Back home, I resumed the daily routine as a gossip columnist and blogger. I made my calls, watched all of my social media feeds, kept an eye on my email inbox, and made my social calendar fill up with lunch dates, dinner dates, movie outings, and the usual stuff that I need to do to make this work. I did this with renewed vigor due to my decision to camouflage my preparations for the hit through my day job- and if I was to succeed, I knew that I had to fix things well before the fact, and that meant that I would win or die now.
My target was on tour, promoting a new album release that—as we insiders knew would happen—flopped. In order to salvage the failed commercial venture, the target had to ramp up the tour schedule and aggressively push the merchandise. That meant adding dates, and because of this fact I saw my target added a three-night stand here where I live. (Normally, this is not the case; normally, I have to go to Chicago to get this sort of experience, and I do resent this sort of treatment.) Given the arena-sized scope of the target’s entourage, only two venues in the area would be acceptable where I live, which meant that I had to scope out only two public venues. Each one had only one acceptable hotel nearby, so I only had one hospitality venue to scope out. Once I knew where my target would play, the only variable left would be the other assassins.
I got a break during a lunch date. I sat at one of my favorite pubs in the area, out on the patio, having a pint while I waited for my order to arrive. I had my tablet with me, and I got a Skype call from a European contact I met a few months before in Germany. In brief, the important parts when like this:
“Good day, Mr. Smith. It looks like you’re enjoying yourself.”
“It’s lunchtime where I am. You look like you just had dinner. What’s the word from the heart of Europe?”
“I got your query, so I arranged to get an interview after the show. You were right about using a red bracelet; that’s what made the difference.”
“I know this isn’t a social call, and your site hasn’t published any interview, so what do you have for me?”
“Dates, Mr. Smith. The press release isn’t due until tomorrow morning, your time, so you’ll get a scoop that your local readers will love you for…”
“…in return for?”
She held up an album cover for one of my hometown’s many notable musical acts, comprised of a handful of decent people whom I have some respect. They have since broken up and gotten into the far more regular and lucrative business of scoring films, television series and video games.
“The lead, I assume?”
“I have an in with him. Anything in particular?”
I smiled. “Not a problem. It’s as good as done.”
“Okay. I know you’ve done right my some of our mutual acquaintances, so I know you’re good for it.”
She then gave me the dates and the venue, which meant that I knew the hotel. My target must have the children along, as that venue’s close to
all of the child-friendly attractions in the area. That’s a good thing to know; it gave me more options as to where to make my move.
“I’ll put in the call before I’m done here and get that fan service for you, and I’ll let you know when it’s on your way.”
German fangirls squee in a most adorable fashion.