Much of the US is now a vast Desert or unfriendly wilderness, as a result the majority of the population now reside in vast cities known as PeeZee's (Policed Zone), life here is crowded and tough with enforcers patrolling the streets to protect Corporate Interests more than civilian lives.
Life in the PeeZeeEdit
The PeeZee Cities of the Dark Future are riddled with people of every walk of life from wealthy elites to the Homeless that scratch out a living on the street. Since the Deregulation of Law Enforcement Act of 2075 the Policing in these massive cities is done by brutal and ruthless Private Firms, many maintain the tradition of Police Style Uniforms and Badges but are little more than hired security forces with a gun.
Most of the Civilian population work in the service industry or for the mega corporations that control the Cities, with little room for Mom & Pop Shops that are quickly pushed out of business in favor of the bland and uniform products of big business. Those that won't work for the Corporations end up on the street or living in the sewer to eek out a life at the bottom of the corporate ladder.
At the TopEdit
He had been downing Zoom Juice for a while now and the sky had become an excellent blaze of lights and shapes when he heard his name called, his mother stood in the doorway to the rooftop garden and was checking her reflection in a compact, "don't forget dear we will be back in two days." She turned and walked out of sight, perfect, he thought a couple more hours and his party can begin!
For the privileged elite life is great in PZ cities, opulent homes, rooftop gardens, penthouse suites, and every kind of entertainment known to mankind are available here, when your young all you need to do is go to school and then college and in between you can experience any delight you can imagine.
But eventually these young and rich people must follow their parents into the Corporate boardrooms and executive lounges of the most powerful corporations in the world, and enjoy true delights of being among the most powerful elites in the world.
Everett sat with dozens of others in the Bus shelter, the sun was barely rising from the depths of the world and yet he was already here, waiting for a Bus to take him off to work. He wished he could make it big, some great invention or business deal to send him off to his own personal paradise, but the bus pulled up and it was time to start thinking about work again.
Much of the PZ population fall into this walk of life, six day weeks and unpaid overtime have simply become the way of the world and few even question it now, working in the service industry or as a low level employee of the Corporations or what's left of the Government.
The life for most in this style is hard work for meager pay, but its enough to stay fed and have a roof made of something sturdier that cardboard, it's the American Dream, or at least it is now.
On the StreetsEdit
Niko shuffled through the streets uneasy as he eyed the destitutes, his family had abandoned him because he was too expensive to keep, and now he felt like this was the only chance he had, stories of Mutants in the NoGo frightened him, but what could be expected of a 13 year old? A withered looking man approached him and smiled a sinister smile, "you need a place to stay?" He said with his gravely voice, Niko ran, sprinting as fast as he could to escape the fear rising in his belly.
By far the largest population of people in the PZ cities live in the slums, without work or comfort, many even starve or die from sickness they can't afford a cure for. Most scavenge or beg for what they can and live in shanty homes built from discarded aluminum siding, pallets, cardboard boxes, and plastic sheeting.
Many eventually grow desperate enough to try crime or flee into the NoGo in the hopes of something better, but few if any manage to find a better life, and more than a few find the butt of an Enforcer Rifle. Life on the streets is no fun, and the Ju-ju zombies, Enforcers, Mafia, and Yakuza don't make it any easier for those living in the slums of the shining PZ cities.
The old tunnel was dryer than further back and Harry was looking it over with a critical eye, rat tracks and no sign of a water line were good signs, it would do for now, much cooler and safer than the slums had been and despite the rumours he hadn't seen any Mutants since he started looking, so much for the gossip.
While few will venture into the expansive sewer networks of the PZ cities, there are some that have little choice but to survive in these dank and foreboding places. While rumours of Mutants are widespread in the PZ few if any would risk living that close to the Enforcers, and risk execution without trial.
Despite the conditions and risks, there are still those who live in these places, protected from the hot sun, acid rain, and even the Enforcers are reluctant to journey down into the bowels of the cities.
DowntownEditThe Privileged Elite and the Wealthy Dilettantes live in the heart of these great cities where the only requirement is Money and endless Trendy Clubs, Grand Openings, and Pill Bars make life an endless whirl of parties and excess, where the only limits are the depth of your pocket and what you can stomach. Corporate Interests want the consumer to buy and in Downtown that's all there is on offer, endless products and services, from Prostitution, to Car Detailing and beyond, nothing is illegal to the corporations if you can make a profit then its for sale.
The Delinquent kids of the rich make Downtown their playground, living in excess and learning how to live in permanent bliss before they become the corporate leaders in the Cities most powerful corporations. Most others are just there to serve them and that's how they treat the Service staff in the endless Malls and Stores that populate this Neon Landscape.
Two of them stood at the entrance to the club staring out over the gentle blue glow of the night, the Stars Names glowed over the signs of the clubs and they were spoiled for choice, dozens of bands and performers were here and they all had such intoxicating names. Like letting the Ju-ju slide down into your mind.
After the sun sets over the heart of the PZ cities the Sickly brilliant glow of Neon bathes the night in its glow, at the late hours the cities begin to transform from the seemingly civil and modern to the pulsating urge, thick scents curl in the air and the unending buzz of the Neon Lights is backed by the rhythms of electronic music and the beat of drums.
The very landscape of the cities appear to change in these hours, with once dark and foreboding streets becoming the warm and welcoming places in the night, while highstreet stores close and the brightness of the day is replaced with the dark purples and browns of the night.
Everyone called her Auntie as they strolled by her apartment and she liked that, sitting by her front door and watering her plastic plants had become her life ever since her retirement, its a good job the Enforcers don't care how she makes her money she thought as Jackie came over and asked "Hey Auntie, got any Zoomers?"
Around the city centres lies the vast urban sprawl, with high rises taking the place of suburban homes, and gardens replaced by decorated hallways, the vast bulk of the corporate employee's live in these places with their families, and even the feeling of the 50s seems to have returned.
no longer the American Dream these places grow ever more expansive and overpopulated as the end of the world drags its heels, out in the suburbs high rises have replaced communities and now act as solemn refuge from the ever more desperate situation just beyond the fences.
The Defense LineEdit
Lucas and his friends approached the checkpoint in His convertible and he smiled at the Enforcer at the gate "Hey open up the gate, were going out" he chuckled, the Enforcer walked to the car and looked in with his torch "Its not safe for you kids out here!", Lucas smiled again and spoke softly this time "I am Lucas Moore, just open the gate and shut your mouth", the Enforcer recognized the name immediately and with a sigh he returned to the gate and let them pass.
PZs are protected by a vast defense line of highly charged electric fences, watch towers, and security checkpoints, and though most Citizens of the PZ feel safe from the dangers of the NoGo, others see it as a prison with guards at every gate.
Enforcer patrols routinely make circuits around these fenced regions to ensure that everything is in order, but despite their efforts there are weak spots in every PZ, tunnels that run under the fences, corrupt Enforcers that take their cut, and poor maintenance all make sure that the PZ youths can sail of into the NoGo for a night of fun, and who cares if they don't come back?
Most of the Products made for sale in the city are manufactured by Robots that populate Robotown, Humans largely function as supervisors in this part of the cities managing Robotic workforce and building ever more machines and toys for the rich. those that live here are generally the poorest workers and homeless Robots that have been replaced in their industry by ever more advanced and sleek machines that do their job twice as fast.
Crumbling edifices and dirty streets mark the entrance to these parts of the mega-cities that populate the PeeZee, with little money spent to make the workers lives better and plentiful numbers of PZ Enforcers ensuring that the Factories remain safe and nobody gets any bright ideas about stealing from the corporations that pay their wages.
Niko crouched in his home, though only made of discarded pallets and boxes it had become his home some time ago, the armoured busses of employee's for the day shift were just leaving the factory he lived in the shadow of. "Lucky" he muttered to himself as they rolled off toward the highrise homes where he often dreamed of getting back too, as the gates began to roll closed he took his chance and darted in, scavenging for scraps had become his bread and butter these last few years.
Around and between the massive factory complexes lies the massive slums of the homeless and destitute masses, those too ill or unskilled to work in the Factories and in the Service Industry, but don't want to risk the NoGo live here. Shanty towns and cardboard cities spread over the waste ground and the edges of the roads, where millions live in destitution, homeless Humans and Robots live shoulder to shoulder here and many even tell of Mutants living in the sewers beneath the cities, though these are typically taken as rumour only.
The Warehouse DistrictEdit
Marco and Dane surveyed the Warehouse carefully from their hidden position, taking in the Enforcer Patrols that kept the Guns within safe from Mafia Types like them, "West wall" Dane whispered, Marco turned his eyes to the west and scanned the wall, at the very top of the wall was a window barely large enough for them, but it was open, "when the Pigs make their next pass we go in behind em' and cut of their air supply" he grinned.
Connected by service roads to the industrial factories of Robotown these massive Districts are filled with warehouses full of product, and the Enforcers closely watch them for signs of intrusion.
The Slums of Robotown spread even here and the filthy streets and shanty homes fill the gaps where they can, but life here is often even harder as the Enforcers routinely shake down the destitute for information or simply just for fun. While massive Trucks roll the road clear carrying tonnes of goods in and out of the PZ.
Ada tried to make herself as small as possible in the old box that she called home, the bullets of the fight beyond kept bouncing off the walls as the Yakuza kept pressing down on the Mafia who controlled this territory, oh how Ada wished she lived in a nice cozy penthouse. The guns fell suddenly silent and she braved a look, the Mafia toughs had fallen and now Yakuza were moving through the area, a loud bang resounded around her for a moment and she realized her eyes were going fuzzy, "Damn Yakuza," she thought as she fell, "why'd they hate Robots so much?"
Robotown and its Districts are often the site of Mafia and Yakuza Gangs fighting it out over territory, both sides claiming to fight for the benefit of those that live there, while extorting what little wealth and possessions the desperate who live here may have.
Many youths in the slums will join up with Gangs and Cults in the hope that their lives may get easier, but few ever reach their dreams, most simply die in ill planned warehouse raids or in fights against rival Gangs.
(See The Highstreet)
In PZ downtown areas there are endless Strip Malls and Highstreet shops to cater to every need and desire of the wealthy, from designer clothing to all manner of vice. Corporate Outlets make getting Vehicles, Weapons, and other upgrades almost effortless for those that live within the confines of the electric fences and Enforcer Checkpoints.