The phone rang, I told him what I had. He hung up.
Now I'm stuck with nothing more than I had before. A gun, a phone and a whole load of not-much-else.
Red's voice, it sounded different than I imagined. Tired, older too. I was expecting some punk kid, but the voice that came through had the kind of confidence only an adult can muster. And the fear. I could nearly taste it over the line, feel Red wondering what I was up to, wondering whether this was a forgotten step in the dance routine we've been doing together all this time. I'll admit, I felt a little uplifted at that, but I kept it out of my voice.
Broken is what he needed to hear, desperate, and in truth, that's what I am. Grozny holds all the cards for the time being.
A storm is coming in, looks like a big one. The clouds in the sky are likes scabs forming over this bleeding city. I'm a vaccine, a weaker virus to keep the stronger ones at bay but this time Red5's own brand of medicine has pushed this body too far and the city is paying for it with blood. Grozny's infected this place. I wonder whether the only cure is amputation, cut away the bad parts to save the rest.
Maybe my analogy is flawed, but I'm the one with the scapel. The disc, my dirt on Grozny, locked up tight and safe. It'll be hard to get at, but I'm the mayor, I think getting into my own office wont be too much of a problem. Of course, perhaps Grozny's already got it, but without knowing what's on it, it's a card for him to play, which means I can still get it.
Either way, I need Red's help. He is the only one that understands whats important here, that's willing to do this and make it count, rather than switch sides for a slice of pie. Most of my men must be working for Grozny now. There are a few that would remain loyal to the end, but first they need to know that I'm not the one giving them orders and there is also the risk.
What if I'm wrong? That's a question I've learned to ask myself recently. I'm not going to wait though, I need a trap, a safe spot to test the waters.
A dial a number, I'm not going to wait for Red's mercy. I have my own plans. Red is either in or he's out.
"Don't say anything, don't react, don't even blink. Are you alone?"
"It's Thomas. Grozny has taken over, my orders aren't coming from me any more."
"I see. This is bad news."
"I need you to come to me, I need to arrange something. You must tell no-one and let no-one know of this."
"I understand. Where and when?"
Damn it. I hadn't thought of that. Staying close was too risky, I needed to move away from the industrial district. I briefly consider phoning up little Yani and finding out where he lives before dismissing it as too risky.
"The park, the one near the docks in 3 hours."
"Oh and Frank. Bring medical supplies."
The line went dead.
I hope I can still trust Frank. If not, well, a bullet in the head will have to do.