The Smoke was a renegade city located in Shasta County, Northern California, northwest of Lassen Peak, which was formed by Maddy and her husband Az after finding out the truth of the Pretty Operation.
Maddy and Az, David's parents, were surgeons specializing in Pretty operations in Tally's city. After discovering that the Pretty operation forms lesions in the subject's brain, essentially causing them to become societal "sheep," they continued researching the phenomenon. Those without the lesions (1% of the Pretty population) went into occupations involving, quick-decision making such as doctors and firefighters, suggesting that the leisons impede quick thought and action. This led Maddy and Az to believe that these leisons were placed in each Pretty's mind so that they will willingly and unthinkingly co-operate with society. They strongly disgreed with this, so decided to set up a camp and called it the smoke. Even though the town lacked much advanced technology, save the basics, it still prospered. What they lacked in technology, they made up for in manpower and ingenuity.
Escape to the SmokeEdit
The inhabitants of the smoke will often return to Tally's City and tell the older uglies the truth about the operation. They will give them instructions on how to reach the smoke. They are written like a code. Shay gave Tally the following instructions:
Take the coaster straight past the gap,
Until you find one that's long and flat.
Cold is the sea and watch for breaks,
At the second make the worst mistake.
Four days later take the side you despise,
And look in the flowers for fire-bug eyes.
Once they're found, enjoy the flight,
Then wait on the bald head until it's light.
To prepare, most uglies spent weeks getting supplies. First, they would get a long range hoverboard capable of recharging in the sun and reaching high speeds. Second, they would have gotten survival supplies, which usually included a city made sleeping bag, weeks of city made instant food, water purifiers, and position finders.
Dr. Cable from Special Circumstances gives Tally a Heart-shaped Pendant so that she can inform them where the Smoke is after she arrived. Without any choice, she brings it to the Smoke with her, and after she meets the parents of David and gets involved in the life of a Smokie, she then decides to destroy it, throwing it into the campfire, thus burning it.
But the next morning, she finds the Smoke under attack from Special Circumstances themselves! Then it isn't far after the attack before one of the "soldiers" working for Special Circumstances tells her that if the pendant had gotten destroyed, it would have sent a signal to them, telling them the location of where the pendant had gotten destroyed. Tally feels dumbstruck, and watches as the beloved Smoke gets destroyed.
Shay has long been telling Tally that she doesn't actually want to be turned Pretty. Tally initially disregards her friend's assertion as something that a crazy Ugly would do, and that of course she'll turn Pretty. As Shay and Tally share a birthday, Tally is excited that they'll never be separated due to the operation. The week before their birthday, Shay climbs through Tally's window in her dorm and confides in Tally that she's running away with a mysterious David to a colony called the Smoke. In this town, no one is Pretty, and they survive without the pressure of the operation. Shay begs Tally to join her, but Tally refuses, even trying to keep Shay from leaving. Shay leaves anyway, but gives Tally a note hand written by her (to Tally's surprise, as in this world people don't write by hand) with cryptic and often confusing directions on how to make it to the Smoke.
While waiting in the office for her operation, Tally is taken on a hovercar by a man described as being a "cruel pretty," to the secret office of Special Circumstances, a group of Pretties often rumored not to exist. Tally is introduced to a Special Circumstances Pretty named Dr. Cable, who attempts to ask Tally questions regarding Shay and the Smoke. Tally refuses to answer them until Dr. Cable tells her why she is here. Dr. Cable says that people in the Smoke can be dangerous to the city's equilibrium (particularly environmentally, as the the cities are completely self-sufficient and do not harm the environment at all). This is because people in the Smoke live by hunting, growing, and foraging, and build their buildings out of wood and other environmental materials. This is frowned upon by city society because of the negative effects this has on the environment. Dr. Cable goes on to say that Special Circumstances had tried many times to locate the Smoke without success, and says that finding the secret town in vital to everyone's well- being. She tells Tally that she must journey to the Smoke with Shay's directions, actually find it, and then activate a locating device so that Special Circumstances may destroy the Smoke, make all of the inhabitants Pretty, and return them to their respective cities. If Tally refuses, Dr. Cable tells her that she'd never become Pretty at all.
After initially refusing to betray Shay, Tally agrees to after reminding herself that her and Peris's promise of being "best friends forever" came before Shay, and that she must be with Peris in New Pretty Town. Dr. Cable gives Tally a heart pendant that will activate after scanning the user's eye, alerting the Specials to the location of the necklace. After nearly killing herself getting to the Smoke, Tally is welcomed by citizens, Shay, and David. Although Tally originally arouses suspicion, (her story being that she left at midnight of her birthday, even though numbers such as days and food packets don't properly add up), she eventually proves herself to be an excellent member to the Smoke's community. Although first coming to the Smoke only to betray them, Tally finds herself loving her new life and resolves not to activate the necklace. David shows Tally his parents, who reveal to her the "truth about being Pretty," and soon after David and her fall in love. This angers Shay, who David loved first. After David asking Tally how real their love could be since she carries the heart pendant with her everywhere (the "official story" being that Tally's boyfriend gave it to her, and that she's waiting for his arrival at the Smoke), Tally takes David to a fire and throws the pendant into it, telling him that her other "love" doesn't matter anymore.
Tally awakes to find herself alone in her cabin, and sees that Special Circumstances has arrived in the Smoke. Frantic, Tally forgets her shoes and runs to find the Boss, who is hiding from the Specials, who are capturing all of the Smokies. The Boss has with him a bag of "antique" magazines from 300 years prior (in reality, fashion magazines from our time). They then try to escape, but Tally is re-captured by Special Circumstances. She is thrown into a group of other Smokies who were labeled 'armed resistors'. There, she meets up with Croy and a very hostile Shay, who blames her for their capture, but David is nowhere to be found - since he is hiding safely in a shell.
Economy and Politics Edit
The Smoke seemed to use a mix economy of a free market economy and a communist economy. Food seemed to be free, but they still bought goods from shops and traded with each other. The Smoke relied mostly on things that came from the city: hoverboards, food, clothing, etc., but they do manufacture some things themselves using natural resources.