Like all the other sons of the managers of Metropolis, Fredersen's son Freder lives a life of luxury in the theatres and stadiums of the skyscraper buildings. One day, as he is playing in the Eternal Gardens, he notices that a beautiful girl has appeared with many children of the workers. She is quickly shooed away, but Freder becomes infatuated with her and follows her down to the workers' underworld. There, he experiences firsthand the horrors of the workers' life, and is disgusted when he sees an enormous machine, known as the M-Machine, violently explode and kill dozens of workers. In the smoke, Freder envisions the M-Machine as Moloch, a monstrous deity to which the hapless workers are sacrificed.