Darren didn't see Kat or visit The Haunt for the next two days. He kept himself occupied helping Nelson out and venturing around Ghostopia whenever he had the chance to. Most of the extremely low Levels (1 to 20) were unspectacular, to say the least, housing administrative buildings and offices. Meanwhile, Levels 21 onwards to the 50s range were slums and villages dwelled by poor folk - save for Level 21 where the marketplace was, of course. It appeared that the higher levels meant a higher standard of living, but Darren couldn't be sure till he explored more.
One thing that struck him was how devoid of smiles the entire Ghostopia was. Everyone seemed oblivious to other Ghosts around them, tending only to their own businesses. Not that it was very much different from the city he'd once lived in, but there was a very heavy vibe of just-getting-through-the-day.
Could it be because of the age freeze policy? No, said Nelson. "Ghosts have always been like this. The age freeze was simply a physical implementation of what was already in our minds. To most Ghosts, this idea of not growing, of each day not making a difference, exists from Day One of your death."
"But you seem fine to me," Darren retorted.
"It hits the longer-staying ones like Kat harder. You and me, we haven't felt so drained out by the daily grind yet. I must admit though, already it's getting to me a little - partly why I'm not interested in doing more than peddling wares in the marketplace."
As much as he denied the thought, Darren knew that he too would someday end up hopeless like the rest. How does one fulfill oneself for eternity? More so in a world where you not only foresaw eternity, but became stuck literally in it. And none of the Ghosts were willing to make a change. Who was truly behing Ghostopia? Who were these Angels and Demons Mortie spoke of?
Not even Nelson could answer his questions.
Friday night - the end of a long weekend for some, but a night of getting his queries replied for Darren. And he couldn't be more excited about it.