19 September 2016

City Of Mists: Black Market Deals

City Of Mists: Introduction
City Of Mists: The Law
City Of Mists: The Departments
City Of Mists: The Infrastructure
City Of Mists: Characters And Campaigns

Black Market is, pardon the pun, a shady matter in City Of Mists. Lose regulations leave a lot of wriggle room for those who enforce them and lawyers of those who wish to circumvent them. A real black market, dealing in completely forbidden things and services is really-really small, as there are few outright restrictions. Majority of black market deals in the City Of Mists is more of a grey area—focusing on understatements and interpretations, avoiding taxes and custom fees, and concealing traces of transactions instead. Still, there are a few forbidden goods and activities.

Human Trafficking

Dealing in people for purpose of forced labor, sexual exploitation, and extraction of organs via use of force, coercion, or deception is strictly forbidden under the threat of harsh penalties, nominally including capital punishment (though in reality it would apply only to extraction of organs that caused death of multiple people). Actual detection of such activities is low, though, as most of them can be easily covered by "fully voluntary" contracts with the victims. Only the most blatant violations are pursued with full force of law, though from time to time law enforcement officer do happen to discover such activities while investigating other crimes.

Prostitution

Prostitution is mostly unregulated, though there are precedents for law enforcement arresting prostitutes for infecting their customers with STDs (no court verdicts were issued, in all cases prostitutes were simply expelled from island as undesired foreigners). Pimping is formally illegal but brothels can operate as long as they function as cooperatives of self-employed prostitutes, and nothing prevents building-owners from getting hefty fees...

Drugs

Various recreation drugs are illegal since the nineties, though the enforcement of this law is very lax. Possession of small amounts is not subject to punishment, larger amounts are subject to forfeiture and possibly a summary fine. Only a really large amounts that are "obviously" intended for sale warrant arrest. The distinction between small, large, and for-sale amount of drug is at sole discretion of the law enforcement officer involved.

The list of illegal drugs is rather short and rarely updated: cannabis (though law enforcement practically ignores their use and home growing), opium, amphetamine, and LSD plus their derivatives and related substances (including methamphetamine and esctasy). There is a vague stipulation allowing law enforcement officers to confiscate and possibly prosecute production, possession, and use of "dangerous chemical substances" though it happens very rarely. Breach of public order is invoked more often when dealing with drug-users.

Some strange drugs appear from time to time in the city, often sparking fads and gossip of corporation and gangs live-testing new substances.

LUX: This white milky liquid is a potent hallucinogen giving overwhelming sense of surrounding presence, often described in religious terms. Auditory delusions of ominous chanting are common and a few users mentioned seeing divine beings or magnificent beings made of bright light. It is often mixed into alcoholic drinks.

cUre: A powerful pain-killer and a mild relaxant, cUre appeared recently. This green gel is rumored to stop bleeding, disinfect wounds, and even accelerate healing of injuries when applied directly to the wound, though its side effects involve intense hunger, exhaustion, and loss of memories. When applied to skin it minimizes further pain while distorting but not preventing tactile sensations.

Animal Importation

Restrictions on importing animals from outside the island is surprisingly strongly enforced. While the penalties are not particularly harsh, involving fines plus covering the cost of getting rid of the animal, the custom offices pay much more attention to it than to human trafficking. It does not seem to be dictated by animal rights—animals on their way to another destination can be held in harbor warehouses as long as they are well secured, and there are no restrictions on trading in locally bred cats, dogs, chickens, and goats, nor restrictions on importing tropical fishes for fishtanks.

Underground Medicine

There is no public health care but all medical services—private hospitals and individual medical practitioners need to obtain proper licenses from the Department Of Health. In case of physicians wishing to open a private practice it involves presenting a diploma of a foreign medical school (there are no medical schools on the island), passing a test before a committee organized by the Department of Health (often from local practitioners or doctors hired from local hospitals), show reference of a medical institution where they worked in the past (though it's rarely checked) and pay the requisite fee. Note that hospitals are not required to hire licensed physicians—it's a legal assumption that each hospital screens its employees according to its needs, though in case of malpractice suit, being able to prove that hospital failed at taking basic precautions against hiring a hack greatly increases chances of winning the case.

Hospitals and private practices are required to notify law enforcement about suspicious deaths and suspicious injuries under the threat of license being revoked, though individual doctor's discretion is primary factor here. In the past a doctor was deemed to be not in violation of that regulation when he took a gunshot victim's explanation that it was "a cleaning accident"—the court ruled that as medical doctor does not have to be able to discern between accidental and deliberate discharge of weapon he took the victim's explanation in a good faith.

Practicing medicine without the license ends with expulsion from the island and forfeiture of property related to the practice. It's uncertain what kind of penalty would a citizen suffer for such infraction, though.

Weapon Trade

A lot of international weapon trade comes through the city and the department of defense takes fees for licenses and permissions involved. Trading small arms is often overlooked but attempts to deal in military equipment or in bulk are discouraged. Working within the system is safer and easier anyway, as the department of defense fees are small—they are making enough thanks to enormous quantity of weapons moved through the city.

Still, there is a thriving market for unrecorded weapon transactions, with occasional appearance of experimental toys produced by local corporations, including a few competitive models of experimental caseless firearms and firearms using polymer-cased ammunition.

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