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Old 06-25-2012, 03:19 AM
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Capt_Bowman Capt_Bowman is offline
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Default The Ruins of Denver - Part 1

Ok, this is a repost of something I did for the old 93GS forums between some writing work on the T2013 system and waiting for it to be published.

I got to part ten before things started to break down a bit so i'll repost them here a bit at a time in the hope it rekindles my interest in finishing the story.

Comments and questions always welcome


I can still remember the first time I saw the ruins of Denver. The war, such as it was, had been over for nearly six months and life was starting to fall back into a routine again. We woke with the sun, washed as best we could in the mountain streams or lowland lakes and then spent the day hiking and hunting, moving ever westward, clawing for distance from the smoking ruin of the east coast. We tried to avoid the major cities, skirting around places like Atlanta and Memphis just to avoid seeing some reminder of the nights just a few months ago when everything finally spiralled out of control.

But Denver took us by surprise, as much as a geographical feature of that size could. You forget after six months of seeing nothing bigger than a farmhouse or grain silo quite how big a city like Denver really is. Our maps were basic and showed Denver as little more than a yellow splodge on the I70 where the I25 and I76 merged and then ended. But in reality that splodge had been home to over half a million men, women and children and sprawled over tens of square kilometres. Her tallest buildings had reached to the skies and had shone with reflected light that could be seen from the snow capped peaks of the Rockies to the west.

We came upon Denver at almost midday, crossing a high mountain trail that was little more than a goat track. The path crossed a ridgeline which gave use a magnificent panorama of the Rockies, tens of miles away in the distance, and at their base, blackened and almost invisible was Denver. We didn’t know exactly what hit her; the damage above ground was limited. The sergeant had a set of field glasses that brought the city close enough into view that we could see that the skyscrapers were just twisted and burned steel and that many of the smaller buildings were burned out husks. We could only hope that anyone trapped in the firestorm that must have raged through the city had died quickly. It looked from our vantage point as if not a single building had been left untouched. The city now was quiet however. No fire burned, no smoke hung over the wrecked buildings and nothing moved. Yet, as we moved closer, foolishly perhaps considering what we knew, we could see patches of greenery where, despite the fires and the radiation we knew must be present, nature was beginning to take back the land that man had taken from her less than two centuries ago.

We got no closer than ten miles from the outskirts of the city, but even there we knew we would find no solace or welcome in Denver. That night we camped in a patch of woodland and listened to the night creatures and the wind in the trees, revelling in the sounds of life after that glimpse of death. I think I heard Johansson crying in the night. He’d come from Denver originally and had hoped in his heart that the city and his family might be alright. He’d kept it together during the day but now, in the dark, the reality of it hit him hard. I think Martinez went to comfort him, she’d kept us strong in a certain way. None of us wanted to crack in front of a woman, especially not her, but she had also been there to talk to when “One of the guys” just wasn’t who we needed. I admit to having thoughts about her, stronger than just as a friend but I chalked it up to stress and never made a move, well, not yet. Sarge slept through the night like he always did. He had the knack for making any place his bed, something I wished I could do most nights. Bear and Hamilton kept the early watch and so probably missed it too, they didn’t need to hear Sig breaking down.

And me? Well, I’m just the chronicler of this tale. I’ll perhaps tell you more about myself and why we are here later.
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