A woman without a name stood alone amongst the piles of trash, a dog-eared cigarette grasped tightly between her stick like fingers, and in her other hand the white smiling mask that had been symbolic of the stagehands of Il Maledicta. Chad was gone now. He had arrived, made his case for the wonderful splendour of the heaped trash of this world and had left and Nameless had barely acknowledged his passing. She took a drag on the cigarette, holding the smoke in for a second before exhaling with a cough.

She couldn’t even remember her name any more. Not her own name, that had been gone within days of the initial trade. She tried to think herself back to that sterile white hospital room, to the tiny figure lying in that bed, to the only person that mattered to her in her life and she couldn’t see her any more. She’d never traded it away, that memory wouldn’t be worth anything to anybody else anyway, but it was gone regardless. Faded from disuse. A memory too painful to look back on often until it was just a hazy recollection.

She was going to die here, maybe not this round, but soon. She couldn’t fight, she couldn’t cast a spell or bring back the dead or whatever any of the rest of them could do. She was going to die without ever seeing her again. She turned over the white mask in her hands, looked down at that wide rictus-grin, the eyes creased unable to contain the hilarity and she felt her façade crumbling. Silently she screamed, throwing the mask to the floor beneath her and crushing it under her boot. Slamming her foot down again and again until the moment of rage faded and she was left breathless.

The nameless woman slumped down to the floor. Everything that she’d been doing so far… she’d maybe bought another week or so. That would have been fine, that would have been a good day’s work under any other circumstances. But she was going to die soon, and then that was it. She was seized by the hopelessness of it all, the cold inevitability of her situation. Her hands shaking, she took another drag on the almost burnt out cigarette to try to calm her nerves. It didn’t really help, but she gathered herself anyway.

Finally after a long time in contemplation she extinguished the remains of her cigarette and got to her feet, habitually brushing her robes clean of any dust and unpleasantness as she did so. Ultimately, she reasoned, sitting around on the floor was not going to help keep either of them alive. There was only really one choice here, just the one real option and she hated the thought of it. Hesitating she brought one hand up to her collar and touched the runes there. A green projection of light sprang into existence before her, a visualization of a Raxucorp logo. The program she had been sent. One last opportunity to really make some money…
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