Denvertown, California [The Day After Ragnarok].

Denvertown, California – Google Docs

Denvertown, California

[The Day After Ragnarok]


Officially, it’s the Owens Valley Resettlement Camp in California; in a heavy bit of irony, the camp existed prior to the Serpentfall as the Manzanar War Relocation Center. The Japanese-Americans who were interned there have long since been repatriated to their (suddenly-vital) farms and fishing boats, of course; in their place were put those who managed to get out of Denver and the Rocky Mountains in the Evacuation of ‘46, but who lacked immediately useful skills (like farming and fishing). The Warren government has had little luck in finding these refugees better living conditions.

Denvertown is not as bad as Manzanar, in the sense that the people living there could leave, if they had anywhere to go. But the local environment is cold, dry, windy, and dusty, and the existing structures are increasingly ramshackle, not to mention a little overcrowded.  And there is nowhere to go; California is reeling under the need to integrate those refugees from the east that were deemed more valuable to the emergency. The people of Denvertown know that; thus, the camp is a dour place, and one that is only tolerant of strangers when one compares it to its attitude towards Californian officials.


The inhabitants do continue on with their lives as best they can, but they are not a cheery lot.  Denvertowners are typically taciturn and grim, with a perpetual half-scowl on their faces. But they’re not bad people; while a Denvertowner never forgets an injury, they never also forget a kindness, and will come to a stranger’s aid at need.  They spend their days either working in Denvertown’s new workshops (see below), fighting a never-ended battle against entropy to keep their town habitable, or drink. Denvertowners drink an amazing amount of beer and ale.


There is a mayor of Denvertown, although he’s never been elected.  Denver native James Q. Newton served in the Navy during World War 2, and when he heard of the Denvertown refugee camp he voluntarily joined his fellow townsmen there to do what he could to help.  It turned out that Newton could do quite a lot; his connections allowed him to make sure that the resettlement camp didn’t simply get forgotten. He also made arrangements to bring at least some industry to Denvertown; the inhabitants were mostly miners and factory workers in Colorado, and have adjusted to machining and metalworking remarkably well.  These two things have guaranteed that Newton will be in charge of Denvertown for the foreseeable future, whether he likes it or not.


Currently, Newton’s biggest problem is in the rumors eddying through Denvertown — and the other refugee camps — that the situation in the Mountain West is perhaps getting a little better, or at least not getting actively worse.  The monsters that rampaged through from ‘45 to ‘47 are starting to die off a bit. Or maybe men have just learned to fight them better. The point is that perhaps there is a growing chance for the people of the Rocky Mountains to take back their cities. If not, then: better to fight and die in the homes of your fathers than to half-live in exile in the West. Time to see what steel and fire might do.


James Newton understands the danger of such thinking.  He also understands the draw that it has on the Denvertowners and their fellow-refugees, because he can feel its appeal, too.  He yearns for the Queen-City as much as any man or woman of Denver.

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