Hands that were weathered with over-exposure to dishwater and drink cleaned glasses that had been cleaned thousands of times before. Despite the new trend of using digital help and electronic bartending, the young blonde preferred to keep her business on her own, and since she had just enough business to make a profit from the small, downtown bar, she wasn't too worried about hiring any new help either, besides the man that helped her with the really heavy lifting and breaking up the ocassional scuffle or two, Louis. Petite for a woman with her attitude. Grace Kelly was a force to be reckoned with. Known for her hard bargaining skills, and keen eye for troublemakers, her small haven of old-time liquor was known for a good time all around. As she set her glasses up to dry, she glanced at the sheets for tonight's auction. She had just received a new shipment of slaves, and they were ready for trade, complete with pictures and the starting prices for their sale. Underground trading wasn't a cheap business to go about, but profitable if one was as learned in its ways as Miss Kelly, as she was known; very few actually called her by her first name, and fewer still could get away with it on a regular basis. Tonight's auction was to be a silent one, or relatively so. She knew that at least four buyers would arrive tonight to bid on the four lots she had up for sale, and she grinned to herself over the amount of Credits she would receive. Her patrons often brought their crews with them, so as to account for the large amount of money coming into the Golden Wing, rather than mysterious amounts of currency suddenly appearing in Grace's accounts. Turning to place the clipboards with each lot's details under the counter facing the main room, Grace's eyes swept over the dark room. Everything was in a rich pine wood, expensive as hell to get these days, and the whole debacle was finished off with a real fireplace she kept lit only after the sun had gone down. It was expensive to keep it running all day, after all. It added to the atmosphere of friendly bidding wars. Several hours would pass before her clients would arrive, very few of them actually patrons of her second business, though she would serve them all drinks just the same, keeping herself and Louis completely sober until the bar had cleared out for the night. She kept the goods locked away in an underground room, with only enough water and food to last them until tomorrow, when they would be out of her hands and in those of their masters... or mistresses. She shuddered to think what it would be like to be one of those monsters, disgusting creatures that they were. Freaks of nature, and not even natural! Made in a laboratory somewhere far off in the distance, like some macabre Science Fair project! She kept the talismans that would go to the bidders in the cash register, which was mostly for ornamental purposes, and the sheets that had each Gifted slave's command phrases printed on them attached by a bit of string to each pendant. The bell rang above the front door to her shop, and Grace stopped her reminiscing. "What can I getcha?" she said, looking at the men that had wandered in looking for a drink. They were served, and chose their table, near to the sunlight still filtering in through the glass panes in front of the little pub, a huge plate of food for a group of ten young men set in the center of their table as they talked loudly about things she really didn't care to listen to. She turned on the television sets all around the room, and waited for further business to arrive, still wiping down all the surfaces she could never convince herself were ever clean enough, even if they did get cleaned between a hundered and a thousand times a day.