Fame; it's a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. "Tech-heads" flaunt their latest gadgets, "kickers" spread gossip and trends, and "surge monkeys" are hooked... read more
Aya Fuse, accompanied by her hovercam Moggle, crashes a party hoping to track down a group she saw surfing a mag-lev train, a story which she believes will make her famous. She follows one of the group's members, Eden Maru, out of the party, but they nearly get away when she is distracted by... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Aya Fuse, accompanied by her hovercam Moggle, crashes a party hoping to track down a group she saw surfing a mag-lev train, a story which she believes will make her famous. She follows one of the group's members, Eden Maru, out of the party, but they nearly get away when she is distracted by Frizz Mizuno, a far more famous person who compliments Aya. Aya leaves without telling Frizz her name, because she is embarrassed by her comparatively low face rank. She then follows Eden into an underground cave, where she is ambushed by the mag-lev riders, who call themselves the Sly Girls. The group's leader Jai gives Aya a chance to join them, but to do so she is forced to drop Moggle into an underground lake.
The next day, she visits her famous brother Hiro, another kicker who is celebrating reaching the "top thousand" - a list of the thousand most famous people in the city. Hiro and his friend Ren Machino refuse to believe Aya's tale of the Sly Girls, who are an urban legend in the city, but Ren, who designed Moggle, agrees to help Aya retrieve him. Aya also happens upon a story about Frizz, discovering that he started a clique based around brain surgery which enforces honesty. That evening, Aya goes mag-lev surfing with the Sly Girls, enjoying the experience in spite of not having a camera to film it with. During the journey, the girls are surprised when the train stops, and they see inhuman figures loading the train up with a variety of items hidden within a secret underground room.
Aya retrieves Moggle, and uses him to film her next excursion with the Sly Girls, a mag-lev surfing trip which ends in exploration of the underground room they had discovered. Inside are many large cylinders of metal, and a large chute leading to the top of the mountain, neither of which are understood by the Sly Girls. They plan to return to explore further, but Aya's credibility is ruined by the kicking of a news story about Frizz Mizuno coming to talk to her by her dorm. Aya is forced to break off contact with Frizz in order to loose fame, which the Sly Girls despise, and the story leaves her disillusioned by the hateful comments of the kickers. However, she does have the chance to tell Hiro and Ren about the Sly Girls story, and from her description Ren guesses that the chute inside the mountain is a mass driver which, combined with the steel projectiles, could be used to launch an attack on the city.
When Aya next meets the Sly Girls, they reveal that they knew she was a kicker, and have decided to allow her to kick the story of the mass driver in spite of their hatred of fame. They launch themselves and Aya out of the mass driver with homemade parachutes, giving her one last thrill before they part ways, and also giving themselves time to move on to a different city. Aya kicks her story and becomes instantly famous, but is concerned when she receives a message from Tally Youngblood telling her to "run and hide", and is nearly captured by the inhumans while trying to do so. Eventually, Aya uses her fame to take control of a high-security apartment, and waits there until Tally arrives, accompanied by Shay and Fausto.
Tally and the Cutters use Aya, Hiro, Ren and Frizz as bait to be captured by the inhumans and taken to their base, secretly followed by Moggle. They are planning to escape near the base, but Frizz's brain surgery forces him to reveal Tally's identity, and they escape into the jungle. Aya, Frizz and Tally are separated from the others, and on their journey to meet up Frizz and Aya kiss, upseting Tally who claims that the last person she kissed died (presumably referring to Zane). They go on to meet up with Hiro, Ren, Shay, Fausto, and a newly-arrived David, and David and the Cutters go to destroy the inhumans' base alone. However, Aya, Hiro and Frizz take Moggle to follow them so that they can later kick the story. They are horrified to see thousands of missiles waiting to be launched, but are then captured by the inhumans.
The group are greeted warmly by Andrew Simpson Smith, who believes them to be the Cutters. He explains that the inhumans - who call themselves Extras for Extraterrestrials - are planning to move into orbital habitats, simultaneously helping to relieve population pressure and preventing the cities from over-expanding with the metal they have salvaged from all over the world. Aya feels guilty for thinking they were violent, and stops Tally, David and the Cutters from blowing up the missiles as they were about to, convincing them that the Extras are on Tally's side. The entire group returns to Aya's city safely for the annual Thousand Faces party, having been made famous enough to attend by the story of the kidnapping. Aya, now the third most famous person in the city, meets Lai, who is planning on joining the Extras in orbit. Frizz plans to undo his brain surgery, feeling that with Aya's help he can now be honest without it, and Aya sees Tally and David leaving together, suggesting that in spite of Tally's earlier claims they have developed a romantic relationship.
“I’m not trying to be mysterious. It’s just working out that way.”Aya Fuse
“So let me get this straight, Aya-chan. You want me, a person who can't lie, to lie about the fact that I can't lie.”Frizz Mizuno
“It's like that koan they tell in littlie school. If a tree falls and nobody's watching, then it doesn't make a sound, like one hand clapping. You have to be seen before you really exist!”Aya Fuse
“Sometimes the wisdom of the crowd was just so much noise.”Aya Fuse
“Once you'd told yourself a story enough times, it was so easy to keep on believing it.”Aya Fuse
“We were all brought up in a world the Rusties almost destroyed. It's hard to remember that they did more than fight each other.”David
“You see, freedom has a way of destroying things”
“Life doesn't come with an instruction manual”
Part 1: Watch This
1) Down and Out
5) Big Brother
7) Sly Girls
11) Radical Honesty
14) The Mountain
15) The Hidden
18) Air Pressure
19) Slime Queen
20) Mass Driver
Part 2: City Killers
25) Kicking It
27) Feeding Frenzy
29) Run and Hide
30) The Wisdom of the Crowd
32) Shuffle Mansion
34) Honorary Cutter
35) The Plan
Part 3: Leaving Home
36) Captive Audience
37) Advanced English
39) Hard Landing
43) Make Like a Monkey
44) The Pile
45) The Usual Place
46) Night Flight
47) Mass Production
50) An Old Friend
51) Two Birds with One Stone
53) Rekicking It
54) Thousand Faces
Part II, pg. 237
Error: "Aya nodded slowly. "Like I said, I saw those freaks ten days ago, but I didn't know what they were. So I sort of... left them out of my story."
Correction: Aya nodded slowly. "Like I said, I saw those freaks ten days ago, but I didn't know what they were. So I sort of... left them out of my story."
There is a quotation mark before "Aya" when there shouldn't be.
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