From the smoldering ruins of the Bayou Vermillion fortress, our heroes rode north to the town of Potential. From there they were able to buy tickets to ride Dixie Rails north to Santa Fe. It was only by some quick thinking and a newfound ability to turn invisible that they were able to avoid being recognized as wanted criminals.
In Santa Fe, Percivial was able to gamble up some money to buy horses which the Posse rode further north to Dodge City. In Dodge City the Posse was able to do some research about Gettysburg and the East in general. They found that all rail traffic going East passed through Chicago, and there they would have to show paperwork of their identities. Being wanted men without papers could pose a problem.
Percival called up an old friend of his in Denver, Soapy Smith. Soapy had ties to the underworld and might be able to provide the needed paperwork. Percival sent a telegram, and almost immediately got a response of “Come immediately”.
Waiting for them at the train station was Millicent Ward, a student of Soapy Smith who practiced using Tarot cards. Millie brought Percival up to speed on the current state of the Citadel that he and Soapy had built. About a year ago, a powerful organization called the Lady Luck Society started moving in. Soapy had met with the leader of the Lady Luck Society, and was won over by him. Soapy joined the society, but it wasn’t the end of his troubles. Recently another rival group, The Court, had captured Soapy.
The Posse went to the Soap Factory and found it locked. Percival used his magic to summon a key needed to open the building. Inside they found a dozen well-armed thugs. A gunfight broke out, and became complicated when the bullets pierced the vats containing a caustic lye solution. When the fight went to the basement, the Posse encountered four strange men, later revealed to be the “Aces” of the court. These men were difficult to notice, and surrounded themselves with swirling cards that deflected any bullets that came their way. Percival was able to take two of them out with his own magic, and the Aces fled by jumping into their own hats.
Soapy was in his panic room, and Percival convinced him that it was safe outside. Soapy was a smooth-talking scoundrel. He flirted heavily with Icie, and provided the Posse with paperwork and false identities. The papers would pass a casual scrutiny, but wouldn’t fool a closer inspection.
The New York Times reported that terrible events happened at the Kansas City Worlds Fair. William Wesley Ward, the clockmaker that Icie had shown her watch to, was demonstrating his new clockwork automatons when they went amok and a mysterious group of shadowy figures attacked killing him and destroying his creations. Another shocking event at the Fair was that Stone, or someone matching his appearance, stole the Heart of Darkness, a mysterious ghost rock diamond that had been recently discovered near Virginia City.
The Posse took to the rails in Soapy’s personal train car. They disembarked at Chicago and went through customs. Their papers worked and got them through to the other side. The Union was a dark and dreary place. Propaganda for the war with the south was plastered on every open space. Police with attack dogs patrolled everywhere. Airships floated above the city with spotlights shining down with the governments ever-watchful eye.
The Posse made their way to Harrisburg, and then to Gettysburg. Signs everywhere warned them that Gettysburg was a National Military Preserve, and that trespassers would be shot. A feeling of dread cascaded over the Posse as they approached the twenty-foot tall wall surrounding the city and the battleground. Using a grappling gun acquired through Soapy, the Posse was able to get over the wall. One-by-one they dropped into the deadland and faced their worst fears. Icie was not able to resist the visions she saw, and she ran away in a panic. The posse chased her down, but her screams had attracted a dozen walking dead. Realizing that the sound of gunfire would draw more of these undead beasts, the posse opted to flee as quietly as possible.
The Posse made their way about a mile into the reserve, dodging undead as best they could. They came upon the farm where the medical tents were that supposedly held the 13 bullets which had killed Jasper Stone. Cho approached the farm house, but was not stealthy enough to avoid detection by a monstrous abomination. The walls of the debilitated barn shattered, and a bloated mass of flesh poured out. Arthur recognized the creature as a “Glom” – a horrible accident which happened when dozens of zombies merged together. The horrible sight brought fear into the hearts of everyone, especially Icie who now has a minor phobia to all things undead.
The disgusting creature was able to resist nearly every bullet fired upon it. While the Posse fought it, and dozens of the walking dead, Icie went invisible and ran to the tents to look for the bullets. Additional walking dead were drawn to the battle every round by the sounds of gunfire. The glom was finally felled, but it wasn’t the only nightmare waiting for them. One of the barns came to life, rotting boards spitting out of it like spider legs and it charged at our heroes.
Icie entered the final tent, and detected no sign of the bullets. The Posse was surrounded by hundreds of zombies and a possessed barn. Their journey into the heart of this deadland seemed to be all for nothing. Then, a battalion of Union Calvary charged in, setting the barn ablaze and gunning down the undead with rifles which made no noise. A full-bird Colonel rode up to our heroes and said, “You are trespassing on United States government property gentlemen. Officially speaking, any non-Agency personnel found within or exiting the Gettysburg Military Preserve are to be shot on sight. No exceptions. Can any of you provide some reason why I shouldn’t have you all shot right now?”