In 1992 Mentnor was working in a psychic research project using a "remote sensors" named Molly. When she costs a Sarajevo rescue team their lives she goes into shock. In the present a militia leader Henry Bilkins recovers a lost atomic bomb (an "empty quiver") and detonates it in Washington to avenge his father's death. They recover the trigger key and Frank, trying to lay off the booze to impress Olga, chokes up some tea (don't ask) and initiates an emergency launch before he can get in. Seven days earlier the Sphere arrives by itself and no one has a clue as to why a Backstep mission was initiated except for Frank's duffle bag with a key. Mentnor calls in Molly, who is reluctant to help and takes drugs to block her visions.
Molly leads them to Washington and gets some further information, as well as a vision of Frank dying. The trail leads to a warehouse and Frank manages to avoid his predicted death when the militiamen escape, but Molly begins to crack under the pressure. Regardless she leads them to Bilkins' base – she and Frank get captured but Frank manages to kill Bilkins and use the key that went back to stop the countdown and Molly reconciles with her gift and kicks the drugs.