Somewhere between the Village and the Mesa is the Canal. Sector 18. The Red Light District. A very frequented Sector, and one of the most dangerous, where visitors come to unload the heavy burden of their frustrated routines between legs, lips, fingers or in any kind of synthetic orifice. For a price, you can fuck anything in Sector 18.
The Canal owes its name to the old docks and the river that used to cross the area. Today the water has been re-routed and the canal is dry. The bed of the old river, as well as the docks and all the buildings around, have been converted into a lower level covered gallery full of establishments dedicated to pleasures of all kinds.
Around the Old Docks or in the Gallery underneath, the visual is the same: strip clubs, holo-sex shops, “massage” shops, women and men behind windows and curtains, enticing the passers-by.
During the hours of the day, the Sector is calm, resting. When comes the night, the red neons turn on and the curtains behind the windows open to reveal what is up for grab by the visitors “shopping” in the busy streets. Clients walk face down in the Canal. Avoiding eye contacts. Nobody is here for “good reasons”, nobody wants to be seen there. And it turned into some kind of custom. They also don’t like cameras there. Unions of workers and establishment owners have obtained the suppression of video surveillance in the streets of Sector 18, claiming that it was a deterrent for customers.
The main street, the Old Docks and the Gallery are the legal facade of the Canal. What is happening in the back streets of the sector is another level of concern.
As I said: whatever you are looking for, you will find it here. A dance, a blow job, a full hour alone with a prostitute or an entire night, as long as you have the money, you can get it. If you are cheap, you can have holo-sex, as long as you are more visual than tactile. And if you are not worried about diseases and scratches, you can always visit the back alleys where the second class workers try to make a bit of cash with what they have left. Amputees, implanted, old whores and addicts are waiting for you there. But it gets better than that, and Retrocity being what she is, there is a market for fetishists of all kinds, including the sick. The Ghosting, the Hollowing ones, and the people who are Retroprocessing and infusing with various objects. Customers are paying astonishing amounts of money to stick their dick into the woman who infused with her motorcycle. Half woman, half bike. They pay the price and she takes them on a ride through the city that they will not forget.
And no, I am not kidding, just ask around. Or the man who became a chair, waiting for customers to sit on what is left of hard flesh. The chair still moans when it cums. The owner made it a public attraction in her establishment. Some pay to fuck it, some pay to watch them fuck it.
And if you are creeped out, let me just tell you that it gets worse. Way worse. You see, there are still laws when it comes to prostitution, legal age and all that jazz. At least when it involves humans. But investors and shop owners have found the easy loophole: nothing is illegal if it is a hologram or an android. Yep, you heard me right. And even as police officers, there is not much we can do about that.
Where bodies are for sell, people are here to profit. There is the legal part of the dark side, and then there is the darker side. Trafficking. Pimps, dealers and shop owners will stop at nothing if the offer is good enough. You have a family member who needs a spine transfer or an organ donation, and you cannot afford the cost of synthetic implants? You can find it in the Canal for the third or the price. Prostitutes are cheap and replaceable, and traffickers know this. For the price of a pair of eyes, they can recruit many more workers, and still keep the blind prostitute to work for cheaper in the back alley. The money flows so well that these vultures can easily hire doctors from the Hills or the rich neighborhoods. The surgeons come and work at night, here in the Canal, for a substantial addition to their paychecks. And there are the butchers, the ones who practice surgery, organ transfers or implants with no degree or qualifications of any kind other than “street experience”. Cheaper for the client. And dangerous.
The best way for sex workers to get some kind of protection is to be contracted by the local bosses and mafias. For a part of their incomes, usually a good 30%, they receive protection against trafficking or customer violence. A tattoo or a label on their clothes or their window will indicate to the client that they are “protected”. The ones who are not are usually the ones who go “missing” with no questions asked. The better your ass, the more money you make, the more you can protect that ass.
That’s the law of Sector 18.