Old Drosselmeyer straightens out his doll on the workbench. He surveys her gears and clockwork with pride. He attaches her skin carefully, mindful of the folds and creases. It must look natural, after all, but still beautiful. He winds her with pride. The doll’s voice creaks out from hidden speakers; the mouth moves. “H… he…l…l…o… f…a…t…h…e…r…”

When the City’s human population exceeds the capacity of the mist to provide for, certain citizens are extended an invitation: forego their corporeal existence and lock their minds away in storage. The City will resurrect them at some later time, when their skills and personalities are more suited to the times. In return, they’ll be given a suitable economic and political consideration.

The City’s inhabitants are numerous. Among them, living humans are perhaps the most acceptable minority.