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30 September 2011 @ 09:55 pm
The way of the warrior Chp 4, (5/14), R, Sam & Dean Winchester  
The Way of the Warrior Chapter 4.

The Impala came to a halt as Sam and Dean emerged from her, still dressed in their suits. After the interview with Amber, they had managed to track down a few of the witnesses to the appearances on the construction site. Splitting up to cover more ground they had questioned them, now they walked towards the only bar in town. It was called The Tavern, and when they stepped inside they let their eyes adjust to the dim lighting. Dean looked round, and nodded his approval. The place was clean, had food on offer, and there was a large television, showing sport. Sat at the bar were a row of men, the kind of men found in any town at most bars. They had finished work, and some were just having a beer with friends before heading home. The hardcore would still be here at closing time, after drinking their evening meal.

Dean walked up to the bar and gestured to the man behind it. The bartender came over. “And what can I get two members of the Gaming Commission tonight?” His face wore a pleasant enough smile, but it didn’t reach his eyes. Dean just felt like turning around and leaving, but he and Sam had to dig up more Intel before going after the ghosts. “Two beers, please. Whatever you have on draught, and what’s good on the menu tonight? Even bloodsucking agents of a corrupt commission have to eat sometimes.” Dean waited to see if the guy would serve him or knock him out; as he waited he loosened his tie in a gesture of both exhaustion and frustration. His body ached and he wasn’t in the mood to be jerked around right about now.

The bartender who’d been scowling at him, suddenly grinned. “You must be the singer with the band; Amber said you got a smart mouth on you. I gotta say, man, it takes balls to goad Amber on her own turf. I hear you want to ask a few questions about what’s been going down on the site. Well, Mr Coverdale, you’ve come to the right place, stick around. Then you and your partner will be able to talk to the construction workers, and the protesters.” As he spoke the man was filling a glass with beer.

Dean’s raised his eyebrows, “What? You get both sides of this in here? Don’t it get kind of frisky at times?” Dean gratefully picked up the cold beer, and took a long drink. God! That felt good!

“Not really. For the most part it tends to be civil. If I think it’s gonna get out of hand I usually ask the parties involved to leave...politely, of course.” Dean looked up at the man who was heavily muscled and gave off a ‘don’t mess with me’ vibe. Dean admitted to himself, even he would think twice about tackling him right at this moment in time.

“You don’t mind us asking questions, then? I thought Amber would’ve told everyone not to talk to us.” Dean was intrigued by the attitude.

The bartender shrugged, “Amber is many things, but she’d never tell people not to talk - she lets you make up your own mind. To be honest about the casino, I ain’t all that bothered one way or the other. While the place is being built, I get the construction crew coming in, and those boys can drink.” He poured another beer.

“What happens when the place is finished and open? Won’t it affect your business?” Dean asked.

The bartender shrugged again, “Not really. The casino is five miles out of town and besides those who work there have to eat and drink, don’t they? I’m a practical man. That place is going up no matter what me or anyone else thinks. By the way, the chilli is good tonight.” He handed the other beer to Dean.

“Thanks, man. I’ll take one chilli....” Dean picked up the menu, looked down and smiled “And one chicken salad for my partner, and thanks for your help.” Dean handed over his money, and walked back towards Sam.

Sam was sitting in a booth, going over his notes from his conversation with Amber, and the few witness statements he and Dean had taken. The witnesses had all seen the same kind of thing -Native American men. Some wore the pants and shirts of the time. Others were dressed in the more traditional buckskin clothing, and each man’s hair was dressed differently. Some had it braided, others wore it loose. Some witnesses swore they had war paint on, others said there was nothing. They all agreed that the men were armed, some with rifles and a couple carried bow and arrows.

Sam was puzzled by the varying descriptions of the ghosts. Maybe it was as Dean had suggested. That it was the Protesters dressing up as historical Native Americans, and they were the ones haunting the site and disrupting the work. But there were things that didn’t add up to that, the cold spots for one. And each of the witnesses swearing the figures had faded away in front of them, if someone got too close.

Dean sat down and handed Sam a beer. He took a drink and Dean watched his brother pour over his notes. “It seems we’re the lead item in the local news. Amber’s spread the word about us. But according to our friendly host over there, people will still talk to us. Oh, by the way, I’ve ordered us some food.” Dean took another drink.
Sam looked up from his notes; he shuddered at the thought of the kind of food Dean had ordered for him. “Relax, princess. I got you a chicken salad. You don’t want to be losing that girlish figure now, do you?” Dean grinned as Sam huffed back at him. “While we’re waiting, care to fill me on the history of the place. After all, you and Amber looked real cosy when you were talking.” Dean sat back, leaning against the booth, his back was killing him. The bruising over his kidneys was tender, and where the cue had struck him across his back, his shoulders felt as if they were on fire. He was looking forward to getting back to the motel for some rest, but for now they still had work to do.

Sam sat up straighter, making Dean smile. He was getting ready to educate him; Dean took another drink and sat forward with an expression of rapt attention on his face.

Sam looked over at his brother, frowning slightly when he saw the flicker of discomfort that crossed Dean’s face. Then he rolled his eyes when Dean sat, looking at him with what he liked to call Dean’s thinking face. It looked more like constipation to him, but he supposed he better get the mocking over and done with.

Sam pulled on his tie and undid the top button of his shirt, “Ok, Dean, here it is. The edited highlights of Creek Ridge’s history.....” Before Sam could go any further, he was interrupted.

“What, no director’s cut? Damn, I was looking forward to all the extras and outtakes. Sorry, Sammy, carry on.” Dean smirked, and then quirked his eyebrow at his brother.

“It’s Sam, and I wanted to make sure you paid attention, so I’m going for all the battle scenes. The town was founded around the end of eighteen forty; it seems that the population all migrated here on ‘The Trail of Tears’. They were escorted here by the Fourth Cavalry, under the command of a Captain Edgar Stoneman.” Dean leant closer and interrupted Sam once more.

“Trail of Tears? Wasn’t that when the government forced the Cherokee off their land, and dragged them halfway across the country to Oklahoma or somewhere?” Sam looked surprised at the question. He’d been expecting some smart-assed comment, not that.

“That’s it, and I bet you’re wondering how come these people ended up here. It seems that the government were killing two birds with one stone. Not only did they want Cherokee land, but several prominent tribal members were seen as agitators. In other words, they didn’t take too kindly to seeing their people dying. The government separated these particular men and women from the rest of the Cherokee Nation. At the same time, groups of Creek, Choctaw and Seminole were being moved for the exact same reason. They were all gathered together in Oklahoma, and then moved on under armed guard of the Fourth Cavalry, as I said.

The journey was brutal, and many people died, especially children. Amber believes that the government was hoping that in-fighting between the tribes would break out. Meaning these people would effectively wipe each other out on the march.” Sam paused, checking his notes.

Dean thought for a few seconds, “I gotta say, Sam, the old U S of A government back then didn’t exactly cover itself with glory. Let me guess. The tribes didn’t end up fighting, but banding together against a common enemy. How am I doing so far?” Dean asked and Sam nodded.

“After about a quarter of those on the march either died, or became sick due to the harsh conditions, there was a rebellion. Captain Stoneman was a cold-hearted bastard, barely giving the people time to bury their dead, or even enough food to survive on. All he cared about was driving those on the march down into Mexico, as per his orders.

Finally they had enough and they made a stand. There was a war council and they appointed a Cherokee War Chief. His name was ay kwa yoh nah, which means Great Bear. Great Bear was called that because of his great stature. He towered over his compatriots by standing the great height of six-foot tall, and he was courageous and cunning, according to the history of the tribes.” Sam paused again, flipping through his notes. He glanced up at Dean.

Dean was entranced by the story. Sam half smiled to himself. Despite his big brother’s pretence, Sam knew he loved hearing about the stories behind some of the hauntings they dealt with. Sam knew this particular story would strike a deep chord with Dean from the way that Great Bear and his warriors had protected those weaker than themselves, willing to risk everything for family. Yes, Dean had a lot in common with the chief.

“According to the charming Captain Stoneman, the only good Indian was a dead Indian. Then when over five hundred men and women broke away from the rest of the marchers, he went after them. He left only a token force to shepherd over two thousand people. What he didn’t realize was he was being lured into a trap by Great Bear.”

Dean took a swig of beer, trying to dislodge the distaste he felt for a long dead man. “The dude sounds like a complete dick. Give him a gun, and a uniform and he thinks he’s God. Please tell me Great Bear and his warriors kicked the bastard’s ass. Sorry, Sammy, carry on. It’s just... what a bastard.” Sam nodded his agreement and continued with the story.

“The group broke away and made a run for the canyon. What the esteemed captain didn’t know was that Great Bear had been sending scouts to look for the perfect place to stand and fight, for a while. They had told the soldiers they were hunters, trying to bring food back for the rest of the marchers. The captain and his officers were so damn arrogant, they thought they had broken the tribe’s people, and the soldiers allowed it.

What they actually brought back, along with game was intelligence; they spoke of a large box canyon and flat open spaces, just the kind of place the warriors could stand and fight. Great Bear led most of his warriors to the canyon, and that’s where he waited for the cavalry to come to them. And Captain Stoneman came, along with three quarters of his troop, leaving weakened and dispirited people trudging on to his ultimate goal.

With the canyon at his back, Great Bear took advantage of Captain’s Stoneman’s arrogance. The warriors cut through them as if they were nothing, and the battle raged for a couple of days. The Native Americans utilised their skills - lightning horseback raids and surprise attacks to weaken the soldiers. They were successful, because Stoneman, the asshole, never thought to check where Great Bear was hiding his men.”

Dean interrupted Sam, “Hang on, Sammy. You mean to tell me, that idiot rode past the only piece of natural cover and shelter for miles. And he never thought to check it out? Damn, that guy really did deserve to get his ass kicked.” Dean was leaning forward, a light in his eyes, happy to hear that Great Bear made a fool of the man. Sam smiled sadly. He knew how the story ended, and he supposed, deep down, so did Dean.

“I’m right with you there, big brother, but in the end even Stoneman realized what was happening. Stoneman sent out his own scouts who tracked a raiding party to the canyon. It was poorly guarded because Great Bear couldn’t spare the men; he had to keep pressing the cavalry for as long as possible. On the fourth night, Stoneman marched his troops to the canyon. He blockaded the mouth of it, preventing Great Bear and all the surviving warriors from escaping.

Then he sent men up the canyon walls, picking off any Native American who tried to stop them....Dean, he dynamited the whole ridge. Then at dawn the next day, Stoneman himself detonated the dynamite. The resulting rock slide took over ten feet in height from the canyon in places, killing or injuring everyone inside.” Sam’s voice faded, still sickened by what Amber had told him.

Sam gathered himself together and continued, “Captain Stoneman then turned his men around, and they rode back to the rest of the marchers. What he didn’t know was Great Bear’s act of rebellion was a diversion, meant to give as many of the marchers as much time as possible to escape. The soldiers were so hard pressed, they never noticed at first how many people just melted away. By the time they realized what was going on, it was too late. Captain Stoneman returned to only a fraction of the numbers he’d been escorting.” Sam stopped again; he saw Dean had grown pensive. He knew his brother felt for Great Bear and his men. That hearing about the treatment the tribes had suffered, and the fate of those who tried to stand up to Stoneman’s cruelty, affected Dean deeply.

“Captain Stoneman flew into a rage, and promptly turned his now exhausted men back around to pursue the ‘renegades,’ as he called them. By the time he caught up with them they had reached what was to become the town, and this time he was outnumbered and out gunned. The tribes refused to move; on their way through they had discovered the canyon. Apparently they heard the final dying cries of those trapped inside. They decided that was it - no more running. They sat down and refused to move on. They even took out more of the fourth until there were only fifty or so men left. Captain Stoneman fled. He went back to report the hideous attacks on his men, and he fully expected to return with more military might.” Sam reflected on the long dead captain. Dean was right... the guy had been a complete dick. But he had a history to complete, and so he spoke again.

“Sadly for the captain he didn’t get his reinforcements. Because before Great Bear made his final stand, he had sent messengers out to tell other Native American Nations what had happened. By the time Captain Stoneman reached Washington, his reception wasn’t quite what he expected.”

Dean slammed his glass down, “Please tell me he was court marshalled, and thrown out of the army for what he did. Shit! What a bastard!” Dean felt disgust at the story he was hearing. Hell, if he’d been Great Bear he would have done the same. Except he would’ve made sure Stoneman never got home.

“Actually, several senators wanted to give him a medal for his sterling work. What stopped them was a united delegation of Native American Nations, who threatened retaliation for what happened at the canyon. Faced with the prospect of a mass uprising, the government quietly backed down. It was easier to leave the survivors of this ‘Trail of Tears’ where they were. They created a new Reservation, and included the canyon in the Reservation’s land. Stoneman’s once fantastic career was stalled, and he found himself being left out in the cold.

Meanwhile back at Creek Ridge the town was born, and it grew steadily. It seems that word had spread about the final battle. Many family members of those who died in the canyon found their way to the town, including Great Bear’s sons and wife who he’d entrusted to the care of the warriors he left protecting the other marchers.

The canyon became sacred ground; it took years before the entrance was finally cleared of the debris. From what Amber told me, the remains were placed within the canyon walls, and treated with all the proper rites, according to their status as warriors.” Sam stopped talking, their food had arrived and Dean ordered two more beers.

“What happened to Captain Stoneman, and how come none of this is public knowledge? I mean, there are plenty of accounts of other massacres the army was responsible for?” Dean took a bite of chilli; he went bright red and loosened his collar a little more.

Sam smiled at the display, watching as Dean continued to eat. There was no way his brother would ever admit that the chilli might just be too hot. Sam started his own salad; he chewed on a piece of chicken. “Poor Captain Stoneman appears to have been a victim of friendly fire, or should I say he was shot by one of his own men. That was after he ordered them to open fire on women and children. As for why this was kept quiet - it seems the army was embarrassed by how easily Great Bear managed to fool one of their most promising officers. It was decided that the Valley of Tears as it became known, was best forgotten. Creek Ridge became something of a sanctuary for Native American families who couldn’t settle on other Reservations. That’s why this place is so special, Dean; the different tribes put aside their usual differences and worked as one. They became a family, not of blood but in spirit. Now it seems that the casino is putting that in danger, and it could be why the ghosts are acting up.” Sam stopped speaking and they both continued to eat.

As they did, Dean went over the story he’d just heard. He was worried; these ghosts had plenty of reason to be pissed at their resting place being violated. “Sam, does that mean the casino is actually being built in the canyon? Because I’d have thought the elders wouldn’t have allowed that.”

Sam shook his head at this. Swallowing, he answered. “Actually the casino is being built over a mile away from the canyon, as I said the other day. It could be the ghosts that are being seen, are the spirits of the warriors who died in the desert. I’m kind of hoping that’s the case, because Dean, these spirits more than most, have a damn good reason to be angry. Not everyone died right away after the canyon was dynamited. The lucky ones died immediately, the others were buried alive...” Sam went silent, trying not to dwell on how they had met their end.

“I gotta say, Sammy, I’m with you; I don’t think I’d take too kindly to being woken up from my well-earned eternal rest, only to find a hotel and casino being built over my grave, and worse, the place is full of white men. Shit, it’s a total recipe for disaster. Did Amber say anything else about the canyon? Like seeing figures there, or any strange stories connected to it?” Dean heard the door open, and he looked over to see who was coming in. It looked like the construction crews were coming in for their evening refreshment, they were a mixed bunch. The group consisted of both Native Americans and white Americans; they were all laughing as they walked over to the bar. The men sat on stools, and suddenly the noise in the bar increased with good natured talking.

Sam watched the men. He and Dean would go over there soon and mingle, ask a few questions about what had been happening on site. Before they did he’d answer Dean’s question, “No, Amber never mentioned anything like that, but I don’t think she would’ve shared that information. After all, if she is an apprentice Shaman. She would want to protect the resting place of her ancestors.”

Dean took another drink of beer, “Alternatively, she might not want anyone to know she’s been the one setting the alarm clock.” Dean heard a particularly loud laugh. He glanced up and for a second he saw several curious faces looking at them.

Sam noticed this too, “Hey, Dean. You don’t think that Amber was on to us? You know, the whole gaming commission cover being a bust.” Sam kept a watch on the men at the bar.

Dean looked at his drink and remembered the bartender’s comment about the singer with the band. He shrugged his shoulders, “I wouldn’t worry too much about that, Sam, unless they threaten to run us out of town. Shall we go and chat to the locals then?” Dean slid out of the booth, stood up and made his way over to the construction workers.

Sam watched as Dean weaved his magic with the men at the bar, despite the fact he was wearing his suit, and several of the men kept referring to him as Agent Black. Dean soon had the men eating out of the palm of his hand, buying them beers, commiserating with them over their jobs, or girlfriends, or both. Finally Dean swung the conversation round to the rumours of ghosts on site, and how it was affecting the building work.

One man snorted in his beer, “Oh, come on, man! You don’t believe those fairy tales, do ya? I’m tellin’ ya, it’s just some of these shmucks from town. Listen, this casino is gonna be the best thing that ever happened to the place and some folks are up in arms about it. God, I really don’t get you lot.” He looked over at his colleagues. Dean tensed at the words, wondering if a fight was going to break out. He was just getting ready to smooth things over, when one of the local men responded.

“Yeah, that’s right, Norm. We all go home to our tepees at night and roast buffalo over fires, built out of computers because we’re all too goddamn dumb to use ‘em.” He was smiling as he spoke, and Norm put his hand up as if to say sorry. The man carried on. “You’ll have to excuse Norm. He hasn’t got the hang of cultural differences yet. He still can’t get over the fact we’ve all got mobile phones, and know what You Tube is. As for the protests, Amber and her friend’s hearts are in the right place, but this town needs the casino. But I don’t think they would go round, dressed up as the ancestors, just to get us to stop working. There are plenty of other ways to do that, trust me. And anyway, Norm, you had your own run-in with Geronimo, remember?” At that, laughter filled the room.

Norm went bright red and grumbled something about smart-assed redskins, which led to a hail of peanut shells being thrown at him. Dean was enjoying the banter, “Come on, then, Norm. Don’t leave me in suspense. You actually saw one of the ghosts?” Dean grinned when Norm went even redder; the man turned the bottle in his hands round and round.

“Oh, to hell with it! Yeah, I ran into a spook, Happy now? I was sending a pallet of bricks up on a hoist, when it suddenly got cold where I was standing. It was like someone had opened a goddamn freezer on the back of my neck. I turned round to tell these guys to stop goofing with the compressed air, and there he was. It was some Native American dude. He was just standing there and he wasn’t dressed like the rest of the guys. For a start he had feathers in his hair, and he was wearing buckskin pants. What scared me shitless was the rifle he was holding.” Norm paused, and wiped his hands nervously on his shirt.

“What did the ghost do? Did it attack you or just stand there?” Sam was curious; this must’ve been the guy who claimed ‘Geronimo’ dropped a pallet of bricks on his head.

Norm looked uncomfortable. He sighed, “Look, the dude just stood there. I kept telling him to move because he was right underneath the pallet of bricks..... Then the bastard just vanished! One second he was stood there, the next he was gone.” Norm still looked shaken as he recounted his tale.

“I thought the ghost dropped the bricks on you?” Dean asked with a smile.

Norm looked embarrassed, “No, he didn’t, but I got such a fucking scare I let go of the controls. The pallet slipped, and damn near flattened me.” There was laughter again, as well as good-natured cat calls.

“Yeah and when Daryl came screaming round the corner, breathing fire, Norm did the only thing he could. He blamed the ghost for him being such a klutz.” Everyone laughed at that but before Sam could ask anything else the door opened again, and Amber walked in with several other people.

For a second the room fell silent then the construction worker, who’d been mocking Norm, spoke. “Evening, Amber. Care to join the enemy for a beer? Or is this a protest meeting?” He raised his bottle in salute.

Amber smiled and winked, “Thanks, Joe, but I’ll take a rain check on the beer. We agitators have got plans to make on how to bring down the casino, and return to sitting round singing songs of the old days.” Then she and her friends went and sat at a table.

After a few more conversations with the construction crew, Sam and Dean went back to the booth where they had been sitting. “What do you think, Dean? By the sounds of it we are dealing with a haunting for definite, and it sounds like we have warriors from several different tribes.” Sam took a drink of beer, and thought about their next move.

Dean rubbed at his eyes. God, this was getting more complicated. “I think we need to take a trip out to the construction site and see what’s what. I say we finish this and hit the road. Get an early start tomorrow. I’m sure Norm and the guys will be more than happy to let us on site.” Dean noticed there was someone stood by the booth; he glanced up to find Amber standing there.

Dean smiled at her, “Good evening, Miss Moonhaven. I hope you’re having a pleasant evening. What can Sam and I do for you?” Dean wondered how much of their conversation she’d heard.

“Good evening, Mr Coverdale, Mr Lord. I’m just checking that everything was satisfactory with your meals.” Sam glanced at Dean, his expression confused. Amber sat beside Dean, and she looked over at Sam. “Oh, I should have said I’m the co-owner of the bar, and I like to make sure that all my customers are treated well.” The unspoken words, ‘even those who accuse me of sabotage’ hung in the air.

Sam leaned forward, “Amber, I promise you, we are here to investigate the concerns of the town. From what I’ve heard most of the people think this is a good idea. Please can you explain exactly what your objection to the casino is, please?” His voice was soft and full of sympathy for the fiery young woman.

Amber sat back, hardly looking at Dean, “I’m not stupid, Mr Lord. The town needs the jobs. I just have a problem with the other plans for the site Daryl has. That’s what the protests are for. I don’t want to stop the casino completely, just part of it.”

Dean moved slightly and Amber finally acknowledged him, “Like Sam said, we’re sorry if we have upset you, but we have to ask these kind of questions.” Dean gave his best winning smile.

“Why do you have to ask about the town’s ghost stories? What kind of investigation are you two running?” Amber watched both men carefully; she saw a silent communication pass between them. It was Dean who answered.

“When we received the reports concerning the sabotage and incidents from the site, they all mentioned the ghosts. We wouldn’t have been doing our job, if we hadn’t asked questions about them. Besides Sam is a sucker for a good ghost story, aren’t you, Sammy? He loves all that sitting round a camp fire being scared.” Sam just narrowed his eyes, and gave a strained smile in agreement.

“How come you’re part owner of a bar? I thought you worked at the Harmony Centre?” Dean guided the conversation away from the case. But it did explain the bartender’s comment about the singer in the band. Amber had warned him about them. And it would explain why no one else seemed to be suspicious of them.

Amber’s smile grew a little sadder, “That’s easy. When my grandfather died he left me some money. My partner, Eddie, the guy behind the bar, needed someone to invest. I was only too happy to. So, like I said, was the meal ok?” Amber looked at the brothers as she spoke.

“The meal was great. Only I think the chilli may have been a little too hot for my poor partner.” Sam grinned, as Dean flushed with embarrassment.

“Actually I meant to ask you earlier. Is there any truth in the stories? You know...the ghosts that have been seen on site? From what I understand, some of your protesters have seen them as well.” Sam asked the question casually, but both men saw the imperceptible flinch Amber gave. Before she could answer the door swung open, and Amber’s face changed. She went from relaxed to angry in the blink of an eye.

Dean watched as she stood up, following her eye line to see who she was glaring at. A man was approaching them, a little shorter than himself. His black hair was cut into a crew cut and the suit he wore was expensive. He had a charming smile on his face, and Dean didn’t need an introduction to know who was standing there.

“What the fuck are you doing in here, Daryl?” Amber’s voice had grown harsher as she spoke. She folded her arms, and stood there, radiating a cold anger.

Daryl raised his hands in a placating gesture, “I don’t want to fight, Amber. I’m just here to extend an invite to the two members of the Gaming Commission. After all, they are here to see the casino, not to listen to your ramblings about the damage I’m doing to our cultural heritage.”

Amber gaped at the sheer nerve of Daryl. He side stepped her and held out his hand towards Dean. Dean looked at it as if it was a live electrical cable. He pulled himself together, and went to shake the outstretched hand. Hell, he’d even manage not to break the smug bastard’s fingers, while he was at it.

Amber reached down and put her hand on top of Daryl’s, “You know why you’re not welcome here, Daryl, now I’m gonna ask you just once more to leave. Before Eddie has to come from behind the bar and you know as well as I do, nobody wants that.” Amber’s voice was soft but the threat within it was plain.

Daryl stepped back, he shook his head at Amber, “Listen, it really doesn’t have to be like this. Look at what I’m offering the town - a new resort with plenty of jobs. With more jobs comes more money, and more money means better schools and clinics. You’re the one being unreasonable here, Amber. Look at how many of the town’s people are working for me. Are they all fools?” His voice was calm and reasonable.

Amber stood up straighter, “You know I’m not calling the people, fools. I’m just asking not to go through with everything. Build your damn casino and fleece as many suckers as you want, just don’t use our heritage to sell it. That’s what I’m trying to stop, Daryl; you want to turn this land into a goddamn theme park. What’s next? Having your staff dress up as Indians? Have nightly shoot-outs with the cavalry? I know you’ll want to re-enact Great Bear’s final stand.....” Amber saw a look cross Daryl’s face as she said that

“Holy shit! I’m right, ain’t I? Damn you, Daryl! It’s bad enough you touting this as some kind of Dances with Wolves experience, but to mock the memory of those who died here. Get the fuck out of my bar now!” Amber backed away from Daryl, her face contorted with rage.

Daryl stood up straighter, “No, you’re the one who doesn’t get it, Amber. I will treat the memory of Great Bear and his men with respect; it’s a story that deserves to be told to everyone. How many people outside of this town know about what Great Bear and his warriors sacrificed?” He looked down at Dean and spoke, “Well, had you ever head of the ‘Valley of Tears’ before? Or what happened here?” Dean hated to give Daryl any backing, but he had to shake his head in response to the question.

“No, I thought not. I want to show people what happened; I want them to see our traditions. Tell them the story of the final battle; how Great Bear ran rings round that white idiot. That it was only through an act of mass murder that he won. What is so wrong with that, Amber?” Daryl pleaded with her to see sense; he was doing this for the town. It needed this casino; it would help to bring it back to life. But Amber and her narrow mindedness was putting it at risk.

Daryl wasn’t finished, “You know what, Amber? You just can’t stand the thought that poor little Daryl Gray Bear might actually be right? That showing visitors our way of life will help keep our traditions alive, not destroy them. And I just find it so sad that you’re so desperate to stop this, that you are even using our ancestors in such a cheap way.” He shook his head sadly as he spoke.

“What the fuck do you mean by that, Daryl? You know I’d never dishonour our ancestors.” Amber was getting louder and louder, Sam moved towards the edge of the booth. He could sense the growing unease in the room. He saw Dean tense, ready to move into action if needed.

Daryl pressed home his advantage, “Oh, come on, Amber! We all know that you and your bunch of idiots are responsible for the ghost sightings. It’s shameful to use those brave warriors like that. Dressing up and trying to stop the construction by frightening my workers.” For a moment nothing happened then all hell broke loose. Amber’s friends all leapt to their feet and started to yell at Daryl, the construction crew leaped to the boss’s defence. The two sides stood shouting at one another, and there were a few pushes and half-hearted threats of violence.

Sam slid out of the booth and stood up, several people automatically moved away from Sam’s impressive build. Dean followed suit and he too found himself with plenty of room. They watched as Amber and Daryl continued with their heated words, Amber accusing Daryl of betraying his blood. And Daryl retorting they were in the twenty-first century and perhaps she might like to join the rest of them.

Suddenly the temperature in the room dropped. The protesters and construction crew never noticed the change during their heated exchange. But Sam and Dean were immediately on their guard. They scanned the room, and at the same time they saw the cause of the change in temperature. Stood beyond the two warring factions, just in the shadows was an imposing figure. The man stood around six-foot tall; he was wearing a breech clout and leggings. On his feet were moccasins. He wore a shirt with a long beaded jacket over it, his hair long and braided. His hair was black but it was shot through with strands of grey. His face was impassive but Dean could tell immediately this was a warrior, by the way he assessed the room with a look.

Dean took a step forward, and met the eyes of the ghost. Ghost and hunter stood looking at one another; Dean stared into eyes so dark they were almost black. He felt no fear as he stared at the apparition, instinctively Dean knew he was facing Great Bear. The ghost inclined its head, an unspoken challenge being issued; Dean stood straighter and with a look accepted the challenge. He began to move, and as suddenly as it appeared the figure was gone.

The spell broken, Dean quickly glanced round the room. Sam was watching him and they both looked at Amber and Daryl. Amber seemed to be muttering to herself, and her hand was wrapped tightly round the medicine pouch around her neck. Daryl seemed to be shaken; it was obvious that he too had seen the ghostly warrior. The shocked expression suddenly shifted, and once more Daryl’s veneer of confidence reasserted itself.

The bar was still in uproar, and Eddie appeared from behind the bar. He stood in the middle of the room and roared one word. “ENOUGH!” The two groups stopped shouting, and looked at Eddie. “Ok, one more word out of any of you, and you’re all barred. And you guys know the next bar ain’t for twenty miles or so, and I’ll make sure you don’t get a drink there neither. Now are you gonna kiss and make up? Or do I start making phone calls.” Eddie’s threat had silenced the room immediately.

Dean watched as burly men shuffled from foot to foot, and choruses of “Don’t be like that, Eddie.” Could be heard from round the bar.

Dean looked over at Sam, “I understand why they hate Eddie coming out from behind the bar now.” Sam said as he stood by his brother. They then turned towards Daryl and Amber.

The two protagonists were still staring at one another. Dean nodded to Sam and Sam moved towards Daryl. “Mr Gray Bear, after witnessing this altercation, I believe that my partner and I should visit the construction site. We need to determine for ourselves the full extent of the problems. Will eleven o’clock be convenient?” Sam’s tone was friendly, but he gave Daryl no room to say no to the request.

“Why, yes, of course. Eleven o’clock will be fine. I look forward to seeing the two of you then.” Daryl managed to regain his composure.

Sam turned to Amber, “Goodnight, Miss Moonhaven. Thank you for your hospitality and maybe before we leave, we’ll have chance to sample the food here again.” Sam turned and headed towards the door. Dean said goodnight and followed him; as they reached the door Sam spoke. “We’re going back to the motel then?” Sam looked at his brother’s determined expression and knew exactly where they were going.

They reached the Impala and Dean unlocked the door, “Yeah, we’re going back to the motel to get changed then we’re payin’ the construction site a visit tonight. That ok with you, Sammy?” He looked over the Impala at his brother, a smile on his face.

They opened the door and got in. Sam took off his tie and grinned, “Sounds like a plan.” Dean started the engine and they drove away.

Chapter 5
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: nervousnervous