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(Inspired in part by News from Poughkeepsie #38.)

We don't have a lot to do since the war. Was it really even a war? They came, we nuked, they died or left and, for the most part, so did we. Rumor has it some of the great underground cities that were planned actually got built. Not all of them got populated though.

Out here in the middle of nowhere Utah, we don't really care too much one way or the other.

We got bored quickly once the power went out. We switched to battery and crank operated radio until the stations switched to unmanned 24-7 Emergency Broadcast. Fortunately, we were near the salt flats proving grounds for some of the fastest land vehicles on earth. Miles and miles of nothing but flat, salt encrusted, dry ground.

There were a couple of cars, if you can call a rocket powered vehicle with wheels a "car", left there, abandoned. Me and my friend Jake tried the ignition on a couple: dead. We came back often with spare parts scavenged from our ghost of a town and got them running again.

The races were a great distraction until we rant out of fuel. And, of course, these things ran on jet fuel, and sucked it down like it was going out of style. Which, of course, it had.

We toyed with racing the abandoned cars we hadn't gutted in town, but after the rocket cars the little commuter cars just didn't feel exciting.

After a few months we managed to convert the rocket cars to using regular gas, but they were a shadow of their former speed (and thrill).

Then Jake hit on the idea of making them electric and using the government supplied mini-fission reactor from the radio station to power the cars.

It soon became clear that a nuclear powered rocket car was a Bad Idea. Especially for racing. After all, we had only the one reactor, so racing in general was out. We could do time trials, but then we'd either have to remove the power plant and remount it in another car, or we'd have to share a single car. Jake was partial to the 307 "Arrow," and I liked the 712 "Quicksilver," two radically different vehicles, so sharing was hardly appealing.

We compromised by cannibalizing. Over the next several weeks, with saws, torches, pneumatic drivers and a four foot wrench, we tore down the vehicles on site and rebuilt them as we saw fit.

We ended up with an unholy amalgam of the 307, the 712 and the 119 "Hornet." It had a roomy interior, with two sets of controls. I'd gotten used to the 712's setup, and Jake had fallen in love with the 307's scheme. Now each pilot could use his preferred controls.

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