Arie Skye, Pallad City Post

Over the last several decades, Pallad City’s Ardus District has become notorious for violent crime rates, skyrocketing drug use, and poverty-stricken neighborhoods. With many businesses moving out of the area, entire sections of Ardus have been abandoned, leaving behind deserted city blocks. In recent years, the district’s South End thrived as a warehouse district, but even that is now in danger of drying up.

Over the last few months warehouses have become prime targets for criminal activity. A rise in vandalism, break-ins, and even arson, have become daily occurrences. Several property owners claim that this increase in crime is due to a new street drug, Afterlife, which is causing desperate addicts to steal from the warehouses and resell stolen goods to pay for the illegal substance.

“My heart goes out to the people living here,” said Gena Zanuck, owner of a grocery store in the Ardus District. “But it’s becoming suicidal to own a store in this area. Next month, I’m relocating to Silica.” Zanuck also rented space at one of the local warehouses, which had been broken into last week. Most of her property stored there had been stolen.

To make matters worse, police presence in the Ardus District has been at an all-time low, according to residents. “The cops are treating this place like it’s the Kurtow Ruins,” said Lan Breyfogle. “They don’t patrol here, probably because they’re too afraid to. I can’t say I blame them but, come on, if they’re not doing their job, what kind of message does that send out? What’s next, will the Ardus District become some kind of lawless zone?”

Danger Zone One. Story by Midnight. Art by Salaiix.