A dirty and stained A4 sheet of paper, printed with purple images and text in a monospaced font, including crossed out spelling mistakes. A logo including a sun, with an ocean wave cresting inside it, in a shape vaguely reminiscent of a tongue ringed by sharp teeth. A large headline reading Last Resort News Report with the tagline Where Else Would You Want To Go and the date July 17th, with the year obscured by a blotch.
First Column
Headline in all caps: Trade Delayed
By now we can confirm that the trade caravan from Russell is definitely far too late. The old 1 road does sometimes have obstacles that need to be cleared, but after a week’s delay, the Council has come to the decision that the caravan is likely in trouble. Tomorrow, our new friend Nyala will lead a party armed with axes, picks and shovels north, to see if they can’t find our friends and bring them safely here. Wish them luck!
The old 1 road is a highway that according to the old stories runs th entire length of the island. It was built with Old World technology, which means it sometimes passes through steep cuttings which can be prone to landslides after rain. The Jacks make heavy use of armoured wagons, which are too heavy to easily cross muddy ground or climb over a scree slope, so it’s entirely possible they’ve just run into a landslide an stopped to clear it, maybe even more than one. Even if they could manage to find a way over or around this time, the same obstacle would just be there again next year, so it’s best to stop and dig a proper crossing whenever they can. Just be glad we’r the trading hub with the Baronies, so they come to us – it might be one of you out there spending a week and a half trying to shift a boulder or dig through an enormous landslide!
Illustration: stick figures dig away a pile of rocks.
Second column
Headline in all caps: Fireside Finale
With the expedition leaving tomorrow, our cosy campfires will have to come to at least a hiatus. Nyala, who has been regaling us with tales of the Jacks’ goings-on over the last week, is leading the party, and Alice and Rangi, our hosts, will of course be taking part as well, given their experience as scouts. On Friday, the expedition to Tutukaka will also be leaving, taking three of the Singhs with them. The next couple of weeks might be a little lonely in the resort, but we can all look forward to a celebration upon both parties’ triumphant returns!
For now, though, we’re wrapping things up by the fireplace. Tonight, when your copy of the Report is delivered, we’re getting together for one last party! Nothing too boisterous, since our scouts need to leave bright and early, but a warm memory to sustain them through the difficult work ahead!
Headline in all caps: Empty Stalls
Another consequence of our two expedition is that between them, all of our horses are going to be out of the stables, and that means a rare chance to properly clean them out and do some maintenance work that we can’t do while the horses are there! Debbie, Robbie’s wife, and a pretty mean carpenter herself, will be leading the charge, but we’re going to need lots of hands to dig up the clay, cart new gravel in, then pack the clay down flat again. When we first built the stable, we didn’t quite know what we were doing, but we’ve learned a lot since the and this time we’re going to do it up RIGHT!
We’ll have a fire going, to roast potatoes for after!
Second page, first column
Headline in all caps: Travelling Tanks
Our working bee to shift the compressed air power storage tank onto the turn-around was a complete success! Many thanks again to everyone who took part
In fact, the new location has been such a success that we’re looking to add more tanks!
Now, obviously we don’t have the skill to make new tanks of our own – that’s an Old World technology we can’t match yet – but there are a lot of Old World tanks out there ripe for the picking, and our scouts are going to go out in the spring and find the best that are closest to us. Obviously we can’t launch an expedition now, with two already leaving, but we thought you should know now so you can factor the expedition into your plans for summer!
Headline in all caps: Lumber Done-ber
Our stock of cut trees, which were drying over the summer, has now been entirely cut into usable lengths and widths of lumber. That means the doubl time at the bottom of the pit is over until next winter, but on the plus side, no one has to go into the pit until next winter. I’m still finding sawdust in my underwear!
Another thing that means is that it’s time to build up our stocks of timber again! Bringing the timber back here will require the horses, so we’ll have to wait for the expeditions to return, but those of us who are staying behind have been asked to assemble cutting teams to get some trees from the stands between the plots. Obviously we need people skilled with axe and saw, and the right people have been tipped for that, but we also need guards! The trees are a dangerous place in winter, as the patrols slow down and critters move into the shelter, so we need plenty of spears and machetes ready!
This isn’t going to be a long term thing – we just need ten trees or so this time, so we have lumber on hand for repairs as needed – but it’ll be a great chance to get out and stretch our legs in the open field after spen spending all winter cooped up within the walls – and who knows, we might even find some mushrooms in the woods!
Second column
About Tutukaka
There have been a lot of questions lately about Tutukaka, the goal of our southward expedition, so we thought we might lay out what we know for everyone!
Tutukaka was an Old World tourist town. Before that, its harbour was used for fishing, but there was apparently a special preserve set aside by some poor knights, so the Old World people would go there to see all the beautiful fish swimming in the water. We don’t know how those fish are doing now, with the slotters, but maybe our expedition will have some luck fishing on the way back up?
Tutukaka has a marina, a special kind of harbour meant for lots of boats. We’re hoping we can find a nice one intact, or at least easily repaired, but apparently marinas also have places for repairing or storing boats out of the water, so even if we don’t find one waiting for us in the ocean, there might be a boat or some parts of one that we can float. Even just a book on how to build boats would be handy!
Tutukaka is a fair walk south, but closer than the home of those nasty Whangaraiders. Hopefully they won’t even know we’re there!
Illustration: a map of the local area, showing Tutukaka is much closer than Whangarei, as well as the location of an oil refinery and the One Road (SH1).