"You think any of us dreamed of becoming scavengers? I wanted to be a housewife and serve sweet cakes at bake sales!"
The organization (started and still being lead by Margaret "Peggy" Johnson) uses the same structure as the PTA she once wanted to be a part of. There is a President, a Vice President, a Treasurer, and a Secretary, thought the roles have different duties during these post-apocalyptic times.
- President - leader of the Treasure Seeker, it is the President's duty to make sure the organization is running smoothly, that each person is performing the duties of their roles, and that the community is thriving in the best way that it can. They are the ultimate decision maker, the breaking of ties (if ties occur during a vote), and are voted into power (or to remain in power) every year.
- Vice-President - performs the duties of the President if the President is sick or dies during office. They check on the community in more detail that the President does, making sure that the overall feeling is correct, but also searching for the small thoughts in how the community can be better.
- Treasurer - the Treasurer is the person in charge of knowing what items the community has (and keeping those notes), setting the value of the items, and training Vice-Treasurers in how to asses items coming in and sell items going out.
- Vice-Treasurer(s) - Trained by the Treasurer, they learn how to assess the value, durability, and use of items being brought into the compound, and how to get the best deals for the items they sell.
- Secretary(s) - the Secretary takes notes on everything: how many people are in the compound, what their jobs are, the security detail for night/day shifts, etc. The only thing the Secretary doesn't do it keep a list of items in stock (that's the Treasurer's job).
- Publicity Officer - This job is for people willing to talk to other communities in attempts to barter and bargain with them. They might also approach singletons/couples and ask if they wish to join the community (though the entire decision needs to be run by the committee). If there is law-breaking inside the community, they take care of it.
- Committee Members/Volunteers - those that spend their time hunting for "treasure" and are helpful to the community in others ways ["treasure" is a loose term and the President wants to keep it that way - to her, "treasure" can mean creating new songs to sing, being able to weed and grow things in the garden, etc. in addition to going into the ruins and bringing back objects and items.]
The culture of the Treasure Seekers is to see the world around them, both nature and ruin, and see how it can be made into a better future. One of the beliefs being taught is that the first look isn't always the correct one—sometimes a second or third look is needed. This is true when it comes to items and people as well. (However, to make sure the community is doing well, there is an agreement that people not following orders or not behaving to the "spirit" of the community may be asked to leave since "it only takes one bad apple to ruin the bunch.").
Goals: To build a better community for the future, from the past. (Using all the items that have been left over from the nuclear bombs, the aim is to build a society that pushes past this catastrophe).
The assets are logged by both the Treasurer (materials) and the Secretary (people). At this point in time, the materials of the Roadside Market fall into the categories of clothing, food/water, building equipment, gardening, entertainment, household goods, information, and misc. The people of the community number over fifty, however there are usually only fifteen-twenty people in the compound (those that stay to farm, injured folk, leaders, etc.)
The history of the organization is a short one. When the bombs fell, Peggy Johnson was left without a family (her brothers had been working in the city on that day, along with her husband). She was sad at first (for the loss in her life, in everyone's life, and for the city she had grown attached to), and then her sadness changed into anger. She was a young woman, after all, and ever since she was small she'd wanted to be part of the PTA and bring her sweet cakes to bake sales. Surviving after the bombs dropped cooled her anger and instead of seething at the past she started looking toward the future. She still wanted the feeling of power she'd thought she'd be getting from the PTA, so when she found the next scavenger digging for supplies in the rubble, she offered them an alliance. Two quickly became three, then five, and suddenly Peggy found herself with a group large enough to have a name. They voted and started calling themselves "Treasure Seekers" (Peggy wanted an uplifting name, and something the would encompass more than just food and drink.) The Treasure Seekers grew in number, and then it was time to find, or create, a headquarters. Deciding that being on the road would be best to sell items and information, Treasure Seekers created the Roadside Market (the name being the best one to bring people nearby). They've had some trouble with thieves in the past, but for the most part the community has held itself together very well. Many people thank Peggy for her "gloved iron fist," but she doesn't let the praise go to her head, and she reminds the community that without them, they wouldn't be there.
Demography and Population
The organization is still "new" after several years, and as such there are few people that give birth, though there are plenty enough that die. Most people go missing, and in the beginning they were labeled dead, but when a few of them found their way back, the common listing became MIA.
Treasure Seekers are the whole reason that Junktown is in existence. They started the area called Roadside Market and from there expanded as they gathered people that were good at sewing/tailoring, others that were good at cooking the old goods found in the ruins, and even more people that were able to offer other such services. The area that makes up Junktown is an old shopping mall that Treasure Seekers found and took over before many other groups had the opportunity to gather enough people and do so.
The military is seen as a concern for the future as more and more raids on the area are getting more and more people involved. Right now, the "military" is everyone who lives in the area rushing to defend Junktown when there are attacks.
The technological and scientific levels stopped when the bombs dropped (later 1950s), and so there are adults who talk longingly of days (and technology) before, but in the 1950s there was color television, and in 1947 there were 40 million radios in the US but only about 44,000 TV sets. People don't know how to make their own TV, and without broadcasting, there seems to be no need to make them again. However, there are people wanting to make their own broadcasting with radio (to at least be in touch with other communities nearby).
The religion in the area is mostly made up of who survived from from religions in the area. Mostly Christian, though there are some Jewish survivors as well. With the end of the world as everyone knows it too, there is a group of people who don't worship a god and who try to take day by day. Most of the groups try to worship the best they can with what they have, but it's a far cry from what they knew before the bombs dropped.
Agriculture & Industry
Treasure Seekers don't do much in the industry section, but they do have a but of agriculture started by some of their committee members/volunteers. They have a farm off to the side of all their processing, inventorying, and selling sections. This only adds to what they sell, though it's mainly sold to Junktown since they'll get a better price (there are rumors that the group keeps some "undesirable crops" in case someone comes and barters).
Trade & Transport
The reason Treasure Seekers started off with Roadside Market was to take advantage of the highways already built in pre-war times. Most people don't have transport other than their own two feet, though several people have take bikes and others are using bike tires to make carts (carts are less frequent than the bikes).
The few children that belong to the Treasure Seekers go to school in Junktown, but they also have their own "schooling" within the group, if they want to be Treasurers, Secretaries, or Publicity Officers. There is also every opportunity to learning marketing, sales, engineering, and everything that goes along with being part of the group. (Though, at this point, there are not many older children—most of the oldest ones have become adults at this point (or are at least graduated from the school in Junktown, and the youngest ones, those few born after the end of the world, are just now starting school.)
One Man's Junk is Another Man's Treasure
May 2nd 1958
Trash pickers, Refuse Users, Seekers
The official currencies at the Roadside Market are for a) insiders and b) outsiders. Insiders have their personal wealth logged since this is attributed to the items/services that they have done for the community + the universal basic income that Peggy had established. (Her thought behind UBI was that she'd rather have a non-injured/non-sick person going scavenging since they were more likely to carry back more items and survive encounters; putting the system into place has help the community as a whole, not just the scavengers she wanted to aid in the first place). Outsiders have a different currency. Most of them go for the barter system as they pass by (this clothing for that food, etc.), however, Peggy wants to get Outsiders to use wooden chips with numbers on them as currency so they keep coming back with more goods. So far this idea hasn't taken off since, as others pointed out, it's very easy to duplicate the chips, so a person can have one and suddenly be rich. Treasure Seekers haven't decided on a single currency for Outsiders, so right now there's a list of tabs for the few people who return, and everyone sticks to a barter system.
This organization attempts to provide a s surplus of any item they think the community will want (in addition to what a drifter would want as well). This is normally not in terms of food, or even altered clothing; but they sell the clothing that people can have altered with others and they sell items that they've created for the post-apocalypse age.
The biggest imports for Treasure Seekers are items from the old world. They'll take anything they think they can upcycle (make into something people want now) and have piles of junk with the motivation of "I can do something with that later." There are suitcases to be made into backpacks (well wanted in the drifter community, also good for anyone else looking to go out and scavenge. There are also tool kits to create (and sell/rent), baking supplies (to rent/sell), etc.
The laws and rules that govern this organization are written up by President and Vice-President, "argued" over by the rest of the committee, and finally put to vote by the committee members/volunteers in the group.
The Committee Members/Volunteers are responsible for carrying out the interpretation of the laws. When the group was small, this duty fell to the President, but now that they Members/Volunteers outnumber the Committee, they are the ones whose opinion matters for when something feels unfair or too strict.
If the laws need enforcing, that is the job of the Publicity Officer. However, at this moment, the group is small enough that being nudged by a neighbor usually heads off any law-breaking. For Outsiders, law breaking usually comes in the form of cheating when bartering (caught by the Treasurer/Vice-Treasurers) or by flat out attacking the Roadside Market (all members defend the community).