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Gotta Go To Idaho

Page history last edited by Michael 7 years ago

back to the Index, or to the previous report



report covers:   15  June 2139, 1500 PT to 7 July 2139, 1100 PT

 

15 June 2139

 

weather report:  wind light from W; nightly low temperature 23 C, daily high temperatures 36 C. No precipitation.  

 

     Traveling on the remains of Interstate 90, east across the high desert plateau of Washington state ...

 

Interstate 90, about 15 kilometers west of Moses Lake

 

     The interstate highway led the team towards Spokane; the pavement was cracked and unmaintained, but (in the dry weather) hadn't been eroded much. Sand dunes encroached on the roadbed for several kilometers east of Moses Lake, and the rusted hulks of cars and trucks were common obstacles. The sky was free of clouds, and the mid-day heat on the scablands reached about 97 degrees fahrenheit. More burned-out and abandoned cars were seen as the team approached Spokane -- the freeway must have been jammed with people fleeing the Atomic War. Two great salt pans shimmered to the north of the interstate, where Fairchild Air Force Base and the municipal airport had been.

 

ID04 is the team's cache in this area

 

     At the crest of the long ridge overlooking Spokane itself, the team could see the Spokane River winding through the ruins; dust and dried mud covered much of the city, with sagebrush and scrub growing over the debris. Bone City seems to be a fortified island in the Spokane River, surrounded by waterfalls; there are probably about 2000 people living there and in the Spokane Valley. Two kilometers east of Bone City, a ford crosses the Spokane River.

 

 

     The team drove along the former interstate highway. Atomic war, fires, floods, and overgrown vegetation left few identifiable ruins in the valley. A side road led off from the interstate, north for a few hundred meters towards Bone City; a footbridge crossed the river into the city itself. Standing at the intersection was a garage and workshop, surrounding by a wooden palisade; a line of utility poles, carrying telephone and electricity wires, led from the garage to the city.

 

 

     A few workmen at the garage greeted the team in a business-like manner, and invited the team to pull over to the town. The team took their advice and followed the dirt road, over a shallow ford on one branch of the Spokane River, and pulled up at a landing or parking area near the footbridge. Also in the parking area:  a four-wheel off-road vehicle, very shabby and beat-up.

 

Attack Buggy

attack buggy

     A four-wheel vehicle, with a 1.5 liter 55 HP air-cooled petrol engine driving the rear wheels through a 4-speed manual transmission. A large air cleaner is fitted; the air intake is mounted high enough that the vehicle can ford water 1.3 meters deep (usually up to the driver's chin!). Heavy-duty shock absorbers, allowing large amounts of wheel swing, let the vehicle cross difficult terrain. Wheels are usually of the normal Volkswagen type, but wide "sand rail" wheels and tires are preferred if available. Normally fitted with two seats, some versions mount a third seat behind and higher than the regular seats, to fire a machine gun. A sturdy roll cage protects the two regular seats. The 12 volt electrical system powers at least one headlight (and the ignition system); not all of these have a battery, however, and if so will need some assistance in starting.

     Two 1.7 meter long cargo pans are attached on the sides; if the third seat isn't fitted, there is a cargo space behind the regular seats.

     The buggy is 4 meters long, 2 meters wide, and about 1.5 meters high over the roll cage. Weight with empty fuel tank, no crew or cargo is 680 kilograms; maximum gross weight is 1200 kilograms -- that's where engine performance starts to suffer, the suspension is probably good for a GVW of 1500 kilograms.

     Top speed 100+ kph originally, now about 70 kph. The fuel tank contains 100 liters of gasoline (75 kg), enough for about 425 kilometers of travel. Typically, two 20 liter jerry cans of fuel are carried (19.3 kg each), and one filled with water (24.3 kg), along with two spare wheels and tires (18 kg each); about 860 kg before crew and cargo. A generic Morrow Project team member, with gear, weighs 145 kilograms -- two of them, and 50 kg of cargo, would fully load the vehicle.

     For a three-seat vehicle, fewer jerry cans and spare tires are carried; or the gunner seat is occupied by the person who normally rides in the passenger seat.

     Here are some photos of a similar vehicle, and more.

 

     Scotty told the guards that the team were dealers in brushes.

     All of the team except Scotty entered the town, and found Bone City to be a hospitable place. The town served partly as a caravanserai and repair station, and partly as the commercial center for the Spokane Valley. Establishments on the island included:

 

  • liquor store, distillery and brewery

  • casino

  • hardware store (operated by Elder Miller)

  • general store

  • clothing store

  • butcher's shop (operated by Elder Jones)

  • bakery

  • armory and weapon store (operated by Elder Vinson)

  • doctor & dentist

  • livery stable and dealer in tack, saddles, and wagons

  • brothel

  • two saloons (one was also a restaurant)

  • three barracks

  • hotel

  • jail

  • electrical generator

  • blacksmith (Elder Horfax)

  • dairy

  • fire department and telephone exchange (operated by Elder Tay)

  • bathhouse and barbershop

  • bank and moneychanger

  • photography studio

 

     In the casino, the owner of the attack buggy was gambling -- Mischief Jones. She was fairly intent on losing some of her pay (she'd spent the winter working as training cadre up at Colville). She revealed that her home was Ultraviolet, a down along the east flank of the Big Rocks, and that she was probably traveling there to see if the town was being troubled by the Wastelords, a raider group from out of the San Luis Valley.

     The team convinced Jones to work for them, at the rate of $1 per day (plus the pistol from Crater Lake). After bathing, some shopping, dinner, etc. most of the team slept at the hotel. Prices were about the same as in Oregon City -- the town was closer to some sources of supply, but selection was much lower (availability multipliers drop by one level, in general). One possible source of entertainment:  the "movie" -- half-an-hour of clips and stills from various 35mm and 16mm films. The longest clip might have been 10 minutes, most were only a couple of minutes, with many scratches and dirt; and of course no sound. The audience, a band, and the "announcer" provided the soundtrack. Film bits seen that night come from:

 

  • Ali Boobie and the 40 D's

  • All Dogs Go To Heaven

  • Harlem Nights

  • Honey I Shrunk The Kids

  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

  • Jane Bond Meets:  The Man With The Golden Rod

  • Moonlusting

 

... plus a few industrial safety, hygiene, and home-made 16mm movies.

 

16 June 2139

 

weather report:  wind light from SSW; nightly low temperature 13 C, daily high temperatures 20 C. No precipitation.

 

     The team left Bone City early and  traveled a few kilometers east on the old Interstate highway, watched by farmers out doing their morning chores, and then turned north at the ruins of Cour d'Alene. The long valley had scattered ranches; before noon the team stopped for brunch and some exercise -- JJ took this as an opportunity to sneak a couple of kilometers into the woods and check on the status of cache ID04, apparently unopened.

     After driving a bit further towards Sand Point, the team turned back and returned to Cour d'Alene, and then east along Interstate 90. The highway was reasonably passable until the east end of the Silver Valley, near the ruins of Kellogg, Osburn and Wallace; but after a couple of difficult river and slide crossings, they came to a section of the route impassable by anything wider than a single horse (several kilometers before Lookout Pass); they turned back.

     By the end of the day there were back at Bone City. They had a long chat with the mechanics at the garage and truck repair shop -- the town kept two small bulldozers in operating condition (and a couple more that need work), a tractor-truck and lowbed trailer, and several random heavy wagons or old trailers (including one "Ben Hur" army trailer). The bulldozers, wagons and trailers were used to help haul cargo over the slides and fords on Interstate 90.

 

military trailer, 1 ton "Ben Hur"

2 wheel trailer, G-518, built 1941-1945. 700 kg empty weight, can carry 1 ton of cargo; box is 1.2 meters wide, 2.4 meters long, with wooden slat sides extending above the steel sides; it's easily capable of holding 4 cubic meters of "stuff". Bows and canvas cover were originally fitted, as was a spare tire rack. Unlike most later trailers, it has a front "landing wheel" below the military tow hitch. Wheels are the usual 7.5x20 CCKW type; no running brakes are fitted, but it does have a hand-operated parking brake. "Water buffalo" versions had a 250 gallon tank; other versions included field kitchens, mobile generators, etc.

 

     Those stats are for the original trailer; the one at Bone City had solid wooden wheels, no electrical system or brakes, and a lot of other dings:  NO SALE!

     The team spent the night at Bone City again.

 

17 June 2139

 

weather report:  wind heavy from SSW; nightly low temperature 8 C, daily high temperatures 18 C. Cloud cover late in the day, resulting in a brief thunderstorm.

 

     In the morning, the team and Mischief Jones set off towards Fort Boise, along what used to be US 195. A few rain showers and a thunderstorm made a bit of mud on the dusty roads. The reasonably easy terrain -- formerly wide farmlands -- meant they made it to the Snake River near Lewiston well before dark. The bridges over the Clearwater and Snake River were down, but the Clearwater was easily forded, and the team camped near the ruins of Lewiston.

 

18 June 2139

 

weather report:  wind moderate from WSW; nightly low temperature 10 C, daily high temperatures 20 C. No precipitation.

 

     The team traveled with Mischief Jones south from Lewiston, Idaho. On the way, they encountered a mounted courier headed north, a couple of trading caravans, and a couple of refugees on foot. Other sightings included some dead refugees along the road, and (far from the highway) wary tribal folks.

     The road traveled for many kilometers up a deep canyon, onto the Camas Prairie. Past the prairie, the road entered the Salmon River canyon, and progress was slow. The sides of the canyon rose hundreds of meters above the river and road; the vehicles had to ford the river, or even drive along the river bed, a couple of times.

     Sunset found the team at Riggins, where the Little Salmon River branched off; the 400-meter wide plain where the town had been was an excellent camp site (and showed signs of having been used many times before).

 

19 June 2139

 

weather report:  wind light from NW; nightly low temperature 16 C, daily high temperatures 22 C. Light rain before midday. Sunrise 0515 local, sunset 2002 local.

 

     Following the old US 95 highway, along the Little Salmon River, the team continued south.

 

US95 along Little Salmon River

 

     In the afternoon, the road emerged from the canyon into a series of prairies and valleys, eventually coming out onto the northwestern end of the Snake River Plain, near the ruins of Ontario. Scattered farms were visible in the prairies, with herds of horses, sheep and goats.

     An hour or so before sunset (sunset is at 8 pm local time), R54 and Mischief Jones pulled up at the west gate of Fort Boise. Wide corrals and animal pens surrounded the sturdy, makeshift walls of the town. The guards asked a few perfunctory questions, but didn't seem to feel the silent V150 was a sign of anything Evil.

     Just inside the gate were more corrals and pens, filled with ragged tents and 1500 or so refugees -- almost all from the Montanan Empire -- living in just over a hectare of dusty ground. Beyond the refugee camp was a high wooden fence, and the rest of the town -- crowded with two- and three-story wooden buildings. Along the lane leading from the wall-gate to the internal gate to the town proper was a less-shabby kitchen tent and field hospital.

     Scotty went to work immediately in the kitchen, without even being asked -- scrubbing serving bowls and cook pots. The rest of the team approached the hospital, where a member of the Rangers was overseeing treatment.

     The Ranger was Corporal Travis Schafer, a guy in his late thirties; he looked tough and fit. His recruit/apprentice, Tom, was a buckskins-and-moccasins type, probably about 19 years old. Travis was glad for the help offered by the California Liberation Militia, and was in turn able to provide a lot of information about conditions west of the Rockies.

     At the end of the day, he took the team into the town proper for dinner, and more conversation about what's going on in Montana. The Doomriders invaded last summer, in the midst of a civil war between three princely heirs of the previous king; they were able to exploit the confusion and lack of cooperation, and destroyed the major towns of the Empire.

     Most of the refugees at Fort Boise arrived at the start of winter, and thus have been here for about six months. The native inhabitants were feeling the strain of supporting the refugees, and had been making strong hints to the Rangers about "coming up with a plan."

     Over some beers and shots of whiskey, Team R54 and Travis hatched a plan to resettle the refugees in the Willamette Valley -- mostly at the town of Jefferson. After dinner, baths  and arrangements for laundry, the team slept in proper beds ...

 

20 June 2139

 

weather report:  wind light from NW; nightly low temperature 16 C, daily high temperatures 25 C. No precipitation.

 

     The team and Corporal Schafer began talking and negotiating with the refugees and with the Boise government. By the end of the day, the migration plan was hammered out ... the town of Boise would provide food at a subsidized cost for the trip to Bone City, along with a dozen freight wagons, drivers, and eight outriders/guards for "free" on the trip. The refugees had several dozen wagons of their own, plus some draft horses -- the city would loan more draft horses to make up any lack, and would handle all provisions for the horses, freight wagons, outriders, etc..

     Corporal Schafer picked the outriders, reliable men he's worked with before.

     Cost to the team was just a share of the provisioning:  1500 people x 40 days x $0.01 per day = $600, plus $6 for gas for Mischief Jones's trip back to Bone City, and about $1 per night per team member for food, drinks, beds, baths, shaving, and incidentals. Of course, money could be saved by not "living the high life".

     That evening, the team, Corporal Schafer, and some Senators and Boise Brigade officers held a big meeting with the refugees. The knights had the most questions or objections.

 

21 June 2139

 

weather report (Fort Boise):  wind light from NW; nightly low temperature 23 C, daily high temperatures 26 C. No precipitation.

 

     In the morning, Mischief Jones set out for Bone City in her battle buggy, with Doc as her passenger.

     The team and Corporal Schafer began gathering supplies for the migration, as freight wagons began showing up. The drivers and cooks, etc. were recruited from among the inhabitants of Fort Boise; the knights from the Empire would also serve as outriders (they had their own horses and weapons).

 

23 June 2139

 

weather report (Fort Boise):  wind moderate from NW; nightly low temperature 15 C, daily high temperatures 20 C. No precipitation.

 

     Horses, wagons, outriders and guards were still being organized in Fort Boise; the team made an effort to 'feed up' the refugees, and Corporal Schafer arranged for a donation of clothing.

     Near the end of the day, Mischief Jones and Doc arrived at Bone City.

 

24 June 2139

 

weather report (Fort Boise):  wind moderate from NW; nightly low temperature 15 C, daily high temperatures 22 C. No precipitation.

 

     Corporal Travis held a training-and-evaluation ride with the outriders and nobles; almost all the refugee wagons had horses assigned to them now. The team was choosing the "100 armed men". Mischief Jones and Doc left Bone City early in the morning, on their return trip to Fort Boise.

 

26 June 2139

 

weather report (Fort Boise):  wind light from NW; nightly low temperature 14 C, daily high temperatures 20 C. No precipitation.

 

     The various wagons were all present now, and some last-minute repairs were performed at Fort Boise. A few of the unhealthiest refugees were transferred to a rented house in the "proper" part of Fort Boise. At the end of the day, Mischief Jones and Doc arrived from Bone City.

 

28 June 2139

 

weather report:  wind light from ...; nightly low temperature 16 C, daily high temperatures 26 C. No precipitation.

 

     After a day of loading the wagons, the refugees begin the long trip (380 miles) to Bone City, escorted by Corporal Travis, Tom, Mischief Jones, the 8 guards, and a dozen or so Montanan nobles. Team R54 remained at Fort Boise for some rest, and to supervise the cleanup of the former camp.

 

29 June 2139

 

weather report (Fort Boise):  wind moderate from W; nightly low temperature 16 C, daily high temperatures 23 C. No precipitation.

 

    After breakfast, the team headed out from Fort Boise, bound for Styx.    

    The trade road running southeast of Fort Boise was more or less following Interstate 84; wide farms spread across the Snake River Plain, and small downs, with palisade walls, were seen every few kilometers. A broad, barren area to the south marked the former location of Mountain Home AFB. At Glenn's Ferry the road crossed the Snake River on a still-standing (but much-repaired) railway bridge. The team continued to see towns, ranches and farms along the river; after lunch, they turned south on what was once US Highway 93, and headed towards Nevada.

     Within 10 kilometers of leaving the trade road, the team was traveling through a desert -- probably less then 75 millimeters (3 inches) of rain annually. There was little sign that anyone had used the road in recent years; in many places, a half-meter of dirt had blown onto the highway surface. Rusted hulks of motor vehicles were passed from time to time; a few of these were clearly of "modern" origin (since 2070 AD). The few rivers were entirely dry; the afternoon temperature pushed up past 40ºC. 

     Good time was made along the highway -- bridges and culverts were mostly intact, but the Great Basin remained dry as a bone. About 1730 hours, the team came to the ruins of Wells, Nevada, and decided to stop, survey and camp here. The town, which only had a population of 1200 people before the Atomic War, had pretty clearly been deserted soon afterwards; brush fires and an earthquake had destroyed most structures (many of which were only trailer homes in any case). A depressing number of automobile, bus and truck wrecks were sitting by the roadside, just off the Interstate 80 intersection -- refugees after the war, unable to proceed due to lack of food or fuel. The railway line seemed to be in good condition (but obviously unused for over a century).

 

following US Highway 93 south through Nevada

alas, not this:  http://youtu.be/uBeIdCn5J1Q 

 

30 June 2139

 

weather report:  wind none; nightly low temperature 15 C, daily high temperatures 45 C. No precipitation.

 

    The team departed early in the morning, heading south along US 93. Again they made good speed, averaging about 30 kph. They stopped for lunch at Currie, which had been almost a ghost town before the Atomic War. Again, the railway lines crossing the highway were in good (but unused) condition. Near the end of the day they came to Ely -- another uninhabited, dried to dust town. Here, at least, some sturdy masonry buildings survived, including a couple of banks. The railway lines passing through town were in good shape; near the very old depot was a rail yard/museum with a half-dozen locomotives, plus passenger cars, wood-side box cars, ore cars, and work trains, mostly dating from the early Twentieth Century. The team noted that two of the locomotives were World War 2-era electric boxcabs (formerly used in Utah copper mines), which could possibly be powered by a Project fusion reactor. They operated on 750 volt DC power, and are each 11 meters long, weighing about 80 tons; top emergency speed was 64 kph, and looked about like this.

     The town had probably been inhabited for ten years after the Atomic War; there were remains of improvised gardens, and a disturbing number of bullet holes in a couple of the downtown buildings. There were salvagable things present, but almost nothing you couldn't have gotten in better condition back in Oregon City. Bonus item:  a round-ended 20 gauge galvanized steel water trough, 0.75 meter wide, 1.2 meters long, and 0.6 meters high; capacity 450 liters, mass 22 kg. It might be useful as a wash tub, but it couldn't be conveniently carried inside the V150.

 

1 July 2139

 

weather report:  wind light from S; nightly low temperature 13 C, daily high temperatures 48 C. No precipitation.

 

    Leaving early again, the team traveled southeast along the Great Basin Highway (US 93), over a low pass into Lake Valley. Temperatures soared to 48°C (120°F) by mid-day. The wide spaces of the valley were entirely devoid of vegetation.

 

2 July 2139

 

weather report:  wind light from S; nightly low temperature 14 C, daily high temperatures 50 C. No precipitation.

 

      Continuing along the Great Basin Highway, west from Caliente, the team passed at good speed along areas that were deserts before the Atomic War. Low hills of weathered sedimentary rock stood to the sides; even Crystal Springs, where US 93 turned south, was barren and dead. The V150's air conditioning system roared, keeping the interior cool -- but the hull surface grew painfully hot. The rear of the vehicle, near the power system cooling exhaust vents, grew hot enough to literally fry an egg.

     JJ had realized long ago that the air conditioning vent faced forward into the main body of the vehicle; for a while in the afternoon, he crawled out of his usual position at the back door and instead sat on one of the jump seats, in front of the air conditioning vent.

     At 1300 hours, the team reached the intersection of US 93 with Interstate 15, about 30 kilometers northeast of Las Vegas. Long-fallen ranks of power transmission towers could be seen converging on the ruins. At the actual intersection, the long-burned-out ruins of a truck stop contained the wrecks of hundred of cars, busses and trucks, another sad remnant of some refugees fleeing the Atomic War.

     Proceeding southwest along the Interstate, more and more signs of the ancient nuclear holocaust were visible -- rusted advertising billboards, cars abandoned on the freeway itself, buildings set ablaze by the flash of Soviet bombs. Las Vegas had been struck by at least three nuclear weapons, including a surface burst at Nellis Air Force Base. Even so, the old freeway showed signs of continuous usage -- tire tracks on the broken asphalt, and debris from camps, ambushes, and roadside repairs.

     The team decided not to enter Las Vegas, and turned around, heading northeast along the Interstate. By 1900 hours, with the sun low in the west, they came to the former town of Littlefield, where the Interstate had crossed the Virgin River. Here they found the old bridges were down; the trade road wound down the sides of the river banks, to a much smaller bridge, sturdily build of wood and salvaged I-beams.

     Standing above the east bank of the tiny river was a sort of fort or truck stop, 30 meters on a side, with 3 meter concrete walls. Above the walls, the team could see a water tank, flagpole, radio antennas, two guard towers, several windmills (barely turning), and the tops of a few buildings and trucks. Outside of the walls was a cleared zone, about 30 meters wide, with some barbed wire entanglements and a few sandbagged fighting positions in it. Beyond the clear zone were several heaps of garbage and debris (or maybe construction supplies, heh) -- broken-down trucks, ripped-up tires, broken bottles, steel I-beams, timber, etc. A dozen or so shanty-town shacks stood near the garbage heaps; ragged, dirty, listless people could be seen at the shacks (it was still very hot). The dirt road from the new bridge led up the river bank, past this outpost, and off another 200 meters or so to the old Interstate highway.

 

Team R54 was more than a kilometer southwest of the turnoff to the new bridge at this time

 

     The white flag flying over the outpost bore this symbol:

 


     Presuming the roads are in reasonable condition, the team is perhaps another day away from Styx. The people in the outpost on the Virgin River will have spotted the broad dust trail thrown up by the approaching V150, but given the dust and the lowering sun, may not have been able to make out much of the vehicle's shape. The ruins of Littlefield don't provide any hard cover for the vehicle, and not even much for people. It would be possible to bypass the outpost -- the Virgin River isn't very deep, and the bridge is more to avoid the worst rocks in the riverbed.

 

Notes

 

Gootz

     The team arrives in Bone City, a burg of a couple thousand residents on an island in the river. Parked outside the town is a mad-max sort of two-seater dune-buggy with luggage in the passenger seat and two long-arms in saddle-holsters. Scotty remains with the vehicle and the rest of the team goes across the bridge and into the bar for drinks and some lunch. No signs of cannibalistic entrees on the menu. Some time later JJ makes a tactful inquiry and learns that the bones belong to ancestors, and are worn as a show of veneration rather than being an expedient way of dealing with leftovers. After sending a boy out to the vehicle with beer and sandwiches for Scotty, who has identified the team as Fuller Brush representatives, Doc and Gootz dutifully go off to visit with the local dealer in brushes and other simple dry-goods. JJ and Jesse go to the casino to speak with Ms. Mischief Jones, against the recommendation of the bartender.  Ms. Jones turns out indeed to be female, maybe 40 years old, but at least half of those years have been very hard and it shows.  She is the proud owner of the mad-max mobile (MMM), and is a mercenary originally from Ultraviolet, on the eastern edge of the Rockies (which she calls the Big Rocks). Her MMM flies a Montanan Empire flag (blue with yellow circle, black lightening bolt inside), and a red flag (because it looks cool). She spent most of last year working for Yakima-Colville Confederation, then heard about trouble in the Tradelands, and started heading that way.

     Ms. Jones proved fairly friendly and knowledgeable, and seemed obviously tough and resourceful. The team offered her a one-sixth share of liberated valuables, plus $1/day to hunt Doomriders.  She was paid 14 days in advance in the form of the high-tech-looking little 9mm Ninja pistol  (from Crater Lake) and 4 magazines. 

     She seemed not to like many of the groups we knew about, which was no surprise to the team except for the inclusion of the Paladins, who showed up 10 years ago from California with armored trucks and hooked up with some bad people (the Savant Empire) in Arid City, TX.  She also didn’t approve of the Hand of Jehovah and the Pale Riders, which wasn’t a surprise.  She also added two entries to our ever-growing list of people who need their asses kicked: 

  • the Doomriders, who come from east of Montana and who make a point of killing women.  They also kill men unless they are willing be pressed into military service.  They have been invading and destroying Montanan Empire society in the recent summer fighting seasons.

  • The second group of no-goodnicks Ms. Jones describes are the Waste Lords, who showed up a few years ago and have been attacking people in the Tradelands (Colorado and New Mexico).  These are the people against whom Ms. Jones was going to fight when we met her (?).  Specifically:  she was going to see if Ultraviolet was in any danger - ref. The Waste Lords supposedly value knowledge, have trucks with guns, motorcycles, and generally fairly high-tech (in local terms) weaponry.   

     Ms. Jones thinks that the Cartel is generally okay, and mentions that they have their headquarters in Kingman City, Arizona. They, along with the Waste Lords, have higher tech weapons, including submachineguns (Gootz asked specifically; he would like to get one eventually). Much of this highish-tech weaponry comes from a town called Styx (not to be confused with Stygia), which is on the Colorado River in the Marble Canyon, near the north end of Arizona or the south end of Utah. The last group of people Ms. Jones mentions are the Rangers, who are out of Nevada or maybe Utah.  They are good guys, and hire crazy people.     

     The next morning, accompanied by Ms. Jones in her MMM, the team heads east on I-90, traverses two rivers with fallen bridges before the third proves too much of an obstacle.  The Bone City guards are mildly amused to see the team coming back through, but not stopping (in shame?) as they get on the highway to Pocatello (Hwy 95). Along the way, the team meets several trading caravans and manages to buy a 5 lb bag of chili powder from one of them. Over the next few days the team follows along the Oregon Trail, passes several little Indian villages and sees various people traveling on foot.  Some of these people report that the Doomriders showed up from the east last summer, then left for the winter; they used motorized vehicles with mounted guns – bigger than, but not as nice as ours.  Various corpses of refugees are also in evidence along the trail.     

     Coming down Idaho Route 55 into the Snake River Plain, the team sees Boise in the distance.  It was nuked, but there are outlying farmlands, and Ft. Boise, entirely walled, is nearby. (Fort) Boise is run by 5 senators.  They have “the Bowels”, where people fight (not all criminals), and bets are made.  Approximately 1,500 Montana refugees are there, comprising about one third of the entire population. 

     The team decides go into town to bed down for the night, buy fuel for Ms. Jones’s vehicle, and gather what intel it can. The team will also try to identify refugee leaders and let them know to go on to Bone City and then further along to places where they can make a better life for themselves (with the River folk, Willamette Valley etc), or send them along to Bend. Wandering around Boise a while, it becomes clear that some of the refugees are of higher status than others; they carry swords and are bowed to by other refugees.  The team meets Travis the Ranger, who is running a clinic for the refugees.  JJ, Doc, and Gootz volunteer to help in the clinic until closing time.  Ranger Travis sees that they are something more than the average passers-by, and invites them for a beer after closing.  Travis is well-educated; he knows about the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and is in favor of democratic rule.  It turns out that the Rangers are actually descended from a Ranger cadre stationed at Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah, where they taught desert survival and summer/winter training to the Ranger school candidates who made it that far.  Travis has met pretty much all of the refugees, and says that about 100 of them are Montana nobility and some of their retinue; the rest are peasants who fled the Doomriders on their own and their lords are not around.  The team refines their plan. The noble families and their retainers should be convinced to go to Bend and settle there.  The refugees without their lords should go to Jefferson, Oregon (to the soon-to-be-former Barony) after standing by in Oregon City until we come back.  They will be provided with at least 100 black-powder rifles, and six of them will be recruited as Morrow Project deputies and provided with the six Stoner rifles from one of the caches.  As many as possible of the able-bodied refugees (we should ensure that some of these are women!) will be trained with the black-powder rifles; the 100 best of them will be assigned the rifles, and the six very best (in shooting also, but mainly in terms of leadership qualities?) will be issued the Stoners. Travis and about eight others (all Rangers?  Or does that include the side-kicks? Only Travis and his one sidekick are Rangers; the rest however are reliable, competent men that Travis can vouch for -- ref) will help out with this process, as well as providing escort to Bone City, then down the river to Oregon City where they will wait until we’ve come back from our fighting season, and then everyone will proceed on to Jefferson.  With R54 “Peeking Ducks” money, Travis also hires some merchant caravans to go along with the refugees to provide food, and conveyance for those too young, old, or infirm to make the journey on foot.   

     After a week or two of getting the ball rolling on all this, the team is back in Boise.  Ranger wash-out Fester, who runs a bar and is our contact man with the Ranger community (which has informants among the refugee community) informs us that the Doomriders are NOT in Montana this fighting season; apparently they have moved on to greener pastures.  Travis had informed us that the Waste Lords do in fact have vehicles exactly like ours, and they do use the Morrow Project insignia.  So the team decides to head south to find out more about this potential Morrow Project team, probably with a stop in Styx to drool over the high tech stuff and find out how much it costs before heading off in search of loot and possible comrades.

     Travis has also told the team that there is a pacifist group called the Movement, in the Arizona/New Mexico desert. They make money making and selling cloth, out of which a lot of the local clothes are made. Their symbol is a sideways numeral eight, or infinity sign.

     Gootz thinks we should (eventually) get hold of a printing press and print up choice sections of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  Maybe some passages from the Federalist Papers.  We need to start a propaganda machine, and a flyer campaign or maybe a newspaper seems like the best bet for now.  Later, maybe find a way to make relatively cheap radios and set up Voice of America stations or something like that.  Just a couple of longer-term thoughts.  We should have short, medium, and long-term goals so that we always have a direction in which to strive!

     Scotty did show Ranger T the Mars, Recon, and Science symbols, but I'm pretty sure that he only recognized Recon.

     Sedonia hippies etc. makes sense for the Movement, though they do have some kind of Morrow related symbol (though if it's the infinity sign, that could just be coincidence).  Perhaps a community on the brink of extinction by starvation, miraculously saved by godly men with awesome machines, and to whose teachings the community still adheres?  

     Yes, Waste Lords definitely had silent vehicles that looked just like ours, but Travis wasn't close enough to see if they had new or old tread (or he wasn't looking for that).  But if they did spring up out of nowhere 10 years or so ago, then they're likely a couple of teams or more.  I'm in favor of approaching them as locals.  If they've gone completely rogue, they will probably try to press us into service, take our equipment, and/or just wipe us out.  If they actually have a strategy to rebuild America, they might still do some or all of the above if we don't agree with their particular strategy, or they might be content to let us work our own way.  In any case, it seems like it would cause less friction all around if we could get more information about them without letting them know of our existence. 

 

     

     We're going to set the refugees up so that they can eventually fend for themselves; a strong core of that system will be the six or so people to whom we give the Stoners and extra training.  These people have potential to become the new nobility; the nobility are the people who protect the masses (from outsiders at least).  People are mostly sheep; they want to be safe, and they want to be told what to do (to a greater or lesser extent).  If their protector/kinsmen lead, the rest are more likely to follow.

     It therefore behooves us to pick the six very carefully in this regard.  Ability to be trained on the Stoners, ability to lead (or develop leadership qualities), and openness to democratic principles.  

     I suggest that key personnel (maybe not all the people to whom we give weapons training, but maybe as many as seems practicable) should undergo hypnotherapy as part of their training.  Ostensibly, and maybe partly in reality, it's to relax their minds and make them better marksmen and more likely to remain steady in combat.  But more to the point, it might be instructive to us in discovering how open they are to democratic principles.  

     Additionally, we could leave post-hypnotic suggestions to encourage them to support democratic principles and so on.  The more radically different the post-hypnotic suggestion is to their character, the more extensive and invasive the hypnotherapy must be (think Manchurian Candidate).  But I think that once layers of subjugation are gently peeled away, most people would be in favor of something like democracy unless they are megalomaniacs, in which case we don't want them in positions of power anyway.  

     So I think that most of the refugees should be susceptible to acceptance of democratic notions, though it could take some time to rid them of the impulse to subjugation.  If everyone else thinks this idea is worth exploring, I'll think about it some more and try to develop a careful approach.  Any suggestions are welcome.

     By the way, this can also be useful for interrogation, especially when the right drugs are involved ...

 

JJ

     As I recall, the MP sideways infinity symbol is used by something called "The Movement", a string of pacifist communities dotting the Southwest (I think Arizona and New Mexico) that export lots of cotton (actually wool -- ref) cloth. If they are MP, they are remains of an Ag or Science Team. Me, I'd put money on Sedonia Hippies and Pueblo Indians, but I won't rule out a stray Ag Team

     However, Ranger T seemed pretty confident that the Wastelords (I got the impression that they came up "out-of-nowhere"  about 10 years ago) have actual armored cars among them, and are equipped with at least semi-auto long-arms among them. At least a couple of their armored cars are "silent, like yours". 

 

on to the next report

 

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