So, Sensei and Cricket are the main characters, and this story takes place in the future.

 

Here is the back story for the setting: As the population expanded, food and resource shortages began in 2025, and by 2050 there was widespread starvation and misery. The upper and the lower classes had a huge split, billions perished who could not afford food and shelter. The governments all began to go to war over food and resources and private companies stepped in and began taking advantage of the governments desperation and started to manufacture war machines, chemical and biological weaponry for them. The ensuing wars wrecked havoc on the earth, so there is widespread pollution and wastelands across the globe where chemical and biological weapons have ruined the environment. In the face of war and starvation the governments crumbled and private companies stepped in and took over the remaining resources and stopped the wars. At first, it was in attempt to save the remaining population. They took over, stabilized things for the upper class, and recruited the remaining people and put them to work. They worked for dozens of years finishing facilities for food and clean water that had been started and funded with the profits from the government wars. Once they had protected farms growing safe food, clean water sources, etc. they set out to re-established government control, however over the decades it had taken to build the necessary facilities corruption had set in, so the political people are merely puppets that do the large corporations' wills. Private companies own EVERYTHING. So, in this somewhat stable, but miserable and unfair environment we find Sensei and Cricket. (The exact year has yet to be determined, but I’m guessing it should be about 2150-2250) Space travel is possible, and mining operations have been set up in on the moon, and facilities are currently being started on Mars. The people who were working for the corporations have been more or less turned into slaves. Those people who did not sign up with the corporations have been eking out a living in the city slums.

 

Cities are huge and sprawling, having been built up as the only hospitable place for people to live, being divided heavily between the rich and the poor. With changes in the environment following the population explosion back in 2025-2050, and the consequences of the war, lots of countries are screwed up and/or completely inhabitable, people migrating, etc. One country hit especially hard was Japan. The Japanese traveled west and settled largely along the west coast of the united states, and over the years have integrated their culture into the region. The slums of Old Seattle are where Sensei and Cricket live. Its dirty, rusty, it rains all the time, and everything is dog eat dog. Gangs run the streets. There are some poor people who are a little better off than others, but comparatively, they are still incredibly poor. A few sympathetic rich people here and there sometimes help out, but otherwise the two different parts of the city are like different countries almost. Some people are able to live in crumbling houses or apartments, but lots of people live on the street too. The poor live mostly outside or in old buildings, while the rich live in these huge massive skyscrapery type buildings, everything for them is indoors, and they have artificial sunlight, etc. That way, they never have to go outside into the dirty nasty outside. Acid rain is sometimes still a problem, that kind of thing.

 

There is a third class of people, which is kept very secret by the corporations. They still use slave labor for the farms and maintaining things outside the cities, mining resources on the mood or mars, and other things. The rich are managers and such. Being a slave has its good points and bad points. You are fed, clothed, and protected. However, depending on your unit or your manager, you could also be beaten, raped, and overworked. When they run low, the corporations just go into the cities and abduct people from the lower classes. They disappear them. Once a slave, you never escape. Period.

 

Slaves - performing the most basic of tasks and duties, the unseen class, purposely kept uneducated in certain areas, but taken care of for the most part. Kind of like how people keep work animals. They could be very well taken care of or abused.

 

Lower Class - VERY poor, live in the slums, can eek out a living by working in their own economy, they often trade in goods as money is incredibly rare and hard to come by. They exist more or less entirely separately of the upper class, they have their own economy, etc. Corporations provide food for the markets, but its too expensive for most people to buy, so they try to plant their own food, etc. Its not very good quality.

 

Upper Class - VERY rich, live in the upper city, member who run corporations or do tasks that are considered valuable to society, doctors, scientists, engineers, etc. Live in lavish luxury, want for nothing, spoiled, condescending, kaniving, scheming, and always looking for more power. A very dangerous breed of people. As with all things, there a few exceptions to the rule, but these exceptions must always be very careful not to be found out by the other crazies.

 

Corporations - The master class. These guys run everything. They have private security forces, and the have the governments in their pockets. The overlords of the world. BAD BAD BAD guys. They will do anything to keep their money and their control, no matter how bad, how unethical, etc. They are funding and using cutting edge research and technology, and not very much of it is for the purpose of improving the current human condition.

 

Now, that brings us down to the individuals. Sensei and Cricket.

 

Sensei/Nik: Private Investigator and All Around Bad Ass. (a.k.a. BAMF) I still have to work out some details on his past, but he was training in martial arts from the time he was very young (like 5 or 6?) from a wise old Asian man who lived in the slums. Over time, he found that by immersing himself in the training it began to have peculiar effects on him. He noticed that with a still and open mind his heightened senses allowed him to perceive small details that often go overlooked. Therefore, as he grew up he realized that his attention to detail allowed him to place facts together quickly, extracting obvious truths when those around him remained oblivious. When he was 14, Nik began working as a body guard for hire to provide for himself and the old man, when he was 19, he began to work as a private detective in addition to body guarding and bouncing for local bars. Shortly thereafter Nik got a strange case involving a missing girl. Upon finding the girl, Nik discovered that it was the daughter of an Upper Class widow who had been kidnapped and taken down to the slums and left for dead. Upon returning the girl the widow (who is one of the few and far between exceptions of the upper class world) was so grateful she offered to adopt Nik and marry her daughter to him, saving him from the underworld and bringing him into a life of luxury. Nik thought long and hard about it, but after consulting with his master Nik decided that he wanted to stay in the slums and devote his life to helping the people of the slums. The widow and her daughter remain contacts of Nik's. Since Nik would not marry the widow's daughter, she gave him enough money to set him up for life. With the money from the widow, Nik bought an apartment building and set up his business. The widow and her daughter remain contacts of Nik and send aid when they can. A few years after that, the old Asian who had been continuing to guide and counsil Nik was brutally murdered on the way back from the market. Nik wad devestated. He continued to run his business but continued to take darker and darker jobs while falling slowing into cynical despair. Due to guilt from not being able to save his Master and not being able to stop all the violence around him, he was losing faith.

 

Enter Cricket. Cricket's mother was  murdered when she was 7. Cricket survived by scavenging and making trinkets. She was able to sneak into places due to her small size and steal food and information for gangs and was tolerated. Cricket learned early on she had a knack for putting together things and gradually the gang began to bring her electronics and things to tinker with, creating hacking tools and such. When she was about 14 or 15 Cricket sent to work in one of the gang operated bars. She had to hold her own over and so she fights pretty well for a bar fighter. She continues to tinker with items brought to the bar by locals and the gang members, but as she gets older she's having more difficulty keeping some of the gang members away from her. The owner of the bar himself doesn't do much to help her since she brings good money in when she works the bar or works the tables. Cricket does the best she can, but things are sta