The sun reflected off the windows of the station and the silver white of the snow. The figure kneeling alongside the deserted hotel building across the street scanned the area again, looking carefully in both directions the tracks followed. He had already spotted three of them, but he knew there were more.
They knew him only by Tressler, and that was fine. The name didn’t matter. They would recognize him and try to do anything possible to put him down. Just like they had been trying for the last few days.
He looked down at his hand, making a fist and seeing the blood squeeze out on both sides and drip onto the already stained snow. The few inches had come early this morning. The Colorado sun would melt it by noon. Hopefully he’d be on the train in another state by then. Heading east. Heading toward the place he was needed.
Last night had been spent in the building he was squatting next to. It still had beds inside it. Just no running water or power. It was an older hotel, a smaller one that had probably been used for years before this town itself became an apparition. In the room on the second story, Tressler had looked in a mirror to see the face of a man he didn’t recognize. Half his face was swollen from the beating earlier yesterday. His right eye thick and purple and gashed. He could barely look out of it. Another rip on the right corner of his mouth. Lacerations on his neck.
You guys tried and you failed.
He had fought back and managed to get away from them, but only by breaking his hand. Tressler could feel the broken bones, the swollen knuckles. Making a fist this morning had not only hurt but also made the bleeding begin again.
The loss of blood and lack of sleep made him dizzy. But he could recover on the train.
The only question would be how to get on the train.
He could see the tail end of it now sticking out from behind the brick station. The platform right next to it. The locomotive at the front couldn’t be seen. Tressler saw the ten cars behind it. Most unoccupied. There was the one lounge car in the middle. That would be the one he was looking for. It would have red graffiti of some sort on it. Fresh red graffiti.
The train would be taking off in five minutes.
He balled up his hand again and felt the surge of pain.
No gun, no weapon, a broken face and an even more broken hand.
“God help me,” he said.
It wasn’t always like this, but something had changed. Something was turning.
They’re fighting back and growing stronger.
They also knew they had to stop him.