Subject: Brian Mixon, subject number 8891-80-10 NEST arcology survivor
So, what was life like when I wasn't out risking my neck? Hot and Sticky. Kind of an eternal - whats the name - Summer of Sam? Zodiac Killer, riot waiting to happen, that kind of stuff.
Electricity might not be free - but before the event, Utility bills were payed for with only a day or two worth of work at an average job, not even that most likely. After the event, power was so limited, that it took most of the month to earn the power credits for running the AC, much less the electric stoves. Yeah, pretty much any apartment that had a kitchen was electric or induction - no contractor was going to run that many miles of vertical gas lines. Most of the cooking ended up communal for that reason. And most of the residents couldn't cook for a damn and would only go insane faster if left to their own devices, though don't complain about the food since that always started a fight or made more work for a RAT...
I'm rambling. Yeah. Um. Electricity. Almost no one was kind enough to remember to turn off the AC and unplug their refrigerators as they were being torn apart by abominations. So every locked off area was drawing a ton of power. There is a pretty big gulf between reduced reliance on the grid, and independence - so yeah, for all the efficiency built into the structure, it was still a struggle. Break into an apartment, hope your're not killed, flip twelve switches, repeat six-thousand times - not a very tenable solution.
No AC, little choice in food, same people day after day, working a job chosen for you rather than what you trained for or enjoyed, surrounded by monsters. Not an impossible situation, not even necessarily as bad as an earlier century. But the people [Sigh] - I don't care if this is going to be a text book - include an otomotopea for that sigh.
People would gamble to pass the time, which lead to cheating and loan sharks. Someone would try to retrieve stuff on their own and compromise security, or pass around bribes to get stuff, which usually came through the chain of command and made our lives harder. Children would get lost in the under-halls and a big search was called. Scavengers would pay no attention to the people living here and break in.
Politics, Polotics, Politics. Do we try to contact the government, should this be a democracy, is it one vote per person, or is there some way to earn multiple votes?
At least in NEST seven, we did have multiple votes - earning extra for various duties or achievements. It turned into a rigged system fairly shortly. RATs got extras, but since our superiors decided if we went on missions at all and what equipment to bring - they held sway over our jobs and possibly lives if we didn't vote their way. They called it a "Roman Patrician" thing, I called it something you're not going to print!
So yeah, gangs, power-blocks, patronage, a mafia even if there wasn't one before (Not that I'll believe there wasn't any organised crime in a project as big as a NEST) - everyone trying to get a little extra for themselves. We usually weren't killing each other like the outside, even Tower Reversed stayed away from our area, and inside you didn't get any aliens. Once we got the irrigation equipment, we were almost set, and the argument came about as to if we should even bother leaving and helping the outside. That was an - unpleasant - debate. With a few guns involved, if you catch my meaning.