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Maybe, You'll Think of Me... a Journal From the Post-Apocalypse (Fallout/SI)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Psyckosama, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Connoisseur.

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    This is a Fallout Timeline I began on SB but stopped updating there because the mods are on the whole a bunch of cunts and moved to AH.com. I'm mirroring it here now. It's an old school journal SI with reader interaction.

    July 23, 2077

    Well, folks, it seems like I've somehow found myself trapped in an alternate , I don't know. Last thing I remember is telling my cat to stop batting me in the face so I could get some rest, and then I woke up sprawled out under a tree. I don't know how I don't know why I'm here. Could have been Alien Space Bats for all I know, and the only thing I do know is that I'm a bit out of my wits right now, both because of the displacement and the world that I'm in.

    I'm in Chicago. It's the year 2077. I'm in an alternate version of America that seems to be a space age vision of the future from the eyes of the 1950s. Robots are everywhere, the cars are all atomic, there are soldiers guarding the streets, and the worst news is... I'm typing this out on the keyboard of a PipBoy 2750 XLE.

    I'm in the world of Fallout. Now while I'm a massive fan of the series, but this cartoonishly violent 1950s nightmare world is just about the last place in the universe I'd ever want to be trapped this side of Warhammer 40,000. To make matters worse, its obviously prior to the big one, the nuclear exchange, the apocalypse, the Great War, Judgement Day, the many many many many nuclear weapons that pretty much vaporize the world that I'm now standing on. Now I've never been good with dates so I don't know where I stand time wise, but I'm pretty sure that the end is very soon. Not only am I sure that the world ends sometime around 2077 or 2078, but there's this tension in the air you could cut with a knife, and everything on the Radio and TV is pretty much centered on the war with China and the annexation of Canada.

    Really, I was walking by a store display and I swear to fucking god, I just watched the opening intro screen from Fallout 1! Including them blowing that Canadian guy's head off! Live! On television!

    I'm at a bit of a loss and its the most I can do to sit on this bench and type rather than running around freaking out. I currently have a Pip Boy 2750 XLE, which seems to be the penultimate version of the more "tablet" like version they used in Fallout and Fallout 2, rather than the wrist mounted from Fallout 3 and New Vegas. It's like the bastard child of Blackberry, a Netbook, and a first generation Gameboy. According to ROB it has a direct line to you guys, is indestructible, and if its stolen, it will find its way back into my hands within a week. Seems to be a bit of insurance on his part that I stay alive long enough to amuse.

    Besides that I have a bag with 3 changes of clothes, two casual, one business attire, all 1950s style, $10,000 dollars cash, and papers that identify me as one Fargus E. Plikton. The E is for Eugine.

    So with all of that outlined, I only have one thing to say to you all. HELP!

    July 30, 2077


    89 days Until the End of the World.

    Alright, first I'm going to reply to what you guys have been bringing up and second, say what I've been doing. So on with it.

    First, the Vaults, it's simply not going to happen. I've been reading up on it, and I'll say now that my chances of getting in are about the same as my chances of taking a nuke on the chin and waking up able to fly, shoot lasers from my eyes, and open beer bottles with my mind. There's only four ways of getting into a Vault and they are as follows.

    First, you get lucky and get chosen in the national lottery, which sadly has already been decided for all of the presently constructed Vaults... and I doubt any more are going on line between now and the end of October. And even if so I won't be on the residency list as you have to live in the area to get chosen.

    Second, you're lucky enough to be there standing at the door when they're about to close up. If they're short on bodies they might let you in. Or they might hose you down with miniguns and flamethrowers to get you to clear the hatch. Flip a coin. Either way not the best bet and both are in the regs. I checked.

    Third, you know people who know people who can get you on or you're famous enough that you being in a Vault will look good for Vaultech's public image. I'm a nobody and I don't know anybody so there's no way this body is getting into a Vault like that.

    Fourth, they consider you a living cultural treasure. A great artist, a wonderful painter, an amazing scientist. Someone who's loss would be a loss to the species. Someone whose life's work is seen as having real, substantive meaning. Which once again sadly isn't me again.

    In other words, No Vault for you! Or rather me. Which sucks. Because even the Vault system would be better than watching the bombs drop. And to those of you who said it was mostly low yield dirty nukes… I looked in the library encyclopedias. This world has never seen much in the line of arms reduction treaties. China, Russia, the United States, the big three nuclear powers, each of which is estimated to have between 75,000 and 100,000 nuclear weapons one kiloton or above… and that's not counting every other nation on Earth. And I mean every other -Tactical nukes like the Fat Boy are issued on the COMPANY level for fucks sake! It's like the 1950s dream of atomic warfare has just splooged on my life!

    To those of you who suggested that I invent silicon chips, its not going to work. First, take too much time to develop and I had no idea what you were talking about just there. Second. Well, have you ever held a conversation with your computer? I've actually held a conversation with a Mr. Handy. While it wasn't exactly what you'd call a strong personality, I'd say it was at least a highly capable VI if not a shackled dumb AI. Their computer technology is both backwards and mind blowing. If I had time I'd invent the mouse and license to RobCo and make a fucking bucket of cash, but I don't, so I won't.

    For those who asked about Europe, these days is already a bonafide post-apocalyptic shit hole. There was a nuclear exchange between the EC (European Commonwealth) and the UIS (United Islamic States) during the first stages of their fighting, back in the 2050s, then shit broke down, and by the late 60s the Resource Wars were in full swing, the EC had collapsed, and the former member states were ripping into each other each other on a level that makes WW2 look like a polite disagreement. At this point I wonder if they'd even notice the Great War.

    To those of you talking about Mr. House's Platinum Poker Chip, I would like details please… like where the fuck can I find it and can I do so without getting my ass shot?

    Now as for what I'm doing, I've currently set myself up at the local YPCA. They have a hostel they rent out for a dollar a day which gets you a bed, a foot locker, a shower, and three squares as long as you're willing to help out a bit and eat with the shelter bums. You've got to buy your own lock though. It's kind of run down and the mattress is lumpy, but it beats the hell out of sleeping the street.

    From there I'm looking for a job. I need fast money to buy supplies. I'm thinking it might be worth it to turn to crime, as I need fast money now. I'd looked into credit cards but they don't have the same credit system we did back home. I'd go for a loan but I need a job to get one, so I'm job hunting. So far I haven't had the best luck, but I have to keep trying.

    August 7, 2077

    80 days Until the End of the World.

    What the hell is wrong with you people? I have no intention of trying to take over Mr. House's operation in Vegas. My objective isn't world conquest or power, I'm not looking to save the world or take it over, I don't want to die in a nuclear fire. It's just basic survival. That's all.

    I need practical makes sense ideas to end up staring in the Sarah Connor dream sequence from Terminator 2. Getting money from a loan shark is a good idea. If I have to I'll try it, but not right now.

    Getting the chip is simply unrealistic. First, I don't have the skills needed to break in and get out, and considering how deeply tied the US Military is to Robco it would be suicidal to even consider it aloud.

    The transistor stuff is also pointless. While they evolved in a different direction, their technology is actually very advanced and while not as compact as ours, is capable of incredible feats. Their "vacuum tubes" are actually holographic processors. They just need a vacuum to function and when they're active they glow. Hence they look like vacuum tubes. Like I said before, I'd like to see you run a VI or Limited AI on any computer on Earth. The reason they use brains in some of their robot designs is because the more compact limited AI can't handle intuitive the kind of decision making needed for a more flexible thought processes. You either need an organic co-processor, a brain, or an AI super computer the size of a shipping container.

    In other words, it doesn't work that way!

    What I've been doing is more job hunting. Right now I've gotten a temporary job washing dishes at a local diner, which earns about 5 dollars a day. Enough to live on but not much more. I am doing my proper research for survival supplies. I'm looking into getting a gun, which is easy considering the kind of people I live around. Pistols will be easy, long arms a bit more difficult. I've looked into buying the kind you use to do your own bottling, and they seem to go for about $1 per cap. Survival supplies are another easy thing. Most chems can be bought in normal corner drug stores, and while they're not cheap, most of them are sold in multiple dose packages.

    Really, some of the stuff I can buy (if I can get the money) would be the stuff of super science and government black projects back home. It's hard to outline just how oddly alien this world really is.

    Right now my plan is to get as many loans as possible, get or steal a winnebago or at least an old school bus, drive my ass into the middle of nowhere and park it in a deep cave. Maybe I can manage a nice trip to Yellowstone or Yosemite...

    Really, I need suggestions for basic survival tricks. I think it'll be best though to avoid civilization during the bombs. Even areas that don't get hit hard will still break down into social chaos.


    August 27, 2077

    60 days Until the End of the World.

    Well, I have a real job now. Seems that my fake name has some fake credentials that go with it and roughly match my own, including my degree. Thank god that unlike our world, most people here go to trade school. College here is seen as more of an accomplishment and less the second four years of high school you need to actually be able to get a 'real' job.

    Thanks to that, you're now looking at the assistant night manager of the local Super-Super Mart. Not much more of a job but it pays $150 an hour and I'm working 40 hours a week plus overtime. A lot of work, but it also has the bonus of giving me the employee discount and easy access to the stockroom. Even better, the shift manager is a lazy ass nearing retirement who's working nights as a way to wind down before he collects his gold pocket watch, and thus is pretty stringent about delegating physically everything. The only counterpoint is the store manager is a complete headcase. But still, at night I have virtually the run of the place, just me and a couple others.

    Before the bombs drop I'm going shopping in the stockroom.

    I've also move up in my accommodations, from flophouse to rathole hotel room. The reason while I'm paying twice as much per night for a small, shitty room that probably hasn't seen service since the '20s, at least I'm able to store stuff. I've been buying every used book on a useful subject I can at the local Thrift Store, and plan on taking a number of volumes off on my library card that will never see the inside again. I've also managed to pick up a gun. It's only a .32 revolver, but its a start, and the guy says he sometimes gets some more interesting arms. I don't know where he gets them but frankly I couldn't give half a fuck.

    That's the good news, now for the 'bad'. I've met a girl. Her name's Kelly. She's cute, funny, smart, and for some reason I can't fathom seems to find me attractive. I'm at a bit of a loss what to do because how do I explain "By the way the world's going to end in two months and we have to flee into the hinterlands so we don't get atomized".

    Shit just keeps getting more complicated.

    Now to answer your questions.

    First of all. I don't want to depend on any plans that involve me depending on anyone else to survive. I don't know if I can find these people and even if I do I don't know if I'll be able to convince them that I'm not insane. It's just too much risk added to an already insanely risky situation.

    Second. Don't need a counter or a radio. Built into my Pipboy. Motion detector too. Seems they really did go above and beyond the 2000 model. I've looked them up a bit. The 3000 series is designed around a survival orientation, it has built in diagnostic medial abilities that the 2000 series lacks but is far less functional for general use. They're actually civilian version of the standard Military Pip-boy. Yes. Every soldier in the US army was issued their own Pip-boy. All Power armor actually has its own integrated pip-boy HUD.

    The 2750 Special Edition model I own contains all the extras of the 3000 (minus the integrated medical systems which depend on the gauntlet format) and has all the functionality of a late model 2000 series, which is the more general use model used as pretty much the local equivalent of a iPad or Netboot. It's pretty awesome really.

    Third. Thanks for your suggestions on what to get. I'll go over them in more detail once I start buying, but for the moment I'm building up the capitol to go on a shopping spree. Seems the army gives a 30,000 dollar sign on bonus. I'm tempted to exploit it. After all, I could always select a muster date that comes after the world explodes.

    September 6, 2077

    47 days Until the End of the World.

    Guys, I’d like you to meet my girlfriend, Kelly.

    [​IMG]

    A beauty, isn’t she?

    I originally didn’t want to get attached, no matter how much I wanted to, but she took the initiative and asked me out. I’ll tell you now: Best. Night. Ever. First dinner, then a movie we both could enjoy, followed up by a leisurely walk and, well, a gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell, folks!

    She’s perfect. She’s smart, she’s intelligent, she’s pretty, and she has no immediate family to speak of. She doesn’t get along with her parents, who live in New York, and her brother is currently in the Army. Seems she’s the “black sheep” of her family, who wanted her to marry some boring doctor’s son while she wanted to build robots. She’s currently going to technical school to learn mechanics and programing! She knows all about REPAIR and SCIENCE and she obsessed with science fiction! My god, she even has a Cosplay uniform of Stella Skyfire from Captain Cosmos! It’s official. She’s coming with no matter what.

    I’m in love with this woman.

    Now, to move away from the fact that the world gets nuked to shit less than 2 months after my life finally became worth living, time for a status update. I’ve been doing the research and have discovered much to my eternal joy and happiness that you can rent a RV for a weekend. Even better, due to the paranoia about the war, its possible to rent them with full, built in NBC filtration and radiation shielding at additional cost.

    I’ve also gotten a lock on a fucking assault rifle! It’s a Chinese Type 93. It's you basic AKA-47. Seems that some dumbass ex-army grunt took one home as a trophy and then promptly decided to dive into chems and gambling as a way to forget the war. He’s building up a rather nasty tab and some unscrupulous individuals whom I have become acquainted to during my time at the UPCA know people who know people who are involved in the situation.

    I’ve offered to buy his gun in exchange for delaying his knees inevitable date with a tire iron for a week or two. It’ll still be less than buying legally, with less hoops, and most of all, it’s all technically above board, as war trophies don’t need to be registered and there are no laws against selling them. Right now we’re still talking about ‘how much’ but his loan shark has pretty much made it clear: as long as he’s happy, they’re both happy, so soldier boy is going to take pretty much whatever I offer.

    Besides that I’m starting to build up my survival cache. I’m looking for a pair of radiation suits, one for me, one for Kelly. They’re going to be somewhat difficult to get, but I’m sure I’ll manage. What I have managed to do for the moment though, is I put on order on a set of Motorcycle Football Armor, or in laymen’s terms, Leather Armor. Before you ask, there isn’t a snowballs chance in the Glow that I’ll be able to get Combat Armor. That shit costs a mint and tends to be limited to military and paramilitary forces, as its less Fallout 3/New Vegas “Combat Armor” and more the top shelf military shit from Fallout 1 and 2.

    In the line of supplies, well, there’s this thing called shrink in retail, and we deal in large enough quantities that a sack of rice here or a case of CRAM there isn’t seen as anything to really look into. In fact I’m starting to believe that my shift manager is possibly aware of what I’m doing, but considers it a managerial privilege as long as it doesn’t draw any attention and he gets to keep slacking until retirement. That or he assumes I’m doing it and is just laying down the rules before I ‘hurt’ myself. Nice to see that corporate corruption is alive and well today as well as tomorrow.

    Now as to why I’m not working a double shift, getting ready for the end of the world takes time and I’m doing research almost constantly and learning as much as I can about this world. I’m still buying books and equipment, and am trying to make nice with the pharmacist, or at least figure out how to pick a lock. Stimpacks, Med-X, and most of the Anti-Radiation drugs, in other words, the stuff I really need, are all kept behind the counter and I need access.

    Now to those of you saying I should sell my Pipboy, I already tried that. For some reason nones taking it. It seems to have a psychological block against theft or resale attached to it. The closest I’ve gotten was Kelly who wanted it so she could hack the stores Protectron Security Guard, which suited me fine.. At least this way I don’t have to worry about that goddamned robot giving a damn while I try and jimmy the lock to the pharmacy.

    Once again, I want to say and for the last fucking time, I will not being putting my bets on me getting in close with Clark or House! NO! JUST NO! BAD READER! BAD! Don’t make me roll up a newspaper!

    I don’t know how to find Clark, and I doubt House would listen even if I told him what was what. I don’t have the evidence. Plus for some reason a wasteland ruled by that man as immortal Emperor doesn’t appeal to me. Remember, RobCo manufactures Brainbots, and any company that will gleefully use the brains of POWs, convicts, and political prisoners as Fuzzy Logic Co-Processors for security robots isn’t exactly what I’d call a Paragon of the Wastes. Also, the idea of a crippled old genius on life support leading an army of death machines whose greatest weakness is stairs, and who say “Exterminate” while in battle does not fill me with confidence...

    I will also be doing nothing that fucks with military or Vault-Tech. The line between military, Vault-tech, and the civilian government is pretty thin these days. In fact there are people who have pretty much called them out on Enclave possibility and guessed the true nature of the vaults, though they tend to be a minority quickly discredited as paranoid quacks, but often that’s the best way to silence someone who knows the truth. Don’t cover it up, just make them look like fools so noone believes it.

    October 3, 2077

    20 Days until the End of the World

    Alright guys, I'm pretty much good to go. I know you're dead set on Vegas,but I believe my chances are best set avoiding urban areas of any kind. The less competition I have to deal with the better. I can relocate later on, but for now my main focus is surviving until the fallout clears.

    From this point on I'm pretty much ready for the war. I have a shitload of food stocked up, a good deal of weapons, and a monstrous number of bottle caps. I'm still going to take out the loan and do a last minute super buy of all the shit I wanted but couldn't afford on the short term, and it'll cover the RV. Besides that I think I'm ready.

    I'm not 100% on the final location, but I'm thinking I'm going to Yellowstone National Park. I've looked over many maps and found a campground that's a 10 minute drive across an old ranger trail to a rather large and deep old lava cave that faces away from the wind. I'm thinking that would be the best place to put the RV for the long haul: under a great deal of rock where the fallout can't touch us. It also has a large and diverse ecology that should survive the bombs, along with a number of Ranger Stations to loot for supplies.

    I've talked to Kelly and officially we're going on a 5 day vacation starting October 20th. She's excited to be seeing Yellowstone. I'm excited that I'm not going to die in nuclear fire. I've also made sure to stock up on contraceptives because I doubt we're going to have much else to do for those months locked in the RV and if there's a bad time to get knocked up, its in the middle of a nuclear war.

    It turns out my beautiful girlfriend has a pet dog, and I've convinced her to bring him, and I'm bringing my cat. Did I mention Muffin? I intentionally bought the biggest, meanest looking stray from the local pound, and I'm not kidding, you'd swear she was a Bobcat mix breed, and then had her get knocked up by the biggest meanest looking tomcat in the city. I'll be fucked if house cats go extinct on my watch!

    Now this is also where I get a bit nuts. It seems that Buffout and Mentats are both not to be taken while pregnant because both have mild-mutagenic properties if taken in excess that are exaggerated if combined with mild amounts of radiation. Tests on animals have shown the resulting animals to be stronger, smarter, more resilient, more aggressive, and more resistant to radiation than your average beasty.

    I'm now an an impasse. So. Do I feed my pregnant cat chems and trace nuclear materials and breed myself a race of post-nuclear super-cats, or do I refrain from violating the laws of nature and not create cuddly abominations against both man and god that could grow up to become faithful companions, savage terrors of the wastes, or quite possibly both depending on if they're house broken or not?

    And now for Q&A.

    First, I forgot this one before. Tanks. Oh boy are there tanks. Because of the prevalence of exotic technology like Gauss, Plasma, and Laser weapons, as well as the liberal use of Tactical Nukes, the way vehicles are looked at has basically changed. They either have to be fast and agile enough to avoid taking too much fire, expandable enough so people really don't shed any tears if they just happen to get vaporized, or simply large and robust enough that they simply refuse to die when you shoot them.

    I can give you three examples. First, you have vehicles like the various armored combat buggies used by the US military. They're light and their armor is only proofed against small arms, but they're fast enough that hitting them is a chore and individually they're low-threat enough that using a nuke on one is a waste of resources. The second are normally larger combat robots, like the Chinese Chimera Robot Tank. Finally, you have the monsters.

    Have you ever played the first Command and Conquer. Warhammer 40,000? If so, you know what I'm thinking of. The United State Army's primary Main Battle Tank is, in essence, the hellspawned offspring of a Mammoth tank.

    Basically this:

    [​IMG]

    They're monsters that are pretty all but invulnerable to damage. You know how tough the armor on a suit of power armor is? Make that like a foot think and you'll know what I'm talking about. I watched a video where they showcased how tough they are by shooting a manned tank with a fucking Fat Man, and I'll tell you now, the Fatman in the game is a gimped out short ranged piece of shit compared to the real thing. In 'reality', its not a stupid looking catapult thing, its a man-pack nuclear mortar. It took a tactical nuke to the face and all it did was attract its attention.

    The reason you don't see any of these abominations in the games is probably because all of them are kept at high priority targets or were on the front lines when the nukes hit.

    Next, someone asked about the survival functions of a Pipboy. Mine has most of them, but like I said, the only thing it lacks is the running tally of my biometric readings because its not a wrist mount. In exchange it has far more general functionality.

    Civil Rights is just fine. This day and age skin color isn't a serious issue anymore, neither is gender to be honest. Even Asians tend to be left alone for the most part, which considering the US is at war with China, is pretty shocking. Oddly, there's a bit of sexism and racism about, but it tends to be low key and generally of a harmless nature, mostly playing to the 50s flavored stereotypes, but outright hateful bigotry is generally absent. On the surface this really is 1950s sci-fi sitcom world.

    So we're at the deadline. Any last suggestions before I commit?

    October 20, 2077

    Three Days until the End of the World

    And here we go. The End Game. The time I see if my last three months has been worth something. Until I see if I've doomed us or saved Kelly and myself from a horrible death.

    I've rented the largest, most powerful, most paranoid survival freak oriented RV I could find. The thing is massive and built like a tank, but according to the cavern measurements I've found will fit, abet barely. It has everything. A full power generator, air and water filtration, radiation shielding, even a decontamination shower and a pop out airlock. It literally is a mobile fallout shelter. Kelly thinks I'm insane for getting it and even more so when she saw all the shit I packed in it. She asked me if I was getting ready for the end of the world.

    So I told her. I told her I've been having dreams and a sinking feeling that if its going to happen, its going to happen this weekend. Call me crazy, call it paranoia, but I just wanted to make sure she was safe. She thought it was sweet, in a psychotic kind of way, and decided to humor me. If the bombs drop, we're safe. If not, we have a odd but romantic weekend playing out a fantasy that we're the last man and women in the world and have to repopulate the Earth... but I have to help her put everything we took of hers back in her apartment.

    What I didn't tell her is I robbed the hell out of our job and took out a loan to buy equipment.. By now I know how they stock and how the inventory works so I was able to rip it off royally. I have chems, food, weapons, and every upgrade for my Pipboy I could find.. Tons of holotapes, lots of library books that are not getting returned. Only way I could be more prepared is if I was sitting in a Control Vault.

    I managed to also find a Pipboy for Kelly, but its only a 2500 LTE, which lacks some of the fun extras like the built in motion detector and the Geiger counter, though it could mount one of the two in its upgrade slot. Still, its a step up from the 2000 she got as part of the RobCo Robot Repair Certification Program she was attending. She squeed.

    I picked up a portable transmitter for a radio and packed it in the back. I don't need it for short range stuff, but for long range its useful. I have rope, tarps, tools, even dynamite. My hope is to be able to somehow block off the mouth of the cave, probably by burying it with Earth, and use it as a shelter. Between the rock, the isolation, and covering the front we should be able to keep the radiation level low enough for at least safe storage to open up living space in the RV. Along those lines I have bags, shovels, wooden struts, tarps, and even a lead lined frame door tied to the roof of the RV. I've even got a full out seed bank for plating crops once the fallout's cleared. Seriously, I'm packed to the nines with shit I'll probably never even need because fuck, the goddamned world's ending!

    I'll take that suggestion about letting mutating the second generation of cat. I think having "normal" cats to help take the edges off any mutations would probably be for the best, but in general I'm thinking intellect is more important than pure brute strength. If the feline master race is going to survive the nuclear wastelands, it will be due to their superior intellect and not brute strength. Leave the dumb muscle for the dogs. HEIL KITTY!

    Either way though I'm probably going to repeat this mutation process over several generations until my Wasteland Uber Kitties are ready to survive the post atomic hell.

    Thank you for your ideas and I want to know, that more than anything, you've served as a touchstone that has been keeping me sane and on focus.

    If you don't hear back from me, its because I'm dead.

    Wish me luck.


    October 23, 2077

    Judgment Day

    War. War never changes.

    The world ended today, just as I expected. In less than an hour, hundreds of millions of people died in an instant. By the end of the day, a billion more will have joined them. I was one of them.

    Yes. I just said I died. Because I did. I just caught a nuclear blast to the face.

    Whomever, whatever, it was that sent me here, is even more of a fucking douchbag than you could ever imagine.

    It's complicated really, and thankfully, I died alone. Kelly is safe and more than a bit freaked out, and I can't blame her considering it all. I'm rather freaked out myself. But you just gotta laugh now don't you?

    Let me tell you the whole story. After some teasing me about the upcoming apocalypse, she convinced me that we needed to have one day, one last wonderful day before the war to enjoy everything that was about to be lost. And we did. We went out for a wonderful dinner, I spared no expense at all. Anything she wanted I got her, I insisted. After all, my money was about to be worthless so might as well make the most of it.

    We dined, danced, and made love under the stars. She even insisted we sleep under them, after all, enjoy it because in a day we'd be spending the next six months in a lead can. I gave in and after tuning my Pipboy so we'd detect emergency broadcast, which would give us 15 minutes warning, we did so.

    I fucked up. It seems we both sleep pretty soundly, enough to sleep through the Emergency Broadcast system but thankfully not so soundly as to sleep through an atomic bomb, which brings up my next question. WHO IN THE FUCK NUKES A NATIONAL PARK?! I know about the Volcano but really, of all the stupid fucked up shit to do this is on the top of the goddamned list!

    We were awaken by a massive tremor and a thundering sound moving through the earth of the world exploded. Our opening eyes were greeted to see a mushroom cloud in the distance, and my Popboy screeching at the radiation from the blast. At the foot of the blast we could see the shockwave moving towards us. The Earth shook under our feet, and there was plenty of screaming and running as we went for the fortified protection of our RV, blinded in terror that I'd been right after all. It was a blur, a chaotic mess, but I'll never be able to forget it.

    When we reached the RV though, all I can only say fuck this shit. The machine had detected the blast and activated its automatic systems. It rooted itself to the ground, closed its shutters, and activated its internal sealing, including the Airlock. The tiny, one man airlock. Only one of us could go in at a time, and there was only time for once cycle, so I did the only thing I could think of. Before she could even speak, I threw Kelly inside and slammed the door.

    My last words were 'I love you'.

    Then I turned to face my end with a strange sense of calm because you know what, for the first time in my pointless misspent life, I did something worthwhile and heroic. I willingly gave my life to save the life of the woman I love. And then, with a sad little smile on my face, I took aan atomic bomb, right to the chin.

    Next thing I remember, I found myself crumpled up against the RV looking into Kelly's bewildered face through her radiation suit.

    I died, but I got better. I'll tell you in a moment, but here's the setup. She went inside, she took her anti-rad drugs to flush her system, then she put on a suit and went back outside to do the only thing she could think of in her bewildered state, and bury the body of the man who died to save her, who died because she insisted on sleeping under the stars one last time.

    When she left the RV and approached my corpse, well...

    The Space Bats really watch too goddamned much Doctor Who.

    I regenerated like a fucking Time Lord

    The First Me is dead. Long Live the Second Me.

    And I really do mean the second. I feel... different. It's strange. I feel like the same person but not and it is somewhat terrifying. I can see why the Doctor fears death even if he doesn't die. Regeneration is almost as bad.

    Well, anyways, Kelly, being the darling soul she is who would not leave anyone sitting out in the radiation, immediately herded me back into the RV and followed, after picking up my PipBoy which had managed to wedge itself between two steps . After a decontamination shower and disposing of my clothes she asked me a full Q&A to figure out who the hell I was and what was going on.

    We talked about what happened, about what we saw, and after I managed to convince her that I'm me, she basically let go. Seeing me die, seeing the world die, literally right before her eyes was too much. She's been going on her reserves, her desire to at least do right by me for saving her from the bombs, to do the right thing, but when she didn't have to be strong anymore, she just let go.

    She cried, she screamed, she just freaked out, and I can understand why. I feel it too, but I think I've already come to terms having known it was coming for so long.

    Right now she's asleep in our bunk and I'm going to let her rest. She needs it.

    I've already moved the RV into the cave and thankfully we didn't lose anything. Radiation levels inside the cave are currently within safe limits but I'm not taking any chances. Once I'm done this I'm going to put on my rad suit, pop some Rad-X, and tarp off the mouth of the cave.

    For the record everyone, Rad-Away is the worst shit in the world. It makes you nauseous when you inject it and makes you feel like 5 kinds of hell once its in your system. To make matters worse it makes it burn like fire when you pee... and I had to take so much I think I'm going to be pissing orange for a month because of how long I sat out there. Kelly's not much better off because she has to purge her system of whatever it was she picked up due to the blast. Still, we have plenty thank god.

    About the cat. She's a tough fighter yes, but she really is a sweet and lazy fat cat whose main complaint over the last few days is that Kelly's stolen her pillow. She's a spoiled demanding little bitch, but very lovable. She's is a sweety pie. I chose my mamma kitty for both survival skills and affection. Even the big mean tom was a neighbors cat... he was a tuna vacuum who refuses to let you pass without petting him on pain of cat attack. I want tough, intelligent, and good natured animals that can kill an oversized post-nuclear rat with ease.

    And yes, the pipboy upgrades I stole include a biometrics cuff, its just not something I can use all the time without modification. Also, I didn't have to worry about EMP. Most of this tech is optical and thus hardened by its very nature. I read the manual, but not that any of that is a worry now that the world's been blown up and all.

    If you guy have anything to say, please say it because with everything going on I'm at a loss. I need to stay sane.


    November 10, 2077

    To those wondering, I'm not a Time Lord. I already know that because I tested out my Biometrics cuff and came back totally normal. I even did a second check to make sure, and yep, 100% Homo Sapiens. Honestly though, I'm not looking too hard because at this point I have enough shit on my platter to deal with as is and in this case, I think blissful ignorance is blessing. I don't need any more crap to deal with with now.

    For those of you who want to know, there indeed was a light show, but she seems to have caught the ass end of it. And I do look different. Before I was about 5'11 and kind of heavy. Now I've lost about 60lbs and gone up an inch in height, my hair changed to a darker shade and my eyes went blue, not to mention the changes in my facial features. At least I still have my beard, but now I have to shave to keep it a goatee rather than naturally lack sideburns, which sucks. I'm also a bit less excitable and feel a bit more generally confident and motivated, so there was something of a personality change, but honestly, considering the environment, its probably for the best. Kelly's having a bit of a time adapting to it, as she finds it kinda creepy (I don't blame her), the dog is freaked out, but I think either the cat still knows I'm me or just doesn't care from whence the Tuna flows

    For the record, fat cat and tough fighter do indeed compute. She was a fighter, she's retired and now taken up a career as a lazy, spoiled, affection whoring hairball. She's starting to put on weight and is getting a bit tired of Cram and Tuna, but really, she'll make do, as will we all.

    On the second day, Kelly and I got on task. She's naturally still extremely upset, as am I, but we need to keep our eyes on the target if we're going to survive. Along those lines we've been spending the last couple days bagging up the entrance to the cave and installing the door I brought. It's about done now, and the way I did it was the wood frame supporting two layers of bags with a tarp lining it (and buried almost three foot underground to protect from water seepage) outside for extra protection. We put in a small vent for air that runs directly to the RV's air filter, so all of the air that comes in is clean. Between these steps, the cave interior is livable space without the use of our suits or anti-rad drugs though we still have the rad detectors set to go off should it start to go over the safe exposure limit. I've put another tarp hanging about 30 feet in from the entrance as an extra layer of protection from dust and to discourage the animals when we start letting them out of the RV.

    We're probably going to start exploring down the cave in a day or so to see what's down there. I'm hoping there's a water source myself. If we're really damned lucky, a hot spring. Shouldn't be radioactive and it would be nice to have a hot bath after all of this chaos. It's the little things in life you miss.

    Once the outside levels die down a bit, I'm going to suit up and check out the nearby ranger station and nearby campgrounds to see if anything salvageable survived. There were some bikers camped up the road, and I'm hoping that between all their bikes, we'll find enough salvage to get one or two running again with spares enough to keep them that way. Beyond that I'm probably going to set up my portable radio tower soon and start listening in for more news.

    Power is one of the issues we don't have. The fission engine on the RV is massive just for that reason, and on top of it, I've packed about a dozen extra portable fission batteries, which are insanely heavy for their size (being little more than a small brick of lead and super dense nuclear fuel with some techy bits in between) and are an insanely effective power source. They're what power those robots you still will find wandering the wastes.

    Besides that we're generally just settling in and trying to create a level of "normal" in all of this insanity.

    We spend most of our time just talking, reading, studying, playing the many board games I packed, and having sex. I brought (read as stole) a large number of media holodiscs from the library and we packed a TV so we have entertainment there too. I just hope we don't get cabin fever.

    I'm thinking of telling her about you guys so she can get some outside contact, so leave a message for my girl, would you?


    December 5, 2077

    *BEGIN RECORDING*

    It cold. Very cold. I'm not sure if its the winter season or nuclear winter, but it's fucking freezing. Thankfully we have our nice warm RV to sleep in but we're a bit short on winter weight clothing so we're having to layer like nobody's business.

    While the radiation levels aren't technically safe yet, we've started to do short excursions using our rad suits back up by a strong dose of Rad-X to look for supplies. So far we've scavenged most of the food supplies from the surrounding campgrounds and ranger stations. So kind of the US government to have rations stored in the stations in case of national emergency.

    We also encountered our first bit of trouble. Kelly was terrified, so was I for that matter. Seems some of those bikers survived... as ghouls... but the stress, pain, and radiation were too much for them. They went feral. Even worse, Kelly forgot to bring her weapon. We'd been without dangers so long we'd grown complacent.

    I'll just say for the record, thank god for this Assault Rifle. Saved our lives. We started to be more careful after that. Now we both agree never go out unarmed.

    Some good came from the bikers though. We were able to salvage one of the bikes and parts out the others, and even build a sidecar from some extra bits and a large foot locker from the ranger station. Its jury rig, but its not like we can contact the factory.

    All in all though, we're exploring and we're surviving. We've even taken to putting contaminated items we want to claim eventually off to the side where we can wait for the fallout on them to die down to non-life-threatening levels.

    Our best find was a store of weapons and some armor from a ranger station. Another was a visit to the camp store near one of the entrances to the park. It was a bit of a drive on our bike, but we got some great stuff, including several packaged tents and electric heaters we've used to expand out living area. We did however find that the food supplies had been partially ransacked. Someone else is around here so we need to be weary.

    We decided not to take what was left in case someone is using this as their main source of sustenance. Even in the worst of times you have to maintain your humanity.

    Though I will admit, we raided the hell out of the candy though, but left some canned goods in their place. God we're so sick of Cram. It's name is like a portmanteau of "Crap" and "Spam" and its taste is even more vile than it sounds. We needed that candy to stay sane. If the cans are still there next time we check the place out we'll just assume the people have moved on or passed on, and raid the entire larder. If not we know someone else is alive out here. Maybe we can link up and increase our chances. If not we'll defend ourselves if forced to.

    Our little cave home is getting actually comfortable now, with lights and hear provided from salvaged heaters and lamps. Our little exploration of the cave also has lead us to the holy grail. There's groundwater. Hot ground water. Hot uncontaminated ground water. We're still filtering it to drink as there's more minerals in it than Philadelphia tap water, but its good to bathe in. In fact I am not ashamed to say my ass is currently dictating this to my pipboy, all while sitting in 110 degree water next to a beautiful brunette with a nice rack and a killer bottom, and both of us are casually lounging in little more than what god gave us.

    Hey! Don't say that! You pervert!

    Pervert? And that's why you love me.

    *splash*

    Hey! Quit it! You'll get the Pipboy wet!

    It survived a nuclear blast, a little water won't hurt it.

    *splash*

    I said quit it!

    Come here and make me!

    Fine then... then I'll just have to do that now won't I?

    *Giggle*

    *PAUSE RECORDING*

    *RESUME RECORDING*

    Ahem. Well. Where was I again? Sorry about the *cough* 'distraction'. Anyways, not much else for me to tell. We blocked off the far end of the cave and I've rigged up motion detectors on both ends. If anyone comes close we'll know and be ready to greet them with a friendly smile and an assault rifle pointed at their face No offense intended to anyone, but you gotta look after yourself you know.

    Oh and those of you interested in my plot with the cats, she's due soon. The next litters I begin with the experimentation. Now Kelly wants to say hello.

    Um. Hi. This is Kelly. I'm really not sure what to say. All of this is just impossible but real. All of it. I sometimes wonder, sometimes hope that I can just wake up from all of this and find it was a horrible dream. To you people, this is just a game that takes place in some backwards vision of the future. For me this is my life, my world, my home, my family, and it all just was destroyed. If it wasn't for [REDACTED] I'd have died too, instead he died to save me and now he's still here, the same person but not because he did that Time Lord regeneration thing you've been ranting about.

    I'm sorry if I'm ranting but I'm just scared. I don't know what comes, and even though I know he does, I'm just afraid to ask. The way you're talking it sounds like things are just going to get worse and not better. All I ever wanted to do was fix robots and maybe fly on a spaceship. Was that too much to ask?

    I don't want to eat Cram and live in a cave for the rest of my life. I just want to go home. I'd even put up with my parents if it meant I could go home. I wanna go home...

    Guys. I'm going to have to cut this short. Kelly needs me. Sorry about this.

    *END RECORDING*


    December 12, 2077

    You're right. We are a prime target, and today we got found, but it wasn't by any monsters, by any raiders, or by any 1%er ghouls. Today we were just reading and enjoying each others company when the alarm at the door went off. Then someone started knocking.

    We rushed over as fast as we could, throwing on our suits and grabbing our guns. I opened the door, saw nothing then looked down. I have to say, today the reality of this world hit more more than anything and I'm just lost, just blown away by the cruelty of man.

    At our door, clutching to a small .22 varmint rifle for dear life, was a small figure bundled in rags looking up at us through goggles several sizes too big. All I could see were his eyes. Two big, bloodshot blue eyes that seemed to carry all the pain and loneliness in the world.

    I just stood there in shock for a long moment looking down at him, and then in tired, choking voice he asked me, "Can I come inside, sir. Please? It's cold outside."

    I couldn't say no. No human being could say no. I let him in the door and locked it. The second he was in he all but collapsed. I told Kelly to get blankets, the medkit, and biometrics cuff, and then told him he needed to take his clothes off because they'd be full of fallout and couldn't come inside with them on. Just a casual wave in his direction was making my Pipboy scream.

    He seemed to understand and disrobed. My god, what has been seen can't be unseen. He wasn't a ghoul but he looked about one step removed. He was filthy and in horrible condition, showing obvious signs of starvation, exposure, and severe radiation poisoning.

    I didn't even wait for Kelly. I scooped him up and told him he needed to go to the decontamination shower. He nodded faintly and still in my lead lined rubber suit I placed him inside and started it up.

    When Kelly arrived with the Biometrics cuff, it was worse than I thought. He was a list of everything that could be wrong with a human being before you died.

    We put him on the bed and wrapped him in blankets and put hot, wet compresses on his injured fingers and toes. I have him a triple shot of stimpacks, Med-X for the pain, and have him set up on drips of Saline and RadAway to try and clear the rads from his system and hydrate him.

    He just sat there like a trooper the entire time, he even smiled at me saying 'Thank you, sir'.

    I asked him who he was and how he'd gotten here. Where were his parents. What happened?

    He said they were dead. They were all dead. He was here with his family. He was going to the bathroom, which was in the basement of the place we raided when the bombs hit and killed everyone and has been living there ever since. He was 20 feet from us and we didn't even know.

    When he came up he saw that some of the candy'd been taken but food had been left in its place and said he knew that we were good people because we didn't just steal it, so he decided to follow us home via the tracks in the snow.

    He'd survived this long because he had training as a Junior Boy Scout and had listened when people talked about how to survive when the bombs dropped, but he was running out of clean water and even taking only a quarter of an adult dose, was running out of Anti-radiation medicine. He ran out on the way up because he had to up the dose because he was starting to feel sick. It took him three days, It was 20 miles, to get here through two foot thick radioactive snow, blindly walking along our motorcycle tracks. He says that he just started and didn't stop, he just kept going until he got here because he knew if he stood still he'd die. Even at night, he kept moving, using the green glow from the snow to light his path.

    I asked him why he'd do such a thing, and he simply said he was dead anyways and at least this way if he died, he'd die trying to do something, or even now, at least he wouldn't die alone.

    Then I asked him how old he was. Eight. Eight years old. And his name is Timmy.

    Soon afterwards, he fell asleep. His vitals are weak and he's still in horrible shape. I honestly don't know if he's going to also the night. Kelly's beside herself. The snows starting to get too thick to go out, and I'm not supplied for three, but I can't turn this kind away.

    I don't know what to do.


    December 12, 2077

    Whelp. It was touch and go there for a while but it seems Timmy's on the road to recovery. He's slept for almost a day and a half, but it seems the gallon of RadAway I pumped into his system did its magic, while the stimpacks and saline drip I rigged up handled the rest. He's up and about again, even though the strain has left him severely weakened. We've cleared one of the RV bunk beds we've been using for storage for him. He all but demanded the top bunk. Typical 8 year old.

    He's a sweet kid, calls me sir, calls Kelly ma'am, much to her condemnation because she likes to point out she's far too young and pretty to be a 'ma'am'. It's funny because she gets this indignant little pout when she gets her gumption up that is just adorable.

    Back to the kid, we had to burn his clothes. They were far too badly contaminated to salvage, but raiding the nearby campsites we managed to find enough children's clothes in his size. We also found the children who used to wear those clothes in the campsite, which is something I really don't want to discuss, but at least now we know that there are still animals out here. Think of that what you will and you'll probably be right, but don't ask any details.

    Anyways, We only took the ones in suitcases because they were protected from the particulate Fallout and didn't have any real contamination. I was also able to grab some clothes that fit me better, since all my outfits have been a bit loose in the waist and short in the leg since my regeneration.

    I've started going out alone to salvage, leaving the majority of the guns with Kelly and we've figured out how to cover our trail better. She's proving to be a master jury rigger and is starting to do little technological projects to pass the time. She set up this oddball arrangement with a snow blower that basically lets me plow a trail then redistribute it right behind me. Sounds kinda strange, but this is a strange world.

    We've even managed to tow one of the Ranger's jeeps to the mouth of the cave where the rad levels are lowest. Don't worry we covered the tracks from that too. She thinks that with some parts, equipment, and a time she can get it running again which would be a step up from our chopper in the cargo department. I'm keeping the chopper though as its pretty awesome. Just you, the bike, and a 30lb lead lined rubber suit.

    Once Timmy was no longer in danger of dying I raided the camp shop he'd been staying at. The kid was pretty much living off a copy of the Scout Handbook and a collection of Lad's Life magazines. He was living in a cement closet, drinking melted snow run through disposable camping filters (which mind you do remove fallout), and living off beef jerky, potato chips, and trail mix, while his anti-rad drugs were only what they had in the first aid kits behind the counter, and his source of heat was a small portable electric stove hooked up to a fission battery. This might sound like a reasonable set up, but the simple fact is that he was running out of snacks, the filters were starting to get too badly contaminated, and he'd salvaged every last first aid kid. Honestly, I really hate myself for not finding him beforehand. I need to be more aware, not just for my own safety but for those around me.

    I thought I had it tough, but the marked difference between my warm and cozy radiation shielded RV in a cave and the salvaged efforts of an industrious child make it markedly clear the difference between someone with three months prep-time and someone with enough luck to stay alive, and a will to live strong enough who had to make due. I'm guessing that the only way I could have it any easier is if I was in a Vault.

    The real irony, the real sick irony was that no more than 15 feet from his closet is a locked cabinet of emergency survival gear. Even more sad is the fact that I also don't have a key, nor do I have a set of bolt cutters that can handle the lock, and its tempered steel so my hacksaw does jack and shit. Who the hell puts an industrial strength lock on fucking survival supplies? Any tips at breaking this fucker open will be highly appreciated.

    At least I managed to crack the soda machines open, as while the lock proved resistant to the efforts of a small boy, it was less protective against a determined man with a fire axe. Nuka-cola and Sunset Sarsaparilla for everyone! I'm not ashamed to admit that after getting the fucker open, I snucked into timmy's closet where the rad levels are lowest, took off my helmet, and after making sure it wasn't irradiated, downed my first bottle of root beer in months. Good fucking god, this is the good stuff. They actually still use real sugar and the traditional formulas here and you can tell. It's almost better than sex. Though don't tell Kelly that.

    *BEGIN ADDENDUM*

    You brought me caffeine. I'll forgive you this once.

    *END ADDENDUM*

    Anyways, Timmy is settling in well. He's a tough kid, and seeing him react to what in all honesty was probably his first hot meal in months was heartbreaking. No child should ever act like fried cram and mac and cheese are the best tasting meal in the world. Like I said, he's extremely and unerringly polite, but very withdrawn and quiet, and spends most of his time reading his copy of the Scout Handbook, though he's starting to warm up to the animals. I think the dog is picking up on it and is starting to jump into bed with him at night.

    We don't have room for a range and going outside is still dangerous, and with the heavy snows due any day now we need to focus on gathering supplies. Though I did say I was able to gather some of the Park Rangers' gear from one of their stations. Armoring the RV is kind of redundant. Remember, the damned thing survive the shock wave of a nuclear blast including the debris. It's not a tank, but I'd trust it against anything short of an anti-material rifle.

    Gardening is also, at least for now, a no go. Don't have the soil or the lamps.

    February 8, 2078

    Please don't post pictures of mutant abominations against man and God. I just had to explain that no, there's no evidence that monster is going to be waking us up in the night to feast on our sweet flesh. Which then lead me to have to explain the Yao Gai and Deathclaw, and all the other wasteland abominations like Giant Rats and Rad Scorpions to Kelly. She's been jumping at shadows ever since and now insists that I begin my breeding operation for loyal and intelligent Super-Cats as soon as possible to protect against giant rats. Do not make my girlfriend paranoid! We have several years before the hideous mutant abominations against man and god start showing up and by then I want to have our own cute and cuddly abominations ready to do battle with them. Or at least to bite the heads off of rats.

    Now for the good news. The radiation level comparison between the current level of radiation and that from when the bombs hit is conclusive. We're almost in the safe zone. It's okay to go out for short periods of time without the suits, not that it's currently worth going outside with all the damned snow. I think its going to be okay to work outside when the spring comes. More of the fallout is going to halflife into nothing, and the rest is going to be washed away when all this goddamned radioactive snow melts.

    My cat gave birth to a relatively large litter of five kittens, three females and two males. I'm doing my best to keep them alive and well because they're quite possibly the future of the species. I'm keeping a close eye on their personalities because if any of them are too mean or too paranoid, I'm simply not going to allow them to breed. Even now I'm looking for obedience, intelligence, cleverness, and personal initiative. If this all goes well the next generation are going to receive the first treatments.

    Timmy's doing well. He's an energetic boy whose recovered most of his strength.. He still calls us ma'am and sir, he seems to be sticking to Kelly's coat tails rather closely. I think the Sir and Ma'am thing is both part of his coping and an artifact of gender, as is the way he's warming up to us. With Kelly, she's a woman and was a rather nerdy one at that who, was into Scifi and Robots, which pretty much gives her most of the same common interests as your average 8 year old boy. Even though she's almost three times his age, she's quickly fallen into place as his "buddy" and "cool big sister figure.

    *BEGIN ADDENDUM*

    Don't say it like that! You make my sound old!

    *END ADDENDUM*

    He's still a little distant with me. Interactions seem to be requests for 'adult wisdom', and while he's extremely respectful, eager to please, and is clearly thankful about being permitted to stay with us, I'm not really his 'friend' like Kelly is. I think this is cultural and personal in nature. First, I think he's been mostly trained to see adult males as figures to be respect and not 'bothered'. Second, I think its due to a total lack of common reference. I only spent 3 months in their world, and I spent most of that preparing for the end.

    Kelly used to call me "Space Man" before we started dating because I really did seem like I was from another world. My exposure to their mass media is limited to what was in the RV when the bombs landed, which while not insignificant, is limited compared to a lifetime of exposure. Even my cultural attitudes are different. I'm more familiar and emotional than the pre-war pseudo-50s male ideal. Kelly found this endearing, and claims its one of the reasons she liked me, but I'm thinking Timmy finds it a bit off putting. I just don't fit what he expects so he's having difficulty finding a nice, neat mental category in which to fit me.

    Now, I'm sure you psychology heads might be able to draw more out of this. I'm still waiting for Timmy's to exit survival mode, but in general I think I'm waiting for all of us to exit survival mode. While our little cave is warm and cozy, the simply fact remains we're living of canned meat, instant noodles, and if we go outside we'll a slow, horrible death.

    The cabinet ended up being oddly simple to get through. The issues was we couldn't smash it. In this world Glass is a much more common material for storage so anything that would break the cabinet would have reduced its contents to worthlessness. Also, while the cabinet wasn't exactly a safe, it was much heavier built than you guys think. It's basically more of a heavy gun-type cabinet designed intentionally to be hard to break into.

    How we got in was a bit of a story. We ended up talking about it and looking at your posts, and I mentioned in passing about how I wish we had some thermite. She asked why don't we make some, and I mentioned that while rust was common, aluminium powder isn't. Taking it as a challenge, she immediately began looking into ways to turn some of our aluminum foil into powder. Took her all of 3 hours before she was working away with the blender and a coffee grinder.

    It was a damned fine lock that was on that cabinet, but it was no match for the unstoppable thermite reaction. I think I gained some real respect from Timmy after that one. It was literally loaded to the brim with water barrels, ration packs, toiletries, and anti-radiation chems. I can see why they had the lock. Those damned chems are expensive and after some rooting around I found a fallout shelter sign that had been hidden by a piece of debris.

    The basement was designed to house 25 people for two weeks in the case of a nuclear attack. Now while that was on a starvation diet with only the minimum amount of water, that's still enough food for 3 people and several animals for almost a month. And please note, it was not a ranger station, technically, but a small store designed to attend the needs of the camp ground.

    We did celebrate Christmas, and technically just to let you know, Kelly and I also celebrated Thanksgiving, technically, but I didn't think it was worth going "Today we are turkey Cram, instant mash, and split a can of cranberry sauce before saying 'I'm thankful to be alive' and retreating to the bedroom", especially when, barring the menu, that's pretty much what we do every night.

    Christmas we did celebrate a bit more, for the sake of Timmy. The camp store had an artificial mini-christmas tree probably used as a display during winter, as cutting down trees in a national part is forbidden. I grabbed the tree and enough decorates to make it look presentable.

    Sadly this lead to the first real kink in Timmy's armor. There was an exchange of presents and I told them the epic story of Star Wars, he ended up breaking down about how much he missed his family. With nothing more to do we let him cry it out and provided a warm embrace.

    Well. Time keeps passing but I don't think anything interesting is going to happen until the big thaw.


    May 13, 2078

    Goddamn it people what did I say about posting stuff that does not affect us but will freak out my wife! I mean seriously! This is like you trying to get me to shack up with House all over again. Nifty idea, and I'd love to be able to take control of the alien saucer and bring peace, justice, and fluffy kittens back to the wasteland using their stolen technology, the simple fact remains, its just not bloody likely. Well at least the first two, I'm handling the third on my own right now. They're growing up well.

    Now you might notice that I said "wife". Kelly and I are now married. She forgot her contraceptive regimen a couple times, and well, I'm gonna be a daddy! She was a bit upset, because despite the fact she's a hot science nerd, she's still a bit of a traditional girl and the idea of a child out of wedlock made her upset, as does bringing up a child in the harsh times we're about to be facing, but sometimes you don't always get what you want, and really, I'm both apprehensive and on cloud nine about the possibility.

    Anyways, to put her mind at ease I told her about an old ritual called a Handfasting. It was common in Britain until just recently and is still commonly used by neo-pegans. Hell, it's how the Doctor married River Song. All you need is a piece of ribbon and to make an oath to one another to be true to one another and you're man and wife. Timmy witnessed our vows. Also tried to take a picture.

    [​IMG]

    Notice I said "tried". Good attempt, kit.

    Timmy's bonded tightly with the kittens and is starting to warm up to me as well. The kid's very happy to be able to get out of the cave and play outside. I don't let him go out without a gun though. Too dangerous. He was a Junior Scout before the world exploded and has a true love for nature.

    Now, moving past the all so interesting subject of my domestic bliss, we come to the issue at hand. The grace period is over. The rad levels have dropped to safe levels and the spring melt is in full action. It's time to start seriously exploring my environment. Kelly's gotten the Jeep up and running, though with her delicate condition I'm not sure I should be bringing her on the salvage runs to come. And seriously. If I die, there's a good chance that I'll regenerate. If Kelly dies... Well, I'm just not sure what I'd do without her. I said I need you guys to keep me sane, but really, as strong a touchstone as you raving pack of misanthropic sociopaths can be, she's my reason for waking up in the morning.

    We've been practicing our shooting. All of us, even Timmy. I have plenty of ammo, and we do a lot of dry firing as well. We're working hard to get ourselves ready if we have to defend ourselves because I have a feeling shit is gonna get really bad before it gets any better. I'm thinking of erecting a sandbag barrier around the cave mouth and exploring the depths more for a second entrance or exits to fortify.

    Hell, thinking of seeing if we can rig up mines if need be. A minefield would be a wonderful defense against all kinds of nasties.

    On another note, where the format permits someone please find and embed links to the Star Wars Trilogy, Gurren Lagann, and as much Star Trek as is physically possible, along with and I'm sad to say, as much post-apocalyptic entertainment, like the Mad Max series, as you can. Reason for the post-nuke stuff is because frankly in this day and age that shit is less entertainment and more a series of instructional videos. The links must be embedded directly into the forum. I can see pictures and watch videos but I cannot use links. Copy-pasting any useful texts also works.*

    Also, Fallout has a strong synergy between reality and the universe, though normally run through parody filters. Cold war paranoia never died down in this world so here's a lot secret here that is common knowledge back home. Any ideas you can come up with will be highly valued and I'm willing to investigate anything worth looking at.

    I have the feeling that the tutorial level is over and now it's time to start playing in Hard Mode. We've survived the apocalypse. Now it's time to survive the Post-Apocalypse... and the mosquitoes. I mean dude, of all of the creatures on earth to survive an atomic bomb, why does it have to be the fucking mosquitoes!?

    *Please don't actually copy it over. Just say you do and tell me where you actually found it.


    July 10, 2078

    Yeah. That was a lot of stuff. Enough for now. I mean it. I really mean it. You almost made the PipBoy choke. Access to our media has turned out interesting to Kelly and Timmy. Kelly has officially fallen in love with everything Sci Fi. She also questioned by a full grown male would post a little girl's pony show. The questions she asked I will not repeat. Though she did like the show. I admitted it was well written but, well, purple ponies are very much not my thing.

    The post-apocalyptic series were shockingly brutal by the local standards, but served well to impress the true depths of depravity that will be coming. Timmy fell in love with our Super Heroes, especially Spiderman and Batman who he identifies with, and Captain America and Superman who I think he wants to emulate. By their standards the special effects in these movies were beyond anything they ever saw. Beyond stuff like DNI tech like VR pods, their special effects are kinda cheesy. I mean Captain Cosmos is barely a step above the original Star Trek in some places.

    It lead to one heartbreaking moment. They were so photorealistic to them, that Timmy seriously thought that while our world really did have all the technological wonders shown on the TV. He thought we actually had Super Heroes. It broke my heart to tell him that the Avengers weren't real and that no costumed heroes would be coming to fight the bad guys and put things right. It crushed him. He took it well, but he'd obviously gotten his hopes up on that stupid, childish dream. And really, between you and me, at this point I'd give my soul for Superman to show up save the day. Not going to happen though.

    The results though was a deeper connection between me and the both of them. With Timmy we finally had a point of common reference. He loved the Cartoons and I love them too, and after he got over the fact that the Avengers and Justice League aren't real, he told me outright that if they're not real, then he's going to make them real. I'm not sure if he was serious, but I don't like that little glimmer in his eyes. God I hope this kid doesn't get himself killed.

    Kelly seems to understand me better and our relationship has improved. She understands now where I come from and my cultural base. She finds our world to be too fast paced, a bit boorish, and almost terminally jaded, but at the same time she said we had a reserved but entirely authentic sense of optimism her's lacked. She said her people, and she's taken to speaking like we come from two different worlds, liked to put on a show of looking towards the future but there was always a doubt as to its authenticity. It always came off more as a show to placate the masses and keep the level of fear down to a manageable level. To her, our Earth with all its myriad of problems, was still the brighter future and the more hopeful world.

    To her, this world I live in now, even before the bombs was the Evil Mirror Universe and my world, even with its many flaws and corruptions, was the one where hope, justice, and freedom found victory over fear, tyranny, and oppression. It's my greatest shame that I can't get her out of this nightmare and bring her home.

    I've started the breeding program with the cats. Nothing more I can really say until the kittens are born, but I'm keeping a close eye on their vitals.

    The snows all melted and I think I might see the first mutant animals. Mosquitoes are not meant to be that large. There's no way this is natural.

    I haven't found any other survivors in the park, though there is some evidence that they might be around, as such I've started leaving notes and what amounts to hobo sign to try and communicate with others. So far though, it seems that, like us they're just trying to get by and are probably mostly just passive survivalists. Kelly and I also agree that assumptions must not be made she needs to stay at home and armed. The housewife tradition lives long and proud, but now with extra firearms. We've been training too and are pretty damned good at moving silently, tracking, and using our guns.

    The cave, we went another thousand or feet into the mountain before giving up. This isn't one of those little fallout caves, this is a real life cave that can go for miles, but we didn't find any exits and I swear my Pipboy's automap function is the only reason we didn't get lost. I'm comfortably sure though that we're not getting attacked from that direction any time soon. Didn't keep us from blocking it off at a narrow passage though.

    On the outside, we've rigged up some security measures. We now have a TV displaying the clearing around the mouth and have buried a number of small landmines made out of cans of black powder and scrap metal. We've rigged them so they're detonated from inside switches, and they're built so the powder is on the bottom and shrapnel on top for a nice claymore effect. Anyone who attacks us is in for a very rough day.

    I did have one face to face human contact. One that has left me strongly questioning that to do. About a week ago I was looking into a local town when I got pulled over by a police car. Yes. A police car. A man dressed as a sheriff's deputy with far too much stagger who stepped out and said I was speeding, and since I was in a US Park Service vehicle, I'd obviously been looting, and that as such it was well within his rights to shoot me due to the 'state of emergency', but then pointed out that the country sheriff has ordered him to be merciful, so he'd simply confiscate my 'ill begotten goods' and set me to a 'work release' program.

    The asshole was obvious used to shell shocked people just doing what they were told by someone with the appearance of authority and he was waving that .357 snub nose around like it was a goddamned magic wand. I've been through partial law enforcement training and if this shithead was trained I'll cut off my dick and eat it with a side of beans. His observational awareness was frankly non-existent. He didn't realize his entire speech that I had my .32, concealed by ready to go.

    When he approached me to "cuff me" I waited until the gun wasn't exactly pointed at me, and then grabbed his wrist, twisted it and pulled him to the ground with my gun to the back of his head. Then I cuffed him and asked questions. After pissing himself, the coward sang like tweety bird.

    He really was working for the country sheriff who'd decided that barring any other authority and as he had all the guns, someone would have to create order, and it would be him. Ever since he's been having his men bushwhack survivors, either bringing them in for "looting" like he did with me, commandeering their property and leaving them with no choice but to come with, or simply luring them in with the promise of authority. Anyone who resists is killed. Anyone who doesn't do exactly what they're told is exiled, and by that I mean they're driven outside of town and shot in the head. He's pretty much set himself up as a petty dictator ruling of the shell shocked survivors of a nearby town.

    I managed to get a good deal of intel out of him. It's a small group, about 100-120 people, about 20 of them are "deputies", but only three of them were actually trained. The rest were cons from the county jail who'd been conscripted, or the surviving friends and family of the sheriff and his "officers".This particular punkass was the sheriff's nephew.

    He said that while they were patrolling most of their work was done by setting up "speed traps" along the major travel routes. Why he even told me where a couple of them were after I fired the gun off next to his head. Most were armed with law enforcement grade or hunting firearms, mostly shotguns, pistols, and rifles, though he claimed that the sheriff had managed to get his hands on a 10mm SMG and they really hadn't picked up on the idea of body armor yet because they hadn't met any real threats yet besides a couple odd survivalists who took pot shots at them before fading into the hills.

    After that, after I had everything, I was left with a choice and hope I made the right one. I couldn't leave him, I couldn't take him with me, so I did the only thing I could. I got rid of him.

    I beat him up the back of the head with his baton and loaded him into the car. Then, after hooking my Pipboy up to the radio in the jeep used coded communications option in my Pipboy to ask Kelly how to get an automotive reactor to go super critical.

    You see, the ones in Fallout 3 would explode at the drop of a hat, yes, but actual intact ones that haven't been rotting in the sun for a hundred years are quite a bit more robust. They have an automatic safety system that makes it so if anything happens, the control rods automatically engage. Normally it takes an insane amount of abuse to cause a super critical containment breach. Like falling off a cliff.

    Then, after disengaging the safety and stripping the car of anything of value that wouldn't survive the explosion, I took off the cuffs, loaded dumb shit into the drivers seat, put an open bottle of vodka in his hand, and a couple more at his feet, and drove him off a cliff. The explosion could probably be seen heard for miles. Believe me, these things have a lot more bang when their fuel hasn't been decaying for 100 years.

    Then I got my ass out of there before someone could investigate.

    Did I do the right thing? My mind tells me I did, but it still tastes like murder.


    July 16, 2078

    I don't know where you people got the idea of marauding forestry robots. This is a National Park, guys, the cutting down of trees is strictly verboten. They're not going to be an issue any time soon. That said, Kelly has voiced that the idea of a Lumberbot gone rogue is pretty much the stuff of nightmares. They're about 15 feet tall heavy industrial machines giant claw on one arm and a buzzsaw on the other, with a damage resistant chassis and heavy armor plating to protect against falling trees, which also doubles to make it highly resistant to small arms fire. Not something you'd want to fight without a ready supply of dynamite, or maybe a bazooka.

    Kelly and I have had a long conversation about what to do, and we both agree that we're in a bit of a pickle. Moving on exposes us to danger, and with her pregnant and no real idea of what other dangers could be out there, staying put is probably our best option, at least for the time being. That does present the problem that eventually these bastards might start looking into the park, which will put us directly into conflict, a conflict that would not be in our favor.

    Our only choice is to recruit help. I know there are other survivors in these woods, I've seen signs but nobody yet, after all, it's a massive park and in a space this large, there is a very low chance that you'll just run across people. I need to attract attention but do so in a way that will not leave me open to attack.

    So far I'm thinking of starting smoke signals and leaving notes, or maybe checking the radio.

    Suggestions would be welcomed.


    July 27, 2078

    It's been one year since I arrived in this world. Looking back I have to say, it's been an experience, and a pretty awful one at that, but at least there's been a light to illuminate the darkness in the form of my beloved Kelly.

    The tangent on finding myself some robot was pretty much the exact thing I don't need right now, as in a real world situation, I doubt robots will be as common as they are in New Vegas and Fallout 3, but thankfully I was able to set up something to attract attention. Took a couple days to set up but Kelly managed to show off her mad technical skills and using scavenged electronics, build a couple automated reflector beacons on high locations that face away from the direction of the town. Each one had a note on the bottom and basically was designed to get attention by simply shining light over an area. They had some of our extra fission batteries powering them, so they should be good to go until we either strip them down, or for the next 250 years, whichever comes first.

    The Old Faithful Hotel is not a realistic meeting point. It is closer to ground zero than my current location and frankly it's probably either a wreck, still glowing, or full of ghouls. I might hit it up later though once I get some additional help. Instead we have set a ranger station as the meeting point. I have asked Kelly to come with... in the form of following behind me and setting up 300 yards away with a scoped bolt action rifle. The first requested meet is tomorrow. Wish me luck.


    July 29, 2078

    Update. Only one person arrived at our meeting location, and she was there before we were, which kind of ruined all of our preparations. Still, if I had to have my plans go to crap, this was the best way for it to happen. We got caught from behind, in a good way while we were unloading. I brought some medical supplies and food to use a bartering tool and to earn people's trust. Woman was like a ninja. I didn't even know she was there until she said 'excuse me'. Both of us almost jumped out of our skin.

    She apologized to that once all the guns were put away, both hers and ours.

    Anyways, once we got to talking the three of us hit it off pretty well. Her name is Roberta. She's a 35 year old veteran of the United States Park Service and has been working at Yellowstone for almost 12 years.

    When the bombs dropped she was on patrol looking for poachers, and not animal poachers believe it or not. There's a goodly amount of wild herbs like Ginseng growing in the woods and many of them sell for a goodly prince in the various health shops, vitamin stores, Chinatowns, and other ethnic enclaves around the country, and the wild grown variants get the best money. And as its illegal to harvest resources from national parks, that was not permissible.

    She was setting up some spy cameras at some of the major paths to see if she could spot anyone suspicious when her radio started to scream about a nuclear launch. She made it to one of the emergency storm shelters hidden in the woods right before the bombs hit. Now while that might not sound like much of a protection, she informed me that about 2 years ago, an executive order was passed down that all USPS emergency shelters had to be rated to deal with a nuclear bomb. They never really had the funding to do it across the board, but as Yellowstone was one of the the premier parks of the service, they were the first and basically the only one to get that retrofit across the board.

    She rationed the meager supplies in the shelter until the fallout levels were down to safe levels and has been living off the land, feeding from the least irradiated food sources ever since. She knows this place like the back of her hand and is extremely skilled in stealth and survival. She offered to join us, and actually seemed anxious, and I mean creepy anxious, to do so. 9 months alone in a hole will make anyone go a bit odd, and she's obviously been starved for human companionship.

    Since she's from the area, she also knows all about the sheriff and his history. Its worse than I thought. He's the son of the previous sheriff who was elected on his name. A veteran who fought in Alaska, he took a pretty nasty head wound that cost him the sight in one of his eyes and cashiered him out of the service. He's been sheriff for the past 4 years and her opinion of the man is he's a brute. While he was a bit of an ass when he left, ever since his injury she's heard rumors that he sometimes goes into spontaneous rages and has become rather paranoid. Problem is that despite all of this, he can be very charismatic, even though he's a nut.

    She's offered to help me locate more of the survivors. She pretty much knows most of the locations where people might have holed up, and has actually checked some of them. She claims that the larger more populated locations will probably be a bust. The fallout took longer to clear than expected and shelters are not designed to last at maximum capacity for longer than two weeks. She didn't go into what she's seen in some of them, but her body language said it all. I'm thinking either piles of corpses or ghouls.

    Oh lord. That is something I wanted to forget and didn't tell you about. The bodies. All the goddamned bodies. Think of how many people there are even in a National Park in late October. Now consider that maybe 1 in 100, if that, has survived up to this point. Now consider the fact that there's no one to clean them up. The lucky ones died in the blast. The unlucky ones died of radiation. The really unlucky ones died of starvation. And the best places to scav are places where there were people. Yeah. Just. Yeah. Think about it.

    Anyways, Roberta has actually known about us for some time, though she couldn't properly track us done due to the fact she's never spotted us close to home and didn't have the mobility assets to properly backtrack us over the road network. Hell. It took her three days overland to make it to be meeting point.

    Anyways, we've set her up a tent with a light and heater deeper in the cave, and she's currently enjoying a hot meal. We've offered to drive her to her former encampment, but she's said that everything of value she took with in her pack. She's already taken an instant shine to Timmy too, and from the look in her eye, I have some sneaking suspicions that really make my heart sink, but I know better than to bring them up.


    August 2, 2078

    On Roberta's direction we put a short range radio at the meeting place. It doesn't have the range to reach out of the park, hell, technically it doesn't even have the range to make it to our cave, but once again my beautiful wife produced. She modified another into a signal booster and we planted it near the midpoint between the cave and the meeting spot.

    We also changed the notes on the beacons to show this fact. It allows us to simply talk to anyone who shows up, get the measure of them, and then send a proper response. So far, its done its job admirably. There are now six more people in my cave, all of whom I think are worth keeping around. There was a seventh, but he was a bit shady and forceful, made the wrong decisions, and is now lying face down in a ditch with a chest full of bullets.

    Anyways, our new guests are five very interesting people. Three of them might be good in a fight, one of them is a child, the second wants to fight but I don't we'll let her, and the third, well, I'm not sure about him as a fighter but he's a decent enough guy though he creeps the others out.

    First you have Jim. Jim's a veterinarian who was on vacation with his two daughters during the were up wind from the attacks and sheltered from the blast itself so they were able to make it to a shelter before the fallout and radiation from the bombs overcame them. They've been living on almost nothing for several months and are all pretty weak, but I was able to treat any radiation they had and gave them a good meal. They're good people, decent folk.

    While he specializes in animal medicine, he's already diving into my medical books, claiming that while he can treat a human like any other animal, he'd best serve everyone by acting as the group's doctor. He's even all but taken over my super-cat breeding experiment, after I explained my reasoning to him, and leaving out the whole 'the future is a video game' part.

    He's a generally decent guy who is really still in a numb state of shock, even nine months later. He lost his wife in the attack. She stayed behind at the campsite while he took the girls hiking. One of his only requests was that we go around and find her body. And we did. We buried her to the best of our ability.

    His daughters are 8 and 13. The young one is the sweetest kid you'll ever meet, even after all she's been through she's like a little bucket of sunshine. The second is your typical young teenager. She's cranky, defiant to authority, and wants everyone to treat her like an adult. She's a loud voice in favor of going after the sheriff and demands to be given the chance to fight. We're really not sure about that, to put it gently. They're named Elizabeth and Dawn. Lizzy is the oldest.

    The second man we just call Bear. The reason we call him Bear is because he wears a giant bear skin. He doesn't go into his background much, but from what we can get out of him he's former military army, cashiered out of the service due to 'severe battle fatigue'. He's a bonafide loon, but is extremely protective of the others whom he's taken to calling 'the unit', and despite his obvious experience, he actually seems to readily defer to me, calling me 'sir' and claiming that since I brought this little group together so its only right that I should lead it.

    Anyways, according to this crazy son of a bitch he survived the blast by going deep into a cave. There he found a sleeping bear, which he shot in the head with his self-defense handgun, and it was preserved by the low temperatures. He survived for the entire winter on a diet of cave water and raw bear meat. Damn.

    The next two raise the most questions. First is Jake. Jake is a convict. Claims he knocked over a liquor store. He's a skinny youth with frantic eyes who looks to be 19 at the most.. He and some other men were being transported from county to state prison during the attack. The guards diverted to a small, nearby municipal shelter. After a couple days, they overheard the guards discussing what to do with them. They didn't think that the supplies would last long enough, you see.

    Anyways, they took the initiative and killed the guards, they lost some men, but were able to get them through weight of numbers. They stripped the bodies and dumped them outside the shelter. He doesn't like to talk about the shelter or what happened next. But he does admit there wasn't enough food for the number of people down there and leaves it at that, though he has a visible aura of shame talking about it. Anyways, when they were safe to leave they scattered and he retreated to the park hoping there might be some wild foods that were safe to eat.

    We were divided about letting him join, but Bear spoke up for him, claiming that was then, this is now, and that we've all done things we're not proud of. And the fact that if the kid betrays us, he'll gut him like a fish. I'm still not sure about the kid, but I'm willing to give him a chance.

    The man who got shot was from the same group of cons. We never actually got to talk to him really. He saw Jake, Jake saw him, he sneered, said "How you doin', fish", and got plugged seven times in the chest.

    We almost shot Jake then and there, but let him explain himself, and he did. He said that man was the one who came up with the idea of killing the guards, and when they started running out of food, is the one who decided to 'supplement their rations'. He claimed that the other man was a murderer, a thief, and a rapist who would have sold us out the first chance he'd gotten.

    The final member took a lot of arguing to get the others to agree on. His name is Lucas, and he's a ghoul. He was a lawyer from Idaho on vacation. According to him, he got caught in the blast, and woke up looking like beef jerky. The others almost shot him in the face thinking he was a zombie, but I managed to explain what he is. He's able to eat almost anything and immune to radiation, but he's also pretty frail, or as he likes to joke, his skin's just falling off his bones. Still, he's an honestly nice guy and frankly, he's about as comfortable with his appearance as we are. He was very thankful when I gave him a balaclava I'd brought with me to cover his 'deformity'.

    I'll tell you if anyone else shows up, but its been a couple weeks and I'm thinking its time to take the beacons down if only for security's sake.

    We've agreed that the sheriff has to go as well and are working on a plan. Input would be valuable.

    Also, for those of you who asked, Roberta is actually a blond haired white woman. It's actually Kelly who's Hispanic.


    August 8, 2078

    Well, shits gotten interesting since other people have moved in. It's a big cave but its already getting a bit crowded. Personality conflict is a bit inevitable, and off ball little romances even worse. Roberta and the Doc are definitely showing signs of Unresolved Sexual Tension, though that might be less actual affection and more shared grieving and the need for physical human affection, I don't know.

    Roberta let slip she did have a husband and son who are probably dead by now, and while she hasn't given up hope she's not holding her breath. Explains why she's gotten so close to Timmy and him her. While Kelly's like the older sister and I'm the cool uncle, she's quickly becoming his pseudo-mom. I think its good for them. It's helping to re socialize her after almost a year alone in the woods.

    More distressing is the little spark between Liz and Jake. They're both teenagers, true, but its still a situation that we want to avoid. So far he's been acting surprisingly gentlemanly towards her and they've had no chance to be alone, thank god. Sadly, as as you can expect the more we discourage her the more doe eyed she gets. Jesus fucking christ. Kids. I really hope we don't have to start looking for more birth control.

    At least we've been able to distract her. I managed to convince Bear to teach her self-defense. He was reluctant at first, but once I mentioned the things people would do to a pretty young girl these days he simply nodded with a deep frown on his face and took her off to the side to have little a talk. She walked back with a new knife looking a bit traumatized by the discussion, but very committed to learning his gory lessons.

    Lucas took me telling him that he he can scav in places and consume food that we can't rather well. Especially the food which he shrugged off with a smile, a grin, and a "more for me". It's about the only thing he's good for though, and even he'll admit it. It's a bit hard to play diplomat when you look like a zombie and he doesn't think we'll need any ambulance chasers about for a good long while. Still is a bit shy around guns though, he claims they were never really his speed, but you gotta do what you gotta.

    The children are playing and learning, as kids do. Frankly I think they're good for one another, Jake has been spending a goodly amount of time with them too. He claims that he had a large family and they make him feel at home. It's good that he's bonding with some members of the group. It's not so good that he's teaching the rug rats to pick pockets.

    Bear and I had a talk about his experience. He was reluctant but was willing to open up in private after I pulled the rank card. If I'm going to lead this group I need to know what everyone can do, which means I need to know his past. He simply nodded and gave me what can only be called a debriefing.

    He was an Army Ranger stationed in Alaska. He was on leave in '66 when the chinese invaded and quickly found himself behind enemy lines. Trapped there, he linked up with the local woodsman and with their help he basically helped found and train the resistance, at least until he was captured. After that he was in a Chinese POW camp until it was liberated. Between the two, we're looking at about 7 years. I told him I can't imagine what it was like, but we're a team now, and I'll happily bare as many burdens of his as I can.

    He nodded, thanked me, and said that for him at least, maybe this new world would be for the best. He couldn't go back to society after what he'd seen. He spent his days in the woods because they'd become home to him more than any city built by man. Even being in the cave with us was a bit claustrophobic at times. He needed the woods and the silence to him him feel at ease. I gave him my assault rifle and a radio, and told him that if it would help, I wanted him to do a patrol of the local area to find out if there was anything dangerous out there, like any more feral biker ghouls. His orders were to scout the area, stay in contact, and be back for dinner tomorrow.

    When he came back the next day he was visibly more relaxed. After that we enjoyed a meal, and that bastard Lucas taunted us by eating fresh, abet radioactive, meat. After almost a year of canned meat, the smell of the good stuff almost drove me mad.

    We rigged up a larger tower for reception and transmission, and have been listening to the police bands. From what we can tell they don't entirely believe that the dumbass's accident was actually an accident and not don't work without a partner. They also have at least five vehicles left, three police cruisers and two or more trucks. The way they seem to operate is they bushwhack someone, then call in the trucks and men to bring their targets and goods into town.

    We're considering staging a reverse bushwhack to thin their numbers. Lure them in, catch the deputies, then use a recording to call in the truck which we can then blow up with an IED or something. We're going to wait to see what the salvaged cameras we set up come up with before committing though.

    And we still have radios, its the beacons we took down. At least for now. Nothing's been dismantled.

    On a more personal note, Kelly's showing now. She complains that she's looking fat but I don't think she's ever looked more beautiful.


    August 12, 2078

    We've been doing some light duty scouting, and pretty much have their patrol time down. In addition, as Bear, Roberta, and Jake are regional natives I've been asking them as much as I can information wise. Roberta knows about the sheriff from the point of view of a fellow law officer. As I said before, she thinks he's a brute, aggressive with only a cursory respect for the rule of law, and while not exceptionally intelligence, he possesses the shallow charisma of a partial sociopath. He's not really a good cop, but puts on a good enough show that he can impress the locals.

    Bear thinks the man's full of shit. He was elected to his position based on his linage and war record, but Bear has friends in the know. He was a reserve Sergeant who took a bullet to the head during an attack, freaked out and ran, but in his state of punch drunk confusion, he retreated in the wrong direction, unwittingly rallying his men to break the attack. They knew it was bullshit, but needed a hero for the papers, so the fucker got a Silver Star, a Purple Heart, a promotion to Staff Sergeant, and was cashiered out of the service due to his eye.

    I must say, it was Jake who delivered the most. He knows guys who have run a fowl of the Sheriff. He said the man's a psycho pure and simple. He liked to sell himself "The Bulldog" because once he's bit onto you he never lets go. The man's a overconfident thug who's bought into his own wartime record far too much and sees himself as a courageous leader of men. His memory isn't the best, and he comes off as either friendly though maybe a bit out there, or as a paranoid bully with a terrifying temper that will go off for any reason real or imagined.

    I think I need to hurt him. I need to injure him publicly and humiliate him. I need to get him so pissed off, to make him sound like such a goddamned fool, to question his courage, competence, manhood, and ability to lead that he breaks with common sense and attacks without thought. I need to make the Bulldog abandon all caution and go for the throat. And then, once he's out in the open, lure him into a nice prepared kill zone and blow him to hell.

    Thoughts, plans, and I need a copy of "Uncle Fucker."


    August 22, 2078

    Pardon my rambling but it has been a very long, very chaotic day. But anyways, the die has been cast and fortune favored the bold. I came. I saw. I blowed shit up, and any other convenient Julius Cesar quotes you could care to mangle. All jokes aside though, Sheriff Whitaker is no longer going to be a problem. He's going to be late for work tomorrow as in 'the late'.

    I'm serious now, no more jokes. Allow me to explain.

    Over the past week and a half I've been preparing what I've been calling Operation: Troll Face. It is my plan to destroy the Sheriff utterly and render his organization unable to harm me and mine. Before I go into what it entailed, I want to give due credit to the exceptional people who made this possible. First, Bear, whose experience turned out general outline of a plan into something actually practical and effective, and whose terrifying stealth and close combat skills were priceless in this operation. Second, to Roberta whose skill with a rifle. Third, to Jake whose amateur bomb making skills were an unexpected boon, and who was willing to risk of his own life by volunteering to serve as the bait. And finally, my lovely darling, genius wife who's talent and skill with machines made this all possible.

    My plan was simple and direct. Ambush a squad car, interrogate one of the deputies to get a better idea how to antagonize the sheriff, then call in for reinforcements, blow them up, and then troll Whitaker into attacking blindly with overwhelming force, and blow them up too.

    Last night, per the plan, we set a specific ambush point near one of the 'speed traps'. We came in using the Jeep, off road with no lights. In the back I set up my small broadcasting rig. We marked out a specific location and planted a number of IEDs next to the road. Bear hid in a specific set of bushes with my AK and a big scary ass knife, while Roberta and I set up on a near by hill. I had binoculars and a remote detonator, she had a scoped rifle.

    In the morning, soon after they set up the trap for the day, we sprung the ambush. Jake rode by on the bike, looking like a reject from the Wild One, and they sprung their trap. Lights went on, they drove after him, and he stopped right next to Bear, only about 250 yards from our hiding spot.

    After the death of the last deputy, the Sheriff started dispatching them as teams. One of them stayed in the car, the other walked up to Jake, his gun at the ready, to read him the same riot act that the last asshole gave me. I let him do his thing, get comfortable. He gave Jake his little speech and we waited for him to lower the weapon and focus on Jake. I have to say, Jake put on a good act of distracting him, and getting him to get lazy. Eventually, he holstered his weapon, and at that moment, I gave Roberta the order to take the shot. One bullet, one dead man. The head of the deputy manning the car exploded like an overripe melon, proving once again the time old adage that the human head is no match for a high caliber hunting round.

    The deputy on foot predictably freaked, and scrambled for his weapon only to get jumped from behind by Bear. Before I could even blink the poor bastard hit the ground, his arm bent at an entirely unwholesome angle, screaming his ass off.

    After that, I had some questions about the Sheriff and he had answers. Unlike the last punk, he was much harder to convince to talk. He was a foul mouthed tough guy who was more ego than ability. I'm almost ashamed to say I let Bear torture the man. Almost because the man was scum. When he cracked he sang like Tweety Bird. He was a convict, a an angry drunk with a laundry list of related offenses. Drunken brawls, drunk driving, and drunken domestic abuse. He also admitted to taking some 'liberties' with some of the ladies they have in 'lock up' after getting a couple drinks in him. I'll let you imagine that little bit of nasty yourselves.

    When the bombs dropped, the sheriff took his deputies and the prisoners in the country lock up into the shelter. Being a paranoid bastard, and dedicated prepper type, he'd stocked it well above and beyond the legally mandated requirements equipment wise, which allowed them to safely survive the end of the world.

    When he was down there, one of the cons was able to get through to him. Petted his ego and filled his head with ideas of authority and power, and pushed him over the line from a paranoid bully to a full out petty tyrant. In order to 'maintain order', he deputized the cons, and when the fallout was clear he started reorganizing the town along military lines with Cyrus, aforementioned con, serving as his defacto lieutenant. Though before you think that this is a case of the poor sheriff being taken advantage of by the bad man, its more 1/2 of one and 2/3 of the other. Yes, Cyrus suggested taking over the town and served as the little devil on his shoulder, but the strict dictatorial control and predatory treatment of travelers was all the sheriff's doing.

    Since my last review of their number, they've raised their number of deputies to 23 and their civilians to almost 130, mostly by swearing in anyone willing to help them, conscripting anyone willing to join their community, and enslaving anyone who wasn't.

    Anyways, once we had the intel, we used their own radio to call in a cargo truck. At gunpoint we had him say that they'd picked up a goodly load that couldn't be trusted to anyone but deputies. Then Bear broke his neck. I was a bit annoyed, after all, he was our prisoner and we didn't need to kill him. Bear's counter point was to ask what I'd have done if it was Kelly he'd taken his 'liberties' with. I wanted to say I'd put it up to a trial, but let's be honest, I'd have done a whole lot more to him than break his scrawny little chicken neck.

    Anyways, moving past that spot of nasty, After about 30 minutes we saw the truck. Seemed to be a standard cargo truck modified by painting a crude star on the door that only just failed to cover over the words 'Big Mikes Used Appliances'. I could see about half a dozen men riding in it, all armed. Fighting them would have been a bitch. Thankfully, we didn't have to. I let it get close, watching it through my binoculars, waiting for it to reach the final IED that my darling Kelly had so lovingly crafted. Then I blew it clear to hell.

    Now before you go on about me asking my pregnant wife to make fucking bombs, she just rigged up the radio detonators. Jake is the one who mixed up the bomb. Seems out little juvenile delinquent turned convict used to make homemade pipe bombs to blow up trees. It's surprising the things you can make out of common household chemicals, and since this area is covered in trees, well, some tree blasting could cause some real damage, especially when you consider how fucking huge the trees around here can get. Yes, I know I could have used my dynamite but I'm saving that for a rainy day.

    Anyways, it worked rather well. Almost serendipitously well actually. The tree fell on the hood, sheering off the cab and pretty much decapitating all of the passengers save one. Bear slit his throat. Believe me. I was a kindness. Thankfully though, baring its new convertible roof, the vehicle was almost entirely undamaged. A large truck is a valuable thing, don't cha know.

    I waited a few minutes and made my way to the radio and gave the sheriff a little call. He was pissed. He demanding to know who the fuck I was and what the fuck was going on. So I told him. Needless to say, he was less than pleased. Then I told him I told him who I was, I told him what I'd done, I told him where I was, and what I thought of him. He started cursing up a storm saying he'd end me, bring me to justice, and all that shit. Well, I mocked his rants, questioned his 'battlefield heroism', and in general made him look like a total asshole. He was livid, but not quite pissed off enough.

    Then I told him I was broadcasting the conversation to everyone within 50 miles. That's when he flipped his shit. His response was almost an inarticulate howl of rage, but I think it was when I played Uncle Fucker that he right and truly flipped his shit.

    It cost him his last bit of self control and sanity. He was humiliated and challenged directly, and he had to respond. His ego would allow nothing less. He ordered everyone he had available to come at me he wanted me fucking dead. He needed me dead to save face. And so began the last ride of the Light Brigade.

    Their last Truck and patrol car were sent after us, all laden with his most loyal men. They tore down the road like a bat out of hell, ready to cause hell, and right into the waiting minefield. What came next was anti-climatic.

    We managed to tag the sheriff's cruiser with an IED. A tree almost three foot wide crashed into the road right in front of him and he crashed into it going somewhere in the ballpark of 70. Poor bastard wasn't wearing his belt and was catapulted through the window like a rocket. At least most of him was. From the look of the body, he left his face back in the cab. I'm not sure if any of the others survived, but it didn't really matter.

    Only a moment after the tree fell, Roberta took a shot and blew the head off the truck driver. He rammed into the back of the police cruiser going at a full matching clip. That much force slamming into the rear of the car was enough to catastrophically breach the reactor and cause it to explode, which of course was enough to do the same to the Truck's engine, obliterating both vehicles, the tree, and putting a small crater in the road.

    What happened next was almost surreal. The radio turned on, it was Cyrus. He said he was assuming the mushroom cloud was 'Whitaker's final lament' and he actually congratulated us, his and I quote 'valiant foes'. He told us that we could have the town, and that by the time he arrived he and his loyal comrades who'd opted to stay behind to 'guard it' would be long gone.

    Now I'm in a bit of a pinch. Maybe it wasn't best judgment call, but I followed up and went into town. Now I'm about to talk to the locals. Many of them think I'm a not much more than a raider as the Sheriff has spent the last six months drilling "trust no outsiders" into their heads, while many see me as their liberator, and the rest just wonder who's going to protect them now.

    It's a bit of a pickle.

    Also, at this point, yes, my companions know about my origin, or at least the parts I can tell them without looking like a loon. In the close quarters we were in it was an impossible secret to keep.


    October 18, 2078

    I'm sorry I haven't been able to contact you guys, but its been a busy last couple months, getting ready for winter and bringing order to the chaos left in the wake of chaos that came after the death of the Sheriff and the bulk of his minions. Frankly I've barely had time to sleep.

    Cyrus left with about 6 men, all ex-cons. They took one of the vehicles and enough guns, food and ammo as they could carry while still having room for people. From what the locals told me he tore off North along I-90 like someone had set his ass on fire. If I had to guess, he's probably headed towards Washington, possibly Seattle. I don't think they're going to be much of a problem in the near future at least, but even if he's not directly, he knows far too much about this town for him not to be a liability.

    The small number of surviving deputies were put on trial. They were, for the most part, his least reliable men. The ones who either didn't buy into his bullshit entirely, maintained some level of personal ethics, or were just doing what they had to do to survive. Most the real bastards either ran or got blown up.

    Most. One of them though, one of the captures said he'd basically claimed his daughter as his new girl without bothering to ask her first. She denied it, even defended him, but just looking at her I knew something was up. Girl was young, and I mean 'Go to Jail' young, very pretty, had evidence of beatings both recent and long term, and while I'm no shrink, I'd like to think I can spot a case of Stockholm syndrome when I see one.

    After asking around for confirmation, we had us an old fashioned hanging. As far as I know he's still dangling from that street lamp. Sweet little thing, didn't deserve that shit. Even worse, he had the last laugh. Turns out the girl's pregnant.

    Makes me wish I'd crucified the bastard.

    Seems the sheriff encouraged his men to take what they need and want, within reason, and reason was what he deemed to be reasonable. Such as the example dangling above. Most of the group remaining kept it to mild thevery and asshole behavior. Still, they needed to be punished, if only keeping the freed refugees from lynching them.

    We paraded them down the street naked, in cold weather to the town square where they were flogged publicly to the hooting and hollering of the entire town, made it clear that if they made one more false move, it would be their asses.. It might sound brutal, but lets be honest, it's a brutal world out here and liabilities are too dangerous to let fester and in the end their worst injury was to their pride.

    The town itself also had to be dealt with. The numbers I had at first were low end. There's at least 200 of them, a disproportionate number of whom are children. Sadly, from the looks of things the Sheriff's paranoid delusions created a bit of a brain drain. It's not to say these folks don't have any skills, but the most of 'leaders' among them either were drafted into his service, and blown up by yours truly, or eliminated as threats. The only exception is the local pastor, who was a bit of a survivalist.

    Pastor Jacobs converted the basement of his church into a fallout shelter and stocked it well beyond the mandated level of supplies. When the bombs dropped he herded the daycare and as many locals as could be fit, placing the priority on the children. Out of the hundred plus townspeople who survived, he's directly responsible for the survival of about half. He's pretty much the only person who was able to question the sheriff and get away with it, mainly because if the Sheriff tried anything with him there would have been a revolt.

    A full third of the people were kidnapped refugees and travelers. On the whole I'd say they're more competent than the townsfolk, but also much less 'cooperative', which frankly I don't blame them for. While the Sheriff defended the locals from his men in most cases, barring those who questioned his authority, the refugees were basically kept as slave labor after having all their worldly goods taken. Still, with them I had the advantage that most of them looked upon me with a cautious optimism. I had, after all, killed the bastard who did this to them.

    That optimism grew even more after I forced the locals to return as many of their misbegotten goods as possible and forced them to hand over additional supplies in the form of reparations for their suffering. This caused a bit of an uproar among the locals, but the pastor spoke up for us on this one.

    In comparison, the townsfolk were pretty much resigned or even had been convinced what he was doing was necessary to survive as the man did have a shallow charisma. Some wanted me to take over as the new sheriff, others thought I was a raider. In general though, I pretty much made it clear I had no intention of picking up where asshat had left off.

    Lets be honest, I don't care about this town. I care about Kelly, I care about my unborn child, I care about Timmy, I care about my friends. This pack of sheeple on the other hand, I'm less than sympathetic. Now this isn't to say I don't understand where they were coming from. Change is scary, the nuclear war was scary, and Whitaker was very good at painting a nightmarish image of the outside world while spreading his paranoia like a disease, but the simple fact remains that they supported him. They stood by while their self-declared leader had bushwhacked all who came past, killing those who resisted, enslaving those who didn't, and stealing everything he could all so they could live some shallow parody of their prewar existence.

    Now, I was far more diplomatic than my actual opinion, but I did make it clear that I was not going to take over their town. I was not going to become their sheriff. I was not going to protect their community. I was going back to head back my little hole in the ground and protect me and mine. It wasn't anything against them, but I did make sure to point out that I believed the town to be a lost cause.

    That caused an uproar, but I made sure to clarify. The town was a lost cause, not the people. Anyone who wanted to join me could, but I was not going to babysit a bunch of dead weight who thought they could act like the bombs never fell. The illusion of normality had to go because it was never going to come back. The town had to be abandoned, it wasn't defensible enough. It was too large and badly underpopulated leaving it wide open to outside attack. The only choice was to settle in a more easily protected location that wasn't on every road map in the country that would allow us to establish proper defenses. Plus with Cyrus and his goons on the loose and knowing the layout of the town. Even if he couldn't take it back, there was probably some asshole who'd buy information out there. It wasn't safe.

    Simply put, adapt or die.

    The refugees quickly threw in behind this. They'd suffered too greatly to stay in this shithole of a town, and frankly most had been captured on the way to Yellowstone anyways. The Pastor also spoke up for the idea, and seemed to chime in with me, claiming that it was time to draw inspiration from the exodus and find a new promised land where their people could thrive.

    I have to thank the old man. He was able to convince all but a few holdouts to relocate. We talked after the night and over the past few months have become friends. Anyways, that first night we met, after the speech, he confronted me saying he was putting his trust in me to lead these people to the right place. He didn't think he had it in himself to lead them right, and had prayed to god for deliverance, and as far as he's concerned, my killing that son of a bitch was an act of divine judgement with my as His instrument.

    Beyond that, he admitted he was unsure, but was willing to put his faith in me and the belief that I'd do the right thing. All I could do was tell him that I'd do my best. According to him, as long as I proved to be a decent type, that was enough.

    He's a in his early 60s. Very kind and passionate, though he will admit to having been a troublemaker in his younger days. He seems to follow my lead a great deal, and while he does have leadership ability, he seems happy to let someone else do the decision making. I think all of this has put a great weight on his soul. He's thin, doesn't seem to eat well, and lacks the drive to do anything besides tend to his flock. I'm a little worried about him. Jacobs is a good man.

    Anyways, we spent the better part of two weeks stripping the town of anything of value. Supplies, equipment, parts, everything was all taken into the park. Roberta delivered by showing us a rather convenient area to colonize. It's off the main roads, and already was built up. It was a dual use area that had both rental cabins, on park housing for rangers and other personnel, as well as a small ranger station and gift shop/general store. Almost a prebuilt village really.

    Most of the occupants had fled into the on site shelters, but sadly the supplies ran out before the radiation. We buried the bodies and cleaned the place out. It was depressing having to bury 80 people like that, but at least we were able to give them last rights.

    Since then we've been building it up. We've cleared out a lot of brush and have constructed additional buildings and homes for everyone. The Ranger Station is serving as our new Town Hall. The RV's now parked out back with the garage serving as Kelly's personal temple to all things technological, though she now has the help of a surviving mechanic's assistant. The basement was cleaned out and is now serving as our temporary hospital. While there was a surviving nurse among the locals, Tom's still our go to man when it comes to medicine.

    Lucas serving as our de facto justice of the peace, though there was some reluctance at first due to his appearance. Thankfully, between Jacobs and I speaking up for him, they got over it. He's still wearing a mask, though he's updated it a bit. Now it is a flesh toned mask made out of a silk stocking, and he's taken to wearing an afro wig and a pair of Groucho Marx glasses over it. He claims he'd rather look silly than hideous. I don't blame him.

    Jake has shanghaied as much music as he could, laid claim to the transmission rig, and has set himself up as the operator and DJ of "Radio Free Yellowstone". He also refuses to return the bike. As annoying as I find that, he's proven to be reliable, and for better or worse has become the leader of the local teenagers. To them, he stood up to the man, rode into town victoriously on his bike with a pompadour haircut, a black leather jacket, and a pair of wicked sunglasses looking like some 1950s greaser stereotype... and now runs the local radio station. He might as well be God.

    We're using the gift shop as our store. Most of our perishable supplies are kept in the basement, and while I work mostly out of my office in the Ranger Station, I also help manage the store thanks to my experience. While eventually I hope to make it an actual merchant shop, right now its simply a way to control our supplies by placing them in a single, centralized location. Food is tight and until the radiation levels in the soil die down to safe levels, we can't farm.

    We're building additional buildings for housing and the hospital. The first built was the new church. Everyone insisted. We basically stripped out the old one and built a large log building with a bell tower. It's pretty nice in a rustic sort of way. We're also working on a palisade around the grounds for added protection. I don't know what a mutant Brown Bear would look like, but when you consider that Black Bears turned into the nastiest thing this side of a Deathclaw, so I'm not about to take risks when it comes to their bigger, stronger, more temperamental cousins.

    Roberta's gone. She'll be back soon, I hope. She said she wanted to go home if only to find and bury her family. We lent her the Ranger jeep and enough food and ammunition to get back. Bear volunteered to accompany her. He claimed that this is shit that he wouldn't want anyone to go through alone, I'm needed to keep the town from falling apart, and frankly he said he would be better utilized making sure she came home alive.

    Kelly's doing very well, and her pregnancy is doing well. She's getting moody though, but that's part of the territory. She's very happy to have people around again. While we enjoyed the time alone, we both agree its good to be part of the world again. Well, a world again. She even found a robot again. Sadly she found a General Aromics FF2K Juice Bot... a failed design that has become almost a legend in the robotics community. She considers it almost her personal mascot. I consider it a vile little menace.

    The cat breeding program is doing well too. We now have a couple more cats for the program, and the first "modified" generation has been born. They're all pretty clever and very physically powerful, though we've had to put down a couple kittens due to their aggression levels. We're going to see it the traits breed true and continue using the drug stockpile as well as add new blood to the mix. Hopefully we'll see progress before the giant rats show up.

    Besides that, everything is going well. If you have any questions ask. Ideas are of course, always welcome.

    I've got to go. That little monster of Kelly's is trying to get into the canned fruit again.


    November 23, 2078

    I can't believe it. I'm a father. Last night, Kelly went into labor and now I'm the father of a the most beautiful baby girl on the planet. I can't believe it. It's just all so much to take in. I have to sit down. I have to make this work because I'm doing it for her now, not me.

    Just wow.

    [​IMG]

    Isn't she beautiful?

    Anyways, Kelly would like to say something to you.

    Hi. It's Kelly here. God I'm tired. Happy but tired. I just want to say again, thanks for everything. I think most of you are really weird, and possibly clinically insane in some cases, but you've been here for us and that means a lot. With all we've been through it means so much to both of us to have so many people so far away rooting for us, praying for us, hoping for us. In those first days it kept us from losing ourselves in the enormity of what we had to deal with.

    We'd like to ask your help in a very very important task. We'd like suggestions as to what to name our daughter. We have a couple ideas, but after everything, we think you deserve at least a chance to give us some suggestions.

    Alright? Giving this back to my husband now. It's hard to type on this thing while holding a baby, my baby, and there are not words to describe how tired I am right now. Good night, everyone.

    Hi. Me again.

    I could go on all night but I need to get you up to date and answer some questions.

    Roberta's back, and miraculously one of her children survived the attack along with her kid sister, Rose. Her sister lived with her parents and they were babysitting her daughter when the bombs struck. Her son was at school, and her husband at work. They didn't survive. According to Bear they found both the bodies. The husband was killed in the attack, the son, he suggested it was best not to ask. Considering that most schools have civil defense shelters, and that the shelters proved to have insufficient supplies, I think I know what happened and I really wish she didn't have to see that.

    What happened to her parents was very sad. They had a basic shelter in their basement, one of those home kits that they sold before the attack I have a copy of the catalog on Holodisc from when I was doing research. It's pretty interesting stuff. If you want I can post a copy up.

    *FILE*
    E-Z Form Individual Survival Home (EZFISH) Owners Manual
    *FILE*

    Well, back on topic, away from my disrespectful tangent, along with their child and grandchild, they both made it to the shelter, but her mother died of a heart attack soon after from the stress. The father survived, but but when it became clear that there was not enough food and water for everyone, he decided "to go out for a stroll". I know its a grim thing to say, but I can't help but admire his courage. It's one thing to make a snap decision while staring down an exploding hydrogen bomb. It's another to decide, after soul searching and personal discussion to give up your life so your loved ones can survive. I hope I can prove to be half the father he did.

    Now I'm not going to judge, as I understand why she did and I would have done the same, she and bear came home with another 50 mouths to feed, all survivors from her home town. That brings us to 250, and stretches our supplies and housing to the limit. Thankfully, Roberta had them strip as many supplies from the town as they could before moving out. Otherwise I'd have had to cut our already thin rations. At the moment I think I have enough for 6 months. 6 months food for 250 people. That's a lot of food and it makes you painfully aware of how difficult it is to survive.

    Still, housing is proving to be a problem. We are a bit tight before, but now its even more problematic. Even with the log cabins we were able to erect, we still have little in the way of privacy. To make matters worse, far too many people are living in cabins not designed for winter habitation, or even worse, canvas tents. At least we have an abundance of firewood, being in the middle of a fucking forrest and all.

    The palisade we're constructing is basically two wooden log fences placed about three foot apart, one 15ft high, the other 11 foot high, with the area in between filled with with earth and the posts buried 3ft deep. Right now we haven't done much more than plot it out, as housing is our top priority. Water and power aren't much of a problem either. There's a well here, and the ranger station has a small geothermal heat-pump/power generator. Combine that with the camper's fission reactor, and as long as we don't waste power we can generate enough power to handle the necessities.

    We also have been scouting the park for anything of value and have an entire building full of salvage we need to sort and decontaminate.

    I've had more time to take stock of the expertise of my people and thankfully there are a couple farmers. I let them take a look at my seed back and have talked to them about the possibility. I don't have enough seed to feed everyone but assuming we can find new soil, we can start growing in the spring. It won't be enough to feed everyone, and we'll have to save it all for seed, but we'll be able to farm enough to feed everyone the next year. According to some of the manuals they were able to provide, by next year the soil will be safe, especially if we scrape off the first 2-6 inches and are careful about what we plant where.

    That said, these are the same manuals that said the fallout would only last a couple weeks and not 3 fucking months with spots of glowing green radioactive snow. Goddamned B-movie physics. Still, we're going to run out of canned food eventually and we'll need to have something to eat.

    We don't have an Autodoc. Actually, let me correct that. We don't have a WORKING Autodoc. We found one in the main in park clinic, but some of its parts were burned out by the EMP of the attack. To make matters worse, the area we found it in is pretty close to ground zero, which means the only one of us who can comfortably enter and look for parts is Lucas, or me if I'm willing to see if I have more than one Regeneration. Uncomfortably, we could do a run using Rad-X and our Radiation suits, but frankly we don't have an endlessly supply and with winter here, its not like we'd be able to access it without a snowmobile or a long overland trek straight into the mouth of hell.

    Finally, we now have a robot besides the Fruit Fucker. Roberta brought a damaged Mr. Handy with her. He's not working yet, but at least Kelly's got a project besides the baby.


    December 20, 2078

    Happy Holidays everyone.

    Kelly and I decided to go with Hope. I'll admit, it was what we were probably going to use anyways, but we thought you guys deserved your say. It vindicated us a bit to have someone agree.

    Hope is doing just fine and Kelly's recovering from her pregnancy nicely. We have a lot of work to do, and she refuses to stay idle. She'd like me to ask you guys to put up a workout regimen to help lose the baby weight.

    The snows pretty thick but we've avoided any deaths for exposure thus far, though I'm ashamed to say we have lost a couple people. We've had a couple deaths from natural causes, as this is especially hard on the elderly, there were three suicides among people who just couldn't handle abandoning the illusion of normalcy, one accident, and one execution.

    The accident, the chain broken on one of our chainsaws. It was touch and go for a while, but sadly it ended with go. Sad too. I never told you about him, but he was a good man, not very creative but a hard worker, the kind of guy you could depend on to be there when you needed him for as long as you needed him, without hesitation or complaint. His name was Jamie Thomas, and he'll be missed.

    The execution was one of Roberta's refugees. If I have to credit Sheriff Whitaker with one thing, he managed to clear out most of the scumbags from his own motley band, either by shooting them in the head or inducting them as deputies, and we know what happened to the deputies. Killed a lot of good people too, but at least the ones who were left are for the most part peaceable, hard working folk and not scumbags. Roberta's town didn't have that kind of selective force and has proven to be the source of several troublemakers, which has caused its own problems by encouraging Xenophobia among the townsfolk.

    We're caught three people trying to steal food, two of whom were from her town, the other was one of the original band of captured refugees. None of them were able to run off with anything as I keep the supplies under tight watch. They were forced to publicly apologize and assigned additional labor duty. Some people demanded they be flogged, but I don't like using corporal punishment and to be honest, all that would do is give us more injured people to care for. Still, public humiliation can be worse than physical pain.

    We also had a rape. Idiot managed to brew himself some Pruno, got all liquored up, and didn't like the way one of the girls was looking at him. He decided to 'show her her place'. Caught the fucker in the act. Pastor gave a rather impassioned speech arguing for mercy, but we had all agreed rape was a hanging offense and the only way we could have had more solid evidence would have been a holodisc recording. I did however, meet him halfway. Instead of hanging him, we shot him in the back of the head. It was quick, relatively painless, and probably better than he deserved. I'll admit my main motivator wasn't mercy, but to spare us the drama that comes with a hanging. Far too many wasted calories.

    I'm functionally a dictator, and I mean that in the Roman Republican sense of an official with functionally absolute power ruling for the duration of an emergency. I will admit, things are run in a pretty communistic manner right now, though I'd never use the phrase. I do catch some flak over it, but I've argued pretty effectively that we're operating on a limited supply of food and until we're able to produce our own, the supply has to be tightly controlled to ensure no one starves to death. Once we can grow our own food and have established basic defenses, we can start switching over to a more free market system, and once we do that we can start easing off into a more democratic system.

    I don't get much more than gripping though, because I keep things running smoothly and listen to everyone even if I don't use their ideas, and will allow myself to be swayed by popular opinion. I generally operate by the five freedom's principle. You have the right to speak your mind, you have the right to believe as you will, you have the right to a fair share, you have the right to personal security, and you have the right to protect yourself. In general it's seen as a necessary evil, something I openly agree with, but compared to the Sheriff, I'm pretty much a paragon of virtue, so noone has any real complaints.

    I tend to focus on the logistics and delegate the day to day legal stuff to Lucas who's pretty strict, but fair when handing out punishments and rather reasonable when arbitrating disputes. I keep out of people's lives for the most part, and generally take the stance that you can do what you want as long as nobody else gets hurt and you're willing to take responsibility for your actions. I am however rationing the alcohol supply and an encouraging people to, if not abstain from sex, then at least try and take basic steps to avoid pregnancy.

    That might sound hypocritical coming from a new father, but Hope was conceived while we were sitting pretty, alone in our cave with over a year and a half of supplies for the two of us. It was a different situation altogether.

    Our septic system is currently a half dozen of large outhouses with multiple stalls. They're not going to last forever but for the moment, it's the best we can manage. They're located well away from the well to avoid contamination, and I made sure the pits were dug deep and they're designed so eventually they'll be able to be a source of compost. We use wood ash to promote decomposition and its well vented to prevent a stench, and both have wood stoves installed to keep them warm. Believe me, nothing is worse than having to sit your candy ass on a frozen plastic toilet seat at night in zero degree weather to take a fucking dump.

    We installed the stoves the next morning.

    As for the local Brewer/Pot Grower guy, you're lookin' at him. I met some very... 'interesting' people in the YPCA and have enough info and hash seed to start a grow op that could get half of a southern California hippie commune completely baked. As for booze, before I got stuck here, I used make my own wine. I also picked up supplies for brewing and distilling so I think I'm set for my next job, once I retire from the whole Dictatorial Overlord gig.

    I'm in the central part of the Park, within eyeshot of the lake. The locations are not the same as on that map though. Seems they developed it a bit different in this world.

    Kelly's almost finished restoring the the Mr. Handy, though we're still short on some for what an Autodoc is, its basically an emergency diagnostic and treatment robot. They're highly effective tools, but they work best under the direction of a doctor who knows what he's doing.

    She also finally acquiesced and reprogrammed the Fruit Fucker to make him more controllable. I got almost a whole day's piece because the next morning someone drug in a toaster next. And not any toaster, but a talking toaster, a Talky Toaster, straight out of Red Dwarf, 'Howdy Doodly Do' and all! Why, why God? Why oh Lord does thou torment me so?

    [​IMG]

    Behold, proof that there is no loving god.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
  2. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Connoisseur.

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    March 15, 2079

    Well, it's been awhile since I communicated with all of you, reason being that the winter is really boring. It's pretty much sit on your ass and huddle around the stove time. The snow here simply gets too thick to do much of anything, but with the spring thaw finally upon us we can go out and start doing... well... stuff again. That means more looting of the area and the eternal quest for food.

    We're going to start skimming the soil as well to try and get up the worst of the fallout. And yes, its only the first few inches. 12 feet is well below the topsoil layer. Go that deep and the most you can do with what you find is make pottery.

    I wish I'd thought to bring some chickens, but I don't think they went extinct after the bombs. If you play Fallout 2 there's a reference to chicken eggs, and as that takes place in 160 odd years, I'm pretty sure the species survived. Was also a mention of cats, but they mentioned they ate it. I'm not subjecting my kitties to that no matter what. Felines are not a food source! And frankly with how smart these cats are proving to be, I think in a couple generations they might stage an assassination attempt if anyone tried it.

    Speaking of the cats, I did a second run experiment to see how true they bred. It was beyond all expectations. As soon as they were able I had one of the souped up males breed with a pair of unrelated females we got from the town. One pair were enhanced. The second left to go to term naturally.

    The kittens were born recently and in the control, the mutations seem to be both permanent and dominate. The kittens were pretty much the image of their father at their age. In the one we experimented on, the kittens were larger than an average feline their age, and had a notably greater cranial volume than an average cat. It's not enough to see at a glance, but at close examination the back of their head is at least 25% larger than a common feline their age.

    Now that we know it breeds true, we've impregnated the rest of the of-age females by the post-modification males and are feeding them a steady diet of mentats and buff-out. The Buffout supply will run out before the Mentats, but I consider intelligence and adaptability to be more important than pure brute strength. I still have a couple crates of the shit I stole from my old job, so no worries.

    While I didn't let off that I'm from another world to anyone but the people already in the know, I've been showing them some "strange songs and movies I picked up". Honestly, I already have Pastor Jacobs saying I was sent by God to free them and lead them to a promised land, I don't need to give them more excuses to kiss my ass. God forbid if I'm forced to Regenerate.

    Roberta and Jim are officially an item now. Her daughter, Gina is getting along very well with Dawn and Elizabeth. She's gotten past the Replacement Goldfish stage with Timmy, but that doesn't mean they're not close. By now she's functionally adopted him. Poor kid still has his superhero obsession. He's taken to nicknaming our original group "The Avengers" and the way he talks about the defeat of the Sheriff, you'd think it was an epic superhero battle.

    I've convinced Roberta to take up the role of town Ranger. We're not using Sheriff because the phrase is tainted. They're being careful, but I have a feeling we're going to be dealing with another baby sooner than later.

    Kinda sucks for me because I'm hoping to delegate every scrap of authority I can before stepping down from power. That might seem odd to you guys, but frankly leading the town is too damned much responsibility. All I really want to do is sit back, relax, enjoy myself a bit, raise my daughter, and spend time my wife. What can I say, I'm lazy.

    I've ordered the construction of a library with an attached school to house the many books we've collected, along with copies of all my Holodics. We have a lot of kids here, and thankfully a couple of the women used to be teachers. They've been trying to handle education but its been rough. They need a dedicated building and I intend to provide.

    With the snow gone, we're starting to work on the palisade and more houses as well. Soon we'll be able to put the tents into storage, and those that don't go into storage due to damage will be used for bulk canvas.

    I already have a location in mind for my future winery/brewery/still but until we can produce safe fruit and grain.

    Jake is to convince Kelly to help him get more of bikes we found working. He and the youths are trying to found their own motorcycle gang. Personally I'm not sure. He's a good kid, and I trust them, but he can be a bit of a pain in the ass if you let him run too wild. Probably how he got in trouble to begin with.

    As for his situation when they escaped, he was being transported across state and they were detained for the night at a small county jail south of the park. After it was safe to travel he started towards Yellowstone thinking there might be food and shelter to be found away from the bulk of survivors.

    Bear's grown a small following, especially among the formerly enslaved refugees. They're pretty much operating along the lines of 'never again' and tend to be a bit more aggressively paranoid than is entirely healthy. Not that I blame them, but they listen to me well enough that they're not going to start any shit with anyone before asking first. They're planning to do a recon in force deeper into the park and surrounding areas. They've even convinced Lucas to look into some of the areas where the radiation levels are still too high for anyone else to check without full radiation gear. Personally, I'm interested in finding Autodoc parts and seeing if there's was anything of value at Ground Zero.

    Hopefully before summer's out we'll have completely explored the Park and stripped it of anything of value.

    Hope's growing like a weed and Kelly's doing fine. I managed to convince her to keep her damned Toaster and the Juice Bot in her workshop. She's also lost the baby weight and damn is she lookin' fine. After spending so much time together, its a bit odd having so many people around, but we're dealing with it comfortably. Sometimes though, I'm wondering, once we're done and have these people going, should we just pack up the RV and go back to our cave where everything was peaceful and private.


    June 23, 2079

    It's been an interesting last few months. I know its been a while, but I've been kept extremely busy. The incessant insects are a pain in the ass, construction is constantly ongoing, and in general I'm doing my best to keep everyone occupied. I'm pretty sure that barring any more unexpected new arrivals we'll have housing for everyone by the end of the season.

    We've been exploring pretty heavily and I think we've just about searched out the park. We're still sorting through all the shit we've assembled, but things are looking up. We've got enough ammunition to last us for a good while and enough weapons to put up a fight that few people would like to face. Even more importantly, we've found food. Lots and lots of food.

    Several of the on-park hotels were extremely well stocked with canned goods, and we found an abandoned ranch about 2 hours north of us. The animals are obviously all dead or missing, and even if they weren't they'd probably be inedible. The farmer had obviously been stocking up on feed for the winter months when they couldn't graze. We found a 5,000 bushel grain bin filled with corn. That's a bin the size of a small house, filled to the brim with corn. So much much corn you can swim in it, corn that was in a giant water tight metal can, protected from the effects of radioactive fallout!

    We did the math. It has about 5000 bushels. That is, give or take, about one hundred fifty tons of Corn. I'm going to check out, see if there are any more grain silos about, but with that much corn, we're good for a I'm still going to have to ration our canned meats and vegetables, carbohydrates are no longer an immediate concern for us. By the time the corn runs out, we're going to have have our own farms up and running to supply us with what we need to survive.

    I simply can't articulate the joy I'm feeling right now. You, sitting at home on your computer, fat and happy able to walk across the street and buy a burger, you have no idea what it is like to look out at the world around you, and to know everything is poisoned and ask yourself what the hell are you going to feed your family once you run out of canned goods. What the hell are you going to feed the two hundred and fifty other people who are depending on you? Now I know, and for the first time since I took this job, I've been able to sleep peacefully at night.

    We've moved a couple semi-trailers into the perimeter and are converting them into silos. Really, I don't understand why we didn't do this sooner, and there's talk about pulling as many off the road as possible, along with literally stealing as many of the local trailer parks as we can to save time and construction.

    We're moving the corn like a military operation. Armed guards around the silos, armed escorts with the transport vehicles. Constant vigilance. By the beginning of June we should have it all secured and ready.

    Food wasn't our only find. I now know what they nuked in the center of the park. There was a deep borehole operation run by the United States Geological Survey to investigate the caldera. It seems like they were hoping that they'd somehow be able to set off the vulcano by nuking it. Sights now a large, round, bubbling hot spring that glows green at night. According to him, with the steam from the spring and the glow of the crater, its really quite breathtaking. Personally, I think I'll pass.

    We've also discovered we're not alone in the area.

    There's two others groups in the general area, though not in the park itself. One are your generic band of paranoid survivalists. Honestly we only found out about them due to the warning shot. They're a group of maybe five or six families who banded together to prep for the war, and when it came, they were ready. They're well armed, well stocked, and well fortified. The fact that they gave a warning shot is evidence enough that they're not bad people, they're just afraid. Afraid that someone might swoop down and take everything they have left. I can't blame them, not really. It was that same fear that lead me to kill the sheriff and in essence conquer an entire community.

    The most I can do is try and show them that we're not planning on hurting them, that maybe we can work together, that maybe we can be friends.

    The second are also a survivalist group, but rather than a pure focus on family survival, they were members of a group that called themselves the Americaneers. They believed that the war was inevitable, that America would fall in fire, and that it would be up to the people, not the government and not the Vaults to rebuild a new America, one that learned the lessons of the past and took them to heart, one founded in the American Dream and not the interests of the wealthy.

    Or at least that's what they told me. They're a reasonable bunch, but very cautious. Their leader introduced himself as James Thomas Masterson the Third, Master Sergeant United States Marine Corps, Retired. Had the official haircut and everything. Proud man, and he and Bear got along almost frighteningly well.

    He was polite but reserved. He complimented me on taking out the sheriff, but have expressed concerns about the fact that I seem to have dictatorial control over the town. Seems they're in range of Radio Free Yellowstone and have been tuning in.

    I explained that it was only temporary and that as soon as we were able to support ourselves, I'd happily retire from the whole authoritarian leader gig. He replied that he knew, that they'd gathered as much from listening to Jake talk, and that if they'd thought I was some bloody handed tyrant, they'd have put a bullet in my head the moment I showed up.

    Still, they claimed they'd wait and see. They were willing to give me the benefit of the doubt, but they see if I was a Cincinnatus or a Caesar, a Washington or a Napoleon, before they committed to anything. Sounded reasonable enough, so I didn't complain. I'd probably have my doubts too.

    Managed to set up some trade, and some light contact, but they're pretty private. Honestly, if I had to describe them, they're a semi-isolationist pseudo-libertarian survivalist militia group. They were more prepared for the end than most, both in supplies and emotionally, and see it as their patriotic duty to help rebuild American civilization. While I don't really have any definitive numbers, I'd say there's probably about 100 of them, give or take. All in all, not the worst neighbors you could ask for, and they seem reasonable enough.

    If I make another Silo find I think I'm going to contact both groups and offer them a cut. We're not going to have much room for more, and it'll go a long way to establishing good will.

    Our final contact was about three weeks ago, a nomadic group passed through looking for a place to settle. Their leader was a woman named Helen. She's in her late 30s, maybe 40, though the stress of the past couple years has prematurely aged her. She's a gentle woman with a courageous heart, but she's tired, so very tired. They all were, even the children.

    When we confronted her, she was defensive and obviously armed, but at the same time passive, like she just wanted to shrink away and avoid any conflict. Like she'd been hurt too many times and just wanted to find a safe place to hide. She seemed dumbfounded when I ordered tables set up and a meal brought with enough for everyone.

    She said they were from Chicago and were headed for the coast. Claimed that the city was a nightmare. Took a direct hit, but enough people survived that it was a very dangerous place. Starvation, theft, rape, murder, and disease. These things were the stuff of daily life. She said they said they'd been traveling for almost a year, looking for a new place to call home, one where there was food and water, where they could find a safe place for them and their children. They said that everywhere they'd looked, either the land was tainted, there wasn't enough to survive, or there was already someone there looking to rob them, kill them, or run them off to get rid of the competition.

    She said that while others had given them supplies, we were one of the few groups that didn't meet them with outright paranoia or hostility. Still, she swore they'd only stay for a couple days, to rest up and charge their vehicles, and once they'd finished they wouldn't bother us ever again. It was a sad thing to look at, these people'd seen so much and no matter how hopeless things were, they held onto the ideal that maybe they'd find their new home just over the next corner. From the look of them, I knew they were telling me the truth. There's some things you can't fake. Against my better judgement, I did the right thing, the only humanthing.

    I just smiled, clapped the her on the shoulder, looked her dead in the eyes, and said 'Welcome Home'. She cried. I cried. There was much crying, much hugging, and thanks going about... and me giving the signal for the snipers to stand down.

    What? Do I look like an idiot? I'm a nice guy, but that's no reason to leave yourself open to a knife in the back. Of course there were snipers!

    At the time I was wondering how the hell I'd feed 45 new mouths, but in retrospect it was the best decision I could have made. Without them we'd never have been able to salvage the silo. Hell, without them we never would have even found it. It was their vehicles that allowed us to double up on the scouting detail. Its almost like the Silo was some gift from Providence rewarding us for doing the right thing, for choosing altruism over selfish expedience. Or at least that's what the Pastor says.

    Either way, they've proven to be the most dedicated citizens we have. They're willing to work twice as hard, for twice as long as anyone else without complaint simply to show that they're not just freeloaders who are preying on our sympathy, but instead that they deserve the chance to make a home. Honestly, if this all turned sour and I had to leave here tomorrow, they're the ones I'd ask them to come with me.

    Helen's throwing her back into it too. Back in Chicago she was poet, a musician, and singer who volunteered to help manage a community theater. She convinced me to build us a theater. She said its a good place for us to bond as a community, to express ourselves, look beyond the trials of daily life, and it would double as a pretty decent forum for debate and a platform for speeches. I agreed. She was so delighted she literally squealed when I told her we had equipment for playing movies and music in storage. We both agreed that it was critical that people didn't forget the way things used to be, and that our children learn that it can get better than this.

    I swear, if she was younger and I wasn't madly in love with my wife... and as terrifying as it sounds, I think Bear is sweet on her, and even more frightening, I think she returns the feelings. She's everything he's not. He's cold and antisocial, she's well spoken and friendly, he's hard edged and paranoid, she's nice and friendly. They're the exact opposite, and I think that's why he likes her. No matter everything she's seen, had to deal with, she never lost the basic spark of human decency, the ideal that no matter how bad things get, that if you are willing to keep going, things will get better. Still, I hope them the best of luck.

    On the subject of romance, Jim and Roberta have officially married. I hope they're happy together, but I've outright told them, more liked begged them, to wait before starting a family. I don't know how I'd keep things in order without her, and if she gets pregnant now... it would be difficult for me, which would make it difficult for everyone. Roberta laughed, and thank God, said she had no intention until everything was safe and sound.

    Jake and Liz are also effectively a couple, as much as it annoys both Roberta and Jim. Still, we're clear that there better be no goings on between them until she's 16. To underscore my point, I borrowed Willow's Shovel speech from Buffy. Bear thought it was very eloquent.

    Kelly's worked her magic, and thanks to her mad skillz, the Mr. Handy is back online, and thanks to the parts were were able to salvage she managed to repair the Autodoc. I wish I had more time to spend with her, but with her keeping everything mechanical running and training assistants, me having to supervise the town and play diplomat, and Hope requiring constant parental attention, we're barely able to sleep as much as spend time with each other. It's hard, but necessary.

    My little girl's getting big. Almost 9 months old now. She's crawling all about and already trying to stand up on her own. She even said her first word. Dada. She said Dada. I was her first word. Hope and Kelly. They're the ones who make all of this bullshit worthwhile. I honestly don't know how I could live without them.

    If there's anything else you want to know about, just ask.


    August 17, 2079

    I'm so happy right now. For the first time, in almost two years, I've had my first taste of fresh meat. Glorious, wonderful, exceptional, tasty meat. I've never been a vegetables man, or a grains man for that matter, I've always been a meat person. Before I came here I had what you could almost call a carnivorous diet. Being this long with real meat was hell on earth. I'd almost forgotten how wonderful it was, but now, oh you have no idea how wonderful it was.

    But let me get to the beginning, to where said meat came from. Over the past couple months I've had our people searching pretty strongly for ranches with intact grain supplies. We found a couple that were tainted, rotten, or empty, but about two weeks ago we finally hit paydirt. We found a ranch that had about 3500 or so bushels in its bins. Not as much as we found the first time, but well enough to top off our own storage containers, which we'd converted from semi-trailers, and then some.

    As a symbol of friendship I send messages to the survivalists colony and the Americaneers informing them of my find and offering to share the wealth with them. They both responded cautiously but in a positive manner. I arranged to personally take a representative from each group to see it, and naturally they were pretty shocked at what they saw. Even after we'd taken our fill, about 1000 bushels, where was still 2500 to split between them, an offering given in the name of friendship.

    I could have simply resealed the silo and left it there until we needed it again, but I didn't, and that meant a good deal. Over the past week we've been helping them fill their stocks with corn, and the benefits to my town are pretty strong.

    The Americaneers have a large collection of educational holotapes that dwarfs mine. I had 3 months to prepare and a limited budget. They've been preparing for the better part of a decade and had the combined wealth of a number of dedicated survivalists to fall back on. I was however able to negotiate an exchange. I was sure to raid every bookshelf in town before we abandoned it, along the theory of no book, or serviable form of media, gets left behind. I love books and nothing is more important to me than the written word. While they were rich in Holodisc technical manuals, they were short on pure entertainment, something which I had an abundance of.

    We traded a copy of their entire library for copies of my entire library, and copies of any novels that I had spares of, which probably amounts to be well over a thousand volumes. That might sound like a lot but considering I now had at least 500 in depth volumes on a vast array of subjects on my pipboy.

    The survivalists were a community group really, formed as an emergency fallback plan they'd hoped to never use. They were well prepared but not quite prepared enough in some of the more long rage aspects of survival. This isn't to say they would have died out, but they'd probably had to eventually go tribal.

    What they were, and are though, is something I thought was impossible. They're almost entirely self-sufficient in the line of food. While they had plenty of canned goods, and a small mountain of grain, they've had a greenhouse and a tilapia pond set up in their bug out shelter from moment one, along with ducks and chickens.

    They way they ran it was ingenious. They grow duckweed, which is in turn eaten by their fish and fowl, which is in turn eaten, while the animal crap is dumped back into into the pond to grow more duckweed. They also use the nutrient rich water to water their crops. The only outside input is the feed that they give the chickens.

    The rest of their biological waste, including sewage was composted for soil.

    Naturally, they're pretty damned proud of their setup. They gave us some chickens, in thanks for the gift, along with the real prize. One of the older women said I was a sweet boy, and cooked up a beautiful herb roasted rooster for me to share with my wife... our little secret.

    I know it was selfish, but we keep it to ourselves. It was so good it makes me want to cry. Kelly said I was a bad, bad man for not sharing, but honestly, I think she was just trying to guilt me into giving her my drumstick. Didn't work.

    Anyways, I'm in talks with them about getting their help to set up my own pond. I already have some folks digging it, and we're traveling back into town to nab glass, bricks, and any unspoiled bags of cement we can find to serve as the lining. Gonna have to replan the palisade a bit though to fit it, but still, well worth it. If we can use this shortcut, we'll be able to start producing our own food by fall. Duckweed is edible, nutritious, and very high in protein, while fowl and fish are a source of meat, glorious meat, and fresh eggs.

    From the sound of it, we're going to have to trade more books and possibly one of our vehicles, but they're willing to put in the effort to help us set up. At this rate I'll be able to retire from the whole Dictatorial Overlord position sooner than expected. I'm not going to miss it at all. Any suggestions for counter offers would be appreciated.

    That 2500 bushels of grain bought me something worth more than a fully stocked, Vault, the good will of my neighbors. We're talking now, and showing more trust. Pastor's even started visiting the to attend to attend to their spiritual needs. Just three days ago, he baptized a child in the survivalist camp.

    This, along with Helen's viewing of a bad post apocalyptic movie, has encouraged her to argue that we need a stronger line of communication. She wants us to set up a weekly postal run. She said that the Postman's daughter was right at the end, and communication facilitates the growth of community. Even though she claims to be an agnostic, she supports the Pastor's activities 100% and is trying to get him to encourage people to take the trip to visit the church one Sunday a month. She also wants to start putting on plays and show movies on Sunday night. She wants to make our little town the local cultural hub.

    I think its a good idea, not only does it create bonds, but we could also become the local trade station as well. I'm thinking of appointing her our official ambassador. Considering her relationship with Bear, they're pretty much the perfect mix of "Speak Softly" and "Big Stick" a man could hope for. Doesn't hurt that they're officially an item now. I pity the poor bastard who tries to do that woman harm. Their death would be long and colorful.

    Jake's radio station is growing more popular too, as is his little gang. The station I like. He's started letting others DJ, allowing them to pretty much run it 24/7. He also has agreed to give up Sunday morning to the pastor, to let him broadcast his even was able to convince him to give her a couple hours each night to put on something cultural. I think the two of them are getting along well. She says he's a sweet young man, but a bit misguided. I think she like taking in strays.

    The gang of young people forming around him though, I'm not entirely comfortable with. He's an escaped con who's showing them the ropes as he knows them. I can see some benefits and while they're acting like, well, a bunch of rowdy teenagers they're keeping generally in control. The problem is that I'm not exactly sure they'll stay that way.

    Jake is loyal to me personally and to the core members of our original group, but I'm not sure if he feels that way about the entire community. Over the past months I found out he had a less than stellar childhood to put it gently. He's distrustful of authority, especially hard force. Helen was able to get through to him, because frankly the woman's almost the physical incarnation of soft force. She has a talent for getting under your skin and appealing to you on an emotional level. Give them a couple more months and she'll be calling him nephew. I'm about the closest thing to a traditional authority figure he'll willingly give the time of day, the reason being I literally plucked his ass out of the post-apocalyptic wasteland, and I'm not the type to simply give commands, I explain my views and reasons for carrying them.

    Well, maybe that's not exactly fair. He listens to Bear too. Honestly he's seems to gravitate somewhere between "Awe" and "Terror" when Bear's around. Then again, that's less respecting the man as an authority, and more the kind of primal deference you have for someone who's both extremely cool, and could unscrew your head like like the lid of a peanut butter jar.

    Any way you look at it though, I need to take steps to ensure that he remains the troubled, but generally good natured young man that he's become, and not a pain in the ass rebel without a cause. I'm open to suggestions, but nothing too harsh. He's become like a kid brother to me, and I don't want to betray his trust or see him hurt. Far too many of the authority figures in his life have done just that, and I refuse to add to that list.

    On a happier note, we now have enough housing for everyone. We've built several dozen small log cabins and towed in almost 30 mobile homes of various sizes. Not a lot of room to be honest, but enough that every family has some space. Some have asked to keep their tents to use as a collapsible additions, and barring any emergencies I've decided to honor their requests.

    The cat breeding experiment is doing well. The first generation of modified kitten has pretty much reached full maturity. They're huge, easily the size of a fully fledged Maine coon and are extremely smart, and I mean lassie smart. The second half-blooded test generation are proving to be even smarter still. In a couple more generations I think we'll be looking at something the size of a mid size dog, with the power and strength of a wildcat, and primate level intelligence. As you can guess, I'm carefully breeding for loyal and affectionate nature.

    That said, I'm not culling those who don't meet the standard. Not being born perfect is no crime, and even those who aren't are still good cats. Thankfully we have a vet on staff who can fix them. I only put down the ones that prove to be too aggressive to trust.

    As for dogs, we have a number of them. Kelly's dog, for example, is a pit bull named Buttercup. She's a good dog. We're discouraging their breeding as we don't need the extra mouths, but we're not outright fixing them all since once live recovers from the attack they'll be needed. I expect the smaller breeds to die out, and for their to be a general increase in intelligence over the next 20 years. Darwin was far kinder to the dog than to the cat.


    November 11, 2079

    Fuck me and fuck my life. Seriously. I'm serious. Very serious. There is much serious going on here. There was a rader attack a couple days ago, a bad one. There were only about a dozen of them and they weren't too well equipped personally, but they had some really nasty shit that evened the odds, and they caught us at exactly the worst possible moment They had a goddamned dump truck, a big one. One of those offroad jobbers they use in mining sites to haul out rocks and they armored it up to use as a fucking APC.

    They came from the north and hit us not long after sundown. I had checkpoints set up along the road, with radios for contact but they were overrun, or rather, run over with barely a moment's warning. The only reason why we knew at all was one of the lookouts managed to hold on long enough

    We mobilized everyone who could carry a gun and manned the palisade but it didn't mean shit. Their truck towered more than a dozen feet off the ground. They just plowed through the snow like it wasn't there and literally rammed our palisade, crushing and shattering the wood and knocking a number of people off the edge, then they poured over the top like a fucking plague with machetes swinging, guns blazing, and bombs a flying, screaming like a pack of maniacs.

    The fight was chaotic and nasty and I'd rather not get into it in any real detail, mainly because it was less a fight and more a chaotic swirl of death. They were all hyped up on what looks like Buffout, After Burner, and Med-X, in what the Doc described as some kind of crazy fucking berzerker cocktail. You could tell. These bastards simply refused to drop no matter how many rounds you put into them. We managed to kill all of them, but the truck was disabled in the process. Managed to throw some homemade nail bombs into the cab, killed the driver but caused a fire that completely gutted the controls.

    Twelve of our people were wounded, and we lost nine, three from the lookouts, and another 6 during the homes were damaged too because these crazies were throwing explosives and torches around like it going out of style. Real massive fucking mess all around.

    I'm sorry. I'm barely coherent right now. I haven't slept in almost two days. I was literally going to bed when the attack hit. After that I've been stuck doing damage control.

    I sent riders to the other communities to warn them about the raider attack as soon as the message came in, and to make sure it wasn't too late. They were fine, thank god. The Survivalists hunkered down, and I don't blame them. They're farmers for the most part, with only about 40 people, including kids. The Americaneers though, they impressed the hell out of me. I never gave numbers for them, but understand they're a full out colony, about 100 people, a number of whom are ex-military.

    They showed up with our scout about 3 hours after our warning was sent, with ten men, including Master Sergeant Masterson, himself decked out in military surplus arms and equipment. He told me that he came because he felt we might need them. Man looked me dead in the eye and said that looter scum are everybody's problem, and we'd been good enough to them that they couldn't just let us hang in the wind.

    We ended up talking, and we decided that the best option was to perform a recon in force. Kill 'em all if possible, and if not, then either drive them off or pin them down long enough to hit them with everything we have.

    Masterson volunteered to lead it personally, said he didn't come all this way to drink coffee. I volunteered to join him, but he outright said no. I tried to explain to him I wasn't worried about dying, but he simply said I was brave but too important to the town. Did take Bear as his second in command though.

    Bear's own lot of personally trained maniacs joined him. I didn't get into detail on it much, but as I said before, but I did mention how Bear became the defacto leader of what is in essence, our professional defense force. Mostly veterans and those just willing to fight, he's trained them to the best of his ability, and when you consider he's a scary ass Army Ranger, that's a lot of ability.

    Jake and damned near his entire gang insisted on joining as well. The volunteered enmass, but we didn't allow anyone under 16 to go. They're doing it by foot because following the roads is a bad idea, pretty much the one thing everyone watches. They're also observing strict radio silence until they've made contact.

    So now I wait. Ask anything you want about the attack, and I'll answer in the morning. Hopefully I'll have more news. I'll also answer the questions from before. Either way, Kelly's telling to to go to fucking sleep.

    Sounds good to me.


    November 12, 2079

    Got news from Bear and Masterson today. They found the enemy camp and engaged. Most of their number were on the attack, with only enough left behind to guard their slaves. Yes. Slaves. We had an authentic band of slavers here.

    There were eight of of them at their camp, including their leader. Between Bear and Masterson they were able to outmaneuver them pretty well. From what I was told, the fight was short and relatively painless. They caught them unawares and had superior training and numbers. It was pretty much a massacre.

    One of them lived long enough to spill. According to them their lord is a half-dead atomic god, who was purified in nuclear and left in a state bridging two worlds. They claim he shines with a holy light, for he was judged in the great atomic fire and that he alone found worthy to carry its power. In other words, they're your standard band of religiously motivated band of lunatics slave/raider who worship a Glowing One with delusions of Godhood.

    There were 24 slaves, all young, most were between eight and twenty, with only a few older and no one over 25. Majority female, and all healthy, or at least what passes for healthy in this day and age. That's all I know at the moment. They say there's going to be here to debrief tomorrow, and I'll know more when we have a chance to question the survivors.

    Now for the general status update.

    First, just to clear things up we're simply calling our town Yellowstone, while the Americaneers refer to themselves as New Plymouth, and the Survivalists are simply Fletcherville, after their leader and the owner of the property, Joe Fletcher, a crotchety old bastard if you ever met one.

    While the logistics of travel have made Helen's grand idea of turning Yellowstone into a cultural hub a bit premature, but there is some cross pollination. The church is attracting occasional visits from the faithful, who are now staying longer to enjoy the amenities, and the companionship. Most of the folks coming over are between the ages of 16 and 25, which should honestly tell you what they're really thinking about. I'd say a good half to two thirds of our post consists of love letters and pornography.

    Seriously, we go to the trouble to set up a postal service and its become a source of humor after the first week. Kelly's especially grumpy because she put all that work into restoring those three snowmobiles to serve as winter delivery vehicles.

    I handled Jake's gang by taking a look at what amounted to his rules for membership. Essentially, there were none besides Jake's say and the general consent of the other members, so I asked Bear to join up. After some convincing he, and a couple members of the militia he trained agreed to do so. From what I've been told, Jake didn't know if he wanted to squee like a 8 year old girl, or piss himself.

    Ironically, it turns out that while Bear never was a biker, Rick Brewer, one of the men he trained as part of his militia was. While he maintains that his gang were not criminals, or at least never engaged in anything more serious than some broken traffic laws and drunken disorderly. As you can guess, once this came out, Jake latched onto Rick pretty quickly, as his idea of how a biker gang operated was basically limited to watching what amounts to James Dean and Marlon Brando movies. Honestly, the idea of them graduating from "Rebel without a Cause" to "The Wild One" is not one I'm at all comfortable with.

    Still, Bear is willing to vouch for Brewer, and says the kids have potential and promises to keep them in line and help give them direction.

    I made the final trade with Fletcherville to help set up the Talapia tank traded a truck and, some books, and samples from my seed bank with the promise we'd get twice the seeds back next season. This included them helping me set up grow equipment to grow some medicinal herb, if you get the thinly veiled euphemism.

    We all agreed that reefer would be legal, or rather Helen preached the subject like a Baptist firebrand until we all went 'hallelujah', though in my case she was preaching to the converted. Seems her and her mobile beatnik colony were all quite the cannabis connoisseurs and if we dared ban it, they'd go on strike. Though after it was all over, there were people wondering why the hell would that be in my seed bank. Helen on the other hand just said she knew there was a reason she liked me.

    There is a school. We have enough kids that it's divided into two classes, though right now they're sharing a building and each class only meets three times a week. We were planning on expanding the building but the attack probably is going to put a dampener on that.

    As for what we've salvaged, I have more than I could comfortably list. Though if you ask about something I can probably tell you what we have without any real problems.

    I'll get back to you in a day or two with more information.


    November 15, 2079

    It's worse than I thought. I'll get to why in a bit. Masterson and Bear got back about a day and a half ago. They gave us a professional debriefing, discussed what they did right, what was done wrong, and in general the crew from New Plymouth seemed to be impressed by the progress that Jake's gang are making under Bear's personal tutelage.

    They brought back a number of poor quality weapons, mostly pistols, shotguns and a couple hunting rifles, but there was also some dynamite, and two vehicles, a pickup truck modified with some kind of crude muzzle loaded pneumatic fired grenade launcher. From the look of it, it fires cans filled with nails and explosive. They have to be lit with a fuse though, which makes it a little hazardous to the user, but effective none the less. The other was an ATV.

    We've discussed the loot and the decision is that we're keeping the weapons and the ATV, while New Plymouth gets the truck. We have plenty of vehicles thanks to all the nomads we've taken in, but are a bit stretched to arm our population. They on the other hand, have little interest in the raiders poorly kept weapons, but could use some extra transport capacity.

    According to bear it looks like the scouted out our Roadblock, then ran it over at night. That pans out. We found what looks to be the remains of a pill bottle on the driver. It was probably filled with Cat's Eye. Modern vehicles actually can run pretty quiet since they're electric. With their headlights off, our people probably didn't see or hear them until they were literally on top of them. Poor bastards.

    From here it gets worse. The leader of this gang was a ghoul, who it seemed claimed to be some kind of "Priest of the Holy One". According to their twisted ass religions "Half-Deads" as they call them are holy beings who have a foot in the lands of the living and the dead, but lack the divine light of their Glowing One master.

    Lucas was pretty upset by this. He's been working hard to get people to accept him, but now he's afraid it will all be for nothing. He's too good a man and too important an asset to let go that easy. He's a friend and I'm not going to let that happen. I have some ideas but would like suggestions.

    Anyways, they're part of a greater community located somewhere in Northern Montana, in the Rockies. I'm not exactly sure where, but considering their equipment, it might be close enough to a mine or rock quarry.

    According to the rescued slaves, they all come from communities in the general area of I-90. Seems our slavers were following the road south, and then attacked us via Route 89. There's only 5 entrances into the part, and now it looks like we're going to have to spend the power and energy fortifying, or at least blocking off, all of them. It's pretty infuriating. We don't have the resources for this shit.

    The reason for the raids was because, and I can't make this shit up, 'His Luminous Divinity, the Great Necros Atomo', is constructing a temple to his eternal glory and requires 'servants' to construct it, children to induct into the 'path of enlightenment', and 'maids and concubines' to serve his 'holy warriors', 'wise priests', and of course, himself. It seems that, and I'm vomiting in my mouth as I say this, mortal women lack the fortitude to survive his... divine embrace for any significant length of time.

    Most of the slaves were from smaller communities, or nomadic groups. though a couple did come from more established communities. From the sound of it, most were hit pretty bad, either total destruction or sent scattered to the wind in the case of the smaller ones, or a nearly constant state of siege for the larger. I'm going to send scouts out to investigate if possible.

    I need to know what I'm looking at. We can't afford a war, but it looks like we have no choice. Masterson has already sworn his support. He says that we're the first line of defense and if Yellowstone falls, both New Plymouth and Fletcherville are next.

    Now to see if we can get Fletcher in on it. The old man's a cranky isolationist who only was willing to open up under pressure. This might give him the leverage he needs to go hermit, which is exactly what we don't need right now. We have to convince him that he can't just put his head under the sand on this one.

    Sadly there isn't much we can do to reinforce the defenses at the moment. The snows too thick and the ground is frozen rock solid to even consider something in the line of a moat. We might, big might, be able to set up a split log perimeter fence though. Might not sound like much, but it will discourage attack on foot.

    Now I'm really wondering why you're bringing up reefer like its some kind of sin. We're in a post nuclear wasteland, we deserve a goddamned buzz once in awhile to take away from the fact the very ground under our feet hates us and everything is trying to kill us. Deathworld dudes, we're entitled. And really, about it being 4 times worse than cigarette smoke, well, introduce me to the man who smokes a pack of joints a day and I'll give him a goddamned medal.

    Also, I didn't mention this before because of how damned distracted I was, but we've been experimenting with making alcohol from corn. We're now making corn beer, corn wine, and corn spirits. I've had to ration the amount of booze we make, due to food limitations, but the introduction of a limited quantity luxury item has allowed us to start issuing currency. Right now its only paper money printed with a Ditto Machine as I'm keeping my Bottlecaps as a strategic currency reserve, but people are starting to use it for things besides trading in for beer.

    It's kinda funny that our economy is currently operating on a booze standard. We're going to need a real form of currency that's harder to counterfeit later, but for the moment its a good and casual transfer from a command economy to something more akin to a free market.

    I did bring up the idea of repairing the dump truck. Kelly really does have a beautiful laugh. Then she just looked me in the eye like she does one of the kittens when they claw something they shouldn't and said 'no'. The things a maintenance intensive monster. We don't have the parts or equipment to keep ir running. She said the best bet would be to rip out its reactor and turn it into a power plant. The main limitation of these vehicular nuclear plants is keeping them cool. If we could rig it up to a larger cooling array, she might be able to overclock it. I don't think I need to explain the kind of power you could get out of a reactor built to power a 25 ton truck rated to carry a 75 ton payload...

    Now speaking of my lovely wife, she has just informed me that dinner's getting cold and my beer is getting warm. I'll let you know if anything else comes up. In the meantime I'm going to lose myself to a delicious meal of fried tilapia, canned peas, and cornbread. Then I intend to wash it down with a frothy mug of beer. My god, I'm almost eating like a person again.

    January 04, 2080

    Well folks, here we are, beginning of year three and its time for my annual it's the middle of winter, I'm up to my eyes in snow, and I'm freezing my balls off. It's moments like this I regret not trying to wait things out somewhere a bit more temperate.

    We haven't been able to do any changes to the defenses. It's proving to be an especially cold and snowy year, though not nearly as bad as our first year due to the lack of Nuclear Winter, but still worse than last year. I'm almost worried about our greenhouse and animal pens, so I've put people on 24 hour rotation to make sure they don't get too cold.

    To say Fletcher was displeased by the news of the... well... crazed fucking cult to the north would quite the understatement. I'm honestly shocked that the man didn't have a stroke. I could tell he wanted to basically tell the lot of us to fuck off and die, but thankfully saner heads won out, and by that I mean Charles Burns.

    Fletcher is a older man. I can't tell how old because he's reached that age and appearance where he could just be a weatherbeaten and extremely grizzled 50, or a well preserved 85. He's cranky, paranoid, and exceptionally canny. He's probably be more charismatic if drew eyes on his ass and learned to walk on his hands, but he's got good instincts and an unpleasant tendency of being right much more often than not, and will never anyone forget it.

    Burns is a big man, but very gentle. He's six and a half foot tall, built like a barrel, and has a full beard. He looks like Hagrid. He's the kind of guy who could probably beat you over the head with an ox cart but would find it hard to use rude language without blushing. He's Fletchers defacto second in command because he's the only one who can both placate old man when a bug crawls up his ass and pretty much spends most of his time playing interference for Fletcher and translating his obnoxious rantings into something that won't offend everyone within ear shot.

    He's also probably the only person Fletcher listens to, because I think even that cranky old bastard has a hard time being rude to him. The man's a saint, and I think that's why Fletcher agreed to ally with us. When Chuck Burns, the human Teddy Bear, says its time to grab your guns and fight the good fight, that's pretty much all she wrote.

    We've put up roadblocks and stationed permanent garrisons overlooking the mostly likely routes into the park from I-90. Considering the depth of the snow they're a bit of a hardship posting, but what can you do? It's a bit of an ordeal to man them, but both Fletcherville and New Plymouth are throwing in behind it, which lowers the cost to our own resources a good deal. I wish we could send scouts but the snow is too damned thick and the weather too damned bad. I don't want to risk anyone out in this.

    Our former slaves are settling in as well as can be expected considering all they've been through. There are three main mindsets among the older rescues. They either just want to rebuild their lives somewhere, and here is good enough as any, to get revenge against the cult, try and find out what happened to their loved ones, or more often a mix of all three. Some of the girls have already found 'companions', in most cases a favored rescuer. One of them is already pregnant. Guess she got a little too thankful. A number of them have joined or become hangs on of Jake's gang. I have to admit, I didn't entirely approve of this but I'm not going to try and run people's lives even if it makes my job more complicated.

    When they told me that towns were under siege, it didn't mean in the traditional sense. It was more in the line that they were being raided hard and often. The attack on our walls was an example of such a 'siege'. They come in fast, normally in the night, smash through their defenses, cause a holy ruckus, and run off with as many prisoners and supplies as they can carry. We're just lucky we had heavier fortifications than most, and a population larger than most of the other targets they've hit.

    They were all actually surprised when they saw that our wall actually didn't completely collapse on impact. It only mostly collapsed, providing enough resistance that they weren't simply able to drive through. From the sound it it, their main tactic was to bash through any defenses, then use the dump truck as battering ram/mobile fortification, crushing anyone and anything in their way while throwing bombs and shooting their guns from behind shelter. Had our walls been any thinner, it could have been a very different fight.

    Once spring comes we're increasing the thickness of the walls by piling earth on the interior side, both to act as additional reinforcement, and as a ramp to allow quick access to the walls. Seven is easily enough to stand on and blunt the impact of bullets, but this shit is ridiculous. I considered tank traps but we don't have the materials to even consider it, and they welded a damned bulldozer blade to the front of the thing, so its not like they would even matter. I have to assume this isn't their only Dump Truck turned Siege Engine.

    As for the truck itself, we've left it in place for now. Snows too thick to pull it out. Once spring comes we're going to be looking at breaking it down for parts and materials. We're going to see about turning it into a power plant. We're still coming up with ideas on how to cool the damned thing.

    As much as I'd love to build an aircraft, they're currently well beyond our abilities. I know you could make them out of wood, but there's a lot that goes into building something that flies, and we don't have the resources to play trial and error.

    Lucas has one thing to say to anyone who suggests he enter the cult as a spy. Fuck off and die. He's a Lawyer. Before the War he freely admits to being an ambulance chasing slip and fall lawyer. He's not a Secret Agent man and he has no intention of being one. Besides, things would probably fall apart around here without him to arbitrate.

    Honestly this attack has really been a blow or our moral. I'm trying to improve it. For example I've started a Newspaper but we need to be careful because they don't make Ditto sheets anyone can find the specs for making sheets for a Ditto Machine I'd be very very thankful.

    For those who want to know the details, the reason the US entered the war was because they had no choice. When the resource wars started in the '50s, the US saw the writing on the wall and started the changeover to a Nuclear based economy rather than an Oil based other countries didn't, or rather couldn't. This includes China, which isn't the China we know, but rather a Dieselpunk version of Maoist China. The key word here is Diesel.

    The Russians were a player in the first round of the Resource Wars, fighting both the Middle East and the Europeans. The Chinese used this as a chance to annex Siberia, and due to how overstretched the Russians were, were able to keep hold of it. Forward a decade and the Siberian oil wells were starting to go dry, and there, just across the straits was Alaska, which was actually gearing its oil production down, as the US by '66 had weaned itself off oil except for some military uses, and toys for the rich.

    The Chinese invasion brought the US into the Resource Wars. They fought hard, but they were hamstrung the entire conflict by logistical issues and fuel shortages. After they were kicked out of Alaska in January, it pretty much became writing on the wall that the Chinese were done. Without the oil fields their Army literally couldn't fight, turning the war into a continent spanning mop-up operation. Before I left for Yellowstone the newspaper said that General Chase expected to be entering Beijing by the end of the week. My best guess is he got there a couple days early.

    So there's the brief history of the how and why of the apocalypse.

    Now onto land reclamation. I have Sunflower seeds in my seed bank. I have a large collection of them. I raided a speciality seed store before the bombs dropped, even grabbed some tea seeds and coffee beans. Caffeine makes the world go round, don't cha know.

    As for mutating the chickens, fuck that. First, I'm running short on BuffOut. This upcoming generation of cats is probably the last for physical mutation, and I only have enough for another two, maybe and that's a big maybe three, of mentats. Second, I'm not mucking around with the DNA of something that evolved from a dinosaur. Talk about genre unsavvy. Last thing we need is to have Chickosarus Rex running around the Wastelands.

    Shit. I just guaranteed that somewhere there will be dino-chickens haven't I? Fuck. If I get eaten by a Cluckoraptor or a Terror Chicken I blame you.


    March 19, 2080We're well into the spring thaw now, which means its time to get serious. The snow and ice offered a degree of protection from attack from the North. It's hard and costly to move through several feet of snow over dozens if not hundreds of miles of distance in peace, and extremely costly in both men and materials to do it for war, especially if a strong defense is waiting for you on the other end.

    Yes, General Winter is a good friend and stalwart protector but since he's retired from the field, shit's getting real. The spring melts on us and the mosquitoes are even worse than last year. I hope to God we're not going to end up with some weird mutant variant that are like blood sucking hummingbirds.

    To make matters worse, there have been sightings of scouts whom I believe are connected to the raiders. There was a light probe at our northern perimeter which we turned back without taking, or causing, any losses. Since then there have been reports of their scouts, probably trying to study us for weaknesses.

    Once I bounce it off of Masterson, I'm probably going send Bear and his band of misanthropic maniacs to hunt them down like animals and take them down, hopefully bringing back some prisoners in the process.

    We've taken to calling Bear's personal squad, the first men he started training last winter, the Dirty Dozen, because there's twelve of them don't you know. Even with the distractions like working with Jake's gang, they're still a terrifying lot. Over the last I've been trying to train with them when possible, but while I've learned some solid basics of soldiering and survival, they're on a whole different level.

    I've also started to require regular drills among the general population. We were slow to react when we were attacked and we lost people. We can't afford to be slow ever again.

    Once these scouts are out of the way, I'm probably going to dispatch a team northward to see if we can find out where they are, or at least some of the towns they've already hit. We might be able to find more allies.

    One a more peaceful note, we're getting ready to begin our first year of farming and as such are scraping a great deal of terrain to get the first couple inches of tainted topsoil somewhere out of the way. We're also lending our help to Fletchersville. They don't have much in the line of mechanization, so the use of our scrapers will be invaluable to them, allowing them to begin open field farming for the first time in three years. Since they're all actual farmers, on an actual big ass farm, I have a feeling they're going to end up being our regional bread basket. I would not be surprised if by the end of the year, Yellowstone loses some people to Fletcherville.

    Since food is soon no longer an issue, its looking like it's soon going to be time for me to call a constitutional convention and surrender my dictatorial authority to the will of the people. I can't fucking wait to retire. All I want to do is spend time with my wife, raise my daughter, and maybe make her a couple younger siblings to boot.

    I'm thinking of opening talks with Fletchersville and New Plymouth. It's a big scary world out there and its about to get scarier. I think our best best is to join together and pool our resources. I'm pretty sure Masterson will agree, since his group were literally founded on the concept of rebuilding civilization after the fall. Fletcher, him I'm not too sure of, but I'm sure if need be I can work around him.

    As you can guess, we're getting to that special time when I'm going to need suggestions on the formation of a government. I'm probably going to use the US constitution as a base, but from there we need to work stuff out.

    We're working on improving our communications. I now have a radio link with Fletcher and Masterson using morse code. Foregoing voice contact allowed us to avoid setting up radio beacons to maintain contact and makes it harder for people to listen in. Masterson also provided us with a code book and a set of cyphers, just to make sure. The man's pretty paranoid about OpSec. I don't blame him.

    I haven't really investigated the cave much since we left. Though claiming it as personal property would probably be a good idea. Even after all this time, I do think back to it fondly and it would be worthwhile to explore more.

    Yes, New Plymouth does have reloading equipment, as do we. We can't roll brass but we can reload spent ammo. Our big problem is primer and powder. If you could think of some alternate chemicals for primer, I'd be thankful. For powder, we're able to make black powder, but that limits the arms we can use it in to simpler, 'Old West' style weapons that don't foul as readily.

    The reason I want to use a Spirit Duplicator is for short run periodicals, like newsletters, pamphlets, and comic books. You know, stuff that would either be a be a waste of time or simply too goddamned much trouble to use with a full fledged printing press. It's all about having a robust media with a free flow of information. Might sound silly now, but people really do love getting the weekly paper in the mail. It's good for moral.

    We are thinking about raiding armories and gun factories and the like, but the issue is distance and locating them. This is a world where there is no internet and many of those locations were not openly discussed for security reasons. It's going to be difficult to locate all of this stuff.

    Balloons are also out of the question for aerial scouting. Like I said before, we simply don't have that level of equipment. We're literally working off the scraps of the old world here. That said, I did suggest tying the Toaster to one, but my lady love shot me down on that one.

    I'll report more once I have the information.


    March 19, 2080

    We're well into the spring thaw now, which means its time to get serious. The snow and ice offered a degree of protection from attack from the North. It's hard and costly to move through several feet of snow over dozens if not hundreds of miles of distance in peace, and extremely costly in both men and materials to do it for war, especially if a strong defense is waiting for you on the other end.

    Yes, General Winter is a good friend and stalwart protector but since he's retired from the field, shit's getting real. The spring melts on us and the mosquitoes are even worse than last year. I hope to God we're not going to end up with some weird mutant variant that are like blood sucking hummingbirds.

    To make matters worse, there have been sightings of scouts whom I believe are connected to the raiders. There was a light probe at our northern perimeter which we turned back without taking, or causing, any losses. Since then there have been reports of their scouts, probably trying to study us for weaknesses.

    Once I bounce it off of Masterson, I'm probably going send Bear and his band of misanthropic maniacs to hunt them down like animals and take them down, hopefully bringing back some prisoners in the process.

    We've taken to calling Bear's personal squad, the first men he started training last winter, the Dirty Dozen, because there's twelve of them don't you know. Even with the distractions like working with Jake's gang, they're still a terrifying lot. Over the last I've been trying to train with them when possible, but while I've learned some solid basics of soldiering and survival, they're on a whole different level.

    I've also started to require regular drills among the general population. We were slow to react when we were attacked and we lost people. We can't afford to be slow ever again.

    Once these scouts are out of the way, I'm probably going to dispatch a team northward to see if we can find out where they are, or at least some of the towns they've already hit. We might be able to find more allies.

    One a more peaceful note, we're getting ready to begin our first year of farming and as such are scraping a great deal of terrain to get the first couple inches of tainted topsoil somewhere out of the way. We're also lending our help to Fletchersville. They don't have much in the line of mechanization, so the use of our scrapers will be invaluable to them, allowing them to begin open field farming for the first time in three years. Since they're all actual farmers, on an actual big ass farm, I have a feeling they're going to end up being our regional bread basket. I would not be surprised if by the end of the year, Yellowstone loses some people to Fletcherville.

    Since food is soon no longer an issue, its looking like it's soon going to be time for me to call a constitutional convention and surrender my dictatorial authority to the will of the people. I can't fucking wait to retire. All I want to do is spend time with my wife, raise my daughter, and maybe make her a couple younger siblings to boot.

    I'm thinking of opening talks with Fletchersville and New Plymouth. It's a big scary world out there and its about to get scarier. I think our best best is to join together and pool our resources. I'm pretty sure Masterson will agree, since his group were literally founded on the concept of rebuilding civilization after the fall. Fletcher, him I'm not too sure of, but I'm sure if need be I can work around him.

    As you can guess, we're getting to that special time when I'm going to need suggestions on the formation of a government. I'm probably going to use the US constitution as a base, but from there we need to work stuff out.

    We're working on improving our communications. I now have a radio link with Fletcher and Masterson using morse code. Foregoing voice contact allowed us to avoid setting up radio beacons to maintain contact and makes it harder for people to listen in. Masterson also provided us with a code book and a set of cyphers, just to make sure. The man's pretty paranoid about OpSec. I don't blame him.

    I haven't really investigated the cave much since we left. Though claiming it as personal property would probably be a good idea. Even after all this time, I do think back to it fondly and it would be worthwhile to explore more.

    Yes, New Plymouth does have reloading equipment, as do we. We can't roll brass but we can reload spent ammo. Our big problem is primer and powder. If you could think of some alternate chemicals for primer, I'd be thankful. For powder, we're able to make black powder, but that limits the arms we can use it in to simpler, 'Old West' style weapons that don't foul as readily.

    The reason I want to use a Spirit Duplicator is for short run periodicals, like newsletters, pamphlets, and comic books. You know, stuff that would either be a be a waste of time or simply too goddamned much trouble to use with a full fledged printing press. It's all about having a robust media with a free flow of information. Might sound silly now, but people really do love getting the weekly paper in the mail. It's good for moral.

    We are thinking about raiding armories and gun factories and the like, but the issue is distance and locating them. This is a world where there is no internet and many of those locations were not openly discussed for security reasons. It's going to be difficult to locate all of this stuff.

    Balloons are also out of the question for aerial scouting. Like I said before, we simply don't have that level of equipment. We're literally working off the scraps of the old world here. That said, I did suggest tying the Toaster to one, but my lady love shot me down on that one.

    I'll report more once I have the information.


    April 6, 2080

    I have some good news, and some bad news. Good news is that the Dirty Dozen pretty effectively rolled up on the scouts who were probing our northern defenses. We got 9 bodies and a beat to hell old pickup truck out of it. Bad news is that reports were that there were ten of them. It could have been a miscount, but it’s also somewhat unlikely that all of those men came in one vehicle.

    We’ve got us a runner. That means our enemies are going to know where are are, and that we can fight. I’m not happy, Masterson isn’t happy, and Fletcher, well, he’s making everyone not happy.

    After some debate we decided to some assemble our own scouting party and send it up north.

    On a marginally more positive note, we’ve come in contact with another nomadic band. They’re a relatively pitiful lot come up from the south. They seem to be a crew of Mexican migrant workers who managed to survive the bombs, along with a rough collection of your standard pitiful refugees who banded with them in the name of safety in numbers. Most of them don’t even speak English, and don’t seem to have much in the way of practical skills. I had to hazard a guess, if they were left to their own devices and somehow managed to survive the next three years, we’re looking at a band of tribals in the making.

    There was a bit of a standoff between them and Fletcher’s boys. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely fair. More Masterson’s boys were waving rifles at them while they cowered in terror. Seems that some of the teenagers decided to take it upon themselves to go on patrol, regardless of Fletcher’s attitude. Admirable, but misguided. After all, lets take a bunch of young, trigger happy survivalists without adult supervision and have them wander the countryside literally looking for trouble. Nothing can go wrong!

    And if you believe that, I have a bridge you might be interested in buying.

    All I can say is that we’re blessed that one of those kids had two brain cells to rub together. They found the band on the move and pretty much caught them in an ambush. Against all odds, he managed to strike a thought and radioed out for instructions.

    Masterson was furious. I was furious. And Fletcher, I swear to fucking god, I want to put a bullet in the man. All he wanted to know what a bunch of ‘fucking wetbacks’ were doing ‘creeping up’ on his land.

    Well, after ‘calmly’ reminding him that my wife is hispanic, and that as such, such slurs are less than appreciated, we took over the situation. As you can probably guess, they were pretty fucking gun shy after their greeting, but while she wasn’t raised in a Spanish speaking household, Kelly’s fluent in the language and was able to translate. Being able to communicate clearly for once did a lot to put them at ease.

    It’s a sad story. They’ve been wandering pretty much since the radiation cleared. The suffering they’ve seen is more than most. They lost a lot of people, and all their survival skills are hard earned. Starvation, radiation poisoning, shootings, rapes, kidnappings. It’s a testament to the human will to survive that they’re still going.

    If I could, I’d just let them join us, but we’re moving past the dictator stage, and it wouldn’t be care to just move them in without putting it to a vote. Plus they’re not very trusting. They’ve been hurt too many times. Still, I was able to convince them not to move on yet. We’ve set our tents up for them and are providing them with food and basic medical care.

    The question now is do we want let them join us, if so, how do we convince them its a good idea, and at the end of it all, what the hell are we going to do with a bunch of unskilled day laborers who hardly speak a word of English?

    I’m going to answer a couple questions, and then I’m going to get stoned off my ass.

    First, I don’t think Cthulhu exists. Fallout 3 is hardly consistent with itself as much as the rest of the series, and if you go by every single Easter Egg in the games, well then, I should also be worrying about Godzilla, The Doctor, and the United Federation of Planets. As the old prayer goes, ‘Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’

    Government wise I’m starting to think we need to have a temporary agreement and a long term one. Right now we’re too damned small to really do more than form a coalition. Once we get into the thousands, and an area larger than a couple hours drive, then we can worry about the big stuff. We’re not the NCR yet, folks, and we probably won’t be for a lifetime. I’ll give details when I don’t want to just curl up into a bottle of moonshine, but right now they’re pretty rough, and with the ‘diplomatic incident’ with Fletcherville, I’m not sure if it’ll even matter.

    Thanks for the instructions on making Primers. We’re experimenting. Though for future note, if you want to give me any locations, I strongly suggest and request map-coordinates. Latitude and Longitude, please.

    Now if you excuse me, I'm gonna go relieve some stress.


    May 19, 2080

    I just got the latest report back from Bear and Jesus fucking Christ is it a doozy. Based on intel from our liberated slaves, they’ve backtracked the raiders’ path of destruction up Route 90. So far they’ve found several ruined communities that show the signs of the same basic pattern of attack. The defenses were hit hard and fast by a mining truck backed up by infantry. Signs of small arms fire and explosives. Looks like the places were looted to the best of their ability, and then the rest was torched, leaving the survivors to scatter.

    Fucking barbarians.

    There are two positive signs though. They found two intact communities, substantial ones at that, both of which have withstood assaults from the Raiders, to differing degrees of success.

    The first is located near Bozeman in the remains of a ski lodge. I say remains because while it survived the attack, it didn’t survive the raiders. Thankfully they were able to take shelter from the attacks the same place the took shelter from the bombs, the lodge’s relatively luxuriously appointed fallout shelter. Their above ground housing was all burned, and smashed by their damned trucks. Plural. Fucking plural. They have more.

    That piece of hell aside, While they lost the lodge, they’re doing reasonably well on the supply front. They made sure to mention that their supplies are all nice and holed up in their concrete underground bunker where would be attackers would have to make their way through a small fortress with lots of nasty little dumptruck proof choke points to get to them.

    They’re lead by Mr. Pitts, the owner of the Lodge. He’s a wealthy architect, successful entrepreneur, and notorious eccentric with a mild case of paranoid schizophrenia who after taking over the lodge used a parking problem as an excuse to install a full three level underground parking garage with lead lined walls, an air filtration system, 6 inch thick steel sliding doors, and enough supplies to last 100 for people three years. According to Bear’s reports, the man’s as mad as a hatter, but actually quite good natured and friendly.

    If I’d known about this place, I probably would have ended up taking Kelly on a Skiing holiday instead of camping. It’s about the closest thing you can get to a vault without the snazzy jumpsuits.

    Their personal losses on the other hand... over the past year and a half they’ve lost almost a dozen people, most snatched while going into the city for supplies. They’re lost people to both the scattered survivors in Bozeman, who seem to be desperate for anything, and the Raiders. They claimed that for a while they had an open door policy, but with the destruction of the lodge and the increasing difficulty facing their food saving operations, they had to close doors.

    Still, while they’re cautious, they’re also open to contact and trade. I’m not sure what they have to offer though, but I’m willing to discuss it with them.

    This brings us to the second lot, and they’re a bit more complicated.Cyrus is back, and now we have to negotiate with the son of a bitch.

    The City of Missoula is probably a test case for the sad lot of towns across the entire country. They were hit hard by the bombs, tens of thousands of lives were lost, but people survived, they started banding together in an attempt to survive and rebuilt, and actually did rather well at trying to eke a living out of the boneyard of their former lives. Then the raiders came. They had little defenses, little preparation. They were hit hard and hit fast. People were taken, buildings destroyed, supplies stolen or destroyed, and all they could do was pick up the pieces of their lives and recover. And then the Raiders came again. And Again. And again.

    Over the past year and change, they’ve been hit seven times, and every one of those times they’ve been kicked back into the dirt. Even worse they’re pretty much the last stop on Route 90. Beyond Missoula the road belongs to the Pale Riders, which is what our fucked up little cult calls themselves.

    Because of this their population has been growing, inflated by the refugees who simply can’t go on, but aren’t able to double back. It’s gotten bad, and they’re at they’re at their breaking point. And this is where Cyrus comes into it.

    As we know, he’s very intelligent, highly aggressive, and extremely opportunistic. Basically your model clinical sociopath with psychotic tendencies. He’s pretty much the only one in the town with the brains, the balls, and the chops to actually take these fuckers on, and he’s quite aware of it. He’s exploited that fact to become the defacto leader of the refugee population. They see him as a hero, as the closest thing they have to a protector. The locals see him as a menace, claiming half the raids they’ve suffered were retribution for his attacks on their scavenging parties. Either way though, means we have to negotiate with a man who in an ideal world, I’d like nothing more than to see dancing at the end of a rope.

    Fucking politics.

    The second is Frank Brown, the former principal of the local high school. He’s friendly, has good organizational abilities, and is quite used to dealing with neurotic, overly emotional individuals. He’s the one who kept the fragments of the town together after they emerged after the nuclear attack, and the one who kept them together. He also controls the only real strong point worth mentioning in the town, the Simon Garfunkel Memorial High School. It’s a heavily built building on top of a steep hill and he’s taken to using the Incinerator tower as a crows nest/sniper’s position. He’s the one who kept them together, he’s the one who gives them a safe place to retreat, and he’s the one who gives the warnings by ringing the school bell when they approach. They locals see him as their champion. The refugees resent him, and think that his weakness is why they’re stuck in this town.

    Missoula is in bad shape. They have little in the way of supplies, because anything they are able to pull from the ruins is quickly taken, along with a number of their loved ones.According to them, they’ve lost over a third their number to the raiders, over a hundred people, either as slaves or killed, and they lost another 35 due to cold and starvation during the winter. They’re angry, they’re desperate, and they’re ready to lash out at anything. Even worse they don’t even know where the attackers are based besides the fact they’re coming from Idaho.

    Missoula literally is the front lines of this war, route 90 goes clear through the ruins of their city. Stop them here, and they can go no farther. The problem is that they’re on the brink of a civil war, and they need help more desperately than any group we’ve encountered.. I’m not really sure what to do. I think we could help them, and in doing so help ourselves. If we don’t though, I’m not sure I want to see what will emerge out of their conflict.

    The problem is what approach do I used, and how the hell do I deal with Cyrus, a man who I’d like nothing better than to see dangling from a tree.

    Now for the homefront.

    Our latest band of refugees are settling relatively nicely. I made sure to have Kelly speak to them all and get a list of all their skills, and I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised. One of the women, who’d been working as a scullery maid, was a fully trained nurse. Two of the men were also well skilled. One of them had actually owned his own farm in Mexico before being forced up North, while the other had spent 15 years working in construction and probably could build a house from memory. The others, while they lack in traditional education, are expert scavengers and their survival skills could be useful, to say nothing about the various odd-job talents they’ve picked up over the years. I’m glad I was able to set aside my bias and look beyond the language barrier.

    I’ve never seen so many people pleased to see a priest before either. Even though he’s not Catholic, after three years without spiritual guidance, the Pastor seems to rate as a “good enough” in most of their eyes. With all the new attendees, he’s been joking we need a bigger church. Or at least I hope he’s joking.

    What wasn’t a joke was the reminder of how badly they’ve suffered. They brought out a little box. Inside the box was dozens, if not more, locks of hair. They’ve been carrying around a small piece of all their dead in the hopes that they’d eventually be able to lay their souls to rest.

    Outside the town, off in a small clearing we’ve already started our defacto graveyard. Now, its not so defacto. I originally suggested a mass funeral, but Pastor Jacobs was most adamant about rejecting the idea. He said that in life each of these people had been an individual, a unique and beautiful child of God, and that if these men and women were willing to carry a part of their remains this far, across four states, then each of those people and their loved ones deserved to be honored with a full service.

    It took him almost a month of multiple services a day to bury them all. He ran himself ragged, but in doing so he more than anyone else, even Kelly’s made them part of their community. By the time he was done, their de facto leader, a former Ranch foreman named Enrico, told me outright that we were now one people. We’d proven we could be trusted, now he said, it was his turn to show they could be relied on.

    They’ve thrown themselves in with a fury. We’re probably going to be able to move our timetable for self-sufficiency, and hopefully my retirement up by three months. As they also have practical agricultural experience, it’s also done wonders for our dependence on Fletcher knowledge of agriculture.

    At the moment I’m not sure how to handle Fletcher.. The old man, it turns out, sees Fletcherville as being not as much a community as his personal property. According to him, if people don’t like to live by his rule, they can go somewhere else. His behavior has been getting more and more extreme too, because he sees Masterson and me as infringing on his right to run his household as he sees fit.

    I’m thinking we either need to arrange for a transfer of power or formally sever contact. Fletcher’s frankly too damned full of himself and his behavior and unwillingness to honestly pool resources has started to make him a net drag on our alliance.

    Well, now that drama’s over, I’m going private again, it seems that Bear and Helen have really been going at it. She’s pregnant. Pastor’s insisting that they marry when he gets back, but her being the beatnik she is, sees no point in it. She claims that they love each other and that’s all they need.

    I’ll tell you now, that’s a fight I’m not getting in the middle of.

    Kelly’s been teasing me about our newest townsfolk, and is happy to have someone to speak Spanish to. She’s also dropped hints that she wants me to learn, and she’s already teaching Hope. We’ve managed to find a spanish course among the books we recovered from the town, and She’s actually in the process of reverse translating it from an learn Spanish book to a learn english book for our new friends.

    Hope’s growing like a weed and is walking now. That means she’s getting into everything all the time. She’s my princess, but she’s an obnoxious little princess. Thankfully, one of the cats seems to have adopted her and seems to be very good as directing her away from trouble. We’re not the only ones with children, and with Helen pregnant, Roberta planning on to have another child once the immediate raider threat is done with, and Kelly dropping subtle hints that she’s thinking of another, it might be time to start looking into building a dedicated Day Care.

    I’m probably going to incorporate it into our plans for expanding the school. When we build it I want it to be as well fortified as possible. In this environment assembling the children, or god forbid, the infants, into one place is akin to putting all your eggs in one basket, so we might as well make sure its one really impressive fucking basket... possibly with a machine gun nest.

    On a more positive note, one of our expeditions to the west located another intact and uncontaminated feed bin. We’ll be able to top off our supplies and possibly have some left over for humanitarian aid, should it come to that.

    Now, to everyone’s favorite subject, cats. The newest generation’s been born and they’re the largest, and smartest yet. They’re no longer mistakable for regular cats at anything more than a glance. They’re noticeably larger and their heads feature a much more developed cranium. They’re starting to actually look a bit like Persians due to the size and shape of their skulls... longer snout but same pronounced forehead. It’s hard to tell, but the braincase is also significantly larger. Doc estimates that the current generation, when fully mature, will probably have brain size comparable to that of a monkey. That’s right, we’re now entering the realm of potentially primate level intelligence.

    He has however said that while they’re still showing increase in volume, he believes that we’re soon going entering the the point of diminishing returns in brain size. He also believes the biggest threat will be if we make them too smart, or rather, their skulls too large. A big brain is an advantage, but for a cat, too large a head would a liability. Still, I’m going to work through the rest of the mentats though.

    Now for the Q&A.

    About DC. I intentionally avoided the place, and Little Lamplight, like it was a plague ship. If you remember carefully, Rivet City, as a settlement, was only probably about 20 odd years old, while Megaton was founded within a human lifetime of 2277. I think we’re looking at what amounts to a regional Glow situation, which makes sense. If they were willing to drop enough bombs on Westech to render it deadly even 80 years later, then what the fuck would they do to the nation’s capitol? I wouldn’t be surprised if its a good 120 years before the Capital Wasteland is able to harbor human life outside a Vault or a deep cavern.

    As for Little Lamplight itself, its directly connected to the back door entrance of a Vault jam packed with mentally deficient FEV Super Mutants, and considering that somehow its been able to maintain its population of all children for 200 years, there has to come some kind of oddball fuckery involved that I wanted absolutely no part of.

    Now for some catch up replies. Please don’t bring up the stupidity of sleeping outside. Kelly and I both are still kicking ourselves about it. Dying isn’t fun, and the only thing more traumatic than death is the regeneration that comes after. Believe me I know.

    I can’t really move the RV back to the cave because we’re still using it to help power the town. I’d like to but its simply not feasible. Maybe we could once the power plant from the dump truck is set up.

    Yes, Kelly’s reading this, and yes, I put a ring on her finger. Handfasting is technically a wedding after all.

    We already have news integrated into our radio broadcasts. This world still used that format up to the bombs so its what everyone expects.

    Hope gets along well with the cats. They’re intelligent enough to realize she’s a young child. They’re swatted and hissed a couple times but never did anything that actually harmed her. My cats are shockingly well behaved.

    I’m very careful to treat them respectfully and with love. I’ve always been a cat person and I’ve always loved my cats dearly. They’ve never been just pets to me, they’re family. These cats are no different. If anything they’re like children to me. They’re a labor of love, a last ditch, one man stand against the extinction of an entire species. A world without cats simply is one I refuse to live in. I may have passed some of the efforts off to Jim because he’s more qualified, but this is still my passion.


    July 7, 2080

    I’m currently reporting to you from the front lines. I’m currently in Missoula. I had to go out for diplomatic reasons, and I have to say that after seeing it first hand, I underestimated the mess out here. I was right in keeping out of anything even resembling an urban area. Things outside Yellowstone are worse than I thought.

    Feral Ghouls are a constant threat in the areas around the major cities. They seem to be found mostly to the former urban areas, like Bozeman and Missoula.

    The folks at the Ski Lodge are tend to deal with it by moving in armed groups and not going too deeply into the town. While surprisingly energetic and don’t feel pain, the ghouls aren’t quite the ones you find in Fallout 3 and New Vegas. They’re more comparable to the Mindless Ghouls and Ghoul Crazies of Fallout and Fallout 2. That means they’re not the super fast, damage resistant monsters of the FPS games, rather they’re just your regular old ghoul but with the mind of a crazy ass berzerker. On the other hand, they also tend to come at you in packs. Organized packs.

    I talked to the doc about this, and our guess is that they’re not the result of a ghoul exposed to too much radiation. There have been fully cognizant Glowing Ones, like our favorite insano cult leader, instead we think its the result of starvation coupled with long term exposure to radiation. They go mad from hunger and thirst but don’t die because the radiation heals them even as they degenerate, leading to an insane half-dead zombie creature. Or at least that’s the guess.

    Still, though, they’re not even the worst. There are other humans. Masterson’s taken to calling them ‘non cooperatives’, which is a friendly way of saying either highly anti-social thieves, looters, and cannibals. Yes I said cannibals. Fucking man eating cannibals. Their behavior varies. They tend to be either nomadic or highly territorial and rarely number more than a half a dozen, often being limited to one really crazy guy suffering from radiation poisoning whoes been alone in the ruins far too long and is willing to view his fellow man as meat on the hoof.

    Between the two, it makes scaving in larger urban areas very dangerous. The folks at the Ski Lodge are lucky that they’re actually a reasonable distance outside city boundaries. They plan out their expeditions pretty well only going in using large groups with heavy armaments while sticking to the main roads and not delving too deeply into the boundaries. It’s a sustainable low risk, low gain strategy that seems to work reasonably well for them.

    The folks in Missoula have it much harder off. They’re actually living in and around the outskirts of the metropolitan area, most desperately trying to hang onto what little fragments of their previous lives remain. In many ways they’re like the folks from Cody, that’s Sheriff Whitaker’s town, only writ large and without a dictatorial psychopath to keep things from falling apart.

    Principal Brown is a good man. A very good man, but he’s not exactly a great leader of men. He’s gentle, soft-spoken, and not really what you’d call a forceful personality. He’s passive and persuasive. It’s almost impossible to dislike him and he has this affect about him that makes you kinda feel like jerk when you disagree with him. Great for conflict resolution, not so hot on leadership in dire straights. Frankly, he reminds me of Mr. Rogers.

    He managed to keep the locals away from each others throats up to this point, but even he has his limits and he’s met them. Things are starting to fracture both from without and within, thank you Cyrus.

    The reason I came here was diplomatic reasons. I want to negotiate with the various local leaders. Fred Pitts, the leader in Bozeman, was quite happy to see me. He’s a very chatty, social guy. Actually reminds me of me before my Regeneration in his inability to stand silence. He of course asked us to relinquish our weapons and patted us down before we entered their home, he even apologized for acting distrustful, but no one minded. After all, it’s to be expected in this day and age.

    I discussed with him what we’ve discovered about the Pale Riders, but he told us he wasn't able to afford to send men to help fight them in Missoula. He made it clear that it wasn’t because he didn’t want to, but because he needed as many people as he could to scav for food. They don’t have much in the way of a surplus.

    You should have seen the look on his face when I gave him a cut of the grain I found as a sign of friendship. He was impressed. He thanks me for my kindness, and observed that with this bit of buffer, he might just be able to spare a couple men, and asked if there were any volunteers.

    We walked out of the place with ten new members of our party. Most of them weren’t officially trained, but their tracking skills and observational abilities are well earned. Before he left, he gave us a parting gift as well. Since their cars were all in the lot, only the ones they broke down for parts weren’t running. As a sign of his friendship, he gave us a car. Damned nice car too.

    While we’re still getting used to each other, I think the odds are good that if we can handle this damned raider gang, Bozeman’s being added to the mail route. We already talked about a fair trade of assets.

    His people are for the most part, the just the kind of people who you’d vacation at Ski lodges. In essence, your classical white collar upper middle class professional crowd. While many of them are office rats, there are also a handful of salesmen, lawyers, doctors, and even some engineers. In other words, a glut of marketable job skills well suited for our current hostile economy.

    They’re also well placed to use as a base for scaving operations deeper into town to try and find the good stuff. We says he’s reluctant to do it on his own, but if we were to pool the resources of the four settlements, we could pretty much punch clear through any ghouls or crazies dumb enough to get between us and our target.

    They have a small Hydroponics setup, but its not really enough to do much more than supplement at the moment. What they really want is for us to share the Aquaponics farming setup with them. If they can grow food they can pretty much call it quits on the scaving for basic living supplies. According to their eggheads, it’ll be easy to build the tank setup from old dumpsters, what they need are samples of the duckweed, tilapia, and fowl.

    Honestly if this turns out well, I’m thinking three will soon be four. I like these people.

    Sadly, I can’t say the same for Missoula. It’s a fucking wreck. While they’d managed to pull together some cohesion after the bombs to distribute resources and deal with the ghouls and crazies, that fragile balance was shot all to hell when the raids started.

    According to them the raids started early last year. Back then there’d been a couple groups of organized towns people. Brown’s hadn’t been the largest. While secure he wasn’t in the best scaving location.He was however one of the people everyone turned to help work out conflicts. The largest had actually been run by a former construction worker. They’d built up fortified a shanty town of almost a hundred on the edge of the cities warehouse district.

    The Pale Riders struck without warning, punching down the fence and stealing as kidnapping as much as they could carry before putting the rest to the torch and leaving. To make it worse, in the immediate aftermath the noise probably attracted every ghoul within a quarter of a mile. They were forced to flee towards the school, abandoning what was left of their supplies and personal possessions to avoid being overrun by ghouls.

    This repeated several times in small encampments across the town leaving a disorganized hoard of shell shocked survivors who were forced to seek refuge among the only semi-secure location available, the school.

    Now onto another, less pleasant subject: Cyrus. I have to say, the man is highly manipulative an absolutely self-centered. He’s also lazier than I thought. The moment I showed up he started kissing up and seemed honestly pleased to have someone else to do the actual work. I’m getting the feeling that given the option, he’d rather play the Evil Chancellor than Evil Overlord. As much as I want to kill him though, a number of the locals seem to like him.

    I questioned him on how the hell he got there and he was pretty blunt. He and the men he left with fled down Route 90 headed to Washington state, just like he said he was when they got to Osburn. They got warned off going any farther down the road due to rumors of heavily armed Marauders and they’d been forced to leave with only what they could grab, so he claimed it looked like a good location to stock up and winter, as well as a place to try and figure out what the hell was down the line. During the winter, they found out. Place was hit hard and fast. Smash and grab.

    Cyrus claims to have been the only survivor, says he was smart enough to set up a bug-out location in the woods nearby the town and bolted for his supplies and then from there headed back east arriving in Missoula pretty much in the dead of winter. He gave some warning but was generally thought to be exaggerating. He told ‘em so, and he’s been playing it up ever since.

    According to him, he wants to kill the SOBs so he can get back on plan, unless something better comes along. Honestly I’m not sure what to say or how to deal with him.

    Missoula though absolutely needs help. They lost 35 to starvation and cold during the winter and are living hand to mouth. The grain we brought as a gift did wonders to secure their loyalty, but to be honest, I’m considering suggesting that we simply turn the school into a Forward Operations Base and see if its possible to evacuate the entire civilian population.

    Well, now only planning. I’ve been talking with Bear and the others via radio and I’ve come to believe our best bet is an ambush modeled on the one I used to take down the sheriff, only writ large.

    I’ve taken some advice and looked at the maps. Route 90 crosses the Clark Fork river just a mile or so outside of Missoula. My plan is simple... use the highway bridges as choke points. If they bring one of their dump trucks, simply blow that bridge while the truck is crossing. If we can’t hold them off, blow the bridge.

    In general we have a terrain advantage. I intend to use it. These bridges are going to be our Hot Gates, only I’m going to have proper fall back positions to prevent them from overrunning us.

    The second objective is prisoners. We need to know where they’re based and if we can find that out, we can scout them and prepare for an attack. They have a large number of people they took as slaves and I’m not about to let that many innocents be used as forced labor by a crazy fucking death cult.

    Now for the home stretch.

    I had to leave home for Diplomatic reasons but am still in contact. We’re using Morse code messaging broadcast by radio using coded phrases and a cypher. Paranoia can be your friend.

    Also using it as a chance to get people used to running the place without me holding their hand. Lucas is in nominal charge though he’s been keeping council with Helen, Kelly, and the Pastor.

    Before I left another piece of chaos showed up. I now know why Fletcher is so fucking nuts. The reason is, he’s fucking nuts. After an especially heated ‘negotiation’ session, Burns approached me and all but begged us to forgive Fletcher.

    Burns explained that the man once confided in him that he suffers from Manic Depression... in other words, he’s bi-polar. He used to take meds, and while he wasn’t a particularly easy to get along with, he was much more stable and reasonable. He wasn’t happy to tell us, as it was a bit of a betrayal of trust, but honestly both Masterson and I are just about through with the old fucker.

    At this point my options are limited to cutting contact, arranging a change of power, or finding some way to make homemade Prozac. Burns was begging us to not break contact, but seems too loyal to simply overthrow the old codger.

    Besides that, things are settling in nicely. Maybe once this damned war is over I can peacefully hand over the reigns to someone else.

    Once we have the men we’re going to do some looting ops into the larger towns and cities. We have people with the talent, but no one to protect them while they work. Once this damned war is over I hope we can get back on task.

    Yes, we have a very limited ability to make Gun Cotton and are reloading our weapons at this point. Were trying to make best use of more primitive arms that can use Black Powder though, for obvious reasons. It’s easier to make.

    Pastor has some understudies. He actually has 3 of them. One he’s training to be his second here, and another two he’s training to be the pastors for Plymouth and Fletcherville. He’s got the whole religion aspect covered.

    I’d like to infiltrate the Pale Riders and cap their leaders but I don’t know where they’re based. Yet.

    And again, a moat isn’t practical. We’re talking a 4 wheel drive trucks with seven foot off road tires. Trucknor laughs at your pitiful moats.

    July 9, 2080


    *BEGIN RECORDING*


    Today’s response is going to be short and sweet because I don’t have time for much more than a short update. Today there was an attack. If you check the timestamp you’ll see that I’ve been here all of 2 days. Barely even had time to set up an office in the school when our advanced scouts spotted an incoming dump truck.

    Honestly I’m very very glad that I sent some men with radios down the road. Normally, due to the high positioning of the school, they give about 10 minutes warning. Enough time to drop what you’re doing and retreat for cover. With our advanced scouts on the side of the mountain with police radios we were able to almost triple that giving everyone enough time to retreat safely to the cover of the school.

    While I really wanted to try and stop them at the bridges, it was ultimately agreed that we’d make better use of our forces by setting up a series of ambushes to thin their numbers. The results were positive but not by as much as we’d have liked. Hell, we even managed to bring a building down on the fucking dump truck and guess what, it shook it off like a duck and drove out of the goddamned rubble! Who built those goddamned things? Well, at least they’re dead now.

    Conventional fire netted us much more success. We managed to repel them with only minimal casualties. Five injured mostly shrapnel and one fatality. One of the local kids got a bit overly enthusiastic when he saw we were winning and gave away his firing position. They hit him with everything they had. Poor kid. Dumb little shit probably didn’t even see it coming.

    I hate to say it, but I was one of those casualties. I caught a fragment in the shoulder. Body armor too the brunt of it, but it’s still fucking painful and has me in a sling. Really, its nothing serious but to say Bear is displease is an understatement. He made it clear, with all due respect, that it’s not a good idea for the commanding officer to take undue risk. Kelly’s even less please and sent me a very passionate message about how I better be wearing the same face when I get home.

    But as is I’ll probably be laid up for the next few weeks while my arm heals. The real bitch is for that time I’m going to be stuck using my off hand, but bear seems pleased that I won’t be able to get into trouble because during the meantime.

    Next time though, I don’t expect it to be so easy. From the sound of it, they normally only get light resistance. They were spread out more concerned with finding stragglers than the were with fighting an actual coherent defense. They were expecting some assholes to take pot shots at them. They got what these days can only be described as a small army.

    We killed seven outright, injured several more, and managed to force the Pale Riders to withdraw and were even blessed with a survivor. Bear and Cyrus are currently working him over. I have to say one thing, while he’s a vile psychopath, he’s very good at getting information out of people. The thing is, with him around, Bear’s the Good Cop. If that doesn’t frighten you, it should.

    I’m looking for numbers, and more importantly, where they’re based out of. Hopefully I’ll know that by next reply.

    Now for some quick responses.

    I don’t know if Hope can regenerate, and frankly I’m in no great hurry to find out.

    I don’t want to kill Fletcher. That’s for the heads up about Lithium. I asked Kelly if she knows a source of metallic Lithium and she said it’s pretty heavily used in reactor technology. Would take some effort and but literally every dead car on the road contains like a pound of the stuff, and it shouldn’t be contaminated.

    We’re also going to see it there are any psychologists or psychiatrist among any of our surviving groups, but we’d also like to know if anyone here can get me any information on making any of the Lithium compounds commonly used as treatments. Otherwise we’ll probably be sticking with the Lithium water.

    One other thing, I’d still like info on homemade prozac. We all could probably use some fucking antidepressants around here.

    Not killing Cyrus either. He’s too useful alive. I might revise my stance later but chances are he’s getting ‘exiled’ when we’re done.

    In the meantime, I’m doubling up efforts to secure the bridges. There’s plenty of scrap steel around here so for once, Hedgehogs are a viable idea. We can also probably scavenge up some Jersey barriers to use as improved cover. The bridges of course are being rigged to blow. Next time they come here they’re going to find us ready.

    *END RECORDING*


    August 9, 2080


    After the first attack we responded quickly and doubled up on our defenses. We managed to bang together some hedgehogs and set up jersey barriers along the bridges to serve as cover. It’s done a lot to mitigate their attacks but the city was not designed for a convenient defense on any level.

    I-90 is a natural defensive position. The highway enters the city crossing the river across two highway bridges. It’s a natural choke point. Problem is there are just too many side routes into town. One of the worst is a street called I-90 Frontage Road. The bridges exist because they cut across a snake in the river, but technically we’re on the same side as the main highway. I-90 frontage hugs the bank and if we left it undefended would allow the enemy an literal path into our rear. This means we have to defend both bridges and that road. Thankfully they’re located as such that makes it so the defensive position on one could supply long rage fire against an attack on the other, but considering the rest of our problems that’s only a small mercy.

    On top of it there are several smaller side roads that enter into the city which still gives them a dangerous path into our rear. Thankfully though, they’re not capable of carrying larger vehicles and most have to move through the more wild areas of the city, which means that at least we don’t have to worry about the Dump Trucks, though that’s a small blessing as we haven’t seen one since the first attack

    We’ve been raided three more times since the first attack. They were smaller but faster, more aggressive but with a smaller concentration of force. I’m thinking probing raids. They’re testing our defenses. Thankfully they’ve yet to put any serious effort into infiltrating our rear. I guess they’re about as pleased with the idea of fighting through hoards of ferals and cannibal snipers as we are.

    I’m thinking they’re trying to figure out if they can break through and where we’re placing our troops. I think they’re planning something big and I’m thinking it’s going to be soon. I have a feeling that when they attack they’re going to throw everything at us.

    On the bright side, we now know where they’re based. The raider we captured was a fanatic, but we managed to get him to talk. They’re based out of an old silver mine in Osburn and got the trucks from a nearby quarry. With well over a hundred ‘warriors’ and about four times that in slaves, they have more guns than us, and seem to raid equally in both directions which means we can’t even count on starving them out.

    From the sound of it they’re completely dependent on raiding to supply their food, don’t really worry about contamination, and have no problem with cannibalism. In other words, as a group, they’re not going to last very long. Eventually, they’re going to run out of food or die of radiation poisoning. Problem is they’re going to kill a whole bunch of people before they finally give up the ghost. Us among them if we’re not careful.

    I’m thinking our best option would be to evacuate every non-combatant from Missoula and make this our western front. Blow every bridge, ruin the highway, turn the high school into a citadel, dig in deep, and wait for them to die of natural causes. If we can hold out that long.

    Now, on the bright side, things are going a little better back home. With the help of a chemist who was on vacation at Pitt’s Place, Kelly was able to get enough Lithium to start making Lithium Carbonate. It took him some work, but Burns was able to convince Fletcher to take it. From the sound of it he pretty much read him the riot act.

    It’s amazing what treatment and a solid kick to the head can do to a man. Fletcher actually apologized and has pretty much decided to hand over every day leadership of his settlement to Burns. That’s the good news.

    The Bad news is Boss Fletcher himself is on his way here with a half dozen ‘volunteers’.

    When it rains it pours, doesn’t it?

    August 19, 2080

    Have you ever had one of those ideas? And by that I mean the kind of idea, that you just blurt out in front of everyone, the kind that a moment after you say it, you think you’ve just said the most idiotic thing in the world, but despite all odds, not only does everyone think its absolutely brilliant, but they find a way to make it work deviously well? Well, I had two of those moments.

    We were talking combat tactics, and one of Masterson’s boys bitterly remarked that he wished we had some artillery. Without thinking I simply blurted out, “Well then, maybe we could build a trebuchet or something.”

    I swear to god, there were crickets. Then one of the men just looked at me and asked, “A what?”

    I felt like I was going to die then and there. Slowly, reluctantly, I stated, “A large medieval counter-weight catapult?”

    I thought I’d had one of those dumbass moments. They thought I was onto something. They started pressuring me to continue when really all I wanted to do was clam up. Then I remembered one of you asking about ‘how large an explosion do cars make’, so grasping for straws, I unthinkingly muttered something about using automotive reactors as ammunition in the vain hope that they’d see my ‘plan’ as the half baked plot it really was.

    Then, a bit too late, I remembered this is a world where man-pack pee-wee nukes were issued on a company level. They thought I was a genius, I thought they were insane to take it seriously.

    I will maintain that point was proven quite clearly when moments later some maniac expounded on the idea by going into fine detail about the process of removing them from their housings and pulling their safeties using equipment from the schools automotive shop.

    Honestly by then I wasn’t sure if I was more horrified by the idea of deploying adhoc nuclear munitions or the idea that they actually let high-school kids play with Plutonium-239. Either way, there was no stopping it, and less than a week later we premiered our state of the art medieval catapult that can sling a 120lb sub-critical nuclear reactor that will catastrophically explode on impact to a distance of 300 yards.

    The irony is not lost on me.

    As you can tell, I wasn’t too fond of using nuclear ammunition, after all, we have more than enough fallout to deal with as is without adding more to the mix, so using my position as the defacto leadership guy, I ordered that a bunch of trash cans be turned into bombs by filling them with explosives and scrap metal. I’d like to have some conventional choices before resorting to the nuclear option, thanks much.

    We managed to finish it just in time for them to attack in full force.

    It was an all out frontal assault. They’d put a full out giant ass V-style bulldozer blade on a pair of their dump trucks to push our defenses out of the way and were using the damned things as mobile pill boxes. It was like a pair of fortress on wheels. One going across the bridge, the other up Frontage Road.

    It was a battle for sure. Heavy exchange of fire and and they were using some kind of giant truck mounted slingshot to fire grenades at us. We started off by launching our trash can bombs, but due to the thick metal of the vehicle’s side walls the damage was minimal as the accuracy was questionable. Once they reached the bridge though I decided enough was enough and reluctantly ordered them to go live with the nuclear ordnance.

    My god it was beautiful. It was almost magical moment. One punctuated with a special effect budget that would make Michael Bay cry bloody tears of pyrotechnic joy.

    Maybe it was luck, maybe it was voodoo, maybe the preacher called in a whole lot of favors with the almighty, but that reactor landed right on target

    Boom.

    Big boom. It struck the lip right over the cab, and because the cab is mounted just next to the engine, that means it pretty much exploded right over top of the reactor. It caused a sympathetic detonation that probably could have been heard in Yellowstone.

    All of us were knocked clear off our asses by the blast, and I don’t even want to go into detail about what my Geiger Counter was doing but they blowed up good. So did the bridges as the explosion set off the charges we set.

    The other truck tried to fight on, but we’d placed a number of IEDs in the road, and after the second or third close call, and a goddamned nuclear blast, they decided discretion was the better part of valor. We tried to hit them with another nuclear “shell” but this time luck wasn’t with us and all it seemed to do was encourage them to leave faster.

    While it was a victory for sure, we lost seven, another nineteen were injured, and all of us are going to be hitting up the anti-rad meds tonight.

    August 24, 2080

    Last night I got my last full nights sleep in almost a week. It seems that the only thing that boosts your workload more than defeat is victory. First three days were spent cleaning up.

    As soon as it was reasonable, I ordered all of our people decontaminated. Those reactor explosions are anything but clean and all of us got plenty of unwanted rads. Everyone was forced to take a cold shower making sure to shampoo, have their clothes washed, and were issued a Radaway ration. You’d think there’d be grumbling about it, and at first there was... I was a bit strict about it at first. Clothes off and get your ass under that damned hose, but Principal Brown was able to redirect it into actually being something positive. It seems that on an 86 degree day all you need to turn dumping gallons of cold water over someone from post-combat chore into a victory celebration is a positive approach, and the fact that their clothes were being washed, probably for the first time in years, was a bonus. He even got them to man up and take their Radaway!

    Still, I do believe we can probably expect a small population boom sometime around May of next year. You take a bunch of high spirited young people, strip them naked and throw them into a group without thinking to segregate them along gender lines, and they’ll do what’s natural, even if you do take the hose to ‘em.

    The things I’d do for some goddamned discipline.

    Well, between the victory and the ‘Pool Party of Love’, I sent Bear ahead with some scouts ahead with a double ration of Radaway and orders to find any stragglers. Run ‘em off, kill ‘em, take ‘em alive. I’m not picky, I just don’t want any more of those sons of bitches near our town.

    He came back two days later with prisoners, including a Ghoul. I had to make it clear to everyone that Ghoul’s aren't all evil by nature, as most of them thought he was an evil flesh eating zombie, and while they were technically correct, I wanted to debase them of that notion as not all ghouls are ferals or evil death cultists.

    He got a lot out of him. At first he wasn’t willing to speak, but Bear can be very persuasive. He can be even more persuasive when he has Cyrus helping him out. I’ll leave it at that.

    Seems that he was one of their officers, one of their priests. First, they’ve been doubling up their ‘missionary’ efforts to the west in response to the resistance we’ve been putting up. Call me a fool, but this is disheartening because I don’t like the idea of others suffering on my my behalf.

    On a positive note though, we managed to blow up about a quarter to a third of their ‘glorious crusaders’ with that one hit. The estimated number of enemy dead was somewhere around thirty or forty, to give a rough estimate. We can’t get exact numbers because, well, anyone who was on the bridges and wasn’t atomized was washed down river.

    Most distressingly though, is how he referred to me. He said that according to their lord, the ‘heretics’ were being lead by a ‘false immortal’ who he referred to as ‘he of many faces’. Thankfully the others thought this was nonsense, but all I can say is... well... what the fuck?

    After that I had to visit the injured and try and give them some comfort. Thank god we have a couple real doctors now, though we have to be careful, our medical supplies aren’t going to last forever.

    The funerals were the really hard part. I only knew two of the dead. One was one of Mastersons boys, and I let him honor his own, the other was one of the folk who’d been captured by the sheriff. He was one of the first to sign on had been with me since yellowstone went from being a refuge to a community.

    His name was Ted Johnson, he was 33, and he had a wife waiting for him and a six month old daughter. I don’t look forward to breaking this to his wife. She deserves to know but just writing a letter is just so... she deserves better.

    The others were locals. Most of them didn’t have anyone left to grieve, one of them, hell, nobody even even remembered his goddamned name. That’s not right. That’s just not fucking right. He died to protect these people and we can’t even honor him with the common dignity of a properly marked grave.

    Another two got hit with a firebomb and, well, the less I say about the condition of bodies the better. We can’t tell who is who. We can only guess and hope the right body is in the right hole.

    I ordered everyone to write down their name, date of birth, and blood type to make proper dog tags so this shit doesn’t happen again. Originally I was going to use the school machine shop to make them, even though it would have taken some time to cut all that metal, grind it down, and engrave every name... these guys deserve it after all, but thankfully we have a second option.

    One of the kids, after a bit of prompting, mentioned that one of the local pet shops had a machine where you only needed to insert the tag and type in the name to get a tag for your pets collar. I sent him with a couple of Mastersons boys to raid the store and bring back anything of even marginal value.

    They should be back tomorrow. I hope they’re alright, and I hope the others are okay with their dog tags literally being dog tags.

    On top of that chaos, Fletcher just arrived. While he’s no longer certifiably insane, he’s still stubborn as a mule and pumped full of piss and vinegar the way that only a man who’s always wanted to fight in a war but never was given ‘the honor’ due to being Section 8ed right out of boot when he was 18 because they figured out he wasn’t quite right in the head.

    Even without the rampant paranoia, he’s still a stubborn, crotchety old mule, but thankfully he seems to feel he owes me one, even if he has taken it to be his duty to ‘help’ me out by dispensing his ‘well earned wisdom’. I think I liked it better when he was antagonistic.

    Right now we’re split between several plans of action for what to do next.

    Fletcher’s pushing for an assault, hit ‘em hard, hit ‘em fast before they can finish reeling from the blow. Personally I think its a bit reckless. We don’t know what we’re going into and to attack we’d have to move up the highway through a large amount of national forest which would leave us open to fire and possible ambush.

    Bear is all for a deep range scouting mission. He was to form a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol from our best men and do a recon in force, scouting out their assets, destroying any and all targets of opportunity, and if possible, try to set off a slave revolt. In general he’s looking to wreak chaos and havoc in their rear while gaining valuable information.

    Finally, Principle Brown is outright pleading with me to use this opportunity to evac the civilians. While Yellowstone can’t possibly swallow all of these people, there’s a good chance that between Pitt’s Place, Yellowstone, Fletcherville, and Plymouth we could find room.... but such a large convoy would be a big fat target and would take a huge amount of effort to move.

    On top of that it’s been suggested by you folks that I check out Warren AFB and Malmstrom AFB. I’ll be honest. I doubt either of them are are intact and Warren is on the far tip of Wyoming. I doubt we’d realistically be able to send anyone. Malmstrom on the other hand is right up I15 at Great Falls. From Pitt’s Place at Bozeman, we’d simply have to turn onto I15 at Butte rather than continuing along I90 to Missoula. It might actually be worth checking out, though I still have my doubts, though when I mentioned it there is a strong desire to take a look.

    Even if its a 90% chance of walking onto a radioactive crater, they’re willing to risk it on the off chance of scoring some proper military gear.

    I finally had to tell everyone to fuck off and went to bed. 12 hours later I’m typing to you. I need some advice and ideas because I’m honestly in a bit over my head here.

    Now just to finish off, a couple other Qs and As.

    First, we’re not calling ourselves anything the X, Y, Z of America. It’s too loaded and will seem too arrogant to most. We can grow into it if we have two. Second, water based currency might be worth a damn in central California, but around here there’s too much water. The water from the river is already clear of most contaminants and pretty safe to drink, though I’d still suggest filtering and boiling it just to be sure.

    As for the question, where are the lasers? I don’t know, but I could sure as hell use a couple right now.

    For our nuke thrower we’re gonna keep with the catapult for now. No way we’re going to be able to build a potato gun that large.

    Hot Air Balloons as surveillance platforms, while a good idea, are not as of yet realistic. Maybe for the future, but right now it might be a bit much. I’ll mention it and see what they come up with.

    Zeppelins on the other hand, no. Just no.

    Thermite is always useful but with what we have now, maybe a bit too dangerous to handle except for demolitions.

    Manuals are always welcome.

    And finally... How would you AIM a “Project Orion” artillery piece?

    Well, thank you and I need some breakfast.

    Ideas are always welcome and I could really use some input.

    September 01, 2080

    In the end I ended up doing a combination of Bear and Brown’s suggestions. In other words, a deep range Recon in force while evacuating the most vulnerable locals, mostly the elderly, children, the injured, and any young mothers. Once they’re clear we’re moving to the less critical civilians.

    It’s going to be a couple trips before we can evacuate everyone who can’t fight, and we’re having to spread them pretty wide to take the extra population hit, but right now we have a couple dozen less mouths to feed and people to protect which does matter a lot.

    Once they’re out of the way, I’ll be able to spare the people to check the airbase.

    Already scouted out the impact site in Yellowstone. It’s a green glowing lake at the moment so I don’t think anything there is valuable... or will be for about 80 years.

    As for Bear he took about a dozen of our best and vanished into the hills about a week ago. I don’t know what he’s up to, but I’m sure our glowing friend isn’t happy about it. I have given him orders though to be back before the second week in October. Once October comes around we’re going to have to start thinking of how to wrap up for the year. The snows start in October and we really don’t want to be snowed in here come November.

    Depending on how things turn out I’m betting we either finish evacuating the locals and only leave a small but well armed garrison in winter quarters to guard the pass, or if Bear brings good tidings, we try and get this mess finished in hopes of being home by Christmas.

    I’m planning for the long haul, but I hope to god we’ll be able to dispose of this threat once and for all. I want to go home to my wife and daughter.

    Sorry I can’t tell you more for the moment, but right now its the waiting game.

    Honestly the only thing I’m at all sure of right now is our defense. The own two routes they have into town are Interstate 90 or taking Route 3 onto Route 12 which takes three times as long, takes them through a narrow pass where that I’m ordering the construction of another catapult to cover, and even then would require them to cross a bridge that I’ve already rigged to blow.

    Building mortars is a good idea and I’ve sent a note to our idea people back home to see if it can be done. The tubes are easy. Just a pipe on an adjustable Bipod with a nail in the middle. It’s the shells that take effort. I’d like to avoid the whole muzzleloader stage simply to safety's sake.

    Which sounds ironic from someone throwing around nuclear car engines.

    Speaking of which I am not building orion artillery.

    Now, I need to say one thing about calling ourselves anything with ‘America’ in the name. It’s a very bad idea for the long term. Right now it might cause improved moral but in time it’ll simply make us stand out like a red flag in a bull pasture. Keeping the long view, if we want to survive, then we simply cannot afford to draw undue attention to ourselves and ‘America’ is a very powerful word that is exceedingly dangerous to use unless you have the firepower to back it up... and we don’t. To put it to rest right now, calling ourselves the anything ‘of America’ is a giant ass bullseye we don’t need and can’t afford.

    And I do expect to have this very same conversation again with Masterson when the time comes.

    For currency we’re probably going to end up using the Bottlecap like everyone else in the wastes.

    Thanks you for the concern, but water hasn’t been too much of a problem. We filter it to get out the particulate fallout and do rad counts on it before its considered safe to drink. The rule is if the counter speaks, don’t drink.

    As for Necros or whatever that murdering fuck has to say about me, there is a slight amount of supernatural in Fallout. I’ve checked up on it and nobodies mentioned anything to anyone or even written it down, while my Pipboy is pretty much magically unhackable. He’s probably having visions of some kind. I hope. Frankly more ASB shit would be just fucking wonderful. And by that I mean goddamned horrible.

    And yes, I’m pretty sure that I’m aging. I do see a few grey hairs that weren’t here when I got this body after my regeneration. Though I hope I’m not being set up as a God Emperor. I really am finding that ruling takes much more effort than I’d ever willingly accept.

    As to my sanity, well, as much as I’d like to go back to our nice safe Earth, my family is here. My wife and my daughter. I keep sane for them and even if I could go back I wouldn’t abandon them to this hell. I’m just keeping a stiff upper lip and as long as they’re safe I can carry on.

    And thank you for the manuals and other content. I means a lot to me.

    I’ll report in again when there’s some actual news.

    September 19, 2080

    Bear just got back from his raid and what I have to say is a doozie. I’m going to reply to you guys before I get to the background because frankly there’s just too much to say and I won’t be able to get off it.

    The truth really is that while many people still see themselves as Americans in many ways, by the time the bombs fell there was a general spirit of... I’m not sure how you’d say it, but I’d go with strained loyalty. A lot of the backwards reflection you see towards that era in the games is through rose tinted glasses. From what I remember of the games, they spoke of the time before the bombs as a golden age. Kind of like how people look back on the 1950s like they were some glorious period when men were men, women were women, and everyone lived in a suburban ranch house and bought a new car every year.

    The resource wars started in 2052. Europe and the Middle East had been a battle field for 25 years when the bombs dropped. Alaska invaded 11 years prior. It was long enough for a child to be been born, grow to adulthood, and have a child of their own without knowing even a transitive peace. And these weren’t casual conflicts, they were bloody, nasty, costly affairs with tactical WMDs deployable on a company level.

    On top of that you have a floundering economy struggling to keep up production as demand badly outreached the supply, incomes that had been stagnant for a quarter century, an increasingly corrupt and totalitarian central government, and if almost as a cherry on top, the New Plague.

    If 2077 was a golden age, then it was a gilded one. Tarnished by riots on the street and a lifetimes worth of bitter resentment.

    The Enclave came from somewhere, and people knew about it, even if it wasn’t quite consciously and they couldn’t quite put a name to it outside the embittered rantings of publicly discredited conspiracy theorists. People knew that there were powerful people, important people, securing their own survival and to hell with the world, all while squeezing every last top of blood out of a planet that was already bone dry. They knew this even as they blankly listened to all while a badly strained media struggled to keep a smile on their face and get them to believe in an unsustainable perversion of the American ideal.

    At least around here we blame the Feds. Most of these people resent the fuckers in Washington who blew up the world and hid in their goddamned vaults while the world burned. While there is a strong current of nationalism even now thanks to a lifetime of propaganda, its tainted with bitterness and is much more focused on the dream than the reality.

    Now, you might find this difficult to rectify with the idea of Masterson and his Americaneers but to be honest, his men have even more contempt for this world’s United States than I do. They founded their community because they thought the government had gone rotten. They believed that if anything was to survive, it would fall to people like them. To men who believed in the dream but saw the reality for what it was, to build a new nation founded on the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s why they call themselves Plymouth. To them this is a refounding of the same ideal to create something new.

    We believe in what America stood for but I’ll be honest, the United States is dead. It was sucked dry decades ago, and its shambling corpse finally laid to rest by Chinese atomics while the vampires who killed its soul slithered off to an oilrig in the middle of the Pacific.

    I apologize about the rant. Call me bitter, but all the talk of names and symbols dredged up something I thought I’d buried. You might not be able to tell, but I might be maybe a little bit resentful of all this shit.

    While the US back home strikes me of having been well meaning but inept, the Fun House mirror perversion we had here was nothing more than a nauseating parody that managed to be both criminally incompetent and cartoonishly malevolent all at the same time. I loath it with a passion matched in intensity only by the fires that burned the world.

    Frankly, if I really am immortal, I’m going to see about finding me some surviving nuclear weapons and I’ll check if I can get the coordinates for the Oil Rig from the tanker in SanFran. See about brightening up their day. Lets see how those bastards like taking a nuke to the face!

    Maybe I’ll try and do it on December 25, just for kicks. Hohoho motherfuckers. Merry fucking christmas. Have some Sunshine in a Can, shoved right up your goddamned chimney!

    Now, three years worth of bitterness and rage aside, I know I need a symbol, but as I suggested above and before, using ‘America’ will attract attention and thanks to decades of gross mismanagement has a veritable encyclopedia of possible negative connotations. On top of that, even taken in the best light its either too big or downright delusional. It’s When people think of America they think “From Sea to Shining Sea”. That’s vast and somewhat impersonal. When you’re living in a world as small as the one we are now, it’s just too hard to wrap your head around.

    The other thing they think is the classic image of baseball, hot dogs, and mom’s apple pie. I’m sorry but no. That world is gone, and the sooner people realize it and stop living in the past the better our chances of long term survival.

    Up until the day I blew him to hell, Whitaker flew the 13 stripes and 14 stars of the Commonwealth American flag over his office, using the memory of the US to keep him in power, using the delusion that things didn’t need to change, that all it took was good old American determination and knowhow to keep things the way they were to keep people sedated and under control.

    I refuse to play that game.

    At this point the only way we could even think about playing anything even remotely related to America card is if Steve Rogers fell from the sky and offered to lead us. I don’t know about you, but if Captain America was to show up in all of his star spangled glory, I sure as fuck wouldn’t turn him away. He’s the kind of symbol we could use.

    But yes, we do need a symbol, and as I doubt the Sentinel of Liberty is going to show up anytime soon, I’ll just have to make do with what we’ve got. I need something local, something intimate, something everyone loves and can identify with that doesn’t come pre-stocked with a closet full of skeletons. Thankfully, I already have one in mind.

    I’m going to use Old Faithful.

    In this area Yellowstone National Park is very much part of the local spirit and sense of identity, even before the bombs, and there is nothing more instantly identifiable as a symbol of the park than that damned geyser.

    If we ever get to the point where we describe ourselves as a country and not simply a scattered collection of survivors, I’m going to suggest we take on the name the Yellowstone Republic... or Republic of Yellowstone, with the flag being a white rendition of Old Faithful against maybe a blue, green, and brown tricolor representing the sky, forests, and earth.

    To everyone in this region, the park was part of them. Everyone went to it, everyone had fond childhood memories of camping and adventuring through its depths, and unlike the fond memories of the prewar American idea, those memories are deeply entwined with the concept of self-sufficiency that we need to embrace if we are to survive.

    Though I have to say, the general shape of the NPS arrowhead could be useful for something. Good call. I don’t know what we’ll use it for but we’ll see.

    I’m sure Masterson will have some ideas of his own.

    Though I’ll tell you now I’m not using the origin symbol. Considering how easter egg packed Fallout is, I refuse to tempt fate.

    That said, I want to absorb as much as we safely can and encourage growth. A powerful state formed as soon as possible during the aftermath would have a good chance of long term survival. I see no reason to wait 80 years to start a country, especially one that’s removed enough from the harsh lessons of the past as to repeat the process like NCR.

    Now that that’s over, I’ll talk about pulling out men for the winter and the pros, the cons, and the entire reason why. That being the fact that if I don’t, then the troops are going to starve. Right now we’re having to ship in food and we can only stockpile so much for the season. You see, this area gets about three or more foot of snow during the winter. Things become downright impassable once the show fall gets serious. We need to get the civilians and get as many people as is reasonable to winter quarters.

    I’m not scouting out anything in Utah or Cheyenne mountain. Both are too far as to be basically inaccessible. Besides, if I was going to go that far, I’d probably hit up Groom Lake and see what’s poking about Area 51.

    Lingering radiation isn’t that bad, and the fallout has settled by now. That said, I’m not going to risk the major urban areas. It’ll probably be a couple decades before the cities are safe for humans, especially the large coastal ones.

    Thanks for the list of hospitals, I’ll hit them up when we have the manpower. Same with the airports to see if anything is worth talking. I might also send a team to poke around Lewis and Clarke Caverns. It’s a good suggestion.

    Our communications are relatively solid. We have a radio link, though with the mountains we use mostly Morse Code. In essence, were pretty much running on wireless telegraph.

    Now for current events. There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that Bear and his boys found out a lot. They were able to pick off several of the raider’s patrols and got us some good intel.

    The bad news is that these crazy fucking cultists are using an old quarry as their citadel. They’re based out of an old silver mine, the main access of which is a single long access road that goes up the side of a mountain and it seems that they’ve fortified it rather diligently.

    It’s pretty nightmarish to be honest. The walls are covered with impaled corpses and the psycho seems to be building a pyramid of all things on the top of the mountain.

    The only weak point seems to be that he’s importing stone from a nearby quarry to serve as the material for the pyramid.

    The quarry's also reasonably fortified by its nature but they don’t seem to be putting as much effort into defending it.

    Both have a lot of slaves, and while I’d like to rescue them, I’m not entirely sure if its realistic. They’re all going to be badly traumatized and I’m not quite sure if we have the food. We could try but it would be hard.

    Masterson and I are going to pull a war council together and see what we could work out. If you have any questions or opinions please, speak your minds.

    Thank you.

    October 08, 2080

    We’re currently planning an assault on the Pale Riders. We need to strike before the first permanent snowfalls but late enough that they won’t have time to recover from the damage before we’re snowed in for the winter.

    The plan’s relatively simple. As a side effect of clearing a path for for their dump trucks they’ve basically cleared I90 of most of the dead cars making it a pretty clear route. If we pace ourselves we could make the trip in only a couple hours.

    The big problem is that we’d want to attack their quarry base first. It’s poorly defended and isolated. Bear’s pretty sure we could take out their radio communications with the the first shot.

    Plans twofold. We’re sending ahead a small force, Bear and his men again. Their job is going to be to lay IEDs along the road leaving the Sunshine Mine.

    This might sound like overkill, but the problem is that the mine is actually a few miles closer to us than the quarry. It is very necessary to leave a rear guard to make sure our line of withdrawal remains open in case things should go pear shaped.

    In general, the plan is symbol. Set up an ambush and a rear guard to keep them bottled in the mine (just in case), stealth raid the quarry to take out their men, rescue the slaves, loot the place, and then rig it to blow the hell up.

    I’m hoping to avoid contact with their main force, but considering the losses they’ve been taking, if it comes to a pitched battle, we believe we’ll be victorious. Still, we’re not taking any chance.

    Though if we do contact the main force and are able to defeat them, we are maintaining the option of raiding the mine itself depending on what we can drag out of any prisoners.

    While their main ammo dump seems to be inside the mine where its all nice and protected, they’re down to their last truck. If we can I want it taken out or at least crippled. I’m rather sure the only spare parts around are the ones still attached to the hulk back in Yellowstone. If we can damage it enough, we can probably take it out of the game.

    Along those lines I’ve ordered the creation of a number of kitbashed missile launchers. Basically a spin stabilized rocket with a crude HEAT warhead crammed into an old pipe with some crude sights and a battery powered firing switch. Some of these machine shop kids both amaze and terrify me in equal measure. The chemistry geeks me even more so. Homemade Dynamite as the explosive and home brew rocket fuel... they make it out of fertilizer, sugar, and rust. They call it Rocket Candy.

    I have to admit, I’m equally appalled and intrigued. It’s not very accurate, and I’m afraid that they’ll explode when dropped, but it should put a hole in something. Hopefully that something will be hostile.

    If anyone has any ideas, suggestions, or condemnations, please speak now. I will admit I’m not one hundred percent on the plan myself, but we need to go on the offensive is simply for moral’s sake. Being eternally on the defensive surrenders the initiative to the enemy. We need to strike.

    Now, back on the homefront, Kelly says that Hope’s doing well and I miss them both terribly. Roberta’s starting to mention that when this is over, she wants to temporarily step down to have another child.

    I also forgot to mention what happened with our little quest for dogtags. I’d like to report it as a resounding success. Not only did we find a nifty little machine that stamps metal tags, but that was not the real prize. The place had already been stripped for the canned food, even the dried fish flakes were gone, but no one had touched the small mountain of aquarium antibiotics. This might not sound like much, but consider most of those are the same drugs they give humans but packed in economy sized bottles and labeled ‘not for human consumption’ so they can sell them over the counter.

    At first they didn’t pick up on it and left them. I on the other hand cackled like a madman when in passing they said all the found were some fish tank pills, and ordered them to go back and get them. Masterson was equally pleased when he heard about it. Our medical personnel were ecstatic.

    Please send a copy of "De re militari”. While I have no desire to sound rude, please don’t suggest a book without sending a copy. I don’t exactly have internet access or a library card over here in the land of mutants and hard radiation.

    I don’t want to collapse the mine if I can avoid it. Too many innocents are enslaved by them and I’d rather not damn them to that death. Diverting rivers and the like is also impossible due to the fact I’m in the middle of the Rockies.

    You know those video games where they give an artificial sensation of size by making the playing area nothing more than winding passes and canyons in the middle of what is basically a fake ass mountain range? It’s kinda like that, only it’s really big and very real.

    Ceaser, as for that asshole, if I live long enough and have to hunt down Edward Sallow and strangle him to death in the crib, then so fucking be it. I’m going to do my best to prevent that abomination from forming.

    Now, the suggestion about national service... not needed as everyone who’s able to fight, barring the young, the sick, the elderly, the crippled, and new mothers, are all members of the militia and expect to fight should it come to it. It’s kinda like Starship Troopers. Everyone fights, nobody quits.

    Thanks for the list of bases, but the problem is a number of those locations are close to there the bombs fell. I might look later but right now radiation is the big concern.

    Now I’d like to mention the whole regeneration thing again. The oddball information about quad helix DNA and Arton radiation is interesting, and should I ever get access to high end scientific equipment I will try looking into it. I want to know what the hell was done to me. But either way, something deposited me here, and if I can be dumped into a fictional universe, then giving me a link to the void might just be child’s play. I pray that I’m wrong, but I have a feeling the sinking feeling that reason I was given regeneration wasn’t for my benefit, but so I don’t die off before things get interesting.

    Or this could all be Dr. Who technobabble, but at the least it gives me some likely sounding horse shit to throw at people if they demand to know what the hell is up. Hell, also explains how I know about the Enclave. I’m your friendly neighborhood test subject! They were looking to create someone who can regenerate from any injury using SCIENCE!. I was the lab rat. The filled me with FEV, bombarded my ass with wacky exotic radiation, and it worked.

    Kinda.

    They didn’t expect me to be reborn every time I die. I used my abilities to escape and in the process found out a lot about the people who captured me.

    That sound likely?

    So, any opinions on my grand evil plan of kicking the shit out of the Pale Riders?

    The Go Date is the 13th. It's the New Moon.

    October 15, 2080

    I fucked up. Oh, Holy Mary mother of God did I fuck this one up. Too long. We waited too long. We waited too damned long.

    These raiders weren’t idiots. I underestimated them. We all did. We underestimated their guile and their intelligence. They knew we were coming, eventually. They knew they took losses. They knew that they wouldn’t be able to really hold out against a coordinated assault with the limited assets they had, so they pulled out.

    The things I’ve seen today will haunt me until the end of my days. I’m sorry if I come off rambling but... it’s my fault. It was my call and I fucked up.

    If we hadn’t been moving in the night, if we hadn’t seen their fires... they’d have caught us unaware. I was an idiot for not thinking they’d be bright enough to set up a defensive line. But thankfully we were able to get the jump on the defensive line though we took a couple losses it was nothing we weren’t ready for emotionally. The odds were good too. We were able to either kill or capture thirty of thiers, a goodly chunk of their remaining forces.

    So we kept up the attack in hopes we’d be able to exploit our gains. What we found is was nightmare.

    We hobbled them at the bridge. We knew it, and they were even more aware that we had the edge then we were. According to the prisoners that glowing asshole ‘foresaw’ that there would be an attack and believed that victory would be as costly as defeat. I don’t know if he was just building on observations and stating it in a way to overawe his followers, if he actually does have some form of precognitive ability, or it was just the paranoid rantings of a complete madman. Considering the nature of the world here, it could be any of the above, or if the fact he pretty much was damned near subsisting on a diet of radioactive peyote is any indicator, it very well maybe all of the above.

    So he left. He abandoned the quarry, ordered took the best, the brightest, the most savage and competent of his warriors to withdraw to the mine, and began preparations to leave. It was only logical. We knew where they lived, we had more competent men, and we could maintain ourselves while he was operating completely as a predatory force. With the west cut off to raiding and the bulk of his attack vehicles gone, he needed to move onto newer, softer targets.

    The men we fought were left on the highway with vague orders to guard the pass and wait to be relieved when preparations were complete. Of course when we arrived at the mine, it became pretty clear that was almost a week ago. The place was a ghost town. There wasn’t a living soul. They took everything of value and destroyed the rest. That includes their human property.

    With so many slaves to move and feed, what would they do for food when they started to run out? Well, that question is rhetorical. After all, humans can be butchered like any other animal. We found smoking racks. Rows of them. All covered with a thick layer of dried fat and blood, along with all the parts they didn’t find appetizing, like the heads.

    Dozens of cooked human heads, all locked into their last moments of agony and terror. Then when they’d had enough, they simply impaled those who weren’t fast enough to flee into the woods.

    Had I struck while the iron was hot, I could have saved these people. But I procrastinated and because of it hundreds died. I should have been there to save these people but I wasted time and innocent people paid the price.

    I really don’t know what to do. I haven’t slept in days. Everytime I try I close my eyes and remember the sights of dead women butchered like... like fucking cattle. Of children hanging on pikes, left to slowly die a tortuous death.

    I’ve tried to eat, but I don’t have an appetite. I just think of what was last cooked here and lose all appetite.

    The men have the same problem. We thought we were marching to victory but instead we ended up in a charnel house of horrors. Morale is in the shitter, and its my job to lead them, but right now I don’t think anyone is more disheartened than me. How the hell am I supposed to raise their spirits when all I can see is the blood on my hands?

    What do I do?

    Please. Help me.

    October 22, 2080


    As you read them, I’m on the road heading home. I haven’t seen my wife and daughter in months and I can’t wait to see them. It’s been over four, almost five months since I’ve seen them and I miss them terribly.

    Thanks for your kind words. I’m still shaken up by all that, and I can honestly say there’s not a man or woman in here who community who hasn’t sworn vengeance. Masterson’s keeping his composure well enough, though he does seem a bit shaken. I’m glad I have him to lean on. I’m glad I have all of you. Between your words and his renforcement, I was able to keep my composure well enough to give a speech. I don’t think its very good, but Masterson insisted that I record it. Said something about posterity. I wasn’t in the mood to fight.

    Bear seems frighteningly unaffected, but that said, he’s probably seen just as bad if not worse. Towards the end, the Chinese soldiers in Alaska were driven to some rather dire straits that probably were far worse than most people know.

    Fletcher on the other hand is a howling rage right now. The old bastard’s ready to go on a warpath. I’m going to have to reign him in before he does something stupid.

    Here’s a transcript of my speech.

    Today we stand today united in our cause, in victory and in sadness. Victory because we’ve driven the our enemies before us and sent them to the wind. The Pale Riders, at least for now, aren’t a threat to our friends and families All of you fought bravely against a foe who was completely devoid of mercy and basic human decency. It is thanks to your efforts, all of you, that we are safer today than we have been in a long time. In my eyes at least, every single one of you is a hero.

    If this were a fair and just world, then today would be a day of celebration. But it is not. If it was, we’d be in our homes with our families and the world would have never burned. It is human nature to blame ourselves for things out of our control. The things we have seen today will forever live in our nightmares, but can’t afford to blame ourselves. We did what we could to protect our loved ones and nothing more could have been asked of any one of us.

    This abomination wasn’t our fault. It was the fault of the leaders who started the war and damned the world. It was the fault of the monsters who murdered these people. But its not our cross to bare. We will however take responsibility for what happens next, and give these people the dignity in death that they were denied in life.

    But we can’t forget that this isn’t over. Our enemy’s still alive. We must grow strong and we must maintain our vigilance, for the prince of freedom is eternal vigilance! And one day we’ll find that phosphorescent son of a bitch and we’ll see justice done.

    But that’s not today. Instead, today we learned a lesson that we can afford to forget, for those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. We must remember what happened today, the things we’ve seen, the heroes who’ve fought, and the innocents who paid the ultimate price in the name of a madman’s twisted quest for power. We’ll remember it. We will remember it all, and in the memory of the fallen, in the memory of a billion innocent dead. we will steel our hearts with the utmost fortitude and swear that this will never happen again.
    Our mission has only begun, and I expect that every man will do his duty.

    After that I dismissed them and told Masterson to arrange a burial detail. Keep the men busy so they can’t really think about it. Might not have been the best idea but idle hands are the devil’s playground.

    They put all the bodies in a mass grave, put a marker on top, and engrave it with the message saying what happened here. I didn’t have any real part in it, but they managed to make it pretty tasteful. One of the pastor’s students even gave funerary rites. While it wasn’t for me, I appreciated the effort. I simply wasn’t in a mind to organize something like that at the time.

    The rest I set to work stripping the area of anything of value. There really wasn’t much. The Pale Riders had been pretty thorough. Anything of value was taken with or destroyed.

    I talked with Bear and confirmed my own feelings. Hunting down the Riders would be folly. Lethally so. Managed to convince Old Man Fletcher of the same, though the cranky old bastard isn’t happy about it. He’s not crazy anymore but that doesn’t mean he’s pleasant to be around.

    He did however insist we look for any surviving slaves who escaped. I agreed with that and said it would be a volunteer gig. We got ten volunteers with the skills needed, including both Roberta and Bear. They remained behind for about a week and managed to find over a dozen survivors before the weather started getting rough. I don’t expect the others to survive the winter, though I’ve been surprised before.

    To call those survivors traumatized would be a grave understatement. With some of them I almost feel that killing them would be the greater kindness. If there is anyone with psychological training out there, I could use a couple ideas. They have however given us some important information. Not all of them came from the same settlements we know about. When spring comes I’m going to send out scouting missions to see if those communities have survived, and if so, try and make peaceful contact.

    The folks from Missoula are, for the most part, heading south. There are a couple stubborn hardliners who refuse to move out, and we’ve decided to keep the High School up and running as an outpost and possible future colony if we decide to resettle the town when the seasons up. A small volunteer contingent is remaining there, including Cyrus.

    He’s said that he and his ‘boys’, the small group of lunatics and suckers who’ve flocked to his banner, will be heading west once the snows melt. Personally, I’ll be happy to be rid of him. I swore I wouldn’t shoot him, but I sure as hell don’t want him to stick around. The man’s toxic and if he ever sets foot in Yellowstone, he’ll probably get lynched and you know what, I’m actually fine with that.

    Exile is the best option, though I’m going to be reorganizing the defenses of Missoula once he’s gone. Just because he’s earned a little respect and a stay of execution, doesn’t mean I trust him an inch.

    Seriously though, considering the number of refugees, and I feel like a complete and utter scum for even thinking this, but its probably for the best that we’re not going to have to feed and house a small army of ex-slave refugee . We simply don’t have the supplies for it. Even with heavy rationing it would have been a hard winter. With just the folks from Missoula, well, we might have to tighten our belts a bit during the lean months but nobodies going to be going to bed with an empty belly.

    They’re being split up between Yellowstone for once isn’t going to be the town accepting all the refugees, mainly because we don’t have room to house another 200 odd people. Fletcher’s a bit edgy about taking too many, considering his town is the smallest with only 40, but they do need the extra hands come spring. Masterson is also a bit reluctant, mainly because his community is extremely tight knit and he has concerns about outsiders being welcomed. Pitt thankfully has come to our rescue.

    Pitts Place, being the other local target, was the most sympathetic and the most convenient location to house them. After all, even with about 80 people, there’s still plenty of room to be found in a three level, four hundred space underground parking garage...

    I’ll let you know what happened back home when I was gone next entry. If you have any other questions, please, ask.

    Thank you again for your support. Without it I’d be in a bad way.

    October 24, 2080

    And here I thought combat put you through the ringer.

    Over the past couple days I’ve been up and down, in and out, over and under, and whatever even marginally appropriate X and Y comments you can think of. Frankly I’m just at a loss at how much has happened since I’ve been gone.

    First I’ll say the single most important and relevant thing to my life. Kelly is pregnant with our second child. Now, if you do the math and look at the dates that should tell you I’ve been out in the dirt keeping an eye on these pricks for since the beginning July. My wife is six months along and I didn’t know until I got a good look at her once I got back.

    I’m upset. I’ll admit it. I’m ecstatic but I’m just so frustrated about her not letting me know. I understand why she kept it from me. She’d found out right after I’d left and she was so worried about me being distracted that she didn’t tell me. I’m very upset but at the same reason I understand why she didn’t say anything. I would have been distracted. After all, this is my goddamned wife we’re talking about. The prenatal care here is a step up from what she received with Hope, that being what I could get from my small medical archive combined with the best I could remember from my long ago days as an EMT, but yeah.

    Right now I’m hurt and angry, ecstatically happy, and worried out of my mind, all at the same time! God I need a drink and some advice on how to deal with this because I can’t think of anything sane to say at the moment.

    Hope’s grown up a whole lot too. She’s much more talkative and mobile now. She’s such a beautiful and intelligent child. I’d tell you more, but at this stage the most I can say is she’s beautiful, active, rambunctious, is mastering language, and is the most wonderful little girl in the world. I’m blessed, though not quite sure if I’m ready for another one. She’s a lot to handle. But I guess sometimes fate decides for you, to hell with your own personal fears and reservations.

    Maybe they’ll let me retire so I can attend to my family.

    Though I guess I should simply take it all as a blessing. I have a place to belong, a beautiful wife, and a wonderful daughter. I have a life that I’m pretty damned happy with. Though I’d be much happier if I would get them out of this accursed world somehow. My wife deserves to live in a place where we can raise our children in peace. My daughter deserves to grow up somewhere other than a twisted, post-nuclear hellhole. But I’ll make due with what I’ve got. It’s all I can do, and other the past three years, I’ve become very adept at ‘making due’.

    Now for my other great passion, my uber-feline breeding experiments.

    The Doc has been covering things while I was away and I’ve got to say that he’s done outstandingly. Another generation has been born, and are proving to the the most fit yet. We’re almost entire out of buffout, though we have possibly salvaged enough for an additional generation, and we still have enough Mentats to do a couple more without heavy rationing.

    At this point I’d almost say they’re evolving into a new species. They’re significantly larger for one. The current generation of parents are young, but they’ve already reached about forty pounds and from the looks of them they’re not quite done maturing. Their heads also have a noticeably larger brain case.

    Honestly, knowing Fallout super science I wouldn’t be shocked if they end up smarter than some people.

    I’ve asked Kelly to explain the goings on back on the ranch, as she was directly involved in it. Woman’s industrious as hell and I swear that if she couldn’t tinker or build something she’d go insane.

    Hello everyone. How are you doing?

    So, I’ve been asked to fill you in on things back here on the ranch. Well, I have to admit things haven’t really changed much to be honest. It’s mostly been instituting the plans we came up with over the past few months, most of which you already know about, so I’ll get into all that later and mention the goings on back home.

    First I’d like to let you know about how the Mexicanos have adapted. The word here is well. I’ve been teaching them English. They’re learning reasonably well, though a couple of them don’t really have a gift for languages. Thankfully though at least everyone can get ideas across. In turn they’ve been helping me encourage the gringos to learn some Spanish.

    At first there was some resistance to the idea, the standard ‘This is America, learn English!” crap. Well, I hate to be the one to burst some bubbles but this is Yellowstone. America got blown up by the Chinese. Don’t say that outright though, though I did hint at it. Shut some people up, though others just are being stubborn. I’ve made some good arguments for it though, I’d like to think. Most people in these parts don’t speak it, and most who did are probably dead.

    Being bilingual in a world of English speakers does have its advantages. We can communicate without other people knowing. Fighting, scavenging, over the radio... if somebody wants to hurt you its a pretty good idea to have a way to communicate that they don’t understand. That won some people over, though I have to say the best teacher I have is a girl named Guadeloupe.

    She’s very pretty and most the boys are madly in love her... She actually one of my best students in English, but she likes to pretend that she doesn’t understand a word that’s being said when the boys try and flirt with her, prompting them to learn Spanish so they can talk to her.

    At this rate half the boys in town will be fluent by next spring.

    My husband already told you my idea to rig up the truck reactor as a power source for the town. Well, I’ve done it. We built a bunker out of salvaged bricks and the cargo bed a couple hundred yards outside of town. Then we managed to rig up a transformer that I managed to bang together from some damaged ones, along with the necessary breakers because the last thing you want is an electrical overload in an atomic power core. Then we installed some power cables to the town.

    I’ll need a couple more of those transformers, and hopefully we can get some intact ones from somewhere because going through a dozen wrecks to get enough parts that haven’t been fried by EMP to build a working one is a big pain in the ass, especially when you have to be careful.

    Well, it was hard work but it’ll pay off. We’ve sent a couple parties into town to look for any functional electronics we can salvage. Our hope is to get enough electric lights and heaters for everyone before winter, but we’ve run into a bit hurdle on that front.

    It seems a band of looters has moved into Cody. They’re nothing as big, or as organized as the men my husband was off fighting but they’re pretty anti-social. They actually shot at a couple of our scaving teams and killed a man named Manuel. Everyone’s really angry about it too.

    We’d like nothing more than to fight back, but Luscan didn’t want to send anyone in to run them off while most of our people were fighting the Pale Riders. Instead he suggested sending a messenger to talk to them, but nobody’s for it. After they killed one of ours nobody wants to talk.

    Manuel was a good man. He wasn’t very educated but he was a hard worker with a big heart, and it’s a disgrace that he was shot in the back over an electric heater they can’t even use after surviving two years of wandering the wastes!

    A lot of people gave Lucas a lot of trouble over it too. He gets enough crap just for being a Ghoul while we’re fighting a band lead by crazy Ghouls. Now they’re calling him a coward. It’s not fair, and I’ve made that much clear. He was chosen because Sama trusts him, because he thinks he’s a good level headed man and doesn’t care what he looks like. Helen and Jacobs both agreed with me, and said they should be ashamed. It shut most of them up, but there still are dirty looks, especially from the folks from the north.

    Thankfully I don’t think that’s much of a problem anymore. With the fighting men back though, I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to bring them to heel, or drive them off in good order.

    We haven’t told Sama about this part yet, though. After finding about the baby he’s a bit out of sorts. Lucas and the others agreed that it would probably be for the best to let him sleep on it before giving him the full update. Instead they pointed in in the direction of the cats. He really does love those cats.

    If you have any other questions, let us know.

    October 26, 2080

    When it rains it pours. Last night they finally told me about the band camped out in Cody. Part of me is thankful. I just got back from the closest thing you’ll have to a war Post-Apocalypse, and it was nice to have a day or two to decompress, and deal with my home issues, before having the fact that... oh look, and now you get to do it all over again dumped on my plate! The other part of me honestly isn’t that happy that they waited. They knew I was pissed about being kept in the dark about my wife’s pregnancy and in all honesty, it’s a bit of a bitch when you start to cool down and then suddenly get thrown back into the driver’s seat.

    That said, I’m pretty pissed off, though its a different kind of angry than I was at the fucking Pale Riders. Against them it was a kind of humanistic, Good versus Evil type Rage of the Righteous. What they did was unforgivable. I’ve always run by the standard that there are some things you don’t. That no matter your culture, personal, or religious beliefs, there are some things that simply cannot be legitimized no matter how many excuses you make. The Pale Riders pretty much hit every goddamned one of them on the head. I hate them and I will continued to hate them until my hand is wrapped around Necros Atomo’s radioactive throat.

    These assholes though, I have to admit, I’m more pissed off with myself than with them. Oh, I’m pissed at them, don’t get me wrong. I like Manuel goddamn it. He was a nice guy, and while my Spanish still sucks, despite Kelly’s best efforts, I’d found him to be a generally likeable and hard working man. And those sons of bitches shot him in the back.

    Yeah, I’m pissed. But what really pisses me off is I didn’t think to at least put lookouts on station to keep an eye on Cody. They snuck in without us even knowing they were there and set themselves up in our own backyard with us being left blissfully unaware because we frankly weren’t doing our due diligence. I’d really like to blame it on manpower shortages but the fact remains that I don’t even have eyes on West Yellowstone, and if Cody’s is in our backyard, that’s under our fucking porch!

    I got lazy, I didn’t think to order men to keep eyes on the nearby towns and someone died. One of my people died because I dropped the ball, simple as that, and now I have to figure out a way to clean up the mess before this problem becomes any more bothersome.

    I’m going to send scouts into West Yellowstone to figure out what’s going on, and to see if we can find anything intact worth dragging home. We need those electric heaters now more than ever, and if the town is still intact it might be worth settling if only to give us a forward outpost to the west.

    How to secure Cody though is the question. Now I know what I’d like to do, that being roll in everything we’ve got and kill everything that as much as looks at us funny. Problem is this view is also a popular one, and I have a feeling that might not be the wisest course of action.

    So, suggestions are welcome and if you need me, I’ll be drinking some shine. Some of Fletcher’s boys who stayed behind spent the time getting a proper still set up, and their shine makes my attempts at corn beer look like weak tea. I intend to make good use of its product.

    October 30, 2080

    I’ve had a couple of days to rest and consider the Cody situation. In retrospect, the complete abandonment of the town was a bad idea. Getting people out was necessary. I couldn’t have evacuated the bulk of them and then left a few behind to keep watch. It would have bred dangerous resentment. The people had to be forced to accept reality. The mistake was not keeping an eye on the town.

    I’d like to take a moment to explain the geography of the area a bit. There are five roads that lead into of Yellowstone proper.

    First, there’s the North Entrance. This was the entrance that the Pale Riders entered through during their attack and its now our link with Pittsplace and Missoula. Likewise the southern entrance is our link to Fletcherville and New Plymouth. Both of these routes are, as you can expect, relatively well traveled and well guarded.

    The North East Entrance is, in all honestly, not much of a long term concern. Right outside the entrance the road is, well, your stereotypical twisty and treacherous mountain road. It hasn’t been doing well without regular maintenance and our guess is that within a couple more years its not going to be good for much for anything besides a foot path. Because of this its not really a realistic vector for long distance travel in and out of the region.

    The western entrance runs directly into the town of West Yellowstone. We’ve had it under light watch, if only due to the sheer proximity, but besides some light through-travel and some salvaging runs, we really don’t know much about how its faired. I’ve already ordered a team to scout out the town.

    To the East you have about fifty miles of naked highway with no side roads worth mentioning and nothing appreciable in the way of human habitation until you hit Cody. Cody is where yellowstone gets access to the highway network in the east. It is literally the eastern gate of the park. We were keeping an eye on the road of course, but because of the distance and the fact that most of our people were tired up fighting the Pale Riders.

    With Cody under hostile control we literally cannot go east from the park. We’ve lost the ability to go an entire direction and simple will not do.

    While most of the townsfolk understand why it had to be abandoned, there’s still a standing resentment among about being forced from their homes. This situation has fanned it pretty severely and when combined with the impotent rage caused by the Pale Riders when they cut and run, disgusting pun not intended, I’m afraid that it might be difficult keeping them under control.

    Unfortunately though, those very same angry locals are also our best bet in this case. Most of them have lived there all their lives and they are the ones best suited to operate in the area. Even if the outsiders have had the chance to settle in and scout it out, they still lack the almost instinctual knowing of the area that the locals have.

    We’re moving out tonight and I don’t think there’s a man or woman here who’s in the mood to be especially polite. We’re not looking to kill them all. We don’t know who they are, but what we do know is that we are not going to leave our eastern flank in the possession of a potentially hostile group. That shit just ain’t happening.

    So if you have anything at all to add speak now or forever rest your peace.

    November 4, 2080

    As far as first meetings could have gone, thinks could have gone a lot better. They also could have gone a lot worse. To explain in full, let me tell you what we were up against.

    We spent the first day scouting them out, trying to figure out how many there were, what kind of gear did they have, and where they were set up.

    Believe me, I was not pleased when Bear told me that they'd set up in the old sheriff's station. The reasons were pretty obvious in retrospect. Whitaker had set the place up pretty nicely, with improved fortifications, quarters for his men, and even some kitbash wood stoves made from bricks and oil drumps to make it extra livable without being dependent on electrical power. Quite the little setup and they'd only had to move in.

    On my rush to clear everyone out I'd pretty much left it intact. It was the perfect position and I only have myself to blame. It might as well have put it up on fucking Craigslist.

    As for their numbers, around thirty to forty, mostly adults but with some children and civilian grade small arms. Basically, they looked like just another band refugees though maybe slightly better armed than most.

    In other words had they come out talking instead of shooting, we'd probably have opened our doors to them. But they were the ones who shot first. I understand why, but examples had to be made.

    I decided that I needed to prove a point with this one. My plan was simple, a display of overwhelming force to cow them. Make it clear that the only way they're coming out alive is with their hand held high.

    So I called for reinforcements from Yellowstone and I put out a general call for everyone to send as many men as they were willing in order to help send a message. I didn't want to kill anyone, but I needed enough guns to put the fear of god into these assholes and make them realize that they'd bit off a hell of a lot more than they could chew and the only way out was to come to terms.

    Yellowstone of course provided a good number of men. Most of the Mexicans signed on, as did a lot of the old Cody residents. As did Jake and his gang.

    As expected Masterson and Fletcher both showed up. Didn't expect Pitt to come personally as he wasn't a fighter, but he did. He claimed he wanted to see how we'd set up in Yellowstone and this was his excuse to come down.

    The real shocker though was the number of Missoula refugees who volunteered in all quarters. I'd expected them to hold back and work on settling in, but no. They felt they owed us something, so we got a lot of volunteers.

    Honestly, I'd wanted an impressive force. You know, a bit of shock and awe. What I got was an army. I actually had to turn people away. It was somewhat humbling to be honest.

    Anyways, we moved them in on the night of the first and spent most of the second hunkered down moved everyone into position once the sun was down. Then at 8pm sharp we turned a couple spotlights we'd managed to salvage on the place and I picked up a bullhorn and read them the riot act.

    Made it pretty clear. They were outnumbered. They were outgunned. We had rocket launchers and Molotov cocktails. They were not safe behind their walls. And they'd already killed one of ours. Murdered him like a dog, shot him in the back like cowards, which as far as we were concerned, meant they didn't have a goddamned ounce of moral standing.

    To make our point we fired one of our rockets into a parked car. Made sure not to aim for the rear as not to risk a reactor critical, but it still blew up really nicely and made a pretty clear point.

    We're trying to be reasonable. We're trying to be polite. But if they fucked with us, we'd kill them all.

    Then, I gave them five minutes to send someone out to negotiate or we'd open fire on the building.

    Four and a half minutes later, a sour-faced asian man walked out with his hands up.

    I tried to be polite, but he wasn't. He was a very angry and honestly, he probably had his reasons. Though frankly, I really didn't care much at the time and he didn't seem very willing to explain. Hell, it was hard enough just getting him to introduce himself.

    Henry Wu.

    Well, I stated things pretty clearly. They'd functionally moved in on our territory. Now, that would have normally been acceptable. Our doors our open to people in need if they're willing to contribute. If they'd been willing to talk, everything would have been dine. But the fact is that instead they murdered one of our people.

    So I told him outright that they had one of three options. First, they could turn over the killer and leave. We'd permit them to take their belongings and escort them to the other side of the park.

    He replied that with winter setting in that it would be a death sentence.

    I simply responded that it was their problem.

    The second option was to turn over killer for trial, and we'd permit them to stay. Their group would at least be temporarily broken up among the various settlements to make sure that they didn't get any bright ideas, but if they were willing to work for their keep, once spring came, they'd be permitted to move on in peace.

    The third was if they'd proven they'd be trusted and we were able to work past our justifiable dislike for one another, they could resettle somewhere with our blessings.

    And of course the forth option was... well... unpleasantness.

    They surrendered peacefully though reluctantly. Though when they handed the killer over we all kind of froze.She's just a kid. Probably no older than 15. She looked terrified too. Almost on the brink of tears to be honest.

    We can't just let a murder pass, but lets be honest, she probably just saw Manuel and freaked.

    God, all this bullshit because of one frightened little girl who was probably 90 pounds soaking wet.

    I could use some advice here because I need to suggest a punishment. Had it been a even just a boy I'd have suggested the same punishment we gave the less abolish deputies. Basically a walk of shame and a good hard flogging, but considering everything... I'm not exactly sure walking a teenage girl naked through the streets and whipping her bloody is really the best idea.
     
  3. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Connoisseur.

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    Regional Map

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Connoisseur.

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    November 10, 2080

    My ultimate concern was aftershock from walking a girl who pretty much could be the picture book image of a cute and innocent Asian school girl through the snow naked to whip the hell out of her in a culture where a lot of 50s cultural mores persist.

    On the bright side, it doesn't look like I'm going to have to worry about that. I'd like to say it's for enlightened reasons, but it's not. A lot of them want to kill her, not because she killed one of ours, but because she's Chinese.

    All of them are. They're survivors of an internment camp that was located to the southeast. When the bombs fell everything went completely insane. The guards turned on the prisoners and the prisoners fought back. From what I could get out of them it was a bloodbath.

    Because they were not near any direct impacts, they didn't get the worst of it. They had time to load up as many people and supplies on the surviving army trucks and get the hell out of there. They've basically been wandering the region scavenging, living in caves and sewers, and dodging angry locals who blame them for the war.

    I'd like to say my people were much better, but like I said, there's a lot of hate here. The PRC blew up the fucking world and these folks are serving as a cats-paw for that outrage.

    Still, I had to speak up in the name of basic humanity. These people were victims before the war and very little has changed. They didn't push the button and frankly we're all in the same boat.

    Ironically, as a group it's the Mexicans who seem to be their loudest defenders at the moment. don't really hold it against them now that they know their story. They're still angry about the death of a good man, but to be honest, they understand what it means to be an unwelcome outsider. They'll even admit at their darker moments they'd taken shots at people maybe they shouldn't have. It's just a sad part of the world we live in.

    I've told them I gave my word and named the agreement. I gave my word and right now I'm pretty much representing Yellowstone so if my word's no good, what the hell does that say about the rest of us.

    I will however have to assign guards if only for their own protection and Fletcher's outright refused to take any in and voiced his feelings that they should all be shot. I'm hoping his second will calm him down but I'm not holding my breath.

    Pitt refused as well, but not because of racial issues. He took in the bulk of the Missoula refugees and they're still emotionally charged and to be honest, damaged, by the whole Pale Rider conflict. It wouldn't be a good idea to have them share space with a convent scapegoat.

    Masterson has my back somewhat. He says the American dream isn't about where you come from, but he'll shoot any son of a bitch who starts spewing red commie Maoist bullshit. But with the way he put that though, and considering his politics in general... I'm not entirely comfortable with it.

    So it seems that Yellowstone is going to have to find a place to fit another fifty off fucking people. Ode to motherfucking Joy.

    We're REALLY going to need those goddamned heaters. Good thing we have extra tents. Though this doesn't mean I'm going to let them isolate themselves as a group within a group. I might not be able to divide them among the settlements like I'd planned but I'll be damned if I'll just let them live off our charity for the winter while huddled up in their own little world.

    As for Mei Ling. I decided that a vote might be a little dangerous. So did Lucas for that matter. I decided to go with his judgement, and that judgment was the walk of shame and 30 lashes for voluntary manslaughter partially mitigated by the perception that she was in danger as he was an armed stranger. Unacceptable, but understandable, and not to be repeated again by anyone.

    I felt like a fucking pervert when he brought her down to the post. She's a pretty thing, in the monopoly way, and if I find any naughty pictures circulating the person who took them will be the next to take a stroll in their birthday suit.

    Brave kid though. Terrified out of her mind but she walked down and took her lashes. Passed out half way through, but a quick bucket of water woke her up quick. I know it sounds cruel but it's freezing out here and the faster we got it done with the better.

    After she was pretty much limp from shock and pain. I had her taken directly into the clinic and gave permission to Jim to give her some Med-X a couple Stimpacks from my personal stash to expedite the healing process and minimize scaring.

    Mister Wu accompanied us the entire time and when he left ordered another of the boys from his group to keep watch. He doesn't trust us and was probably afraid that someone might try and pull something stupid like trying to sneak in and rape her.

    I'd like to think such a thing wasn't possible here, but frankly, I'm not stupid. There's a lot of angry people and angry people get stupid.

    Good god this is a clusterfuck. And here I was hoping that I could get some peace over the winter...
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015
  5. Biigoh

    Biigoh Primordial Tanuki Moderator

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    oh my... I am liking this... alot.
     
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  6. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Connoisseur.

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    November 12, 2080

    Wait. Before I say anything else, I need to clear up something missed because I was too busy dealing with the chaos of the last couple days to really pick up on it.

    First, what do you mean it's been a while.

    Second, what do you mean by "finishing FO4 a couple weeks back".

    Now I understand that I'm not in a full temporal sink with the rest of you for some odd ass reason so some time might have passed, but are you seriously telling me that FALLOUT 4 was released and you didn't tell me? We're talking stuff here that could mean life and death over here!

    Bah! What are you going to tell me next, that they made another Mad Max movie?

    Okay. Not going to get pissed. For you guys it might be old hat. Seriously, how longs it been? But anyways. Onto more immediate concerns.

    First, scouting.

    Between the vehicles we got from our alliance with Pitt and our growing population I think we can afford larger and more dedicated scouting missions. And I think it might be necessary too for two reasons.

    First, the core of the Pale Riders are still out there. I don't want to take any risks that they might come back and there are hundreds of innocent people who need to be avenged. We need to be vigilant.

    Second, and really the more scary of the two... There might be former military units out there that have gone rogue. My worst nightmare is that some group shows up with a working APC or intact Power Armor. We're going to want some heavier firepower sitting in the wings because there's fuck all we could do to stop something like that.

    Either way, it'll probably be this time next year that we'll be recovered from dealing with the Pale Raiders and with all these new mouths to feed we're going to need to find more food and start farming and if we can find a source of uncontaminated top soil so much the better.

    Now, remind me, but that picture was of Zefram Cochrane, right? The guy who created warp drive in Star Trek? I know, it's been a while. Which reminds me. Send Star Trek. All of it. Except that crappy Abrams movie.

    Anyways, normally I'd want to smack you for that but... well... its getting harder and harder to miss the ridiculousness of this reality since it's become my reality, but honestly... that's exactly the kind of Random Encounter/Wink and Nod shit you'd find hidden in the game.

    I'll try and check it out when I get the chance.

    On the same note, yes I know Henry has the same name as a Jurassic Park character. Looks like him too, just older.

    Bah. And I'm sure this is where you tell me they made Jurassic Park 4...

    On the issue of Coal. You just reminded me of something. Send me all info you can find on Bio-fuels and a process called Hydrothermal Depolymerization.

    Our theatre already doubles as a Cinama. Managed to find a projector a while back. Runs off Holotpes. Didn't think it was worth mentioning though there is the issue of finding movies worth a damn. Might have to hit up a TV station one of these days. I'm sure Kelly would lose her mind if I managed to find a set of Captain Cosmos discs.

    ***ADDENDUM***

    You're damn right I would, honey.

    And if time really has past on your end, send more Doctor Who!

    ***ADDENDUM***

    I like the idea of manning the Sheriff's station. I'll have it set up a a scavenging base for Cody and early warning station. It has the communications equipment.

    We are going to work out laws. Might try and discuss it over the winter.

    Now to get back on topic of what's going on over here, we're taking in volunteers for groups households for our Chinese 'guests' to say with to avoid hostilities. I've made it clear that any assaults, murders, thefts, rapes, or other shenanigans will be handled with just as a heavy hand as if they were our own.

    Helen's going to be giving birth just about any time now. She looks like she's about ready to pop and I've honestly never seen Bear... well... happy before. Believe me, there are some things you should never see and that man smiling is one of them. It's actually mildly disturbing. It didn't think he even had those muscles anymore.

    As you could expect, she's one of the loudest voices in favor of the Chinese along with the Reverend. But believe it or not, one of the other voices and probably the one with the most Gravitas is Bear.

    Yes, Bear, who spent most of the war trapped in Alaska.

    He gave a pretty good speech. I'll let it speak for yourself.

    "Shut up and listen. I've seen more of what Red China was really like than anyone here, and I'll tell you this. The average Chinese soldier was poorly motivated, poor trained, and poorly equipped, fighting only because if he didn't his own officers would kill him as sure as I would."

    "Now, I hated my fair share of chinks. The shit I saw them do gave better men than any you nightmares. Their officers were scum, but the average soldier? They were just a bunch of poor dumb bastards who wanted to live. Wanted to live so hard that they'd do anything they were told out of fear. They were the enemy, but I pitied them. I killed them, but I pitched them because they weren't the real enemy. They weren't in it to destroy America, they just didn't have a choice. None of us did."

    "All of us, both sides, were sent to fight and kill and die, not for some high minded ideology, but because some politicians three thousand miles from the front didn't like the lines on some goddamn map. Beijing, Washington, doesn't matter. There was no difference. I spent time in serving in Canada and believe me, in some ways were no better than they were. We raped. We stole. We killed. Just like the goddamned Chinese."

    "So, if you want to hate the Chinese? Fine. They pushed the button first. You could call that a reason. But at least have the goddamned competence to hate the right ones, because right now I don't see any fucking Commies here. All I see are a bunch of poor dumb bastards trying to survive like the rest of us."

    I honestly have to say, that's probably the most words I've ever heard him say at one time. And I'm impressed. Helen looked downright proud of him. So was I. I think most of us were.

    So, right now I'm trying to figure out who to send where. I'm not breaking up families, though I do have some concern about where to send the girls. There's a number of young Chinese woman and an awful lot of idiots. I want to make sure they're staying with people who can be trusted.

    Jack told me that he heard rumors that there was some talk of some bastards wanting to, and I quote "break into the forbidden palace", and Mei Ling might be especially in danger because there's grumbling in some corners she got off too easily.

    If anything happens to that girl it'll completely destroy any chance at establishing trust. Roberta and Jim could take her in.

    Being part of a large family might help her and she might even be able to find a sister in Elizabeth. Though that would bring her into regular contact with Jake's gang which could end in tears. Or black leather. Or leather and tears.

    Plus Jim and Roberta are sharing space with her sister and four kids. They might not have room.

    Bear and Helen are another option. Considering she's due any moment now I'm sure Helen could use another set of hands, and once she's been placed under his protection, Bear would probably feed anyone who looked at her sideways his still beating heart. But I'm worried that it might seem like I'm sending her to be a servant plus Bear is mildly terrifying on a good day and sending a teenage girl to live with a man who collects the ears.

    And no, that was not a joke.

    Another option is the Pastor. He's opened his doors to all, but while he's certainly trustworthy he has others under his roof and might not be able to completely insure her security.

    Having her stay with Kelly and me is another option. Kelly's not against it and having some help with the children would allow her to work on more projects. Though that does bring up the servant concern. Plus she might not like staying with a man who ordered her marched out in the snow naked, hard her whipped into unconsciousness, then told them to throw a bucket of water at her so we could whip her some more.
     
  7. Evillevi

    Evillevi Shadow Pika!

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    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8680462/52/Maybe-You-ll-Think-of-Me-A-Journal-of-the-Post-Apocalypse

    Here's the FF.Link for your convenience.

    Here's a thought. Don't go into the vaults where the children went feral and killed everyone at all.

    More to the point go ask Jim+Roberta about the topic. Or just send her off to stay with Helen and Bear since... Helen.
     
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  8. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Connoisseur.

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    thawsta, Biigoh and Evillevi like this.
  9. Evillevi

    Evillevi Shadow Pika!

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    It has pictures!?

    <checks>

    Yup. It has pictures
     
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  10. Selias

    Selias Well worn.

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    Bear and Helen is probably the best option, in my opinion.
     
  11. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Connoisseur.

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    November 25, 2080

    The last couple weeks has been interesting but things are settling down, in between bouts of complete and absolute chaos.

    I’ll start at home first. I think I might have caused my wife a mild psychotic break down. Now before you judge, it’s not anything I did as much as what I showed her. That being the notes on alternative fuels, especially the one on Thermal Depolymerization.

    To add background to those who have no idea what I’m talking about it’s a processes that uses extreme heat and water pressure to render basically anything organic down into light crude oil. Information was posted around here somewhere including some youtube stuff.

    It’s a highly efficient process. We’re talking on the order of 80% here. It’s not really not practical on our world due to our existing petroleum reserves meaning expanding infrastructure is just cheaper. However on, say, a world where peak oil has come and gone... like this one... it’s literally a world changing breakthrough.

    Kelly after she saw the videos. After she saw the notes... she had a nervous breakdown. She’s doing better now but... I think it really triggered a lot of her pent up emotional trauma from all this... apocalypse. The reason is simple. In her own words, what I just showed her could have saved the world.

    I also really think it made her realize that I’m really truly alien to this world, even more than the media I share with her. To put it in perspective, I took me over three years to remember it. To me it was just one of a number of alternative energy sources that have been developed over the years. To a local, well... to put it in perspective we’re talking a process that lets you transform trash, sewage, and the like into oil as if by fucking magic. A local would have run to the patent office so fast that their shoes would have melted from the friction.

    They really didn’t have any alternate fuel options. Even bio-diesel was a bit of a blink inducer, though it kind of lacked the sheer impact of what Kelly is sarcastically calling “Magical Bullshit Voodoo Gas”. I’m thinking it’s honestly the same kind of setting induced blindness which had them miss out on the transistor also prevented them from really coming up reliable alternative sources of petroleum.

    Oh, we both agree that by the time I arrived it was too late, but, had I been here just a decade ago it would have been enough to change the course of history. It would have given the entire world another option, something to hold them over while they converted over from a dieselpunk economy to a nuclear based atompunk economy.

    Even with the three months I had, if I’d patented the process before the bombs dropped I probably would have been able to BUY my own personal Vault. Though I would have never met Kelly. She probably would have been killed by the bombs and I’d never have had my children.

    I have no regrets.

    Since her episode, she’s thrown herself body and soul into building a “Gas-Still”. According to her there’s literally tens of millions of Internal Combustion based vehicles across the United States and compared to Atomic vehicles, “Jangles the Moon Monkey could keep them running”.

    Kelly seems to be seeing this as a way to decompress. It’s something big. Something that matters universally and she needs to build it. Considering her pregnancy, I’m going to keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn’t over do it but I understand how she must feel and I support her.

    Though after watching Fury Road I have a slight fear that by doing this we might be changing one wasteland into another. I have zero interest in enabling any wanna be Immortan Joes and frankly, the son of a bitch reminded me of Necros way too much for comfort. Basically, it was a good movie but struck way too close to home.

    We’ll be watching the rest of the media files after Kelly gets over her fixation on building a fuel still. Though I’d like to know if there was any Mad Max media made because considering how much this universe drew from that series and how the pop culture reference seems to be a law of nature, I need to know as many details as possible. If only so I don’t get broadsided by a lunatic screaming about Valhalla and such.

    That all said, the exploding spears (what are they called?) are a good idea. I’ll have to run them by Bear to see what he thinks.

    Speaking of Bear and his family, three days ago, Helen gave birth to a healthy baby boy. We also finally discovered Bear’s real name. The boy’s been named Kevin, after his father. He also threatened to shank the first person who calls him by his real name.

    It was also the first time I’ve ever seen him smile. I was probably the third most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen. Some things simply cannot be unseen.

    In his honor, we’ve taken to calling the boy “Cub”. He’s amused, Helen on the other hand is a little exasperated by the nickname but seems to view it with good humor.

    Having a family seems to have grounded the man a bit. He’s still the kind of very very scary man who could never function in a civilized society, we aren’t living in a civilized society. We’re living in the kind of environment where being a relentless killer can actually be a boon to your long term. survival.

    Before he seems to just be fighting because it was what he knew how to do. He was a soldier looking for an army. Now though, he’s a man protecting his family and friends. He found a degree of joy in this blasted nightmare of a world. And to be honest, I think it’s made him even more dangerous. Which in my mind is a very good thing.

    Disney Star Wars? There should be a law against one company owning basically all of popular media? So who the hell do they have making it and is it based on the EU?

    Fallout 4 sounds utterly idiotic but knowing my luck is part of reality. I’ll need more information to look into it. I need you to send me as many lets plays as possible using every possible play style. I need to see as much of it as possible before I make any long term judgments. In fact, if you ever see any even semi-pertinent items send me lets plays.

    As for the Power Armor in FO4, I asked Kelly and Bear about it. Seems that Power Armor is indeed modular in nature. The reason is to allow for infield modification and repair. There are also civilian grade power suits it seems. They’re mostly used for hazardous work like mining, construction, and deep sea salvage. I’m lucky Necros didn’t have any suits to use against us. Though considering we vaporized the vanguard of his assault force, we might not have noticed for the mushroom cloud.

    But the Fusion Cores thing sounds like the suits they were either using the power system out of either a civilian power suit, an early suit of T-45 armor, or it had a disabled Micro-Fusion reactor. Fusion cores are normally used to prime a fusion reaction by providing the initial kick to keep it running and serving as a backup power source in case of damage, shutdown, or interruption.

    We’re not working on a name quite yet. Probably going to be based on Yellowstone as the park is going to end up being the center of our civilization. It’s protected by mountains and easily fortified against large scale attack.

    You mentioned codifying our military relationship, how would you do that?

    Right now it seems to be a basically we take the will of the people into account but the various settlement leaders discuss the punishment. We will probably be working on a proper legal code soon as we grow into self-sufficiency. Right now we don’t have the resources to dedicate to it. Though I probably will be insisting that we adopt a bill of rights based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights... though I will be structuring it in a way to be broad enough that should they come to pass, they’ll cover non-human sapience and self-aware AI.

    On the case of law enforcement, at the moment Roberta’s basically our law enforcement official but there were a couple Missoula cops who survived. Since she wants to step down and have another kid, I’m thinking of putting her to work training a cadre of law enforcement rangers.

    Between her and Bear, my hope is to raise a force of Rangers similar to the NCR and Desert Rangers who are able to serve as a force of protectors.

    At the moment distribution of resources is being handled very much under the standard of making sure everyone can survive. In general my hope is we’ll be able to transit over to an open market soon. But not a completely free market and I hope to keep a number of social protections in place.

    Right now our foreign policy is simple. If you want to join us and can provide a positive contribution, welcome on board. If you don’t and to join us, would you like to trade? If you want to threaten us, we’ll kick your ass until you decide on a wiser course of action. If you do something truly unforgivable, we make sure you can never hurt anyone ever again.

    It’s a simple but rather reliable standard. It might change in time but I hope it provides a foundation for the future.

    Turning livingston into the northern border of Yellowstone proper, the way Cody is our eastern border point is a good idea. I’ll have a team look into seeing about setting up an outpost and looking for survivors come spring.

    As for Cody, we’re sending a mixed group of about 15 fighters to secure the station and they’re bringing enough food for the winter, mostly corn, canned goods, and smoked meat along with a radio and enough guns and ammunition to survive a raid or two. Including a couple rocket launchers. Come spring we’ll rotate them out and start looking into turning it into a better organized base.

    I spent some time talking to Mei Ling and Mister Wu about where to place her and finally decided to go with Bear and Helen. Wu told me she was from a large family before the war and is the only survivor. I’m hoping being with a new family with a new child will help her. She’s tough and smart though, so I’m sure she’ll be okay.
     
  12. Evillevi

    Evillevi Shadow Pika!

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    You jinxed yourself so bad...

    That said at least you don't have to run on if something goes wrong things explode power supply that the cars nearby probably used.
     
  13. Hanashinobi

    Hanashinobi I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    In Fallout 4 there are Deathclaws that can turn invisible that can go to be 2o feet tall, so be sure to prepare for that. Oh, there are also ones that are basicly Glowing One versions of Deathclaws.
     
  14. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Connoisseur.

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    December 23, 2080

    I almost forgot what it was like to be with my family during that fucking war. Most people wouldn’t call it one, but it was a war. Though even just six months away was an eternity. I missed my wife. I missed my daughter. I missed the comfort of simple togetherness. It did however make me realize how badly many of the others must have suffered. My wife, my daughter, my home. I was able to go back to them. But for so many others it’s just all ashes and regrets.

    Had an interesting run in with Mei Ling.

    She thanked me. She said knows that a lot of people wanted her dead but I refused. She realizes she killed an innocent man but I gave her as much mercy as I could. And I made sure she was given painkillers and good treatment after.

    She seems pretty happy with Bear and Helen too. Bear doesn’t talk much, but he’s a pretty decent guy and is extremely protective. Helen’s just a friendly, warm, good natured person who’s impossible to like.

    She also seems to utterly adore Cub. Seems she was from a large family and having a chance to become part of a family again is actually helping her recover from some of her loss.

    Almost makes me wish I put her with Jim and Roberta. Then she’d have more family than she could stand. But I jest. I’m just happy to see the kid smile.

    I think at the end of the season I’ll talk to them and see how everything is going. If they’re open to the idea I’m thinking of suggesting that they offer to adopt her.

    Wish I could say everything was going well, but there was a rape. One of the Chinese girls got cornered by a on her way to the outhouse. Idiot got liquored up and made a very stupid decision.

    Would have been a pretty clear case with a pretty clear punishment if it has gotten to that, but it didn’t. It was Fred Black, one of Bear’s Dirty Dozen, that found him. Didn’t take too kindly and ended up gutting the bastard like a fish before he could finish.

    I told Fred that if he ever sees anything like that again, he should take him alive. That way we get a proper hanging out of it. Sends a clearer message. And it would spare the girl the additional trauma of having to wash off the son of a bitch's blood. But otherwise, he’s not getting punished. Clear case of defense of another.

    Gave a pretty strongly worded speech to the effect myself. This shit is not going to be tolerated here. Some people took it as a chance to bring up me sparing Mei Ling, but I made it clear. One was a frightened girl shooting at a perceived threat. She fucked up and she was punished for it. Another was a man choosing to dominate and violate a woman for his own sense of gratification.

    They’re not the same thing.

    I’ve done what I can to offer restitution to the girl. I’ve relieved her of any mandatory duties for the season so she can spend the time resting and recovering mentally. I’ve also asked some of the other girls who’ve lived through such experiences to talk with her. In fact I might talk to Helen and the Pastor about arranging a regular group. In fact I think we could all use a chance to sit and talk our our Trauma.

    I am however considering punishing the couple she was staying with. Or at least interrogating them to see if there was any negligence or wrongdoing. They promised they’d look out for her but from the looks of things were actually pretty blase about it.

    In general though, the tension is slowly diminishing. I’m hoping we’ll be able to get information about the regions to the east out of them but we’re still dealing with something of a language barrier. Most of them were from San Francisco’s Chinatown and don’t have the best English.

    That’s probably why they were in the camp to be honest. The government was pretty paranoid about Chinese people in general, but as long as they were pretty assimilated they were for the most part left alone. It was the people who had a language barrier or kept up a strong traditional identity that were targeted. Ironic too because the PRC had done much to stomp out much of that identity in favor of blind obedience to the party.

    I also found out why Mr. Wu was in a camp. He’s waa Buddhist monk who was arrested in a government crackdown. His experiences seem to have embittered him, but he cares very much about his people. I’m thinking of sitting him down with the Reverend and suggesting that they work together to help tend the flock. They might follow different traditions, but in the end, the message is often the same.

    Recoilless rifles and plastic explosives are outside our capability. The only reason we have rocket is because they can be built with scrap and they’re at just the level of technology achievable by a pyromaniac high school student with access to a basic machine shop and a simple chemistry set.

    Our biggest problem is our ammo supply. With the war against the Pale Riders, we had to shoot off a lot of rounds and many of the people who’d otherwise be scavenging had to fight instead. I think it was Eisenhower who said that every shell fired in anger is a meal taken out of a child’s mouth. He was right.

    Between the reduction in production, exploration, and sheer resource expenditure, all this shit probably put Yellowstone back by a good six months of constructive effort. And compared to Pittsplace or god forbid, Missoula, we got off easy.

    Oh, and while I didn’t mention it the stockade was reinforced during the year. Another one of those “military expenditures” that took up time better spent trying to find food and supplies.

    Come spring we’re going to have to double up on our exploration and scavenging efforts to make up for lost time. Plus we need to know where Necros went if only so we can keep an eye on that sick fuck. Though personally I still want to see him dead.

    They did have coal liquefaction technology. In fact, without it China would have been pretty much unable to fight. The issue is that it’s normally a complicated process. It’s not cheap enough to compete with natural petroleum sources. Plus, it requires a very specific feedstock which needs to be mine and shipped using petroleum fueled machines.

    The reason Kelly freaked out about Thermal Depolymerization is it’s almost comical simplicity. I mean, even I can understand the process. That should tell you something. It will convert pretty much anything organic into oil. That includes pretty much everything in nature. And once you figure it out it can theoretically be run on municipal waste and raw sewage.

    You grind the feedstock. You feed it into a pressure vessel and super saturate it with water. You cook it for about 15 minutes at high temperatures and pressure, then you let the steam flash evaporate and separate off any sediment. Then you cook the hydrocarbon mix again under pressure to complete the process. Bang. Done. The end result is oil. No catalysts, no solvents, nothing at all except whatever you decide to toss into the grinder and regular old water.

    With some help from some engineers from Pittsplace, she was able to rig up a small converter using salvaged parts. They were pretty shocked about it too. The big thing is that the most complicated part involved in the process is the pressure vessels which are actually pretty easy to find if you know where to look. Beyond that, as long as you know what you’re doing it’s not that hard.

    If you don’t know if you’re doing it’ll probably explode. There’s a reason they set it up well outside the stockade.

    I’ll also take this chance to restate something. The US was beyond a petroleum based economy. China was not, mainly because this China wasn’t the Communist in Name Only China you’re used to. It was pretty much hard core Maoist Dieselpunk China. A nation where the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution never stopped. Basically Maoist North Korea writ large.

    The rest of the world really wasn’t capable of switching over to an atomic energy economy like the US was. Europe and the Middle East were too busy blowing themselves to hell with Russia stuck in the middle, while China simply did not have the educated population needed to support the needed technological framework.

    I’ll give you a clear example. By the end of the war, the average American soldier was clad in head to toe in lightweight but highly effective composite combat armor, had a helmet with a built in military Pip-boy, and were often armed with some form of basic energy weapon.

    The average Chinese soldier had a set of PJs, an AK-47 clone, and lots of reserves.

    JJ Abrams? Really? Fucking seriously. So he gets to rape two of my favorite childhood franchises. What are you going to tell me next, they let fucking Michael Bay do Ninja Turtles?

    I’m still wanting more news on media (with links) and I need Lets Plays. Though Fallout 4 is sounding more and more idiotic as time passes but I’m not about to assume none of those events happen.

    Not building underground. This is reality, it isn’t Minecraft. That takes LOTS of effort.

    I also think you’re overestimating the size of the quarry trucks. Think less 30ft tall mining monsters and more the size of a really big semi.
     
  15. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Connoisseur.

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    January 14, 2081

    Things have settled down a bit the last month. Poor Mary’s rape actually caused a big of an upswing in sympathy among most of the people in town. Though the real kicker is when we asked Henry to help with religious services.

    At first he was reluctant. He was forced to hide his faith during his time in the camps and do many unconscionable things during his quest to survive. He tended to his own, but there was something of a reluctance. The last few years had seemingly shaken his beliefs and he seemed to be holding to them more for the good of his fellows than true faith.

    So I asked Pastor Jacobs to talk to him. I know it might sound strange asking a Christian priest to help a Buddhist monk rediscover his faith, but it’s really not. The Pastor is a good man who believes strongly in the value of faith as a force that uplifts us. Believe me, we’ve had many discussions on the matter and he is a very good man.

    Anyways, their conversation was their own but when they were done, Henry seemed to have a new energy about him. My guess, knowing the Pastor, is that he probably just listened to him. Believe me, in a time like this not having to keep it in and simply being able to vent will save your mind and soul.

    Anyways, they agreed that he’d stop holding his prayer and meditation sessions in private and instead would use the church and have them open to any who showed interest. It’s this that really changed things.

    The Chinese Communists were strict atheists, so seeing the ‘Godless Chinese’, worshiping in their own way did a lot to change things. Even more profound an impact was had when people started accepting the standing invitation.

    He lead people in meditations, he taught them the Four Noble Truths and the Eight Fold Path, and at no point did he ever challenge their existing beliefs. The discourse on the nature of suffering really hit home in these trying times.

    Helen’s little band of Bohemians were the first to join, lead by Helen herself. I also was there the first week, though I’ll admit much of the reason was to show my approval and frankly, I could use some meditation time.

    Though what really caused people to notice was when Pastor Jacobs joined him in his meditations. It was a beautiful thing seeing the two of them united in prayer.

    Some were against it, but most? Most were open to listen. There isn’t a single person here who hasn’t seen hell and hasn’t had their beliefs pulled through the mud. Buddha and Christ were both teachers and their messages were hardly mutually exclusive. In fact in many ways they can be seen as complementary.

    I think we might be looking at the beginning of something different, something new. And personally, I’m all for it.

    Mei Ling is now effectively Bear and Helen’s adopted daughter. I suggested the idea to them and while Bear was ambivalent and taciturn as he is about just about everything, I think he likes the girl. As for Helen, well, I don’t think there was a moment of doubt in my mind that she wouldn’t be entirely for it.

    The girl actually ambushed me with a hug and then thanked me. I was sweet. She’s really a good kid.

    In slightly less pleasant news, I’m going to have to deal with Mary’s hosts rather roughly. She was staying with one of the surviving married couples from Cody and seems that the husband was friends with her rapist. It turns out the main reason they invited her into their home was because they frankly wanted a servant to do their chores.

    Now, being demanding and unpleasant while making you a piece of shit, is hardly the crime. But the fact is they were trying to shuck their duties off on her. I’ll be the first to admit, we don’t do very much during the winter that involves going outside. It’s too cold and too nasty to really expect too get very much done. But I do try and make sure everyone does their fair share.

    You know, basic stuff like shoveling snow, chopping wood, standing watch, making sure public areas and buildings are kept clean. Everyone is supposed to do their part. Except they were dumping them off on many in addition to households chores.

    Seems he was using the time to drink and the prick who raped her was one of his drinking buddies. While we don’t think he arranged for what happened, or was in any way paid for it, but he abused my intentions, neglected his duties, in this and from the sound of things was the one who let him know her schedule.

    The wife isn’t quite as culpable, but she’s always been a really nasty piece of work. Lazy, demanding, arrogant, and it seems trying to bring her in as her own personal “coolie maid” even though I outright said that that was not the intent.

    I really need to figure out an appropriate punishment for their bullshit and have decided to let you weigh in before I make my final call.

    That said, I want to make one thing clear. Lucas was working with me in the background the entire time and in general our opinions tend to be in line. Believe it or not, I do have some legal training myself. Only a Paralegal, but I know enough that together we’re able to bang out something logical. Believe me, I’m asking for your opinions as your POV is useful as an outside perspective.

    They gave Ninja Turtles to Michael Bay. Well fuck. Between that and the abomination it seems Fallout 4 was made into if those Lets Plays are any indication, well, there goes the beloved franchises of my youth, circling the drain. Fallout 4 is especially wince inducing not just because of the Settlement crap but because it is extremely gamey, the writing is bad, and divorced from reality.

    Though knowing my luck, it’s all happening.

    The reason I asked for those FO4 Lets Plays is a matter of information and perspective. The more I know about possible situations the more I will be prepared. Frankly I’m sitting here with my butt puckered wondering what the hell is going to rise out of the woods once the mutations settle. I mean if Yao Guai are what BLACK bears turn into, the the HELL are BROWN bears, their bigger, meaner, and more aggressive cousins going to become?

    Though I don’t think our mosquitoes are becoming Bloodbugs. They’re just virulent and large. I hope.

    I have to seriously ask. What the hell does Deng Xiaoping have to do with anything? I just told you what the People’s Republic of China in this world was like.

    Yes, we have listening posts though the mountains tend to wreak holy hell with radio transmissions.

    Thank you for the Vault Wikia index and I already suspected Necros has some form of ESP.

    I know what a Biofilter is, we’ve been using them for years, and I make it a rule to never drink anything that glows.

    Now, recoilless rifles are more complicated than rockets which while not the most accurate things in the world are much more forgiving. And as for digging underground... the ground is frozen solid and it’s below freezing outside on a warm day. So no. Not happening. The only shoveling being done around here is the goddamned snow.
     
  16. Selias

    Selias Well worn.

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    preier, Corvus 501 and thawsta like this.
  17. Evillevi

    Evillevi Shadow Pika!

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    [X] Selias
     
  18. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Connoisseur.

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    Not a quest.
     
    thawsta likes this.
  19. Evillevi

    Evillevi Shadow Pika!

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    Meant as a statement of support

    ...

    :V
     
  20. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Connoisseur.

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    Just pointing it out.
     
  21. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Connoisseur.

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    February 3, 2081

    Last night Kelly gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. It’s moments like this that make all of this shit tolerable.

    I love my wife. I love children. They’re what keeps me sane, my one shining light in the chaos of post-apocalypse. All I wanted to do was get that damned war over with so I could come home. And when I did shut just got even more ‘interesting’. I swear to god, if it wasn’t for them I’d probably just vanish into the woods and live like a hermit.

    Sorry about that.

    I’d thought beating the Pale Riders would make things better but instead it’s only really served as a catalyst for a nest of other problems great and small. And as Fearless Leader, guess who is falls onto to make everything better?

    I must sound like a complete asshole here. My wife just had another baby, a daughter, a wonderful little girl and all I can do is sit here and kick myself. God, I must sound like a total self-obsessed douche.

    *ADDENDUM*

    Hi, this is Kelly.

    I’d like to apologize for my husband. This winter’s been hard, everyones turning to him to fix it, and everyone’s looking to him to fix it. The stress is starting to get to him. Even with Hope I was able to help him before, but with my pregnancy and the way I react to the information on Thermal Depolymerization, I think we was trying to keep me from getting stressed out so he tried to bottle it all in.

    I will admit I did get maybe a little fixated on my guzzoline still which didn’t help. And yes, I’m calling it guzzoline because I think the name’s ridiculous and if I have to live in a wasteland I at least want something I can laugh at.

    Anyways, I’d like to thank you for bearing with us through all of this. I know we asked for your advice when we named Hope and I’d like to ask again. We owe you all that much.

    Thank you. And if you have any advice on how to get him to relax I’m all ears.

    PS: Wall-E is the most adorable movie I’ve ever seen. I want to build one! Thank you for sending it

    *ADDENDUM*

    Alright. Anyways, I’ll get down to the meat of the problem.

    Overcrowding.

    Actually, we have a multitude of problems, but overcrowding is the alpha and omega that is exacerbating all of them.

    Between the Mexicans, the Chinese, and the handful of Missoula refugees we were able to take in, we’re running with a population of 400 in a settlement in a location that was chosen for its ability to comfortably support half that. The fact that last year were were able to get by with 300 is a testament to both the work ethic of our people and the fact that last year were were almost spoiled. Yes, things were smug, but Helen and her people showed up in early June giving us the better part of two seasons of planning and labor to adapt and find accommodations for them.

    This time we had to absorb twice as many, and in addition, we didn’t have the same prep time. Instead we had to spent the time and resources fight that fucking dayglow Zombie and his goddamned Warboys. Now I think we could have skirted by if we’d only had to take in the Mexicans. Would have been tight, but god knows they put their backs into trying to make a place for themselves while many of us were off fighting the Pale Riders. However, having to absorb the the Missoula refugees and Chinese is really making things tight.

    To make matters worse, while things were snug last winter, but they were offset by the low level of stress. There were no major threats, everything was at peace, and we were eating like people for the first time since the bombs dropped. This year we’re dealing with ethnic issues, a higher degree of overcrowding, the cost of the war both material and emotional.

    To outline what that is you have to understand that fighting the pale riders cost lives, resources, and time, all of which are in short supply and all of which are needed to survive. In addition, the fact that he got away and murdered a huge number of people while doing it was a major psychological blow that really stripped us of any sense of victory.

    Then we had to come home and deal with the Cody situation. Moral is low, and that alone would be bad enough but tight conditions and the presence of cultural outsiders is exacerbating it.

    Drinking is up, fights are common, there were even a couple brawls. One of which even had a stabbing. No one died and I let Lucas handle it, but on the whole we’re a lot of frustrated people crammed in here like sardines in a tin.

    Thankfully we have enough food for the winter, even if we’re going to really have to double up on our scavenging come spring, and quarters are tight but nobody is sitting out in the cold. Though even that was a close call. Thank god we were able to get enough heaters and equipment once we had Cody under control.

    Speaking of Cody, I was able to reduce the problem a little bit by sending people over, but it was still a drop in the bucket.

    Come spring we’re going to have to really buckle down and search the park. It’s about time we expand and form another settlement or two. We’re going to have to scout out potential locations.

    Honestly in retrospect I think I made something of a mistake choosing this area to begin with. Though there was something of a logic behind it. See, I rejected the various lodges and visitors centers in favor of this shitty little set of cabins for several reasons.

    First, it was defensible. It was off the main roads and had a pretty good view of the countryside. I didn’t know what was out there and I didn’t want to be holed up in the first places that people would look.

    Second, it was convenient. A whole bunch of little houses on little roads with wood burning stoves designed specifically to operate at a reduced technological level. Just a snug little nest of log cabins ready to be moved into.

    And it was all complete with wood stoves, manual water pumps, and a small but fully equipped ranger station to tie it all together. All we had to do was tow in some trailers from the other camp grounds and throw up a few more cabins and we had a nice little village.

    It’s not like I was expecting to deal with wave after wave of refugees.

    And finally. I’ll be honest, I’m still a little afraid of what we might find. Clearing the more densely populated areas of the park might be a problem. Feral Ghouls? Savage Monsters? Was there a secret FEV lab under Old Faithful and are we dealing with a surprise Supermutant problem? We just haven’t been ready to attack that problem.

    I mean at first, we had to settle everyone in and didn’t have the manpower to spare and once we had the manpower we had to use it to fight those goddamned raiders!

    Starting a settlement isn’t some bullshit like in Fallout 4 where you just drop in snap together shacks out of prefabricated pieces. And by the way, those hovels in Fallout 4 are idiotic. Holes in the roof, holes in the walls. Anyone living like that in New England weather would have frozen to death decades ago.

    Our little town looks more like Skyrim than it does anything in ‘The Commonwealth’ and for good damned reason: It gets really, really fucking cold in the winter.

    Now just to let you know how I dealt with Mary’s hosts? While being an asshole isn’t a crime, schucking your duties is. Everyone works, everyone eats. If everyone doesn’t work then we don’t have enough necessities for everyone. We have to work together or we’ll all die alone.

    I reduced their rations, forbade the husband from drinking, and increased their duties. And since they conveniently were now so comfortable and in their own little private cabin, I took advantage of the fact they’d already volunteered space to move in a couple more people.

    General impression I got from the crowed seemed to be neutrally supportive. I didn’t do anything groundbreaking but I didn’t piss anyone off.

    The brawling, I’m making it clear if you can’t hold your liquor you shouldn’t be drinking it. Unlike douchebag I didn’t outright ban them, but they know they’re being watched. I also gave they extra chores. After all, if they have time to get drunk and start fighters then they have time to do something productive and we could always use more wood.

    There was some grumbling as some folks thought what they do on their time is their own damned business. The counter was that if we have to use time and medical supplies to patch their dumbasses up afterwards, it’s our business.

    The stabbing was a bit more complicated but it was a general brawl so he’s not entirely at fault. But he did pull a knife, so he got lashes on top of, a punitive reduction in rations, and a general ban from drinking.

    One interesting thing has risen out of all this. Chores have become something of currency. People are gambling them, trading them, and exchanging them for goods and services. I’m allowing it, as I don’t care who does the work as long as it gets done. Though I have made it clear I am not allowing ration trading.

    Everyone eats.

    Just so you know, the logic behind the reduced rations is that I’m not going to ever cut it enough so people go hungry. The idea is that maybe going to bed a little bit of a tummy rumble will make them lie back and ruminate on their mistakes.

    It was actually Lucas who came up with ration reduction as a punishment.

    Cornish room heaters aren’t founded in sound science and will do nothing to cut the cold of a Wyoming winter. Fire Logs are neat, but we’re in the middle of a forest and there are tons of dead trees. Just easier to chop wood. The Solar heaters are an idea but we don’t have the materials on hand.

    Setting everyone up with a wooden emergency whistle on the other hand is a really good idea across the board. We’re making one for everyone.

    Setting up Sentry Turrets, well, just be glad I didn’t let my wife type this up. But let me just say this. No. They are complicated pieces of robotics engineering. They are not something you can piece together with scraps.

    As for housing, this really isn’t what I’d call an adobe/cob environment. Too wet. It’s more a log cabin environment.

    Crossbows are a bit complicated. We’re actually making do with simple pipe rifles in a secondary role and some people are playing with archery.

    Co Opting religion isn’t going to happen. I’ll be honest with you all. My main fear when it comes to religion is people seeing me regenerate and then deciding I’m some kind of prophet or god. I might make suggestions in private as a layman, but I am not getting tied up in that shit. Separation of church and state for the motherfucking win.

    Lucas is staying the judge because he’s actually a lawyer.

    We don’t have a Sheriff we have a “Ranger”, though she’s probably going to be on maternity leave sooner than later.

    Like I said, we’re going to be working on rules once the season changes. We’re going to have a busy spring.

    *Notes:
    If you can, please provide actual links to things you can legally provide links to. Like old books and the like. Believe it or not, I actually do like reading suggested stuff.

    Also, bonus points to anyone who wants to try and stat out the characters, go right ahead! FO1/2 or NV system preferred. I might just pull them together and make a little character archive somewhere*
     
  22. Selias

    Selias Well worn.

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    http://www.feedbooks.com/publicdomain

    Boom. Public Domain books. I doubt there are many copies of these old books left, either, so it'll be good for them to survive, in some fashion. Imagine The Iliad surviving from 1260 B.C., only to be forgotten, because of some assholes with nukes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
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  23. edmantgoog

    edmantgoog Not too sore, are you?

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  24. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Connoisseur.

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    Wot, no baby name suggestions? :(
     
  25. rickyrick

    rickyrick Making the rounds.

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    In a bizarre and post-apocalyptic environment, "Furiosa" or "JoJo" seem to be fit.
     
  26. edmantgoog

    edmantgoog Not too sore, are you?

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    "wait for it" just as a middle name
     
  27. Psyckosama

    Psyckosama Connoisseur.

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    March 15, 2081

    We decided to name our daughter Isabella. Well, let me rephrase that. Kelly conned me into letting her name her that after she shot down Cleopatra, Bodicea, Hippolyta, and Zenobia. I like names with Gravatas, and she kind of maneuvered me into this one. I mean, I said I wanted to name her after a queen but couldn’t we have chosen a cool one? Though I’m never calling her ‘Bella’. The day my daughter has the same name as the protagonist of Twilight is the day I dangle from a rope.

    *ADDENDUM*

    Cry me a river.

    And someone send me this ‘Twilight’. He’s making it sound like the most horrid thing in the world and I’m intrigued.

    *ADDENDUM*

    Kelly staged a little intervention last month and I really really am thankful for it. Sometimes I don’t delegate as often as I should and Roberta, Jim, Lucas and the others really made that clear to me. For a couple weeks there, they staged something of a silent coup to make sure I got enough rest. Several of the younger girls have even volunteered to help watch Belle so we can get some sleep.

    In retrospect I was a mess there towards the end.

    Helen’s doing well and her little culture initiatives continue to give us something to do in the winter. I thought she’d calm down a bit now that she has a child to take care of, but if anything she’s doubled up her efforts. She claims she has a son now and she needs to make sure that the world he grows up in his one that is worth living in.

    Bear continues to terrify small children by smiling. He’s also become at the same time more relaxed and more dangerous. I think he’s passed through a gauntlet. He left a lot of himself behind in Alaska but now he’s managed to fill that void with friends and family. And honestly, I believe to the bottom of my soul that if even God himself tried to get between Bear and his loved ones, he’d figure out a way to commit deicide.

    I haven’t talked about Jim, Roberta, and their family in a while. Jim and his daughters are all doing well. Dawny’s growing up and starting to discover boys. From the sound of things, she’s got something of an entirely unsisterly crush on Tim.

    Liz is in an official unofficial relationship with Jake these days, which drives her father nuts. From the sound of things they seem to have this polyamorous thing going and from what I’ve heard, they both have a shine for Mei Ling. Seems the only reason they haven’t pulled her into their kinky little love triangle is Bear would snap off his arms like dead tree limbs.

    Speaking of Jake, he’s proven time and time again to be reliable. He’s still a rogue, but he’s our Rogue. His gang’s grown too, though they’re actually pretty law abiding on the whole. It seems my early worries about them becoming a menace were unfounded. Many of them also proved to be pretty solid up in Missoula. Though I still wonder where they found all those damned leather jackets.

    Tim’s growing up strong, and frankly while I don’t talk about him much it’s because he’s doing well. He’s moved on a lot from the loss of his family and refers to Jim and Roberta as mom and dad. He’s already one of the best shooters and trackers in his age group. He’s already bugging Bear for lessons in some of his more... esoteric tallents. Given another few years and I bet he’ll mature into one hell of a Ranger. He’s also still obsessed with Superheros though.

    Little Gina’s in school now, and pretty much is always underfoot. She’s a cute kid, though I’m kind of dreading the day Hope gets to her age.

    Roberta’s still doing her duties as our Head Ranger, but has moved to a more managerial role. She’s trying to have another child and wants to settle down a bit and get away from the action. She’s from a law enforcement background, not military, so I will admit it does make some sense.

    Roberta's sister, Rose is doing well and I’m thinking there’s a good chance she might be moving to her own place soon. I don’t like to get in other people's business, and I can’t stand a gossip, but she has a boyfriend and I think they’re getting serious.

    Jim’s doing well. He’s no longer our only doctor. There were a couple MDs up at Pitts, but his practical experience and several years of self-taught medicine mean he’s still extremely respected and his time with us means he’s still a pillar of the community. Though he does appreciate having some experts to talk with.

    Mr. Wu and Pastor Jacobs are still preaching together and while they have not really become a new religion yet, there’s a lot of open eyes. I’ve talked to them quite a bit as they actually seem to value my perspective as a classical Deist and professed agnostic. I might have also let slip that I’m an ordained minister of the Church of the Sub-Genius as well which after explaining it to them, amused both greatly.

    That said, please send me everything you can on the concept of “Reverence for Life”. I’m having some ideas. And the Book of the Sub-Genius would be nice too.

    The first stage of Project Uberkittah is officially at an end. We’ve pretty much run out of Mentats and I don’t think people would appreciate me trying to hunt them down just so I could feed them to my cats. The end result though, it speaks for itself

    I used a Maine Coon as the primary, and they’re pretty much maintained size even across several generations of breeding with smaller breeds. If anything, they’re a bit larger than their progenitor breed and thanks to all the Buffout, have a notably denser musculature. They average at about the size of a bobcat and I have absolutely no doubt as to their ability to take care of post-apocalyptic vermin.

    High intelligence also seems to be a consistent. According to Jim their brains are larger than some primates. Sure, they’re still selfish and lazy, but what do you expect, they're cats. They’re also loyal and extremely friendly in that special ‘lavish me with treats and attention’ kind of way. Like I said, cats. They seemed to have developed an ability to read people that borders on empathy and they’re smart. Very smart. Scary smart even.

    I’m talking problem solving intelligence here. As one example, a couple weeks ago we caught a rather annoyed looking kitten fumbling with a can opener and a stolen can of tuna. She clearly knew how it worked, but couldn’t manage it due to the fact she didn’t have opposable thumbs. Didn’t mean she wasn’t trying though, and I’ll admit she was getting pretty damned invented there towards the end.

    I’m probably going to ask Jim to look into cognitive testing. I want to make damned sure that we didn’t accidently create something with human level intellect because if we did, we need to take responsibility and treat them with due respect.

    To explain why I’ve been discussing relocation the simple fact is we’re limited by our defenses and geography here. I chose this area because it’s isolated and defensible. It’s not the easiest to access for both good and ill. We also have a palisade already in place as well, and removing it to expand would be very resource intensive.

    My feelings so far are it might behoove us to start reclaiming other areas of the park that might be able to support current or future growth. Spread out a bit. It’s a large park and we have room.

    Plus others have suggested several areas that would make for good borders and we might want to secure them as not to get a repeat of the Cody situation. I’ve been talking with the others and they agree that the Park needs to be fortified. As long as we hold the park, we’re holding into millions of acres of prime, defensible territory. The borders we’re deciding on for the park and our general region of control are Livingston in the North, Cody to the east, West Yellowstone to the west, and Jackson to the south.

    The reason for these choices is because all of these towns are located at or near mountain passes. We’re focusing on choke points. The entire objective is to limit outside access to the park as much as possible. The direct southwest is an issue due to it being relatively flat area. Relatively being the key word considering we’re straddling the Rockies, but we’re going to be setting up at least look out given time.

    This brings most of our existing communities into the designated fortified area. Pitts is technically a outside this region, but considering they’re in a bunker on the side of a mountain they’re pretty safe as is. Mr Pitts admits his original ski lodge wasn’t designed for defense, but I’ve seen the drawings for the structure he wants to put in its place. It’s a fortress. If you guys want to talk to someone about Dwarfing it out, talk to Frederick William Pitts. Not exactly sure how the crazy son of a bitch intends to be able to build it with his available resources but if he can manage I’ll pretty much just wash my hands of all urban development plans and let him at it.

    On the subject that keeps being mentioned about plaster and adobe, two things. First, plaster is actually resource intensive to create from scratch. Sure, we can salvage it from various hardware and building supply stores but as you can probably understand it’s considered a luxury item and is low on the priority list. As for Adobe itself, well, there’s a reason the locals call spring and fall the “Mud Seasons”. Probably also be something of an issue for rammed earth as well.

    Though we did actually use rammed earth in the construction of our palisades. They’re basically two log palisades with about a yard or so of rammed earth in between them. There’s a lot of aggregate material added for strength as well.

    Partially underground so houses are a good idea but again I’m a little concerned with the whole mud issue. Might build one or two to test, see how it weathers. It’s not that I’m against digging, it’s just that it’s not a winter activity, the whole Minecraft/Dwarf Fortress Diggy Diggy Hole concept isn’t exactly practical, and we’re technically living on top of a giant supervolcano.

    I know about rocket stoves. We use them heavily. Most of the cabins actually have mass heater rocket stoves which we made using mostly rammed earth and adobe brick as they’re not going to be getting wet any time soon. We’ve also all but mass produced some smaller paint-can stoves for cooking and the like. Why, we’ve even come up with a setup that uses them to heat up 55 gallon drums for hot water.

    District heating is an idea and I’ve actually been thinking about trying to make an artificial hot spring so we can have a public bathhouse. This winter we’ve discovered several interesting new smells and I’d like to have them become lost knowledge if at all possible. If we could get that, we could consider some wider spread solutions.

    Let me explain our tech level a little. Do remember, this is not the post-apocalyptic amusement park ride that was the Capital Wasteland or the Commonwealth where you find robots that have been wandering the elements or pristine consoles sitting powered and function in crumbling buildings for 200 years. This is the real world and things simply don’t work that way.

    Even after 3 years, we’re finding items that might have been intact just after the bombs hit but have been spoiled due to time and weather. And that’s not bringing up the havoc wreaked by the Electromagnetic Pulse of the detonating bombs.

    EMP is a bitch. Workings radios are at a premium. Finding a functional power drill is considered a big score. Most of our working vehicles were jury rigged into functionality after cannibalizing the wrecks of a half dozen others for parts.

    Hell, half the reason we’ve had as much success as we have on the technology front is due to the mountains acting as natural shielding against EMP.

    The robots and toasters and all, that’s pretty much all Kelly. She was training to become a RobCo Certified Robotics Technician. That meant not only did she need to be able to fix any mechanical or electrical issues, but she also needed to be able to debug their software, which I’ll remind you are pretty much full on Virtual Intelligences, and repair their power systems, which in some cases are full out nuclear reactors.

    I say this with the utmost clarity and bluntness when I say that my wife is very, very smart.

    *ADDENDUM*

    Love you too.

    *ADDENDUM*

    She knows her shit and everyone knows she does. If they find something advanced, they bring it to her. Sometimes she can restore it, most of the time she’ll strip it down for parts. You people like to joke about Talky and the Fruit Fucker, well, it probably took bits taken from the hulks of a dozen Protections to get them back online. Though, I swear, one of these days all it’ll take is me and a 15lb sledge to take them back offline

    *ADDENDUM*

    Don’t you dare, mister!

    *ADDENDUM*

    So while yes, we actually do have and use some power tools and even a degree of light industry thanks to the bits and bobs we’ve been about to loot and scavenge over the past couple years, the simple fact remains that they’re a finite resource. We’re functioning on a scavenger economy. Our ability to produce new items and replacements is ultimate preindustrial. We can repurpose, we can reuse, we can repair, but ultimately we cannot manufacture.

    It’s one of the reasons the idea of Guzzoline produced by Nitro Stills is such an important issue. The switchover to Atomic Cars is still relatively recent and there are over a hundred and fifty years worth of old internal combustion vehicles sitting in scrap and salvage yards across the country just waiting for some enterprising madman to get creative. While things like hoses, seals, wires and some such need replacement, compared to the complexities of nuclear reactors a brain damaged chimp could restore and maintain them.

    And yes, Kelly’s now calling it a Nitro Still. I think she’s taking idea of wacky post-apocalyptic lingo maybe a bit seriously. Though I’ll admit, that one was my fault. It was supposed to be a joke. I didn’t expect her to actually use it!

    *ADDENDUM*

    Oh, what a name! What a lovely name!

    *ADDENDUM*

    We’re working on building a few larger units, though right now it looks like we’re using the product of her prototype to stockpile molotovs cocktails. Originally my idea was to simply wrap rags soaked with petroleum jelly around the neck, but Bear would have none of it. We’re making these Finn-style. They’re safer, easier to store, and more reliable.

    You just cork up the bottle, tape some storm matches to the body, and when you throw it you use the neck as a handle. They’re more stable, less risk of getting fuel on yourself, and you get more distance in the throw. On that note, I’d like to thank everyone who sent me instructions on how to make explosive compounds and the like. The instructions on DIY Napalm have come in handy. On the same note, I’d like any notes you have on how to make matches and any ideas of how to make molotovs nastier.

    Now, still speaking of concepts that fell right out of Mad Max, we’ve started to design and produce Thundersticks. My justification was as a siege defense weapon. It’s easier to accurately throw a spear off the ramparts than it is a grenade. Masterson thinks they're a bit silly, but I have the feeling his tune will change a bit once the first mutants show to up. We have decided to design ours with pins for safety though.

    Going back onto the subject of advanced tech, Let’s talk Holodisks.

    Holodisks are pretty much the bastard child of a Minidisc and a 3 1/2 inch floppy. They’re a recordable, rewritable, cheap, cheerful, media format that’s generally indestructible as long as you don’t, say, leave them sitting out in the open for 80 years. They’re also resistant to EMP due to be a purely optical format.

    I’m transferring damned near every book I find to holodisk as I’ve literally got a crate of the damned things. Finding them is also a priority and once we’re up and running again I intend to venture deeper into the cities to hit up every school, library, record store, radio, and television station I can. Music, Television, computer programs, all of them were commonly stored on holodisk.

    Though I will admit it’s a sad irony that eBooks never really took off here. The closest thing you’ll find to an eReader around these parts is a Pipboy and Pipboys are not cheap. Even the basic no-frills 2000 model that I got for Kelly costs the modern day equivalent of a couple grand new. Hell, only way I was able to afford to get it for her was I bought it off a fence and paid in prescription pain medication.

    Suffice it to say, eBooks were a niche market.

    Honestly, the hard part isn’t finding holodisks. It’s getting things that can read them. Most were burned out in the exchange. This is probably why so much knowledge was lost after the war. Books are easy to ruin, and without a reader all those wonderful holodisk might as well be colorful kitchen tiles.

    We’re actively looking to salvage every intact terminal we can find. If it can read a holodisk we want it. I’m actually thinking of putting up a small bounty once we have the economy stable. Thanks to you guys, we have a constantly growing archive. You send it to me, it goes on holodisk.

    Once spring comes around I’m going to have to go on a run myself and ‘find’ a large library of the damned things to explain where I got them all.

    Now, I’ll be blunt. I already have an idea what to look for and how to plan things once the thaw is to the point we can get to work, but I’d like every suggestion and idea you can give me. Once the roads are cleared we’re double timing it. This is going to be a big year and I’m thinking it could make or break us. I need your input on this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  28. Tazered

    Tazered wut...

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    OOC: the first time you mention holodisk you wrote holo'dick'
     
  29. Selias

    Selias Well worn.

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    http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/how-to/a4087/how-to-make-a-forge/
    http://www.musketeer.ch/blackpowder/homemade_bp.html
    http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-a-Sword-A-Comprehensive-Guide/?ALLSTEPS
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a-vertical-aquaponic-veggie-fish-farm-for-/?ALLSTEPS
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Pipe-Tools,-Garden-Shovel/?ALLSTEPS
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Pipe-Tools-A-Small-Garden-Hoe/?ALLSTEPS


    Find everything that you can, on these lists. I'd also suggest car parts. Even if you can't use the cars, themselves, you might be able to use the parts in other cars. If not, then you can use the metal. Maybe something that you could use to farm small animals, like squirrels and rabbits.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
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  30. Fellgar

    Fellgar Connoisseur.

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    Yeah, might as well documentary this up a bit. Best sword for sustained combat against people that wear armor. Which in the waste land? Is going to be everyone that can afford it. Which would be basically everyone. Strength, flexibility, weight, and shape. And when your fighting regularly against other people in armor. Your going to want something that will kill them through that. So far super mutants and other big bad monsters haven't grown up. For the next however long it takes for them to do that? This sword will be doing an excellent job as anyone's mainstay melee weapon. Its a good solid base to work from. You can modify it will a whole bunch of different kinds of modifications. Fire, electrivity, whatever. It has options. Its a main stay hold the line kind of weapon. If your looking for stealth killing though? Its not going to generally be your weapon of choice. This is for fighting things that get in close and beat face. I don't expect you to use it all that much honestly since range is simply better for the most part but for those people that want to go for melee fighting skills? This should be good. Barring a power fist at least?



     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015