No one goes to the market because they want to. Most people go to feed an addiction, usually drugs or sex; they go because there's nowhere else they can go, or at least nowhere as safe and as easy. For the right price they can get just about anything there, no matter how perverse or exotic.

But she's there on business, and not the usual business. She's cut a deal with a man who smuggles upper-plate booze down to the slums. It's the easiest way to get the high-quality stuff that's made her bar in Sector 7 so popular.

She's a smart girl, smart enough to keep her head down and her ears open, smart enough to hide her figure under a large, shapeless coat. But some men see her long brown hair and her big brown eyes and make their passes at her anyway. She despises most of them; they think that any woman can be bought like a whore. But a few of them are just misfits, looking for love in the wrong place; sometimes all they ask for is her affection. She pities them and tries to let them down easy, but she sees someone she once knew in their eyes. Sometimes her sadness is too hard to hide.

Sometimes, as she's walking to the shop that keeps her usual shipment under the counter, she'll pass by a small group of Honeybees clustered under a lamp, staring at her through thinning clouds of cigarette smoke. She always has to hide a shudder when she sees them, with their dead eyes in painted faces and the bruises that are hard to hide. And she always whispers a prayer for whatever's watching over her, thanking it for helping her find a better way of surviving down there.