Welcome to The Great Crumble, and prepare for the world to fall out from under you. It's gonna....Crumble.
You can probably blame the end of the modern United States of America on angry miners. The Sunshine Mine in northern Idaho was one of the highest producing silver mine in the world, after the Bolivian government lost most of their money suppressing rebellions, and Argentine invasion. After South America begin to slip into chaos the Bolivian and Mexican silver mines slowly slipped out of productivity. Idaho, being the next biggest silver producer, was pressured by the rest of the UN and the world to search for more silver until South America and Mexico were slowly recovering the turmoil and collapse there. The derelict mines in the dead-south of Idaho were kicked into high speed operation, and the Sunshine Mine began to expand further out and further down. While Silver City in Owyhee County was kicking to life, they reached complications. The mine shafts present hadn't been used since the early twentieth century, and they faced many accidents and a lack of productivity. Soon the pressure had been stacked all the way on to the Sunshine Mine and its nearby cohorts the Lucky Friday Mine and Galena Mine hired fifteen thousand workers in a response to the lack of silver. The price per ounce shot all the way up to three hundred dollars, and these mine owners became instant billionaires. But they didn't stop to increase the miners' wage from $20 per hour. In 2015, the miners in the area all stopped working, in an attempt to raise their wage to $45 per hour, which would hurt the company sincerely. That's where our story kicks off.
Galena Mine- 0652 April 10th 2015 Edit
Miner John Bohen and his local friends working in the Colonel shaft are lowered down by elevator towards their shaft. In the dark and dusty mine, the elevator going down rattles violently for a moment, then reaches their floor. As the door is opened, an inch of brown water floods the elevator, and the twenty one men run out towards the main floor. An inch of water has flooded the Colonel shaft and the sixty three miners working the day shift are mostly missing. Foreman Elizabeth Reid runs up to them, holding a pickaxe in one hand, and a medical kit in the other. She grabs John and pushes him and their men out of the elevator. On the elevator's outcrop, there's a two foot shelf overlooking the quarter mile shaft, holding equipment and a long belt that would carry silver up a separate shaft. Along that belt, running inward, two miners ride it back up the shaft towards the elevator. The water was raising about a foot a minute.
Elizabeth: You assholes need to help me out here! One of those dumbasses trying to sabotage the mine blew dynamite on pillars 49 and 51! It closed off about twenty men in there and the water is leaking out of the cracks! We're gonna try and blow pillars 20 and 21 and seal the rest of the shaft to keep us all from dying! I've got about three men who didn't chicken out!
John: Did you say someone blew up a pillar with dynamite!?
Elizabeth: Yeah! And I didn't see them cause everyone went runnin'!
John: God dammit! Alright, we'll work it out when we get out of this mineshaft!
Miner: You'd better hurry! The water's raising and that belt won't run forever!
John: I need five of you to come with me! The rest of you go up to the executive's office and tell 'em to evacuate the whole mine, cause this entire side might come down!
Five miners step forward, and the rest of them run back towards the elevator. When they all enter, Elizabeth throws one of them a diamond hand drill.
Elizabeth: Drill two holes in the elevator floor and the water'll drain into the elevator well!
The miner nods and the elevator doors close. The lights flicker, and Elizabeth beckons towards the belt. They all climb on the belt, elevated six feet above the mine floor, so about three feet above the water.
Miner: This doesn't look too good!
John: They better pay this extra for this shit!
Elizabeth: Let me guess, you're one of those idiots for the $45 wage!?
John: Hell no! Those people are complete idiots! We'd bankrupt the mine and probably screw over the world in the process!
Elizabeth: Good! This floor has the biggest problem with those "miners equality union" total morons! I mean for the love of god- we don't even have long hours anymore. Six to four isn't hard. I've worked here for nine years and I used to work four to eight! But these morons who the company hired from the trailer parks and slums have IQ's of less than 10!
John: I can't stand those people!
As they pass pillar seventeen, Elizabeth grabs her radio, and calls for a miner to stop the belt. The belt jolts to a stop and they all nearly fall off. The miners with the pickaxes begin to pull the bolts off the joints holding the roof up, and the pillars begin to groan and fall apart. The steel bends down a ways and Elizabeth lights a piece of dynamite, and sets it against the beam.
The group of miners begin to run down the belt. Elizabeth looks behind her to see the floor cave in, and a young miner fall through and land in the water. A millisecond later, the dynamite explodes, completely vaporizing the young miner. She flinches, but keeps running. The belt buckles and the conveyor falls down, knocking them all into the water, chest high. Slowly wading back to the elevator, with a hundred yards to go.
John: Swim, you morons!
Miner: After this I'm quitting!
Within thirty seconds, the mine begins to collapse behind them. Elizabeth, John, and a handful of the remaining miners begin to swim at full marathon speed, leaving behind a few who couldn't swim. They stop in agony and despair before the roof comes down on them. Reaching the elevator, the two miners there board the elevator with the rest and begin the slow ascent. As the mesh gate closes, you could see the mine come down and all the equipment and silver crushed under the roof. Which was the floor of mine level four. If the idiots sent up properly evacuated the mine, there shouldn't have been a problem. But Elizabeth's mind was locked on that miner who fell through. What happened? As the elevator passed level four, it was completely deserted. And no one else fell through. So were they all gone?
Galena Mine- 0832 Aprill 10th 2015 Edit
In the main floor of the Galena Mine's executive building. Elizabeth and John stand at ease in front of the COO's office. The man turns around his chair. He's a classy man, named Carl Menesses, wearing a white suit, with a long beard.
Carl: Elizabeth......what in the hell- were you thinking!?
Elizabeth: Sir, I was trying to blow down the mine to stop the flooding- to save the men remaining.
Carl: Well, darling in all honesty, that was really, really damn stupid. Twenty six men are dead, we've lost two floors on the right side, three is in danger of collapse, and our productivity has gone down twenty percent.
John: Sir- with all due respect, what's more important? Your miners' safety or the silver?
Carl: Watch your tongue, boy! At this stage of the game, we need to continue the production or the market crashes. Until the beaners in Mexico get their shitty mines working, you white trash wife-beaters need to keep working!
Elizabeth: How could you be so insensitive!?
Carl: ELIZABETH- YOU'RE FIRED!!
Elizabeth: .........Good. I was starting to hate this job.
She takes off her mining helmet, throws it at Carl's window, shattering it, and kicks over his file cabinet, and walks out of the office.
John: You just fired one of Galena's most senior foremen?
Carl: John Bohen, do you believe you could run the fifth floor full time instead of night? Your wage....will greatly increase.
John: Uh.....I'm not too sure. I might quit, actually. This might not be fore.
Carl: Oh...but Mr. Bohen, this company values you....supremely...and, sir, there are....certain advantages to being a foreman. After all, as the senior foreman, you might not even need to do any real mining.
John: Let me mull it over the weekend....I'll let you know on Monday.
Carl: Of course....I look forward to working with you, Mr. Bohen.
Carl Menesses smiles a sly smile, the one that cheated him to this position that made him never have to do anything. As John walks out of his office and out of the building, he has a puzzled look on his face. He knew there was something aloof here.
Black Jack's Bar, Kellogg Idaho- 2154 April 10th 2015 Edit
John Bohen walks into the Black Jack's Bar, located in downtown Kellogg Idaho. The bar, a cowboy styled bar with saddle bar stools and live entertainment from the whitest of trash from the mountains, playing the banjo, guitar, mandolin, and even a Jew's harp. John. wearing his plaid shirts, jeans, and heavy boots slides onto a bar stool, and whistles for the bartender. His name was Michael Eden, a cowboy in his mid thirties, wearing a shotgun on his back, dressed like a bartender from the wild west.
Michael: Hey John....usual?
John: Yeah...hear about what happened at Galena?
Michael: Yeah...I did. You work on the fifth floor, right? What happened?
John: Oh...a saboteur part of that idiotic equality group blew a support beam and flooded the mineshaft. Elizabeth Reid, the head foreman, thought she'd try and blow a pillar to stop the flooding, but it brought down the fourth floor, killed a buncha people, and the third might fall down.
Michael: I talked to Elizabeth. She said she's gonna sabotage the mines now, but *hush* that's a secret.
Michael wiggles his black mustache, smirks and laughs a little bit. John is not amused.
John: She's gonna try and sabotage the mines? Why?
Michael: She's livid! She came in hear kickin' and screaming like a bull in a china shop! I had to kick her out cause she had twelve drinks and nearly tried to punch me!
John: I hope she isn't gonna go run to those morons in the equality group.
Michael: I've heard....*whispers* one of them bought a tank.
John spits out his beer in a jet stream, and his jaw drops.
John: No shit!? What're they gonna do? Blow the whole mine up?
Michael: Now now...it's just a rumor. I don't know if it's true or not, but this group, has a lot of guns. I've been to a meeting there.....they've got a ton of assault rifles and improvised explosives, like the terrorists...still hiding in Pakistan.
John: That ended last year....there are no more terrorists. Oh- before I forget, Menesses wants me as head foreman.
Michael: Whoa, be careful....Menesses is a twisted little man...who will stop at nothing to get is way. So he may play your friend...but- he'll Julius Caesar you sooner or later.
As John drove home that night...He couldn't stop thinking about what Michael said. He was a man who knew everything in the town. Especially Kellogg, which had only a thousand people. Most everyone who wanted to work in the mines moved to Lewiston and Moscow, and a handful in Courer D' Alane. The buses would pick up all the miners. But- if they had a tank. He would have to look in Kellogg. And that's where the rebellion was centered. If anyone knew- it would be Michael. He would find him this weekend and see what was really going on. In the back of his mind he was also thinking about Menesses. That man, was twisted, and had a reputation for being twisted. But- if Menesses was being honest, whose side should he be on? The rebels- or Menesses? The money sounded nice, but one thing was suspicious. The "benefits" he spoke of. What were they? Was it worth it? Or was it more important to stay neutral? He would have to wait until tomorrow to find it out.
Kellogg, Idaho- 0907 April 11th 2015 Edit
Michael Eden was opening his bar, unlocking the door, and walks inside. He flips on the light switch, to reveal twelve men and women wearing bandanas, ski masks, and gas masks, all holding revolvers and lever action rifles. One woman, pulls off her mask. It's Elizabeth Reid. Michael, still standing in shock, raises his hands slowly, above his head.
Elizabeth: Michael. Sit.
Without moving her revolver away from him, she lowers two chairs from the table and beckons for him to sit. He sits slowly. Elizabeth sits next.
Michael: Elizabeth, Darling, you need to just take a deep breath n' lower that gun. Now.
Elizabeth: Fuck off, Michael. No more talk. Do you hear me? No more. Now listen- What did John tell you?
Michael: What do you mean?
Elizabeth: You know damn well what I mean. What. Did. He. Tell. You.
Michael: He's been offered your position. He hasn't decided on whether he's gonna take it on it.
Elizabeth: That bastard....that's all I needed to know.
She uncocks her revolver, holsters it, and her gang walks out the back door. The second she walks out the door Michael pulls out his phone and texts John.
Phone: Elizabeth is comin for you be careful cuz shes real pissed off.
John (text): srsly? tht bitch has no idea whats gonna happen if she sticks w/ the rebs. the feds are after them. i see a few fbi guys walkin round town today. the boss's helicopter's takin off this morning.
Michael: hes leavin?
John: probs just for a while. probs to go to boise or something. help from the nat guard.
Michael: you think it;ll get tht bad?
John: in all honesty, if they thretnd you w/ guns, yes.
Michael: and the tank rumors. How do you think that'll go?
John: Not good. not good. If shes comin for me where should i go?
Michael: does she know where u live?
Michael: come to the bar
John: u sure?
Michael: she wont think of that
John: good point
Black Jack's Bar, Kellogg Idaho- 1032 April 11th 2015. Edit
As the bar began to pick up speed and a handful of people scatter the bar, John drifts into the door, making direct eye contact with Michael, who nods for him to come to him. John slides into a saddle seat nonchalantly, looks over his shoulder briefly to see a surly looking Native American staring him down subtly.
John (softly) :Guy in the corner. How long has he been here?
Michael: An hour. He's only ordered a beer and fries...I think the rebs put him here to watch me...just ignore him for a while, and we'll see how it turns out.
John: How many were in the bar when Elizabeth was here?
Michael: Twelve, including her.
John: How would they even get a damned tank..?
Michael: Y' see, the thing is, I don't think they mean a literal tank. It could mean an infantry carrier, or an armored car, not a full barreled tank. I've seen one before at an auction, but it didn't have a firing pin in it.
John: But it doesn't make it any less scary.
Michael: You're right. It's still fucking terrifying.
John: Did you see the feds around town?
Michael: Nah, but I heard a kid blabbing about a suburban with a bunch of suited men in it.
John: Yeah, I heard about it. I saw 'em going around almost all the houses in town, so you're probably on the list.
Michael: I'm expecting them. But I'm worried that reb'll still be around.
Right on cue, a man in a black suit walks through the door, flashes his badge, and ignorantly announces:
Agent: I'm looking for Michael Marder Eden, owner of this establishment.
Michael sighs, then raises his hand. The whole bar is silent, piercing eyes on this Agent who blew his cover instantly.
Michael: How may I help you?
The Agent walks towards Michael, slides down into the saddle bar stool, and pulls out his FBI badge and shows it to Michael.
Agent Lucas: Agent Lucas, FBI. We need to ask you some questions about the Galena Mine incident yesterday. We can't find COO Menesses and the rest of the company is busy.
Michael: Keep your voice down, dumbass. I think there's a reb in the back. They came in this morning and gunned some information out of me- DON'T LOOK MORON.
Agent Lucas snaps his head back to Michael. The guy in the corner is texting on his phone, constantly glancing back at the men at the bar. Lucas turns to look at John with a weird glance on his face.
Lucas: And you are?
John: John Bohen. Night shift foreman, fifth floor, Galena Mining Company.
Lucas: Then you're just the one I'm looking for. We went by your house but you weren't home. We want you to read the official media statement, and match them together. In case Menesses did some lying or "clever word arrangement" as he would call it.
Lucas pulls out a folded piece of paper regarding the mine flood and collapse the media read, and gives it to John. He glances over it and then hands it back to Lucas. He takes a drink from his beer, then slams it down on the table.
John: Yep. He didn't lie, except they spelled his name wrong.
Lucas: I noticed that. So- we know he's telling the truth. A rebel blew a support beam with dynamite, it trapped twenty miners, and then flooded it out, drowned them. Your team came down during the flooding after the day shift miners ran, and you, Elizabeth, and seven other miners broke beams 20 and 21, then blew them with dynamite. The small roof dropped a miner into the fifth level before it blew up, killing him. While running back, two miners who couldn't swim drowned, and the flooding stopped. However, the fourth floor collapsed, and two died from that floor. You all came up and Elizabeth was fired.
John: Yeah, that checks out. What does OSHA and the FBI think?
Lucas: The FBI is taking no part in the investigation, we're looking into the rebels.
John: Well, what does OSHA think?
Lucas: We're not sure at this time, but their statement is blaming both parties, Elizabeth and Menesses. We might need you to interview OSHA soon, if they find you relevant. But- I'm wearing a wire and we could just skip that and use what you and I've talked about.
John: God, I hate interviews. Sure. Let's skip that shit.
Suddenly a gunshot rings out, John's beer bottle explodes, everyone screams and ducks down, and Michael ducks under the counter. At the speed of light, Lucas draws his P226 and ducks down, and aims it at the sulky, brooding Native American in the corner who is holding a Ruger Six. A few people run out of the bar, and Michael stands up from the counter while Lucas and the Indian aim their weapons at each other. John hops behind the counter and grabs Michael's coach gun, aims it at the Indian, and laughs.
John: Better run, fat-ass.
Indian: Uh....shit....The rebellion needs you out of the way, John! Just stay neutral, and you won't be hurt. Menesses is the one we want!
The fat Indian runs out of the bar, and Lucas and John holster their weapons.
Lucas: Now you see why we need to be here?
Idaho Capitol Building, Boise Idaho- April 11th 1501 Edit
Carl Menesses sits in front of the Governor's desk inside his office. Idaho's Governor, CL Otter, turns around and faces Carl from his window, then grins.
CL Otter: Carl Menesses, how the heck are you? Let me get you a drink.
The Governor pulls out a bottle of whiskey from his desk, takes out two glasses and pours them for Menesses, and places the drink near him.
Carl: It's great to see you governor. Now, I'm sure you can guess why I am coming to you.
CL Otter: The rebels, huh.
Carl: Correct. Now, this time, the Sierra PMC cannot handle the strength of the rebels this time. I need the National Guard.
CL Otter: I understand, yet you're going to have to wait. The 116th is in Cambodia right now, and they won't be back until April 20th.
Carl: Send them back here then. The World's silver market is in grave danger.
CL Otter: I can't take them back from Cambodia. A sudden withdrawl without a real reason, would- well, we're on tight terms with the Cambodian Army and we need this relationship.
Carl: Is there anyone else who is available?
CL Otter: The 145th Artillery is returning from the Congo, tomorrow. We can send them up to you, on the 19th.
Carl: Well, tsk tsk. This puts me in a bad situation, does it not? I guess the Sierra Corporation will have to handle things, with weapons...of controversy.
CL Otter: Whoa....what're you getting at?
Carl: Miners do not own gas masks, at times. And they can't cover their skin.
CL Otter: Carl. You're taking this too far. Wait until May, and I can handle it.
Carl: Sorry, Clement. Shoshone County...heh...It's like my own country up there. And honestly, remember who's in charge up there.
Carl turns and walks out without saying anymore. As soon as the door closes, Governor Otter picks up his phone and begins to make a few phone calls.