Those storm clouds kept getting heavier as we rode back into town, but something about them didn't seem quite right. Most folk back in Castle Dale noticed that the skies started getting darker right after that earthquake. But we know that was no quake.
The posse was recoverin' and with this heavy load we were movin' a little slower paced than normal.They chatted about their exploits in the mine as our cart rolled towards Castle Dale.
Richard looked mighty twitchy and seemed to avoid Mary most of the time. Hank was busy in the back of the cart with a notepad, writing God knows what. Oscar ran off with his horse to accomplish some other business.
On the horizon a steam wagon with a prison attachment approached from Castle Dale. Richard rode on ahead, he seemed keen to chat with the drivers. Mary kept an eye on them as we approached.
The driver seemed suspicious of Richard and his companion was snoozing up front his a top hat coverin' his face, we later learned that his name was Top Hat. Richard was tryin' to get a look at the prisoners. He didn't quite see her yet, but miss Ai was leaned back in the cart trying to pick the lock and escape. There was also another woman in the cart, practically naked and looked as lifeless as one can while alive.
We pulled up not too long after Richard stopped the steam wagon. Ai suddenly got the lock open and hopped out the cart carrying the lifeless woman as she went. With Richard distracting the drivers they might not have noticed Ai's escape. But Richard did notice and immediately ran to her aid. This triggered a tense situation. The driver pulled out his gun and the man with the top hat jumped off the cart ready to attack Richard, he pulled out a gun that looked oddly fake.
Mary jumped into action as well and with a quick snap of her whip snapped Top Hat's gun out of his hand. He looked back at Mary surprised, but immediately turned his attention back to Richard.
Richard was tended to Ai not really paying attention, but he was still under the effects of the ghost rock powder and he sensed that the small pouch of ghost rock powder in his pocket was growing slowly warmer. He looked back towards Top Hat and saw his arm extended towards Richard, without a gun in hand.
Whe nthe ghost rock powder began heating up even faster Richard instinctively tossed it away. It was just in time too, as the powder spontaneously combusted in mid air.
Hank's attention was grabbed by the explosion and he began getting some gear ready to help. Ai meanwhile pointed out to Richard that this woman was the Texas Ranger from Falson Creek, Tessa.
Richard did some sly talking and was able to diffuse the situation. Top Hat noticed the blue veins in Richard's eyes and vice versa. They talked for a bit and made a deal. Richard handed off a few pounds of ghost rock and they let the prisoners go with us.
Top Hat also shared some concern with Richard and explained that injesting the ghost rock dust is dangerous. Richard agreed but seemed to be more interested in how Top Hat had made the ghost rock powder explode from a distance. Top Hat obliged his curiousity but didnt give much away.
Ai and the others got Tessa into the cart. She was alive but somehow without he senses. Both Mary and Hank tried to cure her of this plight. Hank was able to come up with some formula and brewed up a foul smelling liquid. After giving her some the Ranger seemed to regain some of herself. Hank deemed that after a couple mroe doses she'd be just fine.
So we resumed our trek back to Castle Dale. On the way Ai explained how she tried to break into Dr. Bart's compound to the find some information. She ended up meeting talking Bart and talking with him for a while. He seemed feable but quick of wit and she enjoyed it. But then a conflict with a red-haired woman sent Ai away. She was eventually caught by the guards and throw in the prison cart with Tessa.
Everyone was interested to hear more about her talk with Dr. Bart however Ai needed a minute to do something. She rolled her eyes back into her head and spent a few minutes meditating or something.
As we continued forward the clouds became even darker and a substance began falling from the sky. At first it almost looked liek it was snowing. But touching the stuff it was clearly not frozen water. It was greasing and Hank deduced that it was ash of some kind. That's when we noticed the smoke stacks at Castle Dale were spewing up the stuff into the sky. The city was covered in this greasy soot as theses clouds hovered overhead.
When Ai snapped out of her trance and came back to us she said she knew that woman's name was Rebecca. The same who gave us the invitation earlier that day. Rebecca was planning something deep in the basement of Castle Dale. I'm not sure how exactly Ai got this information but it sure did tucker her out. That's when we rolled up to the city gates.
Familiar Jeff and Bearl were waiting there and let us in without much fuss. Once inside Hank and Mary headed to see Ezmeralda and check on how Hank's new hat was doing.
Richard took the rest of the group to the Sleeping Pig to get a little rest and check on his team. Richard also went to the nearest courier service and sent the ghost rock away to his father showign that the could be a untapped source in Castle Dale.
Only a few hours until Dr. Bart's party. Old Jed took a little rest too and found a good spot to keep the Jibber hidden, as well as the rest of our goods.
Liquid error (sections/article-template.liquid line 18): Could not find asset snippets/relatedblogs.liquid