Elsie longs to win, her competitive streak runs deep, but there is much in her way. She's haunted by the memory of her brother, who drowned in the dive five years earlier. Her parents are overbearing, not wanting to see the same grim outcome repeated.
A baby is thrust into Jade's arms with one instruction: escape from the tunnels and never return. The world outside is sun-scorched wasteland. Jade has a sister; she is irradiated. Thirteen years later, her sister, Pearl, is coming of age. Rows of suction cups line her arms and hands, and her skin is coral pink. Each night her dreams fill with visions of violence, depression, and fear.