Tabula Ra$a is hosting its massive annual music festival in the desert, which every year precedes the massive annual drunken riot in the desert. This is all organized by Zoey’s people, including the riot – as Will explains, the citizens need a little chaos now and then, their job is just to keep a lid on it. That will be a problem this year, with history’s most ridiculous mayoral election playing out in the background.
The city has divided into roughly two camps, supporting each of the major candidates: One is a stern, calculating activist out to restore traditional morality to the city at all costs, the other is Megaboss Alonzo, whose platform is that he will pay you ten dollars if you vote for him. When a horrific crime is broadcast live on the all-seeing social network Blink, the former seems poised to reap the benefits in the polls. The Suits suspect the nature and timing of the crime are a little too convenient and may be a carefully-staged hoax.
But in a city in which lies are always served in layers, even that explanation will prove to be far too simple. As tensions ratchet tighter, Zoey comes to realize that this is really a battle of narratives: Every culture needs a collective story to believe in, so it’s just a matter of coming up with one and then carefully sculpting reality to make it fit. How hard can that be? They have the whole weekend.