Earth Evolved: Scavenger Slums
A scavenger slum refers to any settlement that manages to maintain itself outside the barriers of the great cities. Against all odds, humans and Bots can cling to survival in the middle of the wilderness, fighting tooth and claws to keep the beasts at bay. It is often said (but never in public and especially not in Gleam) they are the truest example of human and Bot co-dependence and unity.
Scavenger slums are the remains of the human population that did not have the luxury of the barrier technology, or opted against turning it on when they learned they would be trapped inside. The average number living in a slum, including Bots, tends to be in the low hundreds, due to high death rates, disputes among the population and migration from those who decide to flee.
Often a slum is centred around the ruins of a pre-Bio-Arms Race city. They not only provide existing structures but may have salvageable technology, for building Bots or trading with the great cities. Some are lucky enough to settle near much-needed resources, such as an ore-rich mountain, a clean river or arable soil. These will usually receive recognition and some basic defense technology from the great cities in exchange for these amenities.
Cultures vary wildly among the slums. Some, usually those ones settling near the barriers, have a governmental system not too far removed from that of the great cities. Others are nomadic. Others are tribal and savage, attacking any strange Bot who approaches their land. All are hard-bitten survivors, wary and tough and willing to fight for all that they have.
Countless slums dot the overgrown ruins of Earth Evolved, most only known to those who cling to life inside them. Some, however, have had the luck to become known worldwide.