The posse headed back to the Oriental to rest before heading off to join the Earps outside of the Clanton Ranch. At the crossroads outside of the Oriental, Viktor saw a woman drop her groceries. No one was helping her pick them up. Overcome with a sense of deja vu, Viktor approached. She turned, and he saw the ghostly visage of his deceased wife.
“Viktor my love”, she said “you must leave. Death awaits you here. RUN!”.
Icie, frustrated by the lack of visions or messages from Johnny, tried to use his watch. The hands spun and spun, eventually stopping at 2:00. While the purpose of the watch was not evident to her yet, this was the first time that the watch had ever stopped at the hour. Normally it read 5-15 minutes before the hour.
In the morning, the Posse road through Fairbank and then Contention. The streets of Contention were empty, and they spotted snipers on the roofs of some buildings. Although caught in a crossfire, the posse was able to kill the red sashed snipers.
Along the road to the Clanton ranch, the posse saw the occasional dead body wearing a red sash. Everything around them reeked of death. The once beautiful desert blooms were all withered. The cattle all looked like they had lost the will to live. Buzzards circled everywhere, as if they couldn’t choose which carrion to dine at first.
The Earps were camped outside of the Clanton ranch, just outside of the range of their rifles. The Clantons had fortified their position, and had a prominent cannon. Dead bodies of deputies were in the fields from a previous attempt to take the ranch. Old Man Clanton sat in a rocking chair on his porch.
The posse came up with a plan to drive cattle ahead of them for cover and have Albert bring down a whirlwind upon the cannon to keep it from firing. This allowed the posse to get within range. A second cannon was revealed, but neither was able to do much beyond hitting cows. Zane engaged in a snipers battle between himself and a woman inside the house. Zane was eventually shot and incapacitated. Cho was gunned down by Johnny Ringo. Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp were also shot down.
The battle started to turn in the posse’s favor. Johnny Ringo, Curly Bill Brocius, and Old Man Clanton were gunned down. The sniper who shot Zane was brought down by Icie’s magical runes. Albert went to the house to look for more gunmen. He kicked in the door. Inside, sitting casually with his feet on the table and drinking whiskey was a horrific sight. What could only be described as a desiccated body, moved and smiled at him. Albert was shaken with fear and could do nothing.
Jasper Stone, the servitor of death, the living embodiment of the fourth horseman, walked forward and drew his two long pistols. His worn duster adorned with badges, each with a single bullet hole.
“You like my badges?” His voice was dry and croaky. His laugh was a horrible cackle, sounding almost like two pieces of jerky rubbing against one another. He raised his pistols, one aimed at Alberts badge, the other at Alberts head. With Alberts last action, he pulled open his jacket to reveal a second badge.
Percival moved the loaded cannon towards Stone and fired. The southern end of the house exploded, sending slivers of wood everywhere. But still Stone stood. Round after round was fired into Stone, but they had no perceivable effect.
Stone let out a wild yell, paralyzing everyone with fear. One by one, he shot each badge wearing man through their badge and their head. Viktor remembered the warning of his departed wife and ran. Lacy O’Malley joined him, having heard of Jasper Stone.
Stone walked the quiet battlefield and collected badges from the deceased. As he grabbed Wyatt Earps badge, his hand sizzled and he withdrew it in pain. Then he sniffed the air and moved towards Icie. Icie was on her back, looking up at the star filled sky and coughing up blood.
“You smell good darling”, the walking corpse said. “I think you’ve got something sweet for me.” He placed himself between her legs, and lifted her skirt. His cold and withered and ran up her leg, and grabbed the gun hidden there.
“Thank you sweetheart. I don’t know how you came to have my old gun. I’ll let you live.” and then he just faded away.
At dawn, a lone figure approached the ranch. He had a wide brimmed hat, and had the sun at his back. He lowered himself from his burro and walked slowly and solemnly to Icie.
“Ah, Senora. I am sorry. It appears that I have arrived too late.”