Sunday, April 12, 2020

[Secret Jackalope] New Darwin

Secret Jackalope for Isaak H.


They named the town after that whose teachings they held most dear.
Never having read more of his writing than that oft-recited axiom: 'Survival of the Fittest'.

It is not a place for intellectuals. It's a place for truth-isms and life savings converted into weapon stocks and canned beans. Brought the county to #1 in the country for density of nutritional fiber-per-square-mile, all on its own. Half the people will tell you that they'll resort to cannibalism and banditry without moral quandary when, not if, the shit hits the fan. The obesity rate is 77%.


New Darwin is a Prepper town, population 57. Place it in whatever biome you wish. For me, it'll be underground. It has a continuously-growing canned food supply that can sustain those 57 people for 90 years, provided one half doesn't eat the other first. The average life expectancy for these 10 people is 50.


"The Big Arse"
Everyone jokingly calls it that, but nobody's supposed to (it makes Robert and Mack uncomfortable). Underground bunker leads to a can't-unsee-it entrance: big circular metal door flanked by two voluptuous pads of insulation.

There are enough weapons and ammo inside the arsenal to overthrow a small nation. People from town donate extra ammo and weapons to the communal stockpile. Managed by Nathan.

The Commons
This is where the people of New Darwin think about how they're going to punish criminals and bandits during the apocalypse. Everyone has spent some time or another fantasizing about using the old oak tree for hangings, or setting up a stockades, or digging a pit to fill full of snakes.

Everyone's got their own plans for how they want to develop The Commons during the apocalypse, and it's likely to become a serious (even violent) point of contention once shit hits the fan.

Someone's publicly fantasizing and reminiscing about establishing...

  1. A Hanging Tree
  2. A Wheel of Death
  3. Stockades for Misdemeanors
  4. Medieval Cage Torture, with Spikes
  5. A Field of Spikes
  6. A Pit of Snakes

Firing Range
Nobody around for miles. Numerous wrecks of cars pilfered with holes. Somebody's set up a bunch of umbrellas to protect from the sun. Somebody else has a habit of making strange patterns on the ground with bullet casings, and it's starting to weird everyone out.

Twice a year Mack likes to bring out a Minigun and fire off a few thousand rounds.

The Patchwork Wall
Everyone in town is required to contribute something to The Wall. One share of one segment every season. As such, it's a ridiculous patchwork - like fifty different walls all trying to be one. Perhaps, if anyone except Robert actually cared about building a wall, it'd be decent.

It has as many weak points as people in town +1, which is to say 58. It has 58 weak points. It is functionally useless, keeping out neither animal nor man. As an art installation, however, it's moderately interesting.

This section of The Patchwork Wall is...
  1. Stacked cinder blocks
  2. Wooden palisade with extra spikes
  3. Chain link
  4. A moat
  5. Unfinished
  6. Cobbled stone
  7. Sheet metal
  8. Massively graffiti'd on the outside
  9. Solid cement
  10. Moldy unsupported drywall.


Use once then discard.
  1. They're attacking! Who?? We don't know! Town is on full alert, everyone's got their guns. Every public alley is now a killzone to anyone looking remotely suspicious. False alarm from a miscommunication from Big Mac.
  2. A posse is being rounded up to confront two college-age backpackers near the perimeter. It's probably going to amount to an assault charge.
  3. Bulk shipment. An anonymous townsperson brought in a bulk shipment, and nobody's sure what to do with 10,000... 1) Heads of broccoli   2) Packages of plastic army men.   3) Fruit juicers    4) Civil War reenactment hats   5) Bottles of hair conditioner   6) Nondenominational Christmas sweaters
  4. Factionalism. Roll 1d6 twice on People below. They're taking opposing sides on the issue of... 1) Letting in new members   2) Saving vs. Spending   3) Water Management   4) Pets? Yes/No
  5. A sheriff's deputy has arrived. Investigating a missing person's case. He's getting completely stonewalled and is increasingly frustrated by these people.
  6. War of the Worlds. Someone's pranking the ham radio operators into thinking that body snatchers are taking over. Things could get dangerous if the rumors aren't quelled and the source identified. (Note: Being investigative makes you seem more like a doppelganger.)
  7. Infiltration. A mole for the government has just been exposed. People are trying to decide what to do with them.
  8. Standoff on the range. Heated argument about shooting may lead to an actual shooting. You can hear the shouting from anywhere in town.
  9. Mines - Serious medical accident. Someone was experimenting with making land mines and got themselves blown up, along with seriously injuring a few innocent folks. The worst news is that there might be more land mines on the property.
  10. Oil discovered on property. News is spreading quickly. If the whole town finds out then so will the multinationals. If the whole town finds out then there will be speculators everywhere.


Generally, people will trade for things they hoard. They'll give things they're generous with for free, if you're considered a trusted person.

1. Mack "Big Mac" Johnson
Age: 52
Appearance: Hamburger scar with a side of balding.
Hoards: Gold, Mayonnaise (Eggs), .45 ammunition
Generous With: Axiomatic Truth-isms
Notes: He loves, loves, to run everybody, especially his family, through surprise mock exercises to test the security of New Darwin. Excessively so. People are fine with drills now and again, but they're getting real sick of him jumping out of bushes, in mask with guns and bayonet, and 'mock-robbing' everyone at gunpoint, 'testing for weakness'. Everyone hates this, but they tolerate it because he's a figure of authority.

2. Anastasia Johnson
Age: 35
Appearance: Tired, exasperated, but relieved.
Hoards: Money, Contact Lenses, Documents
Generous With: Information
Notes: Pretends to be spoiled. Hates all this Prepping business. But that's because she's lived through an apocalypse: a siege that lasted years. She's the only person in New Darwin who's been tested, and has skills she keeps to herself out of distrust for everyone else.

3. Nathan
Age: 36
Appearance: A bundle of toothpicks and freckles wearing camo pants.
Hoards: Guns, More Guns, Vitamins
Generous With: Blame
Notes: Takes four times the amount of vitamins per day than a person should. This is slowly causing organ damage to his liver and kidneys. He's starting to think somebody is poisoning him - technically this is true - and when he finds out he'll 'shoot that person dead'. He suspects the women first, because 'poison is a woman's weapon', and Robert because he thinks his onerous criticism means he'd like him dead.

4. Rebecca
Age: 36
Appearance: Ponytail, sunglasses. Jogger.
Hoards: Silver, .22 LR ammunition, porno mags
Generous With: Tools
Notes: Doesn't actually read, enjoy, or even like porn mags. She simply believes they'll be worth their weight in gold once the apocalypse hits. Cheery personality. Her generosity with tools greatly annoys Robert.

5. Pam O'Neil
Age: 49
Appearance: Floral pattern dresses and a cane.
Hoards: Insulin, Wine, Pickles (Vegetables)
Generous With: Maps
Notes: Diabetic. Meticulously maintains refrigeration units to maintain said hoard of Insulin. This has made her a decent amateur electrician.

6. Robert O'Neil
Age: 54
Appearance: Weathered elder with a raisin of a mole
Hoards: Bibles, .22 LR ammunition, Tools
Generous With: Onerous Criticism
Notes: When all the religious leaders inevitably die in the apocalypse (from 'being too weak'), he plans to fill the vacuum (and 'get it right this time'). Gets into snippy fights with Rebecca when she's generous with tools.

7. Alex Johnson
Age: 6
Appearance: Dumb haircut, first few teeth fell out
Hoards: Jellybeans, Small Animals, Action Figures
Generous With: Guides and Tours
Notes: Nice kid, hard to understand. Speaks a barely-decipherable fusion of English and Russian.