The Wabash Union is a survivor state in the central region of the former state of Indiana. It is named for the Wabash River around which it is based.
The city of Lafayette, and surrounding Tippecanoe County, survived Doomsday fairly well. However, the state government was decapitated in the destruction of Indianapolis, and, coupled with the flood of refugees coming from Chicago, Indianapolis, and Gary, the state soon fell into anarchy. In the immediate aftermath of Doomsday, the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette united into one city for mutual interests such as protection and the safety of Purdue University and its students. On April 8th, 1984, the city leaders drafted two resolutions: a provisional declaration of independence and a resolution to explore the neighboring parts of the former state. The state was first known as the Lafayette Union, because of the two cities that comprised it. However, as their control extended to Shadeland, Battle Ground, Dayton, and then the rest of Tippecanoe County, it eventually came to be called the Tippecanoe Union.
Scouts from Lafayette first began traveling down the Wabash River in May of 1988, after the immediate area had been fully secured, and threats had been eliminated, one way or another. After discovering small surviving cities along the banks of the river in neighboring Fountain and Carroll Counties, the union started negotiations with these towns. On July 25th, 1989, the cities of Attica and Delphi reached an agreement and joined the union. On the same day, the union's leaders changed its name into the Federal Union of the Wabash, now that control had been established on parts of the river. The Wabash Union adopted a style of government similar to that of the former United States, with a federal government leading the country on national matters, while its subdivisions, the counties, handled executive, legislative, and judicial matters on their level.
Now that control along the nearby parts of the river had been secured, Wabash explorers began venturing deeper into the interior. Control over the rest of Fountain and Carroll Counties was consolidated throughout the rest of the year, and Williamsport was admitted into the union on September 19, 1990. The town would be used to stage exploration and recovery efforts into Warren County. Monticello, in White County, joined the Union on December 1st of the same year.
During a one-year period to consolidate the territories gained peacefully by the Union, nomadic clans passing through the territory were asked by scouts for information regarding the areas which they had passed through. One particular clan, the "Rico" clan, reported encountering a group of well-armed soldiers, one of which had taken the virginity of the Chief's daughter, which resulted in a firefight over the now-disowned daughter and the soldier who fell in love with her. After the nomads left, Wabash's leaders considered both trying to contact the "roving soldiers," and also to fortify its northern towns to prepare for the possibility of attack.
On the night of January 3rd, 1993, a group of 50 raiders descended upon the town of Norway, Indiana. The raiders quickly overpowered the guards outside the town's food cache, from which they immediately began to steal. A pair of Wabashite police officers on patrol saw what happened though, and they immediately raised an alarm. Now that the people had been alerted to their presence, the raiders fired at the hastily assembled police-civilian volunteer force trying to seal off the cache. After fifteen minutes, one of the raiders set fire to the cache, providing a distraction while the rest escaped. A bucket brigade was established to douse the flames, but it took at least two hours before the last flames were extinguished. Wabash lost 15 civilians and police officers, as well as a ton of food due to theft and the fire; while ten raiders were killed, and two were captured. Another raider was also found, but he succumbed to his injuries before authorities were able to question him.
Under interrogation, the two raiders revealed that their group regularly attacked towns in White County such as Monon and Reynolds, but they refused to divulge the location of their headquarters. Nevertheless, Wabash began sending out armed patrols in the area around Monticello and Norway. These patrols discovered that the citizens of Monon and Reynolds had been living in a constant state of fear since the summer of 1986, when the bandits first attacked their towns. The leaders of these towns agreed to the Wabashite offer of protection in exchange for possible absorption into the Union at a later time.
Two groups of raiders descended upon Monon on January 15th. The 250-strong force tasked to defend the town fought back valiantly, but the raiders still incurred a good deal of casualties. When the raiders finally retreated with the coming dawn, thirty-seven Wabashites were dead, as well as fifty-nine raiders. Six raiders were captured for interrogation, while three Wabashites were reported missing. Under interrogation, one of the raiders revealed that they were staging their attacks out of the town of Buffalo.
Wabash organized a force of 1,000 men in Monticello, to attack Buffalo, which they thought of as the raider's main base. The force set off on January 29 and arrived on February 4. Against them were an estimated 500 raiders in their home turf, fighting for their home. The battle lasted for three days. Both sides lost about 300 men, and Wabashite troops captured forty-nine raiders. Only much later on and after thorough interrogation did they find out that Buffalo was not the raiders' main base; rather, it was just a "forward operating base" for the raiders, whose true headquarters were the city of Valparaiso. The Valparaiso raiders would continue to be a nuisance to the Wabash Union for many years to come.
Wabash's attack on Buffalo marked the beginning of its period of "forced incorporation", in which towns suspected of harboring bandits and/or raiders were attacked and forcibly incorporated into the Wabash Union, without the consent of the inhabitants. Although many Wabashites now look back at this time as "one of the darkest moments in our history after Doomsday", they still think that that stage was a crucial part in determining Wabash's future as a survivor state.
The Wabash Union had very little contact with neighboring survivor states during the first years of its existence. Some citizens believed that society had somewhat broken down into small survivor communities, although there were definitely large groups of nomads and raiders. There were even rumors that the United States government had survived in some form outside of the US itself. The Wabash Union's overall first contact with another survivor state was with Bloomington, when ham radio operators managed to get in touch with other operators in the southern Indiana state in 1993.
Wabash's first contact with a large, stable survivor state was with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which entered Wabashite territory sometime in 1996. Some Wabashites were thrilled to have a large survivor state nearby, but most were focused on the fact that much of the rest of the world had not been destroyed by the nuclear war, but they were all saddened to learn that the provisional United States government in Australia had dissolved itself. The Wabash Union, already a de facto independent state, formalized their independence by signing a document declaring the Wabash Union totally free and independent of the United States, and any other state established to succeed it.
At about the same time as Kentucky came in contact with the Wabash, the Wabashites were planning to send expeditions into neighboring Illinois to search for other survivor states which the Wabash Union could ally with. Two groups of explorers left Williamsport for Illinois on August 4th and 9th, 1996, respectively.
The first group were told by nomads and small groups of survivors that there was a possible state over in the location of Eastern Illinois University. The explorers decided it would be a good place to look, as the Wabash Union had been established to protect another such institution, Purdue University. The second group was similarly lucky, or at least they thought they were. Nomads and survivor communities told them that there could be another state in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but they were warned that brigands and raiders were marauding the length of I-74.
The first group arrived in Charleston, Illinois two weeks after their departure from the Wabash. The explorers were able to establish a rapport with the leaders of Charleston, and they promised to formally establish relations with the Wabash as soon as they could. The first group of explorers continued southwest after staying in Charleston for ten days.
The second group was not so lucky. As they entered the area of Urbana-Champaign, they came under fire from unknown sources. Although they had expected bandits in their travels and had armed up for that purpose, they were caught in a disadvantageous position and it took three hours and fifty-eight casualties before the second group managed to escape the area, and as they fled, they heard one of their attackers shout: "No one messes with the Illini Republic!" After sending some men back to Lafayette to report the situation, the leaders of the expedition decided to turn north and explore the ruins of Chicago.
The first group arrived at the borders of Vandalia on September 5. Their reception there was similar to the one they received in Charleston, and they stayed in town for a lot longer - seventeen days. During that time they toured around the state, visiting its constituent counties and meeting with the locals. Before they left, the Vandalians also promised to establish formal relations with the Wabash Union as soon as possible. The first group of explorers set off back to Lafayette to report a very successful mission.
The second group arrived in the ruins of Chicago five days after the first group arrived in Vandalia. Under the assumption that the radiation levels in the ruins were still deadly, the explorers only loitered in the extreme outskirts for a few hours, grabbed a few artifacts and souvenirs, and turned back for Lafayette.
The New Millennium
The Wabash Union entered the new millennium with the entry of Benton and Clinton Counties into the Union. It had good relations with its neighboring states, with Kentucky, Charleston and Vandalia establishing embassies in Lafayette. Unfortunately, the Valparaiso raiders were still causing problems along the northern borders. The Wabash Armed Forces, assisted by the Kentuckians to some extent, were mostly able to keep them from causing much harm to the Union itself, but the northern communities of the Wabash were being attacked by the Valparaiso raiders.
Meanwhile, another group of explorers, this time numbering one thousand, was sent back up north to see if there were more states up in Wisconsin and/or Michigan. They skirted bandit-held territory, and after a month-long journey, they entered the abandoned city of Sheboygan, in Wisconsin. They found only small, disorganized groups of survivors trying to eke out a living in the area, but they did tell the explorers that they had heard of a powerful country to their north. They were directed to Green Bay, which turned out to be a slightly bustling city in what was then Kewaunee Territory in the Republic of Superior.
The government of the Wabash Union is a successor to the pre-Doomsday state government of Indiana. There is no country or state government. Each community runs their own affairs. The legislature has one representative from each city-state, who are elected directly by their constituents. The Governor is the chief executive of the nation, and may not serve more than two terms. The Lieutenant Governor serves as a successor to the governorship if the governor dies in office, becomes permanently incapacitated, resigns or is impeached.
The pre-Doomsday Republican and Democrat parties still exist in Wabash politics. However, new, small political parties have begun breaking onto the scene. Examples of these parties are the Liberal Party, the Nationalist Party, the Labor Party, the Conservative Party, the Social Democratic Party, and the Alliance for the Union's Expansion. The more decentralized nature of the Wabashite government allows local movements to gain greater prominence than they could ever have achieved in the pre-Doomsday government.
The military consists of remnants of the Indiana Army National Guard and the Indiana Air National Guard which managed to make it to Lafayette safely. The Wabash Army is based at the brand-new Fort Orr, located in the abandoned town of Glen Hall, which was named for the last Governor of Indiana (who was killed in Doomsday). The Air Force is also based at Fort Orr, which has two runways for the few planes which they still operate. The Wabash Navy consists of seven Virginian-supplied river monitors and armed riverboats which patrol the Wabash River regularly. The Wabash Army is armed with Virginian-supplied M14 rifles. The Wabash Air Force used the planes the pre-Doomsday Air National Guard used, but because fuel stocks are low, only a few light planes used for observation and reconnaissance are being kept, and the others are being used for spare parts.
Agriculture is an important industry in Indiana, which is part of the Corn Belt. Some farm products produced are: corn, wheat, oats, hay, and soybeans. Livestock production includes: cattle, hogs, poultry, and sheep. Corn is the leading crop grown in Indiana.
The Wabash Union is currently the wealthiest survivor state in the former state of Indiana. They have the best standard of living in the former state. They are a rare example of an early 20th century standard of living. Thanks to access to Kentucky's oil deposits, they are one of the few states to have cars and trucks running on the streets. However, the sight of a gasoline-powered car is still rare. Most of the cars on the streets have been modified to be turned into horse-drawn buggies.