Possibly backdrop for my novel, which is pretty much completed but, uh, needs some backdrop. Anyway, so far this is fiction:
The states were no longer united. Regional interests had become irreconcilable mindsets. Indignation on all sides – secession, once begun, went viral. The federal government tried to hold its military bases, but there were too many in California, some manned by Californians. California broke off on its own, absorbed a few surrounding states, and became The Western Territories. Texas, The Southeast, and The Northeast had large enough armories to form strong groups of their own, especially the Northeast, which held Washington, D.C. The Midwest, however, had primarily agriculture, and insufficient artillery to defend it. It became a battleground, strategically important for the land itself and the people who knew how to work it.
California was its own bloodbath, soldiers and police and gangs, allegiances bought and sold with no national flag to salute. Laws disappeared, it was all a question of power. Murderous alliances formed, composed of allies who did not trust each other. San Francisco tried to co-opt Oakland with money. Oakland responded with explosives and automatic rifles. Oakland controlled Northern California, and they spread across what used to be state lines. They had Las Vegas with them when they hit Los Angeles. They burned it to the ground.
Oakland became capital of The Western Territories. It was run by a coalition of military men, bikers, mobsters, and other politicians. They had many connections and few morals. It took a lot of years, a lot of hits, but the people who ran Oakland weren’t satisfied with controlling The Western Territories. They ordered butchery until they controlled The Midwest, then they hit hard in The Southeast until that was theirs as well. They didn’t have Texas or Detroit yet, but they didn’t really want them. Let those crazy motherfuckers keep killing themselves, that was the word. Pincer The Northeast.
It was bloody, but Oakland was used to that. A lot of people get killed. The difference was, this time Oakland got something out of it. Got to be capital of the newly United States of America.