From the murderous bowels of post-communist Bulgaria, Stefon Slavov, an Olympic wrestler turned mafia operative, flees after assassinating and desecrating Bulgaria’s defense minister and his bodyguards. In the Czech Republic, the culprit changes his identity to Branimir Korda and falls in love with Danica, an Olympic gymnast.
To avoid the reaches of an Interpol warrant, Branimir and Danica flee to the United States. In New Jersey, they become involved with a drug smuggler. Using a fast boat and creative procedures, they establish a smuggling operation with landing points stretching the length of the east coast. Branimir and Danica have a son named Andrei, who is endowed with superior athleticism.
Meanwhile, a barroom brawler, Sammy Borden, emerges in Georgia. In a chance encounter in North Carolina, Sammy and Andrei fight back-to-back against daunting odds. The incident creates a bond of friendship between the two.
Back in Georgia, Sammy engages a motorcycle gang in two savage conflicts. These clashes bring Sammy acclaim and launch him on a new career. In the midst of his career change, he discovers an alternate source of power.
Tragedy strikes the Korda family, and they turn to Sammy Borden for solace. A flurry of concluding incidents have life-changing effects on key characters.