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Oregon Hospitality

Page history last edited by Michael 3 months ago

back to Fate of the Doom Riders, or to Team R36

 


the red stripe is the route by Recon team R-36 for this session

 

Thursday, 7 September 2141

 

weatherhigh temperature 98° F, low 63° F. Cloudy skies, no wind before 1 p.m., winds rising to 15 kph from the SW after 1 p.m.

    

     The team was investigating the Capsheaf Church bunker near Elko, Nevada. They had cut and pulled the heavy concrete outer door in the mountainside -- that door wasn't built to ever be closed again -- and made sure there was oxygen in the air at that level. However, beyond the inner, steel doors (which weren't locked) the bunker atmosphere was entirely nitrogen.

     Only some very basic, emergency power system were active -- low-level lighting, mostly. The elevator wouldn't work, the ventilation system wasn't active.

     A few members of the team prowled around the hillside, and found a ventilation duct opening -- sealed by a steel plate. The plate was cut free, revealing a shaft descending at a 45 degree angle to the top of the base. A person could slide down the shaft, but just barely.

     The day was at an end, so the team set up camp and thought about the issue of "how to get inside".

 

the Haven Redoubt cross-section; tan shade represent areas without oxygen

see here for interior layout

 

Friday, 8 September 2141

 

weatherhigh temperature 85° F, low 50° F. Cloudy skies, light winds from the southwest.

    

     Today was spent investigating how to add oxygen to the Tau bunker. Sheets of rusty steel and crusty aluminum were dragged into the entrance level, and used to cover the elevator shaft. This allowed the team some access to machinery in the core.

      Begay pondered making a windmill to run a fan ... but in the end the amount of time for the bunker to be cleared was too uncertain. Also, the bunker did not seem to be "activating" -- there was no sound of air being released from tanks, or ventilation fans starting up. For whatever reason, the bunker was quiet.

     The team decided to leave this bunker "for later."

 

Saturday, 9 September 2141

 

weatherhigh temperature 75° F, low 47° F. Cloudy skies, strong winds from the east after noon.

    

     Following the ancient route of Interstate 80, west to Winnemucca ... about 3 centimeters of ash had fallen here from the Yellowstone eruption in 2020, and a century of dirt blowing around, had hidden most of the highway. The rusted remains of automobiles, and a few rest stops and gas stations, were sad reminders of the 20th Century.

 

looking west along Interstate 80 near Winnemucca

 

      From Winnemucca they headed west, across dry, flat terrain between low, rugged mountains. They sped across the Black Rock Desert ...

 

just outside the Black Rock Desert, looking north towards the Black Rock Range.

 

     ... and camped at the foot of the Black Rock Range.

 

Sunday, 10 September 2141

 

weatherhigh temperature 68° F, low 40° F. Cloudy skies, light winds from the southwest after 10 a.m.

    

     Slowly driving up between the rocky hills, and hiking over the rocks, the team searched for the Terminus Redoubt. The pair of "charted" 20 megaton thermonuclear blasts during the Atomic War became very clearly verified -- two massive craters scarred the ridge-lines of the Black Rock Range about 30 kilometers apart. The Project had known that Soviet ICBMs were accurate to within 1,500 meters or so, at most.

 

In fact, the SS-18 M5 had a circular error probability of 350 meters --

that is, half of the missiles would land within 350 meters of the target coordinates.

Of course, the coordinates could be mistaken ...

 

      Each crater was about a kilometer in diameter, and would have been at least 200 meters deep in level ground -- they were actually more "saddle shaped" on the rocky ridgelines of the Black Rock Range. One of them had no signs of what the target was -- if any -- but the other crater had evidence of deep-buried concrete tunnels. These tunnels were long-ago collapsed, and presumably had been blasted with incandescent rock vapor and radiation when the craters were formed.

     Since at least one bunker had clearly been in the area, the team prowled over the dry, lifeless hills looking for exits. Radioactivity was at a safe enough level after 150 years that no particular precautions were needed (and nobody was going to drink the groundwater or lick the dirt).

     A few stock ponds, cattle pens, and a couple of ranch homes had been within the 18 kilometer radius from each blast for essentially total destruction. The team found one of the home sites, where only the slab foundation and stump of the chimney remained intact -- along with a scorched stainless steel plate in what had been the living room of a house. It was 1.22 meters in diameter, secured by six five-sided 'security' bolt heads. The Morrow Project members looked stunned at seeing this, while Jocelyn Tanner was puzzled:  "What's gotten into you guys?"

       They explained that this was a Morrow Project cache lid. When opened, the interior space was indeed that of a Project cache; the underside of the lid bore the identifying letters "P-3".

 

"Uh ... not one of the usual state abbreviations, not an agriculture, science, or MARS cache. Maybe ... psychology? Or ... Prime."

 

      The contents were in good condition, and while none carried Project markings, they were clearly Project goods:

 

cache contents - universal - 3.0 cubic meters

quantity

item

mass, kg

volume

1

14.5x20 runflat tire and wheel, for Commando vehicles (or regular military 2.5 ton and 5 ton trucks, for that matter); normally laid flat on the top of the cache; weight about 150 kg; uninflated but looks the same since it's a runflat. They are randomly set up for either left or ride side usage ...

150

0.8

1

vehicle lube set:  19 liter can of API GL-5 gear oil, 5 liter can of lube oil, 5 liter can of chassis grease

30

0.1

1

box of 18 (one of each size) resistweave coveralls, without patches or manufacturer info

31

0.4

1

box of 6 sets Project-issue underwear (socks, shorts, tee-shirts) -- two each of small, medium, large sizes

1.5

0.1

2

sets of Project-issue personal equipment (belt, suspenders, ammo pouches, holster, canteen, compass, KCB-70 knife, field dressing in belt pouch)

7.14

0.1

2

pairs of Project-issue black leather boots - one is medium, one is randomly either large or small

3.04

0.1

2

cases of LRP rations (each case is 5 boxes, 12 meals per box, 4.2 kg per box), total 120 meals

42

0.1

1

box of 12 M10A1 filter canisters for M25 gas masks

6

0.1

1

case of 2880 rds 9x19mm ball ammunition

 

0.1

1

case of 1200 rds .44 Magnum ball or soft point ammunition

 

0.1

1

case of 1640 rds 5.56x45mm ball ammunition

 

0.1

1

case of 2000 rds 5.56x45mm linked ammunition (twenty Stoner-system 100 rd. plastic tubs), 4 ball to 1 tracer

 

0.1

1

case of 920 rds 7.62x51mm ball ammunition

 

0.1

2

cases of 800 rds 7.62x51mm linked ammunition (four cans, each with a 200 rd. belt), 4 ball to 1 tracer

 

0.2

2

cases of 210 rds .50 cal linked ammunition (two cans, each with a 105 round belt)

 

0.2

1

case of 500 rds 12 gauge Magnum buckshot ammunition (in five "30 cal" cans)

 

0.1

1

case of 2500 Stoner-style links for 5.56x45mm ammo, and 1800 M13 links for 7.62x51mm ammo, plus linker/delinker tools for each caliber

 

0.1

1

case of Morrow batteries:  280 MP-AA "camera batteries", 10 "radio batteries", and 2 "vehicle batteries"; total weight 12 kg

 

0.1

 

cache contents - resupply - 4.0 cubic meters

quantity

item

volume

2

Project mountain kits

0.6

2

Project personal desert kits

0.4

2

Project personal cold weather kits

0.4

2

Project survival gear

0.6

2

Project CBR gear set

0.6

1

Project team desert gear set

0.3

1

Project team cold weather gear set

0.3

1

case of six Stoner M22 rifles, with slings and 36 magazines

0.5

2

Browning Hi-Power pistols, each with 4 magazines and a holster

0.1

1

HK69A1 grenade launcher, with sling, cleaning kit, and holster (note the cache contains no 40mm rounds)

0.1

1

M10B shotgun, with sling and two D-cell hulls for AA batteries (batteries not included)

0.1

 

     There are six contact packs:  one is sized "small", four are "medium", and one is sized "large". Three packs have the shotgun, three packs have the lever-action carbine, all six have the .44 Magnum revolver. Each pack contains:

 

contact pack - mass about 16 kg depending on weapon, volume 50 kg when packed

quantity

item

mass, kg

1

floppy, felt crusher hat, in various drab colors

0.1

1

bandana neckerchief, usually red

0.1

1

blue denim jacket

1.2

1

pair blue jeans

0.45

2

cotton flannel plaid work shirts

0.6

1

pair Kastinger hiking boots

1.6

1

leather belt

0.3

1

nylon Jansport pack, containing 4 candles, 40 m twine, 6 cans of food, 3 pairs of underwear (0.2 kg), 2 undershirts (0.3 kg), 4 pairs heavy wool socks (0.45 kg), 12 ounce (0.35 liter) flask of Scotch, other assorted small survival and personal items, 10 silver "Peace dollars"

6.0

1

leather bandolier, with loops for 25 rounds .44 Magnum and 12 rounds of 12 gauge

0.25

1

Smith & Wesson M29 .44 Magnum revolver, with leather belt holster and 50 rounds of ammunition

3.0

1

 

 

 

 

OR

Marlin 1894 lever-action carbine, .44 Magnum caliber, with 30 rounds of ammunition and leather sling

5.0

1

Remington 870 pump shotgun, with 6 round magazine, 30 rounds of 12 gauge buckshot, and leather sling

5.5

 

     From the condition of the plastic wrapping, etc. this cache had not been opened at any time after the Atomic War. Note that the entire internal volume of a standard V-150, not including the sealed engine bay, driveshaft housing, water tanks, and other inaccessible spaces, is about 7 cubic meters. A generic Project member's gear (including sleeping bag, poncho liner, weapons, etc.) is about a cubic meter. With five people in the vehicle, the team only has about 2 cubic meters of internal storage.

     Of course, items can be stored on the outside of the vehicle. The team removed some items from the cache ...

 

  • a

  • b

  • c

  • d

  • etc.

 

     ... and loaded them onto and into their vehicle. The Morrow Project members were glumly considering the strong likelihood that Prime Base had been destroyed in the Atomic War.

     The team drove northwest several kilometers to camp at the end of the day.

 

Monday, 11 September 2141

 

weatherhigh temperature 90° F, low 50° F. Clear skies, light winds from the south and west.

    

     Driving northwest towards the area of Goose Lake, the team expected to roughly follow the route of the Lassen Cutoff. They drove over barren lands, long uninhabited.

 

Tuesday, 12 September 2141

 

weather (at Alturas)high temperature 96° F, low 58° F. Clear skies, light winds from generally the south.

    

     Arriving at the area around Goose Lake and Alturas, the team discovered another battlefield -- this one from about a year ago. Wide farmlands, small towns with wooden palisades, and a few simple forts had all been destroyed. The area had probably supported a couple thousand inhabitants. A couple of disturbing facts were uncovered:

 

  • Use of explosives, a burned-out hull of a 20th Century white phosphorus grenade, and corroded brass from linked .50 caliber ammunition, all pointed to the attackers having been equipped with 20th Century weapons. The local military had apparently been armed with muzzle-loading blackpowder weapons.

  • Many wooden sheds, sort of like early 20th Century military barracks, had been fitted with chains and shackles to keep the residents captive. The community had been part of a slave-holding culture. Many of the shackles and chains had been cut with bolt-cutters just before the sheds were burned down (no skeletons were found in the sheds).

  • A backhoe had been used to dig dozens of graves in several areas.

 

     In the evening, the team set up camp and Booth set up his larger antennas. A signal in the 40 meter band (around 7.2 MHz), using single-sideband modulation, proved to be a voice channel transmitting from somewhere to the northwest (Booth had to use a large antenna to find the direction -- the team's ARN-89 direction finder only worked up to 3 MHz at most. 

 

If you don't have a fairly sophisticated radio, single-sideband modulation of a voice channel sounds like this.

 

     The language being used was Asian, but not one that the team knew or recognized -- definitely not Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, or Vietnamese. The team was only able to hear one side of the conversation -- the person speaking was probably in Oregon.

     Booth set up the team's PRC-70 radio to broadcast on that same frequency, and handed the microphone to Jocelyn. When there was a pause in the transmission, she transmitted, "Oregon are you reading me? This is Jocelyn in Alturas."

 

The narrative will omit Jocelyn's proper radio procedure; the person she spoke with didn't use common radio terms, however.

 

     The team heard some one-sided conversation, with the words "Jocelyn" and "Alturas" recognizable, and then a heavily-accented English voice came on the channel. "Jocelyn we hear you."

     She responded, "Hello, we are looking for advice and weather reports."

     "The weather here is cloudy."

     There was some confusion about the word "feedback" -- the unknown person on the radio didn't have an idiomatic command of English. When asked what language he had been using, he replied, "Bahasa kebangsaan." After a few back-and-forth questions, he gave another name for it:  "Bahasa Melayu" -- Malay.

     Jocelyn asked, "Who are you, and where were you born?", to which he replied, "I was born in Oregon, my name is Safwa bin Sanad." When asked about the Foundation, he replied, "They are dangerous people in California, they are fighting a war with the Communists from the north -- the Democratic Republic of America. The Communists are bad people."

     Jocelyn signed off with a respectful, "Peace be with you," and the team contemplated what they had learned today. One conclusion:  Team Fillmore, based at Orleans Bar, was probably the core of the Foundation.

 

Wednesday, 13 September 2141

 

weather (at Klamath Lake)high temperature 86° F, low 53° F. Clear skies, light winds from the north.

    

     The team decided to visit Crater Lake, since their direction-finding efforts seemed to indicate that the Malaysian transmissions came from there. Oregon State Route 140 (the Klamath Falls Highway) took them over a series of wide chaparral valleys and low passes. The road had been traveled only by people on horseback, or riding wagons, in the last several months (and not much of that), but the surviving roadbed was fairly easy to drive on.

     The former Fremont National Forest now held countless hectares of Ponderosa and lodgepole pines; several volcanic cones rose on the horizon (long-dormant). There was a thin layer of volcanic ash here -- but not from the Yellowstone Eruption!

     Swinging down towards Klamath Lake, the ruins of Klamath Falls could be seen -- the city itself consisted only of burnt, looted ruins, with some pine trees growing among them, and a large, rusted-out railyard; at some point not long after the war, there had been some major floods, pushing debris into large piles against the few structures strong enough to endure. The lake seemed to have receded a bit from the 20th Century shoreline.

     Alongside the lake were herds of sheep and goats, along with a few horses, and some small patches of agricultural land (which had already been harvested). Just north of the old city was a village of fabric-and-leather lodges, near the shore.

     The people living in the village saw the dust raised by the armored car many kilometers before it reached their community. Thus, when the V-150 pulled up, a hundred or so people had gathered. They didn't seem fearful of the armored car, and no weapons were carried in their hands. The team jumped down from their vehicle and approached in a friendly manner, as laid out in Morrow Project Training Series 3-05:  Civil Affairs, section 7-2 Phase II:  "Initial Contact".

     One of the locals had a fairly good command of English -- his name was Frank. He asked Benefiel, "A you with the Liberation Militia?" Jeff replied, "No, we're the Bluegrass People, from far away to the east." A similar quiet armored car had been here more than two years ago -- the people in that vehicle had been named Jesse, Doc, Gootz, JJ, and Scotty -- mostly names known to the team as the leaders of the California Liberation Army Militia!

     An impromptu welcoming meal was prepared by the village; they seemed to feel the team's visit was a good omen. A big bonfire was built; foods included apple cider, manzanita cider, buckwheat beer; roasted or oven-cooked meats, mainly antelope. Flat buckwheat noodles were provided, too. Have a nice blackberry pie, with a buckwheat crust! Men (excluding men-passing-for-women) were served before women.

 

We have a wiki page on the Klamath peoples.

 

Questions and Answers

 

Who are the peoples around here?

 

     "To the west and southwest, in the Cascades, are Modoc people, wise folk and hunters, good at traveling in the mountains, but hard to get along with. They have goats and horses."

     "Further west and north, along the coast I think, there are people with trucks such as yours. And, of course, to the south, past Shasta, is the Foundation. They haven't come here in a generation or more."

     "In the north, up towards the big river, there are the Pale Riders, bad men who steal and kill; they controlled a bridge over the big river. I heard from a Mountain Walker that the Pale Riders have been destroyed recently."

      "In the east are the Yahuskin, hunters and wise folk. They live in the sagebrush and forests -- some of them marry Klamath folk, and they speak a form of our language. They don't raise buckwheat, and move their camps."

      "Until last year, at Lake Albert and Goose Lake, near the Dead Lands, were more bad men with guns, who rode horses and captured slaves; the Yahuskin had much trouble with the slavers. The Foundation destroyed the slavers."

      "The river folk ride boats on the big river. There's a place called Beavertown along the big river, I think."

      "I learned English from a mountain walker; I apprenticed with him for many years, but came here to help my parents when they got sick."

      "Strange folk live at Giiwas ... the place called Crater Lake in English. It's taboo, and not smart, to go there."

      "Communists? I don't know about that."

 

How did you come to be here?

 

     "Our ancestors wandered here from forgotten lands far away, past the eastern deserts. They must have been Ancients, because this was long before the War. They did not know their own names, or how to get food to stay alive. They sat starving beside the lake, and saw men -- the ancestors of our chiefs -- floating on the lake. The starving people called to the floating chiefs, who came to the shore. The first chiefs showed the Klamath how to harvest pods; they showed the Yahuskin how to hunt; and showed the Modoc how to keep herds of goats (note:  this is considered an amusing point by Frank for some unexplained reason); other tribes made bridges, cars, glass, towns, and other wonderful things. All of these tribes were part of the great U-S nation. But far away in the north were the Commies, who hated U-S because it had good hunting, many fertile women and lots of food, plus the roads, bridges and things. The Commies sent atom bombs, which made big fires and explosions in all the U-S, killing lots of people and poisoning the land. After the fires ended, there were many years of winter, with all the land covered in snow. The chiefs of all the tribes traveled east past the deserts, to where the Sun comes up, and told him that people would die if there was not more sunlight. The Sun agreed, and went up into the sky; but because he had rested for many years, he was now much brighter and hotter than he was before the War. The snow and ice melted, making great floods; diseases had been hiding beneath the ice, and killed off many persons and animals. The tribes argued with each other, saying they had not given the Sun good advice; there was fighting, and many tribes were no longer friends. The tribes that had made bridges, cars, and other wonderful things had died off during the Long Winter, or in the fighting afterwards; only the tribes that knew how to get food have survived. Because many good customs have been forgotten, no so many women were born after the Long Winter; fortunately, our wise men and chiefs have been creating good customs, and women are being born again."

 

Tell us about the Mountain Walkers.

 

     "They are traders, traveling alone, or in groups of two or three, usually men. They visit Lake Klamath once a year, in the summer; they all gather up by the big river once a year at their rendezvous in the spring."

 

     After the feast and ceremonies were over, the team was invited to join several men (and the old woman with no chin-stripes) in the sweat-house for a smoke; the pipes were either soapstone or wood. The sweat-house wasn't fired up, though. It smelled heavily of drying tobacco-plants; big flat baskets of drying leaves were up in the "rafters". Frank was kinda talked-out and hoarse by that point, so there wasn't much conversation between the team and the other Klamath (who knew very little English).

     Once a pipe or two had been passed around, the locals took their leave.

     The team decided to spend some time here, and set up their tents. Some of them might have gotten mild headaches or nausea from the clouds of tobacco smoke  -- the nicotine level in the local tobacco plants is about three or five times more than in the stuff smoked in 20th Century American cigarettes!

 

Thursday, 14 September 2141 to Saturday, 16 September 2141

 

weather:  high temperatures 95° to 101° F, low 44° to 48° F. Clear skies, light winds from the north.

    

     Three days were spent among the Klamath. In the heat, paddling around in the cool lake was a welcome change.

     In the evenings were community meals, with dancing, songs, etc. Some of the dances or songs were theatrical rituals, of which some were specifically educational -- "Pay attention to this, kids."

 

Of course, the songs were in the Klamath language.

 

     Musical instruments were rattles, flutes, and drums. Kazoos were present, but not considered very musical, even by the locals. Children were swimming, or playing cat's-cradle games, and a sort of "catch the salmon vertebrae on the long wooden pin" game -- it was still too hot in the evenings to be running around.

      Booth strung up a long set of antenna wires between some poles, and listened to various channels, especially in the early evenings (and in the morning, if he woke up before dawn). The children were especially interested in the faint, static-y musical broadcasts from Latin America.

     On the second day of their stay, Frank showed the team a bolt-action rifle he'd received from the Liberation Militia -- the receiver and barrel were 20th Century commercial items, altered to feed 7.62mm NATO ammunition from M14 magazines (he only had one magazine, and about two dozen cartridges remaining). The wooden stock had been decorated with engravings, thumb tacks and nail heads, etc. He said the village had been a bit shocked after they were given this (and a few other minor items); the Liberation Militia admitted casually that most of their gifts had been stolen from the Foundation, and the Foundation might come seeking its return!

 

"After they left, we thought about burning the gifts, but it is such a useful weapon.

We have worked hard to purify it, and, well, the Foundation never came."

 

      During the third day of their stay, a contrail from a jet aircraft crossed the sky, traveling from north to south in the mid-morning. Using field glasses, the airplane could just make out that the aircraft was a sort of delta-winged shape, possibly with three engines.

      And, in the last evening, Booth heard, very clearly, the 40 meter single-sideband radio signal again -- the Malaysian people at Crater Lake. He waved Jocelyn over to the radio, and handed her the microphone. The person on the radio was Safwa bin Sanad again:  "Yes Jocelyn I hear you."

      After a bit of chat, Jocelyn asked if it would be possible to visit Crater Lake for some trade. "No, trade is not possible, there is quarantine here, no visits." A bit shocked, Jocelyn ended the conversation fairly quickly.

 

Sunday, 17 September 2141

 

weather:  high temperatures 102° F, low 50° F. Clear skies, calm or very light winds. Humidity during the day, 17% to 21%.

    

     The team got an early start; not many of the Klamath people were awake when they left. Driving north along US 97 (the "Dalles-California Highway"), they made good time; a few small villages of Klamath people were passed for about 40 kilometers, and the highway had clearly been used as a horse-path fairly often. The Ancient railway could be seen parallel to the highway; the rails at least were still in place.

 

East Diamond Lake Highway in the 22nd Century

 

      About 2 p.m., they turned west onto East Diamond Lake Highway -- they were about 15 kilometers from Crater Lake. They drove to the old "north entrance",  past some small volcanic cones. The entrance road was blocked with a couple of tree trunks -- mostly in a symbolic way, as the armored car could easily drive around. There were no tire tracks in the dust.

     However, the team decided to be more careful; Benefiel and Turner dismounted, and crept through the dense pine and fir forest for 10 kilometers (about six miles). The air was still and hot; they were sweating like pigs inside their Resistweave™ coveralls. Around 4 p.m., they approached the rim of the crater, when a low whirring sound caught their attention and made them take cover.

     Patrolling along the edge of the crater rim was a drone, about 1.5 meters wide. Three electrically-driven fans in swiveling ducts kept it in the air and propelled it; a camera was mounted at the front. There was no "combustion" noise or smoke. It flew by about 50 meters off the ground, at about 20 kph; the crater rim was about 40 kilometers in circumference, so this drone would take 2 hours to fly an entire circle.

 

There were actually two drones -- one comes by every hour.

 

from the viewpoint of 1985-dudes, pretty high-tech!

The ball in front is the main camera/target designator.

 

     After the drone had passed, the pair of Morrow Project members crept forward to look into the crater. They crawled over a well-maintained, but not often used, gravel road about 40 meters from the rim.

     The lake looked about the same as in the 20th Century, geologically speaking (though the water level had dropped a bit, and in fact Wizard Island had a small connection to the side of the crater). However, there were several structures built on the sides of the crater, and more on Wizard Island; a couple of boats were moving about on the lake surface. Tall poles with what were probably cameras stood on the rim every 400 meters or so. The structures looked modern and maintained.

     The structures:

 

  • Spaced roughly evenly around the rim were "residence clusters", several kilometers apart. Each cluster had six levels; an elevator and utility tunnel ran at a slant just below the surface. The top level was at the rim itself; the lowest level was about 15 meters above the lake surface; since the rim was an average of 500 meters above the lake, the residence levels were about 100 meters apart. Each residence level was pretty much a cantilevered house-and-deck, with wide glass windows facing the lake, looking very Southern California-ish. The rim-level house had a flat roof; the whole platform at each level was 16 meters on a side, with the deck taking up the 4 meters on the lake-facing side. Given how far apart the clusters were, and the vertical spacing of the actual residence levels ... they were pretty well isolated.

rim-level residence; further down the slope, they're mostly embedded in the rock

 

  • Wizard Island had several buildings, mostly built on a common base structure at the peak of the island (so maybe it was just one building). They were mostly grey "stone or concrete" looking, the tallest being about 12 stories, with tall narrow windows, broad terraces, and bridges connecting some of the higher stories. Calling it the "Wizard's Castle" wouldn't sound at all un-natural. A couple of "helipads" (complete with a big yellow H) could be seen, but no aircraft (perhaps they were in hangars). A few people were wandering about; there were no gardens, but a few decorative plants. Three piers could be seen around the shore of Wizard Island. Some faint plumes of steam could be seen coming out of one of the buildings.

 

Don't get too hung up on this image, it's just to get the idea across.

There is actually a 'residence cluster' just to the left of the tree, but you can't really see it at this resolution.

 

     Through binoculars, Benefiel could see a woman with long black hair sunbathing on one of the decks; she had headphones on, and had a pitcher of some beverage on a low table near her lounge chair. The pair of observers decided to retreat back to their vehicle; the trip back took 2 hours, and they were thus entirely wrung out after spending 4+ hours trudging in 102 degree heat.

 

On to Inheritors of Ancient Glory

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