Walker lives alone in a tenement block in Bosum Strand. The walls are paper-thin, and he hears the baby next door cry itself to sleep almost every night. The street outside is filled with the cries of drunks and fools till five in the morning, tailing off just as the delivery wagons start to rattle over the cobblestones outside. More than once Walker has stepped over a corpse on his doorstep in the morning.
From his room a window looks out over the city, giving a view of the construction of the new railway station being built in the heart of the city. A single bed and a hard mattress lie up against one wall; a small sink with a dripping tap is in the corner next to the door, a cloudy mirror above it. Wallpaper peels from the walls.
On the wall opposite the bed is a crafting table. Walker cleans and oils his guns here, and the tools he uses to craft them with are arranged in neat glass pots and old jam jars.
The landlady, a thin pinch-faced woman, comes to collect the rent in cash every Friday. The family next door are behind on their rent again. Walker overheard them begging her for credit. She’s given them a week to find the money, or she’ll throw them on the street.
Walker spends most of his stipend on tools for his guns, and capsules for the Heron he uses to patch himself up. This is a place to sleep, no more, and that for as little time as possible.
Because when he sleeps, he dreams of her.