He winds his way through the chaos, trying to avoid bumping into anyone. Such a thing is nigh impossible here. But it hardly bothers him. Here, anonymity is paramount.
Finally, he reaches a dark corner where two grey men sit. He sits across from them, aware of the open room at his back. An acceptable risk.
“You have it?” he asks the men. They exchange nervous glances.
“ID,” one says, voice tense.
“Of course,” he replies and produces an odd coin from a pocket. It is large, embossed with an image so profane the two merchants visibly flinch. It is enough. One of the grey men reaches down and produces a small, red box. He handles it gingerly, sliding it across the table.
“You know what this contains,” the merchant says.
“Of course.” At last! His eyes are captivated by the box, riveted by his prize. Without looking up, he says, “You may go.” The merchants are gone in an instant.
“I have you now,” he says and grins. He lifts the box near his face, inhaling deeply. He can almost smell the smoke inside.