A man climbed out of the backseat of the Jaguar parked up the street. There was nothing special about him as far as ShadowAspect could see – just some normal-looking guy in jeans and a blazer – but he strode down the middle of the road like he owned it.
Two men jumped out of the front of the car and followed him. They were bigger and more imposing. I could tell by watching them in the Infinistra that they were both wearing body armour and hiding guns under their jackets.
Their boss strode past ShadowAspect and up to a darkened shop front. He gave a quiet knock. A few seconds later the door opened. All three men marched in.
I saw the grey Audi S3 at the back of the hotel carpark.
“Where’s the key?” I texted.
Silas’ next text included a link, which just looked like a load of numbers. When I tapped it, the car’s headlights flashed and I heard the doors unlock.
“How did you do that? Did you just hack a car?”
“Doesn’t matter. Key’s under the passenger seat.”
When I came out of my text messages, every single text I had received or sent vanished from my phone.
No time to question why. I jumped in the driver’s seat, Six found the key under the passenger seat and climbed in.
A thought hit me.
“What is it?” Six asked.
“I haven’t driven for ages,” I said.
“You want me to?”
I looked at Six.
“You can drive?
“Of course,” he shrugged. “I can lose a tail and come out best in a car chase. And we don’t have time to mess around, so decide now.”
I pulled out of our space and accelerated to the gate. As I drove up the ramp, I could make out a figure running towards us – with a gun.
“I’m just being paranoid, right?” I say to the ceiling and the walls, expecting ShadowAspect to appear from somewhere. “Being Watched has made me hyper-vigilant, which is why I can feel every look and every gaze. But I’m safe, aren’t I?”
I ventured out the next day. My skin prickled every time someone looked at me, but I soon got used to it. As I made my way through town, I felt a gaze loaded with intent, which was aimed at me like a sniper rifle.
I strode on, glad I was just wearing a hat and not a hood so I had better peripheral vision. I caught sight of it out of the corner of my eye. The same car. Someone inside was watching me. I ducked into a shop, my mind flying and swirling in different directions. One thought hit home. I had to be ready for anything. I made my way to a cash machine and took out as much as I could. Keeping my head down, my eyes scanned every face as I went home the long way. There was no sign of the car, but the further I went, the stronger the sensation in my back became. Someone was following me. I took a series of sudden turns and ran for it. By the time I made it home, I was certain I had lost whoever it was. Locked in my flat, I worked by the window, but saw no sign of anyone watching me.