By Maurice Merchant, Editor in Chief
16/9-Nor Eastern agent provocateur Pixie Sinclaire continues to make waves in the Colonies, as she found herself involved with a stunning outbreak of violence in the town of Point Hammond earlier this week.
Point Hammond was the last point of contact for the ill-fated Lelina Expedition, and Miss Sinclaire’s search led her to the town (which was ordered evacuated five months ago, though many citizens refused to leave). Miss Sinclaire is said to have been seen walking down the town’s main thoroughfare, asking for any information about the expedition amongst the town’s remaining citizens.
Miss Sinclaire had just exited a local feed store when several shots rang out. Witnesses say that the shots were directed at Sinclaire.
“She’d just walked out of Masterson’s,” said 52 year old James Warner. “I remember taking notice of her, because she was a stranger, and that red hair stands out around here. Anyway, shots rang out and the street muck around her starts spraying up. I didn’t see anything else, because I got the hell out of there.”
Another witness, a bar maid watching from the second story of the local saloon, saw what happened next.
“The ginger wasn’t hit, I don’t think,” the bar maid, named Alice, said. “She didn’t panic either. Just dove right into a nearby alley, like it was the most natural thing in the world. I was terrified, myself, but I didn’t hide. I couldn’t stop watching.
“After she ducked for cover, and the people on the street had scattered, a bunch of people dressed all in black rushed out into the street. They all had these weird guns I’d never seen the likes of before.
“They went right for that alley the ginger ran into. They covered it with their guns. Of a sudden, I heard a BANG! In the alley. Things went deathly silent for a bit, and the guys in black, they all stopped. Then this body comes flying out of the alley, all dressed in black, like them. Then four more shots, BANG BANG BANG BANG! Come out of the alley, and four of the guys in the street fall down, clutching their legs and arms. That’s when the rest of them rushed the alley.
“I thought the ginger might be done for, when more shots rang out. They were really loud, because they were coming from the roof right above my head. That’s when I looked up and saw this second woman with a rifle.
“She was a giant, 7 foot if she was an inch, with long black hair blowing in the wind. The Black Suits turned around, but she took out about four of them before they could figure where she was coming from. They started shooting at the saloon, and that was the limit of my taste for the spectacle, as I ran inside and huddled down in the hallway with my friend Gertie.”
Various reports from other witnesses offer only a sporadic view of events. Many don’t mention the second, unidentified woman with the rifle, though one unsubstantiated report claims that in addition to engaging the men in black uniforms, she also fired rounds at Miss Sinclaire whenever she deigned to emerge from the cover of the buildings.
Eventually, it is said that Miss Sinclaire fled south, into the woods around the town, while the remaining men in black uniforms fled north on horseback, but not before collecting their wounded and dead. At least one report claims that Sinclaire appeared to be clutching her side. A nearby platoon of Colonial Marshals searched for the group, but found no trace of them, nor of the rifle-woman, nor of Pixie Sinclaire.
“Damnedest thing ever,” said the Marshals’ platoon leader. “The only evidence that anything happened are that people said it happened and a few bullet holes in the buildings. It’s like everyone involved just up and disappeared into the ether.”