Truth. Justice. Minesweeper.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

This evening I was at my desk cleaning some kind of--I don't know; it looked like chocolate--off Greyghost's mask. One of his masks, anyway; he must have a few because I've never seen his face. Not pleasant work, but the man does have an image to maintain.

The phone rang. Not my cell, but the office phone. This rarely happens. It was Suchit.

Suchit is the other regular security guy upstairs. Every now and then when I'm bored I'll go up and hang out with him. We play chess, which he always wins because a) he's brilliant and b) I can't concentrate with him talking my ear off. He's trying to make some kind of independent movie in his spare time.

"Hey, Suchit. What's up?"

"Hey, Dennis. How's it going?"

"Not bad. Slow day. You?"

"Pretty good, pretty good. I picked up a new magazine downtown; it's called Smoing. You ever heard of it? There's this one article on local architecture and how you can tell which mayor was in charge of the city any year just by looking at which buildings were put up then. You should pick up a copy. Or I could lend you mine. Except there's this one thing I want to photocopy for my sister."

"I'll keep an eye out for it."

"Reason I called is a guy showed up here with a package for you."

"Really? That's weird. Okay, I'll come up."

A big fat envelope, all taped up, was sitting in front of Suchit when I got up there. I hefted it; pretty heavy, mostly paper. It was addressed to me, all right. Who the hell knows I'm at this address? The handwriting wasn't Greyghost's or Cruickshank's or Carl's, and I was pretty sure it wasn't Ingrid's either.

"Did you have to sign for it?" I asked.

"No, he just handed it over. Big tall guy, kind of old. Had an old army coat on."

"Huh. Thanks, Suchit. I'll look at it downstairs."

Back at my desk, I sliced the end of the envelope open and dumped the contents out. Item the first: an inch-thick stack of fanfold paper. Item the second: a keyring. The paper was a printout of information in a language I couldn't identify, interspersed with figures and tables that meant nothing to me, all courtesy of a dot-matrix printer running out of ink. The keyring had three keys on it: a car key, an old-assed brass key about four inches long and very ornate, and a plain grey security card of the type where you just show it to the card reader instead of sliding it along a slot. I poked it idly with a pencil, having some idea I shouldn't mess up the fingerprints. There was nothing on the envelope to say who this was from or why I should have it.

I have learned a thing or three in the months I've been working here. One of the three things is how to look up stuff about keys. I was flipping through the key bible when Cruickshank blew in.

"Do you have an extra cellphone battery?" he asked. "Mine's acting up."

"Box beside the angelfish tank," I said, still reading.

"What's all that?" he asked.

"I dunno. Just got delivered upstairs a couple of minutes ago. See for yourself."

He frowned at the keys, and frowned even harder at the printouts, but his face cleared when he looked at the envelope. "Oh, right," he said. "Chuck it."


"It's garbage. Don't bother with it."

"How do you know? Who sent it?"

He shrugged and pitched his old cellphone battery into a filing cabinet. "Greyghost can tell you about it if he wants. But, seriously, don't waste your time."

"Some guy knows I work here and sends me a James Bond care package and I'm supposed to forget about it?"

"Basically, yeah," Cruickshank said. "Did Greyghost tell you where he was going to be tonight?"

I didn't end up throwing out the mystery envelope. I used my super power of filing on it and it now resides somewhere south of the decrepit cellphone batteries. With a Post-It note on it saying, "Ask GG!" Because he usually can't wait to explain things to me.

Someday I'm going to have to reread this entry to make sure I've accurately portrayed the sense of Not Knowing What's Going On that seems to be hanging around here lately.
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