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Over Hill and Dale

Page history last edited by Michael 6 years, 6 months ago

to the Index or back to Refugees

 

 


 


report covers:   13 September, 2139, 2110 MT to 23 September, 2139, 1900 MT

 

13 September 2139

 

weather report:  temp low 23 C (75 F), high 30 C (86 F); winds very light (1 kph) from W; cloud cover none. Moon phase:  the waning  moon's phase will be 5.60% full, and it rises at about 2 a.m. on the 14th

 

     9:10 p.m.:  Team R54 was preparing for their next step, after massacring several Doom Riders in the JEEP-3 facility within Mount Rushmore. They had three people with them:  Dee Dee, the Sisterhood assassin (on top of the mountain); Vita, the Montanan aristocrat; and Corinne, an 11-year old girl, weak from being recently revived from cold sleep. The final ladder leading out of the bunker, and the steep stairs, were being climbed, and the team was expecting to spend at least 10 minutes removing their SCALP suits and swapping gear around atop Mount Rushmore.

 

stars are lookout posts; trucks, sedans, and non-ATVs can't go off roads or the green terrain

 

red dotted line was your way in;

graphic has an error -- you came from the vehicles at R54,

not from the watch tower a few kilometers away

 

     The team ripped off the remnants of their SCALP gear, did some last-minute gear swaps, and prepared to move off the top of Mount Rushmore at about 9:20 p.m.. Some motorbikes were seen moving to the bottom end of the "cat trail" leading up to the mountaintop, so a bit of hustle seemed called for.

     A hundred meters or more down the cat trail, the team turned off to the west, and began scrambling in the dark through ravines and cracks, and over boulders. JJ left a booby-trap on the cat trail, while Dee Dee took point. As the team approached the road around the base of the mountain, they heard the loud "boom" of their booby-trap.

     Motorcycles and other vehicles were roaring along the road every few minutes; the team waited carefully, and scuttled across the old highway at a stretch firm enough to not hold footprints. Down to the streambed about 10 p.m., and up into the more rounded hills ...

 

14 September 2139

 

weather report:  temp low 23 C (75 F), high 30 C (86 F); winds light (3 kph) from W; cloud cover none. Moon phase:  the waning moon's phase is 5.6% full, and it rose at about 0200 today. Sunrise at 0631 (DST not in effect), sunset at 1905.

 

     The fieldcraft skills of Dee Dee and JJ, and the PVS-5C night vision goggles, made the trip from Mount Rushmore to the hidden vehicles an uninterrupted -- but strenuous -- trip. A couple of dirt roads had to be crossed, and some buildings avoided, but the Doom Riders really had no idea where the intruders had gone. The team reached their vehicles about 1 a.m., and quickly began stowing all of their new "loot". Dee Dee and Vita were seated in the V150, and the two vehicles moved out to the east, and then north along the old highway leading to Rapid City by 1:30 a.m..

     Various Doom Rider vehicles were using the road, racing about to set up roadblocks no doubt. Driving (relatively) silently, with only infra-red headlights, and with one of the drivers wearing the PVS-5C goggles, team R54 easily avoided most of the vehicles. However, a trike ATV and a "chainsaw scout" vehicle weren't so lucky, heading straight along the road and right at the team about 2:30 a.m.. Scotty managed to plug them both with his roof-mounted .50 cal MG, but the chainsaw got close enough that Doc had to slam on the brakes to avoid it -- and even so the V150 hit the tumbling vehicle. Slam! All sorts of poorly- or hastily-stowed gear went crashing around inside the V150.

 

a chainsaw scout vehicle being investigated by a member of the Morrow Project

 

     The driver of the chainsaw had a "workshop" submachinegun, in .45 ACP; its one-of-a-kind drum held 50 rounds of 22nd Century .45 ACP ammo. He also had a .45 ACP zip gun, which looked like a revolver, but was actually only a one-shot weapon.

     The driver of the trike had break-open single-barrel shotgun, assembled from a bunch of old 20th Century components; a bandolier of 15 black-powder buckshot shells; and 9mm Llama Compact automatic pistol -- but NO magazines; he had a pocket full of mixed, unreliable 9mm Parabellum ammo.

     The team quickly proceeded onwards.

     Rapid City, and the entire area east and north of the Black Hills, had been struck by dozens or hundreds of nuclear weapons during the Atomic War, and then covered in snow and ice for at least twenty years -- nothing of interest remained. The team followed the reasonably-passable remains of Interstate 90 to Spearfish, arriving there about 6:00 a.m. -- a half-hour before sunrise. To the south, in the Black Hills, dust trails rising into the sun's rays and the distant sound of engines meant that pursuit was on the way -- the team's own dust trail might be visible from various watchtowers within the hills. The team quickly turned north, along the old route of U.S. Highway 85 (the "Can-Am Highway"); along the flat terrain, on a dirt road used frequently by the Doom Riders in recent years, they made good time. The burned-out ruins of small towns, with rusting Doom Wheels standing in their centers, testified to the ferocity of the Doom Riders' campaigns of destruction a couple of years ago.

     Three more hours of hard travel, with a brief lunch stop, brought the team to Bowman, North Dakota, at about 9:00 a.m.. Another two hours north brought them to Bellfield, on the old interstate highway; they stopped for food and some more re-stowing of gear. Interstate 94 was in good condition (the V150 could make 60 kph in it, though basically a dirt and gravel road), and had clearly been used by traders and travelers -- but showed little sign of use this year. The fragile buds of civilization along here had been eradicated a couple of years ago, again, by the Doom Riders.

     Turning east along the interstate / trade road, the team zipped along to the vicinity of Bismarck -- destroyed long ago by nuclear weapons and massive floods on the Missouri River. They didn't want to risk the XR311 in fording the river, so turning back, they sped along the trade road to Montana, with the setting sun in their eyes as they crossed into that state.

     Concerned that the Doom Riders would travel as long as the sun was up, the team pressed on for an hour or so after sunset, crossing the Yellowstone River near Glendive and turning north towards Canada. The destruction of the Montanan Empire last year was evident here -- although there were still some squalid, hungry people living in the ruins and debris in places. They camped that night on the banks of the Missouri, near the ruins of Culbertson -- a destroyed feudal town, complete with a castle.

    

15 September 2139

 

weather report:  temp low 3 C (39° F), high 11 C (53° F); winds moderate (18 kph) from S and W; cloud cover 30%.

 

     Aches, pain, and many headaches from over-use of caffeine and more powerful stimulants made this morning's breakfast a cranky and snappish affair. Corinne was able to give her story in full.

 

Corinne's Story

     She was staying near Bozeman with Mr. and Mrs. Burns -- friends of her father's. There were only two Secret Service agents as her escort. Saturday night, November 18th, after she had gone to sleep, she was awakened by Phyllis Burns, who hustled her out of bed in her pajamas and into the arms of the agents, who put her in their car and drove away. She saw the Burns family jumping into their car as well. 

     The agents drove at high speed, with sirens and lights, to the airport, talking on their "police radio" a lot. They drove right onto the paved "airplane area" (her words), and bundled her into a National Guard helicopter -- the rotors were already running. Aboard the helicopter were the pilot and a flight nurse, the two Secret Service agents, and a Montana Highway Patrol officer who joined them at the last second.

     The agents told her there was an attack about to happen, and told her to keep her head down. While they were flying -- she didn't know how long -- there were bright flashes outside, atomic bombs going off. The flight lasted about three hours; they landed once, briefly, at an "army place" somewhere (it was dark), and then eventually landed on a mountain, with trees around.

     Everyone went into the bunker, which was uninhabited but apparently "in service" -- the lights were on. She was very scared, especially since all the grown-ups were very tense and upset. During the day there were lots of telephone calls and teleprinter messages, but they gradually came to an end by lunchtime. One of the agents sat down with her at lunch on the 19th and told her that the Soviet Union had launched a nuclear attack on the United States; they didn't know about any particular people being killed, but they would all have to stay in the bunker for many weeks because of all the radioactive fallout outside.

     That night there were lots of long discussions and arguments by the adults. They didn't let Corinne eat any solid food after lunch, so she was very hungry. The next day, the Highway Patrol officer was placed into one of the cryoberths; they brought in Corinne to watch him going to sleep in the med bay. About mid-afternoon, when it was clear the policeman was going to survive, Corinne was placed in another berth. She was told they'd be sleeping "until the machines say it's safe to wake up." She is upset that they weren't in the cryoberths next to hers.

     Corinne normally attended the National Cathedral School. She has two brothers, both in high school. Her actual first name is Mary, but "nobody calls me Mary, except my brothers." Her Secret Service code name was Sparkplug.

     Jesse got a few interesting answers from her (I'm not presenting his questions here):

 

     "The Secret Service agents are Mr. Gomez and Mr. Johnson; both have dark hair, and Mr. Johnson is black. I didn't get the name of the Highway Patrol man; he has very short hair, or maybe he's bald. The pilot is a tall man, with blond hair, Lieutenant Dixon; the nurse is a nice woman named Foley."

     "Miss Foley was the person who did most of the medical stuff."

 

     "George Bush is the President; he and my dad were elected last year. He's going to meet Mr. Gorbachev in ... somewhere in Europe, I forget where; anyway, right after Thanksgiving. He was on the television a couple of days ago, saying that the turkeys were getting pardons."

     "Mr. Gorbachev is the president of the Soviet Union."

     "When Mr. Bush is away, my dad has to work extra hard, in case he has to run the country."

     "There was a big earthquake in San Francisco last month. Lots of buildings and a bridge fell down, the top part fell on the bottom part. My dad went out there to see if he could help."

     "A week or two ago, there was a lot of stuff going on in Germany, and pictures of the Berlin Wall being torn down. My dad told me the Iron Curtain was collapsing because they hate God."

     "Back in the summer, there were big riots in China; my mom asked me to pray for the Chinese ... the differents?"

 

     Scotty would know that the majority of military flight nurses are female.

     The team packed up and drove north, following Montana Route 16. About 10 miles south of the border were the remains of a destroyed Doom Rider unit; they were mostly destroyed by explosions. A large sign near the border advised the team to TURN BACK; a ditch reinforced the suggestion. Nonetheless, the team advanced. They reached Pangman, Saskatchewan about noon. There were worked fields of wheat, oats and barley around the town, a few steel windmills turning, horse-drawn wagons about, some herds of sheep or goats, and no signs of battle or recent attacks. There were no telephone lines or power lines, and in fact only one gasoline-powered tractor in the whole community. Population, about 200.

     Scotty and JJ drove the XR311 into town; Dee Dee rolled off into the dust before they entered the town, and the V150 stayed a kilometer or so away (at the edge of radio range). The nuclear-powered "jeep" pulling up into the center of town drew some attention, but no hostility. There was a bank, a store, a school, a church, a library, a livery stable, a grain elevator, a railway station, a cemetery, a baseball field, a war memorial, etc.; all kind of "Little House on the Prairie" style. None of the buildings had more in common than foundations and floor plans with any pre-Atomic War buildings. The town stood out from the surrounding prairie mostly due to the many trees planted along the streets and beside the houses. Spring wheat is being harvested; winter wheat is being planted.

     Scotty and JJ stepped out of the vehicle, and went to the general store. They bought some cool beer, some socks and trousers, and food (jelly doughnuts, meat, bread, canned soup; alas, no pork, beef or chicken products). The store owner accepted American coinage, though at quite a discount. Questions about the government and Mounties made the locals nervous. From the store owner:

    

     "The Regiment drove out the governor and the Mounties prit near twenty years ago, eh. There ain't no Mounties now. There was some trouble from the States a year or two ago, but the Regiment set that right."

 

     The Morrow team members returned to their vehicle, drove back south (picking up Dee Dee) and rejoined the V150. They headed west on Route 13, and then north on Route 36 to Moose Jaw. There were a number of very small towns along the way -- none larger than 40 or 50 people. The dirt roads were in good condition, but few if any motor vehicles were seen. It took about 2-1/2 hours to reach Moose Jaw, at about 3 p.m.

 

     During this time Jesse started to pick up Canadian CB radio chatter, by actual truckers mostly.

 

     The city of Moose Jaw had been hit by two 650 kiloton nuclear weapons during the Atomic War -- one surface burst on the Canadian Forces Base, and one air burst over the city -- and then covered in snow and ice year-round for twenty years or so. It never really recovered, and by 2139 was just a small town (population 500) along the Trans-Canada Highway. There were a few grain elevators, and the jagged concrete stumps of many more from before the War; a freight and passenger depot stood by the railway.

     Rolled asphalt and tar covered the Trans-Canada Highway -- the closest thing to a paved road the team had seen. The team turned west on the highway, and barreled along for a couple of hours. Gas, diesel and alcohol-powered trucks, and a few automobiles, were seen on the highway; all seemed to be built on old salvaged chassis, smoking heavily, with bald tires and beat-up cabs. They had license plates with the word CANADA and four-digit numbers. None were armored or armed, however. Small towns dotted the prairie.

     The team stopped at a largish truck stop in the town of Herbert, for a quick snack and to use the showers. There were a few other trucks present; one set of truckers (Paul, Larry, and Other Larry) offered to convoy with the Morrow vehicles to Medicine Hat (about 3 hours to the west). Paul and his mates were carrying lubricants, clothing, blankets, and pipe to be delivered in Medicine Hat, and expected to haul lumber, pelts, grain and paper east to Winnipeg.

 

     After 4 p.m., Jesse picked up a clear AM radio signal from Medicine Hat,

and some faint echoes of other stations on similar (but not identical) frequencies further away.

Since the V150 was on the move, they didn't stop to put up a larger antenna.

The AM station in Medicine Hat was broadcasting today's crop reports,

weather reports, auction prices, raw materials shipments, highway

and rail delays, and a few items of general news -- for example:

 

"The town hall at Yellowjacket was damaged by a fire yesterday.

Nobody was injured, but the roof will need to be rebuilt. The cause of the fire is being investigated."

 

     Medicine Hat (population about 5,000) was reached at about 8 p.m., more than an hour after sunset. The radio station broadcasting from that town signed off right after 8 p.m. Sawmills and piles of raw logs dominated the skyline; harsh electric lights hung here and there. Metal and ceramic pipes ran here and there, connecting natural gas wells with various storage tanks. A simple fence seemed to encircle the city, with an un-manned checkpoint and raised barricade. There were simple utility poles here and there; not every building was connected to the power lines or telephone system. The mills had shut down at sunset. The town didn't look to have been struck by atomic weapons during the War, but the Long Winter and decades of abandonment had clearly removed many signs of the 20th Century.

     Paul recommended a nice rooming house for truckers and travelers; he and his mates went off to deliver their cargo. The rooming house had four-bed bunk rooms, showers, a laundry, and a communal dining hall -- still, pretty swanky for the dusty, tired Morrow team. Dee Dee, Vita and Corinne were shown to one bunk room, another was hired for the men (with the understanding that one man would be guarding the vehicles all night), and the team settled in. Washing their clothing seemed to be priority.

     "Scotty" Ferguson and "Doc" Davis set off on foot to a recommended eatery, the Cattlemen's Club. It was indeed a change, with leather chairs, napkins, a bar, and trophies mounted on the walls. Well-to-do merchants and townsfolk ate in a quiet atmosphere. Lounging outside, though, were a couple of men in military fatigues; they wore maroon berets with the insignia (parachute, maple leaf, and wings) of the Parachute Regiment.

 

beret badge

officers' badge; enlisted badges are all-brass

 

     They showed an undue interest in the Morrow team members.

     Available at the Cattlemen's Club were copies of the local newspaper -- the Medicine Hat Gazette and Livestock Herald. The eight pages of the paper mostly concerned itself with livestock auction results, crop reports, prices for raw materials, sales notices, shipping information, marriages, births and deaths, and a few criminal cases.

 

   

Crop Reports

Auctions - at Drumheller

Court Reports

    Elevators at Skiff and Fox Valley have reached capacity last week; excess will be shipped on available hopper cars to the Gol- den Prairie terminal. Bemin-X oat seed has reached Brandon, and will be available through regular dealers this week. Inspect- ors found signs of damp fungus at Hardy last week; 1800 bu condemned. Seed stocks from August issues distribution on sched-

    Sheep:  1 yo ewes, $2.10 best fm Ken- aston, 75 hd; lambs, $1.15 best fm Wis- eton.  Goats:  1 yo ewes, $2.17 fm Mt Birsay - no coat, marked per Francis to 19 cents. Horses:  foals, 6 mo gelding, $7.89 fm Outlook, no tk, off. Draft mares pr $47 ea fm Kindersley, taken d/x. Ri- ding geldings same, $55.50 ea, not lic per TC. Offers not taken in Celkin on 150

    Frank Macneil found guilty of dealing in contraband on 4 September and sentenced to hang. 

    Robert Sutton found guilty of arson and larceny on 5 September and sentenced to hang.

    Benjamin Macleod found guilty of mis- representing and forgery on 5 September, 15 lashes and confiscation.

 

sample of top of front page of the Gazette

 

     After dinner, as the two Morrow team members left the restaurant about 10 p.m., they were approached by the soldiers -- Sergeant Tinker and an un-named private. The sergeant asked them to accompany him to the Regiment's barracks, to answer a few questions; there was no real way to refuse.

     Scotty advised the other team members, over the radio, of their predicament. Sergeant Tinker drove them over to the barracks in a gasoline-powered Army vehicle.

Canadian command car

 

     The barracks area amusingly resembled the Stalag 13 set from Hogan's Heroes. Doc and Scotty weren't taken to the commander's office, but instead to the security office. There, they met Captain Powers; they introduced themselves as Captain Ferguson and Gerald Davis. Scotty claimed his team had privileges and immunities due to being the escort of Princess Vita of Missoula -- i.e., a Montanan aristocrat. Powers may or may not have believed in a princess, but wasn't too impressed either way. He agreed to provide a set of travel permits in return for a bottle of pre-War scotch.

     Sergeant Tinker drove the two Morrow team members out of the barracks, to a bordello named Marie's, at about 10:45 p.m.; on the way, he agreed to make a trade for some confiscated arms and items. He reminded the team of the draconian penalties for illicit arms trading.

    

16 September 2139

 

weather report:  temp low 8 C (47° F), high 14 C (58° F); winds moderate (19 kph) from W; cloud cover 25%.

 

     Just after dawn, Scotty made some quiet trades with Sergeant Tinker, while the rest of the team ate breakfast and prepared for a few days with no nice stores. By 9 a.m., the team was driving south from Medicine Hat, and reached the old border about noon. There was a rusty barbed wire fence, and a lot of very old, rusted-out cars at the border, along with another sign facing south with the words TURN BACK painted on it. The team drove their vehicles around the fence -- checking gingerly for land mines -- and headed south into Montana along State Route 232 towards Havre.

     The town had been relatively lightly raided by the Doomriders a year ago; a few dozen refugees and survivors were living in the ruins of the more substantial buildings. The doom wheels had been pulled down, and the previous winter had erased some of the soot and bloodstains.

     The ill-kept remains of US Highway 87 led the team to Great Falls -- utterly destroyed during the Atomic War -- at about 4 p.m., and they crossed the narrow, shallow Missouri River; and then south between the Little Belt Mountains and the Big Belt Mountains. They camped near the ruins of Monarch that night. Starting this night, Dee Dee began training JJ in the some of the Ways of Sisterhood.

    

17 September 2139

 

weather report:  temp low 5 C (41° F), high 15 C (60° F); winds moderate (20 kph) from W and SW; cloud cover 35%.

 

     The team continued south, reaching Interstate 90 east of Bozeman by the end of the day. Small towns and fortresses lay in ruins across the prairies and hills; there were a few survivors, but they were living far from the roads, or hiding when the team's vehicles approached. In some towns, the doom wheels still stood with their hideous ornaments impaled on the spokes. One or two locals were willing to talk; they told the team that no roads were passable near Yellowstone, and the best way into Idaho was to head south from Butte, through Beaverhead and Monida Pass.

    

18 September 2139

 

weather report:  temp low 0 C (33° F), high 7 C (46° F); winds strong (100 kph) from SW; cloud cover 100%; thunderstorm.

 

     As the Morrow vehicles bumped and clattered over the remains of Interstate 90, thunderheads gathered overhead. Butte had been a prosperous town under the Montanan Empire -- no more. Turning south, the team followed Interstate 15 into the broad, fertile Beaverhead Valley; the untended fields  were thick with weeds. Thunder, lightning, and torrential rains forced the team (well, mostly the team members in the XR311) to take cover in a burned-out barn for much of the afternoon.

    

19 September 2139

 

weather report:  temp low -2 C (30° F), high 5 C (41° F); winds moderate (30 kph) from W and SW; cloud cover 25%.

 

     The new day dawned with the clear, blue skies of Montana much in evidence. The old interstate south to Idaho had long ago crumbled to gravel and dirt, but had been in regular use until a year or two ago. Along the sides of the road were the pathetic skeletal remains of refugees (and their simple belongings) who hadn't made it out of Montana before the winter storms -- or the Doomriders -- had caught them.

     Descending from Monida Pass into Idaho, the surroundings seemed less terrifying -- the Snake River Plain glowed with health in comparison with Montana. Herds of sheep and horses were visible near the various farms and villages; a border post near the Interstate stopped the vehicles to ensure the team weren't Doomriders (an easy task). By mid-afternoon, the team had reached the trading town of Pocatello.

     A cement plant southeast of the old city -- at Inkom -- had drawn a 650 kiloton air burst during the Atomic War, which had blown down and set fire to every structure within 7 kilometers. Fortunately, Pocatello was about 16 kilometers from Inkom; the heavy snows and cold weather of the Long Winter had caused more damage than the attack itself. For whatever reason, the American Falls Dam hadn't been attacked; it still stood, providing water for irrigation during the dry summers.

     The team decided to spend the night within the palisade walls of Pocatello, and bought some cold weather gear for Vita and Corinne. Vita knew a few people here, refugees from Montana, but "I was a Russian Montanan noblewoman" stories were a dime-a-dozen in Pocatello.

    

20 September 2139

 

weather report:  temp low 0 C (33° F), high 6 C (43° F); winds moderate (22 kph) from W and NW; cloud cover 100%. Rain, heavy at times.

 

     Heading east from Pocatello, the team followed the well-traveled trade road to Wyoming. Ahead of them, and soon above them, rain clouds gathered; before noon, heavy rain began to fall, with the low temperatures making driving (or riding in) the XR311 a tiresome chore. Passing a wide, dry lake, the road climbed through the Salt River Range, and descended into the Green River Valley -- home of the Wild West Gunfighter Girls. While the road would have allowed good time in better weather, the cold rain -- and the chance of a hot meal under a roof -- made the team decide to stop at the small town of Eden, where several trade routes converged.

     As you might guess, the culture that produced the WWGG was rather "cowboy", despite the lack of actual cows. The locals certainly knew about the WWGG, and the destruction of Cheyenne a month ago. The WWGG had arrived back in the Green River Valley about two weeks ago, and had immediately begun distributing weapons and other stuff. There haven't been any confrontations with the NuChurch yet, but the Green River Valley folks are looking forward to the next opportunity to use their new guns. Other rumors of note:

 

rumors in the Green River Valley

     I'll produce a few when I finish this summary.

 

     The local lasses mostly didn't have the background of misogynistic woe found among the WWGG, much to the pleasant surprise of the team members.

 

21 September 2139

 

weather report:  temp low -3 C (28° F), high 6 C (43° F); winds moderate (32 kph) from W; cloud cover 10%.

 

     Once the sun shone onto the roads east of Eden, they turned to mud -- thick, cold mud; and once again the crew of the XR311 cursed and swore at the weather. At least the sun shone, though the day stayed cool; a strong wind blew from behind the team, and to the south they could see clouds of red dust blowing off from the Red Desert.

     From Eden to (new) Casper was about 6 hours travel. As the vehicles neared the new location of the city named Casper (50 kilometers north of the original), they could see sooty clouds above the Teapot Dome area. Watch towers, barbed wire, and other defensive measures ringed the valley, about 8 kilometers long. A wide gap in the valley walls was filled with fencing and crude bunkers; beyond the fences, the team could see a mix of shanty town and oil refinery. Various cannons, machine guns, and a couple of gun trucks and scrap tanks faced the entrance. While the defenses, the flags, and the grim, heavily-armed guards were a bit off-putting, more disturbing were the signs of famine and disease in the town.

     The town maintained a trading zone, fenced off from the rest of the area, just inside the front gate. The team parked their vehicles, and (after a lot of convincing the guards) a few of them set off to the President's palace, to negotiate a trade.

     The valley was covered with cricket pumps, storage tanks, small refineries, waste ponds, scanty gardens, barracks, workshops, and enough shanties and huts for several thousand people. However, many of the huts and shanties stood empty, and carts carrying diseased corpses to be burnt could be seen. Doc decided the place was not a healthy place to stay, and that the numerous diseased rats might have something to do with it.

     The palace was a double-wide mobile home, surrounded by garages with various vehicles. Inside, the decor was pure Illinois Nazi -- lots of photos, helmets, uniforms, bits and pieces of neo-Nazi decor. Muscular, heavily-armed guards, and blonde ... uh ... aides stood around the handsome, Aryan president, Wolf Watson. Scotty presented his best "California Liberation Militia" spiel, requesting help in fighting the mongrel hordes; he impressed the President, who asked, "So what would be the greatest need of your militia, Sergeant?"

     "Some of your finest weapons lubricating oils, Mr. President!"

     The President beamed. "We can certainly do that! How much do you need, Sergeant?"

     "A pint."

     The room froze; the sergeant in charge of the escort (who'd brought them from the gates) turned kind of pasty-colored.

     "A ... pint?"

     Scotty quickly replied, "Well, a quart maybe."

     From this point, negotiations went downhill. Doc offered the (very) useful advice that the Salvationists should kill as many rats as they could, to end the epidemic in town.

     The escorts quickly removed the Morrow Team from the palace and took them back to their vehicles; a quart of gun-cleaning oil was tossed to one of them, and if a member of the team hadn't asked how much, they might not have been charged for it. The team didn't want to spend any time in Casper, and took off as soon as they could. A few kilometers outside of town, they stopped to scrub their vehicles with sand, and to make sure no rats had gotten into either one. By the time they had cleaned up, it was only an hour before sunset; they drove south a bit more, and camped on the banks of the North Platte (upstream of old Casper, though).

 

22 September 2139

 

weather report:  temp low 3 C (39° F), high 13 C (56° F); winds moderate (27 kph) from W; cloud cover zero (none).

 

     With a fine, clear day, the team bombed along quickly to Cheyenne -- apparently untouched since they had last been there -- and followed the far-to-familiar route to Ultraviolet. They reached Mountain Home after dark, and pulled up to a hearty welcome at King Jubal's home overlooking the town. They'd left on the 8th, two weeks ago; over a hearty meal, the King filled them in on progress and news.

 

news and rumors from King Jubal

  • the radio relay system has passed along one or two "test" messages to South Park

  • "our mutual friends down south" report that the Waste Lords have been beefing up their defenses

  • more as I think of them

 

     Warm baths and soft beds soon lured the team to sleep.

 

23 September 2139

 

weather report:  temp low 4 C (40° F), high 15 C (59° F); winds light (12 kph) from NW; cloud cover 10%.

 

     After breakfast, Dee Dee went into the town, and came back with a jar of rattlesnake-colored "body paint" for JJ; she shook everyone's hands, and rode off to the south, back towards South Park.

     Dealing with issues around settling the Feemen, swapping out some gear, helping the Kingdom with the radio network and with equipment from Cheyenne, getting trained on gasogen truck operation, preparing and loading the truck from the Ravagers, and generally resting for a bit took up the day.

     Jesse used the big whip antenna set up at King Jubal's house to monitor the radio after dinner; he got quite a surprise when his searches around the bands picked up an AM signal at 7.25 megaherz -- in the 41 meter shortwave band, originating very roughly to the southeast. For an hour or so he listened to some African language, with a few musical bits; the only English was spoken at 9 p.m.:

 

"This is the Voice of America, broadcasting at 7325 kilocycles from New Washington.

The time at the tone is zero five hundred hours."

 

    Within the African language broadcast, there were some recognizable English-derived words:  futboli, comishna, doktori, dolla, skooli, and most commonly redio. The signal faded out by 9 p.m. local time.

 

2.5 ton gasogen truck

     6x6 wheeled military M35A2 cargo truck. Crew is driver, gunner and (if you squeeze) one other passenger in the soft-roof cab; the bench seats on either side of the cargo bed can seat a dozen troops. The engine originally was a turbocharged multi-fuel 140 HP straight-six; it is now fueled by a gas generator, which uses the original fuel tank (189 liters capacity) as a water filter and coolant supply. Converting it back to use liquid fuel wouldn't be too hard, but you'd need to find a fuel pump. Top speed was 90 kph originally on a paved road, now about 65 kph. Unless you are driving on a dry lake bed or paved highway, you're not going to exceed 40 kph -- usual dirt road speed is 35 kph in a tactical environment. Fuel usage is about 0.5 kg of charcoal per kilometer, plus a liter of lubricating oil for every 150 kilometers traveled (gas generators don't provide any lubrication for the cylinders, etc.).

     Length 6.7 meters, width 2.4 meters. Weight 6000 kg, plus at least 2300 kg payload off-road or 4500 kg payload on highways; towed load off-road can be 3000 kg. The gas generator reduces the payload by 400 kilograms, and at least 240 kilograms of charcoal are usually carried.

     There is a military towing pintle on the rear; there is no winch fitted. Tires are 9.00x20, the vehicle has one spare. 16.00x20 tires (standard V150 tires) can be used as "fat singles" on this vehicle, but they should all match on a given axle.

 

     It's about 1200 kilometers from Ultraviolet to Boise; the truck would thus need about 600 kg of charcoal to make the trip (and 8 liters of lubricating oil for the engine). That would leave 1300 kg of load for the cargo and crew. That might take 60 hours of driving -- about six days, maybe a bit less. The truck's not as zippy as the fusion-powered vehicles, especially since you need to stop every two or three hours and refill the gasogen with charcoal.

     While most folk in Ultraviolet don't need that much charcoal, King Jubal keeps a supply (in case traders visit).

     The Montanan refugees from Fort Boise reached Bone City (aka Spokane) about August 7th -- 47 days ago -- if things went according to plan. It's about 900 kilometers along the river from the nearest stretch of the Columbia River to Oregon City ... so the refugees would have presumably marched another 80 kilometers or so past Bone City. Once the 1500 or so refugees reach the Columbia River (near where the Grand Coulee Dam used to be), the waterways are much more navigable. Three or four river steamers, some small paddleboats, and half-a-dozen flatboats or so could haul all of those people to Oregon City in about two lifts ... a couple of days downstream, three or four days upstream, and another couple of days downstream, plus a couple of days for delays, portages, etc.. IF that all worked out, then the refugees might have all reached Oregon City 37 days ago.

 

Notes

 

team R54 travels for this episode

 

     I'll post up answers to questions here.

     JJ gained a check in his Sneak skill by the end of the session.

 

Corinne

 

     While she was used to camping, it had all been nearby-bathrooms, clean-clothes-daily sort of camping.

     She said her prayers before each meal and before going to sleep.

 

Vita

 

     "You said that many people from Montana have been sent to Oregon. Is that were you're taking me?"

     She was very unused-to technology -- the Montanan Empire was kinda low-tech.

 

The Truck Load

 

     Kevin's put together a list of stuff for the truck. Notable items:  140 kg of oral rehydration salts, 360 kg of quinine, 42 kg of LRP rations, 200 kg for the spare fusion reactor, 250 or so kg of radios and other electrical stuff, 180+ kg of lubricants, 1800 kg of guns and ammo, 360 kg of scout motorcycles, 600 kg of charcoal fuel = about 3900 kg of load. That's about three times what the truck can carry off-highway. It'll carry that much, but the chance of busting axles or other suspension parts will be much increased with that much load.

     Things you might want to store at Ultraviolet for a later trip:  quinine, most of the rehydration salts, the bigger electrical stuff (like television sets), the motorcycles ...

     Also, I'm not sure you have the space (volume) to carry 1000 orange felt blankets. The blankets pack down to not less than 10 liters each:   10,000 liters (2600 gallons) would be a small tanker truck full. They're polyester felt, not foil "space blankets".

     The tents probably pack down to about 4 liters each:  400 more liters.

 

Costs in Canada

 

item

CAN $

US $

nice meal at Cattlemen's Club

0.25

1.00

a shot of "rye whiskey"

0.20

0.80

a visit to Marie's brothel

0.25

1.00

a bunk for the night at a truck stop, with shower and laundry

0.20

0.80

lunch at a truck stop diner

0.10

0.40

 

     Generally, prices are numerically about the same as in the Pacific Northwest, just denominated in Canadian dollars. Except for gold or silver coinage, the usual "conversion" is $4 "states" to buy a $1 Canadian item. American coins aren't accepted for any government fees, or taxes; some stores won't accept them, either. Gold and silver are accepted pretty close to base value, since they can be melted down.

 

Sergeant Tinker's Goods To Trade

 

#

name

notes

CAN $

650

.45 Long Colt LRN ammunition

22nd Century black powder loads

$0.50 per round

2

.45 Long Colt revolvers

mixed-up, repaired 20th Century guns

$25

6

single-barrel 12 gauge shotguns

mixed-up, repaired 20th Century guns

$20

2

leather holsters for large revolvers

"free with purchase"

--

lots

bulk tobacco

usually either pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco

$2 per kg

lots

cigarettes

mighty strong

$3 per kg

lots

marijuana

mostly from the Pacific Northwest

$0.50 per kg

lots

hard liquor

rye whiskey, corn whiskey, "moonshine" in general

$3 per liter

 

     The stuff he has available are illicit goods, and a few things that came with them (like the holsters). The above list isn't everything he has -- just in response to an e-mail from Kevin asking about Tinker's stuff. Binoculars, "lantern battery" flashlights, and simple AM radios, aren't included in Tinker's confiscated goods, but can be obtained in the town's Dep (department store). The sergeant isn't interested in selling you stuff to "look like the Regiment"; thus no uniforms, badges, specifically Canadian LBE, etc. He's corrupt, but not treasonous; plus, he hasn't got a large supply of confiscated Regimental gear. His confiscated goods don't include anything you couldn't buy equivalently in Oregon City.

     Tinker will give the following value for items:

 

  • working wristwatches:  generically, wristwatches in working condition are worth $2 to $50 Canadian dollars; but yours were above-average, so let's say he can sell them for $40 Canadian, and will give you trade value $20 Canadian each (after some haggling).

  • 9mm "Project" ammo (i.e., 20th Century ammo in good condition):  he can sell those for $1 Canadian each, so he'll give you credit at $0.50 Canadian each round.

  • 12 gauge "Project" rounds (i.e., 20th Century ammo in good condition):  he can sell those for $4 Canadian each, so he'll give you credit at $2 Canadian each

 

     He's also got some Canadian money -- all 20th Century coins, including 11-sided "loonie" dollar coins, and some gold Maple Leaf $20 Canadian coins. The Maple Leafs are in surprisingly good condition for a 24 carat gold coin.

 

The Medicine Hat Dep

 

     You can buy stuff at the Dep; note that the Dep will not take anything but Canadian currency (though other, smaller stores in other towns might). They don't stock anything that uses small 20th Century batteries (so:  nothing that uses D-cells, AA batteries, etc.). There aren't any "electronic tool kits" either. Remember to have the person shopping make their POWxN% rolls! A regular rolls gets  "a single set" of that item; a special provide "as many as a store would ever have".

     Generally, they don't see smokeless ammunition in Canada except in 7.62mm NATO, 9mm Parabellum, and some 12 gauge; and even all of that comes from Regiment stocks. The Dep (department store) doesn't have Cartel Rifles, Styx Rifles, 40mm grenade launchers, smokeless powder ammunition, or ancient firearms; commercially, it's all black powder weapons, either cap-and-ball or cartridge. Rolling-block rifles, some lever-action or bolt-action rifles, and single- or double-barrel shotguns are the most destructive "civilian" weapons for sale.

 

on to Return to Paradise

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