The world as we know it is gone. But there are the remains of it. In some places, life is almost normal.
The City survives. There are trucks and buses, apartments and jobs, food and security. But not so many people. They survive with unbendable rules and rigorous planning — and with salvage. Gasoline, machine parts, even plywood, scraps and detritus saved from the ruin. But after twenty years, salvage is beginning to run out.
Outside the City, communities of exiles live off the land, farming and ranching. They’ve done well, surviving on their own. But self-sufficiency is hard, and technologically they’re backward. Life is precarious. A minor infection can be life-threatening. A natural disaster could leave them starving. The City doesn’t want them — but they can’t escape each other.
Now there are people anticipating war. Clever people who think it might be useful, and who don’t want to come in second.
But if there is to be a future, a new world built over the grave of the old, someone has to ask the right questions. Something has to change, while there’s time.
And some things will never change.