|Secretary General||"Rusty" Johnson|
Eureka is a city in the former American state of Illinois. The city was founded in the year 1855. Eureka is known for being the location of Eureka College, a private college associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the alma mater of former president Ronald Reagan. Following the events of Doomsday, the city was overrun by refugees from the Peoria metropolitan area and abandoned. It was later reinhabited by refugees from Pekin led by Rusty Johnson. The new inhabitants took the name Pekin Chinks (though they usually shorten it to just Chinks), after the Pekin Community High School team name. The group became a serious threat to the communities along I-74 and to explorers from the survivor states who explored the region. Attempts to dislodge them have largely been unsuccessful due to their alliance with their old rivals, the Illini Republic.
Most of the information about the Chinks has been obtained from defectors and runaway slaves who fled to other survivor states in the region.
Pre-Doomsday Eureka and Pekin
Eureka was founded in the year 1855. Eureka is known for being the location of Eureka College, a private college associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the alma mater of former president Ronald Reagan, the President of the United States during Doomsday. Reagan graduated from Eureka College in 1932. Eureka styled itself the "pumpkin capital of the world" until its pumpkin-processing plant moved to nearby Morton, Illinois.
Pekin, Illinois, a town near Eureka, was served by the Pekin Community High School. The school teams were officially known as the Pekin Chinks until 1980 when the school administration changed the mascot to the Pekin Dragons. The team mascot was a student dressed as a Chinaman wearing a coolie hat, who struck a gong when the team scored. An earlier attempt was made by a visit of Chinese American groups to change the name from Chinks during the 1974–1975 school year; this was voted down by the student body. The event received national attention.
Despite the name being changed, the name remained popular among alumni, including one Rusty Johnson who worked the 3rd shift at the local Caterpillar plant.
The city of Peoria was destroyed on Doomsday and many of the surrounding towns were heavily damaged. Those survivors who remained in the area began looting stores. Many were in search of food and water that were not available to them through any other means, as well as non-essential items.
Murders, thefts, and rapes rippled through Central Illinois as refugees fled the area along I-74. With no response from the federal government, things began to collapse. Some National Guard troops supported by local law enforcement agents who deputized armed civilians attempted to restore order in the short-lived Eureka Emergency Committee, but this organization collapse in December. Soon after the town of Eureka was abandoned, with the population streaming westward toward Urbana–Champaign.
The city of Pekin, though only damaged slightly, still felt the affects of the social collapse that spread through the Peoria metropolitan area. Rusty Johnson, with some of his friends, originally took part in some of this lawlessness. Johnson, however, discovered sooner than most that the long-term outlook for the region was bad. Convincing his closest friends and their families that necessary steps needed to be taken, Johnson's band of brigands concentrated there looting on food, weapons and other supplies. Johnson and his followers then fled into the wilderness to attempt to survive the winter away from the starving hordes of refugees.
Johnson and his followers (who around this time began referring to themselves as the Chinks) raided local farms for food and supplies. Once or twice they may have fought with members of the Eureka Emergency Committee, and may have been indirectly responsible for the collapse of that town due to the raids on their food supplies. Johnson never kept the Chinks in one place, thus staying one step ahead of his enemies.
The first winter after Doomsday was difficult for the Chinks. Even with the food raids, starvation was rampant through the camp. Almost every animal Chinks brought with them was killed for its meat and there are unconfirmed reports of cannibalism. At one point several Chink soldiers considered staging a mutiny, but Johnson (who was recovering from an illness at the time) personally killed each man, cementing his control over the Chinks.
Occupation by the Chinks
In 1984, with winter over and the die-off leaving most of Central Illinois uninhabited, Johnson led the Chinks out of the wilderness to find a more permanent headquarters. Pekin was out of the picture, a fire having destroyed most of the town. Many of the communities around were also heavily damaged and would require major reconstruction to become habitable again. Eureka, however, was still in relatively good shape due to the orderly evacuation of the town by the Eureka Emergency Committee. Eureka became a perfect candidate as the new home for the Chinks. The best homes were doled out to Johnson's most loyal followers, while Johnson himself took over Burrus Dickinson Hall as his "palace."
From there new base, the Chinks spent the years slowly consolidating there new home and searching for food. Scavengers picked apart the ruins of the communities of the Peoria area, while bands of Chink raiders attacked struggling groups of survivors forcing them into a post-Doomsday serfdom that rose throughout North America.
Nevertheless the Chinks had yet to become the threat that they would become in the future. There activities remained unnoticed throughout the 1980s due both to the lack of any strong survivor states having risen yet and Johnson's own strategy to not bite off more than he could chew. Johnson, always thinking long-term, even reoccupied the Bartonville asylum to use as a fall-back retreat in case the Chinks ever needed to abandon Eureka.
Meanwhile the Chinks continued to grow in number as survivors entered there ranks. Some were slaves, captured in raids and forced to do various labors. Others, desperate individuals and their families seeking whatever protection was available, became slaves voluntarily just to gain access to a hot meal. Some, however, became full and equal members in the Chinks. These individuals were hardened by the choices they made following Doomsday and were willing to go through the trials to join the Chinks (which ranged from carrying out the execution of a condemned slave or participating in a gladiatorial battle on the Eureka College football field).
Terror along I-74
As the 1990s began, the Chinks began to expand their area of operation. Raids by the "Mongols", the elite of the Chinks, increased across Central Illinois. Johnson's strategy, however, continued to follow his long-range plans of conserving his limited resources. Instead of raiding for slaves, which would require pulling people off of more important tasks to be overseers, Johnson ordered his Mongols to use violence and intimidation to get the struggling farming collectives that dotted much of Central Illinois to swear loyalty to the Chinks.
The plan was simple: a Mongol unit would attack a community. Anything or anyone valuable would be carried off, while everything else would be destroyed. People who were not seen as valuable were brutally murdered. The victims' bodies were left naked and impaled on a stake for everyone in the area to see (Johnson got the idea after reading a book on Vlad the Impaler). Several days after an attack, giving neighbors a chance to see what a Mongol attack was like, a Chink member would visit surrounding communities and order them to pay tribute to the Chinks or else suffer a similar attack. Most communities would immediately agree, sending food and supplies to Eureka. Johnson also demanded the children of local leaders, to ensure loyalty and providing subjects for Chink indoctrination. Thanks to this strategy, Johnson and his Chinks built a feudal empire stretching away from the decaying corpse of Peoria.
A few communities tried to resist, but most were destroyed. Refugees from these failed rebellions fled to outlying areas bringing tales of Chink cruelty. One group of refugees ran into the Illini Republic, a group not that disimilar to the Chinks. Founded by University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign fraternity and sorority members who banded together during the collapse of Urbana–Champaign. Sensing a rival for control of Central Illinois, the Inter-Fraternity Council prepared for the inevitable conflict with the Chinks.
Battles with the Illini Republic
In 1995, Johnson sent one of his lieutenants to Urbana–Champaign to establish control around the region. He returned months later, but just his head in sack and the heads of some of his soldiers. That was Johnson's first introduction to the Illini Republic. Illini forces had ambushed the Mongols sent to occupy Urbana–Champaign and slaughtered them. This was the first of a long-drawn out war between the rival gangs.
Johnson, of course, reacted strongly against this. He ordered a retaliatory raid against the Illini, which failed to reach the main headquarters of the Illini in the University of Illinois' campus. The Illini retaliated as well, but instead of attacking Eureka directly, they struck at the farming settlements nearby. This tactic weakened the Chinks position among its serfs. The serfs were kept in line not just by fear, but also by the promise of order the Chinks brought to the post-Doomsday world. By failing to defend them from the Illini, the serfs now felt that they no longer needed the Chinks. Thus Johnson spent the later years of the 1990s fighting serf revolts along with Illini raids.
By the 21st century, however, the two rival gangs would soon find a common enemy with the arrival of the representatives from the civilized world.
Clashes with Kentucky and the Quad Cities
Rumors of large, organized states around the Midwest had reached Johnson's ears, but he dismissed these rumors. Johnson assumed, wrongly, that these states were really just gangs like his, formed neo-feudal dictatorships in the wasteland of the United States. This changed when a column of armored cars from the Quad Cities Alliance moved down I-74 in 2003. Mongol forces patrolling the interstate attacked the group and were slaughtered by the better QCA forces. The QCA exploration force eventually turned around upon reaching the outskirts of Peoria, thus never discovering the Chinks base at Eureka.
Eureka had been thrown into a state of crisis with the arrival of the QCA, the aging Johnson no longer having as strong of a grip on the Chinks as he had before. Local Mongol commanders, sometimes known as Khans, who oversaw the farming settlements had gained autonomy due to the difficulties in communication. These commanders enjoyed not having to always answer to Eureka and took every opportunity they could to ignore Eureka safely. The arrival of the QCA convinced many commanders to begin to conspire against Johnson.
Johnson's biggest surprise during this, however, was the emissary he received from the Illini. Despite being bitter enemies, the Illini representative told him that he was ordered to negotiate an alliance with the Chinks. He told Johnson that the Illini have been dealing with a much larger threat to the south, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and it's ally Vandalia. Johnson, realizing that the kingdom he created was on the verge of collapse, agreed to the alliance.
Since the alliance, the Chinks and the Illini have worked together to deny Central Illinois to the more organized states surrounding it. Further expeditions by the QCA and Kentucky have not been as successful from the first QCA one in 2003. Attempts to explore the region have resulted in heavy losses, causing both nations to put restrictions on travel in the region. For the present, Johnson and his Chinks are safe for now, but if the East American Alliance or the United Communities ever decided to bring their full weight against gangs of Central Illinois, it would be the end of the neo-feudalism that has infected the region.