By Chris Sakkas.
The centre of New Gilead is the Cathedral, a sprawling Gothic fortress populated with gargoyles and watched by stained glass angels. Saints, long dead and forgotten, watch the empty pews from silent niches. The Cathedral is the centre of government in the middle-sized city, and though supposedly secular the imagery remains for the most part untouched and unchanged.
The city council and mayor's offices are in the Cathedral itself, along with the Aloysian Brethren who pledged the Cathedral to the city in return for perpetual rights to just some of its winding passages and cozy cloisters. The public service is housed in glass-and-steel skyscrapers that only just stretch beyond the Cathedral's bell tower. Much of the Cathedral remains unused and unoccupied, filled with dusty books and even the tombs of some of America's oldest monks.
Jenny Reid, Mayor of New Gilead, was elected on a platform of “Clean Up the Streets”, but a series of scandals exposed much of her administration as being corrupt and linked to organised crime. It is only thanks to the support of the District Attorney that she remains in power.