Hi guys, here is the first draft of another part of the book.
It seems that I've overcomed my writter's block!
Enjoy and please comment!
The Saguenay and Lac St-Jean sector
About XX miles upriver from Québec City the majestic Saguenay River with its massive Fjord enters the St-Lawrence River. This is the natural frontier of the Saguenay Region that, because of its location upriver and the relative safety from MPAF operation is rapidly turning into one of Québec’s most important transportation and manufacturing hub.
The Saguenay and its neighbouring Lac St-Jean region were always relatively isolated from Québec and Montréal. The only way to get there for decades was to use the Saguenay waterway or an old railway up to Baie St-Catherine and then a single lane dirt road that made a loop around the lake and ended up in Tadousac. Since the end of the war, the isolation of the region, the abundance of hydro power and its ease of access by water transport resulted in the construction boom and the establishment of numerous factories.
Those factories were following the path beaten by the Alcan Company that established an aluminum plant in 1920 in the town of Arvida. The production of the metal requires a lot of electricity so the region was the logical place to build the factory. However, with the declaration of independence, the fracturing of the USA, the Great Depression and the bankruptcy of Alcan the plant was shut down. After the end of the war, with the MPAF constantly harassing Québec shipping, the ROQ government decided to reopen the Grand Baie port that was use by Alcan in order to allow ships to land their cargo upriver. The remaining distance was done either by train or zeppelin. In addition, the election of Primer Duplessis was followed by the reopening of the plant by the Boston Metals.
According to our sources in the Atlantic Coalition, Boston Metal received the ownership of the plant and 15 hydro power plant in the region for free from the ROQ government in exchange for a share of the production being sold at cost to them. –L
The production of aluminum resulted in the establishment in the region of the La Baie air shipyards and the opening of a new Québecair plant in Bagotville.
I managed to secure transportation on French Freighter carrying bauxite to Grande-Baie that was refueling in Cap-aux-Meules.
Bauxite is one of the raw material needed in order to produce aluminum. - L
It was an interesting but a stressful journey since pirates and the MPAF is known to raid bauxite shipping on the St-Lawrence. It was a relief when we reached Tadousac and entered the magnificent Saguenay river. Carved millions of years ago by the glaciers, the Saguenay Fjord is one of the most magnificent sight that I had the pleasure to see. The river is regularly patrolled by the AAQ, the SN and private militias. Nevertheless, because of the huge spans of virgin territories in this region, numerous pirates gangs operate on the Saguenay, so I was relieved to reach Grande Baie where Mr. O’Brien had managed to reunite me with my trustworthy Malard.
Most pirate gangs would know better than to raid anything linked to aluminum shipping. The last reported attack on a bauxite ship resulted on the destruction of the gang by the Fleurs de Lys. –L
I never thought that something could surpass the beauty that I had seen on my Saguenay cruise, but flying over the river was even more exhilarating. I could not fly in a straight line and did so many detours that only the dager of an empty fuel tank brought me back to reality. When I approached Bagotville airport I saw a level of aerial activity that rivaled what I had saw in Québec. There were less military planes but I saw numerous zeppelins and transport planes from across the continent.
Only 3 AAQ squadrons cover this huge region. The XX (I) and the XX (M) that are based in Bagotville with the Michabo patrol zeppelin and the XX (M) Kioki base at Roberval airbase at the extreme north west point of lake St-Jean. Calling these organisations squadrons is almost a misunderstanding as they are lucky if they can manage to field more than 6 planes at the time. All around the region, isolated post of the Sureté Nationale are struggling to provide order. –L
However, for the first time in my visit to the ROQ, I found numerous private militias operating in the sector. As some of the pilots told me, the government seems to have let the private companies take care of themselves and protect their own assets. They know that the AAQ will help and is actively chasing pirates, but they cannot be everywhere and will protect the population and the national industries before taking care of the privately owned plants.
Lost in the middle of the République, the Saguenay region most be one of the most cosmopolite area of North America. I saw people of all complexions, I heard English spoken is many accents and many other languages. And then, when I checked into my hotel, I saw, holding court at the bar, one of the most wanted men in America:
Jonathan "Scipio" Smith.
Defenders of the Republic
The A Group
Motto: There is no plan B
Québec being at war makes it hard for privately funded militias to operate in this country. It requires a lot of patience, and courage, to get all the licences, permits and certificate that allow private militias to operate. In addition there are not many rich individuals or companies that can finance them, so you can find them mainly in Montréal and Arvida. Since the fortunes of Boston Metals depend on the success of its investments in Québec it had no other choice then to provide its own security force. It needed to be both intimidating and effective, for this they tracked downed the notorious Unionist criminal Jonathan "Scipio" Smith and made him an offer that he could not refuse.
Pilots and their planes: When the United States started to break down, Major Jonathan Smith, DFC, a veteran of the Lafayette squadron, was part of a small elite unit of pilots that were charged with a mission that could have changed the course of history. On September 4th, 1931, they flew from Washington to New York in order to shoot down a plane that was supposed to transport the XXX Laguardia, the future president of the ES. They were betrayed, ambushed and some of them, including Smith, captured. Somehow between their capture and the start of their trial, Smith and 3 of his most loyal pilots escaped from the maximum security prison where they were detained and started a personal war against the “Rebs” financed by selling their service as pilots of fortune.
The circumstances of their escape are still under investigation. For Smith and his men, known as the A Group, Rebs means any country that was part of the former USA, except Columbia. -L
With almost unlimited resources, the A Group had now grown into a 24 planes double squadron regrouping pilots from across the world. The is a significant turnout of pilots, most of them to not renew their contract after their first six months tour, but more and more Québecois are starting to enlist and there is even talk of starting a B Group with those more permanent pilots.
According to our informants, Smith and his gang will leave Arvida once enough Québecois pilots have been hired to continue their terrorist activities. -L
The planes are as diversified as the pilots, it can be a brand new Bloodhawk or an old battered up Defender. However they are always superbly maintained and equipped and that gives them the upper hand against most pirate gangs.
The markings of the squadron are pretty simple, the plane is left unpainted except for the black and orange nose and single big red stenciled A on each wings.
Recent engagements: The recent months the A Group has been expanding its range of operation. Their planes have even been sighted escorting zeppelins over the Golf a task that used to be reserved to the AAQ. Rumours has it that Scipio has been given a letter of Marques to raid shipping from Reb nations that are hostile to Québec. This is making most of them nervous but so far there has been no confirmed report of such attack.
Special Rule - I love it when a plan comes together.
When a A Group pilot tails an opponent, he always does it one level above the result of the tailing test, i.e. if the result in 0, it will be considered to be more than 3 and the opponent must disclose his destination hex.
Scenario – VIP
Jonah Jesper, one of the member of the board of Boston Metal, is a consummate playboy. It is said that he has a mistress in every office of the company. However, his wife is starting to suspect that something is amiss and has been tracking his movements. In consequence he started to travel discretely, in small transport planes and without much security. Recently, he barely escape a kidnapping attempt during a visit to Ariva, thanks to the A Group.
Set up: use the Canyon map. The transport plane with Jesper inside sets up on the X side of the map with its escort. The IWP may set up on any edge of the map, except the one where the transport plane is set up and at least 5 hexes away from it. The A Group plans will enter on the X side of the map.
Rules of engagement: The IWP planes are only allowed ½ the rocket payload for each planes. The A Group reinforcements will arrive on turn 3.
Jonathan "Scipio" Smith
Caesar "Barracuda" Chavez
Henry M. “Howling” Maddux
Temple “Pretty Girl” Perry
Émilien “Mimi” Roberge
Transport plane (BTN :1 Sp :2 Gs :1 Ac :1 20 Armor everywhere)
Bernard “Boom Boom” Lapointe
P.S. Something to listen to while reading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyz_2DEah4o
And for the older guys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MVonyVSQoM