IronHorse: The locomotive
man CHAPTER 7
“Preposterous!” Clockstopper fairly stood on his chair,
even so it barely lifted his head above the seated audience.
protest this foolishness from going on any further! I mean really!
If miss Ichimura could not read living material and this “Machine”
is alive as she states, which I highly doubt, then how could she have
“read” it in the first place!”
The angry little man hopped off his
perch and strode the floor looking angrily at the gathered members
in the city hall. He snarled as he pointed at IronHorse.
gentlemen I say this machine is duping you all! He is in league with
Miss Ichimura and Miss Estavez! This is travesty and bad comedy! He
was already sentenced once for being a rouge killer in 1868 what more
proof do we need?”
In the back the gaunt figure that had counseled
Clockstopper gave a grim smile as he eased back into the crowd. Another
face watched the proceedings with interest however. Her face was un-emotional,
even cold, and her eyes never seemed to leave the form of IronHorse.
Her clothes were prim and neat, and she had a certain edge about her,
as if with a look she could cut steel.
If one listened closely, one
could barely hear the whirring of gears, like a high precision clock,
and a small muttering of the woman under her breath.
was watching the little man with mounting anger. She wanted nothing
more than to grab a chair and hurl it at the man who was causing her
friend so much pain. IronHorse just sat there in the middle of the
hall. He had not moved since Kitsumi had read his past up until the
point he became alive. He simply stared at his hands and the floor.
“I ask the City Representative to strike the nonsense about this machine
from the record and let us fact the fact that this machine is a killer!”
The City Representative flushed with anger, but had to admit the testimony
was suspect. “Please, miss Ichimura, if you can not read living material
how could you read IronHorse?”
“Because that message was left by Raven’s
Whisper to be heard.” The voice boomed throughout the hall as the
main doors burst open. A Native American man strode in unconcerned
about the faces in the hall. He stood tall and proud in his black
costume decked with the feathers of ravens. His dark eyes watched
all in the hall and he strode to the City Representative. The figure
thrust a document into her hands.
Shadow-Form meanwhile slipped into
the room and sat next to Sparkle and Maria.
“Shadow, is that who I
think it is?” Sparkle whispered. Shadow merely nodded and leaned into
the group with a whisper.
“I had to hunt to find him, and low and
behold he’s in the middle of Perez Park sitting on a pile of Hellion
thugs while his Imps were keeping them in place. He was reading an
ecology textbook to them and shouting why they should not be beating
Maria looked at Shadow and then at the dark man who stood
in the center of the room with his arms crossed. “Who is he?” She
“Father Raven.” Shadow stated simply. “Avatar of the Native
American God, Raven.”
The City Representative at this time had turned
from red at the intrusion to white. She looked at the man and then
at the documents. Clockstopper meanwhile was not to be denied.
ARE you? How dare you intrude on these affairs!” He was about to rant
on when Father Raven looked at him with a fire hotter than the sun.
“Paragon City code 802. When a certified representative of a higher
power wishes to testify he may. Precedent set by Guardian Angel in
Azaroth Vs. Bishop West in 1987. Now do shut up.” This left the little
man gasping and staring at the man. Father Raven ignored Clockstopper
and strode to the prone form of IronHorse. Gently he laid his hand
on the massive metal man’s shoulder.
“Old Friend…” Father Raven whispered.
IronHorse looked up and then his eye-visor flared in shock.
“No… But I am his descendant. My people spoke much about
you. More so than would be heard in the courts in 1868. Indeed, one
of the members of my tribe tried to defend you in court but was thrown
out before being able to speak a single word.”
“I don’t remember that.
They didn’t let him get near me I guess.” IronHorse sighed and looked
into the eyes of the spitting image of his oldest friend.
turned and looked at the gathered crowd.
“I shall summarize quickly.
I have just given tribal documents passed down from generation to
generation among my tribe that clearly exonerates this MAN.” He slapped
IronHorse on the back and looked at Clockstopper daring him to disagree.
“My ancestor, Raven’s Whisper, wrote down everything that transpired
the night in question. This he passed to four Braves as they traveled
to four other tribes so the documents would be held in safekeeping.
The documents detail the exact whereabouts of IronHorse, his role
in averting a great disaster, and the role he had in holding off a
horde of undead outside of Dudley Arizona. The documents are notarized,
and signed by the Braves who witnessed IronHorse that night.”
Raven whirled and looked at Clockstopper and those few remaining supporters
of the angry little bigot.
“These documents were denied in the original
court case of IronHorse because, like him, my people were not considered
human. I hope in this day and age there is more enlightened views
of humanity. The documents prove IronHorse is innocent of the past
charges, and that he should walk out of here a free man.”
gaped like a fish as Father Raven gazed at him in hatred. The City
Representative read the documents again and again.
“These…” She muttered.
“These are real and official. I’d like to have them examined for authenticity,
but the tribal seals…” She looked up into the crowd and then at IronHorse.
“I see no further reason to hold this being here any longer. These
documents prove he was innocent in the past, and the evidence given
also shows he was acting in defense of the city and human life in
the present. I ask only a waiting period for these documents to be
examined, and for miss Estavez to keep watch over IronHorse until
such time his AI license is properly applied.”
The crowd literally
erupted and several people charged the floor to congratulate IronHorse.
Maria hugged him tightly and wiped tears away. Why this metal man
meant so much to her she was not sure, but seeing him free made her
feel better than ever before.
Clockstopper yelled and cursed but could
not be heard above the din. He even considered charging the monstrosity
before a hard grip locked about his arm and pulled him from the crowd.
The gaunt figure looked hard into Clockstopper’s eyes, and for once
he could see the sunken eye-sockets and pale grey skin of the figure.
“You still wish to get revenge upon the metal man yes?” The voice
was a harsh and foul smelling whisper. Clockstopper gagged but found
himself helpless in the gaunt man’s gaze. “My master thinks he may
be able to help you. Come with me then.” Without another word the
gaunt man dragged Clockstopper out of the building before he could
Father Raven meanwhile walked to IronHorse’s side and patted
the metal man on his shoulder. IronHorse stood, and gripped Maria’s
hand while he shook Father Raven’s with his free palm.
“No IronHorse, thank you. Raven’s Whisper spoke highly of you in his
journals. He called you a true friend of the land and his people.
I also must tell you to not regret or feel guilt for what happened.
Ed, your father, lives in you still. Just as Raven’s Whisper does.”
With a subtle gesture Father Raven pressed a small bag into IronHorse’s
palm. The machine man looked down and saw the small shaman’s neckband.
“They… They took this from me in the courtroom in 1868!”
took some finding, and I was going to offer it to the spirit of my
ancestor but, I found that he wanted it to come to you. Don’t ask
me how.” He smiled and then bowed to Maria.
“Take care of this lug
miss. He is one of a kind.” Before Maria could answer the Native American
man vanished in a cloud of feathers and a large raven flew out the
Cops swarmed about IronHorse, Maria hugged his arm, Sparkle
and Shadow came up and congratulated him, and Kitsumi smiled and wished
him well along with all the others.
A lone figure stayed in her seat
and watched the room slowly empty. She stood stiffly and then placed
a hand to her ear. In a muffled whisper she spoke to mid-air.
Nemesis, I can confirm it is him. The being you sought during the
Civil War walks and functions again, and he is all you said he was…”