(A flashback with interesting and essential information)
01 MAY 03/0921 hours
[FYI] The earlier encounter with the M1 Abrams ended with them losing contact. You were just 3rd party who happened to be at the edge of the other two people's (NPCs) encounter...
The group had recently noticed that Doc's Bearcat scanner had been bumped on. They listened in to things like "Ruby", "Diamond", "Messerschmidt", "Uncle Tom", and so on. Jack seemed to know what it all meant...
[Jack] "D'ja hear that? That guy doesn't have the right code." (laughs) "That guy, Messerschmidt, he's got the wrong countersign, either that or he's just guessing." Jack makes an expression as if to say, "shit, I may've said something I shouldn't've..."
[Wiz] "Okay Jack...seems you know more about codes than I do. Care to share exactly what that meant? More than that, can you tell us where they are? Then you can explain while we try to find them."
01 MAY 03/0921 hours
[Jack] "Well, uh, I could tell ya, but then I'd hafta kill ya. Just kidding." Jack looked at Yates and Cruiser, and then the officers. "I guess with things being what they are these days, I'll have to tell you.
"Ah, CAPTAIN Novak", he said looking for a moment at Doc, "As far as everyone knows, you ARE the commanding officer of, what did you call us, ah, '728th Support Btn, Co. F, (Medical)', right? Then I can tell YOU what that all means, but only you...
Jack and Doc went off alone for a moment, then returned.
[GM] Jack and Doc's conversation is Out-of-Character Knowledge. Read it, enjoy it, but bet on it that Wiz, Cruiser, and Yates DON'T know what was said at this point. :)
Yates and Cruiser looked simply perplexed at all of this...
[Jack] Jack looked to be carrying a heavy mental burden. "Doc, I'm sorry about this... and I'm prepared to face a court martial for it, but I need to tell you. It's for the good of the group." At this statement, Jack smiled some.
"I worked as an RTO at DISCOM for 2 years, before I got shoved off into maintenance. I learned alot of things there. One of them was a series of code phrases. 'Code Ruby' was one of them.
"Code Ruby was in use at the time of the mutiney last December. It should be good thru this June. And it was there as kindof a failsafe against further mutineys, and as a sign-countersign for those loyal to the 28th Division, PA, and the US in general."
"When we hear 'Code Ruby', the correct response is 'Tuesday'. So then you both know that you're on the same side. After that, the challenger will send 'Code Ruby:Confirmed'. Sometimes, then they will ask your location, and send back "Code Ruby:", followed by a town or city name. Each is city or town in PA where a friendly base or unit is operating."
"Don't you see -- if we had a transmitter, we could flash them back the countersign, and they'd tell us where some people were that we could link up with. But I'll do whatever you order, Doc..."
"Okay, go to it, but I have to ask, how can we be sure that the code is still valid. The mutineers apparently had access to a lot of stuff that most units no longer have which means that they must be well supplied and therefore are likely to be well connected. Isn't it possible that one of those connections might include this code. How secure is it?. Also, I remember seeing a radio in the back of the hummer, we might be able to use that as a transmitter so that's no longer an issue, but before we give our position away, I think we should give this some thought. My guess is that we should radio the sign and wait for the countersign. Then give our position as being, say three miles away from where we actually are. We have enough supplies to hold out comfortably for half a month, we should use that time to determine if we are wandering into a big fat trap."
Doc and Jack returned.
[Wiz] Wiz, upon not getting a piece of information, looks quite annoyed. Wiz hates not having all the facts...but, well, he's doesn't have a choice right now. As the other two go away, Wiz starts the normal searching of the area. He doesn't expect to find anything in the city, but he has a few minutes to look anyway. When he returns, and assuming Jack and Doc are back too, he pulls out a local map. "Alright, this place is no longer an option, where does everyone want to go now? Or, actually," Wiz turns to Doc, "Where do you want to go?"
[Jack] Jack went the the HUMMER and returned with Wiz's PRC77 radio. Holding it out to Wiz, he said, "Well, Bro, I know we looked at this awhile ago, but we need to try and fix the thing. I have no idea how long it'll take, so..." looking to Doc, "with your permission, I guess we should get to some kind of cover."
The viewable landscape had widened in this area, and the hills that dominated the western part of RT 11&15 had abruptly given way to acre upon acre of fields. Young corn(18", and no ears yet) grew in patches, here and there, but was interspersed with chest-high weeds of all sizes. Cruiser pulled the HUMMER off the road, and he and Yates spread out to form a watch.
Jack and Wiz tore apart the PRC77 radio on a tarp that they spread on the ground. They tinkered with the radio till everyone was nearly out of their minds. But after 50 minutes, they had it working.
01 MAY 03 / 1030 hours
[Wiz] "Excuse me," Wiz interjects. "I know its not really my place as you are in charge Doc, but I did as you asked, and this thing is working again....but, what is all this about?"
[Doc] "Jack thinks he's figured out a way to contact a friendly unit. I'm willing to let him, but if you have objections, you might want to bring them up now."
Then Yates, Cruiser, and Jack offered several ideas, everyone talking at once.
[Jack] "Well, Doc, should we go ahead and do what we talked about, then?"
[Doc] "Yes but remember, we give them coordinates that are at least ten miles away from where we actually are. I want cruiser to stand by on the humm vee, I want Yates to observe the coordinates where we are saying we are through the binocs, and Wiz and I will stay with you if we do manage to get through."
[Jack] "Sounds like a plan"
[Cruiser] "Should I keep the engine running?"
[Yates] "Are we gonna say 10 miles north, south, east or west of our position?"
[Doc] "No don't keep the engine running unless we see choppers. We don't have the gas to waste.
"We should set up in an area where we can observe the place we say we are at a distance, but remain unobserved. The direction doesn't really matter, although, maybe we should set up to the east or west, although I'm not really sure. Combat isn't my job."
[Wiz] "Whatever you say Doc," Wiz responds to the plan. "Just tell me where you want me. By the way," he continues, "Whoever is going to make contact shouldn't hide with the rest of us so that when they approach the other men, our position isn't in danger."
[Doc] "I'm reluctant to do so, since we don't have the personnel to risk. If things go badly, that person will probably not be able to escape. Personally, I think we should say that we are transmitting from a building so that when someone approaches, they won't think it's funny that they can't see anyone."
[Wiz] "Agreed." Wiz looks around the area then turns back to Doc, "I suggest you choose a building and we start setting up at a advantagous location. We may have to fire or run if things don't work out. Once we are ready I suppose that we call our hopeful friends." Wiz shrugs then stands at attention, "I'm ready when you are sir."