In The Shadow Of His Nemesis
Al Bruno III
Thursday November 7th 1996
It was the best room in the best 5 star hotel Albany had to offer and it was absolutely quiet. A man and a woman sat on an expensive couch; their posture perfect, their bodies naked and their expressions empty. They were so still that if anyone had ignored the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door and blundered into the room they might have thought they were looking in on a pair of mannequins.
Shortly after 9 AM the telephone rang. The man stood smoothly and crossed the room to answer it. "Hello?" his voice was crisp and businesslike.
The woman stood and moved to stand beside him.
There was no lethargy in their movements, no stretching or yawns. "No… no." The man’s expression was blank, "I understand you had to double check. Security is important and we're not the usual type of people you're used to dealing with. I just appreciate you getting back to us. Now about that address… Could you repeat that? An APB? Oh no thank you. I'm sure you'll understand the need for discretion. Thank you again for your time Police Chief Costello. I assure you my superiors will be informed how helpful and thorough you were."
The man hung up the phone. The woman spoke, "That took long enough.”
There was a pair of suitcases on the room's wide bed. The man walked over to one and opened it. He began to change into fresh clothes, "He was suspicious of our credentials, such things are to be expected."
The woman did the same, as she dressed her movements mirrored his "These databases should all be interconnected and fluid, we shouldn’t even need to make requests."
"In time, it will all come in time,” He said. “You would have hated it in the old days. We all worked alone and barely kept in contact."
She pulled on an elegant gray skirt and then shouldered into a crisp white blouse, “Are you sure we shouldn’t make use of the local authorities?”
“I think it is best we don’t,” he paused to explain, “It’s too soon after the last incident here. I think we had best act with an economy of force. I won’t lose another Torweg to the Hanged Man and his cause.”
“How many more mistakes will we be allowed?” She slipped into a jacket and put on her sensible shoes.
“Don’t think like that,” he had his pants and shirt on and was adjusting his tie, “we’ve done our best under difficult circumstances. Our time is coming.”
"Do you think Galen has already passed on what he knows? Perhaps to his rescuer?”
"No. She seems perfectly ordinary-"
When they were both fully dressed they shared a nod of approval and headed out into the hallway. They left their luggage behind and didn’t bother to lock the door.
“Perfectly ordinary?” The woman smiled, "You mean like us?"
The man chuckled as they waited for the elevator, "Point taken, but Isobel J. Talbot, age twenty-one, seems perfectly mundane. No arrests or record of any kind. Not even a speeding ticket."
"A Good Samaritan?" The elevator door opened and they stepped inside, “I think I feel sorry for her.”
The man raised a single eyebrow, “Heart as big as the world eh?”