Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by wolverinethad, May 21, 2017.
Just waiting for more (whenever you have the chance, of course)...
I wonder if we have any other Pershing folks in this discussion?
The night before we live fired in 1971, we were shown a movie of why it was so important to stay in the bunker until told we could come out.
Everything was normal until just after ignition, then the missile made a 90 degree right turn, flipped over with a 180 and then started doing loops...
Admittedly we’re 13 years later but I think the stat of the Soviet economy would have had an impact on maintenance ...
Wolverinethad, I just want you to know that you have kept me on the edge of my seat, and staying up way too late, to read through this entire story since I chanced upon it some days ago. You have even inspired me to restart working on my own draft P&S thread from years ago. Thank you very much for what you are doing here.
I'm genuinely touched by this. Thank you.
Gotdamn, son, that is quite unfortunate. Perhaps someone should've read this more closely... https://drive.google.com/file/d/1V8lOdBIQbeciAvmdLh495hsazRiifXDi/view?usp=sharing
Alternate History Hub's take on 1983: Doomsday.
the movie we saw was P1a, which had a lot more ground support equipment...it was still around in 1984 as I recall...
I only had the P2 manual to make my joke work.
Just wanted to pop in and say a chapter is in the offing here.
Oh thank God. * readies fatman*
March 30, 1984
There it is again.
Major Tom Sheppard was conducting his daily walk about the grounds of Valdosta State University, home to the legitimate government of the state of Georgia. He was passing one of the dorms serving as a barracks for his National Guardsmen when he heard the mournful guitar come through a cracked open window. Now the sun's gone to hell, and the moon riding high. Let me bid you farewell, every man has to die...the Major shook his head. That Dire Straits song was horribly depressing (and accurate, he admitted), but his men seemed to be doing better listening to it now. There had been several suicides in the immediate aftermath of the Exchange, mainly young ROTC kids, but a couple of older men who had families in Atlanta that were wiped off the face of the Earth had also committed the act. The governor had instituted weekly group therapy for the Guard detail at Valdosta after those, using university psychology professors as the therapists. The professors were rusty, but rose to the occasion, knowing that the Guard was all that stood between them and whatever fresh Hell might come from the north or west. There wasn't anybody in Valdosta who wasn't aware of the news that had spread about the rest of the state, how the center of the state was a poisoned ruin that had descended into anarchy, and how the Treasury Secretary was supposedly in Rome, but was dealing with resurgent Klan members. The eastern half of Alabama, that closest to Georgia, had taken its own pounding--it was only through the work of Divine Providence that the fallout had moved further north, sparing places like Plains, where a certain former President and First Lady had been spirited out two weeks ago by a Guard mission, bringing MOPP suits for the family--Amy and Chip. Jack and Donnel were believed dead--Jack worked for Citibank in Chicago, and Donnel was God knows where--and while the Carters were emotionally struggling, they were the closest the country had to a living moral authority, along with institutional knowledge. In fact, Carter's relentless pursuit of upgrading incomplete nuclear war evacuation plans, creation of FEMA, and insistence on testing all facets of the wartime systems was as much responsible for some semblance of existing government as anyone else.
Sheppard had proudly voted for Carter both times, knowing that Jimmeh had done far better at his job than the nation gave him credit for. He'd been handed threes and fives and was expected to beat the house. No man could've overcome that, and for all of Reagan's bluster, the Major knew who was really qualified to be in the office. He'd said to some others during the past month that the Exchange was proof positive that America had catastrophically chosen wrongly in 1980, that Reagan scared the Soviets so much that they'd handed the keys to a madman that thought nuclear war was winnable and look where it got us! These conversations typically happened over a bottle of Jim Beam, and could be written off as a drunk man who was responsible for securing the remnants of the apocalypse. Drunk and bitter, Sheppard chuckled to himself. Jimmy would have pursued peace first--Andropov wouldn't have been afraid of him. All fear does is make smart men into dumb ones. Anybody who's seen combat knows that fear causes mistakes and bad decisions. Anyway, at least he's alive and helping us organize here. A nuclear engineer, too, which is good, because he has some idea of whether Hatch can come back online in full. Hatch was the Edwin I. Hatch nuclear plant two hours northeast in tiny Baxley, at the center of a triangle defined by Savannah to its southeast and Warner Robins to its northeast, with Valdosta to the southwest, putting it in a precarious location. Of course, Valdosta itself was a precarious choice for continuity of government operations, being close to Moody Air Force Base--the wind would have to be blowing completely the wrong direction for the fallout to touch Valdosta, but any warhead over 1.5 MT would have damaged/destroyed buildings in the northeast part of the town and severed the power lines with Hatch. Whether it was good air defense, a missile malfunction, failure to launch, or Moody not being a primary base, it had emerged untouched from the Exchange.
In the aftermath of events, an evaluation of restoring power to functioning areas was needed. Hatch had been built to shield its occupants from a meltdown or other catastrophe, so the staff inside the plant were hanging in. They'd been stocked up with foodstuffs by Governor Harris, who considered it a vital facility. To be safe, in the weeks leading up to war, they had powered down their reactors--one all the way down over the course of a month (which was very risky but beat the alternative) and the other to a low-power state to reduce the amount of active radioactivity if they took a nuclear strike in close. As it was, they'd felt it when Savannah was wiped from existence by multiple Soviet warheads, and the staff had stayed in their protected areas, carefully monitoring radiation levels through the plant's instruments and the handheld Roentgen meters they had. Exposure suits were worn by members who went out on quick surveillance runs around the perimeter, limited to fifteen minutes, just to evaluate the physical structure around the reactor cores--this wasn't based so much on evidence as it was an overabundance of caution, as fallout from Warner-Robins AFB and Albany had drifted just north of Baxley. The reactor buildings appeared okay, yet the chief engineer was not convinced it was safe to power back up, a process that would be slow and was dependent upon the water supply--radioactive water used in cooling could cause catastrophe, and there was only a limited amount of clean water in their reservoir tanks to cool the operating reactor core. The river where they drew water from under normal conditions had yet to shed the radiation left by fallout upstream, so the plant remained at minimum operating conditions. Governor Harris wasn't pleased with that news, but Carter, who'd worked with pressurized water reactors in the submarine force, knew it was the right call and convinced Harris of that.
It was the least of their concerns, though. Georgia was not much of a functioning state, and despite Harris' best attempts to plan for the worst, he did not imagine that his state would be cut in three, with a race war breaking out in one-third while the other third was smothered in fallout and decorated by the dead bodies of over a million people. Catastrophe did not come close to describing conditions, and Florida's offers of help, while appreciated, simply did not, could not, meet the challenge Harris faced. This was why he'd brought the former President to Valdosta. There was no man still alive on the face of the Earth as qualified to deal with this crisis than Jimmy Carter--America's only living president, current or former, and a nuclear engineer. He knew the physics, he knew the plans for a post-Exchange reconstruction, he knew everything that was needed right now.
It wouldn't come close to being enough.
Manny Rivera's caravan had arrived in Naples three days ago, and they had ingratiated themselves with the populace (a move that had taken hours of persuasion by Carr and Phillips). This especially had won over the police chief, who was glad to have extra manpower and stifled any nagging thoughts in his head that these men and their story didn't entirely check out. Naples was the entry point for refugees who'd come from the Everglades or those who had been in the far suburbs of Miami and piled into whatever vehicles worked and drove across the state, driven by desperation. Many of the last group had died or were in the process of dying, having absorbed too much radiation and used too much energy to try and find salvation. The small town's leaders, wealthy men who had forgotten what hard work was, wrung their hands and despaired of the situation--there simply weren't many good places to bury people, nor did they want to waste precious fuel on mass cremations. They, too, were pleased to have military-trained and armed men amongst them, helping to secure the situation and clearly prepared to work in difficult environments. In the desperation of the leaders of Naples, they were blind to the danger they'd invited in (whether that blindness was willful or not has never been ascertained) and sowed bad seeds that would reap a bitter harvest. Even an oasis can be a mirage when its resources are stretched beyond its capacity, and Naples was quietly becoming isolated from its northern neighbors in Fort Myers and Cape Coral. The Guardsmen had set up checkpoints on the three routes into Fort Myers, and had, unbeknownst to the civilian leadership, were keeping refugees away. Major Ewing was worried about losing any more supplies to others, when his stocks of food and medicine were decreasing like every other settlement in this dark new world. Fort Myers had become a fortress of sorts, not in name, and not obvious, but walled off nonetheless. That this was a mistake would not become obvious until weeks later, and by then, there would be no time for recriminations.
Well, at least Jimmy survived, even if he did lose members of his family; as I've said, he must be heartbroken at what's happened...
This quote sums up how I've felt about Carter's presidency (especially given the mess that was the 1960s and early 1970s):
It could also apply to the current situation, IMO (anyone would be in over their heads here, IMO)…
I also agree about how Carter would have handled the situation in 1983 (KAL 007)...
And Naples inviting in Rivera...what could possibly go wrong? That's like Brandon Stark telling Crown Prince Rheagar to "Come out and die!"
All in all, good update, and congrats at reaching 100k words, @wolverinethad...
There's dissension brewing under the surface, as the Guard slowly walls off Fort Myers from its neighbors without the civilians (or cops) knowing about it. The Major views this as necessary--the untouched, relatively abundant city needs to stay that way. It's parochialism at its finest, and shortsighted, but we'll leave that until later.
As for Georgia, they've got a rump state left, the consequences of being too oriented around big cities and every big city having a major military target in its environs. Southeast Georgia is all that's left functioning, unless you count the Rome area, and that's a clusterfuck.
The end result of this is probably going to be state consolidation for a while, or a federal district of reconstruction. The fallout levels in the center of the two states probably means you get North Florida merging with Georgia, and Southwest Florida becomes a reconstruction district or its own state for a while. I can't say that I know how it breaks down yet--I doubt the leaders have a clue either.
Yeah, walling off Fort Myers without anyone knowing...talk about not thinking this through...
Woohoo, it lives!!!
1. Carter also survives in the 1983: Doomsday timeline since former Presidents and families get Secret Service protection for the next 15 years.
2. Wasn't the Treasury Secretary killed in Land of Flatwater or another Protect and Survive spinoff?
3. I know Reagan isn't dead per cannon but what happened to VP George H.W. Bush? Is he dead in this TL?
Separate names with a comma.