|Parent series||System Shock|
The plot of Deus Ex depicts a society on a slow spiral into chaos. A lethal pandemic known as the "Gray Death" ravages the world's population, especially within the United States, and has no cure. A synthetic vaccine, "Ambrosia", manufactured by the company VersaLife, nullifies the effects of the virus, but is in critically short supply. Because of its scarcity, Ambrosia is available only to those deemed "vital to the social order", and finds its way primarily to government officials, military personnel, the rich and influential, scientists, and the intellectual elite. With no hope for the common people of the world, riots occur worldwide, and a number of terrorist organizations have formed with the professed intent of assisting the downtrodden, among them the National Secessionist Force of the US and a French group known as Silhouette.
In order to combat these threats to the world order, the United Nations has greatly expanded its governmental influence around the globe. The United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO) is formed, with the intent of maintaining peace internationally and combating the world's ever-growing number of terrorist groups. It is headquartered near New York City in a bunker beneath Liberty Island, placed there after a terrorist strike on the Statue of Liberty.