I’m sitting in an AmTrak train and I should be happy, but I’m not. I’m crying like a teenage girl. How could I not have seen this coming? Why?
Everything should have been perfect. It was not the Johnson. I got my money. It was not the job. I did it well, I think, maybe a bit overenthusiastic. Johnson was more than pleased. So, what the fuck went sideways? Oh, I’m riding in a fucking train, because there was a storm coming? Ya, I think I mentioned it and I really got wet and cold and I was really pissed and the flights were canceled. But… FUCK!
Okay, my plan to drop out from the radar of the Rosenbaums was so simple that it had to work. But just to make up a short shopping job and not to return would not be sufficient. You should not underestimate a corporation with so much money as the Rosenbaum Holding.
The chauffeur of the Rosenbaums was driving me to that high class mall. Check. I told him to wait an hour and then to pick me up again. Check. So. But now things started to become complicated. I had nothing on me that would help me to disappear. So first I bought some fancy stuff from Lisas money, things that were Analisa-ish. Check.
My corporate uniform was with a little bit adjusting not much different from one of the salesgirls in the clothes departement. So while watching that I wasn’t suspicious, avoiding the real salesfloozys I talked a woman who was searching for clothes for her daughter into buying some stuff. Stuff that would fit me, that I liked. It was not so difficult as I thought first. My other plan would have been to simply nick it.
The problem was this: I must not buy anything with my money that could lead to me. I had to vanish traceless. After that I followed the woman and waited for a good moment to snatch the bag with the clothes. I dropped my commlink, means Analisas old commlink, into another shopping bag, then left trough a side entrance.
Behind some garbage containers I changed my clothes, disposed the old ones and observed people on the street if they type a security code into their commlink or not. Like I did so often in the first weeks in Hong Kong, where I had nothing to start with. I nicked that unsecured commlink, messaged the hacker to meet me a few blocks from the mall, then disposed that commlink into the gutter, after I cleaned it quickly from fingerprints and did a factory reset as I did before with Analisas.
It was fucking cold, the wind was harsh and icy and my clothes were okay, but I should have chosen better. Ah! That stupid bitch didn’t want to buy the raincoat and no winter coat.
The stupid jerk of a hacker was twenty minutes late. So late that I already was looking out for another rich dipstick with no phone locking. “You said on the 24th Ave”, he said. I did not. I was looking around. “Where is the box with my stuff?” “In the other car.” “…”, I stared at him. “Great!” “Shut up, I’ll bring you to Johnson. You did your work?” “Where is the other car?” “At the habour at a public parking garage.” I sulked. “You are lucky that I was near; else I would have sent you a Johnny-Cab.” He meant those stupid automatic cabs that of cause don’t work, if you have no credstick.
Halve an hour later I met ‘David’, means my Johnson. “They try to push up their own stock value to scam the investors, then sell a large chunk at that price, maybe even everything but 51%. After that they’ll let it crash, buy it back.” “You have proof?” I had. I gave him the full feed. Where Mister Rosenbaum had said what they plan, the timing planning of their news feed, the bragging of Mister Amaretto.
Arrogance leeds to downfall.
We worked together at the details, to be honest I wasn’t doing much but reporting what I remembered, gave them what I had, but without a commlink you are fucked in this world. So after some time sitting around and watching the hacker work, I asked him where that car was, if he can give me the key and if it’s a problem, if I start to bugger off, because I’d like to be out of town when the shit hits the fan. David gave me 10k for expenses and I overheard a phone-call that the original Lisa indeed was alive but just was with her parents, who had a medical issue. I guess that was something they faked and I was relieved a lot. David told me, there would be coming some more money, when they did the transactions, “you did good work, enjoy your way home.” First thing I did was buying me a cheap phone and a burger.
I was wet to the bone when I finally managed to get my stuff from that fucking car. It was standing on a huge parking lot, where I had to wander at least halve a kilometer without any protection from the rain and the ice. The English say it’s raining cats and dogs, but raining pets would be an improvement to this.
I changed my clothes again, to get off that drowned rat-in-the-sewer outfit, called a Johnny-Cab to the airport, just to find out, that the flights were canceled, drove to the train station, again halve frozen and was taking the night train.
I had sent Mister Browdy a short notice by a courier: “You will never see one of the execs. You won’t be able to do anything for your folks here. Call them outside the building and tell them to raid the factory and get their last month of wages in hardware. This night. Your factory is lost, I’m very sorry. Watch the news. – a friend”
I was very satisfied with me, when I was riding that first night home to the west-coast. The sleep is deep and friendly for those who are rightful.
Morning news. Yay! Heavy hit on my ebbie! I really oogled the numbers. “Surprising stock crash of Rosenbaum Holding.” “SEC and FBI raiding Rosenbaum head quarters, insider trading suspected. CEO: ‘No comment!’” “Raid of angry mob on Chicago Steelwork Factories – Neoluddism?” And my search found this: “Rosenbaum heir Anna Lisa(16) found dead on Nightclub toilet – drug overdose!” She was the 127th drug related death in Boston of the ongoing year. Ice dagger through the heart.
I stared at that last message. “But you have nothing to lose”, I told her. “There is no freedom in poverty, nothing romantic about hunger…” And I said: “I won’t give up.” You have to be sixteen to understand… this…
I never had the chance to say good bye. All she needed was a friend. A mother, a father, someone that cared about her. That thought that being an artist is something useful. And that’s why I am sobbing, because not all tears of my life would be enough to fill the black hole in my heart that this left.
Her funny little designs lost. I will never again ride side by side or shoot stupid targets with shotguns. I will never hear her laugh again and she will never again drug her chaperone. And I even didn’t know her proper name until I saw it written in the feeds.
After a while I started to cry again. Tears grow back. I failed her so miserably. Maybe I plant a bush of wild roses for her. Are there violet roses?