Gus is a young boy with antlers in an apocalyptic world, wanted by a science lab who believe his kind holds the key to human survival.

Gus was born with deer antlers and ears, and he was told that the Sick would have never gotten to him, as he was immune. Gus was raised by his father Richard Faunin, in the forests of Nebraska, and told him that his mother, the sweetest lady ever created by God, had died when he was very little. According to his father, the world outside of the forest was all fire and destruction, as God had punished the sinners, taking to Heaven all the innocent ones, including Gus’ mother. Raised with a deeply religious education, Gus knew everything of God, of his punishment, of sinners, of Heaven, and he lived following his father’s rules; first of all, never talk to anyone besides him, and escape as soon as he saw someone who was not his father; then, but just as important, he was forbidden from ever leaving the forest, the only safe place left on Earth. When Gus was nine, finally, also Richard got the Sick, the mysterious plague that had been killing everyone. Anyway, Richard died, leaving Gus alone, and free to disobey his rules. The first time, Gus disobeyed accidentally; while out in the woods, he met a real deer, that was immediately killed by two hunters. The men, it turned out, were actually after him, as Hybrids, as they called him and his kind, were a precious good to sell. Gus tried to defend himself with his slingshot, but with foreseeable scarce results. He was, though, saved by yet another hunter, who quickly and ruthlessly killed the other two. He was Jepperd, and he offered to take him to the Preserve, the only place in which Hybrids could live peacefully and undisturbed by bad people.

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