In the heyday of Unionist ambition, Ottawa was seen as a healthy appropriation to make: whether through friendship or force, it was determined, the E.F.S. would expand northwards to gain a foothold on the Maple Syrup Road and the various treasures of the northerly stedding. Unfortunately for national ambitions the bloody toll enacted had a stifling effect: popular support for violent territorial expansion plummeted after the annexation of Ottawa.
The latest addition to the family--and the least willing to join. War crimes committed in the name of unity gave a wake up call to the civilian populace after the GIs came home with stories of hundreds of people trapped in boiling tunnels beneath thundering artillery fire. War photography was prohibited on “intelligence” grounds but what images surfaced showed the corpses of children fried by fuel bombs, giving the lie to the idea of a gentle conquest or fair fighting.
The EFS has changed much since then, or so the Ottawan politicians who have charted its course for decades would like to believe. The elites of Ottawan society have embedded themselves deeply within the federal structure in Washington, but far to the north the Ottawans still live out their lives much as they did before.
Generally speaking Ottawans prefer to vote Populist due to their historical opposition to the annexation, but younger Ottawans are increasingly willing to side with the Unionists--a distressing sign to the older generations. They generally advocate a kinder-gentler tac for North American unification.
The Ottawan Caucus is a collection of all Ottawan politicians in Washington regardless of party affiliation that advocates for Ottawan causes, and between them there is too much clout to be trifled with by anyone without a political, or literal, death wish.
The surrounding countryside is uninhabitable, below freezing for most of the year amidst erratic blizzards and sudden thaw floods spurred by heat spikes. The only reason Ottawa is habitable is because of the Stack. Every city along the Maple Syrup road has one, embedded in the ground and pulsing with heat and power. Over the course of the Lost Age, Ottawa’s forebears maintained the Stack and extended its heating glow block by block. The Great Thawing of the Ottawa River is usually considered the turning point when Ottawa went from surviving to thriving.
Life is largely relegated to the renovated interiors of ancient Ottawan buildings, particularly their lower floors and sublevels. While the Stack has the capacity to heat several skyscrapers at once it would be far more taxing and less efficient than the present ground sprawl. As such expansion that isn’t outwards through existing sublevels are normally digging new tunnels.
The taller buildings are still inhabited sparsely by illegal operations and those without the means to live elsewhere. Housing is generally provided by your job, which encourages small efficient families who learn their parents’ trades. For the elite there is a robust education system spanning back centuries to impart old knowledge, but innovations born of something other than necessity are a fairly modern luxury at the University.
A long line of Ottawan Separatists is approaching the end of their rope. A generational struggle has turned into a lost cause, and the freedom fighters who once enjoyed overwhelming popular support from native Ottawans have made the transition to terrorists in their eyes over the course of the past decade. They mostly live in old Ottawan Exclaves, but now mostly look to their own survival and compete with Scavs and Industroos for resources.
Industroos are entirely their own issue. Suffice to say technology and civilization were not the only way to survive the Frozen North--but if you meet the other guys you probably won’t live to tell the tale. The Industroos migrate betwixt long forgotten tunnels and caverns, stalking the snowy night and scavenging or stealing for whatever they like. Incidents were rare before Scav tourism took off, but ever since the E.F.S. boys been flowing north, their ravenous search for a get-rich quick cache seems to have put the Industroo tribes on the offensive. Not much is known about their internal organization, if there is any, but Industroos work in small units and have a take-no-prisoners approach to spotting other Scavs.
Ottawa’s main squeeze is technology, but their side business is indisputably tourism. This little glowing gem is one of the few safe havens to strike out into the bountiful lost complexes of the frozen north from. Scavs operating out of and through Ottawa are a dime a dozen, and are usually forced surface side unless they can pay rent. The less prepared will freeze to death, but usually they find the illicit operations in the higher floors of buildings. Here they forge uneasy alliances with the Ottawan Overcity’s criminal hierarchy--warmth and a place to stay for information and first dibs on the loot they drag back from their expeditions north.
Most of the sustenance in Ottawa comes from a mix of hydroponics and a special “meat farm” not much is known about near the Stack. Nobody who doesn’t Need to Know gets anywhere near the Stack’s primary conduit.
Passing familiarity with computing is a bit more common in Ottawa, due to the number of consoles and networks brought back online as the Ottawans slowly reclaim their ancient city. Anything more than superficial surface knowledge is rare, though, because most common folk find the ability to cut and route power far more useful than the ability to poke about on a console that’s simply going to inform you a door cannot open and there’s no network connectivity.
Akroydiesel derricks have a harder time piercing the earth further from the stack, and few parts of the city are good for drilling. This has rendered Ottawa quite hard on fuel and fertilizer, honing their trade skills and energy efficiency to a razor tip.