting the cost to make debauchery laden, but heterosexual threesomes. The two were both nineteen with Soto being two months older but still just as violent, rowdy, and confused as Two Gun Billy. Though Soto had only killed one man in his troubled youth, he was eager to kill more and took lessons on how to draw his gun, a Gaucho revolver quicker from his friend.
The two spent over a year digging together, surviving off of gambling, and using their guns and reputations as dangerous ruffians to guard claims from would-be jumpers for some extra money or a free meal or two. The two were inseparable partners and Soto proved to be the friend that Billy had never had. Their luck was nonexistent, yet they continued to dig on the western edge of Santa Apolonia until in November of 2278 when they finally had their lucky day. Digging a ditch by the ruins of a small and ruined ranch house, they hit a hard metal case. At first they believed it to be a safe but later found it to be a Nuka Cola bottling crate which according to markings contained twenty thousand caps. The two men grew so excited they whooped and yelled and fired their guns in the air as they lifted the crate from the pit.
However money is a powerful thing, since currency started that fact has proven itself to be true time and time again and it showed itself to be true again in the cap fields of Santa Apolonia on that November day. With twenty thousand caps, Rafael could return to his home in Valle Hermoso to repurchase his family's land that had been lost in a dispute with the Jackson Family. Rafael then decided that he, the pupil was better than the teacher in the art of gunplay. Plotting to steal the caps, Rafael drew his gun to shoot the lock, and then looked at Billy with his gun still pointed down. He told the pistolero that the caps were his, that he was sorry, and that it had been a pleasure knowing him before he quickly raised the gun.
But Billy saw the attempt coming when his young friend called the money his and Billy's hands drew his guns before Rafael could aim his. Rafael found himself shot into the ditch that he had dug with Billy, three shots in the gut from Billy's Caballeros. Shocked at what he had been forced to do, Billy took Rafael's gun and threw it in the ditch and then walked to his pack and grabbed a rope which he tied to his saddle horn and trying to keep his composure rode to the biggest saloon in town and the only one that was an actual building in all of Santa Apolonia with the chest of caps drug behind him. He went into the saloon, El Toro Oro and dragged the chest in, shooting it open.With the crate open he grabbed a bottle of booze from the bar and him and Rafael's favorite girl, Rachel Cork and explained to her what had happened over a shot glass of whiskey. The two men had each formed a sensual bond with Rachel and she had formed a similar bond with the two men in their deviant debauchery and Rachel felt a love for both men as they purchased her services nearly every day. Billy had a similar feeling for Rachel and took her to the back room where they both bawled at what Billy had been forced to do and slept together. Unable to look at the money that he had been forced to kill his friend over, Billy left the open crate of twenty thousand caps in the saloon and within an hour it had been picked clean. In the morning when Billy awoke with Rachel he asked her to go with him and marry him, something which she refused for while she felt feelings for Billy she couldn't stand him due to him killing Rafael. Thus with a heavy heart and nothing to show, Billy left Santa Apolonia now twenty years old in November of 2278 not a cap richer than when he had rode into Santa Apolonia.
Stint in San Fernando
- "Why is it everywhere I go they try to hang me?"
- ―Billy after hearing that a lynch mob was coming to avenge the death of Alejandro Prieto.
In January of 2279, Two Gun Billy de la Rosa rode into San Fernando, the second largest cattle community in Tamaulipas after Valle Hermoso. Seeking money, Billy went to the Dead Horse Saloon and sat in at a blackjack game. He quickly realized that the dealer was a cheat and pulled his gun, forcing the dealer to back down, return Billy's money, and run out of the saloon. When the owner of the saloon, Big Pete Gardener heard about the incident he thought that Billy was nothing more than a cowboy from one of the ranches and personally walked out with his sawed-off shotgun with intent to kill Billy.
However Two Gun Billy de la Rosa was a recognizable figure to many in Tamaulipas and Big Pete recognized the gunslinger, dropping his shotgun the moment that Billy turned around and he recognized the young man's face. He apologized for the shotgun, an apology Billy accepted. The gunslinger prepared to leave, but Big Pete had an idea. He offered Two Gun Billy the chance to take the dealer's table and offered him forty percent of the house winnings that Billy's table brought in. Billy took the offer under the condition that he be given a discount on booze and at least one "freebee" a night with one of the several prostitutes in the Dead Horse. Eager to have a celebrity card dealer, Big Pete accepted Billy's terms and Billy began dealing blackjack for the Dead Horse Saloon.
Billy was content with his new job and in his free time signed autographs for saloon patrons who were enthusiastic to meet the most famous kid pistolero in Tamaulipas. He dealt cards until his twenty first birthday in July when he grew bored with simply dealing blackjack and decided that he wanted to do something with more excitement like when he rode with the Molinas or when he was a Valle Hermoso Ranger. Therefor he decided to do the most logical thing, join a vigilante organization.
The San Fernando Anti Cattle-Rustling Committee was a well known group of citizen lawmen dedicated to stopping the rustling of cattle by rustlers and super mutants. Billy joined the committee in August and rode the lands of the farthest out ranches of the San Fernando Cattleman's Association. The vigilantes had no real leader, however Billy's group generally followed the commands of the middle-aged rancher, Pablo Torres who had formerly been one of San Fernando's best lawmen. Riding with Torres proved dull for the first six months until in March of 2280 when Billy found himself in pursuit of the Dooley Gang, a group of seven rustlers who had rustled cattle for six years across San Fernando.
The Dooley Gang had eluded the vigilantes for over a lustrum, but with luck and Billy's aid the gang was caught at their camp. The vigilantes dismounted and proceeded to engage in a gunfight with the rustlers who were camped on top of a small hill. The fight lasted for over ten minutes before Billy set down his rifle and drew his pistols, firing rapidly he yelled his name and shot one of the rustlers, Benito Ortiz dead with three shots in the upper chest. After Billy stepped out and shot Ortiz, who was the best shot in the gang, John Dooley threw down his gun and surrendered. The vigilantes proceeded to take the surviving rustlers and hang them all from the nearest tree capable of supporting the weight of six men.
When the vigilantes rode back into town they were hailed and rewarded by the sheriff's office whose only reason for not hunting down the Dooley Gang himself was lack of deputies to watch over the town and hunt for rustlers. The vigilantes all went to the Dead Horse Saloon to celebrate where one of them, Vicente Columbo got into an argument with a cowhand over a woman they both had feelings for. The argument escalated and the cowhand pulled his gun, shooting Columbo down. Billy, the rest of the vigilantes, and many of the saloon patrons could not stand for the murder of a popular young man and in a drunken rage, Billy led a lynch mob that hung the cowhand from a pre-War street light outside the saloon.
However the cowhand that Billy led the lynching of was none other than Alejandro Prieto, brother of Markel Prieto, one of San Fernando's most powerful ranchers. When Markel learned about the lynching he organized a lynch mob of his own to come after Billy. Billy heard the news just a half hour before the mob got into town and hitched up Susanna and rode out of town with the mob on his trail within two hours. Barely escaping with his life, Billy decided that he would go north again, in late March of 2280 he went back to Valle Hermoso.
- "The only good thing about spending weeks at a time in the saddle staring at the south end of a bunch of north bound cattle is that the exhaustion, heat, and monotony makes the nights that you do get to have fun, drink, gamble, and shoot your gun in the air so much better. Still however, the job sucks."
- ―Billy on cattle droving.
Billy arrived in Valle Hermoso in May, just quick enough to catch the last cattle drive headed north. While since the brahmin-cattle wars of the late 2250s had stopped cattle drives headed up the corpse coast, there were still plenty of drives headed north that either stopped before Falfurrias or went west for the Permian Basin. Billy returned to the Cattleman's Association and managed to register as a vaquero and joined up with a drive headed for the Permian Basin, Petroleum to be exact where the Valle Hermoso Cattleman's Association was selling Texas longhorns to smaller ranches outside of town and trying to market them to the Salt Clan as a replacement for brahmin.
Billy rode point which was highly unusual for a new drover as normally point was reserved for the veteran vaqueros where they were leading the herd without riding into the dust kicked up by all the cattle that normal rookies riding drag had to deal with. But Billy was no normal rookie, he was a pistolero and thus of use to the trail boss if anything ever came up such as comancheros or another threat that could be solved with two Caballero revolvers.
The trail boss, Paul Brock took a liking to Billy and Billy became a popular figure on the drive, playing an old Spanish guitar he had bought in San Fernando and telling stories, some true some exagerated of his numerous exploits. Billy found vaquero life to be acceptable, hard work but weeks of it made the few nights in town he had much more enjoyable. He was probably the rowdiest on the drive and it almost got him killed when the drive entered Texas, particularly Mercedes where a drunk Billy fired his guns and shot a deputy sheriff in the chest, killing him. While the shooting was accidental, it got him arrested and the sheriff almost shot Billy before Brock intervened and threatened that Valle Hermoso drives would refuse to pass through Mercedes again if Billy was executed. Saved by his friend Billy got lucky to ride out of Mercedes with a hangover and memory so bad that he didn't even know he had killed a man, something which Brock decided not to tell Billy, instead telling the pistolero that he had only bailed Billy out by paying a fine for some busted tables and chairs.
After the Mercedes incident Billy's behavior got a little better when he was in towns, however he was still a rowdy and wild vaquero if there ever was one. After seven months of droving, the drive finally reached Petroleum in December of 2280. Receiving a massive payout as a guard and drover, Billy preceded to enjoy himself and make enemies in the process. Blowing through his cash in poker, Billy found himself being accused of cheating by a local, a young man named Wilson Warner. Warner stood up and after a long verbal argument went for the Dama revolver he had tucked behind his belt. After drawing the gun, Warner was spared by Billy who had outdrawn him and proceeded to shoot his hand off, the first mercy shot that Billy had ever committed.
However his feud with the Warners had one more part to it, and a much bloodier part at that. The next day while Billy was playing cards two men walked into the saloon, both with double-barreled shotguns. The men were Paulie and Sammy Warner, Wilson's brothers and intended to kill Billy. The two men approached his table and when Billy saw the resemblance they had to Wilson he stood up and drew his guns. He fired two shots, one from each pistol. The bullet from his right gun hit Sammy in the throat and the bullet from his left pistol hit Paulie in the heart, killing them both instantly before they could even say a word to him.
When he was arrested Brock was unable to bail Billy out, but in light of the circumstances and the fact that it was undeniable that the two men were in the saloon purely to kill Billy, the leader of the local militia let Two Gun Billy go, with the provision he leave and never come back. Billy obliged and now with eleven kills, twelve counting the deputy he shot in a drunken party he went south, traveling through the wasteland for months until he ended up in Hidalgo in September. Harland Ross was skeptical to see Billy again, but Billy quickly left town to find work on a Brahmin ranch, only entering town on weekends until in mid October of 2281 he joined a brahmin drive for the ranch he was working for as a guard, headed to sell beeves to the government of La Ciudadela.
Billy de la Rosa is a man of both morality and violence. Strange as this sounds it is the only observable truth, he follows a code of morality and masculinity that often coincide. In terms of morality Billy has never shot a man down in cold blood, stole from another man, raped a woman, cheated anyone, or attacked with lethal or non-lethal means anyone who hasn't done anything to him. Being a man of this moral code he has refused to do mercenary work for any employer who would have him break that code and rather will side against them as he did in the feud between the Vidal and Molina families where the Vidals tried to employ him and he ended up siding with the Molinas.
However while his moral code is respectable and admirable when compared to that of other pistoleros and gunslingers operating in Tamaulipas, his strong belief in a code of honor and masculinity is brash and comes with a hair-trigger. He believes greatly in proving himself to be a 'real man' as he puts it and does not want to be underestimated or thought less of due to his young age. Emulating gunslingers of the Old West and pistoleros of Tamaulipas, Billy has developed his definition of masculinity to be a man who is free, deadly, and who refuses to be cheated, insulted or wronged. His first killing demonstrated this when he shot Diego Campo down for insulting and humiliating him which in his mind proved himself to be a man and not a 'coward' who would be afraid to respond back to insult. Additionally his gunslinger code of honor and manhood includes a bravery tenant, he believes that backing down from any fight is a sign of cowardice and makes himself look like a weakling, therefor he will never back down from a duel when challenged to one, as seen by his killing of Bad Tom Baxter and the Green Laser Kid, both of whom challenged the young gunslinger to a duel.
Ultimately while there is some good in Two Gun Billy's personality there is also a generous heap of unpredictable danger. He refuses to allow any man to strike a blow to his ego and any insult he will have no trouble coming back to with lead from his six-guns. While good at heart, he is practically blinded by his egotistical code of manhood which idolizes and worships taking nothing from anyone and living by the guns he wears low and tied down on his hips.
Two Gun Billy dresses rather simply always wearing his pair of heeled boots, brown canvas pants, a brown leather belt, his drab cream and black plaid shirt, a rugged brown leather vest, a faded yellow neckerchief, and a tan Stetson hat. On his hips slightly below his belt he wears a black double gun belt that holsters two customized .30-30 Caballero revolvers. The revolvers are just as much jewelry as they are the tools of his trade have been outfitted by their previous owner with black bison horn grips from the before the war and a dark blued finish which he keeps up by polishing the revolvers every day.
As for his body he looks more like he was born north of the border than south of it. He has tan yet Caucasian skin, unkempt brown hair, and blue eyes. Even though, he is in his early twenties he hasn't very much capability to grow facial hair and thus always shaves it down. He is shorter than most measuring only five feet and nine inches and being skinny as well has ensured that the only thing scary about him are the two guns he wears on his hips. On terms of muscles he has little and is rather incapable against an average man in a fistfight, just one reason he only ever takes his guns off when he sleeps.
Billy is a man who travels light at all times, on his person he only carries his clothes, wallet, a pocketknife in his boot, a small canteen which he wears under his shirt around his neck held up by a strip of leather and his guns. His guns are a pair of .30-30 Caballero revolvers, probably the most popular handgun in all of Mexico when the war started. However, while Caballero revolvers are common, Billy's are not. The guns are blued to a nice black sheen which he shines daily and have black bison horn grips on them. Their barrels are seven and a half inches long instead of the regular five inches and the guns have a hair trigger on them in addition to having a heavier frame made of steel alloyed with titanium to offset recoil better.
Besides carrying very little on his person he also carries very little on his horse, Susanna. Besides a saddle there is only a rifle scabbard attached to his saddle that holsters a .30-30 lever-action rifle which he keeps to give him a long range weapon in the same caliber as his pistol. Additionally he keeps a sleeping bag, some flint, and enough food and water to last him a week in a pack attached to the saddle. Besides that he has nothing but the clothes on his back, ensuring that his horse is always light enough to outrun a posse or lynching party on his trail.