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Aigrette

Heliersdorf is cold, and wind cuts through the concrete slab housing like a knife through the glue of an envelope. Aigrette touches the paper in his coat pocket again: already the corner is soft as fur from his nervous brushing. Four blocks to the room on the second floor. Three. Two.

“Dobroi nochi,” says the crackling Director on his red Bakelite telephone.

“I have the names,” says Aigrette, his Russian still clumsy after years of working for them. “Four. Is that enough?”

“Excellent work,” says the Director, and Aigrette can hear his smile. “You’ll change the very nature of the game.”

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