OOC: Driving up to the roadblock is the plan I suppose?
The people at the roadblock seem ready for trouble but are not pointing their weapons or acting aggressively. And the person who approaches the front vehicle is a grandmotherly looking older woman who looks as unthreatening as can be. "Hello," she says. "You are entering the territory of Utah Warriors. If you wish to pass this way, the toll is half a day's rations per vehicle, as contribution to keeping the roads safe."
"Will these do?" Teach says, showing her an MRE.
"Ready to eat meals, sealed," the elderly woman says. "Yes, these will do just fine."
Laurie looks sideways at the woman in charge, but simply pats Orion, sitting watching from the driver's side open window and says "Anything you can tell us is useful." then smiles as she adds "I know it's sometimes difficult to judge by tags and markers. People are a bit easier for me to read than heraldry and gang signs."
"It is a sports team sign,” the woman says with a smile. “Not that it is that much different from a gang sign, especially these days. Anyway, I wouldn’t go near Salt Lake City. There is something really weird there. And more dangerous than zombies. Takes off people’s heads. Entire armed groups gone. Most of the people have left. They are in Utah Olympic Park now.”
“After the city, well, it depends on whether you are heading to Idaho or Wyoming. Idaho is doing okay. Some people from hereabouts have moved there. For the food. Idaho used to be sparsely populated so they did not have that great zombie hordes there, and the state was always known for its potato crop. They used to produce a third of the entire nationwide yield before the outbreak. Probably a much bigger proportion these days. Just don’t expect to do much salvaging there. The government is present. The way they see it, the ruins are government property and only locals have the right to be poking around.”
“The government is centered in Idaho National Laboratory. I mean, they must have a hundred nuclear reactors there, and the laboratory was developing technology for infrastructure resiliency, so quite a bit of the energy infrastructure in Idaho is actually working. They have streetlights there! Drive around in Idaho after dark, and it is almost like back in the old days.”
“But you can also look forward to the whole old days bureaucracy deal at the state border. Being questioned and possibly searched by men in uniform. They have always been a bit tight about security, with the acting president there. Only acting one, since there have been no elections. The guy used to be the Secretary of Energy, and he is the highest ranking person from the old government who is still accounted for. Anyway, they have experienced some strange attacks and sabotage lately, so they are even more uptight currently.”
“Wyoming is an entirely different deal. It used to be the least populous and the second most sparsely populated state in the country. And almost two thirds of Wyoming is mountains. These days, you hardly see anyone there. Most of the survivor communities are in the mountains, where the zombies have hard time getting to. Damn, anyone has a hard time getting there now. The roads are in a bad condition. There have been landslides, and no one to clear the roads. If you go that way, I’d otherwise suggest sticking to Interstate 80 until you reach Cheyenne, and then driving through the eastern part of Wyoming that is all High Plains territory and much easier driving – except that we had a convoy from Wyoming coming through about four months back. They had trucks full of hand-mined ore that they were planning to sell to the government in Idaho. And they said that Cheyenne is a no go these days. That some weird growth has taken it over. Not sure what they meant, but that is what they said.”
OOC: I think we stop only if we see a rich source to loot and it looks reasonably safe. If we can pick up some trade goods so much the better. Failing that we go straight for the border.
And if they're uptight over security we need to be prepared to explain about Juanita, preferably without giving away secrets. Fortunately we have a physician with us.
"Are we prepared to argue with presidential level security if they don't buy our story at the checkpoint?" Laurie asks, with the expression of a woman trying to calculate betting odds with an abacus and a horseshoe for luck.