Eastern Standard Tribe – Day 59 of 64


##Received address book entry "Toby Ginsburg" from Colonelonic.

## Colonelonic (private): This guy's up to something. Flew to Boston twice this week. Put a down payment on a house in Orange County. _Big_ house. _Big_ down payment. A car, too: vintage T-bird convertible. A gas burner! Bought CO2 credits for an entire year to go with it.

Trepan: /private Colonelonic Huh. Who's he working for?

## Colonelonic (private): Himself. He Federally incorporated last week, something called "TunePay, Inc." He's the Chairman, but he's only a minority shareholder. The rest of the common shares are held by a dummy corporation in London. Couldn't get any details on that without using a forensic accounting package, and that'd get me fired right quick.

Trepan: /private Colonelonic It's OK. I get the picture. I owe you one, all right?

## Colonelonic (private): sweat.value==0 Are you going to tell me what this is all about someday? Not some bullshit about your girlfriend?

Trepan: /private Colonelonic Heh. That part was true, actually. I'll tell you the rest, maybe, someday. Not today, though. I gotta go to London.

Art’s vision throbbed with his pulse as he jammed his clothes back into his backpack with one hand while he booked a ticket to London on his comm with the other. Sweat beaded on his forehead as he ordered the taxi while scribbling a note to Gran on the smart-surface of her fridge.

He was verging on berserk by the time he hit airport security. The guard played the ultrasound flashlight over him and looked him up and down with his goggles, then had him walk through the chromatograph twice. Art tried to breathe calmly, but it wasn’t happening. He’d take two deep breaths, think about how he was yup, calming down, pretty good, especially since he was going to London to confront Fede about the fact that his friend had screwed him stabbed him in the back using his girlfriend to distract him and meanwhile she was in Los Angeles sleeping with her fucking ex who was going to steal his idea and sell it as his own that fucking prick boning his girl right then almost certainly laughing about poor old Art, dumbfuck stuck in Toronto with his thumb up his ass, oh Fede was going to pay, that’s right, he was—and then he’d be huffing down his nose, hyperventilating, really losing his shit right there.

The security guard finally asked him if he needed a doctor.

“No,” Art said. “That’s fine. I’m just upset. A friend of mine died suddenly and I’m flying to London for the funeral.” The guard seemed satisfied with this explanation and let him pass, finally.

He fought the urge to get plastered on the flight and vibrated in his seat instead, jiggling his leg until his seatmate—an elderly businessman who’d spent the flight thus far wrinkling his brow at a series of spreadsheets on his comm—actually put a hand on Art’s knee and said, “Switch off the motor, son. You’re gonna burn it out if you idle it that high all the way to Gatwick.”

Art nearly leapt out of his seat when the flight attendant wheeled up the duty-free cart, bristling with novelty beakers of fantastically old whiskey shaped like jigging Scotchmen and drunken leprechauns swinging from lampposts.

By the time he hit UK customs he was supersonic, ready to hammer an entire packet of Player’s filterless into his face and light them with a blowtorch. It wasn’t even 0600h GMT, and the Sikh working the booth looked three-quarters asleep under his turban, but he woke right up when Art stepped past the red line and slapped both palms on the counter and used them as a lever to support him as he pogoed in place.

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