The year is 1992 and Delaware''s tumultuous gubernatorial debate is interrupted by an inspiring speech from a humble citizen named Karl Bontrager. After the speech, the consequences for Karl are severe: he is immediately fired from his job and becomes the target of media frenzy. Even though the news media is responsible for fueling a riot in his neighborhood, some political chicanery lands an innocent Karl in jail for creating a public disturbance.
But Karl''s inspirational speech has awakened the public. Concerned citizens, neighbors, Karl''s granddaughter and some of her college classmates converge on the jail and demand Karl''s release. Just as the governor issues an executive order to release him, the startled jailer tells the crowd that Karl is not there.
The situation that ensues in Delaware has far more international and political consequences than anyone had imagined. A world away, the Soviet Union has become a struggling Commonwealth of Independent States. Faced with his own dilemma, the director of a former Soviet research facility is confronted by the prospect of losing many of his nuclear technicians to a wealthy dictatorship.