James D Morgan
 Digital Underground with Tinfoil Hats last edited: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:38:55 -0800  
Ok, remember this is just for a bit of fun. But here is about half of what is written so far. #storynotes #pleasebegentle

He crossed the Mississippi in Saint Louis at the Eads Bridge. Getting through the checkpoints set up by some ill-defined government agency proved a hassle which consumed a couple of hours in fruitless futility. Each black-uniformed clerk in each booth went over the same information in the same manner in the same amount of time each time. MAYBE I OUGHT TO DESCRIBE THIS SCENE IN MORE DETAIL FOR THE READER He had to endure five checkpoints on the bridge. Bureaucratic inefficiency is the same a wherever one goes.

After the fifth and final checkpoint he made his way slowly across the bridge on foot zigzagging through the concrete barricades on the bridge. He didn't expect the barricades. If no one lived east of the river why the mile of barricades? He thought to himself. He did not want to attract any undue attention to himself. A six foot tall man with a fully packed rigid backpack drew enough uncomfortable attention. He was not doing anything illegal. He had all the proper permits and papers but it was never a good idea to have any attention drawn to yourself.

About half-way across the bridge he noticed a odd symbol printed at the bottom of one the many posters plastered along the wall. He paused to look at the poster. It was the typical propaganda poster about how Americans look out for their neighbors and how that every body was our neighbor. But the symbol drew his eye. NEED TO COME UP WITH A SYMBOL AND QUOTE. MAYBE GADSDEN FLAG??? Somehow he knew this symbol. He couldn't remember for sure but he knew that he had seen it before.

He looked out at the river. He remembered his parents saying that the Mississippi River was the lifeline of the country. He had read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as a kid and had often fantasized about the lazy life along the river. As he scanned the river he saw no river traffic. No boat, ferry, or even some old man in a bass boat floated on the majestic river. The stench of the river assaulted him as he walked across the bridge. 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. Disappointed he turned towards the east and continued his 500 mile walk to Georgia.  

A journey of 500 miles where he didn't know what to expect. He was the only person he knew who had ever even 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 bridge 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.

Mr Name Unknown's father thru-hiked the AT. He was among the the first people to do so. Shortly after the accomplishment he was drafted and died in the tropical heat of the island of Saipan fighting the Japanese.THIS IS PURE CRAP!!! YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS CRAP! PULL YOUR HEAD OUT AND CONCENTRATE!

Our hero readjusted the weight of his pack, pointed himself eastward and started his three week journey by finding his way out of St. Louis. East St Louis now had a very small population of mostly poor squatters living in dilapidated structures and getting their food from small community gardens. Residents stopped their activities and glowered at him, if they noticed him at all. He continued walking. His goal was to pitch his tent out of the city somewhere further down the road than the decaying remnants of a dead city...
Marshall Sutherland
  
As I read the first paragraph, I got this image of a moving sidewalk (moving westward) with an endless supply of checkpoints, such that you could never reach the end.