This is a work of fiction created for the Twilight 2000 Role Playing Game. Original material © Dave Ross

2000 - A New Dawn

At the start of the year the Scottish Government, with tacit support from the French, began to form additional Military units. The NEC intended to use these units to slowly expand the area of the Country under their control; their long term goal was to retake the City of Edinburgh, then under the control of various marauder groups. Stewart’s Government was conscious that currently theirs was one of several factions vying for power, and re-establishing control of Scotland’s pre War capital would greatly enhance their claim to be the Government of all of an Independent Scotland.

In January the Irish Army launched a surprise offensive. Conducted in the middle of the worst winter seen in Ireland for many years, it caught the British forces completely by surprise, and Irish troops were able to retake Ballyshannon, reestablishing links with County Donegal and breaking through to link up with the nationalist leadership in Free Derry.

In mid January the small Royal Air Force garrison at Newquay in Cornwall fell to the Duke of Cornwall’s forces. A handful of survivors escaped to the safety of Plymouth, bringing with them stories of atrocities committed by the Duke’s troops. With all of Western Cornwall now under the Duke’s control, MI5 officers entered the area at the end of the month, beginning covert operations against the Duke soon afterwards. King William, particularly incensed that the Cornish dictator had adopted one of his late father’s titles, personally instructed General Sir Clive Smith and the head of MI5, Sir Harry Price, to take whatever action they deemed necessary to restore order in Cornwall.

The most stable area in Britain outside the area controlled by HMG was now North Wales. Nominally the Welsh border was closed, with refugees being turned back, by force if necessary. This has led to a thriving market for people smugglers who, in exchange for a substantial payment, usually made in food or goods, would guide the refugees past military patrols and into Welsh territory.

With their border relatively secure and their territory generally free of marauders, the attentions of the Welsh leadership in Caernarfon were now turning to reconstruction and the future; in mid May the Ffestiniog hydro electric power station was brought on line, its four water turbines generating over 250 megawatts of electricity,  restoring power to much of north Wales. In the industrial south of the country military and civilian teams were working to salvage what they could from bombed factories, while some coal mines were still operational, and as well as organised trade taking place between different communities in Wales, boats were regularly crossing the Irish Sea between Wales and the Republic of Ireland. The part of Wales controlled by the LCC was arguably the best place in the UK to be living by the summer of 2000, with many of the basic functions of Government in place.

The Winchester Government was also giving thought to reconstruction as 2000 dawned. A Ministry of Redevelopment and Renewal was formed, with the Minister reporting to the Home Secretary, Victoria Redman. Civilians began to be conscripted in to Regional Reconstruction Teams (RRT’s). Split into small groups, some of these teams began to undertake a series of tasks related to reconstruction, whilst others were allocated to food production. Those with specialist skills such as engineers, builders, plumbers, electricians, etc were allocated tasks appropriate to their skillset, and in some cases placed in charge of teams. By June, approximately 65% of the civilian population in the area controlled by the Winchester Government was working in these RRT’s. They young and the old were exempt, as were those certified as too sick to work and those who fell into special exemption categories, the definitions of which were occasionally vague. The work was paid, with workers receiving chits that could be exchanged for food and other goods. Those who did not wish to work and were unable to obtain an exemption (legitimately or otherwise, for there was a thriving black market in exemption certificates) risked being expelled from the Government controlled zone.

The British Army was also rebuilding, setting up a centre at Bordon in Hampshire where a training cadre put new recruits through a twelve week training course. With the recruits guaranteed food and a place to sleep, there were plenty of volunteers eager to take the King’s Shilling and the first course passed out at the end of April, with the recruits being posted to various units throughout the south east.

In May, RRT’s completed work on a site outside Canterbury that would house several thousand refugees. Consisting mostly of pre-fabricated portacabins, each of which would be shared by up to four families, the facilities, though extremely basic by pre War standards, were a vast improvement on the tented camps that many refugees were living in. The camp was declared open on the 15th of May, at which point its inhabitants promptly dubbed it “Redmantown” after Home Secretary Victoria Redman.

At the end of May the Army transferred primary responsibility for law and order in Winchester to the civilian authorities, with civilian police patrols returning to the streets of the town. Although the police were armed and were accompanied by members of the Royal Military Police, this was a significant step towards the restoration of civil authority in the south of England.  At the same time British forces in Northern Ireland launched Operation JUPITER a two pronged offensive which was intended to isolate Derry whilst simultaneously driving south into the Irish border counties of Louth and Monaghan in an attempt to establish a buffer zone in Irish territory.

There was some discussion in Parliament about the need to hold a General Election before the end of the year, but Prime Minister Montgomery was keen to avoid a repeat of the same scenario that had occurred in the United States, where the questionable legality of the elections had divided the Government and plunged the country into further chaos; with the consent of the King, therefore, Parliament passed an act suspending the requirement to hold a General Election until the 01st of April 2001.

Outside the Government controlled zone in the south, and other isolated enclaves (most notably Catterick and Plymouth), much of England and Southern Scotland was in the hands of different groups, with other bands of marauders roaming the countryside. Towns and villages where the rule of law is still observed are frequently heavily fortified and defended by local groups who have armed themselves as best as they can. For the people who live in these communities, the main concern is day-to-day survival, with any idea of a central Government an abstract thought, regardless of whether that Government is in Winchester, Perth, or Caernarfon.