the inhabitants of the city are divided into six classes - sub-drones, drones, workers, watchers, sleepers, and police.
rumors exist of a seventh class - of supervisors or overlords - but their existence is a matter of dispute.
a dispute which has faded away.
as no one seems to have actually heard or seen the overlords in many years, or admitted that they did, they have been almost forgotten.
the sub-drones are the lowest class. many of them have never been the subject of a proper census. they live on the casual largesse or handouts of the classes above them, with an occasional bonanza of food and drink and drugs and entertainment provided by the police if they - the sub-drones - behave themselves.
the audience at samantha’s presentation about crime not paying were mostly sub-drones. they had never been properly registered as citizens at the inception of their existences, and had only come to the attention of the police by being arrested for crimes. when arrested by police and unable to present identification, they had been classified as “trainees”.
after an accredited period of indoctrination and acclimatization, they would be registered as drones, and could begin their process of becoming successively workers, watchers, and sleepers.
this is all pretty dreary, said maria-celeste. looking over billy’s shoulder.
i am just trying to set the stage,
you have set it enough. get on with it. and with some sympathetic characters!
i need to fill in the background so the story will make sense, don’t i?
no, it’s just a story. get on with it.
but it won’t make any sense.
there is no sense. nothing makes sense. nobody cares about sense. just get on with it.