Wednesday, December 1, 2010

American Apocalypse IV - Chapter 6c - By nova

"What's next" was pretty simple. So simple I should have known. It was "Get in line."  Our next stop was to check our weapons. I knew how Woof felt then. Weapons Check and Storage was a counter with a room behind it that I could see into. It was lined with steel gray shelving with identical clear plastic tubs sitting on them. Clear isn't the right word. Semi transparent would be more accurate. Grimy would be even better.

The guy running it, somebody's Grandpa maybe, saw me coming. He whistled and said "Damn my man. You're packing enough iron to set off the metal detector a mile away. Shit that's a fucking sword on your back isn't it?"

"No. Actually it's stuck in my back and I have been meaning to see a doctor about it when I get some spare time."

He laughed. Yes, he actually laughed.  "You guys are always cranky about giving up the hardware. Shit, half of you would rather get a couple inches shaved off your dick then do this."

I stared at him. Somewhere in the jello he called a brain a survival circuit must have flipped on because he quit grinning.

"What do I have to do?"

He gestured at the big sign on the wall behind him "Read that and fill out the paperwork. I'll go fetch you a tub. The kid can put his stuff in with yours.

I looked at the paperwork. Jesus I had forgotten how much I hated forms and paperwork. I handed the clipboard to Zane and asked him "You know how to write?"

"Yes. Well I can't do cursive yet."

"That's fine. You can read too?"

"Yes!" He sounded offended. I really didn't care. 

"Okay. You read me the questions and I'll tell you what to write."

The old man came back with my tub and let it drop on the counter. Someone had written a number on one side with a sharpie. "You got to put the body armor in there too."


"Hey! The kid doesn't have to fill out a form. Just you. Don't be going thru the scanner with any weapons after this. They get upset."

"Right. You got anything to do?"

He grinned "No, this is what I do." 

"All right Zane read me what they want to know."



He looked at me. I spelled it for him."


"None. Just write N.O.N.E. in every space except the one there."  I pointed to where I was supposed to list what was going in the box.  It took awhile as I had to read of the serial numbers too. One sword. One bayonet. Two Ruger .357's. One Colt Navy, One Marlin 30-30. Miscellaneous ammo pouches. A Charter Arms .38 One set of body armor with plates.

When I was done the tub was full and he had gone back for another one that I partially filled. The old man looked at the tubs, shook his head, and said "You remember that movie where the guy pulls an entire armory out of his clothes as he strips? 

"No."  I felt naked. It was a strange feeling.  I also felt ...less.  I liked it in one way. I felt free. I felt regular. Hell, maybe they had a Starbucks and we could get a movie from the red box.  Mostly I felt ... weird. I told myself I was still me.  

"Yeah. Well that is what you reminded me of." 

I handed him the clipboard. Zane had done a good job. Some of the numbers and letters were backwards or a little off but I didn't care. "So what's next?"

"Go thru the double doors.  Get scanned. Go give them some more information and they will send you to the showers and let you pull some basic inventory for personal needs. Oh. Somewhere in there you'll have to drop the dog off at the stable. They'll tell you."

You ready Zane?"


"Lets do it."

I heard the old man lift one of my tubs, grunt, and say to our backs "See you in three days."


  1. I am feeling very vulnerable for him, and I am used to walking around "naked".

    I was looking for pepper spray, but I don't suppose there's much use for non-lethal weapons in their america.

  2. I remember the episode of Hill Street Blues where the Squad Sergeant told the shift at roll call to put all of their unauthorized weapons on the table then you see every imaginable weapon tossed onto the table. The sarge say's, "Yep, those definatley look like unauthorized weapons." Then everyone picks them back up and heads out to their sectors.

    Ahh, Center zone on a Saturday night. Let's be careful out there.
    SHTF in less than 3 day's I bet.

    Jim in MO.

  3. Nova,

    You're exploring a time during the post-SHTF that I've never really thought much about: the first attempts at "reconstruction" by members of the old elite. I can't wait to see who they'll blame for the Powerdown, but it wouldn't surprise me if the Burners, as a group, weren't public enemy No. 1. And Freya, of course, being on top of the enemies list.

    I'm enjoying the ride. Keep up the good work.

  4. This whole thing seems so out of character for G. (Although, do I get to say that? It's not my character, after all.)

    Something else seems to be up - he doesn't normally think with the little head.

    nova, If you don't want anymore comments like this one, let me know.

  5. Pepper spray? effective in Zone areas it would still give you time to run

    Yeah. I only saw Hill Street Blues once. I think I was still overseas for Uncle Sam.

    I don't think a country this rich and powerful will turn into a wasteland of warring clans. At least in the next 100 years. There will be centers that hold. Places that are almost as safe, clean, and nice as an average neighborhood in 2005. They will have walls and security but they will exist.

  6. bobn,

    You, and anyone else can say whatever you want. Heck -- especially you since you have been reading since day 1.

    Yeah. I know. I liked your comment about Freya behind it.

    Me? I am trying to say he is young. He misses Night. This is Carol we are talking about. A clock is ticking. He feels he is making the best choice. Also, almost anyone who grew up in the old days would miss them. Especially if you planned on settling down and raising little gunslingers.

  7. Howdy all,
    G IS human (He has the bad thoughts- but still controls them (and the society that exists allows for the extreme choices,ha!That is why we like him-.) When you no longer care...
    He is not the 'ol Mover- an emotionally disfunctional self-centered p.o.s....
    I was wondering what Freya would think about her sword being swapped out... Depending on how things add up- you cut and run and replace what you ditch... Unless it is "special?"
    Of Course, there are ways around the conventional reality. (and that unreplaceable issue)- This is a story and reality is malleable!
    Very fun seeing things change up Nova, You know better than getting predictable and formulaic-the kiss of literary pap-eeek! Good work!
    I guess I agree too, I mean really, the power of government at the point of being wounded by lack of people to provide the manpower/and tax income, would have to trust those who are still willing to live under the gov tent. It CANT all be subjugation- just WONT work! Especially after the powerdown dieoff due to the obvious issues(cold,starve,crime,war). So I can see a lil doctrination progrom and then allowed autonomy- so you are able to produce (food/etc) and spend(whatever) for Taxing! Hmmm, why couldn't some of the gov cell(zones) properly function more along the parameters like the Young USA started with(for all the same reasons!)
    Just thinking... That is whay I love the story- makes me do that,lol!
    See ya round Nova, Rock on!

  8. D2- I was thinking the same thing- The gov were powermad but really the Burners are more to blame from my commoner view, if I remember right- with their wreck the tech/grid direction. Powerdown really put the hurt on everything and everyone! I was totally in line w/ Max on that-he saw it coming too(No active Burners in his neighborhood.)
    Mmm, other thought, But is the Gov really even aware of Freya? Yah, her Horde- a mobile and able group with followers- but Her particularly? Sure, they destroyed the Burner section at the mine- but did Gov REALLY know what they were trying to do- (actually , I mean, did the Gov KNOW the Burners could succeed at that lil project? (Freya/Gaia whatever the burners were mumbo jumboing-) Who really believes in Magic Power now/here-today?? In 2010 people with a religion MAY have Real faith or whatever but todays religions are all about God(or whoever) being removed from us. You pray and maybe something goes your way but people really are not expecting a physical manifestatiobn to appear and solve the problem for them. Freya is walking talking doing the job... VERY different situation! And they're fairly low key, by design.
    Just curious- I had wondered/figured the Gov was just blowing the mine to deal with the insurrection. Course they did use bio weirdness- or just a best way to smoke a deep hole. They learned something finally from the problems with that in Nam and the Stan? Sigh...
    Anyhoo- just wanted to throw that stuff out there.
    (Um-edit- I guess there would be stories from some of her encounters- aaand reports of Thursday or whatever- whoever else that has manifested- Gov may be much more interested in those things at that stage??
    Geez!-enough outta me...)

  9. Excellent work Nova. Just spent a few days digesting all the neat new goodies you have cooked up with my man G. Although I tend to identify with him more so than any, he is one cocky lone wolf isnt he? Not exactly a team playa, unless you happen to get on his good side.

  10. JO,

    Yep. It's a pattern that has been repeated over and over through out history. The Romans were probably the first ones. Roman Citizenship was a big deal and not everyone was one.

    Kevin, Yeah. Him and Woof.