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The novel is set in a world of the near future run according to a creed in which most Western nations are dominated by "for profit" corporate entities while their government's power is very limited. It is similar in satiric intent to George Orwell's 1984, but speaks to the implications of too little government power, rather than too much.
In this world, large corporations are allying into two massive customer loyalty programs, US Alliance and Team Advantage, in preparation for a total consolidation of every corporation into either program. The NRA is a mercenary organization, police bribery is legal and routine, ambulances require a credit card number before they can be dispatched, and people take the surnames of the corporations they work for.
As part of a scheme hatched by an ambitious marketing executive at Nike, a lower-level worker named Hack Nike is contracted to kill teenagers to promote their new Mercury sneakers, priced at $2,500 a pair (and therefore costing only 85 cents to manufacture), in an effort to improve the "street cred" of the shoe. When he subcontracts the hit to The Police (the law enforcement corporate entity), the plan goes awry. Meanwhile, Jennifer Government, the protagonist, is tracking down who is responsible, fueled by a personal score to settle.