The Keystone Division after WW3

M240-G, the replacement for the M60. <BR> Supply never met demand in WWIII, however.

poor old Jim and Fred....... :(

05 MAY 2003 / 2040 HOURS (dusk)
Halfway Dam Recreation Area
Command Center

Sherman was enjoying a cup of coffee in the Command Centre as he went over maps of the local area. This was suddenly interrupted when the Duty telegraph operator advised him of a contact on the south west OP. This was followed shortly by the sounds of explosions and weapons fire.

Dropping his coffee and spillings its content on the map and table. Damn.

Sherman started barking out a series of orders to the assembled Duty staff.

"Alert the camp." Seeing Robbo already at the doorway. "Corporal Robbinson get down to the SW OP and advise me of the situation."

"Understood Staff, on my way. Whats the Password again?"

"It's 'Olympic' (or whatever makes a suitable password). We'll tell 'em you're on the way."

Robbo wipes the sweat from his brow and ensures everything is in the right place as he grabs his webbing. Once he's ready, Robbo carefully heads down towards the South West OP, careful not to get shot by one of the scared diggers on the wire.

Sherman ordered the operator to check with the other OP's to see if any had 'contacts'. All OP's to hold fire unless they have confirmed enemy sightings, we don't want to give our positions away, the enemy might just be probing our defences.

"Corporal Irvine (in charge of the Guard). Ready the duty defense squad. Send out runners to the other OP's, they may have already been infiltrated."

"Inform the LT."

Is there any sort of field telephone (can on a string even?) to the sentry posts?

3 of the 5 phones that were set up in Lewisburg are not working, so wire was strung, and a simple telegraph key and relay system was used (this was what was in place before the phones, in Lewisburg.) Morse code is not used, but there are pre-arranged signals for various events. So if you want to ask anything, the stuff is in place, only the messages back and forth had better be very simple....

Lt. Jackson was already up and dressed when the Corporal showed up to inform him of the situation. Jackson dismissed him to keep doing what he was doing, then practically ran to the Command Center to talk to Sherman. "What's the situation?" he asks upon arrival. This is NOT what he needed. If this really was some sort of attack, which he was hoping it was not, then Stryfe found them faster then he expected. Either way, this was just a warning that where they were would not remain safe for long.

"We're under attack sir. SouthWest OP reports a contact. Corporal Robinson is on his way down there now. I'm checking with the other OP's and Corporal Irvine is readying the guard." By the concerned look on his face. Sherman did not need to tell Wiz that Stryfe may have already found them.

05 MAY 2003 / 2042 HOURS
Halfway Dam Recreation Area
Command Center

Wiz and Sherman conferred in the Command Center. Wu frantically requested via the simple telegraph system that messages be repeated, and points clarified. Despite everyone's lack of training, and lack of sleep, it all worked, somehow. Apparently two intruders had stumbled onto some of the makeshift anti-personnel devices strung in the trees. One of the guards paniced, and fired into the night. One of the intruders was killed outright, the other was wounded. No word on how badly. The OP regained fire discipline, and was awaiting CPLs Robinson and Irvine.

A few scattered shots erupted from those inside the camp, firing at shapes and/or shadows in the night. Within 30 seconds give or take, the firing quieted down. But the mood of all within the camp was somewhat jumpy.

On one of the 2 functioning civilian "Bearcat" scanners, Wu picked up some CB radio traffic. He hurriedly scrawls a few notes should his memory need perked up at a later time....

"Yeah, coupla pops, then a few shots up on the mountain."

"Probably the Guisewhite brothers again."

"Yeah, good buddy. Be a blessing if they shot each other up"

"Amen to that, brother."

"No, swear to Jesus, Jethro, and George Jefferson, it wasn't me. Hell, I was asleep. Drank the last-a my apple wine and passed out at supper."

"Well next time someone needs to shoot a hootey-owl, I hope they use a bow and arrow. I just got the baby down, and now the old man's in there singing frickin' showtunes to her to calm her down. And you know how I hate "The Music Man"

"Like I said, Rattlesnake Mama, it weren't me..."

"Baker 6, this is Grimace -- 5 5 at 18. 2 K. Over...

"Grimace, this is Baker 6. Acknowledged.

"Yeah I heard it. I didn't know anyone was up there anymore. Didn't the Ranger get shot last winter?"

"One of em did. The other should still be up there somewhere, but he ain't in the Ranger Station of course..."

"Was prolly that Crazy Colonel Stryfe. Haven't you seen his posters -- "Join or Die" I say Hey M-----F-----, join THIS!"

"Yeah he is crazy, but you better watch. I think Tom's kid is in with him. Reported Tom's brother for hording 'shine."

"No shit"

"Yeah, the kid is like 16 and turns his own Uncle in... the B@$%@%& ! Those guys came in, dragged him out and shot him. And like just yesterday Stryfe was leading those Weekend Warrior types over at the Lewisburg Armory."

"Yeah, well my old man remembered him from 'Nam, and then from DC. What's that stuff? PTSD? Well he had it alright. He used to make my old man sharpen new pencils until they were ground down to lil ole stubs. No reason, "just do it, LT..." was all he would say. I'd love to bust a cap on him. I just reloaded some .300 Winchester."

"My '06 just bit the dust. Firing pin like disintegrated. I'm looking to replace it if you know anyone with anything to spare."

"I got a Mauser. Needs restocked, but my Pap used to like it for deer..."

"If you're willing to part with it, being as it was your Pap's, I'll pay cash or trade."

"Come over tomorrow and we'll talk."

"Good nuff. Thanks Bwana"

"No problemo. I appreciate the liniment for the wife's legs. She was walking pretty good today til she got tired."

Then even the CB traffic on the scanner died down...

05 MAY 2003 / 2045 HOURS
Halfway Dam Recreation Area
SW Observation Post

Robbo and CPL Irvine met en route to the SW OP, sprinting part of the way, but slowing down as they got nearer. The whole place was still unfamiliar to them, and neither wanted to make undue noise or wrench an ankle at an inopportune moment. It was only 200 meters away, yet it was down the side of a mountain, not a sheer cliff, but steep enough to discourage running at full bore...

Moans were heard from beyond the wire. A man softly cried for help. He was lying on his back, 30 meters or so from the OP. The three men in the OP had him under observation, yet only the oldest man aimed his rifle at the injured man.

[Bains] (oldest guy in the OP)
"CPL Irvine, CPL Robinson, our contact is out there -- I confirm two men, one now dead, the other now wounded. They had poor noise discipline -- we heard them crashing around in the brush, and arguing, before we even saw them. They ran into the grenade traps 30 meters out, about 3-4 minutes ago. Unknown unit. They were armed with rifles, type not known, no other equipment seen."

Bains pointed with his rifle, still keeping a bead on the wounded man. The smell of black powder from the improvised grenades was acrid in the crisp night air. Then more quietly to the two CPLs.

"I had them stand down so they wouldn't pop the guy too hastily..."

The man's cries became more audible.

[Jim] (wounded intruder) "C'mon, I'm bleeding to death out here. I know there's someone there... Help me. I KNOW you can hear me. Aw, shit! That's my F'n thumb! Aw, &^%#@ #&*^$ $^$^@* &^%#@......."


05 MAY 2003 / 2045 HOURS
Halfway Dam Recreation Area
SW Observation Post

As quickly as it started the current camp emergency seemed to be almost be over. Sherman thought about some of the radio traffic scanned. Most of it sounded like the neighbours, some of the transmissions might be worth further investigation though. The ranger one sounded intriguing..... Sherman was worried about the Baker 6 to Grimmace call. It was succinct and to the point, obviously a coded military transmission. Not much could be done about it now. No doubt Wiz and Wu will figure out where it came from. Depending on any additional orders from Wiz, Sherman will make his way down to the SW OP. And talk with the two Corporals. CPL Irvine will be tasked to get the wounded man and take him back up to the camp so he can receive some medical attention. The dead man can be recovered in the morning. Sherman will get Robbo to lead a clearing patrol out to sweep the perimeter.

Wiz gives no new orders to Sherman. Once the situation was under control, he knew that everything else could be handled the next day. The transmissions where, interesting however...its a shame that he didn't have the equipment, time, or manpower to triangulate the signals. "Just make sure that we have scouts on patrol all night. I don't want this happening again if there is someone else out there." That said, he dismisses Sherman to take care of it all. "Wu, start racking your mind, I'd like a way to trace those signals, think about it." Wiz left the building and for the next hour or two, he basically assures everyone else that everything is just fine, then attempts to get some sleep before morning. It was going to be a long ass day when he woke up.

Robbo conferred with CPL Irvine and the men who were at the post where all the shooting erupted.

[Robbo] (quietly)
"Irv, I say we drag his sorry butt back in, and get him to the Boss. I'll grab him, you cover. And we'll get one of these guys to escort us out. I don't want to run into any of our boobytraps."

Robbo and Irvine dragged the wounded man back to the OP, avoiding the remaining grenade traps, with Irvine directing the afe route. Irvine (frankly) wants to wait for daylight to check the other man out -- he is apparently hung up on the line to another trap of 3 "chained" grenades... That seemed fine with Sherman's and Wiz's plans.

[prisoner] "M-m-m-my name is Jim. J-j-j-j-jim Danvers. Can ya h-h-help me?"

The group checked the prisoner over for anything unusual -- hidden weapons, papers, etc. He had several items of equipment on his person.

The man has numerous wounds on his person. His left leg hangs at an odd angle from the shin down, obviously broken. The same leg is peppered with schrapnel wounds, and are bleeding moderately. The man's left hand is literally a bloody mess -- fingers mangled, the thumb is missing entirely. His head and face likewise are peppered with schrapnel wounds, and he bleeds profusely from those areas...

He was dressed in woodland fatigues, very muddy/wet, no visible insignia or markings. He wears an improvised ammo pouch rig, containing a frag grenade, and 4- 30 round mags 5.56N. His M16 is abit muddy, but holds another 30 round mag. He has a hunting knife on his belt, and a section of a civilian AAA map in a pocket (now quite bloody). A fanny pack contains a can of spam and a can of spaghetti-o's, camping utensils. 2 canteens of water. A PRC-90 type radio is all but shredded from the blast. Searching deeper in the pockets turns up... hurricane matches, odds and ends of a personal med kit, and $515.00 in cold hard cash.

SPC Yates, and Hannah Mordecai [ooc- yes, Sherman, evidence that she's still alive, and mostly, looking fine!] showed up with some first aid stuff, and patched the man up enough that he could be moved. Soon the man was stable enough, and was carried back to HQ. He was shock-y, and passed out, but regained consciouness shortly thereafter...

Robbo checked the perimeter. All was quiet on the western, eastern, northern, and southern fronts. {ooc- sorry!} Guards were much more alert than they were previously, and maintained good noise and light discipline. There were no further encounters. He encouraged those pulling guard duty to maintain the vigil, and was satisfied that they would.

Later, Wu conversed with Robbo as to Wiz's $10,000 Challenge -- finding a way to trace the radio signals. The two came up with some ideas, but would have to wait for daylight to put anything in place. The first step would be a better, directional antenna, and optimally, 3 positions from which to get a bearing. It was do-able, but it was a long-term project.

Wiz had had a long ass day, and he was sick of giving orders and commanding people. He couldn't even get a nights rest, because things kept happening. Everyone seemed to be handling things alright, and he left them to it. Finding his sleeping bag and his quarters he laid his head down. He was asleep instantly, only to be haunted by nightmares of leading everyone to death, over and over again...

06 MAY 2003 / 0100 HOURS Halfway Dam Recreation Area

[Sherman] With the camp now quite, hopefully it would stay that way till morning. Sherman returned back to the rec centre and his desk which was now piled high with the belongings of the man wounded on the perimeter. Whoever Mr Danvers was, he is certainly well equipped and well financed. Sherman noted the AAA map still covered in the mans blood. Sherman was not sure if Danvers would pull through to be questioned in the morning. Even if his wounds were not to serious, there was a good chance they still might get infected. Just like in the civil war thought Sherman, more men dying of disease than bullets or was it the other way around? Sherman decided to wash the blood off the map and left it on the back of a stuffed beaver to dry.

Sitting back at his desk Sherman went over the guard roster. Twenty of the militia were currently on duty. Three in each of the four op's which left CPL Larry Irvine and the duty squad of seven to watch over the two prisoners and carry out random patrols of the camp and sentries.

Sherman had Larry post a guard over Danvers and made sure he had some note paper and a pencil just in case Danvers said something in his sleep. Also Sherman remarked we don't want Danvers doing anything crazy if he wakes up. We don't have many pain killers and who knows how the man is thinking? I don't want Yates or Hannah being harmed by him. Sherman also made it VERY clear to Irvine that if in doubt about something wake him.

Sherman checked his watch, it was zero one fifty. Adjusting the tilt on the chair, Sherman made himself comfortable and put his feet on the desk and thought about how Danvers could have got so much money, before finally drifting off to sleep.

by midnight Robbo would be staking out his sleeping spot again, and hoping that his shift had passed during the ruckus caused by the blundering scouts.

Next morning (barring another contact) Robbo will begin to scrounge around the base area for the items he wants.

06 MAY 2003 / 0800 HOURS Halfway Dam Recreation Area Command Center

A new day dawned on the few loyal remnants of the 3/103rd Armored, 28th Division US Army. A new day with promise of hope, as well as the possibility of new challenges. At least most people had gotten a decent night's rest. [OOC -- at least you PCs...]

A few new bits of information concerning the prisoners became evident. Sherman was quick to wonder whether the pieces were related to the men, and their unit's situation, or if they were simply a matter of coincidence. Yates and Hannah had examined Jim Danvers more closely upon returning to Camp, and reported he had a severe case of poison ivy.

[ooc -- not to patronize you Aussies, but do you know what poison ivy is? I know it's not common in England or Europe, but if you need info, just do a search on WebMD. Basically, it's a severe skin allergic reaction from a local plant's leaves/vines/roots. Nuff said]

The remains of a second man, Fred Nelson, were carefully retrieved without incident. His equipment included an improvised ammo pouch rig, containing a frag grenade, 2 smoke grenades, an old-style flare gun with several (12+) colored flares, and 4 smoke projectiles for the flare gun. There are 4- 30 round mags 5.56N. His M16 was shattered, but holds another 30 round mag. He has a bayonet on his calf, and a set of colored pencils, and several pieces of paper, bearing various markings. There is an army messkit, and 2 canteens of water. $588.00 in cold hard cash. All items are liberally covered in blood and hunks of Fred...

With minimal inspection, Robbo and Sherman determine that the papers are some sort of map overlay.

There was no word yet from Sean and Berger. They have had ample time to have reached Scranton by now...

Several men spread out parts for the hot air balloon, which looks to be nearly completed. There is some mold/mildew from being stored while damp, but that can be scrubbed off.

It appears that food seems to be running short, particularly vegetables and carbo items. The woods is full of game and streams are full of fish for meat. Fresh Water supply is excellent. It appears that the stills are eating up wood nearly as fast as it can be processed, and that various vehicles, generators, and other needs are sapping up every drop of alcohol.

There are no contacts with outside forces, nor any radio contacts during this period...

06 MAY 2003 / 0800 HOURS Halfway Dam Recreation Area Command Center

[Sherman] Once awake will sh$t, shower and shave. Sherman will then report to Wiz and discuss some of the various mundane but necessary operations of the camp. The first priority will be to finish up the camp roster detailing those on guard, work details, watching the prisoners etc. Sherman will ensure as best he can that everybody is getting some sleep and free time off, including the command staff (though we all seem to be doing well :)

Sherman and Wiz will also have to interrogate the three persons who are now prisoners of the 3/103rd. Also they could be set to doing tasks rather than just being extra mouths to feed excepting the wounded man of course. We also have the various captured maps to look at and see what we can garner from them

Sherman will make a number of other recommendations to Wiz.

The volunteers that wished to join us should we let them?

That a foray be made into one of the closer towns with the GMC 6 ton dump truck. It could be led by Brooke Whittaker accompanied by mostly workers and some militia to ride shotgun. They could then collect wood and other materials from ruined buildings i.e. stripping down fences, collecting corrugated iron. This might save some time rather than collecting firewood or the effort involved in chopping down trees. Sherman has heard Brooke has been having troubles with the work crews. Should we do something about it now or let it go a bit to see how she handles it.

That James De La Croix be used as an ambassador by the unit to meet the locals and go about seeing who they are, what they know and what they need. One of the previous nights radio intercepts mentioned needing a new firing pin. Maybe we could barter for food or offer an exchange of services the locals might need. This could save a few bodies to other duties rather than hunting or fishing. Sherman has a few doubts on the trustworthiness of Big Jim but he would be well suited to the task.

Weather or not we will remain here. We will have to start making plans for when winter comes (whenever that is in PA).

The last issue of business. To organize a rescue (!?!) mission to go and find out what happened to Sean, Berger and HQ.

[GM] Sherman is on the ball to be thinking ahead. Any of you -- outline your plans, put them into practice, and you'll get experience points.

Winter in PA typically is December thru March. Our first few snows in Nov and Dec are just dustings. Jan and Feb and sometimes March we get the heaviest snowfall, several inches to perhaps a foot or two. Ponds freeze solid enough to skate by late Jan or Feb.

There are exceptions -- we had a blizzard once on Halloween, I went running (comfortably) in shorts and no shirt on a 70 degree New Years Day, we had a bad blizzard March 17 of the year I was married where snowfall was measured in feet, and the roads looked like huge WWI trenches when they were finally cleared. We later had snow in the mountains the week before I was married (May 1st).

Common sense says that atop a windy mountain, even summer can feel chilly.

I don't want to belabor the point, I have mentioned it before, but it's been awhile. The EMP pulse from WWIII has effected weather worldwide, making all conditions abit more extreme. Here are but a few.

The "nuclear winter" effects seen in such movies as "The Day After" et al (overcast, rain, snow, general drop in temps, dreary), were in effect from mid 1999 thru earlier in 2003, (when it was tough to distinguish from "normal" winter. So you are only recently coming out of the effects in MAY of 2003.

Most experts agree the movie portrayed the *best case scenario*.

The ozone layer is shot from EMP and the puncturing of the layer by literally 1000s of ICBMs from all of the combatants. So when the sun breaks thru the cloud layer from nuclear winter, it might not necessarily be hot, but the sun's rays are more likely to cause skin and retinal damage. I tan easily (Saxon blood...), but this situation would be like the unexpected scorching I got in early April one year -- not normally tanning season in PA.

Lightning storms are more frequent and more severe/violent, due to EMP residual effects. This may have an effect on radios and other electronic devices.

Other environmental effects have been felt in PA. The Susquehanna River, (which means "very wide river" in Indian) normally is quite shallow (can wade across at various points when dry in summer). However, due to lack of flood control upriver (Scranton / Wilkes Barre, hmmm?), and industrial accidents in the same area, the river is even wider and deeper, which was why it was such an obstacle earlier in the game. Plus some industrious person blew 2 of the bridges in the Central Susquehanna Region to provide additional barriers against enemies. (Name the person, and get some experience points!)

Similarly, PA is not generally a place where earthquakes occur, at least not like California, India, Nicaragua, China etc. Three times in my lifetime I've felt minor tremors, and it was scarier than anything I've ever experienced. After doing some research, I found out PA is along a major fault line which roughly follows the Appalachian Mountain Chain. The tremors and quakes in CA tend to relieve the stress on the fault line. PA's tremors haven't had that relief, and maybe not soon, but someday...

I will try to give a little more in my posts about the weather and atmospheric conditions, so that everyone has a better picture as to what's going on.

Enough already!

Wiz agrees, the prisoners could work some sort of detail building and fortifying houses. As for interrogating them, where, why, how's, etc would be helpful. Ohh, and Wiz is pissed off after last night and after having to run away, his life barely intact. So his agression is going to be spent somewhere, most likely on these prisoners if they don't answer him to his full satisfication.

Definately, the more men we have, the better. Let them know that we can't pay a lot, if any, but we provide protection, somewhat, and a community. Plus, remind them of the great USA, the cause that they are fighting to rebuild.

Let her handle it for now, maybe an inspirational speech from Sherman will give her the power to exert authority over them. If anything more arises, Sherman has full authority to step in and put those guys in line. It would be better, however, to not have to step sort of undermines Brooke's power on the men if she can't handle them herself..

Again, agreed. But De La Croix is an businessman, he'll have to get something out of it. Maybe letting him be the middle man in the exchanges will make him happier...something.

If we stay or not all depends on if there appear to be any good spots around. Personally, Wiz would like a farther away spot, not one likely to attack again. But if nothing looks promising, its about time to settle in and build fortifications..

Wiz wakens and takes care of a few mudane matters before meeting Sherman in the HQ. They discuss Sherman's ideas and Wiz gives his thoughts on the matter, then leaves Sherman to carry them out. That done, Wiz checks with Robbo and Wu, seeing what they have turned up with the radio. Probably nothing, so he moves on to his fallen project, the balloon. Wiz questions the men that unpacked it as to the man with the most technical experience here, engineering wise. He needs someone to take over the part he played of army engineer, and someone has to have the knowledge. (GM - feel free to introduce a new npc if one exists.) Not wanting to hand his baby over to someone else, he does anyway, wanting it up and flying as quickly as possible.

The rest of his afternoon is spent getting some of the men to weave nets that can be used to catch fish and trying to think of a way to build traps to catch deer. Or better yet, why don't they just domesticate them? Decisions, decisions.

[Sherman] Concerned that Danvers may be waiting for something to happen. Sherman will order some of the militia to take the pick up and head a few hours east. They will find a good place to observe the road and report back via radio should they see any unusual traffic, heading our way. This will be discussed with Wiz, if something is coming, some early warning would sure be useful.

Sherman will then continue with the interrogation of all three prisoners. Especially with Jim Danvers who seems to be cracking first. Sherman will discuss with Hannah if she would be willing to act 'sympathetic' towards Danvers, Hannah isn't a soldier so Danvers might not be as careful around her. Maybe she could let slip something (that Danvers has actually been with us a few days and has only just regained consciousness).



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