1979: Qangattarsa, Greenland - US Military Base.
Rudy Spruance is lost. He has been left in the middle of nowhere in the frozen wastes of the arctic. No one comes except a huge swarm of mosquitoes. As he awakens later in an Army hospital that doesn't officially exist, Rudy understand what it is to be on the sharp end of a 'small clerical error'. "You'll want to scratch," a nurse tells him helpfully when he comes round.
Rudy enlisted in order to escape a little prison time for burglary. His fellow soldiers are a rag-tag bunch of misfits. There's Lavone, a wannabe beat-poet, the sadistic Sergeant Genteen, and Petri, the base dealer who thinks sci-fi movies are the pinnacle of art. And there's the base's commanding officer, Colonel Woolwrap, who sees in Rudy a younger version of himself. Only problem is, Rudy isn't too comfortable under his, or anyone's, tutelage. But then Rudy meets Sergeant Irene Teale - beautiful, intelligent and most importantly, sane.
Unfortunately, she's the Colonel's girlfriend.