A small radio's lights flicker on and a sound sputters from its dusty speakers… a guitar, plucked slowly.
And a voice.
I don't want to set the woooorld ooonnn fireeeeee…. I just want to staaaaart… a flame in your heaaart.
The radio sounds tinny in the travel bus, like a relic trying to speak through time. The small bobbly hula girl is still… and has been for many years, never shifting on the bus' dashboard. Her unblinking eyes covered in a film of dust, her undaunted smile beaming from underneath the grey.
In my heart I have but onnnnne deeeeesireeeeeee…. And that one is yoouuuuu…. No other will dooooo.
The voice, brave and sad, serenades the hula girl and echoes out into the world around the bus… the bus which stands atop a pile of concrete rubble… the bus whose back half has been torn away, exposing the unafraid hula girl to a graveyard, whose tombstones are immense sky scrapers, their windows broken and their doors unhinged. They rise from the grey boulders that cover what were once streets and footpaths like teeth from a decayed mouth, jutting out at odd angles, some a mere shift in weight away from total collapse, their iron beams groaning in the wind.
I've lost all ambition, all worldly acclaim. I just want to be the one you love.
And with your admission, that you feel the same,
I'll have reached the goal I'm dreaming of, believe me
But still the voice serenades the hula girl and still she smiles, both of them unaware of the dim explosions in the air and gun shots which ring out occasionally… or the occasional scream.
However the voice does not get far from the bus before the wind whips it away down the street, twisting its musical notes into the moans of forgotten ghosts tumbling down the streets like spectral tumbleweeds.
I don't want to…
One figure watches the bus, the hula girl, the radio… a faceless figure clad in grey and dented armour, wearing a mask with large eyes and a vent for a mouth. A figure clutching a weapon with both its metal clad hands, wary of the dangers present in the ruined capital city.
Washington DC is not what it was 200 years ago.
War ravaged it… and ravages it still.
Because war… war never changes.