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Known as the “Harbor of Hospitality", Elizabeth City has had a long history of shipping due to its location at the narrowing of the Pasquotank River. Founded in 1794, Elizabeth City prospered early on from the Dismal Swamp Canal as a mercantile city, before later shifting into a varied industrial and commercial focus.
Sunday evenings in September are quiet in the south. This is even true in a busy port city like Elizabeth City. However, September 25, 1983, was not a typical Sunday evening. As late supper dishes were being washed, and school-aged children were being prepared for bed, radios and TV's were suddenly broadcasting alarming news. The Soviets had launched missiles toward the US. No one knew how many, or what the targets might be, but everyone was warned to take shelter. Large cities were expected to begin evacuation immediately. And then, without warning, all power disappeared.
The darkening northern sky was soon lit by a massive bombardment of the Norfolk to Richmond area. This was repeated to the south in the Fort Lejuene area. It seemed that the world was coming apart. Local police and private security companies went immediately to the major retail and grocery stores to protect assets from being ransacked in the coming panic. The show of force allowed merchants the opportunity to become distributors of goods to all comers on a first-come basis. When money was not available, the poor were ushered to the side where hastily assembled emergency personnel distributed goods set aside to be discarded as "out of date."
Within days it became apparent that no communication was coming from Raleigh or Washington, DC. Both were assumed to have been destroyed. Local authorities began treating the situation as if it were a major hurricane (the biggest emergency they had ever dealt with). It was not known how long they would be "own their own," but they figured that other communities were facing the same problems. Before long, in fact, refugees began to come down from Virginia and up from the southern coastal areas. Because resources were stretched, the local Coast Guard was called on to set up refugee camps in the rural areas around the city. By the end of the year, relative peace had settled over the area.
Second Battle of Elizabeth City
Shortly after Doomsday, Elizabeth City became embroiled in a conflict that residents now refer to as the Second Battle of Elizabeth City. As 1984 drew to a close, it became apparent to all that a poor potato crop would be unable to feed the starving population of the city, let alone the refugees camped out on the outskirts who became agitated that they would be denied any supplies. To make matters worse, there was a mutiny at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City. A cabal of officers killed the commander of the base and demanded that Elizabeth City turn over this year's crop to them and they would handle distribution. When the city refused, the population of the base armed themselves and marched on the city on October 2nd. The city police and hastily thrown together militia were no match for the marauding Coast Guard forces, but they were saved by armed gangs of refugees who took the opportunity to loot the city, attacking both the citizens of Elizabeth City and the Coast Guard.
While the City government set up barricades at several locations to stem the tide of the mutinous Coast Guard and the refugees, more moderate Coast Guard members who opposed the mutiny and were imprisoned, managed to break free and overcome their guards. Armed with the remaining weapons at the base, the former prisoners acted as reinforcements for the City government. By October 4th, the mutineers were killed and the refugees were driven back to their camps. Nevertheless, Elizabeth City was heavily damaged in the fighting and many of the townsfolk were homeless. Now lacking the manpower to rebuild their city, the city government was forced to contact some of the more civilized refugee gang leaders to form a new government.
The Elizabeth City Compact was thus signed on Thanksgiving Day, 1984. The city council would have 9 members, who would elect between themselves a City Manager. Three members would be elected from Elizabeth City, three from the City Guard (a combination of the remaining Coast Guard, city police and militia) and three from among the refugee camps. A mayor would also be elected from the population at large and serve an executive function.
The city that had prided itself as a place of hospitality had developed into a paranoid society that trusted few outsiders. The flag and seal proclaimed "Harbor of Hospitality," but neighbors began to call it "Harbor of Hostility."
After establishing itself as a self-sufficient city-state, officials of the city-county coalition government authorized parties of explorers to seek out other survivors in the area. These expeditions began in neighboring Camden county which already had been safe harbor to many of the refugees blocked from entering the city limits. The villages of Camden county, however, seemed content to "live off the land" and resented interference from a government that had blocked the bridge to full access to the city. To the south, the explorers would find a hostile populace in what had become a self-sufficient nation-state going by the name of "Inner Banks." This hostility was due to the necessary harshness the "Harbor of Hospitality" had shown to survivors seeking provisions in the city.
With hostile neighbors on both sides, it would be over a decade before official contact was made with the government of Outer Banks, the nation-state that guarded much of the North Carolina coast. However, the fishermen that harvested the teeming waters of the Albermarle Sound had known of survivors there as early as 1985. Suspicious that the islanders were responsible for a lack of trade with the "outside world," the official policy in the city was to avoid contact with those they considered rivals for the resources in and around the Sound. As a result, the young states would develop a quiet rivalry. Official recognition between them would come in 1998 - fifteen years after distant bombs had separated the natural neighbors. After that both states began to claim the counties between them, seeking farmland to augment those within their own counties.
The Brazil period is considered one of the strangest periods in Elizabeth City history. Elizabeth City was discovered by Brazil during an expedition in the southern United States in 2002, but its existence was withheld from the international community for unknown reasons. No one knows for sure why this happened, and Brazil continues to deny any wrongdoing, but some feel Brazil wanted to annex the area and use it as a base on the East Coast of the former United States. The fact that they invested a large amount of money and manpower into reopening the unused airship factories at Naval Air Station Weeksville.
Regardless of Brazil's motivation, there is evidence that Brazil misinformed Elizabeth City of the nature of Doomsday. Apparently Brazil officials stated that most of the world was a wasteland with only a few countries in South America strong enough to carry on civilization. Cowed by these horrible descriptions of the Post-Doomsday and seeking an ally in their constant border disputes with the Outer Banks, Elizabeth City signed a treaty with Brazil. The treaty was incredibly lopsided, with Brazil promising aid in exchange for access to the old Coast Guard Air Station and other land around Elizabeth City. Brazilian influence, meanwhile, permeated entire aspects of the Elizabeth City government. In a stunning reversal, the Nationalists 5-4 majority on the City Council was replaced by a Federalists majority after a contested 2003 election with allegations of Brazilian cash and intimidation being used to buy the election for the Federalists. It was no secret that the Federalists favored a closer relationship with Brazil and almost immediately the Federalists used there new control over the government to pass new legislation that gave Brazil even more leeway throughout the city.
The Nationalists, however, were not willing to accept their defeat just yet. Rumors based on discussion with Brazilians who had to much to drink, told a different story of the post-Doomsday world. In secret, the Federalists financed an expedition into the interior of the old United States to confirm Brazil's official story on the post-Doomsday world. The expedition headed south into South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. They came into contact with various survivor states, which immediately discredited Brazil's statement that North American was a wasteland. Than in 2004 the Nationalist expedition came in contact with a WCRB exploration squad, which included a diplomat from Mexico. Suddenly, Elizabeth City was awakened to the rest of the world.
The Mexican diplomat was horrified about the tales of a secret Brazilian base on the American East Coast. A Mexican warship was dispatched to the area and its arrival hailed the end of the Brazil period. The arrival of a foreign warship which told different tales about the post-Doomsday world led to riots across the city. When the Brazilian embassy was stormed by an angry populace, the Federalist government cut all ties with Brazil in an effort to maintain their control over the government. Brazil, unable to handle the international crisis they created, pulled out of the city. The incident is still being argued in the halls of the League of Nations.
Despite being saved from being turned into a Brazilian colony, the post-Brazil period was not a particularly prosperous period for Elizabeth City. No longer having access to Brazilian aid, the economy of the town dropped significantly. Attempts to negotiate a new treaty with Mexico failed, as they were uninterested in propping up a small survivor community and were just happy to keep Brazil out of North America.
Following a new City Council elections, which put the Nationalists back in control of the government, Elizabeth City attempted to use the refurbished airship factories to sell airships to American survivor communities along the coast. The venture attracted Mexican engineers and some American expatriates. Nevertheless, the venture proved difficult in getting off the ground and it became clear that unless Elizabeth City received some new capital the factory would have to be closed down. Such an event would send the City into an economic depression.
It was during this crisis that Elizabeth City's long time rival, the Outer Banks, came to them with a proposal in 2006. If the City agreed to become a protectorate of the Outer Banks, the Outer Banks government would help finance the airship factories. The agreement would give the Outer Banks control over the foreign affairs of the City and a stake in any profit from the airship endeavor. Despite Nationalist opposition, the coming economic disaster convinced enough Nationalist dissenters to unite with the Federalists to agree to the proposal.
The Outer Banks Period
In the short few years that the city was under domination of the Outer-Banks the economic situation improved, while not going into a boom it resurfaced from the "activity vacuum" that had fallen on the city after the eviction of Brasil. A most notable accomplishment was the re-establishing of the school system in August of 2008 which had closed down in 1984. A few small business managed to succeed that reopened the commerce which had been dormant since Doomsday.
Blue Ridge officials met with officials from the town of Elizabeth City, located in eastern North Carolina, in late 2009 and again in June 2010. While political union was impractical due to the distance between the two regions and the current situation of the land between them, Blue Ridge officials did pledge to send aid and assistance to the region as often as possible. That pledge resulted in ongoing airplane shipments of medicine, food, clothing and building materials for Elizabeth City residents, supplemented by similar shipments from East Tennessee, Georgia and Piedmont into the Outer Banks. In return for these shipments, the Outer Banks were required to void the protectorate status of Elizabeth City and end all claims to the region. Elizabeth City was once again independent.
A Blue Ridge University team is preparing to join military explorers in scouting out the land for a potential highway connecting Asheville with the Elizabeth City and Outer Banks regions, to route through northern North Carolina (a connecting road would be built from Greenville, Piedmont). The highway would provide a permanent connection between the two regions to move goods back and forth. The biggest dangers to such a route are avoiding blast sites and radiation, and what types of people might be living in the targeted region...whether they are people to provide aid to, or bandits and robbers to be avoided.
Elizabeth City receives aid and assistance from Blue Ridge. Elizabeth City in return is constructing several airships for the Blue Ridge Air Force.
It has recently reasserted its independent status from the Outer Banks, another survivor state located in eastern North Carolina. Outer Banks for a short time asserted its political control over Elizabeth City; giving up such control was a key condition presented by Blue Ridge and East Tennessee representatives to Outer Banks leadership for aid and assistance.
Elizabeth City is unique for being one of the largest airship manufacturers on the southeast American coast. Many of the former United States' commercial blimps were made and serviced there. The current airship facilities evolved from what had previously been Naval Air Station Weeksville, operational from 1941 to 1957. NAS Weeksville's LTA craft played a vital role in German U-boat spotting during World War II, helping to minimize losses to East Coast shipping. Following Doomsday the the airship facilities were abandoned, but remained in good condition and with the help of foreign investors once again became operational. These airships help ferry supplies and people from the coast to the landlocked survivor states of the interior.
- ↑ During the Civil War, there was a small battle between the Confederate States of America and the United States of America near Elizabeth City on the Pasquotank River on February 10, 1862. It was nothing more than a skirmish and casualties were low. The battle ended in a Union victory and resulted in the capture of Elizabeth City by the Union.