Episode 1 Scene 5
The federal government was, as usual, slow to respond. The enclaves and their publicly paid-for arms and personnel were seen as a solution to the ever-increasing problem of time raids. It was cities and local authorities taking charge; they stepped up and took care of the citizenry. The feds mouthed words about concerning themselves with the big picture, and to be fair, they eventually did provide a lagging strategy to match the local tactics.
Their strategies didn’t work. No one, least of all our elected officials, had a clue about what was really going on. I’d love to blame them—point the finger and tell them they’d dropped the ball. But I’d be wrong. They couldn’t drop the ball; they didn’t even know what game they were playing.
The War Clans were the first to arrive. They weren’t called that then, but that’s what they became known as. The War Clans showed up in numbers, big numbers, but not vast numbers, and they came from the past. And like many things from the past, we completely underestimated them.
A number of gun-rich communities in the United States and Canada could deal with the Clans straight up. So could the larger towns and cities with a stable police force or military presence. North Korea and segments of the Middle East were also well equipped for this type of engagement—years of war and isolation providing them with the necessary survival skills.
Other areas throughout the world, rural areas that had been peaceful for years, got hit hard. The War Clans had simple tactics: overwhelm a community with numbers, kill all the men and boys, grab whatever tech they can find, and wait for a time shift to take them back to their own era.
Early on, the first part of this strategy nearly always worked. The last bit, the time-shift bit, was completely random. More often than not, the War Clans’ bloodlust and ferocity ran out of communities to prey upon. They weren’t used to the vast distances between rural outposts, and they were smart enough to leave large towns and cities alone. They also couldn’t get a grip on rudimentary transport. Anything with four wheels was technologically beyond them, so medium- to long-distance transport was out. The result? A ragtag demi-army of people out of time and place, waiting for a time shift they had no control over. What happened next? Absolute carnage.
The people of Texas got particularly pissed at the interlopers. They were the first to respond. The first to say “To hell with the federal government.” No one was surprised. They had the attitude. They had the guns.
Once news of a stalled War Clan rampage became known, posses formed and the result was predictable: a reckoning. It was a slaughter. The Clans had the numbers, but the posses had the weapons. The federal government wanted to negotiate, to gain information. Texas wasn’t interested. The War Clans weren’t interested. The Clans didn’t even understand the concept of negotiations. The posses solved this problem through controlled, precision violence. The War Clans didn’t stand a chance; they were mowed down by the hundreds. This changed later as they gained access to pilfered tech, but in the beginning, it was all about the bodies, thousands of dead bodies.
It was during this time that communities started to organize. They needed numbers, guns, and a plan. Countries started to split into smaller, more responsive sizes. Big enough to be tough to prey upon, but small enough to maneuver, should that be the need. People were still nominally part of a nation, but in reality, loyalties were more focused and local. This worked well for a while. It worked against the ruthless straight-line tactics of the War Clans. But it was far less effective against the Scythers.