Sunday, September 9, 2012

Skewed Slightly to the Left - What you do when you know where the nukes will fall.

[Originally posted at Slacktivist (page 2).]
[Rayford has just learned Nicolae's ten North American targets.  Cities that are to be wiped out, as London was]

Cameron was mostly concentrating on not vomiting as Verna used the land rover Alice had stolen from an abandoned dealership to plow through obstacles almost constantly.  He knew, intellectually, that the streets hadn't exactly been cleared and Verna's ability to find ways through the mess that didn't leave the SUV a steaming wreck was impressive to the point of near miracle.  The problem was that he felt, gastronomically, that this was a very bad idea.

And then his phone rang.

Rayford's voice was hushed and he was speaking in code, Cameron's mind wasn't really ready for it, and he had to ask Ray to repeat himself a few times.  Though part of that was probably the shock.

His hand shook as he jotted down the results of the translation, and multiple attempts were needed to make it legible.

Finally he said, "Yeah, Ray, I'll do what I can but I just wish you'd called earlier.'  The obvious response was that Rayford hadn't known earlier.  "I understand, it's just... just..." Cameron found he wasn't up for putting things into code, "The office was already closed down for the day, I don't know what I can do at this point."

He hung up the phone and the others waited for him to speak, but he couldn't find the words.

"What is it?" Alice asked.

He still couldn't speak so he handed her his notes.

"What the hell is this?  Wait.  Is this left handed Greg?" she asked, gradually recognizing the shorthand.

"Anniversary," Cameron answered while nodding, voice flat.

Alice started to read.

"Oh my god."

She read more.

"Oh my fucking God."

Verna asked, "What is it?"

Cameron said, "Stop the car."

That, "It's not a car," wasn't said and a playful debate was not held was a sign the War had taken its toll on everyone's sense of humor.

Before the SUV was fully stopped Cameron was out the door and vomiting on the street.  A process he repeated multiple times.

When he returned to the SUV he caught the end of Alice filling Verna in,"...if they really are 100 megaton bombs then the point is just to be able to say '100 megaton bombs' it's much easier and more efficient to use multiple smaller warheads.  Use five 20 megatons, less effort, more destruction, and you still get to say '100 megatons.'

"Nicolae would have had to have these bombs, and their delivery system, whatever it is, custom made."

Alice done speaking, Verna turned to Cameron, "Feel better?"

"Somewhat."  After a pause he asked, "You're looking into what assets are still capable of getting the word out?"

"Of course," Verna said.

"You and Alice work on that, I'm going to try a different angle," Cameron said before digging out the phone the president had used to contact him.

"Cameron," Alice said.


"You said you friend's name over the phone last time.  You shouldn't do that.  Signals can be intercepted."

"Thanks," he said, then stepped outside of the SUV returned the only call the phone had ever received. When the call was answered he said, "Please tell me you still have an air force or something."

"Who is this?" Said a voice Cameron didn't recognize.  Hopefully a member of Fizhugh's staff, possibly a GC agent.

"That's not important, I couldn't prove it anyway.  I have some high priority information level ... uh ..." it took him a moment to remember, but when he did Cameron quickly rattled off a sequence of numbers, letters, and colors that he hoped were correct.

"What do you have?"

"I have the GC's north American hit list.  Ten cities that are all slated to become the next London."

Cameron gave the voice on the other end the names of the cites, then got back in the SUV, and suggested a new destination: New Hope.

"We're almost to the first place you told us to go," Verna said.

"I know, and I wish we could go there," he truly did, it wasn't just the closest shelter, it was Chloe's shelter.  While he was glad to be with friends, the person he wanted to be with more than anyone was his wife, "but we might be able to access alternate means of getting the word out from New Hope."

Bruce had traveled the country, then the world, making contacts and creating the cells from which new organizations could be built. Loretta was the one in charge of keeping those contacts in contact and helping those cells multiply.  She doubtless had contacts in the nine other cities, people who could start getting the word out.

"I vote episode four," Alice said.

"New Hope it is, then," Verna said.  She handed Cameron her phone, "These are the numbers I haven't called yet.  Call them."

"I will."

Verna started the SUV up, and the bumpy grinding journey toward New Hope began.


Several people blocked her path.  Most were armed, but all wore civilian clothes.  Verna stopped the car.  When one approached she cautiously rolled down her window.

"There are snipers at the next intersection," the person said.

Verna sighed.  "Of course there are."  After a moment she said, "Thanks for the information.  We may have some of our own.  If it isn't stopped, the next bombing raid is to be nuclear, way beyond anything we've seen so far."

"Do you have shelter?"  Cameron asked.


Cameron gave directions to Chloe's shelter, still the closest and a painful reminder how much further they had to go to reach New Hope.  "It should be open to everyone, but if there are any problems tell them Cameron sent you.  And if you see Chloe Steele-Williams tell her there's nothing I want more than to be with her, but there's information I need to get to Loretta."


[Skewed Slightly to the Left Index]

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, the only good reason I can see for going with single 100MT devices is the shock and awe value. I can't believe in a shortage of delivery systems. (And there's a reason the biggest current US warhead is 1.2MT, and AFAICT the others are less than half that... going that big doesn't really help with destroying the actual targets, not now that missiles are reasonably accurate.)