It wasn’t an easy thing for a Bottom-Feeder to achieve Topper status. Most born to the Lower Gradients remained in the dank shadows of the towers, foraging for what could be found.
But Bronson never took the easy route. Not in birth, where his footling position had almost killed his mama and had left him only one usable hand. Not in growing, when he was often the last to be fed and the first to be beaten. Not in young adulthood, when he decided that wit and perseverance would have to do what his physique could not.
He lurked. He flattered. He kept abreast of Toppers’ visits to the LG’s for the vices, and used his nonthreatening appearance to offer guidance, and sometimes, services.
When Lorena’s ankle broke on twisted pavement, he lent a shoulder, led her home, and stayed. Life was better at the Tops, even as a pet.