In a dismal future driven by corporations, where most citizens are human billboards focused on status and entertainment, Moyer and Robyn Winfield struggle to attain a baby. Moyer doubts he will make a good father. His wife Robyn, however, is frantic for a child, and Moyer wonders how long his marriage will survive without one. In an age when babies must be cloned and purchased, the high cost almost makes the point moot.
When his wife learns their friends negotiated the price of their baby, she sends Moyer to Hogan-Perko, a corporation with a monopoly on human cloning, to negotiate for their child, and Moyer finds himself face to face with Viktor Perko - The Father of Mankind. The cost for their baby, all of their savings and the promise of a favor. Moyer agrees and is soon asked to spy on Perko's enemies.