As I re-enter the diplomatic corps building I feel a shiver run right the way down my spine. Whenever that happens I feel like someone's watching me. I almost turn back to look down the street again, but I don't -- the cops really shouldn't see where I've gone. Instead I slip my heels back on and walk inside, nod another good morning to our security guard (who ignores me in favour of his breakfast sandwich oozing ketchup over the sign-in sheet) and head on back-up. The fresh air has cleared my head and I feel much keener to get on with diplomacy.
The day doesn't drag as badly as I'd feared, maybe I should tag Red 5 with a thank-you when the Rebel Voice makes its next issue available for download. We're done by 20:00hours and I pick up my car from the underground parking garage and drive home a little too quickly.
In my flat, paid for by my ex-boyfriend, I check the calendar: I'm seeing him again in two weeks time, when he's over from New York on business. I grab a frozen lasagne from the freezer and sling it in the microwave; I grab a bag of salted caramels from the cupboard and unwrap one while the MacBookPro wakes up. I access the Rebel Voice anonymous ftp via two anonymising proxies. It's overkill, but it's good overkill and it makes feel a little bit like a spy. The pictures upload smoothly and I wipe the camera's memory.
I'm torn, I'd like to save all the pictures for the next issue of the Rebel Voice which should come out in four days according to my calendar, but they're powerful. Seeing them again on the screen in front me makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck all over again. Finally I save two for the magazine, and put one up on the Breaking News webpage, the homepage of the RebelVoice.
I've barely finished my lasagne when the other mobile rings. I pick it up and hear the last few words of the recorded message, and then a soft, menacing voice.
"I hope that you're listening, Rebel without a Voice. You might think you can wash my dirty laundry in public, but wait and see what I can do with you. In public."
The phone clicks. It's dead.
There are five more calls before I turn the phone off; different voices, but all the same message. I've had threats before, but none that persevere like this. I get the message though, someone means business. But so do I.
When my work mobile rings I jump and spill my salted caramels all over the floor. I answer it despite it being a withheld number, trying to pretend my hands aren't white and shaking. They can't possibly have tracked me down already. I'm sure... aren't I?
"Emma." I know the voice, and I know the tone. It's Joel, my ex-boyfriend. I stay quiet.
"This call is secure. I've seen the picture, and I have to warn you that you've been rash. You're going to have to see this one through to the end. All I can say for now is that the schmeckle will be having a meeting tomorrow at 19:30 in the Oberon Abbatoir. "
Another click. Another dead phone.
I head back to the laptop. I can't go myself, I can't be sure to be out of the meeting. But Red 5 might be free...