The Shallows District became Zone B2, and overnight transformed a fashionable bohemian neighbourhood of small shops, bars and artist studios into a stinking maze of crime.
Where the gutters had run with water from early morning street cleaners and the daily drink of hanging baskets, blood, filth and urine now pours into the sewers, joining the nameless corpses and piles of junk bumping uneasily along the main river. Pavements that hosted tables and white parasols are now home to the homeless like me. People that drift from one day to the next.
The checkpoints and posters scream B2 to all those making the arduous journey from one part of Candor City to another, but the people still refer to the river side district by its quaint name, remembering how it was reclaimed from the estuary mud flats and turned into a place of laughter and recreation.
It is assumed that people get residence permits by where they were born, but for years gangsters and their politicians have corrupted it, ensuring that the common man finds himself segregated and interned in cesspits like B2. Before the Great Twilight, this would have been harangued as being no more than a prison of free men, the punishment of the innocent. In these crazy times, a man brave enough to say such things is shot.
Is it any wonder that when the government no longer protects its citizens, when it chooses not to exercise its monopoly on the enforcement and arbitration of justice, that evil and criminal men rise to the fore, to prey and profit from the misfortune of good people.
The presence of the police is no more than a token gesture, to assuage the guilt of the chattering classes who colluded with this monstrous crime, a catastrophic response to a perceived threat that ultimately destroyed society's ability to protect itself. Most observe from the safety of their flitters, but occasionally you'll see a cop on the ground.
To a man and woman, these cops are the old timers, those that served for the real police before the Twilight. Honest and incorruptible, they know the people and they know the neighbourhood. The small time crooks avoid them, and the big time gangsters know that killing them is bad for business.
Sometimes I think they're the only thing standing between us and anarchy.
-- Joshua Isuza, Zone B2, Candor City
M3 figure with Sci-Fi casuals by Xurge3D, Flip Hair by DAZ. Buildings by Stonemason.
Scene assembly and final rendering in Vue 6 Pro Studio. Post processed in Photoshop CS2