Chapter no 87

Quantum Radio

Kato was standing in the power plant’s turbine hall when his counterpart entered. A small entourage of Sicherheitsdienst officers followed the man, all lower in rank than him. Kato’s counterpart scanned the room and immediately, Kato tensed at the gaze. He made a mental effort to make himself look natural as he advanced across the far wall, inspecting the windows for security flaws he knew weren’t there.

His counterpart marched deeper into the room, barking questions in German to his subordinates. The sound of his voice was different from Kato’s—and it wasn’t just the foreign language. His speech was more clipped. If Kato was being generous, he would call the tone efficient. Being less generous, the man came off as impatient and harsh, as though the next thing he said would be a criticism.

Another Sicherheitsdienst officer entered the room and raised a straight arm salute and yelled, “Sieg Heil!”

The words made Kato’s skin crawl. They echoed in the hall as his counterpart shouted “Sieg Heil” back. That made Kato even more uncomfortable. He would be glad when this was over.

They discussed the entrances and exits to the room and how many attendees would be present during the ceremony. They were about to discuss the countersurveillance measures present when Kato’s counterpart abruptly cut off the conversation. What he did next was the sum of Kato’s fears: he marched directly toward Kato.

The footsteps echoed in the vast space, bouncing off the brick walls and tall glass. Kato made no reaction. He studied the window in front of him and began moving to the next one.

“Was machen Sie hier?” Kato’s counterpart spat out.

Kato let his nervousness show—it wasn’t a hard act. He also tried to alter his voice to sound higher. “Es tut mir Leid, Herr Sturmbannführer, aber

mein Deutsch ist nicht so—”

Kato’s counterpart exhaled heavily and held up a hand. He spoke slowly, chopping out each word and pausing, like one might speak to a child. “What. Are. You. Doing. Here?”

“A security check.”

The man snorted. A small, unkind smile formed on his face.

Kato pressed on. “I work for Maria Santos. As personal security.”

“Miss Santos is in no danger here. You are wasting your time. And mine.


Kato hesitated—but only for a fraction of a second. Leaving so easily could have made him look guilty.

“I’m paid to do a job,” he said. “And I must do it. I have my orders.”

That seemed to resonate with his counterpart. Following orders would be something he understood all too well—and could respect, even if he thought the man was wasting his time.

“Very well. You may return to this room in one hour—after we are done.

Understood?” Kato nodded.

His counterpart jerked his head toward the door, silently dismissing him. Kato was exiting the room when the man called to him. “Wait!”

Kato stopped in his tracks and turned slowly. His counterpart was squinting.

“What is your name?”

Kato supplied the name from the South American identity he was using. “Have we met?”

“No,” Kato replied. “I don’t think so.”

“Have you always lived in South America?” “Yes.”

With each answer, the scowl on his counterpart’s face deepened. Kato could feel a thin layer of sweat forming on his forehead, the pores welling up, not breaking out in beads yet, just enough for the cool air conditioning blowing down to tickle at his skin.

Kato wanted to swallow hard to make his voice sound more natural—and wipe the sweat from his face. But he forced his body to appear relaxed. His gaze was slightly to the right of his counterpart, not daring to look him in the eyes.

“Dismissed,” the man said, the word uttered like someone might spit out a bad bit of food.

As Kato exited the hall, he felt the man watching him. He was suspicious now. Would he do a deeper background check? Have someone watch Kato?

Kato would do those things.

The launch was in twenty-six hours. Kato wondered if he had that much time left.

You'll Also Like