Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tracking the Mole

You're trained to notice the inconspicuous. That's day one. After that, most of your studies are of the conspicuous. Is that one a bumbling fool, or the fox, trying to throw you off?

Fifty feet to the elevator. A brisk pace will get me on the car now chiming its arrival. One mark to avoid, on his mobile. I break to the left, he dreamily fades left. I slow and wind around right, he goes right, dense as ever. Briefly distracted by my attempt to decipher the accent, I succumb to decorum and stay behind just as he realized (but does not care about) his obtuseness. The doors close and the car ascends without me.

I push the up button. It's an onerous wait. Finally doors open, I step inside and press five. Who should join me? The wandering, connected foreigner. He presses two. Son of a bitch.

Wondering what I've done to deserve such arrogance, I notice that he's got a temporary badge and the picture doesn't even vaguely match. Using two legs that could have mustered two flights of stairs, he steps out and blends into the activity on the second floor, but he's long blown his cover. My text message has been sent, and the receiver understands both discretion and thoroughness.

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