The Keystone Division after WW3
The First Fight

Calico 9mm helical-fed carbine

The Great Escape

Under the Division Support Command, or DISCOM, the Forward Support Battalions provide direct support in maintenance, supply and medical areas to the maneuver brigades.

The DISCOM unit concentrates on maintenance and supporting all soldiers of the command. Service projects and response to natural disasters remained an important mission of the DISCOM in Pennsylvania.

The mission of DISCOM remained unchanged during the war. However, the desperate necessity of the situation could be realized within DISCOM as easily as with the troops up at the front. Or so the leadership said...

Now medical supplies, vehicles, and heavy weapons were in short supply, airpower was a thing of the past, and central governments barely exist, if they exist at all. Gasoline has been almost completely replaced by methanol or ethanol. The small trickle of petroleum that becomes available on the market is ridiculously high priced, and is used for lubricating engines, rather than as fuel.

It had been said that the army marches on it's stomach. Apparently Napolean didn't study much anatomy. However, it was true, that without the beans, bread, bullets, bombs, and so on, the effectiveness of the world's armies was greately diminished. All war is terrible, but how terrible for a war to drag on needlessly, and to be waged by sick, hungry, and ill-equipped troops.

Finally, all of the combatants simply gave up, and the focus in some areas, became rebuilding. Thousands of years of civilization were destroyed in a few short years. For nearly a year now, the actual war has mostly cooled down into skirmishes, infiltration raids, and general unrest.

Electromagnetic Pulse has destroyed the internal components of most digital technological niceties such as computers, television, and medical equipment. Few things more complex than a transistor radio have survived, and even if part of a system was immune to EMP, other components that were not are now fried and cannot be replaced. Sadly, even though the will to return to civilization exists, the tools that modern society relies so heavily upon, simply do not exist, or if they do, have now ceased to function...

Date: 30 APR 03
Time: 1800
Place: 228th Forward Support Battalion(FSB) base, Ft. Indiantown Gap
People: Wiz / Jack(an NPC)

Not long ago, Will Jackson and Jack Booker had been paired up as a high tech maintenance team at the 228th FSB. It was too confusing to have a Jackson, and a Jack around, each one answering when only one was called. Some people in the Battalion thought the two used this fact for pranks and practical jokes, but this was never proven. Will Jackson was good with alot of technical items, but computers were his specialty. Jack Booker was also very skilled, but his expertise was in electronics. The two man team worked well together, but confused the living daylights out of everyone in the Battalion. It wasn't long after his arrival that Will Jackson, the computer wizard, or "Wiz", had made a name for himself.

Wiz and Jack had been working late in their shop. The building was cheap aluminum sheeting over a wood frame, and measured approximately 100'x250'. They had great freedom in their workshift, and chose to work the strangest hours, sometimes clocking in at 0200, and working a long shift until noon, just so they could go tearing around the base on Wiz's dirtbike. By the same token, the two would often party until Oh-dark-hundred (late!), and then sleep it off, and clock in sometime in the mid-afternoon. April 3rd, 2003 was one of the latter types of days. After nearly two hours the two had finally gotten into a rhythm, and were repairing and maintaining various gadgets, making some progress on the waiting carts, full of radios, computers, and other techno-goodies.

Rather suddenly it happened. Machinegun fire and explosions from outside! First the noise and general din of an attack was heard. Then felt. The two quickly dropped to the concrete floor, forgetting what they were doing, and became more interested in self preservation. After a brief respite in the initial attack, Wiz ran to find someone who know what was happening. Soon, he spotted Herald, a mechanic, his weapon at the ready.

"Whats going on Herald?"

"I don't know for sure but some group is poundin' the base! I can't believe we're being attacked!"

"Attacked, what do you mean attacked? Crap!" Then turning to Jack, "Shall we fight?"

I don't know... We have no idea who's attacking, huh? Terrorists, The Russians, Mexicans... None of us are ground-pounders, and we've only got pistols -- Heck, my vote is we get the flock outta Dodge! And fast!

Wiz and Jack grabbed their weapons, and attempted to identify the enemy, but the speed of the attack was so swift that they both just stood there, dumbfounded.

The look of panic on Herald's face was unmistakable. Suddenly, the man jumped up, saying "I'm outta here, dudes!", and with that, he ran out the door, crossed the courtyard, and entered the nearby barracks.

Helicopters appeared from nowhere, and began firing rockets into the nearby troop barracks. The explosions popped loudly, showering glass and other debris over the top of the maintenance shed. Jack and Wiz saw no sign of the man that was beside them, alive, only seconds ago.

[Jackson] Wiz drew his Beretta Model 92, and chambered a round. He nervously checked his grandfather's old pocket watch. Thank God It still worked...

From across the compound, the two friends caught a glimpse of a shape approaching them. It was small at first, but then grew. Apparently it was heading right for the maintenance shed...

Wrinkling his nose, he gestured with his thumb, saying "What the?......"


Date: 30 APR 03
Time: 1800
Place: 28th DISCOM (Divisional Support Command), Ft. Indiantown Gap
People: Dr. Trevor Novak

Dr. Trevor Novak was a member of the 28th Division's 28th DISCOM (Division Support Command). Specifically, he was in the 728th Support Battalion, Company F (Medical). The Company has three component units, an HQ platoon, a Treatment platoon, and an Ambulance platoon. Novak was a Medical Doctor in the Treatment platoon, and reported to a Major Angus McCall.

Elements of the 28th Division participated in the raid on Washington DC back in December, and had mutinied against the rest of the 28th Division, (PA Army Reserve/National Guard). The situation was rather confusing to say the least. Even knowing who was on who's side could give a soap opera devotee's mind a workout...

When the mutiney came about last Dec., young Doctor Novak remained loyal, and stayed put at the base at Fort Indiantown Gap, which is about 20 minutes East of Harrisburg, along the I80 and I78 interchange. Normally, the Forward Support Battalion would move up with the other units in the division. However, THIS (whatever THIS was) was NOT normal...

Novak knew Philly is a wreck, and teaming with less-than-nice people. So he was glad he was are in the relative safety at "The Gap", as the base was called by everyone in the area, military and civilian alike. In Harrisburg, Trevor knew things were not much nicer. Members of DISCOM, as well as the Aviation Brigade (thankfully WITHOUT the Apache and Blackhawk choppers-they'd been grounded about 4-5 months now), had been sweeping the streets of Harrisburg, Camp Hill, and Mechanicsburg, looking for deserters. Or malcontents. Or someone who cheated them once at cards. Thankfully the base hadn't been touched by this madness. But on the off chance -- Novak was prepared...

Novak could get things done as an officer and a doctor that others might not be able to pull off. Sometimes it was just a smile or a joke, or it was listening to incoherent babble for awhile, that would make others more at ease around him. Or allow him to blend in, or go unnoticed. It was this uncanny ability that enabled Dr. Novak to assemble a cache of supplies, and keep it hidden on base. The real trick would be getting out, or really knowing just when to get out...

The maintenance area was a vast conglomeration of prefabricated buildings and modern concrete structures. The overwhelming majority of buildings, however, were simple, non-permanent structures of wood and aluminum, that dated from WWII. So much for non-permanent... It was in one of these abandoned maintenance sheds that Novak stashed his goods. It took him nearly four months to quietly, unobtrusively assemble the lot, but he was actually quite proud of the load of gear he had begged, borrowed, or stolen from various points on the base. Plus, he had conned a friend, Keefer, to fix this shot-up HUMVEE that Novak had seen being used on one of the machinegun ranges. It didn't look like much, but it ran pretty well.

Novak had little to do for the moment. That would probably change if one of the patrols returned from the State Capitol. Over the past 5 months since arriving here, Novak had learned more than any professor of medicine could stuff into his head. He had facility in treating burns, gunshot wounds, amputations, rad / chem / bio sicknesses, and the list continued.

Novak was in his office in the hospital, pacing around, wondering about the possibilies of getting the men to donate blood, when suddenly, several helicopters appeared from nowhere, and began firing rockets into the nearby troop barracks. The explosions popped loudly, showering glass and other debris over the top of the infirmary. "Choppers?" thought Novak. "They look like ours. Damn. I thought all the aviation fuel dried up months ago".

Trevor realized that in all probability the choppers would shoot anything that moved, then again this was probably the beginning of a full scale attack which would mean that the base was about to get inhospitable. Trevor ran out into the hallway and began shouting, "Quickly! Get all the wounded into shelters, and prepare for evac. Begin to pull out after the bombardment ends. I need a few volunteers to help scout out an exit" Looking around to the first 3 people he saw, he pointed. "You, you, and you -- Just volunteered. Now follow me..."

Once the ''volunteers' assembled, Trevor took a peek outside. There appeared to be general confusion outside of the hospital, but the attack seemed to be limited to just the choppers. At this point, it looked as if there were no hostile ground forces inside the base. Trevor thought of how far inside the base he and his patients were, and that it would take several minutes to drive out of the base, if indeed that would be possible.

Looking for a pattern, for any scrap of information that might prove useful, Trevor noticed that the helicopters seemed to be not only hitting the barracks, but also were shooting up everything in sight. "You'd think that at least they (whoever THEY were) would be interested in the equipment..."

Counting the helicopters, Trevor saw at least one Apache AH-64 gunship leading the attack, along with at least five UH-60s. The U60s were armed with door guns, rocket pods, and forward-firing MGs.

Trevor considered the possibility of him and his volunteers reaching his my HUMVEE, but realized the action was completely impractical at this point. The group could all fit on/in the HUMVEE, but it wouldn't be the most comfy ride with all of Trevor's cached supplies stored in it... Plus, the HUMVEE was hidden several buildings down the street from the infirmary where he was. Besides, there were 4 wounded under his care. Counting them and the 3 volunteers, that makes 7. And that is somewhat MORE cramped with all of Trevor's gear in the back of the HUMVEE.

Yet a glimmer of hope existed. The base at Ft. Indiantown Gap was huge. The helo force was overwhelming, but not in such great numbers as to take out everything at the base simultaneously. Trevor realized that the force could not be everywhere at once...

While Trevor continued to consider his options, the infirmary took a missile hit, and was being hosed with MG fire... "Good thing the infirmary is sandbagged...", thought Trevor. "Get those wounded out of the infirmary -- move 'em deeper into the building. And don't fire back at 'em... it'll just make 'em madder..."

His trio of volunteers helped the wounded, some who could hobble or walk, others who were completely bedridden, out of the infirmary, deeper into the building.

Trevor's best guess at the strongest point in the building would be either of the two surgery wards. He directed his volunteers to help the wounded to those adjoining rooms...

Time: 1815
Location: Surg-1 and Surg-2, adjoining suites in the hospital building.

Dr. Novak, his trio of volunteers, and his quartet of wounded, hunkered down in the Surg-1 and Surg-2 suites, and took cover from the attack. After nearly five minutes of sheer terror, the rattle of machinegun fire and the pop of missiles exploding had apparently ceased.

All seemed to calm down, until the fire alarm went off. One of his volunteers, a woman with "Yates" stenciled above her right pocket, crouch-walked over to the wall display, and called out the extent of the alarm.

"I'm reading fires in Triage, Wards A, B, C, and E, X-ray Suites 1 & 2, MRI chamber, OT/PT, and Surg-2 Storage. So, that leaves the D ward, the infirmary, Surg-1, Surg-2, and Nuclear Medicine untouched. Crap, 3/4ths of the building is on fire!"

[O'Neill](wounded, non-ambulatory NPC)
"We're all gonna roast in here! Gemme out!"

[Arbogast](wounded NPC)

"Aw shaddup! Why'd we all come here in the middle of the flippin' burning building, anyway?..."

Trevor turned to Arbogast, "You would prefer to be where you could be shot to pieces, perhaps?..."

At the very least, the group was thankful that the Hospital was built on the ground level. And was not several stories high...

"OK , Everyone, let's evacuate... walking wounded help carry out the non-walking wounded. I'm going to see if I can salvage as much of our equipment and supplies as possible. Stat!, people... provided that we don't roast, we'll be needing to get ready for incoming wounded."

Two of the volunteers made their way out of the burning building, and onto the street. The helicopter group faded into the distance, heading west. Small arms fire could be heard from the north and east sides of the compound, perhaps just 4-5 blocks away. It sounded as if at least 6-8 people were shooting...

The volunteers returned, and reported to Dr. Novak. Trevor noticed that the gunfire seemed to be in the opposite direction of the building harboring his HUM-VEE. Also, that there were no smoke or explosions occuring in the general direction of the HUM-VEE's location. There was nothing but the bleak stillness of the aftermath of the chopper's attack...

...And here, the fire was spreading rapidly in the hospital. Trevor rapidly grabbed what medical supplies he could, and, assessing the building like the hopeless patient she was, he realized that all was lost here. As he flung himself through the burning door, Trevor brushed his right arm abit too close to some burning debris, and his uniform caught fire, painfully burning his arm. It seemed to be only a light, superficial burn, yet it still hurt... Trevor's desire for remaining in that place has vanished, anyway.

Suddenly, a building about 2 blocks east of the hsopital erupted in an explosion. Trevor thought of the oxygen and many other medical gasses in the hospital that were likely to explode when in contact with fire, and urged his group to clear away from the building.

A loudspeaker on a nearby pole crackled, then a booming voice growled. "Attention all personell. This Col. Winter. The inner compound has been penetrated by hostile US forces. All personell are to escape by whatever means become available. Extreme caution is advised, we are in the midst of a mutiney. This is no drill. Repeat -- the inner compound..."

Trevor recognized Col. Winter's voice, and assumed that the message was on the level. Suddenly, the message was interrupted by what could only be a small arms burst at close range...

Several of the volunteers had armed themselves with pistols, but anything heavier was not readily available. Yates was one so armed, and she strongly suggested the group not hang out to meet those doing the shooting.

Trevor ordered the volunteers to evacuate the wounded towards the building where he had hidden his HUMVEE. While the group trotted that way, Trevor kept an eye out for a trailer, but found nothing that had not been wrecked in the attack.

So Dr. Trevor Novak, and his trio of volunteers, assist the four wounded people to safety outside the building. Under the Dr.'s guidance, they reached a disused warehouse, and Novak was seen to heave a sigh of relief that the building was intact.

When he had cached his supplies away, Trevor had cleverly cut the original lock and chain on the double doors, and replaced them with his own. That way they were secure, but probably no one would be interested in this building, anyway, since it had be unused for so long... So while Yates and the others played lookout, Trevor produced the key from his wallet, inserted it into the lock, and popped the device open. A good heave-ho! on the rusted, sliding double doors, and they flew open. Despite his precautions, Trevor was even happier to see the outline of the HUMMER underneath the tarps. And was even happier to see that the dust he had spread on the floor had been undisturbed, and that his stuff was all there. Trevor approached the shape, and threw back the tarp, like a groom uncovering his bride...

Eyeing the bulletholes, Arbogast smirked, "Does it run?..."

Trevor thought of something smart, but kept his reply to himself.

It was a tight fit, but it was workable. O'Neill, on the litter, would ride in back, atop the gear, along with 1 of the volunteers, who would monitor his condition. Yates would ride on the left side in the backseat, so she could sweep that side of the vehicle with fire, if needed. Doc would ride shotgun, M16/M203 in hand. Arbogast, and the 2 other wounded would cram into the backseat, and hope for the best. The final volunteer, a pimple-studded motorhead nicknamed "Cruiser", would drive.

After a 2 minute wrestling match that seemed like 2 hours, Cruiser prevailed over the engine, and the HUMMER started. Cruiser looked toward Doc, who nodded, and put proverbial pedal to metal.

The HUMMER hesitated a moment, then shot out of the building.

Cruiser apparently thought that the HUMMER's accelerator was it's most most important feature, because the vehicle surely showed no signs of slowing down. Cruiser careened in and out of streets, in between the narrow spaces between barracks, did an admirable bootlegger turn on the Battalion Commander's Office garden, and had nearly exited the Maintenance area when the chuf-chuf-chuffing of a helicopter's rotors could be heard.

Looking up and behind them, Novak could see a large, black shape not far above and behind...

Trevor gasped, "Go faster!... Go faster!..."

He sighted on the black shape and attempted to identify it...

Date: 30 APR 03
Time: 1835
Location: exiting the maintenance area.

The chopper appeared to communicate with the HUMMER, using some sort of signal. Blinking lights? But Novak quickly realized the blinking lights were, in reality, machine guns firing at the HUMMER. The opening burst riddled the back of the HUMMER, and several people in the back screamed in fear and/or pain.

The man has had enough, PANICed, and bailed out, even while the HUMMER was moving. He hit hard, rolled, and...

[unnamed wounded #1 and #2]
They likewise PANICed, and bailed out, tumbling on the asphalt...

Cruiser tromps the pedal down even further, yet the HUMMER can give no more. "That's all she's got, Doc! Hang on, I'll try weaving..." Cruiser jarred the HUMMER around, and like on a wild rollercoaster ride, the occupants were slammed to and fro.

Screamed an unladylike streak of swear words at the chopper, and opened up on them with her M92 pistol. She fired a few rounds, then cursed again as her pistol jammed...

The chopper opened up again, riddling the area behind the HUMMER with fire. This would be approximately where the people who BAILED would be...

The youth shot a nasty look at Novak, and spat, "I ain't stoppin', Chief. Don't even F****'n say it..."

The chopper was 50' in the air now, waiting to pepper the HUMVEE. Trevor popped off an M203 grenade at the chopper, but it went high and to the right. The grenade arced down to the ground, and exploded in a clump of buildings with a dull thud.

The chopper opened up with MG fire, which chewed up the road behind the HUMMER. Bullets zinged by, or richocheted, but the HUMMER was miraculously untouched.

Yates failed to clear her jammed M92 pistol. Then Trevor sprayed the chopper with his M16. Trevor felt good that he was doing SOMETHING... until his M16 jammed. He fumbled to clear the weapon rapidly...

Cruiser squealed the wheels on the pavement, threw the HUMMER in a sliding turn that would humble Starsky and Hutch, and headed down a narrow alley between buildings, hoping to shake the chopper off...

Which turned out to be a good move. The chopper was forced to give a little distance, or it would crash into a 3 story building that Cruiser just maneuvered around. So it does, tho' somewhat wobbily. It opened up again with the MGs, and ripped up the back and midsection of the HUMMER.

The chopper again fired the MGs, scattering bullets and kicking up dust, but doing no apparent damage.

Finally, Yates cleared her jammed pistol. Yet Trevor failed to clear his jammed M16.

Cruiser headed down the safe (well, relatively safe) alley at full speed, praying that the Chopper was not in a position to fire.

Mentioned something concerning urinary function and the chopper, and fired 5 rounds at the chopper with the M92. At least 2 bullets glanced off the chopper, but there seemed to be little or no effect. Finally, Trevor cleared his jammed M16.

Cruiser anticipated entering into the choppers field of fire, so he tried the ole Starsky and Hutch skidding turn again, but... well, he lost control, and the HUMMER slammed HARD into a warehouse.

The impact of the crash was tremendous. No one was strapped in... The HUMMER was doing about 50 when it plowed into the building. Cruiser banged his head off the wheel. Doc went up over the hood and rolled, twisting his left leg, and knocking the wind out of him. Yates spilled out the opposite side of the HUMMER, and had a peculiar right angle, in her right forearm.

And then two guys scrambled out from behind a counter, and pointed pistols at you...

Looking at your watch, it was 1825 hours. What an afternoon!



Copyright 1998-2000, by ERIC, The Phantom of the Rock Opera. All Rights Reserved