The briefcase, AKA the football, containing the go codes for the U.S. nuclear arsenal is carried by military aides who always accompany the President and Vice-President.
Paul Decker, distant husband, estranged father, alcoholic, has been pulled from active duty to state-side assignment: aide to the vice-president. A position he hopes to ride out till his retirement.
In a strike on Washington, a terrorist group known as “Black Bear” gets away with the prize, killing many secret service agents and almost killing Captain Paul Decker: the officer charged with protecting the football.
Black Bear breaks the encryption code, and opens a “trap door” into the nation’s ICBM network…and is auctioning off targeted missile strikes.
Many countries, both friend and foe, along with a dozen terrorist organizations, want what Black Bear has. And it’s all for sale!
Paul Decker assembles his own team to go after the perpetrators. However, he is Code 6: acting on his own without the backing of the government.
The chase begins in Washington, D.C., where Paul finds the lowest man on the rungs of the conspiracy ladder and tortures him until he gets a piece of information taking him deeper into Black Bear. The hunt quickly extends to England, Turkey, Egypt, Algeria and Somalia. But always one step being Black Bear.
The American Vice-President wants to use the opportunity to attack Russia and blame it on Black Bear. When the President disagrees, the Vice-President threatens to invoke the 25th amendment, removing the president from power.
Black Bear needs only a few more hours to reprogram the missile coordinates for their targets while Paul follows many leads, hoping at leas one of them leads to the terrorists.