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Taking Care of Business

Page history last edited by Michael 2 years, 10 months ago

back to the Index, or to the list of R36 reports, or to Team R36

 

report covers 24 August 2140 to 27 August 2140


 


Wednesday, 24 August 2140

 

weather high temperature 89 F, average humidity 88%. Scattered clouds most of the day; about 0.4" of rain in 25 minutes around 2 p.m.

 

     The team headed north past the destroyed Grand Gulf reactor; Jennifer the steamboater knew of an island hidden in a bayou, and the team took her advice.

     As the sun set, the team made camp, Jake sweated and cursed getting his antenna up and ready for the scheduled contact with R-176. Just after sunset, he received an "FSK" signal on the agreed shortwave frequency. When decrypted, it read:

 

BEWA RECA NADA TRAP ATBI LLIN GSTH EYAR ENOT MORR OWHA VETR APPE DATL EAST ONEM PTEA MPRE VIOU SANY TXFR OMCA NADA ORVI CLIK ELYB AITT HEYA LSOH AVER DFAN DAIR CRAF TKEE PTXS HORT THEY MONI TORS HORT WAVE NOTM ANYU SERS INUS GOOD LUCK OUT |

 

     R36 replied, via encrypted signal:

 

ELABORATE BILLINGS TRAP CONTACT US IN ONE DAY SUNSET |

 

 

     And a few minutes after that, there was a voice signal on the same channel. "Come in team R-36, this is team R-176, Dan Marinette speaking, over." After a non-committal answer by Jake, Marinette asked, "Did you just receive an encrypted signal from an unidentified source, over?"

     The team replied over the radio, "Please respond via encrypted signal." Dan Marinette answered, "Our computer is not available here now, it will take a few days for that." Brief pause, and then: "We will contact you again in four days."

     A lot of discussion around the campfire after that ...

 

Thursday, 25 August 2140

 

weather hot and humid

 

     The hovercraft and long-tail boat sped up along the Mississippi all day. They passed several small landing-towns, usually only a freight-shed, a dock, a post office/store, and a couple of houses. They stopped at one mid-day, and bought some food and staples. 

     Three steamboats were met coming downstream, with small barges; each of them had a small cannon mounted on the deck -- two 37mm "1 pounder" guns, and one 3" ordnance rifle from the 19th Century. They seemed non-hostile, and Jennifer stopped alongside one and had a brief conversation. Each boat flew a different, unrecognizable flag.

     At the end of the day, the hovercraft and the long-tail boat pulled up on the western bank of the river and camped -- 70 kilometers from Memphis as the crow flies. Not long after Jake set up his antenna, a series of encrypted transmissions were received and made.

 

RCD: R176 ARE CANADIAN HAVE PRISONERS AT LAKE LOUISE OVER

TX:  IDENTIFY SENDER OVER

RCD:  HOSTILE RECEIVERS ON THESE CHANNELS SOME CAN DECODE STOP CANNOT IDENTIFY SELF OVER

TX:  ARE ANY CHANNELS SECURE OVER

RCD:  CANNOT IDENTIFY SELF TOO DANGEROUS STOP WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW OVER

if players remember any further response, feel free to add it to the box above

 

Friday, 26 August 2140

 

weather hot and humid, plus a dozen or so brief thunderstorms

 

      The last leg to Memphis (more correctly, West Memphis, or sometimes New Memphis) was about a hundred kilometers, but a couple of thunderstorms made the trip exciting. Brief high winds made steering a bit tricky. At about 30 kph, the town was reached in about three hours.  

     The town was surrounded by a 7 meter high levee, which also served as defenses against raiders. Within the levee, many of the inhabitants worked supporting river trade. Motor vehicles and horse-drawn wagons were seen; also several workshops, two boatyards, and some other small industrial facilities. Three or four bars and taverns, a gambling house, two hotels (the Cattlemen's Club and the Memphis House) and a bawdy house were along east end of the main street. At right angles along the waterfront were freight houses and cargo sheds, with piers extending into the river.

     The town smelled of metalworking, rain, outhouses, and wood smoke.

     At the waterfront the team could see several small wooden barges, a steel barge (from before the Atomic War), a dozen motor boats, a 20-meter long ferry, two small tugboats (no cabin), and two proper steamboats.

     Jennifer lead the Gull to a particular pier and freight house, owned by her clan -- the Delanceys. She hopped off the long-tail boat and was greeted warmly; thee were many anguished looks as she told her relatives that one of their steamboats was in the hands of pirates downriver.

     The hovercraft got a lot of attention from the townsfolk as it glided alongside a small floating dock and tied up. Jeff waved to the spectators, and hopped out onto the dock.

     On the pier, the Morrow Project team was greeted by various of Jennifer's relatives, most notably her uncle Captain Alfred Delancey. She introduced the team, and called Jeff "captain"; he in turn stated that the team were the "Monrovia Police", from Monrovia. The Gull hovercraft was introduced under the name Horus.

     Another thunderstorm chased off most spectators; the team and the Delanceys moved into the freight house. Coffee and snacks were offered, while the Delanceys began preparations to send two steamboats downstream.

     The safe captured from the pirates was brought over to a large drill; a hole was drilled near the dial, and with a bit of laryngoscope work the door was opened. There were two canvas bags, and a grey metal index card box.

     One bag held 5 kilograms of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, solid dollars, Mexican pesos, casino tokens, arcade tokens, commemorative coins, etc.; face value is $220. A paper tag on the bag had the word CREW.

     The other bag held 4 pounds of old wrist- and pocket-watches, wedding rings, earrings, necklaces, graduation rings, and other minor jewelry. This can be sold for $180.

     The metal box had a packet of 10 hypodermic needles (not the plunger or reservoir, just the needles) and a brown glass jar holding 100 cc of clear fluid, with a label:  "BIOVAX 100 DOSES" above the Savant symbol. Testing and sniffing only revealed that it wasn't identified as poisonous, and was mostly alcohol.

 

 

what could it be?

 

       The team would be able to earn $1 per safe for assisting the Delancey clan in opening safes -- they bought them for $5 or $10 each from scavengers, locked without a combination, but in good enough condition that they can be re-sold after being opened. For a few days, two or three safes a day would come in to be opened; the rate would drop to one a week or so after that. Or, the team could accept 5% of the value of the contents (instead of the $1) ... keep in mind that the Memphisites could open safes, but they are usually not in a salable condition afterwards.

     After the current thunderstorm, two steamboats left from the Delancey freight house, loaded with a dozen crew each -- heading for where the pirates had tried to capture the Horus. It would be at least four days before they returned.

     Since the sky was clear for a bit, the team went for a walk along the main street. A long gallows could hold a dozen men; two bodies were hanging there, each with a cardboard sign. One said, "BANDIT", the other sign said, "FRAUD".

     The town was shining with puddles; wagons and trucks were moving about. A school, and three doctors' offices were noticed. Paula and a team mate visited the least sketchy of the doctors, and learned a lot about the state of medical care.

 

Medicine in Memphis

     A well-trained doctor has read through a number of 20th Century medical texts, and apprenticed for a few years under a practicing physician. Most doctors will also practice dentistry.

     They are well aware of the value of antiseptic conditions, the value of vaccination, and other concepts; they are not well-equipped with modern technology. There are no X-ray machines; blood typing is nearly unknown; and a lot of valuable medicines aren't available.

     Things they do have:

  • aspirin, both in the week (willow bark extract) and stronger (an acetyl derivative of salicylic acid). The strong form is rare and expensive.

  • ether

  • I'll list more things later ...

     

 

     Between storms, the team visited some stores, and looked in at various places. Some clothing and small personal items were purchased.

 

List your purchases here, so we can total up the cost. Prices can be found here.

 

     The Delancey clan made it clear that the team could bunk at their freight house for as long as they needed, and could store any items that wouldn't fit in the Horus.

     A visit to the "truck stop" allowed the team to speak with some gypsy truckers, who had come up from Mexico with a load of tires and other "industrial" goods. In the garage was a (former) Savant tactical vehicle. It was clearly worn out, having holes in its run-flat tires, bullet holes in the body, and lots of minor damage -- but clearly not a patched-up 20th Century vehicle. The Savant symbol on the hood and side doors had been mostly painted over.

 

in game terms, it's about like these, but newer

 

     Lettering on (original) parts was in some foreign language, which none of the team members could identify (Arabic? some Indian language?); some Arabic numerals were present.

 

"eggnog, eggnog ... "

 

The ref incorrectly said 2120 for the date while at the game. My bad!

 

     A trader took the team to a nice dinner at the Cattlemen's Club hotel, asked some questions and answered many.

 

 

the Mississippi River and its navigable tributaries; red stars are trading posts and repair shops for steamboats

(there isn't much information about the ports around the Great Lakes)

 

Comments (3)

jeffbenefiel@att.net said

at 10:37 pm on Sep 30, 2016

Sometimes that helps, sometimes (like with Farsi, which uses Arabic alphabet but is a non related language) it doesn't. What groups of characters is being used will, however, narrow down the possibilities.

Michael said

at 4:01 pm on Sep 30, 2016

Changed the image to a more appropriate font and rusting effects! Hmm, I will have to find a period Encyclopedia to see if they have sample of lettering for foreign languages.

jeffbenefiel@att.net said

at 2:26 pm on Sep 30, 2016

Truck writing looks almost Thai, or one of languages from that area of the globe. We could do some computer checking, maybe a library roll for someone.

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