Sunday, July 29, 2012

Skewed Slightly to the Left? - WWIII at New Hope

[Originally posted at Slacktivist (page 2) and the Slacktiverse.]
[Not sure if this is in the Skewed Slightly to the Left continuity, I just started writing, I'm giving it a maybe.]
[Almost slipped through the cracks because of stuff.]
The church was bustling with activity, already injuries were being treated and supplies being gathered for trips out into the city, but the necessary information was lacking and Loretta was finding it impossible to keep her calm, finally she shouted, "Where the fuck is my weather report?"
No one had an answer.
Two minutes and thirty five seconds later Jane burst through the door and ran straight to Loretta as quickly as she could without knocking anyone over.
Loretta asked, "Where have you-"
"Sorry it took so long," Jane started rummaging in her bag, "but I got better than just a weather report." She handed several papers to Loretta.
"Are these..."
"When the people at the station found out what we wanted the weather report for, they offered to help.  I figured they'd be better at making fallout maps than we would, so I took them up on it."
Loretta touched Jane on the shoulder and said, "Good work," then she turned toward the center of the church and shouted, "Team leaders, meet me at the altar!"
Maps of the area were laid out on the altar, hastily drawn additions and notations abounded on them.  When the leaders had gathered round Loretta began her briefing, "The Xes are missile strikes, circled if confirmed, we can expect more people in need of help around those, but the big problem is here."  She pointed to a large mark at the airport surrounded by concentric circles clearly drawn by a hand shaking with too much adrenaline, "We don't know if it was nuclear or not.  Until we know we're going to assume it was, and that's why these are so important." She laid out the fallout maps.
Everyone took a moment to familiarize themselves with them.
"We have Jane to thank for these," everyone was ready to praise Jane, and Loretta knew she deserved it, running through a war zone and back to get the information, and then returning with better than she'd been sent for, she definitely deserved it.  But there simply wasn't time.  Loretta explained the maps, "This is safe, this is least concern, from here to here we have to get people out injured or not, from here to here we have to do it fast, make note, alter your plans accordingly, and then pass it down the line.
"We've been waiting too long, it's time to get out there and help people."
Some of the leaders headed off to pass the information down the network, affectionately known as the phone tree, others stayed to study the maps more closely.  Jane asked Loretta a question, "What about the people here?" she pointed to the area directly downwind of the blast, an area Loretta never mentioned.
"I'm not ordering anyone into that area."  There was a pause.  "Now, if there aren't any more questions, I have to go.  Team leaders know what to do, they're in charge till I get back."
"Where are you going?" Andrew, one of the leaders, asked.
"There," she pointed to the part of the map directly downwind of the blast.
No one said anything in response.  Loretta quickly gathered gear for herself, Jane followed, at the exit she was met by Maria and Daniel, two of the team leaders and a handful of their subordinates.  "You're not going alone," Maria said.
"You have work to do," was Loretta's response, but she didn't stop moving.
"And we've done it," Daniel said.  "Directives have been passed down the tree, everyone under us knows what to do.  Why do you think we left the meeting so fast?"
"And what about them?" Loretta pointed to the others.
"Volunteer only, you wouldn't order anyone in there, neither would we," Daniel said.
"I meant, don't they have work to do?" Loretta said.
"I designed my teams with redundancy in mind," Maria said.  "They can be spared."
"Ditto," Daniel added.
"Fine," Loretta conceded.  They were reaching their transportation.  If she went alone she'd take one vehicle, if the whole group went she'd make a completely different choice, and they'd take multiple.  They couldn't spare vehicles over her not wanting to pool with people going to the same place.  They couldn't spare time arguing over whether or not the others were going to the same place.
Before they loaded up, Maria said, "Everyone meet Jane," assuming they already knew Loretta.
Jane said, "Hi."
And Daniel said, "Now let's go on a possible suicide mission."
No one needed to say, 'Let's go help people,' they all knew, or else they wouldn't be there.
And so, they went.
I'm assuming that the New Hope resistance is designed specifically so that it can function without leaders, in fact it's intended to operate that way.  Loretta's job as person in charge is, basically, to tell the team leaders what to do and then let them do it.  A team leader's job is the same thing, but to the next echelon down the line.
It's only when it gets to the individual cells that leaders are necessary for anything other than assigning a mission.
Loretta, if she hadn't left, probably wouldn't be doing much else as leader until something major changed, she'd just be another pair of hands.  The same goes for Maria and Daniel.
And if any of them didn't trust the people below them to function in their absence, they wouldn't have made them the people below them.
The basic structure of the New Hope resistance is the cell at the the bottom of the chain, it's intended to be able to function just fine on its own.  Everything above it exists just to pass down information and stop cells from stepping on each others toes.
Also, not that it's important, neither Daniel nor Maria heard Loretta say she wouldn't order anyone into the area of the worst fallout, they left before that point, they just figured it out on their own when Loretta didn't mention the area at all.

[Skewed Slightly to the Left Index]

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, Slack!Resistance is organised like an actual resistance operation. While many of its ground-level members may think they know about other people in the structure outside their own cell, none of them actually does.

    It probably does have a phone tree, but any messages passing across it are coded (with heavy steganography, so that any tapped phone call will sound innocuous). There are breaks in that tree that use dead-drops instead; some links use shared on-line accounts.

    It does not have Sunday meetings.