It slips out. You know part of it is the gin talking. And part…her voice. Her commanding, capable, policewoman’s tone. You attempt to clear your mental fuzziness, and shake your head, perhaps a little too violently. It sounds as if there’s sand in those upper vertebrae, and your eyes take a very long moment to settle, to focus. Certain you are in serious trouble now, for misuse of the metropolitan 9-1-1 emergency system, and misuse of a metropolitan 9-1-1 emergency system operator, you ready the reliable Sorry…thought you were someone else, and brace for her official scolding…
Which doesn’t come. Instead, and it’s like she’s flipped a switch somewhere, instantly her voice…silkens…softens…so sugary sweet sounding that it’s absolutely clear she has mistaken you for someone else…
“9-1-1. What…service…do you need?”
And a very lucky someone else, too. Envying that lucky whoever she believes she’s playing with, you decide to play along…careful, so far as you can manage it, because they just have to be recording all this – “Uhh…what…service have y’got?”
“Po’lice. Is someone being…baaad?”
“N’n’no. Uhh, no.”
“Fire. Is there a…fire…somewhere?”
Your head feels hot, two sizes too small. It feels like you’re pulled over at the side of the highway and she’s leaning half in the window, sniffing, trying to ascertain your level of intoxication. You picture her hair tied back in a sensible ponytail, too. And she’s brunette, suddenly.
Shaking your fuzzy noggin again, there’s a short sharp KLIKK behind your eyes. Just for…however long it lasts…it feels as if someone has impossibly reached up, shaken your brain stem like a bell. Your eyes go black, then come back.
There you are. This is Anders Trevellian, again. From Legal…
Your heart racing, you know something has gone very wrong. This Anders Travellian person really should not be buzzing, like a bad cell phone connection, just behind your eyes.
Elevator cable snapped. Your entire Legal department’s dead. You can hang-up now. Thanks for tryyying.
“Uhhh…oh…okay.” you say, then remember the phone hard as a brick against your ear, and she’s still there.
“O’kay…yourself. Subdue you…later.”
Excuse me. You can hang-up nowww.
You are staring at the phone on your desk, the receiver very properly settled in the cradle.
“Uhhm…How?” you ask Anders Travellian, still connected, buzzing behind your eyes.
Are you drunk?...You seem drunk...You do realize all the trouble you might be in?...And there’s no one from Legal to advise you if you were to get yourself in trouble…Well, we’re all dead, aren’t we?...Drinking on the job!...This very instant, you should probably…