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"The Day the Music Died"

"The Day the Music Died"

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Published by Polaris93
The Eris War. Vol 2: The Dragon from the Isles. Book 1: Independence Day. Chapter 11: The Day the Music Died. The Two-Day War, its immediate aftermath, and its implcations for the future. Told from the point of view of Richard Ransdell, Baron of Santa Barbara.. Events of the first day of the Two-Day War, continued.
The Eris War. Vol 2: The Dragon from the Isles. Book 1: Independence Day. Chapter 11: The Day the Music Died. The Two-Day War, its immediate aftermath, and its implcations for the future. Told from the point of view of Richard Ransdell, Baron of Santa Barbara.. Events of the first day of the Two-Day War, continued.

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Published by: Polaris93 on Nov 06, 2010
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01/18/2011

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Yael Dragwyla and Rich RansdellFirst North American rightsemail: polaris93@aol.com6,100 wordshttp://polaris93.livejournal.com/
The Eris War
Volume II: The Dragon from the Isles
Book 1: Independence Day
Chapter 11: The Day the Music Died
Sure enough, the next thing we caught was a broadcast on Channel 28 from KSRT, a local station. Theannouncer, a short, bouncy young lady, her bright blond hair in a bouffant hairdo that was essentially a bubble composed of hair, air, and about ten pounds of expertly applied lacquer, was interviewing Dr.Wesley Aimes, a member of the biology department at UCSB. “What exactly do you think the ultimateecological impact of all this on our country and the world will be, Doctor?” she was asking him.“Hmmm. Well . . . Those film-clips that just came in – do you think you could show those while Icomment? They’ll illustrate the points I’d like to make better than I could do by myself.” he said. Aimes,who was dressed in a rumpled brown suit, had taken off his suit-coat and now began to loosen his gray-and-blue striped tie – he looked as if he were a little ill and maybe too hot from the studio lights.“Sure! – Could we have those – thanks!” said the bouncy little announcer, who looked young enoughto be one of Aimes’ second-year biology students, in spite of her job with the station, which would haverequired her to be at least 28 or so. Her demeanor was far too cheerful for the horrendously tragic eventsshe and her colleagues were chronicling today. Now the screen was showing a scene somewhere along the Columbia River in eastern Oregon. Therewere streams of panicked, ill, injured, and dying deer, birds, and other creatures staggering out of thefringes of the desolated areas east of Mt. Hood, approaching a town on the Oregon side of the Columbia.Occasionally a limping, burned, bleeding bear, wolf, fox, wolverine, or weasel appeared among the manydeer and other herbivores coming toward the town, paying no attention whatsoever to the animals thatwould normally have been their preferred prey other than doing what they could to stay out of the way of 
 
Day of the Dragons
By Yael R. DragwylaPage
2 of 8the latter. The long, non-human exodus also included countless dogs, cats, pet birds, and other domesticanimals. None of the refugees seemed to take much notice of any of the others, their only concern to getas far away from the terrifying things happening behind them as they could, and make for somewhere safeas quickly as possible. Along with them, often in the midst of a group of exhausted, terrified animals,usually walking or driving along the roads but sometimes coming overland, were human refugees; oftenthese were accompanied by their dogs, horses, cats, ferrets, pet birds, reptiles, and even odder pets.“As you can see,” Aimes was saying voice-over this scene, “in the immediately affected areas,organisms of all kinds, not just humans, have been hit hard by the eruptions in Washington and Oregon andtheir aftermath. I’m reminded by what we’re seeing here of a study on the probable aftermath of all-outthermonuclear war called
The Final Epidemic
that was put together by a number of physicians, such as Dr.Helen Caldicott of Australia, astronomer Carl Sagan, the American pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock, andnumerous other experts. As they said, after even a limited nuclear war, the survivors – assuming there wereany – would be pretty much on their own, because there’d be nobody outside the areas hit by the bombs tohelp them for a long, long time – if ever. If help ever did reach them, any would-be rescuers coming intothe blast areas from places that had not been hit by nuclear or thermonuclear devices and other types of weapons of mass destruction would have to travel into the target areas, somehow surviving intenseradiation and many other kinds of hazards to reach the survivors. When they got there, survivors in the blast area would be suffering from crippling, agonizing injuries, or sick unto death from fallout and, perhaps, the use of biological or chemical weapons, as well. As you can imagine, the probability of survival in such a situation, at least beyond a short, agonizing time, would be extremely low.”At first, what we were seeing belied his words. The studio was now showing clips of spectacular rescues of whole groups of wild or tame animals taking place in or near towns along the eastern reaches of the Columbia and up into Idaho, as conducted by the US Forest Service, the ASPCA, and other public and private agencies, and individual members of local communities. They could have been reruns of the clipswe’d watched earlier of just such rescue efforts at The Dalles.But then the scene shifted. Now before us were events taking place along Oregon’s coast and in the far northern reaches of Vancouver Island, BC and the Strait of Georgia next to it. Here were long, bloodystretches of water filled with whales, dolphins, seals, and great sharks who had been caught on the fringesof the initial catastrophic event in Western Washington State. Indians, Forest Service personnel, CanadianMounted Police, US Coast Guard personnel, and numerous others, working from boats ranging in size fromkayaks to Coast Guard vessels, were trying to shepherd the animals, many of whom had suffered ghastlyinjuries, to safe – well, at least, saf 
er 
– water. Trawlers worked along with them, scooping up porpoisesand sharks in their nets and towing the animals out to sea, away from the area. One fishermen, workingwith colleagues out of what might have been a tuna-boat, suddenly broke down weeping as a diver in awet-suit, swimming beside the nets in which the fishermen were towing two porpoises and a shark,gestured to indicate that one of the porpoises and the shark had died and should be cut loose.Everywhere the blood-stained sea was filled with the floating bodies of dead fish. One man on a CoastGuard vessel grimly held up one such fish so the camera could get a good picture of it: great, gapingwounds covered its sides, as if it had been simultaneously burned and scraped raw by a grater, and therewas something funny about its eyes. Aimes, who apparently was listening to a sound-track that had comein with the films, explained voice-over that the dead and dying fish in the area had been burned and blinded by acids released into the sea from the collapse of the Puget Sound basin, as well as stunned senseless andscraped raw by concussion and blast effects.The scene switched to a site on the Columbia River next to Pendleton, Oregon. A man with tears in hiseyes and a huge, triumphant grin on his face was holding up a little gray cat with white boots, a dark bluecollar, and a heart-shaped tag who had apparently swum halfway across the Columbia from the other side before being rescued by the man, who, hoping to help rescue survivors from the other side, had been out onthe Columbia in a Zodiac. The camera followed him as he brought the cat to shore on the eastern bank of the river, fighting turbulent currents thrown up by the tremors coming ever faster from the direction of Mt.Hood. Beaching the zodiac, he carried the cat, who clung to him like a frightened child, toward a group of tents where people waited to help survivors, human and otherwise, who had made it across the river.“Don’t you feel that using all these resources to tend to a bunch of animals is a bit wasteful, Dr.Aimes? Wouldn’t those resources be better spent to aid human victims of today’s events?”“My dear young lady, please
think 
! In the first place, how many human beings are going to make itout of the affected area? Maybe not that many. In the meantime, tons and tons of supplies of all kinds – 
 
Day of the Dragons
By Yael R. DragwylaPage
3 of 8medicines, food, clothing, whatever might be needed is being delivered to those aid-stations byhelicopter, plane, and truck arriving every few minutes from all over the country. We have more thanenough resources to go around some twenty or a hundred or a
thousand 
times over for every man, woman,and child lucky enough to escape the disasters that have wrecked the Pacific northwest. The real problemis getting those supplies to where they’re needed, at least in time to do some good. In the meantime, thereare a lot of people there who want to do whatever they can to help, including using their own personalresources to feed, house, and treat survivors. At this point, most of those survivors
aren’t human
– thegreat bulk of them that have made it to these islands of safety include deer and other wildlife of all kinds aswell as horses, cattle, pigs, and so on that people have brought with them when they fled the endangeredareas. More supplies are being donated or brought in by truck or by air all the time, so much that at this point there’s more than enough to go around for all these refugees, both human and otherwise. And thatwill probably continue until the last survivors from the areas affected by the disaster who can do so havemanaged somehow to make it to aid-stations of the sort we’re seeing here.“Now, as far going in to the disaster areas themselves to aid any survivors there – no, I’m afraid that just isn’t possible. Except for fools and heroes like that splendid woman from Salem we heard about earlier today, the one who single-handedly brought a hundred or two hundred survivors from southern WashingtonState to safety in Oregon before she herself was killed, there just isn’t going to be anyone going in there togive aid to whatever survivors are still left in Western Washington or anywhere near Mt. Hood. It’s justtoo damned dangerous!“That’s why this reminds me of those horrifying scenarios that Caldicott and her colleagues includedin
The Final Epidemic
– whoever, whatever is still alive in there, human or otherwise,
they’re on their own
. Normally, when disaster strikes, great numbers of medical and other emergency personnel from the UN andits member countries, along with the Red Cross and, if necessary, the National Guard or other militaryagencies, are able to reach the affected areas and start helping survivors within hours of the onset of whatever disaster has occurred.“But in
this
case, it’ll be
months
, if ever, before wholesale rescue expeditions of that sort can bemounted to the affected areas The things that are now going on in Washington State – and not justWashington! Did you hear the latest reports about Northern California?”“No, what, Doctor?” said the bouncy little blond, whose plastic, sunshine-bright cheer was beginningto fray noticeably around the edges.On the screen, Humane Society and Forestry Service personnel were now working with injuredanimals, trying to calm them down and get them into pens where they could rest, be fed, and have their injuries treated. A dejected-looking grizzly, who made no effort to attack the men and women workingwith him, was being gently urged into a hastily set-up enclosure that had been created from some sort of kit by Forest Service people. Some distance away, two men were trying to lead a bucking, rearing buck deer toward a pen.“Hmm. Well, apparently the San Andreas fault – which isn’t really a true earthquake fault at all; it’ssimply the seam where two tectonic plates, the North American plate and the Pacific Plate, bump up againsteach other – the San Andreas plate discontinuity is starting to show some alarming activity about 200 milessouth of Mt. Shasta. We may have something interesting starting up there in a little while . . .”Kathy and I stared at one another. “Oh, shit, that’s somewhere up around Sacramento!” I exclaimed.“The San Andreas runs all the way down the state!”“No, not exactly,” Kathy said uneasily. She didn’t look quite as alarmed as I felt – but that wasn’tsaying much. “It starts somewhere near Point Reyes – that’s on the coast just above San Francisco – andthen it curves east, running down through the Central Valley to the border, coming out in the Gulf of California, where Baja splits off from the rest of Mexico. The thing is, it’s about a hundred or two hundredmiles east of us here, something like that – 
damn
, I wish I remember more from those geology classes Itook way back when,” she said, a little sheepishly. “Anyway, while they’ve been expecting the Big One tohit Los Angeles any day now for the last hundred years – as far as the Bay Area goes, I’d say they just
had their 
Big One, earlier this morning, wouldn’t you? – the two sections of the San Andreas, the one runningfrom Fresno north to Point Reyes and the other running south from Fresno to Baja, seem to be somewhatindependent of each other. Big quakes in one section doesn’t seem to trigger anything in the other, at leastnot directly – though of course over time, tension building up along one section and surrounding areasmight end up causing a quake somewhere in the other one.”

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