The Call

I boot up my old terminal to get Mandy’s number—still in the bad habit of keeping documents on it. Keeping things encrypted live on the Interweb is a hundred times more efficient, since you can jack it anywhere, but things on the live web can be hacked, and some paranoid old part of me keeps me from storing anything incriminating there, helpful as it might be. I get her number and I punch it—thank God some people still use phones.

She snatches it up halfway through the first ring, “Hello?” Eager as hell, probably sitting right next to the phone waiting for me.

“Got a lead on your brother, Ms. Collins. Friend of mine spotted him. You like coffee?”

“Hell with the coffee, I’ll be there in ten minutes.”

“Ms. Collins—”

“With or without you. Tell me where was he seen. And call me Mandy.”

      “Down by Prostheticore,” I say. “Meet you there in ten.”

      “Sorry, Ms.—Mandy. But I’m gonna check it out myself first.”

I couldn't take it anymore. I called it off.