Matthias, Percy and Alia are all shadow children who hides their identity by using fake ID’s so they will not be captured and killed. The third child in the family is referred to as a shadow child. Shadow children are deemed illegal because the government only allows two children for every family.
The Population Police raids Niedler School in the middle of night. All students are forced into a truck including the three protagonists: Matthias, Percy and Alia. They are heading towards a work camp. Matthias overhears an officer saying “the little ones won’t last long.” Fearing for their lives, Matthias drops a nail, causing the tire of the truck to puncture. The truck crashes to a tree.
Matthias, Percy and Alia manage to escape, but Alia is injured by the crash. A gunfight between the rebels and Population Police ensues. Percy is hit by a bullet. Matthias has to hide his injured friends in an abandoned cabin. He runs to Mr. Talbot’s house to seek help. Mr. Talbot is the leader of a group against the Population Police. When they head back to the cabin, another gunfight happens. Matthias gets separated from the rebels and ends up saving one of the police officers, Tiddy.
Tiddy rewards Matthias by enlisting him in the Population Police. Tiddy returns from his mission and says that he burns the rebel’s place to the ground. Thinking that his friends - Percy and Alia- are dead, he mourns his loss deeply. Tiddy also dies from poisoning. The police officers think Matthias is mourning Tiddy’s death.
Matthias reunites with his friend, Nina, who works as an undercover at the Population Police. Later, Matthias learns of the police’s plans to arrest the shadow children. When he sneaks out to tell Nina about the plan, Mike catches him. Matthias finds out that Mike is also an undercover officer.
All three- Matthias, Nina, and Mike- go to the warehouse to steal goods and distribute them to the hungry shadow children and their families.
Matthias joins the rebel group and finds out that his friends Percy and Nina are alive. Mr. Talbot rescues them from the cabin. Matthias decides not to go back to the Population Police.