The Denoument.   Posted by helbent4.Group: 0
 GM, 1538 posts
 aka Tony
Sun 2 Oct 2011
at 00:14
The Denoument
April to the beginning of June

Tactical Situation:

The unit formed up by the burning Grocerateria, people loaded aboard various vehicles. The team's job there was done: the warhead was investigated. Hostages had been rescued, at least one New American cell had been wiped out or captured and valuable vehicles and weapons recovered. Some losses had been taken (Col. von Stahl, Sgt. Delaney) but that was war and debriefing revealed no significant errors in execution of the operation.

Further, a massive breach in CF/DRI/UBC security had been plugged, with Jagelis either dead or on the run and the people he'd put into place at UBC rounded up. Koldan, the ex-Soviet transport pilot, filled in an important blank when they returned to base at UBC and described Jagelis to him and showed him his ID.

"Yes, I am knowing him. Is Vyampel commando, elite KGB Special Troops. Have run into him when flying special missions for KGB and GRU into Province!"

It was clear that this man had been an impostor, the real Jagelis dead somewhere in the Baltic almost a year earlier.

Later that day, a well-protected work party with dozens of militia, RCMP, and Bulat's mercenaries with the BMP returned to occupy the Ioco refinery. It was reported that there was only a blood trail leading east and a dropped SVD to mark where the enemy sniper had gone down. Perhaps this had been the enigmatic "Mr. Brownstone" that they had heard about, the renegade US Army sniper that had been reportedly engaged in assembling a private mercenary army for some nefarious purpose. If the neo-Nazis had been part of his little force then this was a setback to his plans there but it was possible Brownstone could return.

Volunteer specialists from the Kursk worked at recovering the nuclear weapons material for safe disposal. Captain Astapkovitch's sailors performed their job safely and efficiently under Bezhov's direction. The materials were sealed into lead casks and sunk into concrete sarcophagi for storage. Perhaps one day it would be disposed of safely.

It was assumed that the impostor calling himself Ben Jagelis had died in the Humvee but any remains were too burned to gain positive identification. Taras had found no trace in the parking lot of the SAW gunner that tormented his detachment. An M249 SAW had been found in the wreckage of the Humvee so it's possible that once he'd been treated to an airbursting HEAT round from the Carl Gustav he either retreated or was ordered to withdraw to the Humvee and then met his fate courtesy of a 40mm HE grenade fired by Sgt. Fox.

Recovery of the nuclear material had been a major boon for the government's creditability, a coup in almost every way (PR, tactical, strategic). The plutonium could not be assembled into a functioning fission weapon or fuel for a reactor, of course. But highly radioactive materials always had other more crude uses.

If Jagelis had gotten hold of the highly radioactive bomb materials he would not have been able to assemble a functioning fission device but could easily have fashioned a "dirty bomb". It was well within his ability to transport or smuggle it into UBC on a truck where detonation would set the government's efforts back years. By striking a blow at the government's heart and killing the city leadership its reputation of providing security and safety would be fatally wounded as well. People had been through a lot and the spectre of a new "nuclear nightmare" would be enough to prompt a mass exodus of the surviving population from Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Not to mention make a vast part of the city contaminated by radiation for decades.

Strategic Situation Until Late May, Early June:

Working feverishly, the Faculty restored telecommunications through the city, expanding as basic services were brought to more people. Over the next couple weeks the team helped in spreading the word about the rising river, and evacuating people to higher ground. Then trapped people were rescued and refugees resettled. These back-breaking efforts by the team continued for most of a month, tapering off in late May, 2001.

The team received many accolades and promotions for past and present successes.

Kelsey made Sergeant, of course! Then she made Lieutenant. Taras was promoted to RCMP Deputy Inspector. Master McRae was already really where he wanted to be, but consented to being made a Warrant Officer. To better cope, the team was also expanded and reorganised along the lines suggested by Dep. Insp. Shevchenko (see Reference thread).

Continuing massive rains through the end of April followed by a mini heat-wave in early May that melted the glaciers in the Fraser River watershed conspired to keep increasing the volume of water in an already overloaded system. Human-made remedies had been put into place over the centuries but years of neglect, salvaging, vandalism, and even war damage (sabotage, air strikes) conspired to create massive control failures.

The Fraser River continued to rise, cresting on 12 May at 9m (5m above the normal spring crest of 4m). Massive areas were flooded, including river islands, low-lands (primarily farms) along the river in Delta, Burnaby, Surrey and all the way up-valley. Lulu Island (Richmond), partially created out of mud flats and protected by dikes, was almost completely flooded. Sea Island (YVR) was completely underwater. The small fishing community at Steveston on the western tip of Lulu Island was completely submerged but the evacuation went well, with UBC help.

Despite these efforts, it was estimated that approximately two thousand people lost their lives throughout the whole of the Lower Mainland. Many more lost all they had, again. Still, the efforts by the government were amazingly successful and did not go unnoticed by the people.

Overall, the IRON plan proved to be a considerable success and it was implemented across Canada in order to speed in urban recovery. Perhaps because of this, at least in part, a re-united Canada would eclipse the USA as the dominant nation in North America for most of the 21st century, thanks to its quick recovery. Even into the 24th century Canada would continue to "punch above its weight", developing into a global leader for education and research. Even establishing its own extra-solar colonies on far flung worlds, her sons and daughters defending humanity in the interstellar wars that followed... but that's another story.

(OOC: I am not making this up, these developments and achievements are documented in GDW's companion RPG Traveller 2300/AD2300, which states that Canada recovered completely after the Twilight War and enjoyed stability, wealth and prosperity for centuries after and beyond.)

New Westminster was less-affected by the flooding because few people lived down by the river and the riverside wharves had been constructed long before the river was tamed. Government services were still based out of UBC but it seemed more and more likely they would be transferred to New West as control was more firmly established over the Lower Mainland. The reliability of the New West city government was still a little questionable, particularly the possibility of infiltration and corruption by bikers like the HAs. Clearly, when they had the time a vetting of officials would need to take place but when this would happen was anyone's guess.

Power-wise, electricity to Vancouver and New West was soon provided by Vancouver's oldest surviving power plants. Close to Ioco and the Burrard Thermal Generating station is Buntzen Lake, originally a reservoir for Buntzen Lake Power Plants #1 and #2. The water from the reservoir was dropped down through a tunnel blasted into solid ridge rock down to the power plants at the water level of Indian Arm. After some work, the ancient turbines in both stations were still able to produce over 75,000 kWh of power, and the tunnels still supply fresh water to New West. The turbines no longer worked automatically (controlled from the BC Hydro building in Burnaby) and so needed live crews to operate them.

Vancouver International Airport:

Lulu Island (Richmond) and Sea Island (YVR) were mostly artificially created islands, so Richmond and Vancouver International Airport were flooded as the long-damaged dikes surrounding them failed completely. The ruined dikes then held in the water, creating massive lakes with trees and buildings emerging from the depths.

Before then, most needed electronics were salvaged from YVR and Richmond, stripped and removed to be used in restoring telecommunications throughout Vancouver. Koldan supervised the removal of several small light aircraft from YVR, and perhaps one or two could be returned to service.

It looked like at least one light aircraft could be salvaged and flown sooner rather than later. Koldan's pet project was a Swedish MFI-9B prop-driven trainer. Ones like it had been armed and use as light ground-attack planes in Biafra decades before, and Koldan named his "Biafra Baby" in tribute.

A considerable bonus was found in the Coast Guard station hangars on Sea Island by the airport. Of the two licenced-built SN.06 hovercraft abandoned there, one could be put into operating condition by cannibalising the other and fabricating a few parts by hand. Working day and night, Koldan made it happen and the hovercraft proved a Godsend in evacuation and rescue work. Much of the reserve of Kerosene aviation fuel was used before the engines were finally converted to burn alcohol. A lack of spare parts meant that after these hard round-the-clock efforts, the hovercraft remained in the hangar most of the time thereafter. Working on the massive "hangar queen" took up much of Koldan's time, but that was his orders.

Unfinished Business:

Efforts to contact communities in the Fraser Valley not in danger of flooding were put on hold. Rumours came in of small communities under attack from deserters (US, Canadian, Soviet), bikers and other criminals in Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey.

The bikers themselves seemed to be undergoing a metamorphosis. Having lost their base on Annacis Island (the Free Market being completely flooded out) the Hells Angels retreated to their club houses in Surrey, Langley and Abbotsford. Their greatest weakness was a deliberately decentralised organisation. The half-dozen chapters, each with 10-20 full members and dozens of hangers-on, were too independent to cooperate effectively.

However, at the all-bikers meeting at the Free Market on the evening before the battle of the Ioco refinery, a leader had emerged. (Koldan and Tyler reported this event but were not invited.) Not just of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (aka HAMC, aka HA) in BC but the dozen independent outlaw motorcycle gangs that outnumbered them but still lived in their shadow. This leader had done so over the bodies of several club Presidents (both HA and independent) and Sergeants-at-Arms but the brutal method was successful.

The identity of this President of Presidents was, as of yet, unknown. Koldan and Andy retained their biker contacts (both Crash and Bear survived, as did the biker captured in Chinatown) but hadn't had the chance to work those lines of communication. On the other hand, Koldan's cover identity as an independent Russian arms dealer seemed to be intact; his work for the government remained more technical and behind closed doors and not in the field.

Police intelligence determined that the unified motorcycle gangs had become much more professional and organised in the weeks the government was preoccupied with the flooding Fraser River. This newly united biker organisation kept out of direct conflict with government forces, even running it's own independent operation to warn and evacuate people in danger from the rising flood waters.

Stories of weapons smuggling and deserters crossing the still-unsecured US border persisted. The wise counter-move would be to secure the border crossings but while the Lower Mainland was in such a crisis there was simply no personnel nor resources to do so. Surrey was still biker territory and moving in there could spark an all-out war with disaffected and criminal elements. The government would do so as soon as possible but not until June at the earliest.

It was confirmed that New American cells purged from the Alberta government and military had migrated into BC and the Lower Mainland. They were occasionally hiring out as mercenaries, likely to the HA and their biker minions. They were still small in number but well-armed and well-trained.

The Kursk remained tied up at the dock. Efforts to repair the bow and propellers proceeded, although plans to transfer the boat to the north shore drydocks were put on hold while the river crisis was dealt with. K-141's commander, Captain Astapkovich, was very forthcoming in volunteering his crew and capabilities in all efforts (such as could be mustered by a stranded submarine, which was really quite a lot). There was also come question of his plans and options for his boat and crew. He preferred a posture of "cooperate but not capitulate". As the government had a lot on its plate, so dealing with K-141 was tabled for the mean time until a permanent arrangement could be reached.

Meanwhile, the US remained in a state of political chaos, the federal government and unconstitutional Military Government inching closer to open conflict. And the numbers stations still continue to transmit from Moscow, the Urals, Cuba...

This message was last edited by the GM at 18:10, Wed 04 Jan 2012.