SURVIVAL SCHOOL  by Kurt Saxon   copyright 1981

     The New Age Survival School is in Carson, California, just 10 
miles from the Los Angeles Civic Center.  It is in an old garage 
with about a half acre of floor space.  Partitions separate the 
classrooms, except for a trailer home, padded inside and out and 
used as a muted firing range.
     It is run by Captain Jack, a psychotic ex-Green Beret who 
wears a camouflage jacket and a Dodgers baseball cap.  Captain Jack 
is a hand-to-hand combat expert and teaches all comers.
     His partner, an ex-Holy Roller preacher, is Daniel Pomfritt, 
predicting Armageddon without the rapture.  His course prepares the 
student survivalist to accept the coming chaos as God's plan to 
separate the wheat from the chaff.  His ace in the hole is an ugly 
old gray school bus outfitted with extra fuel tanks and enough food 
and supplies to keep a dozen passengers fit for a month.
     Wally Moon is the Survival Backpacking expert and also teaches 
first aid and bird watching.
     "Gimpy" Terwilliger teaches firearms use and is a fast draw 
expert.  He wears a wooden leg due to his gun often firing before 
it clears his holster.
     Frank Drago is a defrocked high school chemistry fired for 
emptying the school during a noxious experiment.  He teaches 
improvised weaponry and poisons for defense and protection.
     Wanda Jordan is a loudmouthed ex-roller derby queen who 
teaches food preserving and knife fighting.  She is also Captain 
Jack's mistress.
     The students are a motley selection of ineffectual types, 
mainly white collar and a whole outlaw motorcycle gang of twelve 
who call themselves the Nordics.  Daniel Considers the Nordics as 
his twelve apostles, sent to him by Providence.  The Nordics 
consider Daniel and the school a cover for their various criminal 
     The school has been running fairly smoothly until the 
Survivalist's predictions of collapse have been coming true.  The 
rising crime rate makes getting to survival school class a 
challenge in itself.
     The overall plan of the school is to relocate the staff and 
its wealthier students to Oatman, Arizona, three miles across the 
California border.  The Nordics are helpful in driving truckfulls 
of supplies from the school and local stores, burglarized after 
school hours.
     As the national economy breaks down, Los Angeles county 
becomes a jungle.  Utilities and services are spotty.  Brownouts 
occur daily as fuel runs low and terrorists destroy power facilities.
     The poor protest budget cuts by ransacking welfare offices.  
From there they spread out to riot and loot until dispersed by 
increasingly violent clashes with police and National Guardsmen.
     As downtown Los Angeles goes up in smoke the Survival School 
staff and students prepare frantically to make their move.  They 
load the last of the supplies into the bus, assemble the Nordics 
and head down Del Amo to the Long Beach Freeway.
     Several accidents have blocked the freeway onramp.  As the bus 
slows down the owners of the jammed cars try to commandeer the 
bus.  They are gunned down by the staff and the Nordics.
     As the job of pushing the wrecks out of the way is completed, 
a Yellow Alert comes over the bus's radio.  Missiles are heading 
north out of Russia.
     When the way is cleared, the party surges onto the nearly 
deserted freeway.  Aside from a few cars weaving around an 
occasional unreported wreck, the freeway is clear, due to the 
shortage of gas.  Before many others who had also heard the alert 
can get to the freeway, the party is already on 91.
     By the time they storm 605 the Red Alert comes in over the 
radio and a lone air raid siren sounds in the distance, four 
warheads hit--L.A. International Airport, the US Naval Station, 
Terminal Island and the Long Beach Naval Shipyard.
     The four blasts shake the area and the freeway rocks twenty 
miles away.  Four columns mushroom out over the stricken area, 
painting the night sky with a red pall of death.
     Within minutes every freeway onramp is clogged with those 
doomed souls who have some gas in their tanks and try to leave the 
area.  The biggest danger from the influx of more desperate drivers 
is their determination to hijack other vehicles before their own 
run out of gas.
     At the sight of the church bus, several drivers try to 
commandeer it by running it onto the freeway shoulder.  They are 
shot, but not before running over four of the Nordics.
     The remaining Nordics move and take up the lead.  To save 
ammunition, Frank activates a weedkiller's tank of cyanide and 
sprays its poison gas at cars approaching too close to the left 
side of the bus.  Dozens of cars are strewn in their wake by the 
time they reach the desert past Yorba Linda.
     No traffic comes toward Los Angeles.  When drivers ahead see 
"JESUS LOVES YOU" painted across the front of the bus, they slow 
down.  If they make a move to block the bus they are fired on by 
the Nordics.  By the time they turn north on 15 three more Nordics 
are lost to would-be hijackers who fire back.
     By the time they pass Cucamonga, the geiger counter in the bus 
is beginning to crackle as the blanket of creeping radiation rolls 
over the instant wasteland.  The inversion layer claps a dead hand 
over the Los Angeles Basin.
     When they come to the Barstow Freeway they see it is clogged 
with regugees leaving San Bernardino.  The bus shoots onto the 
freeway at the first fortunate gap.  The four remaining Nordics are 
delayed until there is another gap in traffic.
     As the crush of traffic threatens to swamp the bus, Frank 
consults with Captain Jack and they decide to block the highway.  
Frank and the rest begin throwing out cyanide smudge pots all over 
the road.  Within seconds they are alone, except for the traffic 
ahead.  The last four Nordics are sprawled just outside Victorville.
     By the time they reach Daggett, traffic has thinned and it's 
full speed ahead.  Then their motor conks out.
     Now it's their turn to commandeer a vehicle.  They position 
some out-of-gas vehicles so that other drivers getting through the 
jam behind have to slow down.  They all stay out of sight until a 
beer hauling semi cruises up and, instead of slowing to weave 
through the roadblock, it stops.  Two scrounges, who had probably 
stolen it, get out with guns and make as if to search the bus.  
Wanda shotguns them as they open the door.
     It only takes fifteen minutes to attach the semi to the bus.  
Daniel gets behind the wheel and Wanda rides shotgun in the cab 
beside him.
     When they finally pull into the little town of Oatman, they go 
to Captain Jack's refuge there.  With a semi full of beer and half 
the stealable valuables from Carson, they are ready to weather the