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 busses, apartments and jobs, food and security. But not so many people. They survive with rules and with 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, 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. A minor infection can be life-threatening. A natural disaster could leave them starving. And the City doesn’t want them.
Now there are people anticipating war. People who think it might be useful, and who don’t want to be second.
But if there is to be a future, a new world built over the ruin of the old, someone has to ask the right questions. While there’s time.
Something has to change.
But some things will never change.