11/17/2022 NaNoWriMo, BANSHEE BEACH: 1812/36968.

Filling in a bunch of gaps, which is good! I mean, we’re at 37K words, out of 60K. The fewer gaps, the better.

“All right, Lucas.” We had the inn to ourselves at the moment, so it was time for some sharing of wisdom. Or at least information. “What the hell did you do up in Old California?”
“You know what we did, Tom. We found the fabled Treasure of Rodeo Drive.” Lucas grinned. “Made out like bandit-hunters, too.”
“Yeah. About that, Lucas. I take it you didn’t grab all the treasure yourselves?”
“What? Please. Even assuming I was dumb enough not to cut the local barbie tribes in, there’s only so many mules you can lead south. We took our share in low-weight, high-value loot: stuff I knew would sell a lot better and easier down here, in civilization. I let the locals have the rest, and they were downright gleeful about it. It was a great deal,” Lucas concluded. “Everybody thought everybody else had gotten totally screwed over.”
“Sure, sure, sure. Then what happened?”
Lucas shrugged. “We came back to New California?”
“No, I mean, what happened up there?”
“Well, I figure Jimmy from my crew is in charge of the Topanga clan by now. The old chief was running out of steam, and his granddaughter and Jimmy were pretty tight by the time the rest of us left. They should be fine. I mean, they’ve got all that loot to sell or trade… oh.”
“Yeah. Oh. They had flaps with other Orange clans, right? So the Topangas—”
“Whatever. They took that loot, and traded it for weapons and maybe some seasonal help, and then the other barbies attacked the Topangans anyway because you might as well at that point, right?”
“Crap, yeah. The Mulhollanders were kind of nuts that way.” Lucas visibly started thinking. “Nuts enough that the Topangans would want them to finally go away. So the Mulhollanders get shoved north a bit, and they take it out on whoever’s up there…”
“…and a few months later, those Westies up in the Bay are all rubbing their butts from the recent kicking, and wondering who they can smack around.” I shook my head in mock admiration. “Not bad, Lucas, not bad. You managed to rile up most of Old California with one good haul.”