It takes about a half block before Glinda answers you. "Oppressive? yes, I suppose that is an accurate description of this place. It is purely situational, I think. I mean, the poverty is mostly because no one has much of anything. No money, certainly, but no hope, no dreams, no real future either. The dregs of society end up here, and I do not mean just gangers. We have plenty of those, for sure, but they are rarely more than a nuisance and actually provide a good bit of the resources that keeps the people here alive. No, I mean these are the people that lost everything to one cause or another; gambling, drink, drugs, something else. Mostly some combination of those. Many are slaves brought here from mainland China and other Asian countries, people tricked into giving all they have in hope of getting a better life here. Sadly, most end up as sex slaves or laboring for different masters to work off an inflated and usually unreachable debt. Many are descendants of such slaves and so know nowhere else and no different life. It is a circle of despair and misery that just seems to enable itself to go on."
"I have never seen any evidence of any sort of corporation involvement here, but the Triads are all around us. Mostly, though, the big boys are invisible, working through feeder gangs that are allied to one of the major three Triads."
She pauses in her talking for a bit, as if to gather her thoughts. "Sian is.................different. She is wonderful and terrible at the same time. I know that must sound odd, but wait until you meet her. She is generous here, but sometimes generosity is suspect. Some fear her. Some hate her and would rejoice if she left. Some love her and would do anything she asks of them. The last few respect her and try to see what she is doing. I am one of the latter, although there is probably a bit more to it than just saying that. Because I am her associate here, I am tarred with whatever emotion others feel for Sian. She stays here and uses people like me to keep her informed of what is happening outside the Barrens."