NorCal BuReloc Camp
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In the desert hills of central NorCal is a newly constructed BuReloc Work Camp. [Subliminal Media Message: Nothing at all like a concentration camp.] The exact location of the camp is in the ghost town of Hernandez, in the Diablo Range. What little remained of the small village was razed as construction began, and the family of farmers hiding there became the camp's first detainees.

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Hernandez is almost exactly halfway between Night City and Fresno, and although it's only fifty miles from Night City as the crow flies, it's situated up a long-abandoned unpaved road, so it takes well over an hour to get there from Night City, even allowing for good traffic inside the metropolis. The Diablo Range is a harsh area, and the closest potential help for an escapee would be Highway 101 or Interstate 5. Neither of these roads is particularly close, and few if any drivers will stop to help a vagrant these days. Actually trying to cross either freeway would be akin to playing Russian Roulette, though a lot less safe. Truckers especially are proud of the little people they have painted on their fenders.

The main portions of the camp (parade ground, fences, utility lines, etc.) are being constructed by hired help. These workers come from Fresno Night City and Monterey, these being the closest cities with an adequate workbase. The prisoners are left to put the finishing touches on the facilities and housing details like the roof and such). Headed by the original inmates, some prisoners are already starting a to plant a farm to supplement the government-issue food. They've heard the rumors about how little BuReloc detainees get.

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Schedule

Every morning at 0630 hours, the inmates are formed up on the parade ground for roll call. The guards count heads, and if the numbers don't tally, they go around with portable bar code scanners and do a person-by-person inventory. Once they find out who's missing, they pull a typical search while everyone else sweats out on the parade ground with their stomach growling. If everyone is accounted for, the CO or his Executive read the orders of the day, work assignments, and any other items of interest. Then follows the pledge of allegiance (which Nigel Hollison does not participate in) and everyone is dismissed for breakfast.

Breakfast generally runs from 0645 to 0720 or so. By 0730, everyone is supposed to be at their assigned work post. Although there are specific orders as to who's supposed to work where the guards don't much care as long as every job gets its share of workers and all the projects get completed. Job trading is common among the inmates and helps to keep the grapevines and rumor mills flourishing.

There is a lunch break, split into two shifts, one from 1300 to 1330, and the other from 1330 to 1400. Work continues until 1900, at which time dinner is served. Once dinner is over (2000 hours), there's a second roll call, after which the inmates can work on their gardens or relax. Once the camp is in full swing, the second roll call may be canceled and the evening time will be dominated by the Relaxation Center and a politically correct V-Space show.

At this stage in the camp's development, the inmates are put to work finishing the additional dormitories. The hired hands have poured the foundations and put up the main structural timbers, leaving the rest for the prisoners to complete. The prisoners have to finish the frame, string the electrical lines, do the plumbing, attach the siding, and finish the roof. Some are also put to work making furniture, mainly bunk beds. Still, others are ordered to make adobe bricks for further housing projects.

Of course, all of these tasks require some skill at carpentry and such. Inmates without any useful skills are either put to work digging septic tanks or ditches for the utility lines, or else are given some rudimentary vocational instruction on the parade ground during work hours. The authorities are rather intolerant of those who seem to be slow in learning; they suspect them of "trying to mooch their way through life just like they were on welfare."

Guards are also a regular sight. While patrolling inside the compound, the guards use the tried-and-true buddy system:
They always move in pairs. The advantages of moving in pairs are twofold: It makes it harder to ambush a guard, and it makes it easy for the guards to use the good cop/bad cop routine on the inmates. To further expedite this psywar technique, the guards never move too close together, so inmates can always approach the 'good' guard without the 'bad' guard overhearing … at first.

Locations

Armory: This is a brick building with a locked steel door (+4 Difficulty to Stealth Rolls). There are lights all around this building, and an especially powerful lamp right over the door. The only people who have keys are the officers of the camp: the CO and the captain of the guard for each shift. Inside the one-room building are the supplies of non-lethal riot control gear and lethal pursuit equipment, as well as plenty of ammo. Armor, nauseatetors, tanglers, gas bombs, crates of rubber slugs and dum-dum bullets, even fully-automatic belt-fed narcotic needle guns. Of course, it's not chock full of war toys from floor to ceiling, but it still has a good selection.

Bath House: There are two of these facilities available, one for each gender. The guards are suspicious enough that the camp inmates don't even walk too close to the bathhouse of the opposite sex; there's a kind of invisible perimeter about ten meters around each bathhouse where opposite genders are not allowed. If one of the unmarked lines is crossed a guard will make the detainee regret the gaff whether it was intended or not. At the very least a lecture of security, promiscuity, and the fact that the Carbon Plague is an STD will be given, at worse it's into the hole. ("This is the second and last warning you will receive detainee. You are disrupting camp life. If you cannot control your hormones, we shall control them for you.") The bathhouses are simple latrines and showers and are not designed for privacy. There are only the smallest of dividers between the toilets, and the shower room is simply one big open area. This is all part of BuReloc's program to strip the inmates of their essential humanity. Having to sit on a toilet where everyone heading into or out of the showers can see robs a person of their dignity and pride, and without these, an inmate is a lot less likely to have the energy to escape. The water for the bathhouses comes from the water tower through underground piping. The wastewater drains down through the floorboards and into a large septic tank. The pipelines might be large enough for a young ArcoRunner, but they don't connect to anything else. On the other hand, they sure wouldn't think to look for anyone hiding in there.

Dining Hall: This is a shabbily-built building where the detainees eat. The tables and chairs are made of plastic, strong enough to hold the prisoners but lightweight enough that they offer no threat to the guards. The serving bowls and plates are likewise light plastic and the only utensil the inmates are given to eat with is a spoon with small for-like tines. Spork! These, too, are plastic and can't cut anything stronger than the gruel the BuReloc serves. BuReloc is so confident that none of the serving utensils could be used for mischief that they don't even do more than cursory accounting.

Dormitories: Like the bathhouses, the dormitories are split by gender. Further, the guards are even more watchful of opposite-gender inmates straying too near the dormitories than they are about the bathhouses. Actually getting caught inside an opposite-gender dorm is grounds for severe discipline. This, of course, means that families are split apart, a problem BuReloc overcomes by playing on familial ties ("Mr. Johnson, if you keep breaking the rules by seeing your daughter, we'll have to put you in solitary. And if that doesn't stop you, we'll have to put your daughter in solitary instead.") and later, the Relaxation Booths. The dorms are open, military-style one-room affairs, with bunk beds running along each wall. Like the bathhouses, there is no privacy. The bunk beds themselves are put together rather well and are made entirely of wood and plastic. The fasteners used are not nails, but wooden dowels and plastic plugs.

Dumpsters: What is there to say? These are typical steel dumpsters. They are full of garbage, the smell bad, and kids love to play in them.

Front Gate: Made of the same material as the perimeter fence, this entrance has two independent gates for greater security. The gate is controlled from inside the nearby guard house. Two guards (sometimes three or four) are here at all times. The controls for the gate are not obvious; there's no big red button that says, "TO OPEN GATE PRESS THIS." ((This means appropriate rolls to figure it out.))

Garden: This is where some of the inmates have started growing their own food. The authorities surreptitiously endorse this, because it's a focus for creative energies, it keeps the cost of running the camp down, it lets the inmates think they're helping themselves, and it puts down roots in the camp (no pun intended).

Generator: A small brick building housing the emergency generator, this well-lit little edifice is difficult to break into (+4 Difficulty to Stealth Roll to pick the lock on the steel door). This small power plant is fired up whenever the power supply from the city grids is interrupted. There is a tank of CHOOCH2 in here, enough to power the generator for a full day (or twelve hours with the perimeter fence on a full charge).

Guard Barracks: These are typical higher-end barracks, each guard sharing a room with one other guard. Each room has two dressers and desks, plus there are a few other amenities like a small fridge located in the common area of each floor. Inmates are not allowed in here for any reason. Guards are allowed to fraternize with the inmates in the campgrounds, but it is a carefully controlled and trained sort of fraternizing, designed expressly to give the inmates the illusion that the guards care about them. The barracks have simple locks.

Guard Towers: These are concrete towers, each equipped with one guard during daylight hour, or two guards at night. There is a locked steel door (+4 to stealth for lockpicking) on the inside wall of the compound. Each tower has a searchlight, a net gun to bring down AeroboardPunks, and a machine gun loaded with rubber bullets. An ammo box of the real ordinance is stashed in each tower, and the guards can change from rubber to lethal in three rounds. Like all the security measures, these are here ostensibly to protect the detainees-in-training from marauding bands of nomads, and in fact, they are used in this capacity from time to time.

Headquarters: This is the nerve center for the BuReloc guards. Here enterprising characters can find dossiers on all the inmates, full rules and regulations, plans for the completion of the camp, personnel files for the BuReloc guards, inventory lists, and possibly even the payroll. In addition, there are plenty of personal computers and phone lines that can be used, and even a personal liquor cabinet in the CO's Office. The front door of the headquarters is unlocked, and a secretary sits at the front desk. Her job, aside from typical secretarial functions, is to take requests and complaints from the inmates and route them to the appropriate trash can. The other doors are locked, requiring a key from a guard (or a +4 difficulty Stealth Roll).

Infirmary: BuReloc guards who are sick or injured are medevacked into town. Inmates are sent here. This is a reasonably nice hospital area, considering it's in a concentration camp. Behind a locked door at the far end of the infirmary is the nurses' station (+2 to Stealth Difficulty). The camp officers and the health staff all have keys. Inside there are a wide variety of drugs, artificial blood plasma, and assorted medical gear. This is one of the few places that sharp steel objects (scalpels) can be found.

Interior Partition: This is just a simple role of razor-wire spread across the ground to keep the inmates separate from the construction workers. All the construction workers have company photo IDs, and a pair of guards at the gap in the wire check them as people come and go. In addition to the wire, there are several sentry cards hung on the wire, but they are haphazard enough that there may be gaps. When the construction workers go home, the second roll of razor wire is stretched across here, more sentry cards are added and a few guards patrol this area regularly.

Kitchen: This building is not directly connected to the dining hall. Instead, there is a conveyor (an old-fashioned roller kind, not a mechanized kind) onto which the cooks load and move it to the serving line in the prisoners' dining hall. The guards, on the other hand, eat in the kitchen at a small table. Since the guards rotate their chow times, only a few are in here at a time. The camp officers are fed in their quarters. They don't usually eat standard camp fare, so poisoning them will be more difficult than poisoning the guards. The kitchen, like the other official buildings, are locked (+2 difficulty to Stealth Rolls). The staff and officers have keys.

New Construction: There are areas where the hired help is leveling the earth, setting concrete posts for building foundations, laying new plumbing lines, and erecting additional towers and perimeter fence posts. There are a couple of guards in these areas, just doing basic supervisory stuff and making sure the workers don't smuggle things to the inmates or talk to them overmuch.

Parade Ground: This is simply a large, flat, open area covered with packed dirt. The inmates are formed up here every morning and evening for roll call. Once the inmates are broken down, roll call will occur once per day.

Perimeter Fence: This is a large chain-link fence topped with razor wire (banned by the Geneva convention, but perfectly okay for those pesky civil disputes). The fence cannot be cut with any tools the prisoners have at their disposal. The fence is electrified, although to save on power it only carries a nominal charge most of the time. When problems arise, the fence can be set to full power from the headquarters or the guardhouse at the front gate. At these times, it is very advisable not to touch the wires. If the power is not at full, it'll take some rolls to get over the coils of razor wire at the top of the fence. The perimeter fence has Sentry Cards hung on it at 65 feet intervals: V-cards with sensory grid capabilities. Sentry cards project an invisible static grid 16 feet outside the fence; they are basically nothing more than over-sized keyboards designed to detect anyone passing through. In addition, two virtuality guards constantly patrol the perimeter of the fence. These two guards are nothing more than an animation passed baton-style from sentry card to sentry card. They look alert and walk within the static field so that any attack or tampering results in activating the sensory grid.

Relaxation Center: This is the most hideous and nefarious of the BuReloc installations at their retraining camps: a small warehouse of Relaxation Booths. The building is equipped with serious security doors between the outside and the foyer. Half of the interior of the building is filled with the booths themselves, the other half with coffin-style sleeping mats. Although the booths are designed to look relaxing, they still look too much like electric chairs for suspicious cyberpunks. Each Relaxation Booth is equipped with neural interface slap trodes (the type you press onto temples), although some have regular jacks to take advantage of cyber plugs, the booths are used for reward; they stimulate the pleasure center of the inmate's brain. ("We appreciate you mentioning the escape plans to us, Mr. Saduj. We'll give you an extra half hour in the booths tonight.") A few seconds of this sort of bliss can make a whole day of abuse seem worthwhile. As can be imagined, this device is very addicting, especially once the controlling computer has learned its way around the inmate's brain a bit and adds little impulses and images to further enhance the experience for the inmate. The Relaxation Center is almost finished. Workers (the hired guys, not inmates) are putting the final touches currently. At the moment though the doorknobs have not yet been installed on the heavy steel doors.

Solitary Confinement: These reinforced cells are designed for maximal punishment. They are regular sweat boxes in the California sun. There's not quite enough room to stretch out laying down, so the detainee must lean against the wall and bear it. Once solitary has been endured, few prisoners ever cause enough problems to go back.

Supply Building: This houses all the non-tactical supplies needed by the camp. Soap, linen, dry foods, toilet paper, pens, boot polish, all sorts of merchandise is available here. Some stuff is actually stored, but most are produced by the microfactories here. This is also where the camp laundry is located, but although it's called a laundry, it's more of a recycling center. Prisoners turn in their old uniforms and get new ones once a month or so. Since most prisoners have only the clothes they are wearing, they need a new set by that time. Of course, until the construction workers are finished, the inmates are allowed to continue wearing their street clothes. The door has a simple lock. The cleaning staff and the officers have keys, as does the sergeant of the watch each shift.

Tool House: This is where the construction tools are stored. It is securely locked (+2 to Stealth Difficulty), and when the front gate is opened, there are always two people on duty here. The guards here check out one single tool to each inmate, taking a reading of their barcode tattoo for each tool checked out. This is stored in a small computer, which does regular data dumps to the main computer in the headquarters. Nails and screws are produced by microfactories and only in the exact amount each inmate needs. ("Detainee Phillips, you are to install the paneling on dorm 12. You will need 96 nails every 90 minutes; come back when you need more. Do not bend the nails. Scan here. Next!") There are a variety of tools which can be checked out. Hammers, saws, shovels, picks, hoes, and other typical construction and farming tools are available. There are no wire cutters available. Electrical wires which need trimming (like during the finishing of a dormitory) are trimmed by a guard acting as site foreman. Failure to return a tool will result in solitary confinement and a full search of the camp until the tool is found. Finally, there is a powered exoskeleton here, which is used for heavy lifting when needed, it's essentially a forklift based on the He-Man Linear Frame.
While designed for manual use, it can also be controlled via neural links.
Exoskeleton Chassis Size Pace Strength Toughness Mods Crew Cost
Light (20’ tall) 6 24 d12+4 20 (5) 20 1 $1M

Water Tower: Hey, it's big, it's tall, and it looks like a Martian walker in the dark.

Characters of Note

"Birdie" Angel Frost

"Birdie" Angel Frost

Detainee

Shot in the shoulder during round-up.

"Archer" Andrew Archer

"Archer" Andrew Archer

Detainee

Archer was the second brought in from the van that tried to intervene.

"Ginja" Scott O'Riley

"Ginja" Scott O'Riley

Detainee

"Ginja" was the fourth brought in from the van that tried to intervene. He actually put up a fight but was brought down after a few tazings.

"Y" Aika Tachibana

"Y" Aika Tachibana

Detainee

"Y" was the third brought in from the van that tried to intervene. She came very willingly, though was tazzed for ease as Ginja was putting up a fight.

"Spaz" Jesse St. Patrick

"Spaz" Jesse St. Patrick

Detainee

Brought in with a pair of smashed legs. The Mamma's Boys van was rushing Mamacita to the hospital as she was in early labor and showing signs of Carbon Plague. Jesse was on the side of the van that was T-boned by the Bureloc van. He is stable in the infirmary but has little to no use of his legs.

"Mamacita" Mercedes Rodriguez

"Mamacita" Mercedes Rodriguez

Detainee

The Mamma's Boys van was rushing Mamacita to the hospital as she was in early labor and showing signs of Carbon Plague. She gave birth in the back of the BuReloc van to a beautiful if small and covered in carbon goo girl.

"Big Mamma" Phyllis Walker

"Big Mamma" Phyllis Walker

Detainee

{$Relationship}

"Twinkle" Star Walker

"Twinkle" Star Walker

Newborn Detainee

Twinkle was born in the back of a BuReloc patty wagon to the sounds of her dying father singing softly to her what he sang plenty of times inside her mother, Mamacita's belly, Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star. Her father, Ryder Walker died mere minutes after holding her for the first time of a gunshot wound he sustained when he rushed one of the BuReloc guards after the accident. Twinkle is the first known child to be born Evolved. She is of great import to some higher up, so Teresa is allowing her and her family to live. For now…

Spider Murphy

Spider Murphy

Detainee

Nomad Santiago

Nomad Santiago

Detainee

"Irish" Timothy Murphy

"Irish" Timothy Murphy

Detainee

Maps & Images

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