The World wants to kill you
Everything wants to kill you.
Do you remember the times when we laughed, if somebody told us that the world tries to kill us? These days are over. Today, everybody knows that the world WILL kill you, and it uses hundreds of dirty tricks to do it. Those who tell you that it doesn't are usually spoiled corporate brats or idealistic idiots, that want to see the good in everything. The truth is, there is nothing good left.
Corporations? Want to kill you.
Do you remember the days when laws were a matter of the states? Well, those times are over. Today, corporations make the laws, and they want your life. Either by making you work until you drop, or by literally killing you if you are on the wrong side of the law.
The corporations, with their secure income and their well-protected corporate compounds, are often the only desirable refuge for the population. Especially for those who know nothing but life in this cage. This, among other reasons, is why the Faceless and the Underworlders have established themselves as the bogeyman for the corporations’ members. Most of the corporate drones think that these elements have to be exterminated with impunity and without consideration.
Environment? Wants to kill you.
Magic and escaped genetic experiments offer a very diverse Flora & Fauna. Unfortunately, many aspects of it are exceedingly deadly. Whether it’s plants that want to eat you (like the Purple Ivy), or cute looking critters that poison you (like the Devil’s Hamster).
Of course, there are also the true predators. Supernatural beings, Dragons, Chimeras and other creatures that normally belong to the realm of myth make the wilderness outside the cities unsafe. But as usual, if it’s dangerous, it’s also lucrative. That’s why there are always missions that lead the brave (or stupid) into the wilderness to get hold of a certain artefact or rare reagent.
Society? Wants to kill you.
You don’t live in a corporation, but belong to the Faceless? Not in the wilderness, but within the barrens or one of the slightly better residential areas? You think that’s why you’re safe? Poor maniac. Gangs control the streets of the poorer areas. If you are the wrong gender, the wrong species or the wrong gang colours, they will try to kill you. Private Security Services patrol the richer districts. They shoot first and ask questions later. If they ask at all.
Society is a shark tank and either you swim with the sharks or you get eaten. That’s the way it is. The sooner you realise that, the more likely you are to survive here.
Where do you live?
Even in a world that wants to kill you, you need a place where you feel safe. A home, if you want to put it in old-fashioned terms. Depending on your Checkstick and Identification Chip, you have several options.
In a Corporation
The first option is not open to faceless people. It is meant for Jimmy and Jane Normal, the corporate drones who live their lives in a more or less golden cage. This corporate security comes at a price. A life that is timed, with the same brain-dead tasks every day. An apartment that does not differ from the thousand others with the same floor plan.
25 - 50m², a soy-based diet that keeps you healthy, maybe Artificial Meat or Genetically Modified Vegetables once a week. Unless you climb the corporate ladder. Then things get better - the cage bigger and more luxurious.
In the Barrens
Yeah, they’re real. The areas that the police and your local corporate troops don’t dare go into because they fear losing cheap lives and expensive technology to the local gangs. The apartments here are mostly small, run-down and cheap, but safe from local police access.
You have to take care of your own security, so it all depends on your purse. However, your friendly gang will be happy to watch your apartment and break the bones of anyone who wants to get in, although they have no business there. For a donation, of course. Only becomes problematic if his donation is higher than yours and the gang owes you no loyalty and no favours.
You eat what you can get at the moment. Usually cheap, tasteless soy or seaweed that has been fortified with nutrients. The only time you know meat is when you catch a rat or come into money. Vegetables are a rare treat that you only see once every three weeks at the most.
In a "Family Friendly" District
Were you just thinking of a cottage with a cute garden fence? Put that out of your mind. Nobody in this pay grade can afford that. No, family-friendly only means that you have a bigger apartment without mould. The security measures are better, and if you’re lucky, the hallway doesn’t smell of cleaning products and urine.
The landlords here want to scan an Identification Chip and expect you to have a corresponding income. In return, you are rarely hassled, and the building has basic security measures. If someone breaks in, security arrives within minutes.
The food is also better, with vegetables and meat regularly on the table, even of a pleasant quality. But most of the diet still comprises soy or seaweed.
In an Upper Class Environment
If you live here, you don’t have money problems. Your house or flat is well secured, security response times are short, and your diet is healthy and balanced. Fresh vegetables and meat are on the table whenever you want them.
Your neighbourhood is specially secured, and the company that is paid for it does everything to ensure your safety and privacy. This also means that they will let no one through the gates who is not invited and clearly identified.
What do you eat?
The basis of most diets are convenience foods based on soy, seaweed or mushrooms. Usually, these convenience foods come as a tasteless paste that is enriched with artificial nutrients and flavours until you achieved the desired taste. Less common are soy noodles, which float in a broth that has been artificially prepared in this way.
Vegetables and lab-grown artificial meat are affordable even for the lower social classes, but only once a week at most. Most forgo this kind of luxury for other necessities of life - such as weapons. The upper class, on the other hand, can afford the rare, naturally grown fruits, vegetables and even fish from aqua farms. In these areas, soy and its derivatives are no longer part of the diet.