Rex Mundi
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats 

He crossed the Mississippi in Saint Louis. The dingy which carried him across the river puttered across the mighty river drifting slightly southwards with the flow of the river. The river stank. To Mr Name Unknown it seemed odd that a river could stink. Somewhere in the far off fringes of his memory he remember reading a book about early wayfarers to the American west always commenting on how much the Mississippi stunk.

The dingy tied up to a pier and Mr Name Unknown got out of the boat and gathered up his hiking gear. He figured he'd have very little transportation from this point to Springer Mountain in Georgia where he was headed. He cinched up his boots and made sure that his essentials were within easy access so he could get to them without having to pull off his pack in case something happened along the way. He got his pack on and situated the weight and began his journey from Missouri to Georgia. A journey of over 500 miles, probably mostly on foot.

A journey of 500 miles where he didn't know what to expect. He was the only person he knew who had ever been in the dead zone. Twenty years ago he served in an army unit attached to the FBI in the Dead Zone searching for spies. The bombings had grown irregular by the time he was in service. He remembers a few bombings but mostly he remembers the destruction and the vast emptiness of the whole eastern seaboard. The bombings had destroyed most of the big cities and there was no way, as far as he could tell, for anyone to make a living. The gas attacks had left some area still uninhabitable when he was there. Most people moved out west to get away from the bombs. To this day the government would have us believe that today no one lives in the east and that it is probably safer for an American to be in Berlin than for him to be in the dead zone.

When he finally got his permits to go east he was given a mound of pamphlets to read all of which pretty much told him that he would die the second he crossed the Mississippi due to the poison gasses the Nazis bombed the place with. The pamphlets also intimated that that end was fitting for anyone who ventured in the east. Only spies and saboteurs went there to be in contact with their Nazi handlers.

He knew that was all bunk. He served here about 20 years ago. He knew that the east was bad but not as bad as places in the southern hemisphere. The underground press even told stories of people moving back east and setting up homesteads in the hopes of gaining freedom from the government. The article that he had read called it this migration the "Second Revolution." Who knew if it was true or not. The underground press had no more credibility than the regular press.

Springer Mountain then up the AT to Mount Kathadin and then... he thought to himself as he started walking off the dock onto roads nature was trying to overtake in East St Louis.

As with just about every other day since he started this research project he thought about his grandfather. His grandfather was rugged outdoorsy, big, burly, a real man's man. Grandfather had tried to teach him all the things the granddads seem to think is necessary for young men to know. So from a young age Mr Name Unknown had known how to hunt, fish, read the sky, how to field dress a deer with his breath... All those fun sorts of things. Granddad loved the outdoors and he had lived in it every moment that he possibly could for as long and often as he could. Nothing seemed to scare granddad.

Granddad truly believed that the men in the US were getting soft prior to the war. He firmly believed that America needed more men like Teddy Roosevelt and fewer men like CLark Gable. He believed it so much that he spearheaded the AT project and got many governments and civic organizations behind the building of it. The project took all of a decade to get completed.