The Keystone Division after WW3
Camp Situation

How can we call ourselves the 3/103rd Armored... we've only got one stinkin' M113...

08 MAY 2003 / various times
3/103d Camp

Wiz quickly explained the situation to Jack. "Alright, I am going to run a little plan this, and ignore what you were doing. In my quarters I have a camcorder put away. Get it and put it in a bag. Then go to the command center and find Private Wu and send him to me.

"OK, Wiz, I mean LT. What's up? You tapin' the female showers again like at the Gap?" He snickers in anticipation...

Wiz returned a grave face, no laughing about it at all. "I wish it was something as fun as what we used to do," he replies, leaving it at that.

[Wiz] "I know that boy Wu may not have a lot of computer knowledge, but his communications and electronics knowledge will help me with I need him out of the HQ."

"Whazzup? You think he's the one been feeding Stryfe the info?... Aw, whatever you say, man."

"Jack," Wiz replied, "I just don't know...that’s the problem. But either way, they have to communicate with him, right? And where is the most powerful radio in camp?" Wiz almost added 'And what one person is always with the radio...a lot of times alone,' but he didn't.


"Hook up that camcorder in the corner of the room...hidden well. Then use what parts we have lying around...get Robbo to help you if you need it...and build in a remote kill switch to all the power running those radios. Run both to my quarters. Trust me...and don't let anyone know what you are doing besides the Major or one of the heads of the new divisions. Jack, tell Wu I will be getting my dirt bike."

"Hey, no sweat, baby. I'll have it set up in about 15 minutes."

That all said and hopefully understood, Wiz grabs his own portable radio and a couple assault rifles. He grabs his bike and claims another for Wu.

Once the private arrives, Wiz heads out of the park area, and away from all known enemies. Basically he wants to be a few miles away before they stop and reconnect to the DOD net. They go west.

Once they stop, Wiz explains that he has accessed the satellites and that they are going to check out everything they can. First thing first, Wiz explains that they need to find out who is on the net and if they are being traced. Then, assuming they are not, they need to find a way to hide their signal so that they won't be traced...its going to be a hacking mission, basically. Secure our access in the net and make sure we can't be traced.

Mike is confused as to what all the running around is about, but he catches on eventually. He hardly believes you, about the sat uplink, but... "LT, that's Fn unbelievable. Incredible! Hey, I worked for Lockheed / Martin Marietta before The War. Billion dollar defense contract stuff. Mostly missile guidance, and some things that used radar in real sneaky ways. I'm not one to bet, but if I were, I'd say there'd be a 99% chance of the government recording who logs onto something like this satellite controller. The LMM Managers always warned us about using ANY government assets for personal use. A co-worker of mine didn't believe the USG would bother with a pee-on like him. Well, he sent one, ONE email from a DOD server, and they canned him. No questions asked, just hit the road Jack... The government is far-reaching in what it tracks, and intensely anal in what it considers mis!-use. And I think we might have to treat the DOD Net just like the radio issue we just resolved -- we can't be too sure that anyone is who they say they are."

"So anyone logging on would almost certainly be supplying them with a username, password, date/time, and latitude and longitude (it's a sat, remember) at a bare minimum. Count on it..." He paused, and took a long drag on a hand-rolled cigarette. "The info is there, on the sat, and thus, there on whatever computer is acting as the server from the moment you log on. They don't want just anybody playing with their toys. If it was REAL sensitive stuff, they might even have a "virtual profile" for each user -- stuff like typing speed, common mistakes, typical research/inquiry methods -- so that for example, I couldn't beat the crap out of someone and have them divulge their username and password, and then me logon as them. You follow?"

"So once you get on, either thru a valid password, or thru something you hacked, they know you've been visiting. As for scrambling a trace, damn, that would be some heavy-duty shit to be sure. We might could pull it off, if there were several sats working, and if there were more uplinks than this one, but probably not with anything less than a mainframe computer in any case. And there aren't alot of those room-sized buggers up and running right now."

"But I don't want to scare you off. I think despite all of these measures that they have gone thru, that we could pull down some photos, get some other intel, Hell, who knows, we might contact someone who can help us out some."

Wiz did remember [GM rolled!] something Berger said wayyyy back about Wu -- that he was usually very negative, even in a good situation, and that he typically could make 10 tiny negatives outweigh one extremely huge positive.

Wiz also now realized he has identified the one person in Camp who can out-talk Berger when it comes to long, involved "quick" answers....

Wiz carefully addresses each of Wu's issues, "First," he begins. "We are not using it for personal gain, we are using it for the good of the camp and for the nation as a whole. We ARE the US military. If it is really our guys controlling it, I think that I can be forgiven. As far as the username goes...well, we can just wait and see what happens. If they locate us, well, lets hope they are friendlies and contact us...maybe we will find some new resources and allies? Now rerouting our signal...I sort of figured would be tough..but hell, I've got to try or be sure that the DOD net is safe and in the hands of the real USG. And thats what we are going to do. First thing though, I want to get a good look at the current news, that might give us the best idea about who is posting to the net. Then, we are going to begin Operation Hide and Go Seek [OOC: Cool name huh? lol]." Wiz removed the satellite and the computer from his bag and set them up, taking caire to properly align the satellite. He powered them both up, and logged on.

Wiz checked about getting access to the cameras on the satellites and getting some photos. If this works though, it should be safer to use in the camp. They can bounce their signal off other satellites and ground units (if they can figure it all out) so that they can't be anything else ingenious that they happen to think of.

The minute the computer and uplink booted, a was emitted from the computer's speakers, and the familiar phrase is heard soon after that.

In checking there are 493 email messages on a server called usarmy.628mib.fischer

Outside the park, Wiz was shaking inside and out from what he saw on the computer. Headlines! Real news from across the US, as well as from abroad. His eyes and fingers worked in rapid unison, scanning and gathering what he could -- it could all vanish at any moment without any warning..

These are the headline links that appear. For more detail, just tell me which you click, or ALL, and I'll determine what time allows.... Some players may remember that the actor Tom Cruise was the last President of the US when the national news disappeared from the air.

[Josh - OOC] The ones that are listed are the ones that Wiz wants to look at. But he won't read them, just save them to disk. If time permits later, he'll want even more, but these look the most important. Mostly Pittsburg information.













Wiz jotted down notes for several of the most interesting headlines. Hopefully time would permit him to dive deeper. MAJ von Fischer's email was in codewords, he assumed, and that would take awhile to decipher. So, Wiz went to the uplink control program, and typed in von Fischer's logon and password. To his amazement, the system accepted both.

Before Wiz celebrated too much, he was greeted with a screen with perhaps 25 spaces to fill in -- detailing the parameters of tasking the satellite -- everything from the SAT ID #, SAT PASSWORD, to USER LONGITUDE and LATITUDE, PRIORITY, SWEEP TYPE, and a host of other variables. But it looked like Wiz was mostly there. At least he hadn't been booted. Yet...

[Wiz] Wiz cracked his knuckles and went to work filling in the spaces as best he could. Hopefully what Wiz did not understand, Wu would be able to help with.

Wiz watched Wu carefully, making sure that he didn't screw the two of them over in someway...just in case he was the traitor in their midsts.

Wiz's first priority was to download some of the most recent of emails for vonFischer. Once that has begun, Wiz switched his energies toward some research of the net. The most recent users, who has administrator access, any standing orders submitted over the network, authorization codes, anything that would help locate who is on the net and using it. Then, there was the matter of tracking their origins to hopefully see if they are telling the truth.

Wiz's other plans included attempting to get satellite photos of surrounding areas, as well as Pittsburgh and a few ideal scavenger areas. This will probably take a while, but hopefully he can find out if using this net was secure or not.

If he could verify who was on the net, Wiz would happily set up some sort of communications and hell, even get his own account, but only if he was very sure.

Booker spent most of the day getting equipment and supplies organized. The "WizWorks", as the Special Projects Section was being called by some of the civilians, was nearly ready to go -- provided it received a request to build something. That seen to, Booker plowed thru the drudgery that was paperwork, the bane of all hands-on people. The sneaking around with the camera had been exciting. Now only if someone would bite on the bait...

Then Wiz and Wu pack up and head back to the camp. Wiz calls Booker on the radio and has him meet them. Wiz points Wu on back to the radio room "Thank you, Wu. And remember, speak of this to no one," then asks Booker if he accomplished the task.

"All set up and ready to go live..."

Wiz headed to his room to watch and listen to see if Wu betrays them....

Wiz's buddy approached him with some additional info. "All set up to go. With the camcorder set on Extended Play, you should have about 6 hours of monitoring per tape."

"Is the radio room empty?" Wiz asked of Booker. Hearing an affirmative, Wiz headed directly to his quarters, Booker in tow. Wiz ended up in his quarters, watching and listening, trying to see if Wu calls Stryfe. Wiz gripped the kill switch in his hand, ready.

The only uses of the radio were official ones by Wu. Nothing abnormal noted.

Wiz nodded toward Booker, a slight grin on his face, "Good work," he told the man, complimenting him. "This is between the two of us right now, don't mention it to anyone. One of us needs to check here often, and check the tapes as well. Now," Wiz says, changing the subject, "How has the new S1 HQ been coming?"


8 May 2003/1700 Hrs
3/103rd Camp/Halfway Dam

MAJ Raven put the final touches on the map he was working on for the defenses of the Halfway Dam Camp. He had awoken early, his mind racing with the thousand things he had to do, to give his people a fighting chance. Sleep was impossible, he had learned after many years when he was in this mental state, that it was better to simply get to work, and try to catch up on sleep later.

He looked over the map. It seemed to be a good plan, but there was only one to test it out. He wasn't looking forward to that test, no matter how good the defenses were, no matter how well trained his troops were, some of his people were going to die. He went over to the wash basin, and washed his face. This is the part of command they never tell you about at OCS, the gnawing dread in the pit of your stomach, as you looked at the faces of the men under your command, the men that were counting on you to get them through, and knowing that you would be burying far too many of them.

He buttoned up his tunic, and strapped on his gun belt. He automatically checked the loads in his .45 and M21, a ritual he had performed countless times in the last 30 years. He slipped on his Kevlar vest, and hung the helmet by it's chinstrap off of the top of the canteen at his waist. Goddamn brain-buckets, I've always hated the damn things, they're uncomfortable as hell, especially when you're lying in the tall grass for hours at a time. The back of his neck would be screaming in agony before the night was over. He chuckled to himself, a rifle bullet to the skull would hurt a hell of a lot more.

He stepped out of the CP, and told the first guard he saw that if Cpl Robinson was looking for him, he would be at the hospital. He carried his rifle in his right hand as he walked over to the tent that housed the wounded personnel. In the field, you always carried your weapon at the ready, a point his squad leader had pounded into his head when he first arrived in 'Nam.

He hadn't slung a rifle over his shoulder since, well, since The Big Red One had been sent overseas, when all this mess started. There had been a mass formation, with the commanding general giving a speech about their duty as soldiers, how honored they should feel to serve their country, and fight for freedom. 10,000 men had stood at attention that day, with their rifles slung, bayonets gleaming in the sun. He snorted in disgust, maybe 1 man in 50 from that day was still alive. Some honor.

The sun was starting to set as he ducked into the hospital tent. He spotted SPC Yates, the pretty young nurse who had patched him up earlier. He spoke to her softly, "I'm not here for an inspection or anything, just pretend I'm not here. I just wanted to talk to PVT Thomas for a couple of minutes, and see how he is."

Yates nodded, and showed the MAJ in, to where the man was. PVT Thomas was resting on a cot, his arm wrapped in bandages. He knelt down next to him, and smiled. "How are you feeling, Thomas?"

Thomas sat up somewhat. "Lemme at 'em, sir..." The words sounded good, both in content and in tone, but Thomas looked like he was in a great deal of pain at the moment. Raven still was very proud of the young man.

He motioned his head to SPC Yates, "You couldn't ask for a prettier nurse, I'm thinking of shooting myself in the foot! I just wanted to tell you what a damn fine job you did at Freeland. We couldn't have pulled it off without you. We freed those prisoners, and gave them a second chance. And I just wanted you to know that I'm proud of you.” Raven smiled. “Don't get too comfortable, I've got about a hundred jobs waiting for you when you get back on your feet. So if you're going to ask your nurse out on a date, you'd better do it quick!"

He stood up. "I've got to go, duty calls. You just concentrate on getting better. I'll check in on you later." He turned, and left the tent.

He went back into the compound to find CPL Robinson. The man was on the ball, when he found him, he already had the squad assembled. He walked up to the CPL and said, "Do the men have all the gear I specified?"

CPL Robinson answered with a quick, "Yes, sir!"

Raven motioned for the squad to follow him. They fell in behind him, as they walked to the edge of Camp. Raven found a secluded spot inside the Camp perimeter. He turned back to the squad, and motioned them to halt. "Alright, everyone gather around, and take a knee. We are going to go out and set up an ambush, at the spot where the mortar attack came from this earlier this morning. In case the bad guys come back and hit us again, we'll be waiting for them. If they don't show up, we'll come back at dawn. When we get set up at the objective, we'll be at 50% security, half the men will be keeping their eyes open, the other half will be resting. We'll switch every hour, so you'll get some sleep tonight. From here on out, there is to be absolutely NO talking or smoking, and keep your movements to a minimum. If you spot something, come to me or CPL Robinson, and tap us on the shoulder. If you HAVE to say something, like where exactly you just spotted the enemy, whisper quietly in someone’s ear. If the enemy does show up, nobody fires until I give the order. I'll be next to machine gunner, and I'll tell him when to open up. That is your signal to open fire."

He stood up, and said, "OK CPL, line 'em up, and have them jump up and down, one at a time." They all looked at him a little strangely at that. He smiled, "It's an old trick I learned in 'Nam. We used to do it every time we'd go out on patrol. Anything on you that's loose will rattle, and we'll find out what it is, and tape it down." One by one they complied, and adjustments were made here and there. When he was satisfied their gear was adjusted to his satisfaction, he told them to rub mud on their faces and the backs of their hands. He preferred using an Army-issue camo stick, but he hadn't seen one of those in over a year.

He looked them over one last time, with the last light of the setting sun. They looked good, but it was obvious they were scared. Well hell, so was he. Any man that said he wasn't, going into potential combat, was either a liar or a fool.

MAJ Raven motioned to the man carrying the radio to come over. He checked the frequency, and then spoke into the handset. "Phoenix One Romeo, this is Phoenix Six. We are crossing the wire, repeat, we are crossing the wire. We’ll perform commo checks on the hour. Phoenix Five has the ball, repeat, Phoenix Five has the ball. Phoenix Six Out." He gave the handset back to the RTO.

MAJ Raven hefted his M21, and pulled the bolt to the rear. "Lock and load, weapon's on Safe. CPL, NVG's on, lead us out. Everyone in a file, look to your front, sides, and rear. Silence, not speed, is what I'm looking for. Watch your footing, and your flanks. Move out."

Berger briefly explained his scrounging Op (obtain Bobcat earthmover) to Mifflinburg/Harleton to CPL Robinson. He's asking for Petey Slade (to fix it if need be), MR Zimmerman (Mennonite- owner of equipment and guide), and 2-3 militia for security. Asking for one of the LAWs just in case... Obviously can't move fast in a Dept of Transportation Dumptruck.

"Basics of plan: Will use the PENDOT dumptruck, and MR Zimmerman's trailer (at farm) for transport. Move in 8 MAY after dark, fix it during day 9 MAY if need be, then return to camp after dark 9 MAY. Using RT 192 E to Forest Hill, then connecting road S to RT 45, then W to Harleton. Farm is .5 km N of Harleton on Gingerbread RD (TR # ??? - just W of Orchard RD)"


8 MAY 2003 / 1800 hours
RB Winter Camp

Having found the CO awake and CPL Robinson with him, an uneasy Berger delivered his hard news.

"Sir, CPL, I have something to report, and am asking for some direction on the subject. I've inventoried nearly everything in Camp. I made up a simple ledger for it all. And then I did some calculating. I don't want to alarm anyone, but both of you should know. Our food situation will become desperate in a day or two. So far we have been eating civilian and fresh fodder, and it's about gone. We've a lot of mouths to feed, now. And we're recruiting more... There are some rations -- MREs from Doc Novak -- that should carry us for about a day, but then we're gonna be doing a good impression of Ethiopians..."

"You both realize, I'm sure, that the fields won't have anything until July, and not much till August or September. So, as I see it, we need to get more scrounge / forage teams out there. Gimme some direction, gimme the permission, and gimme the manpower, and I'll give it my best..."

Robbo raised an eyebrow at the news, and turns to face the new CO.

"Looks like we've definitely got two enemies now sir, Colonel Stryfe and General Winter. And I'm sure that you know who Winter has defeated in the past."

Raven struggled to control his feelings. Two days worth of rations left. Not good. It looked like some of his plans were going to have to be pushed back again. "Sgt Berger, take as many men as you need, and form a hunting party. Also, lets look at fishing in the lake. If worse comes to worst, we can always toss a couple of grenades into it in an emergency. We also need to send out some scouting parties to check the local towns. I'm sure that any canned food has long since been scrounged, but it's worth a look. And have Mr. Cunningham start talking to the local farmers as part of his recruiting effort. Perhaps they will have extra food they'd be willing to sell or trade for. We can offer them safe haven, for example, in exchange."


08 MAY 2003
various times....

Sean was glad to be back and in one piece. The fact that he had picked up some intestinal bug or another while in the mines was just a minor annoyance. He ended up staying in and around the Aid Station. Guiness his BFD lavished alot of attention on the big Irishman, as did Tina Yates and Hannah Mordecai. Yates seemed to want him to drink the contents of the Lake, all in the name of fluid replacement. He was disappointed at not having his Harley anymore, but he was free, alive, and in relative safety with Guiness and other friends.

Yate's, the unit's most experienced medical professional, tried to convince Sean to stay off the ankle, but as the saying goes, you can't keep a good man down. That is, until the pain sets in. And there were relatively few pain killers available to the 3/103rd. Sean spent most of the afternoon with his leg propped up, and discussed some plans for recruiting, propaganda, and morale boosting with his new counterpart, Big Jim Delacroix. The two hit it off immediately, and hashed out some ideas. Their best ideas were in the areas of morale, and recruiting. Sean and Big Jim would personally see to the recruiting effort -- it seemed a high priority after the losses incurred in the evacuation from Lewisburg.

Again Tina Yates checked in on Sean. She was thorough, he'd give her that. The young Israeli lady, Hannah, was in and out of the Aid Station during the day, and something clearly bothered her. Sean recognized the look -- she was on the run, or something threatened her. Sean had spoken very little to her, about all he knew was that she was a longtime friend of John Sherman's. Friend, whatever that meant...

The other odd happening was when Petey Slade, the unit's master mechanic, came storming into the Aid Station. He was toting a large wrench, the type used for working on armored vehicles. He too, was worked up, and looked as if he was about to get into a fight with someone. Upon seeing Sean in the Aid station, he quickly quieted down, mumbled something about cutting his hand, and then left...

By nightfall, Sean's sense was that the two events were related. Petey was mad, and was looking for someone who would be in the Aid station. That meant probably Yates, or Hannah, and since Hannah was upset about something, maybe Petey was angry and was after her. As far as he knew, the MAJ was out on an Op, so that left LT Jackson in charge...

Sean hobbled to the CP to look for Wiz. He had made an interesting observation and wanted to share it. He would have preffered Raven, or even to run it by Berger for his input, but they were not available. He felt this may have something to do with their "leak" and didn't think it could wait. Sean took a lap around the CP to make sure no one was with in ear shot. He walked into the CP and glanced around. No one was there but Wiz and him.

"LT," Sean leaned in close to talk quietly..."I observed something in the aid station today that I thought I should share. That Israeli woman Hanna, came in looking all fluster’d, as if she was scaird or running from something. A short time later ole Petty Slade came tearing in carrying a big old wrench, looking like he wanted a Donnie Brock...looked around and saw me, and made up some BS about cutting his hand or something and then hightailed it out, with out so much as a band-aide. I can't help but think they were related!..."



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