On January 1, 2001 a nuclear bomb in the Russian embassy in Washington, DC was exploded touching off a nuclear exchange between Russia and the US and throwing up into the atmosphere a blanket of ash that blots out the sun, which is often referred to as the Sky Dark, and lasts for one generation. Well the Sky Dark clears human civilization exists in issolated towns called vills ruled by despots called Barons. Prior to the sky dark a scientific project created a technology called the mater transporter or the mat-trans for short. The mat-trans can transport anything between units in the blink of an eye, where the mat-trans are installed in military bases called redoubts that are forgotten by human civilization. One hundred years later a group of survivors use the mat-trans to jump between redoubts and survive one day at a time. This is the world of the Deathlands.
One hundred years after the deathlands the barons have changed into their real form, overlords of the earth. It is revealed that these overlords, called the Anuuaki, are the gods that humans used to worship in ancient times. The annuaki are not really gods but very technologically advanced aliens who came to earth when humanity was in its infancy to enslave the human race. Now a band of humans have come together to struggle agains the annukai and fre the human race from the aliens. This is the world of the outlands.