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Issue 5

Continuing my Serenity/FireflyDeadlands Reloaded setting, this issue Ill be going into the population of the garrison and background of the leaders of the 479th Mule, Gravedigging and Support Unit on Ita.

The house of zook

Last time, I told you about the community on Ita that the PCs will be coming from but I didnt get into too many specifics. First, its not a large community, there are maybe 50 Alliance troops, plus a couple of hundred camp followers. Its garrison duty, so there is some lax behavior but the NCOs keep the soldiers in line a bit. Most realize that living and working under General Zook is a good deal better than some of the others theyve had, so the troops keep good discipline and the morale of the community is pretty high. Still, the job is boring and trouble can start anywhere, especially with highly individual people with nothing but time on at hand. The troops are broken into 8 squads of 4 troopers plus 1 corporal each. There are four sergeants in charge of two squads each and a top sergeant in charge of them all. Above the top sergeant is a lieutenant and a major. There is a medical corps comprising the chief medical officer and several medics. Each officer has a corporal orderly. And commanding the lot is General Zook. Three of the squads are simply ground troops (one is heavy weapons, one is ground armor, and the last is infantry), one squad is technicians supporting the satellites, two squads are in charge of the motor pool (spacefighters, trucks and mules), and two squads are pilots. The lieutenant is in charge of the air defenses while the major in charge of the satellites and ground troops. There is a program to encourage cross training in skill groups that is fairly successful (over half of the troopers have their pilots licenses or are close to achieving them). The camp followers include wives, girlfriends and children of the troopers, as well as relatives and close friends. A large number were formerly Independent troops that either were prisonersofwar with no place to go after the War ended or relatives and friends of current Alliance soldiers who needed a place to stay.

issue 5 family zook


There are two very important Zooks on Ita, General Samuel Zook and his identical twin brother, General Ramsey Zook. Like the US Civil War, many families were split over the issue of Unification. Samuel fought for the Alliance and Ramsey fought for the Independents. On many occasions, they fought in the same battle but on opposite sides, including the Battle of Serenity Valley. The war damaged their relationship in many ways, but family is still family and Ramsey refused to surrender to anyone but his brother in the last days. This caused quite a stir in the Alliance, especially when Samuel took it upon himself to insist that the Independents be brought fully into the Alliance, as full members. So vocal was Samuel on this that it lead to the military silencing him the only way they knewby ordering him to garrison Ita. They knew it was putative and he knew that they knew, but he followed orders. When he arrived on Ita, it had the worst discipline and the worst problems of any command. His previous troops were easy compared to the issues he faced. And Alliance Command kept sending him more, emptying out the losers and malcontents from each group to send to Ita, to keep him busy. And Samuel kept busy. He built up the command, instilling in the (in many ways) nonconventional troopers a pride and esprit d'corps that was totally lacking before. It took some time to adjust to garrison life but he found that allowing wives and girlfriends, then family members to join the garrison lead to a more stable society. One that he could order easier. Several years went by and more people came, including his future wife, a relative of one of his sergeants. Since they were on the fringes of the Verse and on the fringes of the Alliance military, they usually got not only the dregs of the service but the dregs of the equipment and supplies. Alliance Command made sure the satellites were well supported but the troops that maintained them were less important. So, with their own pay to spend, the troops needed a link to the rest of the Verse, a gobetween to get them what they needed. Then Ramsey showed up. And everything changed.