In 1994, a fourteen-year-old boy named Matt witnesses a rare event called cloud-emptying. A cloud falls from the sky in a hurricane storm and freezes everything on the ground it contacts. The cloud-emptying encases his neighbor's house in a block of ice and claims the life of a child. The following night, Matt looks outside his bedroom window to discover the lifeless body of a monster being removed from the destroyed house by the N.W.S., a clandestine government agency responsible for covering up the monster's existence. An agent, nicknamed The Wolf, warns Matt and his best friend Danny to forget what they have seen, and for a while they do, until the kids are caught up in a conspiracy that follows them into adulthood and ends with a war for the world.