It turns out that the New Capitalist measures to keep industry local and nationalist, while good for industrial unionism and class equality, were very, very bad for the environment. Before it split into warring factions, the United Nations decided on drastic measures to address the crisis of late People’s Capitalism. For the United States, this meant a near-total (but entirely voluntary) evacuation of Hawaii and Alaska, bumping the number of states back to 48, offering full subsidies for moving costs and a healthy tax rebate for the rest of an evacuee’s natural life. The states were then seeded up with carbon-negative genetically-engineered SynthEnvironments, patented property of General Cooperatives.
Not everyone took the offer, of course, and around a hundred thousand people stayed behind in Alaska. Whilst Hawaii eventually mostly unified into the reformed Kingdom under extremely nominal American sovereignty, Alaska split apart into different communities. Environmental regulations meant contact with the outside world was sporadic at best, as the Canadian border was totally sealed, the Soviet Union had depopulated Siberia in a similar though significantly less voluntary manner, and there was an annual quota for ships approaching Alaska so as to not add nuclear toxins to the off-coast underwater SynthEnvironments. The increasing regularity of trade route-sealing superstorms didn’t help matters.
A century on, Alaska was nearly unrecognizable. The scattered communities of the former northern Boroughs were often outright tribal in technology, if not in governance. The only contact the American government afforded these northern tribes were raids and incursions on tribes that broke the last two laws of Alaska: no slavery or human sacrifice allowed. A few juvenile bands composed of runaway slaves even began to worship the paratrooper WAVE squadrons who would eliminate slave traders with extreme prejudice as “valkyrie-liberators” from the gods.
Yes, gods, not God, as these SynthEnvironments are places where it seems the Great Christian Decline of the latter 21st century never ended. Many in these places do not even know of the reunification of the church, or even who Jesus was. Paganism, irreligion, or other peculiarities are common here.
The shining beacon of Alaskan civilization, such that it could be called, was of course the southern Aleskan Sundom. In the rebuilt cities of the coast, a society of Sun-worshippers carried on with an eclectic mix of bronze-age agriculture, nineteenth century morals and firearms, and the occasional modern flak cannon. The Sun-Governors of Anchorage Town proclaimed their domain the legal continuator of the old State of Alaska, a proclamation Washington carefully avoided taking a side on. Certainly the Sundom sent no Senators to the Estates General.
As the War of Unian Succession began, Guido G saw the SynthEnvironments as the perfect, vulnerable destination for Atlantis. Plenty of savages to enslave, no modern opposition, and an opportune springboard for further conquests. And so Atlantis made the long journey from the North Atlantic to the North Pacific, past loyal La Plata, through the friendly straits of Magellan and avoiding the Progressive Panama Canal. But by then, both Washington and Moscow had cottoned to Atlantian designs. Atlantis found no refuge in Hawai’i, the King welcoming in a Progressive fleet which beat back the Ghandites. The Soviet satrapy of Sakhalin was similarly prepared. But Atlantis had succeeded in exhausting American forces, and Washington could spare only material and token womanpower for the Aleskans.
Atlantis’ first raid was foiled by the Sundom’s preserved flak cannons. Landing parties of UN WAVES were halted by Sundom troops using American equipment. Unian bombing did take care of the flak cannons. The next morning, Atlantis tried another pass, but Soviet WAVES had been flown into American territory overnight. Washington had decided that friendly foreigners on American soil were preferable to enemy occupation. Atlantis did not capture a single Sundom slave, and the city itself returned to sea.
Unfortunately for Alaska, Atlantian capture barges would have more luck upstate.