Dystopia is utopia gone haywire, i.e. the genre portrays attempts to achieve utopia that realistically reflect the sin nature of man. In the dystopia story universe created by Laser & Sword editor Andrea Graham, it’s some time in the next century thereabouts, though relatively behind most futuristic societies technologically because of a long depression, green tape, and general oppression.
Specifically in Laser & Sword’s dystopia series, Rise of the Judge, the international community has sought to achieve world peace by carving the earth up into ten united regions, governed by an Imperial Steward (the first half of the official title is never actually used) on the behalf of the Emperor of the Eternal Empire of Earth (commonly called the Empire). The Empire controls the world’s armed forces, CIA/FBI type organizations (combined as the IBI) and the economy. In America, besides being commander-in-chief, the Steward has a senate seat to represent Imperial interests (which is unconstitutional) and acts as an adviser to the President (most are fairly whipped as they like having their heads properly attached to their shoulders).
A L Snyder is a catholic altar boy turned gang leader inducted into the Imperial Army to avoid hate crimes charges. Young Snyder hates the Emperor and the Steward that betrayed America to the Empire, but has fallen into hero worship with the current Steward.