It's cold outside compared with the regulated air-conditioning in the office, but that's exhilarating. My heels click as I hurry along the street, turn at the end and head down East 8th Avenue towards the First State Bank. There's a cop car parked out front of it, so maybe this is what Red 5 means by compromised. I check it out -- it's empty -- and walk down the side of the bank.
"You can't come back here, miss." A large policeman looms in the half-light, blocking my way. He's red in the face and sweating a lot. I raise an eyebrow at him.
"Dogging?" I say.
"Perhaps not then." I smile brightly, and pull my diplomatic card from my purse. "I can come back here." I wave it at him, giving him time to recognise what it is, but not enough time to read my name.
"No, miss, you can't." He's trying to be firm and it's annoying me.
"Yes. I can." I'm emphatic, and I walk forward. "There is something on the back of this building that is... politically sensitive. I need to see this, I need to photograph this, and my superiors need to see this. Otherwise we cannot mount an effective response." He's still baulking, but I can see the indecision in his eyes. "This isn't the first time that this has happened recently." I walk forward again, and his spirit breaks. He stands aside and I go past him.
I'm impressed. The painting covers the whole back wall of the bank and I recognise the mayor immediately. The face on the notes takes me a moment to place, and when I do I smile. The crying boy in the mayor's other hand doesn't surprise me but I feel a little sick inside. I pull my camera from my purse and start shooting. I get three photos when I hear another voice, and see a second large cop heading my way. He looks annoyed. Time to go.
He tries to grab my arm as I walk past him, but I step inside him and underneath his arm and he bear-hugs the air. I know I shouldn't, but it's too tempting and I turn and place my hands in the small of his back and push. He goes over heavily and I turn and walk quickly to the corner. At the corner I slow and walk around it; his partner is still at the side of the building.
"You're needed," I say, pointing back the way I came. "He's spotted someone!" The policeman lumbers off, and I slip off my heels and speed up to a run. I hear a shout as I reach the end of the street, but there's no chance they'll catch me now. At the door to the office I look back: they've not even reached the end of the street to see where I've gone.