This new world is a dark and confusing one. Here's a brief primer on how to drop yourself into it: In a sudden attack, Reagan and Gorbachev are killed in the midst of a Cold War flare up in East Germany. The nation is destroyed by a limited nuclear strike from NATO. The ensuing conflict is soothed by a coalition of religious powers behind both sides of the line, who gently apply political and moral guidance to the martial rule systems that sprang up in the leaders' wake. A harmonious path is carved out by this alliance, known as the Coaxial Initiative, and later, the Panaxial Coalition. The USSR joins NATO in the Trans-Quadrant Partnership in 1997. Theocratic demagogues rise worldwide, most bearing loose affiliation with the Panaxial Coalition. In a series of power moves, the people's republic of China emerges as a unifying superpower in Asia. Climate change, proxy wars between the PRC and the TQP, drought, and famine result in humanitarian crisis in most nations not in the "developed world". "Violent and disturbing" subcultures arise in the underground, both mirrored and warred with by organized crime. President Gabriel Shaw has been in power since 2004, a former variety entertainer, televangelist, and senator. In 2018's New York City, the political sphere is divided between mafioso puppets and religious zealots. The latter is currently in power: Mayor Lissandra Harlow. Drug use, infectious disease, and crime riddle the streets. In a sentence: in 2018, a faith based culture has overtaken the liberal world order, urban centers have become dumping grounds for societal waste, and social norms are highly conservative. Click here for extended universe details.