The posse took rest in Ghosttown, a shanty town of the poor wretches unable to afford to live in Lost Angels. Whilst planning to head East, in search of the Heart as guided by Annie‘s spirits, or North, to continue the search for Trixabelle’s Grandfather, last seen a few months ago boarding a prospecting ship, the gropu were interrupted by a tall, female figure with cropped hair, men’s clothing and a fancy looking gun.
She introduced herself as Jackie Wells and explained she had come from the future, through the hunting grounds, to chase down Stone and the Heart of Darkness. She explained that there were beings called the Reckoners, otherwise known as the four horsemen of the apocolypse, who were waging a war with mankind to plunge the world into fear. They did this by raising the fear in areas until they became known as a deadland. She also added that the Reckoners had won – in her time, 2094, the world was Hell on Earth, with only a small resistance force fighting against the horrors and manitous that now walked the Eart freely.
She explained what Stone intended to do with the Heart of Darkness, which was to ghost rock what diamond is to coal. All it’s compressed power could turn an area into a deadland in the right hands – Stone’s hands. She also knew where he intended to do it – devil’s tower. This large stone feature in the Sioux Terriories is where the resistance had there base – for the structure was hollow, and inside it lay a portal to the hunting grounds, the portal she had used to travel back here in time. By turning this into a deadland before the resistance ever found it, Stone could effectively win the war and bring on The Reckoning even sooner.
The posse relunctantly took her word as true, and soon the posse were riding horseback East – persuing Stone by the most likely route he would have taken; it would be a solitary route, but as quick a one as possible. This led them up to the Sierra Nevada mountain range, past a group of union soldiers on patrol and into the Nevada desert. At the edge of the desert / mountain boarder lay the mining town of Tanglefoot, where the locals in the bar confirmed a lone rider coming through only a day previous. He drank a good amount of whiskey, kept himself to himself, and left early at dawn. He also had the most fearful eyes, enough to dissuade any attempt at befriending the lone cowpoke.
Pushing East into the desert, Felix spied some tumbleweeds moving in the wrong direction, almost perpendicular to the wind. Annie also noted there close grouping – tumbleweeds were a lonesome plant, certainly not known to travel in groups of 5 ! As the balls raced at the party, thorns and hungry mouths appeared, attempting to snare the posse and drain their blood. Whilst tough to strike, the group kept the thorns at bay, only Ned taking any damage at all (a few scratches). Shotgun and hard kicks proved the weapons of choice at the end of the day, and left the malevolent tumbleweed’s scattered.
The group pressed on, into a forced march through the night. Bypassing what appeared to be dead bodies in the night, the posse felt watched, Felix hearing a steadily growing number of horses in the distance. By dawn, rejuvenated by Zachariah’s words, the posse saw a small pack of indian riders staring at the group as they crossed the border into Utah – they had been observed, but not assaulted. Pressing on, the group reached the railhead town of Wilson, a town offering services of a city 10 times it’s size, due to it’s enviable position as main rail station for access into the Southwest. The train station alas confirmed that a train had left that very morning, with a man of piercing gaze and fearful bearing onboard. The next train would not be for three days time.
The posse felt tired, saddle sore and exhausted. They had been so close ! Some looked for bath houses or beds to perhaps get a few hours rest, Ned surpassing endurance limits that even he was unaware of to stay awake, but Zachariah pushed on to explore the town, and discovered a mad scientist collective that claimed to offered transport even faster than even the iron horse itself ! Intrigued, he ventured in…