At the birth of the sixth Beggley sibling, Angus, at the ripe old age of 11, promptly announced he hated the whole lot and began making his plans to escape the industrialized town of Cowford.
The day after his fifteenth birthday he enacted that plan only to see it turn into a dismal, ill-conceived venture. What he intended to be a long train ride out west, turned into a short train ride to the west-side rail car repair yard where the night watchman promptly turned him over to his father instead of the violent fate that greeted most train hoppers.
None the less, after observing Angus’s departure of personality from the other triplets he made arrangements for his son to go to central Texas to work a ranch for some far distant cousins.
In the two years Angus proved to be an excellent and daring horseman and wrangler. Away from his family, he actually had a pleasant personality and helpful disposition. The extended Texas family couldn’t believe this was the same sullen young man his father had described.
In 1861 the political bomb that was ticking between the Northern and Southern states back East exploded. The North with it’s budding industial complexes were lacking in the materials it needed to produce their goods, where as the South had both the means and ends to produce anything from textiles to heavy-lift airships. The North in it’s corner had political swag and introduced a split with in capital as to tax the southern states to balance the books.
Naturally this wasn’t enough to see that the South be forced into a costly capitulation so the North began to hammer their Southern countrymen for being states that held slave. The hypocacy was not lost on those in Virginia and below as the States of Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware were all slave states also. All slaves in the South were freed the day after the mass cessation from the union. It would be another three years before the North was forced to do the same.
Angus took up arms for the Confederacy. By circumstance, he ended up riding with the 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles for much of the war. Another split between the bothers occurred as Rudolf served in the Union Navy’s budding submarine fleet, and Winslow had recently disappeared in West Africa on an expedition.
War was good. Angus enjoyed his service with the Native Americans and for the month after the South admitted defeat continued fighting. In 1866, a year after the end of the war, and five from it’s beginning he rode to Kansas rather listless and not looking forward to being a cowpuncher again he signed up in the U.S. Cavalry. Despite his affiliation during the war, he was made an officer because of his experience and amiability with the original residents of the West. Only if he served with the 10th Cavalry Regiment.
The “Buffalo Soldiers” were a great experience for him. Engagements were rare as they sought to affect peace on the Western territories and for the most part had great success. More often or not they had more skirmishes with the flood of people rolling across the plains from the East than the ones who were already there.
One day while sitting with the men in a great grass circle with the Lakota Sioux scouts, he smoked a bowl of mystical peyote and his mind exploded. What he would later describe in a memoir as the day his latent mutant power awakened, he found he knew what everyone, anywhere was doing at that moment. For the next month his men sheltered him from the rest of the Cavalry. It was not a hard task to do as they were on patrol, and with the assistance of the Shamans, Angus got this ability under control enough to function.
It wasn’t that he knew what everyone on Earth was doing, but there were creatures high above the Earth watching too. He knew there were an unlimited number of others circling their own stars going on about their lives, and he nearly went mad had it not been the providence of being in the right place with the right people.
The first thing he learned was to only concern himself with the affairs of the terrestrial. More specifically those within a days ride of him because in the end if he had need for action it was in travelling range. After that filter out those who were sleeping, or having sex. Children while mischievous and entertaining were not anything that needed much attention.
Those who did warrant his focus were those the 10th were tasked with stopping. In the next year with improved use of the mutant power they stopped airship robberies, broke up outlaw nests, and thwarted all manner of villainy.
It all was an easy education for Captain Beggley into organized crime. He got to see how the major players did their business. He spent a lot of free time spying on his family. Rudolph having returned from the war was establishing a manufacturing center for a new class of submersibles. Ones with an unheard of range and longevity designed for the sole purpose of exploration. Winslow was a different case. He had taken to wearing animal skins and communing with the primates, all the while avoiding any interaction with any one of European descent. The true wild ones were the sisters. They, while having hearts of gold, were absolutely shaking the earth with abandon.
One fateful night, Angus watched his father slip from this world, and knew that soon he would have to return to Cowford.
Beggley Ironworks was in chaos. He walked into the board room looking grizzled, and stared into the eyes of each and every man and woman vying for the crown of the Chief of the Board of Directors. When all was quiet he removed the gent that was sitting in the head chair and sat.
It could be said that the air had been sucked out of the room at that point but the fact is that happened when he opened a thick journal that he had started writing on the train’s long journey back east. He read aloud the sins of every person in that room. A few of the board tried to leave but encountered a small private army that came with Angus.
The Ironworks were just the first step in an overall plan. In another ten years Cowford would be his.