Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by GAB-1955, Jan 20, 2012.
Keep it up, GAB!
Part 12: Gold Mine and a Pile of Crap.
No one said anything in the car until they were over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and into Staten Island.
"Do you think the police are going to come after us?" D.J. asked his father.
"I don't know. It was self-defense," Robbie said.
"Maybe we should have stopped," D.J. said. "Maybe they're just waiting for us at the crossing into New Jersey, Dad."
"Maybe they have other things on their mind," the Wife said.
"Let's hope so," Robbie said.
They crossed into New Jersey and soon were on I-78 going west.
"So, tell me more about the mine," the Wife said.
"It's on railroad property, but it's not a railroad mine," Robbie said. "I think it was just coincidence. It's a salt mine."
"Is there still salt in it?" she said, excitedly.
"Why, yes," her brother said. "I think they found cheaper ways to obtain salt, and the mine closed sometime around 1950. Why are you asking?"
"Because, dear brother, if this attack comes, salt is going to be more valuable than gold." Her needles flew. "Preserving meats. Medicine. The Romans used to pay their soldiers in salt - that's why they call it 'salary'."
"We just have to get the salt out after the attack," D.J. said.
"We have to get ourselves in," Robbie said. "By the way - Walt - that was a good shot."
"I had to, Uncle Robbie. He was going to kill us."
Brooklyn, New York
"Those white mother******s shot an innocent man down in the street!" the politician said, pointing his finger at the sky. "They don't care if we die. The police just shuffle you on out the city into the country. Well, what if you ain't got no country farm? What if you ain't got no car? Are they just going to say, 'That's too bad?'"
"No!" a woman in the crowd yelled. "They going to let us die!"
"We demand to be evacuated to a place of safety! If the President is going to have this war with the Russians, he isn't going to do it with NYC as a hostage!"
The 68th Precinct commander was on the phone with the Commissioner. "This is turning uglier by the minute," he said.
Benjamin Ward listened. "Captain, I want you to stay there, but not provoke anything. We're coming with reinforcements. Maybe that will calm this crowd down."
The captain turned to the sergeant with him. "Morey."
"Yes, sir?" Sergeant Daniel J. Morey said.
"What do the rumors say?"
"Two hop heads tried to stop a car with Pennsylvania plates. The Pennsylvanians were picking up someone out of the City, I surmise; the car was loaded with clothing and bags. I guess the junkies thought they were going to get some money jacking them. The Pennsylvanians had guns. They shot one and scared away the other. We know who he is; a junkie with the street name of Lizard. The patrol cars are looking for him."
"It sounds like the D.A. would have a hard time getting a conviction from a jury," the Captain said.
Morey said, "I have a J.D., you know. "
"That's why I asked you."
"Normally, you're right. But if Sharpton doesn't get that crowd calmed down, we're going to have a riot going on."
"We'll keep an eye on him."
"And tell Sergeant Fox I need to see him," the Captain said.
125 West 14th Street
New York, New York
"Saddle up," Major Sholom said. "We have trouble down in Brooklyn, and we may need to reinforce the cops."
"What happened?" asked the Lieutenant.
"Someone tried to hijack a van leaving the city. The out-of-staters shot one of the jackers. People are protesting. It might get ugly."
"Might?" thought the Lieutenant.
I'm very much enjoying the TL, GAB. It's now a week before the Exchange: may I ask what time of the day you're at in the storyline?
By the time the Fifth gets to Brooklyn, it will be early afternoon. By then the van will have reached the hunting lodge/salt mine, where the Wife will find things aren't as good as they sound.
I think that we're probably going to see a pretty major riot in Brooklyn.
Part 12: A Sudden Chill
C Company, 5th Regiment, New York Guard - all thirty of them - climbed out of the city bus. The Lieutenant watched the First Sergeant form up the company as a oversized platoon.
There were about 150 State Guards. There were ten times of numbers of demonstrators. Most of them were focused on the two speakers who had built an improvised platform with milk crates "borrowed" from the convenience stores. The Reverend Al Sharpton was there, but he wasn't doing anything but watch.
"The City doesn't care about us. They don't care for any person of color. If you're rich, you get in your Rolls-Royce and drive out to your estate in the hills. If you're white, you get your cousins in Pennsylvania to take you in. But what about us black folks? We're stuck here, ready for Reagan to use as human shields against the Russians."
"That's right!" someone said.
"We demand to be given a place to stay in safety!"
"Let Reagan and Ogarkov rattle sabers - we want the rattle of our children's toys!"
When Top had them ready, he nodded and the Lieutenant took charge of the formation. "Listen up!" the Lieutenant bellowed.
"We're here for one reason only - to protect the lives and property of people. These people are exercising their First Amendment rights to freely assemble. We let them talk. But if they start threatening you, then you let me or Top or the Colonel make the decisions. Do you understand me?"
"Yes, sir," the older men of C Company chorused.
"Frankly the only reason I'm telling you this is because I want to remember this myself. This ain't Vietnam."
"You can say that again," an E-5 muttered.
"So, stand at ease. Rest."
"Can we smoke, sir?"
"I don't think it looks very professional, Corporal Martinez. However, if you get the urge, and the entire company doesn't sneak behind the bus at the same time, one or two of you can sneak back and light one up."
"What about drinking?"
"Smart asses," the Lieutenant muttered.
Major Sholom gestured for the Lieutenant and the other company commanders to gather around Colonel Capparelli. The Lieutenant was the last one there.
"All right, the situation is that this demonstration is staying peaceful. It's cold as hell and no one wants to do anything but get out of the city. We're going to stay here and watch the demonstration. We don't provoke them and we don't let them provoke us. If they go home at 1800, we'll go home at 1900. Understand?"
"It's 1545 now. And here come the news trucks."
Sholom said, "Boulanger, this time don't talk to the press."
"It's the farthest thing from my mind, Major."
Sure enough, the reporter and camera crew from Channel Seven were coming his way.
"Pardon us, but is there anything you can tell us about the situation?" the reporter said.
The Lieutenant pointed to Colonel Capparelli. "Sorry, gentlemen, but he's the one in charge."
"All right, we'll go talk to him," the reporter said. "Off the record, you've been busy, haven't you, Lieutenant?"
"Off the record, yes. Has there been any more news from Russia?"
"We haven't heard anything from the correspondents, but the Russians assure us they are safe and out of danger," the reporter said. "They just can't communicate with us directly. What do you think of this Ogarkov fellow?"
"He's been the Chief of the General Staff. He knows what the political situation is," the Lieutenant said. "However, he's a Marxist, and Marxists don't think of warfare in the same way you or I do. They see it as part of the politics of class struggle, and that includes pushing capitalism to the edge where the inevitable worker's revolution..."
"BOULANGER!" Sholom bellowed.
"Sorry. I said too much."
The reporter said, "Major, just passing the time. I know this guy."
"You poor son of a gun," Sholom said. "But we're on duty."
"Just one more thing," the Channel Seven reporter said. "Did you get your family out?"
"My wife's brother picked her up this morning," he said. "They'll be staying in Pennsylvania somewhere until this blows over."
"Was he driving a van?"
"I didn't see the van," the Lieutenant lied.
A chill overtook him; he pretended it was the winter wind.
My college-age daughter was passing by me as I started writing tonight. She knows I am working on two stories right now, so she asked me, "Which one is this -- 'We're Free' or 'We're Dead?'"
I get reactions like that all the time.
"Oh him, yeah he's busy writing about the death of half of humanity..."
On another note, keep up the good work! I love the story, and begin originally from NY this TL holds a special place in my heart.
(Sorry Chip, I'm not from nor have ever been from Nebraska. )
Keep up the awesome work!
Part 13: George Brett's Bat
Wednesday, February 15, 1984
Fort Riley, Kansas
1735 Central Time
Second Lieutenant Don Kingsley looked at the crowded intake hall. "Christ! What a fustercluck."
Carlo Maggione looked around. "I think that every 2LT in the U.S. Army is here."
A staff sergeant from the Kansas Guard walked up to them with a clipboard. "Good morning, sirs. May I see your orders?"
Both lieutenants handed the sergeant mimeographed copies. The sergeant said, "New York Guard, eh? From Buffalo?"
"I think not," Kingsley said.
"It's true, he thinks not," Maggione said. "We're from the City - Seventy-first Infantry."
"Okay, Lieutenants. This is what we're going to do," the sergeant said. "We're going to get everyone sorted out sooner or later. Some of you are going to a National Guard camp in Nebraska, because we have more gold bars than we can handle. Then you'll be reassigned to new units."
"What? We're not going back to our old battalion?" Kingsley said. "That sucks."
"Watch your mouth, Lieutenant; we don't talk that way here in Kansas."
"Sorry, Sergeant," Kingsley said. "Old habits die hard."
"It's okay, I suppose. You can't help it coming from the Big Apple. Why don't you two sit down? There's a table with coffee and donuts over there, thanks to the Salvation Army. We'll call your name and give you modified orders."
Kingsley sat down. "Kansas, my God. We're in Kansas instead of Campbell."
"Or in New York City," Maggione said. "It could be worse. We could still be under Boulanger."
"Boulanger knows what he was doing," Kingsley said, "even if he is a know-it-all son of a bitch. I find it's ironic he's a company commander. The Colonel had him pegged as the S-2."
Maggione said, "War does strange things. Did you talk to Joanna, Don?"
"We spent some time together," Kingsley said, quietly. "Damn this war."
Maggione said, "Do you think you'll have time to get her out?"
"Where would she go? And your parents?"
"I know someone who would know," Maggione said. "I'll call him tonight."
"What? Do you think that he's got some sort of fallout shelter hidden in his back pocket?"
"If there's anyone in the Battalion who has thought out the problem, it would be him," Maggione said.
"MAGGIONE, CARLOS! KINGSLEY, DONALD!"
"Here!" they both chorused.
"This way, please."
When they got to the S-1 assistant's desk, Kingsley knew he was not going to like what they told him. Behind the stack of 201 files, orders, and a battered Royal typewriter was a monument to pro baseball. Specifically, to one team. Specifically, to one baseball player, ranging from bobblehead dolls to a poster pinned up on the wall.
"Now, which one of you are Yankee fans?" said WO2 Kryzewski
Maggione said, "Mets!"
"Guilty," Kingsley said. "At least I watch the games on Channel 11."
"Did you see the Pine Tar game?"
"We were at annual training at Fort Drum, Mr. Kryzewski," Maggione said.
"July 24, 1983," the warrant officer said. "Royals behind 4 to 3. George Brett comes to the plate, hits a two run homer, Royals ahead 5 to 4. Out comes Billy Martin, says Brett has too much pine tar on his bat. The umpires disallow the run. Over an inch of pine tar."
Kingsley said, "The rules are the rules, Mr. Kryzewski. We don't make them. We just do what we have to to win the game. And the game was replayed, and the Royals won."
"It's just Yankee arrogance," the Kansan said. "Well, I'll tell you what I'm going to do, since you understand that rules are rules. We're shipping you both to Camp Perry in Nebraska to complete your IOBC."
"Why not here?"
"Because I'm up to my ass in lieutenants. Sirs. And we have a war to get ready for. Here are your orders. The bus leaves in an hour. Have a good trip."
They walked away. "Can you believe he's still pissed off over a baseball game?"
"It could be worse," Maggione said. "We could be at Fort Meade, dealing with pissed off Orioles fans."
Part 14: Say What?
15 Feburary 1984, 0830 hours.
Robbie and his sister walked along the railroad right-of-way, stepping on sleepers and avoiding the brush. Walt and D.J. followed, bearing lanterns in one hand and their rifles in the other.
"It hasn't been used in thirty years?"
"The salt mine closed down about then," Robbie said. "Once in a while, we'd go out there to hunt and maybe smoke a little. The deer would lick up whatever salt they could and we could get them without much trouble."
"Has anyone been in the mine?"
"Not to live in, not for a while."
The entrance had been wide enough for a railcar to enter. They followed the track in. The main entrance was level for about fifty yards, and then began to slope down at a thirty-degree angle. The path was in good condition, with a few stones out of place. The air was cool, but the lack of breeze made it comfortable.
They went down the path about five hundred feet. They leveled off.
"Robbie," she said, "I think this will do."
"It's sort of big," D.J. said. "We could just camp out in the tunnel..."
"You're thinking small, nephew," she replied. "You can play soccer in this space. But by the time we get all the people, and all the supplies, and all the water we need for a three month stay, you'll find this is none too large."
"Three months?" Walt exclaimed.
"People?" Robbie said.
"John has relatives too. Some of them aren't too bad. A couple of them are firemen and cops. They can be a help, especially since we have to build up."
"They don't have places of their own?"
"They're all in Washington," his sister said. "If you'll let me make some phone calls, I can get some of them up here, and with their tools and supplies and pickup trucks."
"It sounds fair," Robbie commented after a while. "He is my brother in law."
"And he won't be coming to join us," she said.
Various Places in the D.C. and Baltimore Areas
15 February 1984.
"Yes? Oh, Jane, it's you. How is John?... Oh. ... We're worried about things too. ... You have what?... Can it... I see. Well, I'll see if I can get him up there. They're starting to get antsy about people taking leave... Bring that? And that? Tools? Garbage cans? How many garbage cans? Why? Oh. I'll pick up soap and towels too, right after I get to Hechinger's.... Bye."
"... Two by fours. Plywood. I'll see what we can get. Things are in short supply... Where's this Hadleyburg place on the map? I'll call you when I get there."
14th Street Armory
125 West 14th Street
New York, New York
15 February 1984, 2200 hours.
The phone rang. The Lieutenant rolled off the couch. "C Company 5th, Boulanger speaking."
"Lieutenant? This is Kingsley."
"Don! How's it going out there in Kansas?"
"I'm at some God-forsaken gas station in the middle of Nebraska," Kingsley said. "They're sending Carlo and me to Camp Something-or-other because there isn't enough room at the inn. I'm sorry to call you in the middle of the night, sir, but this is the one chance I have. I need a favor."
"Do you have a bugout place outside the city?"
"As a matter of fact, I don't, but my brother-in-law does. My wife called from this hunting lodge in central Pennsy. They have an old mine."
"Do you have her number?"
"She's my wife! You bet I do?"
"He're Joanna's number. Give her a call and set her up to talk with your wife, sir. She deserves a shot. If we can put national treasures into mines, why not personal treasures?"
"Wilco. Give me the number, Don."
"Would you give me your wife's number?"
"Of course. Mind you, her brothers and brothers in law are all dead shots..."
"Carlo wants to see about family too."
"I can't make any promises, guys."
"We know, sir," Kingsley said. "But half a chance is better than none."
"Call me when you get to Camp Sunshine, Don, and get settled in."
"Robbie here... Yeah, John... Sure, what's one more? We could hold Grand Central Station down there... Not intending to, but your relatives and ours and some friends... Uh, can she take the bus to Harrisburg? We'll pick her up there."
"... Did I? Yes. ... That's what I said, too, but it was either the doper or us."
"You had better hope that this city doesn't blow up on us, or they'll put you on the Ten Most Wanted List just to keep people happy here," the Lieutenant said.
"Your wife was in the car."
"I hope the cops never find out," said the Lieutenant.
Part 15: Steal Big Things
Wednesday, February 15, 1984
"If you're going to steal something, steal something big," the Lieutenant's wife said. "In this case, we're stealing a mine."
"Can you steal something that someone abandoned?" Joanna Smal said. "You said that the railroad abandoned it in the 1950 or so."
"We're definitely trespassing, and I hope they forgive us that trespassing," Robbie said.
"We don't know how much time we have left. We have to dig in and prepare for the worst. So, if you all don't mind, I have a list of chores for everyone to do."
"Yes, General," Robbie said sarcastically.
Joanna snorted. "She's definitely the senior officer here - she's Mrs. First Lieutenant. She has a plan. Listen to her. She's right. Her husband is trying to hold NYC together with spit and bailing wire; my fiance is out in Kansas being run through school; and we're in the town that Mark Twain corrupted."
"Could you run that one by me again?" D.J. said.
"I'll read you the story later," Joanna said. "We're going to have time in the mine."
The Lieutenant's wife handed out sheets of paper. "Here's a list. You all know where to get things better than I do. You know this part of Pennsylvania. If you have to, get to Maryland and buy things."
"Plywood and two-by-fours, got that," Robbie said.
"Kerosene in cans... hope they haven't started rationing it yet," said Mark, John's younger brother. "Matches. Coleman lanterns. Generator and gasoline for it."
"A crystal radio set?" D.J. said. "Didn't we bring Uncle John's ham radio gear?"
"A crystal set doesn't need batteries," Mark said. "John built a couple. I still have mine, but not with me."
"And ninety thirty-gallon trash cans? I don't get it," said Sheryl, John's sister.
"Water containers," the Lieutenant's wife said. "Food isn't going to be as much of an issue as water. Think one gallon per day per person for ninety days, you get a capacity of thirty people who can drink and cook and wash up a little."
"I didn't bring one," Mark said.
"We have hunting rifles," Walt said.
"It would be best if we could get as much ammo as we could. We may have to fight to keep our happy little home," the Lieutenant's wife said.
"You've thought of this?"
"John, in case you didn't notice, is a history buff. There's a lot of places in history where a can of kerosene, or even a bottle of vitamins, could have saved lives. Scott in the Antarctic might have made his depot if he didn't have scurvy. Oh, don't forget cat and dog food," she called out.
The family members pulled out of the hunting lodge to start their shopping expedition. The Lieutenant's wife turned to Joanna. "Now, we start to figure out the best layout for us."
"You didn't ask for a stove, did you?"
"I certainly did, a cast-iron stove, and for enough coal to fuel one. Good God, I forgot about ventilation pipe."
"What happens if the world doesn't go to war?"
"Then we have just built the strangest vacation camp ever," she said.
New York City
Sergeant Daniel Morey said, "King. Wallerstein. Gomez. This is a very sensitive investigation. I don't want anyone involved in it who isn't willing to go all the way with it. So, if you want out, tell me now."
The three detectives shook their heads. "We're in."
"This is what I want you to do. Find the driver and passengers of that white Pennsylvania van. They are to be brought back to NYC to be arraigned and to stand trial for murder two."
"What if it was self-defense?" Detective Bruno Wallerstein asked.
"Well, we only have Lefty's word, that's true, and a jury might not indict these Pennsylvanians," King said. "But the situation in the City is tense. We don't want to leave people with the impression that we don't give a damn whether they live or die. So, go find them."
Unless they have a license plate #, it's going to be a difficult job.
But the NYPD doesn't have jurisdictional authority in Pennsylvania. They can't just cross state lines, make arrests and take suspects back to NYC. Even if they get a lucky break and identify the license plate number, issue a APB and the vehicle is spotted a few days later, the logistics of getting an arrest warrant, travel and extradition process are going to take longer then the world's got before Armageddon. It will be interesting to see just how long these detectives are willing to go all the way with this investigation before they say "$%@k this, I've got my own family to worry about".
A good observation. Daniel King is an astute politician and a good cop (in OTL, he is a Democratic congressman from Brooklyn). King may want his cops NOT to be in NYC on the Day; this gives them a legal excuse to be in Pennsylvania.
The point is that most people aren't aware how imminent Armageddon is, or think that it's going to miss them. It's human nature. Think of how many bodies were found in Pompeii and Herculaneum.
When will Ed Koch order the general evacuation of New York City? This investigation will become a low priority as soon as he does. Perhaps, after Ronald Reagan's speech on Thursday evening Daniel King will tell his investigators to take their wives and kids with them to follow-up on leads in Pennsylvania - just in case all hell breaks loose.
Also, it appear to me that Koch and Mario Cuomo are not being as proactive as their counterparts in Nebraska (and probably elsewhere as well) are in preparing the state & its citizens for (possible nuclear) war. Is that accurate?
In OTL in 1982, the New York City Council decided that they would not cooperate with any Federal plans to evacuate the city. They did not write their own. This is going to be the height of folly. Koch's attitude is, "where can they go?" Cuomo isn't responding as fast as he should - he was always the contemplative type.
To be fair evacuating New York isn't really easy.Based on census data New York had around 7 million residents in 1984.This doesn't include the rest of the Metropolitan area extending into New Jersey and Connecticut.While in hindsight it might appear foolish there are practical problems with this where will these people stay who will feed them,law and order concerns.Most residents don't have a place to go since most cities in the Northwest are close to targets themselves.And there would probably be other concerns like if they evacuate and nothing happens then next election which would be in 1985 Koch is out.There would also be a degree of fatalism since nukes have long been considered unsurvivable in the public mind Koch might simply say we're doomed regardless either we die in the nuclear strikes or end up dead due to disease and famine later.Finally there would be practical matters like routes of evacuation,since this would be the single biggest evacuation in US history.Looking at a mapt the only place to go would probably be somewhere in Delaware or Sullivan counties far enough from New York city proer but not so far that transportation becomes difficult.Closer to New York would be risky since an astute planer has to take into account the Indian Point nuclear powerplant which may or may not be targeted but why risk it.Going into New Jersey is not indicated since you have Trenton to the south and several bases Mcguire AFB,Fort Dix,and others into Connecticut no besides targets in the state possible fallout from New York would spread there.
Indeed. Any plan to even try to evacuate NYC is so ASB that I'm not surprised that the City Council just said "fuck it." Just read this article about trying to do that in the event that Indian Point melted down. And that's a scenario that doesn't involve several of the evac destinations - New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut - themselves being targeted with nuclear weapons and trying to evacuate their own populations.
I don't know Mark White (the governor of Texas in OTL in 1984) and I don't know his personality, but, given all the targets in Texas (my home state) (1), he'd probably have some plan to flee Austin with the legislature.
He'd be more proactive than Cuomo, IMO. (2)
(1) Corpus Christi, and most other major cities in Texas, would get one and maybe more than one nuclear weapon. Plus, there's a lot of military bases in the state of Texas, including Carswell in Fort Worth (Turner Gill's house was probably destroyed or burned in the strikes on the Metroplex).
(2) Especially given that he was working with Ross Perot on his education plan (No Pass, No Play) which was not seen as a good plan and was one of the reasons that Bill Clements became governor again (and then Clements got ruined by the SMU death penalty scandal). (3)
(3) Perot probably has a lot of connections in Washington who are giving him intelligence (like Glenn and Bob Kerrey) and he'd probably tell Governor White about this info, IMO. White would also probably talk to Kerrey (by phone or meeting) or the governor of Oklahoma in November or December of 1983 (remember, in Land of Flatwater, Kerrey met with Oklahoma's governor, so I don't consider it unlikely that he'd try to contact White).
Just my .02 on how Texas might prepare for the possibility of nuclear war (although they'd be in a better position fallout-wise than Nebraska, Kansas, or even Oklahoma, for that matter).
Trying to evacuate 7 million people is no easy task. Besides if there is no nuclear attack you may kill more people in the evacuation than if the population stayed put.
For similar reasons the US authorities seriously considered not sounding the air raid sirens if there was an attack. When they studied the issue it was discovered that at any time of the day there are a certain percentage of the population inside, where they were more likely to survive. If the sirens caused panic, which was very likely, many more people might die in the chaos than if there was no warning.
Separate names with a comma.