Down and Out

The city never sleeps, and neither do I. My job is to keep watch over the automated factories that run 24/7, churning out goods for the upper levels of the city. I work the night shift in one of the rundown sections of the city. The pay is decent, but the work is monotonous and dull. The streets are empty and quiet, but the neon lights cast an eerie glow on the crumbling buildings. The factories are old and frail, held together by duct tape and prayers. They emit a constant hum that echoes through the empty streets. I've grown used to the noise, but it still gives me a headache. A city is a different place at night. The bright lights and bustling crowds of the day give way to darkness and silence. The only sign of life is the occasional scutter of a rat or the distant wail of a siren. The city's problems are more pronounced at night, the poverty and decay more obvious. I've seen things during my shifts that I wish I hadn't. The desperate and the desperate, eking out a living in the shadows. The addicts, the prostitutes, the gangs. They all seem to come out at night when the city is most vulnerable. Despite the dangers, I can't help but feel a sense of belonging in the city at night. It's my city, my home. I've seen it at its worst but also the moments of beauty and hope. The way neon lights reflect off the rain-slick streets, and the stars shine through the smog. I don't know what the future holds for the city or me. The government's relocation plans have everyone on edge. But I know I'll be here, watching over the city and its people, as long as I can. – Milky Way Digest [MWD} vol 01 pg 11 -

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