- "Flushtown. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We should be careful."
- ―One Wastelander to another, moments before being stabbed in the street.
|Location:||Queens, New York|
Before the Great War, the area that is now Flushtown was a busy and bustling area of Queens, New York. Straddling the Flushing and Corona neighborhoods of the borough, the region was one of the most ethnically diverse in Queens, itself the most ethnically diverse in New York, the most ethnically diverse cities in the country. Among the many groups living in the region, the area was home to one of the largest concentration of Chinese immigrants in the country and when tensions between China and the United States began heating up in 2066, the local population had to deal with the blowback.
In the very first session of Congress in 2067, U.S. politicians voted to round up and confine all Chinese resident aliens and many Chinese-Americans in internment camps located all across the country. Non-Chinese residents and businessmen in Flushing and Corona were bought out, and the three square mile area was converted into a large camp. The general public by and large is fine with the move, and for the next ten years, life goes on in the city, and in the internment camp.
In 2077, the Flushing/Corona Relocation Town began taking in non-Chinese prisoners as well, in response to the riots breaking out across New York, and across the country, in response to food and fuel shortages. The camps became more crowded and conditions worsened, but ultimately it would not matter, as nuclear devastation fell from the sky later that year. The camp itself was not targeted, but nearby LaGuardia Airport was. The missile heading for the airport missed its target slightly, detonating in Flushing Bay instead. Northern Queens was spared from complete evaporation, and was just leveled instead.
In the aftermath of the catastrophe, life slowly went on. The U.S. Army claimed martial law after the attack- though in reality, their initial claims were just as valid as anyone else’s, as the fires and nuclear fallout made anything but underground bunkers and similar structures unlivable for months afterwards. When the outside world did became inhabitable again, though, the U.S. Army asserted their control, and because they had the most guns, were able to back up their claim.
At first, the military personnel believed that society as they knew it would go on, and they went about doing what they could to rebuild the area. As the days turned into months, and the months turned into years, however, it became apparent that things would never go back to the way they were. When he realized this, Major Dominic Smart, the highest-ranking field officer in charge, transformed from a harsh-but-reasonable man into a tyrant. Where he had justified taking extreme matters in the past as doing what needed to be done to preserve society, he now did what he wanted because he could. By and large, his fellow soldiers went along with his whims, but this grated the civilians and some servicemen.
From 2090 to 2115, Major Smart ruled over Flushing/Corona Relocation Town, which became shortened to Flushtown. In 2115, a mutiny led by a handful of junior officers led by one Captain Lee Chapman seized control and dispatched Smart. Though Smart had been disliked by many because of his authoritarian tendencies, he did what the community needed to stay alive. Neither Chapman nor any of those who participated in the revolt had his decisiveness nor his lack of morals. As a result, the community began bleeding, hurt by insubordination, petty squabbles, and other internal issues.
Chapman himself was removed from power in 2125, and for nearly the next sixty years, the reigns of power would be held by various faceless servicemen, each one as wishy-washy and generic as the next. The growing community was further scarred, and a growing sentiment among civilians believed that they’d all be better off on their own, without the remnants of the U.S. Army lording over them. Individuals were able to smuggle themselves out of the secure settlement and make contact with local Wastelanders without getting themselves killed. They were able to get one local raider group, the Briarwood Boys, to go along with their plan: In exchange for killing the U.S. Army vestiges and giving the civilians of Flushtown their freedom, the raiders would get to keep whatever weapons, armors, and vehicles that the servicemen had. The attack went down in 2185, with Flushtown civilians distracting the army and the Briarwood Boys taking them out.
For almost the next century, the people of Flushtown and the nearby raiders had an informal agreement. Though Flushtown was fairly secure, having been built up and surrounded by walls and rivers, they had few weapons and had little fighting experience. In exchange for protection, and amnesty for traders to safely come and go, they would pay taxes and other kinds of materials as tribute to the raiders. The balance of power in the ruins of Queens changed at the turn of the 23rd Century, when Connor McTaggart and his forces emerged from their secure underground bunker, and as a result, the raiders reneged on the agreement. They needed a safe haven, as the newly established Principality of Queensland was expanding and killing those that opposed them, so they forcibly thrust themselves upon Flushtown, turning an already seedy and on-the-edge settlement into a dump.
When the National Pleasure League was founded in 2221, Flushtown was one of the areas that lent their support to the alliance of scum. With their location right on Flushing Bay and access to the East River, Flushtown made a killing in the drug and chem trade. When the Principality of Queensland and the Federal Republic of Libeteria began their war on the group, Flushtown stopped supporting the group, realizing their further backing of the raiders would not only hemorrhage their own money to a losing cause, but would turn the sights of Queensland and Libeteria on them as well.
Flushtown exists in a détente with the Principality, which is determined to occupy and rule all of Queens, but cannot simply bully its way into taking over the walled city.
Anything goes in Flushtown. Prostitutes freely walk the streets, chems and other substances are openly sold in broad daylight, gambling parlors are found on almost every corner, and slavers peddle human flesh freely. Suffice to say, activities that generally are considered illegal, at worst, or taboo, at best, make up the backbone of Flushtown’s economy. Residents of other nearby settlements often make trips to Flushtown to participate in such activities- but many do not ever make it back.
Flushtown has no real government and has not had a real once since Pre-War days. Pete Bonham, owner of a local bar, “Bandana Pete’s”, is the closest thing the settlement has to an actual leader. He wields no actual lawmaking abilities, but is respected in the settlement because of his deep ties to the community and his incredible accuracy with his revolver.
Flushtown sits in the Pre-War Queens neighborhoods of Flushing and Corona. Its northern border on Flushing Bay is obviously concrete due to geography, but its eastern, western, and southern boundaries fluctuate. Informally, its boundaries are defined by three major Pre-War roadways, two of which are now rivers: Queens Boulevard to the west, the Long Island Expressway to the south, and the Van Wyck Expressway to the east. Most of the eastern section of the area is a big, mostly undeveloped field, known informally as ‘The Killing Fields’ or ‘The Killing Fields of Flushtown’ because it serves as the local cemetery.
A vestige of when the settlement was ruled by a paranoid military intent on keeping others out of what they believed was one of the last bastions of Pre-War society, the heart of the settlement is built upon itself instead of branching out.
The Principality of Queensland has been on a crusade to conquer all of Queens since it first burst onto the scene, and Flushtown’s resistance to being annexed by the kingdom has caused some obvious issues between the two sides. Flushtown exists in a détente with the Principality, which is determined to occupy and rule all of Queens, but cannot simply bully its way into taking over the walled city.