A Brief History: From the Recession to Now
Before it was Takeride, it was Telluride, and it was a beautiful little art town up in the mountains of Colorado. Summer brought festival after festival celebrating art and nature, winter brought skiers, and all year long, the rich and affluent of the world came to spend time in the quiet little former mining village.
Then the Recession happened. At first, Telluride was able to find a way to function. The 10th Mountain Division, US Army, sent a detachment to help Telluride survive the worst, and martial law soon gave way to cohabitation. When the government retreated into the Recession, The 2nd Battalion, Echo Company (AKA the “Mountain Goats”) stayed behind to guard the citizens. And for a while, they held off the horrors of the Loss and the victims of the Blight without much trouble.
When the raiders came four years ago, they took Mountain Village first, and then turned their sights on Telluride. The Mountain Goats did their best to hold them off, but in the end, the best they could do wasn’t good enough. A small contingent of soldiers and civilians escaped up the San Miguel River and into the mountains. Some were lost to the Blight, others to the harsh Colorado winter that followed weeks after.
Among the survivors was a man who would eventually become the Taker known as Goodtimes. Goodtimes was legendary in the mountains of Colorado, amassing bounty with his knowledge of the mountains and his crew, made up of survivors and Mountain Goats alike. It was three long years of scrimping, saving, and recruiting before Goodtimes led the surviving Mountain Goats, the Old-Timers, and various other forces back into Telluride to take it back from the raider gang that was inhabiting the town. The battle was just a few days long, and when it was over, the enclave of Takeride had arisen.
Takeride is one of the few enclaves that actually relies on Takers doing business within it. A hub for business, known as Taker Town was built on the outskirts of town, where Takers and brokers could conduct business. The rest of the town remains walled and guarded, off limits to non-citizens.
Anyone offering a job in Taker Town pays the tax. The terms of the tax are negotiated before the job can be offered, and payment must come in full before advertising any kind of work, outside of casual word-of-mouth. While there are certainly Brokers who would prefer to work untaxed in a free-market environment, Takers who operate out of Takeride have an unspoken endorsement from the citizens of Takeride, specifically Goodtimes. He allows them to ride on his reputation as long as they act ethically, continue bringing jobs to town, and don’t take under-the-table jobs.