The year is 2013. Two years ago, though no-one realized it at the time, World War III broke out. The one Einstein spoke of when he said, "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." The nukes first went off in Europe, an exchange between--get this--France and Russia which taught everyone the devastation of EMPs. The Chinese got into that game in 2011, blanketing the US in EMP airbursts to limit our effectiveness in thwarting their Asia-Pacific land grab. After EMPs had taken out most of the world's manufacturing, the two back to back nuclear winters took out most of the world's agricultural crop. And oil? Forget about it. Once the Middle East realized the rest of the world was neither paying attention nor trading food, the region devolved into Shi'a-Sunni genocide.
I'm Bob Sobieski--yeah, like the vodka. I came from Chicago, went to UCLA for film, and ended up in Spain when the balloon went up. That was... fun. And by "fun" I mean "pants-shittingly terrifying." We were on set in the Tabernas Desert in Spain for what must've been the last movie ever made. Fittingly, it was a modern day Spaghetti Western. With Nazis. Just trust me, it would've been awesome. It starred effing MacGyver!
Huh? Yeah, he's still alive. He doesn't have a ponytail anymore, and he can't make a radio out of tinfoil and a can of silly string, no, but he's... a lot more like Jack O'Neill, though. A hero. So here's how it went down.
There were fifty of us on set December 1st of 2011, filming this scene, when suddenly there was this flash and then a big, dull thump in the distance. One of the cameramen had seen it, we didn't know what had happened at the time but turns out that missile defense thing everyone said was a waste of money saved our lives. Intercepted a nuke headed right for the Plataforma Solar de Almería--big European solar power test platform. Of course, we didn't know that at the time, though Kowalski and I had been planning to visit the place on a down day. At the time we were as confused as everyone else. Hurried back to the hotel and tried to get in touch with family. Someone eventually got word on Facebook through the laggy as hell internet connection (the only communications that were working) that France had been nuked and power was out pretty much across France and eastern Spain.
So MacGyver, he says, "Listen up! This is why I got us a private flight through Dan's company." Dan's his bodyguard, worked for one of those private security firms who change their names every couple weeks. "We're all going to pack up nice and calmly, drive out of town at a normal pace, and once we hit the big intersection floor it to the airfield. Dan's confirmed their old Antonov plane's fueled up and ready to go."
That went about as well as you can expect, and two days later we finally got to the air strip. Dan's company had left the pilot and five "mechanics" with the plane. By the time we got there the pilot and one of the "mechanics"--his name was Irish Mike--were the only people standing. Literally. Some idiot saw the bodies and wrecked cars and asked what happened. "We done our jobs, get on the fookin plane," Irish Mike said, and we did!
We flew outta there like a bat out of hell. Spanish air traffic control threatened to have us shot down for deviating from our flight plan, but they had bigger fish to fry: The higher-flying Russian birds dropping paratroopers that night.
We landed in Mali--it's this big weird country in west Africa. We touched down, and we're greeted by the the Gendarmerie. MacGyver gets this twinkle in his eye and says, "Everyone get into costume and follow my lead." We'd all been suiting up as extras... now, the funny thing is, half of the uniforms were Waffen SS, but we put 'em on. Rifles too, MacGyver says.
So the Gendarmerie's saying they're going to open fire on the plane if we don't come out. That's when MacGyver opens the hatch. He's wearing digicams, with a boonie hat and Colonel rank on... and a fat twelve-gauge levergun draped across his shoulder. He squints at the dozen Malian Gendarmerie for a straight minute. The guy on the bullhorn screams for him to identify himself. MacGyver spits, starts sauntering down the little metal staircase they'd rolled up and calm as you may says, "I'm Colonel Jack O'Neill, US Air Force, and I've come for the American ambassador." Then he turns around and shouts, "Form it up, I'm not out here to get a tan!"
I think I pissed myself--I think everyone did--but we did it. Just marched out there and made two squares: One in camo, one in effing SS uniforms. I thought we'd all get mowed down or something, since only a handful of us had guns that actually shot real bullets. But the only rapid-fire thing sent our way was apologies.
That's how we made our way home: Fraud, bluff, and bluster. The American ambassador found us, so having a few embassy Marines on hand helped. They taught us how to act like Marines on the overland trek to Morocco; we taught them a thing or two too. Like how to ride horses. From Morocco we went to the Azores, then from there caught the last flight home before the Chinese airbursted the shit out of the US. And we came back to this...
Bob gestures to the freeway, lined with abandoned and wrecked vehicles. "A junkyard thirty miles long," he says to his newfound companion, the woman in the suspiciously armored pickup truck with a missile launcher and no markings. She claimed she was from the Army. Yeah, he'd done that too. "And I told you the rest. Fifty people back at the ranch, one of the MacGyver and he needs a surgeon, bad. We're doing OK otherwise. Great even--we've got beef! So, whattaya say? Help me get to Oregon and find a doctor. We don't care who you are or where you've been, and we could really use a soldier like you."
"Did I mention we've got beef?"