Zale is a cry baby. He can't help it. He just gets so mad that the tears start flowing, which makes him even madder. It also doesn't help that the world is sinking.
Unpredictably, the land shifts and entire cities can disappear under the water. Zale and his family thought they were safe, until the water started to rise. They raced to higher ground and lost everything in the process. With no money, they find themselves in a world congested with flood survivors. They can't find work or even an apartment.
Steel, the local underground boss, has an offer for them that will end with Zale's mother and sister in a brothel. It'll mean money and housing, but Zale won't let it happen. He offers himself instead if the group takes care of his family. Steel agrees.
Besides, he wanted Zale to begin with.