Junk Head Setting
In the distant future, humanity is hurtling down a path of ruin. Global
environmental destructon caused by chemical contamination, radioactive
fallout, and UV rays coming through the patchy ozone layer has lead to
deterioration of the human genome.
In an attempt at escape, humans expanded their sphere
of daily existence underground, but they were decimated by an ancient virus that
had been sealed there.
However, by developing gene recombination
technology using the virus’s genes, mankind was able to attain a lifespan that
could be called “immortal.” The human body became inorganic at the molecular
level. No breathing or blood circulation was necessary; as long as a faint
electric stimulation was present, even existence as a disembodied head was
(It was popular to change one’s body as fashion, and bodies
that were no longer needed were fitted with AI heads and sold as
However, mankind’s new atomic structure was unstable, so once
every 10 years it had to be reconstructed. As long as that reset was
accomplished, humans could expect “eternal” life, but in exchange, they lost the
ability to reproduce.
In order to maintain their dwindling workforce,
they started to create new beings patterned after humans using cloning
technology, but the clones rebelled. At the end of a long war, a ceasefire was
reached that has now lasted 1,200 years, with the two sides living separately:
the humans on the surface and the clones below ground.
(However, at the
border there are incessent skirmishes, and this story’s protagonist is unable to
evade one of these attacks.)
The outbreak of a new virus saw the
population reduced even further, and human society reached a critical point in
the fight to preserve mankind.
It is during this crisis that a
surveillence camera sent underground discovers clones that were unexpectedly
able to reproduce, and an investigation is launched. (For population control
reasons, clones were not originally built with reproductive
It is unclear how far the underground extends.
ecology of the uniquely evolved clones is also unknown.
However, in order
to carry on the species, mankind desperately needs that genetic
He was a dance instructor in human society; however,
due to the decreasing population, the studio fell on hard times and he was let
go. He happened to see a want ad seeking members for an underground
investigation team and applied.