I had no idea what Jason was doing in there, and quite frankly I didn't care. That was his part of the fiddle. I was concerned about what was happening where I was. I buzzed Drake to find out if he was cool. He said he was, but I was sure something was wrong. I was about to buzz Dante when I caught a glimpse of something very odd. It was as though something had moved the air aside to make space for itself, although I couldn't see what it was.
And then it clicked. Those damn invisimacs! They were really just very high tech camouflage, taking multiple 3D images of the wearers surroundings and projecting them from the surface of the fabric, which was a nanofibre polymer. They were only available to the police, so was sure we were in trouble. I said one word into my com and started walking sedately to where I'd spotted the anomaly and kept walking.
"Gotcha!" The cop yelled, bursting out of his invisible clothing and wrestling me to the ground. I could easily have incapacitated him but chose not to. They had nothing on me. On any of us. I just hoped the others had scarpered and not tried to finish the job, as there were certainly more cops around than this one that had accosted me.
He hauled me to my feet. He really was full of vim and vigour this one, frisking me and confiscating my com like he had any right to. I patiently let him finish.
"Excuse me officer, but why are you doing this?"
"We had a pretty reliable source tell us you were plotting some shenanigans, so we came to catch you at it."
He was more eager than he was smart. He hadn't even thought to call for back up. What would've happened in the event of me beating the crap out of him, I wondered. Thankfully someone higher up was thinking along the same lines and came striding up, pushing me into a police car without a word.
"This isn't right" I said.
"Neither are you" he replied.
Touché, I thought.
The police station was abuzz with activity. Robot secretaries whizzed around taking dictations, displaying images on their screens and printing documents from their stomachs.Policemen and women interviewed criminals, shoved them up against walls, screamed at them, tried anything to intimidate them into spouting all their evil deeds. I wasn't moved. There was no case against me and I knew it. It was just a question of me keeping a cool head and answering the questions as they came. I looked up and saw Mr. Blake. He walked towards me and frisked me.
"Hey I've already been..."
I fell silent as he pulled a button out of my pocket. A cheap satellite transmitter. So that's how they'd found me. They still didn't have anything, I just had to explain why I spent half an hour hanging around the Bureau of Statistics. I kept a straight face while I thought furiously.
Blake pulled out a copy of my National Statistics file from the time he'd come to my apartment, and downloaded the most recent version from the Bureau files. I had to suppress a smile. Did he really think we were that stupid. The changes, if Jason had successfully made them, wouldn't reflect until the day we transferred our Statistics to our homelands. The increment would happen between the deletion of the files here and the creation of new files wherever it was we were going. It would be very hard to spot. I had to hand it to him, Jason was an absolute genius.
I left my thoughts to look up at the frustration on Blake's face. I could see he knew I was guilty of something, but he had nothing to accuse me of, except maybe loitering, and there weren't any signs around the Bureau of Statistics to make that a valid offence. According to the law he could arrest any citizen on a whim, but had to have a valid and reasonable accusation to hold anyone prisoner. He wanted to question me, but he'd been beaten. He was a good sport though, he didn't make a fuss, didn't ask me any futile questions, in fact, he said just what I would have if I were him..
"I'll be watching you Ethelbert" he said, stupidly thinking I'd give him the small pleasure of letting him think he could get to me. I had the upper hand, no matter how guilty I was.