The Northern Spirit
was an overnight train that passed from the west of Perafidion across to the East, making numerous stops in order to restock its supplies of fuel, the food that was served every morning, midday and eve in the dining carriage, and the passengers that would inevitably spend their money in the dining carriage. A third-class ticket, in a rear carriage and in poor conditions, was not a great expense, whereas an opportunity to sequester oneself in the first-class coaches near the front would run an individual no small sum.
Father Giles McNamara, along with a young, fit lad by the name of Maurice Mirtowitz, were neither in the poorest nor the richest place. Instead they found themselves in a comfortable, if slightly spartan, second-class carriage, the evening's opening of the dining carriage about to occur shortly. For his part, McNamara was quite calmly lying over the covers on the lower of the bunks, leafing through a clergyman's edition of the Third Testament of Joseph,
a rather informative book covering the travels of an early prophet and firebrand of the Light.
The small cabin was illuminated by a weakly spitting candle, which meant that he had to constantly pause to allow for the flame to pick up after it sputtered thanks to a bump or rattle- which was near-constantly. He had gotten through three pages in approximately forty minutes, and it was beginning to irritate him. He didn't want to overly strain his eyes- blindness was a malady he hoped to very much avoid.
It was just when he was about to give up when the journey was suddenly and dramatically interrupted. An ear-splitting bang
split the night, and with a jolt that could be felt through McNamara's bones the train came to an instant stop. The carriage he was in wobbled slightly in place, threatening to tip over and send them crashing to the side, but slowly managed to stabilise. Unfortunately, it seemed that further down such a catastrophe had not been avoided so cleanly, with a less loud, but by no means quiet
crashing sound, screams, shouts and cries echoing out across the train.
The sudden jerk had sent the candle toppling to the carpeted floor, where already it was threatening to ignite. A swift boot down to the ground crushed the fledgling flame as it grew- the Light's more destructive aspect was not appreciated at a time such as this. Turning and looking at the young man that he had taken as an apprentice, Giles was a whirlwind of action immediately. "In a crisis, it is up to those of the faith to guide and educate those who are not familiar with how to handle themselves. Never must we allow ourselves to be passive bystanders." He kept his voice even as he reached for his travelling case- retrieving his pistol and six shots, before placing his book into it and snapping it shut.
Calmly, he broke the gun open and slotted in the two shells. Snapping it smartly back, he carefully half-cocked the two chambers, and then tucked the gun into a pocket of his heavy coat, making certain that it would neither topple out, nor be inconvenient to retrieve in an instant. "Equally however," he said, continuing the level, "dashing out without first adequately preparing oneself for the trials that they might face is negligent, and should also be avoided." The priest would take a lantern that had thankfully not shattered itself, ignited it, and then placed it on the small table in the room. "Take that would you please? My hands can but carry two things at once." The last things he would take would be his hat, and then the axe that had fallen from where it rested at the end of the bunk. with a firm grasp on the haft, and the other on the handle of his case, he would open the door to the small room they had gotten and entered the corridor, looking out.
Despite the time, with the sun having dipped below the horizon, it was fairly bright outside. The moon seemed large, and beamed down, shedding more light than the miserly amount given out by various light sources from the train. Just beside the tracks were thick and heavy forest, the workmen responsible for laying the tracks likely having hewn the sleepers from the same wood, with an excess of labour of course. Heading to the door normally used to a calm disembarkation onto a station, the older man would place his case down and then reach for the handle, clicking it open. Unlocked. Interesting.
A short hop down, and then he would look up and down the carriages. To the rear, he could see one... Two of the coaches on their sides. That was where the majority of the noises of human misery came from. The front however... Although less damaged, the quiet that came from the very front- where the boiler and the train driver would sit, was suspicious to him. He would no doubt be investigating that, but first... To the rear. Lend his assistance to those in the greatest need of it.