Friday, January 28, 2011

Paranoia: it's what's for dinner

I'm sitting in an IHOP right now trying to gather my thoughts. I have half-a-cup of hot chocolate left, but I don't want to drink it.

This whole week, I've had a feeling of someone watching me. I could feel eyes on me wherever I went, taking the bus from my parent's house to work and back, going back to my apartment, even buying new bedding to replace the cut up ones.

Turns out I was right. They might be outside my work today: a man and a woman, both wearing casual business attire. She wore a tie and had dark red hair, while his clothes were crumpled. He was lanky and tall and wore sunglasses and seemed to be thrumming to some imaginary tune. She was slightly shorter, but had a kind of half-smile to her that seemed like she knew something no one else did.

They said they were from a division of the FBI called SMSC. I didn't catch what the acronym was for. She introduced herself as Special Agent Liza Jane and he was Special Agent Aladdin Sane (yes, writing it here, they sound like made up names, but I didn't question it then). Then she asked if we could go someplace to sit down.

Thus: IHOP. I had them show me their badges again and then they asked me some questions, mostly related to the break-in. Some were weird though; one question was about my dreams, the other about my childhood. I declined to answer either one. Finally, I asked why they were here, what the FBI had to do with anything.

Special Agent Liza Jane answered my question, "There were prints in your apartment that belonged to fugitive we've been tracking. We need to know what he's doing here and why he was inside your apartment. If you received anything recently - a gift, a package - something that he might be looking for, it might help us determine where he's going to be next."

I asked, "Is he dangerous?"

"Yes," Agent Jane said and then paused. "He's killed quite a lot of people. So, have you?"

"Have I what?"

"Received anything? Through the mail, given to you, or maybe just left on your doorstep."

I hesitated. "No."

"Okay." She and her silently thrumming partner got up. "Here's my card. If you do receive anything unusual, call me. Or if you remember something important."

"How likely is the possibility," I asked, "that this fugitive will come back to my apartment?"

"Not very," she said. "He hasn't been back in the last week, so we think he's moved on from here." Suddenly, there was a squaking on their radios and I heard the phrase Tango Whiskey Delta spotted. "We've got to go. Remember: any unusual packages." And then they left.

I was sipping my hot chocolate when I realized what had been bugging me. Liza Jane. Aladdin Sane. SMSC. Scary Monsters and Super Creeps. And then I realized something else:

Tango Whiskey Delta. TWD.

The Thin White Duke.

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