Irving Talon acquired a Colt.38 hammer less automatic pistol recently and it fit perfectly in his breast pocket, the flat design sitting well against his chest. He made no bones about carrying the gun. He eschewed using any type of side holsters. Reason being he kept his money and paperwork in his breast pocket, where no one but himself could get to it. He decided should anyone be foolish enough to try and rob him of his earnings, they'd be met with a bullet instead of any money from his pocket. Despite his mutant ability of telepathy and mild mind control, he was a realistic man. The West was still rough even as the country entered the 20th Century, he knew a man had to protect what was his.
Thus he reached for the gun, patting it, making sure it was still there as he eyed the silhouetted figures as they made their way down the ridge path. He could make out two human figures, two horses and what he assumed was a pack mule between the pair. Several years earlier this was a common site but with the mines having been shut down, it was very rare for anyone to venture here. In fact it was prohibited and illegal. Legalities were of little concern for Talon, however.
He was tempted to call out his lava men but he didn't want to garner any attention by his presence and certainly should anyone see his subterranean and humanoid labor force, he'd be forced to do a serious mindwipe or even possibly kill any witnesses. He was prepared to go that route, he'd long resolved to do it should the need arise. Talon climbed off to the right of his mine entrance, up an embankment where some timbers lay strewn about. He crouched down between two beams, getting clay and dust on his black jeans and boots, his shirt soaked with sweat from the afternoon desert sun. He remained still as he eyed the couple as they came precariously closer to his very location. He could now hear them talking.
"Rulah, you doing OK back there?", Doc Strong asked his wife as he focused his eyes forward, leaning back on his horse Peabody, steadying the steed as they made their way down the ridge. They'd first had to climb the ridge to find the correct path towards the mine Doc knew was abandoned and now that they had to descend instead of climb, the strain plus the combined heat of the desert sun was getting to their horses, not to mention his beloved wife. "Doing OK, hon', just mind where you're going. I will follow. Provided we don't lose the D.E.E.P. suit off the mule!" Rulah replied. "No fret, Rulah. I have the mule's reigns well in hand. You worry too much." he answered. "Tobias ", she countered, "you should talk!". Doc knew when she intoned his name like that he was on her bad side. He prayed they'd reach the mine soon. He knew they would because he could see it just below their location, the entrance seemingly blocked by several beams and scattered equipment, which, oddly, he didn't recall being there but his memory could be wrong he thought.
Talon crouched low, listening to their conversation. He thought he recognized the woman, Rulah. In fact as he peered slightly over a beam he could make out her long and beautiful curly auburn hair. She was a Vet who'd tended one of his own horses last year, a woman married to that oddball mine owner Doc Strong. He could never get a real read on him the one time he'd met him. Usually his mutant ability could fix on most minds and garner information but there seemed to be some type of "interference". He chalked it up to Strong's constantly racing mind, he'd encountered that before, but those were the minds of madmen. Rulah, however, even with her intelligence and charms, was easy to read to a degree. He found she seemed to be intrigued by his appearance and demeanor when they'd met. He knew it wasn't attraction towards him, but instead curiosity which ruled her mind. She wouldn't be the first woman to exhibit such thoughts about him. It was something he used to his advantage, that and his wealth so women were often in his life, albeit briefly, simply for his amusement. A wife was out of the question, as he trusted no one.
Thoughts of lust weren't on his mind currently though, they were focused on finding out what the hell these two were doing near his mine. Well it wasn't really his, he was forced to leave it but that didn't stop him and his lava men from continuing their work. Water table be damned it was just Tombstone being jealous of the fact a few people had earned some wealth while they were forced to remain ranchers and dirt farmers of the desert. He kept perfectly still, the hooves of the animals clanking closer now, practically over his head.
"Peabody seems a bit nervous about something, Rulah. Be careful, there may be some rattlers nearby or the ridge might be unstable.", he instructed his wife. He looked back at her, she smiled back and nodded, concentrating on holding the reigns of her horse.
Soon the couple made it to the bottom of the path and near the entrance of the mine. "Well, dear, looks like we're here. I am glad the Town Council gave us permission to investigate this mine, I think it was one of the main offenders which caused the water table damage. I know previous mine investigators cited this one but could not say for certain, as we all know. So many shut down, it is sad to a degree. I just hope we can find out if this vein is still active or if it can be fixed according to my proposed plans." Rulah dismounted as did Doc, both finding an old beam which jutted out from the ground which offered sufficient anchoring for the reigns of the horses and pack mule. They took some swigs of water and likewise gave the horses some water and feed, patting them.
Doc took off his cowboy hat again, waving it in the air across his face to get a small breeze too wick away the sweat. He then turned to Peabody and did the same thing for his horse. "Doc, sometimes I think sometimes you give that horse of yours more attention and care than you do me!". "Oh, Rulah, now...you know that is indeed true. Don't be jealous.", he replied, a big teasing grin spreading across his face.
"Well joker, why don't you stop lollygagging around and get our gear set up so we can get into this mine. I do hope the D.E.E.P. suit will work there. I am a bit nervous about all this.", Rulah said, removing some items from the side bags of her saddle. "Again, you worry too much, dear, just take it easy. Let's go into the mine right now and find a spot to cool off for a bit. We can get everything going a bit later. It isn't like anyone is around to impede our work, so come over here and let's go inside the mine."
Irving Talon watched the couple as they walked around their horses and down their way into the mine. He noticed some strange bronze colored equipment hanging off the pack mule. He assumed it was some type of excavating or investigating equipment, but the tarp over the bulk of it kept its true appearance hidden. He'd soon find out when the two would enter the mine. That was when he decided he'd check out their horses and equipment and then follow them, but he knew he'd have to be careful. He also had the ability to control animals as needed. He would simply command them to remain quiet, and as he withdrew the Colt from his breast pocket, these two humans would have to be dealt with differently.
To be continued.