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Campaigns: Twilight 2000
This campaign group is for Operation: Twilight 2000
Hosted by John Pereira
T2K 2005 Finished models/stories
Jacques
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Posted: Monday, February 07, 2005 - 02:07 AM UTC
This is the place to post your builds and stories. Please use this to post ONLY the finished build and story. All in progress stuff should be posted in a different thread. Also, please no congradulatory/critical remarks. Again, please put them in a new thread.

We want to keep this thread "pure" for showing off our year-long work.
Jaster
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Posted: Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 05:13 PM UTC
All;

A couple of points/additions about this part of the campaign-

A LOT of the "spirit" of this campaign comes from this area...the STORIES behind the builds! I urge you to take a shot at writing up the narrative that goes with your build! A couple of paragraphs, or a novel- just take some time and let us know the STORY behind the build!

Anyone who wants to read a "Diamond in the Rough"-
"Twilight 2000- Armorama Version" by GIBeregovoy, please Email me!

This is a fantastic overview of the whole storyline. GIB put a ton of work into this and it is worth your time to give it a read. It is a "work-in-progress", but still has great value. GIB deserves a BIG Armorama salute for this piece!

No matter if you are new to this Campaign, or have been around for all its' iterations, I urge you to give this a read.

It is a "big-un"... 1.7mB, 130+ pages of .pdf, complete with pics, both real and of finished pieces from he first T2K Campaign. I'll forward it to anyone who wants it so long as the "bandwidth load" (read that as the "time issue") doesn't get out of hand!

If you'd like a copy of this Armorama literary masterpiece, email me at:

jimnsfsc AT comcast DOT net

I hope to see your story(s) up soon...mine should be there by this weekend.

Jim
GIBeregovoy
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Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2005 - 05:23 PM UTC
Thanks for the kind words Jim. Still a lot of work on it, but I guess if anyone's satisfied, then that's ok for me.

I can still update the storyline with the new ones coming out from the current campaign (and any stories from TW2K:04) when I'm free and have my imagination back in afterburner again. That's the least I can do for this year's TW2K.
Jaster
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Posted: Friday, February 18, 2005 - 01:25 PM UTC
GIB;

Good to "hear" from you again!

I loved your story! I am a big fan of "future histories". I have my story ready for my first build, as well as a 65% done version of an expanded story from the first T2K...again based on my Michigan storyline.

And THANKS for volunteering to take on a BIG project for the T2K crowd!

Jim
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Posted: Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 09:47 AM UTC

Quoted Text

All;
No matter if you are new to this Campaign, or have been around for all its' iterations, I urge you to give this a read.
Jim



Jim, I send you an email today. I would like to read this storyline. I'm new to this campaign and I'm not sure what to do exactly...
Hope the text will help a big deal.

Paul
DaveCox
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Posted: Thursday, June 02, 2005 - 11:57 AM UTC
I didn't realise that there was a thread for completed entries! Here's the link to mine:
http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=49887&page=1
Jacques
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Posted: Tuesday, June 07, 2005 - 11:45 AM UTC
Thanks for linking in this thread Dave. I forgot you had one done! Remember folks, you should either link to the other thread your entry is in or else you can direct post here. We also need some more entries folks.

I know, I know, I have to finish mine up as well, just have to find the time...yeesh, is it summer already?

Cuhail
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Posted: Friday, July 15, 2005 - 05:20 AM UTC
Ok, I,m done and here is the link:

She's on the way!

Cuhail
Neo
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Posted: Monday, October 31, 2005 - 04:36 AM UTC
Jacques,

Few questions:

My story is about two pages long. Should I still post it here (I don't have / belong to any other websites)?

I'm working on the kit now, story posted first then photos later or story and photos together?



N E O
KoSprueOne
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Posted: Thursday, November 03, 2005 - 08:47 AM UTC


Adak, Alaska.
Navy Seabees defend the second to the last Navy Submarine and Marine Amphibious port of the North Pacific / Bering Sea region, now charted as the Pacific Bering Vertebrate. The marines are deployed off shore defending oil rigs and are too busy to support the few left on port. CBEOs (Equipment Operators) and CBMUs (Maintenance Units) have retro-fitted local utility vehicles for these defense purposes.



Full Untethered Remote Control (FUnTRC) via satellite, Armored Wagon from a general mining tractor. Used now for road block / checkpoint disruptions and distractions as well as surveilance duties.


The invaders: Norths Elves.
REASON: all world cultures on earth have unanimously concluded that Kristo Claus aka Kringel does not exist! Therefore leaving the elves powerless in their ancient time long legacy of psycops. And they are pissed...

Pictures of the armored wagon




dexter059
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Posted: Monday, November 21, 2005 - 02:47 PM UTC
Here´s my entry, finished before the car accident I suffered 2 days ago... Now I´m in bed at my house in recovery, so I had time to think the backstory for the dio...maybe the story it´s too much for the size of the work, but cut me some slack :-) :-) :-)

My entry for T2K 2005

Thanks again to Jaster for be so kind in supply me with the compendium made by GI Beregovoy, helped me a lot in developing a credible backstory for this campaign

Best regards
ShermiesRule
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Posted: Monday, November 21, 2005 - 03:55 PM UTC
Link no work
dexter059
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Posted: Monday, November 21, 2005 - 10:28 PM UTC
try here The Last Copper Mine

now works in both post
best regards
dexter059
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Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2005 - 03:20 AM UTC
2nd entry here The Long Road Home

Best Regards
ShermiesRule
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Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 01:05 AM UTC
Here is mine

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=65791&page=1
Jaster
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Posted: Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 08:34 AM UTC
Well...I'm gonna miss the deadline for the build but I do have the story, and the build is underway.

I'll break the story into 2+ posts as it is a bit longwinded.

Jim

...if only I could just materialize the ideas into builds!
Jaster
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Posted: Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 09:58 AM UTC
OK-Here goes. Looong posts follow!

=======================================================

Lt. Col. Johnson and his troops held this ground through the long winter. When they arrived, months ago on a balmy October afternoon, they were a battalion, the Fighting 45th of the MIDF (Michigan Irregular Defense Force)! A home grown unit made up of troops from the Michigan National Guard, the U.S. Army and the "able bodies" who'd fled the chaos of the cities after the destruction and riots.

They'd arrived at the Mackinac Bridge with 5 M1A1s, 6 Bradleys, 9 M113s, 7 HMVVWs, an assortment of modified civilian vehicles and nearly 500 troops. In addition to the "regular" army equipment there was an assortment of armored flatbeds with 25mm Bushmasters, American "technicals" based on large U.S. pickups, 2 school buses that served as mobile command posts and several buses that served in the Mechanized Transport role. Now their force consisted of an M1A1, a Brad, 2 M113s and one Hummer and an assortment of civilian vehicles, some worked, most didn't.

**************************************************************************

The "Fighting 45th" was forged in the tremendous upheaval after the nuclear exchanges and tempered in a year of intense, deadly combat with "Mayhem". The battles between the MIDF and the coalition of ruthless, powerful criminals and gangs known as Mayhem, had raged for nearly a year. From Mayhem's first serious incursion north that culminated in the Battle of Roscommon to now, nearly 2,000 MIDF troops had sacrificed their lives to preserve the small beacon of order and civilization they had carved out of the woods of Northern Michigan. Names like; Zilwaukee Bridge, Clare, Midland and others would stand in the annals of history with names like Midway, Gettysburg and more. Not as big, not as bloody, but just as crucial and vital to the history of this great nation, or what was left of it.

During this period the MIDF had become a true military force. It was comprised of National Guard members, current and former US Military, police and just "plain folks" who had fled the hell of the cities. Leaders emerged, tactics were tested, refined and taught, ad-hoc equipment was built and refined...and Mayhem had been kept in check. The last battle fought at The Zilwaukee Bridge had inflicted over 5,000 casualties on Mayhem and had cost the MIDF 373 brave soldiers. Since then Mayhem had not ventured out of the enclaves of the cities. Recon units sent south reported back that Mayhem decided that it was not worth it to try and take the areas north of the urban areas they controlled...for now.

The 45th was sent north from the Camp Grayling area to secure the Mackinac Bridge. MIDF Command had received intel that Soviet forces were crossing the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and planned on coming south across the Straits of Mackinac. The prize was the industrial cities stretching from Detroit to Flint to Lansing, cities that had been spared in the nuclear exchanges at the beginning of the war. These cities were still under the control of Mayhem, but they could not be allowed to fall into the hands of the USSR.

For months, the 45th had withstood repeated attacks by remnants of the 24th Guards Arctic Division. Dozens of T-95s, T-72s and BMPs had been destroyed in rushes across the bridge. 20+ large ferries had been sunk attempting to cross troops in force, small units of Spetznaz had crossed and attacked from the rear but had been eliminated, some as they encountered the defenses in Mackinac City, others as they were caught by elements of the 1st SFG of the MIDF, that comprised the rear guard for the bridge defense. Then the 45th had been cut off. Eventually winter had taken hold, as it always did. Snow seemed to fall constantly, covering the ground with with a tranquil blanket that belied the violence and death that had gone on at this site. A steady, cold wind had howled off Lake Michigan piling the snow into huge drifts. The 45th been cut off from their base and any significant resupply or reinforcements for months. A stalemate had ensued as the Soviet forces suffered from the weather along with the MIDF. Ice clogged the Straits of Mackinac, making any chance of a water crossing impossible. The meager MIDF forces left at the bridge appeared to have won the day, for now. Once spring arrived, and movement again became possible it would be a race to see who reinforced the fasted and strongest.

**************************************************************
Jaster
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Posted: Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 09:59 AM UTC
"Hey Smitty!" Lt. Col. Ben Johnson hollered down into the turret, "You gonna have the thermal fixed soon?".

"All things in time, Sir, all things in time." came the response from Sgt. Smith.

Their M1, named "DREADNOUGHT", was the key to the defense at the bridge now. She was parked in of all places, a motel swimming pool. More specifically the pool at the Bridge Inn. The pool, long since drained, served as a perfect defilade position overlooking the bridge . The surviving Bradley still had her TOW and thermal, but was immobilized by a thrown tread and no parts to fix it. It was parked in a destroyed building, acting as a forward observation post and pillbox if the Soviets tried another crossing. The Hummer had a cobbled up TOW mount, of dubious reliability, from one of the M2s. The M113s were armed with .50 cals and 40mm grenade launchers.

Around town, the 76 remaining infantrymen, and women, were dug in. Some had AT-4s, there were a few Dragons and two precious Javelin launchers with twelve rounds. There were VERY few rounds left for any of the heavy weapons.

"Well Smitty, just get it working. I have a bad feeling. Its' been too quiet over there. Springs breakin' out all over the damned place", Johnson said, “and you know I get crabby when I’m uneasy.”

Johnson was thinking of the irony of sitting here, within a few hundred meters of old Fort Michilimackinac, a historic tourist attraction he had visited as a kid many years ago, a place where he had played soldier. Now he sat nearby the blasted remnants of the old fort defending his nation, such as it was, from invasion. Lt. Col. Johnson was a veteran of the Gulf War in 1991, now he commanded a hodgepodge force made up of soldiers, weekend warriors, stockbrokers, carpenters, shopkeepers, mothers, teachers and whoever else was willing and able, defending one of the most strategic places on earth, or so he had been told. From the reports he had heard and read, virtually all industry on earth was gone. Yet 200 miles south of him, scattered across southern Michigan, was what was once the industrial heartland of Planet Earth, cities that in the final 25 years of the 20th Century had become known as the Rust-Belt. Now they rose in importance because they had been spared the missile attacks. They’d been plundered by Mayhem and no one knew for certain what condition the factories were in, but they were some of the few industrial cities that still stood on planet earth. And here he was, guarding the only route into the region from the north, guarding it with a beat up M1A1, an immobilized M2A2ODS, a couple of M113A2s, a Hummer and an assortment of trucks, buses and flatbeds, manned by an odd assortment of 80 or so battle hardened troops, hoping that relief would arrive soon. And hoping even more, that the Soviet troops, encamped across the straits, would not make a push now that the weather was easing up. The 45th had suffered nearly 80% casualties defending the crossing, but they had held at the Mighty Mac.

Today the first contact with units from Camp Grayling since winter had strangled the northern parts of Michigan had occurred. A recon unit had arrived with word that a company of 12 M1s, 2 rare M109A6s and 3 companies of infantry along with supplies was scheduled to arrive in 3-5 days.

****************************************************

“Sir?”, Smitty poked his head out of the loader’s hatch, “can we stop them if they come again?”

"Beats me Smitty, I'm praying the relief units get here real soon. We just don't have much left to give here. We're spent."

As he turned to look Smitty disappeared back down in the turret working to fix the reluctant thermal sight.

****************************************************************

The next day broke cloudy, but with the feeling of spring in the air. The ice was breaking up in the straits, the snow that had covered the town of Mackinac City, with a three foot blanket, was nearly gone. Today, just like the past several days, his units would adjust their camouflage to blend in with the changing environment better. He'd managed to grab some sleep, especially after Smitty had reported the thermal sight operational. Thankfully, another night had passed without event.

*****************************************************************

"Corporal Gray?" Johnson shouted down into the turret.

"Sir?" Gray responded.

"I'm off for my morning constitutional and inspection." Johnson said cheerily, "You know what to do if the crap and the fan collide!"

"Yes SIR, I run screaming to the rear, SIR." Gray said with a sense of seriousness that was pure theater.

"More or less...", replied Johnson, knowing that the drill was deeply ingrained in his bunch. "Don't forget the part about screaming, 'the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming' as you run."

Lt. Col. Thomas Johnson began his daily routine of inspecting the troops and getting the scuttlebutt. As he usually did, he walked south into town and turned east along the main shopping street, or what was left of it. It had been looted in the early stages of the war and then shelled during the past few months since they had been holding the bridge. Thankfully, Johnson reflected, artillery had not been a significant factor. He'd been sent to the bridge without any artillery of his own and it seemed that the Soviets had very little either.

As he turned into the Command Post, formerly Murdick's Fudge, Johnson thought he heard a noise from the direction of the bridge. He stood still and listened for a moment then ducked through the doorway and entered the CP.

"Morning gents", he said.

"TenHUT!", barked the Officer in Charge, Capt. Meyers.

"At ease." Johnson answered back. He was proud that the troops still had the discipline to carry on the traditions of command...but didn't feel the need to ride the troops on the issue. "You guys OK this morning?"

"Yessir, we're doing alright. As per SOP we are cold, bored and ready to do something besides sit and wait while our backsides turn to butt-sicles, SIR!"

At that moment the alarms they had rigged sounded and the radio-telephone system came alive.

"This is Oddball One, we have bad guys on the bridge! Repeat, we have multiple bad guys on the bridge." Oddball One was the OP closest to the bridge, consisting of 2 troops, a pair of binoculars and their personal weapons, nothing to stop any kind of thrust, but enough to shout a warning.

"DAMN. Gentlemen...and Ladies, you know what to do, I'm heading back to my little corner of paradise. Godspeed!" With that advice, Lt. Col. Johnson turned and ran out the door. As he ran his thoughts turned to the phrase he had turned over in his mind so many times since he left the lager at Camp Grayling, the closing words of General Atherman's mission brief...Defenso ad Ultimum, Defend To The Last.
generalzod
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Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2005 - 05:48 AM UTC
Here's the story behind mine
SGM Weaver of the PA NG,28th Infantry division, decided to use his own restored M3 scout car of W.W. vintage He decided to put on a MK19 40mm grenade launcher and M60 mg on it

He has a call sign "Zod" He also has three female crew Thier call signs are "Kara,Faora and Ursa"

They have decided to camo the vehicle to blend in with the local seasons Field drab,earth red and black are used

The vehicle is used to guard the local farm lands,what's left of them and the food staorage areas in Lancaster county,Pa area
Trisaw
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Posted: Sunday, January 01, 2006 - 02:45 AM UTC
I am experiencing phone problems due to the continous storms. I have an entry and story nearly complete, but DSL hookup has been so spotty that the connection breaks anytime and in most cases I can't even log in. The phone company should fix it after the New Year.

As such, I can't upload anything until my connection is stable. Give me a few days and I should be able to send something in.
dexter059
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Posted: Saturday, January 07, 2006 - 03:45 AM UTC
Jacquues, don´t foorget me when you make the ribbon assignment
cheers
Trisaw
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Posted: Sunday, January 08, 2006 - 03:18 AM UTC




======================

The model is basically done. Due to the deadline, I omitted details such as brackets and straps to hold the rucks and LAWs and also the MK-19's ammo can. Eventually I plan to add these details, create groundwork, paint the female figure, and perform other touches and polishes. But for now, the model is completed enough to show the general concept and idea of the story.

Story follows...
======================

C 2006 Peter Ong

Location: Somewhere in the United States
Freelance Journalist Gwenton Pento

There’s a Yellow Rose in Texas that I am going to see… —American Civil War Song
By Gwenton Pento, Free Press


Have you heard of the “Southern Rose?” The “Yellow Rose of Texas?” Most survivors of the apocalyptic cataclysm to befall the United States have, and even tens of thousands outside the world have. Many have read or heard, but no one has seen her.

Does she really exist? Is she a legend, a myth, or a propaganda ploy? Is she hope for those who have none, inspiration for demoralized warriors, a cause worth fighting for?


St. Louis, Missouri
2 June, 2053

“Heard about her many times, yeah,” said a middle-aged farmer turned militiaman as he cleaned his AR-15 with scope, taking the time to check for carbon with a dirty white T-shirt. “Pretty gorgeous. Real Southern Belle. (Heh) Nope, ain’t never met her; ain’t never seen her. Ain’t no one did.”

He looked up from the disassembled barrel, met my eyes. “Sure like to though.” His lips stretched into a broad smile before the twinkle in his misty faded gray eyes died. “I don’t think she exists. Ain’t no one survived this fricking war. Think, son. `A pretty young lady living in an all-unscathed house surround’d by a wide green lawn. She be wearing elegant clothes, mannered, prim, proper, and demure.’ Ain’t no such thing, boy! Ain’t no such thing…

“I mean, what she gonna eat? Ain’t no intact grocery store for tens of miles around. Nah, nah, now I’s a-don’t know nothing about where she lives or how it is over there in that part ol’ the nuked ol’ U.S., but I’m a-figuring all over this darn nation is pretty much the same…nuked to ashes, man. And who’s gonna protect her? There be rapist, mobs, thieves, hoodlums running rampant in here country, boy. Why, I got Jefferies out there manning da tower to allow me’s to clean my pretty Colt here. (Snorts) If there be such a lady, God protects her, I tell you that. God protects her.”

He went back to rubbing the inside of his AR-15 and did so for the next ten seconds. He then looked up. “You be wasting your time, boy. Gas don’ come cheap. I can spares you a gallon, maybes two at best, but no men.” He gave me a cocky eye, wobbled his head side-to-side with a demeanor of arrogance. “Wish you find hers, I do.” He chuckled. “But I says you wasting your life away; I do.”

“Thanks for any help you can give me, sir,” I said with my utmost respect. This journalist didn’t “graduate” from Harvard—“graduate” as in before Harvard was sacked by Soviet Airborne. Every Harvard student who ran for life from the campus “graduated” that day—and many didn’t make it.

“No problem, son.” He gave me a wry grin. His eyes returned to the barrel; his hand stroke the white cloth back-and-forth over it. I made a move for the door.

“Now waits a moment, boy.” I stopped. “I mean, what’s you a planning to do if you do find her, eh? If she do exist, eh? You gonna marry her? You gonna bang her? What you gonna do, huh?”

“I want the truth,” I said, over my left shoulder. “I want to know if she does exist.”

“Well, hell, man, don’t we all? But, I mean, why bother? Ain’t no news-a-paper paying for your story, man. Ain’t no papers exist anymore! You gonna be chasing ghosts, that’s all. A good man like you, I could use you. Whatdaya say, my good man, wanna join my band?”

“No thank you, sir.”

“Well…well…all right. I ain’t got nothing against ya, boy. Hate to see a good man go to waste out the door chasing dreams. Hate to say this, son, but me thinks this is the last time I’m gonna see ya. There be dangers out there. I thinks you’re safer here in my little Minuteman band, but that’s just me.”

I reached for the doorknob, noticing all the deadbolts along the door’s perimeter. The rifleman witnessed my decision and said, “Godspeed then. May you find her, and if she don’ exist, may you give up long before ya goes to the ends of the earth (chuckles).”


Hollywood, California
21 July, 2053

Call me stereotypical, or naïve, but I figured if such a lady, press, pretty, young, elegant, virtuous, and innocent existed, she may be in Southern California, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Malibu maybe. I don’t know…

I drove around what used to be metropolitan Los Angeles for four whole days. My survey of the land didn’t take long since I couldn’t see any structure intact at all. So I slammed “pedal to the metal” south towards San Diego with twenty ragtag hoodlums chasing after my grunting VW Bug, wanting whatever items of survival I hauled. Fortunately the roads were ash, for if I had a flat tire, my story would end here.


San Diego, California
11 August, 2053

“Yeah, I heard of her. She’s supposed to be a dream, a real gem, a true beauty! M-60? I’ll sell it to you for $200,000.” The seated thin late-20s dark-skinned arms dealer in a buttoned-down vivid blue shirt raised the machine gun up with both hands.

“No thanks,” I said.

“No? You sure? Fine piece this pig here.” He resumed polishing the metal barrel guard. “Well, I don’t know of anyone chasing after her. If you ask me, she don’t exist. Why…kinda like those Belles on WW2 planes. You know what I mean? What they called…?”

“Nose art.”

“Yeah! Nose art! There you go! Just like them nose art; most them babes don’t exist. Just some horny man’s fantasy, you know? You a smart kid worthy of protection! Like this M-16A1 I’ll sell to ya for $7,000…steal!”

“No thanks.”

“No? You want some RPGs? Fine RPGs here…plenty! No? How about an original M1911? Now this here I can cut a deal—no? Ah, man, what you packing in that Bug of yours? Ray gun?”
“Do you know of anything more?”

“More? Sure, heck, lots more! I got AK-47 here. Beaut. You want a M-14? There one here’s a little worn—”

“No, I mean about the `Yellow Rose.’”

“Shoot! And I thought you want to buy some guns, man!”

“Well…maybe some grenades.”

“Well why didn’t you say so! Plenty of grenades! What kind? I got German, French, American, Chinese are pretty cheap…”

Items exchanged hands and I found myself the proud owner of 26 fragmentation and eight smoke grenades. The well-stocked roadside arms dealer droned on.

“I don’t know nothing more ‘bout her except that I heard she’s `a lovely skirt, a true dish’ as they say in dubuya dubuya two. Hahaha! But perhaps Fellows here knows something. Yo, Bro, get over here!” Aside he whispered to me, “Can’t have enough protection in this dangerous business here.”

“Yo, what’s up?” a hunky man sauntered up, clutching a L7A2, fed with a long ammo belt, in his beefy arms.

“Now that gun’s not for sale,” the arms dealer pointed out. “My customer here wants to know if you ever heard of `The Yellow Rose.’"

“Heard? Heck, man, every man heard, ain’t none seen. Yeah, I heard ‘bout her.”

“Well, anything new, Bro?” asked the dealer, rolling his hands before him in a gesture to entice more information.

The beefy sentry pondered. “Hmmm…you know—”

“No, I don’t,” rebuked the dealer impatiently.

“Shut up and let me talk. I remember this song called `A Yellow Rose in Texas.’”

“Texas?” I asked.

“Yeah, Texas. `Yellow Rose in Texas’—a war song. Now I don’t know who made it, who sang it, and from what war this song came from, but it was called `A Yellow Rose in Texas.’”

“No, kidding…” I said.

“You think I’m kidding, boy?” The sentry flexed his huge biceps, making the long machine gun look perceptively small.

“No, no, no, I mean I believe you,” I said with haste and a smile. I succeeded in diffusing the situation.

“I kid you not!” The sentry softened his tone. “Why you wanna know?” Heeeeey…you’re not thinking of going to Texas, are you?”

“Thanks for your help.” I turned on my heels.

“Can I go?” the sentry asked his boss.

“Whada ya wanna go to Texas for?” the seated arms dealer asked with a tone of acid. “Some skirt?”

“May I go?” the sentry asked in a politer tone.

“Heck no! I need ya here. You work for me.”

“Then I quit,” came the message in a calm honest voice.

“SAY WHAT?” The dealer jumped to his feet.

“I quit. I’m no slave.”

The arms dealer shot me a baleful look as if I came to bring woe to his business and future. Then he scanned his surroundings and noticed his armed block neighbors (some perhaps friendly, others not, I didn’t know) staring at him. With quick wit, he realized shouting was bad for business and his future. “Take him,” he said with indifference.

“You sure?” I asked. “I don’t want to rob you of protection.”

“Take him before I change my mind,” mumbled the arms dealer to the table before he sat down.
I turned to the sentry. “Guess you’re `good to go.’ You good at that gun?”
The beefy man’s eyes narrowed into menacing slits. “Well, what da ya think? Hell yeah!”

“Then let’s go then.”

Bro got into the passenger seat. I paid the arms dealer for five five-gallon gas cans and tossed them into the back seat.

* * *

11-13 August

Where to begin, or should I say, where does it end? We drove east, taking turns manning the machine gun and pointing the muzzle out the passenger window or the windowless windshield at a pretty desolate nuked-out desert. At night, the moon rose high and yellow, bathing the sands and rocks with a pale yellow color. Nights were beautiful. Bro and I talked as we zipped across the desolate desert; I felt glad for the company. We kept close to the car, never venturing far from the protection a thin layer of sheet metal afforded. As a good soldier, Bro never complained as we sweated in the VW Bug through the deserts of Death Valley, Arizona, New Mexico. The VW overheated five times before we finally reached the rocky plains of Texas with only a bent charred green sign reading, “WELCO-- -O TEX-” with the rest of the white letters burnt off. Thank goodness for great fuel economy!

“I don’t know, Bro…I don’t know about all this,” I mumbled. Nothing but rocks stretched for miles ahead of us.

“She’s there,” said Bro confidently. “We’ll find her.”

“You so sure?”

“Ain’t nothing sure in life, man.” He hefted the L7A2 from the passenger window to stick the barrel out the windshield.

“And once we get there?”

“Figure it out when we do, man. If reckon we be right, she has a small army guarding her…”
We drove on, bugs splattering on the nose of the Bug.


13 August
Texas

We both thought the same as we saw a cluster of trees on the horizon. Bro was driving and made a beeline for them. Once under them, we saw for miles around us nothing but barren rock as the Bug rested on the ridgeline. At least the leaves afford some shade from the wicked Texas sun. Down to two-days worth of rations, I discussed the possibility of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, or at least hunting wild game, if any (from the backseat, my trusty M-14’s muzzle pointed at the Bug’s curved roof).

“Worth a shot,” stated Bro, slumping down in the driver’s seat, closing his eyes. “Texas’s a big place. Figure we scour the countryside for a few days. If she around, her bodyguards will attempt to keep her away from populated areas. I would.”

“This whole thing could be nothing more than a myth,” I mumbled, wondering if the trip east and miles on the precious VW’s engine would pay off. There wasn’t a mechanic for miles, let alone a gas station.

Whump!

“WHAT THE—?” Bro yelped, sitting upright.

Whump!

“WE’RE UNDER ATTACK!” Bro felt himself sinking towards the passenger side as those tires deflated.

I dove out of the car, cradling the machine gun in my arms. Sprawled on the dirt, I hefted it up, hoping to place the bipod over the hood to return fire.

“You do that and you’re dead,” came a calm voice from a distance. Startled, I spun around to see three guns pointed at us, one a heavy machine gun, from a Humvee.

“Where did you come from?” I snapped. I swore I heard no sound.

“Why are you here?” asked the gunner standing in the open turret.

“Who are you?”

The gunner repeated his question.

“I heard about `The Yellow Rose of Texas.’”

“So has many others,” snapped the Humvee’s passenger gunner, pointing the barrel at my head.

“We come in peace,” I dropped the gun, stood, and raised my hands.

“Yeah…and with guns,” quipped the Humvee’s driver with nasty sarcasm.

“Look over there,” nodded the turret gunner.

I turned to look over the Bug’s roof, hoping these strangers won’t shoot me in the back. Squinting into the distance, I saw a pretty young Caucasian lady around five-foot four in a pink business blazer and skirt standing on a low nearby hill. She had brown shoulder-length hair. She looked strange, odd, not really full—flat, almost two-dimensional, no curves. In fact, she kind of looked like a—

“Cardboard cutout!” blurted Bro from the Bug’s driver’s seat. Bro took the words right out of my mouth.

“You guys drove all the way for that,” the turret gunner stated calmly. “We’ll give you some tires and gas so you can turn around and leave.”

“Nah, Mister,” said Bro, shaking his head. “She real enough to me. She real.”

“Oh, really?” sneered the passenger gunner. “Is that what you think? And you?”

I didn’t know what to say. Surely this was a test, an ambush, perhaps even a trap. Nice cute cardboard cutout though. Then the answer just clicked in my head. The cardboard cutout didn’t look faded at all, not dirty, not wrinkled, not worn. Sure she wore a business outfit that dated back to the 1990s, but I figured she must exist for the life-sized cardboard cutout to look so real and new. I mean, how can a cardboard cutout survive unblemished for 20 years? And what were these guys defending anyway? If not her, then some treasure? Some old general? Some watering hole? The land had no value, just low hills covered with rocks and dirt, not a house for miles. We came all this way in a VW Bug now sitting on two flat tires. Hungry, hot, and thirsty, I made the command decision that will change Bro and my life. What choice did we have? We had to survive. We needed friends—we needed a purpose—we needed a different form of life than men buying, selling, trading, and carrying guns.

“She’s real,” I nodded, hoping that a real face, a real body posed for that cardboard cutout I stared at in the distance, but knowing we drove all this way to find the answer as a myth. “She’s real enough for me.”

“Yeah, so?” said the voice of the turret gunner.

“I’ll defend her,” I said softly, perhaps too soft, so I barked, “I’ll defend her!”

“Same here!” yelled Bro.

“Heck, you two fools could be servicing a female computer voice saying `May I help you?’ for all you two dweebs know,” jeered the driver. “You two sure about this? Can’t call your guns and bodies your own anymore, you know. We can give you gas, food, and fuel and you two can be on your way. Ain’t nothing around here to get yourselves into trouble so we ain’t gonna kill ya. You have our word.”

“Word.”

“Word.”

“Word.” The Humvee’s four crewmembers all agreed. Two decent tires rolled over the crest and clunked against my VW. I saw that they would fit my hubs.

Still, where can Bro and I go? The adventure came to an end. The quest had no treasure…and this was the end. I seized the outcome. Hey, after all, life never turns out the way you expect it. “I defend her,” I boasted. Bro voiced the same.

“Pfffft. Fine,” scoffed the turret gunner. “Yeah, you two losers came all this way to defend a cardboard cutout of a babe. From Gynings Department Store in fact. Tough luck. Welcome to the `Guardian Knights.’”


* * *

So that’s my story. I can only show you these two photos. That’s me seated in the back, looking over the tailgate. Bro is in the passenger seat with his L7A2. On occassion, I would hear a dulcet female voice over the radio, but that could be a voice synthesizer or a female overseas. I never met any females in the year-and-a-half I spent patrolling the Texas hills around the cardboard cutout, with some bullet holes in it from previous encounters. We serve.

END LOG JOURNAL, 13 AUGUST 2053



* * *





Spring 2056

“Major Wenton, can you please go to the nearest town and trade this ammo for some fruits and vegetables? Mrs. Jones needs milk for Sally and the Jergs need the following items. I need some morphine for Dr. Grace and Nellie…and some laundry soap. And see if you can find this medic bag for me. If not, that’s fine. But do try your best to get all the other items.”

“Yes, ma’am.” I smiled at the cute pretty young face with the shoulder-length brown hair. The long white coat fit her well over her blue business blazer and skirt. A fake yellow rose, green stem inserted into a button loop, adorned her embroidered blue nametag and covered all words except the handwritten script “Dr.”

“Be careful now.” She stood on tiptoe and kissed me on the cheek.

“Aaaaah,” cheered the crowd.

“All right, all right. Stop gawking. Let’s go people.”

“Aye, sir,” came the voices of a dozen male and five female Golden Knights.

“Bro, take care of everybody while I’m gone.”

“You got it, boss. You can count on me and my buds.”

“I do as always. Mount up, people. Look sharp, stay focused.” Engines roared to life and headlights switched on. “I’ll see you when I get back.”

Dr. “Yellow Rose” squinted and smiled, a charming dazzling-white smile, before Carol’s uniformed arms turned her around. Her entourage followed her through the door.

I will just say this: We were all far from that life-sized cardboard cutout in Texas…and I can’t tell you where we are.
Jacques
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Minnesota, United States
Member Since: March 04, 2003
entire network: 4,613 Posts
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Posted: Monday, January 09, 2006 - 06:59 AM UTC
ok,

1. Trisaw, whose resin female figure is that? It looks too nice to be Junior town.

2. I am posting awards, let me know if I missed you. I have two lists to run down, so I should catch most if not all of you!

And the fearless leader will have to admit defeat on this years build...bummer. I just never got the snow to look right, it was a bear to deal with. Too much of the real stuff outside the door and too much experimenting on the inside. I will get it right, and when I do, I will post for T2K:2006.
ShermiesRule
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Michigan, United States
Member Since: December 11, 2003
entire network: 5,409 Posts
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Posted: Monday, January 09, 2006 - 08:09 AM UTC
If you have already handed out the awards already I did not get mine.
dexter059
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Region de Valparaiso, Chile
Member Since: July 28, 2005
entire network: 1,569 Posts
KitMaker Network: 188 Posts
Posted: Monday, January 09, 2006 - 07:58 PM UTC
I got mine, thanks Jacques....
Loooking forward to see your 2006 entry finished....sometimes easier projects will came along moree nicely

Cheers annd good luck