Dana Knowles is the only female nuclear weapons courier employed by the Department of Energy, working out of Y-12 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Having served in the Middle East in wartime, and losing her fiancé in the conflict, at first she had been grateful for the opportunity to move back to the United States, and to continue safeguarding the country. But she has become increasingly dissatisfied with being on the road so much, allowing little time for a home life, friends, or romance. She has also grown weary of the long hours of training to be prepared to subdue a terrorist attack when such an occurrence would be nearly impossible.
Albert Arnstein, named after the famed nuclear physicist, has had a difficult childhood: teased by classmates for his physical deformity, derided by his father for not excelling in school and left undefended by his mother. When a beautiful coed snubs him at a fraternity party, his pent-up frustration explodes into violence. Years later, when he crosses paths with Dana Knowles, who ignores him, his vengeance against those who would belittle him is rekindled. Banding together with other misfits involved in the nuclear weapons industry in Oak Ridge, Albert conceives of a plan to threaten the country with nuclear disaster and bring glorification to himself.
Dana is the only courier who is in the unique position to be able to unmask the unknown terrorists; but she will first have to save herself from the trap set for her by the madmen. As the clock ticks, all the action climaxes at six minutes to midnight, the same time setting of the Doomsday Clock that symbolizes the relative closeness we are to a global nuclear disaster.
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