New Morrow Project Encounter Group: Mother Roaders
Background: US Route 66 is sometimes known as ‘The Mother road’. It originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, before ending at Los Angeles. It was ‘decommissioned’ (finally replaced by the Interstate system) in 1985.
HISTORY in the MP Universe: Route 66 (aka the ‘Mother Road’) was always more likely to survive that the Interstates. It directly links farming communities and it is built on a scale which allows those communities to maintain it. Therefore there is both a reason for the road to be used and manpower to maintain it.
As a consequence, The Route 66 communities remained in contact with each other even though some lost contact with the rest of the continent (possibly even the rest of their state) . They came to regard themselves as belonging to a community: the Mother Roaders.
PRESENT SITUATION: The Mother Roaders are a (very) loose association of communities that are located along the old Route 66. They cooperate on security and have removed all Biker problems (as per the distribution of Bikers in TM1-1). They keep in touch via a variety of means – including their own vehicles, Mailmen, Truckers and some radio.
The existence of the Mother Road allows some of the larger nations and groups to trade and communicate . It is in the interests of these groups – ESPECIALLY the Gypsy Truckers – to allow the Mother Roaders to maintain “their” highway. [Example: the Mother Road explains why Oilers have a market for their oil and petroleum products. ]
Note that the Mother Roaders do not have a single view on how to organise a society. While most could be classified under the “Farmer”or “Townspeople” Encounter Groups, they could conceivably include,Oilers, New Presidencies, Universities – even Monasteries and, of course, Gassers. All that is required from a Mother Road community is a willingness to allocate workers to maintain the road and an understanding that they can’t be too greedy about charging tolls. Some may even have obligations to higher levels of government (the communities in north Texas for instance) – but all would have cultural and economic obligations to Route 66.
In a way, the Mother Roaders could be regarded as the last vestiges of the United States and are possibly the best hope for reformation. Unfortunately, they tend to have loyalty only to the other Mother Road communities and are willing to allow any goods (including slaves) to be transported, so long as all “rules of the road” and tolls are respected.