Gideon was not a member of the elite, even after all these years in the underground society of New Melbourne. Five years after the Collapse, however, he’d amassed enough Elite Tokens that he might as well have been one of them.

After all, there weren’t many people who could get into a party like this without it sending them bankrupt. Not that being bankrupt was really a thing anymore. Get too far in debt and you’d just find yourself in the muddy lake.

The party was taking place in the mansion of one particular elite, although Lorenzo didn’t bother putting the name to memory. They were all the same to him with their fancy platters, expensive wine and huge chandeliers. Besides, it wasn’t like any of the elites were going to talk to him. He was just the guy who admires traditional tattooist more than anyone or anything in the world. 

Speaking of, Gideon was currently socialising with a small group of elites, getting all the gossip that was spreading across rich circles. Lorenzo wasn’t entirely sure what Gideon did with this information, but it always somehow resulted in them acquiring even more Elite Tokens. 

Although he’d once visited a realism tattoo artist based in Brisbane, Lorenzo now lived in a house grander than any he’d ever expected to own, thanks to Gideon’s fine work. He rewarded those who served him well, and Lorenzo had seen the fruits of that indeed.

Looking around, Lorenzo couldn’t help but grin, seeing all the marks of black beneath the wrists of the aristocrats. They’d each received their Mark of the Shaper upon entering elite society – a small tattoo that Lorenzo himself had done the work for. Every elite in this city had come by to the parlour of his home to get their mark. Without him, they couldn’t be here at all.

It was a strange feeling, knowing the elites were so dependent on their work.