The Ruins were once a bustling suburb of New Chicago. The violence of the States War destroyed this once vibrant community, leaving burned-out buildings and abandoned bridges. When the war ended, the former residents moved to other parts of the city, leaving the Ruins abandoned.
After Logan Langly flunked his Pledge and escaped, DOME began searching for him in downtown New Chicago. Knowing that he had relatives in the city, DOME hoped that arresting all the Markless they could find would eventually uncover Logan. Fortunately, Logan was nowhere nearby at the time. Unfortunately, DOME wanted to clear New Chicago of Markless anyway. Logan simply provided a convenient excuse. The survivors of DOME's raids fled out of the downtown area, and many of them ended up at the Ruins. Since no one else lived in the area, DOME had no real reason to drive them out. So long as they did not trespass by sleeping in the buildings, the Markless could live peacefully in the Ruins.Logan found his way to the Ruins, where he was accosted by a Markless teenager named Bridget. Bridget befriended Logan and brought him to stay with her huddle, which was sleeping beneath an underpass at the time. When Bridget's huddle mate Andrew betrayed Logan to DOME, the Markless were briefly permitted to take refuge in the buildings from the winter cold. The Markless protests ended this arrangement, and the Markless in New Chicago's Ruins returned to their former locations outside.
The Ruins offer a vibrant Markless culture. Some artists are among the Unmarked who stay in the Ruins, and they have created a gallery that they proudly display under the bridge. Bridget's huddle also has put together an extensive library that includes a number banned books, including the Bible and other pre-Unity texts.