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It's modern day, shortly after a devastating war. Similar to Kowloon Walled City in China, both countries involved with the city don't want to care for it and leave it to its own devices. However, this war left the city wrecked beyond belief and killed the majority of its inhabitants.

People don't leave it for several reasons: The city is all they've ever known, they wouldn't know where to go, they believe they can rebuild the city, they think it's too hard to leave, the typical stuff.

People in the city believe the world has ended and eventually divide themselves in to small communities.

They can't call or text or email or use a computer at all.

The real kicker is that the country in which it's located (US of A) doesn't care to ensure the population's survival or it's too dangerous to check on the people(for 27 years, in case you need to know).

So I'm trying to figure what exactly would cause the US to abandon the city for 27 years from 2016 to 2043

Other information: It's a port city, located in Maine, that became popular during the civil war, transporting supplies to the Union Army from traitors on the Confederate side. During this time, Russia also occupied the city for a while, protecting it from a possible British invasion.

The city doesn't have regular power throughout the city, but renewable energy generators are used when available. These don't power the whole city and, at max, a local grocery store.

Edit

All of the stuff with Russia happened during the Civil War and is no longer relevant; it's more of a history lesson. As far as dead bodies go, I would imagine that the people in the city continued by burying them, in mass graves at least.

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closed as unclear what you're asking by bilbo_pingouin, James, Hohmannfan, Brythan, ArtOfCode May 20 '16 at 9:18

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi and welcome to Worldbuilding. Interesting settings. But to me, it's a bit unclear. You seem to be answering your question yourself already. Isn't that sufficient? If it isn't can you be more specific? What are those 27 years? The time no one checked on them? The duration of the war? You mention the Civil War, and emails. How do I understand it? If it's 21st Century tech around, can the USA in your world still use emails, calls, etc.? You mention the two countries involved with the city, should that be USA and Russia? But what about the UK, then? Etc. $\endgroup$ – bilbo_pingouin May 20 '16 at 4:31
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    $\begingroup$ If a modern city loses all connection with the outside world, people are going to start dying in very short order when there are no more deliveries of food, medicine, fuel and so on. If there were such deliveries, there is no reason why people couldn't also be evacuated or otherwise moved away by those same transports, some small number at a time. How are they even handling the dead? (Dead bodies decomposing is a major health risk, as any medical practitioner will tell you!) 27 years is a long time. $\endgroup$ – a CVn May 20 '16 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ BTW, this is plot of en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under_the_Dome_(TV_series) $\endgroup$ – gmatht Jun 24 '17 at 3:58
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Take any 27 years of the US's history in the 1800's and see how far people actually went using horses, wagons and their own two feet. You - as the author - cannot enforce people to not migrate unless you put up barriers, physical or virtual.

The biggest problem you have really is that the town is in Maine, which places it right smack in the densest populated corners of the continental US and Canada. You need to depopulate that region somehow. I don't know how to do that other than to wipe out the east coast. How to do that without dragging your little town down too is a challenge. Nukes? Tsunamis? Asteroid impact? Don't know, but unless you do that, people will migrate in and out of your town. If anything needs adjusting, it's the location. Move it to Alaska or the American north west coast.

We cannot get all you want. You can get pretty damned near though.

First, to knock out telecommunications, you can use High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulses. This will fry all advanced electronics and leave people with only simple components to use, such as coils, capacitors, transistors etc. Do note though that even this is enough to create long range radio. Your unfortunate denizens can make an FM radio with less than 10 components so you cannot completely shut them out from hearing that the world still exists.

Second, and this is easier, you need barriers. Here you got several popular options.

  • Radiation zones. Radioactive fallout from the conflict, from dirty bombs and/or from failed nuclear plants will put a dampener on people's willingness to travel through such zones.

  • Infection. Without going the full zombie trope you can still have zones that were targeted by biological weapons of mass destruction.

  • Chemical weapons. See above.

  • Hostile states. The union fell apart. States surrounding your town broke away and went 100% hostile towards outsiders. Maybe even the state your town resides in.

  • Bandits. Another "after the disaster" trope... the lawless lands ruled by murderous mobs that prey on anyone trying to move through.

Third you need a reason for the bulk of the remaining union to ignore your town. Some elements to help...

  • Perpetual low intensity conflict. They are busy, haven't got time to deal with some town far out away from everything, in hostile territory none the less, that claims over shakey home made radio that they are different and nice.

  • Ruined economy. Everyone on high level is struggling just to make own ends meet. States are hard at work just securing basic resources. World economy is shot to hell. Just getting by is hard as it is.

  • Climate upheavals. Yeah, it did happen... the worst case scenarios hit us just as bad as the doomsayers said it would. The Midwest dried up and the farmlands turned to The American Sahara ("The Great Desert"). The Dustbowl was nothing but a tiny precursor.

There is a palette for you to use... best of luck. :)

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