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Kerr is a survivor state in the former US states of North Carolina and Virginia. It has a population of roughly 7900 people, with about 800 being known as 'true citizens'. Kerr was originally a city-state known as Henderson, but has since expanded to surround Kerr Lake. Most citizens live in the northern portions of Kerr while some have chosen to live in the southern portions, which presents some threats.
Founded in 1841, Henderson was named after former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Leonard Henderson. Henderson had a population of roughly 7000 people before Doomsday while the region around Kerr Lake had 17,000 people living in the area. The city was close to Interstate 85 and U.S. 1, Highway 39. Henderson had several districts, including the historic downtown Henderson and the commercial district.
When the bombs fell, Raleigh was the closest city to Kerr that was hit. Neither the blast nor the fallout reached Henderson. However, Henderson was in the path of an interstate and a highway. Refugees from Durham fled in all directions, including to the north. Traffic began becoming clogged by nightfall. By dawn the next morning, traffic had come to a half on Interstate 85. Highway 39 became gridlocked by noon that day. By the end of the week, it became evident that the traffic jam would never improve. Some refugees remained in their car, ears pinned to the radio, making trips into Henderson for food or supplies occasionally. Others that were able attempted to leave the interstate via off-road driving. Still, others decided to abandon their cars and head into Henderson.
Meanwhile, in Henderson, riots began as people panicked over the end of the world. Mayor Leeroy Zike called for peace, though the rioting did not stop until the police were called in to remove the rioters by force. Most rioters, seeing law enforcement in action, assumed order was still in place. Nevertheless, the riots resulted in property damage and the deaths of 22 people. With order restored in Henderson, Zike attempted to remain in contact with various cities around the world. On November 5, Mayor Zike assumed that the United States had ceased to exist as a nation. He announced the creation of 'a temporary city-state of Henderson until this crisis is resolved'.
Henderson's Early Days
Zike's policy on refugees was rather lenient; his only policy on refugees abandoning their cars to live in Henderson was the 'park it' policy; if one wishes to enter the city for more than 24 hours, one must ensure his/her car is out of the way, should traffic resume. If the driver cannot possibly move his/her car to an appropriate place on the road, he/she must be ready to move the vehicle when the opportunity first arrives. This policy proved to be largely ineffective. By January, Henderson was running low on food. Hunting season proved to be less fruitful than previous seasons, resulting in hunters traveling larger and larger distances to find game. In many cases, these hunters never came back, either due to their discovery of other communities or their deaths.
In 1984, Henderson claimed 400 acres of farmland around the city. These farms, many of which had been left unattended following Doomsday, were instrumental in fighting the famine that was growing in Henderson. Sadly, as supplies returned, refugees continued entering Henderson. In order to support these refugees, Henderson claimed several miles of land along Interstate 85 in what is known as the Poplar Purchase. While much of this area was unsettled, this purchase included Vance Granville Community College's main campus. The buildings had been settled by refugees after Doomsday, but they left for other lands. With no claimants to the land, the buildings became housing for hundreds of refugees.
In late 1984, Zike enacted the Abandoned Home Policy; any home that seems abandoned must be observed for signs of habitation. Should the home seem abandoned, it may be salvaged before being marked. Before this, entering uninhabited homes was discouraged and, depending on the haul, illegal. Salvagers picked hundreds of homes clean in 1985 alone. In 1986, trade with other city-states began, namely those in Granville and Franklin counties. Oxford and Henderson especially began trading along Interstate 85. Greystone Quarry was reopened.
Northbound Expansion and Trouble=
1987 saw the expansion of Kerr borders to the north, toward Kerr Lake. In the Henderson Expansions of 1987, Henderson claimed area around Kerr Lake, including the former Kerr Lake State Recreational Area. The borders of Henderson remained steady in 1988 and 1989. By 1990, Henderson had claimed roughly half of the entire coastline of Kerr Lake. Unfortunately, trade with other survivor states resulted in the transmission of the flu. By December of 1990, the flu had reached pandemic levels.
A council was drafted that year to keep the flu down and to run the town. While the disease's progress slowed down, the disease was not stopped for some time. More districts were created to handle the large population; the Interstate district (which housed hundreds of temporary homes built on the Interstate), the rural district, and many more. Sadly, the flu picked up the pace and began steadily infecting people throughout Henderson. By 1991, 10% of the entire population had died from complications arising from this flu.
A sharp population decline in Henderson began as people left for the rural districts or suburban districts. The flu epidemic lasted for ten months before running its course and dying out that year. Henderson attempted to recover its population, though it never reached pre-pandemic levels. In 1992, much of Henderson was destroyed or damaged in the Great Henderson Fire. After the fire, much of the population of Henderson left the city for rural areas. In 1994, Henderson realized that the vast majority of the population did not live in the city of Henderson. The Henderson Council met to discuss reforming the system governing the state. The debates lasted until 1995, when the Henderson Reforms were drafted and the sovereign nation of Kerr was formed.
Early Days of Kerr
On March 21, 1995, the Kerr Constitution was drafted. Creating a government much like that of the US rather than the old city of Henderson, Kerr was governed to rule over a rather large area. As the population recovered, Kerr began to expand due to increased trade with Oxford and Roanoke Rapids. To support the population, Kerr began expanding around Kerr Lake with the purpose of having more population centers. Many miles of wilderness along with the several population centers, including Clarksville, were annexed. Kerr began an import/export system, trading lumber and granite for foodstuffs and metal. By 2000, Kerr Lake had claimed the John H. Kerr Dam. Kerr began putting its full attention toward restoring this dam. The Kerr economy skyrocketed. The Dam was operational again in 2002, restoring power to Kerr and the surrounding area.
Trade with other nations was made possible through the rivers flowing in to Kerr Lake. The most prolific of these nations occupied the former city of Roanoke Rapids.
The nation of Kerr continued to expand throughout Vance County. Expanding west through Interstate 85, Kerr encountered the city-state of Oxford, a town in former Granville county. The city-state was much like Henderson had been before the creation of Kerr. Trade with Oxford resulted in the economic success of Kerr. Seeing the prosperity in Kerr, Oxford requested to join Kerr in 2002. Kerr began the process of clearing Interstate 95 for Oxford, allowing for easier commerce through the nations.
Since the Oxford purchase, Kerr has become increasingly interested in trade and expansion. Since 2003, the cities of Creedmoor, Kittrell and Stem have all become part of Kerr. In 2010, the Raleigh Legislation was enacted, drawing a no-go zone around the radioactive ruins of Raleigh in order to prevent deaths from radiation. Kerr has been working on removing cars from the Highways and Interstates in and around the nation. Currently, expansion into Louisburg is planned, though Franklinton may be a more prospective purchase.
Trade with the other North Carolinian nations and Virginian nations continues into the 2010 decade. Roanoke Rapids has become a major trading partner, allowing Kerr to trade not only with eastern North Carolinian nations, but also with limited coastal nations. Unfortunately, trouble with Roxboro may be brewing, prompting Kerr to improve its military and prepare for a possible war.
Kerr's government is much like an average state government was before Doomsday. There is a legislative, executive, and judicial branch. The old US constitution was adopted and, thus, the state is a representative democracy. The leader of Kerr is called a President to reflect the old style of US government. If asked about the government, government officials will generally say 'temporary nation' to reflect optimism that Kerr can rejoin the US when it gets back on its feet. Still, a feeling of patriotism can be felt around the survivor state.
While there are political parties, they are much less unified than the political parties of the United States. Many governors and presidents have been unaffiliated with a political party. There are two main parties; Republicans and Democrats. 24% of the people in Kerr call themselves Republicans while 18% of Kerr call themselves Democrats. Most people in Kerr are unaffiliated.
Political parties in Kerr tend to be short lived, promoting a single politician before dissolving if the politician loses the elections or when the politician leaves office.
Kerr's currency is known as a dollar, but many markets and vendors accept bartering. Those that don't are generally selling expensive things or large things, such as houses, vehicles and large crates of food. A dollar is generally a former US dollar, though a reprint is expected for late 2014 to provide Kerr with new, redesigned bills.
64% of the people in Kerr are Caucasians, 18% are African Americans, 12% are Hispanics, 4% are Asians, and 2% are other. The male-to-female ratio is generally one-to-one, though this sometimes varies. Most people live in the southern portion of Kerr, though some have chosen to live in the 'frontier' portion, this being the northern portion of Kerr.
Over 75% of Kerrish people are Christians. 88% of those people are described as Protestants, 11% are Roman Catholic, and the other 1% describe themselves as 'other'. The non-Christian quarter is composed of 4% Judaism, 2% Muslim, 14% undecided, and 5% Atheist.
Crime in Kerr is at a moderate level. Most of this crime is stealing, which results in banishment from the city stolen from. However, assault, murder, and vandalism obviously happen. The crimes for these punishments generally involve public floggings, execution, and fine respectively. Jails exist, but the conditions are so low that criminals choose practical punishments. A code of punishments for certain crimes can be found in the Henderson court house.
Kerr is used to hardship. The food is generally minimalistic and basic. It is meant to provide long-lasting energy and nutrition. Most people in Kerr will eat crops such as corn, okra and tomato. Deer make an abundant source of meat, though venison is by no means the only meat available in Kerr. Beef, pork and poultry products can be found in Kerr as a result of plentiful livestock.
Salt and spices were once prevalent, though a salt shortage has resulted in the price of salt skyrocketing. Spices, however, are grown and added to food. Since power has been restored to Henderson and much of Kerr, refrigeration is the most common form of preservation in Kerr. Spice is generally added for flavor, making Kerrish foods much more spicy than most.
Seafood in Kerr is common due to the state being built around a lake. Fish, clams and crayfish are constantly being sold around Kerr. This seafood is fresh and healthy, a rare for post-doomsday nations not connected to an ocean.
Residents brew their own alcohol, including beer, whiskey, and rum. The alcohol is very strong, especially outsiders. Travelers from other survivor states politely describe Kerrish Alcohol as 'an acquired taste'. Kerrish alcohol companies such as Coldbrew have become popular in the North Carolina area as a 'tough man's drink'. Coldbrew Brewery is a major tourist attraction for Henderson.
The architecture in Henderson is generally very vintage, due to much of the town being built during the '40s and '50s. Refugees from Durham after Doomsday generally arrived in convoys and trucks, blocking the interstate. Today, the interstate is a jumble of makeshift homes put together by pieces of trucks, cars and wood. Those living in traditional homes have usually had to make repairs at some point, either due to the war or due to simple required maintenance. Simple homes in other parts of Kerr have been put together using concrete, wood and anything that could be found. In short, architecture in Henderson is ugly, but affordable.
Football and basketball are common games played by people in Kerr. There are two basketball teams in Kerr; the Henderson Hercules and the Kerr Lake Lakers. The football teams are the Henderson Vanguards and the Kerr City Trojans. These teams generally play against each other, though visiting teams from outside states sometimes play. The players in Henderson are very capable and athletics due to the high amount of veterans in the city.
Kerr is generally a heavily-forested flat area. Most of the area is farmland, though three cities exist; Henderson, Kerr City and Clarksville. The first two are generally traditional cities while Clarksville is a loose, agricultural community that was established as a city, but has not been built up as one yet. Rivers and lakes dot Kerr, allowing for water-based transportation to other places in the North Carolina and Virginia.
Districts and Territories
- Interstate District
- Residential District
- Commercial District
- Historic Downtown District
- Highway District
- Henderson Agricultural District (AG-01)
- Uptown Henderson
- International District
- Kerr Political District
- Shore District
- Satterwhite District
- Kerr City Commercial District
- Kerr Forest
- Kerr Agricultural District (AG-02)
- Clarksville Administrative District
- Clarksville West Agricultural District (AG-09)
- Clarksville East Agricultural District (AG-10)
- Downtown District
- Highway District
- New District