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 Post subject: A more perfect union
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:56 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:37 pm
Posts: 645
When I was still in AH.com, I posted a question asking what state or group of states might fare best in an ISOT situation; the original title of the thread was 'State(s) ISOT'ed'.

After much discussion with others who participated in the thread, it was decided that the states of Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. I took this and turned it into a scenario, the first chapter of which follows here:

A More Perfect Union
By Michael Garrity

And so it Begins
Date: February 4th, 2013 Location: The Distinguished Visitors Quarters, Whiteman AFB, Missouri 1800 Hours Local Time

Steven Chu, United States Secretary of Energy is not in Washington, DC for President Obama’s State of The Union address. Instead, he is here in his home state of Missouri. In view of the recent tensions between the United States, North Korea and Iran, it was decided by the Secret Service that Secretary Chu would be out of town under the ‘designated survivor’ rule. So, Secretary Chu finds himself here in the DV quarters of Whiteman AFB. Two large-screen televisions are tuned to CNN and Fox News so that Secretary Chu can watch the broadcast. He is joined by Brigadier General Thomas A. Bussiere, commanding officer of the 509th Bomb Wing and overall base commander of Whiteman AFB, and also by Brigadier General Eric S. Overturf, commanding officer of the 442nd Fighter Wing. Before the broadcast begins, BG Bussiere leans over towards Secretary Chu and says "Well, Mr. Secretary. I certainly hope that Air Force hospitality is all that you expected."

Secretary Chu replies "Yes, general, it is. Your staff has been most helpful in the brief time I have been here.

Outside the room where Secretary Chu, BG Bussiere and BG Overturf are sitting, there are two agents from the Secret Service protective detail. There is also a team of agents on perimeter duty outside the DV quarters building. While Secretary Chu is watching the broadcast, he sees President Obama come up to the Podium in the House of Representatives and begin to speak "My Fellow Americans, good even…." Just then, the broadcasts from CNN and Fox are cut off in mid-word. The screens of both televisions are filled with static. Before Secretary Chu and the two generals can think to respond, the windows of the DV quarters are flooded with bright, blazing, multi-hued light. The two agents at the door of the room hear over their earpieces the shouted command ‘MARCHING ORDER!!’. They burst into the room and Jim Smith, the senior agent of the detail, says "Mr. Secretary, we have to go NOW!!! General Bussiere, what is the most secure location on this base?"

BG Bussier’s face assumes a look of great concern as he says "Agent Smith, that would be the communications bunker underneath base headquarters." Agent Smith replies "We are going there now. Please come with us, General." The two agents take Secretary Chu by the arms and practically drag him to the waiting Secret Service SUV. They are followed in turn by BG Bussier and BG Overturf. Just before Secretary Chu and BG Bussier are bundled into the vehicle, BG Bussier turns to BG Overturf and says "Officers’ Call at the bunker in 30 minutes. Get the ready flight of A-10s into the air; load them for a mixed Air-to-Air/Air-to Ground mission." BG Overturf braces to attention, salutes smartly and departs.

The armored SUV holding Secretary Chu, BG Bussiere and the security detail is accompanied by the lead and chase vehicles carrying other Secret Service agents. The three vehicles drive off towards Whiteman AFB’s headquarters building at a very high rate of speed with their lights and sirens blazing. Overhead, the sky is covered from horizon to horizon with a blazing dome of pulsing light. The astonished passengers on all three vehicles marvel at the visual display in the sky. There is a strong smell of ozone in the air as enormous electrical discharges play through the cloudless evening sky. As the armored SUV makes its way towards base headquarters. Agent Smith turns to BG Bussier and says "General, I am formally requesting the assistance of your Security Police squadrons. I want a double perimeter around base headquarters. No one gets in that you don’t personally know." BG Bussier replies "I understand, Agent Smith. I’ll make the call as soon as we arrive."

The three vehicle element arrives at base headquarters and comes to a squealing stop. The agents on the security detail surround Secretary Chu as they all walk into the foyer of the building. Six agents take up positions on either side of the door with their MP-5’s at the ready. BG Bussier come up to the ready desk. The staff sergeant on duty comes to attention as BG Bussier says "Contact the Officer of the Day. Tell him that I want the SPs here on the double, with full combat loads." SSGT Shannon Lucky says "YESSIR." He snaps off a parade-ground salute, then picks up the phone. Meanwhile, the remaining members of the Secret Service detail escort Secretary Chu and BG Bussier into the bunker.

Down below, there is controlled chaos as various communications officers attempt to ascertain just what happened. Some of their main screens are blank and others are filled with static, as is every network and cable television feed. Everywhere, warning lights are blinking and buzzers are sounding.

1800 Hours

The Kansas City Air Traffic Control Center (ZKC) located in the suburb of Olathe, Kansas is conducting its ordinary business when they suddenly loose all contact with other ATC centers. They are suddenly deluged with calls for information from every airline flight in the skies of Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. As a precaution, the director of ZKC exercises his prerogative and orders all flights to make for and land at the nearest airport capable handling them. In short order, the airports in Kansas City, St. Louis, Wichita, Manhattan, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Omaha and Lincoln become very crowded as all commercial traffic in the air over the four states starts to land. To relieve congestion, the major regional airports are pressed into service.

Officer’s Call
1830 Hours

The scene in the communications bunker below Whiteman AFB Headquarters is one of controlled chaos. Here and there, various Air Force communications officers are trying to get ahold of what happened just half an hour ago. As ordered by BG Bussier, the commanding officers of the various units on Whiteman AFB have arrived for their meeting with him. The meeting will take place in the bunker’s conference room, and Secretary Chu will be in attendance. BG Bussiere begins the meeting by saying "Gentlemen, this is Mr. Norman Chu, United States Secretary of Energy. By now, you are all aware of what happened just thirty minutes ago. Do any of you have any information for me?"

Major Lucas Dalton, Whiteman AFB’s weather officer is the first to speak "Sir, what happened could not have been any kind of weather phenomenon. I put in a call to the National Weather Service Office in Kansas City, and they show no storm cells or weather fronts within one hundred and fifty miles of us."

"Very good, Major. General Overturf?"

"Yes, sir?"

"What is the status of your A-10's?"

"Sir, by your previous order, I have had eight A-10s armed and fueled. They are taking off as we speak."

"Good work, General Overturf. What of our communications?"

Major James Braddock speaks next "General Bussiere, I put in a call to STRATCOM at Offutt AFB, and they say that they experienced the same phenomenon as we did."

"Major Braddock, does NORAD have anything to say?"

"Sir, that’s the curious thing."

"What do you mean ‘curious’?"

"Sir, all communications with NORAD are offline. There have been no phone calls, faxes or emails from them since 1800 Hours. There have also been no communications with the Pentagon, Fort Meade or the National Command Authorities. In fact, we have had no communications of any kind with any commands west of the Mississippi River." BG Bussiere’s eyes go wide with surprise and alarm as he says "are you quite sure of that, Major Braddock?"

Major Braddock replies "Yes, sir. I am quite sure."

"What of more local commands?"

"Sir, we have communications with the National Guards of Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, plus Fort Riley, Fort Leavenworth and McConnell AFB."

1845 Hours

The eight A-10 Thunderbolts are now all airborne. Colonel Gregory Eckfeld (callsign: Bandit) is in command of the mission "Bandit Flight, this is Bandit Lead. Disperse to your objectives. Bandit-Two, you’re with me." One by one, the other seven pilots radio back ‘Affirmative, Bandit Lead’, starting with Bandit Two. The eight aircraft divide themselves into four two-ship elements. Colonel Eckfeld and Bandit Two proceed northwards from Whiteman AFB towards the Missouri/Iowa State Line. Bandit Three and Bandit Four fly east, towards the Missouri/Illinois State Line; Bandit Five and Bandit Six fly south towards Arkansas, while Bandit Seven and Bandit Eight fly west towards Kansas.

2015 Hours

Colonel Eckfeld comes on the radio and says "All Bandit elements, this is Bandit lead. Report your situation. Bandit Tow and I see nothing out of the ordinary on the Missouri/Iowa Line."

"Bandit Lead, this is Bandit Seven. Bandit Eight and I have overflown Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas. Everything seems normal here."

"SWEET MOTHER OF GOD!! Bandit Lead, this is Bandit Three. Bandit Four and I have just overflown St. Louis, and there is nothing on the other side of the of the Mississippi River but empty land. The river bridges are intact, but there are no buildings, lights or vehicles that we can see. East St. Louis is gone, sir. Bandit Four and I are going to break. I will fly down towards the Missouri Bootheel, while Bandit Four will north towards the Iowa Bootheel. Will advise."

"Roger that, Bandit Three. Proceed and be careful."

"Understood, Bandit Lead. Bandit Three out."

"Bandit Five, Bandit Six, this is Bandit Lead. Report."

"Bandit Lead, this is Bandit Five. All roads on the Missouri/Arkansas and Missouri/Oklahoma State lines are cut off exactly at the State Line. It’s like someone cut them off with a perfect razor. Bandit Six and I can report that there is no sign of civilization in either eastern Oklahoma or Northern Arkansas."

"Understood, Bandit Five. All Bandit Elements, this is Bandit Lead. Return to base."

2115 Hours

After landing back at Whiteman AFB, Colonel Eckfeld is ordered to report directly to BG Bussiere. He is driven directly to the communications bunker by an Air Force SP. As they arrive, Colonel Eckfeld sees that the base headquarters has been ringed with SPs. There are Peacekeeper ASVs in evidence, as are M-1151 up-armored HMMWVs equipped with FRAG-6 kits. Colonel Eckfeld goes to see General Bussiere and says "Sir, I don’t know how to say this, so I’m just going to tell you. All signs of civilization in Illinois, Arkansas and Oklahoma has simply disappeared. The roads and highways are cut off right at the state line. The bridges over the Mississippi are intact, and on the other side there is nothing but wilderness. Iowa is still there, as is Kansas and Nebraska."

"Very good, Colonel Eckfeld. Thank you for your report."

Secretary Chu has been listening to the back-and-forth between General Bussiere and his officers. He now says "Gentlemen, I have heard enough. Apparently, something un-natural has happened. The lack of communications with the Pentagon and Washington D.C only confirms this. General Bussiere?"

"Yes, Mr. Secretary?"

"I am of the opinion that this situation is operative under the ‘Designated Survivor’ rule as delineated in the Continuity of Government Plan. Do you concur?"

"Yes, sir. Mr. Secretary, I do."

"Then, sir. I need to take the oath. Kansas City is only 70 miles from here. You will send a helicopter to the Charles Evans Whittaker Federal District Courthouse in Kansas City. Make contact with the night staff there and find Chief Judge Fernando Gaitan. Inform Judge Gaitan of the situation and bring him here soonest. In the meantime, have your communications staff set up a conference call for me with General C. Robert Kehler at STRATCOM and the governors of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa."

"Yes, sir. Mr. Secretary"

2200 Hours

Pursuant to the request from Secretary Chu, BG Bussiere dispatched a UH-60 Blackhawk with orders to make for the Whittaker Federal District Courthouse in Kansas City. The pilot of the Blackhawk radioed ahead to the State Highway Patrol Barracks in Lees’ Summit, Missouri and asked that they bring Chief Judge Fernando Gaitan to the courthouse where he can be picked up. While the UH-60 is still in-bound, a Highway Patrol cruiser and two uniformed officers are sent to Judge Gaitan’s house. The senior of the two officers knocks on the front door and a short time later, Judge Gaitan answers the door "Yes, officer. How can I help you?"

"Judge Gaitan, I am Lieutenant Wilson, Missouri State Highway patrol. I must ask you to come with me immediately. Your presence has been requested by Energy Secretary Dennis Chu. He is at Whiteman AFB, and he needs to take the Presidential oath of office." Judge Gaitan replies "Lieutenant, does this have anything to do with that incredible atmospheric display that happened at 6:00 PM?"

"I believe it does, sir. Beyond that, I have no information."

"Very well, Lieutenant. Give me five minutes to change and pack a small bag. I’ll be out directly."

Just a few minutes later, Judge Gaitan leaves his front door while carrying a small bag. He says goodbye to his wife, then gets into the State Patrol cruiser. At a very high rate of speed, the vehicle makes its way towards the Charles Evans Whittaker Federal District Courthouse located on 400 East Ninth Street. Just fifteen minutes after they arrive, the UH-60 Blackhawk lands in the courthouse’s parking lot. Judge Gaitain boards the aircraft as quickly as possible, then it takes off. The pilot now gets on the radio, saying "Home Base, this is Retrieval Flight, Over."

One of the communications officers at Whiteman AFB replies "Retrieval Flight, this is Home Base, go ahead."

"Retrieval Flight to Home Base. Be advised that the judge is aboard and we are on our way back at the best possible speed."

"Home Base to Retrieval Flight, received and understood."

"Retrieval Flight, out."

"Home Base, out."

2215 Hours

Air Force Sgt Geoff Hatten comes to see BG Bussiere, salutes and says "General Bussiere, Retrieval Flight is in-bound, Their ETA is forty-five minutes." General Bussiere returns the salute and says "Thank you, Sgt Hatten. You are dismissed." BG Bussiere goes to Secretary Chu and says "Mr. Secretary, Judge Gaitain is on the way, he’ll be here in forty-five minutes." Just then, Major James Braddock says "General Bussiere, the conference call is ready."

"Thank you Major. Mr. Secretary, this way please." BG Bussiere and Secretary Chu make their way to the bunker’s conference room. The room is furnished with a large but functional table and several chairs. There are several large video screens on the wall, and the images of the several other participants in the conference call are displayed on them. They are General C. Robert Kehler, commander of USSTRATCOM, Major-General William C. Mayville, commander of the 1st Infantry Division, Terry Brandstad, David Heineman, Sam Brownback and Jay Nixon; governors of the States of Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri respectively.

Secretary Chu is the first to speak "Gentlemen, thank you for joining me in this conference call. I’ll get right to the point. At 6:00 PM local time, an event took place that is unprecedented in the history of our country. Aircraft from Whiteman AFB made reconnaissance flights southward into Oklahoma and eastward into Arkansas. The pilots report that there are no signs of life in those two states; no roads, buildings or lights. The highway bridges over the Mississippi River are intact, but beyond that, nothing."

Governor Terry Branstad speaks next "Mr. Secretary, General Bussiere, General Kehler, General Mayville, I have been meeting with my staff here in the State Emergency Operations Center in Johnston, Iowa ever since 6:30 PM. I can confirm what the pilots from Whiteman AFB said. I ordered aircraft from the 132nd Tactical Fighter Wing at Des Moines International Airport to take off and survey the situation. They flew as far north as Minneapolis-St. Paul and as far east as Chicago. On the return leg, the Minneapolis-St. Paul flight swung down through the southeastern corner of South Dakota. They reported no signs of civilization that they could see. As in Missouri, the highway bridges over the Mississippi River are intact; all roads and highways are cut off exactly at the State Line. Rock Island Arsenal is there, too."

Governor David Heineman of Nebraska says "Gentlemen, I can also confirm the same information here in Nebraska. A reconnaissance flight took off from Offut AFB and surveyed into eastern Wyoming and Northeastern Colorado. The same situations are reported. Interstate-80 is cut off exactly at the Nebraska-Wyoming State Line as is Interstate-76 a the Nebraska-Colorado State Line. One curious thing, however. The pilots report that they saw immense herds of Buffalo in Eastern Wyoming and Northeastern Colorado." This last comment from Governor Heineman sparks much conversation among the other participants in the conference call.

Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas is the next to speak, followed by Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri. Their information matches precisely what was conveyed by Governor Branstad and Governor Heineman. General C. Robert Kehler of USSTRATCOM joins in and says "There are no communications links with anyone outside of the states of Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. Pursuant to my authority as commander of STRATCOM, I am ordering all remaining U.S Military forces to DEFCON 3; the exercise term is Roundhouse."

Secretary Chu listens to the reports from the various state governors before speaking. After a few moments of consideration, he says "Gentlemen, I regard this situation as operative under the ‘designated survivor’ rule in the Continuity of Government plan. My opinion was confirmed by General Bussiere. Accordingly, I will be taking the Presidential Oath of Office within the hour. Once this has been done, I will address the people of the four states via television broadcast. Do you have any questions for me?"

The four governors reply nearly as one "no, Mr. Secretary."

"Then, I bid you all a good night. Please let me know if there are any additional developments."

2300 Hours

BG Bussiere comes to Secretary Chu and says "Sir, Judge Gaitan is here." Secretary Chu responds "Thank you, general." Judge Gaitan is shown into the bunker’s conference room, and he introduces himself to Secretary Chu and all the Air Force officers present "Mr. Secretary, gentlemen, good evening. I am Chief Judge Fernando Gaitan of the United States Court for the Western District of Missouri. Are you ready to proceed?" Secretary Chu replies "yes, we are." As the swearing-in ceremony begins, the proceedings are documented on video. Judge Gaitan asks for a bible, and he is given one; this copy having a blue cover and embossed with the seal of the U.S Air Force. "Please raise your right hand and repeat after me...." Secretary Chu is able to repeat the oath of office almost by memory. He says "I, Steven Chu, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me, God." Judge Gaitan shakes the new President’s hand and says "congratulations, Mr. President."

BG Bussiere greets his new commander-in-chief and says "do you have any orders for me, sir?" The newly-sword President Chu replies "have your communications staff get in touch with all of the network affiliates and other stations throughout Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. Use the Emergency Broadcast System if you have to. I need to make a public statement before the people begin to panic." BG Bussiere replies "yes, sir. May I suggest that you make the broadcast at 0700 hours tomorrow morning? This way, you will reach as many people as possible."

"An excellent idea, General. It is clear to me that something unprecedented and extraordinary has happened. That report from Governor Heineman of Nebraska about the herds of Buffalo that his pilots saw in eastern Wyoming and Northeastern Colorado really has me wondering, though. For now, I will return to my quarters. We have a long day tomorrow, and I must prepare for the broadcast."

BG Bussiere replies "Yes, sir. Mr. President." President Chu is escorted out of the bunker by his security detail of Secret Service agents and Air Force SPs. In the meantime, BG Bussiere turns to SSGT Shannon Lucky and says "I wonder how General Lemay would have dealt with this situation. Do you have anything for me, sergeant?" SSGT Lucky hesitates a moment or two before replying, as he has been rather shaken by the events of the past several hours. He gathers his thoughts and says "Sir, I don’t want to sound ridiculous, but I believe we have traveled in time." BG Bussiere’s face registers both surprise and disbelief as SSGT Lucky continues "Sir, I read science fiction, and one of my favorite authors is S.M Stirling. In the late 1990's, he wrote a series of books called the ‘Nantucket Trilogy’. These books detail what happens to the people on the Island of Nantucket when the island is cast more than three thousand years into the past. I firmly believe that this is what has happened to us"

BG Bussiere’s face is still registering incredulity as he says "That is a rather extraordinary claim, wouldn’t you say, sergeant?"

SSGT Lucky says "Yes, sir. I know what it sounds like. I am also a student of western history, and there haven’t been herds of buffalo like the pilots from the Nebraska Air Guard reported since the early 1870's."

"Very well, sergeant. I will take your information under advisement. Thank you for your input. Dismissed." SSGT Lucky salutes General Bussiere and returns to his other duties.

0700 Hours
February 5th, date: unknown

Shortly before 0700, every radio and TV in the four states comes alive with the familiar signal from the Emergency Broadcast System. The message urges everyone listening and watching that there will be a message from the President of the United States. At 0700 precisely, President Chu steps up to the podium and begins his statement "My fellow Americans, good morning. I am Steven Chu, and I was sworn in as President of the United States at 11:00 PM Central Time last night. I am addressing you in regards to the extraordinary event which took place at 6:00 PM yesterday. By some unknown means, the rest of the United States, and perhaps the world, outside of the borders of the States of Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, has simply disappeared. The land is still there, but there are no signs of civilization present. I know some of you will not believe this, but all indications are that this is just what has happened. I urge you all to cooperate with state, local and federal authorities as we deal with this developing situation. With the cooperation of the governors of the four states, I am issuing an executive order to the effect that all non-essential businesses are closed until further notice, and that all non-essential travel is strongly discouraged. You will be notified of any further developments in this situation. Thank you all and may God bless the United States of America."

"And, we’re off." The Air Force communications staff manning the broadcast equipment signals that the signal feed is complete. President Chu turns to General Bussiere and says "Let’s get to work."

0715 Hours
February, 5th, date; unknown

Governor Terry Branstad of the State of Iowa has just finished listening to President Chu’s broadcast. He immediately picks up the phone and places a call to the Office of the State Adjutant General at Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa. "Good morning, General Orr." Major-General Tim Orr replies "Good morning, Governor. How can I help you?"

"General Orr, I trust you watched President Chu’s broadcast at 7:00AM."

"Yes, sir, I did. What orders do you have for me?"

"General Orr, I am calling up the entire Iowa National Guard, both Army and Air branches. You will communicate this to the SDOs and SDNCOs of all your component units. I will also be issuing a call for all retired members of the Iowa Guard to report for duty at their most recent unit of affiliation. This will help relive any short-term manpower shortages you might have. Additionally, I want you to send a platoon of military police to the far end of the Interstate-80 highway bridge in Davenport. Their mission is to secure it. I have already dispatched officers from the Iowa State Patrol to the bridge, and I have asked for assistance from the Scott County Sheriff’s office."

"Yes, Governor. I will issue the appropriate orders immediately."

February 5th, 1607

All over the States of Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas, there is mass disbelief and, in some cases, outright panic. Midwestern practicality doesn't rule everywhere. While some people tend to the business of their daily lives as best as they can, others get it into their heads to react in different ways. In many locations, there is panic buying at grocery stores and gas stations. In the larger cities such as Kansas City, Topeka, Omaha, Lincoln and Des Moines, there are instances of home-invasion robberies and near-riots when certain stores and gas stations run low on supplies or people try to cut in line. The previous night professors, assistant professors and graduate students in the departments of Physics and Astronomy of the various colleges and universities in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas turned their telescopes and other instruments to the skies to observe and document the incredible phenomenon as it unfolded. Among the very first academics to realize what happened is Mark Brodwin, assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. After the event last night, he observed that the patterns of the stars weren’t as they should be. Accordingly, he took several digital pictures of the night sky and ran them through a stellar-regression program on his office computer. The results were nothing less than astounding. Just to be sure, Professor Brodwin ran the analysis six times. In each, the results were exactly identical. The star patterns in the night sky of February 4th were those of February, 1607, not February 2013. This discovery shakes Professor Brodwin to the core. He wastes no time in communicating his data to colleagues at other universities. These individuals test the data provided by Professor Brodwin, and in every case, their results are also the same.

With confirmation in hand, Professor Brodwin calls Wai-Yim Ching, Chair of the UMKC Department of Physics and Astronomy to inform him of the discovery. In turn, Professor Ching communicates this to Leo Morton, Chancellor of the University. A call from the Chancellor’s office is immediately put through to Governor Jay Nixon’s office. "Good morning, Governor. This is Leo Morton, Chancellor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City."

"Good morning, Leo. How are you doing?"

"Governor, I’m doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances."

"How can I help you today, Leo?"

"Governor, Professor Mark Brodwin at UMKC made a fascinating discovery last night. He examined the star patterns present in the sky after the event and noticed something amiss. He took pictures of what he saw and ran them through a regression program on his computer. Apparently, we here in the four states of Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska have traveled back in time. I know this sounds fantastic, but Professor Brodwin is very thorough. He double-and triple-checked his observations, then forwarded his data to his colleagues. They confirmed his observations in every detail."

Governor Nixon is stunned into mute amazement for the next few minutes. When he recovered his senses sufficiently, he says "Chancellor Morton, this discovery is going to make the proverbial bolt out of the blue seem like a small firecracker. I’ll have to communicate this with President Chu. Have the other governors been informed?"

"We must assume that they were also informed, sir."

"That is understandible, Leo. I thank you for bringing this to my attention. If you or your professors have any further information that you believe may be of use to us in this present situation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at any time."

"Thank you, Governor" With the call with Chancellor Morton being completed, Governor Nixon next places a call to Adjutant-General Stephen Danner. He answers the phone and says "Good morning, Governor Nixon. How can I help you?"

"General Danner, effective immediately, I am calling up the entire membership of the Missouri National Guard. Retirees from the Guard are also being recalled to service. I want troops on the highway bridges leading into Illinois, Arkansas and Tennessee as soon as possible. They will be backed up by officers from the State Highway Patrol and from the sheriff’s departments in the counties where the bridges are located."

General Danner replies "yes sir, Governor."

Governor Nixon says "Thank you, general. If you need anything, let me know."

The line to the Adjutant-General’s headquarters cuts off as the call is completed. Governor Nixon next places a call to BG Bussiere at Whiteman AFB. The call is relayed by SSGT Shannon Lucky, who happens to be manning the phones in the bunker. He alerts BG Bussiere, who comes over and picks up the phone "Good morning, sir. To what do I owe the pleasure of this call?"

"General Bussiere, I have just heard from Chancellor Leo Morton of UMKC. He tells me that one of his astronomy professors has discovered that we have all been thrown backwards in time to February, 1607." BG Bussiere asks "Governor, is there any mistake?"

"No, General. There is no mistake. The data has been independently confirmed" When BG Bussiere hears this, he looks over at SSGT Lucky and motions him to stand by. Governor Nixon next goes on to say "this is something that President Chu must be made aware of."

"Agreed, sir. I will tell the President immediately. Thank you for your call, Governor." When General Bussiere hangs up the phone, he turns to SSGT Lucky and says "Sergeant, your belief that we have traveled back in time has been proven. An astronomy professor at UMKC made observations which confirmed it."

"Thank you, sir. Is there any information about the time period we have traveled to?"

BG Bussiere replies "SSGT Lucky, we have gone back to February, 1607. It seems you have some knowledge of history. So, if you have any more ideas, you are specifically ordered to come to me immediately."

"Yes, sir." SSGT Lucky salutes crisply and returns to his duties.

February 5th, 1607
Lincoln, Nebraska
The State Capitol Building

Attorney-General Jon Brunning of the State of Nebraska enters Governor David Heineman’s office and says "Governor, there is something that you need to be made aware of. My office has received reports of civil unrest from here in Lincoln and also in Omaha. It seems that some of the people aren’t reacting at all well to what happened last night. There have been home-invasion robberies and fights at gas station and grocery stores. Some stores and gas stations have also tried to take advantage of the situation by price-gouging, and this has caused even more anger. While the disorder is still under control by local law enforcement authorities, I recommend that you call up the entire membership of Nebraska National Guard and have them stand-by to render assistance if necessary."

Governor Heineman replies "Thank you, Jon. I will call Adjutant-General Judd Lyons and have him issue the alert order immediately. As regards the price-gouging, I am issuing an executive order that all prices are to be frozen at their former levels for the next ninety days. I will also have Director John Munn of the Division of Banking & Finance issue an order limiting what funds people can withdraw from banks; the maximum amount will be $300.00 per day. I believe that this will help prevent banks and other financial institutions from running short of actual cash."

Attorney-General Brunning says "Very good, Governor. I will see to your instructions immediately."

At almost the same time as the Governor and the Attorney-General are meeting, Nebraska State Patrol officers and local law enforcement in Kimball and Deuel counties are reacting to the various accidents that took place at the far end of Interstate-80 leading into Wyoming and at the Interstate-80/Interstate-76 interchange on the Nebraska/Colorado state line. Of even more concern is a large freight train that was about to cross the Wyoming/Nebraska line at the moment of the transition event. The train derailed near the highway when the event cut off the track in front of the lead locomotive. Most of the train’s cargo is intact, but one tank car containing liquid chlorine ruptured and spilled its contents.

At STRATCOM in Omaha, Nebraska, a long-range reconnaissance mission is taking place. An RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft has been dispatched to what was once Virginia in order to ascertain whether or not the Jamestown Colony in Virginia has been founded as it was in the original timeline.

0900 Hours

Iowa is a heavily-agricultural state, and the well-being of its farms and crops depends on having adequate supplies of seed and fertilizer. To this end, Governor Terry Branstad has a meeting with Bill Northey, the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. Secretary Northey comes into the Governor’s office and says "Good morning, Governor Branstad. How can I help you?"

"Thank you for coming, Bill. I’ll get right to the point. I want your department to ascertain how much in the way of seed stocks and fertilizers are available here in Iowa. Keeping our people fed in the coming months and years is of an importance that can scarcely be under-estimated. Co-ordinate your efforts with the offices of Pioneer-Du Pont in Johnston, Iowa and the College of Agriculture at Iowa State University in Ames."

"Yes, sir."

Several hours later, Secretary Northey calls Governor Branstad and says "Governor, I have good news for you." Governor Branstad says in reply "I am listening, Bill."

"Governor, my staff contacted every dealer of seed and fertilizer in the State of Iowa. Apparently, there is a great overabundance of seed stock and fertilizer on hand. A month before the event, the U.S Department of Agriculture forecast an unusually-productive growing season. Accordingly, the College of Agriculture at ISU-Ames urged farm dealers to lay in as much stock as possible; this was to accommodate farmers here in Iowa and dealers in other states."

"How much of a supply are you referring to, Bill?"

"Governor, my information is that there is as much as three to five times the annual supply of seed and fertilizer on hand. I have also conferred with my colleagues in the States of Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas. They tell me that their supply situation is much the same."

Governor Branstad heaves his shoulders and utters a sigh of relief "That is wonderful news, Bill. Thank you for letting me know."

In the meantime, a platoon of the 186th Military Police Company, Iowa Army National Guard is en-route to the Mississippi River in order to secure the bridges over that river. They will be re-inforcing the 339th MP Company from Davenport, Iowa. The 339th MP Company is already on guard on Iowa’s eastern State line. The first to be secured, of course, is the Interstate-80 bridge over the Mississippi River. When the troops from the 186th MP company arrive on station, there are already two State Police cruisers and two cruisers from the Scott County Sheriff’s Office at the far end of the bridge. The first task of the MPs is to set up a small Forward Operating Base. This is done by stretching a line of triple-standard concertina wire to block direct access to the bridge from the Illinois side of the line. Then, two M-1151 up-armored HMMWVs take up positions flanking the approaches to the bridge itself. Each of these is armed with an M-240B .30-caliber machine gun. Operations, living quarters, supply storage and medical support are in the form of one GP-Large tent, two GP-Medium tents and a GP-small tent. In the middle of the FOB, a portable radio tower is set up so as to maintain communications with the SEOC at Camp Dodge. The perimeter of the FOB is secured by triple-standard concertina, and a pair of watch towers will be constructed. When finished, the towers will be equipped with thermal-vision and night-vision devices to detect anyone approaching the perimeter. Lastly, the other vehicles are parked inside the perimeter.

After speaking with Secretary Northey, Governor Branstad calls Elizabeth Jacobs, chair of the Iowa Utilities Board . "Good morning, Elizabeth. This is Governor Branstad, and I have a question for you."

"Good morning, Governor. How can I help you?"

"Elizabeth, I’d like to know when the nuclear reactor at the Duane Arnold Energy Center was refueled."

"Governor, the reactor was most recently refueled in January. The fuel will last for three years at maximum generating output, and up to five years at lesser outputs. Interestingly enough, the plant operators say that there is an extra set of fuel elements in secure storage on site. No one knows where they came from. This will give the staff the ability to refuel the reactor once when the current supply is expended."

"That is good news, Elizabeth. Thank you very much."

"My pleasure, sir."

1200 Hours

President Chu is in conference with some of his advisers. One of the matters under discussion is the economy of the four states and how to sustain it with the least disruption to the population. In the course of the meeting, the topic of commercial and residential mortgages comes up. One of President Chu’s advisers, a Mr. James Simpson, says "Mr. President, as regards the outstanding mortgages in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas, some of them are held by banks which no longer exist. Others are held by banks within the borders of the four states. It seems unfair to those people who have to pay their mortgages to allow those with mortgages to out-of-state banks to get off free-and-clear."

"I see, Mr. Simpson. What do you propose?"

"Mr. President, I believe that you should issue an executive order that all residential and commercial mortgages are suspended for six months. This would apply regardless of whether or not the mortgages in question are with in-state banks or out-of-state institutions." President Chu asks "Mr. Simpson, what would be the purpose of the suspension?" Mr. Simpson replies "Mr. President, doing this will allow those persons and businesses whose jobs and operations were disrupted by the event to get back on their feet economically."

"What of the mortgages held by out of state banks, the ones who no longer exist?"

"Mr. President, at the end of the six-month suspension, the residential and commercial mortgages owed to out-of-state banks will be assumed by the Federal Government. In turn, they will be packaged and sold to in-state banks. This will level the playing field for everyone concerned."
"Very well, Mr. Simpson. Though economics isn’t my field, I find your suggestion to be meritorious. I will confer with the State Treasurers of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas as to its practicability and issue an executive order to that effect."

1200 Hours
February 5th, 1607

As was customary for the last several years, the members of the Nebraska Rangers reenactment group assembled on February 3rd for their annual muster & rendezvous. The purpose of this gathering is to practice their impressions and skills before the upcoming reenactment season. The Nebraska Rangers consist of the 24 members of Company G, 1st U.S Cavalry Regiment, 12 members of the United States Marshal's Posse reenactment group, 8 gunfighters plus the artillery crews. This year, the families of the membership of the rangers came along to observe the gathering, which is taking place in a field along the North Platte River between the towns of Henry and Lyman, Nebraska. The membership of the Rangers came from those two towns, as well as from Scottsbluff, Nebraska and points inbetween. Everything was normal, until the transition event on the night of February 5th. The incredible atmospheric display caused the members to gather outside of their tents and marvel at what they saw. This morning at 0700, Frank Miller, one of the members of the group, happened to be listening to his radio when he caught President Chu’s broadcast. He hollered out for his friend Jim Parsons to come and listen also "JIM! You have to come here and listen to this!! What happened last night just wasn’t an atmospheric display, the states of Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri have been thrown back in time.!!!"

"Frank, you have got to be kidding me. Are you hitting the whiskey again?"

"Jim, I’m not bullshitting you. Listen to the goddamned radio, will you???" Just then, the local radio station re-broadcasts President Chu’s speech. The speech causes Frank Miller’s face to assume a look of shock, followed by grim determination. He says "Jim, get everyone in camp to the headquarters tent. We have got to tell them what happened." Jim Parsons runs to every tent in the camp to tell them what is going on, and within five minutes a group of seventy-eight loud, somewhat frightened people gather in front of the main tent.

Frank Miller addresses the group, most of which he has known for years "Alright, people, listen up. We have a serious situation here. That thing we saw in the sky last night wasn’t just a light show. The four states of Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri have been thrown back in time to the year 1607. Everything outside the borders of those four states is as it was. Nothing of the rest of the United States is there, it’s all gone!!"

This pronouncement causes much excited discussion to run through the group. Frank Miller raises his hand for quiet and says "People, things are going to get dicey in the cities right quick. So, I think we should stay right here for the time being. We’ve got our families here with us, and supplies for two weeks. Jim Parsons here owns a health food store over in Morill." Frank Miller turns to Jim Parsons and says "Jim, maybe you oughta make a run to your store and bring back as many bottles of vitamins and mineral supplements as you can. I think we’re going to need them."

"Ok, Frank. I’ll take my truck. I’ll have another guy with me, just in case. I’d also want Tim Dawson to bring his truck and trailer also."

"Right, you two. Please be careful." Jim Parsons and Frank Miller head to their trucks, accompanied by two other members of the group. They drive off in a cloud of dust as Frank Miller turns back to the group and says "Ron, where are you?" Ron Parsons raises his hand from the back and says "Here I am, Frank." Ron Parsons is the unit armorer and blacksmith. Frank asks him "How are we fixed for weapons and ammunition, Ron?
"Frank, we’ve got the usual assortment of Winchester lever-action rifles, Colt revolvers, Smith & Wessons and double-barrel shotguns. A few of the boys have Sharps rifles in .50-90 and .45-110, and the horse jockeys in Company G have their Springfield carbines along with their Colt SAAs. We were planning to do a lot of live-fire, so we’re flush with ammunition."

"How about the artillery?"

"Frank, we have a Model 1841 six-pounder gun with a limber, limber chest and caisson. The caisson has two chests, and all three chests are full. There’s also enough spare ammunition to refill each chest once; this makes a total of 300 rounds. The 1841 12-pounder mountain howitzer is on a Third-Model prairie carriage and we also have a limber and caisson. Each of the three ammunition chests holds 39 rounds, and they’re full. We’ve also got 234 extra rounds in crates, for a grand total of 351 rounds. Lastly, there's our Hotchkiss Model 1875 Mountain rifle. This piece has 400 rounds in wooden crates of 20 rounds each. You’re going to love this next one, Frank. The cavalry boys brought their Model 1874 Gatling gun along with them, and they’ve got twenty cases of ammunition for it; that’s 500 rounds per case."

Frank Miller grins widely at the amount of firepower that has just been mentioned. Then his face turns serious as he considers another tough that has just crossed his mind "the people hereabouts are mostly farmers. They’ve got root cellars, and just about everyone I know is heavily into canning and preservation. That being said, we and they are going to need meat to stay healthy. Since we’re all back in 1607, that means the wildlife here on the plains is untouched. The herds of buffalo are practically untouched, and come later in the Spring, the flocks of birds are going to be beyond belief. I propose a hunting expedition across the line in what used to be Wyoming. We’ll bag enough buffalo to give everyone here, as well as back in Henry and Lyman two hundred pounds of meat. For preservation, we can make jerky, pemmican and we can also smoke the meat. The hides can be tanned and turned to any number of uses. What do you say?"

The rest of the membership of the Rangers is silent for a moment, then cheers start to break out. Those members of the Rangers who have Sharps rifles are grinning from ear-to ear at the prospect of a real buffalo hunt. Frank Miller raises his hand again for silence and says "We can’t go off half-cocked, so we should plan to have the hunt tomorrow morning."

1330 hours

While the membership of the Rangers is busy in arranging the camp with regards to their new situation, Jim Parsons and Tim Dawson return from their supply run. Frank Miller sees them drive up and comes over to ask "How did it go, guys?" Jim Parsons says "It went ok, Frank. People in Morill don’t seem to be panicking just yet. I took advantage of the opportunity and swung by Gravers Outdoors on the way out of town. The boys and I stocked up on stuff we might need here, like Coleman lantern fuel, first aid supplies and a few other things."

"Great job, Jim. Get that stuff unloaded over at the quartermaster’s tent."

"Ok, Frank."

1500 Hours

With the downturn in the economy before the Event, the Nebraska Division of Natural Resources has had to resort to installing remote sensing equipment in the many wells which were drilled in order to monitor the condition of the Ogalalla Aquifer. This was done because it was too expensive to send out crews to check each and every well. This afternoon, Matt Alexander is scanning the readouts from the wells when he notices something very unusual. Every test well (even the dry ones) is showing much-increased pressure readings. He reports this to his coordinator Jennifer Schnellpepper, who in turn, relays the information to Jesse Bradley, the division head of Integrated Water Manangement for the Nebraska DNR. This situation is unusual enough that Jesse Bradley decides to come to the monitoring station himself to see what is going on.

"Hello, Matt. What seems to be going on?"

"Ahh, Director Bradley. I didn’t expect to see you here. I noticed pressure readings from the remote sensors in all of our test wells in the Ogalalla Aquifer had increased significantly. Even the dry wells are showing the same readings. The curious thing is that the readings are all the same."

"Are the readings at dangerous levels?"

"No, Director. They’re all within nominal limits."

"Hmm, that is rather strange. Let me put in a call to John Gross over at the Nebraska Geological Society. Perhaps he might have some input." Director Bradley uses a telephone in the monitoring station to call John Gross and says "Hell, John. I have Matt Alexander here at the Ogalalla Aquifer monitoring station. Let me put you on speaker. Can you hear me, ok?"

"I can hear you, Director. How can I help you?"

"John, have you noticed anything odd going on underground in west-central Nebraska?"

"Yes, I have, actually. As you may already know, the Nebraska Geological Society has a number of seismographs in place here in our offices. We use them to monitor seismic events here in Nebraska and around the country. Ever since very early this morning, we have detected a swarm of very small earthquakes; there have been hundreds of them, most of which have measured between 1.5 and 2.25 on the Richter Scale. This is highly unusual, as the quakes are happening all over western and central Nebraska, rather than being in one place. It is as if the ground is being stretched upwards like a balloon."

"Thank you for that information, John. We’ll keep monitoring the situation on our end. If anything new develops, please let me know."

"Of course, Director."

Meanwhile in Kansas, a very similar situation is being reported at hundreds of oil and gas wellheads throughout the state. Even those wells which were thought to be dry are showing pressures that are virtually the same as an active well. This information is developed by the Kansas Geological Survey and very quickly communicated to the Department of Natural Resources. In turn, the information is carried to Governor Sam Brownback’s office by his chief of staff Landon Fullmer. With the printout in hand, Landon Fullmer knocks on the Governor’s door, opens and enters.

"Goof afternoon, Governor."

"Hello, Landon. What can I do for you?"

"Governor, I have here a fascinating piece of information which was just developed by the staff over at the Kansas Geological Survey."

"I’m listening."

"Sir, earlier today, there were a large number of small earth tremors focusing in around the well heads in the State’s oil and gas fields, as well as around those well which tap our portion of the Ogalalla Aquifer."

"Landon, PLEASE don’t tell me the wells blew out."

"Far from it, sir. Apparently, the wells are full again. The pressure readings are the same as those taken on the first day the wells were drilled. It is as if not so much as one barrel of oil or a single cubic yard of gas was ever tapped. The same goes for our water wells." This information is conveyed with an enormous smile on Landon Fullmer’s face. Governor Brownback’s face is temporarily frozen with amazement before he says "Landon, are you telling me that our oil, gas and water wells have been refilled, all of them??"

"Yes, Governor, that is exactly what I am telling you."

Governor Brownback sits back in his chair and heaves a vast sigh of relief. He says "Set up a conference call with Governor Nixon in Jefferson City, Governor Branstad in Des Moines, Governor Heineman in Lincoln and President Chu at Whiteman AFB. This information could potentially save us all."

1530 Hours
February 5th, 1607

The Air Force sergeant assigned to President Chu as an orderly knocks on the President’s door and says "I beg your pardon, Mr. President, but there is a video conference call for you. Governor Heineman of Nebraska is waiting, as are Governor Nixon, Governor Brandstad and Governor Brownback."

"Very well, Sergeant. Put them through."

"Yes sir, Mr. President."

"Good afternoon, Governor Heineman. How can I help you today?"

"Good afternoon, Mr. President. I have some very important information for you. Earlier today, I received some startling news from the State Department of Natural Respources concerning the Ogalalla Aquifer which underlies most of west-central Nebraska."

"What is wrong, Governor?"

“Nothing is wrong, Mr. President. In fact, nothing could be more right. The information I have from the Nebraska DNR is that the Ogalalla Aquifer is at full capacity. Apparently, the event which transported us into the past has had the effect of fully-recharging it."

"I see." Just then, Governor Brownback of Kansas interjects and says "Good afternoon, Mr. President. I can report that the situation here in Kansas is exactly the same as in Nebraska. The Kansas DNR and the State Board of Geology report that all of the oil and gas wells in the state are showing pressure readings as if they had never been tapped at al. Even the wells which were formerly known to be dry are showing as if not so much as a single barrel of oil or a single cubic yard of gas had been drawn from them. Additionally, the Hutchinson Salt Company in Hutchinson, Kansas reports that the shafts in their mine underneath the city have all disappeared, and have been replaced with un-mined salt. The sole exceptions are those tunnels leading to the 26-acre facility used by the Underground Vaults & Storage Company; the contents of this facility are intact. The Kansas DNR also says that other salt producers are reporting the same from their properties. Without exception, it is further reported the mining equipment at every mine was found parked in neat rows outside the mine entrances.

President Chu leans back in his chair and says "Gentlemen, that is amazing news. What you just said means that we now have the raw materials needed to keep the economy running. Governor Nixon, Governor Branstad, how are things in Missouri and Iowa?"

Governor Branstad is the first to speak "Mr. President, as in Kansas and Nebraska, the State DNR reported to me that the underground aquifers in Iowa are full capacity. As regards Iowa’s coal deposits, the situation is very similar. The curious thing is that one of the division’s field survey teams went out to check out several abandoned coal mines. The team reported that all of the tunnels had disappeared, and had been replaced with un-mined coal. Additionally, the mine shaft only went downwards a distance of some twenty-five yards."
"Mr. President, if I may interrupt?"

"Yes, Governor Nixon?"

"Mr. President, Missouri is a state rich in natural resources. We’ve got some of the largest lead deposits in the world. There are also significant silver deposits co-located with the lead, as well as other significant and valuable mineral deposits. Just this morning, workers employed by the Doe Run Company arrived for their morning shifts at the company’s six production shafts on the Viburnum Trend in Reynolds County, Missouri. When they got to the mine entrances, they noticed that all of the mining equipment which was formerly underground was now parked in neat, orderly rows outside the entrance to the mine. Further investigation revealed that the mine shafts extended just fifty yards into the ground. Another notable example of this is the Missouri Mines State Historic District in Park Hills, Missouri. After the reserves of lead ore were depleted in 1972, the land was donated to the state by the St. Joe Lead Company. It later became a historic site and mining museum in 1975. The museum staff report that all of the old tunnels are gone, with the exception of the first seventy-five yards or so. The mine’s ore bodies are there, as if they had never been touched."

President Chu speaks to the four governors and says "Gentlemen, this is fantastic news. As we expand outwards and begin to recreate the country, I think we’ll find that the mineral deposits underlying the lands formerly occupied by the other states will be there and untouched. I am specifically referring to the oil deposits and coal beds in Pennsylvania, the gold and silver deposits in Colorado and Nevada, and of course, the oil and gas in Texas. While I have you on the line, there is another serious matter I must discuss with you. One of my primary tasks as President will be the re-constitution of the Federal Government. There are certain things that I can do by virtue of the powers inherent in the office of the Presidency. On the other hand, there are things that I can’t do without the advice and consent of the Senate. It goes without saying that to have the advice and consent of the Senate, there must be a Senate in the first place." President Chu’s last comment causes the four governors to chuckle. "I therefore request that all of you, the governors of the several states, appoint such successors as you see fit to the now-vacant seats formerly held by your respective states in the United States Senate. I urge you to do so as expeditiously as possible."

Governor Brandstad says "Mr. President, I believe I speak for my fellow governors when I say we will gladly do so. Having a Senate will show the people of our states that things are beginning to return to normal. Heaven only knows that they could use the reassurance".

"Very well, Governor. Gentlemen, if you have nothing further, then I will bid you all a good day."

0800 Hours
February 6th, 1607

As previously discussed, the members of the Nebraska Rangers assemble in camp to go out and begin their buffalo hunt. To locate a suitable group of buffalo, the cavalry re-enactors ride out across what was once the Nebraska/Wyoming state line. They are accompanied by four of the other re-enactors who have Sharps rifles. An hour an a half later, the group is following along the banks of the North Platte River when they ride up to the top of a low rise and catch sight of a medium-sized herd of buffalo. One of the cavalry riders raises his binoculars and does a quick count of the animals he sees. There are approximately four hundred animals placidly grazing here and there. The four riflemen dismount and bring their horses back below the crest of the ridge. Then, they station themselves fifteen yards from each other. The cavalry patrol is sent back to camp to bring up everyone not needed for camp security so they can assist in preparing the buffalo after they have been taken. By 9:00 AM, the riflemen have marked their targets and made the necessary adjustments to their sights. For ease of access, extra cartridges are laid out nearby on a leather ground cloth. Of the four rifles present, two are chambered in .45-110 and the other two are chambered in .50-90. The plan is to take no more buffalo than are absolutely necessary to supply everyone in camp and back in the towns of Henry and Lyman two hundred pounds of meat each. Since not everyone in those two towns has sufficient cold-storage space for such an amount of meat, the meat will be smoked, made into jerky and also pemmican.

The four riflemen take careful aim, and their rifle hammers are brought to full-cock. The set triggers are engaged, and the first shots ring out in the cool, clear morning air. By common consent, no buffalo who are with calves will be taken. Instead, only the largest specimens of either gender are to be shot. The shots are placed broadside, through the lungs. This is done so the animal will drop immediately and not lash out when injured. Rather than concentrating their fire on one section of the herd, the four riflemen are very careful to pick their targets so that they are as widely-spaced as possible. The rifles are discharged simultaneously, so as to reduce the chances of four separate shots causing the heard to break up or stampede. At 10:00 AM, the killing is over. Some one hundred and ten buffalo line dead along the banks of the North Platte River. One hour later, most of the rest of the membership of the Rangers arrives on scene to help process the kills. Eight men are detailed to go out on the perimeter of the kill site to guard against predators such as wolves and bears, while the most of the rest of the people set to work skinning the kills, gutting them and cutting the meat into manageable pieces. Nothing is wasted, not even the bones. The internal organs are saved and preserved as a source of vitamins, the bones will be kept to be ground up into fertilizer, the hooves are saved to make glue and, most importantly, the hides are taken. As each hide is removed, it is flensed and staked out to dry. In the meantime, those members of the rangers not on perimeter security or involved in processing the kills are building smokehouses and drying racks to preserve the meat, organs and hides. All told, the entire harvesting process is expected to take the next four or five days.

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someone is playing with the transmat again. Q could it be?

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someone is playing with the transmat again. Q could it be?

It could be one of the Q or one of the Assiti.......

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Chapter Two

0900 Hours
Whiteman AFB Communications Bunker
February 6th, 1607

This morning, the first of what is sure to be more than a few Presidential Daily Briefs (PDBs) is taking place. In attendance are President Chu, BG Thomas Bussiere, COL Robert S. Spaulding III and those elements of the CIA and NSA that had been previously posted at Whiteman AFB as part of their duties before the transition event. When President Chu enters the briefing room, BG Bussiere calls out ‘ATTENTION’. Every military member there braces as straight as a ramrod, and President Chu responds ‘Take your seats, Gentlemen.’ The officer conducting the briefing is COL Spaulding, so BG Bussiere turns to him and says "Alright Colonel, you may begin."

"Thank you sir. Good morning, Mr. President. This is the geopolitical situation as of February 6th, 1607. The world we are now in is ruled by kings and nobles both great and small. The ones we will have dealings with before too long are as follows". COL Spaulding signals SSGT Shannon Lucky, who activates the main viewscreen and begins the PowerPoint presentation.

"As of this date, the ships ‘Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery’ are part-way through their voyage to the New World (having set sail on 20 December 1606). They are due to make landfall in early May, 1607 on a peninsula in the James River in what we knew as Virginia. The 105 settlers aboard these three ships founded the Jamestown colony. Over in England, King James I (who the colony will be named for) is sitting upon the throne. He acceded to the Crown after the death of Queen Elizabeth I, who died on the morning of 24 March 1603. This accession unified the crowns of England and Scotland; in Scotland, James I is known as James VI. By way of ancestry, King James I is the only son of Mary, Queen of Scots. She was executed by Elizabeth I on 8 February 1587 on charges that she attempted to have Elizabeth I assassinated. As an aside, James I is the one who had the version of the Bible printed which bears his name. This publication is due to be made in 1611. Next page, please."

SSGT Lucky brings up the next page, and COL Spaulding’s presentation continues "In Europe, the Kingdom of France is ruled by King Henry IV of the House of Bourbon. Henry IV assumed the throne on 2 August 1589 after the death of his second cousin and brother-in law, Henry III. Henry IV is well-regarded by his subjects, and is remarkably tolerant of the Protestants under his rule. In fact, he is referred to as ‘Good King Henry’ or ‘The Green Gallant’. One of Henry IV’s most notable achievements was ending the Wars of Religion in France by enacting the Edict of Nantes in 1598. This act guaranteed religious liberty to all Protestants in France. In our original history, Henry IV was assassinated on 14 May 1610 by a Catholic fanatic named Francois Ravaillac; probably as an indirect result of the Edict. Next page, please."

SSGT Lucky brings up the next page, and COL Spaulding continues "In Spain, King Phillip III is on the throne. He assumed the kingship of both Spain and Portugal on 13 September 1598 after the death of his father King Phillip II. It was this same Phillip II that sent the Spanish Armada against England back in 1588. Mr. President, Spain is an intensely-Catholic country. They are harshly-intolerant of other faiths, and the Spanish Inquisition is still quite active. In fact, they make it their business to hunt down heretics, witches and secret Jews (called Marranos). Some of the Inquisition’s more notorious acts were the Basque Witch Trials, which are due to begin in January, 1609. During these proceedings, some 7,000 different cases involved between 2,000 and 5,000 people. These persons were hauled in after being denounced. Many of these were tortured into confessing and thirty-one individuals were subjected to an ‘auto da fe’. Twelve of these were burned at the stake; five of these burnings were symbolic, as the five had died under torture."

COL Spaulding expands the briefing to include Germany. He goes on to say "the country we formerly knew as Germany is a squabbling collection of various princely states ruled over as part of the Holy Roman Empire. The current Emperor is Rudolph II of the House of Hapsburg. Rudolph II became King of Germany on 27 October 1575 and was elected as Emperor on 2 November 1576. Though Germany and Spain are bitter enemies due to their differing religious faiths (Germany is the seat of Protestantism), they share their intolerance of witches. In fact, some of the methods used in Germany to torture and execute witches are even more brutal than in Spain."

Just then, President Chu interjects a question. He asks "Colonel Spaulding, other than Henry IV of France, how long are those monarchs you mention supposed to be on their respective thrones?"

"Mr. President, King James of England is supposed to reign until 27 March 1625. Phillip III of Spain & Portugal will reign until 31 March 1621. Rudolph II of Germany will rule until 20 January 1612. There is another factor to consider here."

"What is that, Colonel?"

"Sir, one of my staff who is well-versed in science fiction tells me of something called the ‘Butterfly Effect." This effect involves a minor change in circumstances which leads to a major change in outcome. In popular media such as books, films and movies, it is used to deal with the effects of time travel. Imagine, if you will, that the course of time is like a great river. Before the event which brought us here, the flow of time proceeded in its ordinary natural course. Had the Event not happened, our old history is the one that would have come to be. Then, the Event happened. The effect of our arrival back in 1607 is like a huge avalanche which partially obstructs the river of time and forces it into a new course. This ‘Butterfly Effect’ has already rippled across the time stream; the deaths of the monarchs I mentioned may be delayed for some time due to the effect. By the same token, they may also take place earlier than they would have in our original history."

"I see, Colonel. Do you have anything else to add?"

"Yes Sir, Mr. President. The ‘Many Worlds’ interpretation of quantum mechanics states that all possible alternative histories and futures exist simultaneously. Under this theory, the timeline we came from can either have blinked out of existence as soon as the event happened or, it could still be going on without us. At the risk of sounding a little odd, the course of time and its effects on us from now on are best summarized by a line of dialogue from the 1991 film ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’. The line goes ‘No Fate But What We Make."

"Very good, Colonel. Your presentation was most informative. General Bussiere?"

"Yes, Mr. President?"

"Put in a call to STRATCOM at Offut AFB. Tell them that I want them to re-purpose a photographic reconnaissance satellite. Their orders are to keep an eye on the James River region in Virginia. I want to know exactly when those three ships make landfall."

"Understood, Mr. President."

We The People
Date: February 6th, 1607
0900 Hours

By the authority vested in the Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa by the 36th amendment to the State Constitution, Governor Branstad has called a special session of the Iowa General Assembly. The purpose of this session is to address the re-creation of Iowa's members in the Congress of the United States. From his office in the Capitol Building, Governor Branstad is escorted by the Sergeant-At-Arms to the floor of the Senate Chamber where he begins his address "Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, fellow Iowans. I come before you today to on a matter of the highest importance. In light of the extraordinary circumstances that brought us all here, President Chu has asked that the several states reconstitute their membership in the Senate as expeditiously as possible. In the case of an ordinary vacancy (one which is not covered by election law), I would appoint a suitable individual to fulfill the rest of the vacant term; then the Senate would be informed by written declaration in due course. However, in view of our current situation, I have decided that circumstances warrant my making the nominations in person. Therefore, I nominate our former Governor Chet Culver to fill the vacant seat formerly held by Senator Tom Harkin. I also nominate Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds to fill the vacant seat formerly held by Senator Charles Grassley. Both of these individuals have distinguished records of public service. Having them in the U.S Senate would be a great credit to the people of Iowa." Governor Branstad now turns to Senate President Pam Jochum (D-14) and says "Madam President, I ask the Senate's unanimous consent that the names of Chet Culver and Kim Reynolds be entered into the record. I further ask that the Senate confirm my choices by voting on them."

Senator Jochum gavels the Senate to order and says "without objection, it is so ordered. The membership of the Senate will tally their votes via electronic device." Just then, Senate Minority Leader Bill Dix R-9) rises from his chair and says "Madam President?" Senator Jochum says "the chair recognizes the gentleman from the 9th district."

"Madam President, I thank the chair for your kind recognition and ask the indulgence of the Senate that I and my colleagues may discuss this matter."

Senate President Jochum looks over to where Majority Leader Michael Gronstal (D-50) is sitting. Senator Gronstal nods his head, and so Senator Jochum says "without objection, it is so ordered." Over the next half an hour, a quite vigorous debate takes place on the floor of the Senate. No one has any objection to Chet Culver serving as a U.S Senator from Iowa. The main point of contention is over the fact that Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds is a recovering alcoholic. Some Republican senators (mainly those who were passed over) and more than a few Democrats object to Governor Branstad's choice in this regard. The debate is so loud and so boisterous that Senate President Jochum has to repeatedly gavel the Senate to order. When the ruckus has finally died down, Majority Leader Gronstal rises and says "Madam President?"

Senate President Jochum says "The chair recognizes the distinguished Majority Leader."

"Thank you, Madam President. Fellow senators, our country, what there is left of it, faces a crisis of truly unimaginable proprotions. How can we be mired in partisan poltical bickering when our future is at stake?? Madam President, I move the floor be closed for further debate and that an immediate vote be called." Senate President Jochum scans the Senate chamber and sees no one rasing their hands or making any effort to speak. "Without objection, it is so ordered. The members of the Senate will tally their vote by electronic device." Over the next five minutes, each Senator casts his vote. When all is said and done, Former Governor Chet Culver has been unanimously confirmed by a vote of 50-0, and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds was confirmed by a vote of 44-6. Iowa's delegation to the U.S Senate has now been reconstituted.

Now that the business of the Senate has been concluded, Governor Branstad next asks for a private meeting with the Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives Kraig Paulsen, along with the majority and minority leaders Linda Upmeyer and Kevin McCarthy. The three individuals are shown into Governor Branstad's office in the Capitol Building, where they take their seats and wait for the governor to speak. "Thank you all for coming on such short notice. I have just come from the Senate, where replacements for Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley have been chosen. I now ask for your assistance in doing the same for Iowa's four members in the U.S House of Representatives."

House Speaker Paulsen says "How can we help you, Governor?" Governor Branstad replies "Mr. Speaker, I would like you and your colleagues across the aisle to coordinate with the apparatus of your respective parties in the four Iowa House Districts. I intend to call for a special election no later than thirty days from today. The purpose of this election will be to select successors to the now-vacant seats in Iowa's delegation to the U.S House of Representatives. You will have the full resources of the State of Iowa to accomplish this. Believe me when I say that this election will be one of the most important ever held in the State of Iowa." House Speaker Paulsen exchanges glances with Majority Leader Upmeyer and Minority Leader McCarthy; both of them nod their heads in complete agreement. Minority Leader McCarthy speaks up and says "Governor, the Iowa Democratic Party will do everything in its power to help the election run as smoothly as possible. What do you say, Senator Upmeyer?"

"I am in complete agreement with you, Senator McCarthy."

Date: February 9th, 1607
0900 Hours

Robert F. Hay, the President’s private secretary, is called into President Chu's office at Whiteman AFB , "Good morning, Mr. Hay."

"Good morning, Mr. President. How can I help you today?"

"Mr. Hay, I want you to draft an executive order."

"At your convenience, sir." Mr. Hay takes up his pen and a pad of legal paper and prepares to write. As he does, Mr. Hay asks "may I enquire as to the nature of the order, sir?"

"Of course, Mr. Hay. It concerns the future territorial expansion of the United States of America, to wit: 'Pursuant to the authority granted to the Office of the President, I, Steven F. Chu, President of the United States of America, do hereby publish and declare that all lands and territories in North America not already claimed by any European power are now henceforth and foreverafter under the jurisdiction of the United States. Such lands are those north of the Rio Grande river between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America."

"I have it, sir. I will put your order into proper legal form and have it back for your signature in
fifteen minutes." Mr. Hay leaves the President's office, and while he is gone, President Chu has another one of his aides place a call to Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas. "Good morning, Governor Brownback."

"Good morning, Mr. President. To what do I owe the pleasure for this call?"

"Governor Brownback, in determining the course of the future expansion of the United States, it is necessary for me to know in general terms the types and amounts of the natural resources available in your state. I will be talking to the governors of Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri later today and making the same request of them."

"I will be delighted to help you. Mr. President. I will consult with the Kansas Division of Natural Resources and get back to you before the day is out. My staff will fax you a written report. Will that be sufficient?"

"Perfectly so, Governor. I thank you in advance for your information, and I bid you a good day."

"Thank you, Mr. President." Not five minutes after the call to Governor Brownback is completed, Mr. Hay brings back the Executive Order for the President's signature. The document is signed and the Great Seal of the United States is affixed. "Mr. Hay, see that copies of this order are sent to the Governors of the several states.

"Very good, sir."

1400 Hours

As promised by Governor Brownback, a summary of his state's natural resources is being sent by fax to the President's office. The document is given to President Chu by one of his aides. He takes it and sits back at his desk to read it. The document is titled 'Natural Resources of the State of Kansas', and it proves to be interesting reading. It relates in part that the major natural resources in Kansas are in order of precedence, petroleum (#8 producer in the U.S before the transference event), natural gas (#5 U.S producer), helium, coal and rock salt. In terms of recoverable amounts, Kansas has in excess of one billion tons of coal, 5.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 500 million barrels of oil. As regards helium, before the transition, the State of Kansas was the #1 producer of the gas in the U.S. Helium is recovered from the same deposits as natural gas. In fact, some natural gas wells produce 3%-5% helium by volume. Lastly, the salt deposits of Kansas are, for all intents and purposes, effectively inexhaustible. The main salt-bearing formation is the Hutchinson Salt member of the Wellington Formation, which underlies 37,000 square miles of central and south-central Kansas. This body averages 500’ in thickness, and contains upwards of 1.1 trillion tons of salt. Other salt deposits are the Blaine Formation and the Ninnescah Shale, but these haven’t been mined.

1500 Hours

In quick succession, President Chu makes calls to the Governors of Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. He requests the same information from them as he did from Governor Brownback of Kansas. The first to respond is Governor Branstad of Iowa. The report from the Iowa Division of Natural Resources states that Iowa has a number of interesting geological features that contribute to the state’s natural wealth. The first of these is the lead-zinc ore body that underlies the area of Dubuque, Iowa. This body contains thirty million tons of lead ore and ninety million tons of zinc ore. This ore is notable because it contains two hundred parts per million (ppm) of gallium and other metals. Trace metals are gold (at 1.25 grams per ton) and silver (at 6 grams per ton). The second is the Waukon, Iowa iron ore deposit, which holds twelve million tons of limonite. This ore is of high quality, having an iron content of 55%. Lastly, Iowa’s coal deposits hold thirty billion tons of bituminous coal. Trace metals in Iowa’s coal are Selenium (at three parts per million), Mercury (at 0.10 parts per million) and Arsenic (which varies between 1.4 and 71 parts per million). There are no significant oil deposits in Iowa, and the state’s clay, sand & gravel deposits are very large.

The next report is from the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources. This document says that Elk Creek, Nebraska has a 100,000,000-ton deposit of niobium and rare-earth ores. Mineral fuels are oil (at 500,000,000 barrels) and natural gas (at 977.7 billion cubic feet). There are no significant coal deposits in Nebraska, and the state’s clay, sand and gravel deposits are larger than Iowa’s. Lastly, and perhaps most significantly. Nebraska has a deposit of Uranium located in Dawes County. The Crow Butte deposit holds 4,500,000 tons of ore, with an average uranium oxide content of 2.5%. The primary uranium minerals in this deposit are carnotite, torbernite, meta-torbernite, uranophane, davidite, pitchblende and uraninite. The Crow Butte operation obtains uranium oxide by the ISR (In-Situ Recovery) method, rather than by conventional drilling and blasting.

The last report is from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. This report says that Missouri has forty-five billion tons of coal reserves, along with an estimated two billion barrels of oil. In 2012, Missouri produced 120,000 barrels of oil from active fields located in the Forest City Basin and Bourbon Arch formations. Operations to determine the state’s actual oil reserves are ongoing. Other formations that are being explored are the Lincoln Fold, the Ozark Dome and the Mississippi Embayment. Missouri’s oil is buried at shallow depths, ranging from less than 200’ in the Eastern field in Vernon County to 2,800’ in the Runamuck Field in Atchison County.

The state mineral of Missouri is Galena; PbS (lead sulfide). It is this mineral (along with other minerals such as Anglesite and Cerussite) that made the Southeast Missouri Lead District famous. Also known as the ‘Lead Belt’, this ore body underlies parts of Saint Francois, Crawford, Iron, Dent, Madison, Washington and Reynolds Counties. The Southeast Missouri Lead District contains 700,000,000 tons of ore, and is the richest source of lead in the world. Along with galena, anglesite and cerussite, the presence of sphalerite and chalcopyrite enable the District to produce economically-viable quantities of zinc and copper. Metals such as silver, gold, platinum, platinum and palladium occur as byproducts of the lead/zinc refining process. In general, the ore is 16.5% lead by weight, 2.25% zinc and 0.04% copper. The trace metals are silver (142 grams/ton), gold (2.5 grams/ton), platinum (1.6 grams/ton) and palladium (0.2 gram/ton). After lead and zinc, Missouri’s most abundant metal is iron. The main ore body is the Pea Ridge Deposit, located in Washington County, Missouri. Ore in this deposit (which holds one billion tons) is extremely rich, varying in iron content from 65% to 80%. The primary iron mineral in the deposit is magnetite, with varying amounts of hematite.

Of additional interest are the uranium deposits in the area of the state called the ‘Missouri Bootheel’, which comprises the counties of Dunklin, New Madrid and Pemiscot. These deposits haven’t been commercially exploited as yet. Preliminary drilling and testing has indicated very high concentrations of uranium oxide (20% or greater). The main minerals in the deposit are uraninite and pitchblende.

Future Expansion
Date: February 11th, 1607 D+7 0930 Hours

David M. Cornelison, formerly head of the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science at Missouri State University and now President Chu’s Scientific Adviser, is called to a meeting in the President’s office “Ahh, good morning, David. Thank you for coming.”

“Good morning, Mr. President. How can I help you today?”

“David, it is one of my stated goals to see that the United States expands the territory under its jurisdiction. However, we can’t go everywhere at once. Therefore, I’d like your advice as to where I should direct development efforts first.”

“I see, Mr. President. It seems to me that you should focus your efforts on the territory of those nearby former states where natural resources would provide the greatest return for the least effort. I will consult with my colleague Thomas Plymate, he’s the head of the Department of Geography, Geology and Planning at Missouri State University. I‘ll have a report for you this afternoon.”

“Very good, David. I look forward to reading it.”

“Thank you, Mr. President.” With this, Professor Cornelison excuses himself from the President’s office to go about his assigned task.

1000 Hours

President Chu calls for his private secretary to come into his office “Yes, Mr. President?”.

“Ms. Woodhull, I want you to draft several letters of appointment. One of my primary tasks is to see to the reconstitution of the Federal Government, and I have made up my mind on the first series of recess appointments.”

The President’s secretary takes her seat in front of the President’s desk, pen and paper in hand. She prepares to write as President Chu directs “I’m ready, sir.”

“Very well, Ms. Woodhull. ‘To the honorable Esther George, President of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. Dear Madam: You are hereby appointed as the new Secretary of the Treasury of The United States of America. You will be acting secretary until such time as the United States Senate has been reconstituted and your appointment can be confirmed. Sincerely: Steven F. Chu, President of the United States. Next letter, please.”

“Go ahead, sir.”

“To the honorable John Ruan III, Chief Executive Officer, Ruan Transportation, Des Moines, Iowa. Dear Sir: You are hereby appointed as the new Secretary of Transportation of The United States of America. You will be acting secretary until such time as the United States Senate has been reconstituted and your permanent appointment can be confirmed. Sincerely: Steven F. Chu, President of the United States.”

“Will that be all, Mr. President?”

“No, Ms. Woodhull. The third and final letter today will be going out to Major General Stephen Danner, Adjutant-General of the State of Missouri. The letter will be of the same form as the first two. I am appointing General Danner as the new Secretary of Defense. After you leave, place a call for me to Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri. I need to talk to him about this.”

“Very well, sir.” Ms. Woodhull leaves the President’s office, and within five minutes, the call to Governor Nixon goes through “Good morning, Governor Nixon.”

“Good morning, Mr. President. To what do I owe the pleasure of this call?”

“Governor, I’ll get right down to the point. One of my main tasks is to rebuild the Federal Government. I have already made recess appointments for the Departments of The Treasury and Transportation. I need a Secretary of Defense, so I have decided to appoint your adjutant-general Major-General Stephen Danner to the post. I know this is very sudden, but the country has need of his services.”

“I understand, Mr. President, I will inform General Danner immediately.”

“Thank you, Governor. Please tell General Danner that his letter of appointment will be on the way tomorrow morning.”

“Yes, Mr. President.”

1000 Hours

Meanwhile, at Whiteman AFB headquarters, Brigadier General Thomas Bussiere is attending to a matter of personnel “Staff-Sergeant Lucky, Front and Center!”

SSGT Lucky braces to attention and says “Yessir!!”

Brigadier-General Bussiere continues “You were among the earliest personnel to realize what had happened to us in the aftermath of the Transportation Event. The information you provided was invaluable and is therefore worthy of recognition. By my authority as commander of Whiteman AFB, I hereby promote you to the rank of Technical Sergeant. Such rank will be effective from February 4th.” BG Bussiere comes forward from behind his desk, and TSGT Lucky snaps off a parade-ground salute.

“Thank you, Sir.”

1500 Hours

As promised, Professor Cornelison returns to President Chu’s office to deliver his report “Good afternoon, Mr. President.”

“Good afternoon, Professor. What information do you have for me?”

“Mr. President, as regards the natural resources in the former territory of the nearby states, Oklahoma is one that comes to mind first. Oklahoma’s oil and gas and reserves are 15.1 billion barrels of oil and 104 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. There are also 8 billion tons of coal. Other significant non-fuel minerals are iodine, zinc and lead. Before the event, Oklahoma was the sole U.S producer of iodine. This element came from the deep brine wells located in Woodward, Dewey and Kingfisher counties. As of 2012, these wells produced 1,500 tons of iodine. For zinc and lead, the main deposit is in Ottawa County in the far northeastern corner of the state. This deposit is part of the Tri-State Mining District. It contains 104,000,000 tons of ore that is 5% zinc and 1.25% lead. The Wellington Formation also underlies much of western and northwestern Oklahoma. The salt reserves contained in the Oklahoma part of the formation are estimated at 500 billion tons.”

“I see. What of the other states, Wyoming, South Dakota, etc?”

“Mr. President, the Powder River Basin in northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana is an absolute treasure house. It contains a staggering 800 billion tons of bituminous coal. Associated with the coal are deposits of coal-bed methane. These amount to some 663 trillion cubic feet of gas. There is also the Smith Ranch-Highland uranium deposit. This ore body contains 35 million tons of ore with an average uranium oxide content of 0.09%; the total recoverable amount of uranium oxide is 315,000 tons. Before the transition event, Smith Ranch-Highland was the largest uranium producer in the United States.”

“Professor Cornelison, those figures are absolutely mind-boggling. Do please continue.”

“Yes, Mr. President. In South Dakota, the Tyler Formation (which also underlies northeastern Montana, the western half of North Dakota and the southwestern corner of Saskatchewan) contains 24 billion barrels of oil. The Bakken Formation (which occupies the northwestern corner of South Dakota and the western two-thirds of North Dakota) was estimated by the USGS in 1999 to contain 400 billion barrels of recoverable oil. For non-fuel minerals, the most significant are the gold and silver deposits in western South Dakota”.

“I see. What are your recommendations?”

“Mr. President, the natural resources which are most easily accessible to us are those in the Powder River Basin and in Oklahoma. A 200-mile extension of the rail lines in northwestern Nebraska would put the terminal end of such lines right in the richest areas of the Basin. In regards to Oklahoma, a 150-mile extension of the rail lines from Wichita would allow direct access to Oklahoma’s oil and gas deposits. The zinc & lead deposits in Ottawa County are close enough to the Kansas/Oklahoma state line that they could easily be accessed by going overland.”

“Do you have anything else, Professor?”

“Not at this time, Mr. President. My next report will make recommendations on the resources in Minnesota.”

“Thank you, Professor. That will be all for today.”

“Yes, Mr. President.”

More Resources
Date: February 12th, 1607
1000 Hours

Elizabeth Woodhull, the President’s private secretary, knocks on the office door and enters. “Good morning, Mr. President.”

“Good morning, Ms. Woodhull.”

“Mr. President, I have that report from Professor Cornelison regarding the natural resources in Minnesota.”

“Yes, I have been expecting it. Ms. Woodhull?”

“Yes, Mr. President?”

“I want you to place calls to the Consulates-General of Spain and Japan, and the Consulate of the Netherlands in St. Louis, Missouri. Then you’ll call the Consulate of Austria and the Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City, Missouri, the vice-consulate of Italy in Overland Park, Kansas. Finally, you’ll call the Consulates-General of Mexico and Denmark in Omaha, Nebraska.”

“Yes. Mr. President. May I enquire as to the purpose of the calls?”

“The purpose of the calls is to arrange a meeting with the consuls-general in order to discuss matters of mutual interest. Tell them that I want to meet with them here in one week’s time.”

“Very good, Mr. President.” The President’s secretary leaves the office to begin making the calls as requested. While she is gone, President Chu begins to read the report prepared for him by his scientific adviser, Professor David Cornelison. The more President Chu reads, the more amazed he becomes.

‘A brief survey of the mineral resources available in the territory comprising the former state of Minnesota’

Mr. President: I present the following information for your perusal.

The iron deposits in northeastern Minnesota (commonly called the ‘Iron Range’) are the largest such deposits in the world. In fact, they are so vast as to be nearly incomprehensible. The four deposits which make up the range are (in order of size) the Mesabi Range, the Gunflint Range, the Cuyuna Range and lastly, the Vermillion Range. They are all of the ‘banded iron’ type, having been created by photosynthetic cyanobacteria. The oxygen released by these cyanobacteria combined with iron dissolved in the oceans of the primitive Earth and precipitated out, the deposition occurring between 3.7 Gya and 1.8 Gya. In the area that is now Minnesota, this sedimentary deposition was halted as a result of the Sudbury Basin asteroid impact 1.849 Gya. Approximately one-third of the ore in the Iron Range is high-grade hematite, with an iron content of 70%-85%. The rest is lower-grade taconite, with an average iron content of 30%-40%. The four ranges are as follows:

Mesabi Range: 110 miles long, 2.5 miles wide, 700’ thick; 600 billion tons
Gunflint Range: 93 mile slong, 5 miles wide, 500’ thick; 720 billion tons
Cuyuna Range: 68 miles long, 20 miles wide, 400’ thick; 1.68 trillion tons
Vermillion Range: 96 miles long, 18 miles wide, 700’ thick; 3.12 trillion tons

It is worth noting that the ore in the Cuyuna Range is rich in manganese, having an average content of 300 parts per million.

Another mineral deposit of note is the copper deposit located underneath what was the city of Ely in St. Louis County. This ore body holds four billion tons of ore. The ore contains 6.75 parts per thousand of copper, for a total projected amount of 27,000,000 tons of copper. The primary copper-bearing minerals in this deposit are chalcopyrite, chalcocite and tetrahedrite. Along with the copper, there are associated mineral ores which hold 9,200,000 tons of nickel (at 2.3 parts per thousand) and 32,000 tons of gold and platinum-group metals (at 8 parts per million).

David M. Cornelison
Scientific Adviser to the President

First Contact, Part 1
Date: February 14th 1607
1000 hours

The members of the cavalry troop from the Nebraska Rangers are out across the Nebraska/Montana line. They are riding along a tributary of the Platte River when they hear a blood-curdling scream from the other side of a nearby low ridge. Knowing that something is amiss. Lt. Jim McPherson orders his men forward to the top of the ridge. What they see fills them with horror. A young native american woman and a small boy were out gathering firewood for their village when they chanced to encounter a large grizzly bear. The bear attacked and proceeded to drag the boy off by his ankle. The scream the troopers heard was from the woman as she chased after the bear and tried to get it to drop the boy. The woman struck the bear with a stick, and in so doing, the bear turned and swatted at her with one of its great paws. The woman was knocked down and unconscious.

Lt. McPherson and his men immediately clap their hands to their Springfield carbines and draw them from their saddle scabbards. Almost as one, the weapons are raised to the shoulders of the troopers. They take careful aim and fire at once. They volley of .45-70 rounds takes the enraged bear broadside. Lt. McPherson is the best shot in the troop; he placed his shot so that the bullet struck just behind the bear=s left shoulder. The bullet penetrated both of the bear=s lungs and came to rest under the right shoulder blade. The bullets from the other troopers strike various parts of the bea’s torso. One of these bullets finds the bear=s heart and he roars one final time before dropping dead on the ground.

Lt. McPherson instantly sizes up the situation. He orders two of his men to see to the young woman, while he and the rest of the troop ride over to the bear and extricate the boy from its jaws. McPherson gently examines the boy’s leg and finds that it is broken. He expertly cleans the bruises and fixes a splint so that the broken bones won’t move and cause further injury. Then, he goes over to see how the young woman is doing. One of the troopers says “Jim, this woman has cuts and lacerations to her scalp and her left shoulder.” Lt. McPherson says “Alright. I’ll get my medical kit, then clean and stitch her up.” He retrieves the medical kit from his saddlebags, and just as Lt. McPherson leans over the woman, she starts screaming unintelligibly.

AJim, can you make out what she is saying?@

“As a matter of fact, Bob, I can. She’s Cheyenne, and I have some understanding of the language she is speaking.” Lt. McPherson takes off his hat and kneels down next to the woman. He gestures with the open hand of peace as she screams again “Who are you? Where is my brother? The bear, the BEAR...” She tries to rise, but Lt. McPherson says in her own language “Lie still, woman. I am He-that-goes-far and you are injured. The bear is dead and your brother is safe. I saw you chase after the bear with only a stick; that was a very brave thing for you to do.” The woman’s face registers fear as she sees the enormous stranger leaning over her. She shrinks in fear and tries to rise, but her wounds cause her to grimace in pain. Lt. McPherson asks in the woman’s language “who are you and where do you come from?”

The woman summons up her courage and says with a tremulous look on her face “I…I am Running Deer and the boy is my younger brother. My village is nearby. My brother and I went out to gather firewood when we were attacked by that bear. I tried to make him let go of my brother. Then, he knocked me down and started to drag my brother away.” Lt. McPherson says “Running Deer, you and your brother are hurt. Will you allow me to treat your wounds?”

Running Deer starts to object, but something in the huge stranger’s bearded open face reassures her. She says “Yes”. With this, Lt. McPherson and one of the troopers commence to cleaning and disinfecting Running Deer’s wounds. He begins to stitch the wounds closed, but pauses and says “Running Deer, your wounds have to be closed. Otherwise, they will open up and you will begin to bleed again. Will you allow this?” Running Deer nods her head, and Lt. McPherson threads a length of surgical silk through a curved needle. He expertly stitches the wounds closed, then follows up by swabbing the sutures and the surrounding skin with an iodine solution to keep them from becoming infected.

“Running Deer, you and your brother are too injured to travel back to your village on your own. I will bring you both back there.” Running Deer replies “my father is chief of our village, and he will be very glad to see me. I do not know what he will think of you.” Lt. McPherson says “yes, that is true. However, it must be done.” He calls to Fred Johnson and says “Fred, I’m taking the woman and her brother back to her village. I want you and Mike Dodge to chop some brush and make a litter for the boy. Running Deer will ride with me.”

Fred Johnson says “Ok, Jim.” He calls out to Mike Dodge and the two of them cut a number of branches from some small nearby trees. The branches are lashed together, then a wool blanket is tied to the frame for the boy to lie upon. He is gently placed on the litter and covered with a second blanket. Fred Johnson calls out “we’re done, Jim. Are you sure you know what you are doing?”

Lt. McPherson says “damned if I know, Fred. But, it has to be done. I want you to take Mike Dodge and the rest of the troop and high-tail it back to camp. Tell the rest of the Rangers what happened here.”

“Right, Jim. You’re the boss. Stay safe”

“I always am, Fred.” Lt. McPherson says to Running Deer “Are you ready?” She replies “yes, I am. What kind of animal is that? I have never seen anything like it before? Jim says in reply :It is called a horse. Don’t be afraid, he won’t harm you.”

“As you wish, He-that-goes-far.”

Lt. McPherson climbs into his saddle, then gently hoists Running Deer up behind him. The other members of the cavalry troop ride back to their camp on the other side of the Nebraska line. He and his two passengers ride off in the direction of the village. Just over one hour later, Lt. McPherson draws his reins and halts his horse on the outskirts of Running Deer’s village. There are dozens of earthen lodges and birchbark wigwams scattered here and there throughout the village, and the inhabitants are occupied with the various tasks of daily life. Suddenly, one of the men catches sight of the strange animal and calls out an alarm. Dozens of men come spilling out of their lodges. They are armed with spears, bows, clubs and stone-headed axes. Lt. McPhereson raises both hands as a gesture of peace; doing this shows that he is unarmed. He gently lowers Running Deer off of his saddle sand says “which of those men is your father?”

“He-that-walks-far, my father is standing in the middle. Do you see his deerskin outfit and how it is more richly decorated that the others?” Lt. McPherson says “yes I do, Running Deer.”

She says “that is how strangers know who is our chief. I will go to him and say what you have done for me and my brother. Stay here and make no sudden move.”

“I understand.” Running Deer walks slowly over to her father so as not to alarm the men of the village. As she walks, she cradles her left arm in a cloth sling that Lt. McPherson made for her. She walks up to her father and says “greetings, my father.” Chief Sharp Knife nods his head gravely and says “greetings, Daughter. How did you come by your injuries? Who is that stranger with you? What kind of animal does he have with him? Running Deer says “Little Wolf and I went out to gather firewood when we were attacked by a great bear. This stranger came along and saved us by killing the bear with a weapon that made a noise like thunder. He calls himself ‘He-that-goes-far’. He and his men treated our hurts with great gentleness. His men went back to their own camp, then he brought me back here. Little Wolf is on a litter tied to the back of the stranger=s animal. He-that-goes-far calls the animal a ‘horse’. Chief Sharp Knife and two of his warriors go forward to get Little Wolf. They approach the stranger, who raises his right hand in a gesture of peace.

The Chief raises his own right hand by way of reply and says “greetings, He-that-goes-far. I am Sharp Knife, chief of this village of the Tsitsistas. Running Deer has told me what you did for her and my son Little Wolf.” Lt. McPherson says “greetings, Sharp Knife. Did Running Deer also tell you that she tried to fight the bear off armed only with a stick?”

Chief Sharp Knife looks back over his shoulder at Running Deer with a look of amazement in his eyes and says “no she did not, He-that goes-far. You have given me back my daughter and my son. Without your aid, I might have lost them and never known what happened. For that, you have my gratitude. Let us go to the council lodge. The men of the village will want to hear your tale.”

Lt. McPherson says “I will gladly accept your hospitality, Sharp Knife.”

Chief Sharp Knife says “what of your animal? Running Deer says that you call it a horse.”

“Yes, Chief. He is named Thunder. He is very gentle and will harm no one. I will tie his lead to a tree outside of the council lodge so that he doesn’t wander off. He east nothing but grass and leaves, so your women and children need have no fear of him.”

“It is well, He-that-goes-far. Let us go to the council lodge.” Lt. McPherson follows Sharp Knife to the council lodge. He leads his horse by the reins and ties the reins to a convenient tree outside the lodge. Already, some of the bolder children of the village are starting to crowd close to get a better look at the giant stranger and his animal. Lt. McPherson sees this and smiles widely. Then, he draws back the hide covering the lodge entrance and goes inside.

First Contact, Part 2
Date: February 14th, 1607
1200 hours

Just after Lt. McPherson enters the council lodge, he turns to Sharp Knife and says “Chief, the bear I killed was very large and had a thick pelt. It would be a shame if it were to go to waste. Perhaps you should have some of your warriors go to collect and process the kill. I give it to you and the village as a token of my respect.” Chief Sharp Knife raises an eyebrow and says “That is well-said, He-that-goes-far. It will be as you say.” The chief calls over two of his warriors and whispers instructions into their ears. The two men nod their heads, then take to their heels to carry out their chief’s instructions.

The interior of the council lodge is well-lit by a fire in a central hearth. Already, the senior men of the village are in attendance. They are seated upon furs placed around the hearth, with pride-of-place being reserved for Chief Sharp Knife. The Chief takes his seat, then calls for Lt. McPherson to be seated. “So, He-that-goes-far. Tell us of your people and how you came to be here.” Lt. McPherson gathers his thoughts for a moment then replies “Come gather ’round me. Men of the Plains, surround me. Hark now to the tale of the People of the Eagle. Until just recently, I and my people lived in a land that is so far away that you could not reach it in ten lifetimes of travelling. The land was called the ‘United States’, and there were fifty different tribes there. All of these tribes dwelled together in peace and harmony, being pledged together for their mutual benefit. Of all the people who dwelled in the lands where I came from, the People of The Eagle were perhaps the mightiest. There was nowhere our power could not reach, and nothing my people couldn’t do if they set their minds to it. We even fought two great wars to free other nations that were oppressed or enslaved by minions of the Evil One. In the fullness of time, the Great Spirit saw fit to change the course of history. So, he summoned a mighty storm that gathered up and carried off four of the tribes of my people. The storm brought them here and put them down many days of travel to the East. Chief Sharp Knife, did you and your people not see a strange storm some ten days agone?”

“Yes we did, He-that-goes-far. Why do you ask?”

“Chief, it was that storm that the Great Spirit caused to bring us here.”

This revelation caused hushed whispers of conversation to run through the group of men seated around the council fire. Lt. McPherson says “The four tribes that were brought by the Great Spirit to this new land are called ‘Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri’. Our chief is called the President, for he presides over all of my people.” One of the senior warriors raises his hand to speak next. He is acknowledged by Sharp Knife, then the warrior says “How did you come to meet our people, He-that-goes-far?”

Lt. McPherson says “My men and I were riding along the nearby river to see if there were any People here. I hear a loud scream. We went to investigate and saw Running Deer and her brother Little Wolf being attacked by a large bear. My men and I intervened, and I slew the bear with the weapon you see beside me here.” Lt. McPherson holds up his Springfield Trapdoor carbine for Chief Sharp Knife and all of the rest of the men to see. They look it over with muted gasps of amazement, as none of them have ever seen anything like it.

Sharp Knife asks “He-that-goes-far, is it true that your weapon can kill at a great distance while making a noise like thunder?”

“Yes, Chief. My weapon can kill at a range of six times bowshot. If you wish, I will demonstrate it for you and your warriors.”

“That will be good to see, He-that-goes-far. Are all of your people such as you? Yours must be a race of mighty warriors and medicine men. Not only did you single-handedly kill a bear that would have taken five warriors of the People to take down, but you treated my daughter Running Deer’s with skill that would be admired by our best medicine men.”

Lt. McPherson says “Chief, I am but an ordinary man of my people, no more or less different than any other.”

“Ahh, a warrior who is modest and who doesn’t praise himself to the skies and beyond.” This comment from Chief Sharp Knife causes more than a few chuckles of laughter to be hear around the council fire. “Tell us of your animal, the one that is tied outside the council lodge. You said it is called a horse?”

“Yes, Chief. His name is ‘Thunder’, because of the noise his hooves make when runs.”

“I see. How fast can he run? How far can he go?”

“Chief, Thunder can run faster that the wolf or the buffalo. He can cover more distance in one day than a man on foot can cover in four days. I need not tell you how useful this can be. Not only can Thunder be ridden far, he can also carry heavy burdens aside from a rider. You saw how I was able to use him to bring Running Deer back to you?”

Sharp Knife whistles softly and says “That is truth, He-that-goes-far.”

“Chief, since you and your warriors are so interested in Thunder. I will show him how he is ridden and how my people used horse in battle.” This comment about battle causes much professional interest from the warriors gathered around the council fire.” Sharp Knife says, “That will be good, He-that-goes-far. For now, let there be feasting and making of merriment. You are the honored guest of the Tsitsistas, and will be so for as long as you choose to stay with us.”

1400 Hours

While the feast of welcome is being prepared, Lt. McPherson makes ready to demonstrate the capabilities of his weapon and his horse. He asks that one of the warriors set his own mark and shoot at it with his bow as a measure of comparison. The warrior sets out a hide stuffed with dry leaves at the distance of one hundred paces. Then, he nocks an arrow to his shortbow, draws it back and lets fly. The arrow speeds forth and sinks up to its feathers in the target. This first arrow is followed in very quick succession by half-a-dozen more, all with the same effect as the first. The warrior retrieves the target hide, rightfully proud of his skill. To begin his own demonstration, Lt. McPherson asks for another hide. He takes the hide and climbs into Thunder’s saddle. Horse and rider gallop off in a cloud of dust. They go out to a distance of six hundred paces and drop the hide to the ground. Having a target at such a long distance causes the people of the Village to gasp in amazement, as some of them can barely make it out.

Lt. McPherson loads his carbine with a cartridge from the box at his waist. He draws the hammer back to half-cock as a safety measure, then kneels down and takes a small amount of dust from the ground and stands up. He lets the dust fall from his hand to see which way the wind is blowing. The carbine’s sights are adjusted, then Lt. McPherson raises his hand to his eyes to shield them from the bright afternoon sun; this is done to get a good look at the target hide. Lastly, he licks his thumb and moistens the front sight of the carbine. All is in readiness, so Lt. McPherson raises the butt of the weapon and seats it firmly against his shoulder. The hammer is drawn back to full-cock; he inhales, then exhales slowly so that breathing will not disturb his aim. Then…..


The shot creates a cloud of whitish-gray smoke that smells of rotten eggs; the cloud quickly drifts away on the warm afternoon breeze. The sudden noise takes some of the people of the village by surprise. Some of the smaller children are frightened by the noise and begin to cry, but they are quickly hushed up by their mothers. The men and women of the village who are watching exclaim in amazement at what they have just seen. Without delay, Lt. McPherson opens the breechblock of his carbine and ejects the spent cartridge. The weapon is reloaded with a fresh round, and he takes aim and fires again.


The noise of the shot echoes throughout the village and across the plain and nearby hills. In quick succession, Lt. McPherson reloads and fires twice more.



Lt. McPherson collects the spent cartridges and returns them to his belt pouch. He now asks Chief Sharp Knife to have one of his warriors retrieve the target hide. This is done, and a few minutes later the target hide is brought back to be looked at. Sharp Knife and his warriors examine the hide and find that there are four small holes spaced evenly throughout the middle of the hide, which is about the size of a man’s torso. He-that-goes-far’s skill with his mysterious weapon elicits much admiration from the warriors present. Next, he asks that Chief Sharp Knife have a double-line of stakes (each the height of a man) set up. There will also be a hollow gourd filled with water attached to the top of each stake. Lt. McPherson spends the next several minutes answering questions from the people of the village while the stakes are being emplaced. When they are ready, he climbs back into the saddle and draws his saber. The saber is held so that the grip is at waist-height and the tip of the blade extends up over Lt. McPherson’s right shoulder. The brightly-polished surface of the blade flashes in the afternoon sunlight as Thunder is spurred forward. Horse and rider approach the double-line of stakes, which have been offset from each other so that they can easily be ridden between.

Lt. McPherson raises his saber as he approaches the first stake. He brings it down to his right in a blinding flash that splits the first gourd down to the stake. Just as quickly, the second stake on the left is sliced in half by another downward stroke by the saber’s gleaming blade. In very quick succession, the other eight gourds on the right and left are hacked apart. Now that the demonstration is complete, Lt. McPherson returns to the starting point and dismounts his horse. He says to Sharp Knife “That is how my people fought in war from the back of a horse.” Just then, Running Deer comes up. Her eyes are wide with excitement over what she has just witnessed. She says “Truly, He-that-goes-far. I did not know your animal could move so fast. Were you not frightened?”

“No I was not frightened, Running Deer. I ride like that quite often. Here, I have something for you.”

“Oh, what is that?” Lt. McPherson’s hand goes to his cartridge box and he takes out one of the fired brass cartridge cases and gives it to her. “This is for you.” Running Deer’s eyes blaze with pleasure as she accepts the empty brass tube with her good right hand. Chief Sharp Knife looks on with interest at this interplay between his daughter and He-who-goes-far, and smiles.

“He-who-goes far. Let us return to the council lodge. There are matters I would discuss with you.” Lt. McPherson follows Chief Sharp Knife back to the lodge, where they and the senior warriors again take their seats by the council fire. Sharp Knife says “He-that-goes-far, the life of the Tsitsistas is to be found not only in war, hunting and the gathering of food, but also in trade. You have shown us many fine and amazing things. Might it be the wish of you and your people to trade with us?”

“Chief, I have some knowledge in the matters of trade. However, I have no large stock of trade goods with me. I will remain here with the Tsitsistas for the next four days. Then I will go back to my camp and arrange for some to be brought here. For now, I will give you a small example. Please excuse me for a moment.” Lt. McPherson gets up from the floor of the council lodge and goes outside. He returns a short time later with a cloth-wrapped object in his hand. Lt. McPherson unwraps the object and presents it to Chief Sharp Knife.

“Chief, this tool is a hand axe. It is made of the same metal as the weapon that you saw me slice and chop those gourds a short time ago. The edge isn’t quite as sharp as one of your stone axes, but the blade is much stronger. Here, let me show you.” Lt. McPherson takes the axe in hand and gets a log from the woodpile next to the fireplace. The log is about the length of a man’s forearm. Lt. McPherson raises the axe up on high and gives a mighty blow that splits the log apart from end-to-end. Then, he hands the axe over to Sharp Knife and says “Please accept this as another token of my esteem for the Tsitsistas.”

“You are a man of much wisdom, He-that-goes-far. While you are with us, you will guest with me in my own lodge. I’m sure there are some who will look upon this with favor.” Sharp Knife grins slightly as he says this.” Lt. McPherson replies “I thank you for your kindness and courtesy, Chief.”

Global Strike
Date: February 15th, 1607
Location: The President’s Office, Whiteman AFB
0900 Hours

This morning, the newly-minted Secretary of Defense arrives for his first briefing with President Chu “Good morning, Mr. President.”

“Good morning, Secretary Danner. I trust that you are settling into the office as well as can be expected under the present circumstances.”

“Yes sir, I am.”

“What do you have for me today, Mr. Secretary?”

“Mr. President, I have concerns regarding our ability to strike targets on other continents by conventional means. In our old world, we could have loaded up the B-52s or the B-2 Stealth bombers with J-DAMs or J-SOWs and sent them on their way. While we still have significant bomber forces here at Whiteman and Offutt, using them at long range presupposes a refueling infrastructure that includes foreign bases which we no longer have.

“I see. What do you propose?”

“Mr. President, back in 2001, President Bush authorized the development of a program called ‘Prompt Global Strike’. Part of the program focused on the design and manufacture of conventional warheads for our ICBMs. The warheads were built and placed into storage. For obvious reasons, they were never mated to operational missiles.”

“I understand, Mr. Secretary. What is it that you are proposing?”

“Mr. President, there was some talk back in 1995 of deactivating the 351st Missile Wing here at Whiteman AFB. That wasn’t done. Instead, it was decided to phase out all of the Minuteman-III ICBMs in service and to replace them with the Peacekeeper ICBM. This missile is significantly more accurate than the Minuteman-III, and also carries twelve warheads (rather than the three warheads of the Minuteman-III. I propose that thirty of the 150 Peacekeepers here at Whiteman have their nuclear warheads removed and replaced with the conventional ones that are in storage. The United States is now the only nuclear power on Earth; a situation that will last for centuries. We no longer have to worry that launching a conventionally-armed ICBM will provoke a nuclear response from some other nation.”

“Very well, Mr. Secretary. What warheads are available?”

“Mr. President, there are conventional high-explosive, fuel-air explosive, thermobaric and incendiary cluster warheads.”

“Secretary Danner, your request is approved. I leave the types of warheads to be deployed up to your own best judgment.”

“Thank you, Mr. President.”

“Do you have anything else for me?”

“Yes, sir. As of now, we have no naval assets beyond what the U.S Coast Guard uses to tend buoys along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. It is obvious that the United States Navy has to be reconstituted. Therefore, I have issued a Request For Proposal to the shipyards in the St. Louis, Missouri area. The prospective design is for a destroyer based on the Allan M. Sumner- class DD that so ably served the United States during the Second World War. Initially, twelve of these vessels will be constructed along with support craft.”

“Very well, Mr. Secretary. Do please keep me apprised.”

“Yes, Mr. President.”

First Contact: The Return
Date: February 18th, 1607
Location: The camp of the Tsitsistas
0800 Hours

The last four days has gone by in a whirlwind of activity. The people of the camp have continued to perform their daily tasks, and Lt. McPherson has made himself useful wherever possible. Just yesterday, he helped to cut the timber for a new lodge in camp. During this activity, he shouldered a log that would have taken three or four ordinary men of the Tsitsistas to carry. Everyone present expressed amazement at this feat of strength.

All good things must come to an end, and so Lt. McPherson goes to Chief Sharp Knife and says “Chief, it is time for me to return to my people. I will be away for perhaps seven days or so. I must tell my leaders of the courtesy and kindness that the Tsitsistas have shown me. There are also the trade goods to be arranged for.”

“It is well, He-that-goes-far.”

Just then, Running Deer comes up to say her farewell. Even though He-that-goes-far’s absence will only be temporary, her face betrays a look of sadness. She says “How long will you be gone?” Lt. McPherson pulls her close and holds her tight. Running Deer rests her head on his shoulder and says “I will return in seven days. You have my word on that.” The embrace ends, and Lt. McPherson climbs into his saddle. He draws his saber to salute Chief Sharp Knife and says “Chief, I thank you for your hospitality. Look for my return before sunset on the seventh day.” Chief Sharp Knife waves as Lt. McPherson rides off in a cloud of dust. At the edge of the camp, Lt. McPherson pauses, draws his reins sharply and causes Thunder to rear up. The horse drops his hooves to the ground and Lt. McPherson gallops off into the east.

1200 hours

After four hours of moderate to hard riding, Lt. McPherson arrives back at the camp of the Nebraska Rangers. He dismounts next to the headquarters tent and ties his horse to a nearby tree. The leadership and most of the membership of the Rangers is on hand to greet him. The first to speak is Jim Parsons. He says “I was wondering when you were going to come back, Jim? Fred Johnson and Mike Dodge told us what happened with that young woman and the bear.”

Lt. McPherson replies “Jim, that young woman is Cheyenne, and her name is Running Deer. Her father is called Sharp Knife. He is chief of their village. Running Deep and her brother Little Wolf were both injured by the bear, and so I took it upon myself to see them safely back to their village. I have been staying there these last four days. Chief Sharp Knife and his people are very well-disposed towards us because of what I did for Running Deer and Little Wolf. Before I left, Sharp Knife asked if our people were interested in trade. I said that we are, but that it would take some little time to get up a stock of trade goods.”

Frank Miller speaks next “Jim, when are you going back?”

“Frank, I told Chief Sharp Knife that I would be back in seven days. The Cheyenne are not the type of people you make promises to and not keep them.”

“That is understandable, Jim. I think we should send someone back to Henry, Nebraska and talk to Bob Maxwell. He’s on the County Board of Supervisors. He’ll kick this thing upstairs to Lincoln. Perhaps we can get some state support for this little endeavor of ours.”

“That sounds like a great idea.” Lt. McPherson looks around for Ron Parsons, the unit armorer and blacksmith. He says “Hey, Ron, How long would it take you to make up forty steel spearheads?” Ron Parsons replies “Jim, the iron ingots I have in the unit’s forge are for making repair parts and horseshoes. Get me the steel stock and I can bash those out in a day or two.” Lt. McPherson now turns to Frank Miller and says “Frank, your store in Lyman is the biggest dealer of sporting goods and camping equipment in the county. Could I persuade you to make a run back to town and get some of the stuff I need for the trading mission?”

“No problem, Jim. What do you think you are going to need?”

“Hmmm, let’s see. How about salt, blankets, iron cooking pots and steel bar stock so Ron can make those spearheads? Do you have axes, knives and fire-starting kits?”

“Sure do, Jim. I don’t carry steel bar stock but the hardware store next to me does. The owner is a good friend of mine. As for the rest of the stuff you’re interested in, my store and the attached warehouse is filled to overflowing with all kinds of material. Anything specific in mind?”

Jim McPherson says “Frank, the Cheyenne make much of their living by hunting wild game, so skinning and hunting knives would be good. They cut wood to make fires and build their lodges by using chipped stone axes. Wooden-handled single-bit axes would be great. What kind of fire-starting kits do you have?” Frank Miller says “Jim, I’ve got both the modern and primitive kind. The modern kits have magnesium and steel; they come in a plastic box. The primitive kits have flint, steel, tinder and come in a plain wooden box.”

Jim McPherson rubs his chin thoughtfully and says “the primitive kits will do nicely, Frank.”

Jim Parsons says “along with Frank Miller, I need four volunteers with their pickup trucks to go and transport all that stuff back here. Make sure to swing by my agricultural supply outfit and pick up a dozen 50-lb bags of salt.” Four of the Rangers put their hands up into the air immediately to signify that they are going with Frank Miller on this supply run. The five men head off to their vehicles and drive off. In the meantime, the remaining membership of the Rangers excitedly discuss among themselves the possibilities and opportunities that this ‘First Contact’ has presented.

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 Post subject: Re: A more perfect union
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:26 pm 
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Could do with a map for the benefit of us Europeans !!
The 'Transportees' are going to have to survey the upper & lower Mississippi, Missouri and tributary rivers PDQ.

IIRC, there were a bunch of shoals & rapids that made early navigation icky, were later dredged / dynamited to improve access. These will need mapping & marking ASAP.

Setting up landings and cleared paths / bridle-ways for portaging trading skiffs would save a lot of work, but locks must follow. Even the Roman-era variety with counter-weighted 'sash-window' lock-gates...

Time to revive paddle-steamers on the bigger water-ways ?? Those were famous for being able to float on a heavy dew, but would initially need scout-boats with sonar running, given the way the Big Muddy wriggles...

Also, in that era, how close can they get to the Great Lakes by water ?? A port / entrepot on the Lakes opens up Canada, too...

And, yes, they need to get to California & New Orleans' future location before the Spanish settle in...

Two quibbles:
I missed the bit where you said any satellites came along. They have a MilSpec surveillance bird ? Would they have the rump of the GPS system, then ?? But the latter needs constant tweaking, and they won't have the codes. A weather satellite would be really, really useful. Failing that, they'll need a network of outposts, serving as remote weather stations and trading-posts, both...

Uh, don't forget pests-- Rocky Mountain Locusts and their avian cousins, Passenger Pigeons...
IIRC, the former came from river-valley bottom-land in one surprisingly small region in the foot-hills, were serendipitously exterminated by settlers' deep-plowing...

'P for Pleistocene' A camp-out goes impossibly wrong...

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 Post subject: Re: A more perfect union
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:38 pm 
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Those rivers are constantly changing due to flooding. Steamboats needed new pilots every few miles due to those changes.

Faugh a Ballagh

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 Post subject: Re: A more perfect union
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:56 pm 

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For convenience of the storyline, there was a surge of water that went downstream when the uptime section of the Mississippi River replaced its downtime counterpart. This surge had the effect of scouring out the riverbed south of the Missouri Bootheel all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Spanish Question will be addressed in due course.......... 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: A more perfect union
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:59 pm 

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Nik_SpeakerToCats wrote:
Could do with a map for the benefit of us Europeans !!
The 'Transportees' are going to have to survey the upper & lower Mississippi, Missouri and tributary rivers PDQ.

IIRC, there were a bunch of shoals & rapids that made early navigation icky, were later dredged / dynamited to improve access. These will need mapping & marking ASAP.

Setting up landings and cleared paths / bridle-ways for portaging trading skiffs would save a lot of work, but locks must follow. Even the Roman-era variety with counter-weighted 'sash-window' lock-gates...

Time to revive paddle-steamers on the bigger water-ways ?? Those were famous for being able to float on a heavy dew, but would initially need scout-boats with sonar running, given the way the Big Muddy wriggles...

Also, in that era, how close can they get to the Great Lakes by water ?? A port / entrepot on the Lakes opens up Canada, too...

And, yes, they need to get to California & New Orleans' future location before the Spanish settle in...

Two quibbles:
I missed the bit where you said any satellites came along. They have a MilSpec surveillance bird ? Would they have the rump of the GPS system, then ?? But the latter needs constant tweaking, and they won't have the codes. A weather satellite would be really, really useful. Failing that, they'll need a network of outposts, serving as remote weather stations and trading-posts, both...

Uh, don't forget pests-- Rocky Mountain Locusts and their avian cousins, Passenger Pigeons...
IIRC, the former came from river-valley bottom-land in one surprisingly small region in the foot-hills, were serendipitously exterminated by settlers' deep-plowing...

All U.S orbital assets (except the International Space Station) were duplicated and came along for the ride. The GPS constellation is intact, as are all of the U.S' intelligence satellites.

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 Post subject: Re: A more perfect union
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:17 pm 

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Nik_SpeakerToCats wrote:
Could do with a map for the benefit of us Europeans

For convenience of the readers, the following map shows the Four States as of February, 1607. Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas are highlighted in green.

usmap.gif [ 240.51 KiB | Viewed 1999 times ]
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:11 pm 
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Chicago River & portage...

There's only a dozen miles between the headwaters of the Des Plaines river and Lake Michigan, with a natural gap in the low (~15 foot / 5 metre) watershed ridge near present Chicago...

Your people must grab that route, trade with locals for land, build a chain of fortified trading posts and sail the Great Lakes.

Among other things, it heads off a lot of toxic butterflies over the following centuries.


Those MilSpec space assets came along ? And *all* the mining equipment ??
And the Big Muddy is navigable to the Gulf coast as-is ???
That's too easy.

'P for Pleistocene' A camp-out goes impossibly wrong...

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:34 pm 

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Fear not; I have plans to deal with the Spanish.

Think 'Louisiana Purchase' but writ very, VERY large....... 8-)

The earlier point about 'virgin field' epidemics will be dealt with by vaccinating the natives; you'll see an example of this program in a future update.

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 Post subject: Re: A more perfect union
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:47 pm 

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Nik_SpeakerToCats wrote:
Those MilSpec space assets came along ? And *all* the mining equipment ??
And the Big Muddy is navigable to the Gulf coast as-is ???

Had the surge not occurred when the uptime Iowa/Missouri section of the Mississippi River replaced the downtime section of the same river, there would be the same navigational problems that existed originally. Even so, the situation won't continue the same way forever. This is why the USCG and the USN will be undertaking dredging projects to keep the river below the Missouri Bootheel navigable.

That's too easy.

If I really wanted to make things easy (as in boning the rest of the world with a sharpened telephone pole), the being responsible for the Transition Event would have had Texas come along for the ride....... ;)

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 Post subject: Re: A more perfect union
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:51 pm 

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Nik_SpeakerToCats wrote:
Uh, don't forget pests-- Rocky Mountain Locusts and their avian cousins, Passenger Pigeons...
IIRC, the former came from river-valley bottom-land in one surprisingly small region in the foot-hills, were serendipitously exterminated by settlers' deep-plowing...

Thank you for reminding me about these. I'll have to mention them in a future update.....

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:06 pm 

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Chapter Three

Date: February 20th, 1607
Location: President Chu's office, Whiteman AFB
0900 hours

This morning, President Chu has called a meeting that will have profound implications for the future of the United States. In attendance are the President's senior advisers and military officials. Part of the preparations for the meeting is a conference call with the governors of Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas. President Chu calls the meeting to order and says "Good morning, gentlemen. Thank you all for coming. I will begin by saying that I have made a decision as regards the territorial expansion of the United States. From my readings of American History, I know that the French explorer Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec on July 3rd, 1608. The French settlement of Port Royal, Acadia already exists, having been founded in the Spring of 1605. Under my executive order regarding territorial claims in North America, the Port Royal settlement will not be interfered with. As Samuel de Champlain hasn't arrived yet, I wish to pre empt him by establishing the first U.S base outside the borders of the four states. Secretary Danner?"

"Yes, Mr. President?"

"Please consult with senior officers of the Air Force and Army. You are to plan for moving a company of Combat Engineers from Fort Leonard Wood to a suitable site in Quebec. Their task will be to construct a landing strip capable of handing C 130 cargo aircraft. Once the airstrip has been built, reinforcements will follow."

"Yes, Mr. President. I believe that the most efficient way to get the engineers to Quebec will be to insert them via parachute, along with their equipment and supplies."

"An excellent idea, Mr. Secretary. Governor Nixon?"

"Yes, Mr. President?"

"This operation will need the services of the 139th Airlift Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard. They will provide transportation for the initial insertion, plus the follow up cargo runs. Governor Branstad, Governor Heineman? To support the airlift, I will need the 185th Air Refueling Wing out of Sioux City and the 155th Air Refueling Wing from Lincoln."

Governor Branstad says "Mr. President, the full resources of the Iowa Air National Guard are at your disposal" Governor Heineman makes a similar declaration.

President Chu turns to SecDef Danner and asks "Mr. Secretary, when can you begin the operation?" Secretary Danner replies "Mr. President, I estimate that it will take thirty days to fully plan and coordinate the operation. Once you give the ‘Go' order, the planes will be in the air within two hours."

"Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Secretary Ruan?"

"Yes, Mr. President?"

"I would like you and your staff to begin planning the construction of a rail line from northeastern Nebraska up into the Powder River Basin area of northeastern Wyoming. I'll want you to provide time and materials estimates as soon as possible."

"Of course, sir."

Promises Kept
Date: February 25th, 1607
Location: The camp of the Nebraska Rangers, Nebraska/Wyoming state line
0800 Hours

The time has finally come for Jim McPherson to return to the village of the Tsitsistas as he promised. This time, he won't be alone. Frank Miller's expedition back to Lyman, Nebraska to acquire trade goods was eminently successful, having returned five days ago. The goods he brought back are now being loaded onto two of the Ranger's wagons. To safeguard the wagons and the goods, Jim will be accompanied by twelve of the members of the Nebraska Rangers cavalry group; Company G, 1st U.S Cavalry Regiment. Two days ago, Ron Parsons forged forty spearheads. These items each have a blade that is 12" long, with a socket that is 6" long. For strength, the blades were forged with a flat diamond cross section and a strong central rib. Ron has always been something of a perfectionist, so he finished the sockets with some chiseled decoration. The blades were also polished until they gleamed.

One hour later, the loading process is complete. The wagons and their cavalry escort are ready to move out. Frank Miller comes to Jim McPherson and says "Jim, here's a list of everything that you are taking with you." He takes a folded sheet of paper from his pocket and begins to read:

40 spearheads
24 single bit axes with hickory handles
24 hunting knives
24 iron cooking pots
40 hand mirrors
40 firestarting kits
200 blankets
12 50 lb burlap bags of salt

Once he finishes reading, Frank Miller says "Jim, those hand mirrors weren't part of your original request. I added them because it seems to me that the Cheyenne you met might like them." Jim McPherson replies "Thanks, Frank, That was a good idea." Jim looks back over the small column and sees that all is in readiness. He and the guidon bearer take their positions at the head of the column. Jim draws his saber, gestures with it and calls out in a loud voice "COLUMN, FORWARD.....YO!!" The bugler signals the advance as Jim McPherson brings his saber to the low ready position; this has the hilt held at the level of his waist with the blade vertical and pointed up over the right shoulder. In keeping with 19th century U.S Army doctrine, the pace of the column is neither too fast or too slow.

In the meantime, Scotts Bluff County Supervisor Bob Maxwell in Lyman, Nebraska was finally able to put in his call to Governor Heineman's office in Lincoln, Nebraska. He got the message back on February 19th, but due to the pressure of county business in the aftermath of the transition, he was unable to make the call before now.

Location: The Governor's Office, Lincoln, Nebraska
0900 hours

Governor Heineman's private secretary Charlene Davis calls him over the office intercom and says "I beg your pardon governor, but I have a call for you from a Mr. Robert Maxwell of Lyman, Nebraska. He's on the Scottsbluff County Board of Supervisors, and he says he has some important information for you."

"Very well, Ms. Davis. Put him through." In just a few seconds, the connection is made and Bob Maxwell begins to speak "Good morning, Governor."

"Good morning, Mr. Maxwell. My secretary says that you have some important information for me."

"Yes sir, I do. On the 14th of February, a group of people from Scotts Bluff County established friendly contact with a village of Cheyenne that are just over on the Wyoming side of the Nebraska state line. These people are a group of historical re enactors called the Nebraska Rangers. Apparently, some of their number were riding over across the state line and happened to encounter a young native woman and her brother. These people were being attacked by a bear. The Rangers intervened and killed the bear. One of their number, a Mr. Jim McPherson, treated the wounds suffered by the woman and the boy. He took it upon himself to bring them back to their village. It turns out that the woman and the boy were the daughter and son of the Cheyenne village chief. The chief was grateful for his children being saved. Mr. McPherson remained in the village for a few days and got to know the inhabitants as well as could be expected. During this time, there was discussion between Mr. McPherson and the village chief about opening a trading relationship."

"I see, Mr. Maxwell. Do you have other information for me?"

"Yes I do, Governor. Part of the message that was conveyed to me from the Nebraska Rangers was that they wanted to know if they could have something in the way of state support for their venture."

"Hmmm. I can't really give an answer now, because this is close to being something that the State Department would have to deal with. I'll put in a call to the President and let him know about this. If there are no objections at the Federal level, the State of Nebraska will be more than happy to oblige. In other matters, how are things in Scotts Bluff County, Mr. Maxwell?"

"Governor, we're doing pretty well. There has been none of the civil disorder that I have heard of in other cities and counties. We're rather practical and self sufficient out here. I'd like to mention that those selfsame Nebraska Rangers that I told you about organized a buffalo hunt in Wyoming. They took enough animals to give everyone in the towns of Henry and Lyman, Nebraska
two hundred pounds of meat."

"This is a most interesting development, Mr. Maxwell. Do please keep me apprised of any developments in the situation. You've got my direct number, so please feel free to call me at any time."

"Yes, Governor. I will do so. Thank you for your time."

Returning As Promised
Date: February 25th, 1607
Location: The village of the Tsitsistas
1700 hours

Starting early this morning, Chief Sharp Knife has had some of his warriors keep watch for
the promised return of He that goes far. Among the people in the village, perhaps no one has waited with more anxiety than Running Deer. As this day wore on, and the sun began to sink in the west, Running Deer began to pace back and forth nervously. Finally, the call is shouted forth by one of the watchers "Strangers approach, He that goes far is with them." Excitedly, Running Deer races off to the edge of the village to watch him approach. Chief Sharp Knife follows along at a more restrained pace and stands indulgently beside his daughter.

Compared to one man riding hell bent for leather, the pace of the column's advance has been slow. The ride has been eight full hours, and among the cavalry troopers, Jim McPherson is the most excited. He is keeping his word to Chief Sharp Knife, and most importantly, to Running Deer. Jim's second in command John Socha calls out "Jim, we've been spotted. See that ridge over there about a quarter mile distant? There are some of those Cheyenne you told us about watching us from there."

Jim replies "thanks for the heads up, John" then calls a temporary halt for the column and wheels his horse about. He tells the rest of the troopers "We're almost to the village. It lies just on the other side of that low ridge over there. We're going to haul up short about fifty yards from their perimeter. I'll go forward and ask the Chief's permission to bring the column forward. I don't doubt that he will give it, but it is best to show him respect."

John Socha says "Sounds like a good idea, Jim." Lt. McPherson calls out to the bugler "Sound the advance". Immediately, the notes of the call ring out and the column moves forward. A few minutes later, the troopers and the wagons approach the edge of the village and halt where indicated. Lt. McPherson says to his men "I'm going to greet Chief Sharp Knife. Stay here until I call for you." The troopers and the wagon drivers signify their understanding and remain in place.

Jim spurs his horse forward and rides up to where Chief Sharp Knife and Running Deer are standing. He says in a loud, booming voice "Hail and well met, Chief. I have come back as I promised you I would." He dismounts and begins to lead his horse towards the village. Before he can get very far, Running Deer runs over to him and throws herself into a long embrace with him, saying "I missed you so, He that goes far. I hardly slept at all the last two days, knowing that you were coming back to me."

"I missed you too, Running Deer." Jim McPherson holds the embrace a moment longer, then gently peels himself out of Running Deer's arms. He turns to Chief Sharp Knife (who has a barely concealed grin upon his face) and says "Chief, I have the trade goods I told you about. I ask your kind permission to bring my men forward and place the goods before the council lodge." Chief Sharp Knife says "You have it, He that goes far. It is good that the young show respect to their elders. This says well of your character." Jim smiles inwardly as he hears this, as he is the same age as Chief Sharp Knife.

"My thanks, Chief." Jim waves back to his men, who slowly urge their horses and wagons forward. By now, almost the entire population of the village is on hand to witness the arrival. Jim's cavalry patrol is in the lead, followed closely by the wagons. The meeting ground before the village's council lodge is wide open and flat, with numbers of lodges arranged around the perimeter. The wagons are driven to he middle of the ground, and the cavalry patrol's horses are tethered to one side. Both the drivers and Jim's men dismount to unload the trade goods. These are arranged on the ground opposite to where the horses are tethered. First to be unloaded are the blanket rolls. Each of these takes the strength of two men to move, because they are both heavy and bulky. Next, the sacks of salt are arranged in a single row, followed by the axes and cooking pots. Lastly, the baskets holding the spearheads, knives, firestarting kits and hand mirrors are unloaded.

Chief Sharp Knife comes to stand beside Jim McPherson as the unloading of the wagons is being directed. He says "He that goes far, when you said that you were bringing trade goods, I only expected a few baskets of what your people had to offer, not these great piles here. Truly, there is no end to your wonders." Jim replies "Chief, my word is my bond. Now that the goods are unloaded, I ask your permission for my men to set up their own temporary lodges near the village entrance, They have had a long ride, and need to rest and take care of their horses."

"Granted, He that goes far." Chief Sharp Knife looks over the goods and says "I look forward to hearing you tell me of what I see here." Jim says "It will be my pleasure. Chief." Jim signals his men that they have permission to set up their tents at the edge of the gathering field.

"Chief, if you would call the men and women of the village here, I will begin." Sharp Knife gestures to one of his warriors, who in turn runs off and begins to gather the people of the village. The very first to arrive is Running Deer, who practically ran forward to stand beside her father and He that goes far. When all are present, Jim begins his presentation.

"People of the Tsitsistas, I am He that goes far, and I come before you today in peace and friendship. The goods you see in front of you were made by my people and brought here for the purposes of trade. The first are these spearheads." Jim picks up the basket containing the result of Ron Parson's work and sets it down in front for all to see. He picks up one of the polished steel blades and turns it here and there so that the late afternoon sunshine flashes as it would of a pool of still water. Jim holds the spearhead up on high and says "This weapon is made of a metal called steel. The metal is the same as in the long curved blade you saw me demonstrate the last time I was here."

One of Sharp Knife's senior warriors raises his hand and says "Of what use are these spearheads, He that goes far?" Jim replies "These steel spearheads are much stronger and more durable than any that can be chipped from flint, no matter how skilled the craftsman. In fact, if a steel headed spear were to be carried or thrown with sufficient force, it will penetrate halfway through the body of a buffalo or bear." This comment is the cause of much discussion among the warriors gathered. All of them can see how useful this would be for hunting and other endeavors.

The next item to be shown is the firestarting kit. Jim takes one of the small wooden boxes and shows it to the people arrayed in front of him. He says "When I was here the last time, I saw how difficult and time consuming it was for the people of the village to start their fires." Chief Sharp Knife interjects, saying "This is truth, He that goes far." Jim says "Chief, I will now demonstrate how this firestarter works. Running Deer, please bring the materials to start a fire."

Running Deer does as she is asked, pleased to be helping the man who has so completely captivated her interest. A few minutes later, Running Deer returns with some kindling, tinder and a few larger pieces of wood. She places them on the ground and arranges them as if a fire were going to be started in the ordinary way.

"Thank you, Running Deer." Jim opens the wooden box and takes out a piece of flint and a small, curved iron bar. He takes some of the dry leaves and piles them up among the smaller pieces of kindling. Jim takes the iron bar in one hand and the flint in another hand and leans down close to the ground. Deftly, he strikes the two together and gives off several large sparks. The sparks land on the dry leaves and the leaves begin to smoke. Jim aids the ignition by gently blowing upon the leaves and kindling until a small flame is created. The flame is fed with larger and larger pieces of wood, until the fire is burning well. This process didn't take more than a minute or two. The speed and ease with which He that goes far was able to start the fire causes many discussions among those seated in the gathering field.

"Chief Sharp Knife, do you have the small axe I gave you?"

"Yes, I do, He that goes far."

"Very good. See now the larger version of that tool." Jim hold up one of the single bitted axes for him to examine. It has a handle of hickory that is about the length of a man's leg, and the head is carefully wedged so that it won't come off. Jim demonstrates just how sharp the blade is by using the axe to shave some of the hair off his left arm. He goes onto say "Chief, with an axe like this one, a man can cut five times as much timber in the same amount of time as a man using a stone axe. There are also long bladed hunting knives with edges that are just as sharp as the blade on this axe."

Chief Sharp Knife sees the two dozen iron pots arrayed in neat rows and asks what they are for. Jim McPherson replies "Chief, these are vessels for cooking food and boiling water. The handle
on top is for picking up the pot and carrying it without burning one's hands. I have heard that the women of Tsitsistas use vessels made of carved wood, fired clay, stone or even sewn hides to do their cooking. Imagine how useful a vessel would be if it would never wear out, burn or be broken in any way?" The women of the village comment among themselves when hearing this, and immediately start to think upon what He that goes far will want in exchange for one.

Jim says "The Tsitsistas are a proud people who take great pride in their appearance. Up to now, the only way someone could judge their own appearance would be to look into a pool of water or ask another person in the village." The items he now holds up are a pair of wooden framed hand mirrors. The frames are rectangular in shape and stoutly built, measuring 9" long and 6" wide. The mirrors themselves are oval, measuring 7" long and 4" across the middle. He hands one to Chief Sharp Knife, who looks at his reflection and is absolutely stunned by the quality of the image. Sharp Knife says "What magic is this, He that goes far?" It is as if I am inside this thing looking outwards."

"Chief, hear me say that there is no magic involved. This is but a very simple device of my people, who use it to examine how they look at close quarters. The principle is the same as one who looks upon their own image in a still pool of water." Sharp Knife is reassured, then asks "How many of these things did you bring?" Jim McPherson replies "There are enough of them so that every lodge in the village will have one; there are also a few extra to distribute as you see fit. The numbers of the spearheads and firestarting kits are the same."

"What of the axes, knives and cooking pots?"

"Chief, there are enough so that every lodge will have one of each."

"Ahh, He that goes far. You are generous beyond compare."

"Think nothing of it, Chief Sharp Knife. I am simply fulfilling my promises to you and your people."

"Hmm. This is good to know. I see that there are still more items to be had, those strange rolls and those large bags. What are they?"

"Chief, the rolls are made up of blankets that haven't been cut apart. I have heard that the Tsitsistas use hides and skins to keep warm at night, or during the day when the air is cold. My people do the same thing with these blankets when necessary. I have brought twenty rolls, and there are ten blankets in each roll. This will give each lodge in the village eight blankets, with eight left over to do with as you please. As you can see, there are two rolls each in the colors of white, red, brown, blue and green."

"Hmm. What is in those bags?"

"Chief, those bags contain pure salt. Are there not places in the land of the Tsitsistas where animals go to chew the ground and to lick at the rocks to get salt? Do the Tsitsistas not boil down water from certain locations to make salt of their own?" Chief Sharp Knife nods yes. "My people know for certain that having a small quantity of salt in the diet is necessary for good health. In those twelve bags is an amount of salt that is equal to twice the weight of my body. The women of the village are to share it out equally among the lodges."

"Your generosity amazes me yet again, He that goes far. I must ask what you and your people seek in return for the items you have brought here."

"Chief Sharp Knife, we seek knowledge not just of the Tsitsistas, their language and their customs, but also of the lands and peoples that lie in the direction of where the sun is setting. My people are, in part, explorers who continually thirst for knowledge. In bringing them the knowledge I will get from you, I greatly aid them. Beyond this, we seek hides, skins, meat and examples of plants that are fit for people to eat."

"Surely what you have brought is far more valuable than what you seek?"

"Perhaps, Chief. But is it the price I am asking."

"Well bargained and done, He that goes far. Let us see to the distribution of the items " Chief Sharp Knife now calls for the people of the village to come forward. The women of each lodge get an axe, a cooking pot, a hand mirror and a firestarting kit. Each warrior gets a steel spearhead and a hunting knife. Lastly, each lodge gets eight blankets; the remaining eight blankets are kept by Chief Sharp Knife. The women of each lodge are asked to bring sufficient pots or leather bags so that the salt can be measured out equally. The amount that all of the lodges will receive is 25 lbs each. After the distribution is completed, the people of the village disperse and return to their lodges. The men are talking amongst themselves over their good fortune, as are the women.

Chief Sharp Knife says to He that goes far "I wish for you to guest with me under my roof this night. It is the least I can do for you for all that you have done for us this day." Just out of what Running Deer thinks is hearing distance, she giggles softly and smiles. Sharp Knife's hearing is very keen, and he goes on to say "He that goes far, Running Deer is much taken with you. I also see that you have come to care for her. I am not such an old man not to know what happens when two people care for each other. I give you the use of my lodge tonight. Of what may happen afterwards, I will say nothing."

Jim McPherson is just flabbergasted. Of all the possible reactions that could have taken place,
this was the most unlikely (at least in his mind). His face flushes slightly in embarrassment as he says "Yes, Chief". It is all he can do to avoid stuttering out his reply. Chief Sharp Knife pushes aside the hide covering the entrance to the lodge and departs. Jim McPherson now asks Running Deer to sit in front of the firepit, and she is more than happy to comply. He goes on to say "Running Deer, I made sure to keep back some of the items which your father and I gave to the village. Once I get this fire started, I will give them to you."

With her heart all a flutter, Running Deer replies "Yes, He that goes far."

Jim McPherson takes one of the firestarting kits and removes some of the tinder from the small wooden box. He places it in the stone lined firepit and breaks off some very small sticks from the pile of wood by the entrance to the lodge. These are arranged on top of the kindling so that they will light easily. Running deer is watching with rapt attention as Jim gets up and sits down directly behind her. His huge arms wrap gently around her to the front, and he says "Running Deer, I want you to watch how I start this fire, so that you will be able to do it for yourself when necessary."

"Ye...yes, He that goes far." Jim takes the curved piece of steel in his left hand and the chunk of flint in his right hand. Holding them just so, he makes several glancing strikes with the flint against the steel. Each time, showers of sparks are given off. When enough of them have landed on the dry tinder, Jim gently disengages himself from Running Deer so that he can fan the small flames and ensure that they light the larger pieces of wood in the firepit. Jim returns to his place behind Running Deer. In the rapture of the moment, she presses backwards as Jim gently folds her into his arms.

Implications and Consequences
Date: February 25th, 1607
Location: Governor Heineman's office, Lincoln, Nebraska
1700 hours

Almost at the exact same time that Jim McPherson is in the camp of the Tsitsistas distributing the trade goods, Governor Heineman is placing a call to President Chu's office at Whiteman AFB. He says "Goof evening, Mr. President. I am sorry to call you at this time of day, but I have to inform you of a certain development in western Nebraska just on the other side of the state line in what was once Wyoming." Something in Governor Heineman's voice causes President Chu to sit up and take notice.

"Yes Governor, what happened?"

"Mr. President, four days ago, a group of historical re enactors made friendly contact with a band of Cheyenne just on the other side of the Montana/Nebraska line. Apparently, a woman and a young boy from the village had been attacked by a bear. The re enactors killed the bear, then one of their members, a Mr. James McPherson, took it upon himself to treat the wounds the woman and the boy had suffered. He also took the two individuals back to their village. The chief of the village is called Sharp Knife, and in the course of discussions between him and James McPherson, the subject of trade relations came up. Both parties were agreeable, so Mr. McPherson and the re enactors came up with a stock of trade goods and delivered them to the Cheyenne earlier today. The re enactors also requested state support for their endeavors."

"Well, Governor. I suppose that ‘First Contact' with the native Americans had to happen sooner or later. I for one am pleased to hear that it was on a friendly basis. Ordinarily, relations with a foreign people would be within the purview of the State Department. However, our situation is unique. There is no State Department, and I have recently promulgated an executive order saying that all lands in North America not already claimed by a foreign power are now under the jurisdiction of the United States. Under this premise, the Native Americans are not foreign. Still, this situation needs careful monitoring."

"Yes, Mr. President."

"Governor, you have my authorization to offer that group such support as you think necessary. The first thing to be done, I think, would be to have people from the Nebraska Department of Health get out there and vaccinate everyone; re enactors and natives included. The one thing I never want to see is a replay of the epidemics which killed off a large proportion of the Native Americans in our old timeline."

"That is an excellent point, Mr. President. I'll have my staff make the arrangements tomorrow morning."

"If there are any further developments, I want you to call me, no matter what time of the day or night it happens to be."

"Yes, Mr. President. Thank you for your support. I bid you a good day, sir." The call is disconnected, and Governor Heineman places another phone call to Kelly Winterer, CEO of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

"Good evening, Governor. How can I help you?"

"Director, there is a situation in far western Nebraska that needs your prompt attention. Four days ago, a group of people from the towns of Lyman and Henry in Scotts Bluff County made friendly contact with a village of Cheyenne just on the other side of the Nebraska/Wyoming line. I need your department to get a medical team out there tomorrow and vaccinate those people as soon as possible. I discussed this matter with the President, and I am in complete agreement with him."

"Yes, Governor. The natives of this time have no resistance to our diseases, so something like the common cold or chicken pox would go through them like the proverbial wildfire. My staff will be ready to go before noontime."

"Thank you, Director. I'm counting on you."

Date: February 26th, 1607
Location: the village of the Tsitsistas
0700 hours

Jim McPherson rouses himself from the furs where he and Running Deer have been sleeping. He is careful not to disturb her. Jim puts on his uniform, yawns and stretches widely after he leaves the lodge. Jim walks across the village's meeting ground to where his men are camped. As he does so, he's greeted with sidelong glances and muted giggles from some of the village's women. Jim's friend Richard Henry sees him approach and calls out a greeting.

"Hi, Jim. How did it go last night?"

"Hey, Richard. The trade goods we brought were very well received by the people of the village. I think there is much potential here."

"Where did you go afterwards?"

Jim flashes an enormous grin and says "I slept in the lodge of Chief Sharp Knife. Let's just say that Running Deer and I passed a very pleasant night..."

Richard grins back and says "What do you want us to do now, Jim?"

"For now, the patrol is staying here. I want you to send one of the guys back to camp and tell them that all is going well. As part of the price for the goods we brought, Chief Sharp Knife is going to tell us about the Cheyenne, and all that he and his people know about the lands and tribes west of here."

"Good Idea, Jim. I'll send a rider at once."

0800 Hours

Running Deer wakes up and stretches herself upon the sleeping furs and yawns. Last night marked a turning point in her life. For the last year or so, she has been without a man since her mate was killed while on a hunting expedition. To show her new found devotion to He that goes far, she prepares breakfast for him while he is out of the lodge, and serves it to him upon his return. Running Deer smiles widely when she sees He that goes far throw open the hide that covers the lodge entrance. She says "I greet you, heart of my heart, Each time I see you is like a new dawn over the plains. Jim reciprocates his affection by sweeping Running Deer off her feet and into a long embrace. "I see that you have prepared food for us this morning, Running Deer. Let us sit and eat together. I must speak to Sharp Knife before too long; there is the matter of the knowledge I asked of him in partial exchange for the trade goods. Did you like the items I gave you? They are yours to keep." Running Deer asks "He that goes far, what are these ‘blankets'? I haven't seen their like before. The Tsitsistas use hides and furs to keep warm when we are cold, but these blankets are something different."

"Running Deer, these blankets are woven from the fur of an animal called a sheep. The People of The Eagle raise them in great numbers for their fur, meat and milk."

"What of that thing I can see my face in?"

"It is called a mirror, Running Deer. My people make them in numbers so that any who wants one can have them and see their own image."

"I can see myself so very clearly in it, like I am looking at myself as we look at one another. I have seen my face on the surface of still water in a stream or river, but never so clearly as with this." Running Deer holds the mirror with both hands and clasps it tightly to herself. The thing that you used to start the fire last night was amazing. I have started fires before with a bow and drill, and it took much effort. That firestarter required so little effort and so little time that a child could use it."

"Very true, Running Deer. Now, let us eat. Sharp Knife waits to speak with me." Within the space of a quarter hour, He that goes far and Running Deer eat their morning meal. When they are done, she gathers up the plates and takes them off to be cleaned. Chief Sharp Knife greets his daughter as she is leaving the lodge. Jim sees Sharp Knife entering the lodge and makes to stand up, but the Chief motions for him to remain seated. He says "He that goes far, I haven't seen such a contented look on Running Deer's face since before her man was killed last year. For that, I thank you. Now, let us speak of the Tsitsistas, our numbers, customs and culture. I will also tell you of the tribes and peoples who lie in the direction of where the sun sets."

He that goes far takes out a notebook and pen from his haversack and begins to write as Chief Sharp Knife speaks. Meanwhile, on the other side of the gathering field, the other troopers of Jim McPherson's detachment are seeing to their own camp chores. One or two men are busy chopping firewood, while some are airing out the tents. Still others are making minor repairs to their tack & harness and watering/feeding the horses. The horses are tethered inside a temporary enclosure next to the cavalry tents. The enclosure was built from deadfall branches gathered near the village.

When the chores are all done, the troopers gather around outside their tents to await instructions from Jim McPherson. While they wait, the cavalry troopers pass the time in such amusements as playing cards and singing songs. This last activity causes much curiosity among the inhabitants of the village. None of them speak any English, but they are still able to recognize that a song is being sung. If they could understand what was being said, the people would hear:

‘Let Bacchus' sons be not dismayed
but join with me each jovial blade
Come drink and sing and lend your aid
to help me with the chorus'.....

First Aid
Date: February 27th, 1607
Location: the camp of the Nebraska Rangers, Nebraska/Wyoming state line
0900 hours

The medical aid mission dispatched by the Nebraska Department of Health arrived in the town of Lyman, Nebraska earlier this morning. They asked for and received directions to the Rangers' camp. Immediately after getting to the camp, the mission director Dr. Beverly Carson seeks out Frank Miller, the man in charge. Frank says "Good morning. How can I help you?"

"Hello, Mr. Miller. I am Dr. Beverly Carson and I have been sent here from the Nebraska Department of Health. Word reached Governor Heineman and President Chu of your group's friendly contact with the Cheyenne on the other side of the Nebraska/Wyoming line. Governor Heineman decided that it would be in the public interest to offer the Cheyenne vaccinations against the diseases that we already have been treated for, but for which they have no real resistance."

"Yes, Dr. Carson. I know from my own readings of western history that a major reason for the decline of the Native Americans was their lack of resistance to our diseases. What do you propose to do?"

"Well, Mr, Miller..."

"Please call me Frank."

"Alright, Frank. I would like to go to that camp of the Cheyenne and vaccinate them. Before I do that, however, I and my staff would like to give you all booster shots just to be on the safe side."

"Very well, Dr. Carson. I will call all of the group together and you can see them. I will arrange transportation to the Cheyenne camp. Will that be satisfactory?"

"Perfectly so, Frank."

Just 15 minutes later, the entire remaining membership fo the Nebraska Rangers is assembled on the meeting ground of the camp. Frank Miller explains the situation, and very soon thereafter, the membership of the Rangers (plus their familes) is lined up with sleeves rolled up above their elbows. Over the next half hour, Dr. Carson and her two assistants administer vaccines and booster shots to everyone in camp. Frank Miller rubs his left arm and says "Now that the shots are done, I'll have a wagon brought up for you, Doctor. It will be about an eight hour drive from here to where the Cheyenne camp is located. Some of our people are there already; part of our cavalry troop went to escort the delivery of a couple wagon loads of trade goods. When you get there, please pass a message to Jim McPherson. Tell him that I'd like the wagons, drivers and cavalry to come back here."

"Ok, Frank."

In short order, the wagon is brought up with the horse team already hitched. Dr. Carson climbs into the wagon box next to Mike Miller, the driver. Mike is Frank Miller's younger brother, and he is glad to get this assignment. Dr. Carson's two assistants take the seat behind them, and two of the Ranger's gunfighter contingent follow along on their own horses as an armed escort. The driver claps the horse team's reins, and they leave camp. Eight hours of travel later, the sun is beginning to set in the west when the wagon and passengers arrive on the outskirts of the camp of the Tsitsistas. By now, the people of the Village are somewhat accustomed to the sight of strangers. Across the village's meeting ground, Jim McPherson catches sight of the new arrivals and comes over to see what is going on.

"Hi there, Mike. I hadn't expected to see anyone from camp so soon. What gives?"

"Hi, Frank. The lady here is Dr. Beverly Carson. She and her two assistants are from the Nebraska Department of Health. They gave us all booster shots and are here to vaccinate the Cheyenne in this village."

"I see. Pleased to meet you, Doctor. Why don't you come with me and I'll introduce you to Sharp Knife; he's chief of this village of the Tsitsistas."

"Very well, Mr. McPherson."

Jim McPherson, Dr. Carson and her two assistants walk across the village meeting ground to see Chief Sharp Knife. Along the way, they are joined by Running Deer who asks "He that goes far, who are these people?" Jim replies "Running Deer, this medicine woman and her two assistants have been sent by the paramount chief of Nebraska in order to aid the Tsitsistas. They do not speak the language of the people, so I will translate for them."

"It is well, He that goes far." The small group arrives at Sharp Knife's lodge. He comes out to greet them and says "How goes it with you today, He that goes far?"

"Very good, Chief Sharp Knife. I would like to introduce this medicine woman and her two assistants to you, Chief. They do not speak the language of the Tsitsistas, so I will give your words to them and their words to you."

"That is good, He that goes far. Why are they here?" Jim McPherson turns to Dr. Carson and poses Sharp Knife's question. She speaks to him for a moment, then Jim comes back to Sharp Knife and says "Chief, she is a medicine woman and these others are her two assistants. They have been sent here by the paramount chief of my own tribe, the Nebraska to help the Tsisistas."

Sharp Knife strokes his chin in thought and says "He that goes far, tell the honored medicine woman that I thank her. How can she help us?" Jim McPherson replies "Chief, every year do not the Tsitsistas lose both children and adults to diseases that afflict the People?"

"Yes we do, He that goes far. We grieve for every loss, especially the children, for they represent our future."

"Chief, the same diseases which afflict your people have also affected mine in the past. The People of The Eagle are treated against them from a very young age, and so they do not trouble us as they do the Tsitsistas. The medicine woman asks for your permission to treat the people of the village."

"Hmm, what do you say to this, He that goes far? With your union to Running Deer, you are as much a part of the village as you are of your own people."

"Chief Sharp Knife, hear me when I say that this is a good thing. Doing this will mean that there will be fewer parents who grieve for the loss of a child and fewer children who mourn the loss of one or both parents."

"Then, let it be done as you say, He that goes far."

"Thank you, Chief." A short time later, the entire population of the village is assembled. Chief Sharp Knife tells the people who the strangers are and why they are here. Some are reluctant at first, but in the end, all are swayed by the presence of He that goes far. To begin, three tables and three seats are brought before Chief Sharp Knife's lodge and set up to provide Dr. Carson and her assistants a place to work. To show that it is safe, Jim McPherson is the very first to receive the injections; in his case, all that he is getting is a few booster shots. While all in attendance watch carefully, he rolls up his sleeve and Dr. Carson swabs his arm with an alcohol patch to disinfect the surface. She takes a small bottle from a chest containing the vaccines and other supplies and uses a needle and syringe to withdraw a small amount of liquid from it. Dr. Carson taps the syringe to make sure there are no air bubbles in the vaccine, then quickly jabs Jim McPherson in the left arm.

In succession, Jim's other booster shots are administered in the same way; some go in the left arm and the others in the right arm. Next in line are Chief Sharp Knife and his daughter Running Deer. Through He that goes far, they are instructed to roll up their sleeves as he has done. The vaccines are administered, then Chief Sharp Knife signals for his people to come forward and do likewise. Slowly, they do so; one person at a time to each of the three tables. For reasons of health and safety, the needles and syringes used to vaccinate each individual person are not reused. Instead, they are discarded into a sealed box for later disposal. In a short time, everyone in the village has received their shots.

As the people of the village disperse to their lodges to prepare the evening meal, Dr. Carson turns to Jim McPherson and says "That was very well done, Jim. Those vaccines my assistants and I just administered are going to save lives. Oh, by the way, I have a message for you."

"Yes Dr. Carson, what is it?"

"Please call me Beverly. Frank Miller wanted me to tell you that he wants the wagons and the cavalry patrol to return to camp."

"Thanks for the message, Beverly." Jim calls over one of the cavalry troopers and has him pass the word to the wagon teams and the rest of the troopers that they are heading back to camp tomorrow morning. While this is being done, Chief Sharp Knife comes up and speaks a few words to He that goes far. Jim nods his head and says to Dr. Carson "Beverly, Chief Sharp Knife asks me that you and your assistants guest with us in his lodge tonight."

"Of course, Jim. Please tell the chief that we will be honored to accept his hospitality."

By this time, the sun is fully below the horizon in the west, and the sky is darkening rapidly. Fires are lit throughout the village of the Tsitsistas, both for cooking and light. In the cavalry camp, preparations are being made for the patrol and the wagon drivers to depart in the morning. In the lodge of Chief Sharp Knife, there is much in direct discussion between Dr. Carson and the Chief. Jim McPherson ably serves as translator. During the meal, Dr. Carson asks if there are other nearby bands of the Tsitsistas. When Sharp Knife replies yes, she asks that he bring it before the chiefs of the other villages and bands, he pauses in mid bite and says "Honored medicine woman, this village of the Tsitsistas is one of the largest of the People. By virtue of my position here, I sit on the Great Council of Chiefs that guides and directs the affairs of the Tsitsistas. I will take your words before the Council and lend my weight accordingly."

Through Jim's translation, Dr. Carson expresses her thanks to Chief Sharp Knife. Then, all in the lodge finish their meal and retire for the night.

Date: February 28th, 1607
Location: the village of the Tsitsistas
0900 hours

After a morning meal, Dr. Carson and her assistants pack up and prepare to leave the village. They are going back on the wagons that brought them and their equipment. Also going along are the wagons which Jim McPherson used to bring the trade goods, as well as Jim's cavalry detachment. When the column in ready to leave, Mike Miller come up to Jim and says "Are you coming back with us?"

Jim replies "I'm staying here, Mike. I think I can be of great benefit to our own people by teaching the Cheyenne some of our ways and learning all I can of them. Before I forget, here is a report I wrote concerning the Cheyenne, their ways and culture. There's also a great deal of information on the other tribes of Wyoming." Jim hands over two notebooks (some 120 pages in all) and says "Mike, I want you to see that these get to the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources in Lincoln. They will know what to do with them." Just then, Dr. Beverly Carson speaks up "Jim, my assistants and I are heading back to Lincoln as soon as we can get to Lyman. Our vehicles are there, and my instructions from Director Winterer are to report back to her and Governor Heineman as soon as possible. If you don't mind, I will hand carry your report and deliver it in person."

Jim McPherson says "That's fine by me. Dr. Carson. I appreciate the offer. Mike?"

"Yes, Jim?"

"You and the column had better get going. Tell Frank I'm staying here."

"Ok, Jim." With that, the wagon drivers and cavalry detachment clap their reins to their horses and the column moves out. Before the last of the wagons has left the village, Chief Sharp Knife comes over to observe. Running Deer is there also. As she looks at the last of the wagons, she settles her arm around Jim's waist and rests her head upon his shoulder. Sharp Knife sees this and looks on with evident approval. Jim turns to the Chief and says "The Medicine Woman and her assistants are going back to Nebraska. She has promise me that she will bring word of the great courtesy she received to the Governor of the tribe and also to the President."

"This is well, He that goes far."

More Mineral Resources
Date: February 28th, 1607
Location: President Chu's office, Whiteman AFB
0900 hours

At the same time back at Whiteman AFB, the President's Daily Briefing has just concluded. After President Chu's advisers file out of the office, one of the President's private secretaries (a lady by the name of Ellen Bradshaw) knocks on the door and says "I beg your pardon, Mr. President. This document from Mr. Cornelison arrived for you while the briefing was going on."

"Thank you, Ellen. That will be all."

"Yes, Mr. President." Ellen places the thick envelope on the President's desk and leaves. President Chu opens the envelope and begins to read. The first page is a letter from David M. Cornelison. It reads as follows "Mr. President, on my own initiative, I have prepared this report for your attention. It outlines the mineral resources in certain other parts of North America, and is an extension of the earlier report which I presented to you several days ago. I consulted with the directors of the Departments of Natural Resources in Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas, as well as with my colleagues in several of the largest institutions of higher learning in the four states. Therefore, you may regard the information contained in this report as being completely accurate."

David M. Cornelison
Scientific Adviser to the Office of The President.

President Chu begins to read the report, and each page fills him with yet more amazement. In sum, the core information is as follows:

Mineral Reserves of North America

Gold: 851,500,000 tons ore, average grade 0.25 ounce/ton
Oil: 57.6 billion barrels
Natural gas: 1,000 trillion cubic feet
Copper: 15.5 billion tons ore, average grade 10%; associated metals are molybdenum (0.04%), silver (10 ounces/ton), zinc (17.1%), lead (4.5%), germanium (100 ppm) and gallium (70 ppm)
Rare-earth elements: 1,000,000,000 tons ore, average grade 6.5%; associated metals are thorium (2.6%) and uranium (0.26%)
Graphite: 2,000,000,000 tons ore, average grade 8%
Coal: 37 trillion tons
Iron: 30 billion tons ore, average grade 58%

Uranium: 7,000,000 tons ore; average grade 0.021%
Gold: 30,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.25 ounce/ton
High-iron ilmenite: 100,000,000 tons; average grade 30% titanium dioxide/50% iron oxide
Natural gas: 90,000,000,000 cubic feet

Zinc: 350,000,000 tons ore, average grade 9.15%; associated metals are copper (6.62%), silver (0.75 ounce/ton) and gold (0.158 ounce/ton)
Lead: 200,000,000 tons ore, average grade 4.2%
Magnesium: 60 million tons ore, average grade 22%
Copper: 175,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.36%, associated molybdenum content 0.01%
Iron: 6,000,000,000 tons ore, average grade 69%

Rare-Earths: 40,000,000 tons ore; average grade 12%
Uranium: 18,000,000 tons ore; average grade 0.07%
Gold: 472,000,000 tons ore; average grade 0.25 ounce/ton
Silver: 90,000,000 tons ore; average grade: 25 ounces/ton
Rhenium: 500,000,000 tons ore, average grade: 1.0226 oz/ton (associated molybdenum content is 2.25%)
Diatomite: 500,000,000 tons
Oil: 6 billion barrels
Shale oil: 15.4 billion barrels
Natural gas: 7.5 trillion cubic feet

Gold: 5,750,000,000 tons ore; average grade 2.94 ounces/ton, associated metals are silver (6.878 ounces/ton) and tin (36 ppm)
Copper: 150,000,000 tons ore; average grade 4%
Iron: 1,050,000,000 tons ore; average grade 32.5%
Oil: 5 billion barrels
Uranium: 7,000,000 tons ore; average grade 0.059%
Lithium: 900 parts per million from underground brine, hard rock deposits are 4,400,000,000 tons at an average grade of 0.25%
Magnesium: 120,000,000 tons ore; average grade 12%
Gallium: 600,000,000 tons ore; average grade 15 ounces/ton
Barite: 600,000,000 tons
Rock Salt: 500 billion tons

Oil: 30,000,000,000 barrels
Shale oil: 1.3 trillion barrels
Coal: 40,000,000,000 tons
Coal bed methane: 11 trillion cubic feet
Natural gas: 28 trillion cubic feet
Iron: 750,000,000 tons ore, average grade:
Molybdenum: 610,000,000 tons, average grade: 0.3%
Copper: 19,500,000,000 tons ore, average grade: 10%; associated metals are gold (0.5 oz/ton), silver (32 ounces/ton), lead (17.6%), zinc (10%), indium (0.0385%), gallium (120 ppm), germanium (400 ppm), tellurium (2,500 ppm), selenium (2.5 ppm), bismuth (0.15%) & cadmium (3,000 ppm)
Uranium: 35,000,000 tons ore, average grade: 0.8%; associated vanadium content is 1.8%
Beryllium: 8,000,000 tons ore, average grade: 0.76%
Phosphate: 7,000,000,000 tons ore, average grade: 40%
Potash: 2,000,000,000 tons
Rock salt: 500 billion tons
Brine: 230 billion tons, mineral contents are magnesium (18.7%), salt (13%), potash (7.9%), barium (1%), lithium (1,700 ppm), bromine (6,100 ppm) & boron (1,260 ppm)

Molybdenum: 1,600,000,000 tons, average grade 0.0151-0.025%
Coal: 130 billion tons
Natural Gas: 50 trillion cubic feet
Shale Oil: 600 billion barrels
Nahcolite: 43.3 billion tons
Gold: 180,000,000 tons ore: average grade 0.25 ounce/ton
Silver: 22,500,000 tons ore: average grade 16 ounces/ton
Copper: 900,000,000 tons ore, average grade 5%; associated metals are lead (11%) and zinc (8%)
Uranium: 8,600,000 tons ore, average grade .08% uranium oxide; associated vanadium content is 1.46%
Rare-Earth oxides: 1,600,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.52% REOs; associated metals are thorium (0.4%) and titanium (7.6%)

Gold: 180,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.25 ounce/ton
Copper: 12,000,000,000 tons ore, average grade 1.5%; associated metals are molybdenum (0.16%) and silver (0.5 ounce/ton)
Manganese: 200,000,000 tons ore; average grade 4%
Uranium: 31,250,000 tons ore, average grade 0.8% uranium oxide; associated vanadium content is 1.42%
Potash: 1,000,000,000 tons, average grade:
Rock Salt: 35 trillion tons
Coal: 30,000,000,000 tons

New Mexico
Uranium: 210,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.25% uranium oxide, associated vanadium content is 0.12%
Copper: 240,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.3%; associated metals are silver (9 ounces/ton) and gold (0.12 oz/ton)
Coal: 25 billion tons
Natural Gas: 40 trillion cubic feet; associated helium content is 7.5%
Potash: 100,000,000 tons

Oil: 220 billion barrels
Natural Gas: 765 trillion cubic feet; associated helium content is 2.7%
Salt: 2.5 trillion tons
Uranium: 20,000,000 tons ore, average grade .08% uranium oxide
Sulfur: 3.75 billion tons
Mercury: 100,000 tons
TREO: 2,500,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.064%; associated fluorine content is 1.3%

Silver: 285,000,000 tons ore, average grade 100 ounces/ton; associated metals are copper (2.5%), and lead (4.5%)
Gold: 50,000,000 tons ore, average grade: 0.25 ounce/ton
Cobalt: 44,160,000 tons ore, average grade .08% ; associated metals are copper (4.5% grade) and gold (1.04 grams/ton), nickel (3.2% grade) and bismuth (9.2% grade)
Molybdenum: 2,500,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.15%
Thorium: 70,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.4%; associated rare-earth oxides (0.52%)
Zinc: 450,000,000 tons ore, average grade 18.9%; associated lead content 7.4% Phosphate: 1,250,000,000 tons, average grade 40%
Sulfur: 250 billion tons

Chromium: 5,000,000 tons ore; average grade 45%
Gold: 114,000,000 tons ore; average grade 0.25 ounce/ton
Silver: 50,000,000 tons ore; average grade 16 ounces/ton
Copper: 230,000,000 tons ore; average grade 6.5%
Palladium: 90,000,000 tons ore; average grade 1.8 ounces/ton (associated platinum content is 0.6 oz/ton)
Iron: 1,000,000,000 tons ore; average grade 60% (associated titanium oxide 7.5%)
Zinc: 25,000,000 tons ore; average grade 16% (associated lead content: 4.5%)
Manganese: 4,500,000 tons ore; average grade 36%
Molybdenum: 60,000,000 tons ore; average grade 0.3%
Tungsten: 65,000,000 tons ore; average grade 0.3%
Manganese: 15,000,000 tons ore; average grade: 22%
Phosphate rock: 25 billion tons
Rock salt: 3.7 trillion tons
Oil: 40,000,000,000 barrels
Coal: 220 billion tons
Natural gas: 4.5 trillion cubic feet
Uranium: 485,000,000 tons ore; average grade 0.009% (ore is also 31% phosphorus pentoxide)

Lithium: 4,000-4,500 parts per million from underground brine (18,000,000 tons total)
Gold: 174,000,000 tons ore, average grade 1 ounce/ton
Uranium: 145,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.002%
Rare-earth metals: 14,700,000 tons ore, average grade 6.81%; associated minerals are tantalum (7.16 ounces/ton and niobium (37 ounces/ton)
Bentonite: 2,000,000,000 tons
Phosphate: 2.5 trillion tons, average grade 9%; associated uranium content is 33 ppm
Trona: 130 billion tons
Oil: 1.5 billion barrels
Natural gas: 75 trillion cubic feet, associated helium content is 1.3%
Shale Oil: 1.5 trillion barrels
Coal: 70 billion tons
Coalbed methane: 120 trillion cubic feet
Helium: 60 billion cubic feet

Oil: 15.1 billion barrels
Natural gas: 104 trillion cubic feet
Coal: 55,000,000,000 tons
Iodine: 6,550 ppm from brine wells (525,000 tons total reserve)
Zinc: 104,000,000 tons ore, average grade 5%, associated lead content is 1.25%
Rock salt: 500 billion tons

Coal: 35 billion tons; associated germanium content is 2.75 ounces/ton
Oil: 16.6 billion barrels
Natural Gas: 25 trillion cubic feet; associated helium content is 3%-5%
Rock Salt: 1.1 trillion tons
Zinc: 115,000,000 tons ore; average grade 2.5%; associated metals are lead 0.06%), cadmium (0.035%) and gallium (0.012%)

Oil: 1,500,000,000 barrels
Natural Gas: 5.5 trillion cubic feet
Iron: 1,800,000,000 tons ore, average grade 65%
Rock Salt: 30 quadrillion tons
Copper: 850,000,000 tons ore, average grade 1.75%

Copper: 180,000,000 tons ore, average grade 10.5%, associated metals are zinc (9.4%), lead (1.7%), silver (2.3 ounces/ton) and gold (0.28 ounce/ton)
Iron: 950,000,000 tons hematite, average grade 70%; 4,750,000,000 tons taconite, average grade 35%

Titanium: 660,000,000 tons ore, average grade 16.5%
Iron: 6.12 trillion tons; one-third of this ore has an average grade of 70%, and the remaining two-thirds has an average grade of 40%
Copper: 4,000,000,000 tons ore, average grade is 0.84%, associated metals are nickel (2.3 ppt) and gold/platinum-group metals (8 ppm)

Lead-Zinc: 120,000,000 tons ore, average grade 2.75% lead and 1.5% zinc; associated metal content is gallium (200 ppm), gold (1.25 grams/ton) and silver (6 grams/ton)
Coal: 30,000,000,000 tons; trace metals are selenium (3 ppm), mercury (0.10 ppm) and arsenic (1.4-71 ppm)
Iron: 12,000,000 tons ore, average grade 55%

Niobium: 100,000,000 tons ore, average grade 1.02% niobium oxide
TREO: 210,000,000 tons ore, average grade 3.32%
Oil: 500,000,000 barrels
Natural gas: 977.7 billion cubic feet
Uranium: 4,500,000 tons ore, average grade 2.5%

Oil: 2,000,000,000 barrels
Coal: 45 billion tons
Natural gas: 250 billion cubic feet
Lead: 700,000,000 tons ore, average grade 16.5%. Associated metals are zinc (2.25%), copper (0.04%), silver (142 g/ton), gold (2.5 g/ton), platinum (1.6 g/ton) and palladium (0.2 g/ton)
Iron: 1,000,000,000 tons ore, average grade 65%-80%
Uranium: 3,500,000 tons ore, average grade 20%

Coal: 300 billion tons
Oil: 3.6 billion barrels
Natural Gas: 70 trillion cubic feet

Oil: 1,000,000,000 barrels
Natural Gas: 90 trillion cubic feet
Coal: 28 billion tons

Coal: 24 billion tons
Oil: 5 billion barrels
Natural Gas: 15 trillion cubic feet
Rock Salt: 80 billion tons

Coal: 12 billion tons
Natural gas: 987 billion cubic feet
Uranium: 30,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.02%
Titanium: 450,000,000 tons ore, average grade 4%

West Virginia
Coal: 117 billion tons
Natural gas: 50 trillion cubic feet

North Carolina
Gold: 162,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.264 ounce/ton
Lithium: 375,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.07%
Magnesium: 115,000,000 tons ore; average grade 45% magnesium oxide
Phosphate rock: 3,000,000,000 tons, average grade 30%

South Carolina
Gold: 158,500,000 tons ore, average grade 0.2 ounce/ton; associated metals are copper (0.2%), molybdenum (0.13%) and lead (0.74%)

Coal: 104 billion tons
Oil: 2.8 billion barrels
Natural Gas: 143.07 trillion cubic feet
Shale oil: 50 billion barrels

Natural Gas: 50 trillion cubic feet; associated hydrogen sulfide content is 10 ounces per 100 cubic feet
Oil: 2,000,000,000 barrels
Coal: 4,000,000,000 tons
Lignite: 9,000,000,000 tons
Bromine: 4,000-4,600 parts per million (ppm) from oilfield brines
Lithium: 700 parts per million (ppm) from oilfield brines
Aluminum: 7.5 billion tons ore, average grade 55%; associated metals are niobium (2%), tantalum (0.05%) and gallium (2.75 ounces/ton)
Iron: 270,000,000 tons ore, average grade 35%
Manganese: 550,000,000 tons ore, average grade 1.2%; associated cobalt content is 0.22%
Vanadium: 6,000,000 tons ore, average grade 1.2%
Titanium: 8,000,000 tons ore, average grade 8%

Zinc: 250,000,000 tons ore, average grade 3% zinc; associated metals are lead (1.5%), cadmium (0.09%), germanium (0.04%) and gallium (0.05%)
Phosphate: 345,000,000 tons
Natural Gas: 126.5 trillion cubic feet
Coal: 1.35 billion tons
Iron ore: 1,000,000,000 tons, average grade 55%

Oil: 1,000,000,000 barrels
Natural gas: 500 billion cubic feet
Coal: 50 billion tons

Oil: 5,000,000,000 barrels
Natural gas: 56 trillion cubic feet
Coal: 24 billion tons
Iron ore: 2,000,000,000 tons hematite, average grade 70%; 4,700,000,000 tons limonite, average grade 50%

Aluminum: 50,000,000 tons ore, average grade 44-50.4%
Iron: 350,000,000 tons ore, average grade 50%
Manganese: 90,000,000 tons ore, average grade 35%
Beryllium: 500,000 tons ore, average grade 0.98%
Cobalt: 35,000,000 tons ore, average grade 2 lbs/ton
Gold: 10,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.10 ounce/ton
Kaolin: 3,200,000,000 tons

Oil: 6.8 billion barrels
Natural Gas: 500 trillion cubic feet
Coal: 25,000,000,000 tons anthracite, 1.96 trillion tons bituminous

North Dakota
Oil: 167 billion barrels
Natural Gas: 80 trillion cubic feet
Coal: 38 billion tons bituminous coal, 400 billion tons lignite
Potash: 80 billion tons
Rock Salt: 250 billion tons
Sodium Sulfate: 60 million tons

South Dakota
Gold: 270,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.25 ounce/ton
Oil: 36 billion barrels
Natural Gas: 25 trillion cubic feet

Oil: 27 billion barrels
Natural Gas: 230 trillion cubic feet
Rock Salt: 2.5 trillion tons
Lignite: 2,000,000,000 tons

Phosphate: 5,000,000,000 tons; average grade is 30%, associated uranium content is 0.002%
Titanium: 40,000,000 tons ore, average grade 53% titanium dioxide/47% iron oxide
Oil: 970,000,000 barrels
Natural gas: 660 trillion cubic feet

Copper: 33,000,000 tons ore, average grade is 3.4% copper; associated metals are zinc (17.1%), lead (1%), cadmium (2%), bismuth (1.5%), silver (6.3 ounces/ton) and gold (0.2 ounce/ton)
Molybdenum: 2,000,000 tons ore, average grade 6.46%
Manganese: 20,000,000 tons ore, average grade 17.6% manganese oxide

New York
Iron: 2,000,000,000 tons, average grade 55%
Zinc: 100,000,000 tons ore, average grade 8.7%; associated mercury content is 1,200 ppm
Rock salt: 4 trillion tons
Coal: 25 billion tons
Oil: 2,000,000,000 barrels
Natural gas: 38 trillion cubic feet

Copper: 30,000,000 tons ore, average grade 2%
Iron: 150,000,000 tons ore, average grade 60%

New Hampshire
Zinc: 50,000,000 tons ore, average grade 10%; associated metals are copper (5%), lead (3.7%), silver (20 ounces/ton), cadmium (0.2%) and various REEs (0.15%)

Iron ore: 15,000,000 tons ore, average grade 72.5%
Copper: 20,000,000 tons ore; average grade 10.5%

Oil: 315 billion barrels
Natural Gas: 800 trillion cubic feet
Coal: 190 billion tons
Tar Sands: 1.6 trillion barrels oil-equivalent
Gold: 1,150,000,000 tons ore; average grade 0.25 ounces/ton
Silver: 930,000,000 tons ore; average grade 16 ounces/ton
Iron ore: 103 billion tons, average grade 44%
Uranium: 80,000,000 tons ore, average grade 4.5%
Thorium: 160,000,000 tons ore, average grade 3%
Radium: 0.333 ppm of uranium oxide
Zinc: 850,000,000 tons ore, average grade 12.8%; associated metals are lead (3.3%), copper (1.4%), nickel (1.55%), platinum-group metals (1.5 ppm), germanium (6,280 ppm) and gallium (600 ppm)
Chromium: 600,000,000 tons ore, average grade 40%
Titanium: 1,000,000,000 tons ore, average grade 1.5%
Molybdenum: 900 billion tons ore, average grade 0.25%
Tantalum: 65,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.196%; associated niobium content is 234 ppm.
Lithium: 60,000,000 tons ore, average grade 0.9%
Cesium: 1,000,000 tons ore, average grade 24%; associated rubidium content is 1.35%
Phosphate: 700,000,000 tons, associated REEs are 1,600 ppm
Potash: 150 billion tons
Rock salt: 1 quadrillion tons
Sulfur: 200,000,000 tons

Rare Earth Elements
Strange Lake, Quebec: 41 million tons ore, average grade 1.16% TREO (total rare-earth oxides), 2.17% zirconium oxide, 0.24% niobium pentoxide, 0.12% beryllium oxide, 0.05% hafnium oxide
Great Slave lake: 61.1 million tons ore, average grade 2.05% TREO, 10.6 million tons ore, average grade 1.34% lithium oxide, 0.30% rubidium oxide, 0.007% tantalum oxide
Bernic Lake: 405,190 tons ore, average grade 24% cesium oxide

Snap Lake: 185 million tons ore, average grade 1.5 carats/ton
Victor: 274 million tons ore, average grade 0.25 carats/ton
Diavik: 340 million tons ore, average grade 3 carats/ton

On the last page, there is a note from Professor Cornelison that says ‘Mr. President, as you can see, the natural resources of North America are so vast and so varied that they beggar the imagination. Of other non fuel and non industrial minerals, the supplies of clay, sand, gravel and building stone are, for all intents and purposes, effectively inexhaustible.' The supporting documentation in the report consists of many tables, charts and graphs that precisely detail the locations of each and every deposit mentioned in the report.

President Chu places the report in a drawer in his desk and then goes on with other business. The next document he reads is from Secretary of Defense Stephen Danner. It says ‘Mr. President, I have received responses to the Request For Proposal that I sent out in regards to construction of warships for the rebuilding of the United States Navy. The first is from the Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Company in Leavenworth, Kansas. During the Second World War, this firm operated a shipyard that constructed hundreds of barges and small craft for the U.S Navy. After the war, the company's shipyard manufactured river barges for civilian business until 1982, when the shipyard was mothballed. Once this facility is re opened, it will be capable of constructing vessels of up to 950 tons displacement. The design they propose to build for the U.S Navy is a variation of the Admirable class minesweeper from World War II. This new design will have a lengthened and strengthened hull for additional fuel bunkerage and storage of supplies and munitions. The specifications and armament of this vessel are as follows’:

Hazard class DE, named after USS Hazard (AM 240)
Displacement: 750 tons
Length: 225' 6", Beam: 33', Draft: 10', Speed: 15 knots, Range: 5,000 nautical miles
Ship's Complement: 104 officers & men

1 x 76 mm/62 caliber automatic cannon, turret mounted on the forward deck. Ammunition stowage is 1,500 rounds; this weapon is a copy of the OTO Melara design.
1 x 57 mm Mk 110 automatic cannon, turret mounted on the after deck. Ammunition stowage is 120 ready rounds, with a further 1,000 rounds in the magazine.
2 x Mk 38 Mod 2 ‘Bushmaster' 25 mm autocannons; one each, port & starboard. Each of these weapons is carried on a powered external mount, with a total ammunition stowage of 2,700 rounds per gun.
4 x Browning M 2 .50 caliber machineguns on manually operated pintle mounts. Each mount has an external box magazine that holds 300 rounds. Total ammunition stowage is 6,000 rounds per gun.

To maximize both performance and fuel efficiency, the Hazard class will have diesel electric propulsion

‘The second response I received is from Trinity Industries of Caruthersville, Missouri. This yard is still in operation, and is capable of constructing vessels of up to 2,500 tons displacement. The vessel they propose to build is a copy of the Allen M. Sumner class DD (also from World War II). This vessel's specifications and armament are as follows’:

Sumner class DD, named after the original Allan M. Sumner class DD
Displacement: 2,250 tons standard/3,500 tons full load
Length: 376' overall, Beam: 41', Draft: 15' 9" normal/19' full load, Range: 6,500 nautical miles
Ship's Complement: 336 officers & men

3 x 5"/62 caliber Mark 45 Mod 4 naval guns in three single turrets (2 forward, 1 aft).
Ammunition stowage is 20 rounds per gun in the turret loader, plus 880 rounds per gun in each
of the three main magazines.
4 x Mk 38 Mod 2 ‘Bushmaster' 25 mm autocannons; two each, port & starboard. Each of these weapons is carried on a powered external mount, with a total ammunition stowage of 2,700 rounds per gun.
8 x Browning M 2 .50 caliber machineguns on powered twin mounts. Each mount has two external box magazines that hold 300 rounds each. Total ammunition stowage is 6,000 rounds per gun.
1 x 21" quintuple tube torpedo mount, centerline amidships. Five torpedoes are carried in the mount, with an additional ten torpedoes carried below deck.

‘Like the Hazard class corvette, the Sumner class frigate will have diesel electric propulsion. As for construction times, the proposal from Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Company tells me that it will take eight months to reactivate their shipyard. Trinity Industries says they can begin construction of the first vessel within thirty days. Sourcing the armament for both classes is not a problem, as Rock Island Arsenal can make everything needed.’

Respectfully yours:
Stephen Danner
Secretary of Defense

As soon as President Chu finishes reading Secretary Danner's report, he places an immediate call to the Secretary of Defense' office.

"Good Morning, Mr. Secretary."

"Good Morning, Mr. President."

"Mr. Secretary, I just read that report you sent me, and I wanted to talk with you before I made my decision."

"Yes. Mr. President."

"Call Trinity Industries and tell them that you have confirmation from the Office of The President. They are to begin building the Sumner class destroyer as soon as possible. Your report said that they can start in thirty days?"

"Yes they can, Mr. President. The CEO of Trinity Industries tells me that the shipyard has one large slipway and four smaller ones. If we want him to increase the rate of production, he'll need financing to expand the number of slipways."

"Mr. Secretary, how long will it take for the first vessel to become available?"

"Mr. President, the first ship of the Sumner class will be available six months from today."

"Very well, Mr Secretary. When you call the CEO of Trinity Industries, tell him that I will direct the Secretary of the Treasury to issue a letter of credit of sufficient value to finance the expansion of their shipyard. You will also call Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Company and ask that they get started in reactivating their shipyard. Reconstituting the United States Navy is one of my highest priorities."

"Yes, Mr. President."

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 Post subject: Re: A more perfect union
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:28 pm 
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Can anyone make ammo?

Faugh a Ballagh

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 Post subject: Re: A more perfect union
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 2:46 pm 

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jemhouston wrote:
Can anyone make ammo?

Yes. Rock Island Arsenal came along for the ride; there's also the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant located in Des Moines County in the southeastern part of the state.

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 Post subject: Re: A more perfect union
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:22 pm 

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And as far as raw materials go, you need sulfur, charcoal and potassium nitrate to make gunpowder, all available.
To make brass, you need zinc and copper, all very prevalent in Missouri, IIRC.

Some of the more highly advanced gunpowders you need some chemistry, but I'm pretty sure the existing stocks will last long enough for them to rebuild any capacity that's been lost. After all, who the hell are they going to be fighting anytime soon?

Belushi TD

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 Post subject: Re: A more perfect union
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:16 pm 

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Belushi TD wrote:

To make brass, you need zinc and copper, all very prevalent in Missouri, IIRC.

You are correct. Missouri has large deposits of both metals. Don't forget lead; Missouri has the biggest lead deposits in the world

After all, who the hell are they going to be fighting anytime soon?

Wait and see Grasshopper, wait and see.......

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 Post subject: Re: A more perfect union
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:06 pm 
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A better question who won't they be fighting

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:56 pm 

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Chapter Four

Onwards and Upwards
Date: March 20th, 1607
Location: Whiteman AFB
0700 hours

In keeping with President Chu’s order of February 20th, Secretary of Defense Stephen Danner began planning Operation: Outreach. This operation will focus on the construction of a Forward Operating Base in Quebec. The initial phase will involve the insertion of a full company of combat engineers to construct an airfield capable of handing aircraft up to the size of a C-130 cargo transport. Along with the engineers, there will be two platoons of military police for site security and a battery of 120-mm mortars for fire support. The expedition will have supplies and equipment sufficient for thirty days of sustained operations, with more to be brought in once the airfield is operational. The C-130s with the troops, supplies and equipment have been staged on the tarmac awaiting the Go-Order.

SecDef Danner is at Whiteman AFB Headquarters along with the base commander General Thomas Bussiere. A call is received from the airfield, and GEN Bussiere says “Excuse me, Mr. Secretary, Operation Outreach is ready to go.”

SecDef Danner replies “Very well, General Bussiere.” Secretary Danner next asks for a call to be placed to President Chu’s office. A few seconds later, the connection is made. “Good Morning, Mr. President.”

“Good morning, Mr. Secretary. I assume this call is in connection with Operation: Outreach.”

“Yes Sir, Mr. President. The men and materiel have been assembled and loaded aboard several C-130's. They are ready to go. All we need is your order to go.”

“Very well, Mr. Secretary. You may proceed at your own discretion.”

“Thank you, Mr. President. I will keep you informed of our progress as information becomes available.” The call is ended, and SecDef Danner turns to General Bussiere and says “General, you may proceed.”

“Thank you, Mr. Secretary.” The Go-order is transmitted to Whiteman AFB’s control tower, and in turn, to the pilots of the C-130s waiting on the tarmac. The lead pilot calls to the other aircraft and says “Outreach Flight, this is Outreach Lead. We have a go. Tally-Ho!!” The lead aircraft taxis into position, then accelerates down the main runway. It climbs into the sky, and is quickly followed by the other eleven aircraft. Once aloft, the twelve C-130s link up and form themselves into two separate elements of six aircraft each. The lead pilot has his navigator set course for the landing site in Quebec. On the comm channel, he announces “Outreach Flight, this is Outreach Lead. Flight time to the drop zone is 3 hours, 30 minutes.” The other eleven aircraft acknowledge receipt of this information, and the flight crews settle into their routines.

1130 hours local time

Outreach Flight reaches its destination over the woods and grasslands of what would be Quebec in another universe. The lead pilot gets on the radio and says “Outbound Flight, this Outbound Lead. We are approaching the drop zone. Prepare to drop in three minutes.” The engineers, MPs and mortar crews perform their last-minute safety checks while the loadmasters on each C-130 inspect the straps and belts securing the vehicles, supplies and other equipment to their respective pallets. Three minutes later, the green light comes on, and the rear cargo ramps on each aircraft are lowered. In quick succession, all personnel exit their respective aircraft. The parachutes all open without any trouble, and the men find themselves on the ground. As soon as all of the personnel have landed, the signal is given for the cargo pallets to be parachuted. Fifteen minutes later, the last of them is on the ground; the work of building FOB Hope now begins.

“Home Base, Home Base, this is Outbound Lead. How do you read me, over?”

“Outbound Lead, this is Home Base. I read you loud and clear, over.”

“Home Base, this is Outbound Lead. All personnel and equipment have been successfully inserted into the target area.”

“Outbound Lead, this is Home Base. Received and understood. How is your fuel state, over?’

“Home Base, this is Outbound Lead. Right now, we’re at 60% of maximum, over.”

“Roger that, Outbound Lead. Return to base, out.”

“Understood, Home Base. Outbound Lead out.”

To support the initial mission, two bulldozers and two excavators were para-dropped along with stores of fuel and spare parts. The MPs have six up-armored HMMVWs and three armored security vehicles. Fire support is in the form of a battery of six M120 120-mm mortars, each of which is towed on a trailer by an M1198 HMMWV. A total of 500 rounds per tube was allocated to this mission. Additionally, a sufficient number of palletized HESCO barriers were dropped with the other equipment so as to provide physical security for the perimeter of the working camp. Troop accommodations are in a series of GP-Medium tents, and so the first task of the troops is to set the tents up and get the equipment, supplies and ammunition under cover. When this has been done, the work of clearing and leveling the ground can begin.

Here We Go
Date: March 21st, 1607
Location: FOB Hope, Quebec
0700 hours

After landing yesterday, most of the rest of the day was spent in setting up the tents and checking the equipment for any possible damage. This morning, a survey party is sent out to look over the ground and plan the layout of the airfield. The ground previously chosen by satellite surveillance is relatively flat, with about 50% ground cover. Even so, the size of the airfield is planned to be 4,500' long and 400' wide. This will require a great deal of work, and so, the combat engineer company sets to it with a will. In the meantime, the two platoons of MPs and the six mortar crews are finishing the work of setting up the camp. Observation points are set up to cover all possible avenues of approach, and the mortars are arranged so that their fields of fire are mutually-supporting. Two of the up-armored HMMWVs and one of the armored security vehicles are detailed to stay behind and protect the camp. The other HMMWVs and armored security vehicles establish a perimeter around the work crews as they begin to prepare the ground.

Captain Chris Brodeur is the commander of the Combat Engineer Company assigned to this mission, as well as being the OIC of the mission itself. At 1300 hours, he calls a staff meeting with the command elements of the MPs and the Mortar battery. “Gentlemen, the mission is off to a good start. We are going to need the rest of our TO & E to complete it on time. So, I’m going to call for the rest of our equipment to be air-dropped to us. Do you have any suggestions as to what can be added?” The MP element commander 1LT James Ferguson raises his hand and speaks up. He says “Sir, I’d feel better if we had enough concertina wire to ring the camp with a triple-standard fence as well as a tanglefoot. Later on, when the airfield is completed, more wire can be dropped so that the protection can cover the airfield’s entire perimeter.” Captain Brodeur turns to 1LT Ron Scheidler and says “Ron, how are your boys doing?”
“Sir, I never saw them work so hard and so fast before. I think they realize the importance of this mission. The six mortars are all in place, with sandbag protection all around. A couple of them even climbed trees with their binoculars and laser-rangefinders; they worked up some excellent range cards. I can definitely say than no hostiles are getting anywhere near us without risking some steel rain, as it were.

“Good work, Ron.”

Anchors Aweigh!!
Date: March 21st, 1607
Location: Trinity Industries Shipyard, Caruthersville, Missouri
1500 hours

At the shipyard of Trinity Industries in Caruthersville, Missouri, there has been a furious amount of activity today. This day marks the ceremonial laying down of the first Sumner-class destroyer, and two huge sections of steel beam are welded together to form part of the ship’s keel. This vessel (to be named USS Sumner) is expected to be launched by the end of September, 1607. The enthusiasm of the shipyard workers for this project showed in how fast they got their shipyard ready to go. The schedule for this didn’t have them ready until the end of March,

Over at Rock Island Arsenal, work is beginning on the production of the weapons needed to arm twelve Sumner-class frigates. This is expected to take up to two months. An additional thirty days will be used to test the weapons for reliability.

Building For The Future
Date: April 4th, 1607
Location: The camp of the Nebraska Rangers

At a meeting of the full membership of the Nebraska Rangers, it was decided to have the families of the Rangers return to their homes in Henry, Lyman and Scottsbluff. This decision was made because the likelihood of civil unrest has been much-diminished over the last two months. It was further decided that in order to facilitate the operations of the Nebraska Rangers, permanent quarters should be constructed. After more discussion between the membership, Frank Miller, Jim Parsons and Tim Dawson decide that since the land on the other side of the old Nebraska/Wyoming state line is unclaimed by any current government entity, it would be beneficial for the Rangers to move their operations there.

Mike Dodge is in charge of the re-enactors of Troop G ever since Jim McPherson decided to stay with the Cheyenne. He thinks for a few minutes and says “Frank, I have an idea where the new post should be located.” Frank Miller replies “Where’s that, Mike?” Mike Dodge says “ I saw a suitable location when we were riding back and forth between here and that Cheyenne village. There’s a patch of ground about a quarter-mile into Wyoming where we can build. The location is well-situated with good drainage. There is a stream nearby for water, and the timber is abundant.”

“What do you have in mind, Mike?”

“Frank, we should build a timber fort like we saw in all of those old cavalry movies.” This remark causes a substantial amount of good-natured laughter to break out among those present. When the laughter settles down, Mike Dodge goes onto says “We’ve now got contacts with the State Government in Lincoln. We can get their support to put a few amenities in the fort like a wind-driven water pump, a solar water heater and a wind turbine for generating electricity. The walls of the fort will give protection from wild animals, and we can put up actual timber buildings inside the enclosure. These will certainly be better than our tents when it comes to putting up with bad weather.”

Frank Miller considers what Mike Dodge has just told him and then he replies “Let’s do it. That location you mention will also put us in a better position to maintain contact with the Cheyenne.”

Expanding and Expanding
Date: April 4th, 1607
Location: FOB Hope, Quebec
1300 hours

At FOB Hope, the Combat Engineers have performed absolutely Herculean feats in constructing the airfield. All of the trees within the perimeter have been cut down, and the stumps removed. The trunks have been stripped of their branches, cut to a standard length and stacked for later use. Captain Brodeur and his executive officer 1LT Frank Morris made a survey of the ground within the proposed perimeter; the results of this survey were used to determine which areas of ground needed to be flattened or otherwise filled in. Preparation of the ground was greatly aided by the rest of the combat engineering company’s construction equipment, which was airdropped four days previously. Gravel for the smoothing and leveling of the ground was obtained from the banks of nearby streams and rivers.

Just after lunchtime, Captain Brodeur and the MP commander 1LT Jim Ferguson are out walking the perimeter. 1LT Ferguson turns to Captain Brodeur and says “Sir, your men are making fantastic progress. I would have thought that such progress would have required at least another week to ten days.” Captain Brodeur replies “True enough, lieutenant. Your own men have put in their fair share of construction work.”

“Thank you, sir. I’d like to ask what’s next on the schedule.”

“Lieutenant, the field is almost ready to land aircraft. All that needs to be done is receive a sufficient amount of AM2 aluminum matting. I made such a call back to Whiteman AFB. They tell me that the flights will begin tomorrow morning. Once the matting has been landed, my guys will have it in place as soon as possible. The, we can actually have those C-130s land here, instead of just airdropping what we need.”

“That is good news, sir. I can report that my men have finished building the guard towers on the perimeter of the landing field. There is one tower at each corner, plus other towers at regular intervals along the length of the field. Each tower is manned by a fire-team of three men at all times. Thus far, I have had no reports of anyone approaching the perimeter. This won’t last, however. The French and the Iroquois are out there, and it is only a matter of time before we encounter them. President Chu’s declaration that all North American lands and territories not already claimed by any European power belong to the United States isn’t going to sit well with our friends from Paris.”

“I see, lieutenant. How do you know this?”

“Sir, I have a master’s degree in the history of Colonial America. Samuel de Champlain is due to come out this way in July of 1608. I think it a great understatement that he’ll be quite surprised when he gets here.”

“Very well, lieutenant. With what you just said in mind, I will call for a battery of towed 105-mm artillery to be flown in as soon as the airfield is ready. There will be enough concertina wire to ring the field’s entire perimeter, just as with our camp. There’s going to be triple-standard concertina, plus an arrangement of tanglefoot outwards from the triple-standard. Even though the mortars and the artillery will provide us absolute fire superiority, I’d be more comfortable if we had advance knowledge of our surroundings. When the field is ready, I will ask higher headquarters for a troop of AH-64 attack helicopters to be stationed here. They’ll probably send us a few reconnaissance birds and a couple of transport helicopters as well.”

“That is an excellent idea, sir. Having the attack and recce birds here will enable us to reach out and touch someone at great distances. Those transports will allow us to put boots on the ground anywhere within range if necessary.”

Date: April 4th, 1607
Location: the capital cities of Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska
1400 hours

Meanwhile back on the home front, the reconstitution of the U.S Senate is proceeding apace. The governors of Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska saw how well the process went when Iowa re-made its’ own Senate delegation. Therefore, they resolve to call special sessions of the respective State legislatures to address the issue. The first body to be called into session is the Kansas State Legislature, followed by Missouri and finally Nebraska. In Topeka, the special session of the State senate is called to order by Senate President Steve Morris (R-39), who strikes his gavel upon the desk in front of him and calls out solemnly “The ladies and gentlemen of the Senate will please take their seats.” He turns to Senate Secretary Diane Minear and says “Madam Secretary, what business stands before the Senate this day?”

“Mr. President, by request of Governor Brownback, the Kansas State Senate has been asked to meet and select individuals to replace Senators Tim Huelskamp, Lynn Jenkins, Kevin Yoder and Mike Pompeo. As you all know, the entirety of our Congressional delegation was left behind in our old world when we were brought here.”

“Very well, Madam Secretary. Ladies and Gentlemen of this distinguished body, it is of singular importance to the State of Kansas and the nation as a whole that our Senate delegation be reconstituted without delay. Therefore, I open the floor for nominations.”

Senator Terry Bruce rises from his seat and says “Mr. President, I ask the chair’s indulgence to speak on this matter”

“The chair recognizes the distinguished gentleman from District 34.”

“Mr. President, the situation which our nation and our state has faced these past two months is unlike any other in all of human history. The good of the people requires us to put aside any differences between Republicans and Democrats and act as a united whole. I therefore ask my distinguished colleague Senator Ralph Ostmeyer from the Committee on Federal and State Affairs to step forward. I yield the floor that he may speak and I further reserve the balance of my time.”

“Without objection, it is so noted.” Senate President Morris gestures over to where Senator Ostmeyer is sitting and says “Senator Ostmeyer, the floor is yours.”

“I thank the President of the Senate for his kind indulgence. Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished members of the Kansas State Senate, I rise this day to place the name of Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley in nomination for one of the vacant seats in our U.S Senate delegation. Senator Hensley is the longest-tenured member of the Senate. He was first elected to the House in 1977, where he served until 1992. In 1993, he was elected to a term in the Senate and has been here ever since. Senator Hensley’s long service and his experience as chair of the Committee on Federal and State Affairs makes him extremely well-qualified to serve as a U.S Senator. I ask that his name be entered into the record and that the nomination be seconded.”

Senate President Morris says “Without objection, it is so ordered.” He gestures to Senate Secretary Minear, who says “Senator Anthony Hensley has been nominated to fill one of Kansas’ four vacant U.S Senate seats. Do I hear a second?”

“Mr. President?”

“The chair recognizes the distinguished gentleman Les Donovan from the 27th District.”

“Mr. President, I second the nomination.”

“Thank you, Senator Donovan. The nomination of Senator Hensley, having been made and duly seconded, will now be debated by the membership at large. The allotted time will be sixty minutes.”

The debate over Senator Hensley’s nomination commences, but is largely pro forma. He is so highly-respected on both sides of the aisle that the hushed mutterings of discussion among the members of the Kansas Senate quickly come to a conclusion just over fifteen minutes later. At this time, Senator Ralph Ostmeyer rises from his seat and says “Mr. President?”

“The chair recognizes the distinguished gentleman from District 40.”

“I thank the chair for your kind indulgence. Mr. President, I am of the opinion that further debate on Senator Hensley’s nomination will serve no purpose. I have polled my colleagues and they and I are of like mind. I call for an immediate vote.”

“Without objection, it is so ordered. In the matter of the confirmation of Senator Anthony Hensley to fill one of the vacant seats in the Kansas delegation to the United States Senate, the membership will cast their votes by electronic device. The Secretary of the Senate will call the tally when all members have voted.”

Just five minutes later, the electronic display on the wall of the Senate chamber shows that all members of the Senate have voted. As a matter of course, Senator Hensley abstained. Senate Secretary Minear reads from her own electronic display and announces to the membership at large “The membership of the Kansas State Senate having recorded their votes on Senator Hensley’s nomination to the United States Senate, the Yeas are 39 and there are no votes in opposition.”

Senate President Morris gavels this set of proceedings to a close and says “Congratulations, Senator Hensley.” To the membership at large, he says “There are three other seats to be filled. I now open the floor for nominations.”

In the Senate chambers of Nebraska and Missouri, very similar proceedings are taking place. All told, the Senate delegations of these two states (along with that of Kansas) will be reconstituted within twenty-four hours. After that, President Chu will be apprised of these developments so that accommodations can be made for the new United States Senate.

Date: April 5th, 1607
Location: Nebraska National Guard Headquarters, Lincoln, Nebraska

In order to survey the ground and provide up-to-date knowledge of the area outside state borders, Adjutant-General Judd Lyons decides that a reconnaissance should be made of northeastern Colorado and southern South Dakota. To this end, he orders Assistant Adjutant General Daryl Bohac to work with State CSM Eli Valenzuela to come up with a practical plan for doing so.

“Sir, CSM Valenzuela and I should be able to have a preliminary plan on your desk before close of business today.”

“Very well, General Bohac. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.”

At almost the same time in the headquarters of the Iowa National Guard at the STARC Armory in Johnston, Iowa, practically the same discussion is being had between Adjutant-General Timothy Orr and his subordinate commanders. Some of these officers are present in the STARC conference room, while others are participating via teleconference. The results of this command staff meeting are that General Orr has ordered several reconnaissance missions to take place. The first of these will be into west-central Illinois. The 1st Platoon of the 339th MP Company from Davenport, Iowa was on duty at the Illinois end of the I-80 highway bridge. They will be reinforced by the 2nd Platoon. Additional supplies and equipment will be delivered to the forward operating base at the end of the bridge, then the two platoons will make forth to a distance of thirty or forty miles. Another FOB will be set up and exploration of the local area will commence. Back at the bridge, security duties will be assumed by 2nd Platoon, 186th MP Company; these troops were already on-station as backup for 1st Platoon, 339th MP Company.

Adjutant-General Orr asks the commanding officers of the two MP Companies if they have any questions; CPT Dominic Wibe of the 339thth MP Company has enough foresight to ask “Sir, pardon me for mentioning this, but what do we do when we encounter members of any of the indian tribes in that area? I certainly don’t speak any of the languages, and neither do any of the troops under my command.”

“An excellent question, Captain Wibe. I will call the chancellors of Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa to see if any of the staffers in their anthropology or archaeology departments have any knowledge of the languages that your troops are likely to encounter.”

Next to be called upon by General Orr is Captain Samuel McKnight of HQ Company, 1-133rd Inf Bn. “Captain McKnight?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Your unit will be tasked with exploring southern Minnesota. You will stage out of the town of Clear Lake in Cerro Gordo County. The first objective will be to set of a forward operating base on the other side of the Iowa/Minnesota state line; I leave choice of the location up to your own best judgment. Once the base is set up, you will have your troops explore the surrounding area.”

“I understand, sir.”

“Very well, gentlemen. Dismissed.”


As promised, General Valenzuela brings his papers to General Lyon’s office to brief him on the plan he devised for carrying out the reconnaissance mission. “Sir, I have here an outline for accomplishing the mission you gave me earlier today. I call it ‘Operation: Exploration’, and it is in two parts. The first part involves staging troops and supplies out of the village of Lynch in Boyd County, Nebraska. These troops will move across the state line into southern South Dakota. They will travel along the Missouri River for a distance of forty miles. At that time, they will select a location to set up a forward operating base. When the base is operational, they will send out patrols in all directions. These patrols will be tasked with surveying the land and seeing how it compares with the maps we have of that area from before the transition. In all likelihood, we will encounter members of the Ponca and Sioux Indian tribes. On that basis, I will consult with officials in the University of Nebraska system and the Nebraska State Historical Society to see if there are any speakers of those languages residing in the state.”

“So far so good, General Valenzuela. What of northeastern Colorado?”

“Sir, the expedition for that area will stage out of the city of Ogalalla, in Keith County. They will follow the course of the South Platte River until they reach the site of what used to be Sterling, Colorado. A forward operating base will be set up, and its personnel will be tasked with exploring the countryside just as their counterparts are doing in South Dakota. Both bases will have medical personnel assigned to see to the needs of the troops on each expedition, as well as any of the Arapaho they happen to come across. As with the South Dakota part of the mission, consultations will be had to see if there are any speakers of the Arapaho language available.”

“I see. What units will you be tasking for this mission?”

“Sir, the 67th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade and the 1st Squadron of the 134th Cavalry Regiment are both based out of Lincoln, Nebraska. With your approval, I will send the 67th BSB to South Dakota, while the 1st of the 134th will handle the Colorado part of the mission.”

“Very well, General Valenzuela. Your plans and dispositions are sound. You have my authorization to execute Operation: Exploration immediately.”

“Thank you, Sir. I will report back to you when the troops are en-route.”


Adjutant-General Lee Tafanelli of the Kansas National Guard is issuing his own instructions for the exploration of Oklahoma. Selected troops will cross the Kansas-Oklahoma state line and establish forward operating bases at the locations of what were the cities of Bartlesville and Enid, Oklahoma. Once the bases are up and running, explorations of the surrounding territory will be made.

At the headquarters of the Missouri National Guard, Adjutant-General Danner received a call earlier today from his colleague Adjutant-General Orr of the Iowa National Guard. This call apprised General Danner of General Orr’s plans to explore parts of Illinois. In the course of this call, a suggestion was made that they coordinate their efforts in regards to Illinois. “That is an excellent suggestion, General Orr. I will have my troops proceed across the river bridges in St. Louis, Missouri and take up station perhaps twenty to thirty miles on the other side.”

“General Danner, what will you be doing in regards to northern Arkansas?”

“My men won’t just be exploring Arkansas. One group will stage out of Sikeston, Missouri and explore the western end of Kentucky; the forward operating base will be located near Lake Barkley. I will have two separate groups stage out of Kennett, Missouri. One of these will proceed to the location of what was once Jonesboro, Arkansas; the second group will head across the I-155 river bridge into far northwestern Tennessee and set up operations near the location of Dyersburg.”

More Developments
Date: April 7th, 1607
Location: President Chu’s office, Whiteman AFB

One of the features of President Chu’s weekly briefings has been an update on the location of the three ships ‘Susan Constant’, ‘Discovery’ and ‘Godspeed’ carrying English settlers that will found the settlement of Jamestown in the colony of Virginia. A previous order from President Chu had tasked a photographic reconnaissance satellite to search for the ships. Just as this meeting was about to conclude, Tech SGT Shannon Lucky approaches BG Thomas Bussiere, leans over and speaks to him quietly. He also hands over an office folder of the type used for inter-office communications. BG Bussiere dismisses Tech SGT Lucky and then says “I beg your pardon, Mr. President.”

“Yes, General?”

“Sir, my aide just handed me these photographs of the three ships you asked to be apprised of. Per your order of 6 February, 1607, STRATCOM at Offutt AFB retasked one of our Block IV KH-12 photo-reconnaissance satellites to look for these vessels. The NRO detachment at Offutt was able to find them quite easily. Going by what we know from our historical records, the vessels are proceeding on their original course. As of one hour ago, they are just 1,200 nautical miles off the Virginia coast. In our original history, landfall was made on May 14th, 1607. All indications are that the Susan Constant, Discovery and Godspeed will still make landfall on this same date, just five weeks from today.”

“Very good, General. Please keep me apprised of their progress. Additionally, I want preparations made to support the colonists as necessary. Since we all arrived in this new time, I have read up on colonial American history, and I know that the settlers at Jamestown went through some very rough times. They are going to arrive too late in the season to get viable crops planted, and within just six months, 51 members of the original company are going to be dead. The lack of inclination from the settlers to grown their own food led them to strong-arm supplies from the neighboring Indian villages. This in turn led to several violent and bloody conflicts between the settlers and the natives. These conflicts are something that I wish to avoid.”

“Yes, Mr. President. FOB Hope in Quebec will be well-situated to take the lead in this relief effort. The base is just 850 miles from what will be the location of the Jamestown settlement. I will order that relief supplies be stockpiled at FOB Hope. At the appropriate time, we can have the supplies air-dropped to the colonists.”

“Excellent. You may proceed at your own discretion, General.”

“Yes, Mr. President.”

Date: April 14th, 1607
Location: FOB Hope, Quebec

By truly herculean amounts of effort, the combat engineers and MPs at FOB Hope have completed the airfield and the security perimeter around the base. The steel decking covering the airfield proper is all in place, and now C-130s can land (rather than having to air-drop additional supplies, equipment and personnel). Among the first vehicles to be landed are a detachment of eight AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, plus support staff, spare parts and maintenance equipment. Also flown in were four CH-53E Super Stallion transport helicopters and four AH-6i reconnaissance helicopters. To further enhance FOB Hope’s long-range firepower, four M198 towed 155-mm howitzers and their prime movers were brought in. Ammunition stores are 800 rounds per tube, in the proportions of 70% HE, 20% WP and 10% parachute flare.

Just after noontime, Captain Chris Brodeur is called to the base commo tent, where he receives an important communication.

“FOB Hope, FOB Hope, this is Home Base. How do you read, over?”

Captain Brodeur replies “Home Base, this is FOB Hope. I read you loud and clear, over.”

“FOB Hope, this is Home Base. Be advised that NCA has ordered that additional supplies and personnel be flown out to you in order to provide relief to the Virginia Colony. The flights will begin tomorrow. Date of the relief operation is TBD.”

“Home Base, this is FOB Hope. Received and understood. Will advise.”

“Roger that, FOB Hope. Home Base out.”

Captain Brodeur calls over the MP detachment commander 1LT James Ferguson and says “Jim, we’ve got another job.”

“What is that, sir?”

“Jim, NCA is mounting a relief effort for the Virginia Colony. Supplies and personnel will be stockpiled here at FOB Hope, and then sent forward when necessary.”

“Very good, sir. When do the first flights get here?”

“Home Base says that the first planes are coming here tomorrow. Advise your men accordingly and stand by to render assistance.”

“Yes, sir.”

Supply Run
Date: April 15th, 1607
Location: Whiteman AFB, Missouri

In connection with BG Bussier’s orders from President Chu, the first two C-130s have been loaded with medical supplies, high-protein/high-calorie ration packs, agricultural tools and sealed packets of various types of seed crops. These seed packets are identified by type, and are stored in vacuum-packed plastic drums. Along with the cargo, there will be a number of medics and physicians to see to the medical needs of the Virginia colonists (including vaccinations). The command pilot of the lead aircraft radios Whiteman AFB’s control tower and says “Home Base, this is Relief-One, requesting permission to take off.”

“Relief-One, this is Home Base. Permission is granted. Be advised that winds are out of the northwest, steady at eight miles per hour. Weather radar shows no formations within 400 miles.”

“Thanks, Home Base. Relief-Two, this is Relief-One.”
“Go ahead, Relief-One.”

“We’ve been given the green light to proceed. Let’s go.”

“Understood, Relief-One.”

The pilot of the Relief-One aircraft nudges his throttle forward slightly. The four turboprops roar loudly as they speed up and the aircraft begins to taxi forward to the main runway. Some 75 yards behind Relief-One, the pilots of Relief-Two are doing the same thing. The plan is for the lead aircraft to take off and orbit Whiteman AFB until the trail aircraft is aloft. The two aircraft will join together and proceed towards FOB Hope at their best possible speed.

Ship Status
Date: April 15th, 1607
Location: Trinity Shipyard, Caruthersville, Missouri

The keel of USS Summner is largely complete, and so the shipyard workers begin to fabricate some of the ship’s other structural members. Some of these are to be welded, while others will be riveted. While this is going on, the ground along the banks of the Mississippi River nearest the shipyard is being surveyed with an eye towards increasing the capacity of the shipyard. In total, four more slipways will be built, so that a total of five vessels can be worked on at the same time. Superintendent Roger Wilson places a call to Rock Island Arsenal to enquire on the status of the guns for USS Summner and her fellow vessels.

“Hello, this is Roger Wilson over at Trinity Shipyard in Caruthersville, Missouri.”

“Hello, Roger. This is Mike Rodgers. I’m the supervisor here at Rock Island. What can I do for you today?”

“Mike, I’m calling to get a status update on the armament for the Summner-class vessels we’re building for the U.S Navy.”

“I’m glad you called, Roger. As of today, the blanks for the breechblocks have all been cast. They are in the machine shop even as we speak. The barrel tubes for the 5"/62-caliber main guns and the 25-mm secondaries are being forged. After that, the tubes will be chambered and rifled. Next, the mounts will be constructed and the electricians will get to work on the wiring harnesses for the guns. We’ve got enough M2 .50-caliber machine guns in stock to arm all twelve of the Sumners; all that we have to do here is to build the mounts.”

“What of the torpedoes, Mike?”

“Ahh yes, the torpedoes. The ones we’re going to be building for the Summner-class are going to be 21" in diameter and 20' 6" long. Completed units are going to weigh 3,000 lbs each. They will be propelled by a steam turbine fueled by propellant-grade high-test peroxide. The peroxide is fed through plates covered with a silver catalyst. The chemical reaction decomposes the HTP into high-temperature steam and free oxygen; these in turn are fed into the turbine. The weapon’s range depends on its speed setting. The high-speed setting is 46 knots; this will give a range of 4,500 yards. Low-speed is 31 knots with a corresponding range of 9,000 yards. As a safety feature, the torpedo casings are going to be of stainless steel; all of the tubing for the HTP fuel will have curves instead of sharp right-angles. This will prevent explosions from the accumulation of excess HTP in the fuel lines.”

“How about the warheads, Roger?”

“These aren’t going to be very complicated at all, Mike. Each of them will have 500 lbs of TNT fired by means of a contact exploder. There’s not going to be any guidance mechanism, because, from what I have heard, no ship in this day and age can possibly hope to avoid or out-run them, even at the low-speed setting.”

“Thanks for the update, Roger. Please keep me apprised.”

“I certainly will, Mike.”

Executive Orders
Date: April 16th, 1607
Location: President Chu’s office, Whiteman AFB

President Chu calls his private secretary Robert F. Hay into his office to dictate several executive orders “Good morning, Mr. Hay.”

“Good morning, Mr. President. How can I be of assistance today?”

“Mr. Hay, I wish you to draft two executive orders for me.”

“Yes, Mr. President.” Mr. Hay takes up his pen and a fresh pad of legal paper and says “I am ready to copy, sir.”

“Very well, Mr. Hay. Write as follows:”

‘Whereas the practice of slavery is a vile, abominable crime against humanity, I, Steven F. Chu, President of the United States do hereby publish and declare that any slave who sets so much as one foot upon any territory under the jurisdiction of the United States is, from that very moment, to be considered a free man. Henceforth, it shall be the policy of the Government of the United States that the practice of slavery shall be rooted out whenever and wherever possible. By an act of Congress published in 1820, trafficking in or smuggling of slaves is to be considered an act of piracy. Those who partake in this business are to be considered as pirates and punished as such.’

Signed: Steven F. Chu
President of the United States

“I have it, Mr. President.”

“Thank you, Mr. Hay. The second executive order is to be sent to Esther George, Secretary of the Treasury. It is as follows:”

‘Madam Secretary, in order for the economic growth of the United States to be further assured, you are directed to re-establish the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. You have Presidential Authorization to recruit such experts from private industry as are needed to perform the Bureau’s functions. The first task of the Bureau will be to re-develop the ability to strike coins. The first of these coins will be a re-introduction of the silver dollar originally designed by George T. Morgan. These coins will be dated starting in the present year of 1607, and are intended to facilitate international trade and the acquisition of further territory for the United States.’

Signed: Steven F. Chu
President of the United States

“Very good, Mr. President. I’ll draft these into proper legal form and return them for your signature.”

Robert Hay excuses himself and leaves the President’s office. A few minutes later, the buzzer on President Chu’s desk rings. The call is from Elizabeth Woodhull, his other private secretary.

“Mr. President, you asked to be reminded of your meeting with the Consuls-General of Spain and Mexico. These gentlemen will be here within the hour.”

“Thank you, Ms. Woodhull. Please see that appropriate refreshments are laid on. Let me know when the consuls-general arrive.”

“Yes, Mr. President.”


Just one hour later, a limousine carrying the flag of Spain rolls up in front in the parking lot of the building housing President Chu’s office. In this vehicle is the Consul-General of Spain, Ricardo Alvarez and two members of his staff. Next to arrive is Felipe Ortega, Consul-General of Mexico from Omaha, Nebraska. He is accompanied by Alfredo Carranza, Mexican consul from Kansas city. The limousine the two gentlemen are riding in carries the flag of the Mexican Republic. They are also accompanied by members of their respective staffs. As soon as the vehicles arrive, a Secret Service agent notifies Elizabeth Woodhull. She, in turn buzzes President Chu’s office.

“Excuse me, Mr. President. You wanted to be notified when the Consuls-General of Spain and Mexico arrived. They are here.”

“Thank you, Ms. Woodhull. Please show these gentlemen to the conference room and tell them that I will be there directly.”

The diplomats are greeted at the building’s entrance by Elizabeth Woodhull, who says “Your excellencies, welcome to Whiteman AFB. President Chu is expecting you. Please follow me.” Consul-General Ricardo Alvarez of Spain is the first to speak “Thank you for your courtesy, Senora Woodhull. I am very much looking forward to meeting President Chu.” Immediately behind him are Consul-General Felipe Ortega and Consul Alfredo Carranza of Mexico, along with selected members of their respective staffs. The diplomats are shown to the building’s conference room, where President Chu is waiting to meet them. He asks them to please be seated, and then takes his own seat at the head of the conference table.

“On behalf of the People of the United States, I tank you all for coming here this morning. I know that the past two months have been a great trial for you.”

Consul-General Ortega of Mexico replies “Si, Senor Presidente. Hardly a day goes by when my office isn’t deluged with calls from Mexican nationals in Omaha, Nebraska and elsewhere.” He turns to his colleague Consul Alfredo Carranza and says “Alfredo, is this the not the case with your office in Kansas City, Missouri?”

Consul Carranza replies “It is indeed the case, Senor Ortega.”

President Chu says “Let us begin the meeting, gentlemen. Senor Alvarez, at the risk of trivializing the obvious, what is now your country is ruled by the Habsburg monarch King Phillip III. Spain and its empire are beset on all sides by monumental problems, chief among which is the upcoming Thirty Years War. There is also the present financial crisis, which as you know is the worst in Spain’s entire history.”

Consul-General Alvarez says “Si, Senor Presidente. You are speaking the truth. Though the glory of the Spanish Empire be at its height now, what follows is a long, hard fall and much misery for the people of Spain. Senor Presidente, I must ask why you are mentioning this.”

“Senor Alvarez, I mention the problems that Spain is having because I have a solution. At present, the collected debts of the Spanish Crown are some one hundred million pesos. In terms of relative economics, this amount is equal to the total debt owed by the Spanish Government in the time we came from. I propose that, in return for Phillip III signing over the Viceroyalty of New Spain, the United States of America will tender to him an amount of coined silver equal to that one hundred million pesos.”

Consul-General Alvarez’ eyes go as wide as the proverbial piece-of-eight when he comprehends the full meaning of President Chu’s proposal. He says “Senor Presidente, that is a truly monumental idea. I regret what my people had to suffer during Spain’s ‘Long Fall’. I would not see the Spain of this time suffer the same fate. The finances of His Most Catholic Majesty Phillip III are greatly strained, so I believe he would accept your proposal. However, certain of his advisers may not be so willing to accept. May I ask how you will facilitate the transfer?”

“Senor Alvarez, the United States Navy is currently being reconstituted. When sufficient ships are available, I intend to dispatch a diplomatic mission to Spain for the express purpose of meeting with King Phillip III. If he agrees, the sum of one hundred million pesos will be paid to the Spanish Imperial Government by whatever means are acceptable. If speed is of the essence, I will detail ships of the United States Navy to carry the silver to whatever location is directed. If your excellency wishes, you can accompany the mission, or you can choose someone to act in your stead.”

“I look forward to that, Senor Presidente.”

Just then, Consul-General Alfredo Carranza and Consul Felipe Ortega speak up almost simultaneously “What of our country, what of Mexico?” President Chu replies “Gentlemen, your country will not be born for more than two hundred years. Even then, it will arise out of a bloody revolution that will do as much harm as it does good. I propose that, once the United States takes over jurisdiction of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, that portion of the Viceroyalty defined by the 2013 border between our two countries will be held in trust until such time as a new government for Mexico can be properly constituted. Then, all of the territory which constituted Mexico will be turned over for governance. To ease the transition, you will be provided with the precise locations of any mineral deposits of consequence in Mexico. Since this is 1607, many of them haven’t even been discovered yet. Those that are known are being exploited with the technology of this time. Will this be acceptable to your excellencies?”

Consul-General Carranza and Consul Ortega exchange brief looks of acceptance and nod their head vigorously. Consul Ortega says “Senor Presidente, your idea is like a gift from Heaven. If it can be accomplished, it will save generations of Mexicans both living and as yet unborn much sorrow and pain. Muchos Gracias, Senor Presidente.”

The next three hours of the meeting proceeds with many discussions of how President Chu’s stated objectives can best be accomplished. Details are worked out on how best to accomplish them. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Mexican Consuls are handed a document listing the exact locations and amounts of Mexico’s mineral deposits and reserves as they were known in 2013.

Mineral Deposits and Reserves of the United Mexican States

Historically, Mexico has been one of the world’s largest silver producers. The main silver deposits are located in the ‘Mexican Silver Belt’, also known as La Faja de Plata. Small workings in this area are currently being exploited by the Spanish colonial authorities, but the true extent of the silver deposits are unknown to them. At present, La Faja de Plata contains 2,000,000,000 tons of silver ore with an average grade of 16+ ounces per ton. This same ore also contains 0.183 ounces per ton of gold, along with 1% lead and 0.8% zinc.

See above for projected figures

The copper deposits of Mexico are located in an area called the “Mexican Copper Belt.” This is an area of Jurassic-Cretaceous and Tertiary-age porphyry deposits and magmatic arcs that run from the northern state of Baja California through Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua and into Chiappas State. As with silver, these copper deposits are being worked on a small scale. In total, the Mexican Copper Belt holds 2,500,000,000 tons of ore with an average grade of 10%.

In Mexico, sulfur is available from two sources. The first is ‘native’ or elemental sulfur. This is found in certain of the more volcanically-active regions of the country. Native sulfur deposits are 160 million tons. The second source is sulfur-bearing minerals with an average grade of 25% sulfur by weight. These deposits are vast, with a total of 1,500,000,000 tons.

Deposits of Molybdenum ore exist primarily in the state of Sonora and a few other locations. Total reserves are 300,000,000 tons, with an average grade of 0.077%. Associated copper content is 0.049%. None of these deposits are known to exist by the Spanish colonial authorities

These deposits are in the state of Hildalgo. They total 1.53 billion tons of ore, with an average grade of 25%.

Total iron ore deposits in Mexico are 1,200,000,000 tons. The ore is high-grade hematite, with an average iron content of 70%.

Coal: 2,500,000,000 tons

Oil: 90 billion barrels

Natural gas: 680 trillion cubic feet

The document also contains tables listing the exact location of these resources, along with much technical information like the depths and grades of the various ore bodies. Consul-General Carranza and Consul Ortega express their deep gratitude to President Chu for this information. Consul Ortega says “Gracias, Senor Presidente. When the time comes, the information you have given us will be of immense help in building Mexico up as a regional power.” Consul-General Carranza says “My colleague expresses my thoughts also, Senor Presidente. Rest assured that we will aid you to the limits of our ability.”

President Chu shakes hands with each and every one of the Mexican diplomatic personnel before they leave. Future meetings are also scheduled in furtherance of the stated objectives.

Old Man River
Date: May 12th, 1607
Location: The office of the Secretary of Defense, Whiteman AFB
Time: 0900

With the construction of the U.S Navy’s new warships now well on its way to completion, it behooves Secretary Danner to make sure that the Mississippi River is deep enough to admit the passage of the ships once they are completed. To this end, he places a call to the senior surviving officer of the United States Coast Guard. LT. Commander Ben Karpinski is the commander of Base Detachment-St. Louis. Lt. Commander Karpinski is in his office when his aide Yeoman Janet Price calls him over the office intercom.

“Commander Karpinski, please excuse the interruption. I have the Secretary of Defense on the line for you.”

“Thank you, Yeoman Price. Please put the call through to my desk.”

“Aye, Sir.”

Yeoman Price does as she is instructed, and in very short order Lt. Commander Karpinski picks up the phone and says “Good morning, Mr. Secretary. How can I be of assistance?”

Secretary Danner says “Commander, you may already know that new ships for the United States Navy are being constructed at the Trinity Shipyard in Caruthersville, Missouri. It is vitally important for me to know if the Mississippi River is deep enough downstream from the shipyard to allow passage to the vessels into the Gulf Of Mexico. Will you be able to find this out for me?”

“Yes sir, Mr. Secretary. As it so happens, a pair of Coast Guard HC-130J aircraft were undergoing a training flight from their base in Elizabeth City, North Carolina to CGAS Sacramento in California. They happened to be in our airspace when the transition event happened, and so they landed at Offutt Airbase when all air traffic was temporarily grounded. As it so happens, these two aircraft are fitted out for oceanic and riverine surveillance. They have a full sensor suite, to include radar, sonar and other systems.”

“Very good, Commander. I want you to order one of those aircraft to make a survey flight down the entire length of the Mississippi River from the Missouri Boot-heel down to the mouth of the river near the location of what was once New Orleans. Tell the crew that they are to measure the depth of the river as often as possible, and to take note of any other conditions of interest. When the mission is completed, you are to call me directly with the results.”

“Aye, sir. I will issue the order immediately. One of the aircraft will be airborne within the hour.”

“Thank you, commander. That will be all.”

The call is concluded, and Lt. Commander Karpinski calls Offutt Airbase to issue the orders. One hour later, the pilots of the aircraft (titled Coast Guard-015) are taxiing into position of Offutt’s main runway to request permission to take off.

1000 hours

“Offutt Tower, this is Coast Guard-015. We are in position, requesting permission to take off.”

The tower’s Air Traffic Control officer replies “Roger that, Coast Guard-015. Permission is granted. You are clear to take off on Runway 3-Right. Be advised that Visual Flight Rules are in effect.”

“Copy that, Offutt Tower. Coast Guard-015 out.”

Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, LT Roger Holbrook advances his throttles so that the HC-130J’s four Allison T56-A-15 turboprops come to full power. Slowly at first, then faster and faster, the aircraft speeds down the runway. CG-015 is now airborne and is proceeding with its mission. After takeoff, LT Holbrook banks and sets the aircraft on an east-southeast course towards the Missouri boot heel. One and a half hours later, CG-105 arrives over the Mississippi River. He passes the word to the crew chief to begin the survey mission. The men in the sensor suite power up their instruments and begin to scan the river 1,500' below. Two further hours of flying time sees CG-015 approaching the mouth of the Mississippi River. From above, the delta is in its’ familiar place. Lt Holbrook and his co-pilot exercise their command discretion and spend the next thirty minutes overflying the coastline on either side of the delta.

Finally, the order to return is given. The pilot wheels the aircraft around and follows the course of the Mississippi back up-river. To double-check the findings of the sensors, the crew is ordered to survey the river again. To save time on getting the information to Secretary Danner, Lt. Commander Karpinski previously ordered CG-015 to land at Lambert Field in St. Louis. Six and a half hours after takeoff from Offutt AFB, CG-015 lands at Lambert Field. Lt. Commander Karpinski is on hand to greet the pilot and crew of the aircraft as soon as it comes to a stop. The engines are throttled back and then shut down. From his command chair on the flight deck, LT Holbrook sees Lt. Commander Karpinski waiting to see him on the tarmac. He debarks the aircraft.comes over to where Lt. Commander Karpinski is standing, renders a salute and says “Lt. Holbrook reporting as ordered, sir.”

The salute is returned and Lt. Commander Karpinski says “Thank you, lieutenant. What do you have for me?”

“Sir, as you ordered, I flew along the Mississippi River all the way from the Missouri bootheel to the Gulf of Mexico. Starting some thirty miles south of the bootheel, I saw evidence of extensive flooding that went on for hundreds of miles downstream. Just above the bootheel, the depth of the river is twenty feet. Below the bootheel, I expected the depth to be rather shallow, but it wasn’t. Instead, the depth averaged thirty feet down to the vicinity of what was Greenville, Mississippi. From there, the riverbed deepened until the vicinity of what was Baton Rouge, Louisiana. There it was forty-five feet. From Baton Rouge to New Orleans, the depth exceeded one hundred feet.”

“That is most unusual, Lieutenant. There has been no dredging, so how can you explain the increased river depth?”

“Sir, I can only surmise that the flooding had something to do with it. Before the transition event dropped us back here in 1607, the Mississippi River was at its natural depth throughout its entire length. When we were dropped here, the section of the Mississippi River from Northern Iowa all the way down to the Missouri bootheel had a much-increased volume of water. After the transition, this water rolled down-river and scoured out the bottom of the original river bed. This may be what caused the flooding I and my crew observed.”

Lt. Commander Karpinski considers what he has heard for a brief moment and then says “Thank you, Lt. Holbrook. Your information will be most useful. For now, stand down and see to your aircraft and your crew; pass the word to your crew and tell them I said well-done.”

“Yes, sir. I’m sure they will appreciate the comment.”

Shipyard Interlude
Date: May 12th, 1607
1100 hours

At the Trinity Shipyard in Caruthersville, Missouri, the employees are working as expeditiously as possible. Not only are they building USS Sumner, they are also beginning work on four new slipways to facilitate the construction of other ships. The foundations for these slipways have already been excavated, and the steel reinforcing is in place to take the first pours of concrete. As regards the armament of the Sumner-class vessels, the 5"/62-caliber main guns and the 25-mm secondaries for USS Sumner have been delivered, along with the deck-mounted torpedo tubes and the M-2 .50-caliber machine guns for all twelve Sumner-class vessels. In the shipyard’s fabrication building, the hull plating for USS Sumner is being made (along with various of the hull’s structural members. Immediately upon fabrication, these items are stored and will be delivered when called for.

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