Crater Lake: Book Summary
The group of friends wake up after Jumping in from Louisiana. The walls of this redoubt are a deep crimson, and the interior of the redoubt is very cold. Upon exiting the gateway, they are surprised to encounter a short mutie. It seems that the redoubt is filled with them.
After killing the mutant, they head into the supply section of the redoubt and spend time exploring. They manage to pick up several heavy winter coats, as well as some self-heats and drinking water. They make two unusual discoveries. The first is a room sealed off from the rest of the redoubt. This room contains a large number of identically sized crates. After blowing their way in, they discover that the crates are filled with hundreds of thousands of black plastic ties. The other discovery is a radio transceiver that is still functioning and actually picks up a transmission asking listeners to come to the north.
One thing they discovered is the fact that the redoubt has suffered massive damage over the years, and several sections of the redoubt are exposed to the elements. That is how the muties found their way in and made it their home.
To be on the safe side, the companions leave the redoubt using tunnels and caves that were opened by the earthquakes. They end up coming to a small stream. Ryan and Krysty are separated from the rest of the group and are forced to fight off three mutants. Eventually, they escape the redoubt and meet up with the others. They find out that Jak single handily killed six muties as they were leaving the tunnel system.
Using his ever-present sextant, J.B. determines that they are located in Oregon, somewhere near the Cascades, and to the south of Crater Lake. Here Ryan discovers that Jak is carrying jolt. He forces Jak to dump his packet, or leave the group. Jak does as Ryan asks.
Leaving the mountain, they travel down the old highway 60. Eventually they come across the remains of an old gas station. Here they hold up for the night. Only two events occurred. The first was Jak discovered a hidden cash box containing about five thousand in cash which turned out to be great for building a fire, and the second was a huge mutie bear came around the building during the night but didnt bother to enter.
The next morning, they continue north. Later in the morning they come to a ville called Ginnsburg. They encounter a group of armed soldiers who ask for their names and tell them in no uncertain terms that they are to follow them into the town where they will be integrated into the society. They are told to head directly to the outworlders dormitory. Here they meet the caretaker, and learn that women are only second class citizens at best.
During the day, Ryan and the other men are forced to participate in a stoning. A couple were caught committing adultery and are stoned to death as punishment. That night, they are informed that next day they will be given identification, credits and their work detail. The women can spend the night but next day they are to be taken away as stay homes or for the gaudy.
The next day, just after Lori and Krysty are taken away, they spend time exploring the ville. They discover where the two women are being held. After that they locate transportation, and scout out the easy route to help them escape from the ville. When they make it back to the dormitory, they learn where they are to work and what is going to happen to the rest of the party. They plan to help Lori and Krysty escape from the dormitory just after one AM.
At 12:45 in the morning, the group sneaks out of the dormitory and makes their way through the ville to where Krysty and Lori are being held. After killing the guard at the door, they enter to see Lori stripped naked, on her knees going down on Mayor Sissy. After killing the other guards in the room, Lori executes Mayor sissy and the party escape the ville and continue to travel north towards the mysterious signal they heard in the Redoubt. They meet up with Jak ten miles north of the ville.
Just after dawn they encounter a section of the road that is blocked by dead trees and other debris. It takes them just over fifteen minutes to clear it away, and just as Ryan is about to climb back into the Kenworth truck they stole from the ville, he is attacked by a huge mutie wolf. He is able to kill it eventually and they continue on there way north.
As they continue north the truck they stole starts to sound rough and finally dies when they are only a short distance away from Crater Lake. After Lori discovers a miniature transceiver under the seat of the truck they know they are incredibly close to the source of the signal they heard.
They abandon the truck and head towards the lake. They make camp in the hills surrounding the lake. Later that night they discover that they are surrounded by a group of fourteen men dressed in black body armor and are carrying very unusual looking blasters. Ryan and the group are forced to go with the black clad sec men. They are amazed at how much the sec men resemble robots or andies.
After being taken to the lake, they board a wheeled boat, which takes the entire party to an island located near the center of the lake itself. On the island they are taken to an elevator which is concealed from view by an overhang of rock. J.B. spots a tiny, three-inch notice, which welcomes the party to Wizard island. Entering the elevator they descend for eighty-five seconds.
Upon entering the main body of the laboratory facility they are informed by the sec men to enter private cubicles, remove all clothing and weaponry, and then proceed into decontamination. After that, they are allowed to dress in dark blue coveralls. A patch with the initials WICSA is sewn over the left breast of the coveralls. They are informed that their weapons and clothing will be returned to them if and when they are allowed to leave the facility.
Finn attempted to smuggle a knife inside the coveralls and is punished by being shot and burned by one of the strange blasters being carried by the sec men. They are informed that the next breach of security will result in the offender's termination.
Finally the group is lead into a separate section of the facility where they are fed a horrible concoction of chemicals and preservatives. It is some of the worst food that any of them have ever eaten. Even though, Finn goes back for seconds.
After being fed they are led into a room which contains several small desks. They are told to stand in the presence of the Facilities leader, Dr. Ethel Tardy. She is a tiny woman with a little girl's voice. She welcomes them to the facility and explains the history of it to the party. She also knows about the killing of Mayor Sissy in Ginnsburg, but is not bothered about it. It turns out that the people staffing the facility are the descendants of the original survivors who were doing weapons research. It is also revealed that one of the members of the team is suffering from incipient carcinoma. Who it is, is not revealed.
After the introductions are over, they are told they have virtually unlimited access to the facility. They discover that out of nearly 1700 personnel, there are now only sixty one research scientists and approximately only about seventy sec men.
They reveal that they know all about Doc Tanner, but will not reveal how they know about him. They wish to separate Jak from the rest of the party of examine him and determine what type mutant he is. Jak is dead set against this and kills three guards before reinforcements arrive. It turns out that the guards are all retarded muties that are controlled via cybernetic implants. They promise Jak will not be hurt because they are incredibly impressed with his unarmed combat skills and his exceptional skills at killing. He is taken away but Ryan the rest of the group are encouraged to visit him.
During the next day they spend time exploring the facility. Ryan and Krysty discover an ancient library filled with textbooks and records. It is obvious it hasnt been entered in many years. Krysty gets an odd feeling and goes to a specific record and removes it. Placing it in a reader, they nearly set off an alarm when Doc enters and gives them the access code for the record. Here they discover that Doc is over two hundred thirty years old and was the only successful target of a time trawl. The truth is finally revealed, and the friendship between Ryan and Doc Tanner grows stronger.
They tell the rest of the party. Finn flat out refuses to believe it, while J.B. simply accepts it, as he has no reason to doubt what Ryan and Krysty tell him.
The next day Ryan goes to visit Jak. He informs Jak about Doc. Like J.B., Jak simply takes the news in stride. He tells Ryan he wants out, and that he is afraid of what the scientists have in mind for him. Ryan lets him know that they plan to make good their escape in no more than three days time.
Later, back at dormitory, J.B. lets the rest of the group know that he has got the plans for nearly every section of the facility that they have access to. They know the layout, which will help them greatly when they attempt the escape. Finn also lets them know that the laser weapons being used by the sec men only work about one in one hundred times when they are set at the highest setting. This gives the party hope that it will in fact be easier to escape the complex then they originally had figured.
Later in the day Dr. Tardy comes in, furious about the fact Doc Tanner got both himself and one of the other scientists, a Dr. Avian, drunk. A couple of sec men drag a singing, slurring totally wasted Doc Tanner into the room. After the sec men and Dr. Tardy leave, they discover it was simply a ploy. Doc is no where near as drunk as he made out to be.
Tanner explains that he got friendly with Dr. Avian in order to learn more about what the scientists have been working on and gain access to part of the laboratory facility. To his horror he discovered exactly what Project Eurydice is about. The rest of the party listens in mounting horror about the various weapons of mass death and destruction that scientists have been creating for the past century. He also informs the rest of the party that the scientists plan to unleash their weapons in the next few days.
It is decided then that they will do what they can to not only kill the scientists but also destroy the stockpile of weapons so they can never be used against anyone. It is their hope that by destroying the stockpile of weapons they will be able to detonate the volcano and destroy all traces of the facility.
The next day Ryan once again visits Jak and informs him that they are going to not only escape the island, but destroy it as well because of all the weapons stored here. They kill two guards as they escape from Jaks cell. Soon they rejoin the rest of the team. Handing Finn the laser they are about to leave when Dr. Avian and a small party of four sec men show up. Finn fires the weapon at Avian, and the rest of the team kills the sec men easily enough. Finn does eventually kill Avian.
They leave to retrieve their weapons and clothing. They hunt throughout the facility, killing everyone they encounter. Eventually, they make it back to the entrance where the elevator is. Finn, overconfident, turns his attention away from the single guard posted at the entrance. He pays for his overconfidence with his life as the guard's weapon actually works, killing him in the most hideous way imaginable. Ryan gets revenge by strangling the guard with his scarf.
The group splits up and head off into the facility to set charges and destroy the weapons stored here. After placing their charges Ryan, Jak, and Krysty run into Dr. Tardy. She is holding a new type of energy weapon on them, and is about to use it when Doc sneaks up from behind and shoots her through the back of the head. They kill another dozen sec men as they race towards the entrance to the elevator.
They reach the surface just as the explosives begin to go off far below. Taking one of the boats, they cross the lake and use it to make their way back through the ville of Ginnsburg, and all the way back to the redoubt. Using the main entrance, they make their way to the gateway, less a good friend.
A total of 8 days pass in this novel.
End of Crater Lake.
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