It began as a rumble. Then the ground shook. Startled, Gunther fell out of his chair. Startled even more, Leo the drunk opened up the cage and ran out of the Marshal’s office, flailing his arms and shouting, “EARTHQUAKE! EARTHQUAKE! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!”
The booze in Gunther’s glass vibrated. A framed picture of Abraham Lincoln fell off the wall and hit the floor.
“Jumpin Jehoshaphat!” the old man cried as he stood up. “What in tarnation is that?”
Gunther put on his hat and stepped out into the road. Upon seeing that he wasn’t the only curious one in town, he joined the mob of citizens making their way toward Highwater Station, which had become a source of all kinds of noise. A steady “chug…chug…chug” followed by an ear splitting whistle, “WOOO WOOO!” Screeching brakes came last.
At the station, townsfolk gabbed away. Looky Lous pointed and gawked with their mouths open. Gunther pushed his way through the crowd. When he reached the station platform, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
It wasn’t just any locomotive. It, along with every car behind it, was protected by heavy armored plates forged from black iron. “LEGION” was printed across it with bright yellow letters.
Most locomotives have a plow on the front, commonly referred to as a “cow catcher” since its purpose is to push through stray bovines. The cow catcher on this rig was massive, sharp, and looked like it could ram through a brick wall.
The line of cars behind it seemed like it went on forever. Gunther noticed the car directly behind the locomotive was packing an immense crank style gatling gun.
Knox, who’d already been taking in the spectacle, saw Gunther and poked him.
“Last time I saw one of them a damn rebel was cranking it our way,” Knox said.
“Don’t I know it,” Gunther said. “Shit, I can feel my asshole suckin’ itself in just lookin’ at it.”