BBC reporter Gunther Glick stared at the cell phone in his hand for ten seconds before he finally hung up.
Chinita Macri studied him from the back of the van. “What happened? Who was that?”
Glick turned, feeling like a child who had just received a Christmas gift he feared was not really for him. “I just got a tip. Something’s going on inside the Vatican.”
“It’s called conclave,” Chinita said. “Helluva tip.”
“No, something else.” Something big. He wondered if the story the caller had just told him could possibly be true. Glick felt ashamed when he realized he was praying it was. “What if I told you four cardinals have been kidnapped and are going to be murdered at different churches tonight.”
“I’d say you’re being hazed by someone at the office with a sick sense of humor.”
“What if I told you we were going to be given the exact location of the first murder?”
“I’d want to know who the hell you just talked to.”
“He didn’t say.”
“Perhaps because he’s full of shit?”
Glick had come to expect Macri’s cynicism, but what she was forgetting was that liars and lunatics had been Glick’s business for almost a decade at the British Tattler. This caller had been neither. This man had been coldly sane. Logical. I will call you just before eight, the man had said, and tell you where the first killing will occur. The images you record will make you famous. When Glick had demanded why the caller was giving him this information, the answer had been as icy as the man’s Mideastern accent. The media is the right arm of anarchy.
“He told me something else too,” Glick said.
“What? That Elvis Presley was just elected Pope?”
“Dial into the BBC database, will you?” Glick’s adrenaline was pumping now. “I want to see what other stories we’ve run on these guys.”
Macri sighed and pulled up the connection to the BBC database. “This’ll take a minute.”
Glick’s mind was swimming. “The caller was very intent to know if I had a cameraman.”
“And if we could transmit live.”
“One point five three seven megahertz. What is this about?” The database beeped. “Okay, we’re in. Who is it you’re looking for?”
Glick gave her the keyword.
Macri turned and stared. “I sure as hell hope you’re kidding.”