No sane human being would walk alone through Brockton Bay streets at night. Especially not through the northern districts, where economic collapse had turned the entire district into a rotten hive of villainy, and where the Merchants had staked their claim.

So, when a tall, pencil thin girl could be seen stumbling through the dark streets of the slums at two in the morning, eyes bloodshot and hair wild, one would assume that she is either suicidal or insane.

The latter would be the correct answer.

She was lost, not that she couldn't find her way, but that rather she could not find herself. Her mind was so bogged up, like an overflowing tank. Thinking, moving, breathing, being, all sent monstrous migraines flaring in her head. More than once, she found her legs giving way beneath her, the limbs unresponsive and alien. At the corner of her watering eyes, she saw ghosts, all with piercing green eyes and all adorned with the golden trilobite sigil. Her sigil. When she looked directly at them, the headache got worse, and they started to fade.

The girl tried to walk toward them, but she could barely move. This body was alien to her, like an ill-fitting suit. Her movements were awkward, jerky, like a broken clank.

She remembered, but the memories were not all hers. She remembered great conquests, remembered glorious battles, remembered wondrous creations, and remembered dying a hundred times as a hundred different souls.

Above all, a strange desire burnt bright. She remembered a need, a desperation. She wanted a slave/plaything/lover/toy/servant/friend who would never betray her. This desire consumed her, defined her existence at the moment in time. It united the warring memories within her, and gave them a common purpose.

A construct, perhaps? Yes, of course! A construct!

With every step, she could feel the memories bleeding, blurring together. She saw flashes of herself in the crowd of ghosts around her. She was all and none of them simultaneously . They were her, figments of her shattered mind, watching, judging her with their intense green eyes. Eyes that were like hers.

She reached out to them, felt the memories, her memories, crashing and raging like a storm. It hurt to think, hurt to open herself, and let the memories flow, but she did, and found herself drowning underneath the tide.

"Well, what do we have here?"

Voices, laughter. Not hers. Not the ghosts. A cloth clamped over her mouth, a sweet scent filled her nose..

Memories of a thousand battles rose as she moved. Her hands gripped on her assailant's arm, and he suddenly found himself sprawling on the ground, choking for breath.

The girl swayed unsteadily in place, green eyes glinting with sheer malice as she sized up the pile of raw material beneath her feet. He would do nicely, but perhaps some extra would be nice. A generous margin of error is always a boon, and a little redundancy in design is standard prac...

"Bitch!" The girl turned to the voice just in time to see a cudgel heading for her skull. She tried to dodge, but only partially succeeded as pain flared in her shoulder and she was driven to the ground from the force of the blow.

That's it? That was all it took to put her down? What kind of rotten, poorly crafted body was she inhabiting?

A knee cut off her annoyance as it smashed against her nose, sending her sprawling to the asphalt.

"... for the stock."

The girl blinked rapidly, chasing the blurriness from her eyes.


Her head was ringing, everything was ringing.

"...-ing me?...two..."

She slipped her eyelids open, her pupils taking in her surrounding. She was in either a butcher shop or an operating theatre. The line wasn't that clear. It looked like a small, refurbished warehouse, with several operating tables set out in the opens. Some were occupied, mostly by still forms with gaping openings running down their torsos. Large white boxes of varying sizes were stacked neatly against the far wall, sorted and categorized, from the look of it. Out of the corner of her eyes, the girl caught glimpses of what looked to be two guardsmen, armed with clubs and knives, mostly. There were three other doctor types, two were working together to extract and store organs within white containment units. The third was busy sawing a particularly large man apart.

Ah, it seemed like she had found herself in a processing plant. How fortunate.

"One-fifty and not a penny more." A cold voice whispered from outside her limited field of view.

"I know you make ten fucking times that with each of them. She's squeaky fucking clean too." Another, this one sounded familiar, probably the one who clubbed her.

Apparently, she was being haggled over like a piece of meat. Rather undignifying, really. She was certain that she worth at least five time whatever price they had placed on her. They did not know, did not understand, that it was omnipotence itself that they had sullied with their mortal hands.

A quick look revealed a tray of surgical equipments just within reach. Her hand reached towards it, grabbing a scalpel.

"She's awake."

So, to recap, she was alone, stuck within an unfamiliar, subpar body, which she had trouble even controlling. Her weapon was a scalpel, arguably the smallest of knives. There were perhaps seven grown men in the room, all looked rather fit and armed with an assortment of bats and knives.

A grin split her face. Why, it was almost challenging.

The girl hummed a beautiful, haunting melody to herself as she considered the pile of recently acquired raw material. Yes, she could build quite the slave with these, and the dismal lack of proper tools available would be nothing more than an amusing complication for a genius of her caliber.

While she was not quite sure of the purpose behind this particular slave, she had a good mental image of its appearance. The girl was sure the functions would come to her sometime during the operation.

After all, she is a Heterodyne. She is the Heterodyne. She does not need reasons for what she does.

Her melody reached a crescendo as she took a bonesaw to the bodies littered across the floor.