In a city shatteringly altered by a madman's home-made nuclear bomb, Richard Billie finds himself in the unlikely role of leader for his family. His father, away from home during the blast, might be dead. Richard's mother, usually competent and crisp, is desperately injured and needs immediate medical help. His brother Washington, whose charm and intelligence have always overshadowed Richard's own awkwardness, is sick and weak. And Richard's girl friend Stacey, whom Richard secretly adores, is terrified. If any of them are to live through the next few hours, Richard has to take charge.
Who built the bomb? How did he build it? And Why? Can Richard find them food, water, and first aid in a contaminated, burning city?