When the power mysteriously goes out across the country, Martin‘s Plan B is to walk the 50 miles from Boston to his home in New Hampshire. His plan B must be revised to include Susan: a woman he only knew as a teller in his bank. They make it to his home in New Hampshire but they still have to adapt to a grid-down world. This podcast is a reading of Mic Roland‘s Siege of New Hampshire series. Available at http://mic-roland.com
One Monday morning in October, the power goes out in Boston and apparently all across the nation. Martin decides to go home rather than get stuck in downtown Boston. With traffic gridlocked and no busses leaving for New Hampshire, his only option is to walk the 50 miles. He's not really ready for that.
While on his way to North Station, Martin encounters Susan, the bank teller. He escorts her home through the gridlock. Once there, her apartment house has caught fire. Martin volunteers to help her find a hotel room but one after another of the hotels in town are full with other power outage refugees. His good samaritan deed was becoming quicksand.
Martin tries to find a hotel room for Susan before continuing his trek home. The trouble is, all the other people stuck in Boston by the outage have already filled the hotels, or people are fighting over the few rooms left. They must search farther out from the city.
Stalled traffic on the highway becomes an opportunity for criminals to rob the stranded motorists. Martin hoped to avoid the trouble by walking through the woods, around the ongoing crime scene. A protracted gunfight between the criminals and armed citizens trap Martin and Susan in the woods as daylight fades and a cold night approaches.
After a night of sleeping in the woods, Martin and Susan venture through Stoneham looking for food and water but find little. What they do find is a populace lingering in normalcy bias. Even though it is only the second day of the outage, the two of them wonder long will it be before complacency gives way to desperation.
As Martin and Susan travel north, making their way through suburban Stoneham, they find a little food by dumpster diving. Susan begins to limp from a bad blister. This leads to an awkward moment, which leads to an even more awkward discussion about Susan's emergency housing options.
A pause in the story to answer two of the questions sent to the author. One: Why isn't Martin carrying a gun? A few notes on why. Two: What's up with Susan? She has her fans, others wonder how anyone can be that clueless. There are reasons... Listeners can send in questions too: to email@example.com
As Martin and Susan travel north through Stoneham, they get to know each other a little better. Susan begins to have second thoughts about agreeing to go with him. She worries that Martin is one of those crazy Doomsday Prepper types. All this is overshadowed by trying to evade what they suspect are opportunists wanting to rob them.
Martin and Susan narrowly escape the would-be muggers but Martin does not escape unscathed. Walking north hits a snag when the pair run into police roadblocks preventing people from leaving the area – even on foot. A distraught Hispanic woman agrees to give the pair a ride if they can find her a way around the roadblocks.
Riding with Isabel, the pair manage to slip past or get around some of the official roadblocks intended to keep the populace in place. That is, until they reach the checkpoint at 495. Now, the Merrimack River becomes a barrier. Once again on foot, they follow the railroad tracks toward Haverhill. Martin hopes an interstate bridge over the river will be less guarded. Before they get there, the sky grows dark and it begins to rain.
After waking up under the bridge, Martin observes soldiers tasked to guard the bridge. He also encounters a boisterous refugee named Kevin. The three of them continue north through Salem until they witness a brutal carjacking on a remote road. The carjackers pursue the trio into a small housing development where there are few places to hide.
Martin and Susan escape the carjackers by fleeing into a vast woods, playing an audio version of hide-and-seek. Martin's street map isn't of much use for cross-country trekking. As they work their way out of the woods, they get to know each other better. Although, Martin is too candid about his antagonism toward squirrels. Emerging from the woods seems like a victory until they run afoul of an angry man with a shotgun.
Martin and Susan emerge from the woods, only to be held at gunpoint by an edgy homeowner. He is convinced that the pair are the first of a wave of a 'golden horde' of starving & desperate Massachusetts residents. The man's wife proves to be the calmer head to diffuse the situation.
Todd Sepulveda, host of ThePrepperWebsitePodcast.com interviews Mic with some questions about the Siege story. If you're a subscriber to Todd's podcast, you'll have already heard this interview. If not, listen in. Todd asks some questions relevant to a preparedness perspective and about the background of the story.
While following now-familiar roads toward his house, Martin and Susan discover an old man sitting in his living room while a generator is running in his closed garage. The pair have to break in, in an attempt to save the incoherant man.
The final chapter of Book 1. Martin and Susan climb the last big hill and meet an old ham operator. Via Walter's radio they get help to the old couple and learn a little bit about what's been going on in the nation. A ride in a horse cart eases the last miles, but eventually, Martin has to introduce Susan to his wife, Margaret. He dreads the moment.
Epilogue -- Some final (?) thoughts on Book One and a bit of talk about the start of Book Two after a break for Christmas.
Coming up soon will be the start of Book Two in the Siege of New Hampshire Series: Siege Fall. This little kick-off podcast is an introduction: a very brief setting of the stage as the story continues.
Martin made it home but the power is still out. He, his wife Margaret, and their new houseguest try to get as ready as they can to face the prospect of a long winter with no more new groceries, gasoline, or other supplies. Martin finds the situation with 'two hens in a nest' to be more fraught than he expected.
On their way to a town meeting, Martin and Susan encounter what appears to be a dead utility worker at the damaged electrical substation. At the meeting, Martin tries to explain why be believes the power won't be coming back on in a few days. The news upsets some folks. Police and fire services will be severely limited, as well room at the school gym shelter. Tempers flare over what should be done, or not done.
"McCartney: A Life in Lyrics" offers listeners the opportunity to sit in on conversations between Paul McCartney and poet Paul Muldoon dissecting the people, experiences, and art that inspired McCartney’s songwriting. These conversations were held during the past several years as the two collaborated on the best selling book, “The Lyrics: 1965 to Present.” Over two seasons and 24 episodes of “McCartney: A Life in Lyrics”, you’ll hear a combination master class, memoir, and improvised journey with one of the most beloved figures in popular music. Each episode focuses on one song from McCartney’s iconic catalog – spanning early Beatles through his solo work. Season 1 premieres on October 4th. “McCartney: A Life in Lyrics” is a co-production between iHeart Media, MPL and Pushkin Industries. Cover Portrait © 1967 Paul McCartney / Photographer: Linda McCartney
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