In West Virginia at the Farmington Number 9 Mine, a methane explosion blows the top
off of a mountain, killing 78 miners.
Subsequently, Congress creates the Miners Enforcement Safety Agency (MESA) to establish
a standard of safety in the country’s mines, later to be known as MSHA.
Immediately, a nationwide call goes out for veteran miners to police the mines.
In the fiercely-independent Appalachian coalfields in the poorest locale in America--the
same coal fields that drove out the United Mine Workers Union--recruiting inspectors
is next to impossible, finding ones who will stand up to the mines’ lawbreakers is
impossible. The impossible appears when AB Stahill, a refugee seeking vindication
for cowardice and determined to find retribution for his father’s death and the maiming
of his closest friend, returns home. MESA becomes a vehicle to redemption for him,
one that will roll over a haunting past.