He also has "Love" and "Hate" tattooed on his knuckles. Something which I am going to have appear in this TL as a reference, but haven't decided on what character. Perhaps Billy Graham, who will be one of the first characters we meet in Pinnacle Future.
Something better: Thoughts and Prayers on the back of his hands, in a twisted 'reverse mark of the beast' kinda way.
Reverend-Colonel Billy Graham with two full sleeves of tattoos would be amazing. It could suit his "brash young preacher taking a stand against the decadent corrupt Council of Jehovah" punk angle.
 
He also has "Love" and "Hate" tattooed on his knuckles. Something which I am going to have appear in this TL as a reference, but haven't decided on what character. Perhaps Billy Graham, who will be one of the first characters we meet in Pinnacle Future.
Maybe when he “slays people in the spirit” he punches them which each fist.
 
Why would pinnacle future end up skipping WW2? In many ways it was the closest we ever came in otl too something like the occurrences in the madnessverse (at least with the axis) and it is the perfect opportunity too arrive at maximum madness as we see how much more horrible Napo can make it. Skipping it would be a huge waste of potential.
 
Why would pinnacle future end up skipping WW2? In many ways it was the closest we ever came in otl too something like the occurrences in the madnessverse (at least with the axis) and it is the perfect opportunity too arrive at maximum madness as we see how much more horrible Napo can make it. Skipping it would be a huge waste of potential.
Doesn't seem much like a "future" in the same group as the 70s. My idea is skip it but leave refrences and breadcrumbs as to how it went. I would prefer doing WWII tho.
 
Maybe when he “slays people in the spirit” he punches them which each fist.
And then he whips them with an American flag :D

Doesn't seem much like a "future" in the same group as the 70s. My idea is skip it but leave refrences and breadcrumbs as to how it went. I would prefer doing WWII tho.
On the contrary, I think Oswald, Graham et al. will have the view toward WWII that the Futurists (and later fascists) had toward WWI, namely that it was the defining moment in history that marked a violent and complete break with a decadent past and the birth of a revolutionary new age of overmen striding toward a glorious future in lockstep to build a better world. Given political developments TTL it's no surprise that historiography has progressed down a path that we as moderns in OTL are unfamiliar with, given that in our timeline that view was A) a niche one and B) discredited with the fall of OG fascism. Through that lense having the glorious cyberfunk future start with an industrialized global war makes perfect sense.
 
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Unless the cast is already overloaded, I'd like our tattooed pugilist to be a new character. A former prisoner, maybe, who is trying to find a new life through the Church but finds it's almost as corrupt as the life he left...

I don't know, I just think it would be fun for Graham or Oswald to be accompanied closely (bodyguard, chief of staff, secretary) by a character who really truly doesn't want to think they're better than their boss, but... just keeps coming back to that conclusion after seeing their employers' antics. They don't even want to think it, much less act on it, but... they know themselves, and increasingly they see their boss for the person they are too.
 
Unless the cast is already overloaded, I'd like our tattooed pugilist to be a new character. A former prisoner, maybe, who is trying to find a new life through the Church but finds it's almost as corrupt as the life he left...

I don't know, I just think it would be fun for Graham or Oswald to be accompanied closely (bodyguard, chief of staff, secretary) by a character who really truly doesn't want to think they're better than their boss, but... just keeps coming back to that conclusion after seeing their employers' antics. They don't even want to think it, much less act on it, but... they know themselves, and increasingly they see their boss for the person they are too.
RUMP Supreme Chief Cassius Clay?

*Edit- Found this picture from earlier in the thread of the Pinnacle Bastards, there's definitely room for one more!
 
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I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, Napoleon. Take as much time as you need.

I've always thought one of the many brilliant things about this timeline is the term "pinnacle" that gets used over and over in the propaganda. I was thinking about all the pinnacle this, pinnacle that, and I had an idea: If the author had wanted the timeline to have a somewhat sillier tone, "pinnacle" could be replaced with "acme". It's an old word that once had a similar meaning as pinnacle, but nowadays it's mostly used as a name for generic stores (such as Acme Furniture, Inc.), often implying that they are low-quality, run-of-the-mill establishments. It would be quite a sight to see Oswald and the others running around screaming "I am an ACME MAN!"
 
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, Napoleon. Take as much time as you need.

I've always thought one of the many brilliant things about this timeline is the term "pinnacle" that gets used over and over in the propaganda. I was thinking about all the pinnacle this, pinnacle that, and I had an idea: If the author had wanted the timeline to have a somewhat sillier tone, "pinnacle" could be replaced with "acme". It's an old word that once had a similar meaning as pinnacle, but nowadays it's mostly used as a name for generic stores (such as Acme Furniture, Inc.), often implying that they are low-quality, run-of-the-mill establishments. It would be quite a sight to see Oswald and the others running around screaming "I am an ACME MAN!"
Richard L. Nixon... SUPER GENIUS
 
I have actually used Acme a bit! Acme Ashton for one!

It won't skip "WWII," which is basically Manifest Climax. The characters are going to be forged through MC and it will be the reason the Pinnacle Future is what it is.

I also want to post a list of legal first names in the RU/NUSA. That would be interesting. Working on TL conclusion right now.

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President Custer keeps watch over my library. Lol
 
THE SUMMER OF '37: THE OLD HOMESTEAD
Here we go, only two chapters left after this! Both will be about the Summer of '37, the cataclysmic point we have all been waiting for. Also, we'll probably hit 900,000 views tomorrow! Wouldn't be bad to wrap up Union Forever with one million views!


THE SUMMER OF '37:
THE OLD HOMESTEAD

farm.jpg

Shot taken from a cropdusting biplane of the Circle P Ranch, circa 1936

June 20, 1937...

Abednego Philips, atop his idling tractor, wiped the sweat from his forehead as he surveyed his fields. Located just fifty miles from Metropolis, one of the largest, most modern cities in the American empire, his corn crops were vital in supplying enough fresh produce to the capital of the state of New Canaan. On dark nights, you could see a dim light on the horizon, marking the start of the Metropolis suburbs, leaving farms and ranches like his far behind. It had been a good year so far, even with the war on. Every day he could hear the roar of the aeroplanes flying overhead, saw military vehicles in the nearby small community of Custer Springs, and even saw a few columns of troops from time to time moving to the warzone. But even with the military presence, even with the setbacks America had experienced in the war so far, and even with the economic hard times following the destruction of the Panama Canal, Philips farm was still turning a profit.

The Philips family had run this farm since his grandfather, Libertine Philips, fought in McClellan's Army in the Great Immolation that purified Old Mexico and opened it up for Anglo-Saxon settlement. A few nearby farms went up for sale after the Canal debacle, fearing war or economic disaster, and old Abednego spent some of the family savings to pick up some additional property. Now, he was rolling in money as his produce not only supplied Metropolis, but was also used in soldiers' ration tins. Creamed corn might have gotten old to a lot of the fighting men, but it was badly-needed sustenance to keep them in fighting shape, so few complained. Of course, Abednego's success was not without its setbacks; the Agricultural Clan deemed his family farm to have blossomed into an "industrialized agricultural center," whatever that was, and as such he had to cooperate with the Clan to stay in business. While small farmers were deemed "the backbone of America," and as such were not required to pay income taxes, those christened "industrialized agricultural engineers" were asked "politely" by the Clan to give 10% of their annual income to the Clan for "protection, inspection visit costs, and pest control." Still, even with the racket taking 10%, the "Circle P Ranch" was making good money.

Abe turned the key to shut his 1936 Model-4 Goodyear tractor off, another luxury afforded by his growing income. Its fresh red paint glistened under the noontime sun and the chrome trim, while quite unnecessary, certainly made it a status symbol to own in his area. The middle-aged farmer jumped down off the seat and onto the ground before stuffing his sweaty black bandana back into his denim overalls. His red undershirt was saturated with sweat. He sighed and stretched his arms out while observing his handiwork. The field was plowed and just itching to be planted. In the distance, two more tractors roared and hummed, chugging along with two old field hands driving them. The old timers were vets of the Great World War and had been with the Philips family since they retired from the service in the '20s. Lester Higgins, a former sergeant and veteran of the Black Hand Front against California, had a thinning head of prematurely white hairs hidden under a red Metropolis Ball Club cap, and his eyes always seemed far away. Lester lived in the basement of the main Philips, but he seldom spoke, preferring to work constantly punctuated by telling stories and reading Scripture with Shadrach, Abenego's young son. Mark Marlboro, a private during the war who had missed most of the action during the war, was more talkative and outgoing, and he smiled and waved his straw hat at Abednego when he noticed his boss looking his way.

"All right, boys, let's pack it in!" Abednego shouted as loudly as possible, cupping his hands around his parched lips. It was just about time for his wife Mary to have dinner ready back at home, and it was too damn hot to work on an empty stomach. Marlboro seemed to understand and began driving his tractor in his direction, but Lester kept plowing. The ranch boss sighed and took a small snub-nosed pistol out of the chest pocket of his overalls and fired a single shot in the air.

The older man's tractor fell silent at last as Lester began looking around frantically. "Wha-What's going on?!" shrieked Lester, his arms going up over his head. Abednego was pretty sure the old timer had shellshock, but he never asked.

"Les! Come on, it's lunch time! Get in the truck. It's so damn hot out here I'm right to fryin' like an egg," said the ranch boss, putting the pistol back in his pocket.

The old man took a deep breath and seemed to recompose himself before waving his hand, saying, "It's all right, boss! I got more work in me. I'll eat a heavy dinner later. If we're gonna get this done in time for the planting, I gotta pull my weight."

"You crazy old coot, you do more than enough. But I know you and I know there ain't no sense in you, so suit y'self, Les. Come home anytime. I'll have Mary put your food in the refrigerator box," Abednego told him. His family was among the first in the area to own one of the new Colonel Ford globe-top refrigerators. You didn't even need ice! The day her husband brought the appliance home from a big-city store in Metropolis, Mary told him they had finally made it.

"Oh, Lord, Abe Philips," she had said that fateful day, pulling her hand in and out of the fridge to feel the coolness, like it was magic, "This is the most pinnacle thing I've ever seen. It's so beautiful, too, with this lovely white paint. I am so lucky to have such a hard-working husband."

Abe smiled as he got back on his tractor to head home with Marlboro. He turned the key and off they went. In twenty minutes, they were back home and sitting at the oak table in the kitchen. SPUD and Horton Brand Pounded Tomato Paste Product with a side of cornbread were waiting with tall, cool green glasses of milk. Abe's youngest son Shadrach, age 9, sat in the den, glued to a Zap Zephyr cereal playing on the tall, darkwood talkiebox, another recent purchase. Shad sat there with not a care in the world, casually sipping some milk from his favorite Zap Zephyr Plastilite cup. Abe shook his head and chuckled as he took a bite of his SPUD. "Kids, man. I wish I had had it so good when I was a lad."

Marlboro wiped some crumbs from his face with a napkin and smiled. "That's the American way, boss. As I see it, every generation leaves behind a brighter future for the next, the inevitable climax of the New Jerusalem. I think it's beautiful, Mr. Philips. Makes me wish I had some kiddos to leave behind, myself."

Mary looked over from her spot at the sink, where she had been washing dishes, and grinned. "Why, Mr. Marlboro, it's not too late. You're only 45."

"I know, ma'am. To tell you Jehovah's honest truth, I was a-fixin' to ask Widow Palmer to the square dance next Tuesday. Would you mind mendin' a Sunday suit for this poor old bachelor?"

Her smile widening as she dried off a plate, Mary snapped her fingers at him and ordered, "Mr. Marlboro you put your duds on my armchair in the den with 10 cents and some thread and I'd be obliged. Land sakes, I'll have to get her measurements for the wedding!"

"Oh, p'shaw, honey, leave him be, you'll make him blush!" laughed Abe, cleaning the last scraps of food off his plate.

Marlboro took his napkin out of the collar of his workshirt with a smile and said, "You got a deal, ma'am. Oh, and boss, do you want me to call the General Store and have them ship over those seeds?"

Abe nodded as he rose from the table. "Yup, the Clan just dropped off that pesticide this morning. We should be ready for sewing."

"I'll get right on it, sir," the fieldhand said before getting up himself and walking over to the green rotary phone hanging on the kitchen wall. They had just upgraded from a candlestick a few weeks ago, and it took some getting use to to hold the new receiver up to his head, but it was certainly better sound quality. "Yes, Susie-May? Get me the General Store in Custer Springs... Yes, I'll hold."

The floorboards creaked under his bootheels as Abe walked through the den, tussling his son's hair as he went. "You still think you're gonna visit the stars one day, boy?"

The little boy giggled as he pushed his sandy brown hair back into place. "Ha-ha, you know it, pop! I'll bring you a martian head to mount over you mantle!"

"That'd be just swell, son," his father laughed. "Be good and mind your ma, I gotta get back to work. I'll see you at supper."

"Sure, pop." Shad went back to his radio show, which had just gotten to an especially good part where Zap destroyed an entire fleet belonging to the evil Princess Momodo. He clutched his stuffed Zap, his prized possession and the best Patriot-Saints Day gift of his life, and stretched out on the floor to finish his show.

Just when he opened the screechy screen door and took a breath of fresh, hot air, Abe heard a tractor on the horizon. It was Lester, driving like a bat out of hell down the gravel pathway and frantically waving his cap over his head like a rodeo cowboy. "What the hell?" Abe muttered to himself. He could instantly tell something bad was going on, but he couldn't figure out just what. Maybe coyotes? Bandits? RUMP had a headquarters in Custer City and crime was rare, but it had risen since the Canal blew up and people lost jobs. The ranch owner stepped down the wooden porch steps, drawing the snub-nosed from overalls pocket just in case.

In short order Lester was upon him, pulling the tractor up to the house haphazardly and not even bothering to shut the engine off. "Mr. Philips! Mr. Philips!" he cried, scrambling down off the machine. Abe had never seen the old-timer move so quickly since the winter of '28. This had to be really bad. "Mr. Philips! The air! THE AIR!"

Laying his hands on his fieldhand's shoulders and gently shaking him, Abe tried to calm the man. "What air? Are you all right, man?"

Sweat was pouring down Lester's face and into his bushy white beard as he gestured frantically to the south. "I ain't never seen nothin' like it in all my born days! Oh God, it's horrible! The air is black as the Prince of Timbuktu, boss! It's a sight out of the Old Testament!"

A chill ran down Abe's back, despite the heat. "You mean... like a dust storm? A fire?"

The old man fell to the ground, clutching his canteen and taking a feverish gulp before answering. "I don't rightly know! All I know is I seen the clouds rolling in, ground-level, and they are blacker than pitch! We need to hunker down and get all the animals in the barn!"

"Marlboro get the hell out here!" Abe roared, a growing sense of panic fluttering in his chest. If what his hand said was true, they had very little time to move.

The sound of cowboy boots clicking out of the kitchen and through the den came quickly to his ears and the younger hand poked his head out the screen door. "Yessir, Mr. Philips! What's wrong?"

"Les here says there is the mother of all dust storms coming up from the south and we need to move the animals to safety! Tell Mary and Shad to get in the cellar and wait for us., then get out here and help me and Les get the cows in the barn!"

Marlboro's mouth dropped in horror. "Yessir, right away! What about the horses?"

Abe sighed, "Dammit. They're in the back pasture. There's no time! The cows are more vital. Do you still have those old gas masks from the war?"

The fieldhand knodded quickly, his hands visibly shaking. "Yolp, in the foyer storage closet. Got two. Get 'em out?"

"Give them to Mary and Shad. We'll have to take out chances, man."

The next five minutes were frantic and terrifying. Shad and Mary quickly went down to the cellar, Shad still clutching his stuffed Zap, a single tear in his eye as he knew they never went down there unless things were about to get really scary. Mary threw a quilt over his shoulders in an instinctual urge to protect her youngest son. Andrew was away at the Waxahachie Bible Institute, studying to enter the AFC clergy. Back in the hard old days of the early 20s, Mary remembered taking Andrew down to the cellar for a tornado. That was the last time she had been down there for an emergency and her anxiety was palpable. Marlboro handed each of them a worn-out Great World War gas mask and his last two unused filters (both stamped "ORRA 1910") before dashing upstairs and running to help the other men move the cows into the barn.

The men's jaws hit the floor when they saw the demonic-looking storm on the horizon. Clouds of black soot, at least a hundred feet high, were rolling in quickly, twisting and flowing over every obstacle in its way and engulfing them totally in darkness. A shed about a half-mile in the distance was swallowed up and completely disappeared. Aside from whooping and hollering at the handful of cattle they were taking to safety, no one spoke. Silently, each man feared Armageddon was upon them. Surely, the approaching well of blackness was of Biblical proportions, like something out of the Book of Exodus. Abe grimaced as he felt the first few particles of dust go up his nose and in his eyes, but he kept pushing the cattle into the bright red old family barn. It was only about one in the afternoon, but he could see the sun quickly blacking out. This was bad. This was apocalyptic. Never had a dust storm looked like this. There had always been a few, mostly from the drier south due to farmers trying to tear up dusty worthless soil to plant in. But this was something else altogether. It was like the black hand of an angry God was crossing Old Mexico and devouring everything in its path. In the distance, the men could hear traffic on the Destiny Road, not far from the farmhouse, as southerners tried to desperately escape the black void of smoky nothingness.

The storm was almost upon them and there were still about ten cows left to bring in. "It's no good, fellers! We are runnin' out of time, dammit!" Marlboro bellowed from underneath a wet blue bandana tied across his nose and mouth. "We gotta get to the cellar!"

"I ain't gonna let Jehovah's creatures die like this. I know what it's like to be gassed!" shouted Lester in retort. His sudden boldness surprised the other two men. "I'll get them inside. You marry that widow, Marlboro! And you protect your wife and kids, boss! Git goin'! I'll be okay!"

"Les, you dingbat, get inside, that's an order!" screamed Abe as he ran toward the barn door, choking and coughing.

"No, boss! I got this. I'll be okay. I'll hunker down here after I bring them in!"

Having no time to argue with the stubborn old sergeant, Marlboro and Abe sprinted back inside the house and shuttered all the windows as the total blackness drew ever-nearer. Both were coughing horrendously, but they accomplished their mission and staggered down into the cellar. As Abe collapsed on the dirty stone floor, the fieldhand slammed the door behind them and shoved the lock into place before crumpling down on the floor as well. A single electric bulb dangled from the ceiling, shining a light on Mary and Shad, who were both crying hysterically under their gas masks, a sob between each deep breath through the filter. Abe coughed up black mucus and desperately looked around for a water spout. Finding it in the left corner of the room next to the washtub, he pumped it vigorously and shoved his face in the cool, clear stream of well water. Marlboro staggered on over behind him and eagerly switched places, trying to wash the soot from his eyes.

"Dad?" came the squeaky voice of Shad behind his mask. He took a deep puff of filtered air. "Where is... where is Mr. Lester?"

Abe walked over and curled up next to his son, putting an arm around him. His wife moved in closer, too. "Son," he said, "Mr. Lester is helping the cows out in the barn. He's gonna make sure they are just as safe as we are."

Anyone could see Shad was reluctant to accept this. "But... but there's lots of holes in the barn... and Marly locked the door here. Is he going to be okay? Are we... going to be okay, pop?"

Forcing a smile, Abe told him all he could. "Jehovah is looking out for Mr. Lester. It's in his hands now. We must pray. Do you believe in Jehovah, Baby Jesus, and the Prophet Burr, son?"

Shad nodded his little masked head. "Yessir."

"That makes two of us, and I'm sure Marlboro and your mother are with us. That's four. Now if four people are prayin' to Jehovah and the Prophet, I think they will hear us. You know something I believe, son?"

"What's that, pop?"

"I think you will see the stars one day. We'll get through this just fine and we'll get our happy ending, just like a Zap Zephyr comic. I love you, Shad."

"I love you, pop."

"Let's pray together, everyone."

About a minute into their silent prayer, the darkness overtook the house. Over the din and whistling of the storm, the sound of terrified horses in the back pasture could be heard, as they were suffocated slowly but surely. Black soot swept in through the cracks in the cellar door. Marlboro tried to plug them up with a pile of nearby laundry. The storm of the century was upon them.

***

One week later...

Andrew Philips walked down the red-carpeted corridor of his dormitory at the Waxahachie Bible Institute. The wooden walls were adorned with trophies, wide-angle photographs of their Rounders team, and images of past alumni. At the end of the hall was an office for the dorm, where student mail was kept and where phone calls could be made and received. He had just been told he had a caller from back home waiting for him on line 4, calling collect. He dug around in his orange and crimson letterman cardigan for a nickle to give the man at the desk.

Mr. Grimsby was the appropriately grim-looking attendant for the building. He was known to never laugh, and the fluffy graying sideburns that framed his face made him look like a relic from the Lincoln Administration. "Hello, Mr. Grimsby," Andrew greeted him with a quick casual "all hail" gesture. "I was told I have a call? Here's my nickle."

The older man frowned deeply and looked honestly torn up about something. "Keep your nickle, Mr. Philips. Don't worry about it this time."

Andrew began to sense something was wrong. This couldn't be good. Was he being drafted? He thought clergy and clergy-in-training like himself could not be called up for service. Was someone in his family sick? With panic mounting in his gut, he stepped over to the phone stall and slowly closed the folding door behind him. He picked up the receiver and said, "Hello, this is Andrew Philips, who is calling, please?"

"Andy?" said a tired-sounding voice on the other end. "This is Mr. Marlboro, from your father's ranch."

Andrew smiled nervously, glad to hear an old friend but increasingly worried by the moment. "Of course! How are you Mark? Is something the matter or is this just to check up on me for my pop? I hear he is rather busy lately, buying up all those properties."

Marlboro coughed on the other end. He sounded sick. "Hey, uh, look pardner, something... real bad has happened."

The young student's hands shook mercilessly at those words. "Are you sick, Mark? You don't sound well."

"Dust," came the simple reply. "G**-damn dust, Andy. " Marlboro's voice began to crack, like he was holding back tears. "They haven't been talking about it on the talkieboxes for whatever damn reason, but there's been a dust storm from hell, boy. It was... it was so horrible. You couldn't even see your hand in front of your face. It was like the smokestacks of hell were pukin' up tractor fumes, man, it was so bad. You can still smell it in the air. Andy... Andy... your pa is real sick."

Every bit of moisture left Andrew's mouth at those words and his chest felt like a stack of bricks was crushing it. "Wha-what? How?"

"He breathed in too much of this shit. It's like toxic fumes. Like a forest fire that ain't got no flames. Lester... Lester is dead. He holed himself up in the barn trying to rescue the cattle. Cows are all dead. He's dead. They all died. Horses died. Chickens too. It's like a rollin' tide of death, Andy."

Andrew punched the wall of the phone stall, almost breaking his knuckles. Tears streamed down his face. Just like his little brother Shadrach, Andrew had grown up listening to Lester's stories. It was a gut punch. "What about my brother and mother?"

"They're... they're okay. They wore my old gas masks during the worst of it. I just happened to have two filters left. Jehovah provides, I reckon. Listen, Andy, your father is real sick-like. Doctors are in short supply but we're doin' our best to keep him comfortable. You... you might want to come home but don't. It's bad. It's real bad. Folks are looting. RUMP is having trouble keeping order and OHW is trying to bus in doctors but there's so many who are sick. I already have fought off looters."

"Look, Mark, I know you are trying to look out for me but you can't expect me to hear all this and not come to help my family. I'll get on the next train to Metropolis tonight."

"Don't do that, Andy, you'll just arrive in a world of shit."

"Jehovah will guide me, Mark. I'll be home soon."

Mark Marlboro let out a sigh and then a small, sliver of a chuckle. "All right, now. I knew you were still a hard-headed kid. I can't stop you. And Andy?"

"Yes?"

"Bring your gun."

Ten minutes later and Andrew was frantically packing his suitcase back in his dorm room. His roommate Billy was in the bathroom with the sink running, belting out a loud rendition of "When the Roll is Called Up Yonder." Just as he took his revolver from his dresser drawer, Billy came out of the bathroom with a puzzled look on his face. "You just rob the Bank of Waxahachie or something, bud?" he said, raising an eyebrow and wiping some shaving cream off with a towel.

Andrew stuffed the gun under his undershirts in the Texas steerhide suitcase and turned to face Billy. "There's some kinda dust storm back in New Canaan. Lester died. All the animals are dead. My pop is sick, man. I need to leave tonight."

"Oh, Prophet Bless, I'm so sorry, Andrew," Billy said sincerely as he tossed the towel into the laundry basket. He picked up a red tie from his dresser and began to tie it around the collar of his blue dress shirt. "I know how much Lester meant to you. You always talk about his war stories. Hey! I, uh, I bet the smoke might be from that immolatin' they are doing down in South America, what with all the ORRA Torchboys! Wait, speaking of immolating, what's the gun for?"

"Mark Marlboro called and told me all this. And he said it's like a lawless wasteland down there. People are looting and stealing supplies and food. It's a humanitarian disaster. He told me if I wanted to come that I'd need protection."

"I'm coming with you," said Billy suddenly and bluntly.

"What? No, Bill you can stay right here. You have your studies. This is my problem," Andrew said breathlessly as he threw a few pairs of socks and a box of revolver ammunition into his suitcase and slammed it shut, clicking the locks into place.

Billy waved it off and shrugged. "You're my only friend here. People don't take kindly to Cokies around these parts, I'm afraid. Besides, you aren't worth a hill of beans with that gun. I'm going with you. I'll start packing. Give me ten minutes." Billy stuck his hand out for Andrew to shake.

"By the Prophet... fine," Andrew said, a smile on his face as he shook the hand offered to him. "What about protection? I didn't know you were exactly a sniper yourself. Got your old Custer Youth piece with you still?"

The 19 year-old laughed before taking a switchblade knife out of his back pocket and snapping it open, it's razor sharp edge glinting in the light of the nearby desk lamp. "Ephesian 6:17, my brother. 'And the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.'"

"Billy Graham, you're a crazy son of a bitch."

TO BE CONTINUED IN "WHAT MADNESS IS THIS?" VOLUME II: THE PINNACLE FUTURE!
 
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"What? No, Bill you can stay right here. You have your studies. This is my problem," Andrew said breathlessly as he threw a few pairs of socks and a box of revolver ammunition into his suitcase and slammed it shut, clicking the locks into place.

Billy waved it off and shrugged. "You're my only friend here. People don't take kindly to Cokies around these parts, I'm afraid. Besides, you aren't worth a hill of beans with that gun. I'm going with you. I'll start packing. Give me ten minutes." Billy stuck his hand out for Andrew to shake.
I ship it.
 
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They haven't been talking about it on the talkieboxes for whatever damn reason
Seriously? Is the RU really trying to censor any news regarding the giant duststorm?
Because i am pretty sure prople will notice the number of refugees moving to the north and the shortages of food that this storm will cause
 
I'm wonder where that cloud is coming from. I'm guessing it might be the Amazon firestorm we were all going gaga over a few dozen pages back.

Also, If you're still looking for ideas, Napo, may I suggest a Madness version of Operation Mincemeat? A delightful weird OTL operation using a fake dead man to convince the germans that the obvious target was actually a fake ploy when it was actually the real target all along. Not hard to imagine the RU's low opinion of the Neutral Pact causing them to fall for something similar hook, line and sinker. Maybe instead of a invasion, it's about supplying rebels in american cities, or faked military alliance proposals to Carolina and other fascist countries.

Seriously? Is the RU really trying to censor any news regarding the giant duststorm?
Because i am pretty sure prople will notice the number of refugees moving to the north and the shortages of food that this storm will cause
They're probably pushing the narrative that its not nearly as bad as the survivors are saying, that they're in shock, Infee lies, etc
 
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