Salt Lake City aptly named the City of Gloom for the pall of Soot and smoke hanging over it loomed in the distance. Outside of Salt lake City proper is called Junkyard, a neighborhood of soot-covered factories, saloons, and slums. Outside Salt Lake City, the capital of Deseret and the center of Mormon life in the West, Junkyard began as the maze of steam pipes and conduits Dr. Hellstromme built to bring modern amenities to Salt Lake City, but soon people started pitching tents among the pipes. Not long after, a town sprung up. Vendors selling masks greet you at the edge of the Junkyard.
A Father Callahan walked up and said “Have you repented your sins?” His eyes roll back into his head and he spasms falling to the ground.
“The blackheart shall burn your hands. Repent or the hounds of hell will come for thee!” He shouts spittle flying from his mouth.
Sally had Rupert pick him up and Calvin examined him. They asked him what he meant by that but he had no recollection.
As the posse walked up they saw an old Chinese man with a box and a sign that read Mogwai $10 Keep out of direct sunlight, Do not feed after midnight, Keep dry. Moira asked for one and the old man went into a Chinese restaurant. he poured water on one and it reproduced. Moira picked the cutest one and put it in her saddle bags. They ate Dim Sum. They left and stopped to talk to a homeless man with one leg and one eye.
“A maze dragon ate my leg and I lost my eye in a card game. Never gamble for body parts.” said the man.
The posse asked if he had seen the Tremendae gang in town and he described a few of them but didn’t know where they went.
They stopped in a dress shop and bought masks, a dress and bonnet (for Rupert) and bladed fans.
The posse went to the Cog and Whistle and rented rooms. They left there and went to Camera Obscurra. A half deaf old man with a horn in his ear asked what they could do for him. They asked for a photo of them and then asked if he could make a photograph from a microfiche. He said he could and made a small example. He went in back and Otis followed him.
“This is a proprietary process and it needs to be dark.” said the old man. Otis noticed there wasn’t an exit door in the dark room and decided to go outside and watch the rear door. They asked for a larger one and he printed that up. Sally distracted the owner while Otis snuck in the back and noticed the Owner had made more than one copy of the microfilm. Otis pour some flammable solution and placed a cigarette with the burning edge just out of the solution. He invited the owner out for a drink and he went along. They went to the Carousel Saloon and met Jeb a weird scientist. They showed the picture of the plans to him and he pretended to know what it was to impress Sally. Sally asked someone else, Shel, a muscular woman in pants. Shel said it was a calculation machine of such quality she had never seen.
As they walk along a few of the posse noticed someone following them. they dropped back. Moira walked up behind the man and put her gun to his balls.
“Into the alley.” said Moira.
The man went into the alley.
“What’s you’re name and why are you following us?” asked Moira.
“Billy Connecticut. Don’t you have a package to deliver?” asked Billy.
“Yes. We are settling in and going to do it tomorrow. You could get hurt following people.” said Moira.
“I’m sorry.” said Billy.
“Who do you work for?” asked Moira.
“I work for Hellestrome.” said Billy.
“You tell them we’ll be there tomorrow.” said Moira.
Billy scurried off.
Otis came over.
“Maybe we should deliver the package tonight.” said Otis.
The posse rode into the Hellestromme industries compound full of brick buildings and were directed to an office building. They rode the elevator to the top floor. They saw an Indian man wearing a turban and a western suite with a beard.
“Thank you. My name is Deepak ‘Hanuman’ Pradesh.”
Sally gave Deepak the package and he took out the microfilm and examined it with a jewelers lens.
“And the copies?” asked Deepak.
Sally handed over most of the copies except one.
“You have done well. My employer has another job and is looking for an intelligent, dangerous and most importantly discreet posse to recover a piece of stolen property. The pay is $2,000 apiece. Well, Are you in? Bring us the culprits and the diamond alive if you can. Also don’t bring the Danites into it if you can. they are no friends of Mr Hellestromme.” asks Deepak.
“What did they steal?” asked Sally.
“An item of great value.” said Deepak.
“We need to know if we are going to find it. It could be dangerous.” said Sally.
“The Heart of Darkness, a human heart size black diamond.” said Deepak.
“What were you doing with it?” asked Sally.
“It is unable to be cut we were testing using it in many different applications.” said Deepak.
“Look there was this Hellstromme Rep on the train and he wouldn’t show me his notes and then all these people were murdered I want to see his notebook.” said Sally.
“Is that relevant to this investigation?” asked Deepak.
“It could be. Also you are being mighty cagey about this diamond and how do we know what we’re walking into? I need to know that I will have access to all the information I need to complete this investigation.” said Sally.
“You will get access to everything pertinent to the investigation.” said Deepak.
“That’s not good enough. Also we need to be paid expenses.” said Sally.
“I can give you fifty each up front.” said Deepak.
“I need my hotel paid for in Salt Lake City.” said Sally.
“You are being paid exorbitantly well for this endeavor.” said Deepak.
“It’s not good enough. We don’t know what dangers we’re walking into because you won’t tell us what this Diamond is for. You aren’t paying expenses.” said Sally.
“Fine. If it will get you out of my office you can get room and bored. Billy take them to plant 13.” said Deepak.
Billy came in and took the posse to plant 13. Outfront two automatons were blown up and a man lay dead with a white streak in his hair.
Calvin looked at him and said “He died of natural causes as far as I can tell.”
They went down to the basement.
The scent of fire and death greeted them as they entered the underground lab. Some items had been moved or stolen. And the bodies were still in place, right where they were found. The wooden support beams for the underground lab creaked as the walked under them. They found rifle rounds on the floor Otis identified them as .44 Evans, a rare calibre used by Matilda.
Examining One of the scientists bodies they found he was tortured with a knife. Two bodies lay at the door to the backroom. One a female researcher had a knife wound. The second body was shot with a large calibre round. The last body, that of Gerlach, lay on a table near the large doors of the laboratory. The body had no recognizable head. Instead, a mass of bone and meat mashed flat as a pancake hangs from the end of his neck. The tabletop has been splintered by the force of the blow that crushed his skull.
“Can you tell us what’s missing?” asked Sally.
Billy went and got Leticia Gallagos and a manifest.
“There was a MAXIS exoskeletal suit, a ClockWork Demoler, A steamjack, and a quad piston steam wagon.” said Leticia.
“Did you see anything that night?” asked Sally.
“I saw a falling star. I thought nothing of it and it fell behind some buildings. Later I heard the fire bells and ran to help put out the fire. After it was over I went to plant thirteen to borrow a tool but I found the security guard dead.” said Leticia.
Till next time pardner…