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This story is a revised version of the work that received the “Genron SF Newcomer Prize” at the second Genron Ohmori Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop, which began in 2017. The members of the selection committee were; the literary critic Nozomi Ohmori, the SF writer Masaki Yamada, and Hiroki Azuma, representing Genron. This is the debut work of the prize recipient, Tokio Amasawa.
Nigeria had been brought to the cusp of collapse in the mid-21st century after being mired in the Nine Years’ War. However, the country was saved by a biological device known as the “Neomote,” which had turned Lagos into an archology-a living city.
Despite the country having been rescued from the threat to its existence, disparities had only grown worse. The hearts and minds of the citizens were under the control of the archology’s “Mood Regulator,” childbirth had been managed by the city, and sex had been outlawed.
As an act of rebellion, film director Boogie Nights begins to produce pornographic movies, and because these films resonated with the “Ghetto” underclass, they became a social phenomenon.
The Department of Preservation prepared to conduct a purge in the Ghettos; however, Ash, a government DoP Remover, has illicit connections with Boogie Nights and had sided with the Ghettos. When Ash comes into possession of a legendary XVideo film, he learns that it has a powerful ability to move people’s hearts and upturn public opinion by arousing the people’s moods.
After Ash follows clues to determine the true creator of the video, he finds himself in his old hometown, where he learns that he had made the video. As the son of Tiwa Nneka, the hero who had helped end the Nine Year War, he had the power to automatically generate images that could arouse people’s moods through the widespread recording mediums.
After his return, Ash then uses his powers to hack into Lagos’s systems, overwrite the mood, and silence the archology, after which he connects to the Neomote, who has been confined underground. When he learns that the Neomote’s true identity is none other than his own mother, Tiwa Nneka, he kills her to end the archology. As Lagos is no longer under the protection of the Neomote, Lagos is suddenly assaulted by a sandstorm. Ash then joins a Ghetto march beyond the borders of the crumbling city led by Boogie Nights.