The posse escorted Sara Bailey carrying the three crates. They went into the hall through the rear where scientists were rushing to set up their booths. The posse cased the symposium looking for nefarious doings and saw little figures out of the corner of their eyes but couldn’t locate the creatures.
Sally took the spirit vision vial out of her pantaloons and drank it. She saw the spirits of the manitou in the machines as oily black figures leaking black smoke. She saw little green figures, gremlins, running and jumping into the machines.
Henrietta Dial stood up and announced
“Ladies and gentlemen! Representatives of Dr. Darius Hellstromme! Esteemed guests of the symposium!” H. K. Dial stands on the judges’ table, addressing the now-silent hall. “Too long have I been overlooked because of an accident of birth. Well today I intend to right that wrong. We all know the point of this contest—to see whose invention is most powerful, and thus most useful to Dr. Darius Hellstromme! I submit, for your consideration, the TITAN!”
A metallic CRASH! shakes the entire crate. The hall went silent, as people backed away from H. K. Dial’s booth. Another SMASH! rocked the crate and snapped the padlocks. The front of the box swung open slowly. Inside is the biggest, sleekest automaton anyone’s ever seen. Shaped more like a man than the typical Hellstromme model, it was compact and broad-shouldered, with massive fists. The entire thing was encased in smooth, brassy ghost steel, with the glow of burning ghost rock shining in its eyes. Suddenly it lurched forward, smoke billowing from its stack. Two green figures ran up and jumped into it. It blew steam like a train and then smashed the Conor MecGregor’s booth. Screams echoed in the hall as the crowd pressed frantically toward the exits.
The posse opened fire on the Titan and so did Conor McGregor. Conor’s meatgrinder an infernal machine gun sprayed the room with lead. The posse hit the deck. Sally ran and tore down a tapestry covering the side exit. Rupert ran to her aid interposing himself in front of her. Milly Moreau ran past her into the side hall and screamed faced with the clockwork Demoler, a mechanical spider with screws for fangs.
Otis threw dynamite at it and the explosion scuffed it’s finish. James fired a rune inscribed bullet damaging it slightly. The posse ran to the front door where a crowd was pressed against the closed front double doors. Conor struggled to control his meatgrinder and a stray bullet winged Red, his dog. The posse fired on Conor and he went down wounded. The Titan smashed Otis, and Sally wounding them. Rupert tried to drag Sally to Safety and was in turn beaten down. Sally dragged Rupert to safety.
The posse fired at the demoler and the Titan and barely dented them. The Titan
A pitching machine nocked Moira over. Tiring of the battle Otis threw dynamite at the front wall blowing out a large section. The rest of the symposium crowd and the posse rushed to exit the hole. Seeing the front door from the outside Dial’s ants had crafted a metal web over the outside of the door. The posse didn’t look back as the Titan left a wave of destruction in it’s wake. Henrietta Dial and Milly Moreau were no where to be seen.
Moira wanted to look for a man that was involved in the murder of her husband, Michael Flanagan. The posse wandered to the south of town where drunk cowboys shot guns. Pulling into the Rawhide Saloon they asked the bartender if they had seen Cole the man with scar on his face.
The bartender reckoned he had seen him in town saying he was headed to Coffin Rock. Coffin Rock was two weeks away from Dodge City slightly off the only real road.
The posse did some shopping finding someone they could exchange their two worn out gatling rifles for a single new gatling pistol. Then headed over to the Mojave express the local post in the territory. The mojave express was started in Nevada and spread East. The old man, Bob, seemed confused at first but then remembered the posters he put up for a package to deliver to Salt Lake City.
“We had some problems delivering this package. Someone killed the last courier. We had to send some people out to recover it.
“What happened to the last courier?” asked Calvin.
“He was shot to death.” said Bob.
“Well for $500 we’ll do it.” said Sally taking the small package.
Sally led the posse around the building and tore the parcel open. Inside was a beautiful wood box lined inside with velvet. Opening the box it contained a gold poker chip. Sally bit into it and the hollow chip broke. Sally took the small negative from inside and stared at it not comprehending.
“It looks like something from the Epitaph.” said Calvin.
Sally put the negative in her pantaloons and put the two halves of the poker chip back together with a tooth mark in it, and put it back in the box.
Sally told the posse to go on ahead and she would catch up when Rupert recovered. She took a moment from worrying over Rupert’s sickbed to go to the train station to wire her mother. The Wire read Your daughter shot me stop Need more money to recover stop please wire asap stop.
Her mother wired back already paid you half stop You get no more until you have my daughter stop confirm by wire something only she knows stop
Till next time pardners…
10 dollars each from Sara