Day Twelve – Marzipan Cottage For Sale

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In the early hours of the fifteenth day of August, several men accosted a local doctor on the dirt road, more adequately described as a game trail during that particular season, between Harris township and Bixby’s Box. The bandits, four in total, shot Dr. Malcom Renn in the throat and left him for dead in a growth of cacti to the side of the rarely used thoroughfare. Stolen from his person were a medical bag containing several herbal mixtures and a liter of ether, a locket containing a tuft of hair from a cherished dachshund that had recently passed away, and Dr. Renn’s mutant symbiote, which was surgically removed from his upper arm on the fly.

Dr. Renn extricated himself from the cactus on the second day after the attack, and managed to crawl to Bixby’s Box avoiding death from thirst and exposure. The bandits, pressed for time as they surely were, had politely closed the open wound left behind by the removal of the mutant symbiote, and, surprisingly had done a professional job of it.

Marshal Boggs, upset by the severity of the crime perpetrated within his jurisdiction, enlisted the help of several local men in an effort to track down the bandits and bring them to justice.

Though the exact nature of the symbiotic growth on the upper arm of Dr. Renn have been a subject of confused interest among the townsfolk of both Bixby’x Box and Harris township, their respect for the doctor has prevented all but harmless speculation behind closed doors. Dr. Renn, prior to the incident in question, has repeatedly declined an interview regarding the subject of his mutant symbiote.

With a full week having passed since the incident, Marshal Boggs was finally able to muster enough able-bodied men to mount a manhunt for the bandits. Among the posse assembled were George Timmons and Robert Flock, both blacksmiths; Anthony Lane, former army sergeant and rifleman; Jaime Escandoza, owner of Bixby’s Box’s Judy’s Box Saloon and Whorehouse; Ichabod and Tamerlane Howitzer, herbalists and professional swamp men; as well as Marshal Boggs’ son David, a youth skilled in use of sling and rock, among others.

Boggs and his men ranged the desert to the west of the local settlements for a week before turning north towards the Black Face mountain range. There, in a valley between two of the largest formations in the range, Mt. Ball on one side, and Potter’s Peak on the other, Boggs and his men cornered the bandit crew and laid siege to the makeshift fortifications they had built there. The standoff lasted for twelve days, during which time reinforcements arrived from nearby Badger Valley. On that twelfth day, Boggs’ party, minus only Ichabod and Tamerlane Howitzer, who had been mauled by a wolverine in the area, charged into the bandit’s fortification to rescue the mutant symbiote.

To their surprise, it was revealed that the leader of the bandit gang was none other than the mutant symbiote himself. Boggs ordered the rest of the bandits hung on the spot, and, after roughly placing the symbiote in a burlap bag, turned his posse back to Bixby’s Box to bring Dr. Renn the unusual news.

Boggs forced the mutant symbiote to admit the truth of his intentions to his former host, at which point the symbiote broke down and revealed his secret machinations which had played out unbeknownst to Dr. Renn.

As related by the symbiote, Dr. Renn had been a careless host, often forgetting to keep his upper arm raised out of the water while bathing in the creek, and occasionally rolling over on his upper arm during the night, in both cases suffocating his helpless symbiote. The symbiote, which had taken to calling himself Giant Wong during his brief stint as a bandit, had begun to plan his escape from Dr. Renn after a lengthy conversation with a con-man out of Cheyenne who he had been introduced to at a saloon while Dr. Renn was passed out at the bar. The relationship between the symbiote and the con-man grew sexual within a matter of months, and it quickly became increasingly difficult to hide the relationship from his host. Desiring the freedom to explore a relationship with the con-man, who has still remained unnamed, Giant Wong befriended several criminals, and, all the while directing his new gang while Dr. Renn was sleeping or unconscious, created the plan that would eventually separate Giant Wong from Dr. Renn and lead to the story I now relate to you.

Dr. Renn, distraught by the loss and betrayal, reacted violently and strangled Giant Wong before Boggs and his men could stop him.

Funeral services for Giant Wong have been arranged by Garret & Son Undertakers out of Clossy township, just south of Benbrook.

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