Adam, a security guard, travels from California to the Philippines, his native land, for his father's funeral. He arrives in Manila. As he waits, a phone rings in his backpack; he answers it, and a male voice tells him that his mother and sister are captives and will be killed if Adam doesn't cooperate. Over the next hour, the voice sends Adam by bus, taxi, motorized tricycle, and on foot through an urban landscape of busy streets, cramped apartments, a fetid squatters' camp, a bank, a cockfighting arena, and a church. Adam's conversations with the voice cover murder, Islam, jihad, rebellion in Mindanao, and his family. What is it Adam will be commanded to do?