Gad, the heat! And the drums, always the drums. The Colonel stood stiffly on the verandah, dressed in full leathers and a pink tutu, because dammit, one had to keep up standards. He rang to summon tea, then remembered that the native servants had all left weeks before, when the rains had not come. He glanced toward the inert computer in the corner, its power supply burnt out. Was the network still running out there, were the others still hanging on? The natives would know. They always knew. If only he knew what the drums were saying, the talking drums.
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