Where did all this go wrong ? One minute we were crawling along the creek to reach the mechanical spiders and take control of one of the them, then all hell broke loose and we were in full combat mode against these cowboys. Thanks to the team’s skill set, things went rather smoothly, besides me getting shot in the derriere. Thanks to the Tao, princess Pei-Pei was nor there to witness this humiliation… Maggie and Miss Killingsworth used their shooting skills to eliminate the snipers, while Javier, Father D. and myself eliminated the bandits on the ground. Javier managed to explain Bench that it was all a misunderstanding, which secured him as a considerable ally. Maggie managed to damage the flying barrel as it was taking off with the group leader, but its pilot managed to escape. A cowboy was very difficult to put down, but we finally succeeded after mauling, shooting, skewering, then beating the hell out of him. The two iron spiders were another story, and it took a miraculous appearance of a group of Indians to route them. Father D. did not let go and held on to them during their escape. We saw him disappear in the far…
Once the fight was over, miss Killingsworth healed the wounded (another embarrassment for me). We talked to the Chinese workers and noticed one of them was showing advanced symptoms of the disease he had caught by staying underground for too long. He seemed to lose all willpower, but could keep working. Was it a natural disease, or another evil doing by John Scott in order to keep the miners docile ? We found the cowboys were also keeping a prisoner is a small outbuilding. Alas dehydration and heat has claimed the poor man’s life. He looked like an outdoors man, and had a coin hidden in his mouth. This strange piece of metal had mysterious carvings engraved on its surface. Miss Killingsworth kept object in her purse.
Meanwhile, Javier and Bench visited the giant’s home at the end of a small canyon. The place had wall paintings that reminded Javier of the engravings on the coin. Bench explained that the dead prisoner was a friend of his, a man from Portland named Byron. He also explained that he used to be a lot smarter, and Javier noticed strange burn marks forming some kind of collar around his neck. This reminded us of the Gorilla that attacked us in Portland.
Father D. finally comes back, all beat up and on the edge of a heatstroke. He explained the damned contraptions managed to lose him by climbing up and down cliffs !
As we were going to leave, miss K. noticed a painting on the cliff face. It strangely looked like the coin engravings. As she got closer to the wall and held the coin to it, she disappeared right in front of us ! She was gone for a minute, and when she came back she had a crazy story about being in another place and seeing odd creatures. Now I understand why they always say “don’t drink the water”…
We decide to leave and convince Bench to come with us for his safety. We know some of the cowboys escaped and they’ll warn their friends soon enough about our arrival, and extra ally will be most useful. As we progress along the Snake River, we meet the very same rabbit with antlers. He has goggle around his neck, the very same that the flying barrel pilot was wearing ! Father D. pulls his gun and aims at the rodent, but I manage to push his gun aside and yell so that the rabbit disappears in the bushes. The old priest worries me, I wonder if the lack of alcohol and excess of heat are affecting his judgement… We climb to the location the mystical animal was in and find the wreck of the barrel, with some signs of struggle, but no pilot.
We keep going, and a few hours later we are ambushed by the flying barrel pilot. I start running uphill toward him while Javier, Miss K and Maggie cover us with their firearms. Suddenly, Father D. commands a parley and all fight stops. This leaves me time to pick up a few rocks, and Javier aims at his target carefully. The pilot wanted Bench as a condition to let us go. This ended negotiation, and the pilot was dispatched by our marksmen.
We were getting nearer to the mines, the tension among the group was increasing as we realized we were going to be outnumber and outgunned. We will need the help of my fellow countrymen, hopefully they will have enough strength to turn against their oppressors.