25 Dec 2000. Avalon, New Jersey.

Captain Bart Moss and his team returned on Christmas to their house in Avalon, just north of Cape May. The debriefing was quick, and the crew was happy to rest and celebrate the holiday. They were on leave for two weeks.

The attack on the cult compound had been a chaotic mess.

Some cult members ran away, while others ran into the cluster of buildings. Then the M42 Duster emerged. Fortunately, it seemed to be crewed with amateurs, and the Duster soon got demolished by a lucky shot from the Mk19. After that, it was mostly live fire training for Moss’ crew of recruits. As the Humvees approached the compound, flames began licking out of the windows of several structures. Moss and his men began mopping up dead-enders, and taking prisoner those cultists who weren’t armed.

When the flames died down enough to approach, Moss had his soldiers begin collecting intelligence. It wasn’t much, most items were from a small building that served as a man cave for the cult leader. The cultists forgot to burn it down in their frantic haste. The leader was just another corpse in the dirt. In life, his name was Micah apparently.

His man cave decor was given over to apocalyptic Christian imagery. Notes from a desk drawer were hand-written:

  • Old America was “Babel and Gomorrah in an unholy union” and was cleansed by God’s wrath.
  • “The righteous by the grace of Yahweh will rebuild “New Israel” from the ashes, uncorrupted by the Gentiles.” Springfield, MO is to be their shining light on a hill, according to Micah.
  • Most of his writings are esoteric Bible and apocrypha references of no obvious intel value.
  • Micah made 6 references to documents called Eagle Papers, which were not present. Micah writes of them as if they were the blueprints for this New Israel. He was obsessed with Atheists, Jews, Catholics, and Muslims, and their steep rise in numbers under the fallen old America. The Eagle Papers apparently have plans to assure that this new America will not fall under the sway of apostates and other pawns of Satan, according to Micah.
  • The origin and precise contents of the Eagle Papers are unknown.

Micah and two others in the command structure were wearing armbands with a single white, five-pointed star. The compound also had a flagpole with a banner of the same design.

Interrogating the prisoners was a waste of time. Women and children mostly, they could speak about the daily routines of the cult, but were not anywhere near the command structure.

The convoy continued on toward Ft. Dix and then back to Cape May. The convoy was ignored in the Pine Barrens. The small towns they passed through, the residents shunned the troops. Ditto for the homesteads passed. It was strangely uneventful. No attacks. Not even peaceful encounters. Usually even those who might be bandits by night would happily trade with soldiers during the day. But not here.

Three more times on the trip, Bart Moss saw that odd flag with a single star. He didn’t know what it meant, but it couldn’t be a good sign.

My brother and I, and my middle son, have been playing 2300AD for the past few months. But we’ll be getting in some Twilight 2000 sessions now.

I’m gonna move this campaign back to the standard T2000 v2.2 rules. Savage Worlds is a cool RPG system, and an interesting experiment. However, I was spending too much time doing SW rules conversion to profit from the rules switch.

Further emails

Moss will collect all papers and materials no matter how bizarre including the banner and armbands. His law enforcement approach is to treat everything like potential criminal evidence or intelligence value. Could have some value as undercover costume material too.

Excellent. Moss will have to deep dive into a few related subjects to make any sense of the writings. No internet alas. Fortunately, there is the Cape May City Library downtown, which has ballooned since the collapse, expanding into 4 nearby buildings.