Authors: D. J. Butler
“My goodness!” Pratt ejaculated.
“Brother Lee didn’t make this.
No one in the Valley, not even John Browning, made something
“I don’t know where it came from,” Roxie said.
“I do know that John has been dealing
with southerners a lot today.”
Pratt paced a circle around the Seth Beast, examining it
The whistle on Poe’s
breast felt very heavy.
“And how does it
“Where are the
would have sworn that the long hair standing up at the back of his head stood
up even straighter as he examined Hunley’s craftsmanship, like curious
Roxie shrugged and shook her head.
“He didn’t say.”
Pratt stopped pacing and clapped his hands together
“Well,” he said, “there’ll
be plenty of time to play with this new toy later.
As I was saying, your arrival here is very timely.
Tonight… or rather, tomorrow morning,
you will be witness to a unique spectacle, a great first time event in the
history of mankind.”
and gestured to his men at the Seth Beast.
“Leave this here, gentlemen; we can deal with it later.”
“What’s that?” Poe asked uneasily in his false twang.
Pratt turned back to face them, and he held a gun in his
Not a weapon of any sort
that Poe recognized—it was bulky and square, to be held in two hands, and
its muzzle was far too big for anything resembling an ordinary bullet.
“Why, Mr. Poe, the complete destruction of the Great Salt
Lake City, of course,” Pratt said calmly.
“By aeronautical assault, and phlogiston rays.”
“No!” Roxie gasped.
Poe considered, and couldn’t see any reason that the
obliteration of the Mormon capital would serve Lee’s interests.
“I thought Lee wanted to be President,”
he said mildly, dropping the false accent.
No point denying his identity, since Pratt had obviously
“Either his plan
is so Byzantine I cannot penetrate it, or it is misconceived.”
snapped, and then chortled.
have looked jolly, without the exotic and sinister gun in his hands.
Poe wondered, but couldn’t guess.
plan, then,” he
“Why do you want to destroy
Pratt nodded to his men and they swooped down on Poe and
Roxie, drawing guns and grabbing with hard-knuckled hands.
Roxie shot Poe an imploring look and he
held his face impassive.
not the time to resist.
began dragging Poe and Roxie away.
There were so many of them, they lifted the two prisoners off the floor
“I’ll keep the explanation simple,” Pratt shouted over the
heads of his hired thugs, trailing in their wake.
“John D. Lee killed my brother.
Brigham Young, in his infinite wisdom, forgave John Lee.”
“For that you will murder the entire city?” Roxie shouted
Her face was twisted in
anger and surprise and pain.
Pratt ignored her travail.
“Lee has done me the favor of punishing Brother Brigham for
his virtue,” he further explained.
“Tomorrow morning, I in turn shall punish John Lee for his vice!”
Part the Third of
Part the Fourth is
About D.J. Butler
D.J. Butler (Dave) is a novelist living in the Rocky Mountain
northwest. His training is in law, and he worked as a securities lawyer at a
major international firm and inhouse at two multinational semiconductor
manufacturers before taking up writing fiction. He is a lover of language and
languages, a guitarist and self-recorder, and a serious reader. He is married
to a powerful and clever woman and together they have three devious children.
Dave has been writing fiction since 2010. He writes
speculative fiction (roughly, fantasy, science fiction, space opera, steampunk,
cyberpunk, superhero, alternate history, dystopian fiction, horror and related
genres) for all audiences. He has written and is writing novels for middle
grade, young adult and adult readers. He is working on getting published via
the traditional route; in the meantime, he is entertaining readers with
of the Saints
. Dave has always had a soft
spot for good pulp fiction.
Follow Rock Band at
City of the Saints
and D.J. Butler’s other writing projects at