Sons and Daughters
From Most Dangerous Games
The group calling itself the Canadian Forces Air Command, or AIRCOM, is a scrappy mix of aging veterans and post-war recruits. Disowned by the isolationist Quebecois, AIRCOM attempts to patrol the Pacific Northwest around its stronghold in the northern Cascade Range. Known for their compassion, their intolerance for piracy, and the welcome sight of their floating air carrier Prospero, AIRCOM is a stabilizing force within their region, but can only do so much to stem the land’s tide of violence.
When the bombs fell and EMP destroyed most electronics, AIRCOM’s flagship carrier, the Prospero, was undergoing refits in Coquihalla Cavern, a strategic bunker and subterranean hangar space under Coquihalla Mountain in British Columbia. Cut off from both central AIRCOM and NORAD, and with the Prospero not yet airworthy, the forces at the Cavern ducked the fighting sweeping the continent and instead helped the local rural population evacuate into the Cavern’s relative security. There, they weathered the war and the ensuing fallout.
In the years since, the AIRCOM forces at the Cavern have discovered themselves to be the only claimants to an identity as Canadian Forces Air Command. A combination of geothermal power, deep mountain springs, and hydroponics has allowed the Cavern to grow into a proper township in its own right. The Prospero has become a floating sentinel that ranges from Vancouver, where it keeps its sensors and guns trained against Stranger Seattle, to the edges of the glowing, cratered Far North. The Prospero is aided in its patrols by a half dozen other airships, mostly scavenged coast guard vessels from Canadian Forces Maritime Command, with a few post-war scrap-built airships that AIRCOM struggles to keep operating at levels close to those delivered by its military craft.
The Prospero, shielded under umpteen thousand tons of rock under Coquihalla Mountain during the war, is one of the only known vessels floating to be held aloft by pre-war repulsor plates instead of a gas envelope. The Prospero’s repulsor plates and shipboard systems are powered by thorium fission reactors, supplemented by solar cells. Originally a carrier, the Prospero’s flight deck has been cleared of all but two VTOL strike craft, neither of which has ever been seen flying. In its place, the deck is covered with greenhouses for growing food and with tents that house trade goods and civilian passengers. The ship’s underside bristles with weapons, missile pods and Phalanx cannons and, most notably, a pair of coilguns. Though their stocks of ammunition are limited, the crew of the Prospero has demonstrated their willingness to unleash their weapons against pirates and slavers that they catch operating within AIRCOM’s territory. Songs are sung in the region about the day, years ago, when the Prospero’s coilguns sent the Flint‘s Steel and the Kept Kearsley, a pair of slave-taking vessels from Detroit, burning down into the forest.
AIRCOM’s current leader, Colonel Ronald Green, inherited his post from his father, the late Brigadier General Charles Green, and divides his time evenly between the bridge of the Prospero and the town hall in Coquihalla Cavern. Colonel Green keeps to his father’s mission of protecting the locals from predation and nurturing their regrowth. His second-in-command, Lieutenant-Colonel Rowan Etienne, leads a vocal minority that would rather AIRCOM take a more proactive stance in stabilizing the region and forming a military government with the intent of opposing the depraved industrial city-states of the Great Lakes. Such a government’s first action would be to turn the Prospero’s guns loose on the uncertain elements of Stranger Seattle.