The only way sixteen-year-old Aine and his true Other Kyer can be together is to escape the Colony with its Code, its pills, and its constant monitoring. Breaking out of the Colony was hard enough, but living outside of its protective wallsproves to be even harder.
The boys have been raised to believe all life outside the Colony was destroyed by the last war. However, Aine soon discovers this is a lie. On their first day of freedom, they meet Sinda, a girl their own age who has grown up in the harsh new world outside the Colony. In return for some food, she agrees to help them out and leads them underground, where people must live to avoid predators, acid rain, and disease.
It doesn't take long for Aine to tire of living hand to mouth. He misses the comforts of his bed, his friends, and his family. Why should he be the one to run away? He and the boy he loves have done nothing wrong.
Aine is destined to be the next Overseer, so why can't he return to the Colony and start a revolution to change the way things are run? Why can't people love who they want to, rather than who they're told to? Why can't they think for themselves, and live as they want?
When he receives a message from Brin that she, too, has stopped taking her pills, Aine realizes he isn't the only one unhappy with the Code. If he and Kyer return, maybe they can enlist their friends' help to bring about some much-needed changes.
But breaking back in proves even harder than breaking out. They must dodge the Officers, evade the Monitors, and convince a drug-controlled Colony it deserves better. But will anyone listen to them? Or will they be caught and medicated back into compliance?