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

Forgotten is Kurtow’s once bustling sublevel, now partially buried beneath tons of debris. After the earthquake, many residents began to refer to all areas under the megadistrict as Lowtown.

Bernard Vurnt, an ex-Kurtow resident who had joined a private military contractor in order to leave the district, had this to say about the sublevel:

“Lowtown. It’s the nickname for everything beneath Kurtow—the abandoned sewer systems, caved-in subway terminals, remnants of underground shopping centers, even the government research facilities. Figured they called it that because however deep into the shit Kurtow’s sunk, it was nothing compared to those subsections—truly the lowest pit of hell. If you ever thought what was on the surface was bad, I dare you to imagine what’s under it. Went to Lowtown only once. Was never the same after that. When the PMCs started coming to Kurtow to recruit, I jumped at the chance to join. Figured there couldn’t be a warzone in the world as horrific as what I’d seen down there. And you know what? I was mostly right.”

GunRiot. Story by Midnight. Art by Kuraikabe1990.