"Get down -Down, Face on the road hands out, legs spread! Don't move - Don't-"
"Stand down soldier! I don't think they're going to try anything with a pair of vehicles pointing 35milis at 'em."
"No Sir, uh yes sir..."
"Don't strain yourself too much. Right now. You OK son? You have to forgive the zealous welcome. Anyone who crosses the desert must be a bit crazy, and they react accordingly. I'm sure we'll resolve this quickly and then I'll be off giving you the ten cent tour.
Not everyone out here is so hair trigger - regardless of the rumors about mutinous officers you might have heard. Its hogwash, mostly, and you'll be just fine with me as your guide - I'm Ian Hardcastle Executive officer to General Robin. Just so long as you don't make any hundred acre woods jokes around the general. Do so and you'll be hiking through death valley naked. Hey! Don't take me so seriously, the generals really not a bad guy. He'd let you keep your boxers.
Welcome to Vegas boy.
"Sorry about all those needle jabs son - but its for everyone's good. Vegas might of had a reputation for certain kinds of disease back in its seedier days, but right now we got handle on our health and its the rest of the world that's a problem. And its easier to quarantine a handful of visitors than a whole city. If the test show you've got functioning nano-vac, you'll be out of here in an hour and in clothes not made of paper. I think I can take this time to introduce you to a bit of the who's who.
Vegas is run by a council of Seven people. Three of them are the ground-pounder generals - including my boss. He commands the second Armored Calvary Regiment - Two A.C.R. General Teach runs the 53rd Infantry and General Dodgson the 308th. You'll see patches for other units here and there - but all the miscellaneous platoons and companies that arrived piecemeal just go a bit folded in. Number four is Brown from the air force, and Five is Hackett – of SLAASH - Strategic Laser, Air, Atomic, and Space Headquarters. Be careful of him and his troops – any weapon that can destroy an entire city with three or fewer is their domain, and they take that responsibility almost too seriously. Most of those guys will shoot on sight – even if they're asleep.
The final two people on the council are civilian authorities – Ms. Stevenson is city's mayor proper, and Dr. Denghazi is a former secretary of the interior and the local representative of the USA Civ-Gov. Yes we still listen to them, and are part of the proper United States sworn to protect them from all threats foreign and domestic. Problem being those two are kinda overlapping at the moment since a number of places have effectively seceded from the union – like that place down in 'Bama. Not sure why its new Birmingham – the old one should still be standing but its been a while since I was in that part of the country.
Hope I'm not going to fast for you. There's really no easy way to get through Vegas politics cause the council is mostly there to argue or rubber stamp approval retroactively something that already happened. Not that they're powerless mind you – its just that their power comes more from the, well I guess the polite term is "machinations", of their lieutenants working the scenes outside the chambers. Each has their own agenda and is all but running autonomously.
Yes, it sounds like I'm betraying my boss by telling you this, but generally it causes more trouble when an outsider gets recruited to do someone's dirty work without knowing the bigger picture. At the end of the day, they're all good people. Except Hackett. Even then, he's better than some who could be in charge. We've go the so called “Stangelove” faction round here – its a reference to a piece of cinema, wonderful really – a classic – but they'd be willing to use nuclear weapons on just about anyone. Certinly, we don't have the manpower to really pacify a city any other way but those bombs would really defeat the point of trying, and their effects would ruin the three things we want most – food, computers, and nano-vac. Hackett keeps them in line, so we think he's good.
Those are the seven big names - but you'll hear a bunch of others - a mix of councilmen, NCOs and go-fers that help manage the water supply, food distribution, power and most of that other stuff. But miserable as that host can make you - they're not the ones who can order summary executions under martial law.
If you'll excuse me, I've got a bit of other business to attend to, but I'll be back once the doctor clears you to help find a place to put you.