Born free

You wake up to a throbbing headache. It's not because of a hangover like you would prefer, but because of dehydration. You have running water in your apartment, but it isn't safe to drink from the tap. Just something to clean with. You have a filter in the apartment you're sharing with about 14 other people. It's unfortunately been broken for two days. Most of them are useless or next to useless. This apartment you live in is what happens when your parents are done with your freeloading and you get the boot from home. There's only so much that pensions and welfare cover and the welfare stops when your kids hit 18 in Megacity 23.

The corps don't do much business on your side of town and emergency services do even less. You're going to struggle to find work with no job experience and no education that matters. You've looked into retail, but don't present well. You'd need to kill somebody to get a union slot in transportation, be it bus or train repair. Transpo operation is all automated now. Less accidents that way. There's city work, but they all pull from the middle-class side of town, but if you're lucky you might be able to get work paving the streets.

Now on to your realistic options, dealing drugs, turning tricks, and violence. You've stayed away from drugs for most of your life. Yeah living on this side of the city sucks, but dropping the money you don't have just so you don't feel like shit for a few minutes is a good way to catch a bullet when you don't have the money to pay for it. The downside of never touching the stuff is that you don't know enough about it to sell the stuff.

Turning tricks, well. That's actually harder than it sounds these days. You need to get so much chrome installed, and hope your wetware is what's in style, and stays in style. It's the specialized stuff that pays well. That's so much of a gamble it's not worth it most of the time. There are more broke ho's than rich ones in the city. You need to get more and more chrome put in as the years pass too. So much to stay competitive that you'll need to carry papers to prove you're human by the time you retire.

Violence is the last option. Now this option will probably kill you. Most likely on your first try. You don't have the training to really be some hardened killer. You can learn a lot of this and that from first-person shooters but that doesn't mean you can take a life. Any weapon you can pick up is probably going to be a piece of trash garage gun. You aren't even going to pretend you can handle killing someone with a knife or a bat. You've seen enough on the street to know that it takes a while to beat a human to death and stabbing can take a while as well. It usually doesn't take as many bullets. The upsides of this option are that if you get good at it you can get a corporate job. Steady pay either as a security consultant, or a wetwork contractor. Whether the wetware or cybernetics you pick up for this job are in style is irrelevant. With this job, retirement is such an unrealistic expectation that you don't really need to worry about putting into a 401k. Last but not least, if you're bad at this job you're going to die very suddenly. This sounds like a bad thing, but it beats slowly wasting away giving up food for drugs or trying to live with a gimmick piece of wetware that never became popular.