The Abyss-A P&S Story

“…well I’d rather be here than in Germany if that’s what your asking”
Would he?

“Then why are you calling? You’ve never been the chatty type, obviously I welcome the call but just tell me what’s wrong Peter”

Peter sighed and dropped his stern senior-NCO act, it was strange dropping the façade like that, he felt like a child speaking to his dad on the first day of school.

“I’m scared dad” his voice quivered “I suppose at least if I was in Germany when it all kicks off I might be able to make my way home, or hell maybe I’d be lucky and die instantly”
Better to die instantly than to literally fall apart due to the untold amount of radiation seeping into you.

“Son… I…”

“Down here I won’t ever see any of you again, stuck on this rock until we run out of supplies, or the fucking Argies take us over, maybe both”
He prays they are on the target list.

“Shit, the Captains coming, I should not be using the phone right now. I love you Dad, and send my love to Mum and Suzan as well will you? Look I shouldn’t be saying this at all, but not all is as Moscow has said with this new General taking over, he’s a hardliner, out for blood. The balloon is going to go up for real this time Dad, be safe”
Be safe? I hope it's quick.

“I…I love you too son”

Dead air.

The son was a Warrant Officer in the Intelligence Corps.

The father was damn scared.

Welcome to The Abyss
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Hi guys, so i've been a lurker on this site for a while now, with a few comments here and there on great timelines. I absolutely love the world created by the entire P&S community and have finally decided that i want to add to it. I'm not the most knowledgeable on technical points so i know any attempt at a grand timeline like some have created would fall flat, so have decided to make a timeline effectively based on my family during the nuclear conflict. I have the P&S wiki opened in another tab to ensure i keep track of what happens when, and i spent a fair while plotting all UK detonations directly specified onto the NukeMap website so hopefully i will have a good grasp of what the state of the world should be. Please inform me if i make anything happen that already contradicts the universe created, as i don't want to step on any toes. I don't know how long my piece will be, and at this point don't know exactly where it will go, nor when i actually will start writing it.
Any comments are greatly appreciated.
Will likely update daily at least for a little while.
Lieutenant–Commander Matthew Harding (Retired) had felt this way only once before, when the Nazis were about to invade Poland all those years ago. This strange dread within him that seemed to seep into his everyday existence, it became stronger by the day. Every thought would be punctuated with that ever-present twist, that impending doom, that abyss into which the world was staring.

Yes, he had felt this way before, a young man then, an old man now. Years older and still just as petrified, more so. It wasn’t so much that he feared for his life, it was that he shook with anger about how bloody stupid every damn fool was, always pushing the world to the brink. Those bloody stupid fools were going to tear apart this world and for what? Surely they must know that there can be no winner in the flurry of destruction that loomed over them. It was merely a case of taking the other side down with them. No side had to go down at all.

Every moment of joy was underlined with the impending holocaust.

His daughters wedding, beautiful.

Her husband, a good man

Will they live to give him grandchildren?

Will they live in a world where he would want grandchildren?

Matthew wasn’t a coward; he had done his duty in the Atlantic, in India, in Palestine and had the scars to prove it. In those places at least there was something vaguely respectful about it. People were throwing bombs and bullets and shells at each other, of course, but you gave it and you got it. There was only so much damage that could be done. He cared about his country; he had fought for his country and would die for it so that it could live on. Nothing would live on after what was to come.

Nuclear weapons had no purpose but pure destruction. There is no honour in sitting in a silo, pressing a button, and slaughtering a city. If no one had them then no one would need them. No one would need them if no one had them. It was all so bloody simple and yet somehow those at the top would never be able to grasp that. So they build up their toys, always more, the upward climbing stalagmite of world annihilation.




Suzan, his rebellious daughter, his tiresome, rude, lovely daughter. He loved her so much; he didn’t want to see her live in a world where her children would come out… wrong. Where everything was wrong. She was a nurse, her husband a doctor. You wouldn’t be able to distinguish nurses and doctors from anyone else in the great ash pile that London was soon to become.

"I have a duty of care Dad, I can't just leave my patients, nor can James'
"If you stay in London you won't care for anyone ever again"
That deafening dial tone. He'd lost her he would never see his daughter again.

A knock on his door the next evening. His daughter, husband in tow, some food, some medicine. Indistinct cases. Matthew gives a quizzical look.
"Well i'm not going to leave my records behind dad, i know you only have that dreadful classical tripe here and i'd rather not die of boredom while i'm waiting for the missiles to fall."
A cheeky smirk as always. It fades quicker than usual, replaced with a tight lipped frown and a fallen stare.

Of course Portsmouth wouldn’t likely do any better than London; the naval base was a vital piece of wartime infrastructure, but at least they would all be together when they were incinerated.
A final hug, tears in their eyes, a squeeze on his hand, eternal silence.

God, let it be quick.
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Little does he know that Portsmouth will be spared ITTL; at least his daughter saw sense and left London...
A first day treat of a second update, hope whoever reads this enjoys!
I heartily welcome any feedback.
I intend to post at least one update a day for this week (maybe more depending if i feel like writing) just to get the ball rolling, and after that work out what i want to do, and what i have time for.
Little does he know that Portsmouth will be spared ITTL; at least his daughter saw sense and left London...

I imagine the relief of being spared will be short lived once all is said and done.
"Cheer up, the worst is yet to come." comes to mind.

Oh, and thank you for being the first commenter on my first ever thread!
Bit scary that map. Need to add Thurso to it though.

Nice start to a new spin-off.

Thanks for the feedback! It's especially nice to get it from the creator of two excellent spin offs.
In terms of Thurso i think what i managed to do was blow up Tamworth, as that is where the map took me when i typed it in for some reason! Oh well we can call it a miss on Birmingham i suppose. The map is just for my reference anyway, but thought since i spent a while making it i might as well put it out there so people have something to refer to for future spinoffs, or just something to have in mind when reading the main timeline.

Thanks for the feedback! It's especially nice to get it from the creator of two excellent spin offs.
In terms of Thurso i think what i managed to do was blow up Tamworth, as that is where the map took me when i typed it in for some reason! Oh well we can call it a miss on Birmingham i suppose. The map is just for my reference anyway, but thought since i spent a while making it i might as well put it out there so people have something to refer to for future spinoffs, or just something to have in mind when reading the main timeline.


There's also a list the P&S community has compiled here.
Matthew feels the cold water seeping into his shoes as the ship slowly fills. The lights flicker. The ship is shaking, smoke is pouring into the room. A body lies motionless. Ford? Thomas?
It’s Ford, he was barely 18, and now he was dead, his head caved in by a falling pipe. His mother had insisted that he join the Navy.
“It’s safer than the Army don’t you know?”
Soon she would receive the letter that told her otherwise.

“Edwards! What’s the damage?” Matthew barks into the salty air of the lurching engine room.
“How the bloody hell should I know?” The reply is not angry, it is sad, a sob almost. He notices who asked the question and quickly adds “Sir”
The water is rising, its above their ankles now, their feet would surely be numb if they stopped to think about it.
They don’t stop, they can’t.
Splashing through the room Matthew grabs hold of the speaking tube to the bridge.
No one replies.
“Oh Christ”
The lights flicker out one more time, him and Edwards are left in darkness.
The water continues to rise.
It’s over their knees.
“Yes Edwards?”
“I don’t want to die"
Matthew can’t reply.
He doesn’t want to die either.


That dream.
Back again after all this time.
Once more he was on a sinking ship.
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Hi guys, sorry for the late and short post, but some personal stuff came up which made it difficult for me to put out a full on post. Ideally this section would just be part of another one, and tomorrows will follow on from it. Sorry its so short!
“Matt” The comfort of her voice rouses him. “Matt, wake up”. As he awakes he sees that his wife, Sophia, is already making her side of the bed.
“It’s about time you got up, lazy bugger”, she says with a smirk. It’s obvious where Suzan got her humour, and talent for annoyance.
The dream sits behind Matthew’s eyelids, another addition to the piles of worry he had already.
“I am retired you know, you could have let me sleep, at least for a little while longer” he follows this with one of his memorable laughs, ‘haw haw’.

He’s glad that she woke him up.

Matthew dresses and is hastily shoed out of the bedroom by Sophia while she tidies up. He loves her obsessiveness, everything must be in order, and God forbid a guest should see something so unsightly as Matthew’s pyjama bottoms on the floor. Organisation was a talent she had picked up in the WRNS, and it had stuck with her. Lost in the happy memories of their pasts together Matthew momentarily forgets the looming war, the attacks, the protests, the riots, he is happy in the moment. Of course he only realises how happy he was in hindsight.

It’s funny like that.

Going downstairs through the modest sized, but highly decorated house. Memories of a lifetime line the walls. Matthew’s sword, how proudly he had passed out holding it all those years ago. A framed, yellowing paper, his ‘mention in despatches’. A bomb blast in a bank in Palestine had given him that, and a shard of glass in the leg.

Suzan and James are listening intently to the radio.

“…the death toll of last Fridays Munich Airport bombing continues to rise, with estimates now of over 300. It is now known that this figure includes children of US military personal stationed in Germa…”

Matthew can’t listen to it anymore, it reminds him too much of the news in the last war, too many deaths reduced to a sentence in a broadcast, or a front-page of a newspaper.

The panic is setting in, the flashing images of fire and ash and missiles and burning burning burning radiation pulling hair out friends dead neighbours dead family dead everything dead and oh god children born with broken bodies sickness death burning ash corpes.

Matthew falls against the wall in the hallway.
“Dad?” Suzan heard the thump “are you alright?” No facetiousness, she has put on her nursing voice.
“F..fine Suzan, just stumbled a bit is all, you know how I am, just popping out for a walk. I might be a while, Robert said he wanted to see me about something or another”.
Before Suzan can ask any more questions Matthew is out of the door and into the open air. He breathes heavily and takes in the life around him, birds in trees, a young boy cycles past.

Inside James inquires about where his Father-in-law has gone
“Off to see Rob apparently, must be important.”
“Rob?” James says accompanied with a raised eyebrow.
“One of dads old Navy mates, fairly high up now I think, I can’t think what he wants with our old sod”

Anthony calms as he wanders down the street, focussing on the good things around him, and most importantly on the open air. He’s been putting off seeing Robert for a week or so now, there is something embarrassing about seeing someone once junior to you now so far above where you could ever have hoped to go. Like Suzan he can’t think what Robert needs him for so much, he’s been out of the Navy properly for over 20 years now, and he doesn’t do anything for the NSCO anymore. He could want to talk to him about the Sea Cadet unit he runs Matthew ponders, followed by another ‘haw’, this time just to himself.

Robert doesn’t live far away, but Matthew is not in a rush to be back inside again. On his fairly roundabout route he finds himself seeing something he hoped he would never see in this country. Images of Palestine flash before him as he looks upon the Portsmouth street. At first he thinks it could simply be a protest, but as he looks it morphs clearly into a riot, it’s a food riot, a supermarket has been effectively looted by what in normal circumstances would be ordinary citizens. Office workers and clerks claw at each other for items of food. Police have them surrounded, but lacking a mounted unit the local police struggle to maintain a full cordon. Without the medieval image of a an armoured figure atop a horse looming over them the rioters are more emboldened than they might be and so many have engaged in fights with the police. A punch to a face is met with a skull cracking baton swing. The rioters aren’t the only ones feeling emboldened.

So much blood.

The war hasn’t even started, yet.
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A policeman continues to swing down onto a crumpled figure. At first smashing his ribs, then going for the head. The brutal arm of the law. It would come out in the coming hours that the rioters had beaten a policeman to death when he had tried to stop them forcing entry into the shop. He didn’t want to be there, he wanted to be at home with his family, but he had a job to do. Such adherence to duty was rewarded with a cricket bat to the skull and a subsequent trampling. People were panicking in the face of nuclear annihilation, they had to do something, looting was something, and so they had to loot.

If this is what Britain has come to before a war has even begun, one can only imagine what comes after. Matthew is paralysed while looking on the riot; this shouldn’t happen here, this couldn’t happen here. As a Navy man he has always kept his family relatively well stocked. He hopes that it won’t get to the point where he is one of those looters scrambling for a can of beans. A shout of “Out of the fucking way” snaps Matthew out of his focus on the chaos. A blur of green figures run past. If the brutality of the police is anything to go by, he doesn’t want to be there to see what the Army do.

Hastily walking back the way he came Matthew hears the moment the Army reach the riot.




A gun shot rings out. Matthew flinches.

Momentary silence.

Shouts. Cries. Screams.

Matthew can’t look back, he can’t be here. With each scream an image flashes before him. A young sailor grasping at the remains of his leg. A Palestinian mother clutches a limp child in her arms rocking back and forth. His mind was torn apart by the things that he’s seen over the years, and it has never been fully patched together. The cracks in his mind are back again. He’s scared to shut his eyes.

“Robert” Matthew mumbles to himself. He doesn’t mean to speak out loud, a passing stranger grants the obviously dotty old man a pitiful look. Focussing on the walk to Robert’s house keeps Matthew’s mind busy.
Focus on the paving stones, the trees, and the sky, anything but the screams.

When he finally arrives the sense of embarrassment in palpable, the house is big, very big indeed.
“Ah Matt, come in, I’ve been waiting to see you. Give me a second to pop the kettle on”. Robert barely looks at his guest as he says all this, motioning to the living room, and hastily moving off to the kitchen.
While waiting for the tea Matthew surveys the room, it may be a bigger house than Matthew’s own but Robert clearly has no struggle finding his own heroic artefacts to decorate the walls with.

Is that sword bigger than his?

Just as swiftly as he left Robert returns, two cups of tea heavier.
‘Just milk than…”
“Don’t worry old man I remember how you take it.”
Matthew wants to be annoyed at Roberts’s smug demeanour, but he can’t help but laugh.
“I’ll have you on a charge for that.”
“You wish.”
“Anyway Matt, how’s the wife?” Robert asks the question feigning interest. Matthew knows Rob wouldn’t invite him over just to catch up.
“In charge as always, but I don’t think that’s what you’ve invited me over to ask about.” Matthew says sternly, pulling an imaginary rank.
“Well no, quite right. I don’t really know how to say this Matt, but erm, with everything happening...” Rob shuffles in his seat and pauses while he works out a tactful way to pose the request “well, um, we want your Cadets.”
“Haw haw haw” Matthew laughs more than he has in a very long while.
Robert doesn’t smile. Matthew’s smile dips.
“No. Absolutely not. I’m not letting those lads get put in harms way.”
It is now Roberts’s turn to speak sternly, pulling his not-so imaginary rank.
“They would only be being used as messengers and the like, Matt. Surely you see that a war is coming, most of them will want to do their bit, just as we did.”
Matthew is seething.
“Oh I’m sure it will be great experience for them, a bit like work experience isn’t it? If they are lucky they might even be shot at! Terrific fun. I know the Scouts leader if you want to get them in for some riot control I can ask him, they’ll need to be offered a badge of course.”
Robert stands up and sighs. He knows what he has to say next will crush Matthew.
“Matt, this wasn’t really a request, I have a great deal of respect for you and remember the ways that you’ve helped me throughout the years so I asked you out of courtesy. I didn’t want to force this upon you but we really have no other choice. Do you think I like the idea of using kids like this? I hate it Matt, but the talk is that we are going to be at war damn soon and so we need every able body we can get to give us a chance, before and after…”
Robert pauses.

“…It happens.”

“Your Cadets will be being used Matt, with or without your consent.”

Matthew leaves Robert’s house with his soul crushed. God help those Cadets.

“Yes Edwards?”
“I don’t want to die”
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Another update for you guys.
I promise we will get to the joys of nuclear annihilation eventually.
Comments encouraged as per.
Sorry for no post yesterday, i've had some personal problems that have taken the motivation out of me to write, and i'm not really happy with the quality of the stuff i've been writing so would rather wait and actually post something good.
Not a great start to a thread i know!
There will be more soon.