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   Chapter 1 NO.1

The Sommersagan's By madairifa Characters: 8207

Updated: 2018-01-12 12:45


October

What started as a routine buffalo hunt, turned out to be a dangerous path to destruction. Of course, in the brand-new state of Texas, such things didn't come as a shock, between fighting the Indians and fighting the Mexicans back in 1846, they had seen their fair share of destruction.

As Mack Rosenberry walked behind his hunting partner on the trail of a mature buffalo, they heard a loud bang, the sound was not from any kind of gun, it was a loud, booming shot from an industrial killing machine. It was at the break of dawn and he could not understand what sort of people carried such heavy machinery to a hunting party. Isaac Garrison paused, with his rifle against his shoulder and Mack could see him shaking his head, his cowboy hat turning one way and the other.

"Those sons of bitches spooked my meat, " he grumbled. They had been stalking that Buffalo for two days and they were going to have to return to their homes empty-handed.

"What do you reckon that is?" Mack asked as he stood beside him.

"Don't know, " Isaac replied. "But it sounds mighty dangerous."

Mack agreed. The sound of machinery was never heard in the lonesome desert. He knew exactly where that sound was coming, he had heard plenty of them during the war.

"Wanna investigate?" asked Mack as he saw smoke in the distance curling up into the air and disappearing. Their hunting trip was cut short and they had nothing to show for, and Mack needed someone to blame it on.

Isaac spat the last piece of tobacco he was chewing on and smiled. "You read my mind."

They took their time getting there, it was three hundred yards from where they stood and the sounds of battle didn't seem to be wanting to stop. They took slow, measured steps, as if stalking an oblivious animal, except that these animals were armed. They climbed the small hill that stood between them and the smoke, the sun was now high up and unforgiving as if the cold morning never happened. Isaac seemed to be unaware of it once they stood at the top of the hill. "What the hell?" he wondered under his breath.

Mack followed his gaze. The sounds came from a heavy piece of brass, almost the size of a small house, except this house, had a barrel that was six meters long and it was meant to shoot cannon balls. They had seen canons before, but none like that. The barrel aimed at the hill far off into the distance. Up close, they could hear the rattling sound from its engine, it was monstrous and it seemed to be growling with hunger.

Beside it, stood a man in a white coat and goggles. He was facing an open panel which Mack assumed was the machine's heart. He yelled something and the long neck of the canon turned red with life, there was a flash and it shot a cannonball out into the air, it went high up into the sky, but it didn't go very far, it landed heavily a few meters away with a loud thump.

"Come on, " said Isaac. Mack nodded and walked down the hill beside him.

Once they reached the bottom of the hill, the tank seemed bigger and ten times noisier. Mack found his strength as he watched Isaac approach the man beside the tank, with the rifle in hand ready to shoot. He was at the prime age of thirty-two like himself, but he sure carried the confidence of a man of fifty.

"Excuse me, " Isaac yelled over the cacophony coming from the machine. "Excuse me, " he yelled again at no response.

The man turned his head, he heard something but he couldn't quite make out where it had come from. Isaac raised his gun and poked the man on the back. The man turned raising his goggles to his forehead, his eyes squinting as they got used to the sunlight.

"Sorry to interrupt, sir, but this here ain't a testing zone, " Isaac said, his voice deep and firm.

The man wiped his black stained hands on his jacket and extended his hand. "Morning, gentlemen, " he said as if he hadn't heard a word that was said to him. "I'm doctor Jericho Sommersagan and this here is Athena the Great, " he said pointing at the machine proudly. "Oh, give me one second." He turned back towards Athena's open panel a

nd seemed to be speaking to it. Isaiah studied the man carefully. The man was probably in his sixties, but his gray beard made him look a hundred. He wore typical clothes, brown wool pants, black shirt and a brown vest under his white coat. His boots were immaculate and seemed expensive. The man turned to them and didn't speak a word until the machine died down leaving their ears ringing.

"Now, " Dr. Sommersagan started as he grabbed a dirty rag from his back pocket and used it to wipe his face. "What can I do for you, boys?"

"This ain't a weapon testing zone, " Isaac replied.

"Oh, we didn't see any signs prohibiting it."

Isaac turned to Mack fighting a smirk that threatened to escape his lips. There was no way that he spoke of Athena as if it was a living thing. "Well, sir, it ain't so you better get on out of here."

The Doctor watched them attentively with an amused look on his face. "Where do you boys come from? We didn't see any towns nearby when we arrived."

"Salt Water."

"Salt Water?"

Isaac and Mack turned at each other unsure if they heard a woman's voice coming from the sleeping machine. Did the thing speak to them?

"I saw it on the map, you are a long way from home, aren't you?" the female voice asked from somewhere they could not pinpoint. A thud from the top of the machine made them look up and that's when a woman slid down the side as if it was a kids' game and landed on her feet. The woman was breathtakingly beautiful, Mack did his best to not stare but her unruly, curly black hair that framed her pretty face made it impossible not to.

"Well, Ma'am, it's hunting season and we are preparing for the winter."

The woman nodded, her light brown eyes studied them carefully, Mack feared she would know what he was thinking by just looking at him.

"Gentlemen, my daughter, Joanne Summersagan, " the doctor introduced her proudly. The woman gave them a dashing smile as she wiped her hands on her brown pants, that was when Isaiah noticed she too was filthy with coal, she was so beautiful it hardly even mattered.

"I'm Isaac Garrison. My friend, Mack Rosenberry and you're ruining our hunt with your little toy here, " Isaac replied completely indifferent to Joanne's beauty.

"Toy?" Miss Summersagan enquired angrily. "I will have you know that Athena is one of the few weapons that carry this kind of technology."

"I don't care what it is. What I care about is my hunt. Winter is a month away and my town is in need of fur. And your little invention is gonna be the cause of a miserable winter, " Isaac replied firmly.

Mack studied the cannon and realized that Isaac was failing to ask the big question. "You working for the government?"

"No, " the doctor replied baffled by the accusation. "We are not."

"Is this some kind of a military practice?"

The man shook his head. "No."

"Then why are you shooting this thing in the middle of the desert? Are you bored?"

Father and daughter turned to each other. "I'm not at liberty to say, " the doctor replied. "It's classified."

Mack nodded turning to the machine and walked beside it, his hand grazed the hot metal. It was unlike any weapon he had seen in the war. Mexicans didn't have that kind of technology, and it was hard to tell who actually did. "You made it, doc?"

"We made it, " Doctor Sommersagan replied.

Mack nodded. That explained Joanne's manly clothes. Her mother was most likely not around anymore. "For what purpose?"

"For security."

"Security?" Isaac scoffed. "From what?"

"You never know, " the doctor replied.

Isaac wiped the sweat from his brow and turned to his friend. Mack shrugged. At the lack of real answers from the strange family, they decided to let them be. The day was still young and they were going to find a new place to hunt.

"Alright, " Isaac said after a moment of silence. "We will leave you now, I suppose there's enough land for the four of us. Doctor, Ma'am, " he tipped his hat and signaled towards his friend. Mack tipped his hat and took one last look at Miss Joanne before walking away.

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