Protect and Survive: A Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Macragge1, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. corditeman Relatively Sane and Unique

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    The Internet

    Well, in 1989 we had the Message Switch - a crude Telnet system devised to route messages round failed nodes. Yes. And don't forget messengers - I was one of the few EPOs who made contact with Royal Mail. The Regional Manager said that he had to look after the Armed Services first, but would probably be able to run vans between the County Main, Standby and District Emergency Centres. Below that, I was looking at a Postbus service and motorbikes and pushbikes in the Communities. Public telephones were intended to continue but most residential phones would not. The Preference Schemes were aimed at keeping society alive and stopping exchange batteries from being drained by people calling Auntie Maud.

    Look up Harpanet and keep googling...
     
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  2. Orville_third Banned

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    Regarding comms, The (US) Civil Air Patrol has a HF radio network, some of whose stations are in out of the way places. There's ARES in the US and Canada which could provide some communications, (of course, they might get federalized in the event of a major war...there are laws to that effect).
     
  3. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    http://morsecode.scphillips.com/cgi-bin/morse.cgi


    and, you can get the morse code played "out loud," which sent a frisson up my spine, it must have been a chill thrill for the prospero team when they heard that in all the silence and scuffling.


    (I'm betting the morse coder will be a million kinds of incredibly happy to see live human beings, that's my guess.)


    this is the "java" version of that translator, http://morsecode.scphillips.com/jtranslator_old.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  4. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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  5. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    not to pat myself on the back too loudly, but I figured he was scuffling with her to get her out of line to provide a context for him to go around the corner. (of course she fought since she thought she would be raped and/or killed.) it was nice of him to give her his ration for that day and to send her home. if she had friends/family in the line she was taken from, I'm betting they'll be deeply relieved to find her alive at home.

    on the other hand, I'm semi-confused about what happened once he got into the store. I'm thinking he sees dead people under blankets (the two surrogate grandparents?), pulls out his gun, and empties it into, I presume, the shopkeeper who was annoyed by his now-dead wife. I know I missed some context clues...


    don't worry about my lack of 110% understanding viz your writing, your writing is very effing good.

    I'm shocked you aren't older than you are (I think you said you weren't born until after 1983ish), you talented young person you ;)
     
  6. corditeman Relatively Sane and Unique

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    Yep, Modelcitizen, you're right...

    ...All the best, Macragge1.
     
  7. Macragge1 Banned

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    Thanks a ton for this information, corditeman - I've just run through and digested it, and it's fascinating - a lot of it's going to be very useful when running through the country's 'recovery'; so thanks again.


    You're pretty bang on, as it happens - the Constable finds the Old Man and his Wife have been murdered for their food by the Shopkeeper, so he kills him.


    Thanks a lot! I wasn't actually born until just after the Cold War ended, which makes all these stories of people's fears and worries from the time particularly fascinating.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  8. Baron Bizarre Is probably thinking about his next meal...

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    "...the Constable finds the Old Man and his Wife have been murdered for their food by the Shopkeeper..."

    For a second, I thought you said they were murdered for food instead of for their food.
     
  9. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    so they didn't just die, he killed them!

    I didn't pick up on that.

    and the lazy f--- didn't even have the decency to put the bodies elsewhere.
     
  10. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

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    that's what one of my initial thoughts were when I read that part of the story. that would definitely dovetail with emptying the gun.
     
  11. Macragge1 Banned

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    XII - Make Your Fallout Room and Refuge Now

    Another good place for a refuge is a cupboard under the stairs.

    *

    The Controller lifts his head and there's a three on his hand. He goes under again.

    With casualties came corpses. In dealing with these, the authorities faced a gargantuan task. Newcastle alone suffered 45,000 killed within one minute of the Heddon blast - fallout and starvation meant that this figure ticked forever higher.

    There was an argument that nothing should be done to dispose of the bodies - from a logistical point of view, it was sound - there was no fuel to burn the bodies, nor power bulldozers to dig mass graves. Digging by hand was seen to be a waste of manpower.

    A month after the attack, though, it was resolved that something must be done about this mountain of dead if reconstruction was to take place in earnest. Apart from the sheer morale-sapping factor of the rotting eye-sockets and gurning teeth that guilted one from all directions, the situation was a hygiene disaster. These rotting bodies became hotbeds for anything from typhoid to cholera.

    Please don't let me end up with them. Please don't. Please.

    In some areas, bodies are simply scooped up by army bulldozer. In the outlying suburbs, many have taken the advice of the radio and left their relatives in bin-bags outside the front step. Horse-drawn carts are dispatched round these areas in order to make their collections. The drivers do not shout 'bring out your dead!', though the orders on the radio amount to much the same.

    One attempt at sanitation was the 'Leazes Plan'. With almost all unscarred earth earmarked for future agriculture attempts, the Health Officer in charge of burials was told to use playing fields as impromtu graveyards. The most infamous execution of this plan occured at St. James' Park, former home of Newcastle United FC - working at night, volunteers dug with spades and bare hands until they hit bedrock. From the player's entrance, every half an hour for two days, dump trucks reversed in and unloaded. There is now no lime left in the North East Region.

    Oh God. Oh God. Oh God I'm sorry I'm sorry Oh God.

    Elizabeth II is found dead in her chamber - sleeping pills and red wine. She had never got over the loss of her husband.

    Another attempt at clearance came using the 'grill' method, which minimised the amount of fuel needed to cremate mass casualties. The building chosen was high-rise Trinity Square Car Park in Gateshead, best known for its appearance in 1971's 'Get Carter'. For days, horse-drawn carts pile them four of five high on each floor before soldiers douse them in kerosene. A single vicar is driven up and down the car park on the back of a Land Rover, dispensing the last rites en masse.

    It burns for nine days and nights.

    When it is over, nothing stands but rebar - a skeleton stained black with ash.

    The Royal Australian Navy destroyer Perth arrives in Portsmouth. Its captain informs the new King that her sister ship, Hobart, had been sent to the UK days after the attack; contact had been lost, however...

    *

    The Controller wakes up to the sun shining in through his window. He is home, between clean sheets. He runs his hands through his hair and smiles. In through the door, with a rich breakfast, comes his smiling wife. The tray on his lap as he sits up. Bacon and eggs and a nice cup of tea. Perfect. His wife is saying something - a joke perhaps.

    She is speaking in Russian.

    Oh god oh god o god.

    The room is thrown into black-green light - there's nothing on the Controller's plate but maggots. He looks up at his wife. Bits of hair on bone, eyes burst - crying, crying, crying.

    She is crying like a baby. Literally like a baby.

    Wake the fuck up.

    Bolt upright. The room is freezing, but the Controller is sweating like a pig. It's pitch black.

    No, wait - there's an orange light on and off in the corner. A cigarette - illuminating two grey eyes and a week's stubble.

    'Ah, Controller. Welcome back to the land of the living'

    And a rifle.

    'What...where...?'

    'The Freeman. You were shot, I'm afraid - they took your arm.'

    The Controller flaps his 'arms', trying to grab each other - his right slams into the bed where his left should be.

    'You should be thanking me, Controller - they were ready to throw you in with the threes. Not on my watch, though - not after all you've done for your country'. The Officer spits his last words.

    The Controller is trembling now, and it's not the cold - really shaking, shouting nonsense in his sweating bed.

    'Cheer up, now.' - a long draw on his cigarette - 'we won.'

    'Wuh...won?'

    'The Great War! They got a radio message from some Lieutenant-Colonel in Vladivostok or the Urals or wherever we didn't turn to bones and dust - unconditional surrender.' Another long, long draw - 'we're all heroes.'

    The Controller has tears in his eyes and he cannot move.

    'Now, there' - the Officer takes a hankerchief out of his pocket and moves to wipe the Controller's face; straddles him - they are nose to nose, far too close - 'no need to be such a-' his whole face curls around the last word - 'baby.'

    The Officer rolls off the bed - 'I must go, though, dear Controller. I wouldn't want to miss the dancing in the streets'

    'Buhh...whaa'

    'Goodbye, Controller.'

    The door locks from the outside.
     
  12. JN1 No longer has the Lurgy

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    So the Controller was shot then. It also looks like an earlier decision has come back to haunt him.
     
  13. corditeman Relatively Sane and Unique

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    Be very careful, Macragge1...

    ...That is the kind of thing we planned to avoid - the Kruschev option and its consequences. Too much 'Threads'.
     
  14. QuoProQuid Well-Known Member

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    Well, shit.
     
  15. Macragge1 Banned

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    It certainly has - both literally, in his dreams, and figuratively, in people's reactions.

    I'm sorry - I've not a clue what the 'Kruschev option' constitutes - I'd be sincerely thankful if you'd clue me in so I know what to steer clear of - cheers.
     
  16. LeX Well-Known Member

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    Wait, Russia surrendered and the Controller was killed? Or was that part of the dream?
     
  17. Macragge1 Banned

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    Russia has surrendered - at least according to the Officer - the Controller is alive, but he's alone in a locked hospital room with an arm missing.
     
  18. corditeman Relatively Sane and Unique

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    Kruschev Option -

    To withdraw ration cards from ALL NON-COMBATANTS in Leningrad when the Nazis besieged it. The death toll was horrific.

    I mentioned it in one of my previous posts.
     
  19. Macragge1 Banned

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    This is true - it's a horrible plan and yes, casualties will be enormous amongst the very young and the very old.

    The Newcastle bunker is operating under huge stress, however - half the staff are flaking out and the other half have imperfect information - the belief is that only those who can work should be fed. There is an element of panic - the fear that if they try to feed everyone, more people - workers - will starve.

    Whether it's the best idea in the long term (not really) or whether feeding everyone would be possible if they really stretched it (debatable), the food option is the flawed choice that the Controller's made.

    If Nikita could make this horrible choice in a world where, two hundred miles away, the buses are still running and the shops still open, I reckon the Controller's mentality in a world where almost everything is believed to have been destroyed, can be understood.

    Not everyone's happy to let it happen, though, as is evidenced by the Officer's little chat with him in the last chapter.
     
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  20. JimmyRibbitt Well-Known Member

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    There are two different sets of films that the British government made about nuclear war possibilities. The most well known is "Protect and Survive", but another lesser known set, made in the early 1960s, was "Civil Defence Bulletin". You can find all 6 Civil Defence Bulletin films on YouTube.
     
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