"The shadowport of Asylum is more than a waystation for Zakuul outcasts fleeing political persecution. Many planets across the galaxy suffer under the Eternal Empire's domination, and their refugees have few safe havens. For fugitives lacking friends or family, Asylum's Free Zone is one of the only places where they can reliably obtain whatever they need to survive on the run.
Everything from freeze-dried Arconan nutrient paste to high-yield thermal detonators is for sale somewhere in the Free Zone, but that's where the convenience ends. Great expense separates Asylum's visitors from the goods they seek. The smugglers and gangsters who control the Free Zone charge exorbitant sums for their wares, forcing already-desperate people to even greater acts of brutality. Indeed, most violent crime on Asylum stems from refugees robbing each other to fund their purchases in the Free Zone."