The Keystone Division after WW3

kpv on a front-end loader

From the field and the island:
19- M16's with total 840- rnds 5.56N (28- 30rnd mags). This includes weapons and ammo from the dudes you whacked in the HUMVEE, guys on the field, as well as your 3 squad casualties.

there are other assorted non-military rifles on the scene:
Tyler picked up 1- 30-30 lever action rifle, tubular 7 rnd magazine. 24 rounds of ammo.

1- M249 SAW with a belt of 170- rnds 5.56N. (Low milage)

from the island:
40- MREs *** see note below

inside M163:
cupola-mounted 20mm Gatling gun with total 360- rnds 20mm(HE/AP mix) (it has a 1000-rnd drum, and a ROF of 20)

pintle-mounted M60 with total 200- rnds 7.62N

see *** below. There is "civilized" but mostly unpreserved food, 76Kg total, which gives roughly 38 "man-meals" (1 man for 38 meals, or 19 men for 2 meals, etc...)

2- 50 gallon drums purified drinking water. Marked as such.

the M163 has a 360 liter max capacity (that's 95 gallons +/- for us non-metric types) out of that, it's at about 20%, or 18 gallons. The M163 runs on gasoline.

from the 3 trucks: between them, the trucks have 20 gallons of gas. 2 batteries are salvaged. A "tow cable" (such as is used to pull another vehicle out from a snowbank) is found, as well as basic camping gear (a set for 4 persons-utensils, pots pans plates...)


Everyone needs an amount of food daily to remain healthy.
For "Wild food" (nuts, berries, the occasional rabbit) this amount is 3 Kg.
For "Civilized food" (canned/packaged food, cultivated grains/vegetables, domesticated animals) this amount is 2 Kg.
For MREs or other specially fortified rations, this amount is 1.5 Kg.

[GM] Now back to our story:

Outside Perdix

Jones set priorities for recovery following the firefight. They'd just hafta get done what they could til Tyler wanted to move on...

Jones thought to himself, "First, syphon the gas from the trucks to the 163. Then load up the water, the MRE's, then the other foodstuffs... grab the tow cable and camping gear... and of course the spare weapons and ammo. (M249 and M16's)..."

"So far, the M16's seem to be pretty universal and finding ammo for them shouldn't be too difficult. We should hold onto these for use later, as those of us with more specialized weapons use up our ammo..."


Jones sent men off to grab what they could, and pitched in here and there with anything "sticky". Soon he approached Tyler, and talked to him in private.

"Hey Shadow, what are we gonna do with our guys that uuuh... ya know... didn't make it? We're not just gonna leave 'em here, are we?"

The two men looked toward the treeline, where Top and someone were burying the fallen members of the squad.

Then referring to the prisoner:

"I wanna know what's that guy got to say? Why's the 109th messin' with us?..."

Near Perdix

Grabbed one of the civilian rifles for hunting purposes and then gathers around his senior staff and the new civilians.

Ryan's voice bellowed out just loud enough for everyone to hear.

"Alright everybody, listen up. Here's what we do. There are now eleven of us counting the two newcomers. I figure they'll stick with us because under the circumstances, anything else is suicide. We head back to the garage and redistribute the equipment and supplies between the two vehicles."

Ryan looks around to make sure everyone gets what he is saying.

"We will be leaving in the direction specified by the major, as modified by what the prisoner tells us. We will be attempting to link up with any allied units.

I know this may seem like a bad situation, but I have gotten myself and my unit out of worse before."

The screaming eagle combat patch on his shoulder certainly can attest to that.

"I'm open to suggestions and my plan is not fixed in stone. I want to hear any opinions that you guys may have. So speak up."

"Sounds good, skip. Feels good knowin' we got a plan." (snickers)

"Let's get back to the garage and load up."

30 APR 03, 1835 hours
At the treeline

Slade was somewhat uncommunicative with the rest of the group. He seemed focused on helping Sarge. Sarge seemed stable, but had lost alot of blood. When both of those people could be moved, Slade along with the soldiers, helped them to the treeline.

Slade, being a pretty fair mechanic, knew what to look for, and how to get it off of the vehicles in a minimal amount of time. He helped load the stripped equipment and parts into the M163. Yet, he still watched the military personnel CLOSELY.

Sensing the tension in the group, he tried to lighten things up with a joke or two, rolling his eyes, and smirking at the appropriate times.

"Hey Tim -- told you we shouldn't have run in so quick..."

Near Garage in Perdix

"Harper, get the men back into their defensive positions. Top, get the vehicles loaded."

Tyler then turned his attention to the prisoner. He wanted to avoid using torture, but hey, this guy was attacking an American unit...

The giant known as Top approached, and not saying a word, watched Tyler with the prisoner.

Tyler began with the prisoner, explaining what they did already know about him: that he was the lone survivor of a unit of the 1/109th Artillery, a subordinate unit of the 28th Division, that this unit had recently attacked Tyler's men, members of the 28th's Aviation Brigade, and what were your orders, and who issued them.

Shadow informed the prisoner that his survival depended upon our survival. Shadow was disappointed that so little information was gained from the encounter.

The prisoner let Tyler go thru his probing questions, but his only response was to spit in Tyler's face.

Sometimes, however, it was other things in an interrogation that gave a clearer picture of what was going on, things other than the words of the interrogated. Tyler noticed the man was fairly dirty, poor personal care. The prisoner seemed unafraid of Tyler, and unafraid of anyone else, either.

The other things in the area mattered, too. Here were 25-30 men with several vehicles, all low on fuel. Were they making a one-way trip, like we were, or was it something else?... They had barely enough food for two more meals, and pitifully little ammunition and equipment for a unit of that size. Very few Heavy Weapons. They're beginning to sound abit like us...

The man was PVT Saunders, or at least he wore Saunders' uniform. He appeared to be in his early 20's. Why was this guy so hardcore? Had he served overseas?...

After being spit upon by the prisoner, Tyler walked off to think for a few minutes.

"Hey Cappy, you want me to make this guy talk?"

Shadow turns from the window he was looking out and found much of the unit watching him.

"No. We have to be better than they are. This is not a cliche but a necessity. We must follow the guidelines set down in the Code of Conduct, the Manual for Courts-Martial, and military law. Otherwise we are little more than brigands ourselves."

Ryan looks seriously at the unit.

"If we had the old Manual for Courts-Martial of the 1960s we could legally court-martial him ourselves. But even then we would need one more commissioned officer than we have here. Technically we should take him to stand trial for his crimes. But we have neither the room or supplies to cart him along."

He tries to get a feel of the men's reactions to what he is saying.

"We will leave him behind. However, he will be unarmed and tied well enough to keep him occupied for several hours before getting away. Top, take that uniform off of him. He is a disgrace to it."

"YES SIR!..." Then waiting for Tyler to move on, he turned to the prisoner. "OK, Sonny-boy, do we make this easy, or do we need bumps, bruises, and breaks..."

Once the interrogation was over, Tyler approached Tim.

"I wish I had a chance before to really talk to you guys. Why don't you tell me who you are and how you can contribute to our survival. The better we work together the better all of out chances will be."

Rubbing his head..."Man, that was some ride..Sorry we didn't properly introduce ourselves a while ago, but I'm Tim McCain, I was working with the militia up north against all kinds of invaders, Canadians/ know the story..I recently got separated from that group along with Petey and Sarge over there. Before the war, I was a forestry agent, know the ways of the woods pretty well too. Glad to meet up with you guys, there seems to be plenty of nasties about..."

"Well Mr. Tim McCain, I'm pleased to meet you. We certainly could use someone with your skills."

Shadow holds out his hand to Tim.

McCain struggles to get up. Shakes Ryan's hand and smiles... "Its good to see a friendly face. How's the Sarge? Last I saw him he was over in the tree line..."

"Your friend's been working on him. We'll go see in a few minutes. I know that you're a civilian and aren't subject to military laws and orders. However it behooves all of us to work together. I think the reasons are abundantly clear. With you and your comrade we number eleven. There are a hell of a lot more out there than that."

Ryan smiled.

"I'll talk to you more later. Right now we have to go to ground."

Walked over to where Pete and the Sarge were...He looked at Pete, looking for a sign as to how the Sarge is doing.

"Hey Sarge. Man, you really saved our butts again. You knocked out half a platoon out there."

The Sarge smiled a grim smile. "Tim, it was more like 4-5 guys. I always told you accurate intel was important..."

Looking to Pete, Tim became fully aware of the seriousness of Sarge's condition.

The two men walked off, some distance from Sarge.

"He's not doing real well. Lost alot of blood... Might not make it thru the night..."

Chuck checked the newspapers he found in the HUMVEE for pertinent information, headlines, and so on. The paper was only 4 pages long, actually one big sheet, folded in two, and printed on all 4 resulting sides. And this paper wasn't typeset on a Mac, or anything. It looked to have been done the old fashioned way, by hand.

There were three notable pieces of information. The headlines and lead article described the relief efforts of a local 28th division unit, 3rd Battalion, 103rd Armored Regiment. The 3/103rd welcomed any and all who would swear loyalty to the US Government and it's officially appointed representatives, to join them. Their goals of preserving order in the area had been challenged by rogue units of the 28th Division, as well as a strong terrorist unit, supposedly based in the nearby town of Sunbury. The the 3/103rd was HQ'd in Lewisburg. Jones remembered Bates pointing out GC Quebec six-niner on the map for Shadow. That town was Lewisburg.

Second, a brief summary of the national news filled 1/2 a page. This was mostly centered on the Canadian/Mexican situations, and Terrorism. International news made up about 3 paragraphs, mostly about talks between the US, UK, GE, and CIS, concerning sharing remaining technology to put a few communications satellites back in order.

Lastly, there were extensive lists of those military and civilian persons missing or killed locally in the unrest. Ironically enough, this was the only other thing that made up the paper. There were many military casualties, but it seemed that the civilian population was particularly hard hit. The listing was divided up into name, Killed/Missing, and date. Furthermore, this information took up 2 1/2 pages of the thin paper.

Jones gave Tyler a summary of the three items in the newpapers. Then he tucked them away into a cargo pocket for reading later, when he had the time.

Near Garage in Perdix

"I think that we should attempt to link up with the 103rd at Lewisburg. They would appear to be the closest unit to us that maintains loyalty to the United States. I said "appears to" because I don't want to take anything at face value these days. But it looks like our best shot."

Glances at everyone.

"We leave as soon as it gets dark. Slade, you appear to know a bit about vehicles. I hope you're a good driver too. Leiutenant Jones and you will be in the Humvee with my night vision goggles. Sergeant Appleby will have his M-60 mounted in the ring pintle up top. Harper will be riding with you and monitoring the PRC 7-7 and navigating. Everyone else will be in the APC.

"You guys will be traveling with only the cats-eyes lights in back on for us to follow in the APC. As Jones knows quite well from piloting, you can only drive by the goggles for a few hours. So Slade and Jones will be switching off on driving.

"In the APC Yarmouth and Clark will switch off on driving. Sneed will man the chaingun and Top the machine gun. Valdez will man the vehicular radio. When we reach a blockage McCain and I will dismount for scouting around on foot.

"I am open to suggestion and comments. Any question? I suggest we all get some rest before we head out."

With Tyler's giving the OK for some sack time, the members of the squad each found the coziest place within 50 paces, and laid down for a quick combat nap...

Vehicle Assignments, or...
Ive got shotgun!!!
(if needed)
(if needed)

In garage near Perdix

The compact Hispanic man had been watching Jones as he read the newspapers. Later he approached Jones.

"Hey, LT.... Could I borrow one of those papers? I can't sleep unless I read a little something..."

"No problem Valdez, we can trade off as we finish 'em."

Valdez grabs a paper, goes off for a time into the bushes, and returns shortly...

The group got some rest, bound some wounds, ates some franks and beans until dark...

Life stories were shared, some in detail, some in the vaguest of terms.

Following Tyler's plan, the group assembled around nightfall.

30 Apr03 / 2100
Leaving Los Vegas,
or at least Perdix...

Deeming it sufficiently dark, the group set out for Lewisburg. Several squad members had attempted to calculate how long the trip would take, but with so many unknowns, it quickly became a pointless exercise...

30 APR 03 / 2122
near the bend in the road
Kinkora Heights, PA

Route 15 was in terrible condition. After travelling merely 15 km, Sarge took on a grey, lifeless look. Tim stayed by his side the whole time, but the old soldier passed away in his sleep.

[McCain] McCain asks the CO if he would allow time for a proper burial for Sarge. If so, McCain says a few words and commends the Sarge's loyalty and help to him and Petey, even though they "are just stupid civies, as Sarge used to say". He ask the CO if he would like to say a few words being military and all.

Slade was quiet, visibly shaken by the loss of SGT Thomas.

Tyler shakes his head sadly at the news of the valiant NCO's death.

"I'm sorry. I know he meant a lot to you but it's too soon to stop. If he was as much a soldier as I think he was, he wouldn't want us to endanger ourselves for his burial. My primary concern right now must be for the living.

"We'll hole up come daylight and take care of him then. I don't want to expose us by moving under the light of day, and we need to get some rest. We should have more time to give him a proper funeral then anyway, and yes I will speak a few words over him."

"I agree with you boss, we should move as far as we can at night. Come morning, we'll do him proper."

"Be kinda nasty diggin in the dark anyway, unless we use lights, and attract every bad guy from here to Harrisburg."

Despite the prospect of riding shotgun with a dead person, the squad seemed to understand why stopping would only lead to possibly more deaths.

Valdez helped McCain and Slade wrap their friend in a shelter half. Nobody said much. Within two minutes, the group was back on the road again, heading north...

The two-vehicle convoy traveled thru the night, passing the remains of several villages and towns, all of them destroyed and deserted. Every bridge along the way was destroyed. In many cases, cars, trucks, other burned-out, abandoned vehicles blocked the road, impeding progress. Here and there, the M163 was used to bash thru obstacles such as piles of logs or other material that were placed their purposely to slow down or stop vehicles.

The members of the Aviation Brigade were particularly distressed at the sights around them. Life on and around the safe haven of Indiantown Gap had insulated them from reality. In some sense, the Government, the news, Hell, maybe even the military had again betrayed it's men and women in uniform. And although the civilians in the group had seen much of this destruction before, that didn't make it any easier to cope with...

01 MAY 03/0455
Travelling on RT 15
5 KM south of Selinsgrove, PA

Most of the squad was dead tired, and those who were not on duty, manning a weapon, etc. had slept or more likey, dozed, as far as even THAT was possible, during the bumpy ride north on RT 15. Soon Harper, on the PRC-77 radio in the HUMVEE, picked up a strange, somewhat moving (or was it comical, or cynical?....) radio broadcast.

"KillerAngel to Shadow... you picking this up? I swear I know that voice..."

[response - Tyler]

Tyler monitored the radio in the M163, and heard the transmission as well. The voice was odd -- it spoke English, but there was a taste of Scottish, Irish, manic-depressive, alcohol, or a combination of several of these, that so colored it's tone...

"...Perhaps the most ironic part-a the thing was that this was Pennsyl-vayyynyuh, the Keystone of the 13 Original Colonies. Parts of it now looked like friggin' Berlin, circa May, 1945. Harrisburg certainly did... And the small towns and villages around the place were mostly just burned out buildin's, stripped of anythin' of value."

Despite sounding drunk, the voice was somewhat eloquent, and maybe, familiar?

"...Only PA hadn't been in a warzone, per se. This aweful situation was the result of civil unrest, a form of violence that is on a differant level, perhaps more distasteful to some, than actual war. For all intents and purposes, this might as well be called a Civil War. Things are not much damn differant in the US this year, from what they were in the former Russian Republics or in Mexico, last year, and in one of CNN's last broadcasts, they were calling those "problems" a friggin' Civil War. Perhaps America just din'na want to admit to the extent of it's "problems"..."

A chunky, gutteral belch could be heard muffled in the background.

"This Second Civil War was considerably more confused, more sinister than the events of the early 1860's. Most American children's history books TOTALLY had the causes of THAT earlier Civil War wrong. They called it a friggin' struggle of "brother against brother", which was fought "to free the Slaves". While in some cases that might have been true, it was mostly just bloody poetic language from a Time which glorified War. Slavery was an issue, but probably not so much as was individual State's Rights."

A long pause, and then there was a clank in the background, that could only be a bottle being knocked over on a table.

"The American Civil War of 2003 was fahhhrrr worse. The Sword was far more Terrible, and infinitely more Swift, and it's Sharpness cut into every family's lives, here in America, and also abroad... The only "point" of this pointless Second Civil War, was survival. Some chose to survive by rebuilding, but others chose to take from others who were doing the rebuilding. And the fighting was not neatly divided North-South, East-West, rich-poor, farmers-industrialists, Catholic-Protestant, White-Black, black-and-white... it was something more akin to every bleedin' person for themself..."

Back with Tyler's squad...

"Hey, a friggin' poet. May as well leave it on. At least it's something to listen to."


Sean waited, listening in on the ham radio. Maybe the damn thing didn't even work. It wasn't digital, hell, it wasn't even solid state!!! -- looked like it dated from the 1940's. Hell, that may as well have been the 1540's. Of course, maybe EMP would have left the old-style components untouched...

Sean waited awhile; in his state it could've been a couple of minutes, it could've been a couple of hours. The two would seem the same. At any rate, there was no response to his broadcast, no answer, no hope...

Sean packed another bowl as he fiddled with the knobs on his ham radio. He took a hit from the bowl and held the smoke in his lungs, until he felt the familar comfort wash over his body. He exhaled, and watched the blue-grey smoke spiral toward the ceiling of the burnt out house he had chosen to call home for the night.

Sean took a swig of his Johnny Walker and laid back to try to sleep. He had not had a good night's sleep in a very long time. When he had managed sleep it was allways disturbed by nightmares. As Sean fadded off to sleep he heard Guniess snoring loudly in the corner. He said to himself, "Man's best friend my arse!"

Somewhere in Pennsylvania
0-dark thirty in the morning
(more like 0500)

Captain Ryan Tyler was riding in the rear vehicle, the M163 APC. He told the driver to flash his lights at the Humvee to signal a stop. When they do, he exited the vehicle.

"Gunners, stand by your weapons. Everyone else, come here."

The soldiers that have been under Ryan's command for awhile automatically fanned out in a circle around him facing outward. They left five meters between each person so that a grenade won't take out more than two people. Ryan then spoke up.

"It's going to be daylight soon. Top, make the arrangements to bury the Sergeant. Valdez, see if you can find a good hiding spot for all of us until dark again."

Both of Tyler's squad members headed off to complete their assignments.

"Mister McCain, if you would be so kind, why don't you see if you can find us a fresh supply of water?"

"Will do..." McCain grabs his Tommy and slings a few canteens across his back. He heads off looking for congregations of birds or wildlife paths leading toward a watering hole.

"Mister Slade, how good are you at vehicle mechanics?"

"Uh, Captain, I'm really a machinist by trade, but I have tinkered with a GTO for a coupla years. I can have a look. What are you having problems with?"

[response Tyler]


The bright flash and roar in his ears was maddening. A wave of heat washed over him and he could smell the sent of burning flesh...his own! Although the pain was unbearable Sean could not run...he was compleatly frozen. In the wall of fire before him he could see the faces of 30 or so uniformed men and his beautiful wife all beconing him toward the pyre. "That is where my pain will end," he thought to himself as he slowly walked toward the fire.

His lass was reaching out for him and he toward her. Just as he was about to reach her hand and travel to the unknown the uniformed men grabbed her and held her. One of the men produced a large butcher knife and slit open her belly...spilling the unborn fetus onto the floor. They all laughed as they stomped on the fetus and slit her jugular vein.



Sean sat sweating and crying in the dark of the room. Guiness sat next to his master with his head on his lap, whining. "I'm sorry to scare you boy..." he said as he scratched his pal's ears with shaking hands. "These damn dreams...will they ever end?"

He could feel the emptiness wash across his soul like a tsunami. He pulled the .45 from under his pilow and placed it against his temple. His hands were shaking as he held it there. The gun kept slipping of his head so he put it in his mouth..."3, 2, 1..."

The gun clattered on the table as Sean dropped it.

"Damn, DAMN!!!!! I can't even do that right, AGHHH what a friggen coward!!!!" The tears streamed down his face. Looking up at the ceiling, he shouted, "Sweet Jesus, why her, why... He sat down on what was left of the porch in front of the delapidated building he was calling home...and as always Guiness was by his side. He fished through the pouches in his vest until he found his pipe and bag of weed. He loaded up the bowl and lit it up.

He held the sweet smoke in his lungs until the comforting calm washed over him. He exhaled and watched the blue-grey smoke spiral toward the dark night sky. Here he sat, with his only friend, waiting for the sunrise. Bringing with it a new day; but Sean new it would be a new day with no new hope...



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