Eric the Only is a member of a tribe of humans living in the walls of the dwelling of one of the Monsters, creatures that have taken over Earth. To be initiated into manhood, he must accomplish a Theft. He is renamed Eric the Eye during a ceremony held prior to his departure.
While in Monster Territory, he acquires a Monster souvenir, a gob of red goo that is explosive when spat on. When he attempts to return to his uncle and the rest of his warrior band, he discovers that they have vanished. Eric finds his way back to the burrow of his people but is captured and incarcerated. He learns that he and his uncle are to be tortured and burned alive for practicing Alien-Science as opposed to Ancestor-Science.
Before they are taken to certain death, Eric uses the explosive from his backpack and scares everyone away. He and his uncle escape, but his uncle has been so badly mutilated that he soon dies. Eric disposes of him down a Monster sewer pipe and returns to the place in Monster Territory where he found the explosives. It is the only place for him now that he is an Outcast from his tribe, unwelcome in his former home but still unfamiliar with Monster Territory.
The Alien-Sciencers form an expedition that takes them deep into Monster Territory to discover new weapons. There they find a laboratory in which the Monsters hold humans in cages and perform experiments on them. The Alien-Sciencers are captured by the Monsters.
(The entire section is 417 words.)