Derailing Bedlam: Which One of Us Is the Predator, Again? Part 1 #fiction #adventure

As usual, here is your warning that this story has cursing, sex (not graphic), innuendo, and violence.  It’s my Rated-R action adventure called Derailing Bedlam.  This is the fourth outing (third official) for Cassidy and Lloyd, so feel free to click on one of the two covers to see how it started.  Each one is 99 cents!

Cover by Jon Hunsinger

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

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The broken city of Great Falls has managed to survive by creating fortresses between and over the numerous waterfalls. Due to a widespread carrier beast infestation, the human populace has been forced forge a life of near isolation within these havens. Each one is surrounded by heavily defended walls that go seven feet down into the dirt and are dotted with bug attracting zappers. Apartment buildings have been made high enough to maintain scaffolding that supports the wire mesh designed to protect against birds and bats. Enormous cranes are constantly moving to help the local engineers check for holes in the defenses, which have been coated in a permanently sticky glue that traps anything it touches. Any animals that are caught or killed are burned in a covered pit that sits a few yards outside of the city. Sitting between Rainbow and Crooked falls, the largest of these fortresses has agreed to house a station for the Holly Sage Express. With its defenses spread over the entire area, it is hard to believe that the nervous citizens would be willing to open themselves up to the outside world. They have been put at ease by an armored tunnel that is long enough to cover the entire train while it is stopped. The thick doors are opened either by a switch hit by the approaching vehicle or by being pushed from the inside. Even if a carrier beast does get inside, there are thick barriers at the edge of the platform that are only moved after it is confirmed that there is no risk. Flame cannons are along the ceiling in case there is a threat, their nozzles glowing red in the darkness.

“For the last time, Mr. Bart, I have already made this deal with Meister Groves,” Tyler states as he finishes signing some papers. Handing the clipboard back to a stocky man with an uneven buzzcut, he waves for his people to load a collection of heavy boxes. “In return for the station, I will deliver these crates to Portland. Apparently, there is another engineer there who could use the supplies. They are sensitive and secret devices, so the caboose will be closed off to everyone, except myself and Dale. While I thank you for taking Cola’s place and am grateful for the improvements you have made to the Holly Sage Express, this is something that does not concern you or anyone else.”

“All I said is that I wanted to get an idea of the additional weight,” the inventor says while eyeing the local engineer. He swears the man looks familiar, but chalks it up to the oddness of the stranger having four pairs of glasses dangling from his cloth hooks and the wheeled luggage dripping grease. “Since this is the man who saved Great Falls, I’ll trust him. Although, I would think transporting your equipment like that would be messy and risky. Aren’t you afraid the sensitive stuff will be destroyed?”

“Oh, those devices are kept in my workshop and I only take them out when needed,” Groves says while adjusting the ties on his shirt cuffs. Feeling a chill, he puts on a pullover sweater that gets caught on all of his glasses. “Thank you for your concern. I remember hearing stories of Bart the Best when I traveled east to Iowa. You made quite a name for yourself in the early days since you were repairing so much. Shame you didn’t join the Engineering League. They could have used you.”

“They were too stuffy and focused on the big projects for my tastes,” Bart replies, shaking the other inventor’s hand. Hearing a thud, he turns to see that one of the crates has toppled over and Dale is struggling to get it back on the cart. “I might not be able to see what’s in there, but I should make sure the boxes get to the caboose in one piece. Just give me the weight numbers to help with any adjustments. After all, this looks like it’ll make the train very back heavy. Be smarter to put all of it in the middle, but this isn’t my business. Nice to meet you, Meister Groves. Maybe we’ll get to talk shop when I come back through.”

Tyler is about to get back to business when he spots Katie, who is wearing a veil on her distinct bowler. Her dress covers her from head to toe, which he knows is because she still has a rash from the itching powder that had been spread all over her room. He is about to wave her over when she yanks on a leash and drags Lloyd out into the open. The serial killer pulls at the collar, which is tight enough to leave a red welt on his flesh. The man is still wearing the maid outfit he was given when ordered to clean the room. Trailing a few steps behind is Cassidy, the mercenary having spent the last few days teasing her partner and tending to the ice cream bar that was set up from a delivery in Wyoming. Before Tyler can call out to the trio, a hand grips his shoulder and he locks up as if he has been electrocuted.

“Sorry, I forgot about your touching thing,” Groves whispers as he lets go. Handing a moist towel to the other man, the engineer waves to a worker who is reapplying glue to a section of the mesh. “We’ve been having a really big problem with the carrier beasts lately. They definitely got stirred up by your project. Don’t get me wrong, McHale, since I think your goal is worth the trouble. I only want to tell you that Pika and his hunters are doing their best, but they need some help. Are you sure those two are capable? I mean, one’s wearing a dress and being led around like a dog. The other is practically wearing her ice cream as makeup. They can’t possibly by Cassidy and Lloyd Tenay.”

“Trust me, Meister. Those two are the genuine articles and worth every speck of their reputation,” Tyler proudly says. He tries again to get their attention with a whistle, which is responded to by wolves on the other side of the wall. “I’m truly sorry about the trouble. Is there a specific cause? I find it hard to believe that the carrier beasts would still be riled up so long after construction was completed.”

Groves takes a seat on a bench and puts his feet on his seeping luggage. “Maybe they’re finally succumbing to the cerveau tuerie. Always found it strange that these animals carry the diseases, but never show symptoms. They’re more aggressive and start to look haggard, but it’s not the same as suffering from what they pass on. Lost a good apprentice last week to the big one too. Wasn’t wearing his gloves while working with the mesh and a crow pecked him in the finger. The brain just necrotizes section by section over the course of a few days. Heard it isn’t a painful way to go, but it sure isn’t pretty. Anyway, it would be nice to get a handle on the situation.”

A crackle of electricity goes off from the wall before gunfire erupts from the insulated rooms that can house two guards each. Feral snarls and high-pitched yelps can be heard as the tainted wolves are driven back into the wilderness. A grunting roar echoes from the other side of the river, but the bear is too far away to be a danger. Pulling out a tablet, Groves cycles through the cameras to watch the larger predator chase down an injured wolf. The rest of the pack is nowhere to be seen, but he counts that three are dead at the base of the wall. Zooming in on another form, he scowls at the sight of a human body beneath two of the animals. He can barely make out the remains of a tuxedo, so he shows Tyler the scene in case it is one of the train passengers.

“Seems one of the Unsupervised decided to be an idiot,” Katie declares as she approaches the two men. The warlord lifts up her veil to show that her cheeks are an ugly red and her forehead is covered in dark bumps. “It isn’t nice to stare at a bloody lady who is still suffering from an allergic reaction. Not sure if it was the powder or my boyfriend’s idiocy that set this mess off. He’s still making up for it, so do you have anything that I can rent him out for? I might be mad at Lloyd, but I won’t hand my lover over for free.”

“How did you know we were talking about a job for him and Cassidy?” Groves asks in mild amusement. His mood sours when he catches the hint of a smirk on the purple-haired woman’s face. “You didn’t know, but assumed we were up to something. Seems I forgot that the Duchess of LaSalle has an infamous reputation as well. Not only for her cunning, but a love of revenge that can range from playful to vicious. The name is Meister Groves and this is the city that I saved.”

“Oh, I love your lack of humility and decent manners,” the warlord states, allowing her gloved hand to be kissed. Taking a seat next to the engineer, she puts her veil back down and repeatedly blows air at it. “As you can see, they’re getting a little stir crazy. Lloyd says that being on such a linear path feels unnatural and Cassidy is getting twitchy since she can’t practice with her guns or drive her jeep here. Perhaps you have something that will help them blow off some steam? It’d be safer for everyone involved because they can be . . . bloody problematic when they get bored.”

“There is something, but it’s fairly dangerous,” Tyler says, unsure if he should mention the original deal. Figuring it is safer to leave some of the information out, he tucks his hands in his pockets to hide his nervous finger movements. “The carrier beasts have been causing trouble ever since the station was completed. We’re not sure why and there is a group going out to either find the cause or eliminate enough of the animals to minimize the danger. Most of the species found here carry this brain-killing disease that is incurable. Cassidy and Lloyd would be working with the best hunter in Great Falls, but it’s still dangerous out there. I would completely understand if you didn’t like them going on this hunt. Keep in mind that I can send Dale or Luca since this is partially my fault.”

The two men get nervous when Katie stands, her veil preventing them from seeing if she is angry or merely thinking. All they can do is watch as she turns on her heels and walks back to where she left her friends. Unable to hear the discussion, Tyler and Groves watch as Cassidy throws her hands in the air and heads back into the train. Not long after, Lloyd takes off the maid outfit and goes in the same direction as his partner. The naked serial killer abruptly returns to pick up the discarded clothing and steal a kiss from his girlfriend, who continues to stand with her arms crossed. Katie waves and gives the men two thumbs up, which is a lot less comforting than they had expected.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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9 Responses to Derailing Bedlam: Which One of Us Is the Predator, Again? Part 1 #fiction #adventure

  1. L. Marie says:

    As soon as this was mentioned–“Most of the species found here carry this brain-killing disease that is incurable.”–I knew that sounded like the perfect adventure for Cassidy and Lloyd. 😉

    Like

  2. What could possibly go wrong?

    Like

  3. Carrier Beasts Oh-oh. Had to laugh that Katie still has a reaction to the itching powder. Fun episode.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Derailing Bedlam: Which One of Us Is the Predator, Again? Part 2 #fiction #adventure | Legends of Windemere

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