Arie Skye, Pallad City Post
[Archived Article: Published Six Months Ago]

Over two decades ago a devastating earthquake left the Kurtow District in ruins, transforming a massive section of Pallad City into what some have called an “apocalyptic wasteland.” The disaster resulted in a death toll that, still today, has yet to be known—some estimates suggest over 300,000 dead, while others claim the number could easily be double or triple that.

At the time of the disaster, Pallad City pledged to aid victims and rebuild the ravaged district, but a series of controversial political decisions, high-level corporate interference, and growing public concern related to out-of-control costs—combined with fierce debate on where to house the survivors—resulted in the city effectively abandoning Kurtow.

Prior to the earthquake, Kurtow was one of Pallad City’s most populated districts—often referred to as a megadistrict due to its immense size. A year after the disaster, a massive multi-sectional wall was erected to separate the ruins from the rest of the city. The Kurtow survivors were then forced to fend for themselves, turning the area into a lawless no-man’s land, bordered on one side by an insurmountable wall and, to the other side, the Sirenic Ocean.

Since then, travel in and out of the ruins is restricted. The general public can not cross over the wall, nor can those who live in Kurtow leave. The government’s official stance is that there is “no such law preventing travel between any districts,” but as long as the wall stands, traversal is next to impossible except for a handful of increasingly rare instances.

For over two decades Pallad City officials have claimed that plans were underway to restore Kurtow, but twenty-five years and counting, it has amounted to little more than lip service. The government maintains that they “do their part” by providing the inhabitants of Kurtow with regular supply drops, though the frequency of when these supplies are delivered is a matter of speculation and debate.

Recently, Mayor Hynden Neville has promised a new Kurtow redevelopment effort but, so far, little has come of it. Reconstruction has not been a popular option with Palladians, some citing the astronomical costs for such a task to be “a waste of city resources.” The results from a poll taken last year indicated that nearly 83% of voters feel that Kurtow is “too far gone” to redevelop and is best left “as is.” For the countless people still living in the ruins, it’s a day-to-day struggle for survival. With ever-dwindling resources, shortages of food, clothing and medicine, horrific reports of violent crime, and roaming packs of scavengers to contend with, Kurtow is in no danger of losing its title as Pallad City’s “greatest failure and enduring shame.”

GunRiot. Story by Midnight. Art by Kuraikabe1990.