Scene 18

0356 hours.


Flex, Nate, X, and Nel get out of the taxi at the Copacabana Hotel and walk in. The cops’ unmarked car is parked a block away.

− Vera, access the Copacabana Hotel guest log.

− There has been no change to the guest log since 2205 hours yesterday, Vera tells him.

Merda! They’re going to see someone who already has a room. Scan the interior security cameras for movement.

Carvalho is transported to a hallway in the hotel. The gang comes out of an elevator and walks toward him. They walk through him and continue down the hallway. The large, scar-faced man knocks on a door. The door opens, and they file in. Virtual Carvalho tries to follow but can’t.

− Vera, get me into that room.

− The guests have covered all the hidden cameras.

− Get me audio. Carvalho hears samba music and nothing else.



− What did they ask you? Aria whispers to Nate in the room.

− They asked a lot of questions about what we were doing in Downbeat City. And they got a lot of personal information from us.

− Might be routine. Or they’re on to us. I don’t want to stay here.

− Anywhere we go, they’ll follow us if they’re watching us, Jules whispers.

− They might come through that door any second. I need a safe place. A live performance cyberfantasy is not something I can speed up, not even with a computer’s help.

− The Downbeat City favelas are some of the few places on earth that Aethon Blue does not yet have complete control over, Jules says. I have some friends in Mangueira.

− How far is it?

− It is just up the hill from here.

− Let’s walk.


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