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The Incorporated State of Issaquah-Snoqualmie is a small survivor state located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in the former US state of Washington. Due to irradiated regions around Seattle, Tacoma and Bremerton separating the small Cascade towns from larger states such as Victoria and the distance to the Pasco Free State, the state is largely independent and communes regularly with other small Cascade communities not yet officially a part of Victoria or the PFS. Despite this, Victoria does not recognize the independence of Issaquah-Snoqualmie, but does not officially enforce Victorian law in the isolated community.
Incorporation of the State of Issaquah-Snoqualmie
Contact with Pasco and Present Day
Despite the Pasco Free State having been aware of a small survivor community in the west Cascades since the mid-1980's due to hearsay from refugees who had made their way east post-Doomsday, the PFS had never made a concerted effort to contact this community, and by the late 1990's, with the Spokane Wars over and control of south-central Washington complete, the Free State leadership had assumed that the survivors in the Snoqualmie valley had all starved to death. However, an expedition in late 2004 to cross the Cascades, the same Trans-Cascade Expedition which helped establish Ellensburg as a PFS enclave and which came into contact with Leavenworth, came into contact with an Issaquah-Snoqualmie patrol in Cle Elum, and over the next three years, much more formal contact was established between these two states.
Through Pasco, Issaquah-Snoqualmie made nominal contact with Victoria starting in late 2008 and early 2009, and Issaquah-Snoqualmie experienced its first-ever international incident when a skirmish between a Victorian trade convoy seeking to head down the 203 to scout out I-90 for commerce purposes and an Issaquah-Snoqualmie patrol in Duvall resulted in three deaths and six injuries. Since the Duvall Incident, Victoria has continued to claim Issaquah-Snoqualmie as falling within its territory, but has made no effort to enforce this claim.
Issaquah-Snoqualmie's jurisdiction stretches from the west shore of Lake Sammamish, which once constituted the city of Bellevue, and includes Lake Sammamish and its southern, northern and eastern shores. The city of Issaquah is located at the southeast corner of the lake, and is the largest settlement within the state. Immediately north of the city of Issaquah is the area referred to as the Sammamish Plateau, which was a growing suburban region prior to Doomsday and became home to many refugees fleeing from Seattle and, to a lesser extent, Bellevue.
Issaquah itself is surrounded on three sides by large mountains - Cougar to the west, Squak to the south, and Tiger to the southeast. This ring of mountains, known colloquially as the Issaquah Alps, are credited in the region with helping protect Issaquah and nearby communities from destruction on Doomsday by absorbing much of the shock wave from the nuclear weapon that exploded over Seattle. South of Tiger mountain is the community of Hobart, which is Issaquah-Snoqualmie's southernmost settlement, which serves as an outpost for people streaming in from southern King County's survivor regions on the outskirts of the blast zone. There has been an effort to establish contact with the survivor communities in Black Diamond and Enumclaw since the early 2000's, but neither community has been allowed to be incorporated into Issaquah-Snoqualmie in referenda in 2008 and 2011.
The backbone of Issaquah's economy lies in the Snoqualmie River valley, with major settlements at the city of Snoqualmie, North Bend, Fall City and Duvall, and with smaller communities in Carnation, Preston, and in the Cottage Lake region west of Duvall. Like Issaquah, highlands to the east of the former city of Redmond protected the Snoqualmie Valley from the main blast at Seattle. The State Route 203 runs along the river from Fall City to Duvall and is the second-most important road to the State of Issaquah-Snoqualmie after the I-90, and the leadership spent years securing this arterial.
East of North Bend, Issaquah-Snoqualmie exerts control over a narrow strip of territory in the Snoqualmie Pass, through which I-90 runs. In the Cascade Mountains, the state maintains a major outpost at the former ski resort at the Summit, which is the pass's high point, and which traditionally served as the easternmost border for Issaquah-Snoqualmie. Following a resolution in 2001 to annex the towns of Roslyn, Hyak, Ronald and Cle Elum, Issaquah-Snoqualmie's easternmost outpost became the Cle Elum Regional Airfield, which allowed Issaquah-Snoqualmie access to a nominal air force of four DeHavilland Beaver planes used to fly patrols over the mountain pass. In 2009, Issaquah-Snoqualmie officially made Cle Elum the eastern border by agreeing to a compact with the Pasco Free State to not expand any further eastwards.
The city of Monroe, which lies directly north of Duvall on the 203, is under the control of Victoria and, while not a point of focus for the Victorian government, will likely emerge as the jumping-point for increased contact between Victoria and Issaquah-Snoqualmie and commerce through this town down the 203 could eventually encourage Issaquah-Snoqualmie to join Victoria by 2020.
The population of Issaquah-Snoqualmie, as of the 2008 census, was 25,865. In 2008, the largest city was Issaquah with a population of 6,344, followed by Snoqualmie (3380) and North Bend (2,789). The ethnic makeup of Issaquah-Snoqualmie is mostly white, although a high number of African-American refugees from Seattle settled in the area post-Doomsday. About half of the state's population lives in the three largest towns, while the other half lives in rural areas. 94% of residents are Christian, while about 2% described themselves as Jewish and 4% did not identify with any single religion.
Government and Politics
Issaquah-Snoqualmie has a democratic system of government headquartered in the city of Issaquah, in the old Issaquah Junior High School structure, which was retasked for the new purposes. The survivor state has a unicameral legislature composed of representatives sent from every town within the nation-state. As of 2013, each recognized township sends two representatives to the Issaquah-Snoqualmie Council. This has caused arguments, in particular in more heavily-populated Issaquah, which is where most refugee settlements are located, that Issaquah interests are undercut by townships in the mountains.
The Council is overseen by a separate executive, the Governor of Issaquah-Snoqualmie, who is elected by direct ballot every four years. Due to the heavier populations of places such as Issaquah, Duvall and Snoqualmie, the Governor usually hails from one of these locations. For most of Issaquah-Snoqualmie's brief history, the political scene of the town has seen the larger town Governor pitted against the rural interests that dominate the Council.
Due to its small size, Issaquah-Snoqualmie does not have a traditional military, instead operating a militia called the Incorporated State Volunteer Force. Comprised of about 800 members, the ISVF maintains the three main border outposts of Issaquah-Snoqualmie (Cle Elum, Hobart, and Duvall) as well as multiple smaller garrisons throughout the valley and at the Cottage Lake outpost. The ISVF served as Issaquah-Snoqualmie's police force until 1998, when a dedicated State Sheriff's Office was devolved and formed specifically for policing purposes.
The ISVF uses primarily handguns and hunting rifles for weaponry due to a lack of more sophisticated technology post-Doomsday, although scavengers have come across the occasional machine gun. In 2010, the ISVF finalized the first weapons purchase in history from the Pasco Free State, thus significantly updating its arsenal amid growing fears of a Victorian invasion. The ISVF also maintains a nominal air force, which as of 2011 includes twelve propeller aircraft, three of which are floaters launched from Lake Sammamish which can land in the Snoqualmie River and on lakes in the Cascades. The majority of these planes are kept at Cle Elum Airfield, although an airfield east of Duvall was established in 2007. In case of an emergency, most towns in the Incorporated State also have a local volunteer contingent that can be rallied to fend of bandits or similar threats, as many people in Issaquah-Snoqualmie own guns due to hunting opportunities in the region.
Pasco Free State
Issaquah-Snoqualmie's location at the western end of the old I-90 corridor that ran through Washington state made it a starting point for refugees from the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area who fled east after the attacks, and as thus its survival was well-known to Pasco due to refugees who made it to the Yakima and Columbia valleys safely. Despite efforts in the mid-to-late 2000's to integrate Issaquah-Snoqualmie into the Pasco Free State, the PFS as of 2011 recognizes Issaquah-Snoqualmie and multiple other communities in the west-central Cascades as independent, due to a 2009 agreement establishing Issaquah-Snoqualmie's easternmost border as being located at Cle Elum, while Pasco Free State would extend no further west than Thorp, and the fifteen miles in between would belong to neither state, in large part due to its uninhabitance.
The state of Issaquah-Snoqualmie is not traditionally recognized by Victoria, which claims that its territory falls within its own jurisdiction as it lies west of the Cascade Mountains. However, Issaquah-Snoqualmie's isolated location and the difficulties associated with crossing the radioactive remains of the greater Seattle area has significantly diminished Victoria's ability to enforce its law in Issaquah and, to an ever lesser extent, in Snoqualmie.
Furthermore, while Victoria does not officially recognize the independent local government in Issaquah-Snoqualmie, since 2009 there has been no major effort by Victoria's government to enforce its direct power in Issaquah-Snoqualmie, despite advances in abilities to reach the survivor state by air. Issaquah-Snoqualmie, upon making contact with Victoria in 2009, has generally accepted Victoria as its military custodian, and despite this unspoken arrangement, the Birch government in Victoria has not made any significant efforts to reconcile the western Cascade foothills with the rest of its mainland territory due largely, again, to the difficulty of establishing a safe land route through devastated Seattle and Tacoma.
As of 2011, Issaquah-Snoqualmie and its surrounding client communities in the Cascades are regarded as a protectorate of Victoria by most nations.