Scene Title Drums
Synopsis Joshua Lang holds down the fort while the Horsemen see to operations abroad.
Date July 4, 2018

The hills are alive with noise, a riotous clashing of drums made from old steel drums, barrels, crates, and the hoods of derelict automobiles. Enormous bonfires have been lit across the grassy field, still dewy with the day's rain. But the skies have cleared, and the twisting fingers of smoke rising up from the bonfires claw at a starry night sky devoid of light pollution that once covered this land.

A shimmering curtain of blue-green light dances overhead, like the hem of a great dress suspended from the stars. The solar storms are affecting the aurora borealis, allowing it to be seen as far south as Washington state. Close to a thousand people are out tonight, around the bonfires, drinking and eating and celebrating the middle of summer. They dance, laugh, and some fight under starlight. Here, amid the pounding of drums and the cheerful noises of celebration, there are different drums pounding.

Drums of change.

Drums of war.

Sedro-Wolley Colony


July 4th, 2018

9:37 pm

Seated on the hood of an old pickup truck, Joshua Lang watches the celebration with reserved thoughtfulness. The shearing sound of metal on stone gives a rhythm to his thoughts, and the slow movement of sliding his hunting knife down along a wetstone serves an almost hypnotically soothing purpose. The bonfire near his truck has no one dancing at it. He has taken to be by himself, leaving Odette in the care of his significant other so that he can think. Odette has an affect on him, sedating and soothing, in the way a kitten may calm a gorilla. Sometimes it makes it hard for him to think clearly as he once did. The knife slides against the wetstone again, and Joshua looks up to the aurora overhead.

"I heard you're moving." Comes a woman's voice from behind him, and Lang bolts up and brandishes his knife at the blonde woman emerging from the dark, entering the firelight with one brow raised. He tenses for a moment, then flips the knife around and slowly slides it into the sheathe at his hip. "Sorry," she laments, looking to the fire, then back to Lang. "But I'm right, aren't I?"

"That ain't for me t'say," Lang jabs, slowly approaching her. "An' I told everybody I didn't want no company tonight. I've got a lot on my mind." As he closes in on her, they come to about the same height, each tall and severe people with scars both outward and inward. She looks down at the knife, right within arm's reach, then back up.

"Are we all going?" Her blue eyes square on Lang's, and his lips downturn into a frown at the question. "That's all I want to know. I'm in charge of munitions, you can't expect me to have not noticed that things are coming together. All the extra gasoline, horses." Lang takes a step around her, closer to the fire, then smooths both hands over his scalp.

Silent for a time, Lang looks back at her and nods once. "Yeah, east. We're in it for the long haul." She notices something in his voice. Not quite resentment, but something similar.

"You don't sound like you agree." Insistant, she follows Lang around the fire, hands on her hips and thumbs hooked through the loops of her patched up cargo pants. Lang crosses his arms, sweat and grime clearly visible on both in the firelight. He stares into the flames, expression heavy and thoughtful.

When he looks back to her, he presses his tongue against the inside of his cheek, then looks back to the fire. "Boss Lady wants to go east, so we go east," is his deferential answer. "She ain;t been wrong yet." That addendum elicits a click of the blonde's tongue, and she steps in front of Lang and then looks down the hill to the other bonfires.

"And where is she right now?" The blonde woman asks, turning a look back to Lang. "Where is everyone else?" Lang turn shis attenton back to her with a slow, deliberate blink of his eyes and a shift of his jaw askew. His patience at being second-guessed is wearing thin, and the polish of good-natured ease that Odette leaves on him is rapidly wearing off.

Lang slides his tongue over his teeth behind the cover of his lips, and advances toward the blonde. "I do what I want," he insists to her, and she raises her hands in a gesture of of course you do while taking a step back. But then, at that distance, still within arm's reach but out of spitting range, she considers him more closely.

"And do you want to?" She asks hesitantly. "Go east?"

Lang fires a look at the blonde, then rest shis hand on the sheathed knife at his side. "Go fucking bother someone else," is his answer, and she can take that for what it means. Hands raised at shoulder height, the blonde takes several steps back at meandering pace, then slowly turns around and lets her arms fall down to their sides.

"If you decide to stay," she says to him with a twist of her brows. "You'll need an XO." Lang rolls his eyes and scrubs one calloused hand at the back of his neck.


"Go t'hell, Kara." Lang says at her back as though it were a conventional farewell. Kara slowly raises one hand, flipping Lang off as she walks away. At that, he cracks a smile and looks down to the bonfires, and listens to the pounding of the drums.

Drums of war.

But who's?

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