September 17, 1888
John hardly looked twice at the man. He pulled his gun from his holster, a well-worn Colt Dragoon Revolver, and shot Edward in the face. He spun it in his fingers and slipped it back into the holster
We are finished here. He turned and looked at his men standing behind him.
“This man,” he pointed to the limp body at his feet. “He is a castaway. A deserter of his men and people. More importantly his family. We are family and we don’t leave each other behind.”
His men whispered to each other, but maintained eye contact.
John had a bit of hitch in his step when he walked off towards his officer camp. A few men scrambled to grab the body he had just shot down. They took it just outside where they made camp and buried their former brother-in-arms.
“It’s all an experiment.” John looked to the old man, Jack.
“You gonna kill us all John. Are we no better than them?” Jacks tired eyes looked back at John.
“If that’s what it takes. These men need to be men. I’ll kill them all and run through this land with a gang of the undead if that’s what it takes.” John prodded the fire, just a little too heavy handed.
“I don’t believe you.” Jack spoke.
“What’s there not to believe.” John pulled his gun from his holster once more and pointed it between Jack’s eyes. “Shall I begin with you?”
Jack was old. He was tired. He knew an idle threat when he heard one, but something that burned in John’s eyes now burned in his soul. John meant every word that he said and Jack new it. He’d witnessed enough people getting killed to know when a man meant to end another’s life.
“So what’s your plan?” Jack asked.
John clicked the hammer back up into place and spun it back into the holster. He took out his rolling papers and began rolling a cigarette with the remaining dried tobacco he had in pouch.
“Take the fortress.” He licked the outter edges of the papers and squeezed the tobacco into place.
“The fortress? You mean Ticonderoga? Place has been deserted for years now, what do you plan on getting out of there?” Jack asked.
John reached into his pocket. “It just so happens that I have the key.” John showed the key to Jack and quickly snatched it back into his palm and placed it back into his coat pocket.
“Tomorrow we head North. Gather the men and get some rest.” John walked away to his tent without saying another word. He could tell Jack wanted to say something, but he ignored him.
The next day the spent the day traveling and stopped at an old abandoned home along the nearby lake. The entrance to the house read L-O-G. John had read about this house, but never seen it. League of Gentlemen? It didn’t mean much to him. They were a bunch of crazy wizards from before the War. The place had been abandoned for about a half century.
John’s camp was full of miscreants. Most of these guys fought with John in the war, but many have been picked up along they way and didn’t always share his views. John’s family had been executed a few years earlier and those who didn’t know John didn’t really fight with him for that reason. Guns for hire mostly, outlaws, rapists. They stuck around because John offered protection and a warm meal.
Horace the Bear looked towards John from the back of the pack. He was so large it was like watching a grizzly bear ride a horse. He always wore the fur of a bear as well. There weren’t any grizzlies in this area of NY, but the legend was he killed one with this bare hands. Horace turned to the skinny man next to him
“I’d follow John Marcy to the end of the Earth, but something isn’t sitting right with me.”
“You better keep your voice down,” Colton shoved Horace. Horace gave Colton a tired look. Don’t ever do that again. He thought.
“Something about this family, that I need to find out.”
John nudged the already open door with the end of his revolver. He signaled to jack to check the side of the house. John pushed the door open and a dark figure ran past the door towards the back door.
“Stop!” John called out. The man turned and looked at John as he approached the back door, but it had already been eclipsed by the dark shadow of The Bear. The man bounced off of the Bear’s chest and onto the ground. John picked him up by his lapel and threw him against the wall.
“Who are you?”
“I’m no one! A vagrant, nothing more.” The man said in a panic. John recognized the shield on the shoulder of his worn coat. John gave shot the wall beside his head. The baseball size hole startled them men outside, throwing a few of them off their horses.
“Now I know that isn’t true. Let’s try this again. Who are you? The next words better tell me exactly that or that hold there, will be right, there.” He pressed the hot tip of his revolver against his forehead.
The man cowered with his hands above his head. John cocked the hammer back on his revolver. “I’m waiting…”
“Flight. Raymond Flight.”
John’s excitement was quickly eclipsed by wave of explosive anger and then overwhelming peace. He signaled to The Bear.
The end of rifle butt connected with the back of Raymond’s head. His body fell to the floor.
“He comes with us.” John said.
“Who is this?” The Bear asked.
That isn’t good enough. The Bear thought.
The Bear looked turned and walked out of the door and hoped on his horse next to Colton.
“I think we’ll have some answers soon enough.”