Thursday, June 26, 2008

Oral Accounts of the Liberation of Timmins, TN 1917.

"I don't know how it was for the men in the 76th Regiment. Those Red Dragons had it rough though. But I guess I can tell you how it was for me," Bill "Brick" Norita sat in the small chair uncomfortably. The chair creaked with every breath he took. Brick was a massive man, with arms like slabs of meat and a torso shaped like a water cistern. He looked across at the trideo recorder, "It started back in 1914 when the CEF occupied Timmins..."


"Residents of Timmins," Ben Cantor read aloud, "you are hereby subjects of the New Earth Commonwealth. Cooperate, and prosper. Resist and be punished. Your fruitless lives as colonials are over. You are now reunited with Mother Earth, who only asks that you work and contribute to ..." he tossed the leaflet onto the barroom floor, "this is the rhetoric of totalitarianism. This is the rhetoric of slavery. None of us asked to be reunited with 'Mother Earth,' who abandoned us to our fate so many cycles ago. My friends," Ben swallowed hard. He knew that his next words would shape his destiny unlike any other words he had ever uttered: "we must resist these tyrants with every breath."

Brick rose to his feet, "I'm with you!"

Others followed. Ben Cantor was now a freedom fighter.


"We bided our time, see," Brick sipped from a glass of water, carefully setting it back down on the table, "some of us wanted to start blowing up things and causing all sorts of problems...but Ben...Ben wouldn't hear it. Then we heard that Zagreb and some of the other Mercantile cities got hit with ortillery...that shut us up real good. He was right all along. So we bided our time. We hid guns, and stockpiled as best we could...found out which of the keff we could bribe, and which we knew we had to ... well ..."


"Here you are, Dr. Zivoniev," Ben nodded as Brick set down the last crate of Wounder Rotgut, "four crates of Wounded Knee's finest."

The CEF officer nodded, his hands reached for something in his coat. There were angry glares from the resistance members.

"It's alright," the doctor chuckled, "I'm not carrying a weapon," he smirked, "I'm a doctor. Here," he pulled out an envelope, "the information you asked for is all there. Now, can I have a hand with this-"

There was a muffled, flitting 'zap' as Ben pulled the trigger on the suppressed pistol. The doctor fell to his knees, gurgling blood.

"I thought we..." he grasped at his neck.

"I'm sure you did, Doctor."


"They found Zivoniev's body two days later in the red light district. I don't know how many people died," Brick swallowed hard, his eyes tearing up, "when they did a retaliation sweep, but I know that Zivoniev did experiments...seeing as how Terranovans have had genetic drift or something from Earthers...and well...we all agreed that Ben did the right thing."

He covered his face for a moment, and then looked at Kain, "that was the first time I saw a dead body up close."


"Sweet merciful..." Brick couldn't believe his ears, "they nuked themselves?"

"No Brick. The UMF used nukes on Keff forces on their land. There's a whole belt of the savannah just west of here that's all hot now," someone explained.

"That's awful! I've got family out there!"

"'s gonna get worse too," Ben Cantor said from the bar. In late TN1916 the rigours of leading a large part of the resistance in Timmins had taken their toll. Ben looked tired, ragged, jaded and soulless, "the Keff's probably going to move their forces from the Ashington basin back here...just think of it, a division of angry GRELs who've just been nuked, holed up in Timmins." He let that sink in slowly. Everyone in the safehouse quietened down as their minds got down to the nitty gritty.

The radio crackled to life: "This is Radio Free Timmins, broadcasting to you live from deep within occupied Terranova. For those Party members among us, we greet you as comrades. For those aiding the resistance, we salute your valiant efforts. If you're Keff tuning in, go back to the vat that decanted you. The latest news: the large Earther force that landed in Baja has been completely annihilated by a combined North-South assault. Also: Apple Pie, Red Herring, Black Rock Springer."


Brick chuckled, "Black Rock Springer. That was the code. When we heard it, we almost let out a cheer in that little safehouse. That was the code for a full-on revolt against the Keff. Open combat. Ben had us organized into a battalion by then, and our weapons were hidden and stockpiled. We fought hard. The GRELs were tough, but we knew the streets, and the alleys. But most importantly, we knew how they thought. Kill the human officers and the hypnotraining that they fall back on makes the GREL too predictable. But it wasn't easy. No sir. Still, we did it," Brick smiled, "we did it."


"So you see Mr. Cantor, someone with your history from the Southern Republic poses too much of a security risk. We simply can't have you join the Party," the commissar said sheepishly from across the desk.

"I see."

"We thank you for all your help. You will not be forgotten."

"Clearly," Ben stood and walked out of the small concrete room. Brick was waiting for him outside the Party compound that made up the center of the city of Timmins.

"What did they say?" the giant asked as they walked towards the bus stop.

"Once a Southerner, always a Southerner. I really can't stay here, Brick."

The large man's face darkened, "those ... " he let out a deep breath, "I have a cousin in a small commune outside town, called Washburn. I bet they'd love to have a war hero like you living there."


Bill "Brick" Norita sipped his water, looking at Kain as he put the glass down again. He looked thoughtful for a moment, considering what Kain had just proposed, "sure Mr. Delacroix, I'll sign on."


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.