This is chapter 13 of Window Weather, a serial fiction novel on FITK
Sean told the taxi driver to take him around the city. He didn’t want to chance having the thugs from the nightclub follow him and, besides that fact, he really hadn’t seen much of Reykjavík since he landed sixteen hours ago. The driver, Ole, was a tall man in his late 50s, and was, unlike the goons Sean had encountered earlier in the evening, most congenial.
“Já, just look for Hallgrímskirkja, then you know where you are. Some folks don’t like it, but you will never forget it,” said Ole as he pointed out the big concrete church on the hill that overlooked the town, His taxi was a Cadillac, Sean wondered if it had been his personal car before the crash—if he had been forced to take this job to make ends meet?
“You’ve come to Iceland before?”
“No, I’ve only been here a day,” said Sean, “I don’t know anything about Iceland, really.” The cab was leaving the center of town and had just gone past a huge structure with five tanks and a dome on top.
“What's that?’’ said Sean. He couldn't imagine what the building was for. It looked like an enormous spaceship.
“Perlan, the Pearl,” said Ole. “Those tanks are full of hot water from the geothermal springs. They have events in the center, between the tanks. The dome on top is a revolving restaurant for tourists. Too expensive for regular people. What do you like to eat? Iceland is the world’s best place for meat, you can get all kinds of fish, birds, reindeer, whale, horse, more kinds of lamb than you can imagine. Even the pylsur have lamb in them.”
“Já, hot dogs. They’re everywhere. ‘Eina með öllu.’ One with everything. You’ll see.”
After a half an hour of Ole’s commentary on Icelandic culture and politics, Sean relaxed, knowing that he hadn’t been followed. For the most part, the streets were empty. Sally’s wine was beginning to catch up with him so he gave the driver the address of his apartment. Ole knew the place.
“Jæ,jæ, jæ, across from the Russians.”
“What are they like? What goes on there?” Sean was still thinking about Billy’s little ‘detour’ onto the Embassy grounds.
“Oh, they don’t like it here much, those that work in the Embassy. Nothing for them to do, now that the cold war is over. It used to be different. They used to sit in Hornið—the restaurant on Hafnarstræti—where they could look at the American agents looking back at them. Now they mostly stay in the embassy. They have a man who brings them duty-free once a week. They don’t mingle.”
The taxi stopped in front of Sean’s apartment building.
“Já, you take my card, I work nights, after eight. Anything you need, I can get it.”
“Thanks, Ole, I may take you up on that,” said Sean.
By the time Sean got back into his apartment, it was 2 AM. He opened his laptop and saw that there were several emails waiting to be read:
May 3 (8 hours ago)
Sean, I hope your project is coming along. I don't want to sound like a whiner, but I guess I'm missing you more than I thought I would. Work is the sameoldsameold, nothing new there. News in Seattle is bad. Some guy went crazy and shot a bunch of people in a cafe and then killed himself, jeez it's creeping me out. When I came home tonight there was a guy just sitting in a car down at the end of the block. I know it's probably nothing, but you never can tell.
Come home soon,
The other emails were all from Mrs. Robinson, they contained the locations where Billy had accessed the internet. The last message had some new information:
May 3 (1 hour ago)
Sean: One of Billy's connections was to a Russian intelligence network just a little while ago. Be careful, those guys are merciless. Needless to say, if we can actually link Billy to the Russians it must remain a secret, the Senator's presidential hopes would be over if it ever got out.
As he was updating his map of Billy’s locations, Sean received an email notification. It was from Billy:
May 4, 2 minutes ago
I heard you were in town.
Get out, next flight back is tomorrow.
Don't do anything stupid.
Tell the senator to go fuck himself.
Sean wrote back:
Billy, we've got to talk. Give me ten minutes and then I'll leave.
Name the place and time.
Five minutes later:
May 4, 1 minute ago
Sean dashed off a note to Molly and sent an acknowledgment to Mrs. R. He shut down his laptop, brushed his teeth and went to bed.
Next chapter: The Water Has Memory