On the third floor of the stacked parking garage, I sit hunkered down. Locked in the dirty black Jetta that I’ve squeezed into a sardine can spot, almost touching the concrete wall. It’s what I want. No one can get in from either side. The spate of pounding grey rain outside panders to the mood. I can watch from here. See what passes under the showerhead streetlights. Too much nondescript traffic pulsing, pulsing, all bleached black in the deluge. The time window is long tonight, and I’ve smoked my last half pack. I risk rolling down a window to let out the blue, then think shit, I shoulda left it. It’ll last longer. In my jacket pocket, there’s a cyanide candy for me. A glossy gel cap, in case they come and find a way to bust the armored glass. Quick dissolving. There’s someone I have to find and readjust. Tonight, it’s a She. A needle in a haystack, so I’ve been told. After all, this is Tokyo. But I am secure in my own self, and I know what I can do. The coordinates are true. I know that the one I wait for will be more nondescript than even the rest of the floaters going by. It’s always the way. They think it’s perfect camouflage, but subtlety’s been my study for a while now. I open the glove box, fumble around for more ciggies, no luck. Until I touch a long plastic tube. Yesss, it’s that Kanda Leaf cigar that buddy gave me from off world. Maybe a little stale now, but it’ll do, for more blue. The things that I know about the Runners mean that there’s a big price on my head. I have to stop her, empty her hard drives, and feed in some handy counterpoints. Otherwise, they’re going to be successful in slipping this aberration of time into”Our” continuum. This has been their seventh attempt, and they are here for a reason: to eliminate a bloodline, to prevent what they see as a catastrophic event that will bring their world order down, five thousand years from our “Now”.