Aside from the CHiPs, who have a few working radios, I haven’t seen any communication in the future more sophisticated than someone tearing ass around on a machine and shouting news at people. There are no telephones, no telegrams, no newspapers, no television, not even two cans on a string, no nothing. So given this fact, how is it that by the time we got back to Paradise people were already gathering in response to the Invincible invasion?
Are there trained message birds that I don’t know about somehow? Are the many horrid smells that they emit some kind of pheromone communication like with bugs? Martialla’s take on how the word is spread was as obtuse as it was stupid –
“Pimps don’t need to be told to hang around the bus station.”
I suppose she means that once word got out about our great victory at Wyo, people had already started rallying to my banner. That better be what she means anyway, otherwise I’ll have to have a cross word with her and I can have quite the sharp tongue when I’ve a mind to do so. Some of the people that came were Northerners who had already felt the sting of the Invincible and wanted revenge. Some of them were Southern mercenaries looking for a good score. The Road Hogs turned up to join their Roadrunner pals to save face/look tough/keep their protection racket going.
A lot of people showed up for a reason I hadn’t even thought about. Salvage. The second best way to get a vehicle is to murder the people that have it and take it away from them. But the best way to get a vehicle is to find one where the murdering was already done by someone else and just grab it. I should know since Martialla and I have done both a time or two.
Plenty of people showed up on foot with nothing much but a spear or a club hoping to sign on with an existing crew. It’s a win-win, the established raiders get cannon fodder and replacements, and the newcomers, if they survive, either get invited to join or get a share of whatever wrecked vehicles and equipment they can claim after the fighting is done. It’s the wastelands equivalent of playing the Powerball, only the odds are better and you might die. So like the Running Man maybe. I was supposed to be in that movie you know, but Jesse “the Body” Ventura muscled me out. Roided out freak.
Lucien, Martialla, and Lloyd Hud, the blue mechanic we pulled out of the hole, took command of the small fleet of gasoline powered vehicles at Paradise, making sure they were all in good condition and distributed appropriately to our most loyal murder hobos. Membership has its privileges. It’s apparently considered quite an honor to be assigned to one of the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles even though there is no ammo for their guns. Gunmetal City did send a small group of people with some weapons and ammo to pass out as well, they said they should be able to start making some rounds for the HMMWVs, assuming that they and we survive the battle.
I think Lloyd’s head almost exploded when he checked out J-Lo and some of the other vehicles from the future. I know that he’s happy to be working on the other vehicles even though to him they’re also from the future. This faux time travel stuff gets confusing. We’re in twenty ninety-whatever with a guy from nineteen eighty-two working on vehicles from some time in the early two thousands. At least he has a task to focus on, the other Smurfs are pretty much in shock still. They kind of just sit around and stare. Maybe they should start a weekly group therapy session with Paul, the psycho killer from Twenty Thirty-Four who treats a stack of old nudie mags like the One Ring itself.
It’s hard to get a good headcount because what we have is less a military force and more an anarchic murder circus but I think we have more than twice the force we had when we attacked Wyo. Is that going to be enough? Oh, short answer, “yes” with an “if.” Long answer, “no” with a “but.” Martialla and I, along with Paul and Lucien (who puked his guts out the first time, I guess being chemically inert in a box for a hundred years causes motion sickness) have taken up the plane to scout the Invincible horde a couple of times. They have us outnumbered but not by a ton. Overall Lucien and Martialla rate their vehicles to be better than ours as well. And as Martialla said –
“Battles are won with courage, tactics, and numbers – mostly just numbers though.”
So since the numbers are against us, what do we have? We can choose the time and place of our attack. They call that situation control apparently, and it’s important. By going on the attack we can force enemy reaction, thus denying their ability to act. Kind of sounds like bullshit to me, I’d rather be the side with more people but as Martialla pointed out, it doesn’t matter now because my plan was to entice the Invincible to attack and now they are – I didn’t allow for any other possibility. I must admit at this juncture that military planning may not be my strong suit.
Martialla and Lucien have been bickering like an old married couple about another advantage we may or may not have – information. Martialla maintains that since we have the plane we know the forces the Invincible have but they don’t know what we have on our side. Lucien insists that they probably have spies all over the place telling them exactly the number and make up of our forces. Given the way I started out this entry I agree with him – somehow word gets out to people about what’s going on. Not to mention I don’t know why Martialla is so hung up on it anyway since we’re committed to the battle at this point.
Our plan is for said battle to take place north of old I-Eighty in what I think used to be the Tahoe National Forest but now is a field of nothing. Since our vehicles are lighter, hopefully maximizing speed potential will give us an advantage. I think that’s what I heard someone say anyway.
In the history books it shall be known as the Battle of Los Angeles. I know we’re closer to what used to be San Francisco but I like the sound of BOLA better.