Senator Wyndom Brody has just won the New Hampshire primary, upsetting a heavily favored opponent, and he's flying to South Carolina to press his campaign for the Presidency. As the plane files south, it's hit by lightning. The plane and its passengers appear unaffected, but a mysterious woman appears in Brody's private quarters and warns him the strike has damaged the airplane, which will crash on landing, killing him and six others. She explains she is a projection from the future, a virtual time-traveler sent here to save him because his presidency is the key to preventing an apocalyptic future. If he is to live he must shoot out the emergency exit and allow himself to be sucked out of the plane by decompression, whereupon he will be saved by the stranger's sophisticated technology.