A bit more, unconventional.
Words given: Metro, Theatre, Velvet.

Velvet smooth and the way it takes her mind. Amplified to the state of transcending all realities, buzzed down into a self-inflective depression spiral.
The way it stains her veins, long ruby tendrils that coarse through her blood. Ecstasy. Contempt. Born from the same place, from the same needling – that transcendental angst that only a shot could provide.
The bright lights of a metro train station. She sits on the dirty ground with her back against grimy tiled walls. False sterility fills the place, even as the gas seeps in.
Others have gathered, sleeping in the broken down trains and trying to survive on the scraps.
Blue fingers fumble with her injector, the rush leaves her numb. Most of the rest of them sleep with their gas masks on and pay her no mind as she slips from consciousness. She paid her way, no-one followed her and in the morning she’ll be gone.
“Is she?”
She wakes, but doesn’t open her eyes, the voices of two men discussing her bristles along her spine.
“Shhh, she’ll hear you.”
“Should we just-?”
“Shut up!”
They step a little closer.
“What’s the reward these days?”, she asks them.
They run.
She opens her eyes, it is midnight. As good a time as any to go. She picks up her injector and packs it away into a pouch on her belt. The acid swimming through her veins has died down a little. No-one bats an eye as she leaves the Metro.
The way out is through three different airlocks, yet people still sleep with their gas masks on. The air is thicker in each one, breathing boulders by the last. She pulls a scrap of cloth over her mouth, pulls down her goggles so her eyes stop stinging in the thick yellow air of the city.
Lifeless, machines prowl the ruins, scuttling spiders patching up uninhabited spaces. Alerts, the constant harmony of a wartime leader biting at her ears.
The few humans that do still wander about are soldiers, invaders, occupiers, they breath recycled fumes and peer through thick glass helmets wearing dark black hazmat suits and carrying light rifles. They watch her as she passes down the street, towards the Theatre.
She wades through the air, unable to see her feet. The soldiers give her strange looks, concerned about how she is able to even breath. Not for her own safety of course. From a distance they aim their rifles at her briefly, then lower them without second thought.
The Theatre, an air-tight fortress market. Sealed up with grimy yellow plastic and the ungodly roar of generators and fans. The main reception hall swarms with soldiers and their robotic pets. The array of machines she must pass through, gleaming metal and wires, is of no concern. The metal bars that cordon off the entire area, is of little consequence. Each step she takes brings her under a new biometric scanner, the radiation washing over her.
Only once they have scrutinised her do they let her through, past the airlocks and into an oxygen rich Theatre, where upon the stage a man in uniform stands and calls out in a thick foreign accent demanding for prices.
Beside him stands a woman, she is what is for sale. The crowd stands in the seating and screams out their entire life savings. The man on the stage will be rich in just a moment, and the woman will be the poorest soul in all of the motherland.
She takes her place amongst the crowd, and pretends to bid. The others take no notice of her until she starts to cough. It takes a moment, it takes her screaming and calling to waste away her lungs. Her body burns. Her lungs fill, the bright clean air is refreshing, and yet…
Ruby red tendrils snake from her, invisible to the crowd around her. She laughs out her last breaths, before her body chokes up on her, before her lungs are emptied and her blood fills the room – a fine particle that cannot be cleansed, cannot be washed away. A velvet.
A rope with which to hang them all.
She collapses in her chair, transcendence and fear that soon they’ll all know. Liberty.


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