California Rangers
California Rangers
Manpower 5,400
Primary HQ Redding
Leader Commandant Ronald Johnson
Motto Octane, Ammunition, Freedom
Sponsors Ares, Gaiatronics, Novatech
General Motors, Lockheed-Boeing

California Rangers

Leader: Commandant Ron 'Sulu' Johnson

The California Department of Transportation (CALTrans), prior to the ejection of California from the Union, was the largest in the United States, dwarfing even Texas's enviable organization. Just prior to the Awakening, as a budget cutting maneuver, the California Highway Patrol, a vast police agency that filled the roll of State Police and Highway Police, was merged in to CALTrans. The Rangers name was coined during the NAN wars, when the State tried to boost recruitment and portrayed the Highway Patrol as cowboys and old-west sheriffs. The idea stuck and the California Rangers were born.

In the modern era, the Rangers tend to be the most cohesive force in the Cal Free, mostly because they have the authority (And no one has seen fit to challenge them) to levy tolls for the use of its roads. The result has been a very well funded and sponsored organization. The Agri-corps know what side of the bread the butter is on, and its in having someone else maintain and defend their logistical network for them.

The force has its quirks, as the Rangers tend to be highly individualistic. While most of the patrol units have standard uniforms and vehicles, the Rigger corps tends to be… flashy. California showmen and lawmen in one. Never mistake a little pomp for incompetence however. When it comes to vehicle riggers, the California Rangers are some of the best. Since the Japanese landed in San Francisco, Ares has provided them with quality gear and vehicles, to counter the Japanese influence.

Since Saito branched in to the central valley and upset the balance of power, the Rangers have been receiving a marked increase in military related goods. Some (like the Pueblo and Ute) accuse Ares of trying to form a private army. In a famous quote to Playboy Magazine, Damien Knight responded to the accusation, saying "Why would I want to form another private army? I already have three."

The Rangers had three major bases of operations.

Commandant Ronald Johnson
  • China Lake: A former US military base that is used by Ares Macrotechnologies for research and development. This base is used as their southern operational Head Quarters. It is defended by on-duty rangers, remoteness and Ares corporate security. This base tends to get the lions share of new tech and is their official training base.
  • Redding: The largest Ranger Base is on the outskirts of town in a purpose-built facility. This rather impressive building can turn a total wreck of a patrol car back in to a useful vehicle or tear it down for parts in the space of hours. It's defended by a specialized detachment of Rangers who specialize in drone warfare.
  • Sacramento: This base has been lost to the Japanese during the invasion. Saito;s troops were so incensed by the losses inflicted on them by the Rangers that they burned this facility to the ground.

The Japanese Imperial Marines have a standing Kill-on-sight order for the California Rangers. This has had a marked effect on thier operational strength as the occupation of California continues.

Captain Hiraku Sulu (Commandant Ron Johnson)

The current leader of the Rangers, Ron Johnson has served in the Rangers for over 30 years. Recently, Johnson was engaged in a mission to rescue a convoy of Gypsies that had come under attack by Japanese (So Colonel Minton claimed) raiders. His Ares Forestall Heavy Truck took a direct hit from an an anti-tank weapon. When he was cut from the cab by minutemen also responding to the distress call, he was in a coma. When he awoke three days later in Redding, he now called himself 'Hiraku' after a flatvid series that had been beloved to him. Despite being a Japanese name, and clearly delusional, the Ranger leader is a capable commander, still understands his job and is exceedingly beloved by the people he commands. His new truck, an Ares Patriot Big Rig with assault modifications is called 'Excelsior' and mounts an interesting array of EMC and laser weaponry.

Prospects Combat Trooper,
Mojave Color Pattern

Notable Units

The Wheelmen 'The Interceptors'

These are the crazy sons of bitches who patrol whats left of California's highways, sometimes deciding to tweak their noses at the Japanse… and patrol their territory as well. The finest riggers in the state with some of the best equipment to offer, their one failing is numbers and lack of support. A Wheelman operates on his own most of the time, and if reinforcements are available, they are far out and never timely. There are just not enough rangers left.

The Patrolmen 'The Jackboots'

The Patrolmen are the special weapons and tactics division of the Rangers. Not riggers, each of these men is a military veteran and equipped with the finest weapons and armor Ares Macrotechnologies can afford. These are the men on the ground, while the Wheelmen do the driving. If California had an army that could fight like these men, then the Japanese would be in trouble.

The Assault Division 'The Grizzlies'

Patrolman Standard Interceptor,
Mojave Color Pattern

This is relatively new. Sponsored by Ares, this is a pure combat assault force, designed to take on the Apache and the Japanese if they have to. Responding to the growing chaos of California, the Rangers are arming up and regrouping. The long term ramifications of the Japanese Kill-on-sight policy for Rangers have been felt, and now the Rangers are about to hit back. The Japanese won't know what hit them.

The Prospects

Once a band of ex-military bike-riggers who roamed the Sierras as outlaws, in 2072 this unit joined the Rangers as a unit. 10 men and as many machines. They were brought in as the skirmish and scouting unit for China Lake's 'Assault Division'. Trained by Lucky at the China Lake base in Japanese tactics and weapons, they had a great start. Unfortunately, the unit was destroyed in its first mission - to assist the town of Delano to resist a Japanese attack. However, during that attack, Tonka committed a grave tactical error and led the men to their deaths. The sole survivor of the unit, Corporal Jacques Trudeau, is no longer fit for frontline combat and serves in an advisory capacity in China Lake. 

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