A nation in ruins.
A ruthless government determined to hold onto power.
One man’s insurmountable guilt and a promise that is almost impossible to realize.
After facing insufferable losses in the Tucson quarantine center, Teddy Sanders finds himself in a frighteningly familiar situation.
In the wake of the H7N9 pandemic, the remnants of the US government, sheltered deep underground at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, has enacted Presidential Directive 40 – Continuity of Operations Protocol – and declared a state of national emergency. Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has combined all remaining local, state, and federal agencies to institute the nation’s de facto militarized police force. FEMA, in an effort to curtail lawlessness and reestablish essential government functions, has created safe zones and civilian work camps throughout the country in order to assist with recovery operations. Acting under the scope of martial law, FEMA’s forces use fearmongering and brutality to keep the dispirited civil population in line.
Upon arriving at one of the work camps, Teddy Sanders takes in the razor wire, sentry towers, and chain-link fences: He’s back in the same hellhole that he has known for most of his adult life. His travel companion, Ein, a young man who has never experienced Teddy’s world of confinement, finds himself entering dangerous territory, where one wrong move could cost him his life. No longer the kind of man who looks the other way when someone is in trouble, Teddy vows to escape and take Ein with him to freedom. Teddy’s plans unravel, and the stakes are raised, after he discovers that the camp harbors some dark secrets.
As winter approaches and the camp’s food supplies dwindle due to command’s shortsightedness, FEMA’s control over the community becomes tenuous: Tempers flare not only between the officers and the detainees but between the upper echelons of the camp’s command hierarchy. An untrained – and unrestrained – security force exacerbates the situation, forcing the camp’s administration to contend with threats from the inside as well as the outside.
Will Teddy be able to find his friend – or will he be too late? And if he isn’t too late, how will he manage to get himself and Ein out of a prison camp that may be about to explode into chaos?