The time was ripe for the breakup. The west and southwest states backed away first. Drawing a border from the nations to the north and south, they controlled the high ground as well as the vast food production valleys in west southern sectors. Three more sections quickly followed to safeguard what their states could produce.
Wheat, vegetables, corn, cotton along with all other forms of food replaced money as the main commodity of trade. Tarl came from the southeastern section. One of the most volatile in the breakup the south broke out in a race war. Hundreds of thousands died in massacres and ethnic cleansings. Murder gangs roamed the streets of all cities and towns killing anything that moved. Madness raced across the countryside. Lives of the innocent were as insignificant as so many dumb animals at the slaughter. However, when the killing became too much for both sides new security forces formed and the gangs hunted down. Over the years, the instinct for survival calmed the carnage to a minimum except in the provinces controlled by the egotistical or power mongers. Trade became the number one economy again, but not with other countries.
Now an outside force is threatening to invade taking advantage of the nations weakened condition. Tarl Cray, a covert operative from the southeast has been given a mission; one that his mentor hopes will reunite the nation. Undergoing voluntary experiments specialized drugs introduced into his body over several weeks enabling him to transform his features into anyone he needs to imitate.
Setting out on his mission in a fantastic new aircraft Tarl systematically travels to the four different sections of the one time great country, where he must convince their leaders to unite against the threat. Only with the help of a unified nation can they hope to defeat the enemy. He must convince them either by coercion or more drastic means that the threat is real and the future depends on their cooperation.
The make-up of the provinces varies widely. The southeastern province, where Tarl is based, focuses mainly on technology and science. Creating new sciences both biological and mechanical they have set their future on the path to greatness. The Northeastern section has a military style police force to keep the populace under control while keeping a trade route to the west. In comparison the Mid-Western section deals primarily with agriculture. This food commodity is more powerful than any weapon. However, there is a subversive influence at work here.
The Far Western section is brutal where a feudal system of Kings and ministers mete out their brand of control. Beatings, torture, and food depravation are the order of the day. The upper classes live the life of luxury while the lower barely survive. Tarl has a daunting task ahead of him. But is it as he has been told? Something else may be afoot.