Eclipse at Noon: Book Summary

Katya knocks Ryan over the edge of the cliff, but he takes her with him. The others fear that there is no way that Ryan could survive such a fall. But he hits the river, surviving the fall, but is swept downstream.

Krysty leads the other down the river, in search of his body, hoping to give him a proper burial. Along the way they find the ruined corpse of Countess Katya, smashed to pieces, and missing it’s head. They let the corpse lay where they found it.

The next day they pass a sodbusters shack, not realizing that the owner of the shack has Ryan in it with him. They keep following the river, searching, and eventually end up meeting a trio of hunters who share their kill with them. When they leave, the hunters promise that if they find the body, they’ll give it a proper burial. A short time later, the hunters are attacked and killed by a group of Stickies.

After finding the bodies, they see a storm approaching and go for shelter. During the night, Krysty sense Ryan, and calls out to him, bringing him around. The old man who is watching over him notices it, then has to use Ryan’s SIG to scare away a big cat that wanted to come in.

Eight days have passed and Ryan is nearly fully recovered, helped by the man who rescued him, Paddy Maxwell. Ryan wants to leave, head into Twin Forks. Paddy decides to go with him not wanting to be left alone anymore.

The others have been in Twin Forks for several days now. J.B. and Jak have been working as bouncers for room and board in a inn called the Montana Queen.

Ryan and Paddy stop in a rooming house for a meal and the night. Paddy goes down to play some cards and later he comes up, having been cut and is dying. The old man dies, just as his killers come up. Ryan takes out all three, but the owners, who are deaf, don’t hear it. He decides to leave, because he knows that a lynch mob will be coming after him.

Sure enough, about five miles out, he hears the mob coming after him. He enters a small nameless ville, where he has to fight off several locals and steals a boat. He lets it carry him down the river, falling asleep.

In the dawn, he wakes up and rows the boat to Twin Falls. At the same time Krysty and Doc are near the river watching the people go about their buisness. Doc spots the boat being rowed by Ryan, and Krysty recognizes him. After over a week, they are finally reunited. They don’t know that they are being watched by The Magus, and Gert Wolfram.

The day is quiet, and Ryan hears about the Golden Eagle, a paddle wheel boat. They discuss it and want to go on a trip, up the river. Because a merchant convention is going to start in the ville, Ryan comes up with a plan to roll a fat merchant of the jack he’s carrying, so they can take the trip.

He executes his plan while JB and Jak are working as bouncers. That day they learn that a total of 4 people had been robbed in and outside the inn. One man was killed.

The next day they book cabins bright and early on the boat, one called the Golden Eagle. Then after a quite day they finally board the boat the next day. The luxury surprises them, and they are not used to seeing such. They all plan to enjoy it as best as they can. The crew informs them they have to stay in their cabins for a full hour after the ship pulls away from the docs. They also receive an invitation to come to the captains table for supper that night. Ryan and Krysty put their time to good use.

Once the hour passes, they stay in their cabin, but end up giving Jak some Jack to spend, which he does so. The money is gone in only a matter of minutes, and is totally unaware that Wolfram and the Magus are watching him.

The day passes quietly, the only thing happening is a near fight between two men. The crew break it up quickly and tell them that if they want to duel, they are allowed a formal duel at 6:30 that night. They both agree to it.

Nearly the whole ship shows up to witness the fight. The smaller of the two men is obviously the more skilled of the two, but he has his blade snapped by a spectator. Doc tosses him his rapier, which he uses to kill the other combatant. He thanks them for their timely assistance. Later that night he is killed by Wolframs sec men.

That night they show up at the captains table, and meet several people. They meet a pair of Twins, a horse breeder and his daughters, and of course, the Captain. They do notice that two seats next to the captain are empty. He apologizes for the fact that they did not show up. The meal eventually ends and everyone except for Jak return to their cabins. He is approached by a fat man who wants to have sex with him, but the man eventually leaves Jak alone, after he threatens his life.

Before returning to the cabin Gert Wolfram and Magus. The encounter actually scares the boy, and he goes to tell the others about the encounter. Despite the danger, they decide to stay on the ship and try to enjoy themselves.

The next day Doc decides to try his hand at some poker. He is winning and doing very well, when one of the other players decide to push it, forcing Ryan to show him the error of his ways. The weather turns bad once again and they are forced to return to their cabins. Krysty insists on going outside, and nearly is knocked over board. Ryan nearly goes overboard as well and both are saved by the Magus. They go back to the cabin for the night.

The next day Ryan is walking the deck and waves at two of the sec men guarding, who ignore him totally. The weather still isn’t the greatest and the fog is rolling in, growing thicker by the minute. A crewman asks JB and Ryan to come with him to the captain, who needs their help. But only them, not the others who are to return to their cabin.

When they enter the bridge, they are surrounded by Gert Wolframs sec men, and there isn’t a thing that they can do. They also know that the others have been captured and are being taken off the boat to Wolframs mining camp.

They are taken to eat with the Gert Wolfram and the Magus. The two men detail their plans. They want Ryan and JB to help them round up their mutie slaves that escaped. The promise to treat the others quite well while they are kept as ‘guests’. They also promise to let the entire group go after the slaves have been rounded up or destroyed.

Despite everything, they are allowed free movement on the ship. They do corner the captain and kill him for his betrayal, dumping his corpse over the edge of the ship. By dusk they are put ashore and they find a place to hide and sleep for the night.

The next day they spend it travelling. They stop in a small ville near the Paul Burgess art center. The locals give them some food, then Ryan and JB go to check out the minimalists work. Ryan isn’t at all impressed what they see, and as they are looking around, they hear someone enter the building. A firefight occurs, and the end up wiping out a large number of the villagers, ensuring that the survivors won’t bother to try and follow.

Again, they take to a tree to sleep. During the night Ryan goes to relieve himself, and when he returns, he sees three Stickies around the tree, trying to get at JB. Ryan kills two, JB the third. They know that the noise is going to attract other Stickies so they set out right away.

The same day Krysty and the others are taken to eat with the Magus and Wolfram. Krysty really pisses off the Magus by telling him that when he dies he will be alone and no one will mourn his passing. After the meal they are sent back to their cells.

Ryan and JB find themselves sandwiched between two separate groups of Stickies. Ryan slips and falls while trying to escape and finds himself lying nearly on top of a land mine. With JB’s help, they dig it out and toss it at the mutants that are closest. One of the survivors stumbles into the woods, just as the second group arrives. He triggers another mine, killing everyone except one who survived unscathed. They were going to let the mutant live, but he attacks after regaining his sense and is killed.

As they are waiting to figure out how to enter the compound, and then at the same time, JB is captured by a bear trap, but it doesn’t cause any permanent damage. Still, it messes him up for several hours.

They spot a truck heading towards the compound. They decide to use it to enter the compound. They kill the driver and use it to smash through the gates. They then, in the chaos open the fuel tanks inside the compound.

By dawn they set the fuel alight, and the resulting explosion can be seen for miles. It wipes out nearly the entire compound, hardly a building is not touched. The others are able to break out, heading to retrieve their weapons and then go to the observation balloon. Wolfram comes after them, trying to prevent them from escaping. He grabs on the rope hanging from the balloon, but has his ankles broken when the rope is cut and he falls to the ground. The Stickies, attracted by the explosions, capture him and kill him slowly. The others take the balloon and use it to return to the redoubt where they jump out.

End of Eclipse at Noon

A total of eighteen days passed in this novel.

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