Its time to talk

Brother Ambrose debates with Sandy Spirit’s steward Azurath, about the finer details of faith.  Also they argue about what Fallen Oak is doing to the town’s folk during this time of trauma.  That she is busy going about the town seeing to people and recruiting them to perform a ritual within an hour, even though the more important things would be what had just happened, and to tend to the injured.  Azurath defends the mountain folk’s woman, telling the Watch Dog that she has full authority to deal with the faith from the mountain folk.  The argument leans towards the spirits being angered, Azurath suggesting that the hero of the hour Joshua, ‘who made a sacrifice of his flesh to the bullet’, should be able to appease the spirits with the actions he took.  But Ambrose refers to the spirits as being the demons that are angry.

Eventually Ambrose manages to convince Azurath to not attend the ritual that Fallen Oak will be trying to hold.  Ambrose thanks him for his consideration and bids him farewell.  Now he heads off to check up on his colleague Joshua.  Jesse heads off with him, leading him to where Joshua is located, and explains the current situation he will find him in.  They see as the walk back to Joshua, that Fallen Oak is still busy talking with people of the town, injured or otherwise, regarding a ritual that will take place within the hour.  Once they arrive at Joshua’s location they find him sat up and getting his bearings on his and the town’s situation.  Ambrose and Jesse tell him about what they have seen and found out what is happening as they speak.

After agreeing amongst themselves what their next plain of action should be.  Ambrose and Jesse leave Joshua to recover, and head off to have a word with Fallen Oak.  Ambrose in the hope of Jesse keeping her busy while he has a few words with the town’s folk.

Fallen Oak soon notices the two Watch Dogs approaching her as her eyes flick up.  A slight smile crosses her face, wary with the Watch Dogs approach.  She stops talking with the people around her and looks up.  “I wondered when I would see you Watch Dogs.”

Brother Jesse discusses with her, her actions regarding the disaster that has just hit the town.  Mentioning that surely it would be prudent to worry more for the welfare of the people first, instead of her standing and trying to capitalise on the situation.  She obviously doesn’t take too kindly to the remarks and gives her own sly comments.  Fallen Oak tells Jesse that his colleague Joshua’s action was a stupid one, “gutsy but stupid.”  Both Jesse and Fallen Oak argue and debate over the actions and what should be done.  She tells him that they need to appease the spirits, suggesting that the Watch Dogs presence could be the cause of their anger.  However she doesn’t say this in so many words.  She claims that she has a responsibility to the people here, especially as she is married to the next head.  Fallen Oak gets to the point of suggesting that Jesse is pushing the argument beyond her threshold, telling him that her father is the head of the tribe, and that she is married to the man who will soon be the head of everything.

Fallen Oak tells Jesse to get out of her face, that he is harming the people of the town by stopping her performing the ritual.  She tells him to move aside and go help the people if he can.  “Get away from me Watch Dog.  Do you understand?”  She then pulls a blade and holds it steady in her hand by her side.  “I gave you a last warning to get out of my face Watch Dog.”  She then counts down from five, and at each count telling Jesse that he has that many seconds to leave.  Jesse stands there showing that he has no weapons on him.  He is respecting the request of the town, even though he has since been given the authority to have his weapons on him.

Fallen Oak lunges at Jesse trying to place her blade up against Jesse’s throat.  Jesse however manages to side step the attack avoiding any cut from the blade.  He then tries to keep her calm and tries to talk with her more.  However she isn’t having any of it and tells him to walk more and talk less, “I have things to do.”  She then tries to trip him by placing her leg behind him as he steps.  Unfortunately Jesse sees her legs and avoids it, but doesn’t notice the blade reposition and draws some of his blood.  Quickly Jesse stops this before it gets out of hand, and smashes his hand hard down upon Fallen Oaks hand that is holding the blade.  The blade drops instantly from her hand bouncing on the ground.  With this she decides not to press the matter, “fire at last, I guess you can stay then Watch Dog.”  She steps back away from the fallen blade.

However she suggests that if he wants to help then he should attend the ritual himself.  “As I can’t seem to make you leave, and that we now have enough people…”  Ambrose steps in and joins the argument about whether there should be a ritual, arguing for her and the people to stop the ritual.  As Ambrose walks in, Fallen Oak includes him in the enticement to join the ritual.  Ambrose argues that the Watch Dogs to not believe or wish to join in with the ritual.  Fallen Oak Demands that the Watch Dogs have not shown any respect to the choice the town has made.  “The town has made a choice, but it is not of the mountain folk’s belief, not is it that of the King of Life.  It is in fact a dangerous belief.”  Ambrose tells her.  “We will need good reason to leave that alone.  This is the kind of ritual that I have seen feed Demons.”

Fallen Oak looks at each of the people in the gathered crowd who are still obviously on her side, encouraging a response to her words and adding weight to her argument.  Ambrose suddenly realises that as he look amongst the crowd for people that are on their side, he remembers seeing Abijah and his ‘followers’ walk off somewhere not long after Jesse got cut.  Now none of them can be seen anywhere.  Ambrose tells Fallen Oak that she can not keep playing game like this.  A fire ignites behind Fallen Oak’s eyes, telling the Watch dogs to not disrespect her faith and call her spirits Demons.  Suggesting further that they sit in on the ritual and see for themselves that there are no Demons.

The pressure of the argument gets the better of Brother Jesse, and the anger within him builds and he decides to sit down and calm himself, allowing Brother Ambrose to take the lead.  So Fallen Oak and Ambrose argue and debate back and forth about the ritual and demons, and the games being played.  Both arguing that the other doesn’t know what they are saying without experiencing.  “The town should not leap in to something they do not fully know anything about.”

“You’re the blind man speaking of sight.  The town they have seen.”

“No this town has seen the rituals of this new belief, and half of them moved away from here.”

In a moment of silence between the arguing Fallen Oak and Brother Ambrose, a sound echoes through town of a bullet being cocked in to the firing chamber of a rifle.  When everyone looks in the direction of the sound, they see Abijah standing there looking down the rifle sight with his good eye, and all his colleagues standing behind him with guns in hand.  About five men all dressed in black, with heavy set revolvers in hands stand spaced out, each one of them having a full beard on their faces.  “I say, I say, nobody pulls a blade on a Watch Dog while we’re ‘ere.  We seen the sin in this town, and we’re ‘ere to help put an end to it.  We’re going to execute this witch ‘ere for her sins.”  Fallen Oak turns seeing and hearing this, kicking her knife up off the ground and catching it in mid air.  “I see the cowards in the town have finally decided to show and step up.  I don’t think you got it in you to pull the trigger yet though.”

All guns are pointing at Fallen Oak.  Ambrose positions himself to be between her and Abijah. Jesse stands and begins to walk over to Abijah, also positioning himself between the man and Fallen Oak.  “Put the damn gun down!”  Ambrose tells Abijah and Jesse instructs him to stop what he is doing as this is not the correct way, that he needs to think about what he is about to do.  Fallen Oak looks surprised by this action of the Watch Dogs.  Abijah states that they need to take the woman out, that they have lost their town, their friends, and that they have lost everything.  “The witch needs to die.”

“This is not the way of the King of Life.”

“We can’t back down now.  We ‘ave shown our hand and we need to take the witch out.  With or without your backing Watch Dogs.”

Joshua hears all this happening, and manages to take a look outside, using his rifle as a crutch.  He positions himself at a point where he can see Abijah with a clear shot.

Jesse arrives at Abijah and hits down hard with his fist against the man’s trigger hand.  Abijah tries to avoid the strike by swinging his rifle butt against Jesse’s knuckles.  Joshua fires a shot at the feet of Abijah.  “They’ve joined ‘em, they’ve joined the witch’s side!”  Abijah shouts out to his colleagues.  A brawl kicks off as the colleagues who have been moving around make a move for Ambrose as well as help Abijah with Jesse.  Ambrose kicks sand in the eyes of the guys nearby.  Joshua takes pot shots down at the guys.

“These Watch Dogs are false. They are protecting the heretics, not punishing them!”  A shout cries out from the colleagues of Abijah.  Suddenly a rumble begins to vibrate from the mountain, possibly triggered by the shouting, the gunfire, or something more within the atmosphere of the town.  Another landslide erupts down from the mountain.

Ambrose manages to clock Abijah on the side of the head with the butt of his pistol, just before the mountain side hits the town.  The landslide isn’t as bad as the one before, but it still manages to crash through the hastily constructed defences causing more damage.

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