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The second of two non-Darwin's World advanced classes.
When civilization died, so did the concept of equality and of the rule of law. In the cities and tech centers, police and military survivors attempted to piece society back together, but other places were not so lucky. Out in the wilderness, in radioactive, diseased or polluted deathzones, small bands of scavengers and nomads followed the rule of the gun, the fist. Life in the wastelands was cruelly Darwinist. The weak died, and the strong survived and ruled.
Slave-taking became one of the vital industries in the post-apocalyptic world. Without machines to do the work, muscle power became a prime commodity. City dwellers purchased human and mutant slaves en masse, for everything from mining and agriculture, to military service or sexual slavery. Other slaves, the less fortunate ones, were destined for gladiator rings or vivisection in an organ harvesting clinic. Raiders and pirates could sell the survivors of their guerrilla strikes for a tidy profit; the city dwellers would gladly line up for a chance to buy slaves from the unwashed outsiders, even if they normally would never open their city’s gates to the raiders. In time, urban survivors formed their own slaving companies, directly competing with less organized scavenger bands.
The logistics of slave taking and hostage exchange quickly became codified. Slavers could always find a ready buyer for their wares, and could always trade their captives for a tidy profit in trade goods.