The plot involves the Raw Youth Hostel, which shelters runners and the day-to-day business of doing so, eventually delving into how it is able to avoid the normal Fear invasions.
At one part, there is a significant crossover with The Thirteenth Apostle.
- Sal Paradise: the owner of the Raw Youth Hostel. Old, grumpy, but still tries to help those around him.
- Ivory: a young woman who volunteers her time at the hostel as the resident medical expert.
- John Wintrip: a former runner who decided to stay at the hostel and become their numbers man.
- Albert Dantes: another former runner who now works at the hostel fixing the place up.