(The atmosphere I'm looking for, as the title suggests, is futuristic dystopian noir. Sure, it could be played in pretty much any 20th century setting, but there's something so deliciously wicked at the idea of this woman living in such oppulant conditions while so many around her are reduced to living in rusted cars and burned out buildings. The mysterious rich woman behind the veil in back of a limousine riding through the streets oblivous to the suffering of those around her, as she goes to meet with the mayor to pledge funds for the new civic center (provided it's named after her dearly departed late husband.. of course.) Or perhaps she's on her way to meet with the detective investigating her husband's death. He has a few more questions to ask, because she had him quite distracted on their last meeting, top button undone, crossing and uncrossing her legs, adjusting a garter strap, interrupting him asking for him to bring her a drink. She's hoping it doesn't take very long for him to decide there was no foul play involved so she can get on with the grieving process.)
The setting, a dystopian future which followed some global catastrophe. It doesn't matter too much what it was... war, disease, economic collapse, a combination of all the above and then some. Think of a cross between Blade Runner and Mad Max. Gasoline (petrol) is a precious commodity. So are water and electricity. And a pillow to lay your head on. And a job. Despite the fact much of the population was wiped out in the "troubled times" decades ago, there's still overpopulation in the cities. Initially, everyone tried to get out, and over time, everyone migrated back in, looking for a job. An apartment that housed one family in the past will now be home to several families. Rusted cars no longer running, for lack of fuel or parts, line the roadways. In the cities, these serve to house those who can't find an apartment or a burned out hulk of a building to live in.
Water is no longer piped into buildings. The system broke down years ago and the mains would leak like sieves, quite literally, if anyone cleaned out the dirt and tried to use them. Water now comes from public wells and must be carried in buckets.. and in some places, is rationed.
Electricity is rationed, also. On for two hours, off for four.
In the countryside, there is no work unless you're a slave. Slavery is still illegal, but the governments don't bother to enforce that particular law any more. If they did, noone would eat, and they simply don't want to have to put up with any riots if they can avoid it. Most people stick to the cities because if they leave, there's a good chance they'll be forced into slavery. Sometimes, though, a person might be so desperate for food and a place to live that he wanders out into the country hoping to be captured and enslaved. Some farmers are nicer to their workers than others, and one can always hope to get one of the nice ones.
The government still makes the effort to provide basic services, and keep the peace. Representatives are still elected by those eligible to vote, though the eligibility requirements have managed to eliminate everyone without a steady job and permanent address. The police force isn't some evil entity full of corrupt cops. They still respond to calls and investigate crimes and work to put bad guys in jail. They're just tired and underfunded, but lucky to have a job.
This is the one where I have to play the male. He's the stereotypical good and conscientious detective who might appear to be on the verge of burnout. The thing is, he's looked that way for years, and hasn't burned out yet. He's just tired, like everyone else on the police force that actually tries to do their job.
Police respond to a fight in progress? They probably just slap the guilty parties up side the head, lecture them on the error of their ways, and tell them if they have to come back, someone's not gonna like it. Usually works, and it saves a hell of a lot of time, paperwork, and gas that would be used hauling them to jail. After all, there aren't enough cops to go around, and only a small percentage of calls actually get answered.
When a report is generated, that's where the detectives usually come in. Still, given the environment, not a lot of crime gets "solved." A destitute person found dead, suspected foul play? Five, ten minutes to see if there were any witnesses.. fill out a form.. close the case. Homicide involving someone not so destitute, perhaps someone with a job and family, would get a half day, maybe a full day. Maybe more if there were actual leads that pointed to actual bad guys who actually needed to go to jail.
But, an outstanding member of the community? An important politician, or businessman? You know, the ones who live in those nice condos where, it is rumored, water is piped in and the elevators work and the electricity stays on 24/7? The people who ride around in big cars seemingly oblivious to the fact fuel is in short supply? Well, if one of them were to jump, get pushed, or fall from an upper balcony and go splat on the pavement below, a detective could be tied up on that case for days, weeks, even months. After all, the people who have the greatest influence on the city's budget want to know they're safe.
Poor Mister Bigshot.. occupying the entire top floor of his building, with the entire floor below just for his staff. Hot young trophy wife with large breasts and dripping in diamonds. So much to live for. Would he jump? Did he fall? Was he pushed? It's my guy's job to find out.
It's your girl's job to inherit a fortune.
Is she going to let a pathetically idealistic underpaid civil servant get in her way?