Thanks everybody for reading. To be honest, more people read this than I expected, and it warms my cockles.
As mentioned before, the reason I did this this story was to flesh-out the back-story of SC's series. with the limited and unreliable narration, there was a lot to work from. Cue the creation of this story.
I guess I'll use this to break down some of its elements.
To think, Ned was originally going to be an unnamed, personality-less narrator whose only purpose was to create a frame of reference. When I actually started the story, he became a smart guy with a side of snark. Next thing I know, he's foul-mouthed social Darwinist with a Napoleon complex. Same went for Dio, who was supposed to just be your run-of-the-mill silly yet friendly jock of a roommate to counter Ned's nerdiness. Then he gained the trait of being the meek guy with a possible side of crazy.
Funny how one's characters can evolve. They also grew on me a bit.
Yes, I had bit too much fun with the acronyms. We Americans looove our acronyms.
Most of the events here have historical basis. First off, the buildup was a larger version of the buildup to WWI: militarism, nationalism, and entangling alliances. For obvious reasons, imperialism was a defunct notion, but one could treat the allies of the unions as colonies.
The Marine's account was based on the Chosin engagement. There's a restart of the Falklands engagement. SE Asian nations have a really screwed-up dynamic with China. The end of the UN follows the dissolution of the League of Nations. The Islamic world really doesn't like it when you mess with their holy symbols. Even the nasty treatment of refugees has historical basis, while the vigilante groups were a callback to the nativists of the 19th century (unpleasant group if you weren't a WASP).
Also, you may notice that I did not skimp on the details of the effects from various WMDs. It may seem almost gratuitous to some; it wasn't for shock vale but something I thought necessary not to gloss over.
On an interesting note, I was only partway into writing the war when I realized that this could be a stand-in for a worst case scenario of the Cold War.
If anybody has question about a subject, I'd be happy to answer them. Same goes if you wish to debate content.
I admit that I may have made the Mandate a bit too dog-kickingly evil. Also I'm more familiar with US military forces than Canadian, so even though the UAf comprises of both, all the units I mention are from the US; I didn't want to get anything wrong about the Canadians.
One thing I wanted to do was keep this relatively reasonable. Says the guy who had a bunch of supervolcanoes erupt in some kind of deus ex mach - shut it. So having pieces of the continent fall into the ocean or the sea level rising at the extreme maximum was not going to cut it. Besides, Catching Fire describe there being snow in Twelve; if the sea level was that high, it would mean a subtropical climate for Appalachia. So I referenced the predicted sea level rise by 2100, which was a scenario of around 1 meters corresponding to a temperature rise of 4 degrees Celsius. Granted, having a bunch of supervolcanos blow up at once is pushing the envelope a bit, but the effects are still within reasonable boundaries.
The volcanoes additionally serve to explain the "destroyed the sky" comment by Katniss. Because seriously, how does one destroy the sky without rendering the planet completely uninhabitable? So I based things on the Eyjafjallajökull eruption of 2010, where all of Europe was pretty much grounded. By Panem's formation, you could have high-flying airplanes, but they'd be expensive and the Capitol probably doesn't promote their development lest people start fleeing.
As one may notice, I also did not want to rush the conflict. Every war has a reasonable build-up to it. It makes no sense for somebody to just go nuts and launch all the missiles.
Lastly, it made more sense for the US and Canada to join up into a union than all of North America.
Another reason I did this was to help flesh Panem itself out a little more, namely by placing the districts. I might as well clarify my choice and explain the rationale for picking their locations.
Also in most cases, the inhabited area would likely be much smaller than the mapped district footprint.
Capitol: The Canadian Rockies. Also includes most of interior British Columbia, which gives ample space for the arenas. The city itself is located on Kinbasket Lake, though the Society facility is near Jasper. Why Canada? The topography of the Rockies up there is much more of wall than in the US, and it also serves to isolate the Capitol from the rest of the districts, except for One, Two, and Four.
One: Interior Washington state and southern interior British Columbia. I needed wine country and proximity to the Capitol. And since I wiped California of the face of the map…
Two: Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho… I don't think I need to explain that one.
Three: From the Ouachita Mountains south to the Missouri/Kaw north, and from the western shore of the Mississippi to the 97th Meridian. While its industry is tech, I don't see a limitation towards electronics but instead a wide range of the STEM: mechanical blueprints, genetic work, weapons' design… So a centralized location would be conductive in assisting other districts. Also pre-Cataclysm research universities and corporations there would probably chip in to the facility in exchange for hitching a ride. And oh all right; there may have been a of bit bias. On the fun side, Ned speaks with a "hillbilly" accent (imagine all of his conversations with Dio as such) as do other Threes, though he keeps it under wraps when speaking publicly.
Four: The coast of Washington state and British Columbia. Seriously, when I think good seafood, that's the first place that comes to mind. Yes the office was located up in Alaska, but it would have made sense for the facility itself to be in British Columbia for the sake of logistics.
Five: Used the movie's industry of power. Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Easiest place to have solar power. You can put in every other power plant after that.
Six: Area around the Great Lakes, and probably a bit of Ontario and western Pennsylvania. I not only imagine the industry of Six as being transportation, but also heavy machinery and steel. So there's the existing industry and presence of iron mines.
Seven: Parts of Manitoba, western Ontario, northern Minnesota, and the Upper Peninsula. Pine forests.
Eight: The Carolinas and Virginia south of the James. Historical textile industry. Also, Bonnie and Twill had to go through Twelve to get to Six.
Nine: Also referenced the movie here. Iowa, Nebraska, southern Minnesota, northern Missouri, Wisconsin interior. Another industry that would makes sense for it would be dairy.
Ten: Texas, Oklahoma, southern Arkansas. Cattle country.
Eleven: Most of the area south of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi. Also, minus the spots already taken. One of those practically given to us by SC.
Twelve: Appalachia. Another gimme. And seriously, does the Capitol really need coal? It was already clear how much they needed it when the mines were shut down in favor of pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Thirteen: Quebec. Uranium and graphite mines. Culturally distinct from the rest.
May make a map sometime.
Also as noticed, there are other nations outside Panem. It made little sense to me that Anglo North America be the only nation to get back on its feet. Most countries are probably in the emergent phase, with some in a similar totalitarian boat as Panem. Some are probably actually doing quite well. And some… well the less said the better.
I will probably plan on exploring some later, especially Panem's immediate neighbors.
So… What comes next?
This aint my last story. Also, most Hunger Games stories I make are going to be from the same fan-canonical universe, even if they are in a divergent timeline.
This story was already going to be part one of a two-parter, with part two being the history of Panem. The second part, which follows the all the Snows from beginning to Mockingjay, is already out and finished; title is "De vita Snowum". The format is a bit different than this one, instead of an narrative story, it takes the form of an in-universe monograph publication.
There is currently a story following the shenanigans of Ned and Dio that go before, parallel to, and after this one. It serves to fill in a lot of the incidents alluded to in Ned's narration as well as focus on Panem's reconstruction. Story is Somebody's Problem.
Kiwiwriter47: Helping create a good frame of reference to start the story as well as tips to create the primary sources.
sohypothetically: For our discussion about my characters. Also for allowing me to utilize bits and pieces of her story in mine, especially her version of Paylor.
candykisses101: Another reviewer who kept with this from the beginning.
otherrealmwriter: For the other words of encouragement, especially that I was keeping it realistic.
Radio Free Death: Honest and to the point review.
People who did in depth reviews past the story's completion. You know who you are.
Those in general who faved, followed, reviewed, PM'd me.
I'd like to say all of this was done by my own volition, but I admit that the reviews helped me keep a consistent pace (until that last sprint at the end).
Any questions or comments? Was it too dry for your liking? Were the classroom antic distraction? Was I unfair to some national entitles? Did you actually like the story?
Don't hesitate to shoot me something.
Hope to see you guys with another story.