Driving out of Boise listening to neo-nazis calling into a talk radio show and complaining that yet another year has gone by without any celebration for Dr. Joseph Mengele's birthday, Private Investigator Gordon Campbell makes what he thought would be a quick stop in Twin Falls. There he stumbles into a botched robbery attempt and literally bumps into Professor Phineas Paulson of the University of Baltimore's Robotics Lab.
With a late season blizzard closing down the interstate they decide to find a hotel in Twin Falls and there meet Trish Davidson, a call girl on her way to Las Vegas. While stuck in Twin Falls Idaho they hear of cattle mutilations, cars left abandoned on the road with trails of blood leading off into the snow, strange research at the Saylor Creek Air Force monitoring station nearby, and a dead retired Air Force pilot whose house is ransacked and who seemed to have had a fascination with the topic of gremlins.
Welcome to March 17th, 1995
OJ Simpson is on trail for killing his wife, Quebec narrowly votes not to split from Canada, there is a new virus (Ebola) scaring people, the first African-American walks in space, the dotcom boom officially starts with the release of the Netscape web browser, Dallas just won the Superbowl to become the first team to win three out of four years, and President Clinton signs Executive Order 95-45 which some believe is proof that Area 51 does exist.
Some things could have gone differently the past few years. Looking back if Mikhail Gorbachev had not been assassinated in Gorki on 3/11/1985 the USSR may have dissolved and the Cold War may have ended. Instead the Cold War still flares in places like Soviet held Afghanistan and East Germany.
Then the limited nuclear exchange between the USSR and the Peoples Republic of China in April of 1991 might have been avoided. The three week long war killed several million people and left the cities of Vladivostok in the USSR and Mudanjiang in China radioactive husks. Without this engagement and the threat of radioaction in the Northwest of the United States there would be no need for places like Saylor Creek Air Force monitoring station or countless other installations that were scheduled to be closed by 2001.
President Clinton faces a three way run off with Republican Colin Powell and Independent Bob Dole in 1996. Thoughts of the economy and a looming recession fill the AM talk stations. Elsewhere in the world the Chinese are mobilizing though not against the Soviets but India, Food riots rock the streets of Salisbury in the Republic of Rhodesia as African National Congress forces sabotage the main railroad from Mutare and the forces of Zambia go on alert.
This is the world that the characters find themselves in.