Land of Flatwater: Protect and Survive Middle America

Credit Where Credit Is Due.

Protect and Survive. Macragge1's epic of the 1984 War that might have been in the UK.

Gen's Patton's look at the '84 War in the US.

Noi non ci saremo Mario Rossi's look at the '84 War in Italy.

If you haven't read these yet, you betta ask somebody and check these out. Poignant, shocking, even some moments to smile through darkness....For me, they brought back memories of what it was like to grow up in the times that were, while delving into what could have been. Thankfully, we never got to see that.

I was 12 in 1983. I was into sports, music, videogames, bumping my head into that transition from child to teen...and I was worried that I wouldn't see age 13 or 14 or 15....because of "two inplacable enemies standing in gasoline. One has 9,000 matches. One has 7,000 matches.". What compounded the fear was were I grew up, a place rather high on the Soviet Nuclear Rocket Forces hit list.

That worry led me to protest, even at age 12. Had I been born in the UK, I would have been a member of the CND. Nebraskans For A Nuclear Freeze would have to do.

A few of the characters we will meet here will be surrounding this youngster. The lad I might have been in the 1984 War.

But before '84, there was '83.

Omaha, Nebraska 1983


Population (est): 320,000
Priority Economic assets: Telecommunications (headquarters for Northwestern Bell. Regional hub facility for Western Electric). Rail (headquarters for Union Pacific Railroad), Agriculture (headquarters for ConAgra and a number of major meatpacking firms)
Priority Military Strategic Asset: Offutt Air Force Base/HQ of U.S. Strategic Air Command. 15 miles south of Downtown Omaha.

1. DEFCON 5 Omaha Monday August 29, 1983



"They're going to pass on third and one....Intercepted! On the way is Mike Knox!...Touchdown Nebraska!!! Mike Knox picked it off in the flat and scored.Nebraska well out in front "

It was a scene repeated from Omaha to Scottsbluff. A group of Nebraska football fans huddled around a tv watching the obsession of an entire state. Right in the middle is Chip, a smallish but fiesty 12-year-old. Excited to see his team strongly out front 27-0. Watching the game with his Dad, his Mom cousins and friends."
"Go big red!" he shrieked. "I hope my team starts like this Saturday. I wish you could be there 'All-World'
"I wish I could, but your moms will film the game for me," 'All-World answered back. Inside he wished he could have stayed a few more day. Tony (a.k.a "All-World") was a star in three sports at Omaha Tech High School. After High School, he followed the footsteps of his own father, enlisting in the Army. He is a role model/big brother to young Chip, and tomorrow morning he heads to a new assignment overseas.
"Well the film even get to you way over....Where at again?"
"Germany, Chip...Heidelberg.. It should. It's a large base over there."
"What will you be doing there?" Chip's dad asked.
"My next step sir," All-World said. "I'll get a chance to learn everything about the new tank. The M1 they call it. Do well in that game Saturday 'Lil Man. I'll send you back a 2nd Armored T-Shirt"
"Just don't send back another shirt like that T-Shirt you got him in England," Chip's mom said. "He'd wear it everyday if I let him,"
"Mom," Chip rolled his eyes. "You mean the 'peace' T-shirt," his role model laughed. "Well, you know better than anybody that Chip's always been a lil' different."
"No kidding," Chip's dad said. "He was born in the wrong decade LOL. How many 12-year-olds regularly use the word 'Disarmament'.
"Just not on the football field," Chip said.
"Oh really," Dad said. "Whacha gonna do Saturday?"
"Imma knock some people's dick in the dirt."
Mom rolled her eyes. She had a crazy man and a crazy son in her life.

2. DEFCON 5 Omaha Tuesday August 30, 1983
"Good Morning, Omaha It's the top of the news #1 Nebraska puts up an impressive 44-6 victory over #4 Penn State at last night's Kickoff Classic at Giants Stadium outside New York City."

Chip smiled as he heard those words. It was a big win. To celebrate, Chip would pick out his favorite Nebraska t-shirt to go with some blue jeans. He could hear his mom and dad also getting ready to head off to work.

"Look at national and world headlines...NATO ministers are meeting in Brussels today to discuss a contentious U.S. plan to place intermediate range missiles and cruise missiles in Europe. U.S. Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger says the move is an important step toward continuing what he called "Needed upgrades in Western Defense." French and German officials have been especially critical in the light of an extensive build-up of American forces in Western Europe over the past year.

Chip listened to news report. Checking out the pictures of troops, tanks and planes deployed in far-off Germany. He thought about Tony for a quick second. This morning, he'd be heading there....He then grabbed his book bag, his walkman and headed to catch the school bus...

Walking toward the stop on the next block over, he saw Tony piling his bag into his mom's car. "Hey Tony," Chip said. "You heading out already?" "Yeah Lil Man, flying down to Texas to meet my new unit, then off to Germany."
Chip was a little sad. "Wish you could at least be at the game Saturday." " "You'll be fine Lil' Man, just remember what I always told you. You are all-world, kid. Remember that.
"When you gonna be back."
"They said, I'll be there for about a year"
"A year? I may not get to see you at all, with what they are talking about? More troops and missiles going in."
"You worry too much, kid. Nothing much is going to happen over there. That's why I'll be there, to make sure of that."
"Take care of yourself over there, man."
"You just be ready to play ball Saturday, Lil Man. I'll be alright."

Chip gave Tony a quick hug and then headed to toward the bus stop. The school bus was approaching.

Two dozen other dirty lovers
Must be a sucker for it
Cry, Cry, but I don't need my mother
Just Hold My hand while I come
To a decision on it

Sooner or later
Your legs give way, you hit the ground
Save it for later
Don't run away and let me down
Sooner or later
You hit the deck, you get found out
Save it for later
Don't run away and let me down
You let me down

to be continued..
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Land of Flatwater: Tremors

3. Thursday September 1, 1983
"The intruder plane ignored the signals and warnings of the Soviet fighter plane
and continued its course toward the Sea of Japan" -- Radio Moscow 9/1/1983

4. Friday September 2, 1983
From the halls of TASS, and the Pentagon..To an Omaha classroom, it was the topic of the day.

"I'm sure we've all heard about what happened overnight," Miss Germaine said to her social studies class. "What is on your minds?"

"What were they thinking?" "What do you expect from the Russkies!" "All those people dead." "What will the President do about it?"

Chip sat in his desk and listened dispassionately. His mind tried to imagine what happened in the pacific skies. And he imagined what could come next. He was in his own world, until Miss Germaine snapped him back to the present moment."

"Chip," Miss Germaine snapped. "Is this discussion boring you. You don't seem to be paying much attention."
Chip answered, "We can forget any negotiation this year."
"What?" Miss Germaine said. The entire class locked in on the weird new kid.
"I read in Time that there are a set of negotiations scheduled for next month in Geneva. You can forget those now."
"Why do you say that?"

"Because we're in the middle of the biggest build-up in defense in our history. The Russians gave us an excuse. The conventional arms build-up in Europe. Cruise missiles in Europe. MX Missiles here. Reagan. Weinberger. They will get what they want.

"Told you he was the weird kid."

5. 20 clicks outside of Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany
Specialist, been meaning to catch up with you.
"Yes, sir?" Tony said through the brush. Dressed in camoflague with M-16 in tow. Not quite the get up he;d envisioned.
Sorry, I couldn't give you a more formal welcome here.."
No problem, sir. I'm happy to actually get on the job. But I still have a lot of processing. Sir? Why are we out in the field at alert level? Excuse my ignorance, but I've spent most of the last couple days on planes and in trucks.
"You didn't hear about the Sea of Japan, soldier?"
"Sea of Japan?"
"As you were getting here soldier, the Russians used a civilian airliner for target practice. The Russians are denying everything and across the border, East German and Russian troops are flaring up. NCA called the play. We're just running the ball."
"I'm good at running that ball, ask any defensive back."
"So I saw in your files. Nebraska huh? You guys looked good Monday night. It was a little tough for me to watch, though."
"Where are you from, sir?"
"Patton Township, Pennsylvania. It's near State College.

6. September 3, 1983 Power Park Field/North Omaha
Fourth quarter. Jets 14, Vikings 14. The Vikings were moving the ball. The had a strong, fast running back, and he had scored two touchdowns so far.

Second down, and the Vikings quarterback fake a handout right and rolled left. Chip was at the cornerback right side backpedaling and shading the play..But in the corner of his eye I saw the Viking's best back floating toward his flat..

The Vikings quarterback sold the fake and turned his hips to execute the screen pass. His best back was one on one with the Jets' smallest player. Chip scrambled to get in position.

"I have lock-on," Chip thought as he made a beeline for the back, who was readying to make the catch.
"Now I will be a rocket"
The back made the catch and turned up field. He saw Chip and his eye got bigger. The smaller kid had a bed on him. In an instant, he was engulfed by the shoulders and pipe-cleaner arms of Chip, who made a perfect hit. The Vikings lost 3 yards and faced fourth down.
"target destroyed," Chip thought with glee. The Jets would have a chance to win.

:07 left. The Jets have the ball at the Vikings 9. Still tied. Its score or overtime. Players are tired from a physical game. Who wants overtime?

The Jets quarterback, tall and rangy got in the huddle. "I slot right 44 playaction roll right on one...on one READY BREAK!!!"
The crowd cheer was deafening and Chip lied up as the slotback. He was a yard off and outside of the end of the line. His job was to get open anyway he could.

At the snap, Chip bolted off the line with the end. He tried to find a hole in the endzone, but the Vikings dropped people off to guard against a touchdown pass. The quarterback was running out of time and room, one Viking got a hand on him..but the qb shook him off...and then tucked the ball..

"He's RUNNING!" Chip thought. Chip charged back from the endzone and saw the quarterback breaking tackles and weaving. He has gotten to the 4 when he looked pinned down by the linebacker and the safety. Steve put a juke on the linebacker and cut inside. The safety recovered and got and angle, he could make a tackle a yard short and force extra play.

Steve saw the closing safety and was lowering his shoulder....Chip was racing toward the safety. There were be a collusion...
"GOT HIM!" Chip screamed in his mind as he bore a shoulder into the safety to get the block...But did he get it?

"Chip didn't see the safety sprawling from his block..He didn't see the quarterback slide off and tumble into the end zone...All he heard was the crowd...The sound.. Chip got up and looked in the end zone. The quarterback held the ball aloft..very happy. It was the opening game of the season...and the Jets won 20-14. "All-World. I made a play, man!" Chip thought.

"Steve made a great run," Coach said. "But i wanna point out how my littelest player made a big hit. Chip, that was a football play there."
Chip grinned happliy as the other boys cheered for him. Chip took it all in. "Labor Day Weekend," he thought. "and we're 1-0!"

"Hi Chip," said a cute high voice...It was Jill, the team's head cheerleader. "I didn't know you were tough like that."
"I like football and I like winning."
"You still going to Septemberfest tonight?"
"Dad said we were."
"Meet me out there and save a ride on that real scary ride for me. See ya Chip."
Chip blushed as the perky redhead ran after her parents. Yep, it was gonna be a good long weekend.

Reaching out to touch a stranger
Electric eyes are everywhere
See that girl, she knows I'm watching
She likes the way I stare

to be continued.
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Land of Flatwater: It's A Small World After All

Once upon a time I was falling in love
But now I'm only falling apart

The roar from the events of September 1, 1983 dulled, but never totally died down. The biggest voices of the west kept the pressure on. President Reagan pushed to continue the European build up, and got his way on new missile deployments. Across the Atlantic, Margaret Thatcher affirmed she would stand shoulder to shoulder with the President. NATO was quickly getting the message. "Get On Board, period."

For most folks around Nebraska, world news took a back seat to the fall harvest and football. A number one ranked team in the AP and UPI polls tend to push a lot of things to page 2. The Cornhuskers scoring explosion just kept rolling on averaging 56 points per game in September.

The end of summer and the beginning of fall was a time when things were calm. It was just typical Nebraska. The farm fields and the football fields.

Yet, as the calendar changed to October, so did the calm.

The music is weaving
Haunting notes, pizzicato strings
The rhythm is calling

October 4, 1983 -- US and Soviet negotiators meet in Vienna, Austria. It was more of an argument than a round of negotiations. The Soviets loudly protesting proposed US deployment of intermediate range nuclear-missiles in Germany and the cruise missiles in Italy and the UK. American negotiators immediately press for Soviet openness and compensation in the Korean Air Lines 007 tragedy.

October 10, 1983 -- Reinforcements to the current U.S. Army Garrison in West Berlin begin arriving. The UK Ministry of Defense also announces that they will increase their commitment to NATO forces in West Germany and West Berlin. Both moves loudly condemned by the Warsaw Pact.

October 14, 1983 -- American intelligence learns that new runways for Grenada's main airport are being built by Cuban engineers, and the runways are planned to be built to Soviet military specifications.

October 15, 1983 -- Francois Mitterand withdraws his objection to the introduction of U.S. cruise missiles in NATO countries. His decision coincides with a decision to execute a second round of French air strikes against pro-Iranian factions in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon.

October 23, 1983 -- A truck bomb ignites at the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. 241 servicemen are killed in the blast.

October 24, 1983 -- American warplanes conduct an immediate reprisal raid against positions manned by those claiming responsibility for the bombing. French jets also pound those positions.

October 25, 1983 -- U.S. Forces invade Grenada at the invitation of some of its neighbors in the Carribean. The ruling Leftist government of that country was overthrown for an American-backed governing council on October 31, 1983.

The invasion was heavily condemned by the Soviet Union and Cuba.

October 26, 1983 -- A column of Soviet and East German tanks take up "imtimidation" positions in East Berlin. The Soviet deem this as a move to "keep order" against recent "unrest" in East Germany. In reality it was a Soviet response to the reinforced Berlin forces placed by the US, UK and France.

October 27, 1983
Some 100 youths mass around the headquarters of the SED (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands) in East Berlin. They are chanting slogan criticizing both the the American and Soviet military postures in Berlin. Roughly translated to chant "Berlin for Berliners." and "Ein Volk. Ein Deutschland". The mass grows as they head toward the West German embassy. The Volkspolizei and Staatssicherheit are uneasy as the mass grows...

The rebelling youth carry the protest...towards the wall Volkspolizei, Stasi, NVA border guards..and some Soviet soldiers on one side, and teamming mob on the other.

The kids do not attempt to rush the border. They stand there chanting "Ein Volk" Ein Deutschland"

"This gathering violates national law. You are ordered to disperse"


"This gathering violates national law. You are ordered to disperse"

The NVA border guards form a column. Their commander, himself taking orders from a Soviet officer, ordered the column as a sort of riot brigade.

From the other side of the wall. Some West Germans are looking on. Cheering on the students and heckling the East German police and the small band of Soviet troops.

The NVA rough up the East German kids. The youths fight back..

Confusion...Some of the kids run for the Wall.

An NVA border guard fires on the youths...West Germans, now masses along the tops of the Wall on the western side protest loudly "MURDERER!" They yell.

The border guard turns as West Berlin police tries to control the situation. The NVA soldier turns and fires his AK-47 west...He hit a West German protestor and a West Berlin policeman..One of the Russians heard a loud explosion..He turned his RPG in that direction and fired..There was nothing there...but his aim was just high enough for his RPG and fly across the wall...impacting a small shop in West Berlin. 6 people injured, 1 dead.

The area was near the French section of West Berlin. French soldiers immediately take armed position at the border... They see Russian troops armed at the border. The Russians see them...They blindly fire.. For a half-hour they fire across the wall..

The word got back to calmer head quickly. The lead Soviet commander immediately ordered the troops to stand down. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? he screamed. IDIOTS! THEY ARE STUDENTS! WHO CALLED FOR THIS ATTACK?

By then French, British and American troops were there. The firing ceased..But the damage was done.

7. Looking foward to Stuttgart October 28, 1983

"This is your first leave since you got here," the squad leader said to Tony. "We have to your out on the strasse All-World. Welcome to Germany.
"I'm looking forward to it. So you say Stuttgart has it all over Manchester, huh?"
"Night and day," another specialist said.

atten-HUT! C.O. in the hole!
All squadS to the briefing room...5 minutes.

The CO saw the assorting crews of the 2nd and 3rd armored. They also noticed a number Bundeswehr there as well.
"Men listen up." he began. "Most of you are not going to like to what I'm about to say. I have bad news and I have worse news."
"the bad news is that leaves have been cancelled until further notice. As of 0500 SACEUR has placed all forces in Germany under a local DEFCON 4"
"Why is the worse news. Last night there was protest in East Berlin. Thimgs spun out of control badly. Some East German border guard got spooked at the Wall and fired into West Berlin. Compound that with some Soviet troop who got spooked and fired an RPG into West Berlin. The end result some people dead on both sides. A lot Allied troops in Berlin with a stony glare, and us taking up forward positions. Get your crews together. Get in the hot rods and lets ride."

to be continued.
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Land of Flatwater: It's A Small World After All (con't)

9. Sunday October 30, 1983
In Washington and Brussels military leaders are taking a hard posture toward the events in divided Berlin in the hopes that both sides can ease back. Looking along the inter-German border one hopes that easing comes sooner than later. Rick Brown, CNN...Heidelberg, West Germany

The Viking Ship was filled with parents and coaches. Planning meeting for next Saturday's season ending 'Bowl games' Chip's parents and coaches were there. The Jets won the major division championship with yesterdays wild 29-25 win over the Vikings.

"So we have matchups set for the games Saturday. The Jets will meet up with the Kingswood West Panthers. That will be good game." The League Commissioner said. "next item on the agenda. A last minute item from Coach Walt. Pay strong attention to this, please..Walt?"

Coach Walt is one of the most trusted people in the Little Vikes league. Longtime coach and the head of Omaha's City Planning Department. But he also wears another hat with the city that isn't talked about much at all, unless the situation warrants it.

"Friends," Coach Walt began. "I'd like you to each take one of these handout and pass them around. Now, as part of my job with the city, and I'm a member of the Omaha Emergency Operations Committee, and that Committee was mobilized Saturday morning. "
"What is all this Walt? Fallout shelter locations?"

Walt quieted the nervous confusion. "Yes, they are. Now you've probably followed the situation in Berlin right now. The mayor of Omaha and the governor of Nebraska have ordered emergency management mobilization. Within 5 minutes of Power Park, there's this place here. The North Power Station next to the field, and three schools. All of them have fallout shelters, and since Saturday me and a teams of people have been getting those shelters ready. We hope to have the entire city ready within 7-10 days."
"WHY? You know something we don't?"
"No, I know just as much as anybody else," Walt continued. "i'm not giving this information to alarm anybody or scare anybody. I'm just thinking about our league and our kids. What if things get worse to the point where we have an attack warning during next Saturday's games. I just want you to be safe. This is a precautionary measure. Now, many of you in this room remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. We aren't necessarily at that point, but given what has happened in Lebanon, Grenada and now Berlin, we need to be prepared.

The League Commissioner chimed in, "If things got really bad, we cancel the ballgames anyway. This is in case things go to hell to the point where there is a sneak attack of some type. Folks, Walt tells me we shouldn't worry too much."
"No, there is no reason to worry friends. in fact I heard on the news before I came here that both sides are talking and trying to work a way out of this mess. The Russians said somebody in the East German Army got a little out of control and that it was a bunch of accidents."
"Just like that Korean Airliner, right?" Chip's dad said.

"I know that voice," Walt said. "You must be Chip's dad. Good kid. Pleasure to coach him. I don't think the local head of FEMA would agree though especially after what happened at that school assembly last year."

"Man that was last year," Chip's dad moaned. Grimacing at the day his son basically started a protest at his grade school because his class was getting an explanation of the FEMA crisis relocation plan.

"Well, he never forgot your kid, buddy."

"You know coach," Chip's dad said. "My son is of the idea that it won't matter how you shelter us. Omaha's going to get hit so hard it wouldn't matter."
"I will say that's false my friend," Walt said. "If I believed that I wouldn't be out getting the shelters up to snuff. If the worst comes to worse, all we can be is ready. I'm praying though it doesn't comes to this."

to be continued.
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In the shadows...

I, too grew up like you in the shadow of a major target in the midwest, only I was near McConnell AFB at Wichita. In the fall of 84, I was just 7 but like you the thought of nuclear war scared the hell out of me. You are capturing the feel of the times to a tee, and takes me back to that fear.


Monthly Donor
Good to see another American take on Protect and Survive.

I hope Chip makes it (and his Cheerleader ;)). Unless you intend to emulate Macragges' brutal realism. :eek:

I'm hoping this might provide something 'lighter' (Comparatively speaking).

For those who haven't read P&S, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
It's harsh and if you have a heart you may weep but it is one of the finest pieces to be found anywhere on this Board.

"I'm hoping this might provide something 'lighter' (Comparatively speaking).

If there is a way to be lighter..somebody show me that lol. Writing this is taking me back to the times, and that worry. Looking back and digging out a lot of old music and a lot of old issues of Time, and some old videotapes made me shudder a little bit. To think how close we came at many junctures. There's a lot of things that could have turned cold war into hot war that year.

"Unless you intend to emulate Macragges' brutal realism.

The original P&S hit me the way Threads did. It was very stark, blunt..but at the same time you see the humanity and how it can get stretched to a breaking point and beyond it. It also has me wondering. How would one deal with the memories? The memories of when things were whole. The stark realization that maybe a few weeks before you were sitting down and watching your favorite team play a ball game. Or you were sitting in a classroom, or working in an office.

I often have found myself thinking of that one scene in Threads.

"What does 500 calories amount to anyway?"
"Oh, a lamb chop. A twinkle tart. A few pints of beer.... BASTARDS!!!!!"

Emulate? Not in total. Each of these strands in time is an original look inside, and that what makes each pretty cool. I'm looking forward to see how all the strands tie together, and where the differences are. One thing I have taken from the original P&S is the detail into the norms of the setting (being something of a Anglophile made the detail it even more enjoyable).

I'm not sure what twists the road will take. But I'm looking forward to the journey.

My next path: Who is thinking the unthinkable, and acting on it?
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Land Of Flatwater: Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween October 31, 1983
"The official Soviet News Agency TASS reports tonight that a number of elements of the Soviet garrison in East Berlin will redeploy to areas outside of the city, in response to growing official criticism of their response to last week's student riots in East Berlin which spilled over into an inter-border clash that last 15 dead, dozens more wounded and had NATO and Warsaw Pact troops at odds in the divided city.

The world could stop spasming for a little while. The Soviet ranking commander in East Berlin suggest to his premier that their forces need the PR value of a pushback. General Secretary Andropov relectantly agree. The Soviet brigade pulled back from their intimidation basing. Some elements of the NATO garrison did as well. The crisis was over....for now.

Back home, kid were getting the costumes on again. After "the Halloween That Wasn't" in 1982, thanks to the Tylenol Crisis, trick-or-treating was back in style.

Chip looked at his latest Halloween creation and liked it. A home Nebraska jersey. Eyeblack.. a team color cape, fangs and a regulation NCAA football. "Quarterback Dracula, baby" he said to himself. "I vant to suck the blood out of your pass defense."

Chip was with the crew tonight. His cousins Ira, Troy, David and Cricket...driven around by dear old Dad in the big red chevrolet that could seat maybe twice their number. It was time to hit the neighborhoods.

"A vampire quarterback," Troy said. "Chip, you are....gee, I'm not sure what you are."
"He's crazy," Ira answered.
"You ain't lying there," Dad said.

The area street had a lot of little ghosts and goblins among the hubbub. Halloween was back and the haul was good.

The brat pack was comparing what they got with each stop. Chip, even as the youngest and smallest was loving it. He was just one of the guys again. Just one of the guys.

One the combs their own area pretty good. They moved locations toward the neighborhood around the Viking Ship and Miller Park. Again, pretty filled streets of trick-or-treaters. More chances for a fuller sack...and a chance meeting

"Chip was lagging behind at one house, when he ran into a rather cute, sparkly fairy princess..."
"Hi, Chip," Jill yelled in her perky cheer voice. "I like your costume. It's cool."
Chip blushed deeply, "Thanks." The developing crush he had was showing.
"We're gonna win Saturday, right?"
"I can't wait to beat those Kingswood guys. I've never played in a Bowl Game before. I'd like to win my first."
Jill was looking at the bag. "You have a lot of candy."
"Yeah, all the stuff my dad says I can't have."

"Well" Jill said coyly, "I have two treats for you."
"Here's one," Jill handed Chip a piece of notebook paper with some writing on it.

"Here's two," Jill hugged Chip and gave him a serious nice kiss on his lips.
"See ya, Chip," Jill said as she motored off to catch up to her friends. Chip look around to see if anybody saw what had his heart beating double time. I was hoping nobody would notice. Yeah, right pal.

"Chiiiiiiip!!!" Ira heckled. "Wow! All this time, Chip's on the girls." Cricket said. "Didn't know you had it in you," David agreed.
Chip was blushing even more. His dad was very proud. "Lord, I wasn't sure about that kid," he said to himself. "But I think he's gonna be okay."

I get delirious whenever you're near
Lose all self-control, baby just can't steer
Wheels get locked in place
Stupid look on my face

It comes 2 makin' a pass, pretty mama
I just can't win a race

'Cuz I get delirious (Delirious)

University of Nebraska-Omaha November 1, 1983

The student green was filled with candlelight. Over 1,000 people attended the annual the Nebraskans For Peace All-Saints Day Vigil. The prayer meeting/demonstration seemed more urgent this year because of the recent unrest.

The Mayor was there. The Governor drove up from Lincoln....and Chip was there fresh from football practice with his Uncle Daniel. Daniel served in the Navy. Two tours in the brown waters of Vietnam. What he saw in southeast Asia made him question the concept of war even since.

At the front, at the microphone was Carolina. She was NFP's president, and a strident voice for peace and social justice. Being such a voice in conservative Nebraska wasn't easy, but Carolina dovish demeanor hid the steel in her backbone.

"Lord," Carolina began somberly, "We thank you for bringing is together in the name of your peace. We ask that you bring that peace and help us extend it all around a world in need of it. We ask that You touch the heart of our peoples, and our leaders tonight. Help them see that we can do more at peace than we can at arms."

"Amen," Chip whispered quietly. He happened to see Coach Walt, too head bowed in humble prayer. Quite a few friends and neighbors. Many of whom he had never seen at anything like this. Near the front was the pastor of Chip's church as well.

Chip was alone in his thoughts. Many of those were on Tony right now. Somewhere in Germany. Tony was still on patrol. Looking east toward beyond the border. "God," Chip pleaded softly, "watch over Tony and his crew in Germany. Keep them safe so that they can all come home alive."

The vigil ended with the entire mass singing "We Shall Overcome". Afterward the Mayor and Governor walked back toward their cars together.,
The Governor was deep in thought. "More people at the vigil than usual," the Mayor said.
"I had never been to it before," the Governor answered. "They say its been going on since I got back from the war."
"Yes," the Mayor said, "But this is different. There's a lot of fear, even though it looks like both sides may be pulling back."
The Governor understood the worry in the crowd. Back in '66, he was a Navy SEAL, and he was shipped to Vietnam. He was man who knew war. He knew what it meant and he lived with what it cost. He was pinned down with his mates in a rice paddy in '69, where he led an important raid and saved two of his mates as a grenade blew his right leg off just below the knee. Returned home and went into business. Lat year a group of friends and concerned citizens drafted him to run for Governor. Against long odds, he pulled off an upset win in last year's election.

"You'd be a fool not to be scared," the Governor said. "I'd be scared out of my mind living in Omaha in the middle of this. That reminds me, Mr. Mayor. Can you make it to the Governor's mansion next Wednesday.
"I'm not sure completely, but"
"Whatever plans you have cancel them," the Governor interrupted. "The meeting is important and I need the mayors of my most populous areas there, and I want you to bring the person who would be your emergency controller if things went badly.
"Okay, whats the straight story here," The Mayor wondered.
"The straight story is that we could be in for a damn cold winter," the Governor said, "It could be Carl Sagan-cold if you get my drift. "
"You think it could get that bad?"
"I hope not, but my friends still in the military are telling me they don't like the signs they are getting. If the balloon goes up, this state has to be ready. So please, drop whatever's on your schedule and be there..and don't tell anybody you don't have to. It's that important."

to be continued.
Land of Flatwater: Great Day To Be Alive In Omaha, Nebraska :)

Rose Barracks/Vilseck, Germany Saturday November 5, 1983 0530

There's a routine to a game day.

the army issues greens underneath.

the perfectly shined boot

Full NBC gear. Including "flash" goggles"

Kevlar helmet. Colt sidearm. And the middle brief

Breakfast at 0545. Armory by 0600. Start up the hot rod by 0610.

"Red Team is out there," Tony thought. "It's time to play ball.

Chip's bedroom/Saturday November 5, 1983 9 a.m.

There's a routine to a game day.

First you wore you jersey to bed the night before. For good luck. A green jersey with a yellow "80" on it.

When you wake up, you look outside. It's cold. It's gray. A slight drizzle from the night before. Perfect midwestern football weather.

Next the thermal shirt. Gotta have the thermal shirt.

Then a t-shirt any t-shirt, today Chip selects his CND "peace" t-shirt. The irony makes him giggle. A shirt for peace, while he's plowing into some ballcarrier.

White thick game socks with the green sock and the yellow trim.

The white game pants. Pad put in the night before. Snug and tight as they should be. over the supporter/protector..

The shoulder pads go on next, strapped in and ready.

The headband. Just like Walter Payton.

Chip looks at himself in the mirror. "Let's win a bowl game," he thinks. He head totally focused on the game. Focused on catching passes, blocking well, and 'nothing cheap, nothing deep' on defense.

"Are you ready to play son."

Oh yeah!

Power Park. First quarter. No score.

They are bigger and it showed early. Their tailback ran through holes for consistent gains. Their line controlled the Jets defensive line. They drove down field to the Jets' 5, where there big back crashed it in. Kingwood 7, Jets 0

Offensively the Jets couldn't move the ball.

Second quarter. They lead 7-0.

Chip takes his spot at left cornerback. They are running up the field again Coach is bringing everybody up. Kingswood has splits a tall receiver out on Chip's side. He's a head taller than Chip.

"He's coming your way, Chip! BE AGGRESSIVE!" Chip's Dad yelled.

On the snap, the lanky split end ran toward Chip and then broke off toward the sideline. The quarterback pump faked and Chip bit on it.. The end bolted up field..

Chip scrambled back to pursue. He was a step late but gained on the receiver. The quarterback knew had a play and he threw the ball.

The ball sliced through the cold air. Chip knew he had to run. He was close and in position. He saw the ball...and made a play for it..

Chip jumped for the ball...missed and crashed into the receiver. As he fell to the ground, he saw a flash of yellow...and the referee standing above the flag he threw.

"Pass Inteference -- defense!"

The next play they ran their power sweep to Chip's side, not much a 90 pound kid can do against pulling guards twice his size. Kingswood lead 14-0 at halftime.

"ALL YEAR WE'VE PLAYED LIKE CHAMPS," coach boomed. "AND NOW WE AREN'T DOING ANYTHING! Now we are going to see what you got. Are you going to play like Tarzan? or are you going to play like Jane?"

Third quarter. Kingwood 14, Jets 0

Kingswood was driving again, and they had the Jets on the ropes. They moved the ball all the way to the Jets' 15, when they set up a rollout pass for the endzone...Again, the quarterback threw the ball to his best receiver, but the little kid wearing #80 for the Jets was ready this time. Chip jumped in front of their split end and intercepted the ball in the endzone. The Jets sideline went from silent to frenzied. This game wasn't over, yet.

"YEAH!" Chip's Dad yelled. "That's my boy!"
The Jet coaches huddled up the offense. "Fellas will have been given the break we want! Cash it in!"

The offense finally moved the ball. They switched from their wide-open game to a ground-based option game. The quarterback and the tailback alternated run that started to find holes in the bigger defense. The line fired out with purpose. After eight plays, the Jets' best runner scored on a 12-yard sprint to the right side. The Jets were on the board, trailing 14-7.

Fourth quarter. 6:00 left.

"Fourth down," the coach said. "They're gonna punt."
"Hey coach," his assistant said. "let go with a return here. Send Chip back, have Rod rush from the edge. I wanna see if we can rush that punt and get some field position."
"Chip GO BACK DEEP!!!" Coach yelled.

Chip went back to his own 20 and waiting for the ball. The Kingswood punter has a strong leg. He's been booming punts deep all day.

On the snap, 10 Jets tried to rush, but the Kingswood punter got it off..And again, it was a solid boot.. Chip had to retreat back to the 10. He could hear is heartbeat through the crowd. He thought about what his dad told him. "Don't worry about who is coming, just catch the ball first. The littlest guy on the field has to be the most willing to take the hit."

Chip hauled in the punt at the 10, he turned his head and saw 2 black jersey bearing down on him. His mind raced......"SPIN MOVE!" His brain screamed. Chip dipped his shoulder and spun to his left, leaving two Kingswood tacklers flailing at air. His cousin Ira taught him that move and Chip executed it beautifully.

He saw the next tackler, and bursted past him to his left. He could see the next 10 yards ahead black jerseys mixed with green. Chip thought of that videogame '10 Yard Fight'. "Set up the blockers," he thought. He switched the ball to his right hand as he veered away from the sideline...Two more Kingswood defenders tried to get the angle on him...But two of his teammates, Maurice and Rod had a better angle..The both waxed the opposing players. Chip juked a third guy at the 35, He looked up and saw a wall of green jerseys. The Jets were flying in formation, and every green jersey was wiping out anything in a black jersey. Chip weaved through pile of bodies and his teammates cleared a path.

The last chance for Kingswood was the strong punter. He was already beat. Underestimating Chip's speed, he took an angle that the speedy little Jet immediately erased. At the 5 yard line, Chip broke into a wide smile. He could hear Nebraska's famous radio commentator in his head.."MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD HE'S GONE!!!!!"

The Jet parents and fans exploded with Joy. Chip's mom, normally even keeled, was jumping up and down. The other Jet players piled on in the endzone. "Fresh run, shrimp," said the biggest player on the team. "That was FUNKY!!!"

As Chip jogged off the field, he heard a very high voice through the din..."WOOOOOO!! THAT'S MY CHIP!!!!" It was Jill...Chip felt goosebumps underneath his shoulder pads.

The extra point was good. This game was tied. And a steady rain began to fall..

The rain made running an offense difficult. The teams traded punts. Kingswood got the ball back with 1:50 left and with the help a 25-yard punt return, they had set up on the Jets side of the field. Chip noticed on Kingswood's bench that a holder and a kicker were practicing field goals into a net, just like they were some NFL team. "Cake-eating suburban fairies," Chip thought with a sneer.

The Jet coaches swaps out player to get fresh legs in the game as Kingswood found some traction. "Chip! in at corner, get that football!!!" Coach snapped.

Chip was back in..against the same lanky pass-catcher he'd been fighting all day. "They are putting this little black smurf on me again?," the tall blonde said. Chip heard him. "This guy thinks his Chris Collinsworth," Chip thought. "If you get your hands on the ball blondie, I'm knocking your dick in the dirt."

At the snap, the receiver bolted three steps and then went back. The quarterback threw him a quick screen, setting up a one-on-one situation. "Blondie, meet Jack Tatum," Chip thought.

The receiver made a move, but the little cornerback wasn't buying it. Chip had a bead on him, and projected all of his 90-pound body through the taller receiver. Head up. Shoulders through the target.

"FUMBLE!!!!!!!" the entire sideline yelled. the ball skittered loose on the ground. The Kingswood backfield raced to get it, but Chip clawed over his crumpled target and got to the ball first. He dove on it and cradled it like it was his favorite teddy bear, even with the Kingswood player piling on, Chip held on tight. That ball was his. He heard the whistle and saw the referee point toward the Jets endzone. The Jets had the ball and a chance to win now.

The Jet coach called his quarterback over, "Steve, we got 'em. I Split Left X9 Y8..Ricky in the slot does the slant. Chip is your deep ball. We can jump on these guys." "Coach?" Steve asked, "You're having Chip go deep." "Little Chip has been beating his man all day. They are rotating a bigger slower guy on him. Chip will get off the line and beat him. They are more worried about Ricky."

Chip could feel the excitement. 1:20 to go in the fourth quarter in a big game and a tie score."

Steve got in the huddle as the ref blew in the play clock. "I Split Left X9 Y8 on one. I Split Left X9 X8 on one..Let's win the game and have a fun pizza party tonight. READY, BREAK!!!"

Chip set up as the split end on the left side. He looked straight through the corner on the other side. He was more a linebacker than a corner. Bigger but slow. He could hear the opposing coach. "You can push that little kid around, Marty," he yelled. "Don't let him off the line"

Chip eyes narrowed. He knew what he'd do with Marty. Chip looked at the middle of the defense the safety was cheating up maybe expecting an option or a screen to Rod, the Jets' best back.

"Down, Blue 18, Blue 18...Set HUT!"

Chip took a step on the snap, and the kid covering him was ready to chuck him, but Chip got the hands up first and executed a perfect swim move. He threw his shadow off balance and sprinted up the left sideline. Marty was beaten, and the Kingswood safety who was cheating up scrambled back to pick Chip up.

On the snap Steve carried out a playfake and then look to Ricky on the slant. Kingswood at that covered, but then he quickly turned his head just as coach yelled. "STEVE LOOK UP!!!!"

Steve saw Chip racing up field. He took a step left planted and threw the ball through the driving rain. The quarterback grunted as he swung his arm. Trying to will every yard he could out of the throw.

Chip looked up and saw the ball. It was a little behind him, Chip slowed up a little..and his instict was right. The ball came down and both kids jumped for it...The safetyman had recovered to get his hand on it..He tipped it, but Chip stayed with it and caught the ball. He put the ball in his left hand and threw out a straight arm with his right. The opposing boy stumbled, and Chip accelerated from the 45. The safetyman tried to pursue, but Chip was sprinting like it was still track season. He felt his chaser dive for his legs at the 15, but the ballcarrier stayed upright. Chip again felt that wide grin come across his face. A second big-play touchdown for him, and the lead for his team."

Chip raced into the end zone and broke out the Billy 'White Shoes' Johnson dance. Dad wouldn't approve, but Chip didn't care right then. His teammate mobbed him. The rain and mud didn't matter right then. It was all about winning, and the Jets were close to winning.... Jets 21, Kingswood 14

Kingswood still had 48 second and the ball. There was still work to do.

The Kingswood quarterback hit a couple of passes that got them into the Jets side of the field. But each time they had to use time outs. They could get out of bounds. And the quarterback couldn't find his best target. Chip and Ricky saw to that.

Every time Blondie came off the line. Chip was pressing aggressively. Once the quarterback threw in that direction and Chip broke the play up. Blondie was getting flustered at the way he was being blanketed.

9 seconds left...Kingswood ball at the Jets 26.

Kingswood's quarterback was in a shotgun formation..4 receivers split out. Two to each side. This could be the last play of the game and a season. The Jets put its 6 best pair of hands on the field as extra defensive backs. They knew the other team had to score to extend the game.

Chip was on the left side...and breaking the huddle he saw his best friend coming back. Tall Blondie was lining up on his side. Didn't these guys learn yet?

Blondie had the chatter going, "I'm about to make you my girlfriend," he sneered.

"I'm not into blondes," Chip said cooly. "I prefer redheads."
You 'prefer'? Blondie chuckled mimicking an effeminate voice.
Chip paid it no mind. It was all about this last play now.
The ball was snapped..and Blondie tore off for the endzone. All the receiver streaked for the endzone...and Jets had them all shadowed.
The big boys up front were leaking through. The quarterback was running out of the time...and running for his life..He found an opening to his right..and starting running...he was past the line of scrimmage...he could throw it now..but the Kingswood receivers could throw blocks and they did..But on receiver couldn't.. hold his block.

Chip threw his mark off balance and scrambled out of the endzone to draw a bead on the quarterback. The Quarterback was being pursued by the Jet middle linebacker as he saw Chip. The ballcarrier quickly decided on his option. He would try to run the smaller kid over.

The quarterback turned his shoulder upfield at the four..Two kids at full speed. They collided at the 2-yard line..Chip stopped the other kid's momentum and keeped the legs driving..He couldn't quite get him down but he had the other kid's waist. The quarterback couldn't move..A second later the help arrive. Three jets piled on the quarterback. He was driven out of bounds in a heap as the final whistle sounded..

The Jet bench erupted in cheers. They won the postseason Bowl game.

"Boys," coach said as he held up the trophy. "This has been the best season I've coached, with the best team I've ever coached. Congratulations, men. YOU EARNED IT!"

Coach continued. "You are all some great football players. I've never had team where every member truly pitched in for each other. I'm proud to have coached you and I can't wait to see you all play in high school. I think some of you could go all the way. I see some future Huskers on this team."

Every kid roared "OH YEAH!!!"

Get out of the monsoon. Get home clean up, listen to the Nebraska game. Pefferoni's Pizza tonight 630, our championship banquet. Lets get a championship huddle BRING IT IN!!!

"Who are we? JETS! Who? JETS! Who? JETS! Whodidwebeat KINGSWOOD! Who? KINGSWOOD! Who? Kingswood! Whatarewe? CHAMPS! Who? CHAMPS! Who? CHAMPS!!!!!!!!!!

Two hours later.

Chip was in his room resting and listening to the Nebraska game against Iowa State. As expected the Huskers, still ranked #1 were rolling.

The young lad was replaying the game in his head, while his cousin Ira was playing a videogame. Every play. Every feeling came sweeping back. The punt return. The big catch. The tackle. The jawing with the Blondie. "I'm sure I'll see that kid again," Chip thought. "I'm sure hell go to Millard somewhere or worse, Westside. Wherever he is in high school, I'll run into him, and I'll stick him again."

His mom came in and interrupted the calm. "Chip, telephone for you."

Chip picked up the Nebraska helmet phone in his room. "Hello?"
"Little Man. NICE GAME Two touchdowns!!!"
"Tony? What's up?! You are calling me from Germany?"
"Yeah homeboy. I knew today was the Bowl Game. I had to check in on that. Your mom and dad said you were awesome today."
Chip grinned. "I just wanna be all-world like you."
"You are getting there kid. You are getting there."
"What about you, Tony?" Chip said. "I hear there's some stuff going on out there. Seen any Russians yet?"
"I've seen a little of them from our side of the border into there's. It looks like they're pulling back and so are we. We did wanna start no stuff, and neither do they. I think both sides could be staying cool for now."
"Hope so."
"I gotta get back to work Lil' Man," Tony said. "You keep doing great stuff in school, and get yourself ready for basketball and track season. I expect to see you get even better when I get back home next year."
"I'm on that. I'm praying for you Tony. Be careful out there."
"You too, Lil' Man."

Pefferoni's Pizza was a cauldron of noisy wannabe teenagers. And the Jets were the center of it all. Not-quite-teen-spirit mixed with Duran Duran mixed with the computerized 8-bit rhythms of the arcade videogames lined along the perimeter. They're the Kids in America...whoa :)

Chip standing with Ricky, Rod and Darrell. The little "Scoring Explosion was checking out which videogame to play first. Chip knew where he was going.
"Pole Position. 'Nuff said." Chip made a beeline for the machine and stuck a quarter in. In an instant, he was engrossed in the virtual Fuji Speedway.

"Dang Smart Kid you can own this game," Rod said as Chip took an easy pole position in the qualifying round. "Nothing can keep me for getting that high score." Chip said.
"I know what could," Rod giggled. "The cheerleaders just came through the door."
Chip didn't notice..he was weaving his way through virtual cars like Alain Prost.
"Yeah," RIcky agreed. "And I know one or two I'd talk to."
"And I know one who kinda likes you Chip" Rod said.
"Me? Yeah, right pal." Chip said blankly. He was well into lap two.

"Oh come on, Chip," Rod said. "What about....Jill?"
Chip tried to play it off through the one tight hairpin that trips everybody up on Pole Position. No downshift..take it fast and thread the needle. Whew! Got away with it. But he was hearing Rod. He was blushing a little. Deep down he knew, he had a little crush on freckled redhead rocket. "Is she here?" Chip thought.

FINAL LAP! "Get the girl out of your head," Chip thought. "I can finally finish the game and get a high score. It was then that he heard that voice. Jill was here. Her voice was part farm girl-part Valley girl."
"She won't notice me in the corner," Chip thought as he was piloting the videogame race car into the tight hairpin again. Again he took it at top speed..and just missed crashing into another car. The road ahead had my traffic. The cars kept coming and he keep setting passes up.. He headed down the final straight...The checkers in sight..Chip keep it straight down the middle. What a day he was having. Perfect game. Heard from All-World tonight..and finally beat Pole Position. Could it get any better?

"Wow," a cute voice said. "You are good at that." Jill was checking out the action from his right side.
Chip was stunned. "Where did you come from?"
"I was watching the last lap, silly." she giggled.

The Jets coach stood at the head of room. As the players still munched on pizzas, he was readying to give out the team trophies. Each kid got one, and coach had something to say about them all. It was usually about a play in a game or their skills or whatever. Steve is the coaches son and our quarterback. Coach was nearly in tears talking about him. He said how he was really scared of how good Big Brent could be, and how Ricky and Rod would make defenses nervous at the next level or at the college level. But there was one trophy left.

"Last and certainly not least," coach began. "I've been coaching at Lil Vikes for around 10 years now. I started coaching before I had a child. And now that I've been blessed with a son and a daughter, I want to coach more. This last kid is a reason why I coach. Every year, you get one kid who you don't think is a football player. You get one kid that makes you wonder why are they are playing football."

"I mean, how many kids at a football practice can tell you who the Russian President is?" The coach laughed. "Really were at practice a few weeks ago, during all that mess abroad I'm fussing about it with my other coaches and I can't think of the guys' name..We're in a huddle...and the kid tells me what the guy's name is...I'm not sure if he was right, but it sounded good."

"But this kid, loves football. I mean loves football. That is what I learned through this season. Kids can pleasantly surprise you. And today, I was stunned, but I shouldn't have been. Two touchdowns. Big plays, and never backed down...Yeah, kids can surprise you..and Chip, you certainly did..GET UP HERE!!!"

The whole room was clapping..Chip proudly took his trophy. Smiling all the way...It couldn't get better than this..

The banquet was starting to break up. Chip's dad was talking to the head coach about what else? Football. Chip was just outside, saying bye to a few friends...when he was tugged softly on the arm in the cold Nebraska night.

"Hey Chip," Jill asked. "You gonna use that phone number I gave you..."
"Oh yeah," Chip said.

He followed her to the side of the building.

"You were awesome today," Jill said. "And here's a reason why you should use that number."
Jill and Chip's lips met in that late fall night...and he felt her tongue softly slip into his mouth.... "Saturday 5 November 1983 -- 8:17 Central Standard Time," Chip thought. The feeling would stay with him forever. The perfect ending to a perfect day.

J. Sterling Morton Junior High School/ Monday November 7, 1983.. End of third period.
Chip was heading down to hall toward science class with some classmate. He noticed a group of men with hand trucks with boxes. Most kids didn't notices the boxes.

Chip gave them a glance. He noticed the lettering on them.

The boxes had the Civil Defense logo on them.

Omaha-Douglas County Civic Center/same time
"Walt," the Mayor said. "You got any pressing meetings Wednesday?"
"Not in my schedule"
"Good. I need you to come down to Lincoln with me. Very important meeting with the Governor."
"What it is about?"
"Walt, you'd know better than I would," the Mayor said worriedly. "The Governor seems to agree with you. Its a meeting about preparedness. This thing that happened in Berlin really spooked him."
"Hell, it spooked me , too," Walt said.
"I can't blame him, Walt. I've known the Governor since we were in college together, and If he's nervous about something I kinda take it seriously. What's the status on the shelters right now."
"Even with the easing of tensions, we're continuing with emergency mobilization. Civil Defense is starting to work on the shelters in areas that may be considered 'safe'."
"How long will it take?"
"I expect to have them all restocked and ready before Christmas."
"Good Walt," The Mayor said. "All I ask is that we be really discreet about it. Especially in the schools. We don't need to cause a panic with the kids."
"Omaha Public Schools is working with me on that," Walt said. "All the Civil Defense people are disguised as OPS employees. Maintenance, curriculum people and so on. They are wearing OPS IDs. Driving OPS vehicles. I'm having a hard time getting the Archdiocese to play ball. The Bishop doesn't realize that some the Catholic schools are fallout shelters. We have to get in those, too."
"I'll talk to him," the Mayor said. "I don't think he'll say no to a former altar boy at St. Cecilia's. Geez, Walt.....I pray to God that those shelters never need to be used."
"That makes two of us, Mr. Mayor."

To be continued.........
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Monthly Donor
Nice work, Chipperback. :D

Really had me rooting for Chip there. Well paced and exciting. This bodes well. :cool:
It will make it all the more poignant when the world goes to hell around him. :(




This is genuinely an incredible piece of work so far, Chipperback; there's characterisation here that goes way deeper than the characters in the original - by starting way before the war you're carefully setting up the world we're going to lose - even knowing what's going to happen there's still the sense of the tension slowly but surely ratcheting up (which is helped by the appearances of the adults making preparations for the unthinkable). The fact that Chip has both a burgeoning romance and a brother in Germany (!!!) makes what's about to happen even more unbearable to consider.

Our protagonist is getting pretty well-developed and interesting, to say nothing of his realism; one can only wonder what will become of him when the seventh seal is well and truly opened.

Great work, I'm following every update intently!
Thanks, everybody :)

I'm glad that you are all enjoying this. I'm just trying to keep up with the standard you've set Macragge1 :)

Its hard to write the road ahead, especially when you lived a lot of it lol. Everything you are reading, at that time back then...that was my life in many ways. The thought of a dystopic version of me is interesting, yet it is also a little frightening, because of how close we came.

Last year, I had a little cousin who's HS US History class had a project where they had to actually talk to people who lived through the cold war years and had to gain perspective on it. He interviewed me for it, and to help him out I gave him a lot of data, and burned a copy of both The Day After and Threads so she could have a serious idea how afraid we were.

Its those feelings that come out writing this.

The next few updates will center more on the adults.
The adults are in two categories. 1. Those who get it and 2. Those who don't. And the those in category 1 bump serious heads with category 2.

I'm very happy you like the characters. That's one of things that really drew me to P&S and to write a spin-off. My favorite character is the Constable. He's the average guy put into the soup through no fault of his own and he has to figure it out.

I'm looking forward to what you guys put in. This has been so awesome and this site is great. It's a great workout for the imagination. Serious stress relief after a hard days' work. :)
This is excellent stuff.
If the parent story reminds me of Threads, then this reminds me of The Day After.

Last year, I had a little cousin who's HS US History class had a project where they had to actually talk to people who lived through the cold war years and had to gain perspective on it.

Wow! That makes me feel old! When did parts of my life become history? :eek:

I too grew up near several GZs. Have to say the thought of the Cold War going hot never bothered me once.
And in the rest of Big 8 country...


Too many of the experiences you are describing seem to fit my personal story. Family in Europe at this time with the Military, (mine was an uncle in the USAF in Athens at this time) athletic as a kid, and bleeding for your school, although mine was and is Purple over Big Red...

I relate a lot with the characters, both the kids and the adults and have to say that it is a mark of outstanding writing to have such an immediate connection.

Heres hoping somehow Chip and family run into a family from Wichita, Ks, not that with McConnell, Boeing, Cessna, Lear, and Beechcraft there I would have probably made it out alive anyway...

Keep up this awesome work.
"Wow! That makes me feel old! When did parts of my life become history?

I know the feeling. The wildest thing was helping my dad dig out his dad's old radio that had the "CD" markings on 640 and 1240 so you can find the CONELRAD frequencies.

Brilliant! I'm going to have to talk to you about where our TL might overlap and run into cannon problems. I'll be happy to bow to your expertise. Please excuse my ramblings. Amazing TL, super detailed. And good luck! It seems as opposed to popular belief there is a lot going on in Nebraska besides corn.

and Subscribed. Keep up the good work.
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I've been hoping too throw in my two cents for the 'conventional phase' of the war, if you want too use it.

NATO thought the Soviets would have two primary-axis of attack through Central Germany (the Fulda Gap and the North German Plains), with all other assault routes as secondary or tertiary advances. In fact, the Soviet plan had ONLY the North German Plains as the primary shwerpunkt, with the Fulda Gap as a secondary line. The idea the Soviets had is that by breaking thorugh the North, they could cut the Americans off from the channel ports and crush/throw them into the Alps while steaming too and over the Rhine.

You could also expect the Soviets to send units on rather... unexpected avenues of approach. One example would be the Soviets pushing a tank army through a moutain range to suddenly appear on a NATO force's operational flank.
Incredibly good. You've captured both the times and the feel of life in the Midwest. I am really looking forward to future installments.