The following was emailed to Soo about six months after Billy disappeared, and she has entrusted it to me, asking that I let as many people as possible know what’s been going on.
Billy Shakes Writes Again
So, yeah, I’m not exactly sure how yet, but things obviously got totally fucked up. I’ve been lost for the last few months, literally at a loss, wandering the streets and trying to stay alive. Staying in Seattle wasn’t really an option. I couldn’t contact you, Soo, I didn’t know what to do.
There I go again.
No More, there will be no more of that rhyming nonsense.
Let me just tell you what happened, what’s been happening to me, what I’ve been doing for the last, I don’t know how many months. What day is it? Oh, it has been such a long time, it has been such a very long time since I got off that ferry in Seattle. I was exhilarated then, I was darn near ecstatic. It was happening, it was the beginning of a new history, it was the start of an amazing change that would transform our country and make the world a safer place. And, as it turned out, it was a hoax. I’d been lied to and cheated out of my life, my wife, my son – everything was gone in an instant, and I had nowhere to go.
Well, almost nowhere. I went to the address in the international district. I ran, I quite literally and figuratively ran to that address, my feet barely touching the ground, my heart racing, my mind abuzz with ideas and visions. What a fool, what a complete and absolute fool I’ve been. I was expecting to be welcomed into that apartment as a conquering hero, but when I got there, sweating, out of breath and grinning giddily as a schoolgirl, the two of them just looked at me in amazement and disbelief. “You,” one of them said, “You’re here.” Note the lack of exclamation points. I thought they were shocked that I had actually done it. I’m not sure who had briefed them or what they expected to happen, but they certainly didn’t have the same set of expectations as me.
“Is it on the news?” I asked them, still thinking this was going to explode into a flurry of sirens and news helicopters, and that it would all be covered OJ-style on television. In answer, the two of them just looked at each other.
“What?” I asked, “What’s been happening?” The general feeling I had was that these guys were looking at a suicide bomber, after the bombing. Slowly, those two began to realize what had happened. The truth of the matter was that they had been set up, too. There was nothing on the news and there never would be. The whole scheme was a sham, a ruse to get suckers like me and those two clowns to go through the motions of terrorism so we could be picked up and held out as proof that this country needs to be afraid. We were the enemy within, an artificial Fifth Column, recruited, trained and exploited by who knows who. Max?
Yes, Max. Or, maybe Jake.
So, all this is going through my head and I figured I need to get in touch with them, one of them, and find out what’s going on, what happened. I had no way of getting in touch with Max, but Jake had given me a number to call. I quickly scanned the apartment for a phone and dialed Jake.
“Billy,” he said when he heard my frantic voice, “Where are you? No, don’t tell me. Just run, get away from wherever you are, go somewhere we don’t know about. Don’t go home. Don’t even call your home, they’ll be there in no time.” I heard sirens then, and I wondered if I had heard them from the streets outside or if I was hearing them from the other end of the line. In the time it took to wonder this I realized it was both, they were sirens around me at that international district apartment and there were sirens wherever Jake was.
“How will I reach you again,” I asked Jake.
“You probably won’t, but remember this number and try me in a couple of days.” At which point he gave me a number and hung up.