Duck and Cover! An American Spinoff of Protect and Survive.


Part V: Where Angels Dare to Tread

The Rabbit and the Coyote [3]:


Transcript MARS Station 15, eastern Nevada.

Hello? Hello?
Station 15 (S15): Hello! This is James MacDaniels representing the Nevada section of MARS, who are you?

Unidentified Station (US): Hello! Good god Nevada?

S15: Yeah, I’m from Nevada, where are you from?


S15: Hello are you still out there?

US: Taos, it’s all that’s left.
The days after OPERATION INTERCEPT brought many new challenges to the government of Nevada. The radio chatter during the mission alerted the surrounding state governments to their survival. Formal contact with the surviving government in New Mexico, based out of Taos, was quickly established. While the states could provide little assistance to each other, it was comforting to know that there were other survivors out there.

In the initial days following the Nevadan government’s recognition of the Taos government, very little changed for your average Nevadan, power was still fading in and out, food was still scarce.

The few refugees that did survive the strikes were still sick with radiation poisoning in the few remaining hospitals, a side effect of urbanization. Combined with inhospitable conditions between the towns, few of the sick refugees survived the trek across the desert on foot.

The emigration from Mexico had dropped dramatically after OPERATION INTERCEPT. The Nevadans had speculated that the Mexicans realized that the US was in worse shape than Mexico. Perhaps, they hoped, the conditions in Northern Mexico were not as bad as the Nevadans were led to believe.

However their guesses were far from the truth. In actuality the large porous and unprotected border with Texas proved an easier target for fleeing refugees. Millions would cross the Rio Grande on bridges, travel across in makeshift flotillas, or simply wade across shallow areas in the coming summer months.

A light detachment of National Guard troops were left on the border to help the local “militias” should any disturbances on the border flare up. The rest of the National Guard troops are sent on various missions throughout the state.

A small detachment of National Guard soldiers is sent to the north to try and make contact with any survivors in Utah. After days by truck and by helicopter, they arrived on the Utah border. Hesitantly they crossed. Their jeeps rushed across the desert, past abandoned towns, and monotonous miles of desert.

*Stopping overnight, they stay in an empty supermarket in an empty town. After midnight the sentry woke the rest of the group up, there was a truck bouncing down the highway, and the driver and passengers were armed. The Nevadans hastily barricaded themselves behind shelves and cash registers. The Officer grabs his sidearm and walks into the center of the street.

MARS station 7 in North West Nevada picks up two unusual signals that night.

*This is the Voice of America, broadcasting to you tonight from beautiful Columbia, Washington. Tonight we will be having the President on air for his comments on the Corpse Crisis


*You want to do it?

Why not the border is practically undefended.

Yeah man, but it’s the actual government. Everyone says so.

No WE are all that is left.You don’t want to get in trouble with the General do you?

No, but come on man, you saw those jets.

And we did shoot one down didn’t we?

The message from the Voice of America is what causes the government to start an investigation into the Columbia rumors. After hours of every MARS station and HAM radio in range searching as many frequencies physically possible. Eventually a line between the two governments is connected. The Governor was up all night on the radio. The second message is ignored.

By the end of the week it is announced that a group representing the new government will be flying down from Columbia to visit Nevada. Included is the new President who will attempt to get the people to accept annexation into the Provisional government's control. Much of the government is ecstatic, the weeks of being alone have been lifted twice in two days. However much of the populous is skeptical. Is Ronald Regan alive? And is he doing in Washington? Where in the hell is Columbia, it's not on the map? These questions were hurled at the Governor at his next Town Hall meeting. While he tried to answer as best as he could (we don't know, we don't know, and we don't know respectively.)

*Knock! Knock!


Knock Knock.

“Hold on one minute” says the muffled voice behind the door. In a second it is thrown open.

”Oh my god! You’re alive!”

“Yeah sis I am. How’s the Kid?”

“Oh wait a second. Hey come to the door, your Aunt’s here! Oh my god you’re alive!”

The reunion between The Singer and her Sister drove pangs of sorrow through Rabbit. He hadn’t seen his family in years. The last he had heard, his sister had moved away from the city, his mother died of leukemia, and his dad. Well, he had never met his dad.

Observing the tearful family reunion he had never felt more alone. Though he had kept up a happy façade, the Rabbit had been smothered in depression for the last day or so. This was pushing him over the edge. He went back to the Ice-Cream truck and grabbed their bags out of the back.

After depositing the bags on the doorstep, the Rabbit clamored into the back of the truck. He slid the door open on the freezer and pulled out the last box of ice-cream sandwiches. It looked lonely in there. He carried it with him into the house.

The first person he ran into was the Kid. The Singer’s voice drifted from another room. “We can stay in the guest bedroom until we get our own place.” The Kid pointed to the box. “Is that really ice-cream?” he asked. “Sure kid it is real. Do you want some?” The Kid broke into a sad smile. “I would if I weren’t lactose intolerant.” he poorly pronounced the last two words. The Rabbit looked back, “Me too kid. Me too.”
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The official name is the "Cleveland Temporary Emergency Dollar," officially called the dollar and the most common colloquialism is the Dollar. Its nickname (like the term Buck for the American Dollar) is the Kilo, because its value is based upon the Kilocalorie. However, 1 Cleveland Dollar is not worth 1 Kilocalorie, but 100 Kilocalories similar to how the $1 bill is worth 100 cents.

Thanks for the advice,

-Gen_Patton :)

Thanks for the illustation, that was very interesting. :) People who didn't lose their sense of sarcasm might call it the "Cleveland Temporary Edible Dollar".
“I would if I weren’t lactose intolerant.” he poorly pronounced the last two words. The Rabbit looked back, “Me too kid. Me too.”

Homer Simpson said:
Homer: Son, I will not stand for intolerance, you give this delightful frozen treat the same respect you would give any lactose free food. God Bless America!

Boy: But my doctor says that ...

Homer: I said God Bless America![\QUOTE]

Part V: Where Angels Dare to Tread

The Stars at Night [3]:

The Pioneers slowly made their way up both the Brazos and the Colorado River valleys. Most marched on foot, dragging behind them a wagon, on their backs a backpack, and over their shoulders a hoe, pick or another agricultural hand tool. The luckier wagon trains had horse or cattle drawn wagons carrying most of the heaviest or bulkiest supplies.

Yet others wormed their way upstream in a hodge-podge of small man or sail powered water craft. The refugees taking the water route were going the farthest, and the boats were a concession. Nobody should have to walk that far.

Bandit attacks on the wagon trains grew more frequent the farther they wandered upstream from College Station. Many refugee “wagon trains” were heavily armed, and would fight to the death. However the supplies of food, corn, and commodities made them ripe targets for attack.

The bandit problem was compounded by Mexican refugees pouring over the Rio Grande. Much like the situation in Nevada and New Mexico, following these refugees were Mexican bandidos. Made of a mixture of shattered military units, criminal gangs, desperate refugees, religious nuts, and uniquely, communists, the bandidos had become a major problem for the fragile Texan government.

Unable to adequately control the previous border with Mexico, the new Governor, had declared an emergency border at the Colorado River. Mass anger erupted at the announcement, the state was nearly cut in half, and there were thousands of Americans that would have to move behind the River if they hoped to stay American.

The border rearrangement was twofold. First, it consolidated the area that the National Guard units would have to patrol, and it eliminated much of the desert towns, the government would have to supply.

Much of the area behind the Colorado River received above desert level rain fall, and contained 90% of the states fertile land. Anything much farther south would be too arid and too lawless to properly farm or rebuild and was left to dust.

Yet, the while the new border gave the government time to establish a form of border security, it was still far too large for the already stretched National Guard to patrol. After frantic and heated debate, including the longest filibuster in Texas history (26 hours), a solution was issued though it made no one happy.

Radio contact was made with surviving Mexican hierarchy in the Yucatan. After heated debate, the Mexican government finally too agreed to the plan.

Both the Texans and the Mexicans broadcast the same message to any surviving units of the Mexican Military and Federal Police. Go north to Texas. Join the Americans. It’s your only hope.

The strikes in Northern Mexico were dramatic. Most border cities as well as major airfields were hit by Soviet warheads. Mexico City was struck by 6 missiles alone, the same number as New York City. It seemed like lunacy, there was no point in attacking Mexico at first.

Upon further thought Mexico did seem to be a prime target. Mexico was a major manufacturing hub as many American companies moved there to lower costs.

Attacking the border towns would spill as much American as Mexican life as well as create chaos along America’s southern border making reconstruction difficult as troops would be needed to pacify the border.

Also the strikes would deny America many American designed airports large enough for strategic bombers to land. The goal of the Soviets was simple, deny, deny, deny.

A surprising number of soldiers and police did eventually go to America. Over the course of the next few days, nearly 1,000 members of the Mexican armed forces or Federal Police surrendered themselves to the Americans. Hundreds more would come over the next months as the situation in northern Mexico deteriorated further.

Besides helping patrolling the border the new Tejanos performed a niche role of helping run many refugee input centers along the Colorado River. Their ability to speak Spanish helped slowly reduce the language barrier between the Anglo-Americans and the new Mexican-Americans. Traces of spanglish began to appear in everyday life and more and more Mexican refugees poured over the border.

All in all Governor Bush’s plans were working well. The border cession reduced pressures on men and fuel, and still kept most of the arable land inside of Texan soil. The Pioneer Project was working well, though there were some kinks in the system.

The refugees became kind of share croppers on the massive tracts of land. Whole Medieval European villages could be founded on many pre-war American farms, and now villages were formed on American farms.

A sharecropping system was established. The refugees would till the soil alongside the locals, who would get a share of the crops to be sold at market. It is still to be determined how well the system would work.

*The Lieutenant’s eyes darted between all the targets, well over twenty of them he thought. The Captain was still standing in the middle of the road shouting for their leader to appear.

*The Convert crouched behind the barricade. He gripped the rifle with dear life. He had never used this kind of a gun before and the small amount of practice (mostly firing whole magazines on full automatic at empty bottles) he did have only made him more nervous. He couldn’t shoot worth a dam.


*”They fired on US!” The Lieutenant threw himself to the ground. Brought his rifle up and began to fire.

*”They fired on US!” The Convert threw himself behind the barricade and began to fire blindly over the side.

*The Captain was shot. The Lieutenant crawled up and began to pull him back. The rest of the squad began to fire over his head. Bullets whipped past. The red line following the Captain didn’t bode well.

*The Convert crouched and began to take aim. There were only a hand full of the “soldiers” (more likely raiders) but damn they were good shots. The man to his left fell, his brains flying all over the street. The Convert took careful aim. Braaaaaaap! And missed. DAMN!

*The Lieutenant pulled the Captain behind a bush. “MEDIC!” He pulled a bandage out of his web gear and put pressure on the wound in the Captain chest. It didn’t seem to be working. “MEDIC!”

*The firefight was still raging. The Convert took aim at the leader of the gang behind the bush. He remembered his breathing and fired again. BRAAAAAAP! Miss. Damn again!

*The Cadet ducked as another poorly aimed burst flew over his head. The Medic ran crouching up. She furiously began working on the Captain. She gave the Lieutenant a worried look. “Unless we get him proper medical treatment he’s not going to make it.” The Lieutenant began to crawl to the nearest soldier. They couldn’t survive. They were out manned if not out gunned. As much as he hated to admit it his first skirmish was going to end in defeat. The Captain needed real medical treatment. They had to go. Now.

*The “soldiers” began to pull back. Placing a figure on a stretcher between two horses they took off. The Convert smiled, God was truly on their side. Other defenders of the faith began to cheer. They had won. There was an extravagant celebration that night. The Convert went home with a beautiful young woman on his arm. It was good to be a Defender of the Faith.
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Thanks for the illustation, that was very interesting. :) People who didn't lose their sense of sarcasm might call it the "Cleveland Temporary Edible Dollar".

Yeah that's funny. Going in the next Cleveland update.

Homer Simpson said:
Homer: Son, I will not stand for intolerance, you give this delightful frozen treat the same respect you would give any lactose free food. God Bless America!

Boy: But my doctor says that ...

Homer: I said God Bless America![\QUOTE]

I wonder if lactose intolerance is considered discrimination by the Civil Rights Act? :D
The future incarnation of Mexico will likely be a even closer US ally, given the shelter given to refugees.

Keep it up, Gen_Patton
Another update tonight! Thanks for all your support!

Thank you for the clarification on Mexico. That made things a lot clearer.

You're quite welcome. :)

The future incarnation of Mexico will likely be a even closer US ally, given the shelter given to refugees.

Keep it up, Gen_Patton

I'm not quite sure that is very accurate. The ONLY reason Mexico was smashed as hard as it was was because of Mexico's close relationship with the United Sates. If anything it may convince the Mexican survivors to be antagonistic toward the US.
Part V: Where Angels Dare to Tread

Pax Americana [3]:

Unusual rumors began to circulate among the refugees, especially the African-American ones. Many reported to be the only survivors of a slaughters, their whole neighborhoods were burned to the ground.

Stories circulated of people being forced to dig their own graves before being executed. Reports of rape were rampant as well were stories of mass cross burning rallies emanating from one place, Stone Mountain.

The Secretary had waved off the rumors of violence surrounding Stone Mountain as little more than extra-zealous bandits. He couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

However some members of the white clad gangs began to get bored. They proposed armed, and en masse to topple the government in Rome. Then they could truly get to “purify their sacred ground.”

Faced by hundreds of angry psychotic men armed to the teeth, the Grand Dragon sanctioned an “insurgency movement” to topple the Roman government. He hoped that it did not cause the end of their movment.

The growing insurgency was slowly approaching a fever pitch. Practically every surviving racist had made their way by some form or another to Stone Mountain. Within a week the small probing skirmishes spiraled into a full out war. They had one goal. Conquest.

The KKK gangs made their way North West, slowly burning their way up Route 401. Traveling in stolen pickup trucks, the KKK had informal scouting parties. They would stop in a town, shoot a few people, steal more gas and drive even farther north. While little actual information was passed back by these groups, they did manage to panic people and cause even more chaos.

Behind them milled a force numbering close to 2,000 members of various “white power” groups. Nazis marched side by side with Confederate Secessionists, Survivalists, Religious Fundamentalists, Political Militias, and most notably with their white robes and blazing torches, the KKK.

When the masses went into towns, some would round up the African-Americans, Jews, Catholics (especially priests) and lynch them. Others would steal food, gasoline, guns, and ammunition. Yet others would burn houses, and in most rape and torture anyone unlucky enough to be caught.

The various crimes committed by different members of different groups only caused the just hidden splits in their movements to crack wider. Fights in between the vastly different groups were almost as common as their raids on towns. Most of the Religious Fundamentalists disagreed with the rapes. The Nazi’s were upset with the killings of Catholics, and survivors were angry about the burning of houses, which could hold vital supplies when the government eventually collapsed. Their infighting slowed the column down, buying the government vital time.

The Roman government was slow to respond in kind. Elements of the 82nd Airborne, Alabama, Georgia, and newly integrated Virginia National Guard, struck back with limited ferocity. In the vital hours it took the Army to consolidate a sizable force, many small towns were left to defend on their own. The smartest towns grabbed their belongings and fled north. Those that fought back were massacred.

The fleeing refugees from the violence slowed down the Army’s process of consolidation. Clogging the road fleeing crowds blocked truck traffic. What few armored vehicle that could be found were thrown into the mix causing problems as some tanks and halftrack were too wide for some roads, too heavy for some bridges, and too slow to keep traffic going.

The mobilization was becoming a mess.

Late on day one of the “war,” the “Alliance for American Values” ran into a company of paratroopers supported by a single rusty, outdated, Sherman tank. With little ammunition they managed to hold up the mob in the town of Acworth, for a period of a couple of hours, before retreating toward Rome.

It became evident that he rebels had split into two groups as the night wore on. A group of about 1,400 was marching up Route 401, while a smaller group of around 600 was heading down route 6 toward Dallas and up toward Rockmart. As they traveled north, the bandits spread out, taking every town they could find. This “take all” attitude further slowed their forces down and slowly communication with the leaders began to break down. What started as a consolidated force was weakened dramatically by the end of the first day.

A large hodge-podge Roman force was consolidated around Cartersville. Other smaller units were filtered in a large hemisphere in the towns just south of Rome.

The smaller forces were mostly infantry supported by a single armored unit or if they were lucky, a helicopter. Fighting for them was brutal and lopsided. Most of the “battles” they fought in were little more than massacres.

The Cartersville unit was in a much worse position. Facing a rapidly growing army, the HQ was set up in the Hilton just outside of town. From atop the roof they could see the vast stretch of Route 401 before them. Almost a dozen tanks, APCs and other armored vehicles of various qualities were quickly assembled with crews. A force of nearly 500 infantry was assembled out of local National Guard and police. Reinforcements were supposed to arrive throughout the next day. The Colonel hoped that they didn’t need to be used.

*The Farmer pulled the Piper Cub into a slow turn in the pre dawn darkness. Getting used to the controls after decades since Vietnam, he was surprised how quickly the lessons were coming back to him. Gentle slow movements; never let your airspeed drop too low. And finally use the fucking radio your job is to talk to the people.

Sitting in the co-pilot’s seat was another ex-pilot. The co-pilot had flown small observation craft for the Navy. But he wouldn’t be flying today. In his hands was an M-60 machine gun, which they had mounted on the console. The barrel poked through a small hole cut in the windshield of the aircraft. This was not an observation mission, but a ground attack one.

He grabbed the radio “alright what are we supposed to do?”

The Colonel’s voice crackled over the radio “We expect them to attack en masse right at or just before dawn. From what we can tell, their leaders know that if they don’t break through in a matter of minutes, their ‘men’ will give up and run. They have to do this once and right.”


“If we hit them hard here, we may shatter them quickly. Wait for us to tie them down, and then pounce. They should go down quickly.”

“Roger again.”

Slowly the sun began to rise. And the bastards began to attack. High above, the Farmer saw that it looked like they had thrown everyone in on this one assault.

“Why weren’t our tanks firing?” he asked the copilot.

“Probably the same reason we are, waiting for them to get tied down.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right.”

He couldn’t hear the noise of the gun fire below over the engine. The mob seemed to be slowing down. The final stragglers were beginning to assault the Roman firing positions.

“NOW!” the shout over the radio nearly deafened him. The burst from the machine gun did deafen him.

He pulled the Piper Cub flush with the assaulting mob and flew to strafing level. The sound from second burst of the M-60 exploded across the cockpit. The Farmer was reminded of the scene in The Longest Day when the two Luftwaffe fighters strafed the beach. Yet now the Nazis were on the other side.

The gunfire from the aircraft was cutting through the enemy “ranks.” As he turned around for a second pass, the tanks opened up.

The combined firepower of the tanks and the Farmer’s Piper Cub managed to break the enemy’s will. Within minutes they were turning tail and running.

“Initiate Phase II” crackled over the radio.

“Roger. Initiating Phase II” said the Farmer, surprised at the monotone in his voice after witnessing such a slaughter.

The tanks drove out of their firing pits, the men pulled themselves out of the foxholes, and the Piper was turned around for a third pass.

The co-pilot began to mow down the front ranks slowing down the men in the rear, giving time for the tanks and Roman infantry to catch up.

The tanks began to fire into the mass of fleeing enemy who were stumbling over each other’s bodies.

The infantry attacked, closing in to ridiculously short distances and emptied full magazines into the fleeing mob. Within minutes the attacking force of over1,000 had been reduced to the dozen or so who had the time or luck to surrender without being killed.

The Farmer turned the Piper Cub around and was heading back to the airfield. They were going on the offensive. They would probably need the plane.

During those panicking days, few heard or cared about the reports of what appeared to be a British bomber flying in from the north.
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"Nazis marched side by side with Confederate Secessionists, Survivalists, Religious Fundamentalists, Political Militias, and most notably with their white robes and blazing torches, the KKK.

Ain't nothin' quite like some good God Fearin' Klan :p

Gen_Patton -- You did it again. Great stuff :)

[FONT=&quot]Part V: Where Angels Dare to Tread[/FONT][FONT=&quot]

Paradise Lost [3]:[/FONT]

Within days since the arrival of the USS Nimitz, the sailors were trying to prove that they were useful. Perhaps guilty that they were not performing manual labor, their simple tasks while vital to keep the ships afloat were not as back breaking as the mass logging camps needed to keep the funeral pyres lit.

They quickly set about doing the best they could for the community. One of the aircraft carrier’s nuclear reactors was hastily refitted to produce power for the local area. The machine shop quickly set up shop and began to train new machinists. The small, but well trained medical staff provided what help they could. Within days the small “MASH” like hospital they set up was overflowing with the sick and wounded.

Life for the average sailor didn’t change much their jobs stayed the same. Washing and cleaning, an inspection, keeping the engines running and the ships floating was the monotonous pattern repeated day after day. The Aviators too, had little change in their schedule. With fuel being so precious, few flights were scheduled and of those that were scheduled, most were canceled again and again.

After weeks of boring monotony, some of the sailors volunteered the proposition of becoming “Naval Infantry.” Nowhere near a majority of the 7,000 sailors onboard needed to keep the ships afloat in port, and there had been rumors that a few of the Destroyers were going to be sunk in order to reduce the strain on fuel supplies. Many of the sailors wanted to do more than sit around a clean, and with pressure from the General (his recruits still needing more training to meet his standards) the Admiral reluctantly accepted the offer to create Naval Infantry.

The 1st Naval Infantry Regiment was formed. 3,000 of the best shots of the volunteers were given rushed training in infantry tactics. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were impressed with the sailors discipline, and began to integrate the Naval Infantry regiment in order to reduce the pressure on the National Guard units who had been working around the clock since the strikes.

The Marines also wanted to get in on the action. Finagling a couple of helicopters from the Carrier Air Wing, as well as some NBC suits, the Marines submitted and were accepted to run a reconnaissance mission for the Department of Strategic Resources.

A platoon of Marines was air lifted into the Black Zone outside of Seattle. The helicopters found an open field, and after the radiation level was determined to be low enough, the Sea Kings landed and powered off, no use wasting fuel. The Marines got out and began to march north, the pilots and crew chiefs set up a perimeter around the helicopters.

The Marines’ goal was to scout the Boeing aircraft factory in Renton. Moving as quickly and quietly as they could in the MOPP Gear the Marines began to head toward the factory. Finding a side door, and with the muffled shout of “GO!” a fireteam broke its way the factory. The Geiger counters dropping below dangerous levels, when the last man in the platoon was in, they closed the door and removed their masks.

Clicking on flashlights they Marines began to slowly search the empty factory. With no noise coming from outside an oppressive silence filled the compound. Nervously, the Marines began to walk through empty hallways and factory floors.

Opening a couple of duffel bags, they emptied the whole contents of offices inside. They began to grab production manuals, blue prints and factory schematics, anything that looked official or useful. Another squad went through with one of the schematics and began to take inventory of the machines. All seemed to be there, however none of them being factory workers, they couldn’t tell whether the machines would work had the power still been on.

Suddenly, one of the Marines shouted, he’d found something weird. Pointing to a desk lamp the other Marines watched as he flicked the switch. It harshly burst to light. There was power in the factory. Fumbling one of the Marines found the main power switch for the factory and flipped it. The lights began to flick on all along the factory. The machines began to hum and whir to life. There was power.

The Marines were puzzled. Searching outside they found in an annex to the factory. Entering inside they saw a row of generators. After turning the generators off, the Marines ran back to the helicopters. At least the factory could run. That’s all that they needed to know.

*OPERATION Freedom was going well. Contact with the Nevadan government had been an opportunity for good press. They proposed to help the Columbian Government and there were talks about re-annexing Nevada. The Chief of Staff sat in the new Air Force One and idly flipped through one of her briefs.

One, from the Department of Agriculture detailed plans of factory chicken and rabbit farms as well as building a new fishing fleet. They were still afraid that starvation will be harsh that winter, but they were trying hard to prevent it. Time would tell how well they would be doing.

The loss of a CAP plane over north California was not making for good press. The Chief of Staff quickly flipped through that report. After receiving reports of increased levels of bandit activity south of the border, they decided to send a plane to investigate. It didn’t return. Probably from mechanical troubles, and they hadn’t had time to send a second plane to investigate.

The Chief of Staff stood when the President walked into the plane, followed by some Secret Service agents. The Vice President would be in Air Force Two. He waved everyone else to sit down. He bore an ecstatic look on his face.

“I just received some important news. Our Nevadan friends have heard from their New Mexican friends, who heard from their Coloradan friends, that President Regan had been found. The wreck of the old Air Force One has been located outside of the town of Columbine. The Coloradoans report the president to be alive. I have approved a mission to recover the President, OPERATION PHOENIX. This news is being spread to all of the survivor communities that can be contacted. The whole world should know. Upon his return, I will give each one of you my resignation letter and run a small farm out in the country.”

The Chief of Staff was in shock. President Regan alive? She shook her head. He’d been missing for nearly a month. The news was almost unbelievable. There was wild chatter throughout the plane as they debated the implications. The question on all of their minds was “Is our government legal?”

The plane took off and crawled its way across the sky and over Northern California. They were taking the most direct route to Carson City, they had to save fuel, and make the flight as short as possible.

A puff of smoke on the ground caught someone’s attention…

“What was that?”

An explosion rocked the left side of the plane. They were losing altitude. The pilot shouted on the intercom that they were going to crash…

The plane ran into the ground, bounced, and tumbled. The sky and ground became all mixed up. Slowly the plane ground to a halt.
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Part VI: There Will Come Soft Rains

Operation Phoenix [4]:

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

Air Force Two landed at the Carson City airport on time. After explaining the situation (they had lost contact with Air Force One over California) to the Governor, the Vice President asked to use a radio. He was quickly rushed to the Governor’s private radio set where he put in a message to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Find the President. Now.

The Marine Platoon, still en route back to the USS Nimitz was re routed to the Klamath Falls Airport, home to the six remaining fighters of the Oregon Air National Guard training wing. As the Sea King helicopters were refueled, the Marines handed the duffel bags off to National Guard personnel, under orders to get the bags to Columbia.

At Columbia the papers and documents were slowly being copied. A surviving manager was located in a logging camp and trucked down to Columbia. The rolls of film were being rushed out to be developed, but the Polaroids would have to do for now. They had to get that factory working.

The Air National Guard detached two F-15 trainers, armed with cannons and air to ground missiles to escort the Marines. The rumor was that Air Force One had been shot down. They couldn’t be too careful.

The F-15 streaked across the sky over Northern California. Pulling a wild-weasel mission they were to draw any enemy anti-aircraft fire, and then attack the positions. The handful of white puffs followed by inaccurately fired Stinger missiles arching across the sky confirmed the rumor. Someone had shot Air Force One down. On purpose. The F-15’s dove in for the kill.

All the while OPERATION PHOENIX had to continue according to schedule. The two C-2 Greyhound cargo aircraft from the Carrier Air Wing were loaded up with fuel and a platoon Naval Infantry. The Department of Strategic Resources had green lighted the mission. All they needed now as a “go” order from MAILMAN, who was missing somewhere in the woods of Northern California.

After what seemed like days of searching, the Marines found the wreck of Air Force One in a heavily wooded area. The massive old growth trees made it impossible for the helicopters to land. The Marines would have to fast rope dangerously close to the wreck.

The Marines landed outside of the wreck and quickly set up a perimeter. Their medical teams routed through the wreck looking for any sign of life. All of passengers and crew were missing. The copious amounts of blood as well as dozens of shells of expended ammunition all pointed to one conclusion. Someone or something had attacked the aircraft and there were signs that at least a handful of people were still alive.

The Vice President opted to continue the meeting with the Nevadans, after reaching a quick and decisive conclusion: If the United States were to survive they cannot show weakness to anyone. After a short but heated debate in the Nevada legislature, the vote was finally cast. Nevada became the fourth state to ask to be readmitted to the United States of America. The Governor pledged to do all that he could do to help find the President. The Nevada National Guard was massed on the Northern California border.

Meanwhile the Planners of OPERATION PHOENIX were debating whether or not to postpone. The Naval Infantry troops would be needed to “sweep and clear” Northern California and they couldn’t logistically waste the fuel. There was great debate roaring through the night. Which President should be rescued first, Ronald Regan or MAILMAN?

“AMBUSH!” the Marines threw themselves to the ground as small arms fire opened up in the woods. The Marines concealed themselves in and around the plane and the Sea Kings buzzed overhead, holding their fire. The thick foliage made it impossible to determine who they were firing at.

Reports of the firefight quickly made their way to the Vice President. Taking on radio with the Congress as well as the Joint Chiefs of Staff he decided that OPERAION PHOENIX was to be postponed until they could locate MAILMAN. First things first.

The Greyhounds powered down and taxied back to the elevator. The Naval Infantry morosely walked down the ramps and off the carrier. They threw their gear into the back of some eighteen wheelers the National Guard had scrounged up, and sat down on busses. The Ensign stood up. They were going to be shipped down to the Oregon border where they were to await further orders.

The Idaho National Guard reported that they had eliminated the last remaining resistance to government rule. The offered a company sized unit to help “sweep and clear” California. Alpha Company of the 1st Idaho Volunteers was racing across Oregon and would arrive the next day.

All of a sudden there was silence, the Marines watched as a lone figure in Vietnam era equipment and with an M-1 Garand slung over his shoulder, appeared out of the dust carrying a white flag. Without talking the figure handed them a note and disappeared back into the woods.
We have your “President,” and are willing to negotiate his release. We will be on 5167.5 kHz to further talk. You have 2 hours to leave our airspace.
Congress was outraged. They would not negotiate with “bandits, criminals and terrorists.” On March 27, 1984 the Congress of the United States passed resolution 154. America was now at war

The radio came to life in the firehouse. Surprised, the Fireman and the rest of the crew walked over and sat to listen. There had been nothing but official talk over the radio, but now there was some kind of introduction music, a clip from The Stars and Stripes Forever.

It is March 27th, 1984 and it is currently 4:00 pacific time. This is Voice of America and I am your host, Ira Glass. Today, is the first time a radio program has been broadcast simultaneously across the country since before the Attack. We will be broadcasted at different stations throughout the country so contact your local FEMA team to get the correct frequency for your area. And now is time for the news:”

“Hello I’m Carl Castle with today’s Evening News from Voice of America.” A different voice came across the radio.

This morning Colorado officials have confirmed that Ronald Regan has been located outside of Columbine, Colorado and is alive. The acting Colorado Governor has reported that the President has not been moved since the crash as he is in ‘uncertain health.’

A government plane has been shot down over Northern California today. Onboard were the Acting President of the United States, and many members of his staff. The Provisional National Government has seen this as an act of war. It is uncertain as to what scope the military response will be.

In other news, the provisional government of Nevada has petitioned to be formally readmitted as a State in the United States. Congress has yet to vote.

In Georgia, the Provisional Government has reported that they defeated a massive insurrectionist force at the Battle of…”

The radio program went on for a good two hours. Reports were coming in from all across the country. News was reported about “radioactive snow” in Cleveland, as well as reports of governments in Nebraska and across the United States. There was time spent on the growth of massive government sponsored farms of Rabbits and Chickens. There was even a report on, low and behold, a continuous government in Texas run by a Governor Bush.

It was weird listening to all the news from across the country. While no dates were mentioned, it was obvious that the news as recent as well as mostly accurate. Afterward a music show came on followed by a short story, and a kind of radio play. And even later there was a local news segment, highlighting the rebuilding of some railroad tracks, repairs to a Hydroelectric dam, as well as some greenhouses recently erected. The Fireman assumed that local news across the country was being reported.

The Fireman must have sat there transfixed for hours because it was midnight before he began to head home. Trudging through the dark he couldn’t put a finger on what had kept him sitting there for so long. Finally he realized it. It was almost normal, the news, music, stories and plays. Something they had all been looking for, normal.
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On another foot I wonder if the weather during the coming winter will be like this. I remember that in Dallas at this time we received a couple of inches of snow that closed the whole county down for a week!–10,_2010_North_American_blizzard

Point is, this storm was bad - but as a storm, not horrific, not a disaster.

add in the destruction of the war, avoiding contaminated zones, - no electric power to run furnaces, no EMS to rescue people, no warming centers, no way to get there.
On top of the war - this could kill a lot of already weakened survivors of the attacks.
You're probably right, the loss of modern heating and medicine will be worse than the weather alone. Perhaps I should rephrase my question:

How bad would the effects of such a storm, combined with the lack of modern conveniences be?