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***JAG*** The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles.

Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
JAG: The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (Reboot)

Prologue 1:

Author's Note: This is an alternate timeline.

Harm's Viewpoint: COMNAVAIRPAC was my boss...we had known each other for a long time...from our training at RAG when I was a wet-behind the ears nugget and he was a Lieutenant Commander. He's now a three-star based out of North Island and I'm on his staff. We've been hearing about the possibility of hostilities with the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, for the past few years now. It's not a situation that I want to consider, but our new President has been throwing around the idea of a pre-emptive strike and believe me, nothing scares this military man more than the thought of nuclear weapons being thrown into the mix.

And it seems to me that nothing scares my boss more than the idea of nuclear weapons too. Because if they get tossed into the mix, nothing's going to come of it...other than total devastation. It's not something that I want to contemplate. I had my run-in with a suit-case nuke, some psychopath sailor in Bangor in '95 (if it had detonated, it might have made a small bang, but Meg, Kate and I would have been subatomic particles; vaporized in the blast) and I swear that Meg and I had to pretty much ditch our private things in the nearest trash bin and go commando all the way back to VOQ (See JAG: S1 Brig Break). That was too close of a call and I don't want to repeat the experience. Neither does Meg.

When the Pentagon decided to toss our salty rears in Sunset Valley, we didn't know that there was a top secret project going on at Fort Gnome (Named for the late great Lieutenant General Herbert Conrad Gnome, United States Army, formerly of Special Operations Command and before his death, commanded the Special Projects Division). All I knew was that Animal wanted to show us where he and Meg were going to retire to...a large 60x60 estate...in the toney Sunset Heights on Summerhill Court. Little did I know what was going to happen.
GYZ6Ak9.png
Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~

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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (the Reboot)

    Prologue 2

    Harmon Rabb Jr.: It was highly evident that things were "out of the ordinary" in Sunset Valley as we were picked up by a taxi and shown to the property...which was still under construction at the time...with about roughly two weeks to build. While workers were till working on the fence, Mac and I were able to see that there were a lot of things going on at one time; especially inside the structure. From the outside, it was just a plain small squarish building, with not much to see... but as one looked in deeper one could see that there was a significant structure hidden from view.
    Screenshot%2B%25282%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%25281%2529.jpg There was a gate which buzzed you in...and the entrance was not visible from the gate, in fact, it was blocked off by the entire body of the structure. My hackles started to raise, this was definitely not an retirement home like Animal had told me that it was. What exactly was he and Meg up to? That's what Mac wanted to know too.
    Screenshot%2B%25285%2529.jpg "Welcome, Colonel Mackenzie, Captain Rabb... Lieutenant Commander Harriet Sims-Roberts chirped cheerily as she disappeared around the corner of the building where we managed to see her go in through a set of double doors.

    I saw Animal standing by the oven, looking over at some waffles cooking. I asked him suspiciously, "What's going on? What's the big mystery?"

    He just nodded and told me to wait. "We have a lot of things to do." And then I saw SECNAV Edward Sheffield, Gibbs and another guy who I didn't know. Plus there were a few civilians that I hadn't even known were in the what I now presumed to be a bunker. Things were starting to add up big time and my blood started to run cold.
    Screenshot%2B%25287%2529.jpg "Where's Bud and Harriet?" I asked, "What happened to his continuing therapy on his leg?" Animal looked up at me. "Evidently, Commander Roberts finished up his therapy on his prothesis leg. He seems to be functioning on all cylinders. Captain. In fact, if you want to see him, he's in the gardens doing some gardening with Harriet and trust me, Captain, if you knew what I knew about what's going down...I'm certain that we're going to need someone capable of gardening. In fact a lot of someones." That ominous comment didn't reassure me any.
    Screenshot%2B%25288%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%25289%2529.jpg The bunker was cavernous. Three floors and a top partial floor below ground...and this place was designed to take a serious bombing. Somewhere in the neighborhood of at least 10MTs. I wasn't liking what the preparations foretold.
    Screenshot%2B%252817%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252818%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252819%2529.jpg The people who would be caught outside were no better than doomed. If what the preparations were foretelling were accurate. In fact, just the fact that SECNAV was told to be here was sending eery chills down my spine.
    Screenshot%2B%252821%2529.jpg ...and not even a day later, the headcount added yet another member of the Sunset Valley civilian population to the crowd.
    Screenshot%2B%252824%2529.jpg Screenshot%2B%252823%2529.jpg It didn't seem as though SECNAV Sheffield was worrying too much. In fact, he was busy trying to do trickshots on the pool table and of course getting a rather painful result: being beaned in the head by a cue ball. I don't know how anyone can think of playing games at a time like this...
    Screenshot%2B%252828%2529.jpg Everyone bedded down...with the understanding that it was going to take a lot of preparation before this bunker would be ready to be really and truly inhabitable. As Animal said this, he looked over at me as if to ask me silently if I was up to the task. Well, if it meant dying in a nuclear conflagration versus surviving, I'll pick the latter every time. "Count me in, sir." I piped up.

    "We're going to have a meeting towards the end of the week. We'll be getting monitors installed on Tuesday, so that we can be kept ahead of the situation." As the ranking admiral in the building, Vice-Admiral Nakamura was the head military boss, 2nd in military command was RADM Chegwidden. And we were duty-bound to protect the Secretary of the Navy who was in line of succession to become President should the unthinkable happen and we lost our head of state.

    I had realized that Animal had called every single one of the people he cared about to the bunker. And then on top of that he'd called in certain civilians as well...who would help rebuild the world...if it did happen. Surely humanity wasn't that stupid enough that they would start a nuclear war?

    Or were they?</p
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (Reboot)

    Prologue 3

    River McIrish: I knew for a fact that things were not going to go well today when I saw the old bald guy come out with an enormous frown on his face. On top of that he was dressed in his Navy uniform. That spelled trouble with a capital T. I was playing the piano...but I could hear him grumble to that guy that my eyes always seem to gravitate towards. The Asian guy. He's got that air of quiet dignity and doesn't seem to say much. He just goes ahead and does what needs to be done. I had no idea the bald guy was so high-ranking. He had a metric plum-ton of gold braid on the sleeves of his Navy jacket.
    Screenshot%2B%252838%2529.jpg My jaw nearly drops when I see the Asian guy come out of the bathroom, with an identical disgusted frown on his face as he sees the new group of people in the building.

    Evidently they are townspeople that the military has designated are necessary to the rebuilding of society. This is some scary news that has been floating around the bunker. Quiet whispers of the possibility of nuclear war. We've been selected to continue on humanity should it come down to the whole world being destroyed by nuclear weapons. In a ways, I'm thankful that Mom, me, Bebe and others have been selected, but I'm still saddened for the people who lost the chance to survive...if what they are saying is true and that the town is going to be incinerated by a nuclear firestorm.

    If I thought the old bald guy was decorated...the Asian guy was even more so. But I doubt he'd notice a little brown-haired waif like me...and drats...he has that ring on his finger. I wonder who the lucky woman is.
    Screenshot%2B%252841%2529.jpg The Asian Vice-Admiral (I think) walks over to the old bald guy and comes to a stop right next to him...practically in an identical position...I don't know how these military guys move with such precision that they can come to a stop right beside someone mirroring their steps so that they move as one. It was like staring at a set of bookends. I heard the Vice-Admiral audibly snarl, "AJ, what the **** did they drop in my nicely maintained building?" I guess the old bald guy is called AJ, though I'd be too scared to call him that to his face. And what startled me is as I thought the old bald guy was the highest ranking officer in the group. But evidently the Asian guy outranks him, obviously with the one extra stripe on his sleeve. AJ replied, "I don't know, sir... All I know is that SECNAV made a suggestion...that we needed more manpower in case the balloon goes up... We can't save the whole city...but we can save what will become the core of a new society." I don't know what they meant by balloon, but it's probably not the thing that floats around the sky over Sunset Valley and it doesn't sound good. Evidently the Asian guy wasn't impressed because he growled audibly, ""I can't see it through all the grimy sleazeballs, I'm seeing floating in front of my eyes." and it was a definite confirmation that the Asian guy outranked the old bald guy because the old bald guy said, "Yes, sir."
    Screenshot%2B%252842%2529.jpg It was at about this point that Madison Van Watson looked up and went, "OH Hey, look...some Navy guys..." then realized that her mouth had excreted her words and she got the expression of "Oh...flark...".
    Screenshot%2B%252839%2529.jpg What they were staring at with so much disgruntlement was at a gaggle of people milling around the computers like a group of geese, squawking with joy at electronics. The two admirals looked like people who were used to immediate discipline and order and this kind of noise and disruption was tantamount to throwing a rock in a still pond. They didn't like it at all.
    Screenshot%2B%252843%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252844%2529.jpg Screenshot%2B%252845%2529.jpg There seems to be a lot of really handsome older men here. And frankly the guy in the white shirt, even with his hair somewhat white, was one of them. His nose was a prominent feature on his face. And from what the Asian admiral referred to him, he was called Dwayne. I didn't catch his last name. He said, "I just got a call from CINCPAC...he says things are heating up in the Pacific. Two tin cans got hit with Yu-8s. Completely unsalvageable. Had to evacuate all hands and then sink them so the Chinese couldn't get their hands on them." That didn't sound good at all...

    And the Asian admiral's eyes narrowed in anger as he queried "CINCPACFLT OK?" Dwayne responded to the query with a nod. "CINCPACFLT was in Oahu when it happened. He wasn't visiting the battlegroup.", The Asian Admiral nodded, "Good. We can't lose our men like that, how many casualties?", Dwayne replied, "162 combined from both ships."
    Screenshot%2B%252846%2529.jpg The Asian admiral looked over at AJ and at Dwayne, "It's time these slack-🐸🐸🐸🐸 got with the program." and strode over to the milling group of gabbing townies.
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (Reboot)

    Chap. 1 - Revelations: Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

    River McIrish: The Asian admiral stood for a long time; from what I could see from the straight stiff-backed look to the stance of his body, he didn't look happy at all. And I swear I could feel the angry heat coming off him from where I was sitting at the concert grand piano.
    Screenshot%2B%252847%2529.jpg Stiles McGraw known for being the irreverant "funny guy" grinned and said amiably, "Hey, there, Navy guy..." Oh...oh... That was the wrong thing to say.
    Screenshot%2B%252848%2529.jpg Oh, was it ever the wrong thing to say, because the Admiral whipped his head around so fast his brain probably got whiplash and stared daggers at Stiles to the point where I think there was a wet spot accumulating down the front of his pants...at just about groin level.
    Screenshot%2B%252849%2529.jpg Not a word out of the admiral at all, other than a cold expression of shut the flark up if you know what's good for you...
    Screenshot%2B%252850%2529.jpg When he did speak it was with a frosty clipped tone, "You will address me as sir. When you speak there is only two words that should slip out of that slimy piehole you call your mouth: one is "YES"...the other is "SIR!" Do I make myself clear?"
    Screenshot%2B%252850%2529.jpg Stiles looked petrified. He went to rub his nose that instantly looked as if it about to run...rivulets of snot. The admiral focused in on him, "You'd best put that arm right by your side or I'll BREAK IT OFF! You're in the military NOW, not in a daycare!"
    Screenshot%2B%252851%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252852%2529.jpg Poor Stiles McGraw, he looked thoroughly confused and unhappy, I think the thought in his mind was, "What did I sign? What did I sign?" After all we did sign a contract to be here in this facility...and considering what the alternative was, joining the military...was a better alternative than roasting alive in a nuclear furnace. Well... Welcome to the Navy or the Army or whatever this branch of the military was going to be.
    Screenshot%2B%252853%2529.jpg And then the admiral focused on the face of Jared Frio. "You have a problem?" the admiral sneered at Jared, presumably with an equally angry looking face. "No..." Jared replied and was going to say more when the admiral gave him a crazy-face look and said, "Oh, you do, sweet-cheeks. You got a major problem on your tail-end, ME. And you'd better wipe that face clean and give me a dead-pan stare...because if you don't I'm going to smack that sneer clean off your face."
    Screenshot%2B%252854%2529.jpg Screenshot%2B%252855%2529.jpg "What's your name, pretty-boy!" snapped the admiral. "You look like the best part of you crawled down the crack of your mama's hind-quarters; made out with a pug and ended up with YOU."
    Screenshot%2B%252856%2529.jpg The admiral sneered at Jared, "You look like YOU got a problem with authority, son, Best not try that with me. Or I will break you down to your basic components and then see if I can reconstruct you into a gerbil."

    At least Jared, even if he didn't remove that sneer from his face, had the semi-intelligence to keep his mouth shut.
    Screenshot%2B%252858%2529.jpg ...and that was when the other admiral jumped in. Holy Mother of God...Jared was in for it now...
    Screenshot%2B%252858%2529.jpg "Son..." that admiral addressed Jared Frio sharply. "You want to take on this man, don't you. You think he disrespected you? Well, let me tell you something...Mr. Frio...and you'd better listen good."
    Screenshot%2B%252860%2529.jpg "You see that little blue ribbon with the five stars?"

    "You realize that they don't give that ribbon to just anyone. It's the Medal of Honor. This man went up against 60 North Koreans trying to extract a fallen squadron-mate off a mountain top in North Korea. He walked away...THEY DIDN'T. My colleague investigated the Medal of Honor citation.
    Screenshot%2B%252859%2529.jpg Stiles at that point looked up at the sky in supplication. "Oh, crud...Jared, you just plummed off a Medal of Honor winner..."
    Screenshot%2B%252862%2529.jpg Without even sparing a look at Stiles, the other admiral said, "Son, you don't win the Medal of Honor...this ain't some 4-H fairground award...you RECEIVE...the Medal of Honor. For most people this isn't an award that they want. They just went above and beyond the call of duty. For the love of their fellow man. To make sure that they got home. And some of those who have received this Medal never made it home. The man facing you today is one of the ones who did. So you, Mr. Frio, may not like him, but you'd better flarkin' respect him and wipe that sneer off your face."
    Screenshot%2B%252864%2529.jpg I could almost hear the gears turning in Jared Frio's head as his mental processes churned the data over in his head.
    Screenshot%2B%252865%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252867%2529.jpg "Input: 60 North Koreans vs. 1 Naval Aviator on the ground. He walked away...They didn't...that's euphemism for dead... 60 dead North Koreans...vs 1 very alive Naval Aviator...who is right in front of me right now... Computation Calculated... result...This man is deadly. And he doesn't like me..."
    Screenshot%2B%252868%2529.jpg "Oh..sheepturds... I'm sooo dead..."
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles

    The General Fit Hits the Shan

    River McIrish: Oh, the joys of Basic Training...or at least the best that the two admirals could come up with. Whether it was the intimidation factor or the fact that these two could make the walls shake with just the pure vocal projection of their voices... "FALL IN!!!!" was roared at full volume. And those of us with any sense of brains "fell in..." to line. Most were quaking in their boots, shoes, sandals or whatever we had on our feet...in my case...I had just crawled out of bed and directly to the piano...so I didn't have much on. But I fell in...
    Screenshot%2B%252869%2529.jpg No one moved, our synapses were too scared pee-less to even twitch even a 32nd of an inch. But these officers honed in on the slightest miscue. And the second person to be the focus of the vice-admiral's ire was Cycl0n3 Sw0rd. He strode up to Cycl0n3 and stopped nose to nose, nut to nut. "What's your name, Roachclip?" the vice-admiral snapped looking over from one side to another to see if anyone laughed; if they did, they'd be in front of a dragon breathing fire. Nobody did...not even Parker Langerak, even as a young man just aged up from teen, he stared straight ahead not even twitching a muscle.
    Screenshot%2B%252870%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252871%2529.jpg Screenshot%2B%252872%2529.jpg "Uh...Cycl0n3 Sw0rd, sir."

    "How the flark do you spell that?" the admiral growled ominously. "Your Momma not like you?"
    Screenshot%2B%252873%2529.jpg "No sir, I called myself that...it's Leetspeak..." Cycl0n3 stammered then stopped as the admiral glared at him.
    Screenshot%2B%252874%2529.jpg "You gotta vision problem, son, sensitivity to light?"

    "No...sir..."Cycl0n3 stammered.

    "You'd better get those shades off your face boy...before I knock 'em off and reduce it to it's component parts. GET 'EM OFF NOW!!!
    Screenshot%2B%252877%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252878%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252882%2529.jpg At this juncture, Connor made a big mistake...and coughed...audibly.
    Screenshot%2B%252884%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252885%2529.jpg If I were Connor Frio, I certainly wouldn't want to be him right now. Not with the vice-admiral's laser like focus aimed directly square at his forehead.
    Screenshot%2B%252888%2529.jpg "Nice beard you got, Frito Junior..." the admiral glared at Connor Frio who looked absolutely petrified. "I almost mistook you for a toilet brush. Maybe I can tip you headfirst into the toilet and get the grunge out that accumulates under the rim. Would you like that?"

    "No, sir!" Connor Frio barked out, standing motionless. "No, sir, I would not..."
    Screenshot%2B%252889%2529.jpg "Lose the beard, Frito Junior. When you fall in tomorrow morning I expect your face as smooth as a baby's rear-hole. Do you understand me?!"

    "Yes, sir!"
    Screenshot%2B%252891%2529.jpg With this psychopathic drill-instructor breathing down our neck we were too petrified to move.
    Screenshot%2B%252893%2529.jpg "So, Ms. Sekemoto...oh, I'm sorry, MR. Sekemoto. I couldn't tell...you look like a girl...with that hair... GET RID OF IT!!!!
    Screenshot%2B%252894%2529.jpg Needless to say, it was quite the first day.
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    edited December 2017
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (Reboot)

    Chapter 3: The Reasoning

    Captain Harmon Rabb, Jr,: The primary role of a drill instructor is to create chaos and stress - the reasoning behind that is the fact that soldiers and sailors will have to operate as a team under such stresses in combat. In the training scenario, a drill instructor uses intimidation and yelling to induce the stress response in the recruit so that he/she conforms to working as a team or cracks under pressure and quits. We are faced with a situation unlike any that we have faced before. Knowing that we are pawns under the nuclear umbrella and that we are less than one and a half minutes to midnight on the Doomsday Clock. Thus we are applying pressure to these recruits like they haven't seen before. It is absolutely necessary.

    Now that I know what we are up against, I know exactly why we are so hard on these recruits. These are the people that we have to rely on with each other's lives. We have to know that we can depend on them in times of crisis. None of this application of stress is meaningless.

    But it still doesn't stop me from cracking up when I see Animal give River McIrish a good once over when he is shocked to see the attire that she "formed up" in.
    Screenshot%2B%252895%2529.jpg "Cadet McIrish, you look like you just had a morning romp in the hay; you look way too happy for 1200hrs. You look absolutely disheveled. Did you just crawl out from under the bed?"

    "No, sir...no romp in the hay, sir... but I did crawl out of bed, sir. Was just playing the piano when you called us into formation, sir!"

    "THAT WAS NOT WHAT I WAS ASKING, CADET MCIRISH! I ASKED IF YOU CRAWLED OUT FROM UNDER THE BED! Because that's what you look like!

    "Sir, No SIR!"

    River McIrish: I may be getting screamed at by him, but it certainly doesn't dampen my infatuation with him. OMG...close up out of the corner of my eye, I can see his ribbons on his chest and my god, does he ever have a lot of them...
    Screenshot%2B%252896%2529.jpg Captain Harmon Rabb, Jr,: (coughs)Well, getting back on point...Animal proceeds to char Leighton Sekemoto even more. "You will have a high and tight by 0500 AM, Mr. Sekemoto so that you don't confuse the living plum out my drill instructors or you will be made to clean out the toilet with your head. Do I make myself clear?!" and Leighton yells out a petrified, "Sir, Yes, Sir!!!"

    "You sound like an baby squirrel...grow a pair!!!"Animal's roar is painful even to my ears from across the bunker.

    It's at this point that Meg gets up from the computer and flashes me an evil grin across the bunker. She and Animal are matched up way too well. They have an equally evil sense of humor as she proceeds to swap outfits from her red nightie to her Captain, JAGC, uniform...and marches forward to Madison Van Watson and hones in on her very apparent weakness. "Cadet Watson, you are on half rations and you'd better get your plum on that machine until you are at the proper weight for cadet training... THAT GOES FOR YOU TOO, Cadet Hatch!!!" It may have been cruel to single out Cadets Van Watson and Hatch for their extra weight, but cadets have to be at optimal weight for military training. They may have to carry a fellow soldier if they go down in battle or become incapitated in any way shape or form. The military is not politically correct, they cannot be. We don't have that luxury.
    Screenshot%2B%252897%2529.jpg I was handing out uniforms...to cadets and they were quickly dressing themselves and falling back in to line. Meanwhile Meg was shredding Madison Van Watson. "Maybe I should put you on quarter-ration. Looks like you need it!"
    Screenshot%2B%252898%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252899%2529.jpg The stress of seeing Meg at point-blank range, an intimidating scowl on her pretty face, caused Madison Van Watson to plum up big time.

    "SIR, YES, SIR!!!"

    I could see Meg's ire rise a few hundred degrees, her eyes narrowed and she roared: It's amazing the set of lungs on that gorgeous blonde Navy JAG Captain. Animal's a lucky man. "Cadet Van Watson: "DO YOU HAVE VISION PROBLEMS?!!! DO I LOOK LIKE A SIR TO YOU?!!! DO I HAVE A SET OF BALLS AND A 🐸🐸🐸🐸?!!! Last I checked I did not. WHAT IS MY GENDER!!!? CADET!!!!"

    "MA'AM!!!"

    "Good, at least you sounded off like you have a pair!!!"
    Screenshot%2B%2528100%2529.jpg "Are you eyeballin' me, Cadet Hart?!!! YOUR EYES BEST BE DRILLING IDENTICAL PARALLEL HOLES IN THE WALL... EYES FRONT!!!!"
    Screenshot%2B%2528101%2529.jpg Cadet Bebe Hart: OMG OMG OMG OMG...I'm so scared...
    Screenshot%2B%2528102%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528103%2529.jpg At least Jared Frio got with the program and decided that he was about to obey any and all orders...before he got flayed by the vice-admiral. For once, Jared was smart.
    Screenshot%2B%2528104%2529.jpg Ah...and the light of my life. Colonel Sarah "Mac" Mackenzie, Marine Corps, decided to come out in Marine uniform. She decided to apply an extra bit of attention to Jared Frio. "Why, Jared, you look like you want my phone number..." she said with a hint of a saccharine touch. "Would you like that? Do you think I'm attractive?"

    "Ma'am? Um...yes..." Jared asked questioningly, looking admiringly at her. That was a mistake
    Screenshot%2B%2528105%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528106%2529.jpg "Well, Mr. Frio, you're not going to get my phone number...because Captain Rabb already has it. And you'd best get that greasy Elvis into a high n' tight...EH ESS EH PEE!!!! DO YOU READ ME?!!!"

    "MA'AM YES MA'M!!!!"
    Screenshot%2B%2528107%2529.jpg Mac turned her eyes towards Stiles McGraw who had been rotating his eyeballs in his skull looking Mac over...and bellowed. "Mr. McGraw, you'd best not be admiring my twin assets out the corner of your eye or I will run your plum around the flagpole until you dryheave your guts out!!!" Cadet McGraw's eyes clicked forward so fast I could hear them snap into place.
    Screenshot%2B%2528109%2529.jpg And Captain Liandra Gracen, JAGC, she was such a cute little redhead whose Irish temper belied her diminutive stature. She was a cute little pixie type, with gorgeous long flowing locks that she kept tied back in a regulation off the shoulder but not regulation messy bun. She decided to join in on the action, zeroing in on Cadet Blair Wainright who had just been issued a set of BDUs and a tee that she had changed into. "Why, you look nice..." she chirped.
    Screenshot%2B%2528110%2529.jpg "I think you and I could be best friends...Wouldn't that be nice. Don't you? Would you and Cadet Kennedy like that?"
    Screenshot%2B%2528112%2529.jpg "Well...don't get used to the idea!!!" She snapped...turning off the friendly vibe and morphing into her JAGC Judicial, drill-sergeant mode. "You and I are on completely different wave-lengths. Until you become an officer, you are no where near my calibre. You'd best get squared away and understand that you are an enlisted in the Navy or Marines. And you'd best do that soon."
    Screenshot%2B%2528114%2529.jpg "You went to the police academy, did you not? Cadet Wainright? There they instilled military discipline in you, did they not?"

    "Ma'am Yes, Ma'am!!!"

    "Well, this is the police academy on steroids, you'd best get your plum together and do it fast!!!"
    Screenshot%2B%2528115%2529.jpg We didn't have time for niceties. With the world going to heck in a hand-basket, we didn't have that kind of luxury. We needed people we could rely on and if we had to break a few eggs, we were going to meld these people into the type of people that we could really rely upon...in times of crisis. Because the world was going to get a lot harsher if the politicians and higher-ups couldn't get their act together in time before the missiles got launched.
    Post edited by Nikkei_Simmer on
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (Reboot)

    When You Look Into the Abyss...

    RADM Albert Jethro Chegwidden put down the phone after the call from the Chief of Naval Operations. This was not good. There was word from the President that negotiations with the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere had broken down. On top of that, the Russians had decided that they were going to side with the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere and reform the Warsaw Pact. Everything appeared to be going to heck in a handbasket faster than they thought. It was time to notify VADM Nakamura of the bad news.
    Screenshot%2B%2528123%2529.jpg There were very few things that frightened military men, but the thought of the world destabilizing and then blowing up in a conflagration of which there was no escape petrified the living daylights out of this Navy SEAL.
    Screenshot%2B%2528124%2529.jpg Dwayne Pride drew the short straw to notify the recruits and civilians just what they were in for. "Ladies and Gentlemen, if I can have your attention. I have to notify you of our situation. Rear Admiral Chegwidden was just notified by the Chief of Naval Operations that the world situation is deteriorating rapidly. It is quite possible that we will be at war very shortly." Pride stopped for a long moment looking over the crowd with a somber face.

    "We are tasked with protecting the chain of succession on the off-chance that the President does not survive a first-strike. We are protecting the Secretary of Defense. The former SecDef had an unfortunate vehicle accident and he did not survive. Former Secretary of the Navy Sheffield had now been tasked with the duties of the Secretary of Defense.
    Screenshot%2B%2528126%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528127%2529.jpg The somber faces of those in uniform informed the crowd of civilians and recruits just how serious the situation was. Pride continued, "Our task is to ensure that the line of succession remains intact until it is needed." He didn't have to say that the world situation entailed the necessity of that line of succession now more than ever. This was Continuity of Government and it meant the survival of the nation.
    Screenshot%2B%2528128%2529.jpg Senator Edward Sheffield, 27th Secretary of Defense, said, "Unfortunately, I have no words that can allay any doubt, fears or worries. We are in a situation where no one has wanted to be, standing at the edge, looking over into the abyss of Armageddon. At a time like this...the only thing that I have to draw strength from is prayer and do we ever need it at this time."
    Screenshot%2B%2528130%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528131%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528132%2529.jpg As the direness of the situation dawned in the minds of the people assembled in the bunker, there was silence. Even Jared Frio had nothing to say...his mind was spinning with the enormity of the situation that he found himself in. And there was no room for anything else but a cognizant thought that he had to get his plum together and do what was right. Everyone else was dumbstruck...with fear. But it would be far worse for those on the outside. If the Soviets didn't bring out their second more powerful nuclear weapon. There were two designed, both with an estimated yield of 100MTs. The Tsar Bomba, detonated in 1961 yielded 50MTs mainly because they did not want to test it with the full three-stage hydrogen/uranium core mainly due to the blast radius quite possibly incinerating the drop-aircraft. He certainly didn't want a nuclear weapon to land directly on top of the bunker. If they didn't, he would be safe as well as the rest of the people in the bunker. He was starting to also realize that they all had to rely on each other.
    Screenshot%2B%2528133%2529.jpg River McIrish felt a pang of fear crawl down her spine as she comprehended just how dangerous a precipice the world was on at the moment. Did they have months, weeks...how long was it before the world burned itself to pieces. All she knew was that she was in training to become a soldier and that would be pretty much one of the few occupations left should the bombs go off and they survived.
    Screenshot%2B%2528134%2529.jpg Pride continued, "I'm sorry that I have nothing but dire news...the only thing that I can hope for; that everyone can hope for is that those who are in control come to their senses before it is too late.
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (Reboot)

    Taking Care of Business

    Screenshot%2B%2528135%2529.jpg RADM AJ Chegwidden: Our bunker had a lot of work left to do... but we had to have a high-command meeting so we left the rest of the bunker to their own devices, and they seemed to know that they were confined to the bunker. They knew that we couldn't afford to lose any of them, should the worst happen while we were in the meeting. It also seemed as though Mr. Frio, one Jared... was mulling over the facts that had been presented to him. It's all a matter of time to see if he steps up to the plate or not.
    Screenshot%2B%2528136%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528137%2529.jpg My mind was still trying to digest the phone call that I had received from the Chief of Naval Operations. We were on the precipice of total war. The thought of the world going over the edge into it was unthinkable...but now completely possible. If that didn't give any person nightmares, they had to be insane.
    Screenshot%2B%2528138%2529.jpg We all called this the situation room...the place that we would find out what was happening in the world. There were monitors and computers all hooked up to National Defense networks and there was three phone lines. One to the Department of Defense, one to the White House, and the other to that bunker in Cheyenne Mountain in El Paso County, Colorado provided that the Soviets didn't obliterate it into its component atoms. Hopefully, no one knew this one existed or we'd be obliterated too. Let's hope the Leninists thought this place was a shopping mall for capitalists, maybe we should put a few cars on the roof to make them think it was a parking garage...
    Screenshot%2B%2528139%2529.jpg Gibbs and Pride were talking quietly with the vice-admiral on what things could potentially be done to improve communications with the outside...to those in the know about the state of world affairs and how soon this whole thing would kick off if we were unfortunate enough to end up not heeding the signs. It certainly was a sensitive topic meant for ears that were of high-enough rank to understand the gravity of the situation.
    Screenshot%2B%2528140%2529.jpg One of Sunset Valley's former Air Force officers, turned transfer to the Corps was now a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marines was chatting away with Clayton Webb, who was our CIA guy (even though he routinely denied it) in residence. Even though there were higher ranking members in the group than one lowly Lieutenant Colonel. It was his familiarity with Sunset Valley terrain that allowed LCOL Jack Bunch to be a part of the meeting.
    Screenshot%2B%2528141%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528142%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528143%2529.jpg It was a somber face to face as all in attendance realized the enormity of the situation at hand. This was a bit of news that was so hard to swallow that it took a long time for the impact to really hit. We all knew that we were running on borrowed time. And if negotiations failed, things would get heated: superheated to temperatures rivalling the surface of the sun.
    Screenshot%2B%2528145%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528148%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528149%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528150%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528152%2529.jpg At one point I had tasked Fiona McIrish the duty of getting skill books for the bunker library so that if things went down the way we thought, we'd have an alternate method of gaining knowledge other than to learn by trial and error. At least we wouldn't entirely be back to the Stone Age then. The other morbid thought was that if she was out and the Bomb went off, we wouldn't have lost a potential breeding female. As it was the older civilian women and men were up for the tasks of going outside the bunker to retrieve essentials such as stocking up on food and other items needed.
    Screenshot%2B%2528153%2529.jpg "Thanks for coming to the meeting" VADM Nakamura stated, grimly joking, "Not that you had much of a choice for coming here...Agent Pride here notified me about the fact that we lost two destroyers in the Pacific a few days ago. They were damaged beyond repair and the Navy had to torpedo them to the bottom of the ocean so that they wouldn't be salvageable to the ACPS. We also are hearing news about the Warsaw Pact Reformation. This is extremely bad news due to the fact that the Warsaw Pact has always had expansionist leanings and it is only a matter of time before they decide that they're going to expand westward. The fact that Russia is leaning in its nature back towards the old Soviet stance is worrisome. Agent Gibbs has noticed that there is more activity at the Soviet rocket bases in the Urals then there were before as our satellites track enemy movements. Yes, we have started going back to watching the Soviets carefully."
    Screenshot%2B%2528154%2529.jpg "I'll take a moment here to introduce you to both Gibbs and Pride. Two guys that I have worked with for quite some time over the years...that's one of the reasons why I brought them on board at the behest of the CNO."
    Screenshot%2B%2528157%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528158%2529.jpg "These gentlemen have been my eyes and ears in any situation that I have had in command of the Second Fleet, they have invariably kept my operations from heading south like a raft of penguins." At this I could have laughed uproariously because VADM Nakamura pointedly looked at Clayton Webb who had the intelligence to look ashamed.
    Screenshot%2B%2528155%2529.jpg I broke that snot-faced brat's nose once (in several pieces, mind you). Perhaps I need to do it again...if he doesn't step up and provide proper information.
    Screenshot%2B%2528156%2529.jpg "This is a situation that we have trained for..." VADM Nakamura stated clearly, "We have the exact scenario so none of us should be surprised. We may be disheartened that the situation has come to this, however but understand that we are not in a situation where haven't assessed the situation and have not understood the ramifications of what we are dealing with. If the balloon goes up tomorrow, I expect each and everyone of you to maintain your equilibrium and know that we are going to do everything that we can to get through this. Outside of a direct hit with a 25 MT weapon, this facility is designed to take everything that the Chinese or the Soviets can throw at us."
    Screenshot%2B%2528162%2529.jpg "Unless they throw something with a larger yield than 25MTs like the Tsar Bomba...then we'll be as happy as little burrowing weasels inside our little comfy den here.
    Screenshot%2B%2528163%2529.jpg "Any questions?

    None? Good... Second order of business...Clayton Webb..."
    Screenshot%2B%2528155%2529.jpg Oh, man, with Webb the focus of the VADM, it didn't look good for Clay and he knew it.
    Screenshot%2B%2528167%2529.jpg "When I ask for a situational update, Mr. Webb...unlike the incident with Sadik Fahd, it'd better not take forty-eight hours to provide me the pertinent data. Is that understood, Mr. Webb? Or you and I will be having a private discussion. There is a brig in this facility. Do you understand?
    Screenshot%2B%2528168%2529.jpg Webb was finding himself on the hotplate. Did I feel the slightest bit sympathetic towards his plight? Nawww...
    Screenshot%2B%2528170%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528172%2529.jpg Gibbs and Pride looked over with identical amused expressions. Me, I was feeling pretty darned smug about the whole thing, while Webb squirmed under the vice-admiral's sardonic glare.
    Screenshot%2B%2528173%2529.jpg "We still have plenty to do on this bunker so we'd best get to it." the vice-admiral finished off. "Thank you, gentlemen for your time..."
    Screenshot%2B%2528174%2529.jpg "Dismissed..."
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (Reboot)

    Frankenstein's Creations

    Screenshot%2B%2528175%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528176%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528177%2529.jpg Captain Harmon Rabb Jr.:We knew for a fact that there was going to be a culling of the bunker group. We had estimated that Alpha and Bravo platoons were going to end up at seven individuals a piece including the platoon sergeant. There was no way our resources could hold out if we had everyone in the group of candidates remain. The rest would be apportioned off to other bunkers for manpower or if the candidate decided to drop on request, they could rejoin the rest of the civilian population in the city and take their chances.

    Animal did something that I didn't think that he would. He promoted Jared Frio to Cadet Platoon Sergeant of Bravo Platoon. And evidently Jared Frio stepped up to the challenge of commanding a platoon, because whether through fear or intimidation, he managed to cow every swinging fifth wing of them into a sense of military bearing. And to think that all I thought he'd be capable of doing was being a mess cook. Animal was perceptive and he thought that Jared had some command potential - evidently Animal was right. The other Cadet Platoon Sergeant was River McIrish who had a much tougher task considering her group of candidates was twice the size of Cadet Sergeant Frio's but she took to it like a fish to water.
    Screenshot%2B%2528180%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528181%2529.jpg It was with an air of pride that both new sergeants took to wearing their golden berets like badges of honor.
    Screenshot%2B%2528182%2529.jpg Of course Twyla Summers just would not take the position of attention and looked around...that drew Meg's ire...and she strode over to the cadet and planted herself square in Cadet Summer's face, calling over Cadet SGT McIrish over. "Come here, Sergeant...you have a cadet to correct."

    "AYE MA'AM!!!" barked River and strode over to the Navy Captain.
    Screenshot%2B%2528183%2529.jpg All within audible hearshot, Meg's words cracked like a whip. "I want her in military bearing or she is to be made to drop on request (DOR), do you understand me, Sergeant. We have no time for a ne'er-do-well."
    Screenshot%2B%2528184%2529.jpg "Either you get with the program, or you take your chances with the Bomb. Do you understand me, Cadet Summers."
    Screenshot%2B%2528187%2529.jpg Meg's piercing blue eyes pinned Cadet Summer's head to the wall.

    Then...it was SGT McIrish's turn. "You just planted yourself on my plum-list, Cadet. And I'm going to do every thing I can think of to make you Drop On Request. All you need to do to make life more comfortable for yourself is to DOR."
    Screenshot%2B%2528188%2529.jpg "That goes for EVERY SINGLE ONE of you."
    Screenshot%2B%2528190%2529.jpg And YOU...Cadet Summers, if you so much as step out of line one fraction of an inch...I'm going to pin your ears back and pop your eyes out of your skull!!!"
    Screenshot%2B%2528191%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528192%2529.jpg I chose that moment to whisper to my friend, Meg, "Your apprentice learned well..." Meg was not amused.

    Meanwhile Sergeant Psychopath...continued eyeballing Cadet Summers. "You're going to be begging me to DOR...why not save me the trouble? Cadet..."
    Screenshot%2B%2528193%2529.jpg "Surely the Bomb couldn't be worse than I am..."
    Screenshot%2B%2528194%2529.jpg "Ring the bell, Cadet, Ring THE BELL!!!" River tightened the gears on Cadet Summers

    I commented out the side of my mouth, "Hey, Meg...She's ALIVE...it LIVES..." alluding to Frankenstein's monster, created when River received the Golden Beret. Meg still wasn't amused.
    Screenshot%2B%2528195%2529.jpg "You guys screw up just this much..." Cadet Sergeant Jared Frio roared at his cowed platoon. "You ain't going to last as long as Cadet Summers. Your fuzzy pink peaches will be grass...because I'll plant your plums!!!!"
    Screenshot%2B%2528196%2529.jpg Well...we had created two non-coms that were proving to be quite the quick learners with regards to making life miserable for recruits.
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (Reboot)

    Military Bearing

    Captain Harmon Rabb Jr.: Two weeks later, the culling was complete. A lot of the people who were culled to make room, ended up at different bunkers, a few dropped-on-request and rejoined the civilian population to meet their fate should the unthinkable happen. And we were down to seven former civilians including two cadet sergeants who proceeded to make life absolutely H-E- double hockey-sticks for the remainder of the civilians. I'm sure it was done under the auspices of toughening them up for the days to come, but I'm sure it wasn't pleasant. But let's face it, it was certainly a lot easier on them than it was for Animal...who learned his mind-bending craft from the Marine Corps Drill Instructors who practically beat military bearing into ROTC cadets.
    Screenshot%2B%2528197%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528198%2529.jpg Hank Goddard was one particular scuzzy looking human being. With a soul-piece under his lip, he looked like a veritable greaseball. I took the opportunity to channel my Gunnery Sergeant Post alter-ego which I had perfected since that time I went undercover in the Marine Corps and went after him with surgical precision. "What the heck is that dead caterpillar curled up under your lip, Cadet?!!" I looked over at Marty Keaton, who was trying his hardest not to snicker. "You'd better not say a word Cadet Keaton."
    Screenshot%2B%2528200%2529.jpg "Are you sure that's not a caterpillar because it looks like one of the lethal ones you find in the Amazon. Maybe I need to smack it off with a two by four before it takes out half the plumming platoon?!!!"

    "It's a soul-piece, sir." Cadet Hank Goddard explained.
    Screenshot%2B%2528199%2529.jpg "I don't give a rats smelly behind what it is, it'd better be off and flushed down the head by the next time this platoon forms up or you will be doing pushups till you throw up."
    Screenshot%2B%2528201%2529.jpg "I'd better see cleanshaven heads and faces in Bravo Platoon or you all will be running the roof. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?!!!!" There was a chorus of "Aye, sir!!!" coming from the assembled recruits. Satisfying myself with another glare at Hank Goddard to drive home the fact that I was dead-serious, I about-faced and headed back to line up with the rest of the instructor cadre.
    Screenshot%2B%2528202%2529.jpg Commander Sturgis Turner became the defacto head of Bravo Platoon, while Lieutenant Commander Harriet Beaumont Sims-Roberts became the head of Alpha Platoon. They were the commanding officers of the platoons, to whom the cadet Sergeants would report.
    Screenshot%2B%2528203%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528204%2529.jpg As a matter of fact, the whole platoons started looking a whole lot more military as time went on. And considering the fact that they had to do so in as short an amount of time as was possible, they were doing very well.
    Screenshot%2B%2528206%2529.jpg In fact, Cadet Sergeant Jared Frio was looking more and more military with a sharp salute that would have made the Gunny, who I worked with, proud if he was still around. Goodness knows where he is now, but we certainly could have used him to whip these recruits into shape, but Cadet SGT Frio is doing a darned good job at mentally brow-beating his recruits into shape, one of which included his brother.
    Screenshot%2B%2528212%2529.jpg Equally mean and nasty, was Cadet SGT McIrish. With a tongue that could flay iron and a caustic Irish sense of humor that leaned towards the sadistic, she whipped the six remaining cadets in her platoon into military shape.
    Screenshot%2B%2528213%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528214%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528216%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528217%2529.jpg All stood at crisp military attention. And Connor Frio finally shaved that mangy beard of his off his face. They were all, rapidly due to the situation, turning into soldiers that we would be able to count on in dire times...and those dire times would be here sooner than we expected.
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (Reboot)

    The Abyss Looks Back

    Captain Meg Austin : It was about a week later that we got the unwelcome news...that something bad had gone down in the Pacific. Evidently a flotilla of Chinese Destroyers had encountered the Navy's 7th Fleet. Three US destroyers had been torpedoed, and the Russians had launched a their super-secret nuclear torpedo which had put the George Washington Carrier Battle Group at the bottom of the ocean. This had sparked a retaliatory action: complete, total war with nuclear warheads being readied for launch in a pre-emptive strike against the hearts of Communist China and the Soviet Union.
    Screenshot%2B%2528220%2529.jpg I knew that my husband was shocked beyond belief because I saw him cross himself and pray. This was the news that we all didn't want to hear. Because it would mean that missiles were in the air.
    Screenshot%2B%2528219%2529.jpg "Yes, sir...I understand, sir." My husband stated as he talked to the Chief of Naval Operations. "God speed, sir... May we live to regret this. May our God forgive what we have wrought upon his Creation." A fervent wish that we would survive the aftermath to come. As my husband got off the phone, he was pale. Everyone was dead silent as he said solemnly intoning... "We are at war..." There were murmured prayers, crying and from the men, just aghast silence as if they didn't believe what was going on...
    Screenshot%2B%2528222%2529.jpg "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are restricted to barracks here...the missiles are in the air...May God have mercy on us..."
    Screenshot%2B%2528224%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528225%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528226%2529.jpg I couldn't help it, I needed the arms of my husband. I broke ranks...and rushed into his arms. He wouldn't let go and I didn't want him to. If we were to die here...we would die together in each other's arms.
    Screenshot%2B%2528227%2529.jpg Author's Note: May this be a warning to all hawks...that the road that we are on, the posturing and foolish bravado that we are engaging in, in real life right now, could very well lead to apocalypse.
    Screenshot%2B%2528228%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528230%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528231%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528232%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528233%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528234%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528235%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528236%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528237%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528239%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528240%2529.jpg SunsetValleyNuked2.jpg SunsetValleyNuked4.jpgSunsetValleyNuked7.jpgSunsetValleyNuked8.jpgSunsetValleyNuked9.jpgSunsetValleyNuked10.jpg SunsetValleyNuked5.jpgSunsetValleyNuked6.jpgSunsetValleyNuked11.jpgSunsetValleyNuked3.jpg SunsetValleyNuked6.jpg SunsetValleyNuked.jpg Screenshot-9-3-3.jpg
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (Reboot)

    Aftermath

    Six Months Later

    Screenshot%2B%2528162%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528163%2529.jpg An ominous quiet filled the night air over Sunset Valley. Not very many moved around inside the devastated town. And those that did were newcomers to the area looking to make themselves comfortable within the ruins. It was certainly a different sight that would great them once the bunker inhabitants were able to emerge from the cozy little nest that they had created for themselves. And even then with the lingering fallout, they would be unable to go out for more than a few hours at a time, unprotected.
    Screenshot%2B%2528165%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528166%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528167%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528168%2529.jpg The denizens of the aftermath were a different breed of Sim, violence came quickly to them and they would be suspicious of anyone that they didn't know. Grim would be kept busy for years to come as society rebuilt itself and took on more civilized roles. The nuclear war had sent society back into the dark ages.
    Screenshot%2B%2528169%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528170%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528171%2529.jpg Fort Gnome had borne the brunt of a 5MT Chinese DF-21A missile warhead while the rest of Sunset Valley hadn't fared much better. What remained of Fort Gnome was a radioctive lake, aptly named Crater Lake.

    But somehow the occupants of the bunker had managed to survive the aftermath of the nuclear missiles. But it would be a long time before they were able to rebuild the town...considering that there were many areas that were considered hot pockets of radiation still around the area.
    Screenshot%2B%2528116%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528117%2529.jpg As dawn approached one could see the devastation wrought on the town as well as on the lighthouse that marked the entrance to the Bay. A new dawn for Sunset Valley, but the sun would not rise on a comfortable scene.
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (Reboot)

    The First Reconnoiter

    Most of the bunker residents were gratified to have all survived the nuclear blast. Evidently the Soviets had ignored the fact that there was a big square building and bombed the town and the military base, not realizing that there was a bunker square in the middle of Sunset Heights. And it seemed as though the tenets of Mutual Assured Destruction had played out, because there were no more missiles. What the world situation was, VADM Nakamura and RADM Chegwidden did not know. Whether they would emerge to find Sunset Valley invaded by Russian and Chinese troops, they didn't know, but they knew for a fact that they would not like what they would face when they did stick their heads out of their burrow.
    Screenshot%2B%25281%2529.jpg For now, they would wait it out...and see how the situation was before emerging. At least the monitors had started working again after that EMP blast. And thank goodness that VADM Nakamura had Faraday-caged the entire complex which meant that a lot of their electronics had survived the EMP blast.
    Screenshot%2B%25282%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%25284%2529.jpg One of the main things was making sure that every man, woman and child was in fighting shape...when it came to finally emerging from the bunker because they didn't know what they were up against. Tosh "Animal" Nakamura was already a Level 9 Martial Artist before they even came to the bunker, so what he was doing was making sure that he mastered Martial Arts. He wanted to make sure that he was unchallenged for his and AJ's authority. They were the de facto leaders in the complex and as such, they needed to be able to lead without people second-guessing their leadership.
    Screenshot%2B%25285%2529.jpg Post-Apocalypse was a harsh situation and they were going to have to pair up or look at some very unique situations if they were going to rebuild the human race. From what was coming in, only a few pockets of humanity had survived the nuclear exchange and what pockets did were protected in bunkers like what the survivors were currently in. Considering that Meg and Animal were in a relationship already, they didn't have to worry about who they were going to be matched up with and of course they took advantage of that. It was nice being the Leader.
    Screenshot%2B%25287%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%25288%2529.jpg The next morning, saw Harm and Animal don exposure suits to head out and see what the environment was like. When they emerged, it made their jaw drop. The sky had cleared of smoke and soot, but the UV reading were off the charts. Any prolonged length of unprotected exposure and they would pay for it in increased risk of cancer and tumor growth. They stood in dead silence for a long moment...

    Harm whispered, "Mom...Frank..." he blinked furiously because he couldn't raise his protective visor to wipe away the tears. He didn't know how long it would take for the atmosphere to repair itself or whether it would be the same again. But he snapped out of it when Animal snapped harshly, "Follow me!"
    Screenshot%2B%25289%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252810%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252811%2529.jpg There was no time for breaking down emotionally. Their goal was survival and only the fittest would in this new harsh world. Their goal for this mission was to reconnoiter the area and see what they could find.

    Both their Glocks were out...and at the ready. "Keep your eyes peeled for any hostiles..." Animal cautioned as they paused beside what was the burnt hulk of Citizen's Warehouse.
    Screenshot%2B%252812%2529.jpg Screenshot%2B%252814%2529.jpg "Follow me..." Animal commanded as he headed off towards the south of the town.
    Screenshot%2B%252817%2529.jpg A man ran by them, "HALT!" commanded Animal and the man turned towards him, his face covered with burns and abrasions. To his utter shock, it was Xander Clavell, one of the town's miscreants. He looked as though he was suffering from radiation exposure and his skin was cracked and bleeding.
    Screenshot%2B%252818%2529.jpg "You survived the blast? Right near the epicenter?" Animal interrogated him in shock not believing that someone could have survived the apocalyptic explosion.

    "I was down in the parkade...when the bomb went off. I managed to dig myself out of the rubble, but..." he coughed, a watery sounding cough...there really wasn't anything that Harm or Animal could do for him. It seemed as though his lungs were already failing and it was only a matter of time. "it's been h*ll ever since." He mentioned a few other distinct bits of information and then headed off...
    Screenshot%2B%252819%2529.jpg Animal looked over at Harm, "There's no way that he's going to last the week. You heard how watery his breathing was...there's fluid build-up in his lungs...and his organs are failing. When he coughed there was blood on his hands..."
    Screenshot%2B%252821%2529.jpg It certainly appeared as though Grim was being kept busy because one of the survivors, Gobias Koffi collapsed and died and Grim was sent to collect his soul.
    Screenshot%2B%252825%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252827%2529.jpg Screenshot%2B%252828%2529.jpg ...which pretty much caused one of the other townie survivors to faint. Survival especially with the increased UV radiation and the ambient fall-out that had contaminated the area, it was going to make recovery a heck of a lot more difficult and time-consuming. It was with heavy hearts that Harm and Animal returned to the bunker.
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (Reboot)

    She Lives...

    The emotional repercussions of seeing Sunset Valley in the state that it was now: seeing the cost and effect on the populace of the two nuclear weapons that had devastated Sunset Valley was traumatic - horrifyingly eye-opening. There was no way to rationalize the use of nuclear weapons at all - the cost was too great, however they had been used and total annihilation was the result.
    Screenshot%2B%252830%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252832%2529.jpg Bebe Hart decided that she was going to experiment with the brain modifier. Evidently she found that was a bad idea and had some reservations about the whole thing. Kinda hard to switch it off though after one hits start. Maybe it might have been better to forego the whole procedure. Too late...
    Screenshot%2B%252836%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252838%2529.jpg However luckily, the brain modifier did not zap her and she had the opportunity to get to know Jack Keeter a lot better.
    Screenshot%2B%252840%2529.jpg Meg and the VADM decided that they would spend some time together. After all they were married.
    Screenshot%2B%252849%2529.jpg Phil took some time for himself to enjoy some solitude. In fact after a traumatic time like what they had all been through, they needed to take the time to decompress.
    Screenshot%2B%252850%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252851%2529.jpg Being the rambunctious party animal, one would think that Jack was the last person to get into robotics. However he decided to start making nanites...the first step in the creation of plumbots, which they decided might be a good idea for security around the perimeter.
    Screenshot%2B%252852%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252854%2529.jpg Fiona decided that it might be a good idea to start working on science experiments so that they could develop some hardier strains of plants that could be the first step in rebuilding society.
    Screenshot%2B%252856%2529.jpg Meg and Tosh (VADM Nakamura) naturally went to the martial arts gym in the bunker to work on their martial arts skills and others joined them.
    Screenshot%2B%252858%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252859%2529.jpg Originally being in the medical field, Morgana Wolff (now unattached) was now learning robotics as well offering a second mind to the task of creating nanites and eventually plumbot circuitboards.
    Screenshot%2B%252857%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252860%2529.jpg ...and CR-06 was created - probably the most confused plumbot that will ever be created since no skillset chips had been created for her yet.
    Screenshot%2B%252862%2529.jpg So she would be existing in a state of confusion for the foreseeable future.
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (Reboot)

    Focus

    Martial arts was exceedingly important in this new wasteland. When the atmosphere finally reasserted and repaired itself so that there wasn't as much UV radiation, they would be able to leave the bunker and goodness know what they would find out there. If they didn't hone up on their martial arts or their weapons training, they would become easy targets for large groups of roving bandits.
    Screenshot%2B%252863%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252864%2529.jpg After overhearing Keeter and Bebe talking about the brainwave machine, Harm just had to try it out for himself. And frankly it scared him too, but of course he had also flicked the on switch and well...once the process was underway, it couldn't be stopped for fear of neurological damage to one's cerebellum.
    Screenshot%2B%252866%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252867%2529.jpg Sgt. Jared Frio and LCOL Jack Bunch worked out trying to make certain that they were fit and ready for any action that presented itself. Jack Bunch was your typical Marine though he had spent most of his life in the Air Force. He liked getting the job done and making sure that objectives were met and living in the bunker, though necessary was getting to him. He asked the admirals if he could be placed on the next rotation for out-side the bunker excursions. Jared worked on preserving his hard-body and wanted to make sure that he was also prepared for any eventuality, up to and including confrontation with hostile forces.
    Screenshot%2B%252869%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252870%2529.jpg Marty Keaton and Tamara Donner were also in the weight room looking after their bodies, much for the same reason as Jack Bunch and Jared Frio. The motivation was the same in that they knew that when they headed out of the bunker, it was uncertain by what they would be met with. Were there enough Soviet troops that they had overrun Sunset Valley and that it was only by luck that Harm and Tosh had returned from their reconnoiter? Or was it that they were lucky and had escaped the invasion of the CONUS? Who knew what they would find or whether the Sovs and Chinese had invaded in the interim now? For all they knew columns of Soviet and Chinese tanks could be advancing on their complex and they would have to defend. So they planned to get their bodies in the best physical shape of their lives.

    Autumn Cusack had also come into the exercise rooms and decided that she would work on her martial arts. Her first task was hitting the Sa Baau...the heavy sand bag that would be her initial training tool if she didn't choose the Muk Yan Jong. And flail away at it, she did, for the longest time.
    Screenshot%2B%252872%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252873%2529.jpg Jack Keeter went back to the science room and worked on some more nanites and circuits.
    Screenshot%2B%252874%2529.jpg Holly Alto and SGT River McIrish worked on their painting. It was therapeutic because it took their mind off the dire situation that they were in and kept it on an even keel which would be necessary in the future when larger reconnoiter teams were going to be sent out into the elements to find other survivors or perhaps they would have to battle any foreign invaders.
    Screenshot%2B%252877%2529.jpg After all, once the Soviets and Chinese would set foot in Sunset Valley, they would end up targeting one of the few building that had received very little damage from the warheads exploding. They would know that there were occupants that had survived and considering the type of construction involved in the building of the bunker, they would know that those survivors had some sort of military backing and training and thus they would be come the primary target.
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    edited January 2018
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (Reboot)

    Life After the Bomb

    Remember, mommy, I'm off to get a commie,
    So send me a salami
    and try to smile somehow,
    I'll look for you when the war is over
    an hour and a half from now...

    ~Tom Lehrer~ So Long, Mom (A WWIII Song)

    Screenshot%2B%252879%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252882%2529.jpg Martial Arts was a priority and a few of the bunker got busy with learning the skill. After all, making sure that they had the confidence to be able to take on those who would be looking to cause them and their shelter-mates harm was a great boost to the morale of the bunker. Eventually, there would be an invasion, there was no doubt about it from VADM Nakamura's perspective and they wanted to be ready for it when it came. He was not clairvoyant but military strategy was something that he had learned at War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Invasion was a sound military tactic and frankly, incapacitating a nation's ability to wage war was the first opening move utilized in such a scenario. The second was incapacitating a nation's morale and what better way to do it than to subjugate the nation's populace?

    Strategy and Tactical maneuvers were something that he could teach the shelter occupants down the road, for now, though he would teach them to condition their mind, their body and their fitness level.
    Screenshot%2B%252884%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252885%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252887%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%252888%2529.jpg Tamara Donner, on the other hand, loved recreation and decided to utilize the pool tables every chance she got. One of her favorite things to do was trick shots, which more oft than not resulted in a painful smack to her forehead with the cue ball after ricocheting off the gnome and impacting her in the head.
    Screenshot%2B%2528103%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528105%2529.jpg Jack and Morgana spent a lot of time in the robotics and sciences room making trait chips and nanites to utilize, because if they could manage to create a plumbot that would defend the complex, it would make it much tougher for invaders to be able to besiege the complex.
    Screenshot%2B%2528106%2529.jpg As platoon sergeant for Bravo Platoon, Jared Frio certainly took the time to get himself in top physical shape. It was necessary as he was going to be leading men into battle if the vice-admiral's hunches were correct. And from what he could deduce from the men who had served under Nakamura that the vice-admiral was rarely if ever wrong. But SGT Frio hoped that he was, because an invasion at this point would be incredibly hard on the Sunset Valley populace.

    There was however one person that kept getting on the nerves of people who were in the bunker and that was Harriet Beaumont Sims-Roberts. A public affairs officer was essentially a no-load in a situation like this. The only time her services would be of use would be when the shooting stopped and a stronghold was consolidated on the entirety of the town. Maintaining the goodwill of the citizenry was crucial in that regards...but in this situation, unlike in Iraq/Afghanistan, the shooting had not even started yet nor had the situation been resolved. Other than providing counter-intelligence services which others could probably do a whole lot better and maintaining public relations with the populace which would instantly revert back to being suspected non-combatants when the men and women in the bunker retreated back to their safe haven, there was nothing that they could do at this point as far as public affairs. Other than telling them to keep their head down and not get in the way of bullets.

    Nakamura knew that Harriet was bored, however she could do better than getting on the nerves of Gibbs who could think up of a baker's dozen things for her to do including donning a flak vest and enviro-suit and going out with them on their next reconnoiter if she didn't clam up her pie-hole. Check...mate...
    Screenshot%2B%2528107%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528108%2529.jpg Meg and Animal rested, as Animal had administrative tasks to do the next day and Meg well, continued to train in martial arts.
    Screenshot%2B%2528109%2529.jpg In the morning someone donned an envirosuit to go out and get the mail and pay bills. Heavens, Devil take the Internal Revenue Service (not even a nuclear strike can take out the IRS...they're like roaches): there's only two things that will be scurrying about on the surface of the earth after a nuclear apocalypse - c-ockroaches and IRS agents.
    Screenshot%2B%2528110%2529.jpg I don't know which is worse.
    Post edited by Nikkei_Simmer on
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    The Mushroom Cloud Chronicles (Reboot)

    Reflection

    Physical training was definitely the order of the day with Phil sitting down to do his training at the weight machine.
    Screenshot%2B%2528111%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528114%2529.jpg With the world obliterated and much of the country torn up into radioactive dust, there wasn't a whole lot to do other than to sit in the bunker doing stuff. But at least there was enough stuff to keep from being bored out of one's mind.
    Screenshot%2B%2528112%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528113%2529.jpg When one is an introvert, bunker life may be no skin off one's back, but when one is an extrovert, like Harriet, bunker life is complete and utter mind-bendingly insane. She had to cause problems and drama up to and including bothering Dwayne Price while he was working on his Sim Fu or making troll-posts on IBC (Inter-Bunker-Chat) forums which somehow...survived the nuclear inferno.
    Screenshot%2B%2528115%2529.jpg Screenshot%2B%2528120%2529.jpg Occasionally when the weather turned, radioactive particle laden clouds that still navigated the globe came overhead and dumped nuclear fallout or black rain onto the ground which soaked it up and well...made the Geiger counters in the bunker go absolutely nuts, but at least they were shielded inside the bunker to a certain extent considering the two feet thick concrete bunkers.
    Screenshot%2B%2528127%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528128%2529.jpg RADM AJ Chegwidden, Secretary of Defense Edward Sheffield, SGT Jared Frio and Navy Captain Jack Keeter were slated to take the next external foray out of the bunker, so donning envirosuits they headed out into the hostile wasteland. RADM AJ Chegwidden stated to SECDEF that he needed to carry weapons, since they were out in hostile territory and that they needed to be on the alert in case someone engaged them with weapons fire. Also, they needed to find out if there were patrols of Chinese or Russian soldiers around. So far no signs had indicated that they had been invaded, but AJ wasn't about to take chances. The vice-admiral had been clear in his command, no-one was to be outside the bunker's walls without a weapon on their person.
    Screenshot%2B%2528129%2529.jpg And it wasn't just the Chinese or the Russians that they needed to worry about. Hostilities could come from anyone up to and including the survivors of Sunset Valley. And the bunker occupants had to be able to protect themselves. Armed with 🐸🐸🐸🐸 17s and Barrett M107 50 caliber sniper rifles, they were able to conduct CQB (close-quarters battle) as well as take out someone from long distance from over a mile away, provided that they had shown signs of hostility before-hand. There was no need to engage a hostile in CQB once the subject had shown its intentions.
    Screenshot%2B%2528130%2529.jpg Sergeant Jared Frio: This is an absolute wasteland. I'm looking around thinking that it couldn't have been this bad. Now I see just how bad the situation really is. And it's opened my eyes up to the fact that my old life as a jerk is over. Our life will never be the same again. It's going to take generations for this land to recover just because a bunch of big-wigs couldn't come to an understanding before they pressed the nuclear button. And my job is as a military non-commissioned officer is to make sure that we are fully capable of being a part of the rebuild process and defending our home from all those who would attempt to take it from us by force. It's a sobering realization that I can't be the jerkface that I used to be. I may still be the same Jared Frio inside, but this Jared Frio has to grow up and become a man. I am a leader molding men in the same vein as the vice-admiral and I have to do this for the sake of our future.
    Screenshot%2B%2528132%2529.jpg As SecDef and the RADM and CAPT Jack Keeter approach me, it's understandable that they measure me: me as a former civilian of Sunset Valley am not a part of their circle of friends that they had before they came to Sunset Valley, however they also are understanding enough to know that I am being given the opportunity to prove myself as a soldier, as a Marine, to defend my country.
    Screenshot%2B%2528134%2529.jpg There is an eerie silence that hangs over the graveyard. The dead were here before the war and now more have joined them. And most of the newly dead do not have graves, nor will they ever be memorialized except in our minds. But I will remember each and every one of them and will make the most out of the chance that I have been given to survive in their memory.
    Screenshot%2B%2528135%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528136%2529.jpg The sunset has a horrible beauty, the golden rays of the sun setting below the horizon throwing its light upon a ruined landscape. A landscape that will take hundreds if not thousands of years to be healed. And we, as a species, did this to ourselves. I ask myself "Why?" but the answers don't come.
    Screenshot%2B%2528137%2529.jpg Screenshot%2B%2528138%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528139%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528140%2529.jpg The streets are deserted as my colleagues and I skirt the perimeter of the blast zone. It is still too radioactive to go near Crater Lake but the center of town was an airburst so there isn't much radioactivity. The Chinese knew to go after Fort Gnome...when you see that Crater Lake stands where Fort Gnome once was. As my eyes take in the devastation wrought upon what used to be a picturesque town, I can barely imagine the terror that the populace felt when they knew in an instant that their life was over, some, before it really began.
    Screenshot%2B%2528145%2529.jpg I acknowledged RADM Chegwidden's order to continue to take point as we continued our way amongst the ruins.
    Screenshot%2B%2528148%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528149%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528150%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528152%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528154%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528155%2529.jpg As we end our extra-bunker foray, I am more and more pensive as my thoughts stumble over themselves trying to make sense out of images that don't seem to make any sense. How could we as a species do this to ourselves? How could we understand the term Mutual Assured Destruction and still hop blithely into the abyss? How could we destroy innocent creatures with whom we'ved shared our existence on this planet, with bombs more powerful than any before in imagination, the same bombs that we said that should never be used...ever? Yet we...we as a species allowed this to happen. We were too egotistical in our perceived invulnerability to look beyond: too sure that no one would be that "unhinged"; to realize that if two irrational leaders were to go beyond goading each other, each daring each other to push the nuclear button, that we as a species were doomed to suffer nuclear h-ellfire.
    Screenshot%2B%2528160%2529.jpgScreenshot%2B%2528162%2529.jpg As VADM Nakamura so eloquently said. "God have mercy on our souls." May God have mercy on us...
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    edited February 2018
    Mushroom Cloud Chronicles

    The Futility of War

    The lesson of the Cold War is that against nuclear weapons, only nuclear weapons can hold the peace. Chung Mong-joon South Korean businessman and politician.

    It was even apparent that Mutual Assured Destruction was not enough to keep those at the controls from launching nuclear weapons, each warhead many hundreds of times more powerful than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. However such was not enough to wipe out either the USA or Russia or China. Certainly they would be hurting badly for quite some time. But neither side was accurate enough to bring any of the world powers to their knees. Putin was vaporized as was the leader of the free world and his cabinet. And thus the Russian surrogate leadership and the Chinese had linked arms to bring a new Sino-Russia Co-Prosperity Pact into fruition. And while the American leadership was in disarray, they had struck first, landing a group of coalition troops on American soil.
    Screenshot-2.jpg With that aggressive move, Post-nuclear conflict was inevitable. Essentially it was much like two weary boxers going at each other having pounded each other into a bleeding pulp and still refusing to give up.

    The night was chill and there was a threat of snow in the forecast. However the Spetznaz and Chinese Special Forces group that had established a beach-head and a base on the coastal city of Sunset Valley were inured to the cold.
    Screenshot-6.jpg Screenshot-7.jpgScreenshot-8.jpg The daytime temperatures were warmer as more LCS brought anti-aircraft missile systems and a T-90 tank for the group. And the camaraderie between the Spetznaz and the Chinese Special Forces grew as they knew that they would be going into battle together.
    Screenshot-10.jpg It was a new area for the Spetznaz and the Chinese Special Operations Force and new terrain to negotiate. However military hardware and weaponry would certainly help in keeping the opposition from gaining an advantage. If they needed to they could have Su-25s bombard the ridge-line and keep their opponents heads down while they advanced. From what Sergeant Zhang could see, the opposition had absolutely no anti-aircraft defences and very little in the way of tanks if any. This meant that the Russians and Chinese could steamroll their opponent's defences.
    Screenshot-23.jpgScreenshot-34.jpg But the effectiveness of the fighting force would be attributed to how well the two groups of men got along together. If they could not solve their differences the fractious attitudes would translate into defeat on the battlefield. So Zhang and his contemporary on the Soviet Spetznaz would have to gauge how well their group would perform. And in doing so, they decided that the best tactic would be a wait and see. He was taking a risk in doing so, as his superiors, the officers that he reported to, would be watching him carefully.
    Screenshot-28.jpg It might have been a rather cautious move to take with the men, but frankly, the fortunes of war rested on the backs of the men who fought it. And it was whether or not the men worked together as a team that determined the outcome of a battle.
    Screenshot-12.jpgScreenshot-14.jpgScreenshot-16.jpgScreenshot-19.jpg Military equipment was secured with artillery shells and other items of importance including demolition warheads, which were much like the nuclear demolition charges that the US had in their arsenal (SADMs - Special Atomic Demolition Munitions). They would be used to breach any hardened area, such as one particular bunker in question, should the Americans not cooperate.
    Screenshot-29.jpgScreenshot-30.jpgScreenshot-31.jpg ...and of course, the Russians and Chinese had air-superiority over the area with Mig 29s flying combat air patrol over their region of influence.
    Screenshot-35.jpgScreenshot-36.jpgScreenshot-37_MiG.jpg For all they knew the Americans weren't even there and they could potentially be assaulting an empty bunker, Zhang thought. "Perhaps...but not likely..."
    Screenshot-50.jpgScreenshot-52.jpg ...why will men fight and suffer to advance the interests of their masters, who fling them aside when they have no further use for them?” ― Arthur Findlay
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    Mushroom Cloud Chronicles

    Crossroads

    Knowing that the enemy was out there was a revelation for most of the Russian and Chinese soldiers who had only previously experienced drilling and other training exercises. Knowing that there were Americans up on the ridge that were on the opposition side; that any of those enemy had them potentially in the reticle of their gunsights was a sobering reality, that these soldiers had to face. Would they be able to conceptualize the fact that they could potentially be wounded, maybe even killed in combat by those very Americans that they were seeing on the ridgeline to the north? But the generals in command of the New Co-Prosperity Politburo were seeking revenge on the Americans for the annihilation of the Kremlin and the Chinese Politburo. And they were following orders.
    Screenshot-49.jpg The Americans were ensconced in their bunker as well. Knowing full well that they had heard jet engine noises the night before. They were well-aware of the fact that their country had been attacked and were making preparations. Although it didn't seem at the time that any preparations that they were making were anything out of the ordinary of what bunker-life had been for the past six and a half months.
    Screenshot-4.jpgScreenshot-6.jpgScreenshot-10.jpg Reading skill books, cooking, making sure everyone was well-fed were the primary things that Tosh and the rest of the bunker occupants were having to do. Having not done an external bunker recce for at least a week, they had no idea of what sort of preparations and equipment were facing them in opposition. Unfortunately they would have to go out and see exactly what they were up against.

    Harriet was being her usual pain-in-the-rear self and started an argument with Tosh based on what he should or shouldn't be doing as far as bunker management. She was pretty close to getting thrown in the brig for insubordination.
    Screenshot-18.jpgScreenshot-16.jpg Jack Bunch avoided all conflicts, even though he was a Marine, by going downstairs to milk the cow.
    Screenshot-25.jpg It was at about this point that VADM Toshio Nakamura received word from Cheyenne Mountain that part of the leadership did survive. General Mike Fletcher, Commander of North American Air Defence (NORAD) had survived and gave a whole new meaning to the word hotline. "Vice-Admiral, your town is on the verge of becoming a new Warsaw Pact State. What are you doing about it?"
    Screenshot-30.jpg "Sir, we've heard Russian MiGs conducting Combat Air Patrols over the region. We're in a very exposed section of terrain and any activity would be observed by Warsaw Pact aerial assets, sir. We're monitoring the situation...and will send out recce patrols." Tosh knew that the General was all fine and dandy in his secure bunker designed to withstand a 5MT blast right at the front blast door of the bunker that was under the triple-peaked Cheyenne Mountain but wasn't willing to come out. Just another matter of leadership doing a Do what we say; not as we do.

    "Vice-Admiral, you and your leadership had better do something about the foothold that those Soviets have got on our land...do you understand?"

    "Aye-aye, sir..."
    Screenshot-31.jpgScreenshot-32.jpg "I want significant progress on this by the time that I call next. Do you understand me? Vice-Admiral?"

    "Yes, sir..." Tosh replied.
    Screenshot-33.jpg I'm sending my people to their deaths... Tosh thought to himself as he hung up the phone.
    Screenshot-34.jpg Research would have to increase, especially in the creation of guard-plumbots. Perhaps a technological advantage would erase the numerical advantage that the Russians and the Chinese had. But who knew what the tide of war would bring. The Russians had ships anchored in the harbour just beyond the range of the island that had been shelled and the lighthouse had been blown up. Whether technology would be their savior remained to be seen.
    Screenshot-35.jpgScreenshot-36.jpg All they knew was that a recce patrol was a high-risk venture, but they needed the information on what they were up against. And whether battle was worth engaging in or whether the human cost would be too high.

    The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other poor sap die for his. ~George S. Patton (Author's note: Had to clean up his language for the forum);
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    Mushroom Cloud Chronicles

    Gathering Information

    Under orders handed down the line from General Fletcher, VADM Nakamura ordered RADM Chegwidden to assemble a group of four for a recon mission. Dwayne Price, Jack Keeter, Jared Frio and AJ himself drew the short straws and kitted themselves up for the mission. Once out there, Sergeant Frio took point.
    Screenshot-37.jpg They hadn't checked the readings, but the UV index though elevated was not as high as it used to be. Continuing along the tree-line, they headed towards the Conservatory by the Science Center.
    Screenshot-38.jpgScreenshot-40.jpg There had been no aerial overflights so far, so they were lucky in that regards. All it would take would be one fast-mover to sight them on the ground and they'd be the targets of several well-placed KAB-250s which would make life really fun to be around the area. On top of that, those KAB-250s were laser guided too for pin-point accuracy.
    Screenshot-42.jpg "What do you see, Sergeant?"

    SGT Frio nodded as he gazed out at the horizon. "I'm not seeing a whole bunch, sir...if anything, the Sovs are keeping a low profile..." Gone was the rebel; in that place was a United States Marine Corps Sergeant dedicated to keeping his men alive and the rear admiral could see that clearly. Sergeant Frio's eyes were moving around, making sure that there were no enemies in the tree-line, his eyes moving from left to right and back again taking in the view and assessing it for any threats.
    Screenshot-43.jpg There were birds chirping in the trees, the first few to come back to the area. Jared knew for a fact that birds tended to go silent when there was what they perceived as a threat in the area, whether it was a cat or a snake or a human. And birds were well-aware of the bang-sticks that humans carried and that they could deal death from a long way off. At least the helmet provided them with some idea of what was going on around them in their environment.
    Screenshot-44.jpg With that, Jared moved off quietly motioning the rest to follow him. It was that they nearly crossed paths with the Spetznaz and Chinese SOF...but by sheer luck managed to avoid them. Jared drew a finger up to his visor near his lips and shook his head. That meant to keep silent as they watched the opposition from the treeline.

    "Měiguó rén bù yuànyì cóng yǎntǐ zhòng chūlái." one of them stated. "Zuò zhèxiē xúnluó shì yīgè shǎguā de chāishì. Wǒmen liǎng tiān xúnluó, shénme yě méiyǒu kàn dào" AJ caught the last of it. "Two days we've been patrolling and we have seen nothing."
    Screenshot-45.jpgScreenshot-46.jpgScreenshot-47.jpg "Yěxǔ měiguó rén shīqùle jǐzhù, líkāile" said the Chinese SOF soldier as they headed off in the direction of their patrol. AJ raised his eyebrow at the last...after all, it was an insult.

    Turning to Keeter and to Pride, he said, "I think they just called us cowards..."

    Shouldering his M107A1, AJ grinned evilly behind the visor. "Well...let's go pay them a visit. Moving off towards the ridgeline behind the Chinese/Russian base, they looked down to see two 2K12 Klub missile emplacements on tracks and a T-90. Loading an explosive .50BMG round into his M107A1, Chegwidden carefully sighted down the length of the barrel of the Barrett and exhaling his breath, squeezed the trigger.
    Screenshot-48.jpgScreenshot-49.jpg A resounding KABOOM echoed across the ridgeline as the round impacted the Klub missile emplacement blowing the missiles sky-high...and hitting the men with the concussion of the blast wave. "Lock n' load..." whispered Chegwidden...and loaded yet another round into the chamber. "bye-bye missile emplacement number two..."
    Screenshot-50.jpgScreenshot-51.jpgScreenshot-55.jpg Knowing now that the Russians and the Chinese were probably more than aware of their efforts, they knew that it was time to get the you-know-what out of Dodge and they didn't bother sticking around to see the results of their handiwork.
    Screenshot-53.jpgScreenshot-54.jpg Returning to base with their recce info, they notified Tosh of the fact that the Russians and the Chinese had taken over Sunset Valley.
    Screenshot-59.jpgScreenshot-60.jpgScreenshot-61.jpg Evidently word had gotten back to the Co-Prosperity Sphere headquarters, because that afternoon, Il-76s had flown over Sunset Valley dropping in two more missile emplacements and several more T-90 tanks as well as a GAZ Tigr Russian Armored Vehicle.

    Life was going to get really uncomfortable from hereon in.
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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    Nikkei_SimmerNikkei_Simmer Posts: 9,434 Member
    Mushroom Cloud Chronicles

    We Each Owe A Death

    Captain Meg Nakamura: I knew that we were going to be parents when he took me in the shower. In my heart, I knew it...because there were explosions going off in my head. There's no easy way to say it but I know. He told me that he had to send his men out to recon the area...and he stated that he wouldn't put the lives of his men at risk unless he was willing to do the same. He leads by example; a tough as nails commander
    Screenshot.jpg Screenshot-8-censored.jpg Screenshot-9_censored.jpg Captain Harmon Rabb Jr.: We started out that night with a contingent of five. Private Marty Keaton, Sergeant Jared Frio, Commander Phil Burrows, myself and Vice-Admiral Nakamura.
    Screenshot-12.jpgScreenshot-14.jpg Our recon route was along the same route that RADM Chegwidden and Sergeant Frio had taken the night before, and VADM Nakamura took point...
    Screenshot-17.jpg It didn't appear as though the Russians or the Chinese had aircover tonight. And we were able to make it to our first checkpoint without much event. At least we had M-16A3s on us this time around.
    Screenshot-20.jpg I could hear the vice-admiral saying to Jared. "I'll continue to take point until third checkpoint, then you take over...and let me see what you got..." The Marine in Jared took over and he said, "Sir, Yes, Sir..." softly so that his voice would only carry as far as the vice-admiral's ear. We didn't want to let the Russians know that we were snooping around.
    Screenshot-21.jpgScreenshot-22.jpg Everyone gathered around the admiral as he pointed out certain key points on the map and visually around us. "I want you to write a report, Captain Rabb, we need to make certain that CINCNORAD knows exactly what's going on. Whatever we see...whether it's an Anti-Aircraft Missile Emplacement or a tank or troop movements...everything."

    I nodded, "Aye, sir..."
    Screenshot-24.jpg It was an unsettling quiet. We ran from checkpoint A to checkpoint B...knowing that at any moment, we could end up being on wrong end of artillery fire or be spotted. So our pace was quick...and we tried as best as we could to be quiet. But we heard Russian and Chinese voices...so we came quickly to a halt behind some cover.
    Screenshot-25.jpg We don't know if they heard us or not, but we made sure that we were as still as church-mice. And...the vice-admiral made a bee-line for Checkpoint Charlie.
    Screenshot-28.jpg Hostile territory involved precautions, so those of us not wearing headgear, donned our combat helmets.
    Screenshot-33.jpgScreenshot-34.jpg Checkpoint Charlie was where Sergeant Frio took over point...and he sprinted for the next checkpoint.
    Screenshot-35.jpgScreenshot-41.jpg "It's quiet...way too quiet..." the vice-admiral stated as he looked around, up at the sky...watching for aircraft. We didn't need a wayward Russian Mil or a fast-mover (a jet) coming over head and the pilot spotting us. So it was good that it was clear.
    Screenshot-45.jpg "Looks like it's all clear...next checkpoint" VADM Nakamura ordered. And we obeyed. We just all wanted to get home in one piece.
    Screenshot-49.jpgScreenshot-50.jpg "We didn't get a good look at the situation...I'm going back..." Tosh stated to me as I protested. "You guys, if things go south, RTB and I mean it... didi...got it? That was Viet pidgin for di di mau.. It meant get the heck out of Dodge if we heard gunshots. Little did I know that it would prove to be prophetic.
    Screenshot-53.jpgScreenshot-54.jpg It was about ten minutes later that we received the heartbreaking news...by means of a gunshot.
    Screenshot-55.jpgScreenshot-56.jpgScreenshot-57.jpgScreenshot-58.jpg The admiral wasn't coming home with us...
    Screenshot-61.jpgScreenshot-65.jpgScreenshot-66.jpg Through angry tears...and whispered oaths of revenge; that we were going to slaughter the no good flarks who did this to Tosh, we returned home. The one thing that weighed on my mind was...how was I going to break this to Meg? How could I tell her that her husband was never coming home...ever.
    GYZ6Ak9.png
    Always "River McIrish" ...and maybe some Bebe Hart. ~innocent expression~
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