*Once a part of Canada, Acheron is now located in Zone 4 of the United States.
The Great Resettlement happened just 2 years into President Allen's first term. Allen was elected with a mandate to bring peace and unity to a country that had been devastated by terror attacks from both abroad and within. Allen's shocking move to abandon existing alliances and rebuild US foreign policy based on the modern, global marketplace was surprisingly well accepted, and other countries quickly followed suit. The formal creation of the Confederation of National Democracies (COND) cemented the US as the world's foremost economic superpower and the foreign attacks on US soil quickly ceased, but Allen still had a domestic problem.
A summer of nationwide protests in support of the BLM movement and the 2020 Department of Homeland Security declaration naming white supremacist groups the #1 terror threat had brought the nation's ever present racial unrest to a new boiling point. A negligently handled pandemic and an attempted presidential coup only added to these tensions, and the world watched as the US tore itself apart. Allen used the failed "return to normalcy" doctrine to justify his drastic solution: The Great Resettlement.
Working with COND members Canada and Mexico, Allen dissolved state and federal borders and create a "new" US comprised of 6 cultural zones with near total sovereignty. With the dominant political factions now in control of each zone, citizens were offered a stimulus package and 2 years to relocate to the zone of their choosing.
[Image 1: The journalist / narrator has entered a coffee shop and is conversing with a young employee behind the counter. Nearby tables and a portion of an upstairs seating area can be seen, but no other customers are in sight.
Image 2: The journalist drinks a mug of coffee at a small table in the front of the coffee shop, looking out a window at the empty square. An untouched chocolate eclair sits on the table.]