Srubov is a part of CHEKA, the secret police Lenin established after the Bolshevik Revolution. They arrest, interview for a minute, try in ten seconds, and execute intellectuals, aristocrats, Jews, clergy, and their families. In the building basement, five people at a time are shot as they stand naked facing wooden doors. No one to remember their last words; no martyrs, just anonymous bodies. Daily, the kangaroo court, the executions, the loading of bodies onto wagons. Srubov is cold, distant, sexually dysfunctional, and a deep thinker, hated by former friends and his family. As he tries to reason the nature of revolution and the purpose of CHEKA, he slowly goes mad.