The Virtus Stories: In Damnatio Memoraie

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A man once unknown to all of Freeside steps out of the licentious atomic wrangler, face drawn.

He senses danger as the sun challenges his vision. Hints of ozone dance through the air,

strange sounds…

Two men appear clad in rags, their faces dissolute by squalor. A lead pipe appears in one of their hands. Then the laser pistol he was expecting.

The man smiles. A tense moment stirs the air.

The first thug with the pipe lunges at him, still standing there. Not with the usual helplessness of an innocent victim but with the resolve of someone familiar with violence. As his final moment meets him head on the man sidesteps the overhand blow, parting his duster and unsheathing his weapon. Combat armor sparkles underneath.

In a blur of motion he slices his attacker's arm clean off, and in the blink of an the curved sword's hilt is protruding out of from the other thug's chest. His now-lifeless corpse crumbles into the asphalt while the other writhes on the sidewalk.

The man left standing hasn't broken a sweat, his smile has but finally left his lips after silently embracing his victory.

Denizens of southern Freeside look on in bizarre fascination while the mysterious man kicks over the dead thug and removes his weapon. He wipes the blade on the corpse and walks over to the mortally wounded one- completely in shock, and not worth saving. The screams are drawing attention. Discretely, he reaches into his cloak, draws a revolver, and puts a .44 special into his skull all the while murmuring some archaic latin phrase.

A gentle wind sweeps in on the stifling silence, onlookers still glued to his every move.

Reaching back into his duster he produces a small woven bag and takes out two circular gold coins. They shimmer chromatic gold as one by one he tosses them onto the bodies. The man walks away completely unscathed. Not a speck of dirt had landed on him during the fight, which could hardly be considered a fight at all; he resumes his business as if nothing had happened- the nearby impoverished residents rush in to be the first to get the money behind him.

A woman is beaten down by a man twice her size. A boy smeared with dirt and grime gets trampled by three people. At first he reaches for his gun, sickened by the sight of such squabbling profligates, but then holsters it like he just remembered something. For a brief moment he stops, closes his eyes, and exhales deeply-

Then, having walked down the street, he disappears into the Silver Rush.