In humanity's future, a new type of society has been formed after a disastrous oil-bug was released upon the planet that killed 98% of the human population and left many cities in ruins. The new society is composed of about one hundred small post-scarcity, independently run city states, spread out across the seven continents, which now have different coastlines because of modern-societies' global warming. Tally's city is located somewhere in southern California, west of the Rocky Mountains. The new society holds three values at its core: Sustainability, Peace, and Equality. The new society promotes these values through the use of The Surge, a type of extreme cosmetic surgery that all citizens undergo at the age of 16. The Surge transforms ordinary humans into paragons of beauty, right down to perfect facial symmetry. New Pretties are given access to life in New Pretty Town, the innermost part of the city where food, shelter, and entertainment are provided by the government free of charge. Within the post-Surge part of a persons life, everyone's common beauty inspires peace and equality among the citizens.
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