Arcadia, both a city and a planet, was the ultimate culmination of an unrestricted capitalist society, a planet ruled by massive influential corporations, where the common labor force, once held by man, had been replaced by machines. Only those of “superior” intelligence, education, or breeding had any worth. The elite society had risen, both literally and financially, creating the Uppercity, segregating themselves into a world of decadence, cybernetic enhancement, and shallow entertainment.

In their shadow, were left the average, the unfortunate, and the unlucky to wallow in the rubble and poverty of the Undercity.

*

Almost thirty years after her exile from her home planet, Nara was growing complacent of the monotony of mercenary life: do job for Company A, anger Company B. Company B sends a handful of thugs to get rid of her. Take care of said thugs. Rinse and repeat for Companies C-Z. Buy a new shiny gun.

Most importantly, try not to piss off Galavantier Corp again.

A metaphysical wrench was thrown in her plans when the body of an Uppecity citizen was dumped at her feet. Normally, she would not have been bothered by the foolishness of a random tourist, but instinct told her that she needed to keep this one close.

Especially considering he was wearing an artifact of her race around his neck.

*

Bored with the monotony of aristocratic life in Uppercity, Garrett Galavantier often escaped to the shadows of the Undercity, scavenging for tidbits of knowledge and general trouble he could stir up with the local taverns. But his tenacious curiosity proved to be his undoing, and suffered a mortal wound when caught in the crossfire of a typical street conflict.

He later awoke in the home of a jaded alien mercenary, his sheltered naivete awe-struck with the sight of a foreigner up close. Despite his numerous visits to the intergalactic star ports, he had never met an outsider in person, and was plotting ways to learn more about them.

His family name the bane of his existence, Garrett concealed his surname from the mercenary, uncertain of whom the alien had dealt with in the past. After the initial awkwardness of introductions subsided, he managed to negotiate a contract with his savior, trading his vast accounts in exchange for intriguing stories of their history.

Both resolved to unite and search for answers to life’s most irritating problems, forming a pact that would result in the cataclysmic rupture of Arcadia’s delicate political structure.