As the twenty-first century began, another characteristic of Boulder became apparent: its incredible resiliency. When oil became scarce, Boulder instituted one of the first fully electric mass transit systems in the country. The grain blight that devastated American food supplies led to a single lean winter before parks and greenbelt were converted to high-efficiency vegetable farming. Consumers were annoyed by the lack of goods from the outside world, but local facilities proved sufficient for producing the basic necessities of life. In short, Boulder transformed a crisis situation into an inconvenience (a major inconvenience, to be sure, but an inconvenience nonetheless). It was inevitable that the city would become a target.
The first raid against Boulder occurred on March 15, 2014, and came from the north on State Highway 119, the Longmont Diagonal. A large, well-equipped group of bikers struck early that morning and managed to destroy a large portion of north Boulder before any resistance could be assembled. Even then, city police would have been outnumbered and outgunned if not for the timely intervention of several of the aforementioned fringe groups and their illegal stockpiles of weapons. Setting aside the violent overthrow of the government for a moment, the combined radicals and reactionaries routed the bandits. Sensing that the need for continued protection against future raids outweighed the importance of their individual goals, most of the defenders agreed to band together. Thus was formed the Boulder Citizens' Militia, still one of the strongest and most effective defense forces in the United States.
Today, Boulder is an unwalled, multiple-access urban area with fortified checkpoints monitoring all approaches to the city. No toll is required at these checkpoints, but motorists can be denied access at the discretion of the on-duty guards. All checkpoints are in constant radio contact with Militia headquarters.
1) University of Colorado -- The largest surviving university in the Rocky Mountain region, CU offers a wide range of academic programs. The College of Engineering is instrumental in the design of new weapons and vehicles for the Militia. Campus life is varied and interesting, with frequent clashes between student groups and campus police reminiscent of the 1960s. Duelling is prohibited on campus, as are firearms and explosives.
2) The Hill -- This district consists primarily of student-oriented businesses and off-campus housing. Duelling is not prohibited, but residents are sensitive about stray shots hitting their homes and have accumulated enough weaponry to seriously discourage most duellists.
3) Residential Areas -- North and east of campus are middle- and high-income houses and apartments. All of these areas are patrolled and the more affluent residences are fenced or walled. Duelling is strictly prohibited.
4) Downtown -- Boulder business has become largely decentralized, but the Pearl Street Mall and surrounding area still contain a large concentration of businesses. The mall is also the home of some of the world's most talented panhandlers. The area is closed to vehicles and weapons must be holstered.
5) North Boulder -- Never rebuilt after the 2014 raid, this area serves as home to transients and the lower-income locals. The residents are generally peaceful, desiring nothing more than to be left alone. They grow their own food in communal gardens.
Crossroads Autoduel Arena, at the corner of 28th and Arapahoe, seats 6800 and features a full schedule of duelling events, regional telecoverage, and the prestigious Colorado Cup championship. Several garages and car dealerships are located just north of the arena on 28th Street.
Medical care is available at two local hospitals, both of which provide Gold Cross service. A paramedic-staffed ambulance service is also available.
The most popular bar among local autoduellists is Bob's, a small establishment at the corner of Baseline and Broadway. Bob's is owned by three-time Colorado Cup winner Bob ''Badman'' Johnston. The rowdier crowd frequent the Broken Gasket, just east of the mall on Pearl Street.
Boulder is famous for its variety of fine ethnic restaurants, but be forewarned: Albanian food is not for the uninitiated.
The local AADA chapter keeps a low profile due to the tremendous diversity of views held by its members. A more politically active group is the League of Women Drivers, an association of female professionals in the trucking and duelling industries.
The Boulder Citizens' Militia is the primary peacekeeping force. Verbal infighting and philosophical rhetoric are common among the various factions, but enough outside threats exist to keep the militia from fighting each other -- with an occasional exception. To keep these exceptions at a minimum, the Militia holds a monthly ''Challenge Day'' to vent hostilities. Different groups within the Militia are responsible for hosting ''Challenge Day'' on a rotating basis. The host group sets all ground rules, with the only restriction being that the duels be non-lethal. Targeting lasers and paint-pellets are common, but the occasional log-rolling contest, drag race, or pie fight crops into the proceedings. The results are often very entertaining and are the highlight of the Boulder social calendar. Boulder Citizens' Militia members fly the colors of their individual groups, but all display the Militia logo, a snow-capped mountain.
An allied organization is the White Demons motorcyle club. The Demons help patrol the outskirts of Boulder, assist motorists, and combat local outlaw gangs such as the Banditos. The Demons' color is, understandably, white, while the Banditos have no regular dress. The best way to describe the Banditos would be ''neanderthal,'' and those close to the group say that describes everything from their appearance to their table manners to their negotiating tactics.
Less helpful than the White Demons is Greenforce, a radical environmentalist splinter group. Persons littering the highways around Boulder report being attacked by one or more heavily-armed pickups. Any such incidents should be immediately reported to local law enforcement officials. More prudent yet would be to avoid provoking the well-equipped group, which can be identified by its evergreen tree logo.
Finally, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival maintains a quiet zone from July through August on the south end of Broadway. The Festival also maintains two well-equipped vans to enforce the quiet zone. Violators' vehicles provide a major source of funds for the festival.