Tag: agents of the vault

Agents of the Vault – Part 25 & 26

Parts 25 & 26 – Does Charlie become a true Agent of the Vault?

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Agents of the Vault
Part 25
By Grant Baciocco

The next day, Charlie was well enough to get a tour of The Vault.  A deep, underground bunker that went below Yankton for several stories.  It was a feat of engineering for the time and it was safe to assume there was nothing much like it anywhere else on the planet.

Doc explained, “There are several Vaults throughout the United States and some throughout the world.  All part of the Coalition to keep historic, mystical artifacts safe.  This one here in Yankton is the biggest in the world.  Most of the Agents work out of here.”

Doc took Charlie around to the training rooms, a series of room where Agents of the Vault could work on their hand to hand fighting as well as their accuracy with pistols and long range rifles.  Most impressive, however was the lowest level, The Vault itself.  Spanning for what seemed to be about a mile underground, The Vault had row upon row of trunks, much like the one the writing desk was carried in. They were stacked six high in some places.

Doc pointed down a row of stacked trunks, “The desk you and Grisom brought in is now safely stored away here.  It’s a good thing we had the other desk out of storage for study when Grisom wrote to us.  That’s how we knew where to find you.”

Charlie nodded.

“What you see here just barely scratches the surface of the artifacts with mystical powers out in the world.  And these are just the ones from the United States.  The purpose of the Coalition and The Vault is to keep these items of power out of the wrong hands.  All of these Vaults are defended by the bravest men and women on earth.  And now, you’re one of them.”

Charlie reached into his pocket and felt the leather case that held Grisom’s badge that was now his badge.  He was nervous and excited to be one of The Agents of the Vault, but there was also a small piece of him that was terrified now that Grisom was gone.  He really had no idea what he was doing, but steeled himself in the fact that Grisom seemed to be the best Agent of the Vault on the roster and he always trusted Charlie, so he would trust that.

“We’ve got a wagon all set up for you,” Doc said. “You can get the Prairie Fire back to the indians.”  Doc turned and led the way back towards the Vault’s entrance.  Charlie turned and followed him, stopping to look one last time at the rows of stacked trucks in The Vault.

Part 26

Two days later, Charlie rode from the Pawnee camp having delivered Pahaat.  The Pawnee Chief had greeted him when he had arrived, but there was not a pleasant mood within the camp.  The Pinkertons and the Calvary had done a number on the members of this tribe.  There were survivors but only a handful.

“I feel like we brought this trouble to you.” Charlie said.  “We led the Pinkerton’s here.”

“You had only good intentions.” The Chief replied in his rough English.  “And you have returned Pahaat.  A small sliver of sunshine throughout the storm.”

They sat in silence for a moment.  About ten feet in front of them, Doris and Pahaat tumbled and played in the dirt.  Their antics brought a smile to both men’s faces.

“Has your little one decided to remain with Pahaat?” The chief asked.

“Not yet.” Charlie replied, “But I have a feeling it’ll be soon.  They seem more dependent on each other after Doris rescued him form the Pinkertons.  I have a feeling it won’t be long before we are back here.”

The Chief looked across his village, his people slowly were rebuilding and cleaning up the damage the calvary had done.  “I’m afraid a great conflict is coming between my people and yours.”

“I feel it coming too.” Charlie said.

“It is a shame that we cannot live in harmony with the wonders that are around us.” The Chief said, watching Pahaat jump tackle Doris from behind as the two played.  He turned to look at Charlie, “But you are an honorable man as was Grisom and as long as there is honor, there is a small glimmer of hope.”

Charlie reached out for the Chief hand and shook it.  He then gave a whistle and Doris looked over from her dominant position on Pahaat to Charlie and realized it was time to go.  She looked down at Pahaat and gave him a big, sloppy lick across the face and then bounded off toward Charlie, stopping to rub her head against the Chief’s leg.

The Chief looked down, smiling, “See you soon little one.” Doris gave a whistle and smile and then bounded off after Charlie who was already getting into the wagon.

She scrambled up the wagon wheel and took her spot on the buckboard right next to Charlie.  Charlie clicked his tongue and gave a snap of the reigns and the horses began to pull out.  Once they were underway, Doris gave a Charlie a questioning whistle.

“Where are we off to?” Charlie replied, “Let me see.”

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a pice of paper, unfolding it with one hand as the other hand held the reigns.  He read Doc’s writing and then nodded, “We are headed to Baxter Springs, Kansas.  Apparently, that is where George Washington’s tent is currently being held for us.”

Doris let out another inquisitive whistle.

“Apparently, the tent has properties that keep it impervious to cannon fire.  It’s one of the things that kept Washington safe during the war.”

Doris let out a whistle of agreement and settled in next to Charlie.

They rode in silence for about an hour, en route to Baxter Springs.  Charlie felt Doris shift next to him and glanced down to see her with her back turned to him looking at something in her hands.

“What do you have there Doris?” he asked, startling the creature.  Doris quickly turned to him keeping the object hidden behind her.  She looked up innocently at him.  Charlie smiled, “Come on, show me what you got.”

Shyly, Doris brought her hand around into view to reveal a tiny, grey egg.  Charlie’s mouth hung open.  He was so flabbergasted, it took him a second to realize that he was pulling the horses off course.  He looked straight ahead and corrected the horse’s walk, then turned back to Doris.

Doris looked up at him with the big dark eyes, smiling.

Charlie let out a laugh and shook his head.  Doris gingerly placed the egg back into her pouch and the wagon continued onward towards Baxter Springs.


©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media – www.SaturdayMorningMedia.com

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Agents of the Vault – Part 23

Part 23 of The Agents of the Vault is here! The final shootout on the streets of Trinity.

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Also, if you prefer a PDF version of this part to read, CLICK HERE for that.

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Agents of the Vault
Part 23
By Grant Baciocco

The first shot Jane fired caught Grisom in the shoulder and spun him.  As he spun, Charlie fired right over Grisom’s head in the direction of where the shot had come from.  As Charlie ran along the front of the hotel, he spied some barrels across the street and Brenner’s hat sticking up behind them.  He crossed his left hand under his right and fired a shot off in that direction.  Brenner’s hat sailed off his head.

“Get him Charlie.” Grisom shouted indicating Brenner, and Charlie ran down the wooden porch of the hotel toward the corner.

Grisom was on his butt, back up against the front railing of the hotel’s front porch.  He cocked both his guns, grimaced in the expectation of the pain that was about to rip through his body, and then kicked himself up in one motion to a standing position and fired off two shots in the direction where Jane had fired from.  She answered back with a shot, all three shots went wild.

As Charlie made the end of the hotel and dashed around the corner, Brenner fired three shots.  Each just missed Charlie as he ran, but he was able to make the corner and turn it.  Once around he took a deep breath and then slid his back a little ways down the wall so he would be lower when he swung around to fire.

Already he could feel the heat of the fire from inside the hotel radiating through the wooden slats.  The hotel would not provide much of a hiding place for long.

Inhaling, Charlie spun the corner, took aim near the barrels and when Brenner popped up, he fired.  Two shots.  One, from his left pistol, going wide and the other, from his right pistol, catching Brenner in the side, sending the Pinkerton stumbling back behind the barrels, still on his feet.

Charlie didn’t hesitate, he sprung from the corner and advanced on Brenner firing both guns.  Brenner’s head jerked back as a bullet passed through it.  The Pinkerton fell to the dusty ground, dead.

A gunshot rang out up the street from him and Charlie spun to see Grisom falling back to the dirt.  As Grisom’s body fell, it revealed Jane standing in the street, her smoking gun still aimed at where Grisom had been standing.  Without thinking, Charlie raised his guns and began advancing on Jane.

Jane pulled the hammer back on her pistols and aimed them at Charlie.

“Boy!” she yelled over the growing roar of the hotel fire which thrust the twilight on the prairie into light and shadows.  “Don’t be stupid.  Just turn around and walk away.  You’ll live.  That’s about as good a deal as anyone here is going to get today.”

Charlie ignored her, the smoke making his throat want to cough as he advanced through it towards the Pinkerton.  He was within 5 yards of Grisom’s body and through his peripheral vision, he could see a large pool of blood growing underneath him.

Charlie felt rage build up in him and felt his finger tighten on the triggers of his pistols.  A shot fired and Charlie froze.  His mouth open, he looked down at the bloodstain that was quickly soaking through his shirt.  He dropped to his knees in the street.

Jane, a slow smile spreading on her face, slowly began closing the distance between them.  Charlie’s arms dropped to his sides as she approached.

“You can’t say I didn’t give you the chance, boy.” Jane growled.  “Now I hope you see you should have taken it.”

“I can’t let you take the desk.” Charlie said, his breath coming heavier, the pain of being shot starting to fill his body.  “Can’t let you take Doris.”

Jane smiled.  The pistol in her right hand aimed directly at Charlie’s head.  “I will get one, or both here today, you can count on that.  Grisom can’t stop me any longer.  And now, you can’t stop me.”

Charlie began to raise his right hand, but the pain was immense.  Jane stood backed and kicked the guns out of his hands.  Jane pulled back the hammer on her pistol.

“Just close your eyes kid, it’ll soon be over.”  Jane’s finger squeezed on the trigger.

Right before the gun discharged, Jane heard a sound behind her.  A high pitched whistled, suddenly joined by a second creating an eerie harmony.  Jane spun, expecting to see Grisom, somehow, still alive, but saw that behind her in the street stood Doris and Pahaat.  Before Jane could register that it was the prairie fires making the sound that had now drown everything else out, they both opened up their jaws and engulfed her in a solid column of fire, consuming her completely.

Charlie fell backwards as the fire engulfed his enemy, he was vaguely aware of her screams as she ran wildly from where she stood.  Charlie looked upwards.  The sky was black ink above him, smoke rising up into it from the hotel fire was being illuminated by Jane’s burning body.  Though the smoke he could see the faintest star shining in the night sky and he focused on that, as his hand slowly moved to his pocket, inch by inch searching for the small glass vial of dirt that was there.

His fingers closed around the vial and his world went dark.

©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media – www.SaturdayMorningMedia.com

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Agents of the Vault – Part 22

Part 22 of The Agents of the Vault is here! Grisom and Charlie realize the hotel is on fire!

If you want to subscribe to the Grantcast, you can do so with iTunes, or by using this feed in your favorite podcatcher.  Enjoy!  And let me know what you think of the story in the comments here, as we go along.

Also, if you prefer a PDF version of this part to read, CLICK HERE for that.

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Agents of the Vault
Part 22
By Grant Baciocco

Both Charlie and Grisom had heard something come crashing into the kindling dry lobby room below them.  They both reached for their guns.  Grisom winced as he drew his and then again he attempted to lift himself  up off the edge of the bed.

“You should sit.” Charlie chided, helping Grisom steady himself.

“If Jane ends me today, I’ll be on my feet when she does.” He said through grit teeth.

Both Charlie and Grisom kept their guns trained at the door, expecting Jane and her Pinketons to come busting through at any second.  They both held their breath, fingers on their triggers and it wasn’t until they exhaled that Charlie made the discovery.

“Smoke.” He said, looking down at the whips of black smoke coming up through the thin floorboards under them.

“She’s burning us out.”  Grisom said, looking around.

“How are we getting the trunk out?” Charlie asked, looking towards it.

“We don’t.” Grisom replied, grabbing spare bullets out of his bag at a great deal of pain that he tried to ignore.

Charlie stood dumbfounded.  “It’ll burn.”

“It won’t.” Grisom said, stuffing the bullets into his pockets.  “The trunk has enchantments on it.  No harm will come to it.  It can’t be opened, it can’t be burned.  Let’s just hope it the desk survives the fall when this building burns and it falls to the ground floor.”

“There’s no way out of here but down the steps and out the front door, if it ain’t blocked by fire yet.” Charlie said, gripping his pistol tight.

“Then that’s the way we go out, I’ll go out first, draw their fire, you follow behind, but we going out one way and one way only.”

“How’s that?”

“Guns blazing.”

Charlie nodded and helped Grisom towards the door.  Thick smoke was wafting up the stairwell.  As they got to the top of it, they could see the fire was to the right of the stairs and they had a clean shot to the door.

Charlie smiled, “Let’s hope the stairs hold out otherwise, we might fall into the fire.”

Grisom smirked, “I think the real fire is waiting for us out on the street.  The flames downstairs might be the easy way out.”  Grisom pulled the handkerchief tied around his neck up over his face.  Charlie followed suit.

Charlie helped Grisom down a step at a time.  Both tried not to choke on the smoke as it filled their lungs.  Blinking their eyes to keep them clear.  When they’d reached the bottom step, Grisom took his arm from around Charlie.

“Okay kid.” Grisom said, “Let’s do this.  On three.”

Charlie nodded.


Charlie gripped his pistols in either hand.


The heat from the fire in the room behind them grew, about to propel them out into the street.


Grisom was out the door and into the street.  Charlie crossed the threshold of the hotel as he heard the gunshots begin.  Unsure if it was Grisom’s or Jane’s gun that was firing, he raised his guns and stepped out on to the porch of the hotel.

©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media – www.SaturdayMorningMedia.com

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Agents of the Vault – Part 17

Part 17 of The Agents of the Vault is here!  Now in Trinity, Grisom, Charlie and Doris try to come up with a plan to deal with Jane and the Pinkertons.  They also need to figure out what to do about Leland.

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Agents of the Vault
Part 17
By Grant Baciocco

The cart carrying Charlie, Grisom and Doris rumbled into the small settlement, down the road that had, at one time, hoped to the be the main thoroughfare of the bustling city of Trinity.  Weeds grew wildly in all directions and large tumbleweeds piled into the streets having come to rest on the side of the buildings.  The buildings were in various states of dilapidation.  The blue sky could be seen through the walls and the rooftops.  Grisom steered the horses towards the tallest of the buildings, the hotel.  “When we stop, Charlie, you help me get the Vault trunk up to the top floor of the hotel.”


“And me?” yelled Leland over the roar of the wagon, “What about me, dammit?”

“We’ll come back down for you.” Grisom spat.  “The desk is our main concern.  We will untie you and arm you, but we need to make sure the desk is safe.”

Leland continued to grumble his displeasure at playing second fiddle to the crate, but neither Grisom nor Charlie payed him any attention as they unstrapped the trunk with the desk in it from the back of the wagon.  Both men strained as they carried it up onto the rickety old porch of the hotel.  Grisom kicked the door open with his foot.  The dilapidated door, nearly coming off its hinges as it swung wide and slammed into the inside wall.  Grisom pulled the crate towards the staircase that looked even worse for wear than the door.

“Those stairs gonna hold us and this crate?” Charlie asked, trying to disguise the waver in his voice.

“Here’s hoping.” Grisom grunted as he mounted the first step.

The stairs were shaky, but, luckily, they held as Charlie and Grisom climbed them.  At the top of the stairs, Grisom made a left and then another left and headed for the hotel room that overlooked the street, or what there was of it.

“I want you up here kid,” Grisom said as they sat the trunk back up against the wall furthest away from the windows.  He was out of breath and took a second to catch it.  “With your aim, you’ll be better advantaged from up here.”

Charlie nodded.  “Where will you be?”

Grisom looked out the window pane, out across the prairie where five specks grow bigger and bigger by the minute.  He figured Jane to be 5 miles off or so.  “I’ll meet them in the street.”

“What?” Charlie said, “That’s suicide.  You know Jane will shoot you on the spot.”

“She won’t shoot me until she knows where the trunk is and it’s in her possession.” Grisom said, turning to Charlie.  “That’s why you are the last line of defense.

Charlie lowered his head and then looked across the room at Grisom, “And Leland.”

“I’ll arm him.  I’ll post him on the stairs.”

“You trust him?”

“What choice do we have?”

“And Doris?”

At the sound of her name, Doris popped a head up out of the saddle bag slung over Charlie’s shoulder.  She looked at Charlie, then Grisom, clearly understanding the gravity of the situation.

Grisom looked at her.  “Doris, if Jane takes the stairs, and gets into the room, you get out through the window, get to ground and burrow.  You do not surface until you don’t hear any sound for three days.  Understand.”

Doris was clearly troubled, but nodded her understanding.

Grisom smiled at her.  “You are more important than what’s in the trunk.  You cannot get captured by Jane.”

Doris whistled in agreement.

Grisom looked back up at Charlie.  “Look, kid, it’s going to be all right.  There’s only five of them.  You and I have faced steeper odds.  We can take them.”

“And if we can’t?” Charlie asked.

“We will.”  Grisom said, nodding his head.  He crossed the room to the trunk and, with his finger, began tracing symbols on the padlock that kept the trunk sealed.  “I’m also going to call for back up.  I just hope they make it here in time.”

The padlock on the trunk popped open and Grisom slid it off the latch.

“Go down and get Leland untied and bring him up here.” Grisom said as he popped the latch on the trunk.  Charlie nodded and headed downstairs.  Doris at his heels.

©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media – www.SaturdayMorningMedia.com

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