Part eight in the Rainbow series:
“What is this?”
“I thought you might tell me,” Virgil answers..
“I meant, what is this,” Sonorous gestures broadly, indicating the meeting, “How did you know to find me here and what do you want from me.”
She burns to ask about the drone, to ignore the undertones of this meeting and just leap into her investigation. She’d thought that she’d disappeared off the grid after all these years, if she’d even ever been on it in the first place, but Virgil’s appearance now made consider the possibility that at least one player in the game had been keeping an eye on her. But who? And why? Probably not Dvorovoi, everything she knew they already knew, the only reason she could think of they could have for wanting her would be to keep what she knew quiet, and it would be far simpler to simply have her killed if they already knew how to find her.
It also made her wonder what connection Alcatraz had to all this. Best case scenario is that he and Virgil are working together, then Virgil’s presence here could be explained without any major actors having to be involved.
“How, isn’t important. And all I want from you, is co-operation,” he answers, fidgeting with a ring on his finger.
“I’m co-operating right now, give me something a bit more substantial, or I’m out of here.”
With an exaggerated sigh, Vigril leans forward conspiratorially, gesturing for Sonorous to do the same, she complies, “I know who you are. It’s my business to know you, after all. I know where you’re from, what you saw, what you’re looking for and where to find it. In a number of ways I know more about you than you do, for example I know with some confidence where you’re going to be in the near future, who you’ll be meeting and I know that you won’t be able to find what you’re looking for that way.”
Leaning back, he pauses for effect, pulling a pack of cigarettes from his pocket. Tapping the box, he draws one free and casually takes the time to lift it to his lips and light it, while Sonorous glares, frustrated by the pause.
Drawing deeply, he blows a cloud of smoke to join the haze over head. Holding the cigarette loosely between two fingers, still lounging in his chair he drinks from his glass while staring gleefully into Sonorous’ impatient expression.
“I have to admit, I’m quite impressed by how far you’ve come. After you left the city, I kept a distant eye on you, just in case. Every time I check in on you, you’ve done something new to put yourself in danger.
“I mean, picking a fight with the biggest gang in your neighbourhood before you’ve even settled in. That took some guts, I must admit. Then all the attention you called on the Net asking for Aug surgeries and unaffiliated Netwalk tutors, you really don’t know the meaning of subtlety do you, Sonorous?
“I can only imagine you’ve got no idea all the eyes on you right now, already been reached out to by one syndicate, and at least two high profile meetings just this week.”
The ease he rattles off everything she’d been tried so hard to be subtle about. As well his claim that her meeting with Alcatraz was ‘High Profile’, gave her pause. At the same, something in his language and his eyes seem different from on the street, somehow he seems older than he before.
“Who are you?”
“Finally a question that’s actually worth while, I was starting to worry I’d overestimated you.” Virgil’s pupils rotate with biotech once more, this time she was certain it was a telegraphed action, “I’m not Virgil.”
“I didn’t ask who you weren’t!” she snaps back, she’d heard rumour of tech that could turn a person into puppet on the Net, but she never expected to see it in person.
“It’s astute of you to recognise the question, but I’m afraid you’re still much too young for the answer. For now, let’s return to business. How far are you willing to go for your answers?”
Sonorous chokes back the furious answer, she hates this situation. Not being in control makes her feel like she did on that day again, being toyed with by this bastard was almost enough for her to walk out.
“As far as it takes,” she answers through grit teeth.
The other watches her curiously through Virgil’s eyes, raising one eyebrow disbelievingly, “Most will say that, we’ll see if you mean it when it comes to it.
“We’ll be in touch,” he concludes, rising from his seat, placing a small pill on the table, “Swallow this, it will make it easier for me to find you during your next meeting. Just in case.”
Sonorous looks down at the pill suspiciously, Virgil’s shoulders shrug, “Or don’t, it’s up to you. I’ll be able to find you eventually even without it, but it’ll be slower, maybe too late if you’re in danger.”
With that, he turns and walks out of the place without waiting to see if she’ll take the pill.
I suppose he’ll know if I take it, even if he doesn’t see me do it, Sonorous thinks, swiping the pill and pocketing for now and throwing back the rest of her drink before heading back out into the street herself. What have I gotten myself into?
With her mind complete tied up with thoughts of Virgil’s words, she decides to put off scoping the restaurant for now. If she’s being tracked so closely… but no, she can’t assume that he was telling the truth just from that. Almost nothing he mentioned wasn’t public, and what wasn’t could have been extrapolated by anyone who knew her history.
There was simply too many variables to consider. Who was Alcatraz, if he was truly high profile. Was Virgil’s master telling the truth about being the only one with her answers, could she risk the possibility that he was.
She didn’t know what any of the answers were, so her best bet was that she might find some of them at the bottom of a bottle, as she stepped into a far dingier looking bar than before to remind her of home.