The action is set in the mechanized control room of a modern feedlot, a sterile, computerized place which resembles the flight deck of a rocket ship. Four men, three swaggering cowboys and a sensitive young college student, are about to begin their night's vigil, tending the dials and gauges that regulate the flow of feed to the cattle pens below. One of the cowboys, a super-macho Vietnam veteran named Billy Fred, is convinced that Gene, the college boy, is a "faggot" and, while the other men are off-stage, he taunts him unmercifully. The tension between these two builds quickly toward the breaking point but, when it comes, it does so with an unexpected reversal as Gene, drawing a revolver, turns the tables on Billy Fred. Holding him at bay he ridicules his stupidity and his vaunted masculinity and, after confessing his homosexuality, plunges the stage into darkness and taunts his tormentor�after which Billy Fred is oddly cowed and submissive, as though some nagging fear had been exorcised. When the other men return they are oblivious of what has happened, still secure in the mindless male heartiness which, we are now aware, neither Gene nor Billy Fred will know again.