And they called Icelus the golden crown of the sector. Tyriel strode through the murky streets, his azure greatcoat open at the front to reveal a slab of off-white carapace armour. His hands were in his pockets in a deceptively casual manner; in truth these pockets had no bottom, and the Rogue Trader's hands were rested upon the grip of his faithful dueling pistols. It payed to be prepared, even upon the deck of his own ship, The Starlit Maiden, and this was doubly true when he was here, so close to Icelus' infamous Underhive.
He did not like the middle-hives. Even more than the Underhive, where at least the denizens had a rebellious, independant spark which he found himself quietly admiring, the middle hives were home to nothing but indentured, neutered cattle, working from day to day, their dull acceptance boiled his blood, their passive self-congratulation infuriated him, only when necessary would he deign to soil himself in such rot. The place was a mess, practically a shanty town, entire families living on planks jury-rigged to soot-stained tenements. Not a bright soul here, and not a throne to be made except in the information market. And even that was-
A flash of yellow, hitting his retinas like a bucket of sugar, leapt at him through the monotonous grey of the expanse. His senses as an entrepeneur sparked in his head as he shifted to get a better look at the ray of sunlight he had witnessed. A woman, looking to be in her late thirties, sat huddled in a doorway dressed in tarnished black robes. She looked thin and drawn, as though she hadn't eaten a proper meal in weeks. Clasped to her breast she held a golden statuette, the symbol of the Imperial equila, a superbly-wrought work of art which would fetch a high price in any upper-spire collection. Nodding to himself, Tyriel approached the woman.