In the near future, Victor Koch raises his physically deformed son Paul as best he can. The children in the neighborhood yell insults at Victor until Paul chases them away, and then he turns to his son and suggests that the boy might be happier with his all kind. The hooded Victor wonders where there is such a place, and points out that there are no boys like him. He tells Paul to do whatever he wants but to leave him alone.
Paul goes to the video phone and calls the government, asking for the branch that deals with deformed children. The operator transfers him to the Office for Special Urban Problems, and the official tries to learn more information about the nature of Paul's problem. He explains that he is a widower and his 17-year-old son was deformed at birth. When she asks him to explain the nature of the deformity, Victor slips into the room, rips off his hood, and reveals his melted features to the official, who recoils in horror.
Later, Paul meets in person with another government official, who admits that they have no institutions for Victor. His disfigurement can't be surgically repaired, and they only have institutions for the mentally disabled. Paul insists that Victor is intelligent and good-hearted, but the official explains that the only option is euthanasia, for the boy's own good. Paul refuses to countenance murdering his son and starts to leave, but the official receives word of a new policy. He asks Paul to stay, and then explains that they conduct exchange programs with other planets. Earth's government has received a request for an exchange of citizens with an alien planet, Boreon, near Mars. The Boreon people suffer from under population and are willing to take any males, and are placing no restrictions on how comes. They are offering to finance the entire operation, and their planet is similar in environment to Earth. Paul wonders if the official would choose such an option, and she points out that Victor has no other options.
Paul presents the optto Victor, who chooses to go to Boreon. As he helps his son pack, Paul wishes that he knew more about where he was going, but Victor says that it doesn't matter as long as he gets away from Earth.
Victor makes the trip to Boreon. He enters the reception station via a metal corridor and passes a normal-looking Boreon native. The man explains that he's been waiting years for permission to go to Earth, and is surprised when Victor asks him why he wants to leave given his appearance. In response, the man says that Victor doesn't have to be kind to a freak and eagerly goes on his way. As Victor continues, he is greeted by a Boreon representative: a woman with features just like him. Other Boreonites come to see him, and the females find Victor very attractive. As they lead him to his new home, they hope that he'll be comfortable and Victor assures them that he already feels at home.