|Location:||Former port of Mobile, Alabama|
Formerly an automobile dealership situated in the port of the ruined city of Mobile, Alabama; Waldock Plaza is the primary outlet for trade connecting Mobile to the rest of the Gulf of Mexico. Overseen by the neutral Mobile Rangers and the remnants of the Haggen Clan, Waldock Plaza is a free open market and one of the few major outposts on the coast of Alabama capable of sustaining large-scale trade with the rafters and merchants of the gulf.
Waldock Plaza began in the late 1930s as a Ford automobile dealership in the port of Mobile Alabama. Run by partners Mickey Waldock and John Zerner. Even with their deaths in the 1970s, the dealership kept its name and proved to be successful throughout the next century and a half from the Second World War to the Resource Wars.
Mobile would be hit by four warheads by the Chinese Government, while one impacted the largest commercial dock in the port, Waldock and Zerner Ford was untouched by explosions but impacted greatly by the radiation which killed all its residents.
Mobile would see some rough times after the war, unlike some cities which managed to organize a leading body within a few decades, Mobile would become a battleground with conflicts waged all over it.
While clans came and went, the so-called "Mobile Rangers" who originated from the mostly ghoulified remnants of the Mobile Police Department would manage to withstand the test of time. As they grew outward in the 2170s, they began to map out and occupy key areas of the ruins of the once booming metropolis. The Rangers even inspired some offshoots, such as the Gulf Rangers.
In 2196 during the Roughneck-Monarch's Guards conflict Ranger reconnaissance and intelligence reports indicated that the Monarch's Guards, the latest large gang to wage war in Mobile's streets were being supplied by merchants from other civilized areas who came in through the port the Rangers jumped.
Sending a group of men twenty-five strong to scout the area. After eight hours, the group found the former dealership and deemed it a location which was defensible. Construction of fortifications began immediately as Ranger scout teams gathered information on the rafters.
Within a month, the Rangers made their presence known in the area and began attracting rafters to come trade with them while targeting those selling weapons to the Guards.
When the conflict ended in 2200 with the Monarch's Guards annihilation, their network in the port was destroyed, leaving the so-called "Waldock Plaza" as the only major and secure installation in the port of Mobile.
This would make the plaza a gem of economic trade and give it a monopoly over trade in Mobile. The Rangers would act as monitors of the peace and guardians. Protecting the wares of any merchant in exchange for a protection fee of one hundred caps.
However, this newfound prosperity was what attracted the attention of the warlord Matthias Dugan who laid siege to the Plaza later in 2200. The siege was long and bloody but the cost was simply too much for Dugan, and he moved on to easier prey. In fact, Dugan's attack actually benefitted the Plaza when he wiped out the remnants of the Roughneck gang. Waldock Plaza and the Mobile Rangers then were left with no gang strong enough to oppose them, and they flourished for the next century.
No goods are banned from the market and any thieves or troublemakers are duly executed. however such people have rarely been a problem as weapons are confiscated by the Rangers when a person enters the building, deterring most would-be criminals from attempting anything. This has been the status quo of Waldock plaza for decades as it has grown, many merchants have become permanent residents of the showroom where goods are sold.
The building has been used as neutral ground in many a gang war and recently it has gained additional security in the form of the Haggen Clan who have used it as a place to lick their wounds and rebuild after the bombing of the Paris Commercial Center in 2268 which ended their war with the Warwick clan in a stalemate.
With the Haggens as additional guards, Waldock Plaza remains the primary hub of trade and outside contact in Mobile where rafters can stop on their way to New Orleans or Little Israel, mercenaries can rest before moving into the ruins, refugees can arrange transport out of Mobile, or travelers can stock up on essentials before continuing their journeys.
The economy of Waldock Plaza is simply booming. Though a small structure, the unrestricted market principles, security, and location of the building make it a perfect trading outpost.
Many will hire travelers as mercenaries at the Plaza and the recruitment of soldiers to feed the fires of war which have ravaged Mobile for over two centuries has become a major industry. This gateway to the Mobile Warzone is a two-way conduit, many boating Captains from Miami to New Orleans have found that a fortune can be made by ferrying refugees out of the war zone. People will offer all their money or their most prized possessions as collateral to escape the war zone; sometimes selling their own family as slaves to pay for the ride or accepting indentured servitude, this has made Waldock Plaza the place to be for anyone short on cash with a boat large enough to carry passengers.
Waldock Plaza is definitively lead as many regions are, instead it is more supervised by the Mobile Rangers. While their legal power is unchallenged and respected, they serve not as overlords who command everything.
Instead, the Rangers put a very loose code of laws in place which basically amounts to a ban on theft, rape, assault, and murder. Other than that anything goes, merchants operate in an unrestricted market the only "tax" levied is a one hundred cap fee to sell and store wares in the dealership which is considered "Protection Money". This unrestricted market allows for everything from clothing, guns, chems, alcohol, and even slaves may be sold at the market.
The Ranger's leader, Sergeant Quint McGuffin keeps this as the status quo and attempts no infringement on this free market which ultimately boosts the coffers of the Rangers.