The posse decided to try and double-back, hoping the wallet was responsible for Stone tracking them with such inhuman speed and efficiency. There question may have been somewhat answered as someway away from the site they had encountered the outlaws, Felix (who was scouting ahead) heard two clear, unhurried shots, and two bodies falling to the ground. He snuck back to the posse who took a detour away from the killing area.
They rode back into Denver, and split up. Zachariah took the stolen horses back, claiming them to be from outlaws he had encountered in the mountains, feeling a wrathful scorn of what powers watched over him as his tongue pulled him away from blame. He then went off with Trixabelle to can on friends whilst the rest looked for a Smith and Robards store for replenishment (with no success) and for Carter McCormick to pilot them out of there, who turned out to be easy for Felix to find – birds of a feather certainly flocking together here towards one of the few bars still open to the dawn chorus hours.
Regrouping at the Auto-gyro, Felix put his “gift” with machinery to use, and gave the small Autogyro used by Stone a once over, disabling the core energy couplings in doing so. Next four well-dressed men arrived – agency men who seemed to know much of the posse’s purpose. This was explained when Zachariah arrived back and revealed he had called them in to assist with the mission. Parting with several hundred dollars, Carter took the party up and out – and just in time as a dark figure rode over the horizon and glared at them from afar, his trademark colt’s having little chance to reach the autogyro passengers now they were several hundred feet above the ground.
The flew North for several hours; destination – the Devil’s tower. The men from the Agency asked and answered questions, wanting to confirm who had the Stone, Trixabelle obliging them a glimpse of the fake they had pulled from Hellstromme’s mansion. Mid-afternoon, the flying machine rode into Sioux territory, one indian patrol casting a curious distrustful eye at them as they flew past. Soon they were flying over the Belle Force river, into view of the Devil’s Tower. A green glow within a mass of prairie dog mounds drew the gyro down, Felix leaping out to grab the gizmo producing the strange glow. It lay within freshly gnawed bones from a large animal, a hint toward what came next as the prairie dogs turned out to be mutated, with piranha like teeth and extra sharp claws. They dove forward, one latching itself onto Felix’s leg as he clung onto the rope with his other hand. The gyro lurched up, and the posse hauled up the rope Felix was holding, whilst the piranha dog scratched and bit at him. Stowing the gizmo in his duster, he quickly reached backwards and grabbed the soft neck of the creature, tossing it sideways were it fell into the 30-40 other mutant prairie dogs that have gathered below looking for more meat, and the gyro pulled up high.
Meanwhile, it’s presence has bought out a small guard of Iron dragon riflemen, who were taking pot shots at the gyro despite it’s long range. The group decided to keep rising and investigate the top, despite spying a couple of wrecked gyros at the base of the tower as they rose. As the gyro came into view of the top, a flock of large devil bats sprung forward, slashing at the ropes with claws. The posse fast shot down the first wave, but a second wave followed in close succession, this time severing two of the ropes holding the basket aloft. Before they could remove a dangerous third rope, a cry came from Carter, who had taken a long claw mark across his chest. Clutching at the blood pouring forth, he lost control of the gyro, which lurched forward and nose dived into the top of the Devil’s tower. Agents and posse alike rolled clear as the mechanism folded at the front, the propellers looking to become deadly blades for all who could not dive clear. One agent was struck firmly in the chest, the force knocking him backwards over the edge of the tower and 300 feet down. The devil’s tower had taken it’s first victim. The large bats regrouped to swoop down on the dazed posse below…