Old Granny Ela claims that around about 2012 a fellow by the name of Haskins decided that the world was in the process of going down the tubes. There’s always people who think that but usually they don’t do shit about it other than talk. Haskin though was a doer. See he was a builder of some repute and had cash to throw around. His theory was that to ride things out, and rise to power, in the new world the key was controlling river trade. Possibly because he was a boat enthusiast. When you have a hammer etc.
His plan was to buy up all the marinas in the Snake River Plain that were located outside of metro areas. At first he had little luck because no one wanted to see but once the country got an energy crisis going he was able to start snapping up riverside properties since no one could afford recreational boating anymore. He also started hording all the boats he could get and converting them to run on distilled alcohol.
As the country fell apart he realized that he didn’t need to actually buy places anymore because the rule of law was failing so he could just go take them but showing up with a bunch of armed dudes and saying “this is mine now”. And so it was. Haskins established a bunch of rules designed to make a safe haven on the river and germinate his dream of helping mend civilization through trade. This was working out pretty well until some bandits blew his brains out and took over.
After the obligatory reign of terror, heads on sticks, raping and so forth, the bandit king realized Haskins had a pretty good thing going and switched gears, working to murder all the other bandits as best he could and get a river kingdom going. Which he was doing pretty well until his son and nephew stabbed him fifty-seven times and tossed him off a waterfall.
Long story short, too late, The River King and the Hollywoodland Family and some other jerks raided and fought each other for a while until they agreed that the river people would do river shit and the others would do land stuff on one side of the river or the other. And they set about rebuilding civilization in a shitty way. They even had some irregular contact with Antolpe and Junktown.
Old Granny Ela comes into this picture as a refugee from the West, allegedly fleeing after some other Ela-Clone pissed of Duke Eagle, and landed herself a cushy gig as the old River King’s favorite concubine, then swiftly killed him by flashing her boobs at the old fella and giving him a heart attack [Martialla’s note, that’s not exactly what she said but you probably knew that] and once he was dead ascending to the Queenship herself by way of bring so so pretty.
Her ultimate goal was to build up her forces enough to head back West and crush Duke’s empire of bumpy-headedness. Revenge! And that was going fine until the Invincible stole a march on her saggy old ass, showed up and built a secret forward base slash hidden fortress in the area. By the time the anyone in the area realized anything was going on it was too late to try and assault the Invincible fort with their paltry weapons.
Things were looking grim until I showed up. Old Granny Ela told us that there’s an independent community that has a couple dozen military vehicles from our time, including a god damn tank. Which is why they’ve remained independent. Because god damn tank. In order to blow up the Invincible base all we need to do is convince the mayor of Tanktown to do it.
I’m great at convincing people of things so it should be easy-peasy. I say that about myself all the time and I’ve convinced myself so there you go. Ergo we’re heading upriver to Tanktown with Old Granny Ela’s best most expendable crew in their worst most river-worthy scow, the Palm Glider, which may or may not be a reference to masturbation but it a terrible name either way.
Martialla was off with Paul doing something unspeakable with the engine so I said to Lucien “You know I was supposed to be in a remake of the African Queen with Kevin Bacon.”
“Who’s Kevin Bacon?” he asked Canadianly.
I sighed “Come on man, Footloose, that came out in like eighty-three. You had to have seen that, what are you a robot programmed never to see movies?!”
“I was put in suspended animation in eighty-two.”
I bit my lip slightly “Oh right. What is the point of talking to you if you never get any of my references?”
“I don’t know” he said apologetically.
“Footloose came out in eight-four!” Martialla’s voice called out stridently from the bowels of the skiff.
“Shut up Martialla!”