I can’t really explain how I ended up there, other than blaming it on the beer.
I’d been laid off from my job earlier that day. I hadn’t done anything to deserve it, but I couldn’t blame the boss. Ever since she showed up - Aki Nōne, self-proclaimed “princess of crime” – life in this city had been hard for everyone. Even legitimate businesses found themselves paying exorbitant sums, for fear of her “enforcers” making the entire staff disappear. So when my boss announced that the company had suffered record losses and had to lay off half the staff, I couldn’t blame them. I could only blame by own bad luck that my name had been pulled out of the hat.
But knowing all this didn’t make me feel any better about losing my job, and I’d spent the past few hours drowning my sorrows. When I finally stumbled out of the bar, it was nearly 3:00 AM.
I weaved my way drunkenly through back alleys and deserted streets, obliviou