The West Virginia town of Grantville, torn from the twentieth century and hurled back into seventeenth century Europe, has allied with Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, in the United States of Europe. So, when Gustavus invades Poland, managing to unite all the squabbling Polish factions into repelling the common enemy, the time-lost Americans have to worry about getting dragged into the fight along with the Swedish forces. But Mike Stearns has another problem. He was Prime Minister of the USE until he lost an election, and now he's one of Gustavus' generals; and he has demonstrated that he's very good at being a general. And he's about to really need all his military aptitude. Gretchen, who never saw a revolution she didn't like, has been arrested in Saxony, and is likely to be executed! The revolutionary groups which she has been working with are not about to let that happen, and suddenly there's rioting in the streets. So Gustavus orders Mike Stearns to go to Saxony and restore order. But he makes one mistake. He didn't tell Mike to take his troops along on the mission. But he didn't tell him not to, either...