Slate is a warrior on the lam. A former Army scout, he lived deep in Taliban country in Afghanistan until his mind snapped. Sent home, he got into a bar fight, killed two local troublemakers, and has been running ever since. Slate is on a mission. His former captain, Lyle Tillerman, slaughtered an entire village in Afghanistan, was relieved of his command, and discharged. Slate has been searching for him for two years. He intends to confront his former captain and kill him.
As the story begins, Slate is sitting in front of a bonfire with a bunch of lone wolves on the outskirts of Martinsville, a tiny Midwestern metropolis. A young woman visits Slate's camp, bringing food to the lone wolves, and reciting poetry to them. She's the daughter of Martinsville's crime lord. Her name is Caroline. Slate's intrigued by Caroline, and falls in love with her as the flickering light of the bonfire falls on her face. But Caroline disappears one day.
Slate discovers that Tillerman has come to Martinsville with a band of renegade ex-scouts, has killed Caroline's father, and taken over the town. He's also holding Caroline as a hostage. Slate has a new mission now. He has to free Caroline and find a way to destroy Tillerman and the grip he has on Martinsville. It's almost an impossible task. Slate is all alone.