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"Well, it has to be," Dasher replied in a pleasant, matter-of-fact manner.

As they made a right turn around the only corner they had come across in the dark corridor, another stood forty yards or so ahead with a molten-red aura peeking around the bend - a shadow on the floor. A strange dull banging noise echoed around the distant corner, as well, quiet at first, nearly nothing more than a pinging that rang along the cold, stone walls. With each step forward the dull banging noise became clearer and clearer, bearing a poignant rhythmic pattern with two distinct seconds between each, and with each step the foreman's feet grew heavier until he was moving forward by White's heavy hand alone.

"With all the ruckus he's causing, you'd think he knew we were coming," Dasher said to White with a broad eager smile. White's blank face broke into a brief grin in return.

When they finally rounded the corner the source of the molten red light on the floor became clear. Standing before them was a massive steel door that glowed red as though on fire, and was warm to the touch, which the foreman discovered when he cautiously placed his fingertips against it. The door was locked solely by an equally massive steel bar that stretched nearly from one side of the corridor to the other and also glowed molten red.

Dasher clapped his hands together and rubbed them, smiling to himself. "Well, here we are then," he said, taking the oil lantern from the foreman. "If you would be so kind as to open the door, Joseph." The foreman nodded numbly, still staring at the door, and attempted to lift it up, only to find himself struggling under the immense weight. White grumbled inaudibly and nudged the foreman to the far right side of the bar, taking his own place at the left, and together they strained and lifted the steel bar up, carefully leaning it against the wall.

With the bar out of the way, the foreman unhooked a latch that rang behind them through the hallway and pulled the door open under White's watchful gaze, flooding the hallway with molten red light. The three men shielded their eyes, but only Dasher smiled as he peeked between his fingertips; the foreman simply gaped at what lay beyond the steel door. The room was huge - as tall as the hallway, four times as wide, and just as deep - and glowed with the same brilliant light from an unseen source. At its center stood a metal beast, a horse made of metal, which was covered in chains that stretched from every wall and bound it in place. Dasher gave the lantern back to the foreman and entered the room first. It hummed with the metal horse's breathing, and as Dasher stepped closer he could see the metal was actually iron; it was an iron horse.

The foreman stepped in behind Dasher but was pushed aside by White. "What is that thing," he asked, peeking around White.

"Something beautiful," Dasher said, cautiously resting his hand on the horse's nose. The iron horse neighed and tried in vain to pull away, bound tightly by the countless chains. Hot air rushed out of its nose, making Dasher smile. "I wonder if you're actually breathing? White, remove some of these chains so I can get a better look at our new friend."

White nodded, and as he unhooked some of the chains Dasher ran his hands along the horse, remarking and admiring its design. The surface, one iron plate upon another, was black as night, but reflected the glow of the room. Countless small nuts, bolts, and gears could be seen between these iron plates, the gears constantly turning. "Such a beautiful, intricate creature; so precise, each tiny piece necessary and aware of its purpose." Dasher felt the horse's eyes on him and leaned in close to its ear, whispering, "You are the future."

The foreman, who still held the lantern in his hand despite the room's glow, had made his way to the back of the horse, taking a closer look at its legs. "Never seen anything like it before in my life?"

White let the unhooked heavy chains fall to the floor. With its neck free the horse turned and stared at Dasher, their eyes locked together. Dasher smiled that smile of satisfaction, until a creaking noise caught his attention. Slowly, quietly, the horse was straining against the chains that remained, and their anchors were bending. "White?" Dasher said quietly as one of the anchors ripped from the wall. White wrapped his large hands around the iron horse's body and tried to hold it in place; another anchor snapped off the wall, making Dasher's eyes widen. "White!"

Everything suddenly happened at once. With a quick, jerking motion the horse pulled the few remaining anchors out of the walls and in the process caught the foreman on the side of his head with a hoof. The foreman's cracked skull smacked against the back wall, and he dropped the lantern, which shattered as it hit the floor, lighting both him and the oil ablaze. Still trying in vain to hold onto the iron horse, White was dragged out of the room and lost his grip in the dark hallway. Dasher followed, pulling a revolver from his waist, shooting several times at the fleeing horse.

He covered his nose and mouth to shield them from the smoke that began to billow from the room and kicked at White, who lumbered to his feet slowly. "What are you waiting for," Dasher yelled, "get after it!"

Out in the furnace works the iron horse burst from the dark hallway, knocking aside man and boy alike as he ran between the furnaces towards the massive doors, towards freedom. With all its might it kicked the doors off their hinges, flooding mid-afternoon light into the furnace works along with fresh, cool air. From his hiding place behind a small pile of coal, the young boy cautiously watched the horse run up the steps into the cool, bright air outside and could not help but smile.

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