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Bilgewater A New Beginning
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Short Story • 2 Minute Read

One Last Shot

By Anthony Reynolds Lenné

Holed up in an empty bar, bleeding from a dozen wounds and surrounded by armed men who wanted him dead, Malcom Graves had seen better days. He'd seen worse ones, too, so he wasn't worried yet. Graves leaned over the smashed bar and helped himself to a bottle, sighing as he read the label.

Lore

Holed up in an empty bar, bleeding from a dozen wounds and surrounded by armed men who wanted him dead, Malcolm Graves had seen better days. He'd seen worse ones, too, so he wasn't worried yet. Graves leaned over the smashed bar and helped himself to a bottle, sighing as he read the label.

"Demacian wine? That all you got?"

"It's the most expensive bottle I have... " said the innkeeper, cowering below the bar in a glittering ocean of broken glass.

Graves looked around the bar and grinned.

"I reckon it's the only bottle you got left."

The man had panic written all over him. He clearly wasn't used to being in the middle of a gunfight. This wasn't Bilgewater, where fatal brawls broke out ten times a day. Piltover was regarded a more civilized city than Graves' hometown. In some ways, at least.

He yanked the cork free with his teeth and spat it to the floor before taking a swig. He swilled it around his mouth like he'd seen rich folks do before swallowing it.

"Pisswater" he said, "but beggars can’t be choosers, huh?"

A voice shouted through the broken windows, buoyed with confidence it hadn't earned and the false bravado of numbers.

"Give it up, Graves. There's seven of us to one of you. This ain't going to end well."

"Damn straight it ain't" hollered Graves in return. "If you want to walk away from this, you best go fetch more men!"

He took another swig from the bottle, then put it down on the bar.

"Time to get to work" he said, lifting his one-of-a-kind Buckshot shotgun from the bar.

Graves reloaded, pushing fresh shells home. The weapon snapped together with a satisfyingly lethal sound, loud enough to carry to the men outside. Anyone who knew him would know that sound and what it meant.

The outlaw slid off the barstool and made his way to the door, glass crunching beneath his boot heels. He stooped to glance through a cracked window. Four men crouched behind makeshift cover: two on the upper floor of a fancy workshop, another two in shadowed doorways to either side. All held crossbows or muskets at the ready.

"We tracked you halfway across the world, you son of a bitch" shouted the same voice. "Bounty didn't say nothin' about you being alive or dead. Walk out now with that cannon of yours held high and there don't need to be no more bloodshed."

"Oh, I'm comin' out" shouted Graves. "Don't you worry none about that."

He drew a Silver Serpents Silver Serpent from his pocket and flipped it onto the bar, where it spun through a pool of spilled rum before landing heads up. A trembling hand reached up to take it. Graves grinned.

"That's for the door" he said. "What about the door?" asked the innkeeper.

Graves hammered his boot into the inn's front door, smashing it from its hinges. He Quickdraw dived through the splintered frame, rolling to one knee, gun blasting from the hip.

"Alright, you bastards!" he roared. "Let's finish this!"

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