In King’s post-apocalyptic world, nearly the entire population has been wiped out by failure to contain an engineered super-virus. The plot follows parties of survivors as they are summoned to southwestern America by two figures. Mother Abigail, the embodiment of good, rebuilds a democratic society in Boulder. Meanwhile, the shadowy Randall Flagg uses fear to lead his Las Vegas colony. The antithetical groups are driven toward a final showdown.