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A Challenger Appears

Page history last edited by Michael 3 years, 11 months ago

to the Index or to the Recon Team R-101 page or back to Something in the Water

 


 


report covers:   2 August 2140 -

 

Tuesday, 2 August 2140

 

weather:  daily high temperature 84° F, low at night 64° F, humidity 80%, usual wind speed 6 kph from west or southwest. Overcast skies, rain showers starting about 3 a.m., rain and thunderstorms from 4 a.m. to 6:30, followed by fog until 9 a.m., drizzle to noon. Mostly cloudy and hot in the afternoon. Sunrise, 5:04 a.m. Eastern Time (no Daylight Savings in effect); sunset at 7:53 p.m., end of nautical twilight 9:12 p.m.

 

     Team R-101 woke up in Sudbury, Ontario. They ate a brief breakfast, and loaded up all their gear -- they didn't want to spend another day in the town. They began their hike to the remains of the INCO Superstack ... once rising 380 meters into the sky, but now a mere 25 meters remained, in fact wider than it was tall (the base diameter was 35 meters). On one side of the stump were the rusting, gravel-filled remains of a massive nickel smelter; on the other side were 300 meters of concrete rubble -- tens of thousands of tons, from the fallen parts of the stack. There were a half-dozen shacks and sheds build against the smelter wall near the chimney's base, and a large (truck-sized) doorway into the base itself. Nobody seemed to be currently in residence in the shacks, but atop the stump was a makeshift building, cobbled together from timber, scrap metal, and salvaged house parts. Smoke could be seen wafting from a (kitchen) chimney; barbed wire and jagged metal protected the overhanging building from any daring climbers on the outside of the stump.

 

the rather fortified appearance of the Superstump;

the dotted outline shows the original height

 

     The team had noticed a set of footprints leading to the stack, in the wet, sticky sand and mud, and decided to hide and watch a while. They heard some clangs and thumps from the structures atop the stump, and at one point a sound rather like a firecracker. It was still foggy and/or drizzly. After 20 minutes or so, the slow sounds of someone descending the internal staircases, ladders, etc. could be heard.

cutaway of the superstack stump

 

     As the tension mounted, a somewhat ridiculous figure emerged from the open doorway in the base:  a healthy young man -- the spirits salesman -- pulling a wheelbarrow with an older man sprawled in it. A small backpack was perched on the older man's stomach.

     The team decided to try something tricky. Tager stayed hidden, while the other two men quickly ran back towards town (ahead of the wheelbarrow's route).  Once the young man and his unconscious passenger were out of sight, Tager carefully approached the stump.

     Around the base were several shacks and lean-tos, but none seemed to have been in use within the last day or so. The circular space inside the stump had (at the bottom) some old, rusty cars and other machines, many pipes leading from the old smelter building to one side, and (around the insides) a series of ladders, stairs, platforms, etc. leading up to the top. Several heavy cables and blocks-and-tackles hung down the inside, with pools of rust below them; long corroded beams, girders and heavy timbers supported them at the top level. Tager was a bit concerned about the safety of the whole structure, but headed up to the top.

     Meanwhile, Captain Doyle and Pete had gotten several hundred yards ahead of the wheelbarrow. The captain began strolling back once again towards the stump, attempting a casual gait; Pete followed behind, just out of eyeshot in the drizzle.

     At the top of the stump was a ... house? Castle? The concrete remains of the chimney were about 33 meters in diameter on the outside at this level; the interior shaft was 20 meters in diameter. This left a surface more than 500 square meters (5800 square feet) as a foundation, although it was by no means flat and level. The building creaked and jangled disturbingly in the wind; the floorboards squeaked and creaked under Tager's feet. Several balconies or cantilevered walkways were on the inside of the house, facing the opening; some of these had winches or old motors, to haul the cables up and down. Several windows looked into the shaft area from the house; a couple of small water tanks stood a big above the roof, along with a few tin or brick chimneys.

     A collection of chipped bowling balls, bricks, cinder blocks and lawn darts were at hand in some wooden bins, to hurl down the interior of the chinney at unwelcome guests. A few coils of rusty barbed wire added to the hostile appearance. Surprisingly, it smelled better up here than down at ground level.

     Creeping in through the unlocked door, Tager found a series of eight rooms around the stump:  3 bedrooms, a bathroom, a "living room", a kitchen, a pantry, and a workroom. Clearly, generations of pack rats had lived here, with an amazing view of the blasted remains of Sudbury. Non-functional electric lights, a couple of refrigerators and a freezer in the pantry, an old safe that clearly had remained unopened for a decade or so, piles of magazines, a few bird cages, disgusting beds in the bed rooms, and two one-holer outhouse/garderobes protruding over the smelter side of the stump ... along with a few exterior balconies/gun platforms. Most of the windows had glass in them.

     A stove was still warm and smoking in the kitchen. The workroom (initially taken to be the kitchen by Tager) had many small brown glass pharmacy jars, a mortar and pestle, lots of small wooden drawers with scrawled labels, various bits of high school chem-lab glassware, etc.:  it was a chemistry lab. A wooden shelf held three feet of books (14 kg), mostly basic chemistry and medical reference works from the 20th Century.

 

  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics

  • Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary

  • The Merck Index - 10th Edition (about chemistry)

  • The Physician's Desk Reference

  • Principles of Anatomy and Physiology

  • Where There Is No Doctor

  • Peterson's Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America

  • Davy's Elements of Agricultural Chemistry -- originally published in 1813, this is a 1950s hardback reprint

  • Fourteen Weeks In Chemistry -- a late 19th Century high school textbook. This is the 1887 edition, as "Popular Chemistry"

  • Addison-Wesley - Chemistry (a high-school textbook from the early 1980s)

  • Vogel's Textbook of Practical Organic Chemistry, Fourth Edition (1978)

  • Chemistry:  Connections to our changing world (another high school textbook from the 1980s)

  • The Anarchists' Cookbook (1971 paperback edition)

  • Scientific Principles of Improvised Warfare and Home Defense -- a cheap, thin paperback

  • The Little Black Book of Explosives -- a lot of the instructions refer to availability of components in 20th Century terms ... e.g., "Acetone - source, hardware stores, drug stores."

  • Igor's Laboratory, and the Home Preparation of Nitroglycerin -- laminated double-sided typed instructions, you need glycerin, sulfuric acid and nitric acid, cold water and baking soda. With some cotton and paraffin, you can make a more stable explosive from the nitro.

  • The Anarchist's Home Companion -- paperback

  • Information About 80/20 Amatol -- a page of typed material, with a four-paragraph set of instructions. You need TNT to make this.

  • Creating the Polish Cannon, by Bullwinkle Moose -- an illustrated pamphet on making a cheap lighter-fluid-powered tennis ball launcher

  • a short typed and stapled set of instructions on making gelignite

  • The Prospect of Immortality, by R.C.W. Ettinger. A 1964 paperback book about cryonics and cryogenics. For members of the Morrow Project, it's an eerie book to read. 

 

Italicized items are in one or another of the Morrow Project laserdisc libraries.

As a general note, the various "anarchist books" are NOT written for survivalists;

they mostly presume you have access to drug stores, hardware stores, etc.

 

     Tager scooped up the books into a random bag and went looking for more interesting goodies ...

     About then, Doyle met up with the young man pulling the wheelbarrow. They exchanged friendly greetings; the man gave his name as Alex Martin. Martin claimed to be helping Tim Fraser into town; he was ill, and would need medical attention. Doyle offered to help pull the wheelbarrow, an offer which Martin accepted.

     Atop the superstump, Tager triggered a booby trap when trying to reach for a tempting journal. She barely escaped a 25 meter plummet with a portion of the building into a pile of scrap metal! Doyle and Martin heard the commotion behind them; Martin commented that the building on top of the stump was very unsafe (one reason he was taking Fraser away); they continued on towards the town with the wheelbarrow.

     The somewhat startled Tager carefully climbed down the internal stairs of the superstump, and trotted along after the (easily-tracked) wheelbarrow. When Pete came into view, Doyle introduced him as a friend, come to help. Martin didn't seem suspicious (but a Psychology check said otherwise).

     While they discussed the circumstances of Tim's condition, Tager came up and sedated Martin -- surprise!

     Tim Fraser had been drugged, so Martin was loaded into the wheelbarrow with him.

     The trio of Project members decide they didn't want to visit downtown Sudbury every again, and turned to the west, back towards Kelly Lake. Around noon, they arrived where Old Pierre ("vieux Pierre") was still watching their canoes and gear.

     On the way to the lake, while crossing the Trans-Canada Highway, they saw three men in the far distance, mounted on horses; and another man on foot in the opposite direction. They team was suspicious, so once they were at the canoes they immediately loaded up and began paddling downstream on the Vermillion River.

     By sunset, they were crossing Kusk Lake, and camped on the shores.

 

Wednesday, 3 August 2140

 

     weather:  high temperature 75° F, low at night 64° F. Windy, clear skies.

 

     After a pleasant night (except for some distant gunshots around midnight), the team continued downstream. They decided to re-sedate Martin, and Fraser was still groggy and uncommunicative. About 10 a.m., Doyle got into some trouble on a stretch of rapids, and flipped his canoe -- without any serious consequences, fortunately.

     At noon, the team reached Espanola, on the Spanish River. They abandoned their canoes (pulled well ashore, and hidden in debris), crossed to the area below the rapids/falls, and boarded the Calypso. Lunch - showers - beds! A couple of hours of easy motoring down the Spanish River, and then west towards the Straits of Mackinac.

     They motored on after sunset, bound for Lud.

 

Thursday, 4 August 2140

 

     weather:  high temperature 86° F, low at night 69° F. Overcast, heavy rain.

 

     The Calypso arrived outside of the harbor at Lud before dawn; Captain Doyle decided to wait until sunrise, both to avoid any navigational hazards or any hint of a "commandos attack at dawn" surprise for the locals.

     They tied up at the docks, and brought the conscious but tired Tim Fraser, and the coming-out-of-sedation Alex Martin, over to Skinball House. Breakfast with Heather Mist certainly was a change -- she like to set a very complete table -- and a change of clothing for Tim Fraser put the team into a good mood.

 


 

The Story of Tim Fraser

 

     He was born in 1967, in Calgary, Alberta, and joined the Canadian Army after high school. He had an interest in martial arts and "kung fu movies, ninja stuff", and was very physically fit. A series of brawls got him transferred to the Airborne Regiment in 1987 -- he fit in fairly well with the macho, two-fisted paratroopers. A request from the unit's leader for volunteers for a secret, several-year long special mission attracted Corporal Fraser -- and he found himself in Project Paragon.

     Nothing particularly conspiratorial was said in his presence before the 140 soldiers were placed on cryoberths (along with a couple of doctors, six government officials, and two RCMP guards). 

     The Canadian cryoberths opened in 2112 (28 years ago), when their RTG power supply got too low to operate the berths. The bunker at CFS Carp Richardson was damaged on the upper levels, but the very lowest levels had survived the Atomic War. Ten of the cryoberths had failed during the 123 year sleep, or when the thawing process was attempted.

     It took a few days to dig out from under the rubble; the paratroopers never did determine why they had been kept asleep so long. Major Hastings saw the balkanized, de-industrialized, sleepy communities in the former Canadian territories as a challenge, to be rebuilt into a more pure, untainted Anglo-Saxon nation.

     Eastern Ontario was too hostile for Hasting's plan, so the "Regiment" (really just a "commando" in size) moved west. Soon there was some conflict with the simple, cooperative government of the towns in Alberta and Saskatchewan; Fraser himself was never too informed on the nature of the conflict; the NCOs usually presented it in a sort of "the local strongman isn't cooperating with the Government, we're to toss him out" situation.

     Most of the ten non-paratroopers from CFS Carp Richardson disappeared in the months after the group was thawed. Tim didn't pay much attention, but it seems very likely that Major Hastings had them removed.

     Project Paragon had only a few months to prepare for being frozen. As for weapons:  a lot of Browning Hi-Power pistols, Sterling sub-machineguns, FN-C1 rifles (a semi-auto version of the FAL), some 60mm mortars, C5 machine guns (belt-fed Brownings in 7.62mm NATO), M72 LAW rockets, and a lot of ammunition.

     Within a year or so of the paratroopers emerging, Warrant Officer Relizh was promoted to lieutenant and put in charge of the HSS (Headquarters Security Squadron). It was composed of a dozen paratroopers with a martial arts background, and became the equivalent of SOG/Phoenix Program in Canada. Opposition leaders were kidnapped, meetings were spied on, and the Resistance was ... uh, resisted. Fraser was part of this in the first set of HSS agents, and remained in that group until he retired a couple of months ago.

     By 2120, the Airborne Regiment was in control of about the current expanse of Canada. The work of the HSS was mostly training since then, with some missions mounted against raiders from America, the Resistance, and some First Nations communities in Ontario.

     The Morrow Project was pretty much entirely forgotten about until five years ago, when rumors of the Project began circulating. In 2137, the Regiment was contacted by radio by a Project team, and lured them into Canada, where they were captured. Since then, radio contact had been made with several other teams (it's not always clear that the contact is actually with the Project, and actually separate teams), and taken some or all member of two more teams into custody. In all, ten members of the Project are held by the Canadian government, at a base on the shores of Lake Louise. Three armored cars, powered by fusion reactors, are in the hands of the government. Fraser didn't know the team numbers of the captured Project people, though he knew one was a MARS team.

 

  • 2137:  a Recon team with MG turret V150:  all 4 team members captured. 3 "STEM" types, 1 veteran.

  • 2138:  a Recon team was contacted, but never showed up and lost contact after a couple of radio exchanges.

  • 2138:  a MARS team with 90mm gun V150;  4 out of 5 team members captured, one either escaped or died (the Canadians didn't find a body). Two of the captured folk were "STEM" types, and all were veterans. The escaped chap was an experienced Special Forces soldier, and caused a lot of problems for the Canadian forces.

  • 2139:  a Recon team with 20mm armed Scout;  both team members captured. Both were veterans and "STEM" types.

 

     Tim Fraser had no objections to capturing the Morrow Project teams -- even before the Atomic War, the Canadian and American governments considered the Project to be at least suspicious, and possibly a threat to humanity.

     A bit more than year ago, though, he was promoted to lieutenant, due to the death of one of the older soldiers from before the Atomic War. With his new rank and security clearance, he was able to look through most of the Regiment's archives, and learned that the public story of "overthrowing petty local dictators controlling Canada" was false. The assassination of the officials placed in cryosleep along with the Regiment was clearly part of a coup organized by Colonel Hastings.

     Briefings on the statements made by the captured Morrow personnel, and reports on the activities of the Project in Soo right after the War, made it clear the Project was no threat to Canada, and were sincere in their "rebuild civilization" goal.

     Fraser was rather shaken by the inversion of what he'd been told about the role of the Regiment and the Morrow Project, and decided that he needed to contact the Project.

 

It's quite likely that any Morrow Project prisoners held by the current Canadian government

phrased the goal as "rebuild civilization" on purpose, rather than "rebuild American civilization".

 

     Fraser, now a rather infirm man at age 58, announced his plan to retire after only a year as lieutenant. He began heading south, to contact the Morrow Project around Soo; but presumably the HSS decided that he Knew Too Much to be allowed to wander off. Too sick to continue, he took up residence in the abandoned housing atop the Sudbury Superstump to regain his health. He had enough money to pay the locals to bring food and water.

 

"How much money?" ... "I had about $350 in Canadian gold coins, and a few other coins; it's hidden in one of the wall lamps."

 


 

     The crew of the Calypso asked a lot of questions that Fraser couldn't answer. He'd never been to Lake Louise, but he knew it had an airstrip. He was not a pilot, nor a technically-educated man -- he couldn't answer many questions about the Viking aircraft, for example.

     A lot of discussion was held regarding the possibility or wisdom of a commando raid on Lake Louise, by aircraft or other means. The team decided they were not likely to succeed at raiding.

     Fraser knew that the Resistance had originally formed around the RCMP, although by 2140 it would have many people born after the coup.

     As the day wore on, the possibility and utility of overthrowing the military dictatorship in Canada became clear (Heather's well-stocked bar may have helped the team come to that conclusion). Possible allies and resources included:

 

  • the various Anishinaabe tribal groups (the Ojibwe and Chippewa mostly) .. they are irked by the Regiment extracting resources from their territories in Ontario.

  • the Arcadian Republic ... they like the Morrow Project, but have no current "beef" with the Canadians

  • the Black Hand ... a small mercenary outfit in Bastion

  • the Skinball League ... if nothing else, they can provide $500 in backing from the Commissioner's Discretionary Fund ("Overthrowing the Canadian government does seem to a valid objective for the League.") and other funds later

  • the Resistance ... Fraser knew they were planning (without any urgency) a campaign of sabotage and assassination against the Regiment

 

     The Ojibwe and other First Nations groups could probably raise a thousand men in a few weeks, but they were poorly-armed by Great Lakes (or Canadian) standards. If a war was to be fought in 2140, it would best be concluded before December. Snow starts to fall, lake ice starts to form, and overland travel becomes more difficult. The Soo Locks usually close in mid-January.

     Alex Martin had nothing useful to say, insisting on his innocence.

     Besides the industrial resources available at Bastion, the team felt the need to do some scouting for military advantages. Investigating any and all caches seemed like a good start, while messengers would be sent out from Heather's office to the various possible allies.

 

The team made some initial war plans this day.

 

Friday, 5 August 2140

 

     weather:  high temperature 87° F, low at night 70° F. Thunderstorms after midnight, overcast till after breakfast, scattered clouds rest of the day.

 

     Before dawn, Tim Fraser was transferred to a steam boat bound for Haven, with money and a new identity. "You can have the money at Sudbury."

     At sunrise, the Calypso headed for Thunder Bay, stopping briefly at the Leelanau Peninsula and Grand Traverse Bay to investigate a possible site for a training ground.

     The boat passed through the Soo Locks about 9 p.m. (after 426 km/14 hours at 30 kph), and proceeded another hour into Lake Superior before anchoring near the Gros Cap Reefs.

 

Kirk, where's Tager's proposed training site?

 

Saturday, 6 August 2140

 

     weather:  high temperature 64° F, low at night 42° F. Scattered clouds.

 

     The Morrow team got under way just before dawn from Gos Cap Reefs to Thunder Bay (421 km/14 hours at 30 kph). Just before sunset, the team dropped Alex Martin on the shore a few miles from Thunder Bay with most of his gear. The team spent an hour or so observing Thunder Bay from well off-shore. There was a forest fire burning inland - smoke could be seen. The town had been struck by a couple of nuclear weapons during the Atomic War -- most of the buildings were less than 40 years old.

     They headed SSE and passed around Pie Island, anchoring in the Lake again for the night.

 

Sunday, 7 August 2140

 

     weather:  high temperature 66° F, low at night 46° F. Scattered clouds.

 

    The team spent the day surveying caches in Lake Superior. The first was 200 km/6 hours from Pie Island, empty! At the second cache, they found and loaded a lot of mortar ammo and 40mm grenades.

 

cache MI-17

     Located at the mouth of the Black River, on the shore of Lake Superior; specifically, in the cliffs 100 meters west of the river mouth, in the Black River National Forest. Nearest town:  Ironwood, MI (lots of Swedes and Finns in the area). Maritime cache, contains a pontoon. Inside the pontoon are the following supplies:

  • 50 cases, each with three M374A2 HE mortar shells

  • 7 cases, each with three M375A4 WP mortar shells

  • 10 cases, each with three M301A3 illumination flare mortar shells

  • 4 cases, each with three Mk 120 Mod 0 anti-personnel flechette mortar shells

  • 2 cases of 72 M433 HEDP 40mm grenades

  • case of 24 M651 tear gas 40mm grenades

  • case of 144 M576E2 multiple projectile 40mm grenades

  • case of 44 mixed red, white, green star shells and M583 parachute flare 40mm grenades

 

     Loading all of this took many hours; 71 cases (more than 1600 kg) of mortar shells were everywhere on the boat. With well over 300 mortar shells, the thought of using them in the War for Canadian Independence was formed.

 

Monday, 8 August 2140

 

     weather:  high temperature 68° F, low at night 42° F. Mostly cloudy, fog after 8 p.m.

 

     The Calypso arrived back at Soo late in the day. They paid a steam tug $20 to retrieve the emptied pontoon.

     A message was waiting, inviting them to have dinner at the house of Robert Ma'iingan, a Medicine Society member. He emphasized that he didn't speak for, but could speak to, the Anishinaabe people (Ojibwe, Chippewa, etc.). He was a bit cranky -- for much of his life, people had come to him for non-medical stuff. He explained that the Ojibwe, etc. had been exploited, harassed and pushed around for the last decade or so by the Canadians. Most of that was since the Canadians rebuilt the Trans-Canada Highway through Ontario, to reach the tire dump at Hagersville, Ontario and a military camp near Ottawa.

     Ma'iingan was able to promise the services of 20 Chippewa warriors for immediate needs. They didn't have to be paid, but room and board would have to be provided. 

     The team slept on their boat that night, frustrating Canadian ninjas lurking near their rented house and the hotels.

 

Tuesday, 9 August 2140

 

     weather:  high temperature 75° F, low at night 55° F. Fog till 9 a.m., scattered clouds rest of the day, with drizzle briefly before sunset.

 

     After sunrise, Robert Ma'iingan brought the twenty escorts to the Calypso, along the wharf. They were all fit young men, between 18 and 30 years old. They had clothes not too different from the locals at Soo, and all spoke accented English (at about 20% skill; and various dialects of the Ojibwe as Own Language). A couple had bows, most of them had flintlock .75" muskets; all of them had knives and axes. Blankets, food and some other field gear completed their equipment; they were directed by Captain Doyle to sit around the boat's deck and stay out of the way.

     Roy had obtained about 50 kg of various radio components from the Morrow Project museum. The vessel cast off and headed down the Saint Mary's River. 

     About 1 p.m., Roy and a half-dozen of the escorts were dropped off at a remote village on Manitoulin Island, where he was going to establish a big transmitter.

     A cache on the shores of Saginaw Bay was checked out about 7:30 p.m. -- empty. The boat spent the night anchored off Pointe Aux Barques; feeding the 14 remaining escorts was a chore. 

 

Wednesday, 10 August 2140

 

     weather:  high temperature 81° F, low at night 63° F. Fog after dawn till 9 a.m., cloudy skies rest of the day.

 

     Another day's travel towards the Pennsylvania shore. The Calypso sped along to the entrance of the St. Clair River, arriving about mid-day, where the bridges were fallen and washed away long, long ago.

     The 60 kilometers along the St. Clair, to Lake St. Clair, took a couple of hours. Three more hours took the team through the Detroit River, passing the ruins of Detroit and Windsor. Both cities had been heavily damaged during the Atomic War, along with many of the neighboring cities. The river was very polluted by runoff through the industrial ruins. On the riverbanks were savage villages; the savages gestured at the passing boat, and shot a few ineffectual arrows. 

     The boat anchored for the night about 10 kilometers northeast of Sandusky, Ohio.

 

Thursday, 11 August 2140

 

     weather:  high temperature 75° F, low at night 62° F. Overcast all day, drizzle in the early evening.

 

     Under gloomy skies, the Morrow Project patrol boat sailed along the blasted shores of Ohio and Pennsylvania. By 2 p.m. they reached a good landing point, about 10 or 20 kilometers west of Erie.

     Erie and his 14 guards were set shore, to begin their overland travel to East Broad Top, Pennsylvania. They were carrying a few 81mm mortar rounds as examples for the mortars to be built.

     The Calypso crew expected to return by 24 August to pick up Fairhope. Waving farewell to the overland team, the boat turned about headed back for Soo. 

     At 8 p.m. the boat anchored again for the night, well outside the mouth of the Detroit River. 

 

Friday, 12 August 2140

 

Calypso 

Fairhope 

     The MP patrol boat traveled northward through the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, and the Saint Clair River; they reached Lake Huron by noon. They sped up a bit once in Lake Huron, and were at the west end of Manitoulin Island by 9 p.m. 

     Traveling south. 

 

Saturday, 13 August 2140

 

Calypso 

Fairhope 

     The next session begins here ...

     While hiking south, Fairhope's team was attacked by a band of wild Pennsylvanians. The attackers had one muskets, and otherwise bows and arrows; they wore moccasins, and their clothing was ragged and scanty. Half-a-dozen of the Pennsylvanians were killed by gunfire from Fairhope and his men, before they ran off. Two of the guards were slightly wounded, and treated by Fairhope's Medkit (check off 2 charges). 

 

Sunday, 14 August 2140

 

    With some difficulty, Fairhope's team crossed the Allegheny River near Emlenton. It wasn't quite wade-able, but wasn't very deep or fast. There were signs of horse-mounted travelers and patrols on the far side of the river.

 

Monday, 15 August 2140

 

     The group of Chippewa and Mr. Fairhope hiked through overgrown towns and along long-abandoned roads. As they approached Clairion, Pennsylvania they came upon some wooden cabins and cleared fields. Livestock, crops, and freshly-built fences pointed to this as being a recently-established farmland.

    The people, dressed in overalls (for men) or dresses (for women), were often within arm's reach of a weapon -- but they didn't seem to consider Fairhope and his men to be a typical threat. Soon they came to a small town, looking rather like a mid-19th Century western settlement; it was surrounded by a timber palisade. Nothing looked more than 10 years old (except for ruins from the 20th Century); the town was part of the state of Huntingdon, usually called "East Broad Top."

    Fairhope gazed with relief at the small railway station. He bought tickets for himself and 4 of his guards to Rock Hill (135 rail miles, for 5 people = $27), on the next morning's train, and purchased a few items (mostly food) at the town store (pay $2) and rented a barn for the night ($2).

 

Rail Transport Rates in EBT

passengers:  $0.04 per mile per person

break bulk freight:  $0.01 per mile per ton; loading and unloading total $1 per ton

 

     They paid $2 for space in a barn that night. The two weeks food and board in Clarion for 10 men (presuming they did some hunting and used their Fieldcraft skill) cost Fairhope another $21.

     

Tuesday, 16 August 2140

 

    Robert Fairhope and his four guards arrived by train at Rock Hill, the capital of East Broad Top. The town had many chimneys belching coal smoke, various conveyors and pipes moving raw material about, steam-powered road and rail locomotives, dusty streets and lots of hard-working people. There were lots of crudely-painted or -printed signs and posters, some of which were solicitations for votes, such as:

 

VOTE SMITH

FOR $2.25 

 

    The Chippewa guards tried to look unimpressed, but the loud, smelly, and industrial town was clearly not part of their upbringing -- except as an example of what the terrible 20th Century cities like Sudbury had looked like. Fairhope discovered that Petersen's Machine Shop was closed, but the last owner, Mr. Jonas Ritter, was able to help him find weapons. 

    After a few visits to various shops and armories, Fairhope placed a few orders on behalf of the Morrow Project. Here are some prices, FOB Johnstown.

 

name

description

mass, kg

#

cost each

sub cost

mortar 

81mm smoothbore,   including baseplate, tripod and simple T&E mechanism, divides into four 15 kg loads (barrel, baseplate, tripod, sight and T&E)*

60 

x

$40 

xx

smg #2

Federal machine carbine #2, 9mm Parabellum*

3.5 

x

$15 

xx

mag #2 

holds 32 rounds 9mm for FMC #2; also use in Sten gun

0.34 

x

$1.50 

xx

adapter 

to convert FMC #2 to use .45 ACP ammunition 

1

x

$3 

xx

mag #1 

holds 30 rounds .45 ACP for FMC #1 

0.34 

x

$1 

xx

ammo 

5000 rounds of 9mm ammunition with cordite propellant, with discount

58

x

$400 

xx

ammo 

50,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition with cordite propellant, with discount*

580

x

$3500 

xx

ammo

500 rounds of .45 ACP with cordite propellant, with discount

12

x

$47.50

xx

*cannot be delivered before 22 August 2140

 

      At least five 81mm mortars were ordered. 

 

The players will have to work out how much funding Fairhope had, and what distribution of purchases would be appropriate.

 

On to Operation Cook A Carp! Also see "Notes for A Challenger Appears"

 

Comments (2)

Michael said

at 9:09 pm on Jun 5, 2016

Yeah, was noticing that. Two anna half days with 20 guards ... feeding sleeping etc. But it'll keep Mr. Fairhope safe.

Kirk said

at 8:34 pm on Jun 5, 2016

500 miles with twenty (20!) passengers!!! none of which know from marine plumbing.

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