"Welcome back listners! I'm happy to say that once again we have the infamous Mr. Cats in our studio."
"And once again I need to remind you, its just KC."
"If its not the sound guy, its my guests, if its not the guests, if its not them... it had better not be anything else because there's no one within fifty miles of here."
"I get that feeling a lot in my travels."
"Speaking of which, I'd like to know - what is the scariest place you've been?"
"Las Vegas, Nevada."
"Vegas? Vegas! That's one of the major government zones, its where most of the US leaders and army is, its got to be one of the safest places in North America."
"Best protected perhaps, safeset, that is another matter entirely. And for the sake of argument, its a couple of senators, a secretary of something or two, and a bunch of military brass, but where the bulk of the US government is, its kind of hard to tell."
"I know, I know, but I just can't see how Vegas is your top pick. I mean, haven't you been inside an overun arcology before?"
"NEST zero one, zero seven, and zero eight. Certainly hazardous, and unsettling. Your listeners would probably love to hear about those some time. But I stand by the idea, Vegas is the worst."
"I'm sure they would, but you're going to need to give a good reason why a controlled zone is the worst."
"First of all, I was in Vegas, before. When I was young, my parents went through there while on a trip to California, and I got to see it in its full glory before the oil crisis. Went back after I turned 21, and even with the new restrictions on long distance travel and power use, reduced water consumption, and generally less tourism - it was still a sight to behold, it kept that city of lights and free shrimp cocktail mystique. Go there now, and its black. Sure there are more important facilities than the casinos, but I mean even the street lights are out, the only illumination is the headlights of the military vehicles blocking the roads in and an occasional lantern at a sector post.
If you have any concept of Las Vegas from before, this alone would just take you as completely wrong. There is more automated ligihting in an abondend arco-tower.
Even if that old spirit is gone, something else is there. You can feel it in your teeth, crawling about your spine. Part of it is that you can't go ten feet without seeing pointing a gauss rifle in your direction. Every one of those soldiers has a symbol of their unit on them, and then a larger version of it, and a larger one still. They want to show off their allegiance. There is a definite pride, and a sense of purpose and heroism in belonging to a pre-event battalion. However, the resources of Vegas just won't support them all, and there is going to be a demobilization and disbanding of units.
Its like being around 10,000 captains who want to go down with their ship.
There are nightly fistfights over who gets to guard the quietest place in the desert and who gets to stop wearing out boots with pointless street patrols after a curfew everyone follows. It is by the grace of god that things have gone so well up until now, but there will be a reckoning amongst these soldiers."
"Couldn't they be sent on longer range patrols or reinforce other G-zones? Why keep them there?
"You would probably need to interview an actual soldier or his commanding officer. Part of it, is that everyone wants the credit and cushy job of protecting the city. Secondly, where would they go? The desters and mesas are a lot like the alien's home world, so to the south is quite a few of their outposts. North of them is the free city of Tesla and Rubuy Ridge - groups that don't want the govenment to interfere with their new societys, and would probably activly fight them. California was hit hard by the plague, and little short of a nuclear weapon would thin their numbers.
Speaking of which - as you might know, several A-bombs were used in the defense of Vegas five years ago, and there is good reason to believe they have more. To say this is a point of - conflict - is an understatement. With no nations surviving fully intact, they could go ahead and vaporize every other world capital and see no retaliation. A few generals believe this would be a good thing - part of America's manifest destiny to rebuild the world under its own image when we pull out of this dark age. A few more moderate ones only want to use ICBMs on the aliens, but still... So forces need to be kept around to either back this "stranglove" faction, or to oppose them if they made a play for power.
"I... I don't knwo what to say about that."
"And you shouldn't. A basic part of human decency is not wishing devastation upon others- and certainly not acting upon such. If it scares you, you're a good person."
"With bombshel... revelations like this, I think we need a few minuets to think about this and then a lot more information about the government in exile."
"Take your time. The Zone isn't going anywhere without me."