Land of Flatwater: Protect and Survive Middle America

Land Of Flatwater: The Start of the Shortest Month

Nebraskans For Peace offices -- Benson Neighborhood Midtown Omaha Tuesday January 31, 1984 10:30 a.m.

It was a cold morning in front of the offices for Nebraskans For Peace. A storefront in the Benson neighborhood shopping area. Carolina, dressed in a sweatshirt printed "I SUPPORT THE WOMEN OF GREENHAM COMMON" was front of cameras and microphones, responding to the events of the weekend.

"We of Nebraskans For Peace strongly condemn the actions of the Soviet-backed forces in the downing of KAL Flight 146. We strongly condemn the actions of Soviet forces in East Germany. Crackdown reminiscent of those on Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. We condemn their continued occupation of Afghanistan."

"We also condemn the continued myriad build-up of American forces in West Germany which have directly antagonized the Warsaw Pact nations for nearly 2 years without real attempts to seek peaceful solution on either side."

"The United States and the Soviet Union combined are blackmailing the world in their continued quest for power at the expense of peace

"This week in Europe a coalition of trade unions and peace groups will be demonstrating as far east as Poland, who will be doing so openly in defiance of the government orders and their Soviet masters."

"Nebraskans For Peace will also take part, along with peace groups and unions here in the U.S. with demonstrations throughout the weekend, including a candlelight vigil Saturday at Offutt Air Force Base."

"We will also protest at any and all draft locations in Omaha and throughout the Nebraska. We feel the the call to activate the Selection Service System is a forcing the citizenry to accept war as a normal consequence. We find it wrong, and actually is destabilizing to the situation."

"We ask all Omahans and all Nebraskans to help lead our President and the General Secretary back to the peace table. Let's negotiate instead of radiate. I will now take your questions."

The World Herald reporter was first up, "Ma'am after last night, most Americans are supporting preparing to take action, do you feel that your protests will gain traction."

Carolina smiled, "We knew they'll gain traction because most people are scared throughout Omaha now. While your kids are studying, the Civil Defense people are rebuilding the shelters in their school. Police and firefighters and beginning to plan for when the bombs come. More and more people are saying 'When the bombs' come. People are afraid and they should be. I say turn that feeling of powerlessness into powerful action. We the people here and around the world have to send the message that we don't grant our consent to die in nuclear fire."

Wednesday February 1, 1984 -- City Planning Office 10:30am

The superintendent of schools and the head of the teacher's union were in Walt's office, and they weren't happy. In fact they were sounding a lot like Carolina.

"I understand the concerns sir," Walt told the superintendent. "I have kids, too. But Civil Defense has a job to do, and there's no getting around it. We have to keep working and expand the shelters."

"Walt, I see the news every night," The Superintendent said. "But I'm getting questions from teachers and parents. They are getting worried. Do we have to do this during school hours."

"You both the knew the score back in the fall," Walt pleaded. "I need every minute I can get right now."

The union head was just as contentious, "Why not work after the school days ends, when the kids can't see all of it."

"Carol, c'mon," Walt said again. "Civil Defense and city planning is already stretched to the maximum, and we have do a lot at a lot of schools in a short time. Those shelters were built in the 50s and 60s...In case you haven't noticed, there;s a lot of more people in those schools now. Let say, for attack happens when the kids are in school. Most of this schools have more kids than we do shelter space. I ask you both WHO GETS TO LIVE AND WHO GETS TO DIE?"

Both were silent. Minds racing.

"I'm asking again," Walt boomed. "WHO'S GET TO LIVE? Who will make that call, eh? What I'm trying to do is help take that choice off the table. Remember, I am a parent, too.

"So I ask you both again," Walt said quietly and fiercely, "Who among your schools will you choose to let live?"

Miss Germaine's classroom -- same time
"Well class lets talk about this," Miss Germaine said. "How many kids in this class agree with the idea of protests,"
Only two hands went up in a class of 25.

"I think both of you are anti-American," Geoff said. A boy in glasses with wearing a Van Heusen shirt. "That's how I feel."
One of the people who raised her hand, a girl shot back. "I am not! I just think that we're both going too far. Why would you say that."

He answered back, "Because the President said we need to stand up to them. They would shoot anybody down to take over the world. It is what they want."

Chip just sat there, he wanted to say something, but restrained himself. He never liked Geoff. He struck him as a bully, and not very smart. They have crossed each other. Geoff is a taller, heavier kid and tends to try to intimidate when he speaks. Chip is a kid who doesn't take kindly to tries to intimidate him. They are oil and water, and they are about to collide in the same beaker.

Miss Germaine looked at Chip. "We know you have opinion," Miss Germaine said. "Why do you have your hand up?"
"Because I will be at the protests this weekend," Chip said.

Another kid asked, "Why"
"Because I am frightened," Chip said somberly. "I see two massive armies really to fight and they are ready to take the world down with them. The United States and the Soviet Union are barely a tenth of the population of the world. Yet, they can hold 5 billion people hostage."

"If you don't like it MOVE TO RUSSIA," Geoff bellow.

Chip looked at him. "You are as ignorant, as you are bellicose."

Geoff look at Chip. "Is that even a word."

Chip look at his opponent with disdain. "He's isn't very smart," Chip thought. And Chip, as slight and small as he was, did have a brain and a mouth...and he took both off safety.

"Yes it is a word. I would suggest you get a dictionary. You may not be able to think, but hopefully you can at least read."

The class were stunned. The weird kid was coming at Geoff. It didn't make Chip any more popular, in fact he was seen as arrogant, aloof, opinionated. But at that moment Chip really didn't care. He felt bullied and threatened, and when cornered, Chip fought like hell.

Geoff parried and fought back himself. "You always wear those
'peace' t-shirts. My dad says those people want Russia to take us over. They they are funded by Moscow, you probably like that...that....the jerk Russian President guy.."

Chip giggled. "Typical loud-mouthed white American. You don't even know the name of the Soviet President. When you learn his name and have a thought of your own....Then you might be able to reach my level. Until then...shut up....And just for you, my friend. I'll wear one of my peace shirts tomorrow."

After class Geoff walked up to Chip. Chip felt his body stiffen, like he was ready to coil to make a tackle.

"If you wear that shirt tomorrow, I'm going to jack you up little man."

Chip was shaking. He didn't like to fight, but this shaking was due to fear. It was due to anger. As much as the little boy sought peace, he didn't back down from a challenge.

Three E's Barber Shop -- 1pm Wednesday February 2, 1984
Ed just got done with another satisfied customer with the radio playing in the background. The "Soul of Omaha" KBWH blaring some latest R&B.

"Hey, Ed!" His partner Eric yelled out. "Telephone, man. Its your brother..."
"Which one," Ed laughed. "I have six of those."

Ed took the receiver, "Which one of the my knuckle-headed brothers is this?"
"It's Ralph, punk!"

"Whacha doin' rockhead."

"Nothing much, just on a little break from this endless alert thing going on."
"Still on stand-by?"
"Dig it lil brother. I'm waiting for the phone to ring, and I hope it never does."

Ed's older brother Ralph was always a leader. When they were kids, Ed was the receiver but Ralph was the quarterback. Ed was the point guard, but Ralph played center. He joined up in the Air Force right after high school, and got to learn how to fly...eventually good enough to be combat pilot. But a tour in Vietnam being shot at in an F-4 got him thinking about something else. He asked for a switch to learn to fly B-52s, and he worked his way into a BUFF. Now he runs his own ship, based at Eaker Air Force Base, Arkansas. The family's home state.

"Hey Ed," Ralph asked. "I wanna let you know I've moved Bunny and Dee down to Morrillton with the relatives until all this blows over."

"Okay," Ed said. "How much safer would they be Ralph? They have a base in Little Rock, too,
"They'd be an hour away from Little Rock. They'd at least be safe, brotha. Helluva lot safer than Eaker."

"Listen Ed, there something I gotta tell you and I may not have the chance later as much as they have us on lockdown."


"I'm sending you a care package this week." Ralph said. "Some thing you may need to help get you through. You do have a shelter or something know.."

"Well there what's under ma's house.."

"Hopefully that will do," Ralph answered. "I left some things there, too Ed."

"C'mon lets not be so quick to jump the gun here,"

"Now you are sounding like my damn wife," Ralph said in an irritated tone.
"Damn, Ralph what's your malfunction?"

"I had a fight with Bunny..."
"What the hell is new? You two always fussin'"

"It was over me sending her and my daughter to stay with Bobbi Jean and Melville down yonder. They wanted to stay, and i didn't want them here because I didn't want them to be targets here. I just wanted them safe, Ed."

For the first time in his life, Ed felt the fear in his big brother.

"If I'm in that plane and the call comes," Ralph said. "I most likely won't be back. I won't get to see them at the end anyway. I'll be somewhere over Russia knowing I have nothing to come back to. I can at least do what may need doing, knowing that the people I love are safe. I can die in peace that way."

There was a long pause, during which Ed faintly heard the news item. It was the growing unrest in Europe.

"Ralph?" Ed said. "You said its in the basement? I'll head over this week and check it out."

"Do that.."

The dinner table -- Walt's house -- 7:00pm

"Walt you are quiet tonight," Jennifer said to her husband. "Are you alright."
Walt's mind was spinning in facts and figures. The hot argument with the school officials. The cold calculus of what FEMA and NEMA were expecting. He looked around at his family. His lovely wife. His son...and his little Jill.

"Sorry honey, its just been tough day."

"Dad," his son Jeff asked. "I think there is something you aren't telling us. Does it have to do with the job.."
Walt was visibly frustrated. He just needed to vent, but not to his kids.

It came out anyway. "I'm scared, son," Walt said. "I'm really scared."

"Scared of what?"

"My job," Walt said. "My job is to protect people fromsomething that there is no protection against. And.... its getting to me right now."

Chip's bedroom -- 10:30pm --

"Tonight...the continuing crisis in Germany, after the KLM 146 disaster and the tough talk, how far will it go?....Good Evening, I'm Ted Koppel and Nightline."

Chip was being allowed to stay up to see this. As he packed his bags for another day at school.

"Amid the growing tensions in the world, the big question is how far will both NATO and the Warsaw Pact go to defend their interest and what could it all mean? We will have three guests tonight. Joining us from Moscow via Satellite, Vladimir Posner, lead commentator for Radio Moscow in the Soviet Union. Ironically, Posner spent his early years growing up in New York City. Joining us from Boston, Massachusetts noted astrophysicist Carl Sagan, and from Washington, Georgia Congressman Newton Gingrich.

Chip's dad walked into the room and sat down.

"First we'll turn to Mr. Posner. The Soviet Union tends to blame the west for everything however you could surely understand the American reaction. Two airliners in five month?"
"First off, Ted," Vladimir Posner began in his Central Park West accent, "The Soviet Union had nothing to do with sad events of KLM 146. Our military was not involved in any way. The Soviet people abhor aggression and we feel the United States is using this accident as a justification for aggression.."

"Now Vladimir," Koppel interview. "No matter what country the planes came from, it was under Soviet sanction, now how can you say what you just said given the fact of the case.."

"Ted," Posner answered. "The facts are that the airliner strayed into our airspace and didn't identify itself"

"I think the words KLM on the side are all the identifier you need," Congressman Gingrich interrupted. "This is just the Soviet Union lying to the world, again. This is the reality of the Soviet Union. They feel the rules don't apply to them anywhere in the world. That is why the Soviets are massing troops in East Germany now. Your politburo, your military Mr. Posner is sending the message that we are the USSR and we do what we please."

"And the message that Ronald Reagan sends in the return is 'We are America, we do what we please and interfere where we please, be it East Germany , be it Lebanon through your lackey state Israel, be it Grenada were a socialist government chosen in the way you Americans prescribe was overthrown by American militarism," Posner fired back.

Chip watched intently as his father looked on as well. Both looking at the Gingrich-Posner argument developing.

Koppel finally managed to regain control long enough to get Carl Sagan in the discussion. In is familiar delivery, Sagan framed the real issue.

"Ted, I am watching these two men. Both standing in the gasoline with their matches..and I'd like to ask both of them. Mr. Posner, Congressman Gingrich, and what point will this stop?" Carl Sagan asked. "Last year eminent scientists from both sides, including myself, have put forth graphic evidence that concludes that if you use these weapons you threaten the survival of the human species. Yet, both sides recklessly continue on this road to nowhere. Why should BILLIONS of the people of the world be held hostage by either of you? What gives either the United States or the Soviet Union the right to dictate the survival of our biosphere as if either of you own it. I find your bluster and your escalations arrogant. That arrogance will be the death of us all."

Chip was fired up. "YOU TELL 'EM, CARL!" he yelled to his TV.

Chip dad smiled at him, "Interesting that you say that, given that you are escalating something, too."


"Don't huh me," his dad said. "You know what I'm talking about. Your mom told me."
His mom entered his room as he said that.
"Mrs. Germaine told me how you went after that boy, you were no different than this Gingrich person."

"Mom, he threatened me..I can't let it go without saying something."
Dad nodded, "He's right Gail. And I applaud that. Our son wasn't pushed around nor should he be."

But dad looked at Chip hard, "But son," he began. "You are acted no different that this two men on TV right now. He went after you, so you went after him. Yes, you may shown your smarts about it. But you used your weapons on him and the affect was so devastating that you backed him into a corner. It wasn't the time to do it, it could have been defused. But you escalated and he did..And tomorrow you will wear that shirt and you should. It is what you believe and you should defend. But I want you to show some class. Do not engage with this kid. He doesn't know what you know. Don't get into a pissing contest with a prick, son."

"My son, my son," Gail said as she hugged. "You have to stick for yourself. Stand your ground, but if he is backing away from the table. Let him do so with grace. I'm willing to bet that he doesn't want a fight anymore than you do."

"Mom, Dad...okay," Chip said. "I don't want a fight, but I don't like being called names for I believe in. I'm scared it going to get worse."

That night, Ed went to sleep. Slipped under the cover, spooning his wife. His brain was churning. Thinking of Ralph, Rick, his son...what he had heard on Nightline.

"Dear Lord," Ed thought. "Is the whole damn world going to bed scared like me?"

Thursday February 2, 1984
Chip is on the school bus for the trip west to Morton Junior High. His winter jacket zipped up. Underneath was his T-shirt saying "I SUPPORT THE WOMEN OF GREENHAM COMMON". He was doing what his dad suggested. Be smarter.

He went to second period...Mrs. Germaine's class...and Geoff was there. Chip walked in the room and took his seat. He said nothing to the other boy. He just heard he and his friend snicker, "He didn't wear a peace shirt..He backed down...little chicken" Chipper wanted to fire back, but he held it, and then he giggled. "Now I see, Dad," he thought.

Since Mrs. Germaine's class studied two subjects its two periods in the same room. It was early 3rd period when we went into the social studies. part of the class. The girl behind him asked him about his shirt.

"Who are the Women of Greenham Common?" she asked.

Chip answered. "They are a group of peace protestors in England. They are camping out at a base where our missiles are being sent to protest the missiles being there. They've been there for a while now from what I hear."

"The are camping out?"
"Yeah. They sleep in tents at the gates of the base and sometimes they try to block the shipments of the missiles are stop the mobile launchers when they practice firing them."

After the main lesson, Mrs. Germaine pulled out one of her surprises. Sometimes it was a pop quiz..But this day she had something different in mind.

"Today we're starting something new," Mrs. Germaine said. "I believe we should not only write well, she would be able to speak well and express our thoughts. So everyday somebody will have to give a short speech and something that matters to them. You never know who will be called on."

Mrs. Germaine had that look, and when she had that certain look, she was being really sly. Chip felt that cold fear in the pit of his stomach "She's about to put you on the spot again. I'm about to be picked on."

"To get this new idea started, I figured we all need to hear an expert show us how its done," Mrs. Germaine teased. "And I know just to the person to do this first....CHIP, YOU'RE UP! TELL ME ABOUT YOUR T-SHIRT."

"Miserable old hag," Chip thought to himself.

wooo hooo witchy woman, see how
high she flies
woo hoo witchy woman she got
the moon in her eye

Chip stood in front of the class, and began as only his could. "My T-Shirt, which I said I'd wear today..". He was tempted to look at Geoff, but didnt do it. He would play it Mom and Dad's way.

"The Women of Greenham Common are a group of women from England who are camped out in front of an air force base...RAF Greenham Common. That base is where our cruise missiles are. These people don't like the missile being there, so in protest they camp out there. They've sometimes been arrested for camping out. They, at times, have blocked shipments coming into the base. Or blocked the mobile launchers from going out for practice and drills."

Geoff looked at Chip with a look that was part smirk, part confusion. He thought Chip had backed down. He thought wrong.

"Why do you support them?"

"Because I agree that nobody wins a nuclear war, so why have one?"

After class, Geoff confronted Chip. "You aren't worth it," Geoff said. His little flunkies agreed.
Chip looked him in the eye defiantly and then Geoff walked away.

"Hey Chip," it was Dina the girl who sat behind him. "I just want to say, thanks for sticking up for me yesterday."


"And you aren't the only one here who think the way you do. You aren't alone. See ya at lunch.."

At lunch period. Chip met a few friends of Dina's. A group of kid who were kinda dressed well...they had the punk groove going. Which was a massive departure to Chip in a lot of ways...But a look at their buttons and shirts put them on the same wavelength."

"I just wanna say that t-shirt is cool, man" the boy said. "My name's Matt..."
The two boys shook hands.

"You going to that march this weekend?"

"I plan on it," Chip said. "How do you know about it."

"It's because of my favorite aunt," Matt said. "She knows this stuff, and I did some reading on what she was talking about at the library and I agree with her. My Auntie Carolina wants me to grow up. I want to grow up."

to be continued.
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To get a better sense of realism it would be usefull to include in the updates news from other places besides Warsaw Pact and NATO countries.I mean any serious degradation of the international situation would surely get the attention of countries like China,Israel,Japan and whatever.It would be useful to include updates that mention on the news what they where doing.

Jump down the shelters to get away
The boys are cockin' up their guns
Tell us general, is it party time?
If it is can we all come.

Well, well done. Writing good dialogue is tough IMO, especially when you're dealing with real people.

I can HEAR the Gov's conversation Sen. Chambers in my head as I read that exchange. :cool:

(For non-Nebraskans, Ernie Chambers was a long-serving state Senator from Omaha. He got under a lot of folks' skin not least IMO because he was an erudite black liberal gadfly. He was disliked to an extent that a term-limit law was passed just to get rid of him.)
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An excellent update.

To get a better sense of realism it would be usefull to include in the updates news from other places besides Warsaw Pact and NATO countries.I mean any serious degradation of the international situation would surely get the attention of countries like China,Israel,Japan and whatever.It would be useful to include updates that mention on the news what they where doing.

Also, what are the Democratic presidential contenders, especially Mondale & Jackson, contemplating & saying? What positions are they staking out?
Come on, Chipperback does a huge load of work here. And he cannot cover everything. That's why Macragge basically sticks to England.


Monthly Donor
Flatwater is a P&S from a particular POV and as such it would seem a little jarring if Chipperback suddenly started giving global overviews that would be beyond the ken of the characters he's created.

Chip is a smart kid but he's still a kid.
The adult characters are focused on their particular fields and families.
The intrusions of National and Local Media set a tone but it's the personal stories and interactions that are this story's greatest strengths.
This seems both more poignant and realistic to me. Please keep it that way, Chipperback. ;)


PS If there weren't more important things to worry about I'd want to see that 'Teacher' get a severe reprimand. She flat out set Chip up for a beating there. :mad:
Land Of Flatwater: Mobilization

Highway 30 Diner -- Schuyler, Nebraska. February 3, 1984 8:30am

"Good morning Rick, Rhonda good to see," Dolly, the owner of the Highway 30 Diner, said. "Whaddya have this fine morning?"
"I'll get my usual golden stack with bacon and eggs." Rick said.
"I'll have the western omlette," Rhonda said sleepily.

"Coming right up!"

"So, let me understand this," Rhonda asked. "Your friend Ed? High school buddy?"

"He will be bringing his wife and his sister-in-law and her son and your nephew up here."

"That's right."

"Rick," Rhonda said. "How are we going to have the room? My sister her husband and her girls are coming down from Vermillion."

Rick calmed his wife down, "I know it will be a lot of people honey, but we'll manage, and who knows it might just be for a couple of day maybe a week. Hopefully this blows over."

Rick thought, "I wish I was actually as hopeful as that bullshit just sounded."

"But you know my sister and her husband, they are kind"
"So are we...and hell is Ed," Rick said.

"Yeah, but Rick...c'mon us and black folk sharing the same house?"

Rhonda rolled her eyes, "Well Rick, you know my sister and her husband ain't bad people, but they are prone to say some dumb shit."

"They need to get over it," Rick said dispassionately. "Especially when all hell breaks loose. And when all hell as broken loose, Ed has always known how to deal with it That's why I looked for him.

At that moment one of Rick's best friend pulled up his pickup. It was Todd. The foreman down at Wagner Mills. Today however I was getting ready to put down his foreman's hat and pick up a crash helmet.

"Todd!! What's going on," Rick asked as he greeted his friend.
"Just dropping off Cyndi at the hospital," Todd said. "I'm gonna plan a nice dinner for us tonight before I head to Lincoln tomorrow. I've been called up for Guard duty."
"I heard they are doing that. Couple guys from the mill are heading to Camp Ashland."
"Any idea what going on, Todd?" Rhonda asked.
"I think they just want to get us all together just in case this Germany thing gets worse," Todd answered.

"The wild bunch is here, Todd and Rick," said a friendly easy voice.
Morning Sheriff," Rick said.

"Good morning everybody" The Sheriff said as he tipped his hat. the Colfax County Sherrff is an easy going man of the plains. Grew up in Schuyler. Went to Schuyler High Went off to college at UNL and then did a stint in the army and married his high school sweetheart. Some say he'd make a excellent state senator or mayor. But the Sheriff likes being a sheriff, and the people of the country like having him around.

"Todd, I hear you're heading down to Lincoln," the Sheriff said. "Be sure to fly over the home county once in awhile."
"Yes sir," Todd said. "Have you heard anything else from Lincoln."
I'm getting a lot of news," he answered. "The entire national guard is getting ready and they are looking disperse them to key areas.

Rick listened in. "Are we going to get troops here?"
"I don't think so," the Sheriff replied to Rick. "My understanding is that national guard units will be setting up in Norfolk, Columbus and Fremont, at least in our area, and that would assists and the would assist the counties next to is, like Platte, Boone and Dodge."

"Also," the Sheriff said. "You'll be hearing about this in the next few days, we are going to start preparing the means of taking in refugees should things get bad. I'm sure many people are bringing in relatives. We're going to ask that people register at the county building for ID cards."

"ID cards, sir?" Rhonda asked.
"Yes ma'am. Its for safety reasons and to help with the distrubution of food and medical attention. We are going to get a lot of people possibly. We just want to make things as efficient as we can, plus we want to have idea of what the numbers could be like."

"I mean have some people coming through next week," Rick said. "How soon do you think things will be together."

"I would like to have things set and ready by around February 15th at the latest. Once we get a better handle of what Lincoln will do, we can plan for it."
Todd raised an eyebrow, "Do you think Lincoln even has a plan?"
The Sheriff answered, "If they are hustling the National Guard now, the Governor is up to something. It's his call when you get right down to it."

Saturday February 4, 1984 -- Nebraska Air National Guard HQ -- Lincoln Municipal Airport 9:30am.

Todd drove into the parking lot near the Guard HQ and saw quite a few cars already here. The activity was buzzing inside as well.

The CO and the Master Chief Tech were already waiting. "Lieutenant," the CO said to Todd. "Glad to see you come down, Cessna."

"Sir," Todd stood at attention. "Request permission to process in."
"At ease, lieutenant," the CO said easily.
"I got the message yesterday, sir."

"No problem. The Governor wants everybody in by Monday, I'm sure the bulk of our people will start trickling in today."

"Sir, what exactly led to this."

"Well flyer, with the situation in Europe and worldwide alert that the main troops have been on, the Governor is getting our people ready to go to work if needed. There will be a full briefing today and tomorrow."

"When do we start flying patrols?"

"We should be flying by Tuesday. We already have the crews working on our horses."

Todd stowed his bags in a spot in the barracks a few other pilots and support were already there. He left the barracks and went into the repair hangar, and there were wrenches already there. They were busy as bees checking out the F-4 Phantoms...and a few unfamiliar shapes, A-7s were in the mix, too. Nebraska's dawn patrol was getting into shape.

Grandma Margaret's house --- North Omaha -- 10:00 am
Ed and Chip were busy cleaning up the cellar. It was big and spacious. It harkened back to the early 60s.

"We moved into this house when I was ten, son." Ed said to Chip. "We came here from Arkansas when I was 8, back in '59. My stepfather bought this house in '61 and he rebuilt. He put this basement in.. He wanted a real good 'twister shelter' he called it. That's why it is built so deep."

Chip put things to throw away in the trash and then swept the area where the refuse was. "Dad," Chip asked. "Do you remember the missile crisis?"

"Yes, some..." His father said. "We remember sleeping down here all night, listening to that old radio."
Chip picked up the old radio. It had the "CD" logo for Civil Defense at 640 and 1240. "Why is there the Civil Defense markings on it.

Back then, whenever there was an emergency, bad weather or whatever 640 and 1240 were the emergency channels. That's how CONELRAD was set up."


"CONELRAD was the government's way of telling people what was going on," his father said. "Now it's called the 'Emergency Broadcast System', but in simple terms its the same idea."

Dad and son finally dug their way to Ralph's treasures. A lot of boxes of C-rations, and other important things.
"Uncle Ralph's been storing a lot of things here, dad," Chip said.

"Yes sir," grandma Margaret said. "And you can take all them nasty C-rations. Hot dammit! They make our boys eat that stuff?"

Chip giggled as his grandmother was fussing in her Arkansas accent. "I oughta kick your older brother dead in his narrow ass, Ed! Leaving that nasty food ri-cheer," She said. "I tried some of them things. Worst food ever."

"Besides," she continued. "I'm a 66-year old woman and your auntie May-May is 67.. Life's hard enough when you got everything. If they bring those bombs here, won't be a damn thing left anyway. When them sirens go off, imma sit in my favorite chair and read my Bible until I get to see my Lord when its all over."

Those words stayed with Chip as he helped clean the cellar.

A dance studio in midtown Omaha -- 1:00pm

Jill was at her ballet lesson negotiating a difficult series of steps for an upcoming recital.

Off to the side, mom and dad where talking.

"Walt," Jennifer said. "Are you serious..You want Me, Jill and Jeff to head to my parents place in Howells if it gets bad. Without you????"
"I may have to stay closer to here or close to the mayor or Governor. The Mayor said he may be evacuated to link up with the Governor."

"NO WAY," Jennifer whispered angrily. "Walt, that's the biggest crock of shit ever. They are going to try to rebuild with what? Me and two kids somewhere else, while you are in a hole in the ground. NO! I want you with it?"

Jennifer nose crinckled up with her agitation. She always did that when angered, and Walt always fell for it.

Driving home -- 5:00pm
Ed's big chevrolet was full of the supplies Ralph sent. So many supplies that they had to get Gail's Oldsmobile to get the rest.

"We're going to give some of this away," Ed said. "To other folks who might need it, but we're going to take most of this with us."
"You still thinking about us going west, dad?" Chip asked.

"Son, I know what you are about to say," his father said. "I've been reading some of things you study for the debate team."

Chip was a little surprised. "You did?"

"Yes, I did, son." His dad said. "You know son, I think you may be a little different. I think you might even read too much...But I guess you worry like your dad."

"I'm very proud of you son," his father said. "I wish I had half your brainpower. I respect your smarts and your spunk, Chip. Don't ever lose those, no matter anyone says."

"I'll tell you something else, son." his dad continued. "We are all going to that protest tonight, even your mother. I already told Uncle Daniel. We will be following him and his wife there."

"Mom is going...and you?" Chip raised an eyebrow.

"It was that TV program the other night. With that blowhard Russian guy and the loudmouth guy from Georgia. Those two scared me, son," his dad said. "Is that what it comes down to? Yellin' and fussin'. That just told me that more people need to do what you are doing, son. We need to speak up.

Main gate -- Offutt Air Force Base 8:00pm

If it wasn't so frightening. It would have been for a beautiful picture. More than 2,000 candles lit in the cold night. People bundled up outside the gates. The candlelit hopes for peace, juxtaposed against lights burning well into night at Offutt, as personnel scramble to plan for war.

The vigil began with a hymn, and then a few people spoke. "The Man" spoke, saying that 'We cannot allow ourselves to be enslaved by an endless march to the plantation of war.'

Chip clapped loudly for his state senator. He always liked Ernie, because he stood up for his people and his district. To Chip, The Man stood up for him personally.

All we are saaaaaaaaying....Is give peace a chaaaaaaaance.

"Hey Chip, its Matt!"

Chip called back to his new friend. "Hey Matt, what going on!"

"I see you got here.."

Down the grassy field across from the gate. There was Walt and his family...Including Jill listening to Carolina as she began to address the crowd.

"Friends," Carolina began. "I ask the people in this building to think. Think of us here. Think of all of us across Omaha. Think of all the people in the world...even think of who we call the enemy."

"There are those who say we should no protest. But all over the world today, even in Soviet bloc, there are people saying "NO".

"President Reagan said earlier this week that we would be not sacrifice our freedom for peace," Carolina said. "However I'd like to tell our President that we already sacrificing our freedoms for war. "

"I challenge both sides to see our children. See their children, and think of them."

Walt and Jennifer happened to see Chip's parents and they walked to toward...and somebody else followed...looking for someone she'd like to see.

"Chip" she whispered.
Chip smiled we he heard her voice. Jill was in a Nebraska sweatshirt..holding a candle..She took his hand. He took hers...they listened to Carolina speak...holding their candles...Yet with the smiles they had, they didn't need candles to light up the night...Even through the dark fear that the entire crowd felt.

"The lyrics of the song say it best, Carolina said. "Give peace a chance. To the men and women of Strategic Air Command...if peace is truly your profession...Please show it now, by standing down the weapons and standing up for the human race!"

Offutt Air Force Base briefing room -- same time
"Damn", CINC-SAC said to himself. "Last damn thing we need is another protest. And not just here. I hear there is stuff like this going on everywhere."

"Sir," his assistant said. "I know, but they are scared. Aren't you?"
"Damn right I am," the CINC said. "Whenever I get on that E-4 I know what it means. It means I may have to kill millions. I can't fault these people for protesting. They have the freedom to do it. But,where do they get that freedom? Because people like me and you and everybody on this base are willing to face that fear and do our jobs."

A knock on door..."Come in,"

Glenn opened and walk into the briefing room. "Sir, Commander reporting as requested."

"At ease, Navy, " CINC-SAC said. "Glenn isnt' it,."
"Yes sir!"

"Relax commander," the CINC-SAC said. "I have received word from the Navy Department department. There going to keep you out here with us flyboys a little longer."
"Eye, eye sir," Glenn responded.

"In fact, I want you in the loop with everything, Glenn. You will be on the E-4 rotation and if the balloon goes up I want you on that plane. You have been giving us valuable service, and should we need it, I need that "slide rule" in your head where it can do us some good."

"I look forward to it, sir" Glenn said crisply. "In the E-4," he thought. "Bob, ol' friend..I can give you ever better intel."

"There is one more thing," CINC-SAC said. "Word of what you are doing got back to certain Admiral Jonas."
Glenn remembered him. He got him into the Joint Strategic outfit in the first place.

"The Admiral will be here in a few days. Pentagon wants him to be a part of the continuity team from the Navy end and they want him in an E-4. He speaks very highly of you. That is why I made the decision I've made..and why I'm proud to give you this..."

The admiral handed Glenn a box...inside was the stripe and regala of a U.S. Navy Captain.

"He's going to do this officially when he gets here next week, "
CINC-SAC said. "But I couldn't keep this a secret. I wanted you to know now with all the work you've been putting in. Congratulations, Captain."

Glenn snapped to attention. "Thank you, sir."

Inside, Glenn was churning. "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" he thought.

To be continued.
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"Flatwater is a P&S from a particular POV and as such it would seem a little jarring if Chipperback suddenly started giving global overviews that would be beyond the ken of the characters he's created.

Don't worry Faulk, we aren't going global lol. I like using the news reports as an overview, but I keep it more on the periphery, they way most people would in real life. Although people are really paying greater attention because, this stuff gets more real with each passing day.

The way this part of the P&S saga works is more how these folks in the middle of the country are reacting to the events of the other timelines and vice versa. I like the symbiosis we are developing while maintaining the unique qualities of each, while opening the door for some crossover when it fits and it works.

I can't wait to see where we all go together.
Serves him well...a lesson to be less Unamerican! :D

Besides, the teacher (and the bully, unless he wises up) have seventeen days left, anyway, so it's not really going to matter, is it?

Kerrey would have been an interesting president. What did him in was the lesbian joke he told to Clinton with a mike on (note: if you're running for president and you feel the need to make a non-PC joke, assume the mike you're near is on and don't make it!!!) and his support of UHC, which the employees of his business didn't have (hypocrisy is always bad in politics, if it comes out).

Waiting for the next update.
A few more resources

This is interesting. I'm hoping to follow this.
I hope my info on CAP that I PMed was able to help. They may not be in the loop, but they will certainly be called upon to respond. Here's the wing website, so you could perhaps plot out the locations of some squadrons, though I'm not sure if each squadron has a plane- though they could no doubt be commandeered.
They do have cadets, and, while they aren't able to go on dangerous missions these days, if they are around after a nuclear war, they may be asked to. (One important note. they are NOT military and NOT under UCMJ. However, they may be asked to do a lot of semi-military things after a nuclear war...)

Here's the Nebraska Emergency Operations Plan. It's new, so a lot of terminology, resources, organizations and roles might not have been around in 1984, but it could give you some ideas.

Finally, one thing that should be mentioned is Nebraska Public Television. I'm not sure how much resources they have, but they got almost $750,000 in nice new equipment in 1977 from NBC thanks to NBC's use of a logo that was remarkably similar to Nebraska's. In a lot of states, public television becomes the state government's voice in the event of a disaster.
Thanks for the information Orville :) I'm studying up on how to work it in.

Hmm..Formula 1 in Singapore (Nice drive today, Herr Vettel!), NASCAR Chase for the Championship at Loudon...a full NFL Sunday...and an update

Ain't Sunday great? ;)
A useful list for the Protect and Survive TL and stories inspired by it and set in the US:):

Presidential line of sucession of the 1st Reagan Cabinet (around the late half of 1983 and early 1984):
[Office ]: [Name ]([Term]);
President : Ronald Reagan (1981–1989);
Vice President : George H.W. Bush (1981–1989);
Speaker of the House : Thomas Phillip "Tip" O'Neill, Jr. (1977–1987);
President pro tempore of the Senate : James Strom Thurmond (1981–1987);
Secretary of State : Alexander Haig (1981–1982);
Secretary of Treasury : Donald Regan (1981–1985);
Secretary of Defense : Caspar Weinberger (1981–1987);
Attorney General : William F. Smith (1981–1985);
Secretary of the Interior : James G. Watt (1981–November 8, 1983) / William P. Clark, Jr. (November 18, 1983–1985);
Secretary of Agriculture : John Rusling Block (1981–1986);
Secretary of Commerce : Howard M. Baldrige, Jr. (1981–1987);
Secretary of Labor : Raymond J. Donovan (1981–1985);
Secretary of Health and Human Services : Margaret Heckler (1983–1985);
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development : Samuel R. Pierce, Jr. (1981–1989);
Secretary of Transportation : Elizabeth Hanford Dole (1983–1987);
Secretary of Energy : Donald Paul Hodel (1982–1985);
Secretary of Education : Terrel Bell (1981–1984).

Hope it helps.:)
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A useful list for stories set in the Protect and Survive universe:):

Presidential line of sucession of the 1st Reagan Cabinet (around the late half of 1983 and early 1984):
[Office ]: [Name ]([Term]);
President pro tempore of the Senate : James Strom Thurmond (1981–1987);

Secretary of Treasury : Donald Regan (1981–1985);

Secretary of Transportation : Elizabeth Hanford Dole (1983–1987);

I put that up here as well....maybe we need another "meta"-thread for any discussion on the "state of the world".

I am not sure if it would matter anyhow, but theis list would be interesting.

The precedent of a woman as president under those circumstances?

STROM THURMOND???? That is the stuff for legends...and, besides, a name as if taken out off "Dr Strangelove".

And I think it would simply be fun to go from Ronald Reagan to Donald Regan.
Land Of Flatwater: Living In Fear

"Now you put your fingers on the laces like this," Chip said as he guided Jill's hand onto the football.

Jill looked back at him and smiled as he adjusted her stance.."What does my feet have to do with throwing," she asked.

"You just don't throw with your arm," Chip said. "You rotate you hips, shift weight and you follow through.."

When Chip has her in the stance he was looking for...He went to a spot 5 yards away. "Okay, Jill throw it to me.."

Jill thought about the motion and then she rotating her throwing arm and followed through. She might throw like a girl, but the ball took on a decent little spiral..Chip caught it...for him it felt like catching a kiss. To be in a part on a 50-degree in day, which is a heatwave compared to most Nebraska Februarys. A nice sunny day.

Chip and Jill would laugh and smile while having a catch in Miller Park. What could be better?

"You know Chip," Jill said. "I really like you."

"I like you, too." Chip said.

She caught the ball and jumped up and down like she scored the winning touchdown. "Woo Hoo!!!!" She cried. "Touchdown, Huskers!!!!!!!"

She ran towards Chip like they had won a championship. She leaped into his arms..."Nice throw," She said looking into his eyes. "Chip....I really, really, really like you a lot...and..."


The banshee wail of the Civil Defense sirens pierced the skies above Omaha. People where running every which way...

Chip grabbed Jill's hand..."C'MON!!!! We have to get to the Shelter.."

They ran for dear life. "Ohmygod!" Jill shrieked..."Don't let go of me!!!"

Chip and Jill ran their heart out. The shelter just a few feet away...When Jill tripped on a tree branch, her foot was caught in it..

She cried out in terror..."Chiiiiiiiip...HELP MEEEEEEEEEE!"

Chip raced back to help her..."Can you wiggle your foot out?" He said in a panic.."I'M TRYING!" She cried.

Chip grabbed her leg and tried maneuvering the foot out. The air raid sirens warbling a siren's song of death. He twisted and pulled...and finally..

"There!" Chip yelled as her worked her foot out. Jill look at Chip..."Chip?"

"We can still get there," he cried as he took her hand...She hugged him and said..."Chip...It's too late....I love you.."

Jill kissed him as the white light engulfed them. They were flashburned in each other arms....Flashburned to nothing.....

"JILL!" Chip screamed as he woke up. Sweat and tears streaming down his face. He was sobbing uncontrollably. "We're dead!!!!!! They bombed us!!!"

Chip parents raced into the room..."Son!!!!" His dad said. Dad and Mom both hugging Chip..."I couldn't make it to the shelter!" He wailed. His parents held him.."Sssh! Sssh!" His mom said. "You had a bad dream. It's okay.."

"Where's my mom and dad!!!!!!!!!!!!" Chip wailed. "Mama!!!!!!! Dad!!!!!!"

"Son its okay," Dad said. "We're here Chip. We're here!"

Chip couldn't stop crying. He was hysterical with fear. "I was playing ball in the park, happened."

"It didn't happen, Chip," his father comforted. "We're here, son."

Chip looked up as his mom and dad. "I love you mama...I love you dad. I'm sorry I woke you...It was just so real! I'm scared!!!!"

His parents hugged him tight. "It's okay baby," mom said. "We're scared, too."

Chip went back to sleep after maybe 45 minutes. His father and mother where shaking with fear.

"This must really be bad if Chip is having nightmares," His mom said.

"Sometimes we forget he's a kid, Gail," dad said. " I'm very upset right now."

"Upset? With our son?"

"HELL NO!" Dad said. "I could slap the mess out of everybody in the White House and Moscow right now. They are scaring my boy, and I don't like it."

Office of the Adjutant General Of Nebraska -- Monday February 6, 1984 5:00 a.m.

The Commander was sitting in his office in the Capital. He's rarely there these days, and he rarely uses his official title as the leader of the state's National Guard. He likes his military rank of Brigadier General better.

He's in ahead of daybreak, finalizing the final deployment report for The Governor. Over 5,000 personnel will be coordinated, and many of them are massing at barracks and areas statewide.


Should we enter into the next phase of GOLDENROD, this will be the schedule for dispersal of state guard units.


-- BASE ALFA (GENEVA) Governor/Executive civilian leadership/Communications, Emergency Management, State Law Enforcement leadership, Nebraska military liaisons

-- BASE BRAVO (CRETE) Army National Guard Leadership

-- BASE CHARLIE (DORCHESTER) Surviving Unicameral members protected by Army National Guard and State Patrol

-- BASE DELTA (MALCOLM) -- Surviving Unicameral members/Surviving Omaha and Lincoln city leadership

Nebraska Educational Television/Nebraska Public Radio personnel/Radio Nebraska listening post.

Air National Guard command staff. Evacuation Air Base for 173rd Tac Recon Interception Wing

Evacuation base for aerial assets and personnel of Nebraska State Patrol Troops A and B (Omaha area and Lancaster County/Lincoln), and evacuation for Omaha's LIFEFLIGHT helicopters.

-- All Omaha/Lincoln-based Nebraska National Guard units MUST BE REDEPLOYED. The following are the units that will be redeployed at their new assignment area

-111th Press Camp (Lincoln) -- ECHO
-72nd Civil Support Team (Lincoln) -- SEWARD/With possible redeployment to designated surviving major regional centers to support medical personnel in those areas.

-754th Chemical Reconnaissance/Decontamination Company (Omaha) -- MALCOLM/Could be flexed to link with 754th Detatchment 1 at ONEILL or Detachment 2 at BEATRICE

-41st Rear Operations (Omaha) -- redeployment to FREMONT to support 134th Calvary Squadron B Troop and assist Dodge County sherriff/City of Fremont Police

-110th Medical Battalion (Lincoln) -- all remaining elements of the 110th will be divided between GENEVA, CRETE , SEWARD and MCCOOL. The SEWARD and MCCOOL units will be assigned to assist civilian medical personnel.

- 192nd Military Police Detachment -- GENEVA/Will serve to support civilian security detail for the Governor.

-195th Special Operations Support Forward Company -- SEWARD

1167th Forward Support Company -- SEWARD
135th Aviation Company 1st Det Company D/135th Aviation Company 1st Det Company E/135th Aviation HHC 1st Det (Lincoln) -- SEWARD.

1057th Truck Company 1st Det (Scottsbluff) -- redeployment to NORTH PLATTE, to link up with other Western Nebraska detachments and aid in evacuation of expected fallout zone extending across Western Nebraska and through the panhandle region.

Units based in towns deemed to be "safe" areas will remain in those areas and receive orders. The initials order could come from civilians leaders indicated within civil continuity planning per the orders of the Governor of Nebraska distributed through Nebraska Emergency Management Agency

Nebraska Air National Guard hangar -- Lincoln Municipal Airport Tuesday January 7, 1984. 0730

The pilots of the 173rd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron were at a table in front of a chalkboard. The CO, a Major, was setting up a group of pictures.

Todd looked at the pictures intently, just as he looked at one of the F-4 Phantom II outside the window. "NEBR ANG" announced along the sides. Missiles clustered on the wings. Mechanics scurried to put in a cannon.

The 173rd, like the entire world, was changing.

"Men," the CO began. "Our name has changed. We're now the 173rd Tactical Reconnaissance and Interception Squadron. We have an additional mission, requiring additional skills."

"That explains the missiles, sir?" Todd said.

"That is correct Lieutenant," the CO said. "We used to be unarmed and unafraid, now we are armed...and if them missiles come, afraid like hell."

There was nervous laughter in the briefing.

"I want you to pay attention to this first photo," the CO said as he pointed to it.


"This ugly, old thing with props is what we call a 'Bear'. Its actual name is a Tu-95. It is a Soviet bomber, and it will be coming behind their ICBM should they launch them. The Russians are not heavy into bombers to the extent we are, but they will use those bombers to mop up what their missiles didn't.

"I'm more worried about what you see in the second sets of photos," the CO said.


The pilots noticed the sleeker shape of the plane. One of the pilots knew what it was.

"Sir," said the pilot. "I've read that this bomber doesn't have intercontinental range."

"There has been new intel suggesting that that they do," the CO said. "This is the Tu-22M3. We call it a 'Backfire' Bomber. And you colleague is right, men. Past versions were considered 'medium bombers'. USAF intel has confirmation that the Soviets are deploying a new version, that has a range of 6,500 miles. From a base in Siberia they can reach any point in Nebraska, especially if they mid-air refuel. These suckers can move. They are supersonic jet bombers. You see one of these, you shoot first and don't ask questions."

"Our other missions," He continued. We will be doing recon on possible damage to the state and reporting it to emergency management. We will support our Army National Guard brothers and sisters and support local law enforcement from the air when they need us. We may have to fly cover on supply routes to get food and medicine to people who need it. That's our job.

"We will also be flying cover with Civil Air Patrol. They may have to get supplies and information to some hard to reach places."

The CO paused, "Men....We may have job to do under the worst conditions imaginable, just like our ANG medical units that went to Germany last week."

"We may have to fly not knowing how our families are. We may be in the air if or when those warnings sound..."

"But know this," he continued. "What we do, may keep our families alive, keep our state alive and keep our country alive."

"I'm afraid. Yes, I am. There's no shame in that," The CO could feel the fear in his own mind now. "The best we can do is be ready in case we need to do these jobs."

"Get suited up. We start training flights at 0900."

The CO went to gathered his flight gear as well. He was unnerved and afraid just like everybody else in the hangar.

Colfax County Building -- Schuyler, Nebraska -- Monday February 6, 1984 10:30am

A mailman delivered a thick package to the County Sheriff. Inside is a cover letter..and a lot of reading..

The following is a detailed volume regarding the Nebraska Emergency Operations Plan 1984. With the recent situation in the world, my office in coordination with the Nebraska National Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Management Agency (FEMA), and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have put together a set of emergency procedures outlined in his plan in the event of a national emergency.
The goal of this plan is maintenance of a viable state government in Nebraska should a national emergency arise. By the time you receive this, the initial stages of this plan are in operation. Main assets of the National Guard and state law enforcement are beginning to enact emergency procedures.

The continuity links from the state government to regional centers in Norfolk, Columbus, Hastings, Grand Island, Kearney and North Platte. Those centers in turn will coordinate with individual county seats in their regions, supported by National Guard, State Patrol, county sheriffs departments and local police.

From those links, we will enact the priorities contained in the operations plan.

1. Deployment of law enforcement and National Guard prior to Emergency Action Notification (EAN) from the President of the United States.

2. Immediate post-attack relief, including setting up refugee centers, emergency medical facilities, food, water and communications.

3. Maintenance of civil order.

4. Short-term reconstruction of basic services and infrastructure.

5. Long-term reconstruction of agricultural infrastructure in coordination with Nebraska Department of Agriculture and county extension services.

6. Long term reconstruction of physical infrastructure, including roads, power, and medical facilities.

I pray that we never have a need for such measures, but should Nebraska fall under attack we must be prepared. These are grave possibilities and grave challenges. We must face them as Nebraskans united as one people.

Governor J. Robert Kerrey
February 3, 1984

The Sheriff took out the thick volume and started reading, "I don't give a damn about 'for my eyes' only," he thought. "My people need to know. Damn, they are really planning this out."

Thursday February 9, 1984

"A shootout on a Hamburg dock has West German and NATO officials fearing the worst...I'm Sasha Foo, this is CNN Headline News.... West German officials are investigating a shootout tonight between possible terrorists and troops from West Germany's elite counterterrorism force. Six are dead, including a member of West Germany's GSG-9 counterterrorism unit in what was described by Hamburg police as 'A terrorist act". Police sources says the alleged perpetrators killed themselves to avoid capture and a cache small arms of Soviet origin were found. This act comes amid continuing signs of a building in arms on both sides of the inter-German border.

Friday February 10, 1984 -- 11:35am

Lunch period at Morton Junior High, and Chip is heading to eat...He notices the door open in the teacher's lounge at the other end of the office...He notices "SPECIAL REPORT -- NBC NEWS on the TV screen...and then the picture cuts to a lot of fire...the caption underneath read "MUNICH"

He saw his mother in the hall. "Mom," Chip said frantically. "Slow down, son," she replied. "What are you hyper about."

"Mom, please go to the teacher's lounge and let me know what they are saying on the news."

"Why?" she asked.

"Something happened in Germany," Chip panicked. "Please mom, find out for me.."

"Okay, but it probably isn't anything important...CALM DOWN."

Chip was shaken as he got his food.

"Hey, Chip...what's up," Matt said. "What's wrong dude.."

"There's something up on the TV just outside of the teacher's lounge," Chip said. "Something happened in Germany -- Munich I think...Big explosion."

Chip's mom noticed her son from a distance. He was worried. She thought, "I'll just check that out,"

"Linda," his mom told her fellow teacher. "Watch my place for a minute..I'll be back..

She left down the hall toward the main office, and into the teacher's lounge. Three other teachers and an assistant principal. They were gathered around the television.

"Again reporting this bulletin. A series of explosions rock Munich Airport. Several aircraft were damaged. One aircraft, now confirmed as a United States Air Force C-141B Cargo plane, which were carrying 60 passenger, mostly family of Air Force personnel was completely lost. Officials estimate 150 dead, hundreds more wounded. This incident comes one day after West German counterterrorism forces clashed with suspected terrorists."

Gail looked at the screen in shock. Chip's nightmares, in that instant, lived on that screen.

This is NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw......
"Good Evening. West Germany has declared a State of Emergency tonight after a series of explosions heavily damage Munich Airport. Over 200 people were killed in the blasts including the an Air Force flight crew and families member of U.S. servicemen in an Air Force cargo plane.

"The shockwaves of the attacks have been felt across Western Europe. West German Chancellor Helmet Kohl activated a national State of Emergency, similar actions have been taken in Belgium, Holland, Italy and France. The British Parliament are meeting at this hour, and NBC News sources says Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is considering a number of emergency options.

"The U.S. response has been swift. President Reagan, in a statement called the bombing, "Naked, cold and cruel. A further sign of the Soviet disregard for life." American military forces are gearing up to a state of readiness unseen since the Cuban Missile Crisis."

to be continued.
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Monthly Donor
What's that rumbling noise? :confused:
<Opens door, sees Avalanche thundering towards house. Gulps. Shuts door. Thinks. Bolts it.>


Just a small point.
I hope that somewhere in the P&S-verse that there will be some reference to an incident in which the Soviets are the innocent victims.

There would seem to be ample scope for reciprocal 'regrettable circumstances', given the spiraling tensions.
With the inevitable media focus, any such incident would certainly gain widespread coverage.

It would also be a plausible source of narrative tension to have Chip try and be rational and fair-minded in such circumstances from what you have established about his character.

It's perfectly understandable that this hasn't come up before but it would, I feel, add a more nuanced tone if this was not simply 'Black Hats vs White Hats'.

Irregardless, another excellent Update, Chipperback. :cool:

Well, there is the fact that NATO (admittedly mistakenly, but still) fired the first nuke.

A note on the bomber: in the 1980's both the Bear and the Backfire would be unlikely to use gravity bombs, instead they would lug air-launched nuclear-tipped cruise missiles into the range and those would be nasty buggers... long-range, supersonic, and possibly land-huggers.

Another note: when the missiles fall, early-warning is going to go to pot. All three of those EW lines are pretty high on the target priority list for the Soviets and the bombs would likely destroy any communications between units. Therefore, interception would come down too the fighters themselves flying around and hoping they run into a Soviet bomber before it fires its missiles. And that's a crap shoot at best.
Just eleven more days.:eek:

BTW, chipperback, if you want to find out the wind direction, go to and look up the historical records of the towns mentioned to get the wind direction and speed.

Good so far.
Any interception would be hampered by the fact that airbases with fighter aircraft would have been largely taken out.By the time soviet bombers would be reaching US airspace many fighter aircraft would have had to land due to lack of fuel.Of course US bombers would be in a similar position over the USSR with most fighter-interceptor aircraft either destroyed on the ground or forced to land.