Tales From Another World: Three Amigos Vignettes and Details

The Beginning, Las Vegas New
OOC: This is the post @Joe Bonkers was referring to when we spoke of a vignettes thread in addition to the Three Amigos world. That TL has basically reached the end of our original planning for it, but all three of us had many more details and additions we wanted to add into it, and so they are going to go here.

Ideas people have for additions and comments are quite welcome. I can't make promises on handling everything, but we can certainly take them all into account. 🙂

So, without further adoo....


Reid-McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada
May 18, 2023
8:25 AM

"Japan Air four-five-seven, you are clear for landing on runway zero-eight left. Winds are zero-five at one-zero-five."
"Roger Las Vegas Center, we are on final approach now." The captain of the Japan Airlines airliner radioed back to the tower at Las Vegas' massive airport, confirming that their trip was almost at merciful end.
"Ready for a day off in Las Vegas?" The co-pilot commented with a smile to the captain.
"I most certainly am, Kikuchi." The captain smiled. "But I won't be hitting too many tables until I get a good sleep first." That drew a grunt of agreement.
"Yeah, I understand that well, Captain." The co-pilot checked out his instruments. "Flaps at twenty."
"Make it fifteen, we're flying into the wind."
"Only five though."
"We're light now, and these birds fly well at these altitudes." The co-pilot agreed, and quickly followed the Captain's instructions.

The flight from Tokyo to Las Vegas via Honolulu was one of the most popular ones for both its crew and passengers, as it was almost entirely made up of holidaymakers heading from Japan to either the stunningly-beautiful beaches of Hawaii or the entertainment city of Las Vegas, both of which were very popular places for tourists coming from the land of the rising sun. It was sufficiently popular that it rated an Airbus A380-800, the largest aircraft in the JAL fleet, simply because the much-faster Boeing, Mitsubishi McDonnell Douglas and Airbus supersonics simply didn't have the capacity for this route. JAL had adapted to that, though - the A380s had long since dispensed with the old-style economy sections in favour of better seats and facilities on these long flights, something passengers very much appreciated.

It was just after eight-thirty in the morning when the big jet began its descent in to Las Vegas, and by that point the bright sunshine of the late spring in the American West had long since made the city of Las Vegas quite visible, with its towering hotels along Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Boulevard easily visible for the airliner for passengers on the aircraft's left side as it gracefully drifted through the sky, a handful of clouds in the sky being the only things blocking a beautiful day that was, though, expected to be almost brutally-hot - the expected high for the day was 97 degrees Fahrenheit, or 36 degree Celsius, either number being a clear sign of just what this place was famous for. The hotels, resorts and attractions all had air conditioning, though, and thanks to developments over the previous thirty years, water was not in short supply here despite the ocean being 235 miles away and being in the middle of the desert. Las Vegas' growth from just being about casinos to being about entertainment of all kinds had seen football and baseball stadiums, hockey and basketball arenas, convention centers, a massive concert venue, two car racing tracks, a giant amusement park, golf courses, museums, indoor and outdoor water parks and other attractions built, while the building of the Las Vegas Aqueduct in the 1990s and its matching water treatment and recycling centers had given Las Vegas such a water supply that, like Los Angeles 200 miles to the southwest, had allowed Las Vegas had built multiple artificial lakes and ponds using treated wastewater, helping to give the city a much greater sense of being an Oasis in the desert. The land along the two main boulevards for casinos had become some of the world's most expensive real estate and the properties there had been built to match, taking in the tens of millions of tourists who came here every year. This growth had seen the city completely fill the usable parts of the Las Vegas Valley, spreading north along Interstate 15 and south towards Boulder City, Goodsprings and Jean and west towards Pahrump as well as resulting in many homes being built in the rocky hills that stuck out of the valley.

Like most cities in the Amigos, Las Vegas had long since developed an ethos. Locals referred to it as "The 702" after the central city's telephone area code, but with so many visitors and the obvious wealth of the area, Las Vegas residents often treated many aspects of their lives as being a show that performed all the time. Vegas' massive collection of custom clothes shops had allowed the city to probably be better dressed than anywhere else in the West - Unlike Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Las Vegas was a place where formal style was much more common and accepted - and the relatively-accessible land prices combined with higher wages meant people had extra income. Many men and women alike sported expensive watches and good jewelry, luxury cars and SUVs and sports cars were everywhere and motorcycles were highly common for those of lesser means. Employees in the casinos from the highest of high rollers to the sawdust joints wore suits to work (unless one was doing physical labor or a job where they would be expected to get dirty), a commitment to physical fitness was something espoused by many (and the many gyms and outdoor sports facilities that Las Vegas hosted were very well used indeed) and quality food of all kinds was available. The overall ethos among Las Vegas residents towards each other was that this was a city that showed its best face to the world every day, and it showed - it was cleaner and better maintained than the vast majority of cities its size, and being a newer city, it didn't have many of the scars of past injustices that some places in the United States had. Few residential neighborhoods were anything less than complete melting pots for many different peoples. Americans of Latin American, African, East and South Asian and Arab origin shared neighborhoods with Whites, and they had all long since developed their own ways of contributing to the style, and more than just about anywhere else, being a bigot got a viceral response.

For the Japanese arrivals in the city, they had many different plans. Many were headed for the Casinos and massive hotel resorts, though others were wanting to go golfing, a popular past time in Japan that was, nevertheless, a difficult and expensive one due to the price of land there. Families with children were often bound for the casinos that were child friendly, particularly those with indoor water parks. Six Flags over Las Vegas was certain to be the destination for a few more still. A handful of young men who'd come over were headed to see and work out at Peter Kennett's famous Metallic Militia Las Vegas gym, which had been playing host to Mr. Olympia competitors since in opened in 1998. Four car nuts from Osaka were headed to Stardust Raceway to drive exotic cars at Experience Fast, and some more were headed to conventions in the city. All, however, had their eyes on enjoying their visits to Las Vegas.

The airliner drifted in to make a very good landing on the runway and then quickly taxi off of the runway, clearing the way for the next landing and moving out to Terminal D, where one of the airport's three-jetbridge gates was ready for the massive airliner. No sooner had the aircraft docked against the gate than the pilots got shut down the aircraft and headed for their exits, grabbing their bags and headed for a good sleep at one of the hotels near the airport that regularly catered to air crews arriving after incredibly long flights from the Far East or Europe, which were increasingly common in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas in the Three Amigos World New
This first post is a perfect example of why we needed to have a Vignettes thread, folks: I had completely forgotten our offline discussions about Las Vegas.
For the record, here's what the Strip looks like in the world of the Three Amigos:

Russell Road to Tropicana Avenue (West)
- Mandalay Bay
- Luxor West (OOC: modified)
- Excalibur (OOC: modified)
Russell Road to Tropicana Avenue (East)
- Dream (OOC: as proposed)
- Pinball Hall of Fame
- Little Church of the West
- Astral (OOC: modified from proposal)
- Luxor East (OOC: a major expansion of OTL's Luxor across Las Vegas Boulevard)
- Tropicana
Tropicana Avenue to Harmon Avenue (West)
- New York, New York
- T-Mobile Arena (a block west of the Strip)
- Monte Carlo (OOC: Park MGM with its old name kept)
- CityCenter (including ARIA, Mandarin Oriental and Vdara)(OOC: modified)
Tropicana Avenue to Harmon Avenue (East)
- MGM Grand
- Showcase Mall
- Marriott Grand Chateau (OOC: modified)
Harmon Avenue to Flamingo Road (West)
- Cosmopolitan
- Bellagio
Harmon Avenue to Flamingo Road (East)
- Elara (OOC: similar but larger)
- Planet Hollywood (OOC: modified)
- Paris Las Vegas
- Bally's
Flamingo Road to Spring Mountain Road (West)
- Caesar's Palace
- Mirage
- Treasure Island (OOC: modified)
Flamingo Road to Sands Avenue (East)
- Avatar Las Vegas (OOC: high-tech and futurist theme, adults-only casino, where the Cromwell is)
- Flamingo
- The Linq
- High Roller (OOC: OTL location for the ferris wheel but a very different design ITTL)
- Harrah's
- Casino Royale
- MSG Sphere
- The Venetian
- Palazzo
Spring Mountain Road to Desert Inn Road (West)
- Plaza Las Vegas (OOC: modified proposal)
- Echelon Place (OOC: slightly modified design and moved location)
Sands Avenue to Desert Inn Road (East)
- Wynn Las Vegas
- Wynn's Encore
Desert Inn Road to Sahara Avenue (West)
- Stardust (OOC: surviving and heavily modified)
- Resorts World (OOC: modified design moved north to accommodate the Stardust)
- Circus Circus
- Sky Las Vegas
- Hilton Grand Vacations
- Grand Dragon (OOC: Asian-themed Casino)
Desert Inn Road to Sahara Avenue (East)
-Guardian Angel Catholic Cathedral (OOC: That’s OTL, believe it or not, and it is right on the Strip; in TTL, it’s bigger)
- Las Vegas Convention Centre
- Turnberry Place (OOC: modified)
- Fontainebleau (OOC: modified)
- Crown Las Vegas (OOC: modified)
- Sahara
Sahara Avenue to Main Street (West)
- Fashion Show Megamall (OOC: modified and moved location)
- The Stratosphere Las Vegas
- Westward Ho (OOC: a large-scale Western-themed hotel and casino)
Sahara Avenue to East Saint Louis Avenue (East)
- Sands (OOC: re-using the name of the famous former casino, with a similar design motif)
- Challenger (OOC: medium-sized middle-income resort with a pair of tall hotel towers and post-modern design elements)
NOTE: The triangular block bordered by Las Vegas Boulevard, Main Street and Wyoming Boulevard here is a large park and urban square
- Las Vegas House of the Visual Arts (OOC: faces east towards Main Street and the square)
Wyoming Boulevard to Charleston Boulevard (West)
- Frontier (OOC: New Frontier proposal in a different location)
- Canadian Pacific Hotel Las Vegas
- Desert Heart
- Musicsphere Las Vegas
East Saint Louis Avenue to Charleston Boulevard (East)
- The Great Nevada Shopping Center (OOC: a huge (620-store) four-story shopping mall
- Spirit of India (OOC: Indian-themed casino, as in the subcontinent)
- The Western Racing Club (OOC: located east of Spirit of India on Oakey Boulevard)


Allegiant Stadium is on West Tropicana Boulevard.

Flamingo Boulevard going both east and west of Las Vegas Boulevard functions as a “mini-strip,” including the Rio, the Palms, the Gold Coast, and the Orleans (built over buried I-5), the Desert Inn (rebuilt at a new location), and a German-themed casino, the Rhineland.

Las Vegas Union Station is on the OTL site of Main Street Station. Stewart and Ogden streets are one-way in opposite directions, allowing for easy access to the station, one block north of the Fremont Street Experience.

TTL Las Vegas is very much more transit-friendly. Public transit links Union Station to the airport via the Strip, and it is very easy to use.
SP Roseville Trains New
Southern Pacific McAllister Yard, Roseville, California
May 20, 2023
5:01 AM

"Nothing like a Saturday morning ride, huh?" Engineer Tayevon Moreland commented to the young man next to him, who looked up from his coffee mug to comment in agreement.
"Yeah, but at least it gets our day going, right? Get on up to Reno, snooze during the afternoon, go do crazy shit in the evening." Road Crewman Armando Torrena commented back to the much older engineer with a grin. "I've heard a lot of the OG engineers were real lovers of the time off, too!"
Tayevon laughed at that. "I'm too old to be getting drunk on my time off, and have too many responsibilities to be pissing my money away in Reno."
"Hit the buffet and then go get laid, then." Armando flashed teeth in a grin. "Handsome devils like us get to have our fun, no?"
"Fun like that is best done with one woman." A grin. "You'll learn that one day, young buck."
"Ahhhh, the buff grandpa is gonna hold himself back?" A chuckle. "What's that song say again, I got hoes in different area codes....?"
Tayevon laughed at the song. Ahhh, to be young, dumb and full of cum again. "Firstly, if you say stuff like that in front of Sammie, I ain't gonna save your ass. Second, how about we worry about that after we get ten thousand tons of freight train over the Sierras." Armando smiled.
"Warning received and understood, Pops." He got another chuckle for that.

Both Moreland and Torrena were employees of Southern Pacific Lines, one of the major railroads of the West Coast of the United States. Moreland had been doing the job for over 30 years, and while Torrena had only been on the job a year and a half, among the crews out of Roseville he was already well regarded, and Moreland knew it. Both men liked their jobs primarily because they both liked the feel of driving giant machinery, and while the hours of a railwayman were not something that the railroads advertised, both men were paid well and both were part of SP's employee ownership program, the program having made Moreland quite wealthy over his long service. Both also knew of the reputations of the rest of their crew, as did conductor Wayne Grantland and loadmaster Samikoya "Sammie" Kurosawa. All four had worked together before, the veteran engineer and conductor pairing well with their much-younger road crewman and loadmaster.

The four today had been assigned a train that had a typical load for freight trains heading out of California - fresh fruit and vegetables in refrigerated boxcars and trucks on flatcars, boxcars with merchandise, aluminum and steel sheets and tubes loaded into gondolas and bulkhead flatcars, a sizable collection of autoracks loaded with Toyotas headed for dealers in the Midwest, a number of chemicals coming from oil refineries and chemical firms, a number of cement hoppers and lots of other goods. There were a few oddities - four livestock cars loaded with pigs (which the crew was glad weren't at the head end), three flatcars carrying six city buses sold from San Francisco to another city, bulkhead flatcars carrying electrical transformers, construction equipment and jet engines and, right at the front, a heavily-insulated shorty tank car with "California Dairy" on it. The whole works totalled 135 cars, roughly 10,450 tons. For going over the Sierras, such a load mandated power at both ends of the train and in the middle, and for this route the power was mostly electric units.

California's massive surplus of nuclear and hydro-generated electric power had long since seen the main lines out of the region - SP in all directions, Burlington Northern and Canadian National northwards, Rio Grande, Union Pacific and Santa Fe eastwards and Sonora, Gulf and Pacific to the southeast - electrified in their mountainous sections and busiest sections in the Central Valleys and along the coastline. For this run, the electrics would take the train all the way from Roseville to Ogden, Utah, via Reno and northern Nevada. The electric locomotives out horsepowered diesel counterparts by an order of magnitude, and SP's crews rather liked having that power with the loads they had to move. The train business never stopped, and with the rivalries the railroad had for business, doing its job right was a must.

But SP was ready for that.

"You two shmucks still bouncing your plans for world domination off of each other?" A chuckling, well-accented voice said as the third man walked into the room.
"Nah, more like plans for the twelve hours after we drop the beast at Reno." Armando commented to his conductor.
"Better save the booze for when you have an actual day to recover." Grantland warned. "You know what happened last month with Adam, Armando."
"I will Wayne, don't worry. More thinking about the tables."
"You oughta be looking to get more sleep and spending less money. You get more out of life that way." Wayne advised, his Louisiana Cajun drawl seemingly more pronounced than ever.
"And not have fun when I got the chance?" Armando laughed. "I dunno how the OGs do it, but when I'm young and full of energy, I'm gonna enjoy it."
"Just don't overdo it." Tayevon commented. "You know we're gonna be taked for a trip on Sunday afternoon or Monday, and you ain't doing it hungover."
"He already planning on stupidity?" The last of the four crewmen on the train commented as she walked into the room, holding her plastic folder that contained the train's manifest and tonnage profile.
"He's always a little crazy." Wayne chuckled. "That the paperwork?"
"Yep. 135 cars today, smidge over ten thousand ton, some stinky and nasty crap in the middle."
"Stinky stuff?" Tayevon asked.
"Oink Oink." She didn't have to say more.
"Ah, gotcha." A pause. "Weight distribution?"
"Pretty good on account of grain cars, cement hoppers and machinery flats up front. Most of the back is empties and autoracks, and a bunch of city buses sold off."
"So I can feather the dynamics, then."
"If you want to keep more of it bunched up at the front." Sammie smiled. "I'll leave that to you, Tayevon. I just make sure nothing blows up or poisons everything."
"You've always been more than that, Sammie." Wayne commented.
"Thanks Cajun, but I don't mind not having to pull the pins. I'll leave that to the boys." Sammie smiled, showing off her teeth. She was five-foot-eleven and pretty, and knowing it she worked hard to keep it that way.
"And yet we hear all the time about women's liberation, only to hear a very beautiful woman who works on the trains for a fucking railroad say that." Armando said with a joking tone, which led to Sammie chuckling.
"Oh I'm sure I'll get my chance to pull the throttle at some point." A smile and a theatrical swish of her hair. "Strong, liberated woman and all." The joke got all three men laughing.
"Played that one nice as always." Tayevon joked.
"The assist from Armando, the Latin Chris Paul."
"Ohhhh, its like that, is it?" Armando laughed. "I'll have you know that...." He was interrupted by a hostler.
"She's good to go, guys."
"Excellent." Wayne nodded to the hostler, who scampered off, and then to his crew. "Time to go to work."
Tayevon took a deep swig of his coffee and grabbed his bag. "Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work we go...."

Southern Pacific's Extra 6056 East was waiting on the Departure Track 1, it's mighty pair of General Motors-built PS16C electrics humming away quietly, but almost entirely drowned out by the grumbling Morrison-Knudsen diesel behind it. Tayevon saw it and commented on that.
"The oil burners running?"
"Yep." The hostler commented. "Better to give you guys all the ponies you can get, you got a lot of train behind you." The hostler pointed backwards. "There's a couple of Siemens Benders in the middle, and two Cable Boxes and a Geep with a wide cab at the back. It's live too." The crew heard that one and smiled at it, knowing having eight locomotives for this move would make their lives easier.
"Thanks a mill, Casey." Armando said.
"No prob, CP3." Casey grinned and scampered off, the other three crewmen laughing as Armando turned in his direction, making a joking sound like Homer Simpson.
"Why you little...."
"Let's roll Armando." Tayevon climbed up the stairs. "We got shit to do."

Twenty minutes later, the train was departing the yard, the comfortable electric locomotives up front having the Engineer on the right side and the Road Crewman on the left. Armando had settled into his seat, and was intently watching the gauges at his console when the radio spoke.
"Radio Check, 6056 East calling head end." It was Sammie's voice.
"Head end copies radio check." A chuckle. "Couldn't have done the sexy voice, Sammie?"
"I save it for guys I actually wanna fuck." Tayevon heard that and laughed out loud. "Signal is showing all clear from the rear."
"Here, too." Tayevon grabbed the radio mic, to save Armando further embarrassment. "Roseville Tower, 6056 East, we're good to pull out?"
"You're good, eastbound main is yours, 6056 Extra." A pause. "Tell Armando he might wanna start thinking with his other head, Tayevon."
"We'll keep that in mind." Tayevon chuckled. "Cajun, we looking good?"
"All clear, Tayevon, open her up." Wayne called out. "Thanks Roseville, enjoy the day."
"You too guys, have a safe trip. Roseville, out."
Karafuto, Japan New
New Karafuto Airport, south of Toyohara, Karafuto, Japan
February 11, 2023
10:20 AM

"What a place to have an airport." Nikolai Kozakov commented, looking out one of the windows of the New Karafuto Airport, which in this case faced to the West - giving a clear and obvious view of the many two-thousand-foot-tall mountains that the city of Toyohara pushed right up against. Even from the airport, the ski resorts that southern Karafuto was famous for were clearly visible, many of these dating from before World War II and then rebuilt and expanded by the Canadians who occupied Hokkaido and Sakhalin in the years after the war. That legacy was well remembered among all who lived on Karafuto, so much so that one of the famous events of the winter was the Canada Festival, which might have seemed ridiculous in another universe.
"Either that or use up farmland, right?" Nikolai's sister Kateryna commented back to him. "This place looks like they merged Russia with Japan."
"And sprinkled in some Canada." Nikolai commented. Kateryna chuckled at that.
"Yeah, and built amazing ski resorts and tourist destinations."
"Hey now, you know why I'm here with you."
A kind smile. "You need not tell me. I suspect once we find her, you'll forget I even exist for a while."
"Love to tell you you're wrong, but I kinda can't." That got a full-on laugh, before Kateryna switched to English. "Shall we?"

New Karafuto Airport was a classic piece of 1980s Japanese architecture, blocky and efficient but having tons of windows for natural light and built to the best standards, and knowing of the crowds that came here every winter for ski hills and other cold-weather sports, it was designed to work perfectly and connect to the railroads of the region, which themselves since 2004 had been connected to the rest of Japan via a line from Hokkaido via a tunnel from Cape Soya to Cape Crillion, the tunnel only using narrow-gauge trains, even though the tunnel had been built in such a way to allow Shinkansen trains to use it if the opportunity arose. Northern Japanese often saw themselves as the strong, hardy types of Japan, and the large population of indigenous Japanese - Ainu and Nivkhs most of all - and sizable number of Japanese Koreans who also lived here added to the culture of the region, along with some Russians, most of the latter being post-1991 arrivals. Of course, the legends of the past long remained - the airfields that dotted the island for the Japanese Air Force, the naval base at Shisuka, the many army facilities that signified that the island had been long expected to be a combat zone should the West and East ever come to blows. It was widely seen by all involved as fortunate that never happened, and for Russians like Nikolai and Kateryna it had been to their considerable benefit - the chaotic end of the USSR had swept away much of it's old order, and allowed true patriots, people who wanted Russia's newly-discovered freedom to last, to be the ones who took charge of the remains and built a new nation out of it. That nation had had a difficult gestation, but today it was easily the equal or superior of the one whose end in 1991 had so changed the whole world. But what had come out of the new Russia was what made possible the reason Nikolai and his sister were in Karafuto in the first place.

And a minute later, that reason showed itself as the two Russians walked into the main terminal.

Kahori Miyazaki had first met Nikolai on the internet, of course. Both were university students with different fields - aerospace engineering for him, biosciences for her - and both certified anime nuts, a pasttime that in recent times had become much easier to get in Russia, even if few such programs or books had ever been translated to Russian. Nikolai, like many of his fellow Russian students in modern times, spoke languages other than Russian - he spoke good English and passable Spanish - and his chance encounters online with Kahori had led to more. Over the previous two years, both had progressed from internet chats to text messages to phone calls. And when Kahori told Nikolai she was going to Karafuto for a ski trip, the timing had been just too good to pass up, which is why Nikolai had booked himself on an Aeroflot flight to Tokyo and then a All Nippon Airways flight to Karafuto, and why Kahori was waiting for him at the airport. Within a minute of entering the arrivals hall, Kahori and Nikolai laid eyes on each other for the first time. For Kahori, it meant two hands to her mouth in stunned disbelief, and for Nikolai it meant going to her as quickly as he could without looking like a lovestruck fool. That turned out to be a forlorn hope, as when he was less than five feet away, she bolted to him, beaming.
"Nikolai, it's you! It's really you!" That was followed by a hug that the taller, stronger Russian turned into a lift off of the ground.
"Everything you expected?"
"And then some!" Kahori exclaimed, dropping down to her feet as Nikolai set her down. "And you?" She got a chuckle for that.
"Your first impressions are most promising." He quoted a line from one of their favorite anime shows, and Kahori picked up on it instantaneously, laughing.
"I imagine, Mr. Handsome Devil." That got a laugh from Nikolai. Kahori continued. "Your first time in Japan, Niko?"
"Yes. I've been to England and Spain, but never Japan. You?"
"America, the Philippines and Australia, but never Russia, honestly." That got a sly smile.
"I have the advantage then." She laughed again.
"Not here, you don't." She grinned, looking back at the taller blonde woman who was watching them. "That's your sister?"
Nikolai waved Kateryna over. "Yes, that's right." A pause as Nikolai's sister came over, towing both her and her brother's suitcases. "Kateryna Kozakov, this is Kahori Miyazaki." Kahori and Kateryna shook hands, which led to a somewhat-quizzical look from Kateryna.
"Oh, that's all I get now?" Kahori laughed and took the hint and hugged Kateryna, which the Russian woman warmly returned.
"How was your flight, guys?"
"Long on the trip out, but Narita is a good place to transfer through even at five in the morning local time and I was able to sleep on the flight." Nikolai commented, then smiled. "I brought my snowboard, knowing where I was going."
"Glad to hear it, I have mine too." A smile.
"Ahhhh, should I have brought one too?" Kateryna asked with a grin. Nikolai beat Kahori to the punch on this one.
"Your skis and ski poles came in the same box as my board and boots!" All three laughed at this.
"You trying to be a, shall we say, troublemaker?" Kahori asked slyly of the other woman. Kateryna rose to comment with a grin of her own.
"Around other men, all the damn time. But not this one."
"Pretty girl you are, that doesn't surprise me." A grin. "I'm pretty sure my days of such chasing are over."
Kateryna heard that and decided she was going to like her brother's Japanese girlfriend. "So, where we off to first?"
I know I may be fixated on the wrong things, but did you guys have any big ideas for rail preservation?
I don't think any of us really thought too much of that, beyond my plan for the South Simcoe Railway to run from Beeton to Brampton and be a major tourist attraction. I know that's a big thing for you, but if you get big ideas, PM me.
Tanks and Artillery, Canadian Style New
Canadian Forces Base Suffield, Southeastern Alberta
May 21, 2023
11:02 AM

There are few things that could ever possibly give absolutely anyone the chills, but the freight-train roar of heavy artillery weapons firing was one of those sounds, a massive boom that led to a giant roar from the shell leaving the gun for its target downrange. It was a roar that would be hard-placed to be replicated anywhere, but here it had a few famous people looking at the scene in front of them in something close to awe.
"Good God!" Adam Savage lifted his hands from his ears, having been warned that the firing of the Canadian Army GC8-45 artillery gun would be impressively loud, it had been all of that. The captain of the Royal Canadian Artillery's 2nd Battalion, which was at Sheffield training, couldn't help but smile at that, looking over at the giant gun, mounted on its trailer that was still attached to its huge truck that pulled it.
"The Canadian Army has always prided itself on its field artillery, Mr. Savage, and this beast is exactly what the superpower of our Army's field artillery is." He got a response from Savage at that.
"What kind of propellant do you guys use for that?"
"Triple base, and on the GC8-45 it uses laser ignition to make the firing safer."
"And the safety is why that is used." Savage commented, pointing at the armored truck that carried the ammunition for the artillery gun, which was readying to quickly resupply the gun.
"Yep, and the carriers we use have hydraulic lifts to allow quicker resupply of the gun for both shells and propellant charges."
Savage looked at it. "I've seen vintage artillery, hell I even took a crack at firing an M101 a number of years back, but this is many, many stages beyond what I've ever seen in action before." He paused, turning towards his cameraman. "Hard to believe such a monster was built by Canadians, isn't it?"

The Captain had a good chuckle at that. Not like those in the know aren't entirely aware of what we're capable of. The Captain smiled at that, turning back to see his men attach the hydraulic lift system and go to work moving 203mm shells for the gun, noting his crew was following all of the proper procedures. Just like we always drill, the Captain reminded himself. And what is meant to be done for this monster.

The GC8-45 was the Canadian Army's largest field artillery piece, an eight-inch-bore monster with a giant 30-foot-long, 45-caliber barrel with a giant muzzle brake on the end, designed by Canada's famed "Boy Rocket Scientist", Dr. Gerald Bull. One of the long series of 155mm and 203mm guns the brilliant designer had cooked up for the Canadian Army which had long ago become its backbone, and allowing Bull to rise to become a person of renown in Canada - enough so that he had been commissioned as a Brigadier General in the Canadian Army, made a member of the Order of Canada and got a chance to go into space on a Space Shuttle mission Canada paid for in 2004 - and giving Canada some of the best field artillery on the planet, artillery guns that had seen service in Vietnam and the Middle East. And for many of the staff at his Space Research Corporation, the GC8-45 was their magnum opus, even with the rocket artillery, naval guns, space launch systems, transfer equipment and many other developments the company had had a hand in over their years in service and their facilities in Sherbrooke, Quebec, and Bonavista, Newfoundland, becoming places scientists in the field had been flocking towards since the 1960s.

Mounted in this form on a trailer with an armored cabin for its crewmen, the trailer included a small diesel engine for its hydraulic lift and aiming system as well as stabilization arms along with its fire control computer system, ammunition and shell and propellant rammer, which was also hydraulically-operated. The massive weight of this meant the trailer was huge, some 52 feet long and equipped with no less than 48 tires in six axle lines, with the trailer able to adjust itself for safer travel on sloped or rough terrain. The giant gun could carry eight rounds along with the propellant for the rounds, and thanks to the rammer system it could launch all eight rounds in just 96 seconds, the rammer on the GC8-45 not requiring the barrel to be moved to load the gun as on previous 8-inch gun designs, helping with fire rate and accuracy. It was possible - though quite dangerous and not recommended - to fire the gun while on the move, and even in battery and ready to fire the monstruous gun was still attached to the mighty truck that served as its tractor.

That was tractor was a beast in its own right. The Pacific P722x5M truck was almost as impressive as the gun itself, a massive tank-transporter truck that was unique in design - it was a diesel-electric design, with its engine not only driving two forward steering axles and first two main axles, but it also had a powerful AC generator that drove the rear two axles, those axles being connected to the rest of the truck through a giant universal joint, allowing the truck to have remarkable off-road ability, while the axles behind the U-joint were self-steering, giving the truck additional maneuverability as well as having the off-road ability. These rear axles were also self-steering, as otherwise reversing would have been almost impossible, which would have been something of a problem that the engineers at Pacific Truck and Engineering, who were famous the world over for producing some of the world's toughest trucks, had well anticipated. On the GC8-45, this electricity power could also power the wheels on the first and last axles of the trailer, further making it easier to get across rough terrain. The combination could never have the off-road ability of a self-propelled artillery unit, of course, but Canada had other artillery guns for such duties, and the huge GC8-45 units had the range and capability that they were primarily meant for attacking strongpoints and commanders in any case.

"Oh we've been working on our field artillery for decades, Mr. Savage." The Captain commented. "Our guys created the TOT system, perfected base bleed rounds and have built our own artillery vehicles since World War II." He smiled. "I told you earlier about one of our ethoses with regards to field artillery."
"Yeah, expend shells rather than expend people." A smile. "I can see the logic." Both men saw the gun's commander, a senior sergeant, call out once again.
"Weapon is in battery, ready to fire!" The Captain nodded to Savage.
"Ear protection on, Mr. Savage. We're letting her really rip this time." Both men quickly did just that. No sooner had they done that then the Captain called out, more for the TV cameras than anything else.
"Battery released, fire for effect!" He had no sooner done that than the GC8-45 roared out, firing its first 210-pound shell with a giant boom, its muzzle brake spitting out jets of fire fifteen feet long as the first shell flew from the barrel. Twelve seconds the second one followed, as the loud moaning sound of the hydraulic rammer in the gun's cabin signified the gun was in rapid fire mode. Savage and the TV crewmen noticed that the Canadians were keeping their ear protection on and followed suit, and just watched in awe as the gun ripped out all eight of its rounds in just over a minute and a half. It settled down after that, and the Captain in one smooth motion popped his hearing protection off.
"And that, Mr. Savage, was sixteen hundred pounds of artillery rounds, out of one gun in a minute and a half, with accuracy of under thirty meters in range and five meters in line, even at fourty-five kilometres in range."
"Good God." Savage breathed, turning to the camera. "And I'd wager the shells make a bigger hole than that."
"Depending on the shell, perhaps." The Captain smiled. "Wanna go see for yourself?"
"You bet!"

Ontario Regiment Fighting Vehicle Museum, Oshawa, Ontario
2:27 PM

"Oh man, I cannot believe what this is like to drive!" Andrew Younghusband, the TV show host, said in a laughing tone as he maneuvered around a huge Chieftain Mark 11C tank around the maneuver field outside of the Ontario Regiment's famed tank museum in the Toronto suburb of Oshawa. The six-foot-four Younghusband carely fit inside of the driving compartment, but despite that he was on Cloud Nine. "This driving position feels so weird at first but you get used to it quickly, but by God, you just need to look out of this thing to realize what you're driving, and it makes you feel like a God!" He paused. "A thousand horsepower engine, moving sixty tons of tank, on tracks that mean you can go through anything!" He almost shouted in his enthusiasm as his tank faced a steep incline. He gunned the engine to power up the man-made slope, which the tank climbed as if it was a small hump. He grinned like a fool as the massive tank crested the incline and flopped over the other side. "I always wondered why tank drivers say they love these things, but now I get it!"

The Chieftain was one of the extensive collection at the Ontario Regiment's museum in Oshawa. Built on what had once been a sizable collection of aircraft parks on the south side of Oshawa's airport, the facility now had a built-for-the-purpose museum, a massive maintenance facility and a testing ground for the tanks, which were regularly tested out for the benefit of museum visitors, to the immense enjoyment of both the visitors and the staff. The Ontario Regiment Museum had a vast collection of fighting vehicles from World War II onwards, with its museum having been first the recipient of a vast quantity of vehicles captured from Nazi Germany in World War II, including two of its prized possessions being examples of two of the Nazis' most powerful vehicles, the Jadgtiger tank destroyer and Tiger II heavy tank, along with a vast collection of Allied and Axis vehicles and a stack of Cold War era vehicles as well as an example of virtually all of the vehicles Canada had ever used. The museum was fully equipped and capable of keeping many of these active - and indeed, today they had two Shermans, named Bart and Billy, operating, along with its ex-Bundeswehr Leopard 1 (affectionately named Simon the Sprinter for its speed), a Churchill VII (named Winston, of course), a pair of ex-Indian Army T-72As (named Boris and Natasha), a ex-USMC M60A3 (named Bill), it's Chieftain and, of course, its newest tank (and a gift from the United States Army's 1st Armored Division, which had been friends with the Royal Canadian Armored Corps since WWII) in its M1A1 Abrams, which had had a naming competition held for it when it arrived among museum visitors and thus gained the name John Wayne, after the famed 20th Century American actor. There were also a vast collection of active armored personnel carriers, trucks (including the very first truck built at General Motors' Oshawa Assembly plant for the Canadian Army in 1940), jeeps and utility vehicles and other military vehicles. The back of the museum included a hangar, a recent addition that had allowed the museum to receive gifts of helicopters - and true to form, the museum now had among its collection a ex-US Army UH-1 Huey, an ex-French Air Force Aerospatiale Gazelle, a CH-47A Chinook that had been sold to Vietnam and, perhaps most notably, a Mi-24 that had been captured by Iran during the Middle East Wars in the 1990s. The Gazelle and Mi-24 were flyable, and the Mi-24 drew a crowd any time it so much as took off.

Younghusband's TV crew was doing a special on the most extreme vehicles ever to see use in Canada - while Adam Savage in Alberta was doing a show about the canadian Army, Younghusband had already ridden in the commander's cupola of the Leopard 1 and a T-72 and had asked to drive one of them, and they had allowed him to take the wheel of the Chieftain. What they didn't know is that the museum had a surprise for him - he was gonna have a ride in the gunner's seat of the Mi-24 later, as one of the museum's pilots, who had two thousands hours in RCAF helicopters and had long since mastered the Hind, was gonna take Younghusband on a mock strafing run of the vehicles in the field. But where he was now, he was driving, but he didn't know that the rest of the tank's crew was about to throw him a fast one....
Andrew's headset spoke. "Target, two O'Clock!" Younghusband turned his head to the right, seeing Natasha emerge around a dirt mound on the practice field, its turret turning in the direction of the Chieftain. "Firing!" That was followed by a simulated BOOM from the Chieftain's main gun, which the T-72 returned. Younghusband halted the tank momentarily, but the commander quickly corrected that.
"We gotta keep moving, driver!"
Andrew took the hint and rapidly accelerated the tank, as the Chieftain fired a second shot and the T-72 opened up with another one. Instinctively, Andrew jerked the tank to the right, being happy to note that as he did that the turret swung left to keep a track on the T-72, which also turned left to put its thickest armor in the line of the Chieftain's simulated shots.
"Holy hell this is intense!" Younghusband almost shouted at the camera as he weaved the tank. The Chieftain pilled into a deep ditch and halted momentarily, just its turret sticking out. One more shot later and the Chieftain roared out of it.
"Good driving, Sergeant Younghusband!" The commander called down to him. "Shit, another T-72, nine O'Clock high!" Yet again, the TV host jerked his head to the left, seeing the other T-72 on top of a rise, another puff of smoke simulating a shot. The Chieftain reached level terrain and Andrew almost by instinct ripped a hard turn to the left, the turret swinging right to line up and fire on the T-72, which rapidly charged off of the rise to close the distance. The Chieftain 'shot' first, the T-72 returning fire. Diesel engines roared as the T-72 was followed over the hill by the Leopard 1, whose far superior speed allowed it to swing to the right of the T-72, moving to flank the Chieftain.
"Holy crap, what the hell am I gonna...." Andrew hadn't finished the sentence when he heard a sentence over the radio.
"Whoa, take 'er easy there, Pilgrim." Andrew recognized the sentence instantly, and the commander almost immediately barked out.
"Backup to our Ten O'Clock!" Andrew looked in that direction to see the Abrams roar over another of the hill in the field, almost catching air as it did so, its gun firing a simulated shot in the direction of the Leopard 1. The Leo 1 quickly swung to its left, its turret swinging in that direction as well.
"Big Chief, this is John Wayne." The radio spoke. "We'll handle Simon, you guys take Boris and Natasha out of the game!" Andrew heard the commander shout back an affirmative, and Andrew, following the orders, swung the Chieftain to the right, its turret doing the same as both tanks 'fired' a shot. Natasha quickly scampered off to the left, a 'mistake' that was done specifically to see if Andrew had been paying attention to his commander's instructions. He had, and it became obvious as the Chieftain swung right to cut him off. One more shot and the radio spoke again, this time the rangemaster.
"Natasha down." A break, and then the radio spoke again. "Simon down."
Andrew shouted out in triumph, absentmindedly barking out. "Commander, where the hell is that is that other tank?!"
"Four O'Clock, going right to left." A pause. "Driver, take us to his flank!" Andrew swung the tank hard to the right and gunned its engine, racing towards behind where the other T-72 was going. The radio spoke again.
"John Wayne, this is Big Chief, we're going after the T-72's flank. You guys heading him off?"
"Affirmative Big Chief, you'll get there first though. Get him for us!"
"All over it!" The Chieftain's big Robinson diesel roared as Younghusband called on all one thousand of its horsepower as the Chieftain charged forward. The commander saw the T-72 turret swinging around, firing a simulated shot. It missed, of course, but the turret swung right as Younghusband powered the Chieftain forward, getting some distance and waiting for the return shot before swinging the tank to the right once again, aiming to put the thickest armor facing the T-72. Boris swung to fire another shot, but in the process lost track of his own flank, and the Abrams roared out from Boris' left, its turret already turning in the direction of the T-72. Both guns spoke almost simultaneously, and the rangemaster radioed again.
"Boris down." That led to cheers among the crews of both the Chieftain and the Abrams.
"Great job, everyone!"
Chrysler+Nikola New
Walter P. Chrysler Center
Trumbull Road and Michigan Avenue, Detroit, Michigan
May 23, 2023
10:05 AM

"Thank you for coming, everyone." The Chairman and CEO of Chrysler Corporation, Johnathan Shelton, spoke to the gathered reporters in front of him on this Tuesday morning, knowing what he was going to say was going to stun a lot of people, but in a way that in some way was illogical but in the minds of Shelton and his company's board of directors made all of the sense in the world, more than anything because of the history of the Chrysler Corporation, the company widely seen as being America's number-three automaker. But Chrysler was much more than just a maker of cars, a fact known to many in the know though something that seemed to be missed by many in the media. Chrysler's history had led them to make tanks, trains, transit vehicles, marine engines, electronics and components for rockets, satellites and radar systems. It was the single largest shareholder in the United States' largest cable company in Comcast, was a major shareholder in ocean shipper American President Lines, had built microwave telephone systems in South Africa, Iran, Australia and Brazil. Despite these vast and varied interests, and a decades-long alliance with PSA Peugeot Citroen, to even many in the media the company was its Chrysler, Dodge, Eagle and Ram civilian vehicles.

In the six years he'd been at the helm, Shelton had longed to change that, and had made major efforts. Transit vehicles now carried the Chrysler wings on their noses, the company advertised that its trucks were "built by the same engineers that created the M1 Abrams" (which was somewhat true, in all fairness) and the company had been more than willing to show off its many varied businesses. But at the same time, there was one more very important reality that Shelton believed as much as any, and many of his confidants believed in as well.

Shelton had, like so many of Detroit's big shots, grown up in classical Midwestern America - in his case, Shelbyville, Indiana, southeast of Indianapolis. And he was also like many of his compatriots in being an employee of Chrysler since he graduated from the University of Michigan in 1980, and being a serious car guy, complete with a painstakingly-restored 1972 Plymouth Road Runner and a race car, in this case a British-built Radical SR3, in his garage. But what he also shared was a belief in the Second Great Awakening, and being a major part of the Born For This Generation. And through his rise into positions of authority at Chrysler - from basic engineering positions through being part of the team that made the famous Chrysler LH Platform cars happen in the late 1980s, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2001 as a team leader with the Chrysler Patriot V project, through countless projects done with an eye towards making the vehicles the greatest they could possibly be - he had made a point of those who he considered friends would come with him into places of higher authority, and he'd do right for the people underneath him. And when he'd taken his seat as the Chairman in June 2017, he'd told himself that his leadership of the Chrysler Corporation would be one where he added to the company's formidable engineering prowess by also creating a reputation for being good to the people who worked for it. And now, he was going to make the announcement that would perhaps above all else define this legacy.

The Nikola Corporation was a company that had been making hydrogen-fueled trucks since the mid-2000s. Nikola had had some successes, but by the mid-2010s, the company was floundering, owing to competition in the market, both from fully-electric trucks with batteries and pantographs and ever-more-efficient diesel-electric trucks as well as other producers of electric trucks. Financial problems had pushed the month before forced Nikola off of the NASDAQ exchange, and more than a few in the media had spoken of how the company's bankruptcy was imminent. But Shelton, like his company's board, could see the obvious potential of the business. Nikola had been stubbornly unwilling to work with others, but earlier that year the employees who now owned the majority of the company's common stock had forced out the current management and sought help, and it hadn't taken but mere hours before one of those influential employees had spoken of this to a life-long friend of Shelton, who quite quickly kicked a plan upstairs.

The plan was simple - Nikola would enter voluntary bankruptcy, its assets bought by Chrysler and its employees guaranteed their jobs as part of the Nikola Truck division of Chrysler Corporation, thus saving the jobs of the nearly 11,000 men and women who worked for the company, while the next generation of Nikola trucks would be built with Chrysler components and those of its long-time partners in Emerson Electric. Chrysler also had an agreement on the table to have Nikola's own often-troublesome fuel cell systems replaced by those from Canadian firm Ballard Power Systems, which had a formidable reputation for durability. Since by mid-2023 the employees of Nikola owned over 60% of the stock, Shelton was confident that being told that their jobs would be safe and that their stocks would be converted to stock in Chrysler Corporation would be more than enough of a incentive to make them sign off on the deal, and with one of the major non-employee shareholders being major auto parts maker Visteon (who also supplied Chrysler) also on board, the company didn't expect too many difficulties with the deal passing. Chrysler would enter the market for Class 8 trucks, joining a number of rivals in the market. Shelton had already decided on who the new boss at Nikola would be - one of Chrysler Transit System's best engineering minds, Dr. David Stewart, another long-time friend who had a Doctorate in Engineering from Wayne State University and an MBA from the University of California Berkeley whose dad had been a truck driver for Consolidated Freightways for decades. Stewart, well aware of this, was at the Chrysler Center today, as was his 88-year-old father, who would soon find out that his son would be making the trucks that the drivers of the company his dad had given a working life to would drive.

It was in a great many ways exactly the sort of play that defined those who took the reigns of leadership from the Boomer Generation, the children of those who had won World War II. That generation had fought and won the Vietnam War, built much of modern America in the 1960s to 1990s and brought an end to the Soviet Union, and watched the Generation X generation that followed them begin their own legend with Live Aid and ending the famine in China, before watching with pride with the second Live Aid in 2005, raising money to help those who had lost everything from the Boxing Day Tsunami. While one would always look at bettering themselves, the sense of a common good created by one's relationships would see them through any tough time, and that in return one had to ensure that if the others around them needed them, they would return the favor. When one expanded that view out to an entire society, you saw what modern America had become - and the Boomers, many of whom were now retiring from positions of power, were seeing the Generation X and Millennial generations continue their good work.

Shelton, for his part, looked out at the assembled media, noting the many members of business media in addition to the automotive media, and the cameras of news networks. Oh boy am I gonna have a story for them. "I am here today to announce a major acquisition of the Chrysler Corporation, one that with it expands the company into a new market in the automotive industry." A smile and a pause while he waited for the assembled reporters to digest that, and begin murmuring amongst themselves. Good to see I have them surprised.... "Chrysler today is announcing that it has come to an agreement to acquire the Nikola Corporation, makers of hydrogen and electric heavy trucks and commercial vehicles." Shelton paused long enough for the screen to light up behind him, followed by the quiet whine of a Nikola Two fuel cell-electric truck to pull onto the platform behind, with the new logo of Nikola as a division of Chrysler on the side of the vehicle's extensive wrap. The gasps lasted just a moment before Shelton spoke again.
"Chrysler has agreed with Nikola's board of directors on a plan to allow Nikola to become a part of the Chrysler Corporation, with Chrysler agreeing to market the company's products and begin the process of a complete re-design of many of the company's products in order to allow them to compete in the marketplace...."

Nikola Corporation Headquarters
South West Temple Street and East Broadway, Salt Lake City, Utah
8:20 AM

"This agreement allows the Nikola name, its products and the jobs of its employees to live on as a part of the Chrysler Corporation." The man who had led the employee-motivated coup of Nikola's previous management, former Senior Financial Officer and now Chief Executive Officer Peter McCarran, spoke to the media and many employees at Nikola's headquarters in downtown Salt Lake City. To the surprise of nobody, a fuel cell-powered Dodge Ram pickup had been sent by Chrysler to be a part of the backdrop behind the CEO of Nikola, who as part of the deal would remain as the Chief Operations Officer of the Nikola Division of Chrysler. "It is a deal that rescues everything we have built in this company, all of the hard work of so many staff, while also allowing our stakeholders and creditors to be able to be a part of our new future." He paused. "Questions?"
"Mr. McCarran, William Erickson, Salt Lake Tribune." A pause. "What does this mean for the staff here in Salt Lake City? Will they moving be to Detroit as a result of the purchase?"
"I expect that some management staff will likely move to Detroit, but Chrysler intends to keep our manufacturing facility in Glendale open and operating. They have stated that their plans in the longer terms include the next generation of Nikola products will use components common to Chrysler and its partners, particularly those from Emerson Electric, Ballard Power Systems, Visteon and Magna, but that is a longer-term plan. In the short term, Nikola's employment in Salt Lake City will remain unchanged."
"Mr. McCarran, Paul Mantley, NBC News." He too allowed the Nikola executive to recognize him before speaking. "Does this agreement mean that Chrysler plans to add to Nikola's product line? For example, will the powersports division proposed three years ago be a part of the future plans?"
"I believe so, but ultimately that will be up to Dr. Stewart and our new employers at Chrysler. Chrysler doesn't have any competing vehicles in that market, and while there are additional competitors in that market, I believe the powersports division has great potential for growth."
"And Dr. Stewart, do you think the staff at Nikola here will be happy to have him running the company?" This was Erickson.
"Will, you know as well as I do what had to happen six weeks ago." A pause. "Chrysler sees in us a possibility to expand its business, and thousands of people will continue to have a job as a result. We were able to make an agreement within just a few weeks because they are willing to put their faith in us, and while I can't speak for anyone other than myself on this, I personally am quite proud to say that I work for Chrysler now." He paused and chuckled. "I'm glad I bought the Eagle Vision instead that BMW right about now, honestly." That drew a chuckle from the room. "Detroit has come to Salt Lake City and made us a part of their future. I, for one, am proud to look forward and be a part of that future." A pause. "I look forward to inviting Chairman Shelton for ski trips and Utah hospitality."

Walter P. Chrysler Center
10:39 AM

"I have every confidence that Nikola will be a productive part of Chrysler for many years to come, and we seek only to add to the future of the business. There will be many more Nikola trucks and other vehicles in the future, I can assure you." Chairman Shelton nodded to the reporter from the CBS affiliate in Detroit, who was pleased as his answer. Shelton then noticed a man stand up on the edge of the room.
"Chairman Shelton, Sir, my name is Adam Forrester." He paused, having the attention of the Chairman and the assembled media. "I am the senior shop steward at the Nikola Corporation assembly plant, Glendale, Utah."
"Ah, I see." Shelton smiled at the man, whose suit showed that he didn't always wear one to work, but he was clearly trying to fit in with the suits. Shelton could sense the man's nervousness, and decided the man had to be here for a good reason. "Welcome to the Chrysler Corporation, Mister Forrester."
"Thank You very much Sir." He paused, as if to build his confidence. "I am originally from Detroit, Sir, and I am here today on behalf of the staff at the Glendale Assembly facility to express the heartfelt thanks from all of the staff at Glendale for your willingness to take over Nikola, Sir. We know that for months now, the talk has been that soon all of us at the plant in Glendale would be looking for new jobs, and thanks to you and your officers, Sir, we no longer have to worry about that."
"You thanks is much appreciated, Mister Forrester, and I have every confidence in you and your colleagues ability to make trucks many years into the future."
"Thank You, Sir." He paused. "I am here with a small token of appreciation from the men and women on the line at Glendale." He lifted up a black box about the size of a TV tray. "May I give it to you, Sir?"
Chairman Shelton was surprised, having not expected any of this, but he rolled with it. "Of course, Mister Forrester." Forrester walked through the crowd of reporter, and was directed by an usher up onto the podium, where Shelton was waiting. The man handed over the black box, which the Chairman was surprised to learn was fairly heavy. The Chairman opened it, and smiled widely.

Inside the black velvet box was a set of custom-made wrenches, made by a machine shop in Salt Lake City, but which had then plated with 24-karat gold by a platers around the corner from the shop. In the middle of the box was a plaque that went with the set, the plaque reading "Thank You For Being There For Us. Staff and Managers, Nikola Corporation Glendale Manufacturing, Glendale, Utah, U.S.A."

Shelton read the plaque, and looked over at the man who was now one of his employees, who clearly had had more than a few sleepless nights about the company he'd dedicated fifteen years of his life to, and who was now someone only too happy to know what he'd worked for was safe. Shelton shook the man's hand.
"Please tell your colleagues thank you for the gift, Mister Forrester." Shelton turned to face the crowd, showing off the gold-plated wrenches to the cameras and reporters. He made a mental note to make sure the staff at the Glendale facility were paid back for their surely-not-cheap gift. "I'm not sure what I'd ever use a gift like this for, but I will cherish it, Sir."
"You've already made life better for thousands of people, Mister Chairman." The man was almost to tears, and Shelton could see it. "We will be there for Chrysler as you were there for us, Sir."