Foster poses as a journalist to investigate proposed casinos on native reserve land. - - - "In the woods of Winchala / Amnis lights the flame of affliction / Elders set the course / To choose wrongly will mean woe". This quatrain led me to the reservation of the Winchala, a small Native American tribe with a rich history. The landscape was calming, but something was definitely wrong. There was a lot of tension about the legalization of gambling on reservation lands. But why would the Gua infiltrate the Winchala reservation? And how could gambling fit into their plan? I arrived posing as a reporter for The Gaming Chronicles. I played a few hands at the black jack table and was able to spark up a conversation with a talkative dealer who filled me in on some of the details. Only one casino has already been built, but there was a proposal in the offing which would call for the construction of ninety more to be scattered across Winchala territories. The community's board of elders was only days away from a vote on whether or not to approve the proposal. One especially respected community elder named Lonetree was determined to shoot down the proposal. According to the dealer, Lonetree doesn't trust the white man. When I visited him at him his home and introduced myself as a reporter, he wasn't too happy to speak with me. Lonetree maintained that the casinos would bring only crime, addiction and spiritual dissatisfaction to his people. Like others I've heard in the past, he believes that gambling is one of the most insidious of vices. He struck me as an angry man, but I appreciated his reverence for spirituality. After our exchange, it was clear to me that gambling was the "flame of affliction" of which Nostradamus speaks. My next interview was with Alex, a slick but very shady character. A Native American with a self-proclaimed respect for tradition, he said he was all for the expansion of gambling. It brings a lot of benefits, he said. Funding for child care, educational programs, lots of new jobs. To him, Lonetree's principles had been informed by fear and superstition. Needless to say, I had Eddie do some digging. He confirmed that Alex had arrived at the Winchala community seven years earlier. As for his life before that – Eddie drew a blank. And if Eddie can't find it, then I knew Alex had to have been awfully careful to cover his tracks. Eddie also filled me in on another interesting bit of info. Seems yours truly made the cover of the latest edition of Bounty Hunters Monthly. At least I found out that, on the open market, I'm worth more alive than I would be dead. So between Alex, the Gua and the inevitable bounty hunters, I wasn't exactly surprised when I was jumped by a couple goons. Thankfully, the fight was cut short by the intervention of, well – a guardian spirit that first appeared as a wolf, then as a Native American woman. She was floating a full foot above the ground, I might add. When I ended up back at Lonetree's place, he explained the legend behind the spirit. Seems she was a Native American woman who had saved an entire village by warning them of an impending cavalry invasion. She sure saved my carcass. As Lonetree was patching up my wounds, I decided the time was right to come clean with him. I told him about how the aliens were laying the groundwork for a full-scale invasion, and about how the Winchala had apparently been chosen to play a part in initial infiltration. He wasn't buying me, until I used the word: Gua. Something told me he'd heard it before. He still wasn't ready to listen to me, but one thing we were able to agree on: Alex is a dirty character. Since Lonetree wasn't willing to join forces, I decided to call an end to the whole Winchala investigation. Eddie helped me find a route out of the reservation, but my trip was cut short by a pesky bounty hunter. That piece of bad luck turned out to be good. Who should come to my rescue but Lone Star. He finally came around, and his timing was perfect. A quick search of Alex's "museum" exposed him for the hypocrite he is. Turns out that Alex had a secret stash – a series of sacred parchments, the ancient teachings of the Winchala people – hidden beneath a totem pole in his museum, no less. Clearly, this guy has been trying to control the fate of the Winchala. And how better to cut off a community from its heritage than to steal the documents around which that community was built? It's like someone lifting our Declaration of Independence. Seemed to me that the Gua might be experimenting, using the Winchala to measure the strength of the human spirit. With Lonetree on my side, I felt certain that we would uncover the truth. Fortunately, we share the belief that our spiritual side is our most powerful weapon. That's the one thing the Gua can't possibly understand. The time had come to confront Alex – and let the chips fall where they may.moreless
Cade: You're so blinded by your own hate you can't see what's in front of your face. That spirit is trying to warn your tribe again. If you won't do something about it then I'll find somebody who will. Lonetree: (having been informed that Cade is wanted for murder) You're crazy. You stay the hell away from me. Cade: You're making a mistake. They're laying the groundwork for an invasion. The aliens are your enemy. The Gua.
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