A Fox on the Farm – The Colony Safe House

Posted: April 16, 2012 in Alternative Safe Houses, History, Safe House Lore
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Exhaustion had set in when I looked down from the top of the valley into the center. At first it was like a person dying of thirst in a desert, the disbelief that I was actually seeing something good after all the wastelands. Was it a mirage? Did I dare believe what was spread out before my eyes? I had reached The Colony. The only real question now was would they let me in their front doors?

As tempting as it was to stick to bikes, their sleeker designs making it easier to travel through narrow spaces such as lanes with broken down cars, I am not a good enough rider to risk having used such. The chances of a small pack of zees pulling me off a bike were too great and I had settled instead for a jeep that allowed for off-roading when required. However I had only made a few days before an incident broke the axel of my jeep and I was forced to go on foot until I found another transportation that ran with the gas to run it. I was now at the top of the valley on a road looking down on a farm spread vast and green.

It was beyond description and yet here I am trying to describe it. I could see fields, some already planted, others being prepared for the spring planting. There were orchards, and a small lake where I could see people fishing. There was a town with not just houses, but buildings that had businesses and what appeared to be a town hall. I could hear a school bell ringing and even see an old church. Amazingly everything looked like it was in working order. Lights were on, people were moving about though notably none were using gas powered vehicles but instead most seem to be using carts with horses. I felt like I was looking at a town misplaced from history and taken out of time, if not for the few things that stood out as unnatural against the picturesque view.

Around the entire town was a fence with barbed wire on top. With what looked like ten feet from the fence was a second fence equipped the same way. The fences were at least eight feet tall and chain link so you could see clearly through them as well as shoot through them. Beyond that fence was a large pit with spikes on the fence sided walls so that zees who rushed the fence would first go into the pit, likely into spikes, and if they filled the pit with their bodies on any section the resulting zees would then impale themselves on spikes. It would take a large horde to reach the first fence, an amazing feat of engineering given the situation we all faced. Yet there was more.

I could see windmills that powered the electricity in town. There was an aqueduct, an engineering marvel, of stone that ran from the nearby river and to the city. Gateways along the aqueduct kept zees from using it as a passage, as did the armed guards patrolling, but this stone wonder spread the water out not just through town, likely used in the modern plumbing refurbished but also to all the fields giving those who cultivated them reliable water that was save to get without fear of the dead. It wasn’t just that the town was there; it was that a group of people had gathered together with enough wit, will and know-how to build a technological wonder befitting Roman times with a flare of the post apocalypse modern world. These weren’t dirt farmers, but engineers, doctors, taught men of science who turned all that they knew not to weapons but to their families to preserve their lives and their very way of living.

I drove down to the front gate and stopped outside to exit the car I was currently using. Without my bags or equipment I approached and requested to be allowed in. The guards took my name, and then allowed me in to the chamber to be inspected for infection. All was standard behavior for safe houses until I moved out of the chamber to find three people waiting for me. The man spoke first, “greetings Chyram, I’m Mattyyy. I’m a spokesman for The Colony, and I’d like a few answers before you proceed into the town. Please, this way.” He gestured into a room and I obeyed not wanting to create any waves.

In the room was a table with four chairs. I took a seat facing the other three and waited. A cheeky part of me considered taking the middle seat in the grouping of three but I was nervous enough that I did not want to push my luck. Once seated Mattyyy again spoke on behalf of the group, “I administrate most of the affairs as head of the council here at the Colony. This is Pinkersnitch and to my left is puggamoo our guest from Algiers Point.  The Colony is neutral grounds, do you understand that? No violence against any member of the community will be tolerated. Such actions will result in jail, or possibly death depending upon what has occurred.” The implied threat was obvious. Rumors of my visit to Algiers Point had reached The Colony and puggamoo, likely as she needs me as a secret agent, had not corrected the rumors in the eyes of the leaders.

“I understand. I simply came through to extend Terry Fox’s offer of assistance in the event that you are experiencing any attacks from a cult that has,” my words were cut off by Mattyyy.

“We’ve heard rumors of this cult, but personally I don’t buy it. This sounds like propaganda that the Green Zone has placed on the CVC in order to further disrupt and disorganize the survivors.” I found it hard to argue that logic, had I not seen what I’ve seen. Even with what I know, who was to say that the Green Zone government was not involved in this situation?

“I’m glad to hear that you have not experienced any difficulty here,” I carefully kept my tone as neutral as I could, burying my frustration; “however I can assure you that I have personally witnessed cult activities and attacks.”

Mattyyy frowned at me and leaned back in his seat. I could see the weight of The Colony rested on his shoulders and these people relied upon him to keep them safe. “I don’t wish to go borrowing trouble, Ms Chyram. We have enough of it here already. We are one of the few locations that produce fresh produce and we already had to fight against not just zees but raiders. The Colony welcomes all who come with peaceful intentions for the purpose of trade and we intend on staying that way. Now I have other matters to attend to, but Pinkersnitch can lead you about the town and help you get the supplies you have come for.” Again there was a polite but implied direction there. It did not seem like Mattyyy wished for me to talk or ask about the cult within town. I dipped my head in agreement and he pushed himself back in his chair to leave the room.

puggamoo spoke next, her voice soothing and calm with a hint of southern charm to it, “Pinker, do you mind if I talk with your guest a few moments. Perhaps I can do much to smooth out the misunderstandings between Algiers Point and Terry Fox.” puggamoo clearly wanted to maintain this illusion that we had grievances so I did not correct her statement. I could see the gleam of interest in Pinkersnitch’s eyes. My mind snapped to where I had seen her name before, on the CVC, a constant presence there to shield and instruct those seeking guidance. To not know this conversation was going to drive her crazy. Still she nodded her head and murmured an agreement leaving the room.

puggamoo waited for the door to close before leaning in to speak softly and quickly, “there has been troubles in the fields. Nothing that can be pin pointed but a few of the early crops are turning up dead. People here are baffled and upset by this; they are relying on those crops for trade. Other fields aren’t dead but they aren’t… right either. Some debate is being given on if they are acceptable to sell none the less. I can’t put my finger on the source of this, but something feels off. I can’t explain it and because I have no proof no one here will listen to me. You have to find cause and proof of what is happening in the fields. Can you do this?”

I hesitated before admitting, “I’m not much of a green thumb. In fact I kill house plants, or rather I did on a regular basis but I will snoop and see what I can find.”

puggamoo nodded her head murmuring, “You won’t be allowed to go unescorted, not with the rumors about you. I’m sure Pinkersnitch has been assigned to stick to you. She’s a good soul, but be careful what you tell her. The woman runs the local news paper. Anything you say can end up in print, but then again you’re not completely immune to that sort of thing as is, are you?” She gave me a knowing look that caused me to blush a touch.

“I’ll be careful,” was all I would respond. puggamoo smirked at me and from beneath her robes I heard a muffled barking sound. Startled I looked down as a small white dog with floppy dark ears, a pug, scrambled out from by her feet.  Grinning at how puggamoo obtained her name, I moved to stand up, offering her my hand to shake. We shook and I left the room to find Pinkersnitch outside.

“I don’t suppose I need to go in there and confirm she’s still alive?” the tone was teasing and yet had a hint of seriousness to it.

“Why?” I asked. “Did you hear a gun shot?” It was a joke in poor taste but the rumor really had gotten under my skin. Pinkersnitch responded smirking at me and turned to lead me down the hallway, “we’ll be exiting into alley, what we call a secured demilitarized zone before you reach the town. One of our many methods to make sure we cannot be over run easily.” It was clear that she wanted to brag about how great The Colony was and I did not blame her. Most huddled in half ruined buildings, but here they had built up an ideal farm community.

We stepped out into sunlight and I felt safe. It was hard to explain the sensation of going from the outside to the inner fences. There was a sensation of being transported to a time before zees and even before I was born. A time when neighbors looked out for their neighbor’s homes, children and pets.  When people left their doors unlocked and a shiny apple was five cents. Well perhaps not the apple part, yet the shine had been there, a squeaky clean image. Could the cult really have found a way into this community? I was starting to doubt puggamoo myself.

We entered the time square to be greeted by a friendly young man with jostled blonde hair and an over eager expression to please, “Pinkersnitch, Pinker, there’s something going on at the brewing house. I don’t know what it is, but the noise was enough that I got distracted from my contract writing.”

Pinkersnitch gave the young man an affectionate but amused smile, jostling his hair in a familiar gesture that suggested this sort of thing happened to him a lot. “I’m certain frizzlefried that it’s just excitement over the new brew they were testing this morning.”

Frizzlefried looked thoughtful before shaking his head, “it could be but if that’s excitement I don’t think I would want to be a part of it. I heard mwpeterson yelling and you know how he can get when he thinks someone screwed up on his family recipe.”

Pinkersnitch smirked slightly and nodded, “the man does take his brew very seriously. Perhaps there’s a story to be written there. Do you mind Chyram if we stop by the brewery and see what is happening?”

I smiled and shook my head, “no of course not, I’m a guest.” And I was here to find trouble anyway, so this was as good a place to start as any. Frizzlefried gave me a friendly nod before heading back towards one of the buildings across the town square. As we turned off heading for the brewery Pinkersnitch explained, “He’s our lawyer.”

“A lawyer?! He seems very young!”

“Many of us here are young. We came from the top of our classes at local trade schools and universities. When the crisis broke out two safe houses were formed. Those who had more book learning went to Harvard Law School and those of us with a more practical training within Fire on the East Side. Eventually both sides came to an agreement that separate we were good but together we were amazing. We relocated to this fertile valley and built up our defenses. The Colony sees itself as a rebuilding of the civilized world. We don’t want to just rebuild what was, we want to make it better. We have a goal to prevent the problems of the past.”

“These are very lofty goals.” I kept my tone neutral again.

Pinkersnitch’s smile held a hint of sadness, “yes, they are. But if we don’t have lofty goals to reach for, aren’t we simply digging in the dirt? You have to raise your eyes upwards Chyram to know what can be achieved and not down and just ruminate over what was.” There was a sad wisdom in those words, one I was uncomfortable focusing on to much at that moment.

We had arrived at the brewery and I could see that chaos was breaking out from within. Gun fire was being heard and an armed force from The Colony’s strike team was charging the building. Both Pinkersntich and I stood outside, held back by a police tape line, eyes on the building. Her face had gone pale as she whispers, “it can’t be.”

  • Safe House: The Colony
  • CVC Level: 7
  • Current Recorded Members: 111
  • Overall Opinion:An opinion of The Colony while in a whimsical mood. Have you ever moved into a neighborhood where all of a sudden your neighbors showed up with baked goods to give you? People you don’t know, complete strangers who seem to not only want to visit and meet you but openly invite you to visit them. Everyone is polite and cordial and yet you’re a bit weirded out and you keep looking for the hidden angle or agenda to their actions. Then all of a sudden you realize the problem isn’t them but you and that they are truly nice kind people but you’ve become so jaded that you just expected the worst from others and couldn’t believe in the kindness of strangers? The Colony is those creepy nice neighbors who make you wonder what in your life turned you so bitter. And then they will hug you and give you a cookie and because it’s a homemade cookie with extra chocolate chips you feel better even though you can’t figure out why.  My experience has shown that they are in general all polite in Global Chat (for every rule there are some exceptions that will step out of line, however they soon calm down) and that they have a large number of players who go out of their way to be helpful to others, including those not in their safe house both old players and brand new ones. They are quick to welcome people in Global and in their PAL room I felt very much like I was eating cookies, that is to say happy and invited. They don’t seek feuds with others and if any have had feuds they are quick to want to let them die down, possibly with the encouragement of fellow safe house members. In other games I would have classified them as a family friendly safe house, which is to safe conversations don’t often go above a PG 13 level and therefore welcoming to all age ranges. They also spoke to me about having many interesting conversations on various topics. Many experienced players in the mid to high range reside in this safe house and it is a welcoming place to both visit and to join.
  • Communication: Palringo Room (Contact within CVC or Forums for exact locations), Safe House Chat, CVC Global Chat for Safe House invites (1/2 fees when invited), Please Stay Calm Forums
Comments
  1. puggamoo says:

    *gasp*
    Dun dun duuuuunnnnnnn…..

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