-"Car Wars", "Autoduel Quarterly" (ADQ), "Midville" and
"Americain Autoduel Association" (AADA) are all registered trade
marks of Steve Jackson Games.
All these links can be found
Any contributions, news or
questions can be sent to.
We would like to apologise for this administrative and
secretarial error with the last CWML. The staff here at CWML mixed
up the arenas, the SWAT addendum for Dueltrack and simple races should
have been swapped.
Ie: Scotio Downs and Muskogeee Fiargrounds are good Dueltrack
tracks, while Daytona Road Circuit and Ontario are good for Simple
races. We once again apologise for this error and any confusion it
may have created.
There's also a special bonus now, simple maps of the 4 arenas
are up on the CWML web site, have a look under the "Other Stuff"
section and enjoy.
HVD-8 will be out on FEB-28. Anyone wanting to put
submissions in must contact me immediately and have the copy in to me
by 22-FEB. Also the design competition due date has been delayed
until HVD-9, a final date will come out with HVD-8. This is due to
my absence over much of the competition period, please enter this it
needs a lot more people to send designs in. rules are in HVD-7 in
the competition section.
A new web page is around, they've also added themselves to
the CWPL, like all you other chapters should. Including designs and
a couple of other things, have a visit.
Last Mod: 30-JAN
512: Deliberate Arson; Capitol Punishment.
Fiction by: James Barton - Dr Death.
The car warm up sequence began; Power Plant primed and charged
... weapon systems initiated ... checking vehicle systems ... vehicle
systems all clear. It was the sort of day you don't want to be
working, the sun was out, the sky a crisp clear blue with a couple of
high white clouds, but this was the sort of day we got really busy.
It had been hot and dry, a typical Australian February day. Prime
fire season, and prime hot-head season, tempers flare, fights start
and invariably fires start.
I pulled out of the gate
and engaged the houses security
system, 6 in the morning the rest of the families still asleep, the
kids don't have to be at school until 9 and the wife won't wake them
up until 8:30, the joys of youth. It was only a short drive to the
station and awaiting truck, which was sort of a pity because it was
such a nice day to drive and a pump / water tank truck is not a nice
thing to drive, well not as nice as my new Australis Design Ontaga.
I arrived at the station
a couple of minutes early, using this
time to have a shower, a nice cool shower. This could be my last for
a couple of weeks water rationing was about to start and while we get
some recyc. water it isn't nice to drink or shower in. I then went
to my locker, the rest of our crew were in there as well, there's
Bluey, Mike, Bob, Liz and Tim. I ride with Liz, which is short for
Lizard, no Elizabeth - girls don't like this sort of work, and who
can blame them for that. I put on the body armour first, we only wear
the vest and thigh protection, and even that's to hot, we only wear
because if we are found down and without it our families lose our
pension. Next the fire proof suit and helmet, on a day like today the
last things to go on and first to come off.
An alarm, a full 10 minutes
before our shift was due to start,
we were the B shift, this was our free time. We headed for the
trucks, turned over the motor and headed out towards the North, a fire
had been reported, flaming oil had been dropped in some bush land and
now a driver was stuck and a wheat farm threatened. The two trucks
left the station, sirens buzzing and lights flashing, I grappled with
the steering wheel trying to make the all to tight turn that was our
exit from the station, then stepping on the gas we slowly accelerated
up to 60 mph, cruising speed. The day had got nasty while I was in
the shower, or maybe my perception had just changed, a hot breeze was
blowing now, from the north, that meant lots of hot dry air from the
centre sweeping in and definitely no rain.
We were heading straight
into the wind now and just as we saw
smoke drifting towards us a car came straight for us, Orange with
fresh bullet holes and guns blazing at us, I opened fire first missing
with the twin front mounted MGs, high calibre and with lots of ammo,
the truck behind me did the same and then our ace came out, the
defence car driven by Tim. He was a professional duellist before he
marked up one to many driver kills and lost the interest in killing
for sport. He now works for the AFFF, Australian Fire Fighting Force,
defending our trucks. He pulled out from behind the pump truck and
let fly with two incendiary rockets, the orange car swerved but still
continued on. I'm not sure what exactly happened next, but I kept
the guns firing straight out front and as the car approached the
bullets struck the front of the vehicle, nothing near what's needed to
penetrate the front, but enough to get us thinking. Another couple
of loud bangs as two more rockets went off and a thud, thud as we ran
over the car.
I looked in the rear view
mirror to see what was left of a
pretty squashed subby, thank god we'd has the front RP and high
suspension on the truck. We continued on though, the fire was still
going and if the driver's panicked radio messages were anything to
go by it was getting pretty big. WE don't often get attacked heading
out to the fire, we are big targets and with Tim we are a bit
dangerous. Firing on a fire truck is a capital offence as is
deliberately starting a fire, presumably that guy started the fire
and didn't want it put out. Deliberately firing volatile weapons
and starting a fire is also a capital offence.
We didn't see much more heading
out to the fire, in fact
visibility got real bad as we approached, it looked like a big one
and the grass was dry, a busy day. The cracking and blast of the
fire is the second thing that hits you after the smoke, the noise is
immense as is the wind as the fire sucks in oxygen and expels carbon
We saw the fire and it was
pretty big, it was probably going
to need more crews to deal with. Our first priority though is to save
life and then property, the driver was stuck right in the middle,
about 20 metres of fire and blackened ground were between the grass
and him, and the distance was getting bigger, he should have made a
run for it when the guy first lit the dropper, but now he couldn't
drive out. We stopped the truck and jumped out, unravelled hoses,
the pump truck pulled just along side and we made the connection, the
water began to flow as Liz opened the hose, Bluey and Mike held it in
place, I opened the second valve as Liz ran to the hose and Bob aimed
it, I had to find some more water or get help fast, I jumped into the
truck and looked at both the IR scans and IR satellite images, the
fire was spreading, southwards towards the city, but away from the
nearby farm house which was less than 1km to the east. The front was
growing though, what was 100 metres was quickly growing the 200,
within 10 minutes we'd have almost 1/2 a km, then it starts to grow
real fast. I radioed in for backup.
"FireFly nest, this is firefly
2 we have a problem here, 1 0
0 metre front, repeat that is one zero zero metre front headed towards
flyfly nest. Firefly 2, 4 and 10 are here, we have one trapped badguy
and no obstacles between fire and nest."
"This is FireFly nest we copy that, sending out units 1 & 6,
do we need reserves from FireStorm Central."
"Copy that nest, look we are going to need more than that,
this fires growing fast and this wind is pushing it along, our
position is secure, but we are dealing with Badguy and can't hold
"We roger that FireFly 2, be advised that all reserves are
being called in and help will be there before zero nine hundred,
advise on security."
"Badguy 1 is trapped in vehicle and offers no threat, Badguy
2 was dealt with deadly force, check for fire at milepost 45 km from
nest, no other threats or damage to convoy."
"We copy that sending 2 police cruisers to secure location,
eta 6 minutes."
"Roger that, over and out".
I jumped out of the truck,
shit that had taken too long, we
had to find water and the IR scans were only showing fire, the smoke
covering any water. I looked around, a small gully was bout 20 metres
ahead, that should lead to water, but which way and how far. Stopped,
thinking about this decision I looked out to the front, the boys were
making progress to the Badguy, but it was slow and all the while the
fire was heading southward and gaining speed. I then heard a voice,
geeze that's the radio, jumping back in the truck I heard the
emergency 1 warning.
"This is FireFly nest, all
units and all volunteers, this is
an APB for any and all units to muster at location 55 km north of
Nest, be advised this is a grade 1 situation and men are trapped."
"What is happening? Any news on Firestorm reserves.", I
"We are a negative on reserves and backup, StormBunker has
been hit by 2 north fronts, all units occupied with current crisis,
Firefly units still enroute, ETA 13 minutes. You are to leave
Badguy, repeat that, leave Badguy... New fire fronts have opened up
on East and West vectors are headed towards your location, you are
not secure, leave area immediately."
"Roger that, request change of callsign from Firefly 2,4 & 10
to Firefly Flight."
"Request granted Firefly Flight, good luck and god speed."
I activated the outside speakers,
"All FireFly units to return
to vehicles and evacuate area, repeat leave Badguy and evacuate fire
area, we have a live on boys."
The guys ran back towards
me, carrying equipment and hoses.
We began to haul them back in, it was going to be a long fight and we
had to get ourselves out of here. I got back into the truck and
checked out the IR sat. images, the hole was gone, the Badguy was
burning now anyway. I zoomed the range out and saw what Nest had
meant, two fronts were coming in from the northwest and northeast, to
the south was the front we were just fighting, we were stuck now, and
the gap was closing. As the wind was taken up by the northmost fires
the southern one was slowing, and they had all joined up. Liz jumped
in the truck, "How's she looking?"
"Not good mate, no reserves
and Nest have put out an APB to
muster 15 km south."
"Shit mate, how do we get out?"
"This is Tim here, I've got an IR readout here which says we
are trapped, you want to explain Dave?"
"All I can say mate it that it's going to be a very long day
or a very short one.", what else can you say?
"Flight, this is nest be
advised that Front 1 is to your
south, front 2 is at 045 and Front 3 at 315,"
"We copy that front identification, repeating F1 at 180, F2
at 045 and F3 at 315. We show no exit route on short and long range
IR sat., advise of actions."
"Flight, front ID correct, currently no escape route, FireFly
reserve units are cancelled an fighting fire along N182, proceed to
road and help break you out. Also F2 has claimed 2 already, campers
left fire unattended and local rangers and civies caught in storm."
"We copy that, heading south along N182 to meet with FireFly
units 1 & 6. Let's move out boys, the fires a started and we're
The trucks turned and headed
south, the fire had moved far
and fast, we'd only been there about 1/2 an hour and as we drove over
the blackened area we saw the fire had slowed, the one behind hadn't
though and we now had the flames in visual.
It's an eerie place, grass
burnt out by fire, a brown dirt
road in the middle of black smoking grass. It hits you, like being
on another planet, nothing moves, nothing lives. Save the fire,
which rushes in front and rushes behind, the only life ... a
We performed the same drill
as before, the trucks stopped and
we connected the hose, I was in the front line this time, there's no
water on the maps and it's Tim's job now, we could just make out the
other reserves, they had cut a chunk out of the fire, and were now
busy defending it as the fire continued on. They were in as much
trouble was we were.
We opened up with everything,
even the turret mounted foam
guns on the roof were now being run by the computer gunner. This
was an emergency situation, full water and foam attack was cleared
for personnel retrieval. We made a little progress real quick, the
back of the fire had lost most of it's energy, we soon came to the
hot part though. It had begun to burn hot, we had moved from the
dead grass to small shrubs now and in about 50 metres the fire would
be in a eucalypt forest. Our reserves were in just as much trouble
as us now, the fire had encircled them and as they hosed their way
out the back it began to come in on the front, they we close to out
though, then the wind came. Fires need oxygen and oxygen doesn't
flow through trees to well, the fire wind shifted as the fire hit
the forest and the wind started to blow from behind us, suddenly the
other units were engulfed...
The fire had moved around
them, and the were surrounded, they
jumped back into the trucks, only 25 metres away now, but in as much
trouble as us. My personal radio came to life, Tim reported, "We
have no water within 200 metre perimeter, extend search perimeter?"
"Negative on that Firefly
10, Flys #1 and 6 are trapped an in
truck ,we have a critical situation here, repeat situation code 10,
units trapped in vehicles."
Firefly #1 called on the
radio, "Fireflight we are in
situation grade 11, unit #6 armour integrity has been breached, unit
is downed, repeat downed. Good luck and let's hope some of use get
out of here alive..."
"Firefly 1, please state
position, unit 1, please state
position, smoke has obscured view of truck, please radio position ...
Unit 2, respond immediately... FireFlight commander to FireFly units
2, 4 and 10, code 13 on units 1 and 6, repeat units 1 and 6 are
downed an burning, immediate evacuation from front area."
It was getting bad now, we
had about 400 metres between both
the front now, the rear front was skipping quickly over the burnt
ground, we had 15 minutes before we had only 20 metres and would be
within melt radius.
"Fireflight this is nest,
please advise on situation, Nest we
have codes 10, 11 and 13, units downed burning and trapped. Flys #1
and #6 are downed and lost, units #2, 4 and 10 remain trapped,
immediate extraction required, Flys are within 15 minutes of code 5,
trapped and within melt radius." "Liz, check the short range IR sat.
photos, we need a way out, now."
"Yeah, I'm on it boss."
"Flight leader this is nest, be advised that Helicopter #1,
firedragon is unavailable on civie rescue mission 5 km SW of your
position, ETA approximately 25 mins."
"Hey boss, check this out."
"I got a gap, here, the fire hasn't made it through the trees,
we've got about 2 mins to break through about 3 metres of fire."
"We'll drive through it Liz, FireFlight units do you copy
that, head 200 metres at bearing 205, and breakthrough fire, use IR
scans and sat. photos for the weak spot, me and Liz will follow you
through, Bob you take unit #4 through first and Tim you follow, we'll
come out last."
"We all copy that, let's go boys - freedom or flame await..."
We headed away from the front
gathering speed, and as we
looped the truck round the saw the trees begin to explode in fire,
that's the way gums burn, let's just hope we didn't have the trucks
burning as well. Bob span the wheels as he accelerated towards the
break, the truck flew through and we lost of it for a brief second,
I think he made it, who cares we were going through anyway, Tim went
through next, "Dave, Unit #4 is stuck, go through to western side of
"Thanks Liz, we copy that, we've gotta get them out."
We burst through the fire,
sparks went around the truck, the
flames licked the truck, singing the paint and softening our armour.
Just as quickly as we entered we left, we saw the other truck, they
had hit a tree, but now had released themselves, Tim was OK and we
moved on, pretty slowly now though. We weren't out though ... The
fire was passing through the trees quicker than we were, we couldn't
out run it.
"Halt and form a front, it's
time to take her on boys."
"We copy that Flight leader, let's slow this beast down and
get ourselves out alive."
I jumped out first, it was
time to take on the fire properly,
a thin track, trees on eithr side, but we had a bit of a clearing,
let's hope we could hold her off. Just as always we went into our
standard drill, this time Tim was with us though, he was a good
fighter (but a better dueller) and he wasn't really ready for this.
We locked the hoses down and began to douse the flames, Tim wet the
trucks and us.
As we pushed the fire back
to the north, it began to wrap
around us, and then it jumped, the wind had blown the sparks over the
road an they now attacked the trees to the south. Tim turned his
hose to the south and Bob trained the turret hoses onto the south as
Things were looking bad though,
oxygen was getting low, the
fire was close in around us and we had to get the breathing equipment
out. I then heard Bluey, "I'm out of golden fluid Dave."
"Get the masks out of the
truck then, and grab one of the foam
"Bluey threw each of us our
masks from the truck and began
putting out the spot fires with the extinguisher, we were fast running
out of water though, the pump truck had just run out, and the water
truck was very low too, the Tim and Mike moved a hose across but it
was no good, the fire was all around us and we were out of water, all
we had left was the foam turret, it has seen us through so much, but
was now in emergency mode, firing at any heat within range.
We backed further towards
the truck, the pump truck was
burning now, Tim's car was long gone and we were out of time, we saw
the chopper overhead.
It hovered for a couple of
moments and then dropped its' load
of water, the fire back slightly, I looked towards the doors, there
were only 3 of us left now, Tim had disappeared, as had Bluey.
"Where's Tim, and Bluey?"
"Dunno boss, Mike you seen them."
"Yeah I copy that, last I saw they were out of water and
backing towards the pump."
"The pumps in flames now..."
"I know boss, but we ain't looking great now."
We looked towards the doors,
if we could get into the truck we
might just have a chance, but that was out, the fire was too close,
the front tyres were melting. I felt hot, really hot, the suit was
starting to get warm, really warm.
"How you feeling Mike?"
"Not to good boss, kinda hot and dizzy."
"We got an escape anyone."
"Negative on that."
"Liz is that you?"
"Roger on that we are under the Pump, I think we are about to
go down mate."
"Yea I get that feeling to, how the suits holding boys?" We
were now all under the trucks, the safest place, if any place was
safe. But we didn't like it, my suit was heating up and no one
looked very good."
"I'm hot man, damn hot."
"Me too, they've held out a while, but I'm going."
"Hang on guys, the chopper will be back soon, Dragon #2
should be here to dropping water." A crunch ... "What was that?"
"Oh god, oh no, the pump
just collapsed, they're gone. I
can't believe it, the tyres, everything just collapsed.
"Liz, Bluey you OK? You there..."
"What's happened to them,
oh no, they can't, it's not
I heard moaning, it was Tim,
he was starting to burn up, he
was real red and not moving, but neither was I, I guess we just lay
there, awaiting the inevitable, but hoping beyond hope...
Well I guess that isn't the
happiest piece of CW fiction
you've read, but I hoped you enjoyed it. And with the worst of
Australia's bush fire season over, I guess it was just something
that said something to you all. This year Australia lost two CFA
firefighters to deliberately lit fires this year. In previous years
we have lost many more, one a case similar to this, a truck trapped
on a dirt track in a forest. I guess it might be fitting to dedicate
this to them and all who have sacrificed before them. It's also not
to CW related, but it was set in the CW world and I think we all need
some diversion from the shoot-em up CW story.
On an alternate note, depressing,
but no where near the same
level. It is time for me to move on. This is my 30th CWML I think,
translating to almost 17 months that I have been putting this
together. And this will be my last... I've decided to reduce my
commitment, in order that I can do other things and spend time in
other ways. I'd like to thank everyone on the list, as well as the
contributors. Including, Michael Owen, Skull N' Bones, Geoffrey
Gowan, Timothy Jacques, Paul Darius, Giuseppe Filotto, Dan Myers,
Tim Gould and last but by no means least Chris Burke. Without these
people this could not have continued to be put together. I will
hopefully contribute to further CWML, and hopefully someone is
prepared to take over and become editor. If you've only just
joined or are a regular reader thanks and I guess I'm a bit sorry.
I have enjoyed putting this and HVD together, but of late I have not
been giving this or HVD the time it deserves. I'd also like to
announce a similar event for HVD. My commitment to HVD will also
reduce, I foresee HVD becoming a 1/2 yearly magazine.
Once again I'd like to thank
everyone. HVD and the CWML have
been very positive experiences for me and I've achieved everything I
could ever have set out to achieve. However now I enjoy it less, it
has become a bit of a chore, something that I feel obligated to do
and can no longer really enjoy. I'm also running short of ideas,
while I will still put some things together the output will be greatly
reduced. I've made some great friendships over the period and have
enjoyed the whole experience immensely, hopefully I can continue the
contacts made. I'd also like to recommend this to anyone out there,
it isn't that hard. I have no real skills or previous experience,
anyone can do this and personally I feel that everyone should at least
have a go.
Once again thankyou for your
time and readership and farewell
for a little while at least. And finally one big last thanks to the
CWML contributors, well done everyone, and I guess this job is open
to anyone who would like to take it on.
Dr Death, aka James Barton, Melbourne, Australia