In the mid-'60s, fearful of war and their own reckless president, Californians threw their support behind a radical new political party. In an upswell of popular indignation – and after securing its own nuclear arms from China – the Golden State became the Independent California Republic. But cut off from the US water supply and sanctioned into isolation, its economy ground to a halt.
That was almost 30 years ago. Now the '90s have arrived, the Warsaw Pact has crumbled, and Communist states around the world find themselves scrambling to secure their own futures. Yet as his former allies rejoin the 'free world', Alton Auburn, the ICR's charismatic but mercurial leader, has only tightened his grip on power.
Life in the ICR has always been grueling, but as a generation that never knew America comes of age, the question becomes: how much worse can it get? Will California finally crack and bow to the US? Or will Auburn lead his people to destruction?