This post introduces what I expect to be a new faction in my post apocalyptic world. Assuming they don't get killed off early, two or three more stories should follow along shortly, and then we will revisit them from time to time.
Lt. Rogers switched the audio jammer on, and turned, looking at the group of men that he had called together. These men, huddled together in his cramped quarters were all good men; they did their jobs well, and were dedicated to their cause.
All of them also had expertise in the wastes; at least, more than most living in the Colorado Region Federal Defense Complex (the CRFDC or "complex' as most referred to it). This made them unique in that they had a broader perspective of the of the post apocalyptic world outside, broader than that of their own leadership, most of whom, hadn't ever stepped outside the hatch.
Life was actually pretty good in the complex, probably better than almost anywhere else in the world at the moment. They had, or could make almost anything that they might need. Fusion reactors yielded endless power; technology, in some cases, was actually more advanced than it had been in the Before. Their single shortcoming had manifested only in recent years, as they consumed available resources. Despite extensive recycling, they had been forced to start "recovering" resources from outside the hatch.
The problem was something a mixed blessing, in that it committed the complex to finally start reclaiming and re-establishing the nation. They established allies, mostly impoverished villages that happily submitted to the complex for the aid that was offered.
Those who resisted were destroyed, hopelessly out-gunned by the highly effective weapons wielded by the CRFDC forces. To this point, the only thing limiting the CRFDC influence was the small population inside the complex that provided manpower to their forces.
Officially, the mission was to re-establish the nation through the reclamation of territory and the liberation of the survivors in the wasteland, through unifying wellfare and technology. Unfortunately the cause quickly became more … imperial in practice, than did the mission statement. Likewise, the CRFDC leadership had become less tolerant, less accessible, and more demanding as "progress" was made.
That was the reason that these men crowded into the little compartment this night. Just as had the Lt, each of them had at some point, hinted at their reservation about how the leadership was choosing to progress, about the validity and integrity of execution of some of their recent missions.
The Lt surveyed the collection of tough looking men, and greeted them, " Gentlemen, thank you for coming here tonight. I have something that I need to share with you..." And he proceeded to share his own hint of reservation, and the circumstances that it had brought about between he and Captain Martell (who by the way, had never been outside the hatch).
The Lt then shared his desire to leave the complex to forge his way in the wastes, and his willingness to forego the comfort and security of the complex, such that he might be true to himself. And... if he was right about those that he had invited, all would join him for this new expedition.
Only Sergeant Wallace seem particularly conflicted about the proposition, but he was the youngest and least experienced, and after some discussion, it was agreed that the Lt's feeling was shared. CRFDC leadership had lost its way. More discussion resulted in a plan; they simply had to wait for the right time.