The roaming youthpak was larger than anything ever seen in what was left of England and still growing.
It seemed to start out as just malicious nuisance making by a few ferals but as it grew the realization dawned that the juggernaut would be very hard to stop. Small gangs, and lone youth were joining the pak just for the ride.
The residual "authorities" such as they were, were almost powerless in the face of such large numbers of well armed miscreants.
The best the authorities could manage was to "divert" the gathering storm from any still populated areas with crude aerial bombing. This was from a motley assortment of small unmanned surveillers, and a few piloted rotaries. Most of which would be shot down. Manned fixed wing aircraft were a luxury of the past.
The youth bore all manner of arms. A select few (those seemingly in control) had relatively modern lasrifles. A few more had the ancient but venerable very high rate of fire (VHRF) machine rifles. A number of exo-skeletons were spread among the pak. Usually these had been broken into parts but the innovative ferals had still been able to keep them operational. Improvised explosive devices (IED's) of many different types were plentiful among the youth. There was also a sprinkling of low powered energy prods and energy knuckledusters and huge numbers of the blinding, irritant laspens. The youth had other more makeshift but no less dangerous weaponry. A testament to their ingenuity.
"What I wouldn't give for one left over tactical nuke" remarked one of the ever diminishing law enforcers. But of course the "nukes" had long since either been scrapped or actually used once control of them came down to City Councils. That the "authorities" would use them if they had been available was not in doubt.
The ever diminishing Greater London City Council (GLCC) and their small police arm represented the main residual semblance of authority in all of Southern England.
The youthpak had been assembling and moving in a largely destroyed and deserted part of the metropolis. However their movements had brought them relatively close to the Croydon Neighborhood Watch Area (CNWA). If the youth started to move into this area, it would be a bloodbath even by the standards of this very bloody time.
Although CNWA had definitely seen better days it was still the best equipped Neighborhood Watch Area in England. Part day operational force fields for some of the less damaged housing and still standing public buildings, still operational android internal security, and a piloted light helo were a few of the things at their command. Most of all though they had a good stock of the Model 239 Just Over The Horizon (JOTH) long range sniperifles. The last military ordinance made before the Government factories closed. All were in good working order. More than this CNWA had some older ex-military who really knew how to use them. Rumor had it CNWA even had a few ex-SAS on board. Although the troopers were getting a bit long in the tooth now.
There was no Government or national armed forces anymore.