Sunday, May 10, 2015

Quick and Dirty: Znamenskoye, Chechnya

Znamenskoye, Chechnya
(Quick & Dirty)

Description:  This town is in the Nadterechny District of the Chechen Republic and is the administrative center of the district. The area is a known hotspot for rebellious activities, including Black Widows. There is a tent city outside the city housing several thousand residents. Many homes in the city have bullet holes. War is commonplace. Children with no parents are sent to boarding schools or join the various gangs operating in the area. Millions of dollars have been earmarked by the Russian government to provide assistance that never arrives. UNICEF and other charitable organizations have attempted to make inroads in Znamenskoye. However, they concentrate their efforts in nearby Vladikavkas and not much makes it to Znamenskoye.

Population:  10,286 (Vardenis, Armenia or East Rockaway, New York)
Conflict:  Chechen rebels use terrorist tactics in an attempt to control the area. Government buildings are destroyed by car bombs, politicians are assassinated, and skirmishes with the Russian military are not uncommon. The Russian government has detention camps in the Nadterechny District used to hold active terrorists and those on the run from activities in nearby Grozny. Znamenskoye and nearby Rubezhnoye are known as places for Chechen rebels to hide.

1.      Tent City:  Located to the east of the city, some 3,000+ residents live in this area, nearly a third of the number of residents in the city proper. The quality of living here is horrible. Open pit latrines, trash, and used drug needles are common sights when walking the area. Disgruntled Chechens share horror stories of Russian military atrocities, children handicapped by bombings in Grozny sit and stare at the sky, and Red Cross workers try to make a difference.
2.      Rubezhnoye:  This nearby town is more of a neighborhood, with maybe twenty total roads. It is completely controlled by rebels and many operate from buildings here. Anyone travelling into or through the town is closely watched by eyes from behind curtains. A fortified building on the south end of town is the home of the town warlord. The property is surrounded by trees.
3.       Government Buildings:  The government buildings were mostly destroyed in a car bombing that occurred in May 2003. Fifty-nine were killed, including the mayor. His successor would be assassinated later. Some might speculate this as the reason it took several years for anyone to rebuild the offices. Others point to the lack of humanitarian supplies coming into the city and suggest perhaps if basic necessities cannot make it to the city, why would building materials arrive any sooner? Today, the government buildings are rebuilt, complete with shiny, new, metal roofs.

Three Hooks: 
1.       Missing Persons:  Residents of the tent city disappear. It’s expected, really. As of late, however, most of those going missing are young, blonde women in their late teens/early twenties. Some speculate it has to do with human trafficking. It could be, though, that a vampire with a particular taste in blood is claiming victims from among those with nowhere else to call home.
2.       Rubezhnoye Warlord:  This warlord is alternately one of two things. He is either a local Chechen warlord, bent on controlling and protecting his territory or he is a vampire pretending to be a local warlord. Either way, the building has metal reinforcing on the inside of the walls to protect it from gunfire. The property is lined with trees and gun thugs. Jeeps and armored trucks round out the scene on this property. The warlord’s time is divided between trafficking (humans and weapons) and sending his men out to strike terror into the hearts of those who would rebuild a world of peace. If the missing persons are an issue, he is likely responsible for them.
3.       Humanitarian Efforts:  Humanitarian camps are found throughout the district. They are a source of food, shelter, and other supplies. Agents on the run from the Conspiracy may be able to sneak into one of these communities to lie low and lower their Heat. Humanitarian camps may also draw in lone vampires looking for easy prey. A smart, lone vampire, may even travel from camp to camp, slowly picking off loners who will not be missed by anyone.

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