An early-morning quiet lay over the private call center. The caller entered the last booth on the left, closed the door, and engaged the sound buffers before sitting and dialing a number from memory. The call was answered promptly.
"Why, good morning. An unexpected and pleasant surprise to hear from you. I gather you have something for me?"
"...Yes, sir. You asked me to report on his movements and activities and so. We have plans to go into Alice Springs in ten days for a concert. He will be away from his workstation all afternoon and evening that day."
"Ah. I see. Thank you."
"Yes, sir. Will—" The caller fell silent.
"You needn't worry. Payment will be forwarded in the usual manner."
"Yes, thank you, but..."
"Ah, you're concerned about your relative? There's no need. He's recovering quite well from the surgery. Now I really must go. Unless you have something else?"
"I... no. Nothing."
"Well, then. I look forward to our next conversation."
The screen went dark. The caller sat, head bent, for a long time before rising to go.