The following is an excerpt from the book, City of Ruin, by Naria Heft. [Originally published five years ago.]

Organized groups of scavengers may resort to violence and murder if it means maintaining their “status” within the ruins. Between substandard living conditions, an increasingly harsh environment, and the ever-present struggle to secure supplies, the years of living in Kurtow have produced desperate individuals with questionable morals. Yet, those who fail to embrace this survival-of-the-fittest mentality are unable to thrive and often become victims.

Over the last two decades, government officials and members of the public have cited the rapid deterioration of Kurtow as reason enough to maintain the wall that separates the ruins from the rest of Pallad City. Ferris Royt, former head of the Kurtow Redevelopment Effort, stated in a controversial interview that those in Kurtow “may not be able to reintegrate back into society and any attempt is probably a lost cause—it’s pure chaos over there.”

GunRiot. Story by Midnight. Art by Kuraikabe1990.