After the Apocalypse
Chapter 89: Entry #6

by Mark Bollman--> and Steve Donohue

22 January 2002 (Day 24)

Quite a lot of incoming news in the last 48+ hours - and since I'm writing the journal of record, it needs to be put down here.

To begin with, we've learned a lot about what's gone down in the outside world. Our radio transmission with Canada was picked up by what apparently are the remains of the US government, currently operating in Hawaii. How the former Secretary of Commerce (who is probably now the most famous Commerce Secretary in the history of the country) got to Hawaii and took the reins of the government escapes me-but that, of course, is not the point.

The point is this: There was a Russian nuclear attack. The guy I contacted didn't have a lot of details, but he did say that Alaska had been invaded. That probably means that Russia is holding at least part of that state. On the other hand, it looks like we got a decent counterattack off before things got radioactive, so one might hope that we at least gave as good as we got.

The word on other American survivors is not good on this front-the government hasn't found anyone else. On the local front, though, things have gotten considerably more interesting. Five of our gang came back into camp yesterday night (in a way, it's a relief to have everyone except Steve accounted for, although of course it'd be better to account for him too) and they brought both three new friends and some firsthand reports of the craziness currently going on in Lapeer. I haven't had a chance to talk to Emily Cooper directly yet, but we did get a report from her.

There are at least two factions currently battling over what's left of and in Lapeer. One that she called the Flock appears to be an apocalyptic sect under the leadership-although she said "control"-of a Deacon Whateley. Apparently he's interpreting all of this as divine judgment and is planning to take his people to the south when the weather improves.

On the face of it, this doesn't seem too bad. However, life is never that simple. One report that has gotten around is that the deacon is upset over the murder of his son right after the bombing. And while none of us can confirm anything, and while it's probably the case that there was a lot of shooting in Lapeer as the looters made their rounds-well, you can't help but wonder if Steve was somehow involved in that. It all fits the timeline.

The second faction could be more problematic. Emily called them the Night Razers, and it would seem that they're more of a militia group, although we also understand that their primary concern is destroying what's still standing in Lapeer to deter any further Russian attacks. Joe Hall and Dave Woods apparently crossed paths with some of their members. There was a bit of a firefight near I-69 & M-24 which we think might have killed a few people, and that could be more dangerous for us if we're tracked down to here.

And speaking of tracking, it looks like the Razers have been trying to trace radio transmissions since the days after the bombs. Joe and Dave say they messed with their triangulation system, which might make it harder for them to find us that way. Nonetheless, we might do well to scale down our broadcast operations, at least for a little while. If it's not too late, that is-although I want to believe that if they have our location and they want to eliminate us, they'd have been here by now. That may just be me rationalizing, though-after all, it was my radio work that might have tipped them off to us.

It's oddly interesting to see how people are reacting to this mass of news-"interesting" in the sense of "Oh, I put my hands in the incubator and the poisonous snakes have hatched early. How interesting.", that is. On the one extreme, we've got people saying (privately, that is-everyone seems a bit reluctant to commit to a position too loudly) that we have to lock everyone down and secure our borders even more tightly. At the other end, I hear other folks debating who gets to go into Lapeer next, so the adventure outweighs the danger in some minds. The ultimate answer, of course, will lie somewhere in the middle-but whether there's room for compromise is way open right now.

What we need is strong leadership. And while we have a lot of promising leaders, it's not clear if we have loyal (or obedient) followers.

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