I’ve been meeting regularly with Thom Yekes, the Sheriff from Wickenburg, since taking down the grey that attacked the ore shipment from Vulture City. We’ve been studying maps and searching possible den sites for the larger pack that the Vulture City grey was a part of. During our investigations, Yekes has asked me several questions that I assumed were common knowledge; apparently they teach us vastly more Menace-based history in Topeka than in civilian circles.
I should clarify: Thom Yekes is the sheriff of Wickenburg, but he’s not a Topeka graduate or a member of the Sheriffs Bureau. He’s the kind of sheriff we used to have before the Menace. Yekes is a lawman and his first priority is the safety of Wickenburg and its residents. Sheriffs of the Topeka variety are trained for war; our first priority is complete annihilation of the Menace. Sure, we take a class on justice and the federal laws, but upholding them is not emphasized. Lincoln signed the Sheriffs Bureau into existence on a temporary basis. The Topeka facility is to train individuals to combat the Menace and place them, as needed, in cities and townships throughout the country until our populated centers are no longer in danger. At that time, the Sheriffs Bureau will be incorporated into the Union Army and continue fighting the remaining Menace in open country and travel to assist our European allies. If they still exist by then.
While Yekes didn’t have the same training I did, I expected him to know how the Menace hunted and travelled. No such luck. He knew they attacked during the Battle of Vicksburg and effectively ended the War Between the States and that Europe had been all but overrun, but that was all. If someone concerned with public safety knew so little, I can only assume that the general population (who have things like family and trades to worry about) are even more in the dark. I don’t often criticize our federal, state, and territorial leadership, but they should have made information on the Menace readily available. They are responsible for any deaths born out ignorance. In good conscience, I cannot operate this outlet and not provide the history and habits of our enemies.
Most of the following information wasn’t either discovered or understood until after the Vicksburg Attack. The first recorded incident in North America was both misunderstood and covered up by the federal government until recently. Some of you may remember hearing about the sinking of the ship Powhattan. I do. I was a bit young at the time, but my family lived just a few states over and it was big news. The official report was that the ship, carrying German immigrants from a port in France, was blown off course by a storm and ran aground in New Jersey in 1854. Not a single person on board survived. At least half of that information is incorrect, but to accurately explain it and all the reasons why the true nature of the incident was covered up, I have to explain some history.
Conflict between North and South had been brewing for a long time (my father liked to say the roots of the conflict went all the way back to the American Revolution almost a century ago when true patriots were centered in the North and turncoats and loyalists congregated in the southern states). In terms of economic and lifestyle differences, he was probably right. As city infrastructure and technology continued to progress advance more quickly in the North, those differences were exacerbated. The abolitionist movement was akin to throwing dried cedar onto hot embers. By 1853, the Free-State governments knew what was coming and sent a few secret operatives abroad to form wartime alliances. The operatives travelled as peasants on the cheapest ships in hopes that any movements would be overlooked by insightful Slave-State governments and their own operatives.
After an unsuccessful meeting, an operative who had travelled to France booked passage on the Powhattan, posing as a German immigrant. Before embarking, the operative notified his Free-State handlers of the meeting outcome, transportation, and date and location of his arrival for pickup. Contrary to the historical explanation of the disaster, the Powhattan weathered the storm just fine and was only set on a course to run aground after the worst of the storm had passed. The Free-State handlers immediately struck out to the Powhattan, hoping to find evidence of Slave-State sabotage. Instead, they located their operative clinging to a piece of flotsam and bleeding profusely from puncture wounds in his torso. He told his handlers of French treachery and demons with insatiable hunger. He died before he could further explain himself, but the eviscerated remains of several German immigrants floating nearby convinced his handlers to investigate further. Luckily, the crash happened in New Jersey where members of the Free-State coalition who was preparing for war could exercise control over emergency responders. Official rescue parties were held back due to concerns of sea swell and vortices created by the sinking passenger ship. Unofficially, the few survivors of the wreck were liquidated and some of the bodies were retrieved for scientific study.
An investigation of the shipping manifest showed that, in addition to German immigrants (and the under-cover northern operative), a group of eight French Canadian fur trappers had booked passage back to North America after taking a vacation to their ancestral homeland. The shredded bodies of the immigrants matched odd stories of murder that filtered into the United States from the Canadian wilderness and the entire disaster was chalked up to a mass murder on the part of crazed French Canadian fur trappers who all had some form of hair growth defect. To be fair, both North and South governments were preoccupied with one another and found it easier to explain events like the Powhattan disaster away as the work of a freakish-looking homicidal maniac than to accept the fact that life was not all that different from the most gruesome of German fairy tales. Other, larger events that were playing out on the world stage between the Powhattan incident and the Vicksburg attack weren’t seen for what they were until European refugees started arriving in the States.