Benny has been sent by Braxiatel to negotiate access to the Ganesh system with the secretive COMBINE corporation on the Exhalation. She meets with the CEO, known only as "the Lady"; also in attendance is security consultant Ui Tereshkova, who has pale skin and pink eyes. Benny's first meeting doesn't go very well. The place gives her a headache, and the Lady doesn't seem very cooperative.
Later, Benny is in the bar. She is joined by Tereshkova, who warns Benny not to go back to her room tonight.
That night, Benny goes to her room. Her diary is lying nearby, and there is an empath globe in the room. She is very tired, but all night she has strange dreams. She feels a sharp pain in her shoulder. She wakes up, and Tereshkova is in her room, having broken the empath globe.
The next day, Benny meets again with the Lady, who gives her what she came for — access to the Ganesh system. Benny, having realised that some of her DNA was taken from her last night, confronts the Lady, who calmly tells her it was a transaction, then dismisses her.
Tereshkova is waiting for Benny in her room. Benny is surprised to see that Tereshkova's skin and hair are becoming darker. She explains that she uses a genetic mask so that COMBINE cannot get any useful DNA from her, but she was late taking her booster so her natural colouring is showing. She tells Benny that someone read her diary, and Benny angrily throws it across the room.
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