In the not-so-distant future, one Corporation, combining government and business, will rule America. Food, shelter, and above all, health, will be prioritized as an old elite Corporate class rises again, behind a mask of "universal health and happiness". Much of the "Corp's" wealth will be invested in the production of vaccos, living human analogues, "Corporate cadavers", raised on isolated ranches as sources for organ and tissue transplants. Drugged on "euphorics", the vaccos will be regularly euthanized, or "harvested", for organs scheduled for a waiting list of patients.
One such vacco, the valuable "Corporate property" Hart256043, will escape. At an underground bar specializing in illicit sex and drugs, he meets Edgar Devereaux, a successful designer and adopted son of Joshua Morgan Devereaux, a member of the Corporate board. But Edgar has a secret: he was born Chris Turner, a lower-class renegade -- and can never shake his origins or a desire to retaste his wild youth. Chris and Hart bond. They discover within each other compassion, fulfillment, and a completeness outside the boundaries of "Corp" life. Edgar will reject his stepfather's lifestyle, and join with Hart to do anything -- including kill -- to ensure the vacco's survival. And Hart, one of the most appealing characters to appear in contemporary fiction, will find in the reborn Chris Turner the humanity he needs to survive.