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- "Let me tell ya, those damned raiders took our town, and reduced it to ash! They created a ghost town, for Christs sake!"
- ―A angry member of the Myrtle Beach Peace Corps talking about Barefoot Landing
|Location:||Myrtle Beach, South Carolina|
|Current status:||Abandoned, and wartorn|
Barefoot Landing is an abandoned settlement in the ruins of Myrtle Beach. Once a thriving settlement guarded by the Myrtle Beach Peace Corps, it was quickly turned into skeletons and ash during a raid.
The tourist attraction of Barefoot Landing was established in 1988, originally being a residential area. However, due to a cash-strapped city treasury, Barefoot Landing was zoned for commerce. Almost overnight a dozen shops and restaurants were built in preparation of the tourists.
Barefoot Landing would grow larger and by 2016, it would house around a hundred shops. It also became one of the more popular tourist destinations in the Southern Commonwealth, mostly due to the warm weather and crystal-clear waters. Hoping to ride this wave of economic growth, The City Council announced the expansion and redevelopment of Barefoot Landing. The most prominent feature of this new version was the addition of several resorts and condominium complexes, which would displace some residents and smaller businesses.
After years of construction and delays, in 2041 the new Barefoot Landing was finally completed and staffed by 5 custom Mister Handies, that acted as tour guides. The new Barefoot Landing was very impressive, with glittering shops, villas, and apartments right on the beach. And with the tourist situation getting better and better, it seemed like Myrtle Beach would never run out of money.
When the Resource Wars took place, the tourism industry slowed, as few Europeans could afford to come over. American tourists would also thin out and stay near their hometowns in response to an economic recession. Many long-term residents of Barefoot Landing would complain to the mayor about the gentrification, but he would initially ignore them. After months of heckling and few tourists, the mayor came upon a plan. He announced the construction of a civil bomb shelter near the Landing.
Life at Barefoot Landing during the Resource Wars was slow if not quiet, with construction going on for the bunker that would shield some of the town. In 2065 the construction finished and the shelter unveiled, able to fit 300 people for several years. This would quiet some of the locals, but be seen as a frivolous dodge by many others, who doubted having to need it.
As the bombs fell on the West Coast, residents from all over town fled towards the bunker. Many died in the commotion and violence that broke out, including the mayor and his staff. In a mere few hours after the west was engulfed by nuclear fire, Myrtle Beach was targeted by a Chinese nuclear submarine, suffering two hits. Barefoot Landing was passed over for targeting, and would hold through the blast-wave.
Life in the bunker was terrible, with cramped conditions and air-filters that were inadequate for the amount of people stuffed into it. Sanitation would breakdown shortly after it was sealed and a small plague went around. Many people died, the bodies being stacked in a far store room by the ill. The people that fled to the bunkers managed to survive until 2081 when their food rations ran out. Much to their surprise, their town wasn't a barren field of glass, but still somewhat intact. They crept into the ruins of their former neighborhoods, many making their way to Barefoot Landing.
The settlers eked out a meager existence scavenging initially, afraid of the ghoul population further in the ruins. Raiders struck twice in their first year, both times managing to make off with several people and loot. Shortly after the second raid a ghoul approached the remaining settlers and said he had an offer for them. At first scared of the "fleshless monster", the settlers would consider driving him out before decide to hear him out. The Ghoul said he represented an organization from before the bombs, The Myrtle Beach Peace Corps.
The Peace Corps had originally been a volunteer group to help improve the city, but after the missiles hit they had been forced to take up arms. He explained that they protected towns and peoples in exchange for room for its members, something the condo-strewn Landing had plenty of. The humans grudgingly agreed to the proposal, and three days later seven ghouls introduced themselves before going to a nearby apartment building.
Uneasy at the ghouls lurking over their shoulders, the humans soon came around after several scavenging runs were saved by the ghouls timely intervention. As they made contact with the early caravans over the next few years, The Peace Corps was always there to guard over them and score a few supplies themselves. They would manage to set up a small fishery in 2084, trapping some of the less mutated looking ones into a small lock in a nearby marina.
They would again be attacked by raiders in 2085, and the Peace Corps handily beat them back, taking no losses in the process. This act dismissed any lingering resentment there was in the settlement towards the ghouls, and several of the humans would ask to join. The Ghouls were appreciative, having lost two dozen of their number in the last few years, and the humans were welcomed into the Peace Corps.
The Landing would grow over the next six years, as the residents managed to reclaim another few buildings and establish small Groundnut farms on the more flooded yards. This expansion attracted a handful of raiders, who made camp just deep enough the ruins to evade the Peace Corps. After a particularly brazen raid, the Peace Corps mustered in full and set out into the ruins in pursuit. Picking up the trail almost immediately, the lawmen would walk into an ambush and have their retreat blocked by debris.
After taking several casualties as they scrambled to what cover they could find, many of the human recruits would panic and flee, leaving their comrades on their own. The cowards would return to the Landing speaking of tragedy for several hours, until the rest of the Peace Corps returned, carrying the bodies of their fallen. They told the people that most of the humans fled early, forcing the others the fight off raiders four times their number.
After several executions, the remaining Peace Corps members instituted martial law in town;backing their policies by the gun. They forced the humans to build a palisade wall out of wooden debris, backed by stone at its foundations, as well as several towers. They then declared that besides the current human members, only ghouls would be allowed into the Peace Corps from then on. Several people protested this turn of events, all of whom would be put outside the wall.
Caravans were still allowed inside the town, but the tense, controlled atmosphere of the town turned many off, bringing visits to a trickle. this frustrated the Peace Corps, but it greatly upset the townspeople, most of whom were already angry at the occupation. A group of feral ghouls would attack the settlement early in 2092, providing the necessary threat from the wastes the Peace Corps needed. Rallying the residents, The Peace Corps lead a passionate defense, exterminating every ghoul that attacked.
Riding some goodwill The Peace Corps backed off some of their more authoritarian policies, and offered apologies to any put out. Few would come back from the ruins, and those who did harbor deep grudges, but caravans did start to return later that month. With an uneasy truce, the Landing maintained into the next century, and settlers would start to appear again in 2102. With new citizens and caravans passing through, the Peace Corps allowed for the election of a new mayor.
The citizens were skeptical at first, still remembering the betrayal and martial law, but several candidates did run. Eventually, a small group of residents did turn up to vote on election day, and Loretta Jarvins was soon sworn in. Her first proclamation declared that the Peace Corps was not allowed in the city, and all current members would have to leave. Knowing the writing on the wall, the ghouls and their human compatriots left, and the Peace Corps were out of the town for the first time in twenty-one years.
The initial months were a breath of fresh air, and many citizens took to celebrating for days afterward. Eventually, the Mayor named a town sheriff and they made a small police force, numbering five total. The small force would hold off trouble until 2133 when the town would expand. Running into Mirelurk dens and slaver crews, the reclamation crew quickly decided to stay inside the walls. After a near-disastrous excursion by the town law, it was decided to hire mercenaries for the job.
The Initial group they hired, the Blubbers, managed to repel several slaver attacks but were too drained in numbers to defend against the Mirelurks. The mayor would send a runner to grab the hiring fee from the body of the merc leader, and used it to buy another group. This second band would manage to purge the nests, and construction could begin again.
With the walls again expanded, settlers and travelers could move much more comfortably, as well as have a place to sleep. Trade would flourish after the expansion, and a lot of money came into the town. Its new wealth would cause several raids, all of which were repulsed. By 2150 the Landing was one of the faster growing settlements, which brought troubles of its own. The lack of clean water caused sickness to break out among new arrivals, which they attributed to poisoning.
After several deaths and the lack of any real action by the more established residents created enough frustration and anger for violence to break out, which it did in May of that year. After a very ill woman managed to stagger out and die in the middle of the street, the crowd of onlookers, almost all of them newcomers, would march further into the settlement. They would demand better water in the new-section of town and more guards, something the town was simply unable to provide.
In response the mob swarmed the city council, beating down the few guards present and tied them down, before they started looting. Many older residents would flee during this time, as the looters committed some violence against the other citizens. One man in particular, Elias Weathersby, would run into a group of the Peace Corps as he fled with his servants, and after a brief discussion, hired them to take the town back.
The group of Ghouls would strike that night, overcoming the few rioters still awake, recapturing most of the rebels and the town. As the residents returned over the next few days they were so grateful to the mercenaries that they invited them to stay in there homes as a solution for the revolters was decided. The prisoners would be executed a week later, but the mercs would remain, helping to rebuild the town. This would endear them to the town, which had suffered dearly in the fighting.
The mercs would claim a building near their original headquarters, but would take a much more passive role in town politics. They would keep a constant presence in town, until its destruction in 2256.
The Boys of Summer, a raider group in the ruins, came one night in 2256, seeking vengeance for a previous attack on them. They brought blasting charges that breached the wall and they poured in, managing to overcome the Peace Corps and the town guard. They would run unchecked for hours, until a small group of the Peace Corps rallied from outside the settlement and attacked the raiders.
The noise of battle had attracted another group of raiders, Who proceeded to attack both the Peace Corps and the Boys of Summer. When the dust finally settled, The town laid in ruins. The populace was devastated, and most of the combatants on both sides were dead. Some would try to resettle the landing, but they would give up shortly after, taking what they could and leaving. The town currently sits abandoned besides the occasional scaver.
Barefoot Landing relied on tourists and outsiders before the war, which became the opposite after it. Unknown to most outsiders, the settlers that reclaimed the Landing were soon self-reliant, though caravans would come and trade. Originally dealing in salvage and fish, the town would attract several craftsmen early in the twenty-second century, and become a trade hub later on in the century. The Boys of Summer's attack on the settlement destroyed every shop and stand, as well as most of the town, ending any organized trade.