Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer

Tomas entered the sushi bar ten minutes before noon, ten minutes before his assignment would arrive. The restaurant was busy, not packed, and there were a few vacant tables along one side. His assignment would take the one closest to the kitchen, as he always did. Tomas left his jacket on the chair back of his own table, where the maitre’d had left him with a disinterested wave, and walked back towards the kitchen, pausing only long enough to lay a new QR code sticker over the one on his assignment’s table before continuing on into the bathroom.

He rinsed his hands, waited a few minutes and then returned to his seat to wait.

At noon his assignment walked through the door, an imposing man in an electric blue suit, double chins cleanly shaven, hair perfect.

The maitre’d showed much more interest in this man, and ushered him excitedly to his usual seat.

The man produced his phone and scanned the QR code on the table to begin his order.

Tomas heard an annoyed grunt. The menu app that would normally have launched immediately was now asking him to download an upgrade. Hungry and annoyed, he typed his passcode with fat well manicured fingers to remove this obstacle to his gluttony.

Moments later Blue Suit was ordering, and before long food was arriving. Tomas sat with his back to the man, listening to him wolf down plate after plate of sushi, sashimi and all sorts of dim sum. The sound made him nauseous, and any interest he had in eating faded quickly away, his own meal now abandoned before him.

At twenty minutes past the hour he heard the phone ring behind him, and for the next hour and forty minutes between gulps of green tea and around mouthfuls of raw fish, Blue Suit talked to nearly every politician in the city, most of the construction union leaders and several members of the local organized crime rings.

While they talked, Tomas’ modified menu app whispered from a list of NSA hot codes into the line, burying phrases under the conversations, painting targets under the noses of a very specifically targeted group of men.

Shortly after two Tomas had checked off all the names on his mental list from the conversations he had overheard. He left several bills on the table to cover his food and an allow for an unremarkable tip, and then slipped quietly out of the restaurant without a backwards glance.

On his way to the subway Tomas made one call.

“It’s done,” there would be no response he knew, “they’re all as good as dead.”

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