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Night In Midgar

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Night in Midgar is noisy. Noisy and slightly frightening. Above the plate, below the plate, it doesn't matter where you are, night in Midgar is worrying. Below the plate it's dog eat dog, and devil take the hindmost. Above the plate, things are a bit better, but you take your chances with the Shinra Military Police. There isn't anything said openly, but it's well known some of the MPs will arrest people for such crimes as "being female and unaccompanied in a quiet area" or "looking at me the wrong way". Again, nothing is said openly, but it's equally well known the "fines" for these so-called crimes tend to be either monetary, or if you're pretty enough (regardless of gender), sexual.

Midgar is a city which doesn't sleep - or at least, if it does sleep, the sleep is a light cat-nap, easily disturbed. Wall Market, under the plate in Sector Six, has shops and clubs open at all hours - it's said you can get anything you want, provided you're willing to risk Corneo's thugs. Above the plate, the ritzier districts tend to close, but the outlying edge bars stay open all day and all night, pumping out loud music and drunks in a steady flow. If you know who to speak to, or the right word to say to the man on the door, there are places you can get anything you want, provided you have the right amount of money. Drugs, women, men, children. The only thing which varies is the cost.

Street vendors are everywhere, above and below the plate. They sell food, drinks, anything at all. The ones above plate look as though they have more regular access to soap and water than the ones below the plate, but that's the only way to tell the difference. Certainly the merchandise doesn't vary in quality.

Throughout the day, the city swarms with people who either work for Shinra, work for people who work for Shinra, or sell things to the other two types. In the evenings, when Shinra lets out the corporate types at five o'clock, the city is packed solid with a swarm of office workers rushing to their apartments, townhouses, or squats (depending on their salary levels). By seven o'clock, most of the streets are left to the night walkers. Oh, the hotel and entertainment districts are usually busy with people rushing to see the latest play, or have a fine meal. There are crowds of kids around the ritzier cinemas above the plate, hanging out and pretending to be so tough. Below the plate, the kids are working by the time they've reached that age - shop assistants, hired toughs, runners for Corneo's gang, couriers, delivery workers, all the typical jobs of the young and unskilled. The one and only cinema below the plate (sector one, the only one to survive since the Plate had been put in) shows old movies, and only one day a week. The top-plate mall rats might venture down there, but they soon venture back to their safer turf. The bruises usually heal inside a week or two.

A lone walker on the streets of Midgar is easy game for the pickpockets, the muggers, the thugs. Providing, of course, the lone walker isn't working for Shinra. The criminal elements have learned early and well: Turks and SOLDIERs aren't easy prey. If you want to hit either a SOLDIER or a Turk, you'd better make sure they die and stay dead. Unfindable dead. Neither group allows a mugging or a pocket picking to go unpunished, and one of the easier ways to get an argument started in the seedier parts of sector eight is to raise the question of which is worse. The Turks have a minor edge - not all of them wear the suit all the time, and none of them have the glowing eyes that marked a SOLDIER. You could find yourself jumping a Turk, and only discover it when you were shot, shocked, slugged, or stabbed. Of course, you never have to worry about it again... unlike SOLDIERs, the Turks tend not to leave you alive to learn from the mistake.

Through it all, a single flower girl wanders, unmolested.