The Rumors About Me - Chapter 3 - page 1

When I came out of our client's company, the same taxicab was still pulled up at the sidewalk. The young driver stuck his head out the window and called out to me.
"Hi, you're still here? That's great. Take me back to Shinjuku."
When I got in, the driver shoved back my 500-yen bill.
"Here, I'm giving it back. This is no joke, I tell you."
"Is something wrong?"
"After you get off, I turned on the radio, and right off they started talking about you on the news. According to the announcer, you'd been nabbed by a chearing taxi, and after getting driven all over and taken the long way around, they said you'd been dunned for a 500-yen tip. They even gave my name!"
I finally understood the kind treatment at our client's.
"See, I told you so. I'm being followed."
"Anyway, here's your 500-yen back."
"Don't worry. Hang on to it."
"No way! I'm giving it back."
"I see. I suppose it can't be helped. I'll take it back, then. By the way, are you still going to take me to Shinjuku?"
"Can't hardly say no, can I? Next thing they'll be saying on the news that I wouldn't give you a ride."
The taxi headed off for Shinjuku.
I was slowly beginning to appreciate that the plot to disorient me was on an almost unimaginable scale. After all, hadn't my enemy bought off the entire mass media? Who on earth was really behind it all, and what was his purpose? What would he do a thing like this for?
There was nothing to do but let things take their course. It would be close to impossible to find the ringleader behind it all. Even if I managed to catch one of the guys tailing me, no underling like that could be expected to know the boss's name. Not when the whole mass media had been bought.
"I ain't trying to make excuses, mister," the cabbie said, "But I really did shake that black Cedric. Honest."
"I believe you," I told him. "It looks like they're not using cars or anything trifling like that to tail me. I'm sure there's even a bug in this car someplace."
I was dismayed the moment I'd asid it. That was because I abruptly realized that once I began suspecting people, there was ample reason to suspect the driver. If he wasn't in on it, then how could my shadowers have known the tip was for 500-yen ?
I suddenly noticed a two-man helicopter circling about the taxi. It was just skimming the building rooftops.
"I'm sure I seen that chopper on our way over," said the driver, glaring op at the sky."want to bet he's the guy that's been tailing you?"
With a thunderous roar, a blood-colored flash raced across one corner of the sky. When I looked up, a ball of flame was spreading legs in every direction. The helicopter had collided with a ten-story building near the roof. Probably they'd been paying so much attention to the ground that the pilot had made a control error.
"Take that, suckers! Heheheheheh"