As our story begins, Maria, a teacher, sits at a school assembly, where a graduate who now works at Hype Pharmaceuticals describes a new drug called Alerta. Developed for people with narcolepsy, it allows someone to forego sleep for extended periods of time. Maria doesn't have narcolepsy—she is perfectly healthy, in fact—but she does have two jobs, and could use the drug to work late into the night. She goes to her physician for a prescription. Should the doctor give it to her?
Time passes, Maria is back to one job, but she still is not sleeping at night, because she is worrying about her daughter, Camilla. Eight-year-old Camilla has no friends at school; the kids call her a "weirdo" although she doesn't know what she is doing that's weird. The school counselor suggests that Camilla might be helped by a medication called Amikind. Amikind was originally developed to treat autism and Asperger's, conditions that Camilla does not have. But the drug also improves the ability of otherwise unimpaired individuals to interact with others, somehow making them better at picking up social cues. Should Maria consider giving her child a drug to solve her social problems?
As parent and child ponder their options, we move from the playground to Strivers University, where a new "study-buddy" has become quite popular: a drug called Rememberall, made by Hype Pharmaceuticals. Developed for Alzheimer's patients, one can take Rememberall, study one's schoolwork, and remember much more, much faster. Are the students who take Rememberall, and other drugs to enhance their performance, cheating? Are they endangering themselves?
As time passes, Hype Pharmaceuticals develops one more medication—one that helps you forget instead of remember. Traumagone dulls the memory of a traumatic experience; one will still remember what happened, but the emotional trauma surrounding the memory will be taken away. Among those who seek to take this drug is a soldier who wants to dull the memory of all the killing he did for his country. Should he be able to take the drug?