Matthias – Four
~ You Only Live Once ~
Watching from the top of the rise, I could hear the train chugging along. It wouldn’t be long before the plan went underway. I could see John manning the detonator, damn this was going to be fun.
“You ready ‘Thias?” Solomon asked from my right, his back pressed up against the trees we were both hiding behind.
“Sure as sure, not the first train I’ve taken.” I replied, letting out a soft sigh as I motioned behind us to the tracks. “But my first time on a moving train.” I added and laughed softly. First time on a train that’s about to blow up too.”
“Won’t be that bad, as long as we get on and off quick and easy, no out riders will be after us. Just like Gideon says.” Solomon winked and checked his pistols and then fastened his belts tighter. “Make sure your belts are tight; you don’t want to lose your gear when you land.”
Doing as he said, I could hear the train getting closer. With a deep breath we both turned to the edge of the rise, the train was approaching pretty quickly.
“Why hasn’t the det gone off?” I asked, looking to Solomon. “The dets should have gone off!”
The train passed under us, the white smoke from the furnace on board sending smoke into the air around us. Solomon looked around and then watched as the train passed beneath us.
“Fuck it.” He laughed and stepped forward. “You only live once.” He announced, taking a step and sending himself over the edge.
“Solo!” I yelled and then sighed “Ah fuck.” Stepping forward, I watched the train pass underneath, several passenger carriages and storage cars passed underneath me. Damn it. This wasn’t the plan!
Taking a deep breath, I finally let out a sigh and stepped over the edge.
Hitting the train carriage hard, all the wind launched out of my lungs and I rolled onto my side.Darkness quickly enveloped us and the light flashed into existences Solomon appeared, knelt beside him and putting his hand onto my shoulder as he pulled me into cover behind a set of wood crates. “You okay there brother?”
“Just peachy.” I gasped and let out a long groan as I managed myself to my knee’s. “Where the fuck are we?” I snapped over the howling wind, the chugging of the engine.
“The train is still running, we gotta get to the front of the train and stop it so the others can catch up!” Solomon yelled over the noise, ducking down as something pinged off the metal straps of the crate beside us.
What the hell was that? It looked like a ricochet? It was a rico… we were being shot at!
Solomon lifted his hands to aim and his pistols flashed into existence in his grip, loosing a pair of shots with one and a single shot with the other in a First-Second-First succession. Peeking around the corner of the crate, I saw two men fall to decking of the train while one man fell off the side.
“Come on brother, lets get moving!” Solomon yelled over the noise of the tracks before dashing out of cover, pulling up his bandanna to cover his face. I did the same and caught up with my brother in arms.
He made it about three crates down before there was another impact against the crate he was passing. Someone was firing from behind us. I turned and drew my pistol, conventionally unlike my Gunslinger companion, and put two quick shots with my double action pistol in to the chest of a train guard. He had managed to get himself up on the roof of the carriage behind us and had fired down from above.
“Nice shot ‘Thias.” Solo laughed and turned, firing another shot with his second pistol before reaching the cover of the door to the next carriage.
We were about seven carriages away from the front of the train with another six behind us. Four ahead of us were passenger cars with three being storage cars, one of them had to be a guards carriage or something. Hopefully only one was.
Jumping up and making my way to the other side of the door I looked over at Solomon, I nodded and winked. Stepping inside, I brought my guns up and fired. The room was filled with six men, I managed to fire both my guns in quick succession, two shots each and putting a pair of shots into each of the men in front of me before ducking back into cover.
A hail of bullets stormed our way and Solomon began to laugh.
“What’s so funny?” I yelled over the torrential gunfire.
“I’m a Gunslinger!” He laughed, as if realising or remembering for the first time. With a long exhale, he winked at me just as the room behind us filled with explosions and screams. Diving into the room, I followed Solomon and we rushed past the screaming injured, the maimed and the dead. The room was covered in red and blood. Sometimes Solo’s powers terrified me.
We pushed ahead into the next cart, it was a storage carriage and ducked into cover. A loud booming noise filled our ears as a single man fired his shotgun, he fired six times before ducking into cover.
“Damn it, ain’t no double barrel that one.” I sighed and flicked open my chamber and slid in replacements for the bullets I had fired.
“Want me to blow him?” Solo asked which brought a giggle to my lips. “Oh grow up ‘Thias.”
“Let’s handle it properly, don’t want you blowing the entire train.” I laughed and poked my head around the corner. The man was armed with a pump action shotgun, he finished loading shells into the bottom latch before racking the grip.
I managed to stick my head back inside before the shotgunner unleashed another volley. Resting his arm on a large wooden crate, he racked the shotgun in rapid succession.
Counting in my head, I nodded along to the shots.
One, two, three, four, five, six.
Pulling out of cover, both Solomon and I unleashed hell on the man, however he pushed himself into cover of a metal crate and all twenty four of our rounds were pinging harmlessly off the crate. Jumping back into cover, we heard the last click of the racking and he began to fire and rack the shotgun back at us.
Counting in my head, I nodded along to the shots once more.
One, two, three…
Most of them hit the metal wall of the carriage; we were lucky it was buck shot not slug, a slug would have gone right through the…
Stepping back from the wall, I aimed my pistols at the metal wall I’d been hiding behind, keeping it about head high, I lowered it slightly and then began to pull both triggers in rapid succession. Solomon watched as I fired, a grin on his face.
The shots dinted the metal but it had already begun to bulge from the shotgun impacts, a few of the bullets passed through the metal and I could hear the ping off bullets on metal.
There was a yelp and the shotgun blasts stopped. Solomon jumped out of cover and put a pair of shots into the carriage. A few seconds later and there was a loud thump. Finishing up reloading my pistols, I followed up behind Solomon as he stepped over the body of the shotgunner.
“Nice idea ‘Thias. Grab that shotgun and bring it along. We might need it.”
Bending down and throwing the shotgun strap over my shoulder, I holstered one pistol and managed to unfasten the bandoleer of shotgun shells from the dead man’s corpse. By eye I had about two dozen shots left, racking the shotgun with a few more shells as we walked to the next door, I had six in the chamber and twenty on the belt.
We were about to enter the passenger carriages so I slung the shotgun away, buck shot would not do pretty with bunched up innocents.
Stepping to the door, I peeked through the glass to see cowering men, women and children of various ages and classes. There were the local yokels in the standing section, there were the slightly wealthier but not upper class passengers sat cowering behind their comfortable seats.
“Alright, this is a hold up! Mae sure you all keep your hands where me and my lovely partner in crime can see them!” I called out as we stepped through the door.
“Keep your eyes intently staring at your belly buttons and no one will get hurt.” Solomon announced as he stepped inside the carriage. “We ain’t here to rob you but we’re here to rob the one’s who run this train. You won’t be out of pocket.” He laughed as he made his way through the middle of the carriage, the people hid behind their seats and stayed out of our way while we pushed to the head of the train.
It was time to break through to the real prize.
Jumping onto the back of the next carriage, Solomon and I hung off the metal ladder rungs of the large metal storage carriage. This shit was heavy, you only ever put this on your train if you had something you needed secure.
Touching the metal wall, I felt the warmth through my leather gloves. It was not just the warmth of the sun that had made it this warm.
“I think we got sorcery in play here.” I yelled over the clattering of the train. Solomon placed his fingerless gloved hand against the metal and quickly retracted his hand away.
“Yep. We got sorcery.” He held his hand out and his pistol appeared in his hand, checking the load, it flashed out of existence and the second one appeared for him to check.
I always loved his guns. Solomon was a Gunslinger and that meant his guns were his life. Out here in the New World that was true with everyone but a Gunslinger was more attuned to his weapons; it was like an extension of their body; a finger or a hand that reached out and touched someone.
I’d seen him do wondrous things with those pistols.
I once saw him take the head off a man on a horse riding at full gallop almost a mile away.
“Ready?” He asked.
“Ready as I’ll ever be.” I replied and we both climbed up onto the roof of the carriage.
The wind caught at our clothing and I almost had to grip the floor to keep my balance. Solomon strode in slow paces across the metal roof. I was about five feet behind him as we neared the middle of the carriage.
My feet became rather hot and my eyes quickly darted to the floor and saw the metal deforming, saw the metal turning a yellow, orange then red.
“Fuck!” I yelled and jumped backwards, the wind took hold of me and I rolled several times across the metal roof. All I heard was the tearing of metal and gunshots caught in the wind. I almost flew off the edge of the roof and gripped hold of a metal hand hold. Looking up, Solomon was stood over a large outward bent hole in the roof of the carriage. He had both hands out in front of him and was firing his pistols in quick succession.
The wind took the sounds of the shots away and all I heard was the muffled cracks. Pulling myself to my feet, I saw a fireball erupt from the hole and barely miss Solo, the Gunslinger leaning to one side and firing his pistol several more times.
Managing to get to my feet, I rushed over to the hole. Solomon saw me running and nodded. Opening his mouth and yelling. “Dive-bomb!”
Knowing exactly what he meant. I pulled both my pistols out and ran for the hole. Solomon reloaded quickly and covered me as I fell into the hole. Avoiding the metal edges, I turned on my way down. The source of all our misery was stood on the other side of the carriage, his hands aimed up at the hole in such a way that he could avoid most of the shots and still fire up himself.
My appearance must have been a shocker because he was wide mouthed as I landed hard on the thick carpet floor.
I fired all the rounds in my pistol as fast as I could. The Entitled brought his hands down and the bullets were quickly halted mid-flight by some invisible wall. It looked like they had hit a metal wall.
An air shield.
There was no way I was going to get through that.
The Entitled brought hands down to point at me.
I was a dead man.
Matthias – Four