The waters of Lake Bigler didn’t even begin to calm down before another tragedy befell the Grand Majestic. The ship had lost a paddle wheel and was beginning to take on water. The reflections in the mirrors, which had shown people to be confident and happy, turned angry. Icie’s reflection reached out of the mirror, and pulled her in. And then Icie, and her reflection, were gone.
Zane Sharkey awoke from his delirium in the town of Lake Bigler with a ringing in his head. But it wasn’t in his head, it was the church bell. It was ringing like a fire alarm, and people in the streets were screaming. As with Icie, images of people were reaching out of any reflective surface and pulling in their victims. Zane took aim at one reflective window and shattered it with a shot from his rifle. The reflection faded away. Zane tried to tell the townsfolk to break the windows, but his pleas were lost in the noise.
Meanwhile on the Grand Majestic, Smokin’ Cho made a raft out of a door and began paddling for the shore to get rescue boats. Viktor went to the engine room to try and assess the damage, and Percival battled it out with three of his own reflections.
Viktor went to the wheelhouse to try and signal the shore. Reaching his hands through a maze of reflective gauges and instruments, he saw his own reflection and that of a woman standing behind him. He recognized it as the face of a woman he saw when he was a small child. He turned, and she smiled. She said, “It’s time for you to wake up Ga’ul.” and she walked out into the darkness.
Cho and Zane managed to get the boats to return to the Grand Majestic, but it became clear that there wouldn’t be enough time to get everyone off the floating casino before it sank. Viktor made some modifications to the engine to give it one last burst of power. It would destroy the engine, but it would do the trick. The Grand Majestic roared to life, and sped to the shore faster than it had ever moved. The speed rocketed the Grand Majestic into the air, and it crashed in the middle of main street. The Church bells ceased their ringing, and for a moment everything was quiet.
Percival found Madame Legato was still alive, but barely. He questioned her about their plans. She told him that Tezcatilpoca would return, that the Ixiptatli had found the map to Tezcatilpoca’s City of Gold in New Opportunity. Then her body turned into a pile of snakes, and they slithered away.
The Posse tried to settle up with Marshall Bryce, but found him to be stubborn and greedy. Cho decided to retaliate by telling the miners in town that the mine was safe to use. Marshall Bryce and two of his deputies attempted to arrest the Posse. A gunfight broke out, and the Marshall and one of his deputies were left dead. The Posse did their best to appoint a new Marshall before running out of town.
Viktor unlocked some new mysteries of his book. One is that the family tree did not appear to be a family tree at all. There were no parents listed, no siblings, just a trail of man to man starting with Cain and ending with Viktor. The other revelation was that the Fourth Nail had been reforged into the Sword of Laban, the mother of all swords. The Sword of Laban was sent across a large sea to a new colony shortly after the resurrection of Christ. A drawing of the Sword of Laban resembled the holy artifact that Tobias Ezrah found in New Opportunity decades earlier.
As the Posse returned to New Opportunity they encountered J Merryweather. He told them that New Opportunity was under siege by the Union Army. The Posse remembered the old tunnel that lead out of the papermill and tried to use that to bypass the Union blockade. However with the snow, they were unable to find it. Instead they went up the dry riverbed of the Eel River into town.
Sheriff Redwood brought the Posse up to speed on current events in the town. The town was under siege and running out of food. The Union army had dammed the river, cut the telegraph lines, and completely isolated the town. Union reinforcements were arriving daily, and it was only a matter of time before they attacked.
The Posse took action to help out the town. They tried to steal food from the Union army, and provide weapons for the surviving Wiyot. They sent Reverend Santos south to Harmony to find help. Viktor and Doc Podicker whipped up some explosive defenses. The Union Army received it’s reinforcements and the battle began near dawn.
First the Wiyot Warriors attacked the southern front. Union cannons on the north side attacked the Church first. The Posse took actions leading defenses and sniping canon crews. These actions helped Percival Fords leadership to overcome the greater odds of the Union Army. Just when the defenders of New Opportunity thought they were gaining the upper hand, the drumming sound of the winged Flying 51st came over the northern ridge and attacked the school house. But cunning strategies from the defenders routed them, and the Flying 51st fled with books and papers. The Union Army was being defeated, and in their final act they broke the dam holding back the Eel river, and used it as cover to retreat.