Tête-à-tête dans les Toilettes

There were two stalls, and the first was occupied. Ambassador Han preferred to use the toilet in private, but he didn’t have time to be choosy. Something wasn’t sitting right in his stomach—probably those ugly land lobsters they served raw last night. Damn outworld food.

He finished his business and reached for a sanitary square, but there were none. Han tightened his face and exhaled loudly through his nose. He knocked on the stall wall and asked the occupant to kindly pass him a wipe. A black-gloved hand obliged, and the ambassador took it with a thank you. But upon inspection, he found it was covered in writing.

Don’t speak. You’ve been poisoned. There is a pressure sensor in the seat. If you get up, a bomb in the tank will detonate.

“What the f—”

He was cut off by a loud pounding from the other side of the stall wall. A moment later, another square appeared beneath the divider.

There might be mics. SHUT UP!

Han felt a film of sweat forming on his upper lip. He tried to calm himself, but his stomach gurgled and he found his business wasn’t finished after all.

Another wipe passed under the stall, this one longer.

I’m leaving. I can remotely delay the detonator. When the bathroom door closes behind me, count to 100, then quickly walk—but don’t run—as far from the bathroom as you can. Don’t stop to wash your hands or there won’t be enough pieces of you left to box up and send home.

From the other stall came a flush, and then he heard footsteps and the door swinging shut. Damn outworlders. It was long past time to find a homeworld appointment. Hell.

One. Two. Three…

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