Buffalo is the junction of the Northern 11, its roads playing host to massive amounts of overland traffic. They squat on the border of Nu York waiting the day they will subsume it and ascend to their rightful place as jewel of the E.F.S. Or so the story goes. Buffalo is mostly forgotten ruins, dumping grounds, and collapsed structures.
Between the byways of the land vast swaths of unlooted facilities call out to those seeking easy fortunes. The state’s penchant for licensing looting rights has given rise to salvaging towns that mostly export broken glass and shattered dreams, with barely some scrap metal to show for it. The reality is that most things of value are either hidden too well to be gotten by these salvagers or were taken long ago. Still they come far and wide, else give up where they were going to in favour of a life salvaging when they stop here along the road.
Buffalo’s political climate is tense. They lobbied hard for the sanctions against NYC that led up to the siege, and if it hurts the E.F.S. the state will certainly be blamed. However if success is had the profit will be immense. Almost all state resources have been organized towards assisting the E.F.S. military logistics, and the rest has been forcibly acquisitioned for same already. With the State Guard assisting the siege lines, law and order have grown in low supply along Buffalo’s busy roadways.
Some legislators believe that if they can institute a state level tax on the sale of diesel, something they’d long eschewed to cultivate the overland trade routes they profit from, they can turn around the flagging economy--at least until the Big Apple’s rolled over by the Army. The Capital Party has mobilized their agitators against this in force, the Populists are in favour and the Unionists are too busy pining for control of New York to care.
Burning rubber around Buffalo reveals a cycle of aspiration and despair. The folks of Buffalo want only to live the Seaboard dream and live life to its fullest, enjoying all the appertaining joys and duties. However the hard economic reality has sent a generation of youths seeking something other than their parents simple mantra of production and service in the name of economic subsistence.
Greasers and motorheads, bikers and deviants, every kind of road hog and more types of automotive enthusiast then previously catalogued have risen to fill the gap. Car culture is fueled by wily locals retooling trash into roadbound treasure, the plentiful influx of diesel making less efficient engines more palatable. There’s even rumours of a few prototype Akroy-diesel mixers homebrewed by those afflicted by this “motor madness,” but none who can speak to the veracity of these claims do so one way or the other. The tech backing the E.F.S. Light Lance program in the hands of non-state actors is bad news for a lot of folks, but a good chance for profit too--Bushwhackers have taken an appropriate level of notice in the activities of these riders.
Now tensions are coming to a head. Feds, corps, and out of state criminal organizations all looking to get their hands on the godsent motor that can boost to over half again its output with the right injection of oxygen and Akroy have flooded the state and put the motorheads on the defensive. Maybe the legend is as real as the get-rich quick finds that every schlub from the scav towns seems to believe they’ve got, but real blood is gonna be spilled either way before this is done.
The cultural and technological renaissance of Buffalo has been noted by youths across the country, and observers say it may be the start of a movement. The starched shirts in Washington hope it is not so--they need a cooperative Military Aged generation if they are to keep their current pace of warfighting.
Buffalo’s roads towns sprung up to meet the demands of weary travelers and lucrative wanderers, but now prop up the state’s economy in the wake of their ancient systems that ran the financial sector
Diesel, cattle, apples, and grapes are the staple products of the Buffalo economy. Of course one might say that service is also a primary output, but without food and fuel to keep the road town’s gas stations going and energy to keep the lights on there’d be no reason to stop.
Not all the folks of the road are rebellious youths. Young and old alike, some turn to violence for sport or profit. The decreased presence of the State Guard on the roads makes them an ever growing battlefield for (dis)organized crime. Caravans are having to get better armed, and this means when some of them fall their armaments are inherited by the ruffians they failed to kill. This cycle has gone on long enough to produce a sharp rise in the average arsenal of Buffalo’s Highwaymen.
Those seeking their fortune in the scrap heap had best heed the warnings of those who have gone before. The wildlife of Buffalo has adapted to living in its refuse, and they stalk as well in corn fields as the concrete tunnels. Some are harmless, others subsist wholly on the internal organs of human beings. There’s not much to be done but sleep with a loaded gun and one eye open--or better yet, just drive on through. The road will take you many places from Buffalo, so why stop there?