Nerri Ceras, Pallad City Post

Take a walk through the streets of Pallad City and it’s no secret, the city’s getting more crowded every day. The towering monolithic skyscrapers are built taller, riding the Hyper Rail with hordes of passengers is akin to squeezing into a sardine can, and the concept of “personal space” is a fanciful illusion believed to exist only by uninformed tourists.

A record number of Palladians will arrange vacations away from the city this year, just to get a temporary reprieve from the daily hustle and bustle. It’s become a common belief that there’s not a square kilometer left in the city that isn’t occupied beyond capacity. And maybe it’s true…

Or maybe not? Less than 50 kilometers away, in the middle of the Dering Sea, rests an island that is, technically, a part of Pallad City. The island’s existence isn’t a secret per se, but it’s not universally known by the general public. Nearly devoid of any human presence, save for a research facility and its personnel, Volkan Island has a rich—and somewhat complicated—history.

Roughly 9 kilometers in size, Volkan Island is unique in one aspect above all others—it’s an artificially-created island. But don’t plan any vacations there just yet. It’s off limits.

(Continued in Section 2B)

Danger Zone One. Story by Midnight. Art by Salaiix.
Art coloring by Tofiq Huseynov.