Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Microstory 598: Group of Ambers Provide Aid Following Disaster; Form Paramilitary ‘Brigade’


In the days following the unexpected onslaught of Hurricane 905-11 on the coast of Carolina, a record number of volunteers traveled from all over the country—and even internationally—to provide aid to those in need. Hundreds of people were killed, thousands of people were injured, and millions of people suffered damage to their homes in the most damaging tropical cyclone in recent historical memory. The people who gave up their time and money to help perfect strangers who lived hours away from them are, without question, heroes. Experts believe the high number of volunteer aidsman can be attributed to the invention, and proliferation, of the home radio receiver, but this does not take away their bravery. It has shown the world that humans are probably inherently good, and that those who can help, likely will. But a special group of these people did more by taking this horrendous event, and turning it into something good. The Usonan government and its military were unable to engage in their rescue efforts in a timely manner. We are still so technologically inadvanced that organizing and mobilizing an entire national guard in times of crises is difficult, at best. Fortunately, there were those in the area who could fill in for official rescuers until they could arrive.
Roloff Hopson formed The Amber Brigade two years ago in order to create an amber community in northeastern Georgia. Though ambers have generally felt no hostility from the standard human population, many appreciate having a place they can go, knowing that everyone around them has at least this much in common. The name was meant to be more a joke, with plans to rename it based on suggestions from its then-current members, but this never happened, and they all just agreed to keep it. As it turns out, they couldn’t have picked anything better. Up until now, the Brigade has met two or three times a week at an abandoned theatre that Hopson’s late aunt had bequested to him upon his death. Hopson and his new friends, which numbered a few hundred now, were at one of these meetings when news of Hurricane Eleven broke out. A few of them immediately wanted to spring into action, and do whatever they could for the victims. These few possessed abilities that gave them each an advantage against water, wind, or debris...but they were not the only ones who wanted to take action. Soon, a dozen more followed, then another dozen, and then more...until only children and single parents remained. Nearly all of them caravanned to the most dangerous areas affected by the storm, and began rescuing people. Totals for their rescues have not yet been calculated, but it’s estimated that they saved the lives of at least as many people as they had in their own group.

For the rest of the month, the Amber Brigade continued to support the survivors of Hurricane Eleven, working in shelters, transporting people to families in other regions, and searching for anyone who may be trapped or stranded. Meanwhile, Hopson and the rest of the organization’s leadership began talks for transforming the Brigade into an actual paramilitary agency. Details have not yet been finalized, and they still have a long way to go in order to comply with all national laws, but we already know a few things. This new Amber Brigade will allow membership from anyone; including regular humans, vampirs, and werewolves. Though still to be based in Augusta, it will include chapters in multiple major cities, and be expanded on an as-needed basis. The ultimate goal of the Brigade is to create as many chapters as possible, spread out across as much of the country as possible. While the military branches of the government cannot possibly be stationed in all places, the Brigade will supplement their forces with volunteers. It will also require far less of a commitment than that of an aidsman, and be focused primarily on relief and service, rather than military strategies. In fact, Brigade leadership is currently working with government representatives in order to determine whether any military training should be added in the at all. An official announcement will be held over the radio today from the capital. New information, including the steps necessary to join, is expected to be provided at this time.

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