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They climbed down three stories of dilapidated stairs and rickety ladders.

The building was occupied in the lower floors, ruined but clean, and with the green vines everywhere with the white flowers—maybe that was the only thing keeping the building up. They stopped on the thirtieth floor—fuck that had been a climb—where a heavy scent of cooking vegetables filled the air. The smell made her mouth water; all she'd had was that stick of Chew 20 and half a liter of bourbon. Her stomach growled. Hemu lead her to a line of scraggly-looking men and women and handed her a bowl carved of wood. They followed the line to a huge pot, repurposed from an industrial container of some sort, full of bubbling stew. They were served by baggy old women and then found a place alone in a corner by a window. It was dark and hard to see without night vision, but the hips didn't seem to have a problem. There were fires, which seemed like a terrible idea, but they were careful to contain them in drums and piles of rocks, and the whole wide floor flickered between light and shadow. Peace. It was peaceful. There were no city sounds and the people hardly spoke. There was a moan, some couple having sex in the shadows somewhere. She sipped at the broth of the stew—not bad, needed salt. Her poison sniffer said it was fine. 

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