October 30, 2080
I've had a couple of days to rest and consider the Cody situation. In retrospect, the complete abandonment of the town was a bad idea. Getting people out was necessary. I couldn't have evacuated the bulk of them and then left a few behind to keep watch. It would have bred dangerous resentment. The people had to be forced to accept reality. The mistake was not keeping an eye on the town.
I'd like to take a moment to explain the geography of the area a bit. There are five roads that lead into of Yellowstone proper.
First, there's the North Entrance. This was the entrance that the Pale Riders entered through during their attack and its now our link with Pittsplace and Missoula. Likewise the southern entrance is our link to Fletcherville and New Plymouth. Both of these routes are, as you can expect, relatively well traveled and well guarded.
The North East Entrance is, in all honestly, not much of a long term concern. Right outside the entrance the road is, well, your stereotypical twisty and treacherous mountain road. It hasn't been doing well without regular maintenance and our guess is that within a couple more years its not going to be good for much for anything besides a foot path. Because of this its not really a realistic vector for long distance travel in and out of the region.
The western entrance runs directly into the town of West Yellowstone. We've had it under light watch, if only due to the sheer proximity, but besides some light through-travel and some salvaging runs, we really don't know much about how its faired. I've already ordered a team to scout out the town.
To the East you have about fifty miles of naked highway with no side roads worth mentioning and nothing appreciable in the way of human habitation until you hit Cody. Cody is where Yellowstone gets access to the highway network in the east. It is literally the eastern gate of the park. We were keeping an eye on the road of course, but because of the distance and the fact that most of our people were tired up fighting the Pale Riders.
With Cody under hostile control we literally cannot go east from the park. We've lost the ability to go an entire direction and simple will not do.
While most of the townsfolk understand why it had to be abandoned, there's still a standing resentment among about being forced from their homes. This situation has fanned it pretty severely and when combined with the impotent rage caused by the Pale Riders when they cut and run, disgusting pun not intended, I'm afraid that it might be difficult keeping them under control.
Unfortunately though, those very same angry locals are also our best bet in this case. Most of them have lived there all their lives and they are the ones best suited to operate in the area. Even if the outsiders have had the chance to settle in and scout it out, they still lack the almost instinctual knowing of the area that the locals have.
We're moving out tonight and I don't think there's a man or woman here who's in the mood to be especially polite. We're not looking to kill them all. We don't know who they are, but what we do know is that we are not going to leave our eastern flank in the possession of a potentially hostile group. That shit just ain't happening.
So if you have anything at all to add speak now or forever rest your peace.