From the Shadows

She stood by the window, looking outside. The panorama of London at night, the lights and the indigo sky reflected against the thick slab of bullet-proof glass between her and the world outside. Things used to be different, she thought. Her reverie was interrupted by the short chirp of her cellphone.

She returned to her massive desk and picked it up. Seeing the caller ID, she accepted the call immediately. She was expecting it.

The man on the other side had a weather-worn face. He was in a tent somewhere, and she heard distant gunfire in the background, though the man seemed unperturbed. He went straight to business, as usual.

“You’ve heard, I assume.”

“Yes. I did not expect they would grant the license to anyone else, but here we are.”

“Yes. Here we are.”

She subconsciously adjusted her hair.

“What do we know about him?”

The man shrugged.

“Chinese national. Spent most of his life in Beijing it seems – the records are sketchy. Rather young from what I’ve heard, early forties maybe. Secretive, few have dealt with him in person. But he does have lots of ties – all across Asia, even Europe.”

“That’s not much.”

The man nodded gravely.

“Times change. Used to be just the two of us.”

After a few more pleasantries they ended the call, but the uneasy feeling lingered on. Times change indeed, she thought. One thing, however, was clear - things had just become a lot more interesting.

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