1 January 2001. Past Midnight. Cape May, New Jersey.
24ºF. 10mph breeze. Clear. No Moon.
The group has been celebrating New Years Eve at their home in Avalon. It’s been a good party. Moss enjoys watching his new unit in relaxation. His men had survived catastrophe in Poland, and made it home. They had the casual familiarity of men who’d been under fire together.
For the past week, Moss had been sorting through the notes of a zealot. Micah’s thoughts were definitely more in the next world, and when on Earth, the leader’s ponderings tended to narcissistic navel-gazing. Moss checked out library books on these esoteric religious and cultural topics to glean possible intel from the fundamentalist writings. Alas, little came out of it. But Moss acquired a basic understanding of American home-grown religion that drank heavily from the Old Testament, ironically reminding Moss of his own indifferent childhood schooling in the Torah.
A couple of intriguing post-it notes were in the papers, however. Micah had been sending radio messages to “NA40”, and he was clearly frustrated at the lack of reply, and corresponding non-recognition of his greatness. He’d been anticipating another visit from a “Brother Michael”, and apparently expected another (unmerited, of course) poor review of his organization. Micah planned to counter with his demand for a long-overdue meet with NA40. Plus more weapons and food for his people. It’s unknown if the anticipated visit with Brother Michael ever happened.
Sharing his findings with Wojciech, the Pole mentioned the group’s acquaintance with a “Brother Michael” in the NYC insertion, associated with the DIA (and others perhaps). Wojciech recounts the camera incident to Moss, and the whole sketchy vibe from the guy. Moss added this into his report to Resper, their DIA handler.
After Midnight, everybody went outside and fired off a few rounds in celebration. It’s a new year; indeed, the first day of the new millennium. They could hope the 21st century would be better than the last one. But that dream lasted scant minutes.
More gunfire can be heard off in the direction of the Cape May Court House to the west.
The gunfire continues, and grows in intensity. Then they see a flash from the Court House, and a few moments later, hear a BOOM! Toward the Cape itself, more explosions can be heard pounding in the distance. This wasn’t fireworks.
An air raid siren wailed from the naval base, that mournful sound that drills right into your bones.
Wojciech ran outside. “There’s some guy on the radio yelling ‘Arise, New America, Arise!’”
The repeating message continues for 5 minutes, then ceases. The voice is male, with an Appalachia accent.
Moss’ men are already grabbing their gear. They still had two of the uparmored Humvees. As they headed west, Moss was on the radio, trying to understand the events.
Cape May Court House
The more Moss heard on the radio, the worse it got. The Court House, Cape May County Air Base, and Cape May Naval Base were all under attack. At the Naval Base, hostiles were inside the defenses. That sent a chill down his spine. That was supposed to be The Keep, everybody’s fall back place to regroup.
Moss decided on the Court House. It was closer. Even from a distance, they could see the settlement burning furiously. As they approached, they were stopped by a picket of dispirited New Jersey State Militia.
After numerous “Hold Your Fire!” and reassurances, and pass phrases, Moss and crew were able to approach. It was Delta Company of the NJSM, and despite differences in organization, the demoralized E-4 accepted Captain Moss taking over the company.
Difficult (Leadership+Persuasion) Roll: Success!
The E-4 recounted how a NA mole in their unit, a man they thought they knew, put on that now ubiquitous Star armband, and shot the LT and their sergeant. The mole then disappeared in the confusion.
So Delta Company had been dithering, “holding a perimeter” while Bravo Company was getting hammered near the burning Court House.
Moss was able to raise Bravo’s sergeant on the radio. Their LT had also been whacked by an NA turncoat, but the sergeant put him down. Bravo was engaged piecemeal in scattered firefights. The sergeant reported that he wasn’t in communication with part of his company.
Moss told him to regroup as best he could, and that Delta Co would be joining them soon.
Bravo sgt reported that New American regulars were well-geared, even having night vision, which the militia lacked.
For mass combat, I borrowed the simple system from Savage Worlds (SWADE, page 131), and adapted it into Twilight 2000, v2.2. Basically it becomes a Leadership skill contest between one “boss” and the other, weighed by advantages and disadvantages enjoyed by either side. Forces are measured in abstract Tokens. Results can mean casualties for one or both sides.
Delta Company, led by Moss, pushed into the environs of the Court House. It’d been demolished by a truck bomb. Many of the nearby buildings had been put to the torch. Ironically the light from all the fires mostly negated NA’s night vision advantage.
Delta and Bravo both took losses, but the New America forces took the worst of it, and were soon sent fleeing into the darkness.
Moss briefly debated continuing on to the Air Base to assist, but the situation here was barely under control. NA could regroup and return. The township needed to be secured, wounded tended, and fires put out.
Moss urged the militia to take prisoners. It was a hard sell. [failed Persuasion roll] There was a lot of shock and bitterness from the assassinations. Only 3 NA were taken alive at the Court House.
Drawing on his law enforcement experience, Moss treated the Court House as a crime scene, as indeed it was. The NA group here would rank among the worst of marauders they’d encountered: Looting, burning, rape, and murder.
Weirdly, they seemed nothing like the NA group they’d plowed under at Millville. Moss had seen plenty of gang tattoos, and these guys were tatted-up like a white supremacist prison gang.
Another oddity, was how some of the NA seemed like cannon fodder. They were only armed with torches and machetes, no guns. Always accompanying a group of these machete people were a few “minders” with M-16s, bayonet attached.
By sunrise, the situation had stabilized. NA soldiers had mostly melted away into the countryside, and the few remaining dead-enders had to be ended.
The three units of NA in the assault on Cape May were not coordinated with each other, and each bore little similarity to the others. New America appears to operate as a network of cells.
NA cell identities are all over the place. The Courthouse cell was composed of Neo-Nazis, the Naval Base cell were fishermen of varying ethnic groups, and the last cell appeared to be Maoist in orientation. All wore the NA Star armband, and were well-geared and motivated.
It’s clear that the NJSM has been compromised, given the number of green-on-blue attacks. Thankfully, no federal troops were turncoats during the fight.
At CMCAB a P-3 Orion was destroyed (though it was grounded for lack of fuel anyway). The Navy lost a destroyer in refitting, USS Decatur (DD-936), sister ship to the Bigelow. A suicide boat bomb had pulled right up alongside. A sail yacht serving as a Navy transport was sunk in the harbor as well.
News begins coming over MilGov’s communications network. Over the next week of the new year, attacks on MilGov and CivGov strongholds across the breadth of the dis-United States continue in fits and starts. Both governments, already feeble, reel under the assault. Often attacks are from within, in the most vulnerable locations. A few regions go dark entirely.
New America has arisen.
Another great installment, thanks for keeping it going. Always enjoy this series
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Thank ye kindly! We’re back in action.
Very cool to see NJ represented!
I’ve really enjoyed your Polish campaign, felt some surprisingly real loss when Maks died, and am really enjoying the start of the New America campaign. I both played and ran campaigns in Poland when I was much, much younger, but never got to play or run any stateside games, apart from a Nan Con tournament game my senior year in high school. It was, unfortunately, a one-shot (I didn’t get to advance in the tournament), but it was very interesting as it was set in the Louisiana swamps (strong Southern Comfort vibes). However, it did lead to getting to join in for the start of someone’s home game that was set in Central America at the start of the war, as the host nation decided it was time to kick out their American advisors. I think that’s what I’ve always liked so much about the T2k setting; so rich in possibility.
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Thank you. After Maks died, it really impacted me and the campaign. The Winter Quarters chapter has multiple meanings.
And yes, I wholly agree, the T2000 system and setting is loaded with possibilities. With the Twilight 2000 system, I’ve ran a campaign based on Niven and Pournelle’s Footfall book, a time travel campaign, and my brother ran the standard T2000 timeline in the USA in 1997 as the nukes are dropping.
I suppose the saddest thing…. is it’s totally plausible.
Cannot wait for the next installments.
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