In New Byanzt, Citizens go about their business, protected from age and injury by Medical Conversion technology that grants them practical immortality. The technology is coveted, and the secret of its production long-lost. Slumrats outside the city fight for the crumbs from the City's table while searching for the technology they believe the Citizens still hold, and the Funkar Enclave outside casts the disapproving glare of Gord's light over Citizen abomination and slumrat disbeliever alike.
When a Citizen inadvertently stumbles on a natural analogue for the Medical Conversion technology, a centuries-old balance shifts. Suddenly New Byanzt and its surroundings are the battleground for Citizens desperate to maintain the status quo, slumrats who suddenly see a chance to do more than live and die in squalor, and the Funkar zealots who are determined to eradicate the unnatural heresy in whatever form they find it.