The Keystone Division after WW3
Gimme Shelter

Thank God for Wiz's smoke grenades...

Sherman had much to do -- the new arrivals were welcomed, but with a watchful eye. The new CO was bedded down in his new quarters. The guy did bring a tidy little pile of equipment and weapons for the 3/103rd. This mole or traitor thing had to be resolved, and fast, or everything would be for naught. Sherman figured he could keep busy by asking a few things here and there, ostensibly to get to know the newcomers, and perhaps see if they had any ideas about anything of use, or about Stryfe and his forces. As to that person, he played it calm and cool, not like a cop interrogating someone, but rather a friendly neighbor just looking for some news...

Wiz was anxious (again!) to get the balloon up in the air, but the Major was right -- joyriding, even if some intel could be had from it -- would not be an efficient or wise use of something so valuable. It seemed that the moment the burden of command was lifted from Wiz's shoulder, that 10 other things, and heavier things at that, were added to his load. But it was back to the satellite uplink and PC, as per the Major. Fine. No problem. A fixed and specific goal. Wiz could handle that easily. Sure, if he could manage to crack the codes to unlock whatever sats still might orbit this God-awful rock that the Earth had become. Oh well, maybe Berger could help with some of the math -- Discrete Structures never was one of Wiz's favorite courses at Carnegie Mellon...

Robbo also had alot on his plate. Training the militia, well, snap my finger, you're trained. But the CO had given him freedom to get the job down, however he saw fit, so... Perhaps an early stop would be with Berger in S-4, to see what equipment was available with which to train the civvies. Then probably back to Wiz's S-1 people, to allocate some space to conduct said training. And then maybe Admin could tell him just who he could train, and when he could do it... they're bound to be doin' something else around here for at least part of the time... Then fortify this place! No earthmoving equipment? Ha! The high ground isn't always the best terrain. And this park is huge -- abit big for 50-odd militia to cover. Crap, that's a platoon. It was obvious that more manpower was needed to do the job. There were a little more than 50 people in the work crew. That might be the place to start. So again, another thing to bring up with Admin. Well, maybe we could fabricate some more quickie telegraph sets. Shouldn't be too hard. As if that wasn't enough, the CO said he had an OP in mind for the evening. Robbo could bet even-steven he would be detailed to that one...

Cunningham was beat. Bushed. Whipped. Done. But he was no stranger to working under this condition, the only difference was it was usually as a result of a bottle or more of Johnny Walker Red. Well, he had this chance to turn things around, to do something that mattered. He would do his best. First on the list was Delacroix. Sean had only known him slightly, but that relationship would have to develope, but there really wasn't time. Sean was in charge, and could either pussy-foot around, or grab the bull by the horns, or somewhere in between. At any rate, he had better find Delacroix and get to work. As for recruits, well, Shite, just go down to the local hiring hall, and... Oh, that closed when cholera broke out, well, fuck me, I'm screwed. Better start pounding the pavement, or what's left of it anyway.

Sherman learned a few interesting bits and pieces. There are actually quite a few people living outside the park along RT 192, mostly east of the camp. Maybe this could be passed on to his roomie Sean, as Sean was in charge of CIV AFFAIRS and recruiting...

A few people mentioned some military vehicles at various Legion [OOC- American Legion] and VFW [OOC- Veterans of Foreign Wars] Lodges. They're probably long rusted shut, or maybe welded shut for safety. They've probably been deactivated. But it might be worth checking into. Let's see the list went: New Berlin Legion, Lewisburg Legion (crap, we just left that town...), Danville Legion, and Selinsgrove VFW.

Also, a lead on some earthmoving equipment had surfaced. One of the Amish or Mennonites, it was hard to tell them apart, since some dressed one way, and didn't drive cars, while others did, but anyway, one of these farmers said he had a "Bobcat", a small bulldozer-like thing, back on his abandoned farm. The place was just outside of Harlton, yes that's the same town as Hartleton. "It worked last year. If you want it, it's yours. I'll show you where."

Oh, and some old timer, a former WWII 28th DIV man, says the Division Shrine is in Boalsburg, and there was a memorial park with an M8 Greyhound, a Jeep or two, and a Sherman. The Greyhound was running a few years ago for an Anniversary Exhibition. The old guy was kinda loopy though. Kept talking about the Hurtgen Forest, and him helping SGT Sherman whip the SOB Krauts, once and forever.

Hannah seemed overly friendly, almost like she was... buttering up Sherman. Could she be the traitor? She did have a thing for older men in command... Maybe Stryfe got to her. Sherman noted to himself to see how she reacted to MAJ Raven. In fact, Sherman noted to himself to see how MAJ Raven acted to everyone. Sherman did notice a thick photo album that was left on the table in the CP. It had Raven's name on the spine...
Wiz started in on the PC and uplink. The PC had weathered the recent action admirably, and wasn't even scratched, thanks in no small part to the care given to it by the young LT. Wiz hooked up the PC and uplink, and just for shits and giggles, dialed up some of the DOD stuff using the logons MAJ von Fischer had given him, to see what was out there...


The DOD net was intact! If not for the date and time displayed in the lower right corner of the screen, Wiz would swear it was 1996 or something. Curious as hell, he opened a few field manuals, noodled around with recent! news, and found plenty to look at, that left him wanting for more.

Most notably, the satellite servers were in fact up and running...

But he also wondered what, if anything, could others on the net know of his activities? If the net was up, that was great. But it would really suck if he inadvertantly gave out a position or an indentity. Should he continue, or turn the freakin thing off, or at least consult someone else?

On the positive side, one of the militia mentioned an armored car in Selinsgrove. "No not a military one. One like banks haul money in. Down on Main Street, about a block from the First National Bank."
Sean pushed it, but with his wounds, and everything that happened in the past few days, he was near collapse. He could maybe work two more hours....

8 May 2003 / 1100 Hrs
3/103rd Camp / Halfway Dam

The initial talks with the ex POW's went well. He noted down what they had told him. Sherman was not convinced that looking for old world war two vehicles would prove useful. What good would a fifty year old Sherman tank be and even if it did actually work where would you get ammo for its gun? Still he had found out about the bobcat though. And the Amish or was he a Mennonites farmer, told him that it was still running last year. Now that was something which they could use. Just go pick it up from outside of Harlton. At last a little bit of easy luck for the 3/103rd.

Sherman made his way back to his quarters in the Dressing Stockade. A few militia members were inside either asleep or just lounging around reading, smoking and talking amongst themselves. He only knew a few of them by name but knew all the faces. He did note some of the female members of the militia were also present. But then they did share the place in there own sectioned off area. What could he do? They were bound to fraternize. Most of the militia were young men, boys almost. And they were right next door to a group of young women. Nature was bound to take its course..... So long as operational effectiveness wasn't compromised he didn't consider it a problem. It was just like a college dorm, he even had his own 'roomie'.

Sean Patrick Cunningham his room mate once again. The two men did not exactly get along. Sherman was sure that Cunningham purposely tried to annoy him. But he would never admit it to the other man, for fear of letting Cunningham 'win' the game. Sean was sprawled out on his bunk asleep. Guinness his dog lay on the floor, it opened one eye and lazily looked at him as if to say "oh its only you" and promptly went back to sleep. Sherman didn't know all the details about events at Freetown but he had figured that Sean and Berger were captured by mutineers, Berger escaped and Sean was left behind. No doubt to suffer the torments of his captors. Sherman was going to pass on some of what he learnt from Sean's fellow POW's, but decided he would let Cunningham rest. The information could wait.

Sherman's mind went back to his priority task. That of finding out who was the spy. He did not know where to begin. He had crossed out a few suspects. Berger and Sean for starters, Wiz, Robbo he was pretty certain they were not involved. But that still left about 180 other suspects. The spy had to have a radio or some why of passing on any information he or she learnt. Sherman hoped it was a radio as that would mean there was only one traitor instead of maybe a ring of spies. Who could of Stryfe got to. What hold did he have over the spy? Sherman was no detective, he sure wished Jack Martigen was here to help. The camp was relying on him to find the spy and Sherman wasn't sure if he could.

Have to start somewhere. Sherman walked over to the nearby Camp Hospital. A glorified title for a First Aid Station.

Sherman entered and nodded at Tina Yates, the camps only qualified medical technician. He didn't know her very well. He knew she was a nurse at Lewisburg, was regular army and ended up here after they were overrun. Though she did remind him of some famous Hollywood actress... yeah Cybil Sheppherd that was who.

(Sherman will begin talking with Yates. Initially about the state of Jim Danvers and if anyone else has come to visit him or enquired about him. Then about Hannah Mordecai, how is she doing etc After that Sherman will steer the conversation around to her. How are things going, how is she doing, any problems. Just routine friendly questions. Maybe ask a bit about her background, family etc "So why did you become a nurse?", "You have any family in these parts?". Sherman will try and make his questioning seem like just an innocent friendly chat. One of the things Sherman learnt as a cop was to be a good listener. Find something the other person wants to talk about and then all you had to do was listen. Using his interrogate skill to ask the right questions and correctly interpret the responses. Also his observation skill who knows what he may pick up. He will try not to be to pushy and will back off if he thinks Yates suspects he is being too nosey. Which of course she will be seeing as how Sherman has nevered bothered to talk with her much before.)

Robbo was still in a daze over his new jobs. He had only just gotten back into the swing of running a CP, after his time acting as a spec ops man, and a messenger. His mind was trying to drag himself back to his days in a section, over ten years before, and what he had been taught back then. That wasn't as easy as it might have been. He had barely seen the outside of this new camp before today, 90% of his time spent getting the CP up and running, and now he was expected to get the whole training job up & running? And no doubt he'd be needed to help with radios, and this OP tonight as well.

Maybe he could kill two bird with one stone, and start his new recruits in building defenses. That all important lesson in handling a shovel and digging out a pit. But where did the new CO want the pits dug? That decision was always far above the section commander, it was the OC's job.

Robbo shook his head.

~ Soldiers Omelette recipe. First step, steal eggs. Need tools to dig the pits, wherever they need to be. Then I can worry about where, and who. ~

Robbo found Berger, all right. The bum was asleep in his corner of the pavillion, and his wife glared at Robbo, knowing that the Aussie was here to see Berger. Of course, Berger had disturbed more than a few days and nights of Robbo's slumber, and there was work to be done...

At least Robbo had a place of his own should he be interested in some sleep sometime in the next 1000 years. Course, it was right close to the armory. One grenade in there, and Robbo would be taking a LONG sleep...

"Sorry to disturb you mate, but I need to know what we've got available by way of digging tools."

[Berger] (yawning, then laughing)
"OK Mate, now we're even. And while we're at it, I've some questions about how you want to handle some of the OPs that relate to supply -- stuff like scrounging and foraging" Berger rolled out of bed, and pulled on his fatigues. Berger led Robbo out of Pavillion #2, and a few meters away, under a stand of poplars and pines, past a guard, and into the supply tent. He instantly assumed the role of helpful shopkeeper.

"What are we digging, today sir? Latrines? Bear-traps? Or the ever-popular 6x2 for the long sleep?" He clammed up after the little bit of dark humor. Berger came up with a rusty wheelbarrel, and equipped it with 4 shovels and 3 picks, and some improvised thing that looked like a digging iron, but that wasn't *really* a digging iron. "Sign here, CPL. I haven't logged even a tenth of what we have, but at least I know what's *not* here. Where are you digging, and what are you building?"

"Around here, and we're digging defences. Still haven't decided exactly what though."

Berger continued. "OK Corp, my turn. What do you in OPs need from me in SUPPLY if I want to run some scrounge / forage missions? How do I allocate troops and workers to do the OP, and, shit, well, just tell me what to do! I could probably make your life impossible with too many requests for little stuff, or too much detail. I don't wanna. We gotta get stuff done with as minimal sweat as possible. But I wanna do it the right way. So take that Bobcat down in Harleton. The Amish guy knows where it is. I would go along, and probably Petey Slade to get the thing running if it needs it. Maybe 1 or 2 other guys for security, and say the dumptruck for transport, cos that thing'll probably not make it up the mountain. We'd move out at night, work on it during daylight if it needs it, and then scoot back at night. Am I even close here?"

"That sounds reasonable to me, but that sort of planning is usually about 5 miles above my head. I'm not used to leading more than a section of blokes around. This new job of mine is a rather big step up the chain."

"As for training, I'm not sure who needs to be trained, but I'll tell you this -- if I could get away from the 1000 other things I'm doing, I'd like to sit in on it. I'm just a citizen soldier. I never did Basic or anything. There's more to this than what I learned on the shootin' range. So I'd sit in on your training if I could be spared from other BS. I think others should, too. Sean isn't military, I don't think. Most of the militia will be tough to teach -- the first aid, recreation, and literacy programs my wife and I ran last winter showed me that. I think every last person in the Camp should be trained. If they're old enough to hold a rifle, train 'em. Anyway, I was a teacher before all this mess, and I also taught CPR and first aid for the Red Cross. So if you need help, I'm here. Whatever supplies you need, we'll work something out."

"Not a problem mate. You've probably taught yourself most of the stuff I'll be teaching, but you're welcome to sit in."

Later that day, around Noon, Robbo had nearly the entire Camp assemble, and briefly explained his training plans. He was able to pull out 7 fairly decent troopers from the militia, and briefed them for tonite's OP.


The basic idea is a collapsable defence, with a series of bunkers that can be used to fall back to if the outermost bunkers are overrun. Then at the very center of camp is a trenchline and barbed wire enclosure, the "Alamo", if you will. We don't have enough manpower or resources to hold the entire camp, so the "Alamo" encloses the most important parts of the camp, the CP, hospital, vehicles, and some of the housing.

Just to explain some of the details, the existing structures are in black, and the proposed structures are in red. The four Abatis' are what I had mentioned before. The roadblock at the bottom of the map is just a series of felled trees, to limit access to the camp. The revetments on the outer edges of the camp are dug out of the ground, so that a vehicle can park inside it, and have only its weapon exposed. The large Revetment area inside the Alamo, where the vehicles are currently parked, are simply the picnic tabletops connected together and with dirt piled up against them. That way any incoming fire or mortars will hopefully be stopped by the dirt, and if one vehicle does get hit, the other vehicles won't be damaged. The Civilian shelter is a basically an underground bomb shelter. We may need to make several small shelters, instead of one large one. I'm not sure about that one.

Of course, we will need to lay out a series of booby-traps and claymores to help with the defence. I didn't put those on the map, it was starting to get a little crowded.

Just one point, I think the trench line should include the shore of the lake, otherwise we're wide open if the bad guys want to pretend that they're navy seals. Not a big risk, but even a thin trench line might discourage them from trying it.

I made a couple of minor errors on the map. You may have noticed that there are 2 Bunkers marked #3 on the map. The one in the bottom right corner should be marked Bunker #4. Also, The Abatis on the right-hand side of the map should be to the left of the fork on Sand Mountain Road, not the right like it's marked.

In response to Robbo, wrapping the trenchline to include the lake shoreline is probably a good idea. The only potential problem that I can see is a possibility of the trench being flooded from the lake. It would depend on the level of the water table. When I was in Basic Training, we couldn't use the fighting positions we had dug because they had filled to the top with water!

As for the Civilian bomb shelter, I'm leaning towards several small shelters, as opposed to one large one. Putting all of our eggs in one basket makes me a little nervous.

But even if the shoreline defences are only 2 or 3 surface bunkers and a communications trench with raised sandbag walls, its better than nothing. Bastard wire (single strand Barbed wire, on 12 inch star pickets, in a random pattern( around the lake shore would slow any unwelcome visitors as well.

Several smaller shelters might be easier to build as well. Certainly easier to hide around the place.

[GM] Summary of Robbo's training plan for militia:

All lessons will include random bits of revision, with lots on marksmanship.

Presumably only a section or two will be available to train at any one time. This will be a one week basic course, more advanced stuff will be taught once everyone has the basics down pat.

Day one - Weapons drills including cleaning, Stoppage drills, principles of marksmanship, etc.

Day two - Why things are seen, how not to be seen, How to move in the field, field signals

Day three - Basic section formations, Contact drills.

Day four - Morning, day, evening and night routines, more contact drills, intro to section attacks

Day five - Section attacks, advanced drills inc Fire control orders.

Day six - section attacks & ambushing

Day seven - Make & mend day, admin day, etc.

Back to other duties after that.



Copyright 2001, by ERIC. Teach your children well... All Rights Reserved