In December 2022, biology teacher and former Green Beret Dan Forester is disappointed after failing to get a job at the Army Research Laboratory. Later, during the internationally televised World Cup, soldiers from the year 2051 arrive on the pitch via a time portal. They announce that in November 2048, aliens called White Spikes suddenly appeared in northern Russia and had wiped out most humans within a span of just three years. The world of the present-day sends their militaries into the future through a rudimentary wormhole device, called the JumpLink. Few return, prompting an international draft, but fewer than 20% survive their seven-day deployment. Dan receives a draft notice and is fitted with a temporal armband to track him and pull him back if he is alive at the end of his seven days.