In the not-so-distant future, Hank Delowski, a prominent New York neurobiologist, explores the frontiers of science. He treats the brain like a machine, finding ways to fix it and improve it. That is, until his son Ike is gunned down in the street by agents who represent an international group of Immortalists—wealthy men looking for a way to live forever. Desperate to save his comatose son's life, Hank brings him to a Chinese metropolis where scientists operate without governament oversight—cloning human beings, transplanting brains, creating cyborgs. As Ike's body dies, Hank transplants his brain into a powerful computer -- only to have the computer stolen from the lab by the very men who orchestrated his shooting. Hank sets off to find his "boy in a box", as Ike uses only his microphone ears and electronic speech to escape his captors.