The Green Enigma (II)
The Green Enigma (II)
Layna’s shift was uneventful and she told Alma about her husband’s strange conduct of the previous night during pauses between bodies. She wasn’t paying attention and Laysa accidently amputated the genitals of one of her corpses while shaving the groin, but he didn’t complain and she kicked them under her workstation when the supervisor came. The supervisor was young homosexual fresh from processing training that had never touched a body himself but hold a degree in post-mortem processing techniques and was always reminding her and Alma about the important social function of their job seemingly unaware of the low wages that they earned for performing such an important and disgusting task.
After the eight hours long morning shift Laysa and Alma walked together towards the station through the imposing structures that formed the vast industrial park. When they arrived to Alma’s hydro-bike parked near the station they departed and she promised to call Laysa later that day to know if Nat was back, which she know she wouldn’t do.
‘Don’t worry’ Almacia had said while inserting her head in the pink helmet ‘I bet you will find him sleeping on the doorstep ‘. But when Laysa arrived home the man who was by the apartment’s door was neither her husband nor he was sleeping. A tall and thin man dressed on a clean and elegant grey polyester suit was standing by the door. When the man saw her coming towards him he approached towards her and introduced himself with determination, as if he was afraid she might run away and try to scape, which had been Layra’s first though.
‘Mrs. Madsotne, I presume’ he said flatly, and without waiting for an answer, he added ‘My name is Mr. Calmer and I am here to deliver you a message from your husband’
‘Who are you?’ she asked wondering precisely who the man was and what relation could he possibly have with her husband. She knew he could not be one of his husband’s few friends because they were too poor to wear expensive suits and always spitted when talking to her.
‘I just told you. My name is Mr. Calmer and I have been commissioned to deliver you a message on behalf of your husband ‘ he repeated calmly.
‘ How do you know my husband? Where is he? Has something happened to him?’
‘ I am sorry Mrs. Madsotne, but I am afraid that I don’t know the answers to that questions, as I said my commission to deliver a message. I have been instructed by a third party to come here and deliver the message to you in person. But I am afraid I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting your husband in person and I am afraid I don’t know anything about his whereabouts either’
‘I bet you haven’t met Nat or you wouldn’t call it a pleasure’ she joked, appeased by the monotonous quality of the man’s voice and polite manners that had a quasi-hypnotic effect ‘What is the message?’
‘ People will come asking for me. Do not trust them. Watch for the greens.’ the man said.
‘ People will come asking for me. Do not trust them. Watch for the greens.’ the man repeated
‘Yes. I heard you the first time. What is that supposed to mean?’ asked she losing a bit of her temper.
‘I am afraid I don’t know the answer to that question either. As I said I have been sent here to deliver this message, not to elucidate its meaning or engage in futile speculations about its content. I was instructed to memorize it and to forget about it once delivered. So if you have listened to the message I will proceed to erase it from my memory’
‘Instructed by how? Who sent you here?’
‘I am afraid that information is confidential. The only quality my employers values more than efficiency is discretion. I am not authorized to reveal their identity of which, I am afraid, I am ignorant myself. My function is limited to follow my employers’ instructions in the precise manner it is requested without question their validity or meaning. A task for which, I must say, I am handsomely rewarded. I wish you a pleasant evening Mrs. Madsotne.’ said the man. Then he headed toward the elevator doors at the end of the hall and pressed the call button.
‘What if I call the police?’ asked she across the hall without conviction.
‘I am afraid that would prove futile. The intervention of the authorities I am certain would not help your husband whatever his situation might be and I have every reason to believe it could even be detrimental of his interests, whatever they are.’ he answered louder in order to cover the distance that separated them, but without altering his characteristic monotonous tone.
‘You are afraid of many things Mr. Calmer’ she mumbled, not expecting the man to hear.
‘You should be too Mrs. Madsotne. Good evening.’
The lift had finally reached their floor and the man boarded and left with a courteous farewell nod. Laysa stood by her apartment door wondering what was going on and who the visitor could be. She came into her apartment and noticed immediately that her husband was not at home, neither there was signal that he had been there during the day. She did some cleaning around the house expecting to hear the intercom any minute and trying to figure out the meaning of the mysterious visit of Mr. Calmer. Later she cooked some instant noodles and ate them for dinner staring through the window how the facade of the identical apartment building across the street changed colors as the evening progressed. Then she fell sleep with her face on the empty bowl.
Next day at the factory she told Alma about the strange visit of Mr. Calmer and the not less strange message he had delivered.
‘He was a filehead, that Mr. Calmer. He must be in the payroll of some big corporation’ Alma said.
‘Filehead? What is a filehead?’
‘You know those guys that have surgically implanted nanodisks connected to their brains. The big companies use them as data couriers for confidential information because their disks can be erased and the courier doesn’t remember shit. It is not a bad job, it certainly beats cleaning corpses and is better paid’ she explained.
‘Okay, but that doesn’t explain anything. What can possibly Nat have been doing with these kind people? The only people he knows are losers.’
‘I don’t know.’ Alma admitted, and then added ‘ There is nothing you can do. In a couple of days you can go to the police and they will put you in the waiting list for missing persons. They will not do anything, of course, but you better cover your back if he is found dead. I wouldn’t worry… well I would be happy to get rid of that pathetic piece of shit if I was yo!. You should be celebrating. I can pass you some red stars or nano-psychotropics. You should get high and forget about this mess for a few hours’ offered Alma. Laysa wasn’t much of a drug user, she had done some second generation drugs during her youth, but nearly a decade has passed since then. She decided to buy some nano-psychos Alma in the hope that she would be able to forget about her problems for a while. When their shift was over Alma sold her two pills from the stash she had hidden under her bike’s seat and adviced her to take only one because the fourth gens could be as ten times more active than third generation drugs. Four generation Nano-Psychosalucinogens were designed by molecular engineers to travel right to the cerebral cortex and induce six or seven hours of cataleptic trance that submerged the subject on a dream of images and sensations . If overdosed you could spent the rest of your days believing you were a chair, or worse . When Alma got home that evening the apartment was empty and there was no messages on the intercom.