The fortress is home to the last remnants of civilization. The few remaining women live in a vault far below the gardens, while the men stand watch and maintain the walls that protect them all. A virus from long ago, and generations of inbreeding since, has left average men severely outnumbered by Simples. Humanity, as it once was, is broken.
Outside those walls live the Wildmenstarving, poor and desperate for the treasures of the fortress. Seeking women to once again fill their own ranks with healthy children, and something other than rats to fill their stomachs, the Wildmen launch one last raid.
One-fifty-two is a Simple man. The raid disrupts his calm and orderly world with smoke and fear, the need for the comfort of his mother and the promises of a lone Wildman captive. With his eyes open to the secrets behind the order he had always known, One-fifty-two must find the courage to stop being a cog and take hold of the wheelor the fortress may be the end of them all.