One day during his job as a street sweeper, he and his friend called International 4-8818, discover a secret railroad tunnel. International 4-8818 warns Equality 7-2521 that they should leave and forget about the tunnel. He further investigates alone and finds out that the tunnel was from the Unmentionable Times.
He then makes International 4-8818 promise to not tell anyone about the tunnel and Equality 7-2521 also realizes that he has committed another sin which was preferring one person over another.
Since then every day, Equality 7-2521 secretly returns to that tunnel and learns more. While working things alone by himself on the tunnel, he also notes that he has committed another sin which is wanting to be alone, but he does not feel any shame or regret.
Equality 7-2521 takes some time to reminiscent about his childhood in the House of Infants and how he was different from the others. He started to list all of the differences in height, smarts, and etc. He also mentioned how the teachers disliked him because he was different or smarter than the others.
Equality 7-2521 writes in a journal, underground about how he was chosen as a street sweeper by the Council of Elders in spite of him. Though he accepted being a street sweeper to repent his sin of wanting something more over another, which in this case, is about wanting to be a scholar.
Equality 7-2521 meets the ‘Golden One’ while she is working in the fields and falls deeply in love. On the next day when she sees him on the road, they communicated with each other using gestures instead of actually talking. A couple of days later, they finally have a real conversation and he finds out that her name is Liberty 5-3000.
When he starts to compliment her, they suddenly tell each other that they don’t just want to be siblings. Equality 7-2521 starts thinking of how he didn’t want to see her in the City Palace of Mating and he gets confused with what he’s feeling.
Equality 7-2521 gets reprimanded by a Council Member for showing his happiness publicly, but is then corrected by the Council Member saying how he should be happy because he has his brothers. This causes him to think about the meaning of happiness in the tunnel and why they can’t be unhappy.
Equality 7-2521 starts to wonder about the people and their lives during the Unmentionable Times. He then remembers a person called the Transgressor of the Unspeakable Word, who was burned alive and seen as evil while he looked like a saint in Equality 7-2521’s eyes.
While in the secret railroad, Equality 7-2521 accidentally discovers electricity by dissecting a frog on a copper wire. He starts to piece the idea of electricity together by recalling his past experiments and notes. He then curiously explores more of the tunnel and finds some objects that he didn’t know of, which were actually wires, switches, light bulbs, and etc.
After making his discovery, Equality 7-2521 starts to think about whether or not the Council of Scholars knows about it. He also starts to notes that when only one person knows something and the others do not, it is not true by a virtue.
Now Equality 7-2521 figures out that electricity is a powerful source of energy and it may scare a lot of people. He also believed that the people from the Unmentionable Times have harnessed this power as a source of energy.
These thoughts actually make Equality 7-2521 start to have thoughts that go against his society because they said that no one is or can be smarter than the Council of Scholars, but he now believes that he is.
This is when Equality 7-2521 reveals to Liberty 5-3000 that he calls her the ‘Golden One’, surprisingly she responds by saying that she nicknamed him the ‘Unconquered’.
Equality 7-2521 then warns her that these thoughts weren’t allowed at all and she responds by saying that she knows, but doesn’t really care. He then calls her ‘dearest one’ and actually believes that he is the first male to ever say that to a female. However, when Liberty 5-3000 hears this, she offers him her body in submission and telling him that she belongs to him.
Then, Liberty 5-3000 tries to convince Equality 7-2521 into crossing the hedge and coming into the fields, which is where she was at. But, he refuses her offer which in turn made her give him a drink of water instead.
She feeds him the water until he finishes drinking all of it. Even though they were talking so much, nobody else noticed their conversations. When she finishes feeding him the water, they back away from each other because they got confused about their intimate gestures.
Equality 7-2521 believes that he has created light after he accidentally makes a lightbulb work. He is very surprised that he could make light without any fire.
Suddenly, Equality 7-2521 realizes that with this light he can provide his people with a clean energy source. He decides that he must let everybody know of this electricity.
After making these discoveries, Equality 7-2521 thinks that he deserves to be in the Home of the Scholars. He also thinks that with the help of other scholars, they can find more uses with light and learn more about it in general.
Equality 7-2521 decides that the annual yearly meeting held by the World Council of Scholars is the perfect time to reveal his discoveries. He also thinks that if they are impressed enough, they would forgive all the rules that he broke and all of his sins. He also thinks that they will reassign him to be a scholar because his discoveries were so important.
He now starts to be curious about his own body like his arms, legs, and physical strength. He then wants to see his reflection, but it was not right for him to do so.
Unfortunately one day, Equality 7-2521 returns to the Home of the Street Sweepers very late due to his exciting discoveries. Then the Council questioned him, but he did not answer anything.
The Council had him put in the Palace of Corrective Detention until he confesses everything. Equality 7-2521 then writes about how he was physically tortured at the Palace of Correction and how he still wouldn’t confess.
After regaining his consciousness due to his beatings/torture, Equality 7-2521 still felt proud of himself at how he kept his secrets.
He stayed at the Palace of Correction until he realizes that it was almost time for the annual yearly meeting held by the World Council of Scholars and decides that he needed to leave. He easily escaped the Palace of Correction because there wasn’t anything to stop him due to the fact that nobody has ever tried to before.
After he leaves, Equality 7-2521 returns to the tunnel and writes in his journal about how he was going to be forgiven because of his important discoveries that would help everyone.
Unfortunately, when Equality 7-2521 went to the meeting, it did not go as planned. The scholars questioned why he was there and were furious when he showed them the newly discovered light. They in fact, did not care about his discoveries or inventions. Instead, the scholars reprimanded him for expressing individuality and threatened to execute him.
Equality 7-2521 begged them to forgive him because it was for the greater good of the people even though most of the things that he did were wrong and he knew it. Equality 7-2521 then accepts that he is to be punished for his wrongs, but he asked them what was going to happen to the light.
The scholars then asked him if anyone believes that the light is useful and important. Equality 7-2521 says that they did not and then the scholars reminded him of another one of their society’s beliefs, which is that something is not true if not everyone agrees.
They then also remind him that the light cannot be good because of another one of their society’s beliefs, which is that if something isn’t shared with everyone then it can’t be good.
The scholars tell him that they cannot have the light in their society because of their new Department of Candles and then they all voted to destroy the light.
However, before they can do anything, Equality 7-2521 takes the light and flees. After running away for a while he notices that he was all alone in the Uncharted Forest and believes that he is doomed. He regrets that fact that he cannot see Liberty 5-3000 ever again, but it would be for the best.
Equality 7-2521 wakes up and remembers that there weren’t any ringing bells to wake him up, which makes him realize that he was now making his own choices. He starts to take in the natural scenery in the forest around him.
He then heads deeper into the forest and explores more of it. When Equality 7-2521 got hungry, he decided to kill a flying bird with a stone and cook it to eat. After he eats it, he gets filled with pride and fulfillment.
He stops to drink at a stream that he comes across and finds his reflection. Equality 7-2521 was in awe of how he looked and again, compares himself to his other brothers. He then decides that he wasn’t afraid of being alone anymore without anybody else’s company.
While walking he also remembers that he was exiled by his society, but quickly realizes that he doesn’t care at all. Yet, he still thinks about all of the things that he had left behind.
After several days still walking in the forest, he suddenly hears somebody’s footsteps and looks around to figure out whose it was. Equality 7-2521 finds out that Liberty 5-300 had followed him into the forest.
He then questions her about how she even came into the forest. Liberty 5-3000 tells him that she heard rumors about what had happened with him and the World Council of Scholars.
Liberty 5-3000 tells Equality 7-2521 that she wants to stay with him. She also said that she’ll still follow him even if he doesn’t want her to and then he begrudgingly accepts.
Liberty 5-3000 confesses that she likes him more than her other brothers and begs him to do whatever he wants with her while quickly bowing before him. He responds by having her stand up and then kissing her.
Equality 7-2521 then tells Liberty 5-3000 to forget about their brothers and actually enjoy themselves here. He finally declares themselves as individuals and not ‘we’ like their old society. They then both have sex.
They both decide to find a nice spot and build a house so that they could live there together. Equality 7-2521 starts to think about how wrong the rules in his old society was and about how happy he was as an individual. Liberty 5-3000 wanted that she loves him, but could not find a different word apart from ‘we’.
They both climb up a mountain and hiked for days. They actually found a house and couldn’t believe their eyes at first until they got a closer look.
Apparently, the house was abandoned and Equality 7-2521 wondered how was still holding up. They both concluded that the house was from the Unmentionable Times.
When they entered the house together, they were in awe of all the objects and technology that was inside. They were also shocked by how different the house was compared to the one in their old city, an example would be the color.
While they explored more of the house they saw things that they have never seen before, like separate rooms/ privacy, mirrors, and more light bulbs. Liberty 5-3000 looks inside of a closet and was again surprised at how many different colors there were. Equality 7-2521 on the other hand, find a library with many books that he knows the language of.
They decide that they will both live there together. Liberty 5-3000 stares at her reflection in a mirror while Equality 7-2521 finds food and water for the both of them. When he carries her to bed, he returns to the library and starts reading.
While he reads, Equality 7-2521 discovers the word ‘I’ and realizes that he has missed a lot because of his society. He then writes about the actual meaning of things.
Equality 7-2521 had enjoyed the sounds of nature and the earth in general. He finally decides that he is his own person and he will do what he pleases, not what someone else tells him to do. He also realizes that the only purpose in life was to find his own personal happiness.
Equality 7-2521 discovers his own freedom and that he doesn’t own his brothers anything or vice versa. People who want his honor will have to earn it, he chooses his own friends, and if he’ll see them or not.
He realizes that his society is all wrong and using the word ‘we’ instead of ‘I’. Equality 7-2521 also feel that he has seen a new God, and it is is ‘I’.
Discovering the word ‘I’ made him pity mankind and especially his old society. Sometimes when he reads, he would also read for Liberty 5-3000. After she listens to his new discovery of ‘I’, she then tells him that she (as an individual) loves him.
Later on, Equality 7-2521 decides that they needed a new name to signify themselves as individuals. They were renamed as ‘Prometheus’ and ‘Gaea’.
Equality 7-2521 decided that he was chosen to carry on the crusade of the Transgressor of the Unspeakable Word. He also chooses to keep learning about the Unmentionable Times and that they will never be like their old society.
Liberty 5-3000 reveals that she is pregnant and Equality 7-2521 declares that his future son will be raised knowing of freedom, happiness, etc. He also decides that when their house is fixed, he would go back to their old city and find people who weren’t broken from society’s teachings, to start a new race.
Equality 7-2521 also concluded that somewhere in the future, the spirit of men would prevail over evil. He then promises himself that he would bring back a world that had freedom, life, and happiness.