August 17, 2114. In the tiny mountain resort town of Chanon, near the Lyon Arcology in France, the day begins normally. The town grifter is hauled down the mountain by a deputy, to appear before the court of justice. Teen girls snipe at each other. Soccer practice. The rich kid practices marksmanship at his lonely villa, his father away for business in France. The local kid engineering prodigy helps fix autonomous tractors at the agricultural school.
As the sun sets, the north lights up in flames. Resounding explosions rock the mountain like thunder shakes a tree. Smoking rubble falls from the sky. Alarms sound, the townspeople head for shelter. Could it be an Aberrant attack?
Days pass, then weeks. Legionnaires arrive, surprised to find a town so free of radiation. They say the orbital station Esperanza fell directly on Paris; the work of Aberrants. They overloaded the French fusion grid, too, and most cities were destroyed. Half of France lies detonated or irradiated. And the teleporter psions, who could have helped the most, the Upeo wa Macho, they have all disappeared.
Four and a half years pass. In the winter, early 2119, five youths who saw the day the sky fell venture forth from Chanon in search of salt. In the mountains, salt is rare; in these irradiated times, iodized salt is even more precious. The town elders give trade goods to the five youths, and send them to Bruyere, a meeting and trading point down the mountain, among the rubble. The agriculture school chief, Prof. Senghor, also tells of a mountain resort nearby called Happy Fun Snowflake Lodge, that has lain abandoned these several years. Maybe salt can be found in their stores.
The five youths opt to take the more dangerous route to the Lodge, thinking they may be able to get salt for free. They climb the partly collapsed mountain slopes, and suffer the traps and assaults of a madman who lives in the Lodge. The madman tried desperately to kill the five intruders, but Margot, the smallest of the party, knocked the madman down a flight of stairs and killed him.
Searching the Lodge’s stores they find them mostly destroyed by flooding in the basement. Thinking to look for rock salt in the utility shed, they find that it had slid away sometime in the past four years, destroyed by the mountain.
After gathering medical supplies and taking some time to heal their various wounds, the five plan their next move…