As evening descended on the town of Lincoln, Pat Garrett shifted his stance slightly and wiped the sweat from his brow. He was growing anxious; the outlaws should have concluded their meeting by now. From atop the rooftop of the feed store, Garrett looked over the town of Greenwood. The Union forces were almost in position. He hoped they hadn’t tipped off the Outlaws getting there.
Looking over at Sargent Hopkins, Garrett could tell he shared his apprehension.
Garrett didn’t much care for working with the Union, but desperate times called for desperate measures. The James Gang was one of those desperate times. Ever since the James Gang had the bright idea to make off with some of the Union’s fancy technology, they had been giving Lawmen all over the region a run for their money.
Through his scope, Sargent Hopkins scanned the windows on the second story of the two story building across the town square the James Gang had entered hours earlier.
The motion roused Garrett from his thoughts. Garrett was used to long stakeouts, but still fatigue was beginning to get to him. Sargent Hopkins was a different animal, military training had rendered him as patient as a statue. The apprehension painted on his face was the only indication of fatigue.
As Garrett eyes looked over Sargent Hopkins, his mind again began to wander. The disciplined and unrelenting nature of the Union troops disturbed him for some reason. It seemed that they were motivated by some darker force than love of country. They seemed to have an almost a callous disregard for civilian casualties, the very people Garrett had sworn to protect. Garrett did not like the idea of ambushing the outlaws without warning. It did not seem befitting of a Lawman, but there was no arguing with the full weight of the Union. These thoughts descended quickly on Garrett, but he did his best to shake them off as he once again leveled Billy’s Bane on the entrance to the courtyard.
Meanwhile across the square, in the very building Garrett and Sargent Hopkins had their rifles trained on, Jesse James scanned the room. The negotiations were not going as well as he had hoped. In the darkness of the room he could just barely make out the familiar faces of his crew as well as the faces of the mercenaries with whom he was trying to cut a deal. As his eyes swept over the room, the red glint in the eye of the cloaked figure in the corner caught his eye. The unspoken threat there reinvigorated Jesse’s resolve to continue the negotiations. Turning to the mercenaries’ leader, a one Marcus Cunningham, Jesse tuned back into the conversion as Marcus continued talking, “You backed out of the deal last time. Left us hangin’.” Jake Mattia, one of Cunningham’s stooges, spoke up, “Hurt our feelings.” Marcus continued, “You recall why that happened.” With a smirk Jesse, spoke, “Had a problem with your attitude, is why. Felt you was – what’s the word?” Jake, as if picking on Marcus was a matter of pride chimed in, “Pretentious?” Jesse was about to continue to speak when Frank burst in through the side door. Frank leaned in and whispered in Jesse’s ear, “Jesse, we got trouble. Unions posted up all around town.” Turning from Frank, Jesse addressed Marcus and his crew, “Well its lookin’ like you’ll get an opportunity for an attitude adjustment. Help us take out this Union scum and you’ll get yours and then some.” Without saying a word, Marcus picked up his weapon and the rest of his crew followed suit. On the way to the door, Marcus leaned in and whispered to Jake, “You stay here; I doubt we can trust these outlaws.” With that Jesse and his temporary accomplices checked their weapons and went out to face the awaiting Union troops.
As the doors of the warehouse opened, Jesse shielded his eyes from the evening sun and scanned the surrounding rooftops.
The Union troops were not well-hidden, Frank should have no problem sending them to an early grave, Jesse thought to himself. A cry from the center of the square drew Jesse’s gaze, as a frightened civilian ran from the impending shootout.
Within moments the first Union shots craced and bullets begin to riddle the building around Jesse.
The sounds of the battle whipped Jesse into a blood frenzy as all of his anger for the Union boiled to the surface. Without warning, he charged out of the gate to the courtyard, behind him Frank stood shaking his head at Jesse’s recklessness, and the battle began.
Written and Submitted by: Xander Dawson