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


Don’t turn your back on the Wolfpack

Duck and Cover – Don’t turn your back on the Wolfpack
Feb 21 1984

At the risk of being annoying, I decided to contribute this possible tale of a couple of survivors in TTL Buffalo, NY.

So, a fanfic of a fanfic…recursive much?:) Anyway –

Feb 21, 1984 Buffalo, New York

The young man sat on the ratty couch, watching the news on the black and white portable. His right leg was propped up on the ottoman, encased in a cast.

A cast covered in scribbles.

A cast that looked like it might have saved his life, if only for a little while. His Reserve unit had been called up and sent to Europe…but he had slipped on an icy ramp during a training mission in January.

In the hell that was Europe, nobody on the local news channels had said anything about the 914 Tactical Airlift Wing. He assumed that the aging C-130 A models probably lasted about as long as the tissue paper dog on a run through Hell.

He struggled to his feet and looked out the window at the swirling snow. It was a nasty day out there, cold and grey and biting. In other words, it was a normal February day in Western New York.

His son was curled up in his favorite bean bag chair. He had dozed off, bored by the news coverage.

The man smiled a sour grin. He remembered a Crisis much like this one, 22 years earlier, with missiles in Cuba. But – somehow – this one seemed worse. He had made preparations, as much as he knew how to make.

He had carried canned goods and dry goods to the basement. He had filled gallon after gallon of milk jugs for water. He had been putting away sterno fuels and trioxane tabs for years.

Suddenly, the picture on the TV changed. A steady tone came over the audio, and the Emergency Broadcast Announcement told everyone to move to shelter.

“Kevin.” He said, shaking the boy. “Kevin, wake up, it’s time to go downstairs.”

“Waah, dad?” said the sleepy six year old.

“We need to go downstairs. Daddy can’t carry you with his leg.”

“Hokay.” Said the sleepy boy. Tall for his age, he was already dressed for survival.

In the Hunter family, it was an article of wisdom, “scrounge what you can, when you can. You never know when it might come in useful.” Steven Hunter had managed to scarf up an Extra Small Nomex Flight Suit, and a set of extra-small Nomex underwear.

Why some Air Force functionary had decided to have a contractor make a flight suit smaller than the minimum height requirement, why some supply Sergeant had put it on stock at the base was unknown…but Steve had been told to “get rid of it.”

And now, it might make the difference between life and death for his son.

The town house had a basement that doubled as a garage. Steve’s 73 Duster took up most of the room, but he had put a desk at the front of the garage, made of 2x6 planks on top of two filing cabinets. Footlockers of canned goods, water and ammunition, two shotguns.

He was as ready for Armageddon as he knew how to be.

They curled up on the deployment bags, under the desk, and Kevin went back to sleep. There was sirens outside, and noise. It sounded like somebody was pounding at his door, but Steve decided to go back to sleep. No way was he going to stump back upstairs with this leg right now…let alone with inbound missiles.

A little while later, the house bucked and heaved, and the heavens roared. It sounded as if part of the building collapsed. Kevin woke up, scared, but Steve shushed him, and told him to go back to sleep.
A few hours later, they woke up. It was deathly quiet outside.

Steve checked his watch. 3.30 PM. He stood and stretched. He pulled out his flashlight and shined it around. The garage looked to be in good shape. He pulled out his Geiger counter and checked. It looked as though his taping job was holding – either that, or they didn’t get hit as hard as he had expected.

He went to the tope of the stairway and checked it. The counter started to click faster and the needle swung over. The door was cold to the touch, which told him that the townhouse above was probably broken, maybe gone. He went back down to the base of the stairs.

A week later, the Steve decided to risk the door. He and Kevin were absolutely stir crazy. The boy was incredibly smart…but he was still, just six years old. Steve had put the Small Mission Orientented Protective Posture Suit on him, carefully taping all the junctures, fitting the extra small M-17 mask. To the boy, it was still a game. He could not yet comprehend the idea of life and death.

“Stay here, Boy” Steve said. “I just want to take a quick look around.” And I’ll be right back.”

“But I want to see, dad.” Whined the boy.

“I know, I know” said his father. “But, it’s not going to be pretty. And it might be dangerous.” He wiped his brow. “Let me check it out. Then we’ll know what to do next”

Steve donned his own mask. Buckled his helmet. and went to the top of the stairs. He took a deep breath and pushed on the door.

It swung open easily, pulling against the duct tape. The first floor was pretty much intact…in the acheological sense. The picture window had blown out, and there was a snowdrift in the living room.

Steve swung the Geiger counter. The alpha count was already pretty low and the beta emitters didn’t look so bad, either. With he and Kevin suited up, it might be worth making a run for it.

He looked outside.

The apartment complex was blasted and scorched. Mercifully, it looked as though snow had covered most of the dead bodies…but spring was going to be nasty.

He walked outside, Geiger counter in his left hand, shotgun in his right. The radiation count looked to be the same. The snow drifts were nasty as hell, it looked as though they may have concentrated the radioactive particles.

He walked to a few blocks in either direction, but saw nothing moving. He looked at the clouds. They looked grey and roiled.

Another snowstorm looked to be brewing. He and the boy had food for several weeks yet, and maybe he could stretch it with some foraging. He had cut the cast off, but his leg was still weak. No way was he ready to walk out of here for some time yet.

Time to go back to ground.

At the top stairway, in what had been the small kitchen, he took off his helmet and dusted it off, then took off his poncho and shook it off, leaving it on the coat hook at the top of the stairs.

He went down into the basement and checked himself over. There was still some residual radiation, but he’d gotten most of it. He sighed. It was going to have to do.

Kevin was still sitting there, right where he’d left him. “how you doing, boy?” he said gruffly.”

Suddenly, the boy ripped off his mask and flung himself into his father’s arms. “Dad, I was scared. What if you didn’t come back?”

“I’m back, boy” said Steve. “And that’s why you gotta pay attention to everything I tell you. Because I’ve never lied to you, boy, and I’m not going to start now.” He held his son by his shoulders. “And the most important thing to me is, you have to stay alive. Got it?”

They were both crying.

“I want you to live, and I want you to grow up to have kids of your own.” Said Steve. “And I want to be there to see them, make no mistake.” He said. “But I for damn sure want you to grow up to have them, with or without me being there, OK?”

He looked at his son. “But right now, I’m cold. Soup?”

“Sounds good.”

Outside, the wind howled like damned souls.
I don't know whether to be honored or to tell you to get your own TL. I was trying to figure how to fit in the North East wastelands but I guess you did it for me. Thanks and Keep up the good work. :D
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Ok so lets try to get an accurate picture of Nevada. Both Reno and Las Vegas/ Nellis are definite hits. Lets guess that the Hoover Dam also takes a hit. That leaves Carson City right?

Besides that there isn't much left.

Groom Lake facility should get a spotlight right? or should it also be on the strike list?
Taking into account the large size of the airfistrip in Area 51 the soviets would probably nuke it as well.They wouldn't know exactly what is there but assume either a post-attack command post,secret spy plane base,possible dispersal site for nuclear bombers or all of the above.Either way the intense secrecy even higher than for bases with nukes would make it a sure target.Sorry UFO enthusiasts but in the post-nuke world no answer to the question are there aliens there.If there where they got fried with everything else.:D


I don't know whether to be honored or to tell you to get your own TL. I was trying to figure how to fit in the North East wastelands but I guess you did it for me. Thanks and Keep up the good work. :D

Glad you liked it.

Kind of a Mary Sue - put it this way...there's nothing there that is very far out of OTL...including the XS MOPP gear and mask for Kevin. If things had happened like this, he would have had those things. OTL, I was a uselessly paranoid SOB.:) I am quite glad things worked out this way, and I threw all that stuff away. I still have my Chem -bag and several cans of filters in my basement.


Don't Turn your back on the Wolf Pack!
Don't Turn your back on the Wolf Pack!
Don't Turn your back on the Wolf Pack!
or you just might wind up in a body bag.

March 4, 1984
Steve tried another door. He was working his way through the apartment complex, apartment by apartment. So far, he had found a fair amount of usable food, some dead bodies, and no one alive.

There were a few surprises – it looked as though the elderly couple, a few doors down, might have committed suicide. They were both in bed, and appeared to have peaceful expressions.

Steve had said a prayer for them. He found some good pain killers in the medicine cabinet – those might come in handy later, he figured.
Next door to them, it looked as though the two college students had also committed suicide. In their case, the bodies were sprawled on the floor, beer cans scattered about, and a scatter of multicolored pills across the carpet.

Steve wasn’t too sure about the unlabeled pills, but the bags of weed were quite welcome. That was one natural analgesic that would be useful in this ugly new world. Even better – he found a bagful of seeds.

He carried his loot back to the apartment. There was a fallen roof beam that extended into the hole that had been his front window. It was a bit awkward, but by walking up the beam, he could enter his apartment without making tracks in the snow.

It was obvious that somebody had been walking in the snow, entering these apartments – at least until the next snow, or until the snow melted – but it would take a good searcher to realize that somebody was living in his basement.

He went down into the kitchen, shaking off his outer garments, checking them with the Geiger counter, hanging up the poncho and the helmet, then entering the stairwell.

There he took off the fishtail boots, hanging them on hooks, and finally taking off the charcoal impregnated MOPP pants and overgarment, his mask and gloves.

At the bottom of the stairs, Kevin waited. “Hi, Dad.” He smiled. “Find anything good?”

Steve smiled back “Ice Cream sandwiches in Mrs. Dooley’s Freezer.”


Steve smiled as he enjoyed his son’s enjoyment of the treat. Inwardly, he wondered how long it might be, if ever, he saw another ice cream sandwhich?

Part IV: A Brave New World

Armageddon + 14 Days

The Rabbit and the Coyote [2]:

Nevada all and all was one of the least struck areas during the initial attacks. Perhaps the Soviets had spent too much time watching John Wayne movies. Perhaps they didn’t believe that Nevada was really all that important. But for whatever reason, the desert south west, and especially Nevada were spared mass strikes.

In Nevada there were four strikes of note. The first eliminated Reno, the second (with at least 2 maybe 3 warheads) removed Las Vegas and Nellis AFB, and the third removed the Hoover Dam. The fourth struck the Groom Lake Air Force facility, know more commonly as Area 51.

The strike on Area 51 hit exactly in the center of the complex. The runway and every single building on the base were vaporized instantaneously. We will never know what they had been working on there.

While the strikes in Reno and Las Vegas were terrible, the strike on the Hoover dam was horrific. With the dam removed Lake Mead emptied its reserves in a single, massive, irradiated wave. Every town in its path was destroyed. The wave also left behind acres of flat hyper irradiated land. The death toll is impossible to speculate upon.

Carson City remained untouched, unbombed. Perhaps this was due to bad information on the Soviet’s side, perhaps due to a freak accident like Cleveland, Carson City was spared The Bomb. Due to this luck, Nevada was the only state left with a fully intact state government. As tensions erupted in Europe, emergency session was called and it became mandatory for Nevada state legislators to appear in Carson City.

Located only 30 miles from Reno, fallout was heavy for the first week or more. The local hospital was swamped with cases of radiation poisoning. Emergency measures were enacted and most of the government employees stayed below ground for nearly the first two weeks.

After a few days coordinating from their bunkers under the Govenor’s Mansion, to think he was thinking of decommissioning the damn thing, the Governor and his staff walked again into the sunlight. The National Guard was now called up for duty. With no Air National Guard left (destroyed during the strike on Nellis) the Army National Guard took a relatively roundabout route from its base north of Reno to Carson City. No need to march through another Site Simon.

The Governor along with a unanimous vote from State Legislature quickly declared a State of Emergency. State troopers and local police were one strict order. Lockdown all food warehouses in the State.

Being primarily a desert state, food more than anywhere else was going to be the most valuable asset anyone could offer. However the tragedies of the strikes on Reno and Las Vegas were blessings in disguise. Nevada, due to being the most desert state, was also the most urbanized. Almost 70 percent of the population of Nevada could be found in those two cities and their close suburbs alone.

With those two strikes more than 70 percent of the population of Nevada died within three days of the initial strikes. That also meant 70 percent less mouths to feed. That meant 70 percent less rationing and 70 percent less people to keep guard of and control.

However those people were quickly being replaced by different peoples. Refugees began to flood in from two main directions, California and Mexico.

The Californians were not as large of a problem yet. Having to cross the foothills of Rocky Mountains, or pass through the Mojave Desert or Death Valley, refugees from California were having a hard time making it to Carson City or comparatively populous area.

The Mexicans, within days of the strikes, were turning out to be a major problem. Fleeing the collapse of their country after the strike in Mexico City, as well as roving drug gangs and rouge military units, the Mexicans were forced in two directions, south toward the Mexico City wasteland and hopefully the continuous government based out of Yucatan or north into America.

Fearing that the refugees would be followed by rouge military units or the nefarious drug gangs, the Nevada Government instituted OPERATION INTERCEPT II, a continuation of the Nixon Era border enforcement policies. Units of the Nevada National Guard, state troopers, local police and ranchers and their sons joined in the effort to stop the Mexican refugees.

In a series of bloody massacres, thousands of Mexican Refugees were slaughtered on the border. The refugees were then left with one choice south. If they tried to go further east, the refugees would run into the area that the Hoover Dam strike irradiated. If they went further west they would run into fallout from the strikes on the San Diego area.

OPERATION INTERCEPT II was hailed as a success by the Nevadans and was ended within a week. However it proved to be a disaster to Mexicans. Those that went back into Mexico were forced to trudge thousands of miles of lawless land to reach Yucatan. Few if any made it. Those who managed to make it into Nevada found themselves quickly followed by roving bands of armed gangs or dying of radiation sickness or thirst in the inhospitable desert. Nevada to most was a deathtrap caused by the coldness of man's heart, not by the blazing heat of nature.

*Rabbit and the Singer cruised down the highway. They were in Nevada and were making their way to the town of Battle Mountain, were the Singer’s sister lived.

Along the way they passed groups of refugees either walking on foot, or rattling along with various degrees of success in various wheeled vehicles. Riding a bus was not uncommon, as were personal cars; however the occasional horse-drawn cart would prove to appear with increasing frequency.

Stopping at a small town, the Singer and Rabbit walked into the convince store to pay for gasoline.

“What do you want for gasoline?” Rabbit asked.

“Well what do you have to offer?” the man behind the counter asked with little interest. It was obvious from his tone of voice that they were not going to get gasoline easily or cheaply.

“Well what do you need?” Rabbit asked.

“Well some Ice-cream would be nice.” The man said wistfully. “You know due to there being no power…” he stopped. “You can’t get me Ice-cream can you? No one can.”
He smirked. “That’s the perfect thing, no one has had any.”

“No gas for you.” He said smugly.

“Here” said the Rabbit placing a small box of Ice-cream sandwiches that the Singer pulled out of the truck, on the dirty counter. “Now I better get some gas.”

And they were off again. Every police stop, every military road block, every person with a gun that stopped them got something out of the back.

“I hope you have a plan for when we run out of the stuff.” The Singer said.

“Simple,” the Rabbit replied “I’ll start freezing Ice in the freezers and handing that out.”

The Singer laughed. It was preposterous. Selling ice.

The serious look the Rabbit gave her silenced her.

“I’m dead serious. You should be too.”


Monthly Donor
The treatment o the Mexican refugees may be deplorable but it is also highly plausible, even probable.

More happily, I love the image of the Ice Cream Truck crossing the desert. :D

Now there seems to be a natural urge within a Mexican to move Northwards...but would there still be so many of them trying to get to what even they must know is now a nuclear wasteland worse than a Mexico whose hardest hit areas are, besides Mexico City, are again probably the areas closest to the US border?

How many would even make it to this border given the distances in such a huge country as Mexico?

And concerning Mexico-City itself. If you drop something rather small on it, the place is not even gone (well, a lot depends on the fires, but still). This has been a 20-million-city even back then.

This is not necessarily much of a critique, I am just wondering. What I imagine is that these measures give more the Nevadan self-consciousness of being in control of the border than that they would actually matter in order to stem a (largely imagined?) tide.

I have never been to Mexico (OK, I have, but only for a few minutes), but I would love to hear a Mexican voice here, or someone who has occupied himself with this nation a bit in order to give an assessment.
Perhaps its a mixture of both Nevadan racism, and pure outright panic.

Most of these people I assume would be paying to go to the US in OTL and I guess in their minds it still seems to be the land of opportunity.

I wanted to show how even with an organized government things could still get out of hand... perhaps I made the migration to dramatic.
Of course the average mexican refugee would have little to no intel on what is left of the US.Its not like you can watch Mexican TV anymore and get updates,you would basically be going into the unknown.


Buffalo, NY - Don't turn your back on the Wolfpack

March 8, 1984

The sky was clear and warm. It was one of those days you get in Western New York where it suddenly goes from 20F to 60F and all the snow starts melting like crazy. Steve looked around and marveled.

There had been a lot of talk about “nuclear winter” – the dust was going to cause the albedo of the planet to change, the climate to go cold, but this looked like pretty much a normal day in Buffalo – at least, weather-wise.

The quiet was unnerving. There was only the wind and the dripping of the melting snow. No cars or planes, no people, no TVs or radios. Not even any dogs or cats or birds.


The radiation count was dropping steadily. Steve was pretty sure Buffalo must have been hit with an air burst, probably a clean one. Maybe a Neutron weapon. But that was in keeping with what he knew of Soviet policy. That wanted to flatten Buffalo as a transportation hub, kill the population – but not damage the infrastructure too much. They might want to use it themselves someday, if they decided to occupy the place.

Dirty weapons were a product of the West. Area Denial – long term denial – was a feature of the Western War Planners, not the Warsaw Pact. Those Planners were a lot more pragmatic. “You cannot loot what you have destroyed” – Subotai Khan was reputed to have said it, and Marshal Zhukov was reported to have said it on the March across Germany.

It was nearing darkness, and Steve was out, looking for signs of life. He figured that people might be like him, hiding out, but if there were other survivors, they might not be as careful of light leaks.

He spent an hour, looking around, and headed back to the apartment. No luck. Either the initial blast, the radiation or the following snow and cold seemed to have doomed just about everyone in this area.

He had found a few bodies that looked as though they might have survived for days or weeks after the attack – but nobody alive. There seemed to be a few animals now – he’d seen a dog or two, even heard some crows…but no people.

He came back to the apartment, took off his gear and entered the basement. As he did, he realized something was wrong. Kevin had a small lamp and a hand crank generator/battery. He usually read while Steve was out foraging.

There was no light on.

As Steve pulled his mask and hood off, he could smell them.

The basement was rank already – but it was the a different rankness, a different smell…and somehow, Steve could sense there were at least two of them.

What had happened to Kevin?

He turned, and was looking into the barrel of a 12 guage.

“Be real careful, son, and unsling that shotgun real easy.” Said the man.

“Sure,” said Steve.

“Me and Don, here” said the man, “we saw you sneakin’ round the complex, breaking into places, and stealing stuff.” He chuckled. “Pretty smart.” His whiskery face curled into a grin.”We just figured to come over and see if you wanted to share.”

“Don’t look like you’re much into sharing, not with a scattergun in my face.” Said Steve.

“Hey, we just figured you might be not so reasonable.” Said the man. “We already had to kill a few folks that didn’t want to share.”

“What’s one more dead guy?” put in the other guy.

“Shaddup, Don.” Said the first one.

“Looks like you got some good loot, here, fellow.” He said, turning his attention back to Steve. “Good military grade protective suits, masks, filter units – you must have raided a surplus store or something.” He grinned mirthlessly. “We’ll take it all.”

It was at that point that the fellow made his mistake.

Never rush to battle – let your enemies give themselves to you.” – his sensei had repeated that so many times to him. In the dim light of the basement, the men had seen his shotgun – they had not looked at his load bearing equipment harness (LBE).

For Steve, time slowed down.

Now, the bearded man leaned forward and the muzzle of his shotgun was over Steve’s left shoulder. Steve leaned forward and reached up with his right hand, releasing the Sykes-Fairbairn Fighting knife into it. With his left hand, he reached up and grabbed the fore end slide of the shotgun ripping it out of the man’s hands.

In the meantime, the double-edged fighting knife was rammed into the man’s upper belly, just under the sternum. Steve had lifted him up off his feet with his left hand, now he let him beck down as he held the blade steady, letting it rip upward through his lungs and heart.

Don was now behind his friend, screaming, but he held his own weapon, as well as Steve’s, and his friend was between him and Steve. One second, they were in control, and suddenly, it was all going out of control.

As he struggled to comprehend the suddenly changed situation, Steve reversed the shotgun he had captured, shoved it between the man’s eyes, and blew his brains all over the garage door.

Suddenly, it was over. Steve stood in the blood splattered basement, breathing heavily. He was inhaling great whooping draughts of air, trying not to hyperventilate.

It took him two tries to get the words out. “Kevin?” he whispered. “Kevin? Are you OK?”

There was a rustling, and his son crawled out from under the car. “Dad.” He cried. “Dad, I was so scared.”

Steve was relieved to see that his son had the other shotgun. “you OK?”

“Yeah.” He said. “I heard them upstairs, but I didn’t hear you, so I shut off the light and took the gun and hid under the car.”

“You done good, boy.” Said his father, ruffling his hair. “You done good.”


Good god, a six year old with a shotgun, what has the world come to?

At six, Kevin was pretty good with a 20 ga against ground targets. By the time he was nine, he was shooting skeet with the 12ga. He needed to rest after about ten or fifteen shots, but he was OK for those first ten or so.:p

At six, my grandson Nathan is shooting a 200 out of a possible 240 points with a .380 Sig Sauer Pistol. <shrug>

And with the added stress of trying to survive in a post nuclear apocalypse...