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The Watchmen

Until the War of Californian Aggression, the United States maintained law and order through city and state controlled police forces.  When a crime was committed these police forces investigated the crime and made arrests.  The criminal was then sent through a judicial system in which guilt was determined by a jury.  This system was somewhat successful, but was commonly known to be flawed.
When California seceded and began invading neighboring states, Colorado was the first to fall under control of the new monarchy.  When Texas began defending her territories, the California military was forced to pull the majority of their forces from their conquered territories in order to push into Texas.  This left the Colorado territory virtually in chaos.  Outlaws and highwaymen regained control of the territory and justice was lost.  
When a young eighteen year old, Jonathan Claymoore, was killed by an unsatisfied business associate, Claymoore's best friend Walter Baker tracked down and killed the murderer.    When word of his actions became known, victims of other crimes began seeking him out to find justice.  Within a few months, Baker had an intricate network he used to solve all fashion of crimes, from burglary to arson to murder.  Because of the brutal way Baker took vengeance on his first 'case', the action of distributing the punishment became known as "dicing."
A new policing force took form in the territory of Colorado. Knights, appointed by the king, began trying to police their citizens but with little success.  The population of Colorado began to call Walter the "Knight Watchman."  It began as a derogatory reference to him by the criminal underworld.  But the nickname caught on among the law abiding citizens.

When California began losing the war and Texas liberated Colorado, the policing agency of the Texas Rangers tracked down Baker and arrested him.  However, instead of prosecuting him, He was offered a license to keep doing what he had been doing.  Walter Baker became the first Watchmen.
Since Texas was a new country herself and was trying to form a better system of justice within her borders, the new nation adopted the Watchmen institution, allowing Texas citizens to apply for Watchmen licenses.  The only requirement was to have been honorably discharged from either the United States Army, or the Texas Rangers and have no criminal record.  These watchmen answered only to the Texas Rangers, and even then, they were given a large amount of slack.  By the time this system reached Texas, the Knight Watchmen had been anglicized into "Serrano."
Two years into the formulation of this new system, many Watchmen began abusing their powers, some even went insane.  After careful consideration it was realized that playing judge, jury and executioner was more than one man could handle.  After a Watchmen killed too many people, they would usually contract what has become known as "Snake Eyes."  It was Walter Baker who found a cure for this epidemic.  Baker enlisted the help of a man named Tom Ellis.  Baker would investigate the crime and decide on the guilt or innocence of a suspect. When Baker decided the suspect was guilty, the torch would be passed to his partner, the 'dicer.'    In the year 2023, two months after Baker hired Ellis, Texas passed the Dicer Statute.

 This law made it illegal for a watchman to operate as both serrano and dicer.  Watchmen became two man teams.  The serrano would investigate the crime and determine guilt, while the dicer would distribute the punishment.  Any serrano operating without a dicer would immediately have their license revoked with no chance of reinstatement.

© 2002 Ponderous Productions/Brett William Mauser