Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne
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138

Corbusier armchairs, a glass table with an orchid

arrangement on it. The windows opening onto a park were

of course just artful photorealistic paintings. My sleet-

drenched parka and worn boots did not fit the setting at all.

“Please sit down.” The man used the formal form of

address, rarely used in Finland. “May I bring you coffee or

tea?” “Neither, thank you.” I steered clear of unnecessary

stimulants while working. They just clouded my focus.

The man pulled a file from his briefcase and flipped

through the papers inside it. His face was pasty and pale,

his black hair oiled into place. His eyebrows had been

plucked into narrow streaks. His voice was low and

expressionless.

“Hilja Ilveskero, age twenty-eight. Graduated from the

Queens Security Academy in New York with excellent

marks three years ago. Employed privately by Finnish

individuals after graduation, but currently unemployed.

Why?”

“My former employer moved to a company in Tokyo that

provides security services to its key employees. You’ll find

his letter of recommendation among my papers.”

The man smiled. “Of course, I have checked your

background. In today’s world one cannot be too cautious.”