- "Hell, you said you wanted him gone, so what if his kids wandered in the way?"
- ―Paul arguing with a client.
|Date of birth:||2252|
|Date of death:||2279|
Born to hard-scrabble farmers in southern Texas in 2252, Paul grew up hungry, hard-working, and dedicated to not have to live like that again. The third of four children, there was no real opposition to his announcement to leave home at 15. Taking with him only the clothes on his back, he headed west following the sun. He made a critical discovery on his third day, when he found a combat shotgun while scavenging through an old farmhouse. He also found two Molerats in the basement, and promptly blew them apart with buckshot.
Cooking the largest pieces over a fire of old baseboard, He ate his fill for the first time that night, and decided to hunt to live. Waking around noon the next morning, he searched the house one last time for shells before setting off to the west yet again. After another ten days of walking with occasional eating, Paul finally came to the first town he had ever seen, Darble. He lived on the outskirts of Darble for two years hunting around for any type of game. His luck was poor more often than not and he would barely have enough to eat. He learned many things during those two years, however; how to track game, how to clean and break down his shotgun, how to lay traps, and bartering in town among others.
After spring came on that third year, Paul packed everything he could carry of value and headed south, Crossing into Mexico on April 14. A week later he stopped in a small cantina alongside Carretera 101, where he heard a man trying to rally together a posse. Hearing that the posse was providing food and a little money, Paul signed up. He left an hour later with eight others not counting the sheriff. They went hard on the trail after a gang of Comancheros that kidnapped children from the village nearby and sold them to slavers.
They pursued them on foot for several days, almost losing their tracks due to a sudden rainstorm, before finally discovering them in an abandoned farm house. The posse stumbled across it just after sundown, and waited behind a nearby hill for two hours, both to rest and let the Comancheros fall into a drunken stupor. Around 11 they began to creep from behind the hill and surround the house, each man covering a window or a door so no one could get away. Once everyone was in position they opened fire, cutting through the ancient wood like it was paper. Paul's position happened to be the bedroom that the bandits were sleeping in, and after he emptied his drum, none was breathing.
When the sheriff saw his work, he offered Paul a job on the spot.
Time as a Deputy
The small town town the sheriff hired him to help guard ended up being a small mining camp that had been converted post-war into a mushroom farm. The town, named Burro, was a surprisingly popular stop for travelers, which kept Paul informed and constantly busy. His duties consisted of keeping drunks from killing each other in the cantina, getting rid of stray wild life, and backing up the sheriff when he warned newcomers not to cause trouble in town.
His three year tenure with the sheriff of Burro was his happiest: an easy job, respect from the townspeople, having enough to eat and still have leftovers. He managed to save enough money halfway through his second year there in 2271 to purchase a small adobe house from the mayor, moving out of the sheriff's home. By the time the spring of 2273 rolled around Paul had built himself an entire life in Burro, having begun courting a young woman and there being talk of him taking over as sheriff.
Those dreams were shattered in September when a large band of Comancheros burned the town. The night they attacked was the night the harvest came in, and the town was filled with merchants and farmers with pockets full of pesos. The dozen riders came from the north, the fastest way to the square. Paul rushed from his home when he heard the screams and gunshots. He encountered a lone bandit when he was only a block away from the square. Seeing him before he was seen, Paul fired twice and ran past, not sparing the now-misshapen corpse a glance.
He arrived at the square seconds later, and was able to save the sheriff from two more Comancheros that were trying to circle behind him. When he got close enough to the sheriff to talk, he told the older man that he had killed another on the way. The sheriff told him he had shot two of them and captured the second in the band. They were interrupted by the remaining half of the attackers riding across the square at them, two more of whom they killed before the remaining Comancheros turned and fled.
The merchants and townspeople thanked the law men heartily, before leaving to check upon their families. The peace lasted only two hours however, as the raiders were back again later. The Jefe of the Comancheros had taken the killing of half his men as a great slight to himself, and needed revenge. He split his group in half, three men going to the sheriff's, and the others going to Paul's. The sheriff had just fallen asleep when the Commancheros came into his house, and didn't even stir when they cut his throat open.
Paul, however, was another matter. While the Sheriff lived in the square, none of the raiders knew where the deputy lived. They crept through the alleys of the town until they finally found someone alone and grabbed them into the alley. The man told them what they wanted very fast, and after cutting his throat, the raiders made their way to Paul's house. Having just saved the town, however, Paul was entertaining the woman he had been courting, and totally immersed in this task until the first assassin kicked in his door. Hearing the sound, Paul jumped from his bed, grabbed his shotgun and ran to meet the intruder. He came around the hallway corner and was eye-level with a.30-30 revolver, the cartridge being too old to fire was the only thing that saved him. Firing his shotgun, Paul blasted the Comanchero apart and did the same when a second tried to run through the front door with a machete.
The third one had been sneaking around his home however and was looking into Paul's bedroom, right above the terrified senorita. He broke the window and grabbed the woman by her hair-raising her as a shield when Paul rushed in, only to shoot her in the head with his pistol before being gunned down by the deputy. Paul knew she was dead as soon as he looked at her wound, but he still rushed to the doctor's, going around the square and the Sheriff's. He almost beat down the door when he arrived, and had to repeat himself several times when the doctor finally answered. When the older man finally understood and went on his way to Paul's, the deputy ran to the Sheriff's office to rouse him, but stopped as he saw three men leave through the alley behind it.
Paul followed them as they crept to an empty street, and when they had stopped he fired the remaining shells in his drum, killing the bandits without them being able to draw their guns. Running over and examining them, Paul saw they were the Comancheros they had repelled earlier. He returned to the Sheriff's office, and saw the old man's body still under his blankets. By the time the Doctor had removed the bodies, it was well past morning.
Having no more ties and only painful memories, Paul left Burro a week after the burial of the townspeople killed in the raid. He drifted south for a time, living off the land between towns and buying food in them. He eventually came to a small town in The Cattle Country named Ember Rose, Where he found his next occupation completely involuntarily.
It came after an argument over a hand of cards became heated, and Paul was called out of the cantina for a showdown. It was unclear to those present why this happened, as the challenger, Raul Mortez was a known cheat, back-shooter, and bandit who had no qualms about killing a man at the table before. Yet he challenged Paul to an honest duel on the street with witnesses, and was blown apart by the drifter as soon as he stepped outside the cantina.
Word of the incident spread around the area over the next few days (during which Paul swore off cards) until it reached the friends of Mortez who came for payback. Paul had been forewarned about the trio from a caravan, however, and when they walked into the cantina to find him, he cut them down in the doorway. Forced to leave after this incident angered the sheriff, Paul resumed his way south on Carretera 101.
The story of the shooting arrived ahead of him, however, and he was offered a job amongst the dirty looks he got. It was a straight-forward bodyguard job for a mid-scale cattle baron who was looking to relocate south to avoid the larger range wars that happened north. Thinking it would be easy money, Paul accepted. What the Baron didn't tell him however was that there was a price on his head and he had already avoided two ambushes. For the first week the job was as easy as Paul imagined it would be, coming across no problems during their initial tour of properties.
When they went to examine a ranch several hours away one Saturday, however, that changed. A group of men was waiting for them on the trail, having been sent by rival Cattlemen back north. The highwaymen came out from behind their hill and blocked the trail. They told Paul to walk away, to which he responded by blasting the speaker apart. The two of them then ran for cover as the remaining four bandits fired back. This didn't last long however as they moved in to rush Paul and the Baron, but when they came around the tree buckshot ripped them apart.
The Baron thanked him profusely, which Paul appreciated but said they should hurry. When they arrived at the ranch, the Baron said it was perfect and bought it on the spot. He also gave Paul his cost with a sizable bonus for fast gun-play.
After this, Paul was in demand as bodyguard around the area, the locals hearing from the Baron himself. Though this earned him a good living, it also attracted gunfighters trying to increase their reputation. It was after one such fight in 2276, that Paul became engaged in his current profession, assassinations. After shooting down an old shooter who wanted to come out of retirement, Paul was approached by Hector Inlez, and asked if he wanted to make 6,000 caps. Jumping at the offer, Paul was told all he had to do was make sure a man did not see the next sunrise. Having already killed over two dozen men, Paul didn't think twice about it and rode to the target's house.
Kicking in the door and emptying the shotgun into the room, he found that he took out not only his target, but his wife, daughter and parents, as he interrupted their dinner. Going back to the Cantina he reported his success, and saw his guilt temporarily alleviated by the money he now held. Since then he has been a wondering shooter, open to the highest bidder, which in the ranges of Cattle Country, there always is. This is how he would first make the acquaintance of Zachery Hale, a Cattle baron. He was looking for men to fight the Texan Ranchers, and Paul replied he was the man.
Paul would be wounded during an ambush on the Mexican cattle drive, with the leg becoming infected. With Hale abandoning the drive soon afterward, Paul was able to receive treatment in Fort Brown. He lost the leg, but managed to contain the infection. He would stay in the town to recover, but would run out of pesos before he was fully well. With no one wanting to hire a one-legged killer, Paul was forced into the street. He would linger there for three days before dying, taking one last life.
Paul is a relatively unremarkable looking individual, standing 5'11" with sandy blond hair, brown eyes and tanned skin. His choice in clothes, a comfortable work shirt, cloth pants with chaps over them, makes him look like most trail hands, an image he is happy to foster as it gets him within shooting distance of most of his targets.
EquipmentPaul carries with him for general protection only his combat shotgun, with two other loaded drums in his trail bags. When he takes a contract, however, he has been known to carry 10mm pistols, knives, Dynamite, and even an old laser RCW. He also owns a mustang bought from Lipan horse traders.
PersonalityPaul is easy-going and apathetic towards most things that don't involve him. He concerns himself mainly with jobs or good living, whichever one he can currently afford. He does possess deeper emotions, but after seeing the Sheriff and his fiancee dead, Paul tends to bury them. This is further compounded by the shootings, either for money or in self-defense, which eats away at his insides. He tries to solve this by drinking, whoring and gambling, which always forces him to work more, which leads him back into the many cantinas of the region. Those who encounter him in the dim backrooms of these places report that he is either depressed, enraged, or nostalgic, all of which contrast with the appearance he tries to maintain. Those knowledgeable in such things, say that if Paul doesn't get himself killed on a job, he might do it himself.