Gabriel doesn't know how it started. Nobody does, not even Kane, and he was President. Gabriel was on a tour of the White House with Mags and the rest of Miss Kimble’s first-graders when it happened. They fled in helicopters to a long-abandoned mountain bunker, even as the first of the missiles found their targets.
Ten years have passed, and Gabriel still lives deep inside the mountain, waiting for the world to thaw. But outside the ash-storms continue to rage, and supplies are running low. The President says it will be okay, but Gabriel isn’t so sure. He’s their scavenger; he’s seen what it’s like out there.
Then one day Gabriel finds a bloodstained map. The blood’s not a problem, nor are the frozen remains of the person it once belonged to. Gabriel’s used to seeing dead bodies; there's far worse to be found in any Walmart or Piggly Wiggly you care to wander into. Except this one he recognizes, and it shouldn’t be here. Now all Gabriel can think is how he's going to make it back to the bunker to let the President know what he's found.
But the map Gabriel has found is the key to a secret, one that has been buried for a decade. Gabriel's about to learn that the mountain's not the haven he thought it was. And to get Mags and the others out he will need to face the thing that terrifies him most.