In the United States, in 2274 after the nuclear holocaust, near a city that was called Washington, residents live in a perfect world of pleasure and love. A closed world covered by domes of glass where the population can live under cover away from radioactive fallout that makes the exterior unlivable. But, the only problem is that residents of the city of domes have a duration of life limited to 30 years. Beyond that, each individual reaching this critical age has to participate in the ceremony of the Carousel, in which, under pretext of rebirth, the individual is consumed by energies, thus finding a solution to the problem of overpopulation.
Upon reaching the thirtieth year, the crystal that each individual possesses in the palm of the hand turns to black. Some of them, refusing to perish by the Carousel, attempt to escape the city in search of a so-called Sanctuary, a place where it is possible to survive in peace beyond 30 years. To maintain order and discipline, a group of policemen called the 'Sandmen' have the mission to track fugitives and to 'terminate' them.
Logan 5 is one of these Sandmen. With his team-mate Francis 14, they survey the dome corridors ready to intercept fugitives. One day, the computer of the city orders Logan to pretend he is a fugitive so as to find and to destroy the sanctuary. To make his story more convincing, and although he still has four years to live, it changes the color of his crystal of life, changing its status from red to black, next registered on the Carousel list.
Then Logan meets Jessica, a young woman he has just met and he knows she is committed to the cause of fugitives. He explains to her that he wants to escape the city of domes to find the sanctuary. Having never seen any Sandman becoming a fugitive, Jessica and her friends distrust Logan and push him into a trap. But Logan thwarts it and is accepted. Little by little, Logan, who was already questioning his life, begins to believe in the existence of an external world and forget that Francis, his friend and team-mate, is always at his pursuit.
Following a tunnel that leads them to an elevator, the two fugitives arrive in a frozen cavern where they are welcomed by Robox, a mirror-covered robot. This one explains them that it is not a stage to the sanctuary, but a place of death.
Logan and Jessica discover bodies of deep-frozen men and women, fugitives that never found the place anointed. Seeing it's intent, they fight and defeat the robot. They clear a path to the exterior and contemplate for the first time in their life, the sun rising...
Click to read the end of the story. Spoiler ahead !
Logan and Jessica travel a long road that takes them to the ruined city of Washington. Entering a great building, they meet an old man as surprised as they are. His very wrinkly face impresses the young people, proof that it is possible to live after 30 years. But Francis finds their tracks.
Despite all the evidence that Logan presents to him, Francis cannot accept the reality and the two friends engage a fight to death from wich Logan will exit victorious.
Logan and Jessica decide then to return to the city of domes to unveil the truth to the young population and decide to bring the old man back with them to prove what they say... After a long trip, they arrive at the city doors where the only entry is an immersed tunnel of an ancient tidal power station. The old man has to stay there and to wait for their return.
Unfortunately Logan and Jessica are apprehended by the Sandmen. Logan is taken to the computer of the city where he has to answer for his actions on the mission. But the answers of Logan disrupt the computer and it refuses to admit the existence of any sanctuary. The couple escape, destroying the computer that manages the city, provoking its destruction. The young population, forced to leave the burning city, then discover the old man and the proof that it is possible to live beyond 30 years.
(Correction by Deb - www.samshady.org.uk)