, Fiction - General
, Action & Adventure
, Suspense fiction
, High Tech
, Biological warfare
, Keegan; James (Fictitious character)
, James (Fictitious character)
transmitter, which would work for forty-five minutes, then fry itself beyond recognition with one last burst of energy.
He fed the image into the lower portion of his glasses as well as relaying it back to the Art Room. But after a few minutes he found the fish-eyed feed of the traffic behind him distracting and turned it off. The Art Room claimed he was no longer being followed.
The Renaissance was a luxury hotel near Holburn Street and several blocks from the conference itself. Not using the conference hotel made it easier for surveillance and, more important, kept him away from the British intelligence network already set up there. Three different rooms had already been reserved in the hotel for him under different names, and as he rode through the morning traffic the Art Room checked the hotel’s reservation banks to see who had booked near them. They went with a large room on the sixth floor, wiping the others off the system.
Three doormen sprang to attention as the cab pulled in under the archway into the courtyard at the front of the hotel; Dean pulled a twenty-pound note from his pocket and stuffed it into the cabbie’s hand.
“Too much of a tip, guv,” protested the cabdriver paternally, but Dean waved him off.
“How much did you give him?” asked Telach.
Dean ignored her, following the doormen to the front desk, where the clerk found that his room was ready, despite the early hour. When Dean was alone in the elevator Telach hissed at him not to go overboard in tipping again.
“Rubens will have your head.”
“He already has the rest of me,” said Dean. “So where’s my friend?”
“She switched off and started following Lia,” said Telach. “Must be doing contract work for MI-5.”
The Art Room supervisor explained that British intelligence would routinely collect dossiers on various experts, a preemptive “just-in-case” operation. Dean would have attracted some attention because, cover story or not, he was new to them. The fact that he was covered by a rent-a-spy meant he was considered small potatoes.
“As long as I’m not mashed,” he told her.
“We’re inside the hotel’s computer, which has a link to the video system, so we’ll see her or anyone else if she comes in. So far we don’t have any indications of agents there. It may be that she wants to see what Lia’s up to now—whether she was trailing you or someone else. We’re betting that she was only supposed to find out where you were staying, which she would have been able to do when you spoke to the police. She hung with you long enough to make sure you were headed in that direction, then went after the lead that seemed more interesting.”
“Yeah, but I could go anywhere in the taxi.”
“True, but they don’t know that you’re up to anything particularly interesting. But an American op shows up, that’s different. Lia’s worked with the British before, and with Sylvia. So she’s a hell of a lot more interesting. Don’t get offended,” Telach added.
“I’m not. I’m beat. I want to take a nap: ”
“No time,” said Telach. “We need you go to a store near Charing Cross.”
“We’ve recovered the E-mails that led Kegan to file the contact report. They’re pretty bare, but the last one mentioned the Mysterious Anderson bookstore. You’re supposed to be there at ten. It’s close to your hotel. You can walk.”
“I’d like to catch some rest,” protested Dean.
“Next lifetime,” said Telach.
As soon as she was sure Dean had gotten into his taxi, Lia watched Reynolds come back inside and get into the Heathrow Express back to the airport; obviously her job was done, at least for now. Lia waited until the train left, then took her own circuitous route in and out before ducking down a Tube entrance and making sure she wasn’t followed.
Lia rode the Circle line to the Embankment stop a short distance away. Aboveground, Rockman directed her over to the Charing Cross bookstore