Seventeen-year-old Nate Dax sometimes asks himself if a person can die who’s never been alive. He’s an Outcast – he doesn’t have a government chip so the authorities don’t know he exists. But if they find him he’ll be put to death immediately. Today it’s 2094 and Nate hides in what used to be called Colorado when the United States was a country.
Everything that’s wrong now started with the disastrous presidential election of 2016, when most Americans didn’t like either candidate. Four years later the people revolted, tossing out the incumbent and voting for a social democracy that lasted for twenty years. That election – the one in 2040 – was the last in America.
Two years later came the disasters. Doomsday prophets called them God’s wrath, but they were simply natural phenomena on an unthinkable scale. The Pacific earthquakes and tsunamis killed millions and weakened the San Andreas Fault. The Big One struck with fury, obliterating southern California. America floundered as its leaders helplessly wondered how to respond to such destruction. Others watched too, pleased at what was happening. Soon the enemies of the once-mighty nation took advantage of America’s weakness and struck.
The Great War of 2042 – also called the Twenty-Minute War – was a terrible demonstration of what concentrated nuclear war can do and it brought down America and the world as it had been. Nations were abolished and the World Union assumed control of planet Earth.
What the government did regarding population control is one reason why Outcasts exist. But how can Outcasts like Nate live when they can’t buy or sell anything, go into a store, attend a football game or go to school?
When Nate’s mother and father disappear he thinks he knows what’s happened. He has to save them in a world where Outcasts like him will be killed if they’re captured. Are there others like him out there … people who can help? Nate Dax must find out.