We made it nearly halfway back to Bluetone when the call came in on my headset, “We have a problem. Ladder got bent when it fell. It’s not supporting anyone’s weight. Hold back, we have to find another way to let you in.” I hit the glass of the window to stop the truck and waited for my driver to slide open the window to talk to me.

“We can’t approach yet, call came in from Jammer. They can’t get the distraction working, hold on.” Nervously we both sat in the truck, me in the bed and the Shark in the driver seat. I was more nervous about the Cult activity that had recently been through then any zees that could be about. In fact I was so nervous that I nearly shot the leader of a group of people when the party came out from between two buildings. My shotgun jerked upwards and my finger tightened on the trigger before realizing that I was looking at the living. One of the group members, a woman with hair in a pixie cut tipped in hot pink, saw me about the same time as I saw them and pushed the man in the gear of an armored soldier down and out of the way. The shotgun blast hit the wall over and behind him scattering chips from the brick upon the rest of them. There were some startled yells and shouts before a few guns raised in response. Fortunately they had more self control than I and seeing me surrender my gun, hands in the air, did not shoot me. “I’m sorry, I thought you were well,” I hesitated, “someone else. Did anyone get hit?” My wide eyed, white faced look of panic seemed to relax the soldiers somewhat and assured them I hadn’t meant to harm them.

The woman who had responded helped up the man on the ground and snapped out, “anyone bleeding?” The group looked themselves over but it seemed that their gear had taken the brunt of chipping from the wall. Her eyes turned upon me in anger, as she snapped out, “what were you thinking?”

“Pinkertonb5, easy,” The man’s tone was smooth, and controlled as if he was attempting to defuse the situation.  “We’re all jumpy, seeing how there is far too few living among the dead, right friend?” When he turned his gaze upon me I tensed up again. Despite his easy going tone I could feel myself being evaluated, though I was not quite sure what for. I swept my look over the people in the group and realized I was facing people in government issued military gear. I don’t know how I broadcast my fear, but he seemed to sense it. I blinked and he had a gun in his hand pointed at me, “easy now, we don’t want to make any other sudden mistakes, just take a deep breath. Nobody here wants to hurt you.”

There was the unmistakable sound of a gun cocking and the eyes of several members turned to the cab of the truck. Their guns turned to swivel for my guardian Shark within. I hadn’t realized that I hadn’t lowered my hands yet until that point when I realized they were growing tired, “alright, alright! Hold it. You say you aren’t here to hurt anyone. Fine, then what do you want?”

His eyes hadn’t left me despite the threat of the Shark, “We’re passing through looking for a radio station that’s supposed to be broadcasting in this direction. Do you know the location?”

My own expression tighten somewhat, “Not sure I can help you friend. Who sent you?”

Nodding his head slightly, he answered, “We seemed to have gotten off on the wrong foot here. I’m Night Angel. This is my team. We’re just looking for information.”

“You mean you’re looking to see if there are any survivors of the Cult attack so you can finish them off like the last of your troop who came through?” My tone was accusatory.

Looks were exchanged among the group before a different man piped up, “Wait did she just say Cult? Night Angel what the fuck is going on here?”

I drew in a breath and asked bluntly, “You’re one of them aren’t you? The hit squads being sent out from the Green Zone to slaughter those of us who are not just survive but managing to thrive?”

Night Angel brought one hand up in a fist motion, “Lower your guns.” The group as a whole did so though I saw from the corner of my eye that my Shark companion did not return the courtesy. I can’t say I blamed him, as he was more likely than me to receive persecution from humans. “We are not a part of Paladin but clearly you have either seen or heard of them. Well armed men in black uniforms, geared beyond what most out here have? Perhaps you’ve seen even government documentation with them?”

I hesitated before nodding my head, “I’ve seen a few scraps and had a dust up with two once, but mostly they leave me alone. Most of what I know I’ve heard from others. I don’t think that the Green Zone feels I’m a serious enough threat given that I got my hands full as is with the Cult.”

The second man who spoke earlier responded, “Again she said, Cult, what the hell is she talking about?” Pinkertonb5 smacked the back of his head and I heard her grumble, “Protocol Jogman, Night Angel asking the questions.”

I passed my eyes over the group, “There’s been a fanatical Cult formed. They are creating zees among their followers. They’re being led by a man named Charles Wagner. The group recently performed an organized and planned attack on Bluetone Productions, the radio station you’re looking for. They disabled the broadcast. In fact we’re trying to get back there now with the equipment needed to put her back on the air. Jammer’s waiting for us but they’re surrounded by a force of fifty to a hundred zees easy. That’s what is left over from the attack.”

Night Angel frowned in response, “A Cult. This is new to us but we have been focused on Paladin and their intentions. Brian S, that dish is looking pretty rough, take a closer look at it, do you think it’s still serviceable?”

One of the soldiers detached from the group and came forward to climb into the bed of the truck with me. He inspected what we had collected before reporting back, “I don’t know sir. I don’t think it will. The dish is cracked and I think some of the wiring has been torn inside. Also this antenna looks like it’s been bent all to hell and back.” My face flushed in embarrassment.

Night Angel brought his hand up to run it over his short cut military styled locks. “Alright, we need into Bluetone. They might have information and they can spread our broadcast if we need it. None of that will matter if they don’t have a usable dish. I assume you’re taking this crap there because something happened to the one they had?”

“Yeah, the Cult happened. They tore it down with chains. I think that was the main focus of their assault.” My nose crinkled as I responded.

“I can see how this Cult has your concern. Keysha get on the radio and contact the base. See if Furie will authorize us shipping out a dish here for Bluetone. Thomas420 has been taking stock in the RnD labs. He’ll have the best idea of what’s surplus for us.” A soldier who looked surprisingly young to me nodded in response and turned to one side, getting on her radio. I couldn’t catch the conversation from where I stood. In the few moments that I had been talking to the group there had been a flood of names and it was becoming difficult to track who was doing what.

“Of course that doesn’t solve the problem Bluetone is in. We’ll come in and help you clear out the entrance. Should be enough of us for that if there is some decent cover?” Night Angel’s question was directed at me.

“I think so, if we approach from the south and take to the roofs. Also we can let them know we’re coming ahead of time. They have speakers and can draw the attention to the front.” This plan wasn’t nearly insane enough for my liking. Much like I would expect from a group of soldiers dealing with a civilian, they had come in and taken over.

“Alright, let’s get you folks back home and then I’d like to hear more about this Cult. Brian S break out the stealth field generators. We need two for these people.”

“I’m actually not from Bluetone. I’m from Terry Fox, and my companion is Sharks Tattoos. We were coming to check on Bluetone after contact was lost. Ezekiel from KSAT-TV sent us.”

“A television station as well. Keysha pass on that information, we need to pick up that signal and monitor for any information on Paladin.”

Keysha nodded her head and went back to talking for a few moments before responding, “Furie has cleared the transfer. She’s going to have Thomas prep the equipment and crate it properly so there’s no damage in transportation.” I bit back a growl and reminded myself the focus was the benefit to Bluetone not any perceived invalidation of my efforts. It wasn’t that I was jealous so much as that I felt our risk had been for nothing. This group would have appeared and Bluetone would have been restored.

Swallowing my pride I spoke again, “You should probably know that as soon as they come back on air Bluetone will be a target again, either by the Cult or Paladin. They have repelled at least three government attacks.”

Night Angel was clearly interested in that information, “This Jammer might have decent intel for me then and we should consider stationing some assistance if they are willing to accept it to see what else we can learn. Thank you for that information. You two ready to go put down some dead?”

With the aggression levels I was dealing with I was way past ready! We led the group around to the roof on the building to the south. I contacted Jammer and tried to explain our situation only to have my headset taken by Keysha so that she could take over communications. She was able to get in thirty seconds the information that would have taken me five minutes or longer. She also coordinated our attacks from the roof. Others with better battle experience could describe the fight but when the dust settled nothing moved by the living. I spotted Jogman more than once giving the Shark a wide eyed stare, clearly not sure what to make of him, but none of the rest commented upon his appearance. I suppose in this day and age they had seen way more odd things out in the field.

We united with Bluetone outside their front doors and Jammer received the news that he had a brand new dish coming with joy. That it would be a few days delay; well that wasn’t such great news. He went back inside to lament his woes on the radio as limited as the reach happened to be. I suppose when you’re used to having an audience you cannot see hearing your words there is a need to keep talking to them. He was a DJ that had a connection or lifeline to the world outside his booth.

The FEMA members as I came to know them gave me supplies for the trip home and even helped me get the SUV to the radio station from where we left it at KSAT-TV. I knew that Night Angel was thankful for my contacts since I was able to introduce him both to Jammer and Ezekiel. That soothed my ego. I was starting to take this hero business too seriously.

Promises were made, news of the Cult would come to me and news of Paladin – well I didn’t need to borrow trouble. Maybe if I stop the one threat I can turn to focus upon another but for now government assassin squads was in someone else’s hands.  

  • Safe House:FEMA Region 6
  • CVC Level: 6
  • Current Recorded Members: 43
  • Overall Opinion:It was then with some panic that I realized over halfway through the week I hadn’t yet contacted a group to feature them. Two safe houses pulled through for me in record time. The response of the members made it very easy to figure out how to feature each and when. The only reason the one was chosen first over the other for this week was because of the nature of which they represent. This is the order they best fit into the story. This week I’m featuring FEMA Region 6 whose blog I have been following and whose members I’ve been observing in Global. I’ve seen them be active in Global Chat, and I’ve talked with a few members. I have yet to see (which isn’t to say it hasn’t happened) any of FEMA’s members act like jerks in Global Chat. Perhaps that doesn’t deserve mentioning but I have to say that not every safe house can brag about such a record, including my own. Though in my case, I’ve been the jerk in Global. When their membership found out I wanted to document them this week they made the effort to contact me and tell me all about their group. I was impressed not just with the number that contacted me but the speed which it happened. Within fifteen minutes of the announcement that I was looking for members I had more talking to me than I could speak to at once. That left an impression not just how eager they were to promote their safe house but how they were in touch with one another. In addition it showed off how active their membership is. Most of the membership is Central Time Zone (USA) but they do have some members from other parts of the world. Least half talk in chat and they have an active PAL room which I’ve had the privilege of being included in. More activity happens during the week during the day rather than the weekend or at night suggesting the membership has a healthy balance of life outside this game. If you’re in their chat room you can leave messages for people during the night and they will be in touch. Most of the time conversation in the safe house chat does not rate above PG. I have found their membership to be friendly and eager to invite new members into their ranks. I look forward to Night Angel’s interpretation of this story when he presents FEMA Region 6’s side to the events described.
  • Communications: 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, FEMA REGION 6 Blog
Comments
  1. My response will probably be up between tonight and Wednesday morning

  2. I’ll have my post up sometime between late tonight and early Wednesday afternoon. Got a somewhat busy couple days coming up

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