The phone calls came late last night.
First just a series of beeps then the dial tone.
Each call came from a different number. Trying to call them back they all ended by saying the phone number was no longer in service.
I’d been told to expect things like that. Many of our sources use burner phones.
Close to 3 A.M. the caller finally spoke and told me to meet him in Tudor City.
I’d been asking around. Trying to do follow ups on some of the events I had reported on earlier. More holes in the ground appearing, more children appearing, but all government officials I reached out to stonewalled me.
I saw him as I climbed the hill. He was standing in a suit, dark hair slicked back, smoking a cigarette, staring at the United Nations Building.
Ah, you made it. Good show, good show. We have lots to discuss. Are you recording this? Good. I have many things to tell you about. Warnings. Sensitive information. Boris, we’ll come out dandy on the other side.
I didn’t correct him. He shivered in his finely tailored suit and lit another cigarette. A cup of tea sat on the railing next to him
These are different times, my friend. Too different for the likes of us. Too new. We need to find a way to keep our edge.
We sit side by side on the bench. He hands me a cup of tea and continues talking.
I don’t even know who the bad guys are anymore. It used to be so clear. Now, if you read the newspapers, we are all bad guys.
He slides a briefcase over to me and stands up. Smoothing his suit jacket and straightening his tie.
It’s all about trust, you see. The Trust. Revolutions are sparking up every day, in every country. We must watch them and help them grow. Through The Trust I have learned that revolution is happening on every level. Especially in America. Especially in the aether.
It’s just not my game anymore, Boris. I was never trained for this. How can you shoot or poison the aether?
He kicks snow off of his leather shoes. I look around, but there is no snow in sight.
He doesn’t act nervous, but I can see the cigarette trembling slightly.
He rubs his chest as if there is a pain that won’t go away.
What’s in the case is…well, if they ever get the drop on me. Release it to the press. You’ve always done right by me, Boris. That briefcase, it’s the last favour I’ll ask of you.
Weird things are happening, and as usual, they throw us right into the middle of the storm.
He drops his cigarette into the now cold tea and walks off without so much as a wave or a nod.
I watch the sun rise, peaking over the United Nations.
I open the case and look through the papers. It’s just my articles from the last two weeks printed out. Some parts redacted with black marker. Other parts highlighted.
There are notes in the margins written in Cyrillic that I can’t understand.
I look over the railing towards 1st Avenue and see him climbing into the backseat of a black car.
All the papers are initialed “SR.”
I throw away the case and fold the papers, slipping them into my back pocket.
I know what I’ve written. I can remember almost every word to every article.
Why would this man (this spy?) be interested in them?
I write no secrets.
Just the truth.