It was a grey morning. Fog hung low over the streets of the inner city, blocking the view of the higher floors of the apartment complexes that lined the road. Shiro shivered. She didn't have the body mass to deal with the cold drizzle, which she decided she hated about her design more even than that she had been designed to be a pet. She looked around. The city was awash with colour. The walls were black and dystopian, with red and orange lights shining through the murky clouds. Far on the horizon, she could see the ever present Wall stretching up into the sky, a constant reminder of her dire situation. Speaking of which... She looked for a news board. They were huge electronic screens that were placed at regular intervals on the walls of buildings and were used to give details of the city's happenings to the citizens that lived in it. In the bottom right corner, a counter slowly ticked downwards - 46:23:12. 46:23:11. 46:23:10. "46 hours, huh? I wonder who it'll be this time," she muttered into the still air, to no one in particular. Just then, a small vehicle, made of dark grey metal and decorated with the fake-optimistic orange lines typical of companies in Abandon pulled up to the side of the road. Shiro opened the sliding door, and got into the back seat. These seats had no windows for themselves, so her only view out was through the windows in the front half of the vehicle, and the back windshield. The driver turned round expectantly. "Oh, hello Shiro. Long time no see, huh? Same place?" The two acquaintances engaged in small talk as he drove, steering almost robotically through the streets, up some ramps to the higher tiers of roads, and eventually coming to a stop outside one of the smaller Grand Towers of the central district. When they arrived, Shiro disembarked. She walked to the driver's window to pay, but the driver insisted that she needn't pay - after all, they were friends. And a lot of friendships are very temporary in Abandon. She knew he was trying to build up karma. He had always been a cautious person. Even so, she paid what the fare would have been - 420 Kol - before heading into the building. There were two kinds of currency, she knew. The first was "money". It held different names in different districts, but in the Central District, it was named Kol. For now, the conversion rates between the different areas were roughly 1:1, except for the Farming District in the east, which was considerably higher at 1:3. There had been a political dispute in that area a few years ago, and people rarely visited, so the value of it's currency went down. The second was a universal currency called Karma. It could be built up and lost individually, as well as paid as you would pay money. Those who had very low karma at the end of every two weeks would be instantly obliterated, their soul sent to Hell by the Watchers who ruled Abandon. Those with low karma but who didn't quite make the cut were entered into a gladiatorial arena, where they fought to the death for the entertainment of the citizens. Only the winner would be offered a second chance. The inside of the building was a stark contrast to the outside world. It was a clean white, with blue LED lighting panels both on the floor and roof to provide an equal illumination to the entire room. The room itself was very spacious and very empty. At the far end, 2 elevators, one on either end of the wall, were positioned, and inbetween the two was a desk stationed with 3 receptionists. Before each receptionist was a line of at least 15 people. No doubt all trying to apply for the Guild, as she was. Most were turned away, but she had a feeling today was her lucky day, after 2 failed attempts. She knew what they said - third time's the charm.