Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Hot Gates

The Battle of Thermopylae is one of the most famous in history. You might know it from the fantasy/comic book movie about it, 300. I've mentioned it before, and might have even mentioned that the name 'Thermopylae' actually means 'The Hot Gates'.

The name is a reference to the fact that the pass--the gates themselves--were the only easy access Xerxes and his vast army of Persians had to Greece. There, three hundred Spartans and a few thousand reserve forces from other city-states held off the masses for three days. They all died, of course, but they died heroes that live in memory today.

I actually reread the comic version of 300 yesterday. It's one of my many treasured possessions, a beautiful piece of art and storytelling that never fails to inspire me. I couldn't help but see the parallels between poor Leonidas and his beloved Sparta, as well as the other city-states, as they faced an enemy larger and more powerful than they themselves.

Our communities are spread out in much the same way those scattered Greek cities were. We are all sovereign entities but joined together by choice when we need it.

There are a lot of concerns and questions after yesterday's attack. One person asked me if the poison Henry tried to use on us was the same as what he used on the Exiles. We think it is, though we have no way of knowing. Becky has done what she can to analyze the stuff, but our facilities are limited. She thinks it's something military-grade and fairly unknown to the public. Makes sense given the origin. I assume the person that asked the question is worried that something similar might be used on her own people. All I can say is: keep an eye out for anyone hauling a fine orange powder that smells sweet. This stuff could be mistaken for Tang.

The other major consequence is that people are terrified and fleeing some of the communities closer to UAS territory. Another person asked me if we were going to take in the refugees.

And I had to think about it for a second.

Then I thought to myself, of course we're going to take them in, or at least make sure they've got some place to go. New Haven itself will almost surely be a major target, so settling in here may not be wise or healthy in the long run. We are, for better or worse, the figurehead community. The one that must fall. We're like Batman, sort of. We're a symbol.

Okay, sorry. I'm just taking a moment to pretend I'm Batman.

There we go. All done.

It's well and good to say that we need to strike at the enemy for all the many, many reasons they've given us, but doing so blindly is a bad idea. I'd rather bide our time and allow those who need to flee the front to do so. Let them get to safety before the real battle begins. As there are few communities close to us and none directly west of us except perhaps a few stragglers in Louisville, it makes sense for them to hit New Haven. I think recent events show they really want to strike us down.

We're on the razor's edge, people. None of us can afford to act rashly, think small, or be selfish. The Union is an experiment, but one that only works if we watch out for each other no matter what.

That's the thing that makes us better than them.


  1. Thanks for that info Josh.

    To those in the west in need of a new home, our gates are going to be open for a short period. There has been much discussion on this, and in part because we are now prepared for refugee housing and isolation we can take in those fleeing the edges of the Union.

    To others in the western coalition with us, our planned preps are ready. We will not be stopping there.

    To the UAS- even temporarily abandoned communities within our Union boundaries are off limits.

    We are not going to submit, and we accept that there will be no survivors to any conflict you bring our way. Think about that.

  2. My Manhunters and our families were set to head up into New England, where I was born and raised, we were worried about the UAS and where we might cross into their territories, once we had blundered onto one of their outputs and started shooting at us it was lay on MacDuff. We destroyed Phoenix to kill of two groups of dangerous homicidal rapists. I do not like Scorched Earth tactics but there are times you have to burn a house down to get rid of the vermin.

    I just hope that one day I will be able to look up at Mount Washington, and tell my son that I had climbed to the top of that maintain. If I cannot then I want people to sing of my deeds. I am Unlucky Eddy, and my Manhunters are coming for the UAS.

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