In 1973, in an alternate United States, the Nixon Administration nuked Hanoi, igniting a limited nuclear exchange which left the northern hemisphere dramatically short of government centers and human resources. Oregon was luckily mostly untouched. Now, four decades later, only western Oregon, Utah, and southern Idaho remain outside the Union, and their time as independent entities is nearly over.
For Megan Connolly and Farrell Gray, it seems a perfect opportunity for a crosstime adventure in Pendleton, Oregon, with their four-year-old twin daughters. Almost a shopping trip, they think.
Things go badly from the beginning.
On the other side of the Crossing Point, they are attacked by elements of the Mormon Empire. Megan and their friend Beckin Gilmer are badly injured and Farrell and the giant berserker Champion, Brone, must fight their way out.
Pursued by Mormon gunships, the quartet, with Megan and Beckin healed, flee across Oregon toward the nearest dedicated Crossing Point, the town of North Cedar in the western Cascade Mountains. They must reunite with their daughters.
But their escape route intersects Megan's alternate self, an executioner for the Compliance, the government controlling most of the Willamette Valley. The other Megan's son and his father, in dire jeopardy, draw them into the potentially bloody conflict bringing the Compliance back into the New United States.
Violence ensues, with the twins in the chaotic center and pivotal to success.