A Foreign World
November, 1862. A last battle is held in Lexington, Kentucky, cornering the Union army against the Appalachian Mountains. A surrender is filed and the Civil War ends. Now it is the middle of the month, and reconstruction has begun...
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SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley snorted again, horselike, almost, and raised both of his brows again as he did when he was agitated or skeptical. "About ten to twenty people live here, and some of them are Yankees with Yankee husbands. Throw your brass at them, too, while you're at it. They'll love you, then." He set a callused hand on the desk. "The Yankees aren't going to attack us. They've either run off with their tails between their legs or are mulling over staying. I'll take you to meet them if you would like to take notes on the enemy to please President Lee." He felt that it was wasting his time, and, looking out the window, saw the red sun setting on the dusty orange horizon.

2/16/2010 #31
writingbythepower

"Only time can tell that, sir. Ten to twenty, you say? Very well. That will be all, then. I see that you're anxious to get something done, so I will allow you to do that. Tomorrow we will go out so that I may look over the ground and get to know the area. Thank you for your time, sir." Jackson gave a slight salute, not caring what Riley thought of it. Also, he was sure that he did not suggest, but stated. Discipline will be learned, and things will be accomplished.

2/16/2010 #32
SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley snorted when he saw the salute and left the room, walking over to where some of the rangers waited along with Sanchez. "I'm a Colonel, according to the man." He stated, inwardly rolling his eyes. One of the men--a wily, dark haired boy from Missouri--threw back his head and laughed, showing doglike teeth, and then turned back to him, taking out a cigar to smoke. "Want one?" "Nah. I prefer chewing tobacco, you know that." Riley smiled a crooked smile.

2/16/2010 #33
writingbythepower

Jackson looked out the window at the men, saw theming laughing together. No better then cadets at VMI. I'll be teaching them as much as I taught there. Well... at least they have experience, they know what will happen tomorrow. Some of them will die, and they accept that. Heaven knows what this is going to be like. He sighed now, thought of his wife. She'll be here soon enough, I hope. It isn't right to not see for so long. That God should grace us with peace, and yet we still are as far apart as in war.

2/16/2010 #34
SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley and the other rangers started a fire and sat down around it to eat; the man with the black hair and barking laugh took a banjo and began to pluck at the strings, wailing into the night skies The Night Herding Song. And quit this forever siftin' around, my limbs are weary, my seat is sore, Oh, lay down, dogies, like you've laid before... Sanchez accompanied him on Harmonica; most of the others sang to the familiar tune. They were united, then, and that, Riley noted, was something that the Easten general would never be able to understand.

2/16/2010 #35
writingbythepower

Jackson heard the music, didn't know the words but tried to hum along as best he could. It had been a long time since he had sat around a campfire with other men, just eating and talking and laughing and singing. He was never a good singer, would simply hum along, but he remembered those times in Mexico. Remembered watching men in Virginia doing the same, when he would go and yell at them, telling them to spend time in prayer rather then in song. He laughed now, thinking back on those times. Different armies, different places... same type of men. Young, battle hardened, seen to much of the wrong stuff. Soldiers, trying to forget the past, the dead. Sitting there, thinking of all of the men who he had seen die, he felt a sting in his gut. It made him think more, but it also made him tired of it all. Leaning back in the chair, he rested his head and sat, listening to the soft music and breathing the cool Texas night air.

2/16/2010 #36
SnowClaw of Windclan

Eventually, the scene at the campfire slowed down as the fire died and one by one the men started to go to bed. Riley, having returned to his usual spirits, grinned at his fellow rangers and tipped his hat. "Good night, fellows." The ranger headed to his tent, a piece of canvas draped over a low limb of a tree. He took off his boots and set them to the side, then laid down on his bedroll and eventually fell asleep.

2/16/2010 #37
writingbythepower

Jackson had fallen asleep in the chair, awoke in the morning and walked around for a bit, looking over the command post. When the sun was just coming over the desert, he saw the men beginning to stir. Riley awoke, Jackson looked at him. "Sir...." he exhaled, looked at the man again, "Riley, if you would please get ready for our ride this morning."

2/16/2010 #38
SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley stared at him for a long moment, already chewing his tobacco of the morning. He raised both brows, "Good morning, Mr. Jackson." He untied his mare's reins and mounted her, holding them in his non dominant hand as he brought her to a walk, stopping near the corner of the room where Jackson had slept. He's so wonderful that he uses a building to sleep in. Generals are all the same, they say they sympathise with the men but don't even sleep on bedrolls.

2/16/2010 #39
writingbythepower

Jackson walked over to Little Sorrel, mounted him as well. Riding over to Riley, Jackson tugged on his cap and began to move forward. "Shall we go, then, sir?" It was asked as a question, but it was actually a statement. However, Jackson prefered that he not demand anything too much, lest he play into what Riley expected.

2/16/2010 #40
SnowClaw of Windclan

His mare leaned forward to nibble at Little Sorrel's mane, and he pulled the reins to bring her head closer to him. She snorted quietly. "Riley." His thick brows lowered in slight agitation with the man as he brought his mare forward, to a trot. As they reached a creek, he began, "The Indians go to this creek to drink, so do we. They tend to amush from that line of trees when we do."

2/16/2010 #41
writingbythepower

Jackson nodded, looked over the land. He could see the line of fire, where the Indians would come out from. Taking note of the elevation and the stream, all of the natural factors, he smiled inwardly. This is what you do best, Thomas. This is the gift God gave you. "Riley, while we have a moment to talk alone, I'd like to make a single request. A compromise, really. I will attempt to remember to call you Riley if you in turn will call me General. A mutual respect." Jackson did not wait for a response, instead looked back over to the tree line. "How many men do they usually have?"

2/16/2010 #42
SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley snorted. Now he's trying to make a strategy. "Twelve to fifteen." He leaned back in the saddle, bringing his mare back to a trot and heading along an unspecified path. Making a gesture to his right, he stated, "There are farms over there, and a few Yankees beyond that." There wasn't much to show Jackson; it was pretty much only open range, nothing more.

2/16/2010 #43
writingbythepower

He nodded again, thinking it all through. His eyes were wide, yet not visible due to his cap. It was all there, a battlefield. They all had the same elements, the same reasoning. It was that simple, and yet that complicated. He made adjustments in his head, picturing it all happen. When they came to where Riley pointed to the farms, Jackson made slight adjustments again in his mind. This was not about a battlefield, but more for a note on the civilians themselves. "Any of the civilians cause problems?"

2/16/2010 #44
SnowClaw of Windclan

"There aren't any criminals here," he stated, leaning back in the saddle. He brought his mare back around at a trot, heading back towards the camp. The sun had risen, and the rest of the rangers had awoken along with it. Riley dismounted, tying his mare back onto the post and approaching Wesley, the man from Missouri with long black hair and doglike teeth. "Care to try our luck with the herd back there?" Wesley grinned, getting up. "Most certainly." He took a rope from where a few coils hung on the end of a tying post, tossing one to Riley, who put it on the horn of his saddle and untied his mare's reins before mounting up.

2/16/2010 #45
writingbythepower

Jackson watched the men quietly, not truly knowing what was going on. He was used to soldiers having their little games, but he would usually yell at them. However, now he only watched and listened. I cannot demand people to do such things as I could in Virginia. I earned respect there, I will earn it here as well.

2/16/2010 #46
SnowClaw of Windclan

"General, maybe you should come. We can always use your stars to brand the horses after we catch them." Riley stated. Despite the fact that he had called him General for the first time, it wasn't because he respected him, not at all. It was because he wanted to be called Riley, nothing more, nothing less, as Mr. Riley agitated him. Wesley watched him with a sardonic, almost laughing look in his eyes.

2/16/2010 #47
writingbythepower

Jackson tried to give a smile, didn't. He had the fire in his eyes again, the idea of combat pumping his blood and making him feel alive again. "Certainly, Riley. I must admit I wouldn't know what I'm doing, what I believe I can learn." Giving a simple nod, he moved his horse forward toward Riley, ready to move out.

2/16/2010 #48
SnowClaw of Windclan

The two rangers headed beyond the area where the civilians lived, into the plains. Long, blue and tawny grasses and sage swept in the dry November wind as they approached, slowing their horses as not to startle the wild ones. The herd was attractive, mainly paints and bays, with a few exceptions, and were the foundation stock for the local herds. Riley stopped, saw a black stallion with a white face and legs grazing towards the edge of the herd, reached for the rope and stared to approach. Wesley followed from the other side; the horse looked up, pinning his ears as he watched them.

He snorted, pawing the ground with an agressive look at the tresspassers. He was almost close enough, almost close enough. Riley abruptly spurred his mare forward, slinging the rope around his neck. The stallion reared, screeching and jerking at the rope with all of his might as Wesley tossed his rope around his neck. The horse lunged forward towards Riley and he brought his horse back, pulling the rope tighter. After a few moments, the stallion stopped, his lip curled as he looked around.

2/16/2010 #49
writingbythepower

Jackson sat there, watched them all. It was something similar to what he had seen before, in Virginia. That, however, was a different place. The horse was not so wild, and the land had been muddy. The west was a place of different adventures, a place he wasn't used too. He liked it, though, had missed the region when he moved back to Virginia. He watched the two men as they worked, the dust flying about as they rode around and tossed the rope on the horse. It was foreign to Jackson, and yet he found it so natural.

2/16/2010 #50
SnowClaw of Windclan

"He's quite a man." Riley stated, looking over at Wesley. The stallion, panting, had bits of foamed saliva coming out of the corners of his mouth as he stared at them. He had two blue eyes that stood out sharply against the white mask that covered his face, and his black coat was covered in dust and mud. He would be a handsome fellow, when he was cleaned up.

2/16/2010 #51
writingbythepower

Jackson nodded, smiled now. "I wish that I could do that to could do that to calm down some of the people back in Richmond." He gave a slight laugh, he wouldn't usually make a joke like that. Then again, you're not usually in a place like this.

2/16/2010 #52
SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley turned, watching him for a moment. First joke that the man had made since they'd met. He started his mare at a walk, but the stallion didn't move until the rope around his neck started to press into it. At this point a bluish roan sabino area was able to be seen where his left rear leg met his belly, a truly handsome horse, indeed. Wesley moved his own horse forward, thus, they began to take him back. Every so often, he would screech and j*** wildly, trying to free himself.

2/16/2010 #53
writingbythepower

He continued to watch, wondering what made a man want to do this line of work. Then again, what makes a man want to lead others to their death? God's plan for all of us is confusing, but we accept them with our heads held high. The stallion was jerking around, trying to get free. He was never good with animals, not even with his own horse. Moving slightly back, he looked at the men as they worked.

2/16/2010 #54
SnowClaw of Windclan

It was a bitter fight as the two men passed the stream with their captive. The stallion thrashed like a fish on land, kicking and rearing, but they were eventually able to come back to the camp without any severe problems. Riley dismounted as a ranger came up to take his mare's reins, and took the one rope. Wesley did the same, and the two quickly led the horse to the tying post and tied him up. Stepping back so that he was out of range, Riley watched him. "I don't think I'll castrate this one. He'll have good colts after we break him."

2/16/2010 #55
writingbythepower

Jackson nodded, looked at the stallion again. Laughing, he made another joke, "Wish that I could do that to some people back in Richmond as well." He wondered if the daily attack from the Indians had occured while they were gone, wanted to be there in order to assess the situation. He looked around, thinking everything that was going in his mind over again and again.

2/16/2010 #56
SnowClaw of Windclan

Riley raised both brows, having not expected him to crack another joke, let alone, one like that. Wesley threw back his head and barked with harsh laughter, showing sharp white teeth. His dark eyes were mirthful crescents, he obviously found it quite funny. Riley smirked to himself, laughing through his nose. "It would benefit the female population immensely," he remarked, folding his arms across his chest and leaning against a fence post of the corral.

2/16/2010 . Edited 2/16/2010 #57
writingbythepower

Suddenly Jackson felt very uncomfortable. It was not like him to speak like that, and he believed it was being around Riley that had changed him. I will not compromise myself, my beliefs. He nodded, tried to smile. He could only grin now, looked up toward the outside and the stream. "When do the Natives usually attack?"

2/16/2010 #58
SnowClaw of Windclan

Wesley and Riley stopped laughing a couple of moments later. "Dusk, morning, or afternoon," Riley stated, watching the stallion as he jerked against the ropes that held him. He shot a spittoon onto the ground next to him and put his elbow on the fence, "They should try and raid us soon. They don't attack on time, as much as you would like it. They aren't organized."

2/16/2010 #59
writingbythepower

Jackson looked at him, almost irritated. "No one attacks on time. Patterns are everything, though. When they prefer to attack, when they want to attack, why they attack. All of those are the same principle as in any form of combat. Everyone's organized. They know what they're doing, and I want to be ready. Give them something they don't expect. We'll be as prepared as we can be."

2/16/2010 #60
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