Alternate History

Springfield, Missouri (1983: Doomsday)

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Location of Springfield.svg

Location of Springfield in Missouri

Springfield is a city in southern Missouri which has been run by crime bosses since shortly after September 25, 1983. It was spared destruction, becoming the northernmost city north on I-44. Known for mercenaries and homegrown drugs (most notably marijuana), its existence kept Joplin explorers from venturing north toward Kentucky for years. The collapse of the city and Greene county governments was swift with no records as to what happened.


Southern Missouri was home to a tribe of Kickapoo, and after the territory was formed became home by treaty to resettled Delaware tribes as well. After Missouri became a state in 1821, the area covering most of the southern part was named Greene county in honor of Revolutionary hero Nathaniel Greene. The city of Springfield was most likely named for Springfield, Tennessee, but may have been named after the Massachusetts town by the same name.

Strategically on the road west, first railroads and then highways passed through Springfield on the way from Chicago to the west coast. Violence marked two eras within the period between the Civil War and World War I. The "Wild West" began there in 1865 with the shootout between "Wild" Bill Hickok and Davis Tutt. Hickok put a bullet through Tutt's heart from 75 yards away using a handgun. The feat made him famous. In 1906, a dark period of segregation and racial strife came to a head when a large lynch mob broke into the jail and publicly hung, and then burned, three black men accused of rape and murder. Evidence seems to indicate that all three were innocent.This caused an exodus of blacks from the town that in 1980 had only about 3% African American.

Doomsday and Aftermath

The city's population in 1983 was around 135,000, in a metropolitan area of around 400,000. Such a large population, though was paralyzed when the northern horizon began to glow and the ground shake from hundreds of ground bursts of megatonage nuclear fury. Power was gone, and so was communication. Up Interstate 44 the military base known as Ft. Leonard Wood was reduced to cinders as well. The city began to swell within days with refugees from adjacent counties within the glow of the nuclear conflagration. On October 1, 1983, Lt. Gov. Ken Rothman arrived with what could only be described as a desperate band of bureaucrats. Surviving accounts, recovered only recently, recount how Rothman claimed that his "team" had separated from a much larger group "just in case" Gov. Chip Bond did not make it to safety. Conflicting reports indicate that an attempt was made to set up a provisional state government. The attempt failed, however, when corrupt officials within the Greene County government took over city hall. In riots over food supplies during the latter part of November, Rothman was killed. Rumors abounded that it was by some of his own staff.

By the end of the summer of 1984, not one of the elected officials of Springfield or Greene County was alive. Only a few of Rothman's staff had escaped to Joplin to tell the stories of ruthless gangs taking over and restoring "order" at a price. Most of the surviving citizens of Greene County - estimated at around 200,000 at the time - had been happy to see order restored. Anyone who crossed the "bosses," though, would simply "disappear." The fields around the town grew an ample supply of grain, fruit and vegetables. Villages and towns within the county each had "elected" officials that were in affect chosen before hand by the syndicate bosses. These leaders assured compliance by providing "security" and directing distribution of goods produced.

When visited by officials and travelers from Joplin, the city leaders were always aware due to a system of watchmen on all the roads in and out of the county. Great care was made to assure a positive impression, but no one was ever allowed to pass through the county to points beyond. Tales of the horrors found at Ft. Leonard Wood and beyond usually sent visitors back thankful that they were survivors.

Present Day


The government of the Greene County has been consolidated with that of Springfield. Therefore the Mayor is the commander-in-chief of the government and its security forces (police). The mayor is supported by the Counsel of hand-picked candidates that are placed up for election (non-partisan, but with at least a few more candidates than slots).


All radio and television signals that enter the bounds of the city-state are closely monitored. The radio services that are available are limited in bandwidth so as to keep signals within the controlled limits as well. All Newspapers are state-owned and guarded for content as well. There is no television broadcasting.

Periodic purges of the occasional pirate radio operations, as well as underground newspapers, keep the control of information in line with the official policies of the Administration.


With facilities left from days before Doomsday, Springfield prides itself in its healthcare programs that assure jobs to one in five Springfielders. With such an extensive program, the government has provided total care to all citizens for over two decades. Generous incentive packages have created high-demand jobs in the government, ran efficiently by the appointed City-Manager, a sector that rivals the health care industry at 18% of the workforce.

Factories within the city-state have been converted to process the ample produce in the farms that have reclaimed much of the forests within the county. Some factories also produce pharmaceuticals and household goods (such as stoves and refrigerators). The designs are considered retrograde by many, but the standards in place in the early twentieth century have proved sufficient for one of the better standards of living in North America.

International Relations

Due to its history of authoritarian government, Springfield has been by choice isolationist. Any visitors from outside the county are carefully monitored and sent away without incident. It is understood by any who come that way that there is no interest in official relations with the outside.

200px-Springfield, Missouri skyline, lightning

Lightning over Springfield

On May 23, 2011, however, events beyond human control complicated things greatly. The day before, a thunderstorm that had pounded Springfield with

several inches of rain and hail had not been kind to the neighboring city-state of Joplin. A tornado of severe strength had literally torn Joplin in two. The deaths were still be tabulated over two months later. Survivors of this catastrophe had naturally made their way to Springfield when no answer by way of radio (see Media above). Even the hardest hearted administrator could not avoid the obvious. With rebellion always a possibility, care had to be maintained to keep the population tranquil. The natural compassion of the masses had demanded action.

Since Springsfield was not the only power to be approached for help, nor the only one to offer such aid, official relations with governments in Arkansas, Missouri and Kentucky were started by the end of May, 2011. While the media and government of Springfield made it clear that they would have no interference with their internal affairs, they nonetheless grudgingly agreed to official contacts via Springfield's own messenger services.

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