I sit back against my couch, watching the news. I like to keep up to date with what is going on in my city, well, at least what the media says is going on. What I saw next was both heartening and dismaying.
Red5, murderer on the loose. That's what the news says. Tortured a poor guy at the bus station to death. This is good. Murderers tended to have little credibility, the so called political statements he was making would be reduced to the ramblings of the criminally insane, seeing conspiracy everywhere in his twisted paranoia. I reach for my phone when a sudden realisation hits me.
Now Red5 had a lot of exposure, the media would be sniffing around any and all information relating to him, which would inevitably bring up awkward questions about Grozny and I. Red5 wasn't the killer, that much was obvious. This was Grozny's work and like some over eager puppy, he'd crapped on our own doorstep, thinking himself a good boy for not doing it in the house.
Head in my hands, I rub my temples, trying to think of a way out of this, how to spin it to my advantage and wondering whether perhaps Grozny isn't the mindless pitbull he seems to portray, whether this was some elaborate maneuver to exert more influence over me. If so, it was risky, and even though I don't want to give him credit for such scheming, it's dangerous to underestimate ones enemies. Besides Grozny wont try anything, I have my insurance policy and my eyes flick downwards, silently acknowledging the safe under the couch.
I have a nice home, I'm not a rich man but I've done all right for myself. Everything in my home is clean, paid for with my own money out of my own pocket. If the crap hits the fan, well, nothing will take this away from me, nothing will deprive me of my sanctuary. The décor is sleek, all retro, down-toned browns and creams. A beautiful brown leather couch, an expensive Persian rug. Tasteful lighting, concealed of course. This is my castle and I have to protect it lest it come under siege.
I go to pick up the phone, time to call my PR guy, make a statement before the media start sniffing around. Damage control and spin before anything even happens. As I grip it, the phone rings and I almost drop it, startled.
"You wanted to be informed immediately. We're through the honeypot."
I smile then, a grin big and wide and I can hear the man waiting on the end of the line but I can't answer him, too busy smiling. Finally, I reply.
"This is good news. You know what to do."
"Sir, there are some details that are only phone numbers, what do you want us to do?"
"Focus on the big players for now, no, actually, find out who owns those numbers let them know that anonymity isn't the shield they thought it was. Bring 'em in. Let me know of any interesting developments."
"Yes sir" he says, then the lines goes dead.
Things have taken a turn for the better it seems and even though I know I should phone my PR guy and make the arrangements, I have to celebrate. I go to my desk, slip out an unmarked CD from a hidden compartment and slide it into the computer. A prompt comes up, asking for a password, I type it in and the CD decrypts. Paranoid maybe, but people with tastes like mine learn to be careful or learn to like prison.
The screen fills with images of innocent beauty and my breath quickens, my pants tighten.
It's been a good night after all.