You bustle down 2nd Street, eyes scanning the surroundings for the slightest incongruity. Like the second hand on a precision Swiss watch, some part of your mind slides acutely into place.
Two news vans in line at the stoplight. Two horn blasts from that cab. The department store next to you… Saks 5th Avenue… on 2nd Street. A man drops a quarter on the sidewalk. Five pigeons atop a Maybelline billboard. Two, five. Stop. The engrams are weaving fractal ribbons across your memory banks.
“Max, tie your shoe.”
He doesn’t pause, he drops immediately to one knee. There’s a whistle above his head as a bullet strikes the store wall in a flurry of concrete dust. “Two o’clock, black Navigator,” you say. Max nods, pulling a handgun from his ankle holster. In one deft motion, he’s attaching a silencer and firing two shots into the driver of the Lincoln SUV on the corner. After concealing the gun back under his pant leg fast enough to avoid detection, he pulls you into an alley.
“FBI?” he asks.
“I don’t think so. Looked like Shiguro’s men.”
“Back in the building.”
“25th floor. There’s a interrogation room. We forgot our iPod.”