| "Topanga and the Chatsworth Lancers" |
POD: March 17, 1998
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
|Nationality:||Chatsworth (born in United States)|
|Date of Birth:||c.a. 1980|
|Date of Death:||c.a. 2028|
|Cause of Death:||Crushed in an avalanche|
|Occupation:||Aristocrat, Politician, Soldier|
|Military Branch:||Chatsworth Lancers|
|Political Office(s):||"Bossman" (de facto head of state) of Chatsworth|
Bruce Delgado was the leader or "boss" of Chatsworth after The Change. His father Nacho Delgado had been a used car dealer but raised horses for a hobby. After the change, Bruce used his experience as a horseman to form up an amateur cavalry unit called the Chatsworth Lancers. This enabled him to rise to the top and expand Chatsworth's territory into the surrounding communities making them into vassal states and eventually dominating the western end of The Valley. However, Bruce's desire to expand south into Topanga and to the Pacific Ocean was blocked by that community's wish to remain independent and the tactical advantage of Topanga Cannon being a narrow choke-point and easily defensible.
After two previous defeats, Bruce began looking for some indirect approach to defeat Topanga some 30 years after The Change. He went for a personal inspection of the frontier along with his second in command Eddie Epstein and three younger Lancers as an escort. He saw for himself how the canyon narrowed along the way for Topanga Canyon Boulevard which was limited to a two lane, winding roadway. Garth Hoskin, one of the escort Lancers, suggested Old Topanga Cannon Road to sneak past the defenses but Bruce was skeptical since the Topangans held the high ground. After some further discussion, the group headed home without Bruce having made a firm decision.
The Topangans had seen Bruce's inspection tour and so sent a pair of envoys to warn him against any further aggression. The two were Jared Tillman, who did most of the talking, and his son Connor. Jared warned that if Bruce attempted to set fires to burn out Topanga, they could and would retaliate in kind. Bruce had considered it but conceded to himself that he could not prevent some individuals slipping past his patrols, pouring out some pre-Change gasoline and lighting it when the Santa Anas was blowing south. Overtly, Bruce expressed outrage over the Topangans trying to dictate how he could fight a war but Jared took it calmly, stating he was only telling him what they would do in retaliation. Since Bruce's outrage was mostly for show to his supporters like Eddie and Garth, he didn't press the point. Jared also warned Topanga was ready for a fight if Chatsworth did attack to which Bruce protested they weren't at war. Jared reiterated that Topanga wanted peace but were ready for war. On that note, the meeting ended.
In any case, Delgado elected to go to war. Part of it was desire to get access to the Pacific but also he feared that if he didn't use his army, someone else would try to overthrow him to gain the power it had. Initially, the attack went well. While the secondary attack through the forested Canyon sides failed, the main Valley forces managed to break through the Glenview wall. However the Boulevard was narrow and prevented the Lancers from building up momentum in a charge so progress was slow. Then the advance stalled due to a second barrier at a point where the Canyon narrowed. Delgado, along with Epstein and Hoskin rode ahead to see and discovered a chest high improvised barricade. Delgado contemplated having his Lancers dismount and fight through on foot since they were better armored than the Topangans but but feared they would only fall back and regroup at still another barricade. But before he could issue orders, the Topangans sprung another surprise. They triggered an avalanche which rushed down at Delgado and the other Lancers. Delgado just had time to realize that the second barricade was deliberately placed in the particular location and that the Topangans had manually added to the rocks at the top of the canyon wall before he was crushed to death.