Intermission II : They'll Be Begging For Forgiveness

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WHITEHORSE

[The lights are out at Hope County Jail, but one above the solitary man sitting in his stronghold. In the main hall, the camera focuses him. A backdrop of the County map is now covered in red markings, tangled yarn stretching from one place to another, exed out photos of the fallen, scratches and scrawl only He can decipher.

As if he sits upon a throne, Earl Whitehorse lets the tape roll a moment before looking directly into the camera. His eyes are piercing, full of grief and distress, as if to reach the heart of its intended viewer. He looks tired, downtrodden, weary, the lines of wear and age defined clearly in the high-definition of the camera taking this footage.]

A grey moustache twitches, the old man deep in thought. When he laces his fingers together, he gears up to speak, a prominent frown settles on his face.

"What are we doing here? So long now, huh? Months of going at it-this unexpected War... the fields are barren, and the Famine has taken us. And the Pestilence... run down by the Bliss, a poison that has tormented us for so long..." (He sighs.)

"All the roads lead here. Death. I should have known. I tried to be patient, I really did. I thought with every wave, every siege to completely reclaim the County from Joseph and the Seeds, that I would cleanse this land. We would finally be rid of the evil that fell upon us."

Setting down the headshot of the Marshal, Sheriff Whitehorse shakes his head.

"Cameron Burke... was a liability. The Deputies in my ranks always said he was and I would never deny it. Such a stubborn son of a bitch." (He chuckles softly). "I told him that he was too, all the way over to the Island that night, and the nights that followed. A "Necessary Evil", I'd always said, when the other two argued to get him the hell out of here, like we had any choice. If we did everything in our power to get you back and wipe them out in the process." (He laughs). "And he died falling into the poison they brought here. Hm."

The Sherriff pauses as his eyes move to the empty seat at his left. His thick brows furrow for a moment before he slides another photo in front of him.

"Staci Pratt... the prodigal son. Or so, he called himself. He earned his regards and condolences." (Holding his hands up, Whitehorse shrugs.) "I know that's not the popular opinion. A Madman, they called him. Whether or not that madness existed prior to his conditioning, I'll leave that to interpretation. No, he might not have been the kindest or humble, but he was one of mine. He was like a son to me. So eager. So determined. So willing to step up to the plate to finish the job when you thought it would be best to side with our enemies-only to be devoured by the beasts you let loose in the mountains."

Whitehorse stops before trailing his gaze over the table to his right. He waits there for a long while before letting out a deep sigh. He shakes his head again, as if in disbelief of the absence of this Deputy.

"Hudson." (His voice wavers slightly, and he brushes a hand over his face). "My sweet, sweet Josephine Hudson. I told her there was no place in the fight for someone like her. You remember, right? She was such a lovely soul who loved too much until one day, the clutches of the Baptist changed her. Oh, she loved that iron, didn't she? And when the waters would not cleanse her, revive her, rejuvenate her to what she was before... she was cleansed by the flame that devoured the Fortress. Baptism...by fire. She deserved far better than that. (A slight pause.) "She deserved..."

His voice trails off, an obvious despair there as he tries to keep his composure. Whitehorse's hands separate, balled into fists as he pounds them hard against the table's surface.

"I've made my share of mistakes, turned a blind eye to what my Deputies have done, but I can't stand by and let this county carry on this way any longer."

There's a long pause.

"Promise of change came with sacrifices we were all so ready to face until it all became real. When we knew you were lost-when you took up arms against us. Eden's Gate and this fairy tale he twisted of some impending doom we're gonna face? Was this something He told you? We're all still here, still breathing, still standing, still waiting for this supposed prophecy to come to pass. We instilled a trust in you, Deputy, and now ALL OF MY BEST ARE GONE. KILLED BY YOUR HANDS!"

Picking up the table, Whitehorse casts it to the side, toppling everything over that once rest atop it. The items clatter to the floor, and the old man now stops to catch his breath as he walks toward the camera and faces it again. It's obvious in his labored breathing it pains him to speak, let alone catch himself from overwhelming his body.

"I will be the one to extinguish you myself, since you have taken everything that I have put forth so much to take you out of this hell, wasted resources and energy, and things we will never EVER get back!"

Fixing his glasses to his nose, his tongue flicks to his lips before he speaks again.

"And now only one remains. I'm a patient man, the darkness on the other side of the darkest tunnel." (He warns, and leans in close.) "You can only hide for so long from the coming storm. I'll be right here waiting for you, Deputy."

[End Video]

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