Emergo Trance wore custom-made designer jeans but lived in an apartment on Cheapside, the bohemian slum of Shadfran. The jeans cost more than his rent for a year, and represented a significant portion of his income for the month. Trance was a Pony, the name given to the late-teens-to-under-forty-youth climbing. Pony’s generally worked flexible hours at out-of-office locations in highly paid yet highly disposable positions just outside the Syrch hierarchy. And they hung out with artists. For Trance, that meant working on a portable data-uplink terminal from this very apartment. The apartment itself was roughly the size of a twenty-first century shipping container: a single room with three sections, bed living and toilet-slash-shower. Often Vance used both the shower and toilet functions simultaneously, as Emily was right now. Moments a go she had been washing herself of Vance’s scent and fluids acquired the night before. Now she sat, squatting over the large round hole in the floor that served as both toilet bowl and shower drain. The shower head and its spray of recycled water serving as the flush function, and as a result, one generally would shit naked – washing between their cheeks once done. The jeans themselves lay on the floor, they had been made by Indigo Purple, a noted up-and-coming designer. If Trance had wanted, he could afford to live somewhere nicer. But then he wouldn’t have been able to access the party last night, or the night before or tomorrow night. And they would last until the next big thing came along… probably. Indigo Purple was in at the moment, at least until they weren’t anymore.